Day 1: Arrive Delhi
Welcome to India! We arrive in Delhi and will be met and picked up at the Delhi airport by our guide and driver. We’ll check into our hotel and rest after our long journey.
Day 2: Delhi - Agra
In the morning we visit old Delhi with a two hour guided tour on a rickshaw ride. Then we leave Delhi and head towards Agra home of the Taj Mahal. In the late afternoon we will explore a wondrous step well. We will then check into our hotel and relax. Included: Breakfast & Lunch.
Day 3: Agra - Jaipur
No journey to India is complete without seeing the Taj Mahal. We will rise early to arrive at sunrise to see this masterpiece of Indian architecture. We will have a local guide give us a tour of the Taj Mahal. Then we will return to our hotel for a delicious breakfast and then head out to our next stay, Jaipur. On the way we will stop at an amazing picturesque monkey temple set in a ravine with wonderful unrestored painted buildings and temples.
Jaipur, known as the Pink City due the historic district where all the buildings are painted pink. Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan. The grand Amber Fort is set on a hill overlooking Maota Lake and is awe inspiring in its scale with its wall the circles the whole city around the hillsides. Inside the fort is the Sheesh Majal whose walls are covered with little mirrors. We will also visit the city palace in town inside the Pink City displaying royal clothing and jewels, weapons and arts. The palace is absolutely breathtaking and one of the most beautiful palaces in India. We will have a special local guide to take us to the sites of Jaipur.Included: Breakfast & Lunch.
Day 4: Jaipur - Bundi
In the morning we will drive on to Bundi. Bundi is a small magical town with 4 gateways that encircle the old city. Here we will explore the spectacular 16th century Bundi Palace and Fort with its lovely unrestored paintings on the walls throughout. We will also visit the ancient steps walls of the town. Afterwards we will wander the narrow streets of this picturesque town and interact with locals. Bundi will be one of the unexpected joys and unforgettable surprises of your trip. Included: Breakfast & Lunch.
Day 5: Bundi - Udaipur
We will the drive on to the lovely fairytale city of Udaipur built around the picturesque Lake Pichola. After we check into our hotel and relax we will wander the streets of this magical city. Udaipur’s narrow alleys are filled with bazaars selling goods. Those who are interested could have an Ayurvedic massage or take a cooking class. Included: Breakfast & Lunch.
Day 6: Udaipur
In the morning we will visit the grand palace situated in the middle old city with our local guide. From there we will enjoy a boat ride out on the lake to an old palace. The guide will also take us to an amazing huge textile shop and museum hidden within the city. In the afternoon we will go on a special artisans tour. We will visit a village of people who make puppets, a family of potters who have been throwing pots for generations and a miniature painting artist. Included: Breakfast.
Day 7: Udaipur - Jodphur
Today we will drive to Jodhpur. If Jaipur is the pink city Jodhpur is the blue city where within the walled city many buildings are painted blue. Here we will visit the 15th century fort, a former palace. The fort is set on a rocky outcrop overlooking the city below.
Before checking into our hotel we will visit the old city and stop in at a fabulous spice and tea shop and afterwards we will walk to the nearby large market center. Included: Breakfast & Lunch.
Day 8: Jodhpur
In the morning we will drive out to visit some Bushnoi villages outside of Jodhpur with a local guide. We will visit a town of weavers and some families who do traditional block printing. We will also stop in two great wholesale centers for Indian textiles and have an opportunity to shop. In the late afternoon we will wander the narrow streets of the blue city. Included: Breakfast & Lunch.
Day 9: Jodphur - Jaisalmer
Today we will head out to Jaisalmer one of India’s loveliest towns which is at the center of the Great Indian Desert. After we check into our rooms in a lovely Haveli we will go out and explore the streets and many markets of the town. Included: Breakfast & Lunch.
Day 10: Jaisalmer
We will visit the amazing large city fort and the incredible Jain temple all within its walls. We will have a local guide take us through the fort and tour the city. We will visit a world famous jeweler who sells to Maharajas and Mick Jaggar as well as a high quality textile dealer. After our city tour and lunch we will visit a cultural center and music school for children of the Merasi clan. This will be a highlight of the tour and some of the best music you will hear on your trip. Included: Breakfast.
Day 11: Jaisalmer
For our last day in Jaisalmer we will travel out to the desert to visit the Thar people and stay overnight in a lovely comfortable tent camp (each tent is private and has a modern toilet and electricity). For those who would like they can go on a sunset camel ride (others can ride in camel pulled carts) or they can ride out with me to visit a nearby Thar village to see how the people live and their wonderfully painted adobe homes. For dinner we will hear traditional music played by the locals with a great dance performance and sit by a campfire and enjoy a great meal. This is a magical experience and an opportunity to enjoy the complete silence and beauty of the desert. Included: Breakfast & Dinner.
Day 12: Jaisalmer - Bikaner
We then leave Jaisalmer and drive on to Bikaner. With a local guide we will tour its impressive fort and see some of its magical palace rooms. We will then hop on to tuktuk or small motorized rickshaws and tour the medieval old city with its lovely red sandstone havelis and Jain temples. Our hotel that night is a grand old hotel with huge magnificent gardens that you can stroll and enjoy. Included: Breakfast & Lunch.
Day 13: Bikaner - Mandawa
We then drive on in the morning to the picturesque town of Mandawa. This region was home to the merchant class in the 1800’s who prided themselves on beautifully painted grand mansions or havelis. We will wander the town and visit both restored and unrestored havelis and see their magnificent painting that is unique to this region and town. That night we will stay in a lovely painted haveli with gorgeously decorated rooms. The haveli restaurant also has amazing food. Included: Breakfast & Lunch.
Day 14: Mandawa - Delhi
On our last day in India we will either spend more time in the countryside or arrive to Delhi in time to do something there and have a nice farewell dinner together before we depart back home for the U.S. Included: Breakfast & Lunch.