HORSE RIDING IN SOUTHERN RAJASTHAN -
11 HOTEL OVERNIGHTS / 14 DAYS INCLUDING
INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT FROM SAN FRANCISCO
Enliven your senses with the vibrant sights, sounds and pageant of Rajasthan while horse riding through its villages with ancient temples and forts. Marwari horses popular in Rajasthan originated in the royal kingdom of Marwar with it capital in Jodhpur. They were already the favorite horses in the battles in 11th. century not only in Marwar but bred and exported to other neighboring friendly kingdoms of Mewar, Amber among many others. Enjoy the hospitality of private residences of former chieftains in remote villages of Rajasthan. In these historic castles and havelis (mansions) the owners still reside. Indulge in history of the capital city, New Delhi. Wonder the harmonious architecture of the world famous Taj Mahal, the eternal monument to love in the ancient Mughal capital of Agra. Experience the blended Hindu, Buddhist and Islamic architecture in the palaces of Emperor Akbar’s Agra Fort and his Jama Mosque in Fatehpur Sikri. Relish the glory of Kachhwaha architecture and culture in the Maharaja’s City Palace of the pink city, Jaipur. All except one of the 17 masonry instruments in the astronomical observatory of Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh still function. Enjoy a ride on beautifully decorated elephants going up to the hilltop palaces of Maharaja Man Singh and Mirza Raja Jai Singh at Amber Fort. The Chowmukha Jain Temple at Ranakpur has some of the finest sculptures.
Schedule: November 30 to December 13, 2017 & February 15 to 28, 2018
CALL 1-559-446-0499 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org for custom designing your Rajasthan Tour
Guaranteed departure at your preferred schedule - minimum 4 persons traveling together are required for this trip. Maximum 6 persons can travel in one group. For more persons special arrangement will be made for luxury tent accommodations.
New Delhi, Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Jaipur, Deogarh, Udaipur, Ghanerao, Narlai, Ranakpur & Jodhpur
Day 1, DELHI:
Arrive in Indira Gandhi Internatioal Airport in New Delhi. Traditional Indian welcome with marigold garlands and transfer to Surya Hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 2, DELHI:
After breakfast proceed for sightseeing of New Delhi - Qutub Minar- its construction was initiated by Qutubudin-Aibak in 1199 CE upon becoming the first Sultan of Delhi, the surrounding area was earlier the capital of Chowhan Rajput rulers and had many Hindu & Jain temples that were destroyed by Islamic invaders - the materials from these monuments including carved panels and pillars were used in Qutub Minar and the adjoining mosque. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site ;
Mughal Emperor Humayun's Tomb - its architecture may have influenced the construction of the Taj Mahal in Agra. Humayun, the second Mughal Emperor was named "the fortunate one", ironically his whole life was a series of misfortunes; just six months after winning the throne of Delhi after a 10 year exile in Persia, he slipped while coming down a stairwell in old fort of Delhi and was badly wounded. He died on January 27, 1556, just a few days after his fall in the stairwell. Emperor Akbar designated his mother, Maryam Makani: Hamida Bano Begum, aka Haji Begum, widow of his father, to supervise the construction of first great mausoleum of the Mughals. Its architecture may have influenced the design of the later built Taj Mahal in Agra. Humayun’s mausoleum is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
India Gate (the memorial to soldiers killed in all wars starting from 1st World War), Parliament House, Prime Minister’s & Home Minister’s offices and Presidents House (from outside).
In the afternoon stop by the Red Fort for photography from outside - the massive sandstone fort built by Shah Jahan on the banks of river Yamuna, Jama Masjid - is the largest mosque in India and stands across the road from the Red Fort, built by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan 1648 CE. About 20,000 people can pray here at a time.
End the day's sightseeing with a thrilling bicycle rickshaw ride in Chandni Chowk Bazaar. Overnight stay in Hotel Surya in New Delhi.
Day 3, DELHI - AGRA (165 kilometers or 103 miles in 2 hours):
After breakfast transfer by air-conditioned chauffeur driven air-conditioned car to Agra in about 2 hours.
Getting off the highway stop at the Itmad-ud-Daulah's mausoleum that was designed and constructed under the patronage of Empress Nur Jahan, the only Mughal ruler's spouse to have this title and issue coins in her name. She built this tomb for her parents Mirza Ghiaz Beg & Begum Asmat. Mirza Ghiaz Beg received the title of Itmad-ud-Daulah from Emperor Jahangir. He passed away in 1622, his mausleum's construction started the same year and was completed in 1628. It is decorated with inlay of jasper and black marble in white marble. The carvings inside the top of four main arched gateways in to the mausoleum have been inspired by Chikan embroidary.
Upon arrival check in to the Crystal Sarovar Hotel.
Afternoon proceed for sightseeing tour of Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The elegant Jahangiri Mahal Palace in the fort reflects an interesting synthesis of Hindu & Islamic architectural styles and Emperor Akbar's tolerant religious philosophy. 14 years old Mughal Prince was crowned in 1556 at Kalanaur in Punjab state of India. He moved his capital to Agra in 1558.
The construction of the fort in Agra started in 1565 and was completed in 1573 with about 4000 construction workers employed.
On the way to hotel visit Agra’s oldest and best marble inlay factory, which is a virtual museum. Some of the work done by their artisans is much finer and delicate than the inlay art work in the Taj Mahal itself. Overnight stay in Crystal Sarovar Premier Hotel in Agra.
Day 4, AGRA - JAMA MASJID IN FATEHPUR SIKRI - JAIPUR
(232 kilometers or 144 miles in about 5 hours):
Early morning enliven the unforgettable view of the world famous Taj Mahal in the morning glow of sunrise. It is a mausoleum to commemorate Emperor Shahjahan’s love for his favorite queen, the Shia Persian, Arjumand Bano Begum, the name in Persian literally means 'Beloved'. She received the title of Mumtaj Mahal or 'Crown of the Palace'. She died delivering their 14th child outside a battlefield at Burhanpur in central India in 1630.
The construction of the mausoleum started in 1631 and was completed in 1648 according an inscription on the main gate of the building.
The white marble mausoleum was decorated with Pietra Dure motifs – inlay of semi-precious stones like Jasper, Malachite, Lapiz Lazuli, Jade and various shades of Agate etc. On January 22, 1666 Emperor Shahjahan passed away in his white marble palaces in Agra Fort where he was imprisoned for the last 8 years of his life. His grave was added later and is the only architectural element in Taj Mahal mausoleum that is not symmetrical.
After breakfast drive about an hour to Emperor Akbar’s deserted city, Fatehpur Sikri – the Mughal capital from 1571 to 1584. Emperor Akbar went to a Sufi saint Sheikh Salim Chistie when he did not have a male heir to the throne.The saint correctly prophesied that the Emperor would have three sons. When his Hindu queen, Jodha Bai, became pregnant, the emperor moved with her to Sikri village to live near the saint. Gradually a whole new capital evolved with an exceptional and unprecedented blend of religious and secular architecture. The emperor invited Jesuit monks from Goa to teach him about the Christian religion. In the palaces and the mosque in Fatehpur Sikri one witnesses a blend of Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Islamic architecture. After the demise of saint and perhaps because of many other reasons Emperor Akbar moved from Fatehpur Sikri. The city was deserted for almost 400 years until the beginning of the 20th. century when Archaeological Survey of India started the renovation of the capital, which is still continuing. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We will be visiting the Jama Mosque with the white marble mausoleum of the Sufi saint, Sheikh Salim Chistie at Fatehpur Sikri.
Drive further to Jaipur which is 170 kilometers and 4 hours away with lunch stop on the way. Late afternoon is free for shopping and rickshaw ride in the historic, walled, Pink City (Jaipur). Overnight stay at the heritage Shahpura House Hotel with dinner.
Day 6, Jaipur:
Breakfast at hotel. In the morning drive a short distance to Hawa Mahal, a palace with screened balconies for the royal household women to watch royal processions without being seen by people on the street outside.
Drive further for a majestic elephant ride to the hilltop palaces in the Amber Fort. Sightseeing of the palaces of Mirza Raja Jai Singh and Maharaja Man Singh.
Lunch at Stag Rooftop Restaurant Opposite Amber Fort.
In the afternoon sightseeing of City Palace and Astronomical Observatory.
The City Palace of Jaipur is still the private property of the descendents of former Maharajas of Jaipur and the present heir to head the family still resides in the Chandra Mahal part of the palace.
Later enjoy a game of stick and ball in evening with some polo players at Polo Club House. Dinner and overnight in Shahpura House.
Day 7, Jaipur – Deogarh: (273 kilometers or 170 miles in 6 hours):
After breakfast drive to Deogarh Mahal, built in 1670 by a powerful clan related to the Sisodia Maharanas of Chittorgarh and Udaipur. The palace is tastefully renovated with period furniture and interior decorations. Relax and explore the palace. After lunch enjoy a walk in the alleys of the village surrounding the palace. Dinner and overnight in Deogarh Mahal.
Day 8, Deogarh – Udaipur (135 kilometers or 84 miles in 3 hours):
After breakfast drive to Udaipur, a city of lakes and palaces surrounded by Aravali mountains. On arrival visit the antique cars collection of the Maharanas of Udaipur. Enjoy lunch at the lake side Ambrai Restaurant.
Later enjoy a boat ride on Lake Pichola with visit to the Jag Mandir Island Palace, where Mughal Prince Khurram (later Emperor Shahjahan) had sought refuge while revolting against his father, Emperor Jahangir. Dinner at one of the rooftop restaurants with view of Pichola Lake.
Overnight in Hotel Fateh Niwas.
Day 9, Udaipur – Ghanerao (124 kilometers in 2.15 hours):
After breakfast sightseeing of Maharana’s City Palace and Jagdish Temple.
After lunch at Tribute Restaurant overlooking Fatehsagar Lake drive to Ghanerao. On arrival introduction to the Horse Riding Guide and his horses. Dinner and overnight at Ghanerao Royal Castle Hotel.
Day 10, Ghanerao – Narlai (16 kilometers or 10 miles):
After breakfast enjoy a walk in the Ghanerao village with its unpaved roads and whitewashed dwellings. There are some ancient Hindu and Jain temples also in the village.
Your horse ride start the through granite rocks and scrubby landscape. ride past some traditional villages and before reaching Narlai village witness an amazing and spectacular view of the Aravali mountains. (16 Kilometers or 6 miles total ride). Lunch will be on the way. On arrival check-in Rawla Narlai, hidden away in the heart of Aravali mountains at the foot of a giant granite rock, surrounded by forested hills and rocky outcrops. It was part of the Marwar kingdom, members of the Rathore, former ruling family, still own the resort. Narlai is an interesting village and there are some fascinating, ancient temples in the village. The view on top of the Narad Rock is spectacular.
Dinner and overnight in Rawla Narlai.
Day 11, Narlai – Ranakpur (32 kilometers or 20 miles):
After breakfast ride past farm and lakes to arrive at the Muthana Bird Lake, a four hour’s ride covering about 22 kilometers or 12 miles.
Refreshments will be served at this lake and the rest of the way to Ranakpur is a drive by SUVs of about 10 kilometers or 6.25 miles through the merchant town of Sadri, comprising of mostly Jain religion followers.
On arrival in Ranakpur enjoy lunch at Fateh Bagh Hotel and after check-in start the sightseeing of the Chowmukha Jain Temple dedicated to the Jain religion’s first Thirthankar (teacher), Swami Adinath. The temple was built in 15th century.
Dinner and overnight in King’s Abode Resort.
Day 12, Ranakpur – Rohetgarh (123 kilometers or 78 miles):
After breakfast start for the last horse ride covering 24 kilometers or 13 miles (approx.) and going through forest, mountainous terrain initially but later descending to plains and a chance to gallop through sandy landscape to come to the Desuri village that is known for its temples. Lunch will be during the horse ride in Desuri. End of horse ride tour. Afternoon explore the historic Desuri fort hotel and its surrounding village. Rest of the way is a drive by SUV’s of about 90 kilometers or 56 miles in about 2 hours).
Upon arrival, check in at the Heritage Rohet garh Fort Hotel.Farewell dinner and overnight in Rohet garh Fort Hotel.
Day 13, Rohetgarh – Jodhpur – New Delhi - USA:
After breakfast drive about 46 kilometers or 29 miles to Jodhpur in about one hour.
On arrival sightseeing of the Mehrengarh Fort perched on a hilltop overlooking the Jodhpur city. Later visit the Jaswant Thada Memorial to former kings of Marwar kingdom. After lunch at the Nirwana House Rooftop Restaurant, transfer to airport to board the flight to New Delhi.
On arrival transfer to Atrio Boutique Hotel for freshening up and dinner before boarding the return flight to USA.
PRICE OF US$ 3,890 INCLUDES:
- 11 night’s accommodation plus wash & change room for few hours on the last day accommodation on Twin/Double room sharing basis in mentioned or similar hotels.
- Full board, all meals as mentioned in program.
- Transfers, local visits and excursions and drive between cities by air-conditioned car as per the program.
- Trained Marwari horses with personal grooms and full saddlery.
- 4WD’s with mineral water, refreshments and First Aid to meet the ride at regular intervals.
- Horse transportation to and from the Safari.
- English speaking Riding Escort and guide
- Based on minimum 4 pax / maximum 6 pax (using up to 3 double / twin rooms) - PRICE IS VALID UP TO APRIL 15, 2018 EXCEPT FROM DEC. 10, 2017 TO JAN. 15, 2018.
QUOTE DOES NOT INCLUDE:
- Expenses of personal nature like laundry, drinks, telephone calls, camera / video camera fee at monuments, medical expenses, etc.
- Any Tips.
- India visa fee (Visa is mandatory for visiting India) - e-Visa can be obtained online on the Government of India website:https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html
- Any other services or meals not mentioned in the above program & inclusions
An Advance deposit of US$ 1,750 is due with registration. The balance is due and payable 90 days before departure from US airport. Both payments to be made by personal check in favor of India Traveller.
Optional Extension Tours from New Delhi:
An extra overnight in Delhi is required to visit one or more of the three important museums of Delhi: National Museum of artifacts from Indian and foreign antiquity and archaeological excavations, ancient coins, miniature paintings, manuscripts, Buddhist artifacts including the holy relics of Buddha from Kapilvastu where he spent his childhood and youth and/or National Gallery of Modern Art in the former palace of the Maharaja of Jaipur near India Gate and / or Craft Museum where you can witness fine traditional crafts in folk painting, textiles, terracotta figurines and pottery, wood carvings etc. and / or
visit the Akshardham Swami Narayan Temple - capital's largest Hindu temple (about 3 hours required for temple sightseeing).
Optional Extension Tours from Agra:
Sur Sarovar Bird Sanctuary with Bear Rescue Center that has 256 black Himalayan bears and the Elephant Sanctuary (both these are inside the bird sanctuary) and / or visit the Archaeological Museum at Mathura that has India's largest collections of Kushan, Gandhar and Gupta period sculptures and /or Krishna Janmabhumi - the birthplace of Bhagwan Krishna, the incarnation of Vishnu and / or the ISCKON. Hare Krishna Temple in Vrindavan.
Optional Extension Tours from Jaipur:
Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary in Bharatpur where about 150 Indian species of birds reside throughout the year and another 150 species of migratory birds arrive from Tibet, China, Mongolia, Siberia and even Scandinavia. This requires one overnight in Bharatpur. About an hour before arriving in Jaipur is the town of Dausa that is quite close to Chand Baori - the world's deepest stepwell and the Hindu temple of goddess Harshat Mata, there is a large collection of sculptures found in the vicinity here. Just before entering Jaipur in the valley of Aravali Mountains is the Garden Palace of Sisodia Rani (Queen of Sawai Jai Singh belonging to the royal house of Mewar in Udaipur) and further in the same valley is the Hindu pilgrimage center of Galta with a natural water spring and many beautiful Temples. It is a haven for Langoor (black faced) and Rhesus (red faced) monkeys.
One overnight in Samode Palace, a luxurious palace famous for its glass mosaic palace halls and located in a quiet valley.
On the way to Mandawa Castle enjoy the sightseeing of the murals and frescos of Anandilal Poddar Haveli and Murarka Haveli in Nawalgarh.
There is a lot to view in the Mandawa Castle itself that is also the best place to stay in Shekhavati region. Following Haveli (aristocratic mansions) are interesting for their murals and frescos: Hanuman Prasad Goenka Haveli, Goenka Double Haveli, Murmuria Haveli, Jhunjhunwala Haveli, Mohanlal Saraf Havei, Gulab Rai Ladia Haveli, Bansidhar Newatia Haveli, Laxminarayan Ladia Haveli and Chowkhani Double Haveli. Just across the road from Goenka Double Haveli is the Thakurji Temple that also has beautiful mural paintings depicting scenes from British East India Company Period and 1857 during the First War of Indian Independence.
A 4-day Nepal Tour with Mount Everest Flight can be booked at the end of this trip.