Rajasthan Plus South India
19 Days / 18 Nights
Delhi - Mandawa - Bikaner - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Ranakpur - Udaipur - Pushkar - Jaipur - Fatehpur Sikri - Agra - Delhi - Flight - Cochin - Allepey - Backwaters - Kumarokam - Trivandrum - Kovalam - Flight - Mumbai (Bombay)
Day 01 :
Welcome to India, You will be received and assisted by Ashok India Travel representative at International or Domestic Airport. Then drive to your hotel with your driver and exclusive car. In the hotel have a brief view about the tour from the representative. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 02 :
Delhi – Mandawa (260km)
In the morning after breakfast city tour of India´s bustling capital city,
Old and New Delhi present a stunning sights and sounds with the ancient city built by Emperor Shah Jahan the builder of the famous Taj Mahal, and the new garden city built in 1911 by the British. Drive through the old city past the Red Fort and visit the Jama Masjid – the biggest of its kind in India. Here take a walk through the winding streets of the old city to see the life of the people in this part of the world.Later visit the Qutub Minar – the tallest free standing minaret in stone in the world; then onto Humayun’s tomb – the first Mughal construction in India from 1565 AD. Also see the President House (Rashtrapati Bhawan), the India Gate built in the earlier half of the 20th century. Later move by your exclusive vehicle to Mandawa, upon arrival check into your hotel for overnight stay.
Day 03 :
Mandawa – Bikaner (180km)
In the morning see this beautiful Heritage village of Shekhawati Region that used to be an important caravanserai of the yesteryears. See the many beautiful Fresco Painted havelis of this quaint little town built by the rich and the famous merchants of the 18th and 19th centuries. These havelis have been painted with activities of daily life and of deities to break the monotony of the desert life. Experience the Rural life of this village of Shekhawati region which consists important villages like Dundlod, Alsisar, Laxmangarh, Fatehpur, Ramgarh, Mahensar, Nawalgarh etc. Then proceed towards Bikaner en route stop at Fatehpur to see the splendid havelis of the local merchants of Shekhawati.Reach Bikaner by lunch time. See the Junagarh Fort, a royal museum that encompasses history of Bikaner from its days of construction that dates back to the 16th century. Later visit the Deshnoke Rat Temple in the Evening, Visit the Karni Mata Rat Temple in Deshnoke, a unique experience. In the evening walk along the busy market area of Bikaner city centre.
Day 04 :
Bikaner – Jaisalmer (333km)
After breakfast we set towards our journey to Golden City Jaisalmer. Proceed towards the desert kingdom of Pokaran where the 3rd Mughal emperor, Akbar the Great, was born in 1543 inside the fort. The bazaar in the middle of this village is very colourful and full of local flavours. After lunch continue towards Jaisalmer and arrive by early evening to witness the sunset over the desert with the most imposing edifice of the town behind you at Bada Bagh Cenotaphs. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 05 :
Morning an exclusive visit of the Jain temples inside the Sonar Kila.. The Jains are a community that respects life and are pure vegetarians by religion. Visit the citadel’s palace that houses a museum with a huge collection of robes and artifacts from the royal family of Jaisalmer. Visit the Patwaon ki haveli with intricately designed latticed windows used by the ladies to view the external world. Also see the Gadisar Lake.Later, we go to Sam or Khuri village. Here we have loads of excitement in store for you. Upon arrival in the village you will be taken to the nearby sunset point on the dunes to see the sunset by camel carts. After the sunset return to the village where you can take a dinner in mud huts or you can come back to the city to have a dinner. Later while you dine listen to the haunted tunes of the desert by the local artists and musicians, A lifetime experience.
Day 06 :
Jaisalmer – Jodhpur (280km)
Early Morning drive to Jodhpur the blue city, Visit the majestic Mehrangarh fort, the stronghold of the Rathore princes from 1453AD. We see the superb collection of paintings and arms and ammunitions. The view of the city from the rampart walls is breath taking. Going down from the forrt visit Jaswant Thada. Later see the Umaid Bhawan Palace, the present residence of the king of Jodhpur. Retire to your hotel and relax.Post lunch session introduces you to the fabulous spice market of Jodhpur the 2nd largest city in Rajasthan. Walk along the market to feel the odours of the spices filling the air around you.
Day 07 :
Jodhpur – Udaipur (330Km)
After breakfast drive up to Romantic City of Lakes - Udaipur, On the way
visit Ranakpur a very big pilgrimage centre for the Jains. Just four hours drive from Udaipur is the eternal Jain pilgrimage centre of Ranakpur. Admire the workmanship from the 16th century. The temples are built out of marble and the main shrine of Adinath with 1444 columns is awe inspiring and none of these are similar. Also see the sun temple and the other temples in the campus. Later visit The Kumbhalgarh Fort - the stronghold of the kingdom of Mewar built by Maharana Kumbha in 1453. Visit the palace and see the beautiful mural paintings in the Zenana mahal (ladies quarters). The view from the parapet wall is breath taking and this is where the soldiers used to be stationed to view the advent of the enemies. The fort has 7 gates through which we need to enter to gain access to the palaces. See the temple where Maharana Kumbha was treacherously killed by his own kith and kin during his prayer to win the seat of Mewar. On the way stop by the fields to see the local way of farming and irrigation. Walk into the villages to mingle with the locals around to know more about their lifestyle.Reach Udaipur by late afternoon and check into your hotel.
Day 08 :
Visit the City Palace the richest palace museum in the entire Rajasthan. See the Peacock Square and the miniature painting school inside the palace premises. Udaipur has the prestige of housing the best miniature schools in the country under the royal patronage of the king of Udaipur. Later, see the Sahelion ki Bari where Maharana Sangram Singh build this garden complex with fountains and lakes for his beautiful daughter. In the evening we take a lake cruise on the placid waters of Lake Pichhola by sunset and visit the island palace Jagmandir where according to legends the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan lived and got inspired to build the Taj mahal later.
Day 09 :
Udaipur – Pushkar (275km)
Leave Udaipur and reach the temples of Nagda and Eklingji.The temple at Eklingji is a temple that belongs to the Maharana of Mewar (royal family) and he is often there to pray. The temple complex of Nagda is a group of temples of which only two remain intact and those are that of Saas and Bahu. Both the temples, of Shiva and of Vishnu, are from the 7th century. Pushkar happens to be the holiest places according to the Hindus as it is considered that Lord Brahma (the Creator) and his wife Saraswati (the godess of learning and music) performed a ritual in the lake. Here we visit the only Brahma temple of the world before intermingling with the local colours in the local bazaar. Pushkar is the world famous for its cattle pushkar fair held each year in the month of October/November. Proceed towards Ajmer. Ajmer is the pious city for the Muslims. Surprisingly both the cities are at distance of 11km from each other. Visit the Durgah built in fond remembrance of Khwaja Muin ud Din Chisti where the Muslim pilgrims from all over India throng during the festival times. Later visit Mughal emperor Akbar’s Palace where his son Jehangir received Sir Thomas Roe to grant him the permission of trade to East India Company with India, that changed the history of India completely and slowly and steadily India became colony of the British Empire. Continue towards Jaipur and reach by late evening and check into hotel.
Day 10 :
Pushkar – Jaipur (150km)
After breakfast continue towards Jaipur and reach by lunch-time and check into hotel.After lunch set off to see the Pink city visiting the observatory Jantar Mantar built in 1727 by Sawai Maharaja Jai Singh II who was a mathematician , an astronomer an astrologer and a great musician of his era. He built five observatories throughout India – Jaipur, Ujjain, Varanasi, Mathura and Delhi but only the one at Jaipur is functional. Then visit the City Palace of the Maharaja of Jaipur with a fabulous collection of robes and saris in cotton and silk with gold latticed work. The City Palace houses a collection of paintings also in the painting gallery and of course a collection of arms and ammunitions in the ammunition gallery. Later visit the Birla Temple which is a great piece of work in marble.
Day 11 :
Visit the Amber fort in the morning which displays a beautiful mix of Mughal and
Rajput styles of architecture.; included an elephant ride at the Amber fort. See the marvelous Sheesh mahal built in the 17th century in a fusion style of Hindu and Islamic art. Also see the hall of public audiences and Maharaja Man Singh’s Palace who had twelve queens. Enroute visit Water Palace which was a resting place for the kings in past. Later visit Galta Sun Temple which is a beautiful place sorrounded by mountains, the temple is also known as Monkey temple, Here you can find a lot of monkeys who are friendly and doesn´t harm. In the evening enjoy a cinema in Asia´s Second Best Cinema - a highly recommended place. Later enjoy a Dinner in a typical Indian Restaurant with Folk Dances by Gypsy women.
Day 12 :
Jaipur – Fatehpur Sikri – Agra(232Kms)
Leave Jaipur after breakfast, On the way to Agra visit the ornithological reserve at Bharatpur – Keoladevi National Park. See the varied varieties of birds and animals during your tour inside the park. This is the only National Park where you get to see the rare species of the Siberian Crane during winter season. After lunch continue towards Fatehpur Sikri the Phantom city. Visit this abandoned city built by the Mughal emperor Akbar in the second half of the 16th century. Fatehpur Sikri was built by Akbar after his Hindu wife bore him the long awaited son who was born after the renowned sufi saint Salim Chisti blessed Jodhabai Akbar’s Hindu wife with a son. Also visit Jodhabai’s palace the biggest palace in Fatehpur Sikri even bigger than the emperor’s palace himself as this was the queen who bore him his heir to the throne.Continue towards Agra and reach Agra and then see the Agra Fort built by Akbar where Shahjehan’s own son Aurangzeb imprisoned Shahjahan. Late relax at your hotel or go to the local bazaar to see the lifestyle of the people.
Day 13 :
Agra - Delhi (205Km)
Taj Mahal is awaiting your arrival today morning. A must see with the rising sun as the Taj Mahal is bathed in the golden rays of the morning sun. Built by Shah Jahan, the Taj is a white marble memorial that houses the tomb of his beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal. This monument took 22 years to be completed and was designed, and planned by Persian architect Ustad Isa. Apart from its stunning design, balance and perfect symmetry, the Taj is also noted particularly for its elegant domes, intricately carved screens and some of the best inlay work ever seen anywhere in the world. Then on the way to Delhi, visit Sikandara the tomb of the great emperor Akbar. Upon arrival in Delhi, you can visit some monuments like India Gate, Birla Temple or Sikh Temple. Rest of Day at leisure, Overnight in Hotel.
Day 14 :
Delhi - Cochin (By Flight)
Early morning check out the hotel and transfer to the domestic airport
to board the early morning flight to Cochin. Assistance on arrival and transfer to the hotel. After relaxation, take a sightseeing of Cochin visiting Fort Cochin & St. Frances Church to see the town of Vasco da Gama We also see the Jewish Synagogue & the Mattancherry "Dutch" Palace. This evening a memorable experience in any journey in Kerala is a Boat Trip along the Palm Fringed Lakes & Backwaters of the Area; we enjoy this extraordinary excursion today. As we sail along the shady canals we see cantilevered Chinese fishing nets. From our launch, we enjoy use of narrow produced - Laden dugouts & the everyday life of families living on narrow spits of land between the waters. In the evening enjoy the Kathakali, one of India's most famous Classical dances. Lavish Costumes & Exotic makeup & Masks intensify the beauty of the dancers, intricate moments. Return to the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 15 :
Cochin - Alleppey (64 Kms - 1 ½ hrs) Backwaters tours through sailing boat to Kumarakom:
After breakfast checkout and drive for Alleppey, on arrival embark at the houseboat. The day for the journey of backwaters in the boat, through the tropical countryside enchanting backwaters of Alleppey by regattas (snake boats) for which Kerala is very famous, while sailing enjoy palm fringed narrow canals winding through the vast expanse of paddy fields and the neat tiny hamlets lined up along either side of the canals are panoramic sights one can never forget. The Chinese fishing nets, the reminiscent of our past trade links, are also found on the way. Flocks of duck swimming around the banks and tiny birds flying across the sky remains as enduring pictures reflecting the charm of this tourist land, you also enjoy fishing from the houseboats, evening enjoy sunset from the sun-deck of the houseboats, moving towards Kumarakom. The Houseboats have generated electricity; sitting cum dinning area, separate bedroom with attached English toilets, sun deck and fully loaded kitchen with a Chef, and Srank (Driver). Overnight at the houseboat.
Day 16 :
After breakfast, disembark from the houseboat and drive to Kumarakom - for the nature-lover. Here in this backwater town, you can laze in a canoe amidst sylvan surroundings where the only presence is yours and the egrets. Later visit at Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, located on the banks of the Vembanad Lake, to see bird viewing where numerous species of birds, including Darters, Bitterns, Brahminy kites, Marsh Harries, Teals and several varieties of Herons roost are found. For an inquisitive bird watcher, it is always advisable to carry their binoculars at all times. Return to hotel, Make sure you do not miss out on Karimeen and fresh toddy the favourite fresh water food and the local wine. Overnight stay at Kumarakom.
Kumarakom – Kovalam (140 kms – 2 ½ hours)
After breakfast, Drive to Kovalam. On arrival transfer to the hotel. Rest of the day is free to explore the beaches of Kovalam with the option of herbal oil massage. Overnight at the hotel.
After breakfast time is free to spend on beaches optionally you can take sightseeing tour of Trivandrum city, (16 kms) the capital of the state of Kerala is a beautiful seaside city built on seven hills. The famous Sri Padmanabhaswamy Swami Temple is dedicated to Vishnu and is a landmark in the city. Later drive to Cape Camorin also known as Kanya Kumari 85 kms, this place is at the tail tip end of India, one can see the 3 seas meet over here (Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean & bay of Bengal) on arrival visit Kumari Amman Devi Temple, Vivekananda Rock & Ashram, enjoy sunset over here & drive back to Kovalam for overnight.
Day 19 :
Kovalam - Trivandrum (16 Kms - ½ hour) - Mumbai (By Air)
Morning after breakfast time is free for personal activities. Then check out the hotel and drive to Trivandrum Airport to board the afternoon flight to Mumbai. Assistance on arrival and transfer to the international airport to board the flight for your hometown on departure tour concludes with happy memories.