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To get a real flavour of Rajasthan we not only visit palaces and forts, we stay in them. The accommodation includes a number of heritage properties, sometimes former homes of the Marharajas, which have been converted into atmospheric hotels. In the Shekhawati region visit both Nawalgarh and Dundload with their outstanding painted havelis. In Jaisalmer we include the remarkable lake of Gadi Sagar and a sunset visit to the sand dunes at Khuri. We stay in the lakeside Fatehprakash Palace for a taste of romantic Rajasthan. All these are just a few of the extras that make our 'Palaces & Citadels' the most outstanding tour of its kind.
Ranthanbore National Park from £635 per person twin shared
Nepal from £725 per person twin shared
Shimla from £665 per person twin shared
Glenburn Tea Estate, Darjeeling from £1095 per person twin shared
Further details on request.
Palaces & Citadels - In depth exploration of this legendary province
Depart from London Heathrow at 2050 on Jet Airways’ non-stop flight to Delhi.
On arrival mid-morning, transfer to the heritage Oberoi Maidens Hotel for 2 nights. This afternoon we delve into Old Delhi for a rickshaw ride through the teeming bazaars from the Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India, and drive past the Red Fort. In the evening meet your Tour Manager or guide at the welcome dinner. (D)
Tour New Delhi, the grand avenues and monuments of the former capital of the British Raj, the tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun, and the mosque complex of Qutab Minar. (B)
Drive to Agra. Tour the formidable Agra Fort, with its impressive imperial quarters and marbled apartments and also see the ‘Baby’ Taj, the delicately-styled Itmad-ud-Daulah mausoleum. Overnight at the 4* Trident Hotel. (B)
Sunrise visit to India’s most famous monument, and arguably the most beautiful building in the world, the Taj Mahal. Depart for Jaipur, calling at the deserted Mughal capital of Fatehpur Sikri. Stay 2 nights at the characterful Mandawa Haveli Hotel. (B)
Morning drive to see the elaborate façade of the Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds), and to the great Fort at Amber where we may be able to ascend the ramparts by elephant, otherwise by jeep. In the afternoon tour the museums of the City Palace and the 18th century Observatory whose astronomical instruments, many as large as buildings, measured the movements of the heavens with extraordinary accuracy. (B)
Made rich by their position on the trade routes of old, the merchants competed with one another to decorate the walls of their splendid mansions or havelis with colourful murals and we see many of these today in Dundload, Nawalgarh and Mandawa in the romantic Shekhawati region. Stay tonight at the Castle Mandawa Hotel. (B)
En-route for the fortified town of Bikaner we call at the village of Deshnok to visit its unique Rat Temple, where a large colony of pampered rodents are worshipped by the Brahmins as reincarnated saints. We continue to Bikaner, a major town on the old caravan trade routes, and stay about 20 miles outside at the atmospheric Gajner Palace Hotel, on the banks of a lake in a wildlife sanctuary where black buck, wild boar and gazelles can be seen. (B)
Morning visit to Bhandasar Jain Temple, then continue to Bikaner’s Junagarh Fort, which boasts an extravagantly decorative interior, with gold-leaf paintings, stained-glass windows, carved balconies, delicate lattice work and lacquered doors. Just outside the town is Asia’s largest camel breeding farm which we also visit, and there is time this afternoon to relax at the hotel, or perhaps birdwatch as the sun sets. (B)
Across the desert to the remote Golden City in the far west, its fort rising out of the sands as if by magic. Jaisalmer is sculpted from honey-coloured sandstone and in palaces, temples, havelis and criss-crossed by crowded narrow streets. Stay 2 nights at the Fort Rajwada Hotel. (B)
In the winding streets of the citadel we visit the Patwon Ki Haveli with its beautifully carved fretwork and jali screens, the stunning Jain temples and the palace fort of Maharawal. We also visit the man-made lake of Gadi Sagar, surrounded by beautiful temples and shrines, and head out into the desert wilderness to see the sand dunes, enjoy a camel ride, followed by dinner, and watch a magnificent fiery sunset. (BD)
Drive to the magnificent ‘Blue City’ of Jodhpur, and visit the fabulous Meherangarh Fort, whose labyrinthine palaces offer an insight into the lives of the Rajput princes who ruled this harsh land. Stay overnight at the heritage Rohetgarh Hotel. (BD)
Early morning jeep safari to Bishnoi village. Drive to Udaipur, en-route visiting the 15th century Jain temple of Ranakpur. A building of the most astonishing complexity, its walls and columns are covered by carvings so dense and delicate that it is more like lace-work than stone-carving. Stay 2 nights at the splendid Fatehprakash Palace. (B)
In the morning tour the rambling City Palace and enjoy a cruise on Lake Pichola. The rest of the day is free. (B)
Transfer to the airport for the flight to Delhi with onwards connection to the non-stop Jet Airways flight to London, arriving at around 1740 (Monday). (B)
The Oberoi Maidens, a heritage property, is one of Delhi’s oldest hotels, built in the early 1900s, and has retained its colonial charm and architecture. Set amidst eight acres of lush gardens and shady trees, it escapes the noise of the main city, but remains within easy access to some of the most magnificent sights in Delhi. All rooms are tastefully furnished and have air conditioning, mini bar, tv, wifi, and telephones. There is a restaurant serving a selection of European and Indian cuisine as well as a coffee shop, bar and an outdoor swimming pool.
In the fascinating region of Shekhawati, Castle Mandawa is richly decorated with the original murals and frescos that make this region famous. A rambling and labyrinthine walled castle, it has the kind of medieval gothic atmosphere that comes complete with mysterious stairways, stone passages and secret hideaways.
The grand and imposing Fatehprakash Palace Hotel is actually a wing of the City Palace built in the early 20th century and named after a popular ruler from Mewar. CTS Horizons’ guests are accommodated in a newer building housing the deluxe Dovecote rooms which overlook the lake, the Aravelli Hills and have sweeping views of the magnificent sunsets.
A beautiful haveli that has been turned into a characterful heritage hotel offering a warm Rajasthani welcome. There are 38 tastefully appointed guest rooms all equipped with modern comforts. The hotel’s restaurant serves a selection of Indian, Continental and local Rajasthani cuisine. The hotel also has a sauna and a swimming pool.
We are pleased to share feedback that we received from some of our valued clients.
A truly most fabulous experience. We loved every minute of it. Can't praise our tour guide enough, he was such a font of knowledge!
Palaces and Citadels of Rajasthan
We thought the tour was extremely well thought out and put together...We felt that the CTS Horizons tour enabled us to see more of the countryside and to become more involved with village life, as well as incorporating all the places of interest.
Palaces and Citadels of Rajasthan
This holiday was a life-changing journey and we can't praise CTS highly enough for their organisation and quality of provision. Superb in every way!
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