It’s a state that takes it’s colors seriously. Jaipur in pink, Udaipur is white, Jodhpur is Blue and Jhalawar is purple. Really. Even their clothing is colorful – from their bright red and pink “Gunghat” work by women to the red turbans worn by men, They love colorful everything! Not to mention the gorgeous palaces and haveli’s that are in (feels that way) every corner! It’s the land of rulers, and now they are sharing their royal ways of life with us. What are you waiting for?!
Arrive at the City of Dreams - Mumbai. From there, drive for 4.5 hours to Jaisalmer. The drive itself will be an interesting one with the Rajasthani countryside streaking by. It's a serene experience with few surprises. Clusters of women in bright reds and pinks, their ankleted feet kicking up a fine mist of dust, their pots balanced on their heads in silhouetted grace, a lone camel disdainfully plodding its way, its head held high, pulling a cart, a truck with its back full of bobbing brightly coloured balls which eventually turn out to be mustachioed Rajasthani men in rainbow turbans. It prepares you for the journey ahead.
On arrival in Jaisalmer, you will check-in to your hotel and relax for the day.
Jaisalmer is often pictured to be a desert, but in spite of the backdrop with shades of brown and beige, the man-made blaze of colors are what stand out. The women are clad like princesses in full-swinging skirts of the brightest scarlet, the most shocking pink, sun-blazing yellow or just plain rich purple. And their jewelery - bold and beautiful! And the men? They are like retro Indians, twirling their luxuriant mustaches, wearing their turbans of brilliant orange, psychedelic neons or spotless whites, like crowns. You will find yourself staring at their magnetic stature almost unashamedly!
Morning in Jaisalmer starts with the iconic Jaisalmer Fort. The old city was once completely surrounded by an extensive wall and city gates with the majestic fort rising above the city. The fort houses a township with markets, palaces, temples and exquisitely carved sandstone Havelis. Today, though these homes are national treasures and art museums, they are still inhabited by royal clans and families.
It's the day to get a taste of true splendor of royalty Umaid Bhawan Palace. The palace is a fine example of Indo-colonial art-deco style of the thirties. This 350 room palace is one of the largest and grandest private residences in the world. It was built a mere 50 years ago to provide employment to the locals. The master bedroom is 7000 square feet in area … and it’s for hire! The natural extravagance of the Maharaja is hard to hide as 50 years hence the ‘royalty’ still struggles to come to terms with the new ‘India’. Cases of Moet et Chandon pop at family celebrations, vintage cars receive guests, ‘subjects’ pay ‘homage’ and miniature dachshunds pets named ‘Tia Maria’ and ‘Gimlet’ are pampered.
Start the day with a healthy breakfast followed by a guided tour of Mehrangarh Fort. From the outside its wide, high walls and sheer cliffs appear unassailable, imposing and austere, but they are actually beautiful on the inside. Once inside, you can see the lavishly decorated palaces, with intricate carved ‘jaalis’ and panels that take your breath away. It's as beautiful as it's photogenic. The afternoon can be spent ensconced in the luxuries of your palatial hotel and perhaps visiting its fine museum.
Today, head to Deogarh by a 3-hour drive to stay at the charming hotel - Deogarh Mahal. An imposing structure built in the 17th century; it stands atop a hill and offers a commanding view of the Aravalli mountain range and the lakes, strewn across the countryside. Deogarh Mahal has been meticulously restored to be one of the best heritage hotels in Rajasthan. The family is directly involved with the management of the hotel, and every guest here is special and is treated with the customary Mewari hospitality. While at Deogarh, hop on for a scenic train ride in a 1930s train through beautiful landscape and wooded hills or take a walk through the local village or try the English saddle horse riding or ride in vintage cars like 1962 Jaguar S-Type, 1942 GI Jeep, 1938 Chevrolet, or take a picnic lunch with a trek. This is what Royals used to do to pass the time. Why not try a few?
It's the place that poets, artists, writers, and travelers picture while writing about romance and Royals. Today is the day you witness the enigma of Udaipur. One of the world's best destination wedding spots. The drive to Udaipur has a few interesting stops on the way too. Stop on the way to see the tiered 15th Century Ranakpur Jain Temple, with five spires, 20 domes, 29 halls and 1,444 pillars. Located in a remote valley in the Aravalli hills this temple is a marvel. The second stop is at the Maharanibagh Orchard Retreat, a nature lover's paradise and blessed stop on the way before you continue your drive to Udaipur.
On arrival in Udaipur, check-in to your hotel. Udaipur is like an oasis. Set on the shores of Lake Pichola and surrounded by hills, Udaipur is completely different to the harsh deserts found in the rest of Rajasthan. The lake itself is a romantic setting surrounding the gleaming white Lake Palace and the Jag Mandir, a refuge to the rebel Mughal prince, Shah Jehan, who would go on to be the creator of Taj Mahal. Well, now we know where he got his romantic inspirations from!
After Shah Jehan, it's your turn to be inspired by Udaipur. All it takes is a simple exploration of this beautiful city. Start at the City Palace, with its butter-coloured stone and standing on an imposing outcrop overlooking the city. Inside, the walls are covered in detailed mosaics and ceilings are patterned with thousands of tiny mirror shards. One terrace has a giant marble pool, said to have been filled with the juice of fresh mangoes. While exploring Udaipur, do not miss out on the Lake Palace and the Monsoon Palace.
It's time to check out Jaipur today! After flying to Jaipur and checking into the hotel, there are many things you can experience. Simply relax and enjoy the environs of your luxury resort or visit the legendary Rambagh Palace for a drink at its famous ‘Polo Bar’. The palace was once the garden retreat of the royal families and is now one of the leading heritage hotels of India. The Rambagh has been witness to many stories of princely romances and lavish parties - in one of the parties thrown to celebrate the birth of a prince; the fountains were made to spout champagne instead of water!
Today is dedicated to Jaipur. At every nook and cranny, literally, you will find villas, palaces, "mahals" with stories of the Maharajas and their lifestyles/life stories. The place called the Pink City is littered with their palaces now also filled with colorful bazaars and shopping in between. And oh the colors! The vivid, vibrant and varied colors that the people have adapted to their real life.
To this day, you can be as royal as you choose to be at Jaipur. You can ride up the Amber Fort on elephant back, sip champagne under a marquee as you watch a polo match, chase tigers in open jeeps, stay in luxuriously palatial rooms once occupied by the Maharaja of Jaipur and shop for gems at the store where Paul McCartney bought a sapphire engagement ring for Heather Mills. Or, you can be hipster just taking it all in, wandering through the Tripolia Bazaar where you find all kinds of motorized devices competing for available space on the road along with cows, camels and, yes, elephants! These are sights you can only enjoy here.
Afternoon takes you to the City Palace, which is an overwhelming complex of exquisite palaces, gardens and courtyards, decorative art and carved doorways. The palace museum houses collections of rare manuscripts, armoury, costumes, carpets and miniature paintings. Next, walk to the adjacent Jantar Mantar or Astronomical Observatory made by the Maharaja of Jaipur, built in 1726 that makes accurate predictions even to this day. At last, visit the Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) is a landmark of Jaipur and stands 5 stories high. The cool winds blow through its facade of windows and latticed screens through which the queens of the court once viewed the streets of the city. Don't miss out on takes you to Amber and the Amber Fort. Maharaja Mansingh, Mughal Emperor Akbar’s most successful General, started the construction of Amber Fort in the 17 th century. Get atop an elephant that will take you up to the fortress. Once on top, stroll through the sprawling complex of courtyards and halls. Many of the rooms have delightful wall paintings adorned with precious stones and mirrors inlaid in the walls.
As if this was not fascinating enough, in you walk into the Sheesh Mahal (hall of mirrors). Here a single lamplight is reflected in the many mirrors, lighting up the room. It's as beautiful as it's classy.
Jaipur is a great place to shop for jewelry, precious stones and gold enameled work with diamonds, emeralds, rubies, pearls and sapphires. The block printing fabrics, enameled brass-ware, and shoes made of camel skin are possibilities of a shopping list.
After the treasure trove of royal memories collected from the Great Indian Treasure Hunt, it's time to say Al Vida and fly back home!
- Room on single / double / triple sharing basis.
- Daily breakfast as per Itinerary.
- English speaking guide as per Itinerary.
- Elephant ride at Amber fort in Jaipur.
- Train safari through Aravali Hills.
- Boat ride at Lake Pichola in Udaipur.
- Monument entrance fees as per Itinerary.
- Rickshaw ride at Jaipur.
- A/c Toyota Innova for 01 to 04 pax and Tempo traveller for 05 to 10 pax as per the Itinerary.
- Special welcome on arrival at Jaipur.
- All applicable taxes.
- Any air / train fare.
- Personal expenses like laundry, liquor, soft drinks other than mentioned.
- Camera fees at monuments.
- Any tipping to guide, potter, driver and helper.
- Any extra meals other than mentioned in above inclusions.
- Anything not mentioned in above inclusions.