15 days

Rajasthan Revealed - Tour Leader's Special

Rajasthan Revealed - Tour Leader's Special

UNESCO World Heritage-listed Taj Mahal

Udaipur and Lake Pichola

The Great Thar Desert trading town of Jodhpur

Jaipur’s Amber Fort

600-year-old Karauli

Delhi

Trip rating
  • If you asked our tour leaders where they would most like to go to in Rajasthan, this special tour would be it! The magic of Rajasthan can best be experienced by being a guest in some very special places and recipient to timeless Rajput hospitality. Overnight stays in ornate 'havelis' and historic palaces that are now heritage hotels enable us to sample the lifestyle of a maharaja, surrounded by opulence and grace. Visits to villages allow us to connect with the local people who in some cases still live a way of life that has changed little in centuries. The fabled cities of Agra - home to the magnificent Taj Mahal, Udaipur, Jodhpur and Jaipur will impress with their grandeur, whilst Karauli, Bundi, Bijapur, Dera Kharwa and Sawarda will entice with their romance and rich cultural legacies. We also seek out India's exotic wildlife, including the magnificent tiger, on an adventure to Sariska National Park. This is indeed the Rajasthan of your dreams!

    Why we love it

    • If you asked our tour leaders where they would most like to go to in Rajasthan, this special tour would be it!
    • The magic of Rajasthan is best captured as a guest in some very special places, and recipient of timeless Rajput hospitality.
    • Overnight stays in ornate 'havelis' and historic palaces that are now heritage hotels enable us to sample the lifestyle of a maharaja, surrounded by opulence and grace.
    • Visits to villages allow us to connect with the local people who in some cases still live a way of life that has changed little in centuries.
    • The fabled cities of Agra - home to the magnificent Taj Mahal, Udaipur, Jodhpur and Jaipur will impress with their grandeur.
    • Karauli, Bundi, Bijapur, Dera Kharwa, and Sawarda will entice with their romance and rich cultural legacies.
    • You will have the opportunity to seek out India's exotic wildlife, including the magnificent tiger, on an adventure to Sariska National Park. This is the Rajasthan of your dreams!

    Itinerary

    Day 1 - Delhi

    • Upon arrival you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Your airport representative will be waiting for you in the arrival hall, located after passing through 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. This evening (approx. 6pm) there will be a briefing to outline the holiday itinerary and also cover many aspects of travelling in India. Please bring your passport and travel insurance documents to this group meeting.
    Hotel Jivitesh or similar

    Day 2 - Agra

    • Early this morning you will leave for Agra, home to India’s most famous site - 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.
    • You will 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. (Driving time: approximately 5 hours)
    Siris 18 or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 3 - Fatehpur Sikri - Karauli

    • From Agra you will make your 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 Akbar it was abandoned shortly after his death due to a lack of available water. Driving time approx. 2 hours.
    • You will then drive down to Karauli, where you will arrive mid-afternoon. Karauli is a 600-year-old city founded by Yaduvanshi Rajput kings - descendents of Lord Krishna. The main temple of Karauli is dedicated to Lord Krishna.
    • You will stay for a night 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. 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 you join in with the local people as they go about their everyday life. Exploration of their organic farm and dairy is another highlight of this stay.
    • The City Palace is a real highlight, with the fort and the palace being the official residence of the royal family of Karauli until 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. After a visit you will also visit the temple of Madan Mohan Ji.
    • (Driving time: approximately 4 hours)
    Bhanwar Vilas Palace or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 4 - Bundi

    • In the morning you will drive to Bundi, a small town founded in the 14th century on the foot hills of Himalayas. Famous as the place that inspired Rudyard Kipling to write his novel, ‘Kim’, Bundi today is known for its series of step-wells ('baoris'), old houses, narrow streets, and the remarkable Taragarh Fort.
    • The view from the highway as you enter the town is magnificent. You will stay overnight in a comfortable tented camp that is full of historic ambiance. This is sure to be one of the real highlights of this trip. (Driving time: approximately 7 hours)
    Ummaid Bagh Resorts or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 5 - Bijaipur

    • Your next stop is Bijaipur, where you will stay a night in Castle Bijaipur. This 16th century castle is now converted into a heritage hotel run by the local ruling family. The castle has attractive domes and arched windows and doorways. It offers 24 rooms of varying sizes and decor simply furnished using local materials.
    • On the way, visit Menal - a temple complex that has been referred to as a ‘mini Khajuraho’, with its elaborate erotic carvings. The name Menal is derived from Maha Nal or great gorge. the temple complex is located on both sides of a waterfall and is a favourite spot for local families to picnic.
    • (Driving time: approximately 5 hours)
    Castle Bijaipur or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 6 - Udaipur

    • En route to Udaipur you will visit Chittorgarh, probably India's greatest medieval fort, perched in a dramatic setting overlooking the town. Also known as Chittor, Chittaur,or Chittaurgarh, this colossal hilltop fort was the ancient capital of Mewar state, ruled by the Sisodia Rajputs.
    • Three times in its long history, powerful enemy forces sacked Chittorgarh. On each occasion the men rode out from the fort to certain death, while the women committed 'johar' by throwing themselves and their children on to a huge funeral pyre.
    • The immense stretch of Chittorgarh's walls and ruined palaces therefore relate to sagas of innumerable sieges and heroism.
    • (Please Note: Because of the limited number of rooms at Castle Bijaipur, on occasions you may instead stay overnight in deluxe tented camp nearby, which is under the same ownership and is equally opulent.) (Driving time: 5 hours)
    Swaroop Vilas or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 7 - Udaipur

    • Udaipur is a beautiful city built around the shores of Lake Pichola and full of fascinating temples, ornate palaces and impressive 'havelis' (merchant homes). The charming setting of the Lake Palace on Jagniwas Island is unforgettable. During your stay, you will visit the Jagdish Temple, an Indo-Aryan temple containing a black stone image of Vishnu as Jagannath - Lord of the Universe.
    • You will also visit the City Palace, surmounted by balconies, towers and cupolas, where there are excellent views of the city and lakeside from the upper terraces.
    Swaroop Vilas or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 8 - Dera Khairwa

    • On your journey between Udaipur and Jodhpur you will stop to spend a night in a most unique place. Dera Khairwa is a 15th century fort-palace located in the village of Khairwa in the Pali District.
    • The rulers of Dera Khairwa belong to the noble clan of Jodha-Rathores, who are related to the founders of the city of Jodhpur. During your time here you can imagine what it must have been like to be part of the ruling class in the India of yesteryear, surrounded by elegance and opulence. (Driving time: approximately 5 hours)
    Khairwa Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 9 - Jodhpur

    • Established in the 15th century on the edge of the Great Thar Desert, Jodhpur was an important trading centre.
    • Many of the buildings were painted blue, as historically this was an indication that the home belongs to a high caste Brahmin. Today most of the city is painted blue as other castes have followed suit.
    • You will visit the imposing Meherangarh Fort, which sits atop a sheer rocky ridge in the middle of town. You will also explore the many palaces and courtyards contained within the fort, as well as the clock tower and the bustling Sadar Market, located at the foot of the hill.
    • This market is a great place to stroll around at leisure, with several alleyways leading off to various bazaars selling all sorts of fruits, vegetables, spices, textiles, and handicrafts. (Driving time: approximately 4 hours)
    Devi Bhawan or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 10 - Jodhpur

    • In the morning you will travel by jeep though some of the surrounding countryside and visit the various different caste villages. These are home to people such as the Bishnois, the protectors of trees and animals, and the Meghwals, who are skilled weavers and potters.
    Devi Bhawan or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 11 - Sawarda

    • After breakfast you will commence your drive to Sawarda, a small fort that is still a residence of 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. In the afternoon you will take a walk into the village and visit the homes of 'Gujjars' (traditionally a shepherd tribe) as well as an interesting old Sikh temple, where one of the manuscripts of Gurbani, written by the founder of the Sikh religion, is still kept.
    • You will also stop at a beautiful Jain temple and a Hindu temple in the village, before visiting the families of village workers such as potters and ironsmiths.
    • At a local home-based oil mill, you will get to observe the way in which an ordinary Indian village can be economically self-sufficient.
    • You will also get to meet members of the 'village panchayat' (governing body) and understand the way they run things, as well as visit the local schools and health centre.
    • In the evening you will have the opportunity to participate in an 'aarti' in the family temple. (Driving time: approximately 5 hours)
    Sawarda Palace or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 12 - Jaipur

    • After breakfast you will travel by road for 50 kilometres to Jaipur - the colourful capital of the state of Rajasthan, as well as a vibrant and exciting town.
    • Here, traditionally dressed Rajput men wearing colourful turbans and sporting magnificent moustaches will 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 your 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.
    • Your guide will also take you 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.
    • You will then 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. (Driving time: approximately 1 hour)
    Mahal Khandela or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 13 - Sariska National Park

    • You will drive to the village of Dhawala, near a township known as Alwar. YOur 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.
    • You will 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.
    • The park also contains several historical structures including a 17th century fort. 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. (Driving time: approximately 4 hours)
    Alwar Bagh or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 14 - Delhi

    • After breakfast you will be driven back to Delhi, where you will arrive around lunch time. You will enjoy an orientation drive around the city that takes you to India Gate and past the President's House (Rashtrapati Bhavan) and Parliament House (Sansad Bhavan), before heading off to do some last-minute shopping at the colourful Janpath Bazaar.
    • You will then have the chance to enjoy pre-dinner drinks before heading out to one of Delhi's great restaurants for dinner (optional) to commemorate the end of our tour. (Driving time: approximately 6 hours)
    Hotel Jivitesh or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 15 - 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. Your tour leader can assist you with transfers to the airport. These are not included, but can be booked through your travel agent or through us.
    • 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

    • Authentic accommodation includes: 8 night Heritage properties, 4 nights comfortable hotels, 1 night luxury tented camp, 1 night comfortable lodge
    • Arrival transfer
    • Specialist local guides
    • Peregrine tour leader
    • Meals: 14 breakfasts
    • Transport
    • Sightseeing and entrance fees
    • Agra including the Taj Mahal and Red Fort
    • Jaipur including Amber Fort and city walking tour
    • 1 night luxury tented camp

    Not Included

    • International flights
    • Airport departure taxes
    • Airport departure transfer
    • Visas
    • Insurance
    • Other meals including most lunches and dinners
    • Any optional tours and activities during free time
    • Excess baggage charges
    • Tips
    • Items of a personal nature
    • 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)

    Safety Information

    We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

    Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

    Festivals: Holi and Diwali
    Travelling in India and Nepal during the Holi festival, a lunar festival generally held in March each year, can at times be dangerous - a lot of locals participate in consumption of intoxicating substances. The day has been associated with physical violence and danger. Your leader/guide will be advising you and your group on what places to avoid on this day and it may even be necessary for us to alter your itinerary for the day to avoid putting you or our group leader/guide in high risk situation.

    Travelling during the Hindu festival Diwali (a lunar festival generally held from mid October to mid November every year) can also be dangerous. During this time there are many displays of fireworks in the streets. It can be very noisy for several days and there is also a lot of pollution caused by the fireworks. As there are no restrictions on buying fireworks in India there are often injuries caused by people exploding them inappropriately. During this festival your leader/guide may be required to alter your itinerary to avoid any dangerous areas to avoid putting the group at risk.

    Petty theft and personal safety
    While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

    Traffic and driving on the other side of the road
    Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!

  • 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.

    Rajasthan Revealed - Tour Leader's Special

    Lynne - New Zealand, 28 Jan, 2014
    4
    Overall Rating

    This trip offered a look at both city and rural life, large and small accommodations. It was well organized and well paced.

    Rajasthan Revealed - Tour Leader's Special

    Mitchell - Australia, 27 Apr, 2013
    5
    Overall Rating

    The tour captures the big ticket items as well as providing a glimpse at rural India while staying at historical palaces and forts in villages yet to be ruined by tourism. Some of the locations and accommodation would be very challenging to find or coordinate on your own so the benefit of an organised tour was immediately obvious. The very reliable, relaxed and informative tour guide made the tour that much easier by taking care of all the background work so we could simply get on and enjoy the considerable charm of Rajasthan. Highly recommended!

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PIRR
Group size 4 - 16
Start City: Delhi
End City: Delhi
Style: Small Group

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