Rājasthān the land of Rajasthanis, (“the land of kings”), is the largest state of the Republic of India by area. It is located in the northwest of India. It encompasses most of the area of the large, inhospitable Great Indian Desert (Thar Desert), which has an edge paralleling the Sutlej-Indus river valley along its border with Pakistan. The state is bordered by Pakistan to the west, Gujarat to the southwest, Madhya Pradesh to the southeast, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to the northeast and Punjab to the north. Rajasthan covers 10.4% of India, an area of 342,269 square kilometres (132,151 sq mi).
Jaipur is the capital and the largest city of the state. Geographical features include the Thar Desert along north-western Rajasthan and the termination of the Ghaggar River near the archaeological ruins at Kalibanga of the Indus Valley Civilization, which are the oldest in the Indian subcontinent discovered so far.
One of the world’s oldest mountain ranges, the Aravalli Range, cradles the only hill station of Rajasthan, Mount Abu, famous for Dilwara Temples, a sacred pilgrimage for Jains. Eastern Rajasthan has the world famous Keoladeo National Park near Bharatpur, a World Heritage Site known for its bird life. It also has two national tiger reserves, Ranthambore and Sariska Tiger Reserve, and a famous temple in Khatu, Sikar district, dedicated to Khatu Shyam Ji. Rajasthan was formed on 30 March 1949, when the region known until then as Rajputana, consisting of erstwhile princely states ruled mainly by Rajputs.
“The Land of the Kings” and the home of the Rajputs, a group of warriors who have controlled this part of India for about one thousand years in accordance with code of chivalry and honor similar to that of the medieval European knights. Geographically Rajasthan has a mixed character. In the southern part there are the Aravali hills, northwest and south is connected with Thar Desert. There were more than 18 different states in Rajasthan in medieval India who was never united. All the state contended not only for power but also in development of arts and architecture as a result of which we can see different castles and palaces, fort and fortresses and temples. Mughal arts and architecture also entered as the Mughals invaded some part of Rajasthan. Rajasthan is also rich in language, customs and costumes, fairs and festivals and people are friendly and hospitable. The trip of 14 days in Rajasthan gives you a romantic feeling as you enjoy the luxurious life of the Maharajas.
Day 01 Arrival in Delhi
Arrival in Delhi and transfer to hotel. Sightseeing tours in Old and New Delhi. Delhi, the capital city of India, has much to offer of contrast.
Day 02 Delhi – Shekhawati (Nawalgarth-Mukundgarh)
You will drive and enter Rajasthan&rsquos semi desert region of Shekhawati. It is popularly known as &lsquoThe open air art gallery&rsquo famous for its pained Havelis. Visit to some of the Havelis in Nawalgarth. Approximately 5 to 6 hrs drive.
Overnight in Mukundagarh or for the economic trips: Nawalgarh/Mandawa/Junjunu.
Day 03 Shekhawati – Bikaner
After about 4 hours drive we arrive in Bikaner, an old desert town encircled by city walls and once an important post on the great Caravan trade route. Within the fort, there are exquisite palaces representing one of the best examples among the available Moghul styled art and architecture of India.
Day 04 Bikaner – Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer is rising from the heart of the Thar Desert like a golden mirage. This magic, incomparably unspoiled city has been dubbed ‘The golden city’ for its golden sunsets on the yellow sand stone mansion. The merchants built magnificent houses and exquisitely carved Jain temples within this fortified town. Free afternoon.
Day 05 Jaisalmer
Visit of the fort, the Havelis and wandering in the city. In the afternoon you will be driven to the Sam Sand Dunes, about 40kms away from the city, for camel ride and to view the sunset. En route you will also visit Bada Bagh, the Cenotaphs of the Rajputs warriors and Lodhruva, the ancient capital of Jaisalmer where you see the fine Jain temple.
Day 06 Jaisalmer – Jodhpur
The 500 hundred year old Marwar state capital is believed to be founded by the descendent of Rama, the epic hero of Ramayan. This is the second largest city of Rajasthan. The massive Mehrangarh fort looms on the top of the rocky hill with panoramic view of the blue colored city below. Half day here is enough to cover the sightseeing of tourist interest.
Overnight in Rohert Garh or Luni is possible in an excellent 4 star heritage hotel.
Day 07 Kumbhalgarh – Udaipur
Barely 2 hours drive and you arrive in Udaipur dubbed often as the &lsquoVenice of the East&rsquo &ndash center of Rajasthan&rsquos arts, paintings and crafts. Udaipur, the city of dawn, is a lovely land around azure water lakes, hemmed in by the lush hills of the Aravali range.
Day 08 Udaipur – Ajmer
Situated in the green oasis on the shore of Ana Sagar lake, wrapped in the barren hills, Ajmer became a favorite residence of great Moghuls. Daragah is the famous pilgrimage site for the Muslims in India. We make an excursion to Pushkar famous for its lake where the Hindus take their ritual bath. An extra ordinary event takes place on the full moon in November when the largest cattle fair in India is held. Nomads from the Thar Desert gather to trade their cattle then.
Day 09 Ajmer – Jaipur
The capital city of Rajasthan is referred as the pink city because of the pink colored mansions. The city was designed with wide straight avenues, roads lanes and uniform rows of shops on the either side of main bazaar arranged in 9 rectangular sectors (chokris) in accordance with the principles of town planning laid down in Hindu epochal treatise &ndash Shilpa Shastra. Visit of the Amber Fort, City Palace, Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds), Jantar Mantar (a stone observatory).
Day 10 Jaipur – Agra
Along the way visit of the ghost city of Fatehpur Sikri, the architectural enigma of Mughal Empire. In Agra visit of the 7th wonder of world the Taj Mahal.
Day 11 Agra – Delhi
We drive back to Delhi and complete the tour until departure transfer to the airport.
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