Today, you will start your trip from Visit beyond Service Centre at 10:00 am and drive to Jaipur. Arrive in Jaipur and transferred to hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure. If time permits you may visit Birla Temple. Over night in Hotel.
Today you have a guided tour in Jaipur includes a visit to the Amber Fort, Hawa Mahal, City Palace, Jaigarh Fort, and Jantar-Mantar (a scientific observatory). The picturesque capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur is color-washed pink – the color of hospitality in Rajput tradition. Built in 1772 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, Jaipur displays a remarkable harmony in architectural splendor. The only planned city of its time, a formidable wall encircles Jaipur. Overnight at hotel.
Today, you will drive to the Shekhavati region of Rajasthan. Shekhavati is also known as the open art gallery due to the numerous fresco paintings all over the palaces, houses and havelis (houses of rich noblemen). Please note that the village is very small with dirty roads. Sewage is a major problem that causing the paintings to fade. Over night in Mandawa.
After breakfast, you will drive from Mandawa to Bikaner. Lying in the north of the Desert State, Bikaner is dotted with many sand dunes. More popularly called the ??Camel country', the city is renowned for the best riding camels in the world. The magnificent forts and palaces, created with delicacy in reddish pink sandstone, bear testimony to its rich historical and architectural legacy. Sightseeing in Bikaner includes a camel-breeding farm and an excursion to Deshnoke to see the Karni Mata Temple, where rats scamper freely within the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. They are regarded as sacred and are fed by priests and devotees owing to the belief that they will be reincarnated as holy men. Overnight in Bikaner.
Early in the morning we visit the Junagadh Fort, followed up by a long drive to Jaisalmer. A visit to Jaisalmer is incomplete without a ride on a camel and of course, the view of the city during sunset. You will be driven to the desert and enjoy a camel ride in the sand dunes and watch the sun slowly disappearing in the sand during sunset. We follow this with local dance performances and dinner. Desert camping in the night.
Drive from the campsite to the city and check in to your hotel. Rising from the heart of the Thar Desert is the city of Jaisalmer. A commanding fort etched in yellow sandstone dominates the amber-hued city. The life within the citadel conjures up images of medieval life with its narrow lanes strewn with magnificent palaces, Havelis, temples, skilled artisans and ubiquitous camels. Over night at hotel.
Today after breakfast, you will have a half days drive to Jodhpur Arrive in Jodhpur and the rest of the day is at your leisure. Jodhpur is set at the edge of the Thar Desert. Once the capital of the Marwar state, it was founded in 1459 AD by Rao Jodha, chief of the Rathore clan of Rajputs who claimed to be descendants of Rama, the epic hero of the Ramayana. The massive 15th century Mehrangarh Fort looms on the tops of a rocky hill, soaring 125 Mts. above the plains. A high wall – 10-Km long with 8 gates and innumerable bastions encompasses the city. A major trade centre of the 16th century AD, the fortress – city of Jodhpur is now the second largest city of Rajasthan. Overnight at hotel.
Today, go for a sightseeing in Jodhpur on your own. You may cover:
· Umaid Bhawan Palace: The only 20th century palace built under the famine relief project that gave employment to a famine-struck population.
· Jaswant Thada: A cluster of royal cenotaphs in white marble built in 1899 AD in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II.
· Mehrangarh Fort: This is one of the most impressive and formidable forts ever built! Within the fort are magnificent palaces with marvelously carved panels and latticed windows. The palaces house a fabulous collection of trappings of Indian royalty.
· Mandore Garden: The ancient capital of Marwar has cenotaphs of the Jodhpur rulers. The hall of heroes has fifteen figures carved out of the rock on the wall that represents Hindu deities. This is a beautiful garden with high rock terraces.
Today after breakfast, you will drive to Rohetgarh and check in at the beautiful Rohetgarh Palace /Fort Chanwa, Luni. After lunch we go on a half-day jeep safari to the Bishnoi villages. Bishnois are said to be the first ecologists. A survivor of a great famine came up with the principles of the ecology centuries ago by in 1485. His name was Jambeshwar or Jambhoji. He observed that the famine was the result of the deforestation in the region and formulated a list of 29 rules to prevent famine. Bishnois are vegetarians and have great respect for all living things. The Bishnoi people expect that the tourists respect nature and their way of life. You can recognize a Bishnoi village because of their green farming land and orchards (don't forget you are in the Thar Desert!). Over night at hotel.
On the edge of the desert lies the tiny tranquil town of Pushkar along the bank of the picturesque Pushkar Lake – an important spot for the Hindus. Surrounded by hills on three sides, Pushkar abounds in temples. The most famous of these is the Brahma temple – the only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma in the country. Every year thousands of devotees throng the Lake around full moon day of ??Kartik – Purnima' (an auspicious date between October and November) to take a holy dip in the lake. The Pushkar fair, a huge colourful cattle fair, is also held during this time.
Today after breakfast you will drive from Pushkar to Agra, enroute visit Fatehpur Sikri. Once the capital of the mighty Mughals, this is now a bustling small market catering to the tourists. Later drive to Agra and check in to your hotel. Over night in Agra.
In the early morning, you will visit the Taj Mahal for a sunrise view. Historic Agrabana, legendary city of the ancients, is today remembered as the capital of the Mughals and famed all over the world as the City of Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Not far away is Fatehpur Sikri, a ghost city today. After breakfast we visit the Agra fort, Itmad-ud-daulah's tomb & Sikandra in Agra. After lunch, proceed for the drive to Delhi. Transfer to your hotel or proceed to next destination.
Notice: The Taj Mahal is closed every Friday, the Muslim day of rest. If your trip begins on Thursday then it will be in reverse order. Thus, you will see the Taj sun set view on the first day of your trip.
Key: B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner
Please note: The massive monument Taj Mahal stands like a beautiful lady on the bank of river Yamuna in Agra. The beauty of Taj needs regular attention from the care takers, to keep it looking young, fresh and charming as always. This includes some beauty treatments and mud packs like some do face packs in beauty saloons. Taj is currently going under beautification, which may last until 2018 or beyond. So when you visit Agra chances are that some part of Taj is covered with a mud pack etc., this to cleanse the outer marble and keep it glowing as always.