The princely state of Rajasthan is India at its colourful best, home to magnificent, ornate palaces and majestic forts.
Following a tour of the sites of imperial Delhi, travel through the heart of the historic state of Rajasthan, discovering its culture and traditions, explore the romance of a bygone era and complete your journey at the astoundingly beautiful Taj Mahal in Agra.
Day 1: Fly to Delhi Fly from London to Delhi with Virgin Atlantic overnight. (N)
Day 2: Old Delhi Late morning arrival and transfer to the Blu Dwarka (or similar) 2 nights. (N)
Day 3: Old Delhi • New Delhi In the morning, take a guided tour of Old Delhi and New Delhi, which includes a drive past the Red Fort, a visit to Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in Asia, and Raj Ghat, the simple but moving memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. Later, drive past the imposing India Gate (War Memorial Arch), Parliament buildings and Rashtrapati Bhawan (the President’s residence). End the tour with a visit to Qutab Minar, a masterpiece of perfect proportions, and the tomb of Emperor Humayun. (B)
Day 4: To Shakhawati Drive to the fabulous Shekhawati region, also known as the open-air art gallery of Rajasthan this morning. Transfer to the Hotel Indra Vilas (or similar) hotel in Alsisar for 1 night. Later this afternoon, explore the beautiful havelis in this semi-desert region. Painted predominantly in vibrant colours, they feature beautiful wall paintings. (B)
Day 5: To Bikaner This morning, drive to Bikaner and transfer to the Laxmi Niwas Palace hotel for an overnight stay. In the afternoon, take a tour of Junagarh Fort, built in 1588 by Raja Rai Singh and unusual for not being built on a hilltop. Later, walk around the local bazaar of Bikaner. (B)
Day 6: To Jaisalmer This morning, drive to the golden city of Jaisalmer and transfer to the Grobandh (or similar) hotel for 2 nights. (B)
Day 7: Jaisalmer In the morning, explore Jaisalmer fort, one of the largest in the world. The majestic fort’s yellow sandstone walls are a tawny colour during the day and turn to a magical honeygold during the sunset against the picturesque yellow desert. During your tour, visit the Gadisagar Lake – a rainwater reservoir built in 1367; the delightful Folklore Museum and the famous Nathwon and Patwon Ki havelis. Later in the afternoon, drive to the outskirts of Jaisalmer for a camel ride and to view the sun setting against the picturesque sand dunes. (B)
Day 8: To Jodhpur Drive to the blue city of Jodhpur in the morning. Later in the afternoon, enjoy a guided tour of Jodhpur, which includes a visit to the majestic Mehrangarh Fort and Jaswant Thada. The majestic, 5km-long Mehrangarh Fort is set on a 125-metre-high hill and is one of the most impressive and formidable structures. Continue to Jaswant Thada, a white marble memorial to Maharaja Jaswant Singh II, which is located a short distance from the fort. Transfer to the Hotel Indana Palace (or similar) for 1 night. (B)
Day 9: To Udaipur • Ranakpur Drive to the romantic city of Udaipur this morning, visiting the beautiful Jain temples at Ranakpur en route. On arrival in Udaipur, check into the Lalit Laxmi Niwas Palace (or similar) for a 2-night stay. (B)
Day 10: Udaipur Enjoy a morning excursion to the Nagda and Eklingji temples. The Nagda site features a majestic pair of 11th-century temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Continue to Eklingji, which is a complex of 108 temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. After lunch, take a city tour of Udaipur and visit the City Palace, which has a fortress-like facade and is topped by a plethora of graceful balconies, and the gardens of Saheliyon-ki-Bari. (B)
Day 11: To Jaipur • Pushkar Drive to the royal city of Jaipur this morning, visiting Pushkar en route, one of the most holy places in the country for Hindus. Transfer to the Lalit hotel (or similar) for a 2-night stay. (B)
Day 12: Jaipur Make a photo-stop at the Palace of Winds, which has a spectacular facade, this morning, before enjoying a guided tour of the fabulous Amber Fort. Located at the top of a hill, Amber Fort offers a magnificent view of the old town below. It was here that Akbar, the renowned Mughal king, would stop en route on his annual pilgrimage to Ajmer. In the afternoon, take a tour of the royal city of Jaipur. The highlights of which include a visit to the City Palace Museum, which has a superb collection of Rajasthani costumes and the armoury of Mughals and Rajputs; the awe-inspiring Jantar Mantar Observatory, a stone astrological and astronomical observatory, and the colourful bazaars. (B)
Day 13: To Agra • Fatehpur Sikri Drive to Agra this morning, visiting Fatehpur Sikri, the beautiful deserted capital of Emperor Akbar, en route. On arrival in Agra, check into the Radisson Blu hotel for an overnight stay. In the afternoon, visit the world-renowned Taj Mahal, the famed Unesco world heritage site. (B)
Day 14: Fly to London • Agra • Delhi In the morning visit Agra Fort, an outstanding example of Mughal architecture and the seat and stronghold of the Mughal empire under successive generations. In the afternoon, drive to Delhi and stay overnight at the Holiday Inn Aero City. (B)
Day 15: London Morning transfer to the airport for the Virgin Atlantic flight to London. (N)
Meal basis: As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.
Group tour manager: This tour is fully escorted throughout by a local tour manager from arrival in Delhi.
Tour standards: Superior tour departures are based in 4- and 5-star accommodation.
Private & tailor-made travel:This tour may be taken on a private basis with a private driver and guided excursions, the guideline prices for which are shown in the price table. Alternatively, the itinerary can be tailored to suit your specific requirements. For a price quote, please call 020 7808 6788 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tour variations: Due to changes to seasonal schedules and opening times, there are minor itinerary variations for certain departure dates. Please check with your Cox & Kings tour consultant for details.