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    The color and life in the desert blooms in winters. This journey takes you through Delhi—home to several empires—Turkish, Mughal and British; Agra—seat of Mughal power well into the 17th century and the ancient lands of Rajasthan where you witness the Pushkar Cattle Fair, the largest fair in India and the only one of its kind in the entire world. During the fair, lakhs of people from rural India flock to Pushkar, along with camels and cattle for several days of livestock trading, horse dealing, pilgrimage and religious festivities. This small town becomes a cultural phenomenon when colorfully dressed devotees, musicians, acrobats, folk dancers, traders, comedians, ‘sadhus’ and tourists reach here during the fair. It takes place in the month of Kartika (October or November) beginning on the eighth day of the lunar calendar and concluding on full moon day. Devotees take dips in the holy lake, as the sacred water is known to bestow salvation. Pushkar is transformed into a spectacular fair ground, as rows of makeshift stalls display a variety of goods, from objets de art to utilitarian items of daily use. Cheering crowds watch camel and horse races, and pageants to select the finest camels are also popular. Evenings are livened by the performances of folk musicians and dancers from each district and town of Rajasthan. Pushkar fair has featured in numerous travel shows, films and magazines.

    Code: Promotion (A concierge Small Group Experience)

    Duration: 14 Nights

    Destinations: Delhi (2), Shekhawati (1), Bikaner (1), Jaisalmer (2), Jodhpur (1), Ranakpur, Udaipur (2), Pushkar (2), Jaipur (2), Fatehpur Sikri & Agra (1)

    Theme: Heritage, Culture, Cuisine & Cattle Fair in Pushkar

    Experience Highlights:

    • Visit UNESCO World Heritage sites—Red Fort, Qutab Minar & Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi, Taj Mahal & Agra Fort in Agra and Fatehpur Sikri.
    • Enjoy a welcome cocktail dinner party at an Indian Home.
    • Go shopping and sightseeing in the colorful bazaars of Jaipur.
    • Visit famous havelis in Jaisalmer and Shekhawati; the forts of Bikaner and Jaisalmer; and the city palaces of Udaipur and Jaipur.
    • Marvel at the Jain temples of Ranakpur.
    • Enjoy an elephant ride to Amber Fort, a camel safari in the desert and a boat ride across Lake Pichola.
    • Visit the largest camel breeding farm in Asia in Bikaner.
    • Enjoy the goings-on at the Cattle Fair in Pushkar.
    • Farewell dinner at an authentic Indian Cuisine Restaurant.
    • Choose additional services from our Bespoke Menu.
    • Contact us for reservations & more details. All Experiences can be tailor-made to suit your interests and travel preferences...

    Day 1: 2 November 2013, Arrival Delhi 
    Arrive at Delhi International Airport.

    Delhi, the administrative and political capital of India, is a major tourist attraction and a perfect start for a holiday in India, because of its rich heritage and cultural past, revealed in its monuments, parks, Government buildings and other places of interest. Delhi’s attractions range from forts and monuments dating back a thousand years to modern shopping malls, nightclubs and golf courses, as well as a wide range of cuisines to suit every taste.

    Upon clearing Customs and Immigration, our representative will meet you to extend a warm welcome. Drive through the Diplomatic Enclave to arrive at your hotel. The representative will provide assistance with check in and will present a welcome pack including all necessary documentation as well as the travel plan. Enjoy the rest of the day / night at leisure.

    Day 2: 3 November 2013, Delhi 
    Begin the morning with a visit to Birla House, where Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation, lived before his assassination. Then view India Gate, the Houses of Parliament, Connaught Place and Humayun's Tomb, the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent, built in 1572.

    Visit Qutb Minar and the monuments surrounding it. Built in the early 13th century the red sandstone tower is 72.5 m high. The surrounding archaeological area contains funerary buildings, notably the magnificent Alai-Darwaza, a masterpiece of Indo-Muslim art, and two mosques.

    Enjoy lunch at one of the oldest restaurants in Delhi, which features interesting interiors and delectable cuisine.

    Spend the afternoon in Old Delhi, with a visit to the Red Fort, named so for its massive enclosing walls of red sandstone, it is adjacent to an older fort, Salimgarh, built by Islam Shah Suri in 1546. Next, visit the Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque. End the day with a walk down Chandni Chowk, the busiest bazaar in Old Delhi.

    In the evening, we take you to a cocktail party at an India Home, to welcome you to the city, where you can meet local people and witness Indian hospitality at its best. Return to your hotel after a memorable evening.

    Meals :: B L D
    Day 3: 4 November 2013, Delhi – Shekhawati 
    After breakfast, drive from Delhi to Mandawa in the Shekhawati district of Rajasthan (260 km / 6 Hrs), to view the painted havelis that are typical of this region. Mandawa was settled in the 18th century and boasts a fort dating from that period.

    On arrival check in at you hotel, savor lunch and enjoy leisure time at the castle exploring its many wonders from the bygone era.

    The architecture of the havelis focuses on the interior courtyard, to ensure the safety and security of the womenfolk, and to protect the wealthy merchants living there from the heat of the desert.

    Meals :: B L D
    Day 4: 5 November 2013, Shekhawati – Bikaner 
    After breakfast, drive to Bikaner (250 km / 5 Hrs). Bikaner city has a 16th century fort that includes old palaces, temples and a mosque. Founded by Rao Bika, the fort features 37 pavilions, several balconies and windows of varying designs. An enormous arched doorway leads to the Jaramal Temple. Har Mandir is where royal weddings and births were once celebrated. Bikaner’s fort has some of the finest interiors in India, and the old walled city itself includes dark red sandstone havelis and exquisitely painted Jain temples. Bikaner is known for the intricate rich gold painting work by Muslim Usta artisans.

    Check in to your hotel on arrival in Bikaner. Go to Lalgarh palace, built of red stone by Maharaja Ganga Singh (1881-1942) is a memorial to his father Maharaja Lal Singh. It is an imposing building, with overhanging balconies and delicate latticework. Then view the Junagadh fort, constructed between 1588 and 1593 by Raja Rai Singh, who was a general in Akbar’s army. Visit the largest camel breeding farm in Asia!!

    Meals :: B D
    Day 5: 6 November 2013, Bikaner - Jaisalmer 
    Early morning take a rickshaw tour of Bikaner and visit some rare sites including the vegetable market and the spectacular Bhanwar Niwas Palace hotel. Return to hotel for breakfast and then drive to Jaisalmer (330 km / 6 Hrs). Check into your hotel and enjoy a leisure afternoon - dip in the pool or just sinking in the golden surroundings.

    Early evening, take a short drive to explore the cenotaphs of the royal family at the ‘Bada Bagh’ (the big garden) and return to the hotel after witnessing the Sunset behind the dunes. Spend rest of the evening at leisure.

    Meals :: B D
    Day 6: 7 November 2013, Jaisalmer 
    In the morning, tour the city of Jaisalmer, visiting the fort built by Maharawal (Maharaja) Jaisal in 1156 AD. It is one of the oldest and a living fort in Rajasthan, also view the ancient Jain temples built around it. Go to Gadisar Tank, a scenic rainwater lake surrounded by temples and gates that have folklores to tell. Visit the Patwon ki Haveli, Salim Singh ki Haveli and Nathmalji ki Haveli.

    Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, offering a good city view, to capture the spirit of Jaisalmer and its people.

    Explore the Folk Museum and early evening drive to Sam village in the desert, to go on a camel safari into the sand dunes. Explore the life of the local people and after the safari witness the rare splendor of Rajasthan’s folk music and dance.

    Follow the melodies moments with dinner at the camp, before returning to your hotel.

    Meals :: B L D
    Day 07: 8 November 2013, Jaisalmer - Jodhpur 
    After breakfast, drive to Jodhpur (300 km / 5 hr). Founded in 1459 by Rao Jodha of the Rathores, Jodhpur prospered from trade in opium, sandalwood, dates and copper.

    Visit Mehrangarh fort, built in 1459 by Rao Jodha. It rises steeply from a rocky foundation and the path to the fort winds up to Jai Pole and Loha Pole, the gates to the fort, which are marked with the palm prints of satis. The fort consists of several palaces designed around courtyards, which are decorated with terracotta jalis. The fort houses a museum, with a splendid collection of elephant howdahs, miniature paintings and the inevitable Rajput armory and ephemera from ivory inlaid ladies dumbbells to camel bone carpet weights.

    Enjoy lunch at the Fort’s Café!!

    Visit Jaswant Thada, a memorial to Maharaja Jaswant Singh II, a peaceful array of domes, about 1 km from the fort. The royal crematorium and three other cenotaphs that stand nearby followed the Cenotaph built in 1899. Finally, visit the museum at the Umaid Bhawan Palace, now a luxury hotel.

    This evening we take you for dinner to an open air restaurant in interesting setting – enjoy delectable cuisine and absorb the local culture.

    Meals :: B L D
    Day 8: 9 November 2013, Jodhpur – Ranakpur – Udaipur 
    After breakfast, drive to Udaipur via Ranakpur (290 km / 6 Hrs). Ranakpur, known for its marvelously carved Jain temples in amber stone, is amongst the five holiest places of pilgrimage of the Jain community. These temples were constructed in 1439 and rise majestically from the slope of a hill. There is one main temple and four subsidiary shrines, twenty-four pillared halls and several domes supported by over four hundred columns. Over 1444 marble pillars, carved in exquisite detail, no two alike, support the temple. In the assembly hall, there are two big bells weighing 108 Kilograms whose sound echoes in the entire complex.

    A delightful selection of lunch awaits you in Ranakpur in rustic setting - watch the Indian women cook a variety of hot breads on a wood fire.

    After visiting Ranakpur, continue your journey to Udaipur. After check in at the hotel and enjoy rest of the evening at leisure.

    Meals :: B L D
    Day 9: 10 November 2013, Udaipur 
    Visit the City Palace, known for the Mor Chowk and its stunning peacock mosaic and the Bhim Vilas Palace with its lovely wall paintings. View the Lake Palace from the City Palace. Visit the Jagdish Temple, Fateh Sagar Lake and Saheliyon Ki Bari, the Garden of Maids. End your tour of Udaipur with a boat ride across Lake Pichola and a visit to Jag Mandir, a palace built on an island in 1551, which the royal family used as a summer resort and pleasure palace for holding parties.

    This evening we host a cocktail dinner for you in a picturesque setting.

    Meals :: B D
    Day 10: 11 November 2013, Udaipur - Pushkar 
    After breakfast, drive to Pushkar (280 km / 5 Hrs), a bewitching little town, with temples, bathing ghats, onion domes and chalk colored buildings clustering around its holy lake, which is said to have appeared when Brahma dropped a lotus flower. Since it is an important pilgrimage center, sadhus are ubiquitous, as are travelers experimenting with spirituality, bhang and facial hair. Pushkar has several temples, but not as ancient as you would expect at such an important center, although it is claimed that Aurangzeb destroyed several that were subsequently rebuilt.

    Pushkar is also known for its cattle fair—residents of the surrounding villages and towns come here to convert their camels into cash. The annual fair is like a carnival, where the townspeople interact with visitors. Observe the sari-clad women waiting their turn for a ride on the Ferris wheel and enjoy the campfire sessions at night.

    On arrival in Pushkar, check in at your hotel and spend the day at the fair. On arrival enjoy a walk around the Pushkar Lake and glimpse the prayer ceremonies on its banks.

    Meals :: B L D
    Day 11: 12 November 2013, Pushkar 
    Visit the Brahma Temple and spend the day at the fair, observing the manner in which camels are bought and sold. Enjoy the street performances and the works of skilled artisans, who are there to sell their goods. Chose from optional activities to suit your taste - camel cart ride, sky ballooning and cultural shows and more…

    Meals :: B D
    Day 12: 13 November 2013, Pushkar - Jaipur 
    Spend the morning at the fair. In the afternoon, drive to Jaipur (145 km / 3 Hrs) and check in at your hotel. Enjoy a glimpse the beautiful Hawa Mahal, where the ladies of the royal harem used to watch the city from behind an intricately carved facade. Spend rest of the day shopping in the bazaars, Jaipur is known for its Textiles and Craftsmen, skilled in brass inlay, lacquer work and stone setting.

    This evening enjoy a welcome dinner amidst traditional folk music, dance and puppet show.

    Meals :: B D
    Day 13: 14 November 2013, Jaipur 
    Enjoy an elephant ride to Amber Fort, located in a valley formed by a range of the Aravallis known as Kalikho hills. The palace and fort are located on top of the hill with the city on its slopes, and the valley is protected by the walls of the fort with four gates in the four cardinal directions. The construction of the fort began in late 16th century. It illustrates the evolution from the purely defensive fort settlements of the early medieval period to the palace fortress typical of the 16th century. This palace fortress, which was never invaded, features gardens, courtyards, and palatial spaces, many of which illustrate the influence of Mughal architecture.

    Return to Jaipur to visit the majestic City Palace, which houses a rare collection of Indian art. Visit the Jantar Mantar, an astronomical observatory built in the early 18th century that includes a set of some 20 main fixed instruments designed for the observation of astronomical positions with the naked eye.

    Meals :: B D
    Day 14: 15 November 2013, Jaipur – Fatehpur Sikri – Agra 
    After an early breakfast, drive to Agra, visiting Fatehpur Sikri en route (235 km/ 5 Hrs). Built in the second half of the 16th century by the Emperor Akbar, Fatehpur Sikri was the capital of the Mughal Empire for ten years. The complex of buildings, all in a uniform architectural style, includes one of the largest mosques in India and the artistically designed mausoleum of the revered Sufi saint, Salim Chisti.

    Continue your drive to Agra and check in at your hotel on arrival. After a short rest, visit the Taj Mahal, known for its beauty, grace and exquisite workmanship, built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan as a memorial to his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal. End your tour with a visit to some of the local factories famous for marble inlay work and witness the complex art of inlaying precious and semiprecious stones on the marble from the Makrana Mines. Enjoy the ‘Saga of the Taj’, a musical performance before returning to the hotel for dinner.

    Meals :: B D
    Day 15: 16 November 2013, Agra-Delhi 
    After breakfast, drive to ‘Mehtab Bagh’ for a distant viewing of the Taj Mahal in the rising light of the Sun. Visit Agra Fort, where Shah Jehan was imprisoned by his son in the later years of his life. After lunch, drive to Delhi (220 km / 5 Hrs). On arrival in Delhi spend an hour in an upscale mall.

    Today we host a farewell cocktail dinner at an authentic Indian Restaurant, reminisce your memorable journey through incredible India. Later, we take you to the airport to catch your flight back home.

    Meals :: B D
    Contact us for reservations & more details. All Experiences can be tailor-made to suit your interests and travel preferences…
    Day City Hotels
    1DelhiTaj Palace
    2DelhiTaj Palace
    3ShekhawatiCastle Mandawa
    4BikanerLaxmi Niwas Palace
    7JodhpurThe Gateway Hotel
    8UdaipurFateh Prakash Palace
    9UdaipurFateh Prakash Palace
    10PushkarThe Green House Resort
    11PushkarThe Green House Resort
    12JaipurJai Mahal Palace
    13JaipurJai Mahal Palace
    14AgraITC Mughal
    Contact us for reservations & more details. All Experiences can be tailor-made to suit your interests and travel preferences...
    :: Mystic Bhutan

    View the gorgeous Himalayan vistas, Buddhist temples and palaces in this land that was once closed off from the world.

    Duration: 4 Nights

    Destinations: 1 Night Thimpu, 2 Nights Paro, 1 Night Delhi

    Theme: Heritage, Nature

    :: Scenic Nepal

    The Kathmandu Valley features a diverse culture. Enjoy a short flight to Mount Everest, an experience to remember (weather permitting). Continue to Chitwan National Park for a trek on elephant-back. Follow that with a game drive in search of the elusive Bengal tiger, the Asian one-horned rhino, gaur, sloth bear and leopard.

    Duration: 4 Nights

    Destinations: 2 Nights Kathmandu, 1 Night Chitwan, 1 Night Delhi

    Theme: Heritage, Adventure & Wildlife

    :: Kerala, God’s own Country

    Immerse yourself in the peace and tranquility of India's southern backwaters on a five-day extension to Kerala, cruising leisurely by rice barge and visiting a working spice plantation. Enjoy an overnight Kathakali performance in Kochi.

    Duration: 5 Nights

    Destinations: 2 Nights - Kumarakom & House Boat, 2 Nights Kochi, 1 Night Delhi

    Theme: Nature, SPA & Heritage

    :: Varanasi Extension

    Witness the ageless rituals of Hinduism at Varanasi on the banks of the River Ganges. Visit Sarnath for an insight in to the Buddhist philosophy.

    Duration: 3 Nights

    Destinations: 2 Nights Varanasi, 1 Night Delhi

    Theme: Religion, Heritage & Culture

    Contact us for reservations & more details. All Experiences can be tailor-made to suit your interests and travel preferences…