Tod’s Rajasthan Tour 04-20 February 2023
Led by Dr Rima Hooja
Day 1 : To Udaipur via Delhi or Mumbai
Fly from London to Udaipur via Delhi (British Airways Flight BA257 (departing 18:45 arrival 08:50 next day).
Regional flights from the UK are available on request.
Day 2 : Udaipur
Arrive Delhi and connect to your domestic flight reaching Udaipur in the afternoon transfer to hotel. Rest and relax at the hotel before an an early evening sunset boat ride on Lake Pichola. Travel by boat from Rameshwar Ghat to the Jag Mandir, which is also known as the Lake Garden Palace. This was a summer retreat for the Mewar royal family, and they hosted many parties here. The white colonnades of the entry pavilion are particularly attractive, and so too is the flower garden. B, D
Day 3 : Udaipur
Early in the morning, you will take a guided walk along the ghats, the lakeside steps which bustle with people bathing, praying, and washing their clothes. There are several shrines here, too, so you will see traditional puja (prayer) rituals. You will return to the hotel for a relaxed breakfast and to get ready for the rest of the day.
After breakfast set off to explore the central sights of Udaipur which Tod himself would have known. These include the magnificent 16th century City Palace, the architecture of which fuses Mughal and Rajput styles; the Jagdish Temple with its three storeys of intricately carved Hindu statuary;
and the lively bazaar. After lunch at a city restaurant, your tour continues to the Monsoon Palace, which occupies an imposing hilltop position overlooking Udaipur. Not only does the palace give you panoramic views of Udaipur, but it is within a well protected wildlife sanctuary that is home to tigers, wild boars, sambhar deers, and many species of birds. B, D
Day 4 : Day trip to Kumbhalgarh
After breakfast depart for Kumbalgarh (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) visit the exquisitely carved marble Jain Temples in Ranakpur. After lunch visit the walled Fort of Kumbalgarh, reported to be the 2nd longest wall in the world by the locals. Return to hotel at Udaipur for
overnight stay. B, D
Day 5 : To Chittorgarh
Departing from Hotel Fateh Prakash Palace after breakfast, drive to Chittorgarh - a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is said to be the largest fortresses in Asia. There has been a fort at Chittor since at least the 8th century, and it has withstood three major sieges. Your local guide will explain the strategic importance of the location, and also the tragic tales of the inhabitants. There will be ample time to explore the complex, including the man made reservoir and Vijaya Stambha (Victory Tower) before checking into Castle Bijaipur for overnight stay. B, D
Day 6 : To Bundi
Depart for Bundi after breakfast. Renowned for its ornate palaces, temples, and forts, as well as the spectacular stepwell reservoirs. Tod was a regular visitor, and wrote extensively about the town. You will reach Haveli Braj Bushan Ji to check in by late afternoon and have a leisurely dinner at the
hotel. B, D
Day 7 : Bundi
Your heritage walking tour of Bundi will begin at Taragarh (Star Fort). Built on the hillside overlooking the city in 1354, the battlements offer panoramic views of Bundi. Your guide will show you the fort’s beautiful frescoes in the adjacent palace, and also the picture gallery. In the afternoon you will visit the best preserved of Bundi’s step wells, of which more than 50 survive. The Raniji ki Baori is particularly attractive.
You can then opt to see the Sukh Mahal, a small palace where Rudyard Kipling stayed and conceived the plot for Kim; or take a drive outside Bundi to visit a selection of the 5,000 year old petroglyph sites. B, D
Day 8 : To Deogarh
This morning you will drive to Deogarh, a distance of about 230 km. On the way you will see plenty of scenes of rural life, from villages and farms to local schools and temples. Keep an eye out for elephants, oxen, and camels on the road! Check in at Deogarh Mahal. Historically, Deogarh was a princely estate on the eastern side of the Aravali Hills. The surrounding area is well known for its birdlife, so do bring binoculars with you. In the town you will have time to visit the palace and the Kunjbihari Mandir, a temple with a large population of bats. B, D
Day 9 : Visit Todgarh-Raoli
Morning trip to the Todgarh-Raoli Sanctuary, a large protected area of deciduous forest and grassland. Tod describes this landscape in detail in his book, though the area did not become a sanctuary until 1983. If the water levels are sufficient we will visit the 55 m tall Bheelberi Falls, where long billed vultures roost in the cliffs. Your guide will explain the sanctuary’s flora and fauna, and you will see a wide variety of different species. Return to hotel Deograh Mahal. B, D
Day 10 : To Jodhpur
Your journey continues to Jodhpur, the ancestral home of the Marwar dynasty, and Rajasthan’s Blue City. The Mehrangarh fortress dominates the city, and is visible from a great distance. On arrival in Jodhpur you will check in at the Ajit Bhawan Palace, which is a Palace converted into an excellent Heritage hotel. Having rested and refreshed yourself, you will then have an orientation tour of the city. B, D
Day 11 : Jodhpur
Today enjoy a full day tour of Jodhpur, starting with the vast Mehrangarh Fort. One of the largest forts in India, it dates from the late 15th century. Enter through one of the seven imposing stone gates, and inside discover temples, ornately decorated courtyards and audience halls, and one of the best museums in India. Exhibits on display include elaborate costumes, palanquins, elephant howdahs, and suits of armour, most of which are in very good condition. From the fort, you will walk down through the centre of the city, past the clock tower and a number of temples and mausoleums. You may wish to visit the local market including the services of Jodhpur’s tailors, and the handicraft shopping in general. Overnight stay at Ajit Bhawan Palace Jodhpur. B, D
Day 12 : To Jaisalmer
It’s time for the great train ride! The railways are, of course, one of the most enduring and universally well regarded British legacies in India. The
journey through the Thar Desert to Jaisalmer is beautiful, and it seems almost magical when you first glimpse the sandstone walled city
from a distance.
The train from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer takes just over six hours, and you will travel in the air conditioned luxury of a first class carriage. On arrival in Jaisalmer, you will be met at the railway station and transfer to stay in Jaisalmer will be at Fort Rajwada to check in. Your guide will recommend the perfect spot for a sundowner; it’s impossible to describe the colours of the sunset over the sands. B, D
Day 13 : Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer is India’s “Golden City” -- the sandstone architecture blends perfectly with the surrounding desert sands. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is packed with ancient Jain temples, an elaborate royal palace, and labyrinthine streets lined with shops, all protected within fortified walls. Much of it is accessible only on foot, so your guide will lead you on a walking tour to get your bearings and introduce you to the city’s key sites. You will then have free time to explore further at your own pace, or to sit and read, people watch, or relax. B, D
Day 14 : To Jaipur
After a perfect night’s sleep at Hotel Fort Rajwada, you will transfer to the airport and board your flight to Jaipur. On arrival transfer to your hotel, Samode Haveli, to check in and then have an afternoon orientation tour in the Old City. In the early evening, travel with your guide by road to Choki Dhani, a unique Rajasthani village just outside the city. Here, you can experience rural life firsthand, visiting the purpose built houses, eating authentic food, learning about handicrafts, and listening to folk songs. Many of these traditions have changed little since Tod lived in and wrote about the region. Dine here before returning to your hotel. B, D
Day 15 : Jaipur
Today’s itinerary focuses on the Pink City -- Jaipur’s salmon coloured Old City. Jaipur was first painted pink in 1876 for the visit of the Prince of Wales, though the city itself is much older. Highlights of your city tour in Jaipur include the City Palace, the Albert Hall Museum, and the Hawa Mahal (the Palace of the Winds). This iconic pyramid structure housed the royal harem; the women who lived here could look out through the latticed windows at life on the streets below, without themselves being seen. In the afternoon you will visit the Jantar Mantar, the largest and best preserved astronomical observatory built by Sawai Jai Singh II in the early 18th century. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is not only fascinating and photogenic, but the calculations made using it are also incredibly accurate. Your guide will explain to you in detail how each of the monumental instruments works, and may help you take your own readings. You will return to Samode Haveli for the night. B, D
Day 16 : Jaipur
On your final day in India, you will have the opportunity to discover one of the wonders which lies just outside of Jaipur. Greatest amongst these is surely the Amber Fort with its dramatic ramparts, cobbled streets, and huge stone gates. Here you will find numerous courtyards, temples, and audience halls. There is a strong Rajput influence in the architecture and decorative styles. The Mirror Palace is nothing short of spectacularly.
Returning to the city, you will have time for a last bit of souvenir shopping in the Old City, or can choose to visit the Birla Mandir. This contemporary temple is built of white marble and is covered in statues representing significant figures from all religions: look out for Christ and John the Baptist as well as the Buddha, Confucius, and numerous Hindu deities. B, D
Day 17 : To London
Fly home to London via Delhi (British Airways flight BA256 departing 10:50 arrival same day into London at 15:20).
Why not extend your stay and take in a extension to Agra or relax on the golden beaches of Goa or Kerala? Get in touch for extension options. B
|Price per person
|Single room supplement|
- International air fare on direct British Airways (economy class).
- Internal flights in economy class.
- Air-conditioned accommodation with private facilities.
- Meal Plan- Daily breakfast and dinner throughout the tour.
- All transfers and sightseeing by an air-conditioned coach with on board toilet facilities
- Services of Dr Rima Hooja as trip scholar.
- Services of an accompanied tour manager to oversea all arrangements.
- Services of a licensed English speaking guide for sightseeing of monuments.
- Entry fee at monuments and places of interest including all museum visits.
- Complimentary mineral water and fresh fruit while on board the coach for transfers & sightseeing.
- 100% protection of your monies by our ATOL & ABTA licences.
- Tourist visa for India. E-tourist visa is now available for India. A step-bystep application guide will be sent to you when you book.
- Any expenses of a personal nature like laundry, telephone calls, beverages.
- Camera fees at monuments and other places of interest.
- Travel Insurance.*
- Tips & gratuities.
*We will contribute £50.00 on each booking Royal Asiatic Society to support their important work. For more information please visit www.royalasiaticsociety.org
Flight timing may change. We plan to follow this detailed itinerary, but events beyond our control like unpredictable weather, road conditions, cancelled flights, mechanical breakdown, or any other circumstances – may require changes to the itinerary at the last moment.
It is essential to have adequate insurance in place before your departure. This should be appropriate for your age, health and destination you are visiting.
• Make sure it includes comprehensive medical and repatriation cover.
• Make sure it provides cover for your whole trip (whether one day or over a year).
• Make sure it covers you for all activities.
• Disclose pre-existing medical conditions.
• Take your policy number and the 24-hour emergency contact numbers with you.
If you have any doubts about your cover, check with your insurer. Please note Covid-19 cover is now available.
For a competitive quotation please visit https://www.indusexperiences.co.uk/insurance/