"Get right in the thick of the wonderfully unique Indian culture from classic cities to historical monuments"
Rajasthan: India’s vibrant and colourful desert state. With majestic palaces and beautiful temples, Rajasthan’s rich cultural heritage and fascinating history give it a truly regal ambience. From the world-famous cities of Jaipur and Jodhpur to the state’s lesser-explore rural desert towns, delve deep into Rajasthan’s royal heart on this family-friendly tour. Staying at exclusive heritage hotels and visiting some of the most fantastic palaces and fortresses in the world, you’ll experience the grandeur of Rajasthan – and do so in style. You tour begins, in fact, in Rajasthan’s neighbouring state, Uttar Pradesh. Here, you’ll spend two nights in Agra to visit the iconic Taj Mahal at sunrise.
Begin your adventure in one of the state’s great urban centres, the Pink City of Jaipur. Brimming with beautiful temples and jewel-encrusted palaces, Jaipur is a historical treasure trove that provides a glittering introduction to royal Rajasthan. Next, travel to the holy town of Pushkar, famed for its beautiful holy lake and rare Brahma Temple, before venturing into the arid Thar Desert. Immerse yourself in village life and learn more about Rajasthani culture and customs, before continuing on to the city of Jodhpur. Visit the spectacular Merangarh Fort and enjoy fantastic views of the city’s iconic blue houses from your high vantage point. Your final stop, Udaipur, provides a suitably outstanding finale to your tour.
Active India Holidays are local operators and, as such, have seen first-hand the benefits that tourism can bring to some of India’s most remote regions. They understand that tourism often helps to alleviate poverty and develop communities and, as part of the global tourism industry, acknowledge that they too have a crucial role to play in providing commercial benefits and financial impetus in local communities. The company is conscious of both the negative and positive impacts its operations potentially have within sensitive environments and communities, particularly in the Himalayas where most of Active India’s trekking and adventure operations are conducted.
To ensure that they operate in as responsible a way as possible, Active India trains all of its tour leaders and support staff on sustainability practices. One example is their ‘Leave no Trace’ policy, which ensures that campsites and trails are left free from any waste. The company even extends this policy to include the waste left by travellers who have come before them, collecting and disposing of any extra rubbish in a safe manner. Active India hopes to contribute towards building a tourism industry that brings pleasure to travellers whilst also constructing a future for the local people and places that the industry depends on.
Arrival in Delhi: Receive a traditional welcome upon your arrival in Delhi’s international airport, before transferring to your hotel. Explore the walled city of Old Delhi in the afternoon, visiting the largest mosque in India (the 17th century Jama Masjid), India Gate and Rajghat, a memorial to ‘the father of the nation’, Mahatma Gandhi. Also discover Chandni Chowk, a lively typical Indian market.
Delhi – Agra: Depart for Agra after breakfast, checking in to your hotel upon arrival. In the afternoon, visit Agra Fort, which blends Rajput and Mughal architecture, and could be more accurately described as a walled palatial city. Later in the evening, visit the bazaar and observe artisans crafting wonders from marble.
Agra: Rise early to visit the astonishing Taj Mahal at sunrise. This magnificent white-marble monument symbolises the eternal love of the 5th Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan, for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died in the 16th century BCE. A visit to the incredible Taj Mahal never fails to leave a visitor totally captivated. The rest of the day is free for you to explore at your leisure.
Agra – Jaipur via Fatehpur Sikri: Take a morning drive to Jaipur, stopping by at the deserted royal city of Fatehpur Sikri en route – this well-preserved citadel was a former political capital, until it was abandoned due to lack of water. Continue on to Jaipur after your visit. Commonly known as ‘the Pink City’, Jaipur is Rajasthan’s colourful capital, and is one of India’s most important heritage cities. Also known as ‘the City of Victory’, it’s full of stunning gardens, majestic palaces and impressive forts. Take some time in the evening to explore the city’s vibrant bazaars.
Jaipur: Drive to the ancient capital of Amer after breakfast. Visit the hilltop Amber Fort before proceeding to City Palace, which blends Rajasthani and Mughal architecture perfectly. Continue to Jantar Mantar, a fascinating 18th century Solar Observatory that can measure time to within two seconds using the movement of the sun. Finally, visit the Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), and admire its five-storied pink sandstone façade.
Jaipur – Pushkar: After breakfast you’ll drive to the small town of Pushkar, situated on the edge of a desert and with a beautiful sacred lake. The town also boasts a famous and rare Brahma Temple, which is an important pilgrimage destination for Hindus. Visit the temple and the lake, before enjoying an evening of exploration in the town’s bazaar.
Pushkar – Khimsar: Take an early morning hike up Ratnagiri Hill to reach Savitri Temple, following a pilgrim trail. Dedicated to the Goddess Savitri, the temple provides fantastic panoramic views of the surrounding sand dunes and Pushkar Lake. Later, drive to the starkly beautiful desert town of Khimsar. Check in to your hotel before enjoying the rest of the day free for exploration of the local area.
Khimsar: Take an early morning jeep safari to some nearby villages, and to the Black Buck Reserve. Visit Gujjar (shepherd) and Kalbelia (snake charmer) settlements and learn more about life in rural Rajasthan. Here, people continue to practise age-old traditions using natural resources, and place a high emphasis on living harmoniously and with good will. Visit the wildlife sanctuary, home to the endangered Black Buck as well as a host of other beautiful birds. Experience village life at your own pace in the afternoon.
Khimsar – Jodhpur: Today, drive to Jodhpur, also known as ‘the Blue City’. Its distinctive blue houses are designed to keep them cool and also ward off pesky mosquitos! After checking in to your hotel, you’ll visit one of India’s most impressive structures, the formidable 15th century Mehrangarh Fort. Next, visit Jaswant Thada, a group of white-marble royal cenotaphs that contain portraits of various rulers of Jodhpur. Enjoy some rest and relaxation in the evening.
Jodhpur – Deogarh: Continue your tour with a drive into the heart of the state, to Deogarh. At an altitude of 2,100 feet above sea level, the temperature here is noticeably cooler. Check in to your hotel and relax for a while before heading out to explore the local area.
Train Excursion: After breakfast, enjoy a fun and scenic train ride through Rajasthan’s rural countryside, travelling alongside local villagers. Although some of the coaches are quite old, and don’t benefit from air-conditioning, this is all part of the experience! Return to your hotel by road and enjoy an afternoon bird-watching tour on the nearby lakes. You’ll see a large variety of local as well as migratory birds – a fantastic opportunity for nature-lovers!
Deogarh – Udaipur: Leave the arid desert landscape behind you as you drive through the Aravalli hills to Udaipur. En route, stop by at Ranakpur; home to one of the most important Jain temple complexes in India, the site is one of Jainism’s five most important pilgrimage locations. Drive on to the beautiful lakeside town of Udaipur. Known as ‘the Venice of the East’, and ‘the Pearl of Rajasthan’, Udaipur is one of India’s most romantic cities. As you watch the sun set behind Lake Pichola, with hills, palaces and temples in the background, you’ll understand why.
Udaipur: Visit the fascinating City Palace, a collection of buildings constructed by various Maharanas (warrior kings). Move through the Tripolia Gate towards the central courtyard, where you’ll admire ornate towers and balconies. Continue on to the Indo-Aryan Jagdish Temple, Udaipur’s largest and most beautiful temple. Later, visit an ornamental garden gilled with fountains, pools and decorative pavilions. Finally, take a sunset cruise around Lake Pichola.
Udaipur – Delhi: After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Delhi. Enjoy some last-minute sightseeing as you drive through New Delhi, past the Presidential Palace and along the impressive Rajpath to the iconic India Gate. Time permitting, you’ll visit Humayun’s Tomb (reputed to have been an inspiration for the Taj Mahal) and the 72.5 metre-high Qutub Minar. In the evening, do some final shopping at Delhi’s local bazaar and soak up the atmosphere for one last time.
Tour Concludes: Check out from your hotel and transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
- The rate shown is a 'from' price per person (on a double sharing basis)
- Please note that supplement charges apply for departures during Pushkar fair ('Ask a Question' to find out more)
- Click 'Ask a Question' up above to speak to the operator directly about this tour's departure dates, availability and costs
- Refunds: 80% refund available until 30 days prior to check-in; 50% refund available 15 days prior to check-in; 25% refund available 6 days prior to check-in; within 5 days of check-in there will be no refund.
- English speaking monument sightseeing guides at cities
- All land transport
- Government service tax as applicable
- Travel insurance
- Indian visa fees
- Any monument entrance fees
- Flights (domestic/international)
- Any optional activities or services not mentioned in inclusions
- Services of any professional English speaking tour leader/escort during the tour
- Miscellaneous expenses for tips, laundry, drinks, any medical emergencies and souvenirs etc.