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Heritage tour of Rajasthan
Duration : 12 Nights / 13 Days

Destinations :
Delhi - Jaipur - Bundi - Bassi - Udaipur - Kumbhalgarh - Jodhpur - Jaisalmer - Bikaner - Mandawa - Delhi
 
Day 01: Arrive Delhi
Delhi – Jaipur (262 kms – 05 hours)


Arrive at Delhi, assist you at airport / railway station & transfer to hotel for check in.
Delhi is a bustling metropolis, which successfully combines in its folds the ancient with modern. Its strategic location was the prime reasons why successive dynasties chose it as their seat of power. In fact, more mythological cities are believed to be here, like the city of Indraprastha from the Hindu epic Mahabharata, founded around 5000 BC.

Numerous monuments were built over several centuries by different rulers like Qutub-ud-din Aibek, Alauddin Khilji, Tughlaks, Humayun & Shah Jahan, who built the Walled City Shah Jahanabad. Later in first half of 20th century much of New Delhi was planned by Sir Edwin Lutyens, who laid out a grandiose central administrative area as a testament to British rule in India. The division in walled city & New Delhi also marks the division in life styles.Later we drive to Jaipur, popularly known as Pink City, the flamboyant & colourful capital of Rajasthan. With its rich & colourful past, resplendent with tales of valour & bravery, it is now one of the most important heritage cities in India. The city was founded in the year 1728 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber. It remains the only city in the world symbolizing the nine divisions of the universe, through nine rectangular sectors. Stay overnight at hotel

Day 02: Jaipur – Bundi (220 kms – 04 hours)

Today we drive to we visit Bundi, an undiscovered splendor of Rajasthan. Set in a narrow inclining gorge & palaces & forts have fairy tale quality about them. Isolated & independent, this picturesque location has so much to offer. Rajput architecture shines & in the intricately carved brackets, pillars. Interesting places are Diwan-e- aam, Hathia Pol, & Naubat Khana.

Today we visit the Umeid Bhawan Palace, constructed during the reigns of Umeid Singh on the banks of Sukh Sagar or the Jait Sagar. The palace was meant for providing the princes a free hand to do what they liked away from the supervision of the Rao. The highlight of the palace is the white marble Chhatri that stands in the centre of the roof of the second storey. Next we visit the Chaurasi Khambon ki Chhatri, located south of the town & a pavilion supported by 84 pillars. The pavilion was constructed in the year 1683 by Rao Anirudh Singh to honour the services of Deva, his wet nurse. The two storied structures serve as a cenotaph as well as a temple though the importance of the cenotaph seems to have deteriorated with the passage of time. On the other hand the temple with Shiva Linga still commands respect from the devotees. The ceilings on both the floors are decorated with paintings of Rajput battles & fish symbols. Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 03 Bundi – Chittorgarh via Kota (120 km – 04 hr)

Today we drive to Chittaurgarh En route we visit Kota, along the eastern bank of the Chambal River lies an amazing juxtaposition of the majestic medieval age & modern industrialization temples its untouched wealth of impressive forts, opulent palaces & splendid temples dating back over several centuries retain the past glory. The city was formed in the year 1572 Maharao. We visit Sukh Niwas; build by Maharaja Umeid Singh II in the year 1905. Maharaja Umeid Singh II commissioned Sir Swinton Jacob, a distinguished officer of the Royal Engineers in the British Army, to design the building. As expected, Umeid Bhawan came up in 1905 in the prevalent Indo-Saracenic style Plentiful supply of white Khimach & Pink Sandstone from nearby quarries helped, while Italian marble, among other things, and had to be imported for flooring. The Palace truly offers a royal ambience & is a majestic sight in Kota. In 1930, a new wing was added to the existing palace, which is still the residence of the royal family of Kota. Next we visit the Jag Mandir, amid the picturesque artificial lake of Kishore Sagar constructed in the year 1346 AD by Prince Dher Deh. The azure water around the red-sandstone monument enhances its beauty. Boat-rides can be enjoyed in the lake. The Keshar Bagh famous for its royal cenotaphs lies in the vicinity.

Later we drive to Chittaurgarh, an ancient city in Rajasthan. It lies on the Berach River, a tributary of the Banas, & a former capital of the erstwhile kingdom of Mewar. By the 16th century, Mewar had become the leading Rajput state. After the Mughal Emperor Akbar captured Chittaurgarh in the year 1568, the capital was moved west to Udaipur, in the foothills of the Aravalli Range, where Rana Udai Singh II had established a residence in 1559. However, Chittaurgarh remains replete with historic associations & hold a special place in the hearts of many Rajputs, as it was a bastion of the clan at a time when every other stronghold had succumbed to invasion. Stay overnight at hotel

Day 04: Chittorgarh – Udaipur (150 km – 03 hr)

Here we visit Chittor Fort (Battlefields of battles between the Ranas of Chittor & Alauddin Khilji, Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat & Emperor Akbar.] It is a massive structure with zigzag accent to it. The road leads through seven gates to the main gate Rampol (Gate of Ram). The main gate of the fort itself is Surajpol (Sun Gate). Within the fort a circular runs around the ruins of the fort. According to often told legend the construction of the fort was started by Bhim a Pandav hero of mythological epic Mahabharata. The fort has many magnificent monuments. Even though the fort is ruin but it is an overwhelming reminder of past history & its walls resonate with unbelievable legend of extra ordinary men & women & their equally astounding deeds. During the visit we also visit Rana Kumbha Palace, ruined edifice of great historical & architectural interest, being the most massive monument in the fort of Chittaur. The palace is believed to have underground cellars where Rani Padmini & other women committed Jauhar. Next we visit Victory Tower, built in the year 1440 AD by Maharana Kumbha to commemorate his victory over Mohamed Khilji this 9-storyed tower is adorned by sculptures of Hindu deities around. This tower is the piece-de-resistance of Chittaurgarh. Palace of Rani Padmini, built beside the lotus pool with a historical pavilion that changed the history of Chittor. Ala-ud-din saw the reflection of Queen Padmini from here & was mesmerized. In the quest of possessing her led to a furious battle with Maharani Padmini’s husband & the epitome of beauty-Cleopatra of Rajasthan, became an eternal legend in the history of Chittor. Tower of Fame, Dedicated to Adinathji the 1st Jain Tirthankara adorned by the naked figures of the Digambar [Adherents of the Digambar sect who does not believe in covering the natural body] A narrow stairway goes through seven stories of the tower to the top. The 22 meters high tower was build by a wealthy Jain merchant in the 12th century AD. Palace of Patta & Jaimal, stand on a rocky rise south of Gomukh Kund. Both warrior heroes died in the third sack of Chittaur fighting the forces of Emperor Akbar.

Day 05: Udaipur

Toady we visit the City Palace, an intriguing collection of buildings contributed by various Maharana’s (Kings) after Udai Singh & built in the year 1725. The magnificence of the Palace starts right from its entrance at the northern Tripolia Gate that brings us to the central courtyard, the best place to view the facade of filigreed balconies & ornate cupola-topped towers. Sahelion ki Bari (Garden of Maids of Honour) is an ornamental garden built by Maharana Sangram Singh for his daughter & the Ladies of the Queen's court. He built the garden with several fountains, pools & is decorated with chiselled pavilions & elephants. The fountains worked on the unique hydraulic technique devised in the year 1700 AD & work till today. Later we visit Jagdish Temple, the Indo-Aryan temple, built in the year 1651 AD by Maharana Jagat Singh, is the largest & the most beautiful temple of Udaipur with noteworthy sculpted images. We also enjoy boat ride on Lake Pichola, the beauty of the lake is enhanced by the surrounding hills, palaces, temples, bathing ghats & embankments. The Jag Niwas (Lake Palace) & Jag Mandir, the two island palaces on the lake look like pearls in the lake. Stay overnight at hotel.

Later we Continue drive to Udaipur, was founded in the year 1568 by Maharana Udai Singh after his final unsuccessful attempt to defend the Mewar capital, Chittaurgarh from the invading Mughals under Emperor Akbar. The Kingdom of Mewar was considered the most respectable among all Princely states in Rajasthan & still remembered for the courage to protect the Kingdom. The site for Udaipur was chosen for its natural beauty, abundant water & natural protection afforded by the surrounding forests & Aravalli mountains. It is set on the edge of three lakes & also known as the "City of Lakes & Palaces". Undoubtedly one of the most romantic cities in India, its beautiful Palaces are mirrored in the calm waters of Lake Pichola & the city is a brilliant kaleidoscope of narrow lanes flanked by bright stalls, gardens, lakes, palaces & temples. Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 06: Udaipur – Kumbhalgarh (100Km- 02 hr)

Today we drive Kumbhalgarh, Rana Kumbha the legendary Mewar hero, an astute & a great builder. Of others, Kumbhalgarh is the most inspiring. A joy for the nature lovers, it is surrounded by greenery & wildlife. It is also within a short driving distance from the famous 15th century Ranakpur Jain Temples. An area steeped in history & abounding in wildlife, unspoilt nature harmonizes with the modern comforts & the warm hospitality of the Aoudhi.Stay overnight at hotel.

Kumbhalgarh Fort Located 64 kms north of Udaipur in the wilderness, Kumbhalgarh is the second most important citadel after Chittorgarh in the Mewar region. Cradled in the Aravali Ranges the fort was built in the 15th century by Rana Kumbha. Because of its inaccessibility and hostile topography the fort had remained un-conquered. It also served the rulers of Mewar as a refuge in times of strife. The fort also served as refuge to the baby king Udai of Mewar. It is also of sentimental significance as it is the birthplace of Mewar's legendary King Maharana Partap. The fort is self-contained and has within its amalgam almost everything to withstand a long siege.

The fort fell only once that too to the combined armies of Mughal and of Amber for scarcity of drinking water. Many magnificent palaces an array of temples built by the Mauryas of which the most picturesque place is the Badal Mahal or the palace of the clouds. The fort also offers a superb birds view of the surroundings. The fort's thick wall stretches some 36 kms and is wide enough to take eight horses abreast. Maharana Fateh Singh renovated the fort in the 19th century. The fort's large compound has very interesting ruins and the walk around it can be very rewarding.

Day 07 Kumbhalgarh – Jodhpur via Ranakpur (280km – 06 hr)

Today we drive to Jodhpur, bustling desert city is the 2nd largest city in Rajasthan & has landscape dominated by the massive Mehrangarh Fort topping a sheer rocky ridge Rao Jodha, a chief of the Rathore clan, founded the city in the year 1459 & it is named after him. It was formerly the seat of a Princely state, also known as Marwar.Enroute Cover the Ranakpur Temples Ranakpur located in the mountain ranges of Pali. We visit the famous Ranakpur Jain Temples were built during the reign of the liberal & gifted monarch Rana Kumbha in the 15th century. An enormous basement covers 48,000 sq. feet area. There are four subsidiary shrines, 24 pillared halls & eligibly domes supported by over four hundred columns. The artistically carved nymphs playing the flute in various dance postures at a height of 45 feet are an engrossing sight. In the assembly hall, there are two big bells weighing 108 kg whose sound echoes in the entire complex. Later we Continue drive to Jodhpur. Arrive Jodhpur and stay overnight at hotel.

Ranakpur is the site of several 15th century Jain temples with intricate carvings which blew me away. It was such a serene place to be and I could've sat there all day. The high priest of the temple came and put saffron on my forehead. This spiritual experience was somewhat broken by his demand for cash though. Ranakpur was also my first experience (of this trip) of the 'squat' toilet. I hate these toilets. For one, balance is not my strong point. Secondly, you can't read a book on an Indian toilet. Third, there is no loo paper, just a tap and a little bucket to wash yourself. I'm not totally against this third point in theory - after all, it's probably more hygienic - but I just don't get it/can't do it. Our Rough Guide did contain instructions on how to negotiate the whole toilet thing, which I am eternally grateful for

Day 08 Jodhpur

Today we visit the Mehrangarh Fort (majestic fort), built by Rao Jodha, located atop a 125m high hill. The fort museum houses an exquisite collection of palanquins, howdah (Elephant saddle), royal cradles, miniatures, costumes & furniture. We also visit the Jaswant Thada, a white marble memorial built in the year 1899 in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. It is an architectural landmark in Jodhpur. We also visit the Guda Bishnoi Village, a world of tribal colour & rustic cultural grandeur. A tour to the village in open air jeeps, visit various traditional villages, look at local handicrafts like shoe makers, pottery, hand weaving. Bishnoi’s are an integral part of this region, a very hard working & hospitable tribal community. It is a wonderland where wild animals walk past village huts & villagers prefer to sleep without food so that animals are fed. They are ready to die to save the trees & nature & lead a pure vegetarian & clean life according to tenets preached by religious guru, Jambaji. They worship nature in all its forms & pray to green trees & animals that inhabit their land & thus make every effort to conserve environment. A noticeable fact about Bishnoi’s is that they pray to Hindu deity Lord Vishnu & bury their dead like Muslims. Stay overnight at hotel.

Jodhpur Jodhpur.ogg pronunciation (help·info) (??????), is the second largest city in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It was formerly the seat of a princely state of the same name, it is the capital of the kingdom known as Marwar. Jodhpur is a popular tourist destination, featuring many palaces, forts and temples, set in the stark landscape of the Thar desert

Day 09: Jodhpur – Jaisalmer (290 kms – 06 hours)

Today we drive to Jaisalmer, founded in the year 1156 by Bhatti Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal. Often described as Golden City & rising from the heart of the Thar Desert like a golden mirage the commanding Fort etched in yellow sandstone, dominates the amber-hued city with its entire awesome splendor. Because of its strategic location it was an important ancient trading centre & camel caravans laden with precious spices & silk crossed the territory en-route India, Sindh, and Arabia & Europe. The merchants of the 19th century built Havelies (Mansions) that are exquisitely carved from golden-yellow sandstone & are still in a beautiful condition. The life within the Fortified town conjures up images of medieval majesty visible in its narrow lanes strewn with magnificent palace, havelies, temples, & of course skilled artisans & ubiquitous camels. Stay overnight at hotel.

Once a sleepy desert city, Jaisalmer has transformed itself into a major tourist destination of India. Situated amid picturesque Thar Desert, the Jaisalmer city commands premiere position among the tourist attractions scattered all over the desert land of Rajasthan. The Jaisalmer city is revered both by Indians as well as foreign tourists.

The Jaisalmer city is a prominent educational as well as cultural hub in the region and regularly showcases the vivid cultural aspects of Rajasthan. Among others, it includes folk dances as well as semi classical and folk music.

Day 10: Jaisalmer

Today we visit the old town of Jaisalmer & visit Jaisalmer Fort built in the year 1156 by Rawal Jaisal. Perched on 80m high hill, housing the entire township within its ramparts, the golden hued Fort is standing like a sentinel in the bleak desert landscape. It is the only “Living Fort” in India & within its ramparts has an enchanting cow-web of narrow lanes dotted with some lovely Havelies (Mansions), Palaces & beautifully sculptured Jain Temples of the 12th-15th century AD & of course skilled artisans & ubiquitous camels.

We also visit magnificent Patwon Ki Haveli in the heart of the town. It was built by the rich merchant Guman Chand Patwa & his sons, whose business stretched between Afghanistan & China. It is the most elaborate & magnificent of all the Jaisalmer Havelies & is virtually the showpiece of Jaisalmer's legendary architectural wealth. The carving on stone far surpasses in beauty the work on brocade & gold. Later we drive down 40 km away from Jaisalmer to Sam to take the Camel ride on the Sand Dunes of Sam while the sun is setting down. Stay overnight at Sam desert Camp.. Like various other cities of Rajasthan, you will discover different facets of Jaisalmer as you explore this wonderful city with us. Tough there are historical monuments scattered all over the city but the Jaisalmer Fort will immediately command your attention. Made of sand stones and locally known as Sonar Quila, the Jaisalmer Fort is a dominating structure amidst sands. The Jaisalmer city is also known for its old mansions, better known as Havelis. Among many of them you will find Salim ji ki haveli and Nathmal ji ki haveli as the most striking. There are other monuments too, which are equally important because of their distinct and individual architecture. The amalgamation of ancient and the medieval era architecture will catch your fancy.

Day 11: Jaisalmer – Bikaner (325km - 6hour)

Today we drive to the princely state of Bikaner, founded by Rao Bikaji (1465-1504 AD) in the year 1488 AD. He was a Rajput prince, descendent of the founder of neighboring Jodhpur. It lies in the north-western part of Rajasthan & has a stark beauty of the desert landscape with wide-spread sand dunes & thorny shourubs growing around. It is a royal city surrounded by a mammoth fortification wall, more than 5 km in circumference & about 5 to 9m high. Fort, Palaces & people with colourful traditional costumes are the chief attractions of the city. The Camel Breeding Farm in Bikaner is only one of its kinds in the whole Asia & so is the illustrious Camel Festival. Stay overnight at hotel.

Bikaner is a District in the northwest of the state of Rajasthan in northern India. The city is the administrative headquarters of Bikaner District and Bikaner division. It was formerly the capital of the princely state of Bikaner. The city was founded by Rao Bika in 1486 and from its small origins it has developed into the fourth largest city in Rajasthan. Just like Jaipur, Bikaner is called the Green City. The Ganga Canal completed in 1928 and the Indira Gandhi Canal completed in 1987 have allowed the farming of crops such as mustard, cotton and wheat. Other industries include wool production and the mining of gypsum, plaster of Paris and bentonite.

Day 12: Bikaner – Mandawa (200 km – 04 hour)

Today in Bikaner we visit Junagarh Fort, built in the year 1593 AD by Raja Rai Singh (1571-1612 AD), the 6th ruler of Bikaner. The Fort is a formidable structure & largely remained unconquered during its eventful history. It houses number of beautiful Palaces, Temples & Pavilions, which are richly decorated the beautifully maintained rooms of Anup Mahal now display the treasures of the Royal family. The Fort Museum has an extensive collection of illuminated manuscripts, jewellery, jars, carpets, weapons, treaties, decorations & Farmans (King’s Orders).

Later we drive to Mandawa in the Shekhawati region. Shekhawati owes its name to Rao Shekhaji who ruled this area in the 14th century. The Fort of Mandawa was built in the year 1755 by Thakur Nawal Singh ji, the founder of the town. These were the times when Mandawa was settled & fortified by the rich & dominant Silk Route merchants of the region, who constructed many Havelies (Mansions), Chhatri’s (Cenotaphs),

Temples & Baolis (Step-wells) with ornate frescoes adorning their walls & now aptly given the epithet – Open-Air Gallery. With the migration of these merchant families, their old settlements remained in total obscurity with no one to look after them. Mandawa still retains the charm & aura of a bygone era & coming here is like stepping into a different world. Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 13: Mandawa – Delhi (280 kms – 06 hours)

Today we explore the Mandawa Fort, located in the very heart of Mandawa & a classic example of the famed Rajput style of architecture. It houses many beautiful paintings & frescoes that dazzle the eyes & now been converted into a heritage hotel. Gulab Rai Haveli built in the year 1870 that has some of the best murals in Shekhawati on both the exterior & interior walls with elephants & camels on its facade. Goenka Double Haveli built in the year 1890, with monumental frescoes of elephants & horses decorating its façade. Bansidhar Newatia Haveli built in the year 1921 combine’s traditional frescoes of horses & elephants with those depicting a young boy using a phone plus opulent touring cars & the Wright Brothers’ plane. If time permits we may visit more Havelies of the region & observe the colourful village life in Rajasthan. Later we continue our drive to Delhi, upon arrival in Delhi Transfer to Airport for onward Destination.

Delhi (Hindi:, Urdu: ???? dehl?), known locally as Dilli , Urdu: ????, Punja? dill?) and more properly as the National Capital Territory of Delhi, is the second-largest metropolis in India. Moreover, with over 17.3 million residents, it is [1] the sixth largest metropolis in the world by population. The name Delhi is also often used to include the urban area outside the National Capital Territory of Delhi or NCT, as well as to refer to New Delhi, the capital of India. The NCT is a federally-administered union territory.Located on the banks of the River Yamuna of India, Delhi has been continuously inhabited since at least the 6th century BC, according to archaeological evidence.[3] After the rise of the Delhi Sultanate, Delhi emerged as a major political, cultural and commercial city along the trade routes between northwest India and the Indo-Gangetic plains.[4][5] It is the site of many ancient and medieval monuments, archaeological sites and remains. In 1639, Mughal emperor Shahjahan built a new walled city in Delhi which served as the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1649 to 1857.[6][7]
 
 
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