Fort & Palaces of Rajasthan

Duration: 15 Nights / 16 Days
Routing: Delhi - Mandawa - Bikaner - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Udaipur - Pushkar - Jaipur - Agra

Highlights
Delhi Old Delhi: Rajghat, Jama Masjid, Red Fort
New Delhi : India Gate , President’s House, Humayun's Tomb,
Mandawa Open- Air Gallery Mandawa Fort, Gulab Rai Haveli, Goenka Double Haveli, Bansidhar Newatia Haveli
Bikaner Junagarh Fort, Anup Mahal, The Fort Museum
Jaisalmer Jaisalmer Fort, Patwon Ki Haveli, Camel ride on the Sand Dunes
Jodhpur Mehrangarh Fort, Jaswant Thada, The Fort Museum
Udaipur City Palace, Sahelion ki Bari, Jagdish Temple
Pushkar Bramha Temple
Jaipur Amer Fort, City Palace, Jantar Mantar, Hawa Mahal
Agra Taj Mahal, Red Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, Sikandra  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01: Arrive Delhi
Arrive by International flight, after traditional Indian style ‘Swagat’ (Welcome) by Exceptional Escapes representative, he would assist you at the airport & transfer to hotel for check in.
Delhi takes pride in being the capital of the country for many dynasties. It is in fact a city wrapped in legend, where time flows differently, and where every moment becomes a moment of history. A vibrant melting pot, it encapsulates two very different worlds, the 'old' and the 'new', each representing delectably different experiences. Come experience it...
Overnight Hotel – Delhi

Day 02: Delhi
Post breakfast start your day with a private guided city of Old Delhi

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Old Delhi:
Raj Ghat, memorial to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. It is a simple black marble platform that marks the spot of his cremation20on 31 January 1948.
Continue the 17th century walled city of Shah Jahanabad, the great Jama Masjid, the principal mosque of Old Delhi. Built in the year 1656 AD by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, it is the largest & best known mosque in India.
Experience the rickshaw ride ‘a friendly local guides takes you through the bustling streets for an authentic glimpse of the ‘walled city’ in the heart of Delhi. As you travel by foot and rickshaw, explore Khari Baoli, Spice Market, Visit a Sikh temple & admire historical land mark and more…

Post lunch Continue private guided tour of
New Delhi:
Drive past India Gate, and memorial built in the year 1931 to commemorate the Indian soldiers who died in the World War I & the Afghan Wars. The names of the soldiers who died in these wars are inscribed on the walls.
President's House, the official residence of the President of India, built in the year 1931. Until 1950 it was known as Viceroy's House & served as the residence of the Governor-General of British India.

Humayun's Tomb, memorial of Mughal Emperor Humayun, built in the year 1562. The complex is a World Heritage Site & the first example of this type of Mughal architecture in India.
Qutub Minar built in the year 1206 by Qutub-ud-din Aibek. It is the tallest (72m) brick minaret in the world, an important example of Indo-Islamic Architecture. QutubMinar& its monuments are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Enjoy rest of the free time enjoy light sightseeing of Delhi & shopping at some High end Fashion stores of South Delhi – One of the most happening places of Delhi. Visit Craft Emporiums etc with our shopping expert.
Overnight Hotel – Delhi (B)

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Day 03: Delhi - Mandawa ( Drive 257 Kms / 5-6 Hrs Approx)
Post breakfast, driven to Mandawa. Mandawa in the heart of the semi-arid Shekhawati region. Shekhawati owes its name to Rao Shekha who ruled this area in the 14th century. The Fort of Mandawa was built in the year 1755 by Thakur Nawal Singh, the founder of the town. These were the times when Mandawa was settled & fortified by the rich & dominant Silk Route merchants of the region, who constructed many Havelis (Mansions), Chhatris (Cenotaphs), Temples & Baolis (Step-wells) with ornate frescoes adorning their walls & now aptly given the epithet –
Open- Air Gallery with the migration of these merchant families, their old settlements remained in total obscurity with no one to look after them. Mandawa still retains the charm & aura of a bygone era & coming here is like stepping into a different world.
Overnight Hotel - Mandawa (B)

Day 04: Mandawa - Bikaner (Drive 160 kms - 4 hrs)
Post breakfast start your day with a private guided city of Mandawa:
Mandawa Fort; located in the very heart of Mandawa & a classic example of the famed Rajput style of architecture. It houses many beautiful paintings & frescoes that dazzle the eyes & now been converted into a heritage hotel.
Gulab Rai Haveli; built in the year 1870 that has some of the best murals in Shekhawati on both the exterior & interior walls with elephants & camels on its façade.
Goenka Double Haveli; built in the year 1890, with monumental frescoes of elephants & horses decorating its façade.
Bansidhar Newatia Haveli; built in the year 1921 combines traditional frescoes of horses & elephants with those depicting a young boy using a phone plus opulent touring cars & the Wright Brothers' plane. If time permits we may visit more Havelis of the region & observe the colourful village life in Rajasthan.

Post lunch driven to the princely state of Bikaner, founded by Rao Bikaji (1465-1504 AD) in the year 1488 AD. He was a Rajput prince, descendent of the founder of neighbouring Jodhpur. It lies in the north-western part of Rajasthan & has a stark beauty of the desert landscape with wide-spread sand dunes & thorny shrubs growing around. It is a royal city surrounded by a mammoth fortification wall, more than 5 km in circumference & about 5 to 9m high. Fort, Palaces & people with colourful traditional costumes are the chief attractions of the city. The Camel Breeding Farm in Bikaner is only one of its kinds in the whole Asia & so is the illustrious Camel Festival.
Overnight Hotel - Bikaner (B)

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Day 05: Bikaner - Jaisalmer ( Drive 325 kms / 6-7 Hrs Drive)
Post breakfast start your day with a private guided city of Bikaner;
Junagarh Fort; built in the year 1593 AD by Raja Rai Singh (1571-1612 AD), the 6th ruler of Bikaner. The Fort is a formidable structure & largely remained unconquered during its eventful history. It houses number of beautiful Palaces, Temples & Pavilions, which are richly decorated The beautifully maintained rooms of Anup Mahal now display the treasures of the Royal family.
The Fort Museum has an extensive collection of illuminated manuscripts, jewellery, jars, carpets, weapons, treaties, decorations & Farmans (King’s Orders).

Post Lunch driven to Jaisalmer; founded in the year 1156 by Bhatti Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal. Often described as Golden City & rising from the heart of the Thar Desert like a golden mirage the commanding Fort etched in yellow sandstone, dominates the amber-hued city with its entire awesome splendour. Because of its strategic location it was an important ancient trading centre & camel caravans laden with precious spices & silk crossed the territory en-route India, Sindh, Arabia & Europe. The merchants of the 19th century built Havelis (Mansions) that are exquisitely carved from golden-yellow sandstone & are still in a beautiful condition. The life within the Fortified town conjures up images of medieval majesty visible in its narrow lanes strewn with magnificent palace, havelis, temples, & of course skilled artisans & ubiquitous camels.
Evening at leisure to relax.
Overnight at Hotel – Jaisalmer (B)

Day 06: Jaisalmer
Post breakfast start your day with a private guided city of Jaisalmer;
Jaisalmer Fort; built in the year 1156 by Rawal Jaisal. Perched on 80m high hill, housing the entire township within its ramparts, the golden hued Fort is standing like a sentinel in the bleak desert landscape. It is the only “Living Fort” in India & within its ramparts has an enchanting cow-web of narrow lanes dotted with some lovely Havelis (Mansions), Palaces & beautifully sculptured Jain Temples of the 12th -15th century AD & of course skilled artisans & ubiquitous camels.
Patwon Ki Haveli in the heart of the town. It was built by the rich merchant Guman Chand Patwa & his sons, whose business stretched between Afghanistan & China. It is the most elaborate & magnificent of all the Jaisalmer Havelis & is virtually the showpiece of Jaisalmer's legendary architectural wealth. The carving on stone far surpasses in beauty the work on brocade & gold.
Post lunch rest of the time for relax.
Later we drive down 40 kms away from Jaisalmer to Sam to take the Camel ride on the Sand Dunes of Sam while the sun is setting down.
Overnight at Hotel – Jaisalmer (B)

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Day 07 : Jaisalmer - Jodhpur (Drive 290 kms / 6-7 Hrs Drive)
Post breakfast, driven to Jodhpur, bustling desert city is the second largest city in Rajasthan & has landscape dominated by the massive Mehrangarh Fort topping a sheer rocky ridge. Rao Jodha, a chief of the Rathore clan, founded the city in the year 1459 & it is named after him. It was formerly the seat of a Princely state, also known as Marwar.

Evening at leisure for relax.
Overnight Hotel – Jodhpur (B)

Day 08 : Jodhpur
Post breakfast start your day with a private guided city of Jodhpur;
Mehrangarh Fort (Majestic Fort), one of the most impressive & formidable structures anywhere in India. Built by Rao Jodha, this 5km long Fort is on a 125m high hill & has some magnificent palaces with marvellously carved panels latticed window.
The Fort Museum houses an exquisite collection of palanquins, howdahs (Elephant saddles), royal cradles, miniatures paintings, musical instruments, costumes & furniture.
Jaswant Thada, a cluster of royal cenotaphs in white marble built in the year 1899 AD in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. Within the main cenotaph are the portraits of various Jodhpur rulers. It is an architectural landmark of Jodhpur.

Post lunch Excursion to Guda Bishnoi Village: Today in the afternoon we will discover a world of tribal color & rustic cultural grandeur on your tour to the Guda Bishnoi Village located at a distance of 25-kilometers from the main Jodhpur city in open air jeeps. Visit various traditional villages, look at local handicrafts viz., shoe makers, pottery, hand weaving. Bishnois are an integral part of this region, a very hard working & hospitable tribal community. If you are lucky enough you can see village folk in their rustic & traditional attire, women clad in their ancestral silver jewelry. Guda Bishnoi is a wonderland where wild animals walk past village huts; where villagers prefer to sleep without food so that animals are fed & are ready to die to save the trees & nature. Bishnoi tribals lead pure vegetarian & clean life according to tenets preached by religious guru, Jambaji.  Tribal of Guda Bishnoi village worship nature in all its forms, they pray to green trees & animals that inhabit their land & thus make every effort to conserve environment. A noticeable fact about Bishnoi’s is that they pray to Hindu deity Lord Vishnu & bury their dead like Muslims.
Rest of the time free for relax.
Overnight Hotel – Jodhpur (B)

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Day 09: Jodhpur – Udaipur  en-route Ranakpur ( Drive 260 kms. - Approx 5.5 hrs.)
Post breakfast driven to Udaipur, en route visiting;
Ranakpur, located in the mountain ranges of Pali.
Jain Temples were built during the reign of the liberal & gifted monarch Rana Kumbha in the 15th century. An enormous basement covers 48,000 sq. feet area. There are four subsidiary shrines, 24 pillared halls & eligibly domes supported by over four hundred columns. The artistically carved nymphs playing the flute in various dance postures at a height of 45 feet are an engrossing sight. In the assembly hall, there are two big bells weighing 108 kg whose sound echoes in the entire complex
Resuming drive, arrive Udaipur. On arrival, check-in hotel.

Udaipur, founded in the year 1568 by Maharana Udai Singh after his final unsuccessful attempt to defend the Mewar capital, Chittorgarh from the invading Mughals under Emperor Akbar. The Kingdom of Mewar was considered the most respectable among all Princely states in Rajasthan & still remembered for the courage to protect the Kingdom. The site for Udaipur was chosen for its natural beauty, abundant water & natural protection afforded by the surrounding forests & Aravali mountains. It is set on the edge of three lakes & also known as the "City of Lakes & Palaces". Undoubtedly one of the most romantic cities in India, its beautiful Palaces are mirrored in the calm waters of Lake Pichola & the city is a brilliant kaleidoscope of narrow lanes flanked by bright stalls, gardens, lakes, palaces & temples.

Rest of the time free for relax. 
Overnight Hotel – Udaipur (B)

Day 10: In Udaipur
Post breakfast start your day with a private guided city of Udaipur;
City Palace; an intriguing collection of buildings contributed by various Maharanas (Kings) after Udai Singh & built in the year 1725. The magnificence of the Palace starts right from its entrance at the northern Tripolia Gate that brings us to the central courtyard, the best place to view the facade of filigreed balconies & ornate cupola-topped towers.

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Sahelion ki Bari; (Garden of Maids of Honour) is an ornamental garden built by Maharana Sangram Singh for his daughter & the Ladies of the Queen's court. He built the garden with several fountains, pools & is decorated with chiselled pavilions & elephants. The fountains worked on the unique hydraulic technique devised in the year 1700 AD & work till today.
Jagdish Temple, the Indo-Aryan temple, built in the year 1651 AD by Maharana Jagat Singh, is the largest & the most beautiful temple of Udaipur with noteworthy sculpted images.

Experience the Shared boat ride on Lake Pichola, the beauty of the lake is enhanced by the surrounding hills, palaces, temples, bathing ghats & embankments. The Jag Niwas (Lake Palace) & Jag Mandir, the two island palaces on the lake look like pearls in the lake.

Optional Tour -  Sound & Light show at City Palace with Vintage car show.
Overnight Hotel – Udaipur (B)

Day 11: Udaipur - Pushkar (Drive 230 kms - Approx 6 hrs)
Post breakfast drive to Pushkar, en route visiting;
Chittorgarh Fort (Battlefields of battles between the Ranas of Chittor & Alauddin Khilji, Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat & Emperor Akbar). It is a massive structure with zigzag accent to it. The road leads through seven gates to the main gate Rampol (Gate of Ram). The main gate of the fort itself is Surajpol (Sun Gate). Within the fort a circular runs around the ruins of the fort.
According to often told legend the construction of the fort was started by Bhim a Pandava hero of mythological epic Mahabharata. The fort has many magnificent monuments. Even though the fort is ruin but it is an overwhelming reminder of past history & its walls resonate with unbelievable legend of extra ordinary men & women & their equally astounding deeds. During the sightseeing visit Rana Kumbha Palace, Victory Tower, Palace of Rani Padmini, Tower of Fame & Palace of Patta & Jaimal.

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Resuming drive, arrive Pushkar. Upon arrival, check-in hotel.

Pushkar
, the sacred city. An enchanting small town located exactly on the edge of the desert but is separated from it by Nag Pahar, the Snake Mountain. The town frequently visited by devotees lies to the side of the small Pushkar Lake with its multitudes of bathing ghats & temples. It also holds the most unique fairs of its kind in the world. It is a combination of an animal fair & the religious fair. Both the fairs are enchanting & have their own unique aspects & quality. As per the Indian calendar the fair is held in the first lunar cyclein the month of Kartik culminating on the Karthik Poornima (Full moon).
Evening visit the sacred Pushkar Lake, followed by beautiful Bramha temple, which is the only temple in the country dedicated to Lord Bramha.
Overnight Hotel – Pushkar (B)

Day 12: Pushkar - Jaipur ( Drive 145 kms - Approx 3 Hrs)
Post breakfast driven to Jaipur en route visiting the famous  Dargah of Hazrat Khwaja Muin-ud-din Chisti, Situated at the foot of a hill and in the old part of Ajmer, this is one of the most important places in india for muslim pilgrims. The Dargah is the tomb of a Suffi saint, Khwaja Muin-ud-din Chishti, who came to Ajmer from Persia in 1192 and died here in 1236. Construction of this shrine was completed by Humayun and the gate was added by the Nizam of Hyderabad. Akhbar used to make the pilgrimage to the Dargah from Agra once a year.

Continue drive to Jaipur: popularly known as Pink City, the flamboyant & colourful capital of Rajasthan. With its rich & colourful past, resplendent with tales of velour & bravery, it is now one of the most important heritage cities in India. The city was founded in the year 1728 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber. It remains the only city in the world symbolizing the nine divisions of the universe, through nine rectangular sectors.
Rest of the day at leisure to explore the local market of PINK City.
Overnight Hotel – Jaipur (B)

Day 13: Jaipur
Post breakfast private guided sightseeing of PINK City, Jaipur  
Start your day with an exciting adventure overwhelming experience of elephant ride at Amber Fort, the palace complex which stands to this date was commenced under the reign of Raja Man Singh.

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City Palace a perfect blend of Rajasthani & Mughal architecture. The centre of the palace is a seven-storied building called Chandra Palace, with fine views over the gardens & the city.

Jantar Mantar (Solar Observatory) an astronomical treasure house, with solar devices that give accurate predictions till date.

Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), a five-storied structure of pink sandstone. It was built in the year 1799 so that veiled royal women could peer down the busy street market unseen by the world through its 593 stoneJharokas (mini windows).

Post Lunch day at leisure to explore the local market of PINK City.
Overnight Hotel – Jaipur (B)

Day 14: Jaipur – Agra (Drive 220 kms - Approx 5 hrs)
Post breakfast driven to Agra, en route a private guide visit to FatehpurSikri (Ghost Capital), the political capital of India's Mughal Empire under Akbar's reign, from the year 1571 until 1585, when it was abandoned, ostensibly due to lack of water. Also visit Emperor Akbar's Residential complex, Mosque &Tomb of Salim Chisti.

Continue drive to Agra: beautifully situated on the banks of river Yamuna. It achieved prominence as the capital of the Mughal Emperors from the year 1526 to 1628, remains major tourist destination because of its many splendid Mughal-era monuments, most notably the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort & Fatehpur Sikri, all three are UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Post Lunch guided city of Agra
Agra Fort, taken over from the Lodhis by the Mughal Emperor Akbar in the late 16th century. The Fort can be more accurately described as a walled palatial city. It was built from red sandstone, often inlaid with white marble & intricate decorations.
Rest of the day leisure to explore local market and famous inlay marble art work of Agra.
Overnight Hotel – Agra (B)

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Day 15: Agra – Delhi ( Drive 220 Kms 5 -6 Hrs)
Start your day with a guided visit “Symbol of eternal LOVE Taj Mahal” at dawn (closed on Friday), which stands on the banks of River Yamuna. It was built by the 5th Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan in the year 1631 in memory of his wife, MumtazMahal. It was completed in 22 years.
Post breakfast driven to Delhi en route visiting Sikandara, Akbar's tomb. His son Jahangir completed the construction of the tomb in the year 1613.
Enjoy rest of the free time enjoy light sightseeing of Delhi & shopping at some High end Fashion stores of South Delhi – One of the most happening places of Delhi. Visit Craft Emporiums etc with our shopping expert.
Overnight Hotel – Delhi (B)

Day 16: Delhi Departure
Morning transfer to international airport to board flight for onward journey.

Tour Concludes: Exceptional Escapes Manager will assist you with your transfer to the airport for boarding onward flight.

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