Rajasthan Village Tour

Tour Duration : 19 Nights & 20 Days
Places Covered : Delhi - Bharatpur - Mandawa - Gajner - Pokhran - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Luni - Ghanerao - Bundi - Pushkar - Varanasi - Delhi

Detailed Itenarary :

Day 1 : New Delhi

Arrive Delhi :: Met upon arrival and transfer you to the hotel. Overnight stay in the hotel.

Day 2 : Delhi - Bharatpur

Delhi - Bharatpur via Deeg (Drive 211 Kms- Approx. 5 Hrs) :: Hv. b/ fast & drive towards Bharatpur. Enroute visiting - Deeg - a lesser-known but no less charming tourist spot. Few may know that close to Bharatpur bird sanctuary in Rajasthan lies another extraordinary tourist complex, consisting of a mini-lake palace, fort and an intricate fountain system. Home to the Jat rulers; its intricate fountain system is a marvel of engineering skills. Located about 35 km north of Bharatpur town, Deeg hamlet is set in rustic surroundings. While it does not have the romantic lure of Udaipur or Jaipur, its quiet elegance touches the soul immediately. Deeg Palace - finds mention in ancient texts as Dirgha or Dirghapura. It is known for its famous water palaces, aesthetic gardens and fountains. The famous fortress of Deeg, which contributed substantially to the making of the Jat principality, is now in a shambles but retains the grandeur of a once thriving kingdom. Its formidable cannons and large moats lie in disuse. Even in desolation, it is an impressive sight. Deeg was the first capital of the Jat people with Badan Singh being proclaimed its ruler in 1722. He was responsible for conceiving and constructing the royal palace on the southern side of the garden, now called Purana Mahal or old palace. Because of its strategic location and proximity to Mathura and Agra, Deeg was vulnerable to repeated attacks by invaders. In 1730, crown prince Surajmal is reported to have erected the strong fortress with towering walls and a deepwater moat with high ramparts about 20 feet wide in the southern portion of the town. Although Surajmal shifted his capital to Bharatpur, he continued to lavish attention on Deeg. He built elegant palaces clustered around a garden complex, with multiple fountains in front and enormous water bodies in the rear. The entire complex, sprawling with palaces and gardens, is a marvel of engineering skill. The elegant designs and perfection of workmanship of these palaces are a rarity. The Deeg palace and the fort strike you immediately as beautiful pieces of architecture. The palace complex is ample proof that the Jat community possessed aesthetic sense. The palaces form a quadrangle. At its centre is a well-laid garden with walkways, decorative flowerbeds, shrubs, trees and numerous fountains, which cool the place considerably during summer. The building to the north is called Nand Bhawan. The main building on the west, Gopal Bhawan, is the largest of all the palaces. On either side of Gopal Bhawan are two smaller buildings called Sawan and Bhadon Bhawans, named after the Indian Monsoon seasons. These buildings, including Gopal Bhawan, command a pleasing view of the western tank and gardens beyond it. A curious feature of these three palaces is the appearance of a single story from the front while there are actually two additional floors cleverly concealed at the back. One floor of these palaces is either partially or wholly submerged in water throughout the year. Not only does it lend it the illusion of being a lake palace but also provides a cooling effect during summer. On the southern side of the quadrangle are two palaces facing north. One of them, Suraj Bhawan, is built entirely of marble and is tastefully ornamented with stones of different colours. The other palace, built of grey sandstone, is called Kishan Bhawan. James Ferguson in his History of Indian and Eastern Architecture says that the Deeg palaces have been built on a perfectly level plain and laid out with a regularity that would satisfy the most fastidious Renaissance architect. While the palaces are not as massive as the fortified Rajasthan palaces, they surpass them all in the grandeur of conception and their beautiful detail. A massive water tank on the terrace of Kishan Bhawan feeds the fountains in the middle of the garden. The gigantic water tank is capable of holding six to seven lakh gallons of water. Continue drive to Bharatpur. Upon arrival, transfer you to the hotel. O/n stay in the hotel.

Day 3 : Bharatpur - Mandawa

Bharatpur - Mandawa (Drive 190 Kms- Approx. 4 Hrs) :: Hv. b/fast and drive towards Mandawa. Upon arrival, transfer you to the hotel. Later spend day visiting beautiful Havelis. O/n stay in the hotel.

Day 4 : Mandawa - Gajner

Mandawa - Gajner via Bikaner (Drive 222kms- Approx. 5 Hrs) :: Lv. after b/fast and drive towards Gajner. Enroute visit Bikaner - the royal fortified city, stands on a slightly raised ground, and is circumscribed by a 7 km long embattled wall with five gates. The magnificent forts and palaces created with delicacy in reddish-pink sandstone bears testimony to its rich cultural heritage. Junagarh Fort :: built by Rai Singh between 1588 and 1593, has a 986-metre-long wall with 37 bastions, a moat and two entrances. Situated at a height of above seven hundred feet above sea level, it towers over the city and can be seen from a distance. The fort and its palaces are profusely decorated with magnificent stone carvings. The major buildings within the fort include the Anup Mahal, Diwan-e-Khas, Hawa Mahal, Badal Mahal, Chandra Mahal, Phool Mahal, Rang Mahal, Dungar Mahal, and Ganga Mahal. The Chandra Mahal has remarkable frescoes. Beautiful mirror work adorns the walls of Phool Mahal while golden pen work decorates the Anup Mahal. Lalgarh Palace :: built by Maharaja Ganga Singh in memory of his father, the Lalgarh Palace is situated 3 km north of Bikaner city. Designed by Sir Swinton Jacob, the palace is quite imposing with overhanging balconies and delicate latticework. Peacocks and blooming bougainvillea in the garden welcome the visitor to the palace. To promote tourism, the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation has converted a portion of this palace into a hotel. Continue drive towards Gajner. Upon arrival visit- Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary :: home to a variety of wild animals. The adjoining lake that reflects the charming pink sandstone palace and gardens contrasts so effectively with the surrounding scrubland where black back, chital, sambhar, chinkara, nilgai, wild boar, rabbits, partridges, quail, and Indian bustard abound, that you wonder if its real, or a desert mirage. From the paved terrace, you see jungle animals come down to the water for a drink. This lake attracts millions of migratory birds in winter. The Maharajah of Bikaner held house parties for shooting grouse, duck, and wild boar here. O/n stay in the hotel.

Day 5 : Gajner - Pokhran

Gajner - Pokhran (Drive 195 Kms- Approx. 4 Hrs) :: Lv. after b/fast and drive towards Pokhran. Upon arrival, proceed for village tour. O/n in the hotel.

Day 6 : Pokhran - Jaisalmer

Pokhran - Jaisalmer (Drive 110 Kms- Approx. 2 Hrs) :: Lv. after b/fast for the Golden city of India - Jaisalmer - you enjoy the ride as the roads are absolutely empty and you only watch the camels and at certain places sometime the Dears and other wildlife. Upon arrival have lunch and proceed for a walking tour to Haveli - visiting - Nathmalji ki Haveli :: this late 19th century haveli displays intricate architecture and sheer craftsmanship. One very interesting fact about this haveli is that two brothers carved its two sides. Though not identical they are very similar and in perfect harmony. The interior walls are ornate with splendid miniature paintings. Yellow sandstone elephants guard the building. Patwon ki Haveli :: this is one of the largest and most elaborate havelis in Jaisalmer. Located in a narrow alley, it is five storeys high. It has exquisitely carved pillars and extensive corridors and chambers. One of the rooms is painted with beautiful murals. Salim Singh ki Haveli :: 300 years old, this haveli was the residence of the powerful Mohta clan - ministers of the Jaisalmer rulers. The blue cupola roof with superbly carved brackets in the form of peacocks is distinctive, and an exquisite projecting balcony adorns the top storey. O/n stay in the Hotel.

Day 7 : Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer :: Hv. b/fast & proceed for the city tour of Jaislamer and visit - The Fort :: this 12th century fort that withstood the ravages of time rises out of the sea of sand. Its rounded battlements of golden sandstone, echoes the colour of the desert. The fort has four approach gateways. Several entrances guard the Megh Durbar and the Jawahar Mahal, which bear the imperial symbols of the Bhatti clans lunar lineage. Outside the fort, is the main market place called as Manek Chowk. From Manek Chowk, one can walk into the lanes, where the famous carved havelis, beautifully sculptured Jain Temples of the 12th -15th century and five interconnected palaces can be found. Tazia Tower :: the pagoda - like five storey Tazia Tower rises from the Badal Mahal (Palace of Clouds). Each storey of the tower has a beautifully carved balcony. Muslim craftsmen built the tower, in the shape of a Tazia and gifted it to their royal patron. Gadisar Lake :: it is a scenic rainwater lake surrounded with numerous beautiful shrines. The lake is a tranquil spot for outings. Lodurva :: is the ancient capital of Jaisalmer and an important pilgrim centre of the Jains Some of the magnificent Jain temples are located here. The temples have intricate carvings on the arches at the main entrance. A Kalptaru or a divine tree is the main attraction of the temple. Manak Sqaure :: a main marketplace outside the fort leads to the narrow lanes dotted with famous havelis Sam Sand Dunes (42 Kms) :: No trip to Jaisalmer is complete without trip to Most picturesque dunes of Sam . The ripples on the wind - caressed dunes, that create an enchanting mirage, are surely a delight for trigger- happy photographer. Various cultural programmes are organize against the backdrop of these fascinating sand dunes, Exciting camel safaris allow you to get the real feel of the desert on the camel back. Hv. dinner and o/n stay in the Hotel

Day 8 : Jaisalmer - Jodhpur

Jaisalmer - Jodhpur via Osiyan (Drive 290 Kms- Approx. 5 Hrs) :: Lv. after b/fast for Jodhpur - The Blue City that is located on the eastern fringe of the Thar Desert has the distinction of neither being a part of the Thar Desert nor out of it. At best it is a doorway to the wonderland of sand dunes and shrubs, rocky terrain and thorny trees. It is the home of the Rathors - the awesome princely state of Rajasthan, who conquered Marwar or Maroodesh, land of the sand after the fall of Delhi and Kannauj. In 1459 AD, Rao Jodha, chief of Rathore clan of Rajputs, who claimed descent from Rama, the epic here of the Ramayana, laid the foundation of Jodhpur. A high stonewall protects the well-fortified city. The wall is nearly 10 km in length and has eight gates facing various directions. Within, stands an imposing fort on a low range of sandstone hills, about 125m above the surrounding plains. Invincible! & dauntless in its league with time! The city lies at the foot of the hills. The clear distinction between the old and the new city is visible from the ramparts of the fort. On the other side of the city, facing the fort is the Umaid Bhawan Palace, one of the most spacious, sprawling and well-planned palaces in India. And from here, as you look at the fort, a tantalizing view rises before your eyes at sunset. The peculiar slant of the sunset lends the desert landscape an awe-inspiring glow and the people, a chivalry undaunted. Enroute visiting Osiyan - in the desert, situated on the diversion off the main Jodhpur - Bikaner Highway. A drive to this ancient township takes one past undulating terrain, punctuated by desert stretches and little hamlets. Osian has 15 beautifully sculpted Jain and Brahmanical temples. Of these the most outstanding ones are the earlier Surya or Sun Temple and the later Kali temple,Sachiya Mata Temple and the main temple dedicated to Lord Mahavira. After Lunch, continue driving towards Jodhpur - upon arrival transfer to the hotel. Evening free to move in or around the city. O/n stay in the hotel.

Day 9 : Jodhpur

Jodhpur :: Enjoy full day city tour of Jodhpur visiting - Mehrangarh Fort :: was founded in 15th century by the Rathore Rajput when they shifted their capital from nearby Mandore to Jodhpur. Mehrangarh appears to rise from bluff-coloured sandstone hill itself, so well built into the base that it is difficult to tell where the hill ends and the walls begin. It was approached by a series of seven gateways set at an angle so that armies could not charge them with any success. Jaswant Thada :: is the traditional cremation ground of the rulers of Jodhpur. Taking pride of place amongst the ornamental gardens and chattris is the fabulous white marble memorial to Jaswant Singh II, built in 1899. The cenotaphs of other rulers are also stand nearby. Umaid Bhawan Palace :: was built of marble and pink stone. Because of the local Chittar sandstone is used it is also called Chittar Palace. It begun in 1929 and took 15years to complete. The president of the British Royal Institute of Architects designed it for Maharaja Umaid Singh. In evening, enjoy the prime attraction of the city the Clock Tower and the colourful Sardar Market near it. There many shops selling textiles, antiques, silverware and handicrafts. O/n stay in the hotel.

Day 10 : Jodhpur - Luni

Jodhpur - Luni (Drive 35 Kms- Approx. 1 Hr) :: Lv .after b/fast for Luni. Upon arrival, transfer you to the hotel. Then proceed for Bishnoi tribal villages and explore Rajasthan Life. O/n stay in the hotel.

Day 11 : Luni - Ghanerao

Luni - Ghanerao (Drive 177 Kms- Approx. 4 Hrs) :: Lv. after b/fast and proceed towards Ghanerao - is a small town famous for its castle now converted into a hotel. The castles highlight in the pavilion in the central court, where the musicians would perform. Also near the castle are the cenotaphs of former rulers. Mahavir Temple, a Jain Temple is also one of the highlights of the town & visit near by villages. O/n stay in the hotel.

Day 12 : Ghanerao - Bundi

Ghanerao - Bundi (Drive 287 Kms- Approx. 6 Hrs) :: Lv. after b/fast and drive towards Bundi - this picturesque little town in Rajasthan, fills a narrow valley in the oldest hills in India: the Aravallis. This walled town, 37 km north of Kota, lies in the north of the former Hadaoti state, shielded on the north, east and west by jagged outcrops of the Vindhya Range. Bundi, renown for its intricate paintings and murals, made a perfect capital of a major princely state during the heydays of the Rajputs. According to legend, back in the 12th century, restless young nobles of the warrior Chauhan clan conquered the Bhil and Meena tribals of these lands. Kota was a part of Bundi until its separation in 1624 at the instigation of the Mughal emperor, Jehangir. Taragarh Fort :: it was built in 1345 and is great ramble around at leisure. This is rather a ramshackle fort, with its overgrown vegetation. The view over the town and surrounding countryside from the top are magical, especially at sunset. Inside the ramparts, there are huge reservoirs carved out of solid rock, and the Bhim Burj, the largest of the battle- fields, on which there is, mounted a famous cannon. Taragarh reached by steep road leading up the hillside to its enormous gateway. Take a path up behind the chitra Shala, go east along the inside of the ramparts then left up the steep stone ramp just before the Dudha Mahal, a small disused building 200m from the palace. Chitra Mahal :: The Chitra SHALA has a colourful glimpse of history painted on ceilings and walls, making it an open art gallery. The paintings of Bundi School are famous for its festivals, animals and birds scenes portrayed beautifully. O/n stay in the hotel.

Day 13 : Bundi - Pushkar

Bundi - Pushkar (Drive 174 Kms- Approx. 4 Hrs) :: Lv. after b/fast and proceed towards Pushkar - the quiet little town of eastern Rajasthan, is located 11 km from Ajmer, on the edge of a small and beautiful lake. Pushkar is a city of 400 temples and 52 bathing ghats. Pushkar prides itself on being the site of the only temple of the Hindu God of Creation, Brahma. Every November, Pushkar comes alive with the vibrancy and colour of the famous Pushkar Fair and the full moon festivities at the Ghats. No pilgrimage is considered complete without a dip in the holy Pushkar Lake. Pushkar has as many as 400 temples and 52 ghats and the only temple in the country that is dedicated to Brahma is to be found here. While Pushkar is a heaven for the religiously inclined, it is also the venue of one of the countrys most colourful cattle fairs - the Pushkar Fair of Hindus. Pushkar became a favorite residence of the great Mughals. One of the first contacts between the Mughals and the British occurred in Pushkar when Sir Thomas Roe met with Jehangir here in 1616. The city was subsequently taken by the Scindias and, in 1818, it was handed over to the British, becoming one of the few places in Rajasthan controlled directly by British rather than being part of a princely state. Pushkar Lake :: the pious Pushkar Lake is believed to having been created by the falling of lotus from the hand of Lord Brahma. It is considered as old as the creation. The lake is considered as one of the most sacred spots, and believed that one dip in the waters of lake on Kartika Poornima occasion is equivalent to performing yagnas for several hundred years. Brahma Temple :: is the only existing temple dedicated to lord Brahma and was constructed in the 14th century, standing on a high plinth with marble steps leading up to it. A beautiful carved silver turtle sits on the floor facing the sanctorum or Garbha Griha. The marble floor around the silver turtle embedded with hundreds of silver coins, with donors name engraved on them. Saraswati Temple :: is the wife of Brahma. Literally her name means the flowing one .In the Rig Veda she represents a river deity and is connected with fertility and purification. She is considering the personification of all knowledge - arts, sciences, crafts and skills. She is the goddess of the creative impulse, the source of music, beauty and eloquence. O/n stay in the hotel

Day 14 : Pushkar - Varanasi

Pushkar - Delhi (Drive 403 Kms- Approx. 8 Hrs) - Varanasi (Fly) :: Lv. after b/fast and drive towards Delhi. Upon arrival, transfer you to the Domestic Airport to board a flight for Varanasi. Met upon arrival and transfer you to the hotel. In the evening, enjoy the colourful prayer performed on the Ghats. Back to hotel for o/n stay.

Day 15 : Varanasi

Varanasi :: Hv. B/fast and proceed for full day city tour of Varanasi & visiting - Shri Kashi Vishwanath Mandir :: (also known as the Golden Temple) is dedicated to Lord shiva, the presiding deity of the city. Varanasi is said to be the point at which the first jyotirlinga, the fiery pillar of light by which shiva manifested has supremacy over others gods, broke through the Earth’s crust and flared towards the heavens. Central Institute of Higher Tibeten Studies - the only institute of its kind in the world, imparting education in the Tibetan language, it was Est. by the Dalai Lma in 1971. Presently located at Sarnath, the institute has a rare collection of Buddhist texts, Tibetan manuscripts and other journals. Bharat Kala Bhawan, B.H.U :: started in 1950 as university museum, famous for its unique collection of miniature paintings. It has a rich collection of Rajasthani paintings, Pichhawais pahari painting, Nepalese & Tibetan Thankas, Company painting and paintings of contamporary artists, and many more. Some pages of Hamja-nama are the proud possessions of this museum. Sarnath :: the place where Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon after attaining enlightenment. Ashoka the great later erected the Stupa here. Durga Temple :: is 18th centuary temple also known as Monkey Temple due to many aggressive monkeys that reside here. The temple was built in a common north Indian style with an ornate shikhara, consisting of five segments symbolizing the elements and supported by finaly carved columns. Here Durga is represented as the embodiment of shakti or female power, clad in red and riding a tiger and fully armed with Shivas trident, Vishnus discus and a sword. Bharat Mata Temple :: was inaugrated by Mahatma Gandhi. Here instead of gods & goddesses. One finds a huge relief map in marble of the whole Indian Subcontinent and Tibetan Plateau. The map is said to be perfectly to scale both vertically and horizontly with mountains. Rivers and holy tirthas (pilgrimage centers) all clearly visible. Back to hotel for o/n stay.

Day 16 : Varanasi

Varanasi :: At Sun Rise, visit the Ghats of Varanasi. You ride boats to visit different ghats - Dasawamedh Ghat :: the main ghat of Varanasi that literally means the ghat of ten sacrificed horses. Legend has it that ten horses were sacrificed by Lord Brahma to allow Lord Shiva to return from a period of banishment. In spite of the fact that it is one of the oldest ghats of Varanasi dating back to many thousand years, the ghat has remained unspoilt and clean. Manikarnika Ghat :: is an ancient ghat next only in significance to Dasaswamedh ghat. This is the main cremation ghat of Varanasi. The mortal remains are consigning to flames with the prayers that the soul rests in eternal peace. It is said that this ghat symbolizes both creation and destruction. There is a sacred well at the Manikarnika Ghat, called the Manikarnika Kund. Man Mandir Ghat :: was built by Maharaja of Jaipur. The ghat houses an 18th century observatory equipped with ornate window casings. There is another fine stone balcony in the northern part of the ghat. Most devotees come to this ghat to pay homage to the lingam of some war, the Lord of the Moon. Asi Ghat :: is the southernmost ghat of Varanasi. This beautiful ghat is located at the confluence of the rivers Ganga and Asi. There is a huge lingum at the ghat where devotes offers prayers. However, prior to offering obeisance. It is mandatory for devotees to have a bath in the holy waters. Lalita Ghat :: is popular for Ganga Keshava Temple. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, this is wooden temple built in typical Kathmandu style. The temple also has an image of Pashupateshwar - a manifestation of Lord Shiva. Back to the hotel for b/fast and rest of the day exploring the bazaar and the people at yr. own - independent activities. O/n stay in the hotel.

Day 17 : Varanasi - Delhi

Varanasi - Delhi (Fly) :: Morning free for leisure. After Lunch, proceed for Airport to board a flight for Delhi. Met upon arrival and transfer you to the hotel. O/n stay in the hotel.

Day 18 : Delhi

Delhi :: Hv. b/fast & lv. comfortably for the city tour of Old Delhi + walking tour and if the time permits - you can also visit Akshardham Temple - which is quite new but is interesting. You will visit - Red Fort :: is one of the most magnificent palaces in the World. The Mughal Emperor, Sha Jahan, after ruling from Agra for eleven years, decided to shift to Delhi and laid the foundation stone of the Red Fort in 1618. Jama Masjid :: constructed by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan to complement his palace at the Red Fort. More than 5,000 workers toiled for six years to complete the largest mosque in India. A fine example of Mughal architecture, the Jama Masjid has three gateways. The main courtyard of the mosque is 408sq feet and paved with red stone. Raj Ghat :: a simple sq platform of black marble marks the spots where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated after his assassination in 1948. To North of Raj Ghat is the cremation ground of Jawaharlal Nehru named as Shanti Van. The cremation ground of Indira Gandhi, Sanjay Gandhi and Rajeev Gandhi are also in the vicinity. O/n stay in the hotel.

Day 19 : Delhi

Delhi :: Hv. b/fast and enjoy the full day city tour of Delhi & visiting - Lakshmi Narayan Temple :: is the biggest temple in North India, it was built by richest family of India in 1938. It is dedicated to Lakshmi ( goddess of prosperity and Narayan (god of presrver). Jantar Mantar (Observatory) :: is built by Jai Singh in 1725, its passion for astronomy was more notable. Its main main feature is th measure the position of stars, altitudes and azimiths and calculating eclipses. President House :: is official residence of the President of the Country designed by Luytens. It was the official residence of the Viceroy when the British ruled India. Parlaiment House :: is a circular building where the Indian Parlaiment meets and the Worlds largest Democracy works. India Gate - is a 42m high stone arh of trimph. Their bear the name of the 85,000 Indian Army Soldiers who died in the campaigns of World War I. Below the arch is the memorial to the Unknown Soldier, India Gate is surrended by gren grass lawns and trees. Lotus Temple (Bahai Temple) :: was designed like a lotus flower. It is made of marble, cement, dolomite and sand. It is open to all faiths and is an ideal place for meditation and obtaining peace and tranquility. Humayuns Tomb :: is a mausoleum of the Mughal emperor Humayun. Bega Begum also known as Haji Begum, wife of Humayun constructed the mausoleum for her husband. It was designed by Mirak Mirza Ghiyuth and built between 1562 and 1572 A.D. Qutab Minar :: is 72.5m tall and takes 379 stpes to reach to the top. The construction was started by Qutub-ud-din Aibek and completed by his successor. Back to hotel for o/n stay.

Day 20 : Delhi

Delhi - Back Home :: As per your international flight timings, lv. the hotel and drive towards International Airport to board flight for back home. Tour End.