Amber Fort
Amber Fort © Jesse Richmond

Forts & Palaces of Rajasthan

10 days

Rajasthan is the culturally rich and fascinating desert state of India. The royal historical heritage in the form of palaces, forts, havelis, caves, temples, mosques, tombs and monuments set against the desert landscape make Rajasthan a unique destination. The colourful dressing, deep rooted traditions, age old handicrafts, art, folk dance and music and delicious traditional cuisine showcase the rich Rajasthani culture. This trip will have it all, camel and elephant rides, boat rides, museums, village jeep safaris, visits to see stone makers, potters and handloom weavers and unforgettable sun sets in the dunes.

We start this tour flying from Delhi to Jodhpur and then driving to the ancient sandy citadel of Jaisalmer. The yellow sandstone fort is the town’s signature sight. Its uniqueness emerges from the fact that people have been living in it throughout its history. Even today you will see people dressed in traditional colourful turbans and long ghaghras. With haunting folk music being played by the musicians and tribal women selling jewellery, you can walk up to the ramparts and get a fabulous panoramic view of the town and the rocky landscape beyond. In the town, the other architectural gems include the intricately carved havelis or mansions rich merchants built. Patwon Ki Haveli, Salim Shah Haveli and Nathamal Ki Haveli with intricately carved jaalis, jharaokas (windows) and facades are worth a visit. Some of these are made entirely of stone without the use of any mortar or cement. You can also enjoy spectacular views from the rooftop of the Raj Mahal, the palace of former rulers. Outside, the narrow lanes with exquisite shops, hotels, temples, houses, restaurants and cows provide a lovely touristy feel to the place. A visit to the Gadisar Lake, which is the source of the city’s drinking water is a lovely picnic spot too.

The other unforgettable experience about visiting Jaisalmer is the desert camp at the dunes. We will arrange a special Rajasthani evening experience at Sam Dunes, an hour away from town towards Pakistan border. With glorious white mounds of sand as the backdrop, a typical Rajasthani village is created for the evening with mud walls and brightly painted entrance, food stalls with thatched roofs where Rajasthani woman cook local food in traditional earthenware pots. Local folk music and dances are performed to get the full flavour of Rajasthan’s culture. Camel rides and bonfires can also be enjoyed there. You must also experience a Camel Safari especially to a remote part of the desert along with a local village visit for an authentic feel of the place and an unbelievably spectacular sunset view.

Leaving Jaislamer’s deserts behind we drive to Jodhpur with the biggest fort in Rajasthan looming large over the blue tinged old city. Meherangarh Fort, its Museum and Jaswant Thada Cenotaph is definitely worth a visit. The grand modern 20th century Palace, Umaid Bhawan was made of sandstone without the use of mortar or cement to provide employment to the poor during the famine of 1920’s. Partly converted into a hotel and a museum, it provides a glimpse of a magnificent royal residence too. The best way to get the feel of the city is to drive through the old city and past the Clock Tower near the largest spice bazaar in the sub-continent. The narrow lanes selling juttis, tie and dye fabrics, antiques, silverware, furniture etc is a shopper’s paradise. And for the food connoisseurs, this is heaven. With the most scrumptious sweets, yoghurt lassi, thickened milk and spicy fried snacks, it will be difficult to save space for the delectable traditional main course.

Next we will take you to Mount Abu. The architectural marvel of Dilwara Temple, the view of sunset from the Nakki Lake and the 180 degree valley view will fascinate you.

Next destination is Udaipur. This beautiful 16th century city is considered to be the most romantic spot in India. With lakes, lake palaces, gardens, mansions it may be less grand than others but it makes up more than enough in its ambience. Visit Sahelion-ki- Bari (the fountained and flowered garden of maidens), Partap Smarak—a memorial to the legendary warrior Rana Pratap, City Palace, Crystal Gallery, Vintage Car Collection and the Bhartiya Lok Mandal Museum. This itinerary leaves enough time to sit by the City Palace near the lake or on the rooftops of the restaurants around the Lake Pichola to admire the floating iconic Lake Palace Hotel. Wandering around the old cities narrow lanes you will come across quaint havelis and shops selling the famous miniature paintings and other artifacts. Spending two nights here, you will carry with you memories of a lifetime as you make your way back to Delhi where this tour ends.

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This tour is provided through our association with Asian Adventures, for more than 25 years an iconic name for responsible tourism throughout India and beyond. Asian Adventures are known for not only giving people an incredible experience but also providing a consistently high quality service.

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