Start: Delhi Finish: Delhi
Physical rating: Medium, FullOn
Special diets catered: Vegetarians, Meat, Vegans
Tour code: PTRD
Group size: 1 - 16
Tour operated in:
Extra tourhub saving: $48
This memorable Indian journey traces the old camel caravan routes through Rajasthan, discovering magnificent forts, ornate temples and delightful market towns. From Delhi to Udaipur, wind your way through Rajasthan's 'must sees' as well as some hidden gems.
Location: New Delhi
Accommodation: Hotel, The Hans
Meals: No Meals
Arrive in New Delhi, India's bustling capital which successfully combines the ancient with the modern. Amidst the tall and modern skyscrapers, there are still the remnants of a bygone time with numerous monuments and temples.
You will be met on arrival at New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International airport (DEL) by a local guide, and driven to your centrally-located hotel. The city is about 12km and a 45 minute drive from the airport. There are no activities planned today, so feel free to arrive in Delhi at any time. For those booking their own flights, you will just need to let us know your flight details no later than two weeks prior to departure, in order to be met on arrival.
Accommodation: Hotel Clarks Shiraz
Explore New Delhi today on a guided city tour, taking in the President's Palace, Lok Sabha (Parliament), India Gate, Qutub Minar and Humayan's Tomb. After this busy morning, set off on the four hour journey to Agra with a driver who will remain with you throughout the rest of the trip.
An early start this morning with a guided visit of one of the world's most famous buildings, the magnificent Taj Mahal. Over 300 years have elapsed since its construction, yet it stands today unscarred by age, its beauty and symmetry seemingly beyond man, time and space. Created by Shah Jahan as a funerary monument to his favourite wife, Mumtaz, it took 22 years to build (1630-52). The Great Moghul lies beside his beloved under the white marble dome. Inlaid with precious gems, the building cost a fortune and later Shah Jahan moved his capital to Delhi before being overthrown by his son, Aurangzeb. Later in the day, visit Agra Fort, built by Akbar the Great, which contains the Moti Mosque, a beautiful building decorated with pearls and the Itimad-ud-daula, more commonly known as the Baby Taj.
The Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays, so we recommend not booking this trip to start on a Wednesday.
Accommodation: Traditional Haveli
After breakfast, start the drive to Jaipur, stopping along the way to visit the deserted city of Fatephur Sikri with a local guide. Founded in 1569 and abandoned just 16 years later, it is a perfectly intact example of Akbar's imperial court. Among the many noteworthy buildings is the 5-storied Panch Mahal, probably a pleasure pavilion for the ladies of the harem. In the centre of the courtyard is the Pachisi Board where the emperor played a game of chess with dancing girls as pieces. Perhaps the finest structure of all is the lotus shaped carved central pillar of the Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience), its extraordinary capital supporting a vaulted roof. From here continue on to Jaipur, stopping for a while (this is unguided) at the spectacular Chand Baori stepwell which is over 1000 years old and is dedicated to the goddess of joy and happiness.
Sometimes called the Pink City, Jaipur was first painted terracotta pink by Maharajab Sawai Ram Singh to celebrate the visit of Prince Albert in 1853. With your guide for the day, head to the outskirts of the city and visit the dramatic Amber Fort, perched high on a hillside with impressive views back down to the city. Make a stop on the journey to view the ornate facade of the Palace of the Winds, built to allow the ladies of the harem an opportunity to look out over the city. This afternoon, visit the lavish and well preserved City Palace with its fine collection of textiles, costumes and armoury. Jai Singh, the great Maharajah-astronomer, built his extraordinary (and very accurate) star gazing observatory (Jantra) here. You will have an opportunity to visit the observatory and also the Old City with its fine gates set in to the pink walls.
Accommodation: Gajner Palace
This morning, leave Jaipur and start out on the six-hour drive to the desert city of Bikaner. Situated directly on the ancient camel caravan routes that came from Africa and West Asia, Bikaner was once a great trading centre. Its colourful bazaars and buildings of reddish-pink sandstone still suggest its ancient wealth. Take a tour to the Junagarh Fort built by Raja Rai Singh (1571-1611), which is distinguished by its high defensive light red sandstone walls. The well-preserved palaces within the fort area are noted for their fine stone carvings. Bikaner still remains a defensive town and was the home of the famous Camel Corps - you'll explore this history with a visit to the Old Town.
Accommodation: Gorbandh Palace
Today's drive takes you to Jaisalmer. The city is set in the vast Thar Desert and today still retains much of the medieval atmosphere as camel carts pass through the narrow streets alongside rickshaws. The fort is a lively hub of activity, with shops and restaurants, and well worth a wander through. The city is famous for handicrafts in particular stone carvings, leather ware and brass items and the bazaars are packed with stalls offering almost everything you can imagine. The drive is around six hours, and on arrival you'll have some free time to explore.
After breakfast, meet your local guide and set out to explore Jaisalmer on foot. The relatively compact city (by Indian standards!) is easy to navigate - visit the Gadi Sagar Tank and the Jaisalmer Folklore Museum, as well as the lively fort and some of the many elaborately carved Jain Temples and havelis, including the Patwon-ki Haveli, considered to be the finest in Jaisalmer.
Accommodation: The Fern Residency
Drive six hours to Jodhpur, where the impregnable fortress commands a superb panorama of the surrounding countryside. The city itself has a unique atmosphere, with many fine old buildings and temples. Jodhpurs, those trousers-cum-riding breeches, are named after the horsemen of this city. Arriving mid-afternoon, the rest of the day is free to wander the atmospheric streets of the Old City.
The majestic Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur is built across the top of a steep escarpment 125m above the plains below. It has a huge, sheer drop to the south where it overlooks the city. The visit this morning affords wonderful views, not only across Jodhpur, but also way into the distance across the surrounding desert plains. The Rajput palace buildings within the fort are typically Mughal - very ornate and flamboyant, but also very practical and as always, built with defence in mind. This afternoon there is the chance to make an optional visit to some nearby Bishnoi villages. The Bishnoi are renowned for their protection of wild animals and trees.
Accommodation: The Garden Hotel
There is a full-day drive today, ending at the beautiful lakeside city of Udaipur. After approximately four hours, stop at the little-visited temple town of Ranajpur, one of Rajasthan's hidden gems, home to some of the most beautifully sculpted Jain Temples in India. Situated in a wooded valley the temples date back to the 15th century with the carvings depicting scenes from the lives of the Jain Saints at that time. You won't have a guide here, but it's easy to explore solo. The Adinath temple is well worth a visit, containing 1444 exquisitely carved pillars, with no two alike. Continue from here to Udaipur.
The city is dominated by Lake Pichola, its island palace (now a hotel) and Jag Mandir Island. Here the future Shah Jahan sought sanctuary from his father after he had been found guilty of plotting against him. The first stop this morning is the huge City Palace, which offers an insight in to the opulent life of the Maharajahs. You will also visit the Jagdish Mandir, a large ornately carved Hindu Temple set in the middle of the old town.
In the late afternoon, you have the option to take an afternoon boat ride on Lake Pichola. At some times of the year the level of the water in the lake may drop or even, after a poor monsoon, dry up completely.
Accommodation: Hotel The Hans
This morning, leave Rajasthan and fly back to Delhi's city sprawl. Explore Old Delhi with a local guide this afternoon, viewing the Red Fort from the outside and Jami Masjid Mosque, one of the biggest in India. Take cycle rickshaws to explore the winding lanes of Chandni Chowk bazaar, a sprawling market where you can buy almost anything you need from household wares to souvenirs - the perfect final stop before your flight home.
Your trip ends today, and you will be taken to the airport to meet your international flight. There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart from the Indira Gandhi International airport (DEL) at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day, luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel.
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It will depend on the grade and how fit you already are. Check the trip page for details of the walking or cycling grade and how far you’ll be walking/cycling each day. For moderate or challenging trips in particular we’d recommend doing some walks or cycles before you leave to build up your fitness and prepare you for the distances being covered.
We have a wide range of ages nationalities on our small group trips and they come from all walks of life.
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At Explore, we're the experts in adventure travel. Our small group adventure holidays have been running since 1981. Today, Explore is one of the most trusted travel companies in the UK with over 500 trips to more than 120 countries.
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We want to be as clear as and as honest as possible about what happens if you decide to that you no longer wish to travel on your trip. Our booking conditions have details of the costs you’ll incur when you cancel-these charges depend on how long it is before your planned departure.
We choose comfortable accommodation in the best locations possible. We opt for small, local and family-run accommodation where we can, as opposed to large chain hotels. We typically use hotels that are the equivalent of European 3-star, and you’ll usually have an en suite room. Occasionally, where we want to get off the beaten trail we may stay in more basic accommodation.
Sustainability is embedded within the fibre of Explore, it emanates from the inside out. But as we enter a new decade it is clearer than ever that our world needs help, and Explore has created a sustainability strategy based on the 2015 UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Our flexible booking and safety policies mean you're protected before and during your travels with us. Receive a full refund if your trip is cancelled, transfer your trip free of charge up to 10 days before departure minus any irrocoverable costs.
All our trips require some level of active participation. This could be on a cultural trip, trek, safari, expedition or voyage. It is in the interests of all members of the group that everyone should be capable of fully participating in the activities of their chosen trip.
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Yes on most of our trips.
Most trips are based on customers sharing twin-bedded rooms. If you book a group trip as an individual, you will share a room with someone of the same sex. However, on many trips we offer the opportunity to pay a supplement to pre-book a single room, known as our single room option. On some trips a single room will be provided every night, on others it will be provided o
Explore will only offer hotels that have specific COVID-19 protocols in place and comply with local government guidelines. We will ensure these measures include; enhanced room cleaning, ventilation, social distancing, regular cleaning and disinfection of high frequency touch points in public areas, food safety, staff re-training and minimising contact within the properties.
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Multiple room types available. Choose your preferred room type when you book.
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