Rajasthan - Beyond Words
Day 01. Arrive at Jaipur Airport / Railway Station. Our representative will be at the airport for arrival assistance who will hand over your travel documents and introduce you to the driver on the tour. Proceed to Shekhawati along with your guide and driver by road (approx. 130 km – 4 hrs drive).
Shekhawati region is steeped in culture and history and has the largest concentration of frescos in the world and has hence very aptly earned the sobriquet of “open art gallery of Rajasthan”
Check into your hotel pre-booked and post lunch you will be visiting Shekhawati to experience this heritage-rich territory. Many of these old heritage Havelis and other buildings (Mansions, Forts) are now converted into hotels and guesthouses. Shekhawati is truly a blessing for all art lovers who are into architecture and old painted sculptures. Shekhawati style of architecture is unique in itself. The Mansions (Havelis), Step Wells (Baoli), Charitable Inns (Dharamshala s), Cenotaph(Chhatris) and Forts made by Shekhawat Rajput rulers and Marwari community is beautifully painted with divine and contemporary pictures ranging from Hindu Gods to British Raj to Trains to Telephones and more. Dinner and overnight at a hotel
Day 02. After breakfast at the hotel, today drive by surface to Bikaner. (approx. 190 km – 4 hrs drive). En-route visit Havelis of “Nadine Le Prince” it was purchased in 1998 AD by a French artist Nadine Le Prince. The Haveli of Nandlal Devra (Nandlal Devra is the name of the merchant who constructed the haveli) was originally built in 1802 AD by a rich family of traders, the Devras, who were officers at the court of the local Maharaja. Since then, Nadine Le Prince has entirely restored the palace and all the frescoes. Continue to drive to Bikaner.
Check-into the hotel pre-booked. Post lunch today enjoy the sightseeing of Bikaner; visiting the Junagarh Fort & Museum. It was built in 1594 by Maharaja Rai Singh. The entire fort is steeped in deep history due to which it appeals to the tourists to a great extent. The fort is completely built with red sandstone brought from the Thar Desert. Also, visit the Royal family present residence Lalgarh palace. It was built by Maharaja Ganga Singh from 1902 AD to 1926 AD. In 1972 the royal family decides to convert to a royal heritage hotel. Evenings at leisure. Dinner and overnight at hotel
Day 03. After breakfast drive by the surface to Jaisalmer. (approx. 350 km – 7 hrs drive)
Jaisalmer is named after Maharaja Jaisal Singh, a Rajput king who founded the city in 1156 AD. The “Jaisalmer “Golden City of India” because of the yellow sand and the yellow sandstone used in every architecture of the city.
Check into your hotel pre-booked. Lunch and relax at the hotel. Today evening you will be free to relax or you can go to visit the local markets of Jaisalmer. Dinner and overnight at Jaisalmer.
Day 04. Post early breakfast today visit the Jaisalmer Fort is famously known as the Golden Fort of Rajasthan. It was constructed by Raja Jaisal in the 12th century. It ranks amongst the largest forts in the world. After that visit, the famous Havelis Patwaon ki Haveli, An architectural wonder of the bygone era, Patwaon Ki Haveli is one of the main attractions that one can look for in the city of Jaisalmer. It is a cluster of five small Havelis, the exteriors of which are dipped in an enchanting shade of gold. The history of this magnificent structure dates back to the 18th century. Once the residence of rich traders of Jaisalmer Patwas, the Haveli was constructed in fifty years by Guman Chand Patwa and his five sons. A true specimen of Rajputana sculpture, the Patwaon Ki Haveli is famous for its exclusive mirror work and fine wall paintings. Nevertheless, even after these encroachments and abuse, you can find a good amount of paintings and mirror-works on the wall. The other important aspects are its gateways and arches. You will notice individual depictions and themes on every arch. Although the whole building is made of yellow sandstone, the main gateway of the Patwaon Ji ki Haveli is in brown colour.
Later visit Salim Singh Ki Haveli This haveli was built in the first half of the 18th century and a part of it is still occupied by descendants of the original residents. This mansion is famous for its peculiar architecture as it comprises 38 elegant carved balconies. The architecture of this mansion is inspired by a dancing peacock. One of the most aspiring constructions of its times, the Haveli is so impressive, that it even invited the ruler’s envy during its era.
Post lunch today afternoon visit Gadi Sagar Lake; built in the 14th century as a water conservation tank. The lake encircles several temples with the most notable being the Krishna Temple. Later you will be visiting the Bada Bagh; located 6 kilometres away from Jaisalmer city. Bada Bagh is a beautiful place that houses several cenotaphs of the royal families from the 16th century to the 20th century. Return to your hotel. Overnight in Jaisalmer.
Day 05. Today after breakfast you will be driving to a remote village between Jaisalmer and Jodhpur. Village Garha is spread over 100 square km. It is surrounded by barren dunes from three sides and the village is situated almost on their lap. Garha offers peaceful, serene, and clean air, away from noise and pollution, to those seeking it.
Check into the only resort in village Garha. Early lunch today and relax at the hotel. This evening enjoys a visit to Kodi village visit which is referred to as the abode of men and a part of an individual household that is away from the main household (accommodating women and children). Apart from being a residence for menfolk, it also becomes a men only, place of congregation for rituals during marriages, birth, death, and other customary rituals.
The owners will arrange a village visit where you can see the artisans engaged in blanket weaving or Durrie weaving. Earlier it was made out of sheep's wool or goat/camel hair. This has now been replaced by cotton, jute, and silk. This material is first converted into a fine thread and then finally woven manually by skilled artisans on a horizontal or vertical loom. IKEA sources its Durries from the Jodhpur region for its stores across the world. Later visit the Coat Weavers This is a traditional occupation of the Meghwal community. Traditionally the cots were woven from a material drawn from a local wild plant named “Aakra”. Nowadays the use of jute and cotton rags is more prevalent in weaving the cots. You can also visit the craftsmen engaged in Basket weaving which is a traditional occupation of the Bhil tribe in the Thar Desert, this basket is named “Odi” in the local language. It is semicircular and made in different sizes. It is usually carried on one's head and is mainly used to transport fodder, grains, and other household items. It resembles a cane basket but is made out of a local tree named “Desi Bawal”.
Today evening the owners will drive you to the dunes for a candlelit dinner on 200 feet high dunes under the starlit sky. An unforgettable experience of nature. Return to Desert Hermitage. Overnight sleep.
Day 06. Early breakfast and drive to the Osian Jain Temples surrounded by golden dunes and hamlets, Famous for its Hindu and Jain temples. A prominent trading centre on the Silk Route from the 8th to the 12th century AD, Osian was also a major pilgrimage site during the Gurjar Pratihara dynasty, who ruled much of northern India from the 6th to the 11th century and was known as Upakesapura.
Among the most famous tourist attractions of the village are the 16 temples that include Sachiya Mata temple, Sun temple, Mahaveera Jain temple, etc. dating back to the 8th to the 11th century. With their intricate carvings, the Sun Temple, Sachiya Mata Temple, and the Jain temple dedicated to Lord Mahavir stand out in their grace and architecture. Later drive to Jodhpur.
Post lunch today visit the Umaid Bhawan Palace Museum built between 1928 and 1943, the sprawling grandeur of Umaid Bhawan Palace can be seen for miles around. It’s the world's largest private residence. Part of the palace is a luxury hotel, part of it royal quarters, and some of it is dedicated to the Umaid Bhawan Palace Museum. The museum charts the history and heritage of the Umaid Bhawan. It tells the story of how Maharaja Umaid Singh appointed a well-known Edwardian architect to design the palace in an art-deco style. It also displays an archive of pictures taken of the palace over the years, as well as a unique antique clock collection. The museum also houses a whole range of historical artifacts that belonged to the royal family, including everything from trophies to weaponry, along with an impressive vintage car collection. There is a small gift shop located just outside for those looking to take souvenirs home. Return to your hotel for Dinner. Overnight in Jodhpur in a luxury or a heritage hotel.
Day 07. Early breakfast and today visit the Mehrangarh Fort which is a huge ancient fort. It is also one of the largest forts in India and was built in the mid-15th century by Rao Jodha. The fort sits on a rocky hill presiding some 125 meters above the city, with the structure merging with the rock on which it stands. Still run by the Jodhpur royal family to this day, Mehrangarh Fort is filled with a strong sense of history and legend.
Enclosed by thick, imposing walls, the fort complex contains a museum, courthouses, gardens, and several magnificent palaces with vast courtyards and elaborate architecture. Among the royal residences are the Phool Mahal (Flower Palace), which was used for dance performances and features beguiling stained-glass windows, and Jhanki Mahal (Queen’s Palace), where there’s a colourful display of the cradles of former rulers.
Later visit Jaswant Thada the white-marble memorial to Maharaja Jaswant Singh II (the 33rd Rathore ruler of Jodhpur) sits majestically above a small lake. The structure is a fine example of Rajput architecture. It’s built from carved marble sheets that are so thin and polished that they emit a warm glow when the sunlight hits them. Enclosed within a multi-level garden, the cenotaph has been built in the style of a temple, featuring domes, pillars, and sculptures. It also displays portraits of the rulers and Maharajas of Jodhpur and houses a memorial to a peacock that flew into a funeral pyre. The royal crematorium and three other cenotaphs are located near the main memorial.
Evening walks into the old part of the city to see the old painted blue houses and bazaar. Explore the vibrant markets of Jodhpur, walk through the narrow lanes of the city, areas that still reflect the essence of a bygone, get acquainted with its legacy, and discover its rustic charm. Markets in Jodhpur exhibiting an endless variety of items, including delicate metal crafts, precious metalwork, antique coins as well as textiles, jewellery, and even necessities. Bejewelled Mojdis & shoes are essential to any Rajasthani outfit.
Dinner at Balsamand Palace. Overnight in Jodhpur.
Day 08. Early breakfast and drive to Udaipur en-route visit the famous Jain Temples in Ranakpur which are dedicated to Adinath the first Tirthankar and founder of the Jain Religion. The construction of the said temples started in the 15th century. Explore Ranakpur and later drive to Udaipur. Check into your hotel pre-booked. Rest of the day at leisure for your activities in the hotel….. Dinner at a Udaipur Restaurant. Overnight at Udaipur.
Day 09. After breakfast visit, The City Palace also adorns your itinerary. This grand palace complex was completed nearly 400 years and narrates the history of Mewar. Later visit the Vintage Car Museum - A paradise for all motor enthusiasts, The Royal Vintage Car Museum is a must-visit for any visitor. It was inaugurated in Feb 2000 and has become a very popular tourist destination since then. The museum houses many famous vintage cars like the 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom used in the Bond film Octopus and many rare Rolls Royce models to name a few….
Your next destination is Saheliyon Ki Bari, a major garden adorned with fountains and kiosks of ancient times. Continue to visit Bagore Ki Haveli is situated near Pichola Lake. The 18th-century construction was built by Amir Chand Badwa, Chief Minister at the Royal Court of Mewar. The Haveli became the residence of Maharana Shakti Singh of Bagore in the year 1878 and hence the name Bagore Ki Haveli. This was converted into a museum retaining the royal touch to the building. The museum presents the culture of Mewar. The antique collections used by Rajputs such as jewellery boxes, hand fans, copper vessels, and so on. The massive building has over 100 rooms and looks splendid with its unique style of architecture. When you are there, make sure you present yourself for the shows conducted here in the evenings. After some moments of relaxation, take a beautiful boat ride on enchanting Lake Pichola to enjoy bliss views sprawling around. Return to your hotel for Dinner. Overnight stay in Udaipur.
Day 10. Post breakfast you will be transferred to Udaipur Airport for a domestic flight or you can drive to Ahmedabad for an international flight back home.