India
Rajasthan Encompassed Tour

Rajasthan Encompassed Tour a 16 day Small Group Tour.


It’s impossible to condense India into a single trip. All such attempts merge into a fragrant and colourful blur and ultimately fail.

However, this Rajasthan tour concentrates on and combines well-known iconic sights with some lesser visited corners to emphasise the true diversity the state has to offer.

 

 

From searching out Royal Bengal tigers in one of India’s best national parks, to spotting colourful birdlife at a royal hunting lake, tracking leopards at night in remote countryside, exploring an ancient abandoned Mughal capital city, and staying in a maharajah’s palace, there’s a lot to see.

However, without doubt this 16 days Rajasthan tour delivers an incredible Indian experience.

Tour ratings.

  • Fitness
  • Off the beaten track
  • Culture 
  • History 
  • Wildlife 

Tour pace

Busy

Tour style

Traveller

Relaxed Pace

Relaxed tours are easy paced with plenty of leisure time built in. The tour will in all probability still be off the beaten track, with the occasional early start and there may still be occasional long drives. In general on a relaxed pace tour you can enjoy easy-going activities and experiences with opportunities to absorb the sights and immerse yourself in the local surroundings.

Moderate Pace

Moderate pace tours are ideal if you want a tour experience that combines activities and experiences with some time to relax. Typically you will be active and busy for part of the day but then also have time to rest and recharge your batteries. In general on a moderate paced tour there may be some long journeys involved but the tour is not an expedition or a road trip. On a moderate paced tour it will be necessary to have some early starts.

Busy Pace

A busy paced tour means that you can expect to be doing, seeing or experiencing something new almost every day, and moving on from place to place to pack in as much as possible. There may be early starts, long journeys and tiring days along the way, but you’ll return home feeling you’ve really experienced as much as you possibly could.

Pioneer Class Tours

On our Pioneer tours, you will be amongst an elite group of intrepid travellers and some of the first to explore a country that few have been privileged enough to discover. Of course, exploring such areas of the world will come with its challenges; it may mean several nights camping, long journeys by 4WD and the need to maintain a degree of flexibility for when carefully laid plans change. These are challenging tours in countries and areas that may have poor infrastructure, high levels of poverty and illiteracy. This can translate in to low standards in hotels, bad roads and poor driving standards among other issues. We try and smooth out as much of these issues as we can but you should be prepared to experience the bad with the good.

Traveller Class Tours

Our Traveller itineraries are at the core of our programme. These journeys are designed for travellers who still want to discover a land away from the tourist crowds but expect minimum standards. Accommodation will be primarily hotel based, although you could still find yourself camping, or the guest of a local family. Depending on the destination and itinerary, you’ll likely be travelling in a private vehicle, with occasional use of public transport. This is adventure travel with some of the rough edges smoothed out.

Itinerary

Arrive in Delhi, the capital of India, and transfer to the hotel. Overnight Udaman Hotel or similar. No meals.

Note – For those that arrive early or are having pre tour accommodation we can provide numerous sightseeing options in Delhi on request. A heritage walk around Old Delhi is particularly recommended.

Today take the early morning express train to Agra, home to one of the world’s most celebrated and beautiful buildings the Taj Mahal, built in the 17th century by the emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his wife Mumtaz Mahal. Farther along the river Yamuna lies the impressive Red Fort built during the 16th and 17th century golden age of the Moghul Empire and from where there are more classic views of the Taj Mahal. Later as sunset approaches, we visit the Taj Mahal itself. Overnight at The Retreat or similar (B)

Today after an early breakfast, drive to Karauli enroute we will visit Fatehpur Sikri and Bharatpur. View some of the extraordinary array of colorful and rare birds at this former maharaja’s hunting lake sanctuary at Bharatpur. Later we continue our drive to Karauli, midway between Agra and Ranthambore. The town’s magnificent Old City Palace, built in 1635, is a treasure trove of architecture, stone carvings, intricate jali fretwork and classic paintings. Karauli also has a lively bazaar full of handicrafts and jewellery. Just outside town is the former residence of the maharaja, now a beautiful heritage hotel where we check-in for the night. Overnight Bhanwar Vilas Palace. (B)

(Approximate driving time: four hours)

Continue to Sawai Madhopur, your base for visiting the beautiful Ranthambore National Park, one of the best opportunities in India in which to see a tiger in the wild. You take an afternoon safari by share jeep to explore the expanses of the famous park. The varied landscapes, flora and fauna within the park are compelling and the wildlife safari is an intriguing experience even if tigers prove elusive. Overnight Ranthambore Heritage Haveli or similar. (BLD)

(Approximate driving time: two hours)

For those that wish a further safari is included this morning again by shared vehicle to try and observe more of the magnificent wildlife and take in the fine scenery in the early light. After breakfast continue to Jaipur where on arrival you will have some leisure time in the afternoon before we head out late afternoon wandering through the atmospheric bazaars. Overnight at Dera Rawatsar or similar. (B)

(Approximate driving time: three-and-a-half-hours)

This morning after early breakfast we set out for an excursion to Amber Fort passing by Jaipur’s most distinctive landmark ‘Hawa Mahal commonly known as (Palace of Winds). Next we visit City Palace, a perfect blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture.  Followed by our visit to Jantar Mantar, which is an astronomical observatory built by Jai Singh II. It is one of the largest and the best preserved observatories in the country. Overnight at Dera Rawatsar or similar. (B)

This morning, drive to Pushkar, a desert oasis on a holy lake. The afternoon is at leisure to explore the lakeside with its compelling holy men, pilgrims and temples. Hundreds of small temples are built on the periphery of the lake with wide stone steps or `ghats’ leading down to the lake. A magical quality of light hovers over the lake, bouncing off the surrounding white-washed temples and bathing ghats. At sunset Pushkar turns into one of the most exotic places on earth. Overnight at Pushkar Palace or similar. (B)

(Approximate driving time: three hours)

(Approximate driving time: three-hours)

After breakfast drive to the small and tranquil heritage hotel of Chandelao Garh. Here, with virtually no other tourists around, one can interact with the community and learn about the rich art, culture and heritage of Rajasthan. On an afternoon village tour by jeep, observe local craftsmen at work, and visit a Bishnoi tribal family in their traditional home. Observe local women in colourful traditional attire fetching water from the wells, and gain a fascinating and authentic insight into traditional Indian village life. Overnight at Chandelao Garh, or similar. (BD)

(Approximate driving time: one and a half hours)

Continue to the `Blue City’ of Jodhpur. Standing at the edge of the vast, arid Thar Desert, Jodhpur is dominated by the massive Meherangarh Fort, which we visit in the afternoon. The fort houses an excellent museum and affords captivating views of the blue Brahmin houses of the old city. The clock tower is a popular landmark in the old city. After visiting the fort, wander down hill through atmospheric narrow alleys land through bazaars for textiles, silver and handicrafts. It’s a fascinating jumble of winding streets of great interest to wander around. Overnight at Pal Haveli Hotel, or similar. (B)

(Approximate driving time: five hours)

An early start to cross the desert en route to the `Golden City’ of Jaisalmer, looming magically out of the horizon. Within the fortress walls the cobbled streets are strewn with stunning palaces, beautiful mansions, and Jain temples that were built between the 12th and 15th centuries. On arrival the rest of the day is at leisure for you to relax or explore. Overnight at Nachana Haveli Hotel, or similar. (B)

The best way to experience the Thar Desert, which surrounds Jaisalmer, is on an overnight camel safari. Leaving Jaisalmer in the mid-afternoon, its half-an-hour by road near Sam to meet our camels. When you arrive, you will be escorted to the Camel Point, where your 1.5km Camel Safari will begin. Traversing an unspoilt area of the desert, passing through a mix of scrub and sand dunes as the light turns from gold to dusky pink. The desert camp itself is pitched in a peaceful location close to sand dunes When you have finished with your camel safari, you will be escorted to the parking area from where you will drive back to the camps in your vehicle. The camp’s attentive staff will serve dinner before an evening spent under a blanket of stars, and there may also be some live music at the camp. Overnight Winds Desert Camp or similar (BD)

Note: Sam Sand Dunes is one of Jailsamer’s most popular attractions for both domestic and international visitors and it has become increasingly popular and busy over time. However, it still retains its essence, particularly for viewing sunsets and sunrises.

This morning, wake up to the magical light of the desert. For those that wish, a second camel ride awaits on a different route for around an hour before re-joining the jeep for the drive back to Jaisalmer, arriving by mid-morning. This afternoon, enjoy a guided walking tour of the Old City. Jaisalmer, with its narrow-cobbled lanes, is a wonderful place to wander around on foot. The fort itself is not simply a monument, but is home to a community of several thousand people. Within it one can observe some attractive Jain temples, fascinating architecture, and enjoy superb views over the city and the desert beyond from the many vantage points on its walls. Hidden amongst the narrow lanes leading off the main market street are several elaborate and opulent havelis. Overnight Nachana Haveli, or similar. (B)

(Approximate driving time: seven hours)

An early start today for a long drive out of the desert and into a little visited area of rural Rajasthan. The region around Bhenswara is interesting as it is home to some of the more pastoral tribes of India. The rock-strewn region of Bhenswara is also the natural habitat for leopards and your host at Bhenswara is a keen tracker. You have the option to join a thrilling, eerie evening safari to try and get a glimpse of this elusive animal but please kindly be realistic with your expectations as sightings are quite rare but the anticipation of a glimpse of this wonderful creature is exciting in the darkness and the scenery is a joy as the sunsets. Overnight Ravla Bhenswara Hotel or similar. (BD)

 

The last stop on the itinerary is the beautiful `White City’ of Udaipur. Set around the vast Pichola Lake and dominated by dramatic palaces, Udaipur is surely Rajasthan’s most picturesque city. High, whitewashed houses and narrow, winding alleys lend it an almost medieval charm. The huge City Palace, still the residence of the Maharana, is intricately carved out of yellow sandstone and stands on the banks of Lake Pichola, from where you have fabulous views over the balmy waters and the famous Lake Palace Hotel. On arrival the rest of the day is at leisure for you to wander in the atmospheric streets or relax and marvel at the views out over the lake.  Overnight at Kotra Haveli or similar. (B)

(Approximate driving time: four hours)

Enjoy a guided morning tour of the elaborate palaces and temples, followed by a boat trip on Lake Pichola to experience an entirely different angle on the elegance of the city. Later this afternoon we take a flight back to Delhi and you can either depart on a late evening flight or stay overnight at an airport hotel and fly anytime on Day 16. Overnight Hotel Atreo or similar. (B)

After breakfast the Rajasthan tour ends today with airport transfers for onward flights. (B)

Please note: We’re happy to arrange extra nights time in Udaipur or Delhi, please contact us for prices.

Dates & Price.

Tour Notes

Return flights into Delhi and return from Udaipur start from £495 from London. Please contact us for a quotation

Mapped itinerary.

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Download PDF.

Download the full tour dossier for this trip here.

India Rajasthan Tour Map

For expert advice get in touch now with our passionate,
well-travelled team.

+44(0) 191 296 2674 from THE UK
1-800-614-2967 from THE US & CANADA
1-300-956-415 from AUSTRALIA

Tour inclusions.

  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Overland transport
  • Delhi – Agra by Shatabadi Express (AC chair car)
  • All sightseeing and entrance fees as per the itinerary
  • Services of English speaking guide / tour leader
  • Meals as listed (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)
  • Tipping Kitty not including tour leader (see notes section for details)

Tour exclusions.

  • International flights
  • Any airport taxes
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visa (if applicable)
  • Services, Meals and Drinks other than those mentioned in the itinerary
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Extra charges for camera and video
  • Tip for the main local tour guide/leader (discretionary)

A trip that exceeded expectations. Well supported in India and excellent heritage hotels and comfortable vehicle.

Julia Killick, UK