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India, Rajasthan | 16 Days
10th - 25th January 2025

Tour Price (Twin Share): $4,980 AUD
Optional Add-on (Single Supplement):TBA

Reservation:Deposit to Reserve Your Place: $400 AUD

"Join the Camel Treks Team: Discover Hidden Places and Meet the People We've Unveiled Through Years of Exploration."

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Below Image: Rajput with Karen and Nathu – two of your four travel companions in 2025.

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"Embark on an unforgettable journey with Camel Treks Australia's Paul Ellis, Edward Buckingham, NathuRam Choudhary and me through the vibrant tapestry of Rajasthan.

On this splendid adventure you'll meet our many local friends in what might be best described as a 'behind the scenes' journey through Real India. From awe-inspiring wildlife and architecture to delightful culinary experiences, carefully crafted to invoke a sensory feast for the discerning traveller in our very favourite locations."

Karen-Jane Ellis ~ CTA Director"

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Local Guides with Homestay and Historic Haveli accommodation

Featuring luxury palaces, monumental forts, exquisite temples, wildlife sanctuaries, national parks, vibrant markets, and more, our tour promises an unforgettable experience. Experience the warm hospitality of India as we venture off the beaten path. Our itinerary includes unique encounters, personal attendants, and the enjoyment of freshly prepared meals. The days outlined below provide a guideline of our activities; however, each day is packed with flexible options to participate in or relax.

 


Tipping everywhere in India is customary, this tour includes all tipping so you can relax at hotels, with guides, at monuments, with drivers, and on safari.

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Rajasthan, India - Land of the Kings

Rajasthan is India at its colourful best...the incredible light, the austere and atmospheric landscapes of the desert and ancient Aravali mountains, the romance of Rajasthan’s heritage and chivalry, the hospitality and humour of the people whether from regal lineage or dignified desert-dwellers, and their arts and crafts.

 

It is also the largest state of the Republic of India, encompassing the Great Indian Desert known as the Thar. The people of this region have filled the plain canvas of

the arid desert with a profusion of vivid colours. The sheer vibrancy and festivities

in their lifestyle leaves no room for anything dull or pale. 

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Step back in time...India will change your life!

Welcome to India, New Delhi and Old Delhi
 

As of 2024, Delhi's estimated population stands at 33,807,000 showcasing a significant evolution since 1950 when it was a modest 1,369,369. These statistics, derived from the latest revision of the UN World Urbanisation Prospects, encapsulate the urban agglomeration of Delhi.

Delhi, the capital city of India, is celebrated as the heart of the nation, pulsating with enriched culture and heritage. It stands as a testament to religious diversity, bearing the imprints of Mughal, ancient Indian, and British influences. The city is adorned with iconic historical monuments and serene gardens, offering a respite from the hustle and bustle of urban life.

Divided into two captivating sections, Purani Dilli (Old Delhi) and Nayi Dilli (New Delhi), each segment tells a unique story. Old Delhi, founded by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan in 1639, echoes the grandeur of the Mughal dynasty with its ancient mosques, lush gardens, and magnificent mansions. Despite its bustling gastronomical lanes, it remains the symbolic heart of Delhi.

Old Delhi, a city within a city, boasts a rich history, witnessing the rise and fall of empires. Shah Jahan's architectural marvels, including the Chandni Chowk and the Lal Qila, contribute to the city's timeless charm. The area's significance is further emphasised by its early wholesale and hardware markets, a flower market in Daryaganj, and the bustling Khari Baoli spice market.

Post-1857, the capital shifted to Calcutta, leading to the development of Lutyens' Delhi in 1911. New Delhi, a modern counterpart to Old Delhi, officially inaugurated in 1931, became the seat of the national government. The city's transformation reflects a harmonious blend of tradition and progress.

Our journey together begins in Delhi, featuring comfortable home-based accommodation, a local walking tour, and a cooking class, among other enriching activities.

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Day 1 - 10th January: ARRIVE Indira Gandhi International Airport  

 

New Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport - Guest House (17.5km/30 mins)

Afternoon and Evening Shopping at Hauz Khas Village Market

Plan to email us your flight itinerary. Upon arriving in Delhi on the 10th of January, either Edward or Karen will greet you at the airport with a traditional Indian welcome, Namaste. They will transport you to our South Delhi accommodation and guide you through the check-in process, ensuring a seamless start to your journey. You'll meet fellow travellers at the evening meal, have any questions answered, and receive detailed information about today and the coming days ahead.

Prakash Kutir Bed & Breakfast offers an authentic taste of Indian hospitality nestled in the vibrant Hauz Khas Village, located in the upscale South Delhi

Discover one of South Delhi’s best-kept secrets from our family stay lodgings with a private walking tour in Hauz Khas. Explore Tughlaq and Mughal-era monuments, intertwined with some of the city’s trendiest boutiques and nightlife spots. Delve into the neighbourhood’s post-independence history, and take a leisurely stroll through Deer Park, renowned for its wild herbs and resident animals. 

Prakash Kutir offers us a home setting for two nights in New Delhi, conveniently located 4 km from Qutub Minar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of Delhi's most popular attractions. Built in 1192 by Qutb-ud-din Aibak, the first ruler of the Delhi Sultanate.

Prakash Kutir is also conveniently located within a 15-minute drive from colourful shopping areas such as Lajpat Nagar, Delhi Haat, and Saket. Additionally, it provides easy access to major tourist attractions including Qutub Minar, and Safdarjung Tomb, as well as recreational spots like Deer Park and Nizamuddin Tomb, affording insights into local Delhi living. We also explore art and clothing galleries at Shahpur Jat Village, Hauz Khas Village, and Lado Sarai. During our journey, we will travel comfortably in and eleven seater coach, expertly managed by Nathu for the entire duration of the journey.

SHOPPING - Prakash Kutir is within 400 metres of Hauz Khas Village Market

This artistic enclave features narrow lanes bustling with boutiques offering designer Indian clothing, handicrafts, contemporary ceramics, handmade furniture, and vintage Bollywood posters. Intriguingly, it is nestled amidst numerous 13th- and 14th-century ruins, alongside a forested deer park and a serene lake. Notable dining and drinking establishments include Naivedyam and Hauz Khas Social.

Hauz Khas Village is also renowned for its upmarket vibrant nightlife scene, boasting numerous restaurants, cafes, and bars. Let us know if you plan to venture out!

Meals Included: Dinner

Accommodation: Prakash Kutir Bed & Breakfast South Delhi

Specialist Guide: Ajay and Savita Gupta

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Day 2 - 11th January: DELHI 

Delhi ~ Architectural, historical marvels, Mystic Old Delhi Walking Tour, Shopping at Shahpur Jat Village Market, Authentic Cooking class!

Embark on a captivating journey through the heart of Delhi, where history, culture, and culinary delights converge to offer an unforgettable experience. From awe-inspiring architectural marvels, to immersive cultural encounters, each stop promises to unveil the rich tapestry of India's heritage. Join us as we explore hidden gems, savour tantalising flavours, and indulge in the vibrant spirit of Delhi's bustling streets.

The Qutab Minar

Discover the iconic Qutb Minar, a majestic victory tower and UNESCO World Heritage Site nestled within the historic Qutb complex in Mehrauli, South Delhi. Dating back to the 12th century, this remarkable minaret, standing tall with 399 steps, is a testament to India's rich architectural heritage. Explore the ancient ruins of Lal Kot, Delhi's oldest fortified city founded by the Tomar Rajputs, and immerse yourself in the fascinating history of this timeless marvel, a must-visit destination for travellers exploring Delhi's cultural treasures.

India Gate and The Red Fort

We tour past the iconic India Gate and Red Fort, reminiscent of the Arc de Triomphe, offers a glimpse into India's history and valour. Erected in 1931, this monument commemorates the sacrifices of Indian soldiers, housing an eternal flame as a symbol of their bravery.

Mystic Old Delhi Walking Tour with Ajay - snacks and lunch on walk

Embark on a captivating journey through the heart of Old Delhi with Ajay, a seasoned guide who has called this vibrant neighbourhood home since birth. With intimate knowledge of its bustling lanes and hidden treasures, Ajay offers a unique perspective that only a local can provide. As you wind through the maze of narrow streets that define Old Delhi's commercial hub, Ajay will regale you with stories of its rich history and architectural marvels. Along the way, indulge in the culinary delights of Purani Dilli Chaat, a timeless delicacy with recipes passed down through generations. This will be an unforgettable walking tour that promises intrigue, discovery, and the authentic flavours of Old Delhi.

Shopping at Shahpur Jat Village Market

 

A mere 5 minutes walking distance from our accommodation at Prakash Kutir the vibrant shopping hub of Shahpur Jat, where independent boutiques beckon with a treasure trove of delights, from exquisite designer sarees and jewellery to laid-back casual wear. Discover the joy of hassle-free shopping in charming boutiques adorned with set pricing, offering a seamless experience for every visitor.

Cooking Class and Dinner with Mrs Savita Gupta

Enjoy preparing an authentic home-cooked Indian meal! Your hostess, Mrs. Savita Gupta, is a master of Old Delhi cooking. With a degree in home economics from a prestigious university in Delhi, her cooking has generated guest referrals from all over the world. Savita is keen to share her expertise through hands-on classes, specially designed to be simple and use ingredients that are easily available outside of India. If time permits, you might even learn how to prepare mouthwatering pickles and pappadums.

 

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Prakash Kutir in South Delhi 

Specialist Guide: Ajay and Savita Gupta

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Day 3 - 4: 12th - 14th January

 

DELHI to AGRA (220 Kms / 3.5 hrs)

Start your day with a delightful in-house breakfast hosted by Ajay and Savita at Prakash Kutir before embarking on a scenic drive to the Elephant Conservation Centre in Agra then we're off to the theatre! Tomorrow we marvel at the historic Agra Fort and prepare to be enchanted by the majestic beauty of the iconic Taj Mahal

 

The Elephant Conservation and Care Centre (ECCC)1pm 

Following lunch, we embark on a visit to India’s first and only Elephant Conservation and Care Centre (ECCC), established in 2010 in the district of Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, in collaboration with the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department. The primary objective behind its establishment was to rehabilitate severely abused and exploited elephants. Today, ECCC serves as a sanctuary for over 30 rescued elephants and stands as a living conservation education platform, aimed at changing public perception to support elephant conservation efforts.

All elephants at ECCC have been rescued from extreme distress. Some were privately owned and endured a cruel history of being used for begging, while others spent a lifetime in captivity as temple elephants or were coerced to perform in circuses. Now, liberated from the burdens of heavy loads and hot pavements, these majestic creatures spend their days happily, enjoying frequent baths, a nutritious diet, and good veterinary care. The centre boasts natural vegetation and ample open fields for daily walks, along with numerous trees for scratching, closely resembling the elephants' natural habitat. Additionally, water pools are available for the elephants to bathe and play freely.

Situated along the banks of the river Yamuna and surrounded by forested land, ECCC and the Elephant Hospital Campus offer a serene environment. A leisurely 10-minute walk through lush green fields leads our elephants to the river, where they delight in long, relaxing dips.

Our Conservation Education Tour offers an educational experience led by dedicated, experienced Education Officers. During the tour, guests are encouraged to ask questions and learn about the work of Wildlife SOS and the animals in their care. Your contribution supports the upkeep of the facility and the treatment and care of all rescued and injured animals.

Indian theatre with evening Show ~ Agra Mohabbat The Taj Show

In the evening, you will experience Indian theatre with 'Agra Mohabbat The Taj Show'. This captivating show portrays the romantic love story of Emperor Shah Jahan and his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal at the renowned Kalakriti Cultural and Convention Centre. Creative dance and dramatic lighting are showcased with a 12’ x 12’ Taj Mahal replica, offering a glimpse into the lavish lifestyle of the Mughal Empire. The live show is presented in both Hindi and Urdu, with interpretation available in English, French, and German through headphones. Over the course of the one-and-a-half-hour show, more than 80 talented artists bring the lively story to life in this world-class theatre.

Da Bungalow ~ A Vacation Abode

Nestled in the heart of Agra, Da Bungalow awaits as a gateway to India's rich cultural heritage. Step onto the veranda and be enchanted by the exquisite paintings gracing the walls, each portraying regal Indian Maharajas in their splendid attire.  Outside, vibrant stained-glass windows add a touch of tradition. Inside, discover a warm and inviting space that seamlessly blends modern comforts with traditional Indian décor. Da Bungalow boasts their own in house restaurant aptly named 'Five Sense Kitchen and Bar' with chefs taking joy and pride in their delectable creations. After check-in we will enjoy a meal within Da Bungalow. 

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Dá Bungalow - A Vacation Abode

Specialist Guide: Muhammad Shujat Ali 

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Day 4: 13th January: AGRA

Breakfast at Hotel - Departure to AgraCapital of Mughal Empire until 1658

 

Taj Mahal, a UNESCO World Heritage site - The Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site also known as Lal Qila, Fort Rouge, or the Red Fort of Agra, Indian theatre with evening Show! 

The Taj Mahal

Following an early breakfast we depart for The Taj Mahal, an enormous mausoleum complex commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the remains of his beloved wife. Constructed over a 20-year period on the southern bank of the Yamuna River in Agra, India, this famed complex stands as one of the most outstanding examples of Mughal architecture, blending Indian, Persian, and Islamic influences. At its centre is the Taj Mahal, built of shimmering white marble that appears to change colour with the shifting daylight. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983, it remains one of the world’s most celebrated structures and a stunning symbol of India’s rich history.

Meet descendants of the original Taj craftsmen

Throughout the day, various activities will be woven into the itinerary, including a visit to the family responsible for the ongoing restoration of the Taj Mahal, descendants of the original Taj craftsmen.

The Agra Fort

We visit the Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site also known as Lal Qila, Fort Rouge, and the Red Fort of Agra. Situated about 2.5 km northwest of its more famous counterpart, the Taj Mahal, you will delve into the significance of these two architectural marvels and the captivating romance that ties them together.

Agra Fort commemorates an era defined by invasions and fortifications, where power was symbolised by grand palaces and even grander forts. The fort was constructed during such a time. Fortification has consistently been the prerogative of the mighty, serving as the dividing line between rulers and the ruled. The imposing towers and overwhelming facades instil both fear and awe, even in the bravest. However, there were those who overcame daunting adversities, leaving a mark in history—a signature that persists. Structures erected as a testament to prowess remind us of the grit and valour of the brave individuals who captured, destroyed, and built such imposing edifices.

The Agra Fort, impressive and opulent, makes it easy to visualise the days when crocodiles patrolled its moated surroundings.

Dinner at Molecule Air Bar 

Molecule is a unique AirBar and restaurant, unlike any other. Inspired by the World War II era, its concept, interiors, and experimental food and drinks transport guests to a bygone era. The architecture and design seamlessly blend visual storytelling with real-world ambiance. What sets Molecule apart is its incorporation of Molecular Gastronomy, making it a true marvel in the culinary world.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Dá Bungalow - A Vacation Abode

Specialist Guide: Muhammad Shujat Ali 

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Day 5: 14th January

 

AGRA to JAIPUR Uttar Pradesh (Agra - Sariska 180kms/ 3.5hours ~ Sariska - Jaipur 120kms/ 2.5 hours)  

Agra to Jaipur ~ Scenic drive to Sariska National Park, Jeep Safari, The Kankwari Fort and arrival to Tara Niwas Jaipur Hotel 

After indulging in an early breakfast at the 'Five Sense Kitchen and Bar,' we depart from Dá Bungalow - A Vacation Abode at 8am towards Sariska National Park, entering through the Sariska Gate. Following this visit, we embark on an afternoon Jeep Safari, culminating in a late supper arrival at our hotel in Jaipur.

Sariska National Park  

Nestled in the enchanting landscape of the Aravali hills, Sariska Tiger Reserve beckons adventurers with its mystical allure. Spanning over 800 square kilometers, this national park is a harmonious blend of diverse ecosystems, including majestic mountains, sprawling grasslands, verdant forests, and rugged cliffs. As you journey through its wild expanse, you'll encounter a mesmerizing array of flora and fauna, each adding to the park's magical charm.

Within the sanctuary's embrace, a rich tapestry of wildlife unfolds before your eyes. While the majestic tigers reign supreme, Sariska is also home to a plethora of other creatures, from elusive jungle cats and playful rhesus macaques to graceful sambars, spotted chitals, and elusive wild boars. But it's not just the land-dwellers that captivate visitors; the skies above are alive with the melodies of myriad bird species, including the graceful sand grouse, elusive harbor quails, and majestic crested serpent eagles.

For those embarking on this mystical journey, Sariska offers a myriad of experiences waiting to be explored. Whether it's embarking on a thrilling jungle safari, immersing yourself in the serene beauty of its landscapes, or simply basking in the tranquil ambiance of nature, there's something here for every soul seeking adventure and tranquility alike. So step into this realm of wonder and let Sariska Tiger Reserve weave its magic around you.

Sariska Tiger Reserve, also known as Sariska National Park, stands as one of the most sought-after wildlife sanctuaries in India, nestled within the Alwar district of Rajasthan. Encompassing an expansive area of 881 square kilometers, it boasts a diverse landscape comprising dry deciduous forests, scrub-thorn, grasslands, and rocky hills. Situated within the Aravalli range, renowned for its abundant mineral resources like copper, Sariska holds significant historical and mythological significance. Legends dating back to the time of the Mahabharata war narrate tales of the Pandavas seeking refuge in its dense forests to evade the Kauravas during their exile. Within the sanctuary lies Pandupol, a site where Bhima encountered Hanuman, adding to the park's mystical aura.

Sariska Jeep Safari and The Kankwari Fort - A 16th-century fort, originally built by Jai Singh II, located near the centre of the park.

(1pm park arrival - 5.30pm est. departure)

We embark on a jeep safari at Sariska Tiger Reserve, you'll witness stunning wildlife in their natural habitat, with the goal being to witness the parks majestic tigers. Additionally, you'll have the exclusive opportunity to explore the historic Kankwadi Fort, accessible only via jeep safari. As you journey through the reserve, keep your eyes peeled for the diverse avian inhabitants, with over 220 bird species calling Sariska home, including migratory birds from Europe, Central Asia, and beyond. Opting for a group safari enhances the experience, adding an extra layer of enjoyment to your adventure. 

Within the jeep safari we visit The Kankwari Fort situated among the Aravalli hills in the Sariska Tiger Reserve. Built by King Jai Singh in the 16th century, it served as a stronghold for political prisoners due to its natural camouflage. The fort's significance grew with the imprisonment of DaraShikoh, a tale revealing political intrigue and familial strife.From the fort's vantage point, a picturesque view unfolds, with a serene lake nearby. Intricately designed rooms, hallways, and colourful carvings adorn its walls. Open spaces, balconies, and galleries offer tranquility, enveloped by the lush natural beauty of mountains and trees. Aurangzeb's strategic choice of this fort for DaraShikoh's imprisonment underscores its historical importance. Surrounded by ramparts and guarded by soldiers, it stood as a symbol of power and control during tumultuous times in Mughal history.

Upon arrival at Tara Niwas, a charming boutique hotel in Jaipur, a delightful late evening dinner awaits you. This family-run establishment prides itself on offering quality services in a warm and friendly atmosphere.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Tara Niwas Jaipur Hotel 

Specialised Guide: Ajay Kumar - Nature Guide Sariska Safaris

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Day 6: 15th January

 

Jaipur - A full day of exploration in Jaipur City

Breakfast at Hotel Tara Niwas with a full day ahead!

The sunny restaurant provides picturesque views of a charming garden and a green fountain, where guests can dine indoors or in the courtyard. Adorned with local artwork on the walls and traditional frescoes on the roof, the restaurant offers a delightful ambiance. Breakfast options include both Indian and continental cuisine, featuring vegetables sourced from Tara Niwas's chemical-free farm. Guests can also indulge in homemade bread, preserves, and cookies!

The International Kite Festival

The International Kite Festival in Jaipur, celebrated annually on January 14th - 16th, is a vibrant and popular event in Rajasthan. Drawing kite enthusiasts from across the country, it offers exhilarating kite-flying experiences amidst a festive atmosphere. The festival features both competitive Kite Wars and Friendly Kite Flying Sessions. The colourful kites, ranging in hues from indigo to pink, adorn the skies, creating a mesmerising spectacle.

 

Participants of all ages engage in spirited kite-flying activities from morning till evening, accompanied by lively rooftop gatherings and delectable feasts. It's a joyous celebration filled with fun, camaraderie, and specially crafted sweets to savour. We will certainly see kites when we are in Jaipur City. 

Hawal Mahal, Palace of the Winds - morning visit

We take rickshaw rides past the iconic Hawa Mahal, marveling at its intricate architecture and exterior beauty. Situated at Badi Choupad in Jaipur's Pink City, this palace was built in 1799 as an extension of the nearby City Palace. Featuring 953 honeycomb-shaped windows adorned with exquisite carvings, the five-story palace served as a summer retreat, allowing cool breezes to pass through. Commissioned by Sawai Pratap Singh, a Kachhwaha Rajput ruler, the palace was designed to offer privacy to royal ladies while allowing them to observe daily street scenes and royal processions.

The City Palace Museum

Jaipur, steeped in Rajput history, attracts tourists year-round with its architectural marvels. At its heart lies the City Palace, a symbol of regality and grandeur. This historic residence of the Kachwaha Rajput Clan's royal family comprises two sections: one housing courtyards and museums, the other still serving as the royal residence. Initiated by founder Sawai Jai Singh in the 17th century, the palace's architectural evolution reflects Rajput, European, and Mughal influences. Designed by architects Vidyadhar Bhattacharya and Samuel Swinton Jacob, City Palace's red and pink sandstone structures offer a captivating blend of history and aesthetics.

The Amber Palace

Amer Fort, also known as Amber Palace or Amer Palace, is a distinguished historical site located in Amber, just 11 kilometres from Jaipur. Originally serving as the capital before Jaipur, this ancient fort, built in 1592 by Raja Man Singh, stands as one of Rajasthan's renowned landmarks.

Crafted from red sandstone and marble and surrounded by the picturesque Maotha Lake, the fort's allure is undeniable. Despite its weathered exterior, its interior boasts remarkable structures such as the 'Diwan-i-Aam,' 'Sheesh Mahal,' and 'Sukh Mahal,' showcasing influences of Hindu and Muslim architecture. Attractions like the 'Shila Devi' Temple and the regal 'Ganesh Pol' gate add to its historical significance.

Built by Raja Man Singh and later renovated by Raja Jai Singh I, the fort has endured the tests of time and invasions. Structurally, it comprises four distinct sections, each with its own entrance. The main entry, 'Suraj Pol' or Sun Gate, leads to the 'Jaleb Chowk' courtyard and the 'Sila Devi' Temple. The second courtyard features the famous 'Diwan-i-Aam,' 'Sheesh Mahal,' and 'Sukh Mahal,' showcasing exquisite marble carvings, including the renowned 'Magic Flower' fresco.

The Jantar Mantar, Astronomical Observatory

The Jantar Mantar in Jaipur, built in the early 18th century, is an exceptional astronomical observatory featuring around 20 fixed instruments, showcasing both known and uniquely designed masonry structures. It is India's most significant, comprehensive, and well-preserved historic observatory, constructed during the end of the Mughal period to reflect the astronomical skills and cosmological concepts of Prince Jai Singh II's scholarly court.

Protected under the Rajasthan Monuments Archaeological Site and Antiquities Act, 1961, the observatory serves as a remarkable convergence of scientific, societal, and religious aspects, bearing witness to ancient traditions spanning Western, Middle Eastern, Asian, and African religions for over fifteen centuries. Its instruments, some among the largest ever built in their category, stand as an outstanding example of comprehensive astronomical tools at the heart of a royal capital during the late Mughal period.

Shila Devi Temple within The Amer Fort 

Additionally, we are arranging a Puja at the revered temple of Kali, offering a spiritual encounter steeped in Hindu traditions. Please note that temple entry cannot be reserved in advance and requires barefoot entry, abstaining from wearing any leather articles. After this enriching experience, take a leisurely stroll through the vibrant local market, immersing yourself in the diverse cultural atmosphere.

Umaid Maharaja Haveli - Evening meal

Drawing inspiration from the majestic rulers of Jaipur and Rajasthan, the Umaid Maharaja restaurant invites you into a world of opulent Rajput grandeur and splendour.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Tara Niwas Jaipur Hotel 

Specialised Guide: Tejvir Rathore

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Day 7: 16th - January

 

JAIPUR to UDAIPUR - via Kishangarh (110kms 2hours)and Chittogarh (220kms 3.5 hours)to Udaipur (100kms 2 hours)

Udaipur, founded by Maharana Udai Singh in 1553, is renowned for its picturesque lakes, magnificent palaces, majestic mountains, and lush tiger reserves.

The Switzerland of Rajasthan​

Experience the breathtaking beauty of Kishangarh Snow Yard, nestled in the heart of Rajasthan's Ajmer district. Managed by the esteemed Kishangarh Marble Association, this picturesque site offers a panoramic view that captivates tourists from far and wide. Often referred to as the "ice mine," the Snow Yard mesmeries visitors with its stunning landscape, where white marble dust creates the illusion of snow-covered hills. Explore this unique destination and witness the magic of marble craftsmanship in action.

View of Chittorgarh Fort and Lunch at the Barbarik Family Restaurant 

Lunch inside the Fort near Ratan Singh Palace in Chittorgarh. The restaurant offers authentic Rajasthani cuisine in a perfect ambiance. We'll enjoy delicious food in a pleasant and culturally rich atmosphere, where family hospitality and warmth abound.

Arrival in Udaipur - ​The Venice of the East! 

Udaipur, formerly the capital of the Mewar Kingdom, is a city in the western Indian state of Rajasthan. Founded by Maharana Udai Singh II in 1559, it is set around a series of lakes and is renowned for its opulent royal residences. The City Palace, overlooking Lake Pichola, is a monumental complex consisting of 11 palaces, courtyards, and gardens, celebrated for its intricate peacock mosaics.

Udaipur possesses a romance of setting unmatched in Rajasthan and arguably in all of India. The tag of 'the most romantic spot on the continent of India' was first applied in 1829 by Colonel James Tod, the East India Company’s first political agent in the region. Nestled beside the tranquil Lake Pichola, with the purple ridges of the Aravalli Range stretching away in every direction, the city boasts fantastical palaces, temples, Havelis (traditional, ornately decorated residences), and countless narrow, crooked, timeless streets that add a human counterpoint to the city’s natural charms. For visitors, there's the serenity of boat rides on the lakes, the bustling and colourful shopping bazaars, a lively arts scene, the quaint old-world feel of its heritage hotels, tempting crafts, clothes, wares, and some lovely countryside.

Kankarwa Historic Haveli

The family of Kankarwa Haveli belongs to the esteemed Rajput ruling class. They are descendants of the rulers of Mewar (Udaipur), having branched off from the royal family in the 16th century during the reign of Maharana Udai Singh, the founder of Udaipur. They settled in and managed the Village of Kankarwa, 60 km from Udaipur, where they lived in a castle that served as their family home.

Kankarwa Fort, located northeast of Udaipur, still stands as a testament to the family's rich history. In the early 19th century, the Maharana granted the Thakur of Kankarwa permission to build a residence in Udaipur City. Construction of this urban house began around 1820, and it is now known as Kankarwa Haveli.

In 1993, the family initiated renovation work, and within two years, Kankarwa Haveli opened its doors to travellers while remaining the city residence of the original family.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Kankarwa Historic Haveli

Specialised Guide: Local Guides

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Day 8: 17th - Udaipur - A full day of exploration

Udaipur, founded by Maharana Udai Singh in 1553, is renowned for its picturesque lakes, magnificent palaces, majestic mountains, and lush tiger reserves.

After breakfast at the hotel, explore Udaipur, often hailed as one of the most romantic cities in India. Spend your morning serenely discovering the intricate passageways of The City Palace Museum in Udaipur, situated within the historic 450-year-old Palace, once the royal residence of the rulers of Mewar.

 

In 1969, Maharana Bhagwat Singh of Mewar (r. 1955-1984 CE) played a pivotal role in officially declaring it open to the public. The Mardana Mahal and Zenana Mahal of The City Palace, Udaipur were entrusted to the Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation (MMCF), a trust established by Maharana Bhagwat Singh himself. He also generously endowed the cause with a substantial contribution, giving rise to The City Palace Museum, Udaipur. Over the past fifty years, the museum has flourished and consistently attracts a growing number of visitors from around the world.

The Jagdish Temple

Situated in the heart of Udaipur, the Jagdish Temple is a major tourist attraction in the Old City. Located just 150 meters from the City Palace’s Bara Pol, the temple was built in 1651 during the reign of Maharana Jagat Singh, who ruled Udaipur from 1628 to 1653. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the Jagdish Temple is an iconic example of Maru-Gurjara architecture from that era.

The temple was constructed at a cost of 1.5 million rupees, a significant sum invested by Maharana Jagat Singh to enhance its structure. Unfortunately, during a Mughal invasion, many of the temple’s figurines and carvings were damaged. This act of vandalism was part of the Mughals' retaliation against the Rajput rulers.

According to local legends, the marble slab within the Jagdish Temple is believed to have healing powers. It is said that rubbing your shoulder, knees, or back on the marble can provide quick relief from pain. While some may find this hard to believe, the deeply held religious beliefs associated with this practice remain an integral part of the temple’s charm. The Jagdish Temple is a very famous Hindu temple situated in the middle of Udaipur. This major attraction is devoted to Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the universe. 

Bagore Ki Haveli Museum 

Bagore Ki Haveli is one of Udaipur's notable attractions, standing proudly on the waterfront of the picturesque Lake Pichola at Gangori Ghat. Built in the 18th century by Amar Chand Badwa, the then Prime Minister of the Mewar kingdom, this haveli has been meticulously restored over time and now serves as a museum.

 

The Bagore Ki Haveli museum is divided into five sections: The Puppet Museum, the Main Haveli, the Turban Museum, the Weapon Museum, and the Wedding Depiction Section.

One of the main highlights of Bagore Ki Haveli is the Dharohar Dance Show, held in the evenings. This show takes place in the charming courtyard known as Neem Chowk. The beautifully illuminated balconies of Neem Chowk add to the Haveli’s enchanting atmosphere, providing a perfect backdrop for the traditional Rajasthani folk dance and music. Seating for the show is arranged on the floor around the stage, with large mattresses placed on three sides of the courtyard to ensure an excellent view of the performances.

Lunch in the Old City

Today's lunch is not included, allowing you the freedom to choose from the vast array of options available in Udaipur's Old City.

The City Palace Museum 

After breakfast at the hotel, explore Udaipur, often hailed as one of the most romantic cities in India. Spend your morning serenely discovering the intricate passageways of The City Palace Museum in Udaipur, situated within the historic 450-year-old Palace, once the royal residence of the rulers of Mewar.

 

In 1969, Maharana Bhagwat Singh of Mewar (r. 1955-1984 CE) played a pivotal role in officially declaring it open to the public. The Mardana Mahal and Zenana Mahal of The City Palace, Udaipur were entrusted to the Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation (MMCF), a trust established by Maharana Bhagwat Singh himself. He also generously endowed the cause with a substantial contribution, giving rise to The City Palace Museum, Udaipur. Over the past fifty years, the museum has flourished and consistently attracts a growing number of visitors from around the world.

Shopping in the Old City

Renowned for its traditional clothing, Udaipur's markets offers a variety of garments, including batik and bandhani print sarees, known for their vibrant colours and intricate patterns. Every corner of Udaipur reflects its rich ethnic heritage, making it a colourful paradise for shoppers.

A dream destination for tourists, Udaipur is filled with palaces, water reservoirs, and temples. It is also a major hub for traditional decor, paintings, accessories, and clothes. Shopping in Udaipur provides a wonderful array of keepsakes to take home.

Lake Pichola boat ride from our Kankarwa Historic Haveli

Built on the banks of the magnificent Lake Pichola in the heart of Udaipur, our Kankarwa Historic Haveli offers a breathtaking vista that other hotels can only dream of. Constructed in traditional style, this haveli overlooks the serene lake and features a stunning rooftop terrace.

The terrace view is a highlight, with a section covered for your comfort in case of rain. The haveli's traditional charm includes padlocks and sliding bolts on old-style doors and day beds that offer a picturesque view from the windows, creating a truly enchanting ambiance.

For a scenic experience, we have arranged private boat rides around the lake through our Haveli. It’s an unforgettable way to take in the beauty of Udaipur.

Udaipur at Night 6pm performance in The Old City

Situated gracefully on the shores of the enchanting Lake Pichola at Gangori Ghat, Bagore Ki Haveli is a renowned destination in Udaipur. Constructed in the 18th century by Amar Chand Badwa, who served as the Prime Minister of the Mewar kingdom at that time, this haveli has undergone meticulous restoration and transformation into a museum.

This evening, Bagore ki Haveli offers a captivating experience with its main attraction, the Dharohar Dance Show, commencing around 7 pm. Held in the picturesque courtyard known as Neem Chowk, the hour-long show is illuminated by the beautifully lit balconies, setting the stage for traditional Rajasthani folk dance and music.

Audience members are seated on the floor around the stage, with large mattresses arranged on three sides of the terrace to provide an optimal view of the dance performances.

The Dharohar Dance Show is meticulously organized, beginning with a brief introduction by a Rajasthani woman dressed in traditional attire. The performances start with the rhythmic beating of a drum, the resonant blow of a conch shell, and a soulful religious song.

Choreographed dances are accompanied by skilled musicians playing the tabla and harmonium. The female dancers, adorned in vibrant Rajasthani folk costumes embellished with glasswork and embroidery, present various captivating performances.

The first dance, known as Chari Dance, features performers skillfully balancing lit brass pots on their heads. The subsequent Terha Taal Dance showcases dancers playing 13 manjiras (bells) tied to their hands and legs with perfect coordination, holding a knife in their mouths while balancing brass pots on their heads.

The Gorbandh Dance follows, where dancers adorned with camel ornaments dance with abandon, twirling at high speeds. Taking a break from the dance sequences, the Rajasthani Puppet show brings comical skits with puppets, delighting the younger audience members.

The Ghumar Dance, a high-class performance, features rhythmic circle dances synchronized with accompanying music. The grand finale, Bhavani dance, involves performers dancing with earthen pots on their heads, showcasing incredible skill and artistry, including balancing up to 13 pots while standing on broken glass.

The Dharohar Dance Show at Bagore-ki-Haveli is a vibrant and colorful presentation that brings the traditions and culture of Rajasthani folklore to life in an engaging manner. The performers' skills and artistry are truly admirable, making this a must-see for anyone visiting this beautiful Haveli.

Evening meal at Kankarwa Haveli roof top restaurant 8 PM to 9 PM

Kankarwa Haveli, a historic mansion, has been in the Kankarwa family for 180 years, serving as their urban residence. In 1993, the family initiated renovation works, and within two years, Kankarwa Haveli reopened, equipped with modern amenities for guests.

Today, Kankarwa Haveli stands as a pinnacle heritage hotels in Udaipur, still managed and operated by the original family. As you step into this exquisite Haveli, you'll immediately sense a haven of rejuvenation. Soft cream-coloured walls harmonise with the vibrant hues of blooming bougainvillea, while greenery adorns the charming courtyard and every level of the Haveli.

We experience the authentic flavours traditional India cooking atop the Haveli's rooftop family kitchen, where breakfast is served every morning. Indulge in a delightful menu featuring both Indian and continental cuisine, presented in a set breakfast menu served 'family style' or in traditional 'thali' style. Delight in individual round trays adorned with a variety of vegetable and dal dishes, with the centre reserved for fragrant rice and freshly baked Indian breads. Every dish is meticulously prepared fresh daily, ensuring a unique culinary experience with no two sauces, gravies, or masalas being identical.

If fortunate, we might have the pleasure of meeting Thakurani Suchana Kunwar, the charming lady of the house and culinary genius behind the exquisite meals. The family warmly welcomes everyone to their table, trusting you will find immense enjoyment and pleasure in every bite.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Kankarwa Historic Haveli

Specialised Guide: Local Guides

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Day 9: 18th - Udaipur to Kumbhalgarh (85.5 km 2.5 hours) 

Following an 8am breakfast Kankarwa Historic Haveli we depart at 9am for the Kumbhalgarh Fort - A Majestic Marvel of Architecture and History within the stunning landscape of the Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary.

Kumbhalgarh Fort: The Great Wall of Rajasthan

Kumbhalgarh Fort in Rajasthan is renowned for its massive wall, the second largest in the world after the Great Wall of China. This formidable fort, standing 3600 feet tall and stretching 38 kilometers, surrounds the region of Udaipur. Built by Rana Kumbha in the 15th century, Kumbhalgarh Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, part of the Hill Forts of Rajasthan group, strategically located on the western Aravalli hills.

Having witnessed numerous wars, the fort's hill serves as an unbreakable boundary. The fort features seven fortified gateways, numerous Jain and Hindu temples, and the famous Lakhola Tank, constructed by Rana Lakha. These temples reflect the religious tolerance of the rulers, showcasing their patronage of Jain culture.

History of Kumbhalgarh Fort

Kumbhalgarh Fort is celebrated as the birthplace of Maharana Pratap. Inscriptions at the foot of idols in Hanuman Pol provide details of the fort's construction. The Badshahi Bavdi, a stepped tank built by Akbar's general in 1578, provided drinking water to the army troops. Initially, the fort's construction faced many challenges, which were resolved by a human sacrifice. The main gate, Hanuman Pol, contains a shrine and temple commemorating this great sacrifice.

Things to Do In and Around Kumbhalgarh Fort

  • Ganesh Temple: One of the earliest temples built inside the fort.

  • Neel Kanth Mahadeva Temple: Built in 1458 CE, this central shrine of Shiva features an idol made of black stone and was renovated by Rana Sangha.

  • Jain Temples: Including Parsva Natha Temple and Golera Jain Temple.

  • Other Temples: Mamdeo Temple, Surya Mandir, and Pital Shah Jain Temple.

Kumbhalgarh Fort offers a rich historical and cultural experience, with its impressive architecture and deep-rooted heritage inviting travellers to explore and admire its grandeur.

The Mammadev Temple

 

The Mammadev Temple built by Rana Kumbha, the ruler of Mewar, in 1460, is located below the Kumbhalgarh Fort. This temple originally housed a slab with an inscription that traces the history from the period of Guhil, the founder of Mewar, to the reign of Rana Kumbha, a prolific builder of forts and temples. This historical slab can now be seen in the museum of Udaipur.

The temple features an idol of Lord Kuber, the god of wealth, and includes two cenotaphs built in memory of Rana Kumbha and Prithviraj Chauhan. Additionally, a beautiful reservoir, or kund, is situated near the temple, adding to its serene and historic ambiance.

The Vedi Temple

The Vedi Temple, a shrine dedicated to the Goddess Vedi, is located within the vicinity of the Kumbhalgarh Fort in Hanuman Pol, Rajsamand district. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a major attraction, offering visitors the chance to marvel at the fort's majestic architecture while paying respects at the pilgrim sacrifice site within the Vedi Temple. Elevated on a high platform and facing west, the temple is notable for its unique structure.

Built to perform sacred rituals for the Jain community, the Vedi Temple stands atop 36 pillars arranged in an octagonal pattern. This double-storied temple, open to all visitors, emanates a sense of positivity and goodness. Besides the Vedi Temple, there are several other temples at the foothills of the fort, all recognised, protected, and maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India.

History of the Vedi Temple

The Jain temple dates back to 1457 AD and was constructed between 1443 and 1448 by Rana Kumbha to honour the sacrifices of pilgrims visiting the area. Certain sections of the structure were later renovated by Maharana Fateh Singh. The Vedi Temple holds immense significance as it remains the only pilgrim sacrificial site in India.

Shahpura Kumbhal Villas - An authentic essence of Shahpura Royalty

Heritage in Every Stone - Perched atop one of the highest peaks, enveloped by the majestic Aravalli ranges and overlooking the Kumbhalgarh wall, Shahpura Kumbhal Villas offers an authentic experience of Shahpura royalty. This blend of untouched original fort areas and meticulously reconstructed royal residential spaces immerses guests in the essence of regal heritage.

Upon arrival, guests are greeted by a stunning entrance flanked by a magnificent pool. The villa, with its iconic haveli style, is adorned with intricate architectural carvings, seamlessly uniting the old with the new. The echoes of Rajput architecture enchant visitors through intricately-carved panels, antique shrines, and surviving arches.

Just as princely dignitaries were captivated by the vistas of the mighty Aravalli Mountain range, guests today are enchanted by the preserved palace decor. Hand-painted frescoes and vintage furniture breathe life into the stories of Rajput valour and adventure. We can unwind with captivating panoramas of undulating ranges stretching as far as the eye can see.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Shahpura Kumbhal Villas

Specialised Guide: Local Guides

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Days 10 - 11: 19th - 20th - Kumbhalgarh to Camel Charisma (1.5 hr 50 km) 

Following breakfast we journey to Camel Charisma, via the Ranakpur Jain Temple, and Magan's shop-front, check-in and enjoy a delicious lunch. We meet with Raika Camel Herders, and enjoy a shared evening dinner at Camel Charisma. 

Embark on a Scenic Journey through Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary

Imagine yourself as a passenger within a comfortable vehicle, gliding through the stunning landscape of the Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary. As you depart from the charming Hotel Shahpura Kumbhal Villas, situated within the sanctuary itself, you embark on a journey towards the magnificent Ranakpur Jain Temple and, later in the day, Camel Charisma.

The Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary, nestled in the Rajsamand District of Rajasthan, covers an impressive area of over 610 square kilometres. This sanctuary envelops the historic Kumbhalgarh fortress and stretches across the Aravalli Range, offering breathtaking views from elevations ranging between 500 to 1,300 meters. This region is part of the Khathiar-Gir dry deciduous forests ecoregion, providing a unique and diverse natural environment.

As you travel through the sanctuary, keep your eyes peeled for a variety of wildlife that calls this special area home. The sanctuary is a haven for Indian wolves, Indian leopards, sloth bears, striped hyenas, golden jackals, jungle cats, sambhars, nilgais, chausinghas, chinkaras, and Indian hares. The apex predator here is the elusive leopard, often sighted prowling through the dense undergrowth. Bird enthusiasts will delight in spotting the grey junglefowl among other avian residents.

Your journey will take you through the sanctuary’s diverse topography, from rolling hills and rugged mountains to serene plains. The soils here are mostly sandy loam, and the underlying rocks are ancient metamorphic formations, adding to the area’s geological interest.

After a mesmerising drive through the sanctuary, you will arrive at the Ranakpur Jain Temple, a masterpiece of architecture and spirituality. Later, your adventure continues towards Camel Charisma, where you will experience more of Rajasthan’s unique culture and charm.

This journey is not just a drive; it’s an exploration of nature’s wonders, historical marvels, and cultural treasures. So, sit back, relax, and let the beauty of Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary unfold before your eyes.

The Ranakpur Jain Temple

Rajasthan is renowned for its rich art treasures, with architectural monuments considered among the world's best. The Ranakpur Jain Temple is a masterpiece of art and architecture, featuring delicately carved sculptures that eloquently testify to India's cultural heritage and the skill of master artists.

The temple is the result of the vision and efforts of four individuals: Acharya Somasundarsuri, Dharanashah, Rana Kumbha, and Depa, the architect who brought the dream to life.

Situated in the remote valley of the Aravallis, the temple stands on a lofty plinth, blending artistic grace with spiritual dignity. It is a majestic poem in stone, harmonizing with its natural surroundings and exuding celestial bliss. To behold this shrine in its sublime setting is to experience an instant upliftment of the soul. 

Discover Camel Charisma and the Raika Camel Herders

Embark on an unforgettable journey to Camel Charisma, where you will immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage and sustainable practices of Rajasthan’s camel herding communities. Founded in 2010 by Hanwant Singh Rathore and Dr. Ilse Kohler-Rollefson, Camel Charisma is a social enterprise dedicated to promoting eco-friendly camel products and supporting local livelihoods.

Our Experience

Overnight with the Raika Camel Herders: We'll camp overnight with the Raika camel herders, experiencing their traditional lifestyle firsthand. Enjoy the serene desert landscape under the stars and learn about the Raika's unique relationship with their camels.

Stay at Camel Charisma: Our stay at Camel Charisma includes quaint mud huts that offer a comfortable and authentic experience. You'll savour local camel milk delicacies and delicious home-prepared meals, reflecting the rich culinary traditions of the region.

Highlights

  • Camel Welfare: Observe how camels are kept in natural social herds, ensuring their well-being and happiness. The Raika herders never separate mothers from their young, ensuring that baby camels receive ample milk.

  • Biodiversity and Environment: Learn about the camels' diet of 36 different plants, which contributes to the conservation of the local landscape’s biodiversity. Discover how camels are environmentally beneficial, producing food without chemical inputs or fossil fuels, and helping to mitigate climate change.

  • Local Livelihoods: Understand the economic incentives provided to camel breeders, which support sustainable management of the Thar Desert. Camel Charisma pays better prices for camel milk and offers additional benefits such as camel health care and advocacy for grazing rights through the LPPS.

  • Cultural Insights: Explore the range of all-natural, environmentally friendly products made from camel milk, wool, and dung. Visit the unit producing "biocultural paper" and appreciate the innovative uses of camel by-products.

  • Healthy Food: Enjoy pure, traceable camel dairy products, rich in micro-nutrients often missing from modern diets.

This unique experience blends cultural immersion, environmental sustainability, and unforgettable hospitality. Explore our product catalog and learn more about the incredible journey with the Raika camel herders and Camel Charisma.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Camel Charisma

Specialised Guide: Local Guides

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Day 12: 21st - Sadri to Jodhpur (214 kms / 4 hr 20 min)

Begin your day with a delicious Camel Charisma breakfast before embarking on a scenic road journey to Jodhpur, known as The Blue City. Upon arrival, we check in at The Heritage Gouri Haveli and prepare for an afternoon exploration of the city, including a visit to the majestic Mehrangarh Fort. As evening falls, enjoy an entertaining tuk-tuk ride through the vibrant old town of Jodhpur, soaking in its rich heritage and lively atmosphere.

Mehrangarh Fort

After an early breakfast, we bid farewell to our Camel Charisma friends and arrive in Jodhpur to explore the Mighty Mehrangarh Fort, the formidable fortress that dominates the skyline of the Blue City.

Jodhpur, the second-largest city in Rajasthan, is famously known as the Blue City, a name that perfectly fits its character. Most of its architecture, forts, palaces, temples, havelis, and even houses are adorned in vibrant shades of blue, creating a striking visual experience. The robust forts that grace this splendid city contribute to a truly memorable spectacle.

Mehrangarh Fort, also known as 'Mehran Fort,' is situated in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. The foundation of Mehrangarh Fort was laid on May 12, 1459, by Rao Jodha on a rocky hill 9 km south of Mandore. Rao Jodha, formerly known as Marwar, established Jodhpur in 1459.

Mehrangarh Fort stands as a magnificent architectural masterpiece, rising vertically and impregnable from a rocky hill that soars 120 m above Jodhpur’s skyline. It is one of the most splendid forts in India, with battlements ranging from 6 m to 36 m high. Constructed from the rock on which it stands, the fort seamlessly merges with its base.

Currently managed by the Jodhpur royal family, Mehrangarh Fort is rich in history and legend. Surrounding its base is the old city, a maze of Brahmin-blue cubes extending to the 10 km-long, 16th-century city wall. The Blue City lives up to its name, with a labyrinth of winding, glittering medieval streets scented by incense and roses. Here, shops and bazaars offer a myriad of items, from trumpets and temple decorations to snuff and saris.

Toorji ka Jhalra: An ancient Step Well using Rajput architecture in Jodhpur

Stepwells were first built in the southwestern region of Gujarat around 600 AD. From there, they spread north to Rajasthan and then to other parts of northern and western India. Initially, Hindus used stepwells as an art form, but their construction reached its peak during Muslim rule from the 11th to 16th centuries.

Nestled in the heart of Jodhpur’s old city, Toorji ka Jhalra is a 300-year-old stepwell, built in 1740 AD by Queen Raani Tawarji. Modeled after the ‘Bawris’ of Gujarat, it descends 300 feet deep, showcasing stunning Rajput architecture with carvings of dancing elephants, medieval lions, cows, and deities.

Once submerged for over a century, the stepwell was meticulously restored by the JDH Foundation. Historically, stepwells provided essential water during droughts and served as cultural gathering spots for villagers.

Today, Toorji ka Jhalra stands beautifully in the old city square, drawing locals and travelers alike. It shares its ancient charm with the nearby RAAS Haveli. Explore this marvel and connect with the legacy of Raani Tawarji. For the curious: According to folklore, Lord Ram's arrow, meant to turn the ocean to desert, landed in Rajasthan, creating the desert we see today.

Evening Excursion: Enjoy a Tuk Tuk Ride through Jodhpur’s Old City, Clock Tower, Sardar Market, Shri Mishrilal Hotel World Famous Lassi's

In the evening, we will visit the Clock Tower, a popular landmark in the Old City section of Jodhpur. Close to the tower is the vibrant Sardar Market, where narrow alleys lead to a bustling bazaar selling vegetables, spices, Indian sweets, textiles, silver, and handicrafts. It is a great place to wander.

Karen will guide interested travellers to some of the local clothing shops in the area and her favourite place to purchase lassis and milk sweets of all kinds. Our destination is Shri Mishrilal Hotel, situated near Ghantaghar (Clock Tower) in the busy part of the Old City. This world-famous lassi shop offers a variety of flavoured lassis, including the renowned Makhaniya lassi.

Our group will visit in the early evening when it is less crowded. At Shri Mishrilal Hotel, you can indulge in kesar pista lassi, makhaniya lassi, and sweet chai. The shop is renowned not only for its lassis but also for excellent samosas, kachori, and namkeen. The makhaniya lassi, known for its exceptional sweetness and creamy texture, is a must-try. It is a drink that captivates all your senses, dissolving in your mouth and making you forget the world. Lassi is a famous drink in India, with each city offering its special blend. At Mishrilal Sweets, they have perfected the art of making lassi. In addition to lassi, we don't miss their special namkeen mixture and delicious pedas. It’s an experience that promises to be both delightful and memorable. The evening meal will be one of discovery while wandering the streets of Old Jodhpur. 

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Heritage Gouri Haveli Guest House

Specialised Guide: Local Guides

India's magnificent Forts

Day 13: 22nd - Jodhpur - Jaisalmer Camel Safari (281.9kms / 4hrs 30 mins) 

Following an early breakfast we depart from the Heritage Gouri Haveli in Jodhpur for Jaisalmer, often referred to as the Golden City.

 

Jaisalmer boasts one of the most stunning structures in Rajasthan: the Jaisalmer Fort. This magnificent yellow sandstone edifice stands tall and proud atop a hill, offering a commanding view of the entire city. Recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Jaisalmer Fort is a testament to the city's rich history and architectural splendour.

Jaisalmer City 

Nestled in the far northwestern corner of Rajasthan, India's desert state, Jaisalmer Fort stands as a silent guardian, like no other place on earth.

 

Commissioned by the visionary King Rawal Jaisal in 1156, the fort occupies a site chosen with the guidance of a wise local hermit. According to legend, the hermit revealed that Lord Krishna himself praised this spot, ensuring that a fort built there would remain nearly invisible to enemies. Indeed, from a distance of 30 miles, all that's visible is a sheer golden cliff, rising majestically from the desert floor. The walls, crafted from the rich yellow sandstone unique to Rajasthan's quarries, shimmer like a mirage.

 

Once home to the formidable Rajputs—a tribe of warriors and traders who thrived on taxing merchants traversing the routes between Egypt, Persia, and India—Jaisalmer holds the legacy of its war-prone past. The intricate fortresses constructed by the Rajputs form a captivating network of defense. The main gate, a towering 60 feet carved from Indian rosewood, bears a legendary crack believed to have appeared when a Hindu saint crossed its threshold. The fort's interiors boast three concentric rings of sandstone walls, revealing homes, stables, and palaces that once housed Rajput kings. Ornate carvings of chariot wheels, fruit, and flowers grace the soft marble, and scalloped archways guard walkways adorned with elaborate designs.

We arrive in Jaisalmer City around midday and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant overlooking the Fort, leaving any unnecessary luggage at the Hotel Lal Garh Fort and Palace for a lighter overnight safari. Following lunch, we will have an hour to explore the magnificent Jaisalmer Fort, experiencing its grand architecture and vibrant atmosphere. As we walk through the Fort, we will pass the Jaisalmer Fort Market and the Jaisalmer Local Bazaar, where travellers can shop for handmade products like clothes, jewellery, accessories, bags, and footwear.

If time permits, we will also visit the Jain Temple, known for its extraordinary architecture. The Jaisalmer Fort Palace, once home to royalty, including Maharajas and Maharanis, adds to the rich history and vibrant shopping experience of the Fort.

Camel Safari within the Jaisalmer Thar Desert National Park

Our adventure begins at 2:00 pm with a departure from the Jaisalmer Fort to the Safari start point, located 60 km outside of Jaisalmer in the Desert National Park. From 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm, we enjoy camel travel, passing through villages along the way and arriving at elevated sand dunes in time for sunset.

After soaking in the breathtaking desert views, a delicious dinner prepared over the campfire is enjoyed. This evening's meal is crafted by our camel desert-dwelling friends who reside within the National Park. If we are fortunate, they will prepare Dal, Bati & Churma, the famous traditional dish of Rajasthan, or Ker Sangri & Gatte Ki Sabji. All the food is cooked over the fire and is absolutely delicious.

You can expect to taste a variety of essential spices used in Rajasthani cuisine, including red chilies, pepper, cloves, mustard seeds, cardamom, turmeric, coriander seeds, cinnamon sticks, garlic, fenugreek seeds, carom seeds, cumin seeds, aniseed, nigella seeds, and dried mango powder. Travellers are welcomed to join in the campfire evening cooking preparations. We sleep traditionally beneath the stars on a clean bedroll, atop sand dunes steeped in history.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Desert Safari in Thar Desert National Park

Specialised Guide: Local Guides

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Day 14: 23rd - Jaisalmer Camel Safari, Jaisalmer Fort and City

Start your day with a hand-prepared breakfast made from fresh ingredients, enjoyed amidst the mesmerising landscape of elevated sand dunes in the Jaisalmer Thar Desert National Park. Rigorously filtered drinking water provided ensures our well-being.

 

From 8:00 am to 11:00 am, following sunrise and breakfast, we embark on a the camels, meeting Nathu for a transfer back to Jaisalmer and our hotel by 12 noon.

Travellers can leave any excess luggage at our Hotel Lal Garh Fort and Palace before the safari. The hotel, built from Jaisalmer’s golden sandstone, glitters like gold in the moonlight and features a heritage touch in traditional Jaisalmer style. We return here for a shower, lunch, and overnight stay.

We'll explore the UNESCO World Heritage Jaisalmer Fort until late, giving you ample time to select last-minute trinkets for yourself, family, and friends. Take in the Fort's Palace, Jain Temple, and numerous historic shopping stalls, making the most of your visit.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Lal Garh Fort and Palace

Specialised Guide: Local Guides

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Day 15: 24th - Jaisalmer to New Delhi

Prepare for an early departure from Hotel Lal Garh as we transit back to New Delhi. Sit back and enjoy India's rural and village scenes where cows, camels, horses, and the occasional elephant have the right of way. Breakfast and lunch will be provided in transit until we arrive at our final night's homestay together in Delhi.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Homestay in Delhi

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Day 16: 25th January: Farewell

Everyone enjoys a final breakfast together before driving to New Delhi international airport to board the flight to onward destination. At Delhi airport, guides travel with you as you take the internal shuttle transfer to International terminal to board your return flight home. 

 

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast and transfer to Airport

Journey Highlights 

Festivals and Cultural Experiences:

  • Meeting traditional camel nomads and learning about their culture

  • Jaipur Kite Festival

Adventure and Outdoor Activities:​

  • Thar Desert Camel Safari National Park

  • Elephant Conservation & Care Centre

  • Visit to Sariska National Park & Tiger Reserve

  • Boat Ride

  • Kumbhalgarh National Park and Fort – The Great Wall of Rajasthan

Unique Dining Experiences:

  • Different types of Traditional food

  • Authentic Cooking Class in a Home

Historic and Architectural Wonders:

  • Mehrangarh Fort and Stepwell in Jodhpur

  • Jaisalmer UNESCO Heritage Old City and Fort

  • The Qutub Minar

  • The Taj Mahal

  • The Agra Fort

  • Hawa Mahal, also known as 'The Palace of Winds'

  • The City Palace in Udaipur

  • The Jantar Mantar Astronomical Observatory

  • Spiritual Temples

  • Jagdish Temple

  • Bagore Ki Haveli Museum

  • Lake Pichola

  • Ornately carved Jain Temples

Local and Traditional Experiences:

  • Local shopping

  • Hauz Khas Village shopping

  • Visit to a famous sweet shop

  • Haircut experience for men, shopping time for women

  • Indian Tuk-Tuk ride

  • Home Stays with Families

  • Mystic Old Delhi Walking Tour with a Local Guide

  • Meeting with locals and getting to know about the culture

  • Camel Charisma and the Raika Camel Herders

Accommodation and Transport:

  • Comfortable Air-Conditioned Transport

  • All different types of hotels to get all the experiences – Modern, Palaces, Heritage Haveli

Tours and Guided Visits:​

  • Theatre Performances

  • Visit to Elephant Sanctuary

  • Old Delhi City

  • Spiritual Temples

  • The Switzerland of Rajasthan

 

The enchanting tapestry of Rajasthan, will remain with you forever, for every palace echoes with the whispers of history, every desert sunset paints a masterpiece, and every bustling market tells tales of vibrant culture.

 

In Rajasthan, each step is a dance, every corner a revelation. Let the spirit of this land awaken your wanderlust, and may your sojourn be a symphony of unforgettable moments & timeless memories.

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Land Price includes:

Tour cost inclusions:

  • Traditional welcome at hotels

  • Stay on a full-board basis, including Room + Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner (veg meals)

  • All breakfasts, lunches, and dinners

  • Assistance and all transfers – hotel/airport

  • All private drivers and multi-lingual guides for the trip's duration

  • Tips for the guide, driver, and restaurants

  • Air-conditioned transportation as per the itinerary

  • All activities during the stay in Camel Charisma

  • Unlimited Mineral/Bottled water

  • All monument entrance fees

  • Cooking demonstration and walking tour

  • Camel safari days and nights / on a full-board basis

  • Tuk-tuk ride in Jodhpur

  • All ground transportation

  • Evening live theatre performance in Agra and Udaipur

  • All fees associated with Elephant Sanctuary

Accommodation in Sharing Double / Twin room basis:

  1. Stay on a full-board basis (Room + Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner) (veg meals)

  2. Assistance and all transfers – airport/hotel/airport

  3. Air-conditioned transportation as per the itinerary

  4. Thar Desert safari experience on a full-board basis

  5. Cooking demonstration and walking tour

  6. Language-speaking guide

  7. Entrance to the monuments

  8. Tips for the guide, driver, helpers, and restaurants

  9. Porterage at the airport and hotels

  10. All current government taxes

  11. Mineral water bottles in our bus

  12. Tuk-tuk rides

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Land Price Does Not Include:

Tour Cost Exclusions:

  • International flights and visa application fees

  • Personal expenses such as alcoholic drinks, laundry, telephone calls, insurance, and camera charges at applicable monuments

  • Excess baggage, emergency/medical costs, etc.

  • Extra meals if desired

  • Activities outside of the tour's itinerary

  • Personal insurance

  • Any unavoidable changes during the actual run of the tour (e.g., unlikely weather conditions during camel safari requiring guests to seek accommodation. Please note this has never happened and is extremely unlikely.

Package Does Not Include:

  1. Any airfare (International flight).

  2. Visa fee & Airport tax.

  3. Personal insurance.

  4. Any expenses of personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls, insurance, camera fees.

  5. Excess baggage, emergency/medical costs, etc.

  6. Any increase in costs beyond our control such as fuel and airfare increase, additional Government levies, and taxes, etc.

Before you go, have you remembered to:

  • Review the packing list?

  • Obtain India Visa?

  • Email Camel Treks Australia with your flight arrival and departure details?

  • Print a copy of your medical waiver form to give to the crew in India?

  • Print multiple copies of your passport for easy Hotel check-in?

  • Alert your banks that you will be travelling overseas to India?

  • Register with Smart Traveller?

  • Obtain health / travel insurance? Email Camel Treks Australia with your policy?

  • Visit your Doctor or specialised Travel Doctor before departure? 

Connect with us to join the India Tour.

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Connect with us

Paul and Karen Jane Ellis

Suite 608, 50 Commercial Rd.,

Port Augusta S.A 5700 

WhatApp & Int. +61 432236131

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