Rajasthan Desert Tour : 21 Days

Laced with wonderful scenic beauty and local colorful spree, this tour explores the celebration of Indian traditions, culture and heritage as you visit the stunning forts and palaces ,the fairytales cities rising from the desert, and soak in the color that springs up everywhere amidst the golden backdrop of the sand dunes.

Take a cycle rickshaw ride through the quaint town of Mandawa dotted with ancient Havelis and brimming with the famous Rajasthani hospitality. Stay at the Mandawa fort ,now a heritage hotel owned by the Oberoi’s.

Continue to Bikaner stopping en-route at Deshnok to visit the famous Karni Mata Temple famous for its rats worldwide. . Retaining the glory of the olden times all across the amplitude, Bikaner portrays a royal lifestyle with magnificent palaces and forts like the Junagarh Fort and Lal Garh Palace. Head to Jodhpur and take a tour of the magnificent Mehrangarh Fort, situated on a 125-meter high hill. Later visit Jaswant Thada - a cluster of royal cenotaphs in the white marble built in 1899 AD in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh-II.

Rich in cultural heritage, Udaipur, more popularly known as the City of Lakes, is the historic capital of the Mewar kingdom where you can have a glimpse of the imperial Rajput era.

Chase the dunes of time as you head further to Pushkar and Pink city-Jaipur to explore its colorful bazaars and the majestic Amer fort .Get in tune with nature tracking tigers at Ranthambore and listen to the sounds of migratory birds in Bharatpur.

The city that boasts of having one of the seven wonders of the world, the spectacular Taj Mahal and three UNESCO world heritage sites, Agra is a treat for history and architecture lovers.

Complete this sojourn with a dose of spirituality at the ancient city of Varanasi or Benaras, located on the banks of the Holy Ganges. Take an early morning boat ride , when the rising sun meets the river peeping from the East, creating an aesthetically alluring panoramic view. Enjoy this moment to the fullest as it will be imprinted on you mind forever.



Day 1-2: Delhi

A Compass India Holiday representative will receive you at the airport and help you transfer to the hotel.

Delhi, India's capital has seen great empires rise and fall around it for millennia, with each new batch of rulers building over the works of their predecessors. As a result, the city abounds in monuments and ruins of stunning diversity. The seat of the world's largest democracy, it also boasts of magnificent symbols of government that pay architectural tribute to the ideals of self-rule and democracy. These co-exist side by side with wide multi-lane motorways, shopping malls, fast cars and ultramodern steel-glass office complexes that characterize any large 21st century metropolis.

Overnight will be at Delhi.

Day 3: Mandawa

Proceed for Mandawa.

The medieval Fort of Mandawa gradually rises on the horizon like a mirage. A breathtaking view of the town can be seen from the terrace of Castle Mandawa. Precious collection of arms with jade handles, traditional ceremonial costumes can be seen at the Museum at the Castle. The havelies worth a visit are Chokhani, Saraf, Goenka and Ladia in this town. Built in 1775 by Thakur Nawal Singh, descendant of Rao Shekhaji, who also founded the city of Nawalgarh. The Castle, now a 51 rooms hotel has no two rooms alike. It also houses an interesting collection of paintings, jade, costumes and antiques. The courtyard and the terracecome to live during evenings with candle-lit dinners and fire-dances during the season. A two hundred and forty year old fortess, that has been converted by the family into a fine example of traditional hospitality.

Reach and check in at hotel.

Overnight at Mandawa.

Day 4: Bikaner

Breakfast at the Hotel. Continue with the safari and reach Bikaner.

Check in at hotel.

BIKANER - The royal fortified city with a timeless appeal. Lying in the north of the Desert State, the city is dotted with many sand dunes. Bikaner retains the medieval splendor that pervades the city's lifestyle.

More popularly called the camel country, the city is renowned for the best riding camels in the world. 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 prime helpers. The wells of Bikaner - an important source of water are other attractions of the city. These are built on high plinths with slender minareted towers on each of the Four Corners and can be noticed even from a distance.

Relax in the evening.

Overnight at Bikaner.

Day 5-6: Jaisalmer

After a relaxed breakfast proceed for full day sightseeing tour of The Golden City Jaisalmer. It is in the heart of the Great Indian Desert. Its temple, fort and palaces are all built of yellow stone. The city is a mass of intricately carved buildings, facades and elaborate balconies. Visit the JAISALMER FORT - The oldest living Fort in the world. (This is the highlight of the tour)

See the Patwon-Ki-Havelies, Salim-Singh-Ki-Haveli and Gandhi Sagar Tank. Also visit Barabagh Hill.

In the afternoon, proceed to the SAM SAND DUNES for visiting the typical Rajasthani Desert Village. View the sunset from the dunes, as the sky is set on fire. Return to the village for dinner amidst Rajasthani musicians playing haunting tunes.

Stay overnight at the SWISS TENT CAMP.

Day 7-8: Jodhpur

Proceed in the morning after a leisurely breakfast and reach Jodhpur.

Set at the edge of the Thar Desert, the imperial city of Jodhpur echoes with tales of antiquity in the emptiness of the desert. Once the capital of the Marwar state, it was founded in 1459 AD by Rao Jodha-chief of the Rathore clan of Rajputs who claimed to be descendants of Rama - the epic hero of the Ramayana. The massive 15th century AD Mehrangarh Fort looms on the top of a rocky hill, soaring 125 Mts. Above the plains. The city is encompassed by a high wall -10 km long with 8 gates and innumerable bastions.

Relax in the hotel and visit the museum of UMAID BHAWAN PALACE.

Overnight at Jodhpur.

Day 9-10: Udaipur

Breakfast at hotel.

Proceed for sightseeing tour of Udaipur, stopping first at City Palace. Here you will marvel at rooms with mirrored walls and ivory doors, colored glass windows and inlaid marble balconies and the Peacock Courtyard.

Also visit the lovely Sahelion-ki-Bari Gardens, the Jagdish Temple and the local folk Museum.

Proceed for Evening Motor launch cruise on the placid waters of Lake Pichola. From he boat you will be able to view the city of Udaipur as it rises majestically above the lake in the middle of the Rajasthan desert. Also visit the Jag Mandir - the other island palace in the middle of the lake. Spend some time at the Jag Mandir.

Overnight at Udaipur.

Day 11: Pushkar

Proceed for Pushkar after breakfast. Reach Pushkar by noon and relax. Check in at PUSHKAR PALACE.

PUSHKAR - Amongst the grandeur of Rajasthan, discover a unique gem - Pushkar. Lord Brahma - The creator of the world in a search for his abode on earth, performed the supremely spiritual VEDIC YAGNA at Pushkar. It is thus the site of the only Brahma Temple in the world. Blessed with cultural blends, it is the venue for the famous Pushkar Fair, with people coming from all over Asia to buy and sell cattle of breeds from across the world. The consecrated mausoleum of Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti at Ajmer attracts pilgrims from all over the world. A city of Pilgrimage from time immemorial with over 500 temples and Ghats Pushkar begets a legacy of timeless architectural heritage. Pushkar radiates an ambience of peace and spirituality that casts a lure to visit again and again. The Pushkar fair is amongst the largest cattle fairs in the world and amongst the oldest cities in India, with references in mythology and the Mahabharat. There are 52 bathing Ghats, which are linked to the lunar calendar, enclose the lake. Each Ghat has its own miraculous qualities and powers of healing and this city of temples has over 500 temples built over different eras with varied architectural styles. The rose garden of Rajasthan - the essence of the famous Pushkar rose is exported the world over. Pushkar has the most varied terrain in Rajasthan with sand, rock, hills, and proximity to a number of heritage properties in the area and a number of fairs and festivals - especially on the new and full moon days.

Visit the mausoleum, Anasagar and Akbar's Palace.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 12-13: Jaipur

Breakfast at hotel.

Proceed for excursion to Amber Fort in the outskirts of Jaipur. Elephant ride ascent to the fort.

AMBER FORT PALACE - Amber is the classic romantic Rajasthani fort palace. Its construction was started by Man Singh I in 1592, and completed by his descendent Jai Singh I. It's forbidding exterior belies an inner paradise where a beautiful fusion of Mughal and Hindu styles finds it's ultimate expression.

Proceed for sightseeing of the city.

CITY PALACE - A delightful blend of Mughal and traditional Rajasthani architecture, the City Palace sprawls over one-seventh of the area in the walled city. It houses the Chandra Mahal, Shri Govind Dev Temple and the City Palace Museum.

JANTAR MANTAR - This is the largest and the best preserved of the five observatories built by Jai Singh II in different parts of the country. This observatory consisting of outsized astronomical instruments is still in use.

HAWA MAHAL - The ornamental facade of this "Palace of Winds" is a prominent landmark in Jaipur. Its five-storey structure of sandstone plastered pink encrusted with fine trelliswork and elaborate balconies. The palace has 953 niches and windows. Built in 1799 by Pratap Singh, the Mahal was a royal grandstand for the palace women.

Visit a rug factory and see the ladies at the intricate work or a gem factory and see the gem cutting and polishing process.

Overnight at Jaipur.

Day 14-15: Ranthambhore

Start early after breakfast for Ranthambhore.

Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, at the junction of the Aravalis and the Vindhyas, is a unique example of natural and historical richness, standing out conspicuously in the vast, arid and denuded tract of eastern Rajasthan, barely 14 kilometers from Sawai Madhopur. Get in tune with nature for a luxury holiday in the heart of the jungle. Ranthambhore - perhaps the best place in the world to sight a tiger in the wild. The Ranthambhore National Park has had more Tiger sightings than any other National Park in the country. It has come to be known as "The land of the Tiger", where most of the documented footage of this majestic beast has been recorded.

It spreads over a highly undulating topography varying from gentle to steep slopes; from flat topped hills of the Vindhyas to the conical hillocks and sharp ridges of the Aravalis, from wide and flat valleys to narrow rocky gorges. An important geological feature the 'Great Boundary Fault' where the Vindhya plateaus meet the Aravali hill ranges, meanders through the Reserve. The National Park is bound by the rivers Chambal in the south and Banas in the north.

Proceed for the afternoon SAFARI to spot tigers.

Overnight at Ranthambhore.

Day 16: Bharatpur

Proceed to Bharatpur in the morning. Breakfast will be at the resort. Enjoy Birding in the park. Take a boatride in the park and in the afternoon enjoy the birding from the RICKSHAW

The Keoladeo Ghana National Park is one of the finest water-bird sanctuaries in the world. The Maharaja of Bharatpur artificially created the lake and wetland in the 19th century. By building small dykes and dams and diverting water from an irrigation canal, he converted this low-lying area into a fine wild fowl shooting preserve. In a few years, the new wetland surrounded by marginal forests was able to support thousands of water birds.

Commonly referred to as Bharatpur, the Park is a delight for bird watchers. Over 375 species of birds are found here and raised paths, camouflaged by babul trees and undergrowth make viewing easy. A quiet ride by boat in the early hours of the morning is also unforgettable experience. The cacophony is unbelievable as painted storks, open bills, spoonbills, egrets, cormorants, white ibis and multitudes of others, tend their young. Jacanas with their iridescent colors and elegant tail feathers and purple moorhen can be seen delicately treading over the floating vegetation.

Colorful kingfishers and Trans - continental fliers - the migratory water - fowl are amongst the 375 species of birds found in the Keoladeo National Park. The most spectacular nesting is that of the egrets, storks, herons and cormorants, which make over 10,000 nests every year. This makes outstanding bird havens of the world. The park covers an area of 28.73km.

The story of Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is incomplete without an account of the migratory waterfowl. The most prominent waterfowl coming to this park are bareheaded and greyleg geese. Ducks also create a lot of fluttering in the lakes. The ducks usually found here are pintail, widgeon, common shelduck, shoveler, garganey, teal, etc.

Attracted by the influx of the waterfowl the predatory birds-tawny eagles, spotted eagles short-toed eagles imperial eagles and fishing eagle also arrive. They all form the apex of the biological pyramid of the sanctuary and complete the avian food chain of the ecosystem. There are large herds of the nilgai, chital, wild boar and fear cows in addition to a few herds of sambar.

Reach and check in at the hotel. In the afternoon proceed for a quaint boat ride into the park for birding.

Overnight will be at Bharatpur.

Day 17: Agra

Proceed for Agra after breakfast.

Reach Agra in the afternoon.

AGRA: Two great Mughal monarchs, Akbar and Shah Jahan, transformed the little village of Agra into a befitting second capital of the Mughal Empire - giving it the name Dar-ul-Khilafat {seat of the Emperor}. Today a visitor to Agra is caught up in a world of contrasting edifices, of red sandstone and white marble, narrow galleys and quaint buggies, and that irresistible charm that this favorite city of the Mughals still retains. It is not surprising, that modern Agra still reflects its Mughal heritage most conspicuously. A walk down the narrow bustling streets of the city will introduce the visitor to the wafting aroma of Mughlai cuisine.

Check in at hotel and proceed for sightseeing.

Enjoy battery van ride to the Taj.

TAJ MAHAL: Little needs to be said about this architectural wonder which is always the soul raison-de-etre for every tourist's visit to Agra. Built by Shah Jahan, the Taj is a white marble memorial to his beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal. This monument took 22 years to be completed and was designed, and planned by Persian architect Ustad Isa. Apart from it's stunning design balance and perfect symmetry, the Taj is also noted particularly for its elegant domes, intricately carved screens and some of the best inlay work ever seen.

Proceed for sightseeing to the AGRA FORT: Built by the famed Mughal emperor Akbar in 1565 AD, the fort is predominantly of red sandstone. Ensconced within is the picture perfect Pearl Mosque, which is a major tourist attraction.

Visit Itmadullah's Tomb built by Empress NOOR JEHAN in memory of her father (The interiors of which are considered better than the Taj).

Overnight at Agra.

Day 18-19: Varanasi

In the early morning drive to Daswamedh Ghat and take a boat ride on the sacred river Ganges to see the cremation Ghats and witness the living traditions of one of the world's oldest and most important religions. (To start at 0500 hrs. for the best lifetime experience) For you to appreciate this remarkable city, we'll transfer you to the banks of the River Ganges before the sun rises.

Board a boat with your guide and proceed to the middle of the river, where at sunrise the sight unfolds before you. Thousands of faithful come daily to the banks to bathe and pray while in the background, temples and palaces rise in tiers from the water's edge.

Then return for a walk through the cobblestone streets along the banks of "Ganga". As shops are opening, the place now becomes a beehive of activity as the faithful are coming and going. Visit the Kashi Vishwanath Temple while returning to the hotel.

Return for breakfast to the hotel.

Ganga Puja, VaranasiProceed for day guided tour of Varanasi including the Bharat Mata Temple, which features a big relief map of Mother India engraved in marble. Also visit the 18th century Durga Temple, commonly known as the Monkey Temple due to the huge population of the monkeys. Proceed to the Tulsi Manas Temple, crafted from white marble which features the entire Ramayana inscribed on its walls. Also visit the BHU considered as the biggest residential university in Asia. The University Campus houses an Art Gallery and the Mosque of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.

Sarnath: The great Buddha enhanced the sanctity of Varanasi by choosing the environs of the city to preach his first sermon at Sarnath, (only 10 Kms away) after attaining enlightenment. Later, Ashoka, the great Mauryan Emperor erected magnificent stupas and other buildings along with his mighty stone pillar, Dharmarajika Stupa. The 110 ft. tall Damekh Stupa marks the place where Buddha preached first sermon. Sarnath has been a premier centre for Buddhism. It is a rich collection of ancient Buddhist relics and antiques comprising numerous Buddha and Bodhisatva images on display at the Archaeological Museum (1000 hrs to 1700 hrs. Open all days except Friday)

Post sightseeing day free to explore the city.

Overnight will be at Varanasi.

Day 21: Delhi - Back Home

Breakfast at hotel. Day free to explore the city and finish last minute shopping.

Proceed for the DANCES OF INDIA SHOW in the evening at 1800 hr after checking out of the hotel. After the show you will have FAREWELL DINNER before reaching the airport for flight home with sweet memories of India.

SPECIAL HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDED

• Rickshaw ride at Old Delhi Bazaar,
• Horse cart ride tour to Taj Mahal in Agra,
• Theatre show Kalakriti in Agra,
• Prayer ceremony at Birla Temple in Jaipur,
• Light and sound show at fort amer in Jaipur,
• Elephant ride at amer fort - Jaipur,
• Two private Wildlife Jeep Safaris India with naturalist,
• National park entrance fee,
• Rickshaw ride at Bharatpur,
• Short camel ride and dinner at sam sand dunes at Jaisalmer,
• Excursion to oOsiyan from Jodhpur,
• Roof top dinner at Pal Haweli overlooking the lit-up fort- Jodhpur,
• Boat ride at Udaipur - if water level permits,
• Evening aarti at Varanasi,
• Boat cruise in ganges at Varanasi, and
• Visit to Sarnath.

THE TOUR INCLUDES

• Accommodation at suggested hotels - 1 double room,
• Daily buffet breakfasts,
• Sightseeing tours as mentioned in the itinerary,
• All tours and transfers in ac private toyota innova at disposal with driver,
• English speaking company authorised guide for all mentioned tours,
• Monument entrances,
• Assistance at the airports on arrival / departure,
• Assistance at stations on departure and arrival,
• 24 hrs dedicated tour manager,
• Unlimited mineral water and tissues during drives,
• Porter charges at stations,
• Train fare in best available class for the mentioned sector,
• Economy class airfare for the mentioned sectors,
• All applicable taxes and service charges, and
• Camel Safari,Classic RajasthanAll road taxes, government taxes and driver allowances.

EXCLUSIONS

• Lunches and dinners (except for those mentioned in inclusions),
• Personal expenses,
• Camera fees, tips etc,
• International airfare,
• Visa charges.

Hotels

City Luxury Palace & Boutique First Class & Heritage Nights
Delhi The Oberoi The Imperial The Maidens 02
Mandawa Mandawa Castle Mandawa Castle Desert Resort 01
Bikaner Laxmi Vilas Palace Laxmi Vilas Palace Lallgarh Palace 01
Jaisalmer Fort Rajwada Fort Rajwada Gorbandh Palace 02
Jodhpur Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace 02 OBEROI 02
JAIPUR OBEROI RAJVILAS Taj Hari Mahal Ajit Bhawan 02
Udaipur Taj Lake Palace The Leela Palace Kempinski Shikarbadi 02
Pushkar Hotel Green Pushkar Resort Pushkar Resort 01
Jaipur The Oberoi Rajvilas Taj Jai Mahal Palace Shahpura House 02
Ranthambore The Oberoi Vanyavilas Taj Sawai Madhopur Lodge Pug Mark 02
Bharatpur The Bagh The Bagh Laxmi Vilas 01
Agra Oberoi Amar Vilas Grand Imperial Clarks Shiraz 01
Delhi The Oberoi The Imperial The Maidens 01
Varanasi Nadesar Palace The Gateway Hotel Ganges Radisson 02
Delhi The Oberoi The Imperial The Maidens 01

Tour Price

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