Morning drive to Mandawa / arriving Mandawa Castle in time for lunch. This is known as Shekhavati and offers a wealth of interest to those in search of the true Rajasthan. Later explore the Castle which was built in 1755. Also visit the bazaar where there are many hovels (traditional houses with interior courtyards) decorated with frescos. Overnight at the Castle.
After breakfast drive on to Bikaner arriving in time for lunch at the Lalgarh Palace Hotel. Bikaner was founded in 1488 and like many Rajasthani cities is surrounded by a high battlemented wall. In the afternoon visit the fort and palace. Overnight at the Lalgarh Palace Hotel.
This morning travel onto Jaisalmer, one of India’s most exotic desert towns. Afternoon walk through the cobbled streets to absorb the atmosphere and view magnificent houses with their facades carved from yellow sandstone. Overnight at your hotel.
Morning tour visiting the hilltop fort, and the ancient Jain Temples dating from the 12th Century. In the afternoon visit Lodurva, one the former ancient capitals of Rajasthan.
After an early breakfast travel onto Khimsar, pausing en-route to visit Nagaur Fort, which was once a strategically important point in the defense of Rajasthan. Continue onto the Royal Castle at Khimsar, a remote 15th Century Rajput stronghold in the Thar Desert. Afternoon and evening in the Castle.
After breakfast continue onto Jodhpur on the edge of the Thar Desert. In the afternoon visit the 15th Century Mehrangarh Fort, stands on a low range of sandstone hills, and the magnificent Umaid Bhawan Palace. Overnight at hotel.
Morning visit Mandore. Afternoon free to explore the narrow, busting streets and bazaars of the old city.
Drive onto Udaipur, visiting en-route the Jain temples at Ranakpur, which are some of the most important and biggest in India. Arrive later in the afternoon at the Lake City of Udaipur, ‘City of Dreams’, which is often referred to as the most romantic city in India. Overnight at hotel.
Udaipur was founded by Maharajah Udai Singh in 1567 and is still very much a traditional Rajpur town. This morning visit the superb Jagdish Temple which is noted for its elephants-motif carvings. Also visit the grand City Palace which overlooks Pichola Lake. Afternoon drive to the interesting temples of Eklingji and Nagda located just outside of the city.
Drive to Kota, visiting en-route the spectacular fort at Chittorgarh. After lunch continue onto Kota and to the Brij Raj Bhawan Palace. If time allows try to visit the Madho Singh Museum which houses a fine collection of maintainer paintings. Overnight at hotel.
Morning drive to Jaipur, visiting en-route Bundi. Founded in 1342 it lies well protected within the ranges of the Aravalli Hills. It has been said the Bundi is deliciously behind the times. Visit the Chhattar Mahal, a stunning place fort. Arrive Jaipur in the afternoon, overnight at hotel.
Drive outside the city to the rugged hills that surround Jaipur to view Amber Fort. A painted elephant will take you up to the fort with its huge gateways and pillared pavilions. In the afternoon tour of Jaipur itself, see the Hawa Mahal, City Palace and Jantar Mantar observatory.
After breakfast leave for Agra, stopping en-route at Fatehpur Sikri. Built by Akbar around 1570, this is probably the most preserved Mughal City of all. Arrive Agra in the afternoon. Rest of the day free. Overnight at hotel.
In the morning visit the immortal Taj Mahal, built by Shah Jahan, in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, also visit the fort and the tomb of Itmad-Ud-Daulah. Afternoon free to re-visit the Taj or explore the bazaars near the fort.
Later this morning leave for Delhi, pausing en-route at Sikandra to vie the tomb of Akbar completed in1613. Arrive Delhi in the afternoon.