Royal Rajasthan

Royal Rajasthan

Sumptuous palaces, magnificent fortresses, the shimmering desert and a kaleidoscope of folk heritage and a multi-layered canvas of arts and crafts. Rajasthan’s grand royal visuals represent the diversity of its
fabulous fortress architecture and palace décor.

Not mere stones, but keepers of stories and secrets, the citadels of Rajasthan are reminders of its rich history, heritage and cultural diversity. Explore the deep and energetic appeal of its ‘exotic otherness’ that entices inquisitive travellers from around the world on this epic three week Grand Tour that evokes the splendours and romance of bygone days.

21 DAYS
FROM £3495
Group Tour
Themes:
Activity Levels
Moderate
WHAT'S INCLUDED
  • Activities and excursions as specified
  • Entrance fees/tickets for the above
  • In-destination transfers & transport
  • Accommodation & Meals as specified
  • English speaking guides
  • 24/7 support while you travel

Explore this itinerary

Day 1: Arrival

On arrival in Delhi, you’ll be met by our representative at the International airport and transfer to your hotel, the Claridges.

The rest of the day is at leisure at your hotel, enjoying the elegant 19th century colonial architecture and contemporary style of Claridges, one of the finest hotels in Delhi.

Located in the heart of India’s capital, The Claridges was the first five-star hotel built in India post-Independence and rapidly set the standard for luxury hotels in Delhi. With its opulent design and impeccable service, The Claridges became a beacon of sophistication, attracting celebrities and dignitaries from around the globe.

None
Day 2: Explore the best of Delhi

Enjoy a full day’s tour taking in some of the best delights of Delhi.

You’ll explore the sights of the Mughal bazaars of Old Delhi on a cycle rickshaw, and witness first hand its bustling streets that have been thriving with commercial activity for over 400 years. The grand edifices of Red Fort and Jama Masjid stand as sentinels over a vast labyrinth of market lanes branching off the main thoroughfare of Chandni Chowk, with different sections devoted to different trades and wholesale goods, such as spices, haberdashery, textiles and books.

Later, you’ll visit the World Heritage sites of Humayun’s Tomb and Qutub Minar, two of the best known icons of the historic city.

Breakfast
Day 3: Jaipur

After breakfast, drive south (4-5 hrs) to the pink city of Jaipur, Rajasthan’s capital.

Check into your suite at Shahpura House, an early 19th century city palace belonging to the Shahpura royal family.

Visit the Birla temple to enjoy the sights and sounds of the evening prayer ceremonies (Aarti).

Breakfast
Day 4: Jaipur

After breakfast, visit the spectacular Amber Fort and marvel at its palaces and gardens.

Later, visit the Royal Observatory and the vast City Palace, where your visit includes a tour of the private sections of the palace which are extravagantly decorated.

Breakfast
Day 5: Jaipur

After breakfast, visit Jaipur’s famous pottery and textiles studios where traditional means of production are still used. In bygone days, the artisans were patronised by the royal and aristocratic families. Now descendants of those artisans continue the preserve the skills.

Enjoy a nice walk to the Old Jaipur City with your guide

Breakfast
Day 6: Sekhawati

After breakfast drive (5 hrs) to the small town of Mandawa, lying in the Shekhawati region famous for its profusely painted havelis.

Upon arrival in Mandawa, check in at the restored heritage haveli.

In the afternoon, visit the best of the havelis with their murals and frescoes. The extravagantly decorated Podar’s Museum was once the residence of one of the wealthiest families of the region, later converted into a school, and subsequently into a museum. Inside and outside, it is one of the most spectacular sights of Sekhawati.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7: Bikaner

After breakfast drive to Bikaner (4 hours) and check in at Narendra Bhawan, a charming, old world destination, built to perfection under the guidance and vision of His Highness Narendra Singhji. The sprawling palatial residence of Singhji is nestled at the epicentre of Bikaner and stands out as an exemplary example of Rajput architecture.

In the evening, visit the Camel Breeding Farm. Camels have been an integral part of the rural desert life, prized for not just their value as transport, but providers of precious milk. Camel milk has a slightly salty taste, but is considered a superior to cow milk because it is abundant in Vitamins B and C, and minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc and potassium. Don’t miss the chance to taste camel milk ice-cream at the farm shop.

Breakfast
Day 8: Bikaner

After breakfast, visit Bikaner’s majestic Junagarh Fort, Bikaner’s desert citadel.

Visit the Lallgarh Palace. Its architectural plan was drafted by Sir Swinton Jacob, the foremost architect of the early 20th century. Lallgarh is reputed to be the best exemplar of a Rajput palace, its façade is composed of the pierced stone screens called jaalis.

Visit the Old City of Bikaner and enjoy a Tonga Ride. Tonga (horse carriages) were a familiar sight across north India right up till the 1960s and 70s, gradually pushed out by the increasing volume of motor vehicles. Today, they are a novel way to explore, evoking a sense of nostalgia that fits well with the old streets of Bikaner.

Breakfast
Day 9: Jaisalmer

After breakfast drive to Jaisalmer (5-6 hrs)

Enroute, visit to the small village of Kheechan to see a successful community conservation initiative for thousands of migrating graceful Demoiselle Cranes.

Optionally, if military history appeals, you can also visit the War Museum located on the outskirts of Jaisalmer.

Arrive in Jaisalmer, check in your hotel and relax for the rest of the day with a nice refreshing drink or two.

Breakfast
Day 10: Jaisalmer

After a relaxed breakfast, proceed on a full day’s tour of The Golden City.

Visit the impossibly romantic Jaisalmer Fort with its ramparts overlooking the vast desert, the Fort Museum and the temples inside the Fort walls, the richly decorated Patwon Haveli and Salim Singh Haveli and other delights of Rajput architecture.

Visit the magical Gadisar lake in the late evening, with the golden hues of the setting sun burnish the scene in the most resplendent hues.

Breakfast
Day 11: Jaisalmer

The morning is at leisure.

In the afternoon, drive to the sand dunes west of Jaisalmer, to the small desert outpost of Sam. Check into your luxury tented camp. The Kafila Desert Camp is an exclusive boutique desert camp where each tent offers more than 800 sq. ft. of luxury, with a private verandah and ensuite bathroom.

Around dusk, enjoy a short camel ride on the sand dunes and watch the sunset.

Return to the camp to spend your evening under the stars next to the camp fire experiencing Thar desert culture with unique and mesmerising folk dances & music by local communities keeping these performing arts alive.

Indulge in star gazing and astronomy at the camp’s Astral Observatory with resident experts who unveil the secrets of the cosmos.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 12: Jodhpur

After a relaxed breakfast amidst glorious desert scenery, drive (6 hrs) to Jodhpur.

Check into your hotel. Later in the evening, visit the busy Clock Tower market, at the heart of the old town.

Breakfast
Day 13: Jodhpur

After breakfast, enjoy a guided tour of the massive Mehrangarh Fort and Jaswant Thada.

Later in the day, enjoy a jeep safari to Bishnoi villages around Jodhpur. The Bishnois are a renowned ethnic group, living between Jodhpur and Bikaner, and are passionate conservationists. They regard the deer as sacred and their efforts for the preservation of trees has won them worldwide attention. Bishnois have sacrificed lives to protect their beloved trees and animals. Today, Bishnoi settlements is a green, fertile oasis in the sands of the Thar, surrounded by forests inhabited by deer and peacocks.

A special treat awaits at dinner, at the roof top restaurant at Pal Haveli, where delicious Thali meals are to be enjoyed along with a mesmerising night views of the lake and city.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 14: Jodhpur

After breakfast visit to Umaid Bhawan Palace & Museum.

Umaid Bhawan Palace is one of the two grand palaces built in the the 20th century, the other being Viceroy House (now the Presidential Palace or Rashtrapati Bhawan) in New Delhi.

Part of the vast Palace is open to visitors and has a fantastic museum, including royal object d’art and the royal automobile collection.

Another part is now a luxury hotel, where we shall have a sumptuous lunch in grand surrounds.

A third part of the palace is still a family home to the Royals of Jodhpur.

Enjoy lunch at Umaid Bhawan Palace Restaurant

Later, visit the local Old Furniture market in Jodhpur if interested, or relax at the hotel.

Breakfast, Lunch
Day 15: Kumbhalgarh

After breakfast, drive to the World Heritage citadel of Kumbhalgarh (5 hours).

After checking in at your hotel enjoy a guided tour of Kumbhalgarh Fort & enjoy the Sound & Light Show later in the evening.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 16: Ranakpur-Udaipur

After breakfast, drive to Udaipur (3.5 hrs)

Visit Ranakpur’s intricate marble temples enroute. The temples at Ranakpur are surrounded by picturesque hills and stand by the River Maghai. The Surya temple is profusely decorated with sculptures on the exterior, but it is no means the only one, as the whole complex is considered a masterly example of Indian sculptural art.

Arrive in Udaipur and check in at your hotel

Breakfast
Day 17: Udaipur

This morning enjoy a guided tour of Sahelion Ki Bari, the City Palace and Jagdish Temple.

In the evening, enjoy a boat ride on the romantic and serene Lake Pichola in a shared boat (subject to availability), and visit the Jagmandir Palace on an island in the lake.

Breakfast
Day 18: Udaipur

After breakfast, visit Sajjangarh or one of the other hill side palaces to get a spectacular view of the city from high up above.

Later, visit the Eklingji & Nagda temples.

Breakfast
Day 19: Chittorgarh

After breakfast, drive to Chittorgarh (3 hrs)

In Chittorgarh, enjoy a guided tour of the fort that symbolises the proud and chivalrous defiance of the Mewar Rajputs. Chittorgarh has mammoth ramparts with imposing battlements, within which palaces of luxuries, pomp, and ostentation also found a place.

Drive further to Lake Nahargarh Palace to check in.

Breakfast
Day 20: Bundi

After breakfast drive to Bundi (3 hrs).

Bundi still retains its quintessentially medieval character, unaffected by fast spreading tourism in other parts of Rajasthan. In fact it is supremely beautiful and unspoilt, “a veritable virgin among Rajput cities”, as observed by travel writer Philip Ward, a frequent visitor to Bundi.

Before arriving in Bundi, visit a spectacular viewpoint that lies within a wildlife reserve. A short walk over somewhat rough ground brings you to the viewpoint that overlooks a horseshoe bend in the Chambal River that is no less jaw-dropping than the famous Horseshoe Bend in Colorado. The Chambal flows far down the escarpments, and the wide-angle views are truly worth the walk.

Arrive in Bundi and check in at your hotel, the historic Hadoti Palace, its colonial architecture restored to perfection.

Later in the afternoon visit the Bundi Palace and Fort.

From a distance the full view of the palace is the most perfect. Rudyard Kipling wrote: “the Palace of Boondi, even in broad daylight is such a palace as men build for themselves in uneasy dreams-the work of goblins more than the work of men. It is built into and out of the hill side, in gigantic terrace upon terrace and dominates the whole of the city… No one knows where the hill begins and where the palace ends… The dominant impression was of height-height that heaved itself out of the hillside and weighed upon the eye-lids of the beholder. The steep slope of the land had helped the builders in securing this effect.”

Hadoti Palace is the perfect place to spend the last evening of your royal odyssey. If you have a passion for vintage cars, don’t miss the chance to visit the Palace’s own garage which houses some gleaming Buicks and MGs from the 1940s-50s.

Breakfast
Day 21: Kota-Delhi-Departure
After breakfast, drive to Kota train station (1 hr) to board your express train to Delhi. The Duranto Express leaves at 1005, and arrives at New Delhi Railway station at 1555. Here; you’ll be picked up by our representative who will transfer you to Delhi International airport for your flight back home.
Breakfast
Day 1: Arrival

On arrival in Delhi, you’ll be met by our representative at the International airport and transfer to your hotel, the Claridges.

The rest of the day is at leisure at your hotel, enjoying the elegant 19th century colonial architecture and contemporary style of Claridges, one of the finest hotels in Delhi.

Located in the heart of India’s capital, The Claridges was the first five-star hotel built in India post-Independence and rapidly set the standard for luxury hotels in Delhi. With its opulent design and impeccable service, The Claridges became a beacon of sophistication, attracting celebrities and dignitaries from around the globe.

None
Day 2: Explore the best of Delhi

Enjoy a full day’s tour taking in some of the best delights of Delhi.

You’ll explore the sights of the Mughal bazaars of Old Delhi on a cycle rickshaw, and witness first hand its bustling streets that have been thriving with commercial activity for over 400 years. The grand edifices of Red Fort and Jama Masjid stand as sentinels over a vast labyrinth of market lanes branching off the main thoroughfare of Chandni Chowk, with different sections devoted to different trades and wholesale goods, such as spices, haberdashery, textiles and books.

Later, you’ll visit the World Heritage sites of Humayun’s Tomb and Qutub Minar, two of the best known icons of the historic city.

Breakfast
Day 3: Jaipur

After breakfast, drive south (4-5 hrs) to the pink city of Jaipur, Rajasthan’s capital.

Check into your suite at Shahpura House, an early 19th century city palace belonging to the Shahpura royal family.

Visit the Birla temple to enjoy the sights and sounds of the evening prayer ceremonies (Aarti).

Breakfast
Day 4: Jaipur

After breakfast, visit the spectacular Amber Fort and marvel at its palaces and gardens.

Later, visit the Royal Observatory and the vast City Palace, where your visit includes a tour of the private sections of the palace which are extravagantly decorated.

Breakfast
Day 5: Jaipur

After breakfast, visit Jaipur’s famous pottery and textiles studios where traditional means of production are still used. In bygone days, the artisans were patronised by the royal and aristocratic families. Now descendants of those artisans continue the preserve the skills.

Enjoy a nice walk to the Old Jaipur City with your guide

Breakfast
Day 6: Sekhawati

After breakfast drive (5 hrs) to the small town of Mandawa, lying in the Shekhawati region famous for its profusely painted havelis.

Upon arrival in Mandawa, check in at the restored heritage haveli.

In the afternoon, visit the best of the havelis with their murals and frescoes. The extravagantly decorated Podar’s Museum was once the residence of one of the wealthiest families of the region, later converted into a school, and subsequently into a museum. Inside and outside, it is one of the most spectacular sights of Sekhawati.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7: Bikaner

After breakfast drive to Bikaner (4 hours) and check in at Narendra Bhawan, a charming, old world destination, built to perfection under the guidance and vision of His Highness Narendra Singhji. The sprawling palatial residence of Singhji is nestled at the epicentre of Bikaner and stands out as an exemplary example of Rajput architecture.

In the evening, visit the Camel Breeding Farm. Camels have been an integral part of the rural desert life, prized for not just their value as transport, but providers of precious milk. Camel milk has a slightly salty taste, but is considered a superior to cow milk because it is abundant in Vitamins B and C, and minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc and potassium. Don’t miss the chance to taste camel milk ice-cream at the farm shop.

Breakfast
Day 8: Bikaner

After breakfast, visit Bikaner’s majestic Junagarh Fort, Bikaner’s desert citadel.

Visit the Lallgarh Palace. Its architectural plan was drafted by Sir Swinton Jacob, the foremost architect of the early 20th century. Lallgarh is reputed to be the best exemplar of a Rajput palace, its façade is composed of the pierced stone screens called jaalis.

Visit the Old City of Bikaner and enjoy a Tonga Ride. Tonga (horse carriages) were a familiar sight across north India right up till the 1960s and 70s, gradually pushed out by the increasing volume of motor vehicles. Today, they are a novel way to explore, evoking a sense of nostalgia that fits well with the old streets of Bikaner.

Breakfast
Day 9: Jaisalmer

After breakfast drive to Jaisalmer (5-6 hrs)

Enroute, visit to the small village of Kheechan to see a successful community conservation initiative for thousands of migrating graceful Demoiselle Cranes.

Optionally, if military history appeals, you can also visit the War Museum located on the outskirts of Jaisalmer.

Arrive in Jaisalmer, check in your hotel and relax for the rest of the day with a nice refreshing drink or two.

Breakfast
Day 10: Jaisalmer

After a relaxed breakfast, proceed on a full day’s tour of The Golden City.

Visit the impossibly romantic Jaisalmer Fort with its ramparts overlooking the vast desert, the Fort Museum and the temples inside the Fort walls, the richly decorated Patwon Haveli and Salim Singh Haveli and other delights of Rajput architecture.

Visit the magical Gadisar lake in the late evening, with the golden hues of the setting sun burnish the scene in the most resplendent hues.

Breakfast
Day 11: Jaisalmer

The morning is at leisure.

In the afternoon, drive to the sand dunes west of Jaisalmer, to the small desert outpost of Sam. Check into your luxury tented camp. The Kafila Desert Camp is an exclusive boutique desert camp where each tent offers more than 800 sq. ft. of luxury, with a private verandah and ensuite bathroom.

Around dusk, enjoy a short camel ride on the sand dunes and watch the sunset.

Return to the camp to spend your evening under the stars next to the camp fire experiencing Thar desert culture with unique and mesmerising folk dances & music by local communities keeping these performing arts alive.

Indulge in star gazing and astronomy at the camp’s Astral Observatory with resident experts who unveil the secrets of the cosmos.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 12: Jodhpur

After a relaxed breakfast amidst glorious desert scenery, drive (6 hrs) to Jodhpur.

Check into your hotel. Later in the evening, visit the busy Clock Tower market, at the heart of the old town.

Breakfast
Day 13: Jodhpur

After breakfast, enjoy a guided tour of the massive Mehrangarh Fort and Jaswant Thada.

Later in the day, enjoy a jeep safari to Bishnoi villages around Jodhpur. The Bishnois are a renowned ethnic group, living between Jodhpur and Bikaner, and are passionate conservationists. They regard the deer as sacred and their efforts for the preservation of trees has won them worldwide attention. Bishnois have sacrificed lives to protect their beloved trees and animals. Today, Bishnoi settlements is a green, fertile oasis in the sands of the Thar, surrounded by forests inhabited by deer and peacocks.

A special treat awaits at dinner, at the roof top restaurant at Pal Haveli, where delicious Thali meals are to be enjoyed along with a mesmerising night views of the lake and city.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 14: Jodhpur

After breakfast visit to Umaid Bhawan Palace & Museum.

Umaid Bhawan Palace is one of the two grand palaces built in the the 20th century, the other being Viceroy House (now the Presidential Palace or Rashtrapati Bhawan) in New Delhi.

Part of the vast Palace is open to visitors and has a fantastic museum, including royal object d’art and the royal automobile collection.

Another part is now a luxury hotel, where we shall have a sumptuous lunch in grand surrounds.

A third part of the palace is still a family home to the Royals of Jodhpur.

Enjoy lunch at Umaid Bhawan Palace Restaurant

Later, visit the local Old Furniture market in Jodhpur if interested, or relax at the hotel.

Breakfast, Lunch
Day 15: Kumbhalgarh

After breakfast, drive to the World Heritage citadel of Kumbhalgarh (5 hours).

After checking in at your hotel enjoy a guided tour of Kumbhalgarh Fort & enjoy the Sound & Light Show later in the evening.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 16: Ranakpur-Udaipur

After breakfast, drive to Udaipur (3.5 hrs)

Visit Ranakpur’s intricate marble temples enroute. The temples at Ranakpur are surrounded by picturesque hills and stand by the River Maghai. The Surya temple is profusely decorated with sculptures on the exterior, but it is no means the only one, as the whole complex is considered a masterly example of Indian sculptural art.

Arrive in Udaipur and check in at your hotel

Breakfast
Day 17: Udaipur

This morning enjoy a guided tour of Sahelion Ki Bari, the City Palace and Jagdish Temple.

In the evening, enjoy a boat ride on the romantic and serene Lake Pichola in a shared boat (subject to availability), and visit the Jagmandir Palace on an island in the lake.

Breakfast
Day 18: Udaipur

After breakfast, visit Sajjangarh or one of the other hill side palaces to get a spectacular view of the city from high up above.

Later, visit the Eklingji & Nagda temples.

Breakfast
Day 19: Chittorgarh

After breakfast, drive to Chittorgarh (3 hrs)

In Chittorgarh, enjoy a guided tour of the fort that symbolises the proud and chivalrous defiance of the Mewar Rajputs. Chittorgarh has mammoth ramparts with imposing battlements, within which palaces of luxuries, pomp, and ostentation also found a place.

Drive further to Lake Nahargarh Palace to check in.

Breakfast
Day 20: Bundi

After breakfast drive to Bundi (3 hrs).

Bundi still retains its quintessentially medieval character, unaffected by fast spreading tourism in other parts of Rajasthan. In fact it is supremely beautiful and unspoilt, “a veritable virgin among Rajput cities”, as observed by travel writer Philip Ward, a frequent visitor to Bundi.

Before arriving in Bundi, visit a spectacular viewpoint that lies within a wildlife reserve. A short walk over somewhat rough ground brings you to the viewpoint that overlooks a horseshoe bend in the Chambal River that is no less jaw-dropping than the famous Horseshoe Bend in Colorado. The Chambal flows far down the escarpments, and the wide-angle views are truly worth the walk.

Arrive in Bundi and check in at your hotel, the historic Hadoti Palace, its colonial architecture restored to perfection.

Later in the afternoon visit the Bundi Palace and Fort.

From a distance the full view of the palace is the most perfect. Rudyard Kipling wrote: “the Palace of Boondi, even in broad daylight is such a palace as men build for themselves in uneasy dreams-the work of goblins more than the work of men. It is built into and out of the hill side, in gigantic terrace upon terrace and dominates the whole of the city… No one knows where the hill begins and where the palace ends… The dominant impression was of height-height that heaved itself out of the hillside and weighed upon the eye-lids of the beholder. The steep slope of the land had helped the builders in securing this effect.”

Hadoti Palace is the perfect place to spend the last evening of your royal odyssey. If you have a passion for vintage cars, don’t miss the chance to visit the Palace’s own garage which houses some gleaming Buicks and MGs from the 1940s-50s.

Breakfast
Day 21: Kota-Delhi-Departure
After breakfast, drive to Kota train station (1 hr) to board your express train to Delhi. The Duranto Express leaves at 1005, and arrives at New Delhi Railway station at 1555. Here; you’ll be picked up by our representative who will transfer you to Delhi International airport for your flight back home.
Breakfast

Departure Dates & Prices

The prices below are based on two sharing and exclude international flights. A deposit is required to reserve a place.

For further information about this or any of our other tours, please contact us.

27-Mar-2024
£3494
Group Size: 8 Max
Available
29-Nov-2024
£3795
Group Size: 8 Max
Available
07-Feb-2025
£3795
Group Size: 8 Max
Available

Dates don't work? Want to make changes? Don't fancy joining a group?
All our group tours can be tailored as private itineraries.

Our prices do not include international flights unless explicitly stated.

The price shown is per person, based on two people travelling and sharing a room, outside peak periods. Prices may vary depending on the time of travel, and single supplements may apply.