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From India’s capital city of Delhi make your way through the state of Uttar Pradesh, stopping in Agra to experience the Taj Mahal in all its glory, into the Land of the Maharajas, Rajasthan. With abundant remnants of its rich history there for all to see in its majestic forts and lavish palaces, Rajasthan is an absolute must for anyone visiting India.
On arrival into Delhi Airport, meet with your guide and transfer to your hotel for check-in. Enjoy free time for the remainder of the day.
A sprawling, vibrant and sometimes overwhelming city, Delhi is home to over 15 million people and is still growing. From an outsider's perspective, the city is divided into two distinct parts. To the north lie the winding narrow streets and medieval bazaars of the 17th century Mughal capital, Old Delhi. Encompassing the heart of the modern city to the south, New Delhi is by contrast a cosmopolitan and creative metropolis of broad, tree-lined boulevards, parks, museums and international restaurants. Both halves of the city are dotted with astonishing Mughal and British Imperial architecture, Muslim tombs and temples, and an array of magnificent monuments that commemorate the glory of bygone ages
This morning, embark on a tour of Old Delhi with your guide. Explore the city by cycle rickshaw, stopping to take in the most opulent fort and palace of the Mughal Empire - Lal Qila, or the "Red Fort". Encased by towering red sandstone walls, this dramatic UNESCO World Heritage Site was built at the very height of Mughal reign by Emperor Shan Jehan as a grandiose symbol of pomp and power. Pay a visit to the nearby Raj Ghat to see the Mahatma Gandhi memorial before venturing to Jama Masjid to admire the magnificent marble domes and gold spires of the largest mosque in India. After climbing the mosque's southern tower to soak up sweeping views over Delhi, witness the ancient marketplace of Chandni Chowk come alive as locals prepare for the trading day.
In the afternoon, tour New Delhi. Your drive takes you along the Raj Path or "King's Way" ceremonial avenue, past verdant lawns, canals and trees and the imposing Parliament House and India Gate monument. Explore the elegant Humayun Tomb and its surrounding 30 acre, Persian-style garden and inspect the intricate Arabic inscriptions and carvings that cover the soaring tower of Qutub Minar.
In the evening, enjoy free time
Depart from Delhi and take the drive to Agra with your guide.
In the afternoon, explore two of India's most spectacular architectural marvels, Agra Fort and the Taj Mahal.
Located just a few kilometres north of its sister monument Taj Mahal, Agra Fort occupies a massive 94 acres on the banks of the Yamuna River. Although the fort was originally designed as a military structure, it was later transformed into a magnificent palace by Emperor Shah Jahan, and eventually served as his prison when son Aurangzeb seized power in 1658. Explore the fort's chambers and cloistered courtyards, admiring the intricate white marble carvings of the Nagina Masjid and Moti Masjid and stopping to take in breathtaking views of the Taj Mahal from the numerous lofty balconies and pavilions.
The awe inspiring Taj Mahal, undoubtedly the masterpiece of Mughal architecture, stands at the far northern end of an extensive walled garden overlooking the tranquil Yamuna River. Although its layout follows a strict Islamic theme, this immense mausoleum is above all, a monument to love. Commissioned by Shah Jahan to enshrine the body of his favourite wife, it is believed to have taken 20,000 craftsmen working around the clock 20 years to complete. This painstaking commitment to perfection is reflected in every aspect of the complex's design; from the precise, geometric planning of the surrounding Paradise Gardens, to the reflective quality of the marble itself which changes hue with the movement of the sun, symbolising the presence of Allah.
Wander the exquisite 17 hectare gardens and take time to soak up the almost overwhelming beauty of this wonder of the world.
In the evening, enjoy free time to explore Agra, perhaps browsing the many lively local bazaars selling marble handicrafts, jewellery and leather ware.
Leave for Jaipur, stopping en route to visit the magnificent ghost city of Fatehpur Sikri. Perched on a rocky crest just a short drive southwest of Agra, the well-preserved 'ruins' of this atmospheric site were once the short-lived imperial capital of Mughal emperor Akbar. Shortly after the emperor's death in 1585, the entire city was suddenly abandoned for reasons that still remain uncertain. Venture though Agra Gate and ponder the enigma for yourself as you explore the grandiose red sandstone palaces, monuments and mosques that remain of this mysterious, ill-fated city.
Continue to Jaipur, and enjoy free time to explore for the rest of the day.
Rajasthan's capital city, Jaipur is romantically nicknamed the "Pink City" in reference to the distinctly coloured stucco buildings that line the streets of the Old City. Established in 1727 by Jai Singh II of the Kachwaha family, the city is now the state's most prosperous and rapidly developing city, but there are frequent reminders of its intriguing royal past in the flamboyant palaces, medieval bazaars and hilltop forts that stud its streets and outskirts.
In the morning, drive up the steep hill to Amber Fort by jeep. Situated high above the Maota Lake, this imposing structure was begun in 1592 by Maharaja Man Singh and later extended by the Jai Singhs. Inside its impressive, impregnable walls, the fortress-palace is a four storey maze of cool, solid marble rooms, twisting staircases, and tiny balconies that peer out on the rugged landscape. As you move between rooms adorned with ornate marble carvings, gilded ceilings and intricately painted doors, it's not difficult to visualize a life of pomp and grandeur at the height of the kingdom's powers.
Tour Jaipur with your guide in the afternoon. Discover the fascinating blend of traditional Rajasthani and Mughal Art and intriguing royal relics at the City Palace Museum before visiting Jantar Mantar observatory to see the huge, complex and still accurate stone astronomical devices stored here. The unique Hawal Mahal or "Palace of Winds" is Jaipur's most distinctive landmark, a quirky five storey facade decked with hundreds of tiny screened windows and balconies. Those that wish to get a closer look can climb up the back of the structure to take in the views from the screened niches that privileged ladies of the court would once have peered down from.
Today after breakfast you will depart for Mandawa, a drive of about three and a half hours.
Mandawa, in north western Rajasthan, is known for its beautifully painted havelis (merchant's houses) which are found in a number of towns and villages in this region. Mandawa was settled in the 18th century by merchant families who built a rugged fort and turned the town into an open air art gallery with frescoes painted on the walls and gateways of havelis as well as on cenotaphs, wells, the fort and temples.
On arrival check in to the hotel and then set out on a tour of the city to take in the sights including the historical fortress and the bazaar. Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.
Today you will drive up to four hours to Bikaner. The walled-desert-city sits majestically on raised land, housing a magnificent fort and palaces commissioned by the ambitious Rathore Prince, Rao Bikaji, who set out to create his own kingdom here in 1488.
Bikaner is the heart of camel country and the city is renowned for having the best riding camels in the world. The camel, known as "the ship of the desert" is an inseparable part of life here. Be it pulling heavy carts, transporting grains or working on wells, camels are the primary source of labour.
This afternoon you will set out on a tour of the city to take in sights including Junagarh Fort and the Karni Mata Temple.
After breakfast depart on the six hour drive to Jaisalmer.
Rising out of the Thar Desert, the Jaisalmer Fort dominates the landscape as you approach the "Golden City" of Rajasthan. Havelis, temples and palaces made of the golden sandstone line the narrow streets, while the Sadar Bazaar offers an oasis of colour. Founded in 1156, Jaisalmer prospered from its location on the trade route to Egypt and Arabia.
Upon arrival check in to your hotel and then enjoy free time to look around the city or relax.
This morning set out on a tour of the city beginning at the golden Jaisalmer Fort. Sitting on top of Trikuta Hill this fort is unique as it is a living fort and houses over 3000 people within its ramparts. It has an enchanting web of narrow lanes dotted with some lovely havelis, three beautifully sculptured Jain Temples dating back up to 800 years, and five interconnected palaces.
Continue on to Gadisar Lake, an idyllic setting with numerous shrines and a wide variety of birdlife. See the Nathmalji-ki-Haveli, the late 19th century haveli with intricate architecture this is a display of wonderful craftsmanship. The left and right wings of the mansion were carved by two brothers, and while not identical they are very similar and balanced in design.
Later visit the Patwon -ki-Haveli which is the most elaborate and magnificent of all the Jaisalmer havelis. It has exquisitely carved pillars and extensive corridors and chambers.
This evening set out into the sand dunes where you will take your own "ship of the desert' out on a camel safari!
Today make the 6 hour journey to Jodhpur with your guide.
Of all Rajasthan's royal settlements, Jodhpur is perhaps the most distinctive. Dubbed "the Blue City" thanks to the colour of its old town houses, the town is nestled on the eastern border of the Thar desert, watched over by the mighty Meherangarh Fort, which looms dramatically above the streets of the Old City from its colossal sandstone plinth. This five hundred year old settlement was once the headquarters of the Rajput Rathores clan, and went by the nickname Mawar or "Land of Death". Today, its crowded streets bustle with Muslim tie-dyers, puppet makers and street traders selling everything from fragrant spices to handmade jewellery at bargain prices.
Embark on a of the imposing Meherangarh Fort that towers over the city. Standing on a range of sandstone hills around 125 metres above the surrounding plains, the fort's sheer walls are adorned with exquisitely intricate panels and lattice windows carved from red sandstone.
After a leisurely morning, set out on the short drive to Mihir Garh and check in to the magnificent Mihir Garh hotel.
Within the Thar Desert, the hotel is a majestic fortress mirage emerging from the sands. After getting familiar with your exceptional surroundings head out on a Jeep safari to visit the local Bishnoi villages. This is a fantastic opportunity to get an insight into the lives of the locals who live in this rural and very harsh environment and a good chance to spot some local wildlife such as Black Buck Antelopes, Dumessille Crane, Rabbits, Blue Bulls and Peacocks.
Embark on the drive to Udaipur, stopping en route to visit the Ranakpur Jain Temples.
Situated in an isolated valley just west of the Aravalli Range, these magnificent marble temples are an important Jainism pilgrimage site. The architectural highlight is Jain Temple with its sequence of elegant domes, turrets and cupolas that rise majestically from the hillside, supported by more than 1,400 marble pillars adorned with breathtakingly intricate carvings.
On arrival in Udaipur, enjoy a free evening to explore at your leisure.
Nestled around the idyllic Lake Pichola against a backdrop of craggy green hills, Udaipur is often described as the "Venice of the East" or simply "City of Lakes." With its plethora of fairy tale turreted palaces, shimmering white havelis and ornate marble temples, all reflected in the glassy waters that surround it, this is one of India's most seductive cities.
This morning visit the City Palace. Undoubtedly one of the city's most iconic structures, the Palace stands vast and magnificent on the northeast shore of Lake Pichola, carved from soft yellow stone and crowned with ornate arches and cupolas. Most of the building is now dominated by the City Palace Museum with its collection of lavish mosaics, paintings and artifacts, but the chambers, narrow halls and courtyards are also richly rewarding to explore, especially for the intricate glass inlays and mirror work.
Pay a visit to the fantastically carved Jagdish Temple just north of the City Palace before heading to the beautiful Sahelion Ki Bari garden to admire the fountains, marble elephants and lotus pool.
In the afternoon, enjoy a boat ride on the tranquil Lake Pichola. Glide past the island of Jagmandir with its Lake Garden Palace and gaze back across the lake to take in unique and breathtaking views of the city. Once back on dry land, you'll have time to browse for bargains in the bustling market that sprawls behind the City Palace Complex.
Enjoy time at leisure until you transfer to the airport for your afternoon flight to Delhi.
On arrival into Delhi transfer to your hotel and enjoy the evening at leisure.
On your last day, enjoy free time until your departure transfer to the airport.
Phone now to discuss options to personalise your itinerary.
Ideas to upgrade or extend your itinerary:
Float gently over the mighty Amber Fort and the surrounding area. Take in the spectacular sunrise as you drift over the Aravali mountain range and get a birds eye view of traditional villages and colourful fields in one of India’s most spectacular locations.
You’ll fly with India’s first fully licensed and approved Hot Air Balloon company, offering a unique & amazing balloon safari experience in Jaipur, with highly experienced international pilots. Enjoy tea, coffee and light refreshments whilst you watch the spectacle of the balloons being inflated and prepared before your hour long flight, touching down to the welcoming smiles and friendly greetings of the local villagers.
All Get About Asia trips have been designed to make sure you have an unforgettable travel experience. We have developed several trip styles to cater for our diverse range of travellers. Read what your ideal Get About Asia experience might look like here.
|Standard:||from AU $2,399|
|Superior:||from AU $2,630|
|Deluxe:||from AU $2,843|
All GetAboutAsia prices are based on twin share and depend on availability and season. All our itineraries can be customised including international flights and extra nights. For questions or further information, Enquire Now!
Hotels/lodges each night of the itinerary (excluding your departure day).
• Accommodation on bed and breakfast basis
• All transfers, sightseeing's & excursions by air-conditioned vehicle
• All sites and visits as per the program
• Cycle Rickshaw ride in Delhi during Old Delhi visit
• Jeep ride at Amber fort
• Camel Ride in sand dunes in Jaisalmer
• Jeep safari to the Bishnoi Village
• Boat ride on Lake Pichola in Udaipur on sharing basis
• Services of English-speaking local guides in each city at the time of city tour
• All currently applicable entrances at the monuments. Camera fees will be extra
This trip package includes 1 internal flight (Udaipur - Delhi) which retails at about 200AUD.
Visas for India
All nationalities need to apply for an Indian visa in advance. Give yourself at least 4 weeks.
The Indian Government has advised that from December 2014, all visa applicants will need to be physically present at a visa application centre, by appointment, to submit their applications and biometric data, including fingerprints and facial imagery.
ALL Australian travellers to India will need to personally attend their nearest consulate to complete their visa formalities. There is NO visa on arrival in India for all nationalities. Indian visas CANNOT be obtained in Nepal.
Availability of accommodation and season.
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