10 days

The Colours of Rajasthan

The Colours of Rajasthan

Trip rating
  • Rajasthan is India's most exotic state, with a rich cultural heritage reflected in its grand forts, exquisite palaces and colourful dress. Our journey takes us to Agra, once the capital of Mughal India, to see the beautiful Taj Mahal and the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri. We discover the heart of Rajasthan amongst the rural splendour and vibrant village life of historic Karauli, between the forts and temples of Sawarda and its local families, and in Mandawa, while staying in a beautiful desert resort. Ideal for travellers looking to explore beyond the iconic monuments, this journey uncovers the visual and spiritual majesty of Rajasthan before returning to the ever-vibrant Delhi.

    Itinerary

    Day 1 - Delhi

    Upon arrival we are met at the airport and transferred to our hotel. Our airport representative will be waiting for us in the arrival hall, located after passing out of the customs area and beyond the travel desks and exchange counters. Look out for the Peregrine signboard. The drive from the airport to the hotel is around 45 minutes. Most flights arrive in Delhi in the late evening, so there is nothing arranged for this day. If you have arrived early, you will be briefed with sightseeing options.

    Hotel Florence or similar

    Day 2 - Agra

    (Travel time: approx 5 hours) Around breakfast time we have a briefing to outline our holiday itinerary and also cover many aspects of travelling in India. Please bring your passport and travel insurance documents to this meeting. After our briefing we travel to the city of Agra to visit India's most famous sight - the majestic Taj Mahal. This amazing 17th century marble mausoleum was built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a tomb for his second wife, who died giving birth. Started in 1631 the project was completed in 1648 and employed a workforce of over 20,000 people. Construction materials were brought from all over India with the marble from Rajasthan transported by over 1000 elephants. The rest of our time in Agra is free, but we have the option to also visit the nearby Agra Fort - a huge complex built of red sandstone by Akbar in 1565 and partially converted into a palace during the time of Shah Jahan.

    Hotel Utkarsh Vilas or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 3 - Karauli

    (Driving time: approx 4 hours) From Agra we make our first stop at the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri. This magnificent ghost town was capital of the Mughal Empire between 1571 and 1585. Built during the reign of Emperor Akbhar it was abandoned shortly after his death due to a lack of available water. Our final destination today is Karauli, a 600-year-old city founded by Yaduvanshi Rajput kings - descendents of Lord Krishna. The main temple of Karauli is dedicated to Lord Krishna. We stay for two nights at a sprawling palace belonging to the family that once ruled Karauli. Bhanwar Vilas Palace was built as a royal residence in 1938 by Maharaja Ganesh Pal Deo Bahadur when he was the ruler of Karauli. The palace is designed in a colonial style and the interiors are furnished in Art Deco period furniture. Our stay here is sure to be a memorable one.

    Bhanwar Vilas Palace or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 4 - Karauli

    Today we explore the City Palace, which dates back 500 years. The fort and the palace was the official residence of the royal family of Karauli till 1938. This amazing structure features impressive archways and interconnecting rooms, many of them colourfully painted with frescoes. Many of the buildings in Karauli feature distinctive pale red sandstone in their construction. We then enjoy a camel cart ride to the step well, the old city and surrounding countryside. Along the way we are sure to be greeted by hordes of local kids, waving at us as we ride by. We also explore an organic dairy, various farms and a campus school being run by the former royal family. It is a memorable experience being in a part of the country that sees very few tourists. Everything seems to have an air of authenticity about it as we join in with the local people as they go by with their everyday life.

    Bhanwar Vilas Palace or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 5-6 - Jaipur

    (Driving time: approx 4 hours) After breakfast we travel by road to Jaipur - the colourful capital of the state of Rajasthan as well as being a vibrant and exciting town on its own right. Here, traditionally dressed Rajput men wearing colourful turbans and sporting magnificent moustaches make their way through crowded streets packed with cars, camel carts, rickshaws, trucks and bicycles. The City Palace is an amazing complex with various courtyards and connecting buildings as well as fascinating museums displaying royal costumes and weaponry. Part of the palace is closed to visitors as it is still the residence of the royal family. The most memorable features of our visit are sure to include the impressively colourful gates the courtyard known as Pitan Niwas Chowk and the incredible moustaches worn by the palace guards. Our guide will also take us to the Old Bazaar and Hawa Mahal, better known as the Palace of the Wind. This five-storey façade with its pink, honeycombed sandstone windows is one of Jaipur's best-known landmarks. In the evening we can dine at one of the many fine restaurants in the city (optional). On our second day in Jaipur we travel 11 kilometres out to the stunning medieval Amber Fort. This fort was built in 1592 by Maharajah Man Singh and is a superb example of Rajput architecture. Several hours are needed to explore this huge fortification.

    Breakfast

    Day 7 - Sawarda

    (Driving time: approx 1 hour) We continue our journey and drive for one hour to Sawarda, a small fort that is still residence to the nobles of Sawarda, who belong to the Khangarot clan - an offshoot of the Jaipur royal family. The fort houses two small temples, gardens and interesting frescoed rooms. The expression ‘hidden gem’ has become a cliché in the world of travel today but it is very much true of Sawarda. Until we discovered it, it saw no tourists and even now, it’s virtually only Peregrine groups that visit Sawarda. Exploring the village is a great deal of fun, and we have been very careful to ensure that tourism does not have a negative effect on the village. We take a walk and visit an interesting old Sikh temple where one of the manuscripts of Gurbani, written by the founder of the Sikh religion, is still kept. We visit the families of village workers such as potters and ironsmiths and get a glimpse into traditional Indian village life. It’s wonderful to wander through the alley ways and soak up the ambience of this lovely village.

     

    Sawarda Palace or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 8 - Alwar/Sariska National Park

    (Driving time: approx 4 hours) We drive to the village of Dhawala, near a township known as Alwar. Our accommodation is at Alwar Bagh, a country resort built in a heritage style amidst greenery in a lush and pollution-free environment. The world-famous Sariska National Park is only 19 kilometres away, surrounded by the picturesque Aravali Hills. We go on safari in search of some of the beautiful and endangered wildlife that are protected in this reserve. This national park was also declared a ‘tiger reserve’, which makes it part of Project Tiger that was set up in response to the alarming decline in numbers of these extremely rare and magnificent big cats. Sariska is one of the few forested areas in the Aravalli Hills and has a good population of sambar deer, chital or axis deer, chinkara, wild boar, nilgai and leopard, as well as a wide variety of birds including various species of parakeets, storks, pheasants, orioles, eagles, owls and of course the national bird of India – the peacock.)

    Breakfast

    Day 9 - Delhi

    (Driving time approximately 5-6 hours) After breakfast we are driven back to Delhi, where we arrive in the late afternoon. We can enjoy an optional group dinner in a nearby restaurant to celebrate our completed adventure.

    Hotel Florence or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 10 - Delhi

    Your trip ends in Delhi this morning after breakfast. Check out time is 12 noon. If your flight leaves in the evening you may wish to book additional accommodation so you have a room until departure. Most flights leave Delhi in the evening and your guide can assist you with transfers to the airport. These are not included, but can be booked through us or your travel agent. If you are spending extra time in Delhi, there is still plenty to see. Humayun's Tomb and Safdarjang's Tomb are other great examples of Mughal architecture and design. The narrow streets of Old Delhi are worth exploring, with the highlights being Red Fort and the impressive Jama Masjid (Great Mosque). Raj Ghat is a monument that marks the spot where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated. Hauz Khas Village is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of downtown - a chic artistic enclave set right next to the remnants of a historical site.

    Breakfast
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • Peregrine tour leader, local guides, arrival transfer, transport, sightseeing and entrance fees.

    Not Included

    • International flights, airport departure taxes, airport departure transfer, visas, insurance, other meals including all lunches and dinners, any optional tours and activities during free time, excess baggage charges, tips, items of a personal nature and camera fees (some places that we visit charge additional fees if you are entering with a camera or camcorder - your guide will advise on these and they can be paid for locally).
  • Map Itinerary

  • Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments

    At the end of each trip, we ask our travellers to provide feedback. We publish the positive, negative and neutral feedback on this page to give you an overall idea of what to expect on this trip.

    The Colours of Rajasthan

    ines - Australia, 31 Aug, 2012
    4
    Overall Rating

    A holiday to India was NOT on my bucket list, but my daughter wanted to go, so I went with her for company. Now I must admit I did enjoy it. The Taj is unbelievable, amazing, beautiful. The many Palaces we visited were also amazing.I also enjoyed meeting the local village people.

    The Colours of Rajasthan

    Dianne - New Zealand, 15 Jun, 2012
    5
    Overall Rating

    Shailendra Singh was an amazing tour guide (we joined trip on 29.6.12 in Dehli not 24.6.12) and answered my heaps of questions well and without hesitation. He went out of his way to help e.g. getting my shoes fixed, ensuring I was alright as I was suffering in the heat, etc. We were well looked after, including getting the bus fixed whilst we were at an attraction and then replacing it the next day for a more comfortable and spacious bus. Thanks Shailendra & Peregrine!

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PICO
Group size 4 - 15
Start City: Delhi
End City: Delhi

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