Discovering rural Rajasthan
The tour takes you across the vast state of Rajasthan, also known as “The land of the kings” and formerly a collection of princely states. Staying in smaller converted palaces and Havelis, here you will have the opportunity to meet the owners who have fascinating stories to tell and also experience the calmer pace of rural village life, away from the tourist hot spots this tour will provide a fascinating insight into rural Rajasthan.
A fifteen-night tour
The tour of Rajasthan explores the rural regions of the South and West.
Accommodation is in interesting heritage properties, mainly palaces and forts where the owners still reside, this will provide an interesting insight into the lifestyle of the former rulers of the state. The tour combines visiting historical places of interest and observing wildlife mostly close to the destinations to avoid additional journeys. The route of the tour travels through areas of un-spoilt countryside. The tour ends in Jodhpur with a day spent visiting the Bishnoi community. It is possible to stay in alternative accommodation in Delhi and Jodhpur. The tour can also be extended to suit your requirements such as visiting the Taj Mahal or Jaipur.
Arrive Delhi – The Maidens Hotel. One of Delhi’s oldest hotels, built in the early 1900’s and retaining a colonial charm. The hotel is located in Old Delhi residential area, the rooms are spacious. The hotel sits in eight acres of mature gardens with a lovely pool. There is a restaurant, terrace café and bar, all decorated in a traditional style. The hotel is part of the Oberoi group.
Delhi/Maidens Hotel. After breakfast enjoy city sightseeing of Old Delhi founded by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan in 1639. Explore the winding streets of Chandni Chowk Bazaar by cycle rickshaw & drive past to Red fort (World Heritage Site), a 17th-century fort complex, visit Jama Masjid Mosque built in 1656 AD, visit to the Raj Ghat – Memorial and the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi (Father of the Nation). Afternoon, enjoy city sightseeing of New Delhi by visiting Humayun’s Tomb (A UNESCO World Heritage Site), Qutab Minar – Built from 1192 to 1368 and the tallest tower in India, Laxminarayan Temple – A Hindu temple, also known as Birla Temple. Drive past the India Gate, A War memorial built in 1931, Parliament House built in 1927 and President’s Palace built in 1929 by Lutyens when the British government transferred their headquarters to New Delhi.
Delhi/Karauli – Bhanwar Vilas. Spend the morning at leisure at your hotel. Later transfer to Nizamuddin railway station to board a train to Gangapur. 12060. Kota Jan Shatabdi: Departs Delhi at 1315 Hrs / Arrives Gangapur at 1720.
Meeting and assistance on arrival, 1hr drive to Karauli, the princely state founded in 1348 AD famous for 14th century Old City Palace.The town is situated in a position naturally defended by ravines on the north and east and further protected by a great wall. Bhanwar Vilas was built in 1938 for the Maharajah of Karauli, the family still live there. Much of the original Art Deco furnishings and fascinating memorabilia is still in use. There is a dairy farm and garage full of vintage cars.
Karauli – Bhanwar Vilas. After breakfast explore the 600-year-old Karauli City Palace, only open to guests of the Maharajah. The palace contains superb Jali work, classic paintings with ornamented stucco work and frescoes, the palace is set around several courtyards, a treasure trove. Interiors magazine recently did an article on the decorative work. Next-door is an old Hindu temple. The narrow streets of Karauli are interesting to explore with craftsmen making Lac bangles and other artisan objects. A cattle and camel fair is held here annually in February.
Karauli/Bundi – Hadoti Palace or Bundi Haveli. The drive takes about four hours. The walled town of Bundi is situated by a lake, reminiscent of a miniature Udaipur with narrow streets and a fascinating old Palace. The Palace, one of the few untouched by Moghal influence can be visited in the afternoon; the Zenana (women’s quarters) contains some superb detailed murals painted in 1780 and a lovely courtyard garden with fine views of the town.
The Hadoti Palace is located on the outskirts of the town, with a pool and gardens. Bundi Haveli is located in the town in a restored Haveli, full of character but no pool.
Bundi/Bhainsrorgargh – Bhainsrorgargh Fort. The drive takes about 2 hours passing through the rather dull town of Kota, after Kota the countryside becomes very scenic with wooded hills and rivers. Bhainsrorgargh Fort is dramatically positioned on a 200ft ridge above the Chambal river, built in 1741 for Rawat Lal Singh, his descendants still run the property. The fort has been beautifully restored with courtyard gardens and a rooftop terrace for dining. A boat trip can be taken on the Chambal river to see the wildlife, also nearby are the 9th Century Baroli temples.
Bhainrorgargh Fort, a day to relax and explore the area, Jeep safaris can be taken into the countryside, or a boat trip on the Chambal river to see the wildlife, also nearby are the 9th Century Baroli temples.
Bhainsrorgargh/Bijapur – Castle Bijapur. The drive takes about 3 hours through the countryside. Visit to the fort at Chittorgarh which was the capital of Mewar under the Rajputs from the 7th-16th century. The fort extends over 5 kilometres, there are several fascinating buildings, such as the” Tower of victory” (Built in 1440 AD), “Tower of Fame” (22 metres high, built by a wealthy Jain merchant in the 12th century A.D) and Gaumukh Reservoir (A deep tank filled by a spring coming from a ‘cows mouth’, situated at the edge of the cliff. Lunch can be taken in Chittorgarh before returning to Bijapur. Afternoon to relax, and explore the village.
Bijapur/Shahpura – Shahpura Bagh. Drive 3 hours to Shahpura, located on the edge of a village surrounded by countryside. Shahpura personifies the type of property I try to find for my customers, a great location, well-appointed heritage rooms, a superb pool and a welcoming family. Built as a summer residence for the rulers of Shahpura, from here you can visit the nearby dam and visit their farm, there is also fishing on the lake.
Shahpura, a day to relax and explore the surrounding countryside. There is lots to keep you busy here for a day visit www.shahpurabagh.com to find out more.
Shahpura/Jojowar – Rawla Jojowar. The drive takes about 4 hours, Jojawar is a large village, here people come from nearby hamlets (dhanis) to do their day to day trading, the market is full of colour and life. The area around Jojawar has the biggest settlement of Rabaries in Marwar who trade camels. Evening free to explore the colourful market or relax at your hotel. Rawla Jojowar is a small palace still occupied by the ruling family, the rooms are spacious and comfortable with white marble bathrooms. Courtyard gardens and pool.
Jojawar – Rawla Jojowar, a day to explore the area, there are several options, a countryside jeep safari, horse riding or a camel cart ride. Note: they also have a small property Kesar Bagh, nearby in the countryside overlooking a lake, perfect for bird watching an option to stay at.
Jojowar/Jodhpur – Ratan Vilas. About 4 hours drive. Ratan Vilas is a small heritage property set in charming gardens with a good pool. The rooms are set around a courtyard on two floors. The property is the city home of a relative of the Maharajah of Jodhpur.
Jodhpur – Ratan Vilas A day excursion by jeep to visit the Bishnoi community, during the drive through the desert you will experience the following. Start off-roading and commence with a dry riverbed drive Visit to the Dhani of a family from the Bishnoi community. Visit to the Dhani of a family from the Pittal community and see a rural kitchen in action with bread making and sampling. Picnic lunch at a peaceful and tranquil setting. Visit to a village with a welcome by the village chief and witness an age-old traditional western Rajasthani ceremony, visits to homes in village to see craftsmen at work (potter, weaver)
Jodhpur – Ratan Vilas. After breakfast visiting the Mehrangarh fort, spread over five kilometres, with commanding views of the city. Also visit the Jaswant Thada and Mandore gardens.
Afternoon free to shop or relax.
Jodhpur/Delhi/ Depart. After breakfast at the hotel, you will be transferred to the Jodhpur airport to board flight for New Delhi.
Cost per person £1,845.00 based on two people sharing a double room- 2015/16 winter season rate. To include personal English speaking driver with a/c Toyota Innova, guides and entrance fees at monuments and palaces (Delhi and Jodhpur), breakfast at each hotel, local representative for all arrival and departure transfers. Single room supplement £650.00. Not including flights from UK or Internal flight Jodhpur to Delhi about £85 per person in economy.