ROYAL RAJASTHAN
Cultural tour of India

Welcome to the Land of the Kings, showcasing India at its magical best. Like a legend come to life, Rajasthan boasts an incredible array of mighty forts, elaborate palaces and cities awash in searing, riotous colour. Explore Old Delhi’s ancient sites, then see the world’s most famous monument of love, the Taj Mahal, in Agra. Experience the seductive pink mayhem of Jaipur, track tigers in Ranthambore and admire enchanting Pushkar with its scenic holy lake. Then explore the luminescent blue patchwork of Jodhpur, the desert magnificence of Jaisalmer and the majestic forts of Bikaner. We end our journey at the storybook town of Mandawa, with its wildly colorful, beautifully and bizarrely painted havelis (traditional ornately decorated residences).

UNESCO World Heritage Sites covered in this tour
1. Humayun’s Tomb 5. Fatehpur Sikri
2. Qutb Minar and its Monuments 6. Taj Mahal
3. Red Fort Complex 7. Agra Fort
4. Jantar Mantar 8. Hill Forts of Rajasthan

Tour Information
Tour Duration : 16 days
Min. Tour Size : 02 persons
Max. Tour Size : 14 persons
Includes international air
Tour Price (from) : US$
Day 01: Arrive Delhi
Day 02: Delhi
(B, D)
Day 03: Delhi/Agra (Drive)
(B, D)
Day 04: Agra
(B, D)
Day 05: Agra/Ranthambore (Drive)
(B, L, D)
Day 06: Ranthambore/Jaipur (Drive)
(B, D)
Day 07: Jaipur
(B, D)
Day 08: Jaipur/Pushkar (Drive)
(B, D)
Day 09: Pushkar/Udaipur (Drive)
(B, D)
Day 10: Udaipur
(B, D)
Day 11: Udaipur/Jodhpur (Drive)
(B, D)
Day 12: Jodhpur/Jaisalmer (Drive)
(B, D)
Day 13: Jaisalmer
(B, D)
Day 14: Jaisalmer/Bikaner (Drive)
(B, D)
Day 15: Bikaner/Mandawa/Alsisar (Drive)
(B, D)
Day 16: Alsisar/Depart Delhi
(B, D)
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Day 01: Arrive Delhi

Namaste! We are warmly welcomed the traditional Indian way with hands clapped together at the airport and transferred to our hotel. Remainder of the day is free to relax.

Overnight: Vivanta By Taj Dwarka, New Delhi (2 Nights)

Day 02: Delhi

The capital of India is truly a tantalizing mixture of old and new. We explore Old Delhi, starting with the famous Red Fort*, built by Shah Jehan as one of the most opulent forts in the Moghul Empire. We then embark on a captivating journey by rickshaw through the hustle and bustle of Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi’s oldest and busiest market. End our ride at monumental Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque, before proceeding to Raj Ghat, the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi. Evening we enjoy a welcome dinner at a well-known Indian restaurant. (B, D)

Day 03: Delhi/Agra (Drive)

We start our morning tour with an exploration of New Delhi and a visit to Birla House, the last residence of Mahatma Gandhi and the site where he was assassinated. Next, take in the famous India Gate, followed by the Houses of Parliament, Connaught Place and Humayun’s Tomb*, built in 1570 as the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent. Humayan’s Tomb inspired several major architectural innovations, including the Taj Mahal. Experience the stunning ancient minaret of Qutb Minar* before we drive to the majestic city of Agra.

Overnight: Trident Agra / The Gateway Hotel, Agra (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 04: Agra

We start our day with a sunrise visit to see and experience the most well known wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal*. An immense mausoleum of white marble, built in Agra between 1631 and 1648 by order of the Moghul emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife, the Taj Mahal is the jewel of Muslim art in India and a universally admired masterpiece of world heritage. Situated on the right bank of the Yamuna in a vast Moghul garden, this funerary monument combines elements and styles of Persian, Central Asian and Islamic architecture. After visiting the Taj Mahal, we return back to our hotel for breakfast. Following our morning meal, we visit Agra Fort*. This powerful fortress of red sandstone encompasses the spectacular imperial city of the Moghul rulers. Explore fairy-tale palaces, audience halls and two very beautiful mosques.

In the afternoon, we visit Fatehpur Sikri*. Built during the second half of the 16th century by the Emperor Akbar, this stunning complex was once capital of the Moghul empire. After just 10 years, its temples, mosques and monuments were abandoned due to lack of water. The remains include one of the largest mosques in India and the artistically designed mausoleum of the revered Sufi saint, Salim Chisty. Evening is free to explore this small town home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. (B, D)

Note: On nights with a full moon, the Taj Mahal's pure white marble shimmers silver in the moonlight. Bestway Tours & Safaris can arrange an optional tour to enjoy this very special occasion.

Day 05: Agra/Ranthambore (Drive)

Our adventure continues as we set off for Ranthambore, the former hunting ground of the Maharajas of Jaipur. Ranthambore National Park boasts one of the largest and most diverse collections of wildlife species in India. It’s rugged terrain and dense deciduous forests also offer stunning panoramas. After lunch at our lodge in Ranthambore, we take an exciting safari through the park, spotting tiger, nilgai, chausingha, chital, chinkara, wild boar, jungle cat, ratel, hyena, porcupine, rhesus macaque and the black-faced langur. About 150 bird species can also be found here, including migratory birds that arrive in winter.

Overnight: Tiger Den Resort, Ranthambore (1 night) (B, L, D)

Day 06: Ranthambore/Jaipur (Drive)

Ranthambore was established as a game sanctuary in 1955 and declared a Project Tiger reserve in 1973. Spotting Ranthambore’s famous Royal Bengal tigers in their natural habitat is an awe-inspiring experience. Early morning, we take another safari through the park with our eye out for these majestic animals. After our morning safari, we drive to Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. Jaipur is also called the Pink City, since most of the buildings in the old city are made of pink sandstone. In the evening, we enjoy dinner followed by a unique Rajasthani cultural dance show.

Overnight: Trident Jaipur, Jaipur (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 07: Jaipur

This morning, we are treated like the royalty of yesteryear with a journey to Amber Fort*, located in a picturesque valley among the Kalikho Hills. Known as the gem of Jaipur, this imposing fort dating from the late 16th century was never attacked or invaded. Built from a combination of yellow and pink sandstone and white marble, the fort includes distinguished halls, intricate carvings and ornate gardens. At Jaipur we visit the majestic City Palace, which houses a rare collection of Indian art. We also stop at the stunning Hawa Mahal, or Palace of Winds, where the ladies of the royal harem used to watch the city from behind the intricately carved façade, and the Jantar Mantar*, a historic astronomical observation site boasting instruments used to star-gaze with the naked eye. The evening is free to enjoy the one-of-a-kind shopping of the bazaars. Jaipur is noted for its craftsmen, skilled in brass inlay, lacquer work and stone setting. (B, D)

Day 08: Jaipur/Pushkar (Drive)

A leisurely drive to Pushkar, a bewitching little town on the edge of the desert with temples, bathing Ghats, onion domes and chalk-coloured buildings clustering around its holy lake, said to have appeared when Brahma dropped a lotus flower. The lake is an important pilgrimage centre and we shall see many pilgrims and Sadhus, Hindu holy men. We visit the famous Lord Brahma Temple, one of the few temples in the world dedicated to this deity. Evening we walk through the town and meet the local folks.

Overnight: The Green House Resort, Pushkar (1 night) (B, D)

Day 09: Pushkar/Udaipur (Drive)

Enjoy superb countryside views as we journey through Rajasthan to Udaipur. Rajasthan literally means “the land of the Rajas” and the region’s royal heritage is still readily apparent. Udaipur was the historic capital of the former kingdom of Mewar and no other city in Rajasthan is quite as romantic. Centred around shimmering Lake Pichhola, the city offers beautifully intricate buildings set amid misty, rolling hills. Balance of the day is free in Udaipur – a city that is known for its gardens, lakes and palaces.

Overnight: Trident Udaipur, Udaipur (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 10: Udaipur

Our fascinating exploration of Udaipur starts with a visit to the enchanting City Palace, which overlooks the Lake Palace located in the blue waters of Lake Pichola. The palace features several architectural and artistic treasures, such as the stunning peacock mosaics in the Mor Chowk and the murals of the Bhim Vilas Palace. We then visit the Jagdish Temple to view some remarkable friezes dating back to 1651. Next we explore Fateh Sagar Lake and Saheliyon Ki Bari, the Garden of Maids. We end our tour of Udaipur with a boat ride on Lake Pichola, sailing past the picturesque Ghats and palaces, and visit Jag Mandir, a 17th century palace built on an island in the middle of the glistening lake, used by the royal family as a summer resort. (B, D)

Day 11: Udaipur/Jodhpur (Drive)

After breakfast we drive to Jodhpur, also known as the Blue City for the blue colours that decorate many of its heritage buildings. On arrival, we check in to our hotel. In the afternoon, we visit Mehrangarh Fort, one of the largest forts in India. The fort is situated 400 feet (122 m) above the city and is enclosed by imposing thick walls. Inside its boundaries, there are several palaces known for their intricate carvings and expansive courtyards. We enter through the Gate of Victory (Jaipal) and explore the series of courtyards and palaces decorated with beautiful terracotta lattice work. The museum in the fort has one of the best collections of the splendid trappings of Indian royalty, including some amazing elephant’s howdahs (essential for glittering processions), miniature paintings and the inevitable Rajput armory and ephemera from ivory inlaid ladies dumbbells to camel bone carpet weights. Later we visit Jaswant Thada, a white marble memorial to Maharaja Jaswant Singh II with an array of whimsical domes.

Overnight: Radisson Jodhpur, Jodhpur (Vegetarian Hotel) (1 night) (B, D)

Day 12: Jodhpur/Jaisalmer (Drive)

After breakfast, an interesting rural Rajasthan drive to Jaisalmer. Also known as the “Golden City” for its yellowish sandstone, Jaisalmer lies in the heart of the Thar Desert. Its crown is a fort that contains a palace and several finely sculptured Jain temples. On arrival, we check in at our hotel. The remainder of the day is free for relaxation.

Overnight: Hotel Rawal Kot, Jaisalmer (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 13: Jaisalmer

Today we visit Jaisalmer Fort*, one of the largest forts in the world. Built almost a millennium ago, the fort stands proudly on Thikuta Hill. As the sun sets, its yellow sandstone walls fade to a honey-gold, camouflaging the fort in the surrounding desert. Life within the citadel conjures up images of medieval times as we wander through narrow lanes filled with havelis (mansions), temples, skilled artisans and, of course, camels. We then explore the Jain temple dating to 11th century B.C. and the Folk Museum. Next we visit Patwon-ki-Haveli, the home of a wealthy merchant belonging to a powerful Oswal Jain community which had over three hundred trading centers from Afghanistan to China. This ornate five-story complex took fifty years to complete and is the largest and most elaborate of Jaisalmer’s havelis. We also experience Gadisar Tank, a scenic rainwater lake surrounded by numerous beautiful shrines and a spectacular variety of birds. In the late afternoon, we drive to Sam village in the Thar Desert. Here we ride on camels to the nearby sand dunes and enjoy the beautiful desert sunset. (B, D)

Day 14: Jaisalmer/Bikaner (Drive)

Continue our journey to Bikaner, where we check in to our spectacular heritage hotel. Lalgarh Palace was built between 1902 and 1926 in splendid Rajput, Mughal and European architectural styles. Commissioned by Maharaja Ganga Singh, the building is covered in red sandstone. It boasts several grand halls, lounges, cupolas and pavilions, as well as magnificent pillars, elaborate fireplaces, Italian colonnades and intricate latticework. Housed inside is the Shri Sadul Museum and the Anup Sanskrit Library, as a large and important collection of Sanskrit manuscripts. Afternoon explore Junagarh Fort, built by Raja Rai Singh. The Raja travelled extensively while in the imperial service, and his appreciation of the art and architecture that he had seen was meticulously incorporated into Junagarh Fort. Later we visit a camel breeding farm set within the sand dunes, the only farm of its kind in the whole of Asia.

Overnight: Lalgarh Palace, Bikaner (1 night) (B, D)

Day 15: Bikaner/Mandawa/Alsisar (Drive)

After breakfast, we drive passing villages to Deshnoke to visit the famous Rat Temple. This ornate, isolated Hindu temple was constructed by Maharaja Ganga Singh in the early 1900s as a tribute to the rat goddess, Karni Mata. Intricate marble panels line the entrance and the floors, and silver and gold decorations are found throughout. But by far the most intriguing aspect of the interior are approximately 20,000 rats that call this temple home. These holy animals are called kabbas and many people travel great distances to pay their respects. Later we drive to Mandawa, one of the finest small towns in the Shekhawati region. We explore Mandawa’s famous "Open Air Art Gallery of Rajasthan", visiting havelis where the walls have been decorated with beautiful frescos depicting different aspects of life in Rajasthan. From here, we continue our drive to Alsisar and check in at Alsisar Mahal.

Overnight: Alsisar Mahal (1 Night) (B, D)

Day 16: Alsisar/Delhi (Drive)

After a fascinating tour of Royal Rajasthan, we are driven to Delhi. Here we check in at hotel Vivanta By Taj Dwarka New Delhi for day rooms until 8:30 PM. After a farewell dinner, we are transferred to the international terminal for our flight home. We bid farewell to India after what will have been a memorable journey into history, culture, art and architecture, having made new friends and lots of memories. Or extend our adventure with one of our small group cultural journeys to South India. (B, D)

B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Departure Dates
English Speaking Departures (Please contact us for information on French, German, Italian and Spanish speaking departures).

2018

Oct 10 & 19; Nov 02, 09, 18 & 30; Dec 07 & 14

2019

Jan 11, 18 & 25; Feb 08, 15 & 22; Mar 08, 15 & 22; Apr 12; May 03; Jun 07; Jul 06; Aug 10; Sep 07 & 14; Oct 04, 18 & 28; Nov 08, 15 & 22; Dec 06 & 13

2020

Jan 10, 17 & 31; Feb 07, 14 & 28; Mar 06, 13 & 27; Apr 10; May 08; Jun 05; Jul 11; Aug 08; Sep 05

Tour Price

We accept payment in US $ (US Dollars), CA $ (Canadian Dollars) or equivalent EURO (for clients outside North America). Bestway Tours & Safaris offers conversion rate protection. Once full payment has been received, and no modification has been made to the tour itinerary, we will honour that rate. For complete payment procedures, please click here

Departure(s) Per Person on Twin Sharing Single Room Supplement
VALIDITY (Jul 05 2018 to Sep 06, 2018) US$ 1732 • CA$ 2250 US$ 590 • CA$ 770
Oct 10 & 19; Nov 02, 18 & 30; Dec 07, 2018) US$ 2354 • CA$ 2990 US$ 748 • CA$ 950
Nov 09, 2018 US$ 2520 • CA$ 3199 US$ 865 • CA$ 1099
Dec 14, 2018 US$ 2590 • CA$ 3287 US$ 865 • CA$ 1099
VALIDITY (Jan 11, 2019 to Mar 22, 2019) US$ 2354 • CA$ 2990 US$ 748 • CA$ 950
VALIDITY (Apr 12, 2019 to Jun 07, 2019) US$ 2063 • CA$ 2620 US$ 544 • CA$ 690
VALIDITY (Jul 06, 2019 to Sep 14, 2019) US$ 1893 • CA$ 2399 US$ 544 • CA$ 690
VALIDITY (Oct 04 & 18; Nov 08, 15 & 22; Dec 06, 2019) US$ 2410 • CA$ 3060 US$ 799 • CA$ 1020
Oct 28, 2019 US$ 2577 • CA$ 3272 US$ 922 • CA$ 1172
Dec 13, 2019 US$ 2650 • CA$ 3367 US$ 922 • CA$ 1172
VALIDITY (Jan 10, 2020 to Mar 13, 2020) US$ 2410 • CA$ 3060 US$ 799 • CA$ 1020
Mar 27, 2020 US$ 2299 • CA$ 2920 US$ 724 • CA$ 920
VALIDITY (Apr 10, 2020 to Jun 05, 2020) US$ 2124 • CA$ 2699 US$ 560 • CA$ 712
VALIDITY (Jul 11, 2020 to Sep 05, 2020) US$ 1951 • CA$ 2477 US$ 560 • CA$ 712


Notes

• Ranthambore National Park remains closed from July 01 to September 30. For departures during this period, an additional night will be provided in New Delhi instead of Ranthambore.
• Nov 09, 2018 & Oct 28, 2019 departures are coinciding with Pushkar Camel Fair. These departures will spend 2 nights in Pushkar and 1 night in Udaipur
• Unless specified, check-in at hotels in India is at 14:00 Hrs and check out is at 12:00 Hrs



Inclusions


Tour Price Includes
  • Accommodation as mentioned or similar, including hotel taxes
  • 31 Meals as mentioned (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • All sightseeing and transfers by private transportation
  • Services of local English speaking guides
  • Entrance fees to museums and sites included in the itinerary
  • Camel Safari at Sam Sand Dunes, Jaisalmer
  • Boat Ride (Common Boat) at Lake Pichhola in Udaipur.
  • 2 Safaris through Ranthambore National Park (October to June Departures) (Subject to availability)
  • Rickshaw Ride in Delhi
Not Included
  • Any airfares
  • Insurance/visas
  • Tips/gratuities

Estimated International Airfare
(International airfare is NOT included in this tour)

CANADA(West Coast)
US$ 1600

USA(West Coast)
US$ 1400

CANADA(East Coast)
US$ 1200

USA(East Coast)
US$ 1000

Participants

This tour operates on a minimum of 02 and a maximum of 14 participants

Customised Itinerary

If you would like to have a tour on dates other than the above ones or with a customised itinerary, please contact us and we will be happy to work out an exclusive program for you.

Contact Info
You may e-mail us at bestway@bestway.com or call 1-604-264-7378. Residents of U.S.A./Canada may call us toll free at 1-800-663-0844.