Some people do not like to go on the regular roads. They crave for off-the-beaten-path. This trip covers the rustic side of Rajasthan along with the famous Golden Triangle (Delhi-Agra-Jaipur), the renowned Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site – Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary. The trip kicks off with the crowded cities but gradually ebbs away to the rustic rural sites.
In the heart of the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan lies the beautiful small quaint town Mandawa, known throughout the state for its forts and havelis (mansions). The entire Shekhawati region is dotted with havelis displaying beautiful frescos over the walls, which has given Mandawa the nickname "an open art gallery". The set-up of this place reminds you of the cultural and social hotspot this place used to be in the bygone era.
This itinerary introduces you to three different aspects of India – Urban, Rural & Wildlife. From streets of Delhi, to Taj Mahal in Agra, to the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, to the vivid pink colored houses in Jaipur, to the artistic laid-back town of Mandawa, this tour is meant to experience the quintessential India.
Welcome to the beautiful chaos of Delhi! After arriving on your morning flight, jump-in right into the hustle and bustle of the capital of India and its second most populous city. Considered as one of the oldest existing cities in the world, Delhi’s importance lies not just in its past glory as the seat of empires and magnificent monuments, but also in the rich and diverse cultures.
A private car with driver will receive you at the airport and transfer you to hotel for check-in. After refreshing head out for Delhi sightseeing. Start with a visit to the famous Lotus Temple. Notable for its flower-like shape, it has become a prominent attraction in the city. Like all Baháʼí Houses of Worship, the Lotus Temple is open to all, regardless of religion or any other qualification. Afterwards drive past Rashtrapati Bhavan (the residence of President of India), and visit India Gate (a memorial to 82,000 soldiers of the Indian Army who died in the period 1914–21 in the First World War). Overnight stay will be at hotel in Delhi.
Enjoy a scrumptious breakfast to start your day of sightseeing in Delhi. A mixture of history with a taste of everyday Delhi, today’s itinerary covers all aspects of this former capital of the Mughal Empire. Stop off at the UNESCO World Heritage site, Humayun’s Tomb. Built in 1570, it is of particular cultural significance as it was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent. Then visit the magnificent Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan between 1644 and 1656. After that visit the bustling Chandni Chowk – one of the oldest and busiest markets in Old Delhi. Enjoy a rickshaw ride at Chandni Chowk. Later visit the towering Qutub Minar (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), a 73-metre (239.5 feet) tall tapering tower of five storeys. Qutb ud Din Aibak, founder of the Delhi Sultanate, started construction of the Qutb Minar's first storey around 1192.
Afterwards visit Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, one of the most prominent Sikh temples, or Sikh house of worship in Delhi and known for its association with the eighth Sikh Guru, Guru Har Krishan. There is also a sacred pool inside its complex, known as the "Sarovar."
Have dinner at a nice restaurant and then reach back at the hotel. Overnight stay will be at hotel in Delhi.
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
After breakfast, check out from hotel & head towards Agra. Welcome to the city of Wonder… because it’s the place of Taj Mahal – one of the seven wonders of the world. Pictures of Taj Mahal don’t do the complete justice to its magnificence. It’s an epitome and symbol of love. You got to be here to feel your jaws drop. Agra used to be the historic capital of the Mughal empire.
Reach Agra by afternoon. Have lunch at a nice restaurant. Check-in at hotel and freshen up. In the late afternoon visit Agra Fort, a historical fort, which remained the main residence of the Mughal emperors till 1638. Walking through courtyard after courtyard of this palatial red-sandstone and marble fortress, your amazement keeps growing as you hear about the history of this fort from the guide. In the evening visit the local market to get the true essence of Agra city. Overnight stay will be at hotel in Agra.
Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
Early in the morning at sunrise, visit the spectacular Taj Mahal (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) built by Shah Jahan in 1560 in memory of his queen Mumtaz Mahal to enshrine her mortal remains. Return to the hotel for breakfast. After a filling breakfast check out from the hotel, and head towards Bharatpur. Formerly known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, the Keoladeo National Park is recognized as one of the world’s most important bird breeding and feeding grounds. In 1982, Keoladeo was declared a national park and then later listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985.
Reach Bharatpur by noon. Check-in at the hotel on arrival. In the afternoon visit Keoladeo National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), also known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. It is a home to over 360 bird species, including aquatic birds, visitors from Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, China and Siberia. Enjoy an eco-friendly rickshaw ride at the bird sanctuary. Reach back hotel by evening. Overnight stay will be at hotel in Bharatpur.
After a delicious breakfast check-out from hotel and head towards Ranthambore. Once a private game reserve of the royal House of Jaipur, Ranthambore National Park and Tiger Reserve is one of the world’s best known wilderness areas. Being considered as one of the famous and former hunting grounds of the Maharajas of Jaipur, today Ranthambore National Park is a major wildlife tourist attraction spot that has pulled the attention of many wildlife photographers and lovers in this destination.
After around 6-7 hours drive you'll reach Ranthambore. Check-in at the hotel on arrival. Evening is at your leisure. Have a sumptuous dinner at the hotel. Overnight stay will be at the hotel in Ranthambore.
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Enjoy the early morning tea and snacks and then head out for jungle safari at 6:00am. Ranthambore National Park is one of the finest tiger reserves in India. It is in every sense a perfect place for wildlife photography. Later come back to hotel, have breakfast and relax.
Have lunch at the hotel. In the late afternoon head out for another jungle safari around 3:00pm, this time on a different path. Maybe you get a good chance of sighting the Indian tigers. Spend some time watching the peacocks and other animals in their natural habitat. The forests around the Ranthambore Fort were once, the private hunting grounds of the Kings of Jaipur.
Evening is at your leisure. Dinner & overnight stay at the hotel in Ranthambore.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
After breakfast check out from hotel, and head towards the Pink City - Jaipur, famous for its broad avenues, massive forts, magnificent palaces, exquisite temples and royal culture. It will be around 4-hour drive. You'll drive through the countryside of Rajasthan, thus a good way of seeing the culture of the region. On the way you'll be seeing many cows, the traffic will surprise you.
Reach Jaipur by afternoon. Check-in at hotel on arrival. In the evening head out for a guided walk-tour of Pink City market. Jaipur is also known as the shopper’s paradise. Jaipur's colorful markets offer a great break to stop and shop on your tour. Take in the glint and sparkle of the rows of shops selling hand-crafted bangles and other decoration items. While moving through the markets, you will come across the vivacious culture of this region.
Overnight stay will be at hotel in Jaipur.
Have a sumptuous breakfast and then set out for exploring the best attractions of Jaipur. Visit Hawa Mahal ("Palace of Winds"), a high screen wall built so the women of the royal household could observe street festivals while unseen from the outside. Then visit Jantar Mantar (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). It is a collection of nineteen architectural astronomical instruments, built by the Rajput king Sawai Jai Singh, and completed in 1738 CE. Afterwards visit the City Palace. Built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh during the years 1729 to 1732, the vast complex of the palace occupied one-seventh of the walled city. The palace is divided into a series of courtyards, buildings and gardens.
In the afternoon stop by Jal Mahal, a palace in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake in Jaipur city. It was built in the 17th century. Then visit the grand Amer Fort (or Amber Fort), also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the principal tourist attraction in the Jaipur and the current structure was built during the late 16th century by Rajput Kings. This magnificent fort comprises an extensive palace complex, built from pale yellow and pink sandstone, and white marble, and is divided into four main sections, each with its own courtyard. In the evening visit Nahargarh Fort, which provides a beautiful bird's eye view of entire Jaipur city. Later in the evening enjoy dinner at a nice restaurant. Overnight stay will be at hotel in Jaipur.
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
After breakfast check-out and head towards Mandawa, known for its fort and havelis. This town has been referred to as the "open art gallery" of Rajasthan state because the entire region is dotted with fascinating mansions (havelis) that have lavishly painted walls.
Reach Mandawa by afternoon. Check-in at hotel on arrival.
In the late afternoon set out for local sightseeing. Visit Madawa Fort & some of the most popular havelis of Mandawa. Built as per a medieval theme, the castle of Mandawa is adorned with beautiful frescoes. Rooms in the palace are decorated with paintings of Lord Krishna, exquisite carvings and amazing mirror work. The palace's Durbar Hall houses a number of antiques and paintings.
Dinner & overnight stay will be at hotel in Mandawa.
After breakfast morning at your leisure. In the noon check out from the hotel and head back towards Delhi.
Reach Delhi by evening. Check-in at hotel and relax. Overnight stay will be at hotel in Delhi.
After breakfast check-out from hotel and transfer to the airport. The private car will drop you at Delhi International Airport for your return journey.
To all good things, comes an end! Bid farewell with the memories of amazing fun-filled 11 days trip through the Golden Triangle & Rustic Rajasthan, worth remembering for a lifetime!
Moods: A little Rural