Lost in the Land of the Warriors

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Forts, Palaces, deserts and forests, festivals and fairs, camels and elephants and color everywhere are a part of this ancient mystique. The journey unfolds the art forms of Rajasthan: dance, music, pottery, printing, and painting with an untold reverence for its warrior community that maintain traditions till today and with the joy of debate rather than the arrogance of war

Best Season to visit – November to March.

Lost World Adventures itineraries can be tailor-made according to your plans and preferences: budget, hotel selections, travel dates, optional excursions, length of trip, etc.

Day 1: Arrive Delhi

You will be met at the Delhi Airport and transferred to your hotel.

Overnight The Imperial, breakfast included - 2 nights. 

Reckoned amongst Asia’s finest hotels, The Imperial is a legend that offers a unique experience embracing facets of India’s history. The 24 king palms, that lead up to the porch, stand a witness to the creation of New Delhi. Conceptualized in 1934 by Bloomfield and inaugurated by Lord Willingdon in 1936, it was in Lutyen's scheme of things to build the most luxurious hotel in New Delhi. As New Delhi’s landmark Hotel, it is located on Janpath, the erstwhile Queensway. It is steps away from the renowned shopping district and major city attractions and a half- hour drive from the international airport. The Imperial is an ode to India’s independence from the British Raj and was built as a jewel in the crown of the outgoing rulers.

In 1803 AD Delhi became a dominion of the British Kingdom and in 1911 the city was acknowledged as the capital of India. The city is located on the banks of Yamuna River which makes its crop lands fertile.

Day 2: Delhi

Today you will enjoy a full day of sightseeing in Delhi. Your guide will meet you at the hotel reception after breakfast. You begin your city tour with your visit to the colossal Red fort followed by Old Delhi’s Chandni Chowk. Drive through New Delhi roads & sights to get a feel for the grand new city that Lutyens built in the early 1900s. You will also visit Emperor Humayun’s Tomb & the magnificent Qutab Minar.

Humayun's tomb: The tomb was commissioned by Emperor Humayun's wife Hamida Banu Begum in 1562 and designed by Mirak Mirza Ghiyath, a Persian architect. It was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent. Close to the Dina-panah citadel is the Purana Qila that Humayun founded in 1533. It was also the first structure to use red sandstone at such a scale. The tomb was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993.

The 12th c. Sultanate period outstanding Qutab Minar complex: The Qutab was the tallest tower in world for centuries, erected by first Islamic rulers of India; still the most imposing, artistically carved & engraved sandstone pillar anywhere! 4th c. inscription on renowned rust-free ancient Iron Pillar on premises adds to mystique & allure of unique monument. The Qutab Minar towers over this historic area where Qutabuddin Aibak laid the foundation of Delhi Sultanate in 1193. He built the Quwwatul Islam Mosque and the Qutab Minar to announce the advent of Muslim sultans. Later Iltutmish, Alauddin Khilji and Ferozshah Tughlaq added other buildings bringing in new architectural style.

Day 3: Delhi - Agra (205 kms, 2-3 hours via the Yamuna expressway)

After an early breakfast, proceed to Agra by car. On arrival, check into your hotel.

After lunch you will have a guided half day city tour.

Agra Fort: Built by the great Emperor Akbar in 1565 A.D., the fort is a masterpiece of design and construction. Within the fort are a number of exquisite buildings, including the Moti Masjid, Diwan-i-Am, Diwan-i-Khas and Musamman Burj, where the Emperor Shah Jahan died in imprisonment, besides Jehangir Palace, Khaas Mahal and the Sheesh Mahal.

Itmaud-ud-daula: Itmad-ud-Daula was the title given to Mirza Ghiyath Beg, father of Mughal Empress Nur Jahan. He held the post of Lord of treasure of the empire and later rose to the dignity of Wazir under Jahangir. Nur Jahan completed the construction of the building of the Tomb of her father in 1628 AD, nearly 7 years after his death. The cenotaphs and walls of the ground floor contain inscription in Persian. The wall inscriptions are from Quran and other holy texts, while the cenotaph inscriptions are stating the name and title of those interned.

Overnight Oberoi Amarvilas, breakfast included.

The Oberoi Amarvilas is the only hotel with direct, uninterrupted views of the Taj Mahal situated just 600 metres from one of the greatest wonders of the world. The Oberoi Amar Vilas is a breathtakingly luxurious hotel. There is only one way to truly experience the Taj Mahal.

Straight out of an Indian fairytale, The Oberoi Amarvilas - Sanskrit for ‘Eternal Haven’ - is set among lush and serene Mughal-inspired pools and terraced gardens. Ancient and traditional Persian and Moorish influences combine with the very best in modern Indian interior design.

Like Delhi, Agra stands on the Right Bank of the river Yamuna. The romance of the world’s most famous building still astonishes in its power. In addition to the Taj Mahal, Agra houses the great monuments of the Red Fort and the Itmad-ud-Daulah. 

Day 4: Agra – Ramathra Fort (225 Kms, 4-5 hours)

The same guide will report to your hotel for an early morning view of the Taj Mahal, return to your hotel for breakfast.

When the Taj Mahal was constructed, the Mughal Empire was already past its prime. The Taj, despite its unquestionable beauty, was an extravagance, which the Empire could not afford. The Taj Mahal is the eternal monument of love built by the fifth Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan in the everlasting memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It is believed that it took 22 years to build and 10,000 people worked on it.

Check–out of your hotel and drive to Ramathra Fort.
You have the evening to explore the serene surroundings.

Overnight Ramathra Fort, all meals included - 2 nights.

The Ramathra Fort lies between two of India's famous wildlife reserves, the Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary in Bharatpur and the Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve in Sawai Madhopur. The Kaila Devi National Park which is another game sanctuary is just 15 km away. The fort, the lake and the surrounding countryside are the three big attractions of Ramathra.

Ramathra was granted as a jagir (fiefdom) in 1645 AD to Thakur Bhoj Pal by his father the Maharaja of Karauli. The name Ramathra honours Lord Rama, who, it is believed, camped here while on his epic journey to Lanka. Today, Ramathra Fort belongs to Thakur Brijendra Raj Pal and his family who are descendants of the founder.

Day 5: Ramathra Fort

After breakfast, proceed with a local guide for a 3-4 hours complete walking tour of Ramathra village, a small hamlet of farmers and cattle herders. You see all kinds of work associated with tending crops and animals.

Return to the Fort and enjoy a picnic lunch on a small island which is accessed by a row boat. With lovely views and avian life all around, it makes for unforgettable experience.

Rest of the day is at leisure.

Day 6: Ramathra Fort – Jaipur (175 kms, 3-4 hours) 

After breakfast, proceed by road to Jaipur, a city of Pink.

On arrival, check into your hotel. Overnight Rambagh Palace, breakfast included.

Rambagh Palace is a living legend in Jaipur, built on a modest scale by the queen for her favourite handmaiden Kesar Badaran; it subsequently passed through several major occupancies, as a royal guesthouse, a hunting lodge and later the residence of the Maharaja. It was converted into the magnificent palace it is today by the king's grandson Sawai Man Singh II, architecturally inspired by Mughal and Rajasthani styles. Today it belongs to the Taj group, as a palace hotel with 79 rooms and stunningly restored suites which were once the chambers of the king himself.

Jaipur is the first planned city of India, located in the desert lands of Rajasthan. The city that once had been the capital of the royalty, now serves as the capital city of Rajasthan. The very structure of Jaipur resembles the taste of the Rajputs and the Royal family. The city of Jaipur, painted in pink, grasps the appreciation of every visitor.

After lunch, wander down Johari Bazaar opposite Hawa Mahal and shop! Here, there are brightly colored textiles, ornate leather shoes and sandals, tons of chai and street side goods, and a chance to witness daily lives of local people going by…

Day 7: Jaipur

You have the option of taking a hot air balloon ride over the Amber Fort. The pickup for the ballooning excursion is usually at 6:00am but the exact time will be intimated to you a night before. Return back to hotel after balloon safari for breakfast.

Hot air ballooning schedule as follows:
Drive to launch-site
Launch preparation and briefing
75-minute flight (approx.)
Beverages with cookies are served on the flight

After breakfast, the guide will report at the hotel to take you on a full day guided city tour of Jaipur.

Amber Fort: The old capital of the Kachhwaha stands atop a range of craggy hills. The fort is remarkable as much for the majestic grandeur of its surroundings as for its sturdy battlements and beautiful palaces. It is a fine blend of Hindu and Muslim architecture. The solemn dignity of its red sandstone and white marble pavilions, when reflected in the lake at the foothill, is a sight to behold.

Jantar Mantar Observatory: built in the 18th century by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the huge masonry instruments were used to study the movement of constellations and stars in the sky. The enormous sundial still provides accurate time, which is subject to daily corrections.

Drive past Hawa Mahal: built in 1799, by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, is the most recognizable monument of Jaipur. The 5 storied stunning semi-octagonal monument having 152 windows with over hanging latticed balconies is a fine piece of Rajput architecture. Originally designed for the royal ladies to watch and enjoy the processions and other activities, on the street below.

Early evening, drive to the outskirts of the city for an elephant safari at Dera Amer camp, through the quiet of the wilderness. The scenery is beautiful and it really is a special experience before sun set. You end it in a forest clearing with torch lights lit and a private dinner arranged. The camp is located at the foothills of the Aravalli Range and surrounded by the wilderness of a reserved forest with no urban civilization in the vicinity, just a few hamlets housing the local villagers occupied by farming on the their fields bordering a pretty lake.

Dinner included tonight.

Day 8: Jaipur – Chhatra Sagar (230 Kms, 4-5 hours)

After early breakfast, depart for the drive to Chhatra Sagar in the countryside.

After lunch take a short rest and then, proceed for a late afternoon bird watching walk along the banks of the lake and in the adjoining forest.

Overnight Chattra Sagar Camp, all meals included - 2 nights.

Situated on the Jaipur-Jodhpur highway, Chhatra Sagar was built as a hunting lodge of the Nimadi Estate. Today, it has been restored as a luxury camp. Each of the 11 carefully hand-stitched tents is decorated with printed motifs, and has a private sit-out facing the lake. Chhatra Sagar retains the Rajput tradition of luxury camps that provided their wandering inhabitants the comforts they were used to in their homes away from home.

Day 9: Chhatra Sagar 

After breakfast, accompanied by one of your hosts, wander on an enchanting tour of the village and farm, with its fields of wheat, mustard, cotton and chillies and vast grazing pastures, meet the villagers, and visit some of the local silver smiths.

Later on, visit on a dam, overlooking a lake teeming with birds (seasonal) and surrounded by grasslands replete with wildlife.

Day 10: Chhatra Sagar – Udaipur (260 Kms, 5-6 hours)

After a relaxed breakfast, drive to Udaipur.

On your way, stop at Ranakpur and visit the ancient Jain temples built from marble.

Ranakpur Temples: The Temples are acclaimed world-wide for their intricate and superb architectural style. These temples form one of the five major pilgrimages of the Jains. Located in village of Ranakpur near Sadri town in the Pali district of Rajasthan, Ranakpur temples lays at a distance of 95 kms in the north of Udaipur city. The temples are easily accessible from the city of Udaipur as regular buses are easily available.
Built in the 15th century, Ranakpur temples are known for being the largest and most important temples of the Jain religion.

On arrival explore the city and local market for shopping (time permitting).

Overnight Udaivilas, breakfast included - 2 nights.

In lovely grounds running down to the northwestern shore of Lake Pichola, Oberoi Udaivilas’ butter-sculpture domes are breathtaking. It’s a beautifully designed, luxurious but personal hotel that doesn’t spare the glitz or gold leaf, and the suites, as well as many rooms, even come equipped with private or semiprivate pools. The hotel has three restaurants and a fine spa.

Famously referred to as the “City of Lakes”, Udaipur is the historic capital of the Mewar Kingdom in the erstwhile Rajputana Agency, and was founded after its namesake monarch, Maharaja Udai Singh in 1559. It is known not only for its history, culture and scenic locations, but also for its palaces from the Rajput Era, many of which are today run as luxury hotels. The city is also famous for its major lakes, Fateh Sagar Lake, Rangsagar Lake and Pichola Lake, to name a few, which, along with others, are under restoration funded by the government’s National Lake Conservation Plan.

Day 11: Udaipur

A full day guided sightseeing tour of Udaipur will be organized, taking you to visit some of the prominent landmarks, overlooking the Aravalis, and breathing in the air surrounding Lake Pichola.

City Palace: Situated on the East Bank of Lake Pichola, the City Palace Complex is a series of palaces built at different moments after Udaipur was founded. The main entrance, the Triple Arch Gate (Tripolia) was built in the 1700s and leads to a labyrinth of courtyards, gardens, terraces, etc.

Monsoon Palace: Previously known as Sajjan Garh palace, built by Maharana Sajjan Singh, the Monsoon Palace is a hilltop palatial residence overlooking the city’s Lake Pichola. Built for watching the monsoon clouds, it gives a view of the king’s ancestral home of Chittorgarh. In the evenings, the palace is illuminated, giving a serene glow of golden-orange high up in the Aravalli Hills.

Jagdish Temple: It is a large Hindu temple in the heart of Udaipur built by Maharaja Jagat Singh the 1st in 1651. The temple is an example of Indo-Aryan architecture and art, and is the main tourist attraction in the city. It is also a good hub for shopping, if you’re looking to buy local, ethnic goods.

Day 11: Udaipur - Delhi - Departure

Today you will be taken to Udaipur airport for your flight back to Delhi. You will have the day-use of a hotel close to the airport.

Spend the day at leisure for relaxing and remembering the sights and conversations with culture, people and place.

Later, transfer to the International airport for your flight homeward.

"EXCELLENT"

The guides we had and the places we saw and stayed were superlative.

- Bonnie K, Jun 2012

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