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Royal Rajasthan & the Pushkar Festival

From $5,695

  • Enjoy enriching and rare personal encounters with the diverse desert people of Rajasthan on this 15-day, action-packed adventure!
  • Discover the magnificent forts of the Maharajas of Rajasthan as we visit the cities of Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, and Udaipur
  • Participate in a rural, tribal festival (two on the November departure), and stay in a deluxe desert tent
  • Enjoy a 4x4 safari over the windswept dunes of the Thar Desert
  • Live like royalty in luxurious hotels that were once maharaja palaces

Fancy yourself a regal maharaja? Or would you rather live like a nomadic tribesman? No need to decide on this trip! Our itinerary in Rajasthan, India’s “land of the kings,” gives you a chance to stay in former palaces and deluxe desert tents while experiencing the diverse cultures of this vibrant region. Travel through the iconic cities of Delhi, Jodhpur, the “Golden City” of Jaisalmer, Udaipur, and the “Pink City” of Jaipur to take in the elaborate architecture of the ancient palaces, temples, mansions, and fortifications of one of the world’s greatest cradles of civilization. Every day is electric with activity, whether you are touring the sites of the cities or participating in the rural festivals of the Thar Desert. Watch as thousands of camels are bought and sold, visit medieval markets, meet people of different clans, tribes, and religions, and take a 4x4 safari though windswept dunes. To visit Rajasthan is to dive into something poignant, timeless, deeply personal…and possibly a life-changing experience.

Day 1: Welcome to Delhi

Welcome to Delhi, the capital of India! An MTS representative will greet you outside of customs at the airport and transfer you to your luxury hotel—one of the finest in this historic city—for a good night's sleep. (Because of flight arrival times in Delhi, our rooms are booked from the previous night).

Please note that this entire trip is below 6,000 feet.

  • Accomodation:Taj Mahal Hotel

Day 2: Enjoy a scenic drive from Delhi to Jaipur

After a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, we’ll enjoy a scenic five-hour drive to Jaipur. Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan and affectionately known as the “Pink City” for its fine architecture fashioned out of pink sandstone. In the 19th century, Maharajah Ram Singh had all non-pink buildings painted pink—the color of hospitality—to welcome Edward, the British Prince of Wales. Upon arrival, we’ll check in to our opulent hotel, a mid-18th-century palace constructed in the Indo Saracenic style of architecture and our home for the next two nights. This afternoon, we’ll step out to visit the old, colorful markets of Jaipur, where you can purchase anything from fine gems and woodcarvings to trinkets, to ornamental knives and beautiful Rajasthani textiles.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Jai Mahal Palace

Day 3: Explore the Pink City of Jaipur

Today, we’ll learn first-hand why Jaipur, the Pink City, is so special. With its rich and colorful past, resplendent with tales of valor and bravery, it is now one of the most important heritage cities in India. After breakfast, we enjoy a half-day excursion to Amber Fort. En route, we’ll stop for photos at the elaborate Hawa Mahal, the “Palace of the Winds,” built in the form of the Hindu god Krishna’s crown. We’ll then ride up to Amber Fort atop elephants, just as the maharajas did, arriving at the perched fort above the city to take in view of the surrounding Aravalli Hills. The fort served as the ancient capital of the Kachhawaha Rajputs until 1037, and its palace was built from the 17th to 18th centuries in the Hindu-Muslim style.

After lunch, we’ll visit the city itself and explore the City Palace, which occupies the center of Jaipur. The palace now houses the Royal residence and museums with its fascinating collections of textiles, costumes, armory, manuscripts and paintings. We’ll continue on with a visit to Jantar Mantar, commissioned by Jai Singh II and built by his astrologer from 1728 to 1734. The instruments are built of stone with marble facing, placed on important planes for measuring the harmony of the heavens. Each instrument serves a particular function, and each gives an accurate reading. Tonight, we’ll dine on sumptuous traditional fare in one of the hotel’s restaurants.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Jai Mahal Palace

Day 4: Drive from Jaipur to the holy city of Pushkar

After breakfast, we’ll take a three-hour drive to Pushkar, celebrated as a holy city (said to be the seat of Brahma) and well known for its famous five-day camel and livestock festival. The city itself is a sight to behold with its largely white buildings set along the shores of the glassy Lake Pushkar.

Upon arrival, we will check into our deluxe walk-in tents at the mobile Aagman Camp. Each tent offers comfortable beds, electricity and private attached toilets with cold, running water. The staff provides hot water in the mornings and evenings. The dining tent offers both delightful regional and continental fare, served in a buffet style and serenaded by traditional singers and musicians. In addition, the camp offers tribal entertainment around the campfire at night.

We'll have two days to revel in the amazing annual spectacle of Pushkar ka Mele. Thousands of camels, horses and cattle, along with their owners, camp in the sand dunes surrounding the city. Trade goes on day and night as animals are exchanged. We’ll take in the vibrant colors and energy of the festival as we walk through the market observing tribesmen bartering, men with large turbans, women wrapped in exquisite jewelry from head to toe and children dressed in stunning, traditional attire.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Aagman Camp

Day 5: Wander the colorful Pushkar Festival

The Pushkar Festival is one of the last, great traditional melas in India, and we'll have the whole day to wander around. Our visit is timed to ensure we witness the best camel-trading moments, and we'll see owners using all of their persuasive skills to sell their camels at the most competitive prices. Both amateur and professional photographers will delight in capturing these skilled tradespeople in action.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Aagman Camp

Day 6: Drive to the Blue City of Jodhpur

After breakfast, we’ll drive for four hours to Jodhpur, known as “the Gateway to the Thar Desert” and “the Blue City” for the color of the buildings that surround its historical fort. After arrival and check-in at our lavish hotel, we'll embark on an afternoon tour of Jodhpur, visiting the Mehrangarh Fort (Majestic Fort), one of the most impressive and formidable structures found anywhere in India. This three-mile-long fort is perched atop a 500-foot-tall hill and has some magnificent palaces with marvelously carved panels and latticed windows. The Fort Museum houses an exquisite collection of palanquins, howdahs (elephant saddles), royal cradles, miniature paintings, musical instruments, costumes and furniture.

Later, we will walk through the "Blue City" of Jodhpur and see its medieval market.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Taj Hari Mahal

Day 7: Drive from Jodphur to the Golden City of Jaisalmer

After breakfast we drive for six hours to Jaisalmer, founded in the year 1156 by Bhatti Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal. Often described as the Golden City, the commanding fort rises spectacularly from the heart of the Thar Desert like a golden mirage. The fort, etched in yellow sandstone, dominates the amber-hued city with its entire awesome splendor. There is no place like Jaisalmer!

After checking into our hotel, we will enjoy a late afternoon drive out to Bada Bagh, where the royal family members were cremated. Afterwards we will watch the sun set on Jaisalmer Fort.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Taj Rawal Kot

Day 8: Explore old town Jaisalmer

After breakfast, we'll visit the old town of Jaisalmer and Jaisalmer Fort, built in the year 1156 by Rawal Jaisal. Perched on a 250-foot high hill, the golden-hued fort stands like a sentinel in the barren desert landscape. It is the only "living fort" in India and within its ramparts lies an enchanting maze of narrow lanes dotted with lovely havelis (mansions), palaces, and beautifully sculptured Jain temples dating from the 12th century. Skilled artisans and camels abound.

We also visit magnificent Patwon Ki Haveli in the heart of the town. It is the most elaborate and magnificent of all the Jaisalmer havelis and is the virtual showpiece of Jaisalmer's legendary architectural wealth. Its stone carvings are unsurpassed. Our afternoon is free to wander around the city's lanes and alleys.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Taj Rawal Kot

Day 9: Journey from Jaisalmer to Gajner

After breakfast, we'll take a six-hour drive to Gajner and visit Keechan village on the way. Keechan is home to migratory demoiselle cranes who feed on grains donated by the villagers. In the afternoon, we will check out the fort of Bikaner which, unlike its counterparts in the region, does not sit on a hill. We'll also check into our amazing, lakeside hunting lodge owned by the Maharaja of Bikaner. 

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Gajner Palace

Day 10: Witness ritual bathing at Kolayat Lake and camp in the Thar Desert

In the morning, we'll take an early drive to witness ritual bathing at the ghats around Kolayat's lake. Kolayat is an important center of Hindu pilgrimage and you'll see thousands of holy people and local rural villagers gathering to bathe. This day of the trip is the Day of Kartik Purnima or the full moon—the most holy time for an auspicious dip in the water. In the afternoon, we'll drive onward to Manvar in the Thar Desert. Situated on top of a sand dune, this is a great place to explore the desert life. Upon arrival at our camp, we'll check into our Swiss walk-in tents, complete with with hot and cold running water (mornings and evenings), proper beds, and electricity!

(Driving time: 6 hours approx.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Manvar Camp

Day 11: Take a jeep safari in the desert

Today we'll embark on a 4WD jeep safari in the Thar Desert! Driving over rural camel cart tracks and sand dunes, we'll visit the adobe houses of various tribes who live here and learn about how they've adapted to harsh desert conditions. We'll also have a good chance of spotting Indian gazelle, Blue bull, and desert and Indian fox in the wilderness. In the afternoon, we'll take a 2-hour drive to Luni and check into our palacial hotel.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Fort Chanwa

Day 12: Explore Ranakpur's temple and head to Udaipur

After breakfast, we'll take a six-hour drive to Udaipur, leaving behind arid western Rajasthan and heading toward the hilly regions of the south.  En route we will visit Ranakpur, home to Jain temples dating back to the 14th century and some of Rajasthan's best marble carvings. After lunch in a shady glen, we drive onward to arrive at the city of lakes, Udaipur.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Trident Hotel

Day 13: Stroll the romantic city of Udaipur

The romantic city of Udaipur, with its lakes, gardens, temples, and palaces, lies in the Girwa Valley amidst the Aravali Hills of south Rajasthan. The old city is a traditionally planned, fortified walled city with a maze of narrow winding lanes flanked by elaborately decorated doorways, stained-glass windows, and jali screens. Its massive havelis have large inner courtyards and shops.

In the morning, we'll visit the City Palace built on the banks of Pichola Lake by Maharana Udai Singh in 1570. The impressive complex includes several palaces that blend Rajput and Mughal styles. Half of it is still occupied by the Royal family, and part has been converted into a museum.

The Jagdish Temple (1651), built by Maharana Jagat Singh, is a fine example of the Nagara-style of temple architecture. A brass Garuda stands outside and stone elephants flank the entrance steps. Inside is a black stone image of Vishnu as Jagannath, the Lord of the Universe. Sahelion-ki Bari is an ornamental pleasure garden especially constructed for the ladies of the palace in the 18th century. It has beautiful fountains, trees and flowers. In the afternoon enjoy a public boat ride on Pichola Lake.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Trident Hotel

Day 14: Explore Old Delhi

After breakfast, we'll transfer to the airport to catch our flight to Delhi. In the afternoon, we'll explore Old Delhi with its narrow dirt roads, myriad people, and colorful bazaars that keep Delhi's traditional workmanship alive. We'll visit Raj Ghat, the cremation grounds of Mahatma Gandhi, and then head to Red Fort. Here we trade our motor vehicles for bicycle rickshaws, which will take us into the heart of Chandini Chowk or "the silver square'—so named for its silver merchants. Negotiating alleyways, which seem to get narrower and narrower, we end up at Jama Masjid, the largest Muslim mosque in India.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Taj Mahal Hotel

Day 15: Depart for home

In the early morning, we'll transfer to the airport for homeward-bound or onward flights.

Nov 16 - 30, 2015

Nov 05 - 19, 2016

pricing

2015 Prices

$5,695 (10-15 members)
$6,395 (4-9 members)

$160 internal airfare Udaipur/Delhi - subject to change
$2600 single supplement

2016 Prices

$5,995 (10-15 members)
$6,695 (4-9 members)

$165 internal airfare Udaipur/Delhi - subject to change
$2800 single supplement

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Aagman Camp — Pushkar

The Aagman camp is a fusion of fantastic luxury accommodation set in a rustic landscape. As well as great service and delicious food, its cosy, fully furnished tents come complete with attached bathrooms, comfortable beds and clean, crisp linens. Enjoy an evening by the bonfire with traditional folk music before sleeping under the stars at this memorable camp.

Fort Chanwa — Luni

The Heritage Hotel Fort Chanwa is a royal retreat that has been restored to its pristine glory and charm, offering princely hospitality in an inimitably enchanting setting. It offers a total of 60 beautifully decorated, spacious and comfortable rooms.

Gajner Palace — Gajner

Lose yourself in the sprawling and majestic Gajner Palace, built by HH Maharaja Sir Ganga Singh of Bikaner on the edge of a lake. The hotel, known as a jewel of the Thar Desert, stretches over 6000 acres and is revered for its panoramic landscape and architectural beauty, including distinctive terraces and balconies. Relax into an unhurried way of life and explore a world of nature-walks, boat-rides, sanctuary dinners and desert safaris. Rooms at the Gajner Palace are sumptuous and thoughtfully fitted with modern conveniences.

Jai Mahal Palace — Jaipur

Set amidst 18 acres of beautifully landscaped Moghul gardens, this incomparable Palace dates back to 1745 A.D. A masterpiece in the Indo Saracenic style of architecture, it blends spotlight-grabbing opulence with tantalizing comforts that transport guests to a world of Rajasthan magnificence. It is located downtown, close to the main shopping center and historical monuments.

Manvar Camp — Manvar

Manvar tented camp offers an authentic desert experience and almost blends in with its breathtakingly beautiful landscape. It ofers a rare sanctuary of pristine beauty, tranquility and solitude and is an ideal base to explore Indian desert life, culture, and wildlife. The Manvar camp is the ideal way to travel for people who enjoy close proximity to the bush and wilderness and want to experience the desert of Rajasthan first hand while enjoying the creature comforts of a large, comfortable camp set up exclusively for them. The camps are designed for comfort featuring airy tents for two persons with proper cots and bedding, hot water and a ‘bathroom tent’ to boot. Gourmet meals are served around a cozy campfire against the backdrop of the sounds of the desert while the guest takes in the beautiful star studded night sky.

Taj Hari Mahal — Jodhpur

Spread over six acres of lush, landscaped gardens, this palace of the 21st century offers luxurious refinement. With its Marwar style architecture and Moghul-inspired domes, enameled murals, slender columns, and grand interiors, this is design that lives up to the fantasy. Located close to the city markets, nearby guests can find much to see and experience.

Taj Mahal Hotel — Delhi

At the heart of New Delhi, lies, arguably, the most distinguished address in India's capital. On Number One Mansingh Road stands a tribute to timeless hospitality and service, complementing the broad boulevards and leafy splendour of Delhi's chief architect, Edwin Lutyens. Its proximity to the seat of government, the city's diplomatic corps and business district has furthered The Taj Mahal Hotel's reputation as the epicenter of Delhi. Indeed, it is the one address, visiting dignitaries and heads of state prefer, given its stateliness and security, its original culinary innovations, and the air of quiet, restrained luxury that permeates every aspect of a visitor's stay. Central to The Taj Mahal Hotel's prominence is its old-world grace and charm, blended effortlessly with contemporary comforts and amenities. In its unique blend of warmth and welcome and assiduous attention to service, The Taj Mahal Hotel is a true ambassador of the Taj hospitality experience.

Taj Rawal Kot — Jaisalmer

Rising out of the rocks to overlook the town of Jaisalmer, The Gateway Hotel is the perfect combination of modern comfort and medieval charm. Guests can enjoy views of the 12th century Jaisalmer Fort and appreciate how the scenery changed from sunrise to sunset.

Trident Hotel — Udaipur

The Trident Hotel is an elegant and beautiful 5-star hotel in a peaceful setting on the banks of Lake Pichola. It has large grounds with a swimming pool and gardens, and boasts two high-end restaurants, a bar, spa, fitness center and wifi throughout.

  • Enjoy enriching and rare personal encounters with the diverse desert people of Rajasthan on this 15-day, action-packed adventure!
  • Discover the magnificent forts of the Maharajas of Rajasthan as we visit the cities of Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, and Udaipur
  • Participate in a rural, tribal festival (two on the November departure), and stay in a deluxe desert tent
  • Enjoy a 4x4 safari over the windswept dunes of the Thar Desert
  • Live like royalty in luxurious hotels that were once maharaja palaces

Fancy yourself a regal maharaja? Or would you rather live like a nomadic tribesman? No need to decide on this trip! Our itinerary in Rajasthan, India’s “land of the kings,” gives you a chance to stay in former palaces and deluxe desert tents while experiencing the diverse cultures of this vibrant region. Travel through the iconic cities of Delhi, Jodhpur, the “Golden City” of Jaisalmer, Udaipur, and the “Pink City” of Jaipur to take in the elaborate architecture of the ancient palaces, temples, mansions, and fortifications of one of the world’s greatest cradles of civilization. Every day is electric with activity, whether you are touring the sites of the cities or participating in the rural festivals of the Thar Desert. Watch as thousands of camels are bought and sold, visit medieval markets, meet people of different clans, tribes, and religions, and take a 4x4 safari though windswept dunes. To visit Rajasthan is to dive into something poignant, timeless, deeply personal…and possibly a life-changing experience.

DAILY itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Delhi

Welcome to Delhi, the capital of India! An MTS representative will greet you outside of customs at the airport and transfer you to your luxury hotel—one of the finest in this historic city—for a good night's sleep. (Because of flight arrival times in Delhi, our rooms are booked from the previous night).

Please note that this entire trip is below 6,000 feet.

  • Accomodation:Taj Mahal Hotel

Day 2: Enjoy a scenic drive from Delhi to Jaipur

After a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, we’ll enjoy a scenic five-hour drive to Jaipur. Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan and affectionately known as the “Pink City” for its fine architecture fashioned out of pink sandstone. In the 19th century, Maharajah Ram Singh had all non-pink buildings painted pink—the color of hospitality—to welcome Edward, the British Prince of Wales. Upon arrival, we’ll check in to our opulent hotel, a mid-18th-century palace constructed in the Indo Saracenic style of architecture and our home for the next two nights. This afternoon, we’ll step out to visit the old, colorful markets of Jaipur, where you can purchase anything from fine gems and woodcarvings to trinkets, to ornamental knives and beautiful Rajasthani textiles.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Jai Mahal Palace

Day 3: Explore the Pink City of Jaipur

Today, we’ll learn first-hand why Jaipur, the Pink City, is so special. With its rich and colorful past, resplendent with tales of valor and bravery, it is now one of the most important heritage cities in India. After breakfast, we enjoy a half-day excursion to Amber Fort. En route, we’ll stop for photos at the elaborate Hawa Mahal, the “Palace of the Winds,” built in the form of the Hindu god Krishna’s crown. We’ll then ride up to Amber Fort atop elephants, just as the maharajas did, arriving at the perched fort above the city to take in view of the surrounding Aravalli Hills. The fort served as the ancient capital of the Kachhawaha Rajputs until 1037, and its palace was built from the 17th to 18th centuries in the Hindu-Muslim style.

After lunch, we’ll visit the city itself and explore the City Palace, which occupies the center of Jaipur. The palace now houses the Royal residence and museums with its fascinating collections of textiles, costumes, armory, manuscripts and paintings. We’ll continue on with a visit to Jantar Mantar, commissioned by Jai Singh II and built by his astrologer from 1728 to 1734. The instruments are built of stone with marble facing, placed on important planes for measuring the harmony of the heavens. Each instrument serves a particular function, and each gives an accurate reading. Tonight, we’ll dine on sumptuous traditional fare in one of the hotel’s restaurants.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Jai Mahal Palace

Day 4: Drive from Jaipur to the holy city of Pushkar

After breakfast, we’ll take a three-hour drive to Pushkar, celebrated as a holy city (said to be the seat of Brahma) and well known for its famous five-day camel and livestock festival. The city itself is a sight to behold with its largely white buildings set along the shores of the glassy Lake Pushkar.

Upon arrival, we will check into our deluxe walk-in tents at the mobile Aagman Camp. Each tent offers comfortable beds, electricity and private attached toilets with cold, running water. The staff provides hot water in the mornings and evenings. The dining tent offers both delightful regional and continental fare, served in a buffet style and serenaded by traditional singers and musicians. In addition, the camp offers tribal entertainment around the campfire at night.

We'll have two days to revel in the amazing annual spectacle of Pushkar ka Mele. Thousands of camels, horses and cattle, along with their owners, camp in the sand dunes surrounding the city. Trade goes on day and night as animals are exchanged. We’ll take in the vibrant colors and energy of the festival as we walk through the market observing tribesmen bartering, men with large turbans, women wrapped in exquisite jewelry from head to toe and children dressed in stunning, traditional attire.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Aagman Camp

Day 5: Wander the colorful Pushkar Festival

The Pushkar Festival is one of the last, great traditional melas in India, and we'll have the whole day to wander around. Our visit is timed to ensure we witness the best camel-trading moments, and we'll see owners using all of their persuasive skills to sell their camels at the most competitive prices. Both amateur and professional photographers will delight in capturing these skilled tradespeople in action.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Aagman Camp

Day 6: Drive to the Blue City of Jodhpur

After breakfast, we’ll drive for four hours to Jodhpur, known as “the Gateway to the Thar Desert” and “the Blue City” for the color of the buildings that surround its historical fort. After arrival and check-in at our lavish hotel, we'll embark on an afternoon tour of Jodhpur, visiting the Mehrangarh Fort (Majestic Fort), one of the most impressive and formidable structures found anywhere in India. This three-mile-long fort is perched atop a 500-foot-tall hill and has some magnificent palaces with marvelously carved panels and latticed windows. The Fort Museum houses an exquisite collection of palanquins, howdahs (elephant saddles), royal cradles, miniature paintings, musical instruments, costumes and furniture.

Later, we will walk through the "Blue City" of Jodhpur and see its medieval market.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Taj Hari Mahal

Day 7: Drive from Jodphur to the Golden City of Jaisalmer

After breakfast we drive for six hours to Jaisalmer, founded in the year 1156 by Bhatti Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal. Often described as the Golden City, the commanding fort rises spectacularly from the heart of the Thar Desert like a golden mirage. The fort, etched in yellow sandstone, dominates the amber-hued city with its entire awesome splendor. There is no place like Jaisalmer!

After checking into our hotel, we will enjoy a late afternoon drive out to Bada Bagh, where the royal family members were cremated. Afterwards we will watch the sun set on Jaisalmer Fort.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Taj Rawal Kot

Day 8: Explore old town Jaisalmer

After breakfast, we'll visit the old town of Jaisalmer and Jaisalmer Fort, built in the year 1156 by Rawal Jaisal. Perched on a 250-foot high hill, the golden-hued fort stands like a sentinel in the barren desert landscape. It is the only "living fort" in India and within its ramparts lies an enchanting maze of narrow lanes dotted with lovely havelis (mansions), palaces, and beautifully sculptured Jain temples dating from the 12th century. Skilled artisans and camels abound.

We also visit magnificent Patwon Ki Haveli in the heart of the town. It is the most elaborate and magnificent of all the Jaisalmer havelis and is the virtual showpiece of Jaisalmer's legendary architectural wealth. Its stone carvings are unsurpassed. Our afternoon is free to wander around the city's lanes and alleys.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Taj Rawal Kot

Day 9: Journey from Jaisalmer to Gajner

After breakfast, we'll take a six-hour drive to Gajner and visit Keechan village on the way. Keechan is home to migratory demoiselle cranes who feed on grains donated by the villagers. In the afternoon, we will check out the fort of Bikaner which, unlike its counterparts in the region, does not sit on a hill. We'll also check into our amazing, lakeside hunting lodge owned by the Maharaja of Bikaner. 

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Gajner Palace

Day 10: Witness ritual bathing at Kolayat Lake and camp in the Thar Desert

In the morning, we'll take an early drive to witness ritual bathing at the ghats around Kolayat's lake. Kolayat is an important center of Hindu pilgrimage and you'll see thousands of holy people and local rural villagers gathering to bathe. This day of the trip is the Day of Kartik Purnima or the full moon—the most holy time for an auspicious dip in the water. In the afternoon, we'll drive onward to Manvar in the Thar Desert. Situated on top of a sand dune, this is a great place to explore the desert life. Upon arrival at our camp, we'll check into our Swiss walk-in tents, complete with with hot and cold running water (mornings and evenings), proper beds, and electricity!

(Driving time: 6 hours approx.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Manvar Camp

Day 11: Take a jeep safari in the desert

Today we'll embark on a 4WD jeep safari in the Thar Desert! Driving over rural camel cart tracks and sand dunes, we'll visit the adobe houses of various tribes who live here and learn about how they've adapted to harsh desert conditions. We'll also have a good chance of spotting Indian gazelle, Blue bull, and desert and Indian fox in the wilderness. In the afternoon, we'll take a 2-hour drive to Luni and check into our palacial hotel.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Fort Chanwa

Day 12: Explore Ranakpur's temple and head to Udaipur

After breakfast, we'll take a six-hour drive to Udaipur, leaving behind arid western Rajasthan and heading toward the hilly regions of the south.  En route we will visit Ranakpur, home to Jain temples dating back to the 14th century and some of Rajasthan's best marble carvings. After lunch in a shady glen, we drive onward to arrive at the city of lakes, Udaipur.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Trident Hotel

Day 13: Stroll the romantic city of Udaipur

The romantic city of Udaipur, with its lakes, gardens, temples, and palaces, lies in the Girwa Valley amidst the Aravali Hills of south Rajasthan. The old city is a traditionally planned, fortified walled city with a maze of narrow winding lanes flanked by elaborately decorated doorways, stained-glass windows, and jali screens. Its massive havelis have large inner courtyards and shops.

In the morning, we'll visit the City Palace built on the banks of Pichola Lake by Maharana Udai Singh in 1570. The impressive complex includes several palaces that blend Rajput and Mughal styles. Half of it is still occupied by the Royal family, and part has been converted into a museum.

The Jagdish Temple (1651), built by Maharana Jagat Singh, is a fine example of the Nagara-style of temple architecture. A brass Garuda stands outside and stone elephants flank the entrance steps. Inside is a black stone image of Vishnu as Jagannath, the Lord of the Universe. Sahelion-ki Bari is an ornamental pleasure garden especially constructed for the ladies of the palace in the 18th century. It has beautiful fountains, trees and flowers. In the afternoon enjoy a public boat ride on Pichola Lake.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Trident Hotel

Day 14: Explore Old Delhi

After breakfast, we'll transfer to the airport to catch our flight to Delhi. In the afternoon, we'll explore Old Delhi with its narrow dirt roads, myriad people, and colorful bazaars that keep Delhi's traditional workmanship alive. We'll visit Raj Ghat, the cremation grounds of Mahatma Gandhi, and then head to Red Fort. Here we trade our motor vehicles for bicycle rickshaws, which will take us into the heart of Chandini Chowk or "the silver square'—so named for its silver merchants. Negotiating alleyways, which seem to get narrower and narrower, we end up at Jama Masjid, the largest Muslim mosque in India.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Taj Mahal Hotel

Day 15: Depart for home

In the early morning, we'll transfer to the airport for homeward-bound or onward flights.

Aagman Camp — Pushkar

The Aagman camp is a fusion of fantastic luxury accommodation set in a rustic landscape. As well as great service and delicious food, its cosy, fully furnished tents come complete with attached bathrooms, comfortable beds and clean, crisp linens. Enjoy an evening by the bonfire with traditional folk music before sleeping under the stars at this memorable camp.

Fort Chanwa — Luni

The Heritage Hotel Fort Chanwa is a royal retreat that has been restored to its pristine glory and charm, offering princely hospitality in an inimitably enchanting setting. It offers a total of 60 beautifully decorated, spacious and comfortable rooms.

Gajner Palace — Gajner

Lose yourself in the sprawling and majestic Gajner Palace, built by HH Maharaja Sir Ganga Singh of Bikaner on the edge of a lake. The hotel, known as a jewel of the Thar Desert, stretches over 6000 acres and is revered for its panoramic landscape and architectural beauty, including distinctive terraces and balconies. Relax into an unhurried way of life and explore a world of nature-walks, boat-rides, sanctuary dinners and desert safaris. Rooms at the Gajner Palace are sumptuous and thoughtfully fitted with modern conveniences.

Jai Mahal Palace — Jaipur

Set amidst 18 acres of beautifully landscaped Moghul gardens, this incomparable Palace dates back to 1745 A.D. A masterpiece in the Indo Saracenic style of architecture, it blends spotlight-grabbing opulence with tantalizing comforts that transport guests to a world of Rajasthan magnificence. It is located downtown, close to the main shopping center and historical monuments.

Manvar Camp — Manvar

Manvar tented camp offers an authentic desert experience and almost blends in with its breathtakingly beautiful landscape. It ofers a rare sanctuary of pristine beauty, tranquility and solitude and is an ideal base to explore Indian desert life, culture, and wildlife. The Manvar camp is the ideal way to travel for people who enjoy close proximity to the bush and wilderness and want to experience the desert of Rajasthan first hand while enjoying the creature comforts of a large, comfortable camp set up exclusively for them. The camps are designed for comfort featuring airy tents for two persons with proper cots and bedding, hot water and a ‘bathroom tent’ to boot. Gourmet meals are served around a cozy campfire against the backdrop of the sounds of the desert while the guest takes in the beautiful star studded night sky.

Taj Hari Mahal — Jodhpur

Spread over six acres of lush, landscaped gardens, this palace of the 21st century offers luxurious refinement. With its Marwar style architecture and Moghul-inspired domes, enameled murals, slender columns, and grand interiors, this is design that lives up to the fantasy. Located close to the city markets, nearby guests can find much to see and experience.

Taj Mahal Hotel — Delhi

At the heart of New Delhi, lies, arguably, the most distinguished address in India's capital. On Number One Mansingh Road stands a tribute to timeless hospitality and service, complementing the broad boulevards and leafy splendour of Delhi's chief architect, Edwin Lutyens. Its proximity to the seat of government, the city's diplomatic corps and business district has furthered The Taj Mahal Hotel's reputation as the epicenter of Delhi. Indeed, it is the one address, visiting dignitaries and heads of state prefer, given its stateliness and security, its original culinary innovations, and the air of quiet, restrained luxury that permeates every aspect of a visitor's stay. Central to The Taj Mahal Hotel's prominence is its old-world grace and charm, blended effortlessly with contemporary comforts and amenities. In its unique blend of warmth and welcome and assiduous attention to service, The Taj Mahal Hotel is a true ambassador of the Taj hospitality experience.

Taj Rawal Kot — Jaisalmer

Rising out of the rocks to overlook the town of Jaisalmer, The Gateway Hotel is the perfect combination of modern comfort and medieval charm. Guests can enjoy views of the 12th century Jaisalmer Fort and appreciate how the scenery changed from sunrise to sunset.

Trident Hotel — Udaipur

The Trident Hotel is an elegant and beautiful 5-star hotel in a peaceful setting on the banks of Lake Pichola. It has large grounds with a swimming pool and gardens, and boasts two high-end restaurants, a bar, spa, fitness center and wifi throughout.

Dates and Pricing

Nov 16 - 30, 2015

Nov 05 - 19, 2016

pricing

2015 Prices

$5,695 (10-15 members)
$6,395 (4-9 members)

$160 internal airfare Udaipur/Delhi - subject to change
$2600 single supplement

2016 Prices

$5,995 (10-15 members)
$6,695 (4-9 members)

$165 internal airfare Udaipur/Delhi - subject to change
$2800 single supplement

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Award-winning journeys recognized by Travel +Leisure