Essential Rajasthan

India

Culture | Honeymoon

Discover the forts, palaces, villages and desert of Rajasthan

10 days £2,045 pp This is the price per person for a private tour (based on 2 people travelling) excluding international flights. Contact us for pricing for other group sizes including individuals.
Intro, Dates & Prices

Intro

Travel into the heart of India's most colourful state. Visit Rajput palaces and beautiful havelis in the Shekhawati region. Explore the labyrinthine alleyways of Jaisalmer Fort and wander around the Blue City of Jodhpur. Take a camel ride in the desert and star gaze from your luxury desert camp. Finally, head down to the picturesque city Udaipur and enjoy royal treatment in a heritage palace hotel overlooking Lake Pichola.

Pre- or post-tour to include the Golden Triangle (Delhi - Agra - Jaipur) can be arranged.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Grand havelis of the Shekhawati region
  • Hidden alleyways of Jaisalmer Fort
  • Jodhpur’s blue buildings and magnificent forts
  • Luxury desert camp in Rohetgarh
  • Boat ride on Lake Pichola

Places Visited

Delhi - Nawalgarh - Bikaner - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Rohet - Udaipur

What's Included

Airport pick-up & drop-off
Internal flight (Udaipur-Delhi)
Ground transport
Accommodation
Entrance fees to sites & parks
All breakfasts
Drivers and guides

Contact us today

Please confirm your humanity

Itinerary
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Day 1 : Delhi

Arrive in the morning into Delhi airport. Transfer to guesthouse. Freshen up and relax. Half day tour of Delhi, lunch en route. Drive by India Gate, the Presidential Palace, lunch en route, and then on to Old Delhi, visit impressive Red Fort. Immerse yourself in the chaos of Chandni Chowk on cycle-rickshaw. Stroll around magnificent Humayun's Tomb and its gardens, and watch it change colour as the sun starts to set. Evening to relax and enjoy sumptuous North Indian cuisine. Overnight in Delhi.

Meal plan: n/a

The walled city of Old Delhi, which includes the Lal Qila or Red Fort of Delhi, was established in 1650 AD by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. The Spice Bazaar, or Khari Baoli, is a street in Old Delhi known for its wholesale grocery and is one of Asia’s largest wholesale spice markets selling all kinds of spices, nuts and herbs. Operating since the 17th century, the market is situated close to the historic Delhi Red Fort. Learn about the spices on sale and smell their aromas. One of Delhi's most interesting buildings is the Jama Masjid (mosque), which is surrounded by traditional businesses that showcase centuries’ old arts and crafts. There is also a marvellous old-fashioned shop where you can test Indian perfume from cut-glass bottles. You will saunter through the main bridal street of Old Delhi, Kinari Bazaar, with its dazzling display of embroidered silk wedding saris.
 


India’s capital and a major gateway to the country, contemporary Delhi is a bustling metropolis, which successfully combines the ancient with the modern. Amidst the vast spiraling skyscrapers, the remnants of a bygone era in the form of its many monuments, stand as silent reminders of the region’s ancient legacy. The first impression for any visitor travelling in from the airport is of a specious, garden city, tree-lined with a number of beautiful parks.

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Day 2 : Shekhawati Region

Early start for drive to the Shekhawati region with breakfast en route. Check in to your thatched cottage at the eco-lodge. Freshen up, relax. Escorted tour of the local area, where you will witness stunning havelis and walk through the bustling village marketplace. Lunch in the market area. A visit to a local craft workshop can also be organised. Excellent dinner back at the eco-lodge. Overnight in Nawalgarh.

Meal plan: Breakfast & dinner

The Shekhawati Region is a semi desert region in north Rajasthan. It derived its name from its ruler Rao Shekha. Shekhawati means 'the garden of Shekha'.  The towns of Shekhawati region are known for their amazing painted havelis. So varied and architecturally rich are  the havelis that this region is dubbed as the "open art gallery of Rajasthan". The plethora of painted Havelis in rich artistic tradition makes them fascinating. Most of the buildings are dated from 18th century to early 20th century. The Shekhawati region is dotted with so many havelis that tracking them is something akin to a treasure hunt. Various forms of fine art adorn the walls and the ceilings of these structures as a contrast to the otherwise flat and barren land. The havelis are noted for their frescoes depicting mythological themes and huge animals. Some later day frescoes reflect British influence in the form of steam locomotives and trains depicted on them.



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Day 3 : Bikaner

Early breakfast at the eco-lodge, then set off for Bikaner. Check in to the hotel around lunchtime. Afternoon sightseeing - Bikaner Fort, the Jain temple and the Deshnok 'Rat Temple'. Evening free to relax in the comfort of the heritage hotel. Overnight in Bikaner.

Meal plan: Breakfast

Lying in the north of the desert State, Bikaner is dotted with scores of sand dunes. Bikaner retains the medieval grandeur that permeates the city's lifestyle. The city is often referred to as ' the camel country'. The strategic location of Bikaner on the ancient caravan routes that came from West/Central Asia made it a prime trade centre in those times. Bikaner stands on a slightly raised ground and is circumscribed by a seven km long embattled wall with five gates. The magnificent forts and palaces, created with delicacy in reddish-pink sandstone, bear testimony to its rich historical and architectural legacy. Surging lanes, colourful bazaars with bright and cheerful folks make Bikaner an interesting experience. Modern Bikaner is the result of the foresight of its most eminent ruler Maharaja Ganga Singh (1887-1943) whose reformative zeal set the pace for Bikaner transformation from a principality to a premier princely state.

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Day 4 : Jaisalmer

After breakfast set off for the desert city of Jaisalmer with lunch en route. Arrive for sunset at the Royal Cenotaphs which has fantastic views over Jaisalmer. Evening free. Overnight in a converted haveli just outside ancient Jaisalmer Fort.

Meal plan: Breakfast

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Day 5 : Jaisalmer

Full day tour of Jaisalmer. After breakfast visit picturesque Gadesar Lake and spend the rest of the day exploring the myriad alleyways of Jaisalmer Fort. In particular, admire intricate temples and havelis. Bargain in local shops for beautiful handmade artefacts. Evening to relax and soak in the atmosphere of your ancient surroundings. Overnight in Jaisalmer.

Meal plan: Breakfast


Jaisalmer, the golden beauty etched in yellow sandstone, stands tall against miles of gleaming sand. Founded in 1156 AD by Maharawal Jaisal, Jaisalmer’s location kept it almost untouched by outside influences and even during the days of the Raj, Jaisalmer was the last to sign the Instrument of Agreement with the British. Very few cities can boast of the magnificence that surrounds Jaisalmer. There is a fort that seems to rise out of a desert haze, its yellow sandstone walls and bastions taking on a golden hue in the afternoon sun, which is why it is aptly called 'Sonar Kila' or the Golden Fort. The fort stands atop the 80m high Trikuta hill, where a quarter of Jaisalmer's population still lives. Within the fort are also beautifully carved Jain temples of the 12th to the 15th centuries. One can also see Badal Vilas Palace - the former ruler’s 20th century palace, as well as some impressive merchant mansions (havelis) including Patwon ki Haveli (1805), a five-storey building with carved pillars and murals, Salim Singh and Nathmalji ki Haveli.

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Day 6 : Jodhpur

Relaxing breakfast, then leave for Jodhpur, aka 'The Blue City'. Visit the magnificent Mehrangarh Fort with stunning views of Jodhpur's blue buildings. Stop off at the peaceful Jaswant Thada (royal cenotaph) and the impressive Clock Tower. Famous for its textiles, wander around the market for Rajasthani fabrics and handicrafts. Overnight in Jodhpur.

Meal plan: Breakfast

Jodhpur is the second largest city in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It is located 335 kilometres (208 mi) west from the state capital, Jaipur. It was formerly the seat of a princely state of the same name, the capital of the kingdom known as Marwar. Jodhpur is a popular tourist destination, featuring many palaces, forts and temples, set in the stark landscape of the Thar desert. The city is known as the Sun City for the bright, sunny weather it enjoys all year. It is also referred to as the "Blue City". Jodhpur lies near the geographic centre of Rajasthan state, which makes it a convenient base for travel in a region much frequented by tourists. The old city of Jodhpur is surrounded by a thick stone wall.

Mehrangarh Fort is situated 400 feet (122 m) above the city, and is enclosed by imposing thick walls. Inside its boundaries there are several palaces known for their intricate carvings and expansive courtyards. The imprints of cannonball hits by attacking armies of Jaipur can still be seen on the second gate. To the left of the fort is the 'chhatri' (umbrella) of Kirat Singh Soda, a soldier who fell on the spot defending the Mehrangarh fort. There are seven gates, which include Jayapol (victory) built by Maharaja Man Singh to commemorate his victories over the Jaipur and Bikaner armies. Fattehpol (victory) gate was built by Maharaja Ajit Singh to mark the defeat of the Mughals. The palm imprints upon these still attract much attention even today. The museum in Mehrangarh Fort is one of the most well-stocked museums in Rajasthan. In one section of the fort museum there is a selection of old royal palanquins, including the elaborate domed gilt Mahadol palanquin, which was won in a battle from the Governor of Gujarat in 1730. The museum exhibits the heritage of the Rathores in arms, costumes, paintings and decorated period rooms.


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Day 7 : Rohetgarh (Wilderness Camp)

After breakfast, depart for Rohetgarh. Lunch on arrival, followed by a village safari where you will observe rural desert life. Venture into the Thar Desert on camel-back. Early evening check into your luxurious tent at the Wilderness Camp settled on the peak of a sand dune in the Thar desert. Evening to enjoy an excellent meal and a night of stargazing. Overnight at Wilderness Camp.

Meal plan: Breakfast & dinner

A village safari in Rohet offers the chance to observe rural desert life. Visitors can explore the enigmatic Thar Desert by camel and stay in luxurious desert camps perched on sand dune peaks. 

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Day 8 : Udaipur

After an early breakfast set forth for Udaipur, possibly Rajasthan's most picturesque city. Arrive in Udaipur early afternoon. Check in to your hotel on the bank of Lake Pichola. Rest of day free to relax and unwind. Overnight in Udaipur.

Meal plan: Breakfast

Udaipur is often called ‘Venice of the East’ or the ‘City of Lakes’, and was founded by Maharana Udai Singh in 1559 AD. According to legend, Udai Singh was guided to establish his capital on the very spot that a holy man was meditating on near Pichola Lake. Surrounded by Aravali Ranges, forests and lakes, this place was less vulnerable to external invasion than Chittaurgarh. Maharana Udai Singh died in 1572 and was succeeded by Maharana Pratap, who valiantly defended Udaipur from Mughal attacks. Maharana Pratap is the most revered Rajput icon who gallantly fought the Mughals in the battle of Haldighati in 1576. Mewar continuously defied foreign invaders and has a history of bloody battles, until the British intervention in the 19th century, when a treaty was signed to protect Udaipur. Upon gaining independence, Udaipur merged with the union of India.

The Lake Palace (Jag Niwas), located in the middle of Pichola Lake, is the finest example of an architectural and cultural marvel. The grand City Palace on the banks of the lake, along with the Monsoon Palace (Sajjan Garh) on the hill above, enhances the beauty of this magnificent city. This is one of the largest palace complexes in the world. Udaipur is also the centre for performing arts, crafts and its famed miniature paintings. The Shilpgram festival is a great crowd-puller during New Year celebrations.


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Day 9 : Udaipur

After breakfast leave for sight seeing. Visit the intricate 17th century Jagdish Temple and the stunning City Palace. Visit the 'Saheliyon ki Bari', renowned for its splendid gardens, water fountains and flowers. In the evening take a relaxing boat ride on Lake Pichola. Evening free to relax. Overnight in Udaipur.

Meal plan: Breakfast

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Day 10 : Departure

Early breakfast, then transfer to airport for flight to Delhi. Connecting flight to onward destination.

Meal plan: Breakfast

India’s capital and a major gateway to the country, contemporary Delhi is a bustling metropolis, which successfully combines the ancient with the modern. Amidst the vast spiraling skyscrapers, the remnants of a bygone era in the form of its many monuments, stand as silent reminders of the region’s ancient legacy. The first impression for any visitor travelling in from the airport is of a specious, garden city, tree-lined with a number of beautiful parks.

Read more
Extensions

Beaches (1-7 days)

After exploring the busy cities, there's no better place to relax than one of India's paradisiacal beaches

Treks & Walks (1-12 days)

Himalayan treks, village walks and more

City Extensions (1-4 days)

Visit the must-see sights and the hidden depths of India's most vibrant cities.

Kolkata & Sunderbans (6 days)

Discover colonial Kolkata and the Sunderbans Tiger Reserve

Hill Stations & Mountains

Escape the city and unwind among some of the most breathtaking mountain and hill scapes the world has to offer.

Himalayan Extension: Ladakh to Kashmir (5 days)

Travel across the spectacular Himalayan Highway

Kolkata & Darjeeling Snapshot (7 days)

Ideal extension to Bhutan

The Golden Triangle (5 days)

Marvel at India's most incredible forts and palaces

Indian Odyssey (29 days)

Experience the best of North and South India

Highlights of the Subcontinent (22 days)

Discover iconic sights of India, Nepal & Bhutan

Journey through the Indian Himalayas (20 days)

Travel through the Himalayan foothills via Shimla & Amritsar to Ladakh

Monks, Tribes & Rhinos (20 days)

Himalayan mountains, unseen tribes & amazing wildlife

Classic Bhutan & Assam Cruise (18 days)

Experience Bhutan's rich culture, colonial Kolkata and rural life in Assam

Essential India & China (17 days)

Visit the two most populous countries on Earth.

UNESCO Sites of South India (17 days)

Discover South India's ancient archaeological wonders

Textiles & Artisans of Gujarat & Rajasthan (16 days)

Nomadic tribes, traditional textiles, crafts & Mewar Festival

Glimpse of India & Nepal (16 days)

Golden Triangle and the Himalayas

Essential India & Sri Lanka (16 days)

India's Golden Triangle & the best of Sri Lanka.

Kerala Calling (15 days)

Tropical mountains, tea & spice plantations, and backwaters

Nagaland: Festival of the Headhunters (15 days)

Aoling Festival, wildlife in Assam & natural beauty of Manipur

Assam & Nagaland Hornbill Festival (15 days)

Wildlife, tribes & rural life in Assam, Nagaland and Manipur

Taste of South India (15 days)

Experience the flavours and exotic spices of South India

Big Six of India (15 days)

Spot tigers, lions, leopards, buffalo, rhino & elephants

Rajasthan Explorer & Pushkar Camel Fair (15 days)

Fort cities, rural villages & camel fair

Best of Bengal & Sikkim (14 days)

Colonial Kolkata, Darjeeling toy train & Buddhism

Spirit of South India (14 days)

Temple towns of Tamil Nadu to backwaters of Kerala

Kerala & Karnataka Explorer (14 days)

Idyllic backwaters, tropical forests & ancient temple towns

Taj, Tigers & Temples (14 days)

Perfect mix of classic sights and off-beat places for first-timers to India

Hampi and Beyond (14 days)

Discover Karnataka's stone temples, wildlife and coffee farms

Tribes of North East India (14 days)

Remote tribal cultures in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam & Nagaland

Sacred India (14 days)

Uncover the religious diversity of India

Delicacies of North India (14 days)

Discover the huge diversity of North India's cuisine

Big Cats of India (14 days)

Experience the thrill of the Indian jungle ...

Wildlife of North East India (14 days)

Diverse wildlife in Assam and the Sunderbans

Heart of India (14 days)

Take in the highlights of central India

Tribes of Rural India (14 days)

Visit remote tribal villages of Orissa & Chhattisgarh

Kashmir, Ladakh & The Hemis Festival (14 days)

Experience dramatic Himalayan scenery, Islamic & Buddhist cultures

Kerala - Trekking the Western Ghats (13 days)

Explore this UNESCO biodiversity hotspot on foot

Treasures of Gujarat (12 days)

Villages, temples, salt flats & the world's last Asiatic lions

Glimpse of India (12 days)

Golden Triangle, tigers & exotic Kerala

Markha Valley Trek (12 days)

Set foot in Ladakh's hidden Himalayan valleys

Classic Kerala (10 days)

Tea, spices, backwaters & beaches

Essential Rajasthan (10 days)

Discover the forts, palaces, villages and desert of Rajasthan

Living Bridges of Meghalaya (7 days)

Waterfalls, hills and living bridges in North East India

Reviews

In your testimonials I recognise all the things that gave me such pleasure on my own trip. Here was India dust & all, with its charm, its ridiculousness, its colour, sense of humour, unexpected delights, & above all its smiling, friendly people. So the heritage forts & palaces are stunning, but they are only an impressive reminder of where the country has come from. It’s everyday life that lets you know what the country is today. Thanks to your company I was able to experience all of this; just what I wanted. I shall be back; why go anywhere else, with anyone else?

Christine Barratt , Tailormade Rajasthan

I would highly recommend Travel the Unknown to anyone visiting India. The service we received both prior to, during and following our travels was always timely and excellent. We were able to customize our trip to our liking and to enjoy a wide variety of activities. The guides in every location were outstanding! Honestly. Having travelled through much of the world I can truly say that we have never been more impressed with the quality of the guides arranged for us in each location, as well as the service we received. Similarly, the hotels were excellent and allowed us to live very comfortably while, at the same time, enjoy an authentic Indian experience. If you haven`t already booked your trip with Travel the Unknown, then either do so now....or at least give them a chance to show you what they can offer.

Tracey & Gary , Tailormade India

This is our second fabulous trip with Travel The Unknown and we were not disappointed. Rajasthan's vibrant colours of turbans and saris, the noise, the spicy aromas, the silence in the hot air balloon over rural Jaipur, the majestic forts and palaces of ancient times, sighting leopards in the wild, all far exceeded our expectations and the heritage homes and hotels we stayed in, whilst being of high standard in every way, still had a friendly family touch. Thanks so much to Rahul and the team for such a memorable trip. Six weeks on and we still can't stop talking about it. I can't wait for the next one!

John & Christine Gregory , Tailormade India

I have been on 3 tailor made trips with Travel The Unknown and have found them to be knowledgeable and reliable. We`ve stayed in some wonderful places and have had some unusual and satisfying experiences that go beyond the standard tours.

Joan Edmunds (USA) , Tailormade India

We were 4 women in our 60`s travelling to India, not for the first time, we had all been before, but the trip was so good, well organised and we never felt uneasy, just had a really good time.

Sue Clyde , Tailormade Rajasthan & Kerala

Thank you for organising our holiday in Kerala. I certainly wouldn`t have had the time or the knowledge to put together such a trip. Munnar was my favourite and the accommodation throughout was excellent.

Vik , Kerala Calling, India

A really well planned trip. We experienced life in Northeast India in just the way we wanted to. We loved the game reserves and saw a rock python which thrilled our guides as it is even rarer than the tiger! We visited villages and were able to interact with local people and loved the busy markets in Delhi and Calcutta. A special highlight was the Hornbill Festival in Nagaland; shown to us by our very own Naga guide Kezo. Kezo accompanied us for 15 days of our trip and ensured that we had many very special experiences - even taking us to the home of one of his Aunts where we spent a couple of hours sitting by the bonfire chatting.

Ann Holgate , Tailormade India

What an excellent service! Rahul adapted, extended and improved our trip so many times without a qualm and we ended up with the trip of a lifetime. The destinations are unusual and interesting but everything has been checked out by the team and works brilliantly. I can`t wait to do another trip.

Penelope Smith , Assam & Nagaland Hornbill Festival, India

The tour was an amazing experience for our first visit to India. The country, its people and its cuisine were friendly,delightful, colourful and exceeded all our expectations. Travel the Unknown have put together a superb unique package that we have no hesitation in recommending to anyone with an interest in food and culture.

Elaine & Neil Smith , Delicacies of North India, India

This was a very varied and interesting trip to a forgotten part of India. If you like off the beaten track travel it is definitely worth the effort but go with an open mind and keep a smile on your face.

Richard Williams , Monks, Tribes & Rhinos, India

This was my first experience of using Travel the Unknown having enjoyed small group adventure holidays for many years. I was attracted to the company because it seeks out the more unusual and lesser known areas of a country and I was not disappointed by my visit to Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. There is a clear contrast between the people and the scenery of these two regions and we saw very few western tourists particularly in Arunachal Pradesh. The tour was well organised with plenty to see and do.

Keith Lewis , Monks, Tribes & Rhinos, India

Kolkata is a real eye-opener. The walking tour was a real highlight and our guide was great at showing me places I`d never have found otherwise. The Sunderbans was just beautiful. The guide was very friendly and the boat cruises were relaxing. My cottage was delightful and the food at the Tiger Camp was delicious. A great way to end the trip!

Jennifer , Raj, Tigers & Mangroves, India
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