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Lands of Maharajas

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Lands of Maharajas

Rajasthan is replete with sprawling stone faced forts perched high on craggy hilltops. Elaborate palaces dot the towns and cities. Today these grand residences have opened their doors to discerning travellers. This tour takes you through the cities, rich in architecture and heritage. The spectacular palaces, colors of folklores, a vivacious performing art scene and UNESCO World Heritage Sites the itinerary is a blend of exciting Rajasthani facets.

DAY 1

New Delhi

On arrival in Delhi, you will be Greeted and Escorted by Hi Tour Executive to your Hotel. On arrival at hotel check in. (Room will be available from 1200 Hrs) In its 3000 years of existence; seven cities have risen where the present capital of India stands. Here you'll encounter a fascinating blend of the ancient and the contemporary. Where government buildings, medieval palaces and bazaars exist beside a modern metropolis. Delhi is a city waiting to be explored. India’s largest city, Delhi, has been one of the country’s commercial and economic hubs for centuries and, as a result, is incredibly rich in culture and history. Made up of the ancient walled city of Old Delhi and the more modern sector, New Delhi, the city encompasses a staggering array of beautiful architecture, notable monuments and age-old temples, including three UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the Red Fort, Qutab Minar and Humayun's Tomb. Other key attractions include the 17th century Chandni Chowk marketplace – still one of the city’s most popular retail centres today, particularly for jewellery and traditional Indian saris; the iconic Bahà’i Lotus Temple – an award-winning architectural gem; and the Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque. Read more

New Delhi , 2 nights
DAY 2

New Delhi

After breakfast enjoy sightseeing of Old & New Delhi. Red Fort (from outside): The 17th century imposing fortress built in red sandstone is surrounded by a huge 33m high boundary wall. Inside are exquisite palaces and beautiful gardens. (Red Fort is closed on Monday) Jama Masjid: Jama Masjid (Friday Mosque) made of red sandstone and white marble. It is India's largest mosque where more than 20.000 people can kneel in prayer at one time. The interior of the prayer hall is divided into aisles by arches. The walls and floors are of marble inlay panels. Enjoy Rickshaw ride in Chandni Chowk. Raj Ghat: Visit the Raj Ghat on the banks of the river Yamuna is Mahatma Gandhi's Memorial, where he was cremated following his assassination in January 1948. The memorial lies in the midst of landscaped gardens and made of a simple square platform of black marble inscribed with his last words "Hey Ram". An eternal flame burns 24 hours. India Gate and Govt Buildings: Drive through Lutyens Delhi and see India Gate which commemorates the 70,000 Indian soldiers who died in the 1st world war. 13516 names of British and Indian soldiers killed in the Afghan War of 1919 are engraved on the arch and foundations. Photo stop at Rashtrapati Bhawan once the Viceroy's residence is now the official residence of the President of India. Qutub Minar: Later visit the Qutub Minar the landmark of Delhi, a huge tower of victory started in 1199 and completed in 1368. The minar is 72.5m high with a diameter at the base 14.4m and 2.7m at the top. The tower has 379 steps to the top. Read more

New Delhi , 2 nights
DAY 3

New Delhi - Agra

After breakfast drive to Agra. Agra stands on the right bank of the river Yamuna, was once the seat of the Mughal rulers, the zenith of art and an en-shrined romance. A town famous for its beautiful medieval monuments. The passion of the Mughals for building endowed it with some of the loveliest buildings in the world. On arrival in Agra, transfer to hotel. Agra Home of the world-famous Taj Mahal, Agra is one of India’s prime tourist destinations for specifically this reason, though its attractions also extend to an array of other impressive historical sights. These include the red-hued Agra Fort, the sacred Jama Masjid mosque and Itmad-ud-Daulah’s tomb, with its white marble facade embellished with intricate inlaid designs and semi-precious gems. The Taj, however, is in a league of its own and needless to say is a must-see for any visitor to the city. Commissioned by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the 15th century as a memorial to his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, it is an architectural masterpiece of exquisite craftsmanship and perfect proportions. Taj Mahal The iconic Taj Mahal is not only an architectural masterpiece, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the new Seven Wonders of the World – it’s also the enduring legacy of a royal love story. It was commissioned in the 15th century by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan after the death of his third and favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, to serve as her final resting place and a symbol of his eternal affection for her. Combining Islamic, Persian, Ottoman Turkish and Indian design elements, it’s an awe-inspiring structure of elegant domes and white marble, which changes colour along with the light – pink at sunrise, pearly white in the afternoon and silver-gold in the full moon. Agra Fort Known as the Red Fort of Agra, this walled imperial city was founded in 1565 by the Emperor Akbar (1556-1605) and is a well-deserving UNESCO World Heritage site, located just 2.5 kilometres from the famous Taj Mahal. Its palaces, grand mosques and elaborate public hall are crafted from pink-red sandstone and are testament to an era when Indo-Muslim art, strongly marked by influences from Persia, was at its height. Emperor Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal for his deceased wife, was imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb in Agra Fort. He is said to have died in the Musamman Burj, a marble tower he himself built, with one of the most alluring views of the Taj Mahal. Read more

Agra, 1 night
DAY 4

Agra - Jaipur

After breakfast, drive to Jaipur. Optional: Visit visit Fatehpur Sikri, the beautiful and deserted medieval city built by Akbar the Great in the 16th century to serve as the capital of his vast empire. Jaipur Gateway to the state of Rajasthan, Jaipur offers a heady mix of old and new India. Famously known as the “Pink City”, Jaipur’s nickname was coined in 1876 when a visit by the Prince of Wales prompted the government to paint the Old City terracotta pink, traditionally the colour of hospitality, to welcome the Royal. Jaipur was founded in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, a soldier, ruler, and scholar in mathematics and astronomy, after whom the city has been named. Jaipur is home to splendid fortresses, majestic palaces, temples and a must-see medieval observatory. Optional Fatehpur Sikri A highlight in the province of Uttar Pradesh, Fatehpur Sikri served briefly as the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1571 to 1585. This world heritage site is rated as one of the best preserved collections of Mughal architecture in India. Surrounded by a six kilometre wall, with the fourth being a lake at the time, a day can be spent exploring the elaborate structures within. Marvel at the impressive Jama Masjid mosque, the detailed palaces built for Emperor Akbar’s wives, the public and private discussion halls and vast ornamental pool; all of which took over 15 years to conceptualise and build. Read more

Jaipur, 2 nights
DAY 5

Jaipur

Day Itinerary After breakfast, enjoy the full day visit of Jaipur City including the following: Amber Fort: The Amber Fort was built in 1592 by Raja Man Singh, is one of the finest examples of Rajput architecture. It gives extensive views over a deep narrow valley and the wider plains beyond. The Fort was completed in the early18th century, it was was once, the capital of the Mina tribes, believed to be the original inhabitants of this region. The fort, sprawled along the Maotha Lake, boasts of a massive complex gateways, courts, stairways and pillared pavilions, and palaces that recall the glory and wealth, of Amber's association with the Mughals. Hawa Mahal: Visit the palace of wind (Hawa Mahal) with 953 windows and niches which were made so that ladies of royal family could see the procession and events in the city without being visible to the people. (Optional visit) City Palace: City Palace occupies the center of Jaipur. It now houses the Royal residence and museums with collections of textiles and costumes, armoury, manuscripts, paintings etc. (Optional visit) Jantar Mantar (Royal Observatory): It was built (1728-34) by king astrologer Jai Singh II. The instruments are built of stone with marble facing on the important plains for measuring the harmony of the heavens. Finish your day with learning an Art of Turban and Saree tying. Activities Embark on a Royal Elephant Ride up to the Majestic Amber Fort Amber Fort Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) Don a beautiful saree and feel like a complete Indian woman Optional Jaipur City Palace Jantar Mantar Embark on a Royal Elephant Ride up to the Majestic Amber Fort An elephant ride up to the majestic Amber Fort, organised by Hi! Tours, is a royal experience for sure. Embark on an extravagant ride on top of an elephant, just like the Rajput kings use to do. The magnificent Amber Fort, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located on the outskirts of the Pink City of Jaipur. This historical edifice is an imposing red sandstone palace, constructed by Raja Man Singh I during the 16th century. This fort, which is surrounded by ruins, consists of four levels and was built to ward off war enemies. This place has also been a hot favourite among Bollywood filmmakers and served as a backdrop for Mira Nair classic – Kama Sutra. The interiors of this marvel are adorned with beautiful paintings, mirror ceilings and intricate carvings. Besides, the breathtaking beauty of the placid Maota Lake, situated in the foreground of the structure, is one of its kinds. Once you reach the main gate of Amber Fort, Hi! Tours representative will take you around this majestic fort cum palace. Here, behold the architectural brilliance of the Jai Mandir, which is often referred to as the Hall of Victory. This huge hall type structure is double floored and adorned with white marble. Overlooking a lush green garden courtyard, this magnificent hall has small mirror pieces engraved on its ceiling. Once you are done with exploring the myriad aspects this royal fort, you can visit the souvenir shop, located at the main entrance. This colourful shop houses traditional Rajasthani handicrafts and ornaments. Some of them include carved wooden décor pieces, Meenakari jewellery and Lac bangles. Besides, the entrance gate is also lined with local vendors selling similar Rajasthani specialities. Amber Fort Amber Fort, officially known as the ‘Amer Palace’, is one of the most famous forts of Rajasthan attracting around 4000 to 5000 visitors a day during peak tourist season. The palace was named after the small town of Amer, where it is situated - only eleven kilometres from Jaipur. Perfectly picturesque, this 16th century hillside residence is well preserved, boasting grand pavilions and mirrored halls that open onto flourishing gardens and courtyards. Although the palace’s main construction started in 1592 by Maharaja Man Singh, it was added to over the years by successive rulers and continued to be occupied by them until Jaipur was built. Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) One of Jaipur’s most recognised buildings, the Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) is known for its iconic façade. Small windows, decorated with intricate latticework create a honeycomb-like appearance. The original intention of the lattice was to allow the royal ladies to observe everyday life in the street below without being seen. The cooling effect, provided by the breeze passing through the small windows, gave the palace its name. Built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, the unique construction was originally designed to look like the crown of Krishna. A panoramic view of Jaipur can be had from the top of the building. Jaipur City Palace City Palace forms one of the most famous tourist attractions and a major landmark in Jaipur. The beautiful palace was built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh during his reign. Among the various forts and palaces of Jaipur, City Palace stands apart, with its outstanding art and architecture. Read more

Jaipur, 2 nights
DAY 6

Jaipur - Pushkar

After breakfast drive to Pushkar. Pushkar is one of the holiest and oldest cities of India. On arrival in Pushkar transfer to hotel. In the afternoon, visit the town of Pushkar. Pushkar is famous for its picturesque sites as well as more than 400 temples. The most important of the temples is the Brahma Temple (only temple of Lord Brahma, the creator, in the world). This is the only temple in the world where Lord Brahma is worshiped and the main attraction of Pushkar. The temple has a special position in Hindu pantheons. There is life-size four-armed idol of Lord Brahma – the creator in the vestibule. The temple has marble floors and stairs and coins have been put by the devotees to mark the birth or deaths of the loved ones. Pushkar Lake is another important attraction of Pushkar and it has immense significance for the followers of Hinduism. According to the legends, the lake was dedicated to Lord Brahma after a lotus fell from his hands and dropped into this picturesque valley. A lake sprang up on the same spot latter on which is considered holy. Pushkar With its more than 500 temples (including the only Brahmic temple in India) and the holy lake around which the town was built, Pushkar represents a sacred town to Hindu followers. Fifty-two ghats or steps lead down to the water’s edge, where pilgrims go to bathe to receive salvation and healing. Each year in November, Pushkar hosts the epic Camel Fair – more than 400 000 farmers, traders and villagers descend on the small lakeside town, accompanied by around 10 000 head of livestock and camels that are adorned in spectacular fashion by their owners for trading and show. Activities Brahma Temple Pushkar Lake Pushkar Lake Pushkar Lake is located in the holy city of Pushkar in Ajmer district of Rajasthan. It is a sacred lake and known as Tirtha Raj (A sacred water body). The lake is related to the mythology of Lord Brahma. The lake is surrounded by 52 bathing ghats and more than 500 Hindu temples are situated around the lake Read more

Pushkar, 1 night
DAY 7

Pushkar - Jodhpur

After breakfast drive to Jodhpur. On arrival in Jodhpur transfer to hotel. Later enjoy sightseeing of Jodhpur which includes Mehrangarh Fort Mehrangarh fort is about 5km from Jodhpur Town. Guarding the city below, crowning a perpendicular cliff, the fort was founded by Rao Jodha in 1459 AD when he shifted his capital from Mandore. Standing sentinel to the city below, it over looks the rugged and rocky terrain and houses a palace intricately adorned with long carved panels and latticed windows exquisitely wrought from red sandstone. The apartments within, have their own magic -the Moti mahal (Pearl Palace), Phool Mahal (Flower Palace), Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Palace), Sileh Khana and Daulat Khana with a rich varied collection of palanquins, howdas, royal cradles, miniature paintings of various schools, folk music, instruments, costumes, furniture and an impressive armoury. Jaswant Thada ; Built in the memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II, in 1899, the imposing white marble memorial marks the site of a royal crematorium. The cenotaph houses portraits of successive rulers. These four cenotaphs commemorate notable acts of bravery and generosity of the four successive rulers. Jodhpur The impressive stone coloured Mehrangarh Fort and juxtaposing fine marble cenotaph of Jaswant Thada dominate the skyline of ancient Jodphur. Reminiscent of Chefchaouen, it’s blue counterpart in Morocco, this charming desert hub is fondly known as the Blue City because of the blue Brahmin houses dotted all over the walled city. Colourful bazaars and food stalls line the narrow lanes where daily life is abuzz in picturesque Indian busyness. The fort, home to the city’s maharajas since the 15th century, offers a sublime view of the city below. Jodhpur was voted one of the most extraordinary places to stay by Lonely Planet in 2014. Activities Mehrangarh Fort Jaswant Thada Mehrangarh Fort Mehrangarh Fort rises four hundred feet above the skyline of Jodhpur from its rock precipice on Bhaurcheeria hill. The foundation of Mehrangarh Fort was laid on May 12, 1459 by Rao Jodha, the fifteenth Rathore ruler who wanted to shift the capital from nearby Mandore to Jodhpur. In all its history, Mehrangarh Fort has never been taken in a siege. Mammoth and imposing from the outside, the interiors of the fort are light and detailed in contrast. Several palaces can be found inside the complex, boasting intricate carvings and sprawling courtyards. Jaswant Thada If you’re looking for a quiet place in Jodphur head to Jaswant Thada, popularly known as the ‘Taj Mahal of Marwar’. This architectural landmark was built in 1899 by Maharaja Sardar Singh of Jodhpur State, in memory of his father, Maharaja Jaswant Singh I. Built from intricately carved marble sheets and boasting some beautiful carved marble lattice work, the impeccable design and architecture is symbolic of the fine craftsmanship of a bygone era. Beautiful sculptures, carved gazebos and frescos characterise the cenotaph, with the tiered garden offering superb views across to the fort and over the city. Read more

Jodhpur, 1 night
DAY 8

Jodhpur - Udaipur

After breakfast drive to Udaipur enroute visit Ranakpur Temples. Renowned for some marvelously carved Jain temples in amber stones, Ranakpur is one of the five holy places of the Jain community. These temples were created in the 15th century A.D. during the reign of Rana Kumbha and are enclosed within a wall. The central 'Chaumukha' or four-faced temple is dedicated to the venerated Tirthankara Rishabhji. Open on all four sides, it enshrines the four-faced image of Adinath. Sprawling over 48,000 sq.feet, the temple is an astounding creation with 29 halls and 1,444 pillars - all distinctly carved. After visit drive to Udaipur. Udaipur Dubbed the ‘Venice of the East’, the city of Udaipur is built around three interconnected lakes – Lake Pichhola, Fateh Sagar Lake and the smaller Swaroop Sagar Lake – and encircled by the hills of the Aravalli mountain range. It is home to an array of ancient temples and fairy-tale palaces (several of the latter have been converted into luxury heritage hotels) and is known as one of Rajasthan’s most beautiful and romantic cities. Must-see attractions include the City Palace, the Lake Palace (set on a small island in the middle of Lake Pichola) and the Udaipur Solar Observatory – Asia’s premier solar-gazing site. Activities Ranakpur Ranakpur The small town of Ranakpur is home to what is arguably the most spectacular of all India’s Jain temples. The complex rests on a lush mountain slope and encompasses a series of temples dating to the 15th century, all constructed from white marble and featuring exquisite decorative detail. The main temple, Chamukha, is a multi-tiered structure with no less than 80 domes and over 1400 pillars, all of which are intricately carved with unique designs – no two are alike. As the light changes during the day, so does the colour of the temple interior, shifting from golden to cream and then pale blue at dusk. Read more

Udaipur, 2 nights
DAY 9

Udaipur

After breakfast enjoy sightseeing of Udaipur. Later visit Sahelion Ki Bari: The Sahelion-ki-Bari Garden was built in early 18th century AD as a retreat for ladies of the royal household to spend their time in leisure. The enchantingly beautiful Garden is famous for its lotus pool, fountains (in the shape of birds), lush green lawns, flowerbeds, and marble pavilions, offering a breathtaking view to visitors. In the afternoon enjoy boat ride on the Pichola Lake. Fed by a big stream from the western mountains, the lake is 2¼ miles long and 1¼ mile wide surrounded by Palaces and temples. Lake Pichola is a divine sight in the early hours of dawn when the sunrays literally paint the Lake golden in color. Evening enjoy Culture show at Bagore Ki Haveli. Bagore ki Haveli is a popular evening show with variety of Indian dance. This cultural event takes approx. 1-2 hr and enjoy the magic show, puppet dance, folk dance and more. Indian folk and tribal dances are simple dances with minimum of steps or movement and performed for every possible occasion to celebrate the arrival of seasons, birth of a child, a wedding and festivals. Be amazed by the skill and imagination of the beautiful dances! Activities Udaipur City Palace Jagdish Temple Sahelion-Ki-Bari Udaipur City Palace Perched on a hilltop overlooking Lake Pichola, the Udaipur City Palace complex was built over almost four centuries, during which a series of additions were built on to the original structure by the various kings who resided there. Built entirely of granite and marble, it features a dazzling array of turrets, towers, cupolas, arches and balconies, while the interiors are adorned with frescoes, engravings and inlays of coloured glass, silver, mirror and marble. The palace’s architectural splendour is matched only by its massive scale: it is the largest of its kind in all of Rajasthan. Jagdish Temple Completed in 1651, this intricate marble temple rises out of the bustling traffic, slap bang in the centre of Udaipur. Lanes taking off from many entrances along the city wall converge on the square where it is situated, known as Jagdish Chowk. You’re bound to pass it during your visit to Udaipur so be sure to climb its steep stairs and behold the black stone image of Lord Vishnu inside. Don’t miss the brass image of the Garuda (Vishnu’s man-bird vehicle) just opposite. Puja’s and prayer time are the best time to visit, when melodious chants from devotees float through the small interior. Sahelion-Ki-Bari Saheliyon Ki Bari is one of the most beautiful gardens and a major tourist destination in Udaipur. The garden is famous for its lush green lawns, marble art and fountains. It lies in northern part of the city and has fountains and kiosks, a lotus pool and marble elephants. Saheliyon Ki Bari means Garden of the Maidens. As per the legends, the garden was designed and built by king Rana sangram Singh and he presented this garden to his queen. Actually, the Queen was accompanied by 48 maids in her marriage. To offer all of them pleasurable moments away from the political intrigues of the court, this garden was made. This patterned garden used to be the popular relaxing spot of the royal ladies. The queen with her maids and female companions used to come here for a stroll and spend their time in leisure. There is also a small museum there. Read more

Udaipur, 2 nights
DAY 10

Udaipur - New Delhi

After breakfast you will be transferred to Udaipur airport to board flight for Delhi. On arrival in Delhi board flight for onward journey.

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ACCOMMODATIONS

Day in trip
Location
Hotel
Day 1
Location New Delhi
Hotel Tavisha
Day 3
Location Agra
Day 4
Location Jaipur
Hotel Libra Hotel
Day 6
Location Pushkar
Hotel Jagat Palace
Day 7
Location Jodhpur
Day 8
Location Udaipur
Day in trip
Location
Hotel
Day 1
Location New Delhi
Hotel Piccadily
Day 3
Location Agra
Hotel Ramada Plaza
Day 4
Location Jaipur
Hotel Royal Orchid
Day 6
Location Pushkar
Day 7
Location Jodhpur
Day 8
Location Udaipur
Hotel Udai Kothi
Day in trip
Location
Hotel
Day 1
Location New Delhi
Day 3
Location Agra
Day 4
Location Jaipur
Hotel Trident
Day 6
Location Pushkar
Day 7
Location Jodhpur
Hotel Ajit Bhawan
Day 8
Location Udaipur
Hotel Trident

TRIP PACKAGE

Package includes

  • Accommodation on above mentioned hotels on twin sharing basis’
  • Daily buffet breakfast
  • Elephant ride, Boat ride and Tonga ride as in the itinerary
  • English speaking local guides
  • Monument entrance fees

Package excludes

  • Air fare
  • Tips & gratuities.
  • Expenses of personal nature like drinks, meals, laundry etc
  • Anything not mentioned under ‘tour price includes’

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