Lesser known gems of Rajasthan
Lesser known Gems of Rajasthan - 17 days/16nights
Hidden away out of sight just off the main tourist track, are some lovely small palaces and hunting lodges of erstwhile maharajas. Linked to make up a complete itinerary, they provide a unique experience and exposure to aspects of the country you may not otherwise notice. Reputed to be impregnable, Kumbalgarh stands proudly along the border of Jodhpur and Udaipur. On its massive ramparts six horsemen could ride abreast. To this day, it remains a stern and forbidding sentinel over the countryside. In comparison, Udaipur is soft – a lush oasis in the midst of a harsh land, with gentle waves lapping at the feet of marble palaces. A slow boat ride across the lake reveals the beauty of the city, the richly ornamented havelis that line the banks and the social activity along the ghats. Almost at the gates of Jaipur, the richly decorated and elegantly managed Samode Palace takes you back in time - to when the rhythm of ankle bells beckoned from mirrored halls and soft whispers of intrigue scurried around the zenana.
Echoes of the past are drowned by the cacophony of birdsong that carries to the little village of Nimaj overlooking the Chhatra Sagar Dam, while the fort of Devigarh has been innovatively converted into a beautiful boutique hotel with minimal interiors concept and spa and wellness programmes.
price on application
Cost Includes: Accommodation for 16 nights in a mix of tents, standard and deluxe hotels with breakfast daily, transfers, excursions and sightseeing with English speaking guide in an air-conditioned chauffeur driven medium car, monument entrance fee, porterage, mineral water in car, boat ride on Lake Pichola in Udaipur, elephant ride at Amber.
Hotels Superior: Oberoi Maidens Delhi, Samode Bagh (tent) Samode, Pushkar Palace Pushkar, Nimaj Palace Nimaj, Khimsar Fort (deluxe) Khimsar, Rohetgarh (standard) Rohetgarh, Devigarh Palace (garden suite) Devigarh, Sardargarh Fort Sardargarh, Ummaid Bhawan Kota, Ranthambore Regency Ranthambore, Mansingh Palace Agra.
Deluxe: Intercontinental (deluxe) Delhi, Samode Palace (deluxe) Samode, Chatrasagar (deluxe tent)/ Nimaj Palace (standard) Nimaj, Khimsar Fort (deluxe) Khimsar, Rohetgarh (deluxe) Rohetgarh, Devigarh Palace (palace suite) Devigarh, Sardargarh Fort Sardargarh, Ummaid Bhawan (suite) Kota, Dev Vilas Ranthambore, Taj View (taj facing room) Agra Luxury (upgrade to): Imperial (heritage) Delhi, Vanya Vilas (tent) Ranthambore, Amar Vilas (premium room with balcony) Agra
Day 01 Arrival
Reception and welcome at Delhi airport followed by transfer to hotel.
Day 02 Delhi
Visit the old Mughal capital of Shahjahanabad focussed around Red Fort and Chandhini Chowk. The afternoon's sightseeing introduces you to the different faces of the capital – contemporary Indian, Raj relic, conservative Hindu, Mughal. Review your day at home with an Indian family over dinner or attend a music or theatre performance.
Day 03 - Samode
A five-hour drive brings you to the personalized hospitality at Samode, just outside Jaipur.
Day 04 Samode
Discover Jaipur city and Amber fort.
Day 05 Samode- Pushkar
This city host the annual camel and cattle fair and has the only Brahma Temple in the world
Day 06 Pushkar-Nimaj
Travel to the tiny village of Nimaj on the banks of Chhatra Sagar Lake
Day 07 Nimaj - Nagaur-Khimsar
Visit the village of Nagaur en-route to the majestic Khimsar Fort which is your accommodation for the night
Day 08 Nimaj - Osiyan-Rohetgarh
Drive to Rohetgarh via Osiyan village. Relax and enjoy rural Rajasthan.
Day 09 Rohetgarh-Ranakpur-Devigarh
Visit the famous Jain temples of Ranakpur and drive on to Devigarh
Day 10 Devigarh/Udaipur
Take a day excursion to Udaipur to see the sights and enjoy a boat ride on Lake Pichola.
Day 11 Devigarh-Sardargarh
Travel to the Fort hotel of Sardargarh
Day 12 Sardargarh-Bundi-Kota
Wind your way to Kota via the hamlet of Bundi
Day 13 Kota-Ranthambore
Drive to Ranthambore for your first afternoon game drive
Day 14 Ranthambore
Morning and afternoon game drives
Day 15 Ranthambore -Fatehpur Sikri-Agra
Visit the deserted citadel of Fatehpur Sikri
Day 16 Agra
Enjoy a full day taking in the sights of Agra including the Taj
Day 17 Agra-Delhi-DEPARTURE
Check out at leisure driving to Delhi to catch your flight
THE BENELUX BONANZA
The journey I was about to undertake would not only in geographical terms span vast distances over land and sea......it was an odyssey which would cover a period of over four hundred years and one in which I would try to establish a "connection" with my ancestors.
I had attempted to obtain tickets for the Palace on Wheels (POW) from a specialist rail tour company in the United States, only to be informed that the ticket allocation has been exhausted on the date we wanted to travel. I incidentally mentioned this to Andre as part of a broaderPeter Bermingham