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The Maharajas (15 Days)

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The Maharajas (15 Days)

 

This journey has it all, the Taj Mahal, awe-inspiring forts, ancient lands, holy towns and a visit to the home of the Royal Bengal Tiger. This itinerary is ideal for those who are looking for an adventure that combines culture, adventure, history and wildlife. This journey also lends itself to various avatars and addition. There is no greater adventure than looking into the eyes of the beast. This journey takes you through some of India’s most regal destinations

Code:- Sacred Dot

Day 01  Arrive Delhi

Arrive in India. A representative of Sacred Dot, holding a sign in your name, will meet you in the arrivals area upon exiting baggage claim and escort you to your hotel.

Delhi is one of India’s most vibrant cities today. It is not only a city that has played capital to various dynasties, but is also one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Today, apart from being at the political forefront, it also leads the country in terms of art, culture, culinary experiences, shopping, entertainment and overall standard of living. The city, like other ancient cities, is a beautiful homogeneous mix of the old and the contemporary. One of the most beautiful cities in the world, Delhi is a microcosm of all that is India.

Day 02   In Delhi

Breakfast is at the hotel, followed by a full day of sightseeing. Start your tour with a visit to Jama Masjid, India’s largest and Delhi’s most spectacular mosque. Drive past the magnificent  (Closed on Monday) – a marvel in red sandstone, built on the banks of River Yamuna by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. This fort was built on the lines of the Agra Fort and has similar architectural marvels.

 
From here, board pedicabs to converse the busy and crowded streets of ‘Chandini Chowk’. Literally translates Chandini Chowk mean Golden Street and used to be the main royal market for the Mughal Empire; today, this is Delhi’s largest wholesale market and represents some of the most expensive real estate. The craziness of the market can be easily ignored as you become an onlooker of life in this huge bazaar. You traverse through two main streets Khari Baoli, the largest spice market and the jeweler’s row of Kinari Bazaar where in small cramped little shops significant trade of gold and silver is carried out.

 
The pedicabs drop you back at your vehicle and you are driven to Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial – Rajghat. Located in a huge open park this monument is as peaceful and tranquil as the man himself.
 
After this visit, you are driven through Lutyen’s Delhi where you drive past India Gate – the memorial to the Unknown Soldier, Rashtrapati Bhawan – the Presidential Palace, the Parliament House and other beautiful buildings built by the noted British architect. This entire area of Delhi is lush, with parks, wide roads and rambling beautiful houses.
 
This afternoon, visit the Qutab Minar, the tallest minaret in India. Built in the 12th Century, this minaret is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is made of the traditional red sandstone and marble as also seen in later Mughal architecture. The complex also has an ancient iron pillar, which is considered to be 1600 years old. While the Qutab Minar is inscribed with Koranic verses for its entire length of 237 feet, the iron pillar in the same complex is inscribed with Brahmin poetry extolling the kings of the Gupta period. 


Lastly visit, the mausoleum of Emperor Humayun. The monument was commissioned by Humayun’s wife, selected a Persian architect to build the tomb. He combined the best of Hindu and Persian architectural styles to create this fabulous monument, which went on to become the forerunner of the Mughal style of architecture in the country. Return to the hotel for an evening at leisure. (B)

Day 03  124 miles / 4 hours  Delhi – Agra

Check out after breakfast and drive to Agra. Agra was the erstwhile capital of the Mughal Empire. Located in central India, on the banks of the Yamuna River, this city has always been very important in the country’s history. Today, it is known around the world as the home of the Taj Mahal. Unlike most other Indian cities, Agra has not grown into a large metropolis, but maintains its small town status. It is replete with monuments and is a complete tourist town.

 
Check in to your hotel on arrival with some time at leisure. In the afternoon, visit the Agra Fort. This fort, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the best example of Mughal architecture in India.  Spread over a mile and a half, along the banks of the Yamuna River, the fort houses various palaces, gardens and places of worship. Originally a Hindu red brick fort, this monument played home to various empires. It is under the reign of the greatest Mughal Emperor Akbar, that the fort was rebuilt with red sandstone and his grandson Shah Jehan is responsible for the look that can be seen today.
 
After this, visit one of the wonders of the world and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site – Taj Mahal. This monument is an amazing feat of human industry, a perfect example of beauty, symmetry and aesthetics. It is only once you enter the main gates and gaze upon the Taj, does the enormity of the task of building this mammoth structure impress. Also built by the Mughal Emperor Shahjehan, this is a tribute of love for his favorite wife Mumtaz Mahal. As the evening approaches nightfall, watch as the rays of the setting sun, cause the white marble of the monument to glitter and change colour. The different hues reflecting from the sky make the monument come alive. (Closed on Fridays)  Rest of the day is at leisure. (B)

Day 04   Drive 35 miles / 1 hour 30 minutes – Agra – Bharatpur.   By train – Bharatpur - Sawai Madhopur (Ranthambhore)

After a leisurely breakfast, check out from the hotel and drive to Bharatpur railway station. En route visit Fatehpur Sikri. Situated about 20 Miles from Agra, this was the erstwhile capital of the great Mughal ruler - Emperor Akbar. This magnificent fort palace had to be abandoned after just 15 years of occupation due to lack of potable water. After your visit to Fatehpur Sikri, you will have lunch in a local restaurant. Thereafter continue your drive to the railway station Bharatpur. On your arrival in Bharatpur enjoy lunch at a local restaurant hotel. After lunch you will be transferred to Bharatpur railway station for your train to Sawai Madhopur. Depart Bharatpur by Jan Shatabdi Express at 1548 hrs.  Arrive Sawai Madhopur at 1802 hrs. On arrival in Sawai Madhopur, you will be met at the railway station and transferred to the hotel.

 
Ranthambore National Park is one of the prime examples of Project Tiger’s conservation efforts in Rajasthan. The forests around the Ranthambore Fort were once the private hunting grounds of the Maharajas of Jaipur. The desire to preserve the game in these forests for sport was responsible for their conservation, and subsequent rescue by Project Tiger. The Park sprawls over an estimated area of 400 sq kms. Steep crags embrace a network of lakes and rivers, and on top of one of these hills, is the impressive Ranthambore Fort, built in the 10th century.

The forest is the typically dry deciduous type, with dhok – Anogeissus latifolia, being the most prominent tree. Ranthambore is not only tigers – it is also about the deer, the reptiles and the numerous birds of the park. For a relatively small area, the park has a rich diversity of fauna and flora - species list includes 300 trees, 50 aquatic plants, 272 birds, 12 reptiles (including the marsh crocodile) & amphibians and 30 mammals. Recently more tigers were introduced to Ranthambore and the park has seen a healthy rise in their numbers. (B, L, D)

Day 05 and 06  In Ranthambore

Both these days are spent in Ranthambore enjoying morning and evening Game Drives. All meals are at the resort. The resort also has other activities including talks, walks, cycling etc. for you to choose from. (B, L, D)

Day 07   98 miles / 3½ hours  Ranthambore – Jaipur

This morning enjoy another Jungle safari after which you return to the hotel for breakfast. Post breakfast drive to Jaipur and on arrival, check-in at your hotel.


Built by Maharaja Jai Singh II (after whom it was named), in 1727, it is the largest and fastest growing city in the state of Rajasthan. Jaipur today emulates Delhi with its contemporary lifestyle and mélange of art and cultural options. India’s first planned city, Jaipur was built on the classical architectural principals of Vaastu Shastra. The city was divided into blocks and for the first time there was a segregation of residential and commercial areas. The City Palace built at its heart covered almost a seventh of the area of the entire city. It is popularly known as Pink City, due the hue of the buildings across the old town.
You are assisted with checking in on arrival with the rest of the day at leisure. (B)

Day 08   Jaipur

An early breakfast is planned at the hotel, followed by sightseeing of Jaipur. The tour starts at Amber Fort with a stop at the Hawa Mahal for photographs. The Hawa Mahal or Palace of Winds is a beautiful façade built for the ladies of the royal family. It is where they sat and watched the procession and festivals on the main avenue without being seen. Proceed on to Amber Fort, located in Amer a town lying on the outskirts of Jaipur. This is where the Kushwaha Kings were based before moving to Jaipur to cater to the burgeoning population and scarcity of water. The Amber Fort is a classic example of Hindu and Rajput architectural styles. Its large ramparts lead up to a fort that is spread over four levels, each with large courtyards. The fort houses various palaces including the summer, winter and monsoon palace as well as temples. Each of these palaces was built to combat the extreme weather and even today one can see how effective they were. Built on a high hill, the fort can be seen for miles and has been recently renovated. The ascent up to the fort is on elephant back, in the style of the Maharajas.

 
After visiting Amber, return to Jaipur to see the City Palace. The City Palace is the residence of the erstwhile royal family but some parts including the museums are open to visitors. The palace contains various smaller palaces, which house the armory museum and the artists’ exhibition. The liveried palace staff can be seen going about their business. On display in the museum are clothes, pictures, and objects from everyday life, horse buggies and elephant Howdahs.  The intricate styling of the city palace doors, the enormous silver urns, the beautiful frescos and the lovely palaces make this an enticing place to visit.
 
Lastly visit an observatory built by the astronomer king Jai Singh II - the Jantar Mantar. The collection included many architectural astronomical instruments that were used to measure time, predicting eclipses, and tracking stars, do astrological calculations & predictions and more. The fourteen large instruments are still in working condition. Jaipur is on of the best places to shop, from bargains to high-end jewelry, carpets and objects d’art. Thus the evening could be spent shopping and strolling through the vibrant streets of this city. (B)

Day 09   91 miles / 2.5 hrs  Jaipur – Pushkar

After breakfast, checkout and start your drive to Pushkar. You are met on arrival and assisted with checking in to your resort.
 
A tiny little town, almost forgotten by time, Pushkar is a gem that is tremendously underrated. A very important Hindu pilgrimage center, Pushkar is home to the famous Brahma Temple. Brahma, is the preserver in the Hindu Trinity of Gods (Brahma – the creator / Vishnu – the preserver / Shiv – the destroyer).  Puskar is located at the edge of the Thar Desert along the banks of the picturesque Pushkar Lake. Pushkar was put on the tourist map because of the camel fair that is held here annually.

 
Late this afternoon walk through the local bazaar to the Brahma Temple located on the banks of Pushkar Lake. Walk through the winding streets and end up at one of the banks where a special arti (prayer) ceremony is arranged for you. Walk back to your resort through the markets, stopping to shop where you want. The evening is at your leisure. (B)

Day 10   114 miles / 04 hrs  Pushkar – Jodhpur

This morning a yoga and meditation session is planned. It is an early morning activity and is conducted in the open so that you can imbibe the fresh air and the warmth of the new sun. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel after the yoga. Post breakfast, you are driven to the enticing city of Jodhpur. The second largest city in Rajasthan, Jodhpur has a long and valorous history involving severe hardships and battles. Founded in 1459 by Roa Jodha a Rajput King, Jodhpur became the capital of his kingdom Marwar. Located on the strategic Delhi – Gujarat road the town prospered as a trade route. The state has always been known as a seat for art and architecture, and has the monuments to prove it. Today, Jodhpur is on the international party circuit as also the fashion world.

 
On arrival, check-in to your hotel and enjoy some time at leisure. Early this evening, you are driven to Mehrangarh Fort to see this breathtaking edifice perched on a 37 mts high hill. Built by Rao Jodha, this fort is today one of the best museums in the country and has galleries that include Elephant howdahs, palanquins, paintings, woodcraft, textile and more. The base of the Mehrangarh hill, is surrounded by houses painted blue, to signify that Brahmins lived in them. These days even though not all house are blue there are still a significant number and it is these that give the city its name – The Blue City of Jodhpur.
 
The rest of the day is at leisure. An optional dinner can be arranged on the ramparts of the Mehrangarh Fort. (B)

Day 11  Jodhpur

Breakfast is arranged at the hotel this morning. At around 1100 hrs, specially modified jeeps will be at the lobby to take you on an exciting adventure in to the villages surrounding Jodhpur. Jodhpur is located in one of the most infertile regions of Rajasthan. This area is home to a lot of tribes who live in peace and harmony with nature. Amongst these are the Bishnoi people, who are known across the world as conservationists. They don’t believe in killing any animals and survive on what they can grow in this harsh environment. You get the opportunity to talk to the villagers and understand how through their tireless efforts life has come back to this arid region of the country. Lunch is arranged at a picnic spot in the middle of the desert before you enjoy a return cross-country ride to your hotel. The evening is at leisure. (B, L)

Day 12  JODHPUR – UDAIPUR VIA RANAKPUR  164 miles / 07 hrs

Check out after early breakfast and begin your drive to Udaipur. The landscape changes with each passing mile, with arid desert giving way to undulating green hills. In the midst of these hill lies the little town of Ranakpur, made famous by its amazing Jain Temple. The beautifully carved temple has 1444 unique pillars and 29 halls. All the relief work is done in beautiful ivory marble.
 
After the visit, you are driven to Fatehbagh for lunch. The hotel was an old home built in 1802 as a palace on the foothills of Aravali’s near Jodhpur. In 2002, the crumbling old villa was rescued and dismantled and moved here to Ranakpur, piece by piece and re-assembled into this fabulous hotel. The pieces of the old property that couldn’t be incorporated into the new structure have been displayed around the property as artwork. After lunch, resume your drive to Udaipur, where you are met on arrival and assisted with checking in.

 

 
Not only one of the most romantic places in India, Udaipur is today considered one of the most romantic places in the world. Studded with lakes, amidst rolling hills is located this gem of a destination. Founded in 1559 by Mahrana Udai Singh II, Udaipur was the final capital of the state of Mewar. Here the king was designated caretaker and not ruler in the name of the Lord Shiva. Thus the title given to the kings here was Maharana and the current Maharana is the 76th descendent of the family. Due to its strong location, Udaipur was never conquered either by the British or the Mughal Empire, thus leaving it bereft of their influence. (B, L)

Day 13  IN UDAIPUR

After breakfast, visit the City Palace Complex – built along the banks of the Lake Pichola, this is a series of Palaces that have been built since 1559. The maintenance and building of the palace continues to this date. Inside the palace you visit the museum with its collections from the Royal wardrobe, paintings, carriages, armory and more. After this, visit the silver gallery – one of the newest additions to the palace to see the fantastic collection of silver of the House of Mewar. Walk out of the Palace Complex and through the quaint streets outside to visit the imposing Jagdish Temple. Unlike the temples at Ranakpur, the Jagdish Temple has intricate carvings right around it. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu (The Preserver in the Hindu trinity of Gods), the temple was built in 1651 by the then Maharana – Jagat Singh I.

 
The rest of the day is at leisure. This evening a boat ride on Lake Pichola is planned so that you can enjoy watching the sun settle over the horizon from your unique vantage point. (B)

Day 14  UDAIPUR – DELHI

Enjoy the morning at leisure with breakfast at the hotel. This afternoon, check out and drive to Eklingji to see the temples there and the Saans Bahu Temple close by. The Maharana Mewar Charitable Trust controls the Eklingji temple and the Maharana of Udaipur takes personal interest in the running and management of this place of worship. After the visit, you are driven directly to the airport to board your flight to Mumbai
 
AI 472 Dep. Udaipur: 16:05hrs Arr. Delhi: 17:15hrs  Flight numbers and times are subject to change 
You are met on arrival and transferred to your hotel where a room has been reserved till departure.

Day 15  DEPART INDIA

Early this morning, you are escorted to Indira Gandhi International Airport by a Sacred Dot representative and assisted with checking in.

ENVISAGED HOTELS
CITY STANDARD HOTELS SUPERIOR HOTELS DELUXE HOTELS # OF NIGHTS
         
DELHI City Park The Royal Plaza The Lalit 2
AGRA Amar Crystal Sarovar Premiere ITC Mughal 1
RATHAMBORE Tiger Den Ranthambhore Regency Vivanta by Taj 3
JAIPUR Leisure Inn Grand Chanakya Lemon Tree Premier ITC Rajputana 2
PUSHKAR Pushkar Bagh Jagat Palace Ananta Spa & Resorts 1
JODHPUR Ratan Vilas Ajit Bhawan Raas 2
UDAIPUR Lake Pichola Ramada Resort Ananta Spa & Resorts 2
DELHI Red Fox Lemon Tree Pullman 1
 
Cost includes:

·          14 night’s accommodation is on Bed and Breakfast basis throughout, during stay at Ranthambhore all meals are included (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
·          Transfer, Tours and excursion by an Air-conditioned Toyota Innova.
·          Meet / assist by Sacred Dot representative in all cities. 
·          Entrance charges to monuments (Single entry) as specified in the itinerary.
·          04 Jungle Safaris in Ranthambhore by Jeep (Subject to availability) / Canter.
·          Elephant ride at Amber Fort in Jaipur.
·          Picnic lunch in Jodhpur near Bishnoi village.
·          Evening boat cruise on Lake Pichola.
·          Local English Speaking Guide for tours as per the itinerary.
·          Train Travel: Bharatpur - Sawai Madhopur by Jan Shahtabdi Express: 1548 / 1802 Hrs.
·          Current applicable Service Tax.

Cost excludes

·          International Air fare.
·          Domestic Air fare (provided as a supplement).
·          Any major meals other than those mentioned in inclusions.
·          Any mandatory Christmas / New Year Eve Dinner.
·          Expenses of a personal nature like laundry, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, any major meals in hotels or during excursions, tips at hotels and restaurants / porter charges at Railway station and airports etc.

Notes:

·          Check-in time is 1400hrs and check-out 12 noon
·          Hotels offered may change at the time of actual booking and if so a similar hotel in the same category will be offered.
·          Twin room are subject to availability at the time of check in at hotel.

 

 

  Price:- From $3,460 per person sharing. Standard Accommodation. Please contact us for seasonal rates and availability 

  Price:- From $4,280 per person sharing. Superior Accommodation. Please contact us for seasonal rates and availability 

  Price:- From $5,553 per person sharing. DerLuxe Accommodation. Please contact us for seasonal rates and availability 

 

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