Rajasthan with the Thar Desert Safari

Introduction

Far Horizon offers, along with a visit to the historical city of Delhi, the Taj Mahal in Agra and the forts and palaces of Jaipur, a deeper journey into the desert and its people. Meet the simple yet colorful tribal people of this land, living simple lives in their mud huts with thatched roofs and practicing their arts and crafts. This, along with a visit to the colorful desert festivals, with its gathering of animals for trading, religious processions and  pilgrimages to holy temples, completes the journey through glorious Rajasthan.

Tour Highlights

  • Visit UNESCO World Heritage sites including the iconic Taj Mahal
  • Home hosted dinner with the local family
  • Visit of Royal Grand Palaces and Forts of Rajasthan
  • Thrill of seeing the Royal Bengal Tiger in the Ranthambore National Park
  • Interaction with the Bishnoi tribal people in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan
  • Experience of staying at the retreat built on the top of 100 ft. high sand dunes with panoramic view of the Thar desert
  • Visit of Khichan Village to see the Demoiselle Cranes in the Salt Pans
  • Visit Elephanta Caves in Mumbai

Destinations Covered

Detailed Itinerary

  1. Day 1 Arrive Delhi

    Delhi

    After clearing Customs and Immigration, step into the receiving area, where our representative will meet you and escort you to the hotel.

    Overnight at the hotel

  2. Day 2 Delhi

    Delhi

    Today morning proceed to explore Old Delhi.

    On the tour of “Old Delhi,” you will head out to explore this exotic locale with its narrow dirt roads, myriads of people and inexpensive and colorful bazaars that keep alive the traditional workmanship for which Delhi has always been famous. Drive past the Red Fort, and visit the Jama Masjid, one of the largest Muslim mosques in India.

    A bicycle rickshaw would take you into the heart of Chandini Chowk (the silver square - so named because of the silver merchants).

    Drive past India Gate, a 42-metre archway built in memory of Indian soldiers killed during the First World War and Rashtrapati Bhawan, built in the early 20th century as the Imperial residence of the Viceroy. Today, it is the official residence of the President of India.

    We then drive to the outskirts of New Delhi to visit the Qutub Minar, on the way our guide will point out the Raj-era architecture in the city center, including the renowned India Gate and Edwin Landseer Lutyens’ and Herbert Baker’s monumental governmental building on Raisina Hill.

    Visit the Qutub Minar, a victory minaret built by the first invading Persian, Qutab-ud-din, a millennium ago in South Delhi. One of Delhi’s most visited and striking monuments, the 72-meter (230 feet) high tower which majestically over the wide plains of Delhi. It is a victory tower built by the slave king Qutub-ud-din Aibak and later completed by his successor Iltutmish. Beautiful calligraphy adorns the magnificent tower, which is covered with intricate carvings and deeply inscribed verses from the Koran. The first three stories are made of red sandstone, the fourth and fifth of marble and sandstone.

    Overnight at the hotel (B)

  3. Day 3 Delhi – Agra (approx. 4 hours’ drive)

    Agra

    After breakfast, check-out and take a drive to Agra.

    On arrival, check-in to the hotel.

    This evening, savour a travel highlight as you embark on a tour of the Taj Mahal, the magnificent tomb of white marble built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz, who had implored her husband to build a monument symbolizing their undying love for each other. Some 20,000 laborers and artisans from around the world spent 22 years constructing what became Mumtaz’s mausoleum, which was begun in 1632. Along with its exquisite symmetry, the Taj features striking examples of pietra dura, a decorative art in which craftsmen embed precisely cut semi-precious stones in marble to form dazzling patterns.

    Overnight at the hotel (B)

  4. Day 4 Agra – Ranthambore (Train from Bharatpur at 1550/1802 hrs.)

    Ranthambore

    After relaxed breakfast, check-out and visit the imposing Red Fort of Agra (also known as Agra Fort). A creative, architectural, and strategic masterpiece, the Fort is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site. In a cruel twist, Emperor Shah Jahan, builder of the Taj Mahal and whose grandfather built the original Fort and who also assumed the throne himself, was imprisoned here at the end of his life by his own son – in a room looking out on the Taj Mahal across the river.

    Thereafter, drive to Bharatpur Railway station (approx. 1 hour 30 min) to board the train to Ranthambore.

    Arrive Ranthambore and transfer to the hotel.

    Overnight at the hotel (B, D)

  5. Day 5 Ranthambore

    Ranthambore

    On today’s morning and afternoon game drives, we’re sure to see more game (though tiger and leopard sightings are not guaranteed).

    The park’s varied landscape of beautiful lakes, lush grasslands, deep ravines, wooded valleys, and open scrub also features picturesque ruins of old fortifications and the thousand-year-old Ranthambore Fort, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Overnight at the hotel (B, L, D)

  6. Day 6 Ranthambore – Jaipur (approx. 4 hours’ drive)

    Jaipur

    Today we proceed to Jaipur, the largest city of Rajasthan which is an epitome of magnificence and vibrancy. 

    On arrival, check-in to the hotel.

    This evening, we will take you to the home of an Indian family where you will learn what it is like to cook, serve and eat like a Rajasthani. You will relish and cherish every moment of this culinary expedition.

    Overnight at the hotel (B)

  7. Day 7 Jaipur

    Jaipur

    Full day sightseeing of Jaipur including a visit to the Amber Fort and a photo stop at the Palace of the Winds, the Hawa Mahal in the morning. Visit Amber Fort a UNESCO World Heritage site built by the Kachhawah Rajputs as their capital from 1037 to 1728 and considered the pinnacle of Rajput architecture. We tour the unoccupied citadel this morning, to admire the fresco-covered portal, the impressive room of mirrors, walls of jewel-encrusted marble, and the royal apartments offering beautiful panoramic views of the surrounding valleys.

    We continue on to Jantar Mantar, the incredible open-air Royal Observatory (ca. 1728) housing oversized astronomical instruments and a UNESCO World Heritage site; and City Palace, former residence of the Maharajas of Jaipur, built in the shape of the city itself and now converted to a museum that houses the rulers’ magnificent art collections.

    Overnight at the hotel (B)

  8. Day 8 Jaipur – Jodhpur (approx. 6 hours' drive)

    Jodhpur

    After breakfast, drive to Jodhpur, known as the “Blue City”.

    On arrival, check-in to the hotel.

    In the evening you can visit the bustling Clock Tower bazaar to get a flavour of this historic city.

    Overnight at the hotel (B)

  9. Day 9 Jodhpur – Jamba (approx. 3 hours’ drive)

    Jamba

    Today you will explore the city’s beautiful palace Mehrangarh Fort which has been in existence since 1459 and is one of the most astounding constructions and architectural marvels. The towering building has extremely high walls and gates, and the closer it is explored, the smaller you begin to feel! Inside the fort is a network of courtyards and palaces, (including a museum that houses a splendid collection of items from the Maharajas), salvaged to display their long history of warding off attackers.

    The Jaswant Thada is an absolutely calming and soothing building to lay your eyes upon. Constructed entirely of a milky-white marble, the whimsical essence of this memorial can be felt by all. The sheets of marble used to create this astounding marvel were all hand carved into fabulous walls and domes. A warm glow surrounds the polished rock, emitting a sunny and pleasant atmosphere.

    Thereafter, we drive approximately for three hours and head into the hinterland to a region known as Jamba.

    You will spend three nights at the Clement Dune Retreat. This is an exclusive property, set atop a 130' high sand dune with panoramic views of the Thar Desert. The Resort features exquisite examples of traditional Rajasthani architecture used throughout, with stonework and carvings using local design and sustainable materials and, most importantly, utilizing the skills of local craftsmen. It has individual deluxe cottages, a swimming pool and a beautiful restaurant.

    This evening the musician and dancers from nearby villages will come to dance away the evening.

    Overnight at the Clement Dune Retreat (B, D)

  10. Day 10 Jamba

    Jamba

    After breakfast, go 4 wheeling cross-country on dirt and sand roads to continue your exploration of “Jamba-ji’s” land. These excursions introduce you to traditional Rajasthani hospitality, as well as giving you a chance to witness rural Rajasthani life up close. The villages are built with painted adobe walls, and village life continues unaffected by the big cities nearby.

    Bishnoi villages are immaculate, scrubbed daily by brightly clad women who are weighed down by silver jewelry and festooned with bangles right up to the length of their arms. By contrast, their tall men dress entirely in white, their large turbans loosely swathed around dark skinned, weathered faces.

    Return to the retreat for lunch.

    Evening is at leisure.

    Overnight at the Clement Dune Retreat (B, L, D)

  11. Day 11 Jamba

    Jamba

    After breakfast, drive to the Khichan village to witness the perfect example of the bird and human relationship, where over 15000 demoiselle cranes come to the village during the months of winter and villagers feed them grains.

    Return to the retreat for lunch.

    Later in the afternoon, we will also have an opportunity to go on a camel cart safari.

    Return to retreat in time to watch the setting sun light up the desert.

    Overnight at the Clement Dune Retreat (B, L, D)

  12. Day 12 Jamba – Jodhpur & flight to Mumbai

    Mumbai

    After breakfast, check-out and drive to Jodhpur airport to connect with flight to Mumbai.

    You arrive at the “Gateway to India,” Mumbai (known as Bombay until 1995) and transfer to the hotel.

    Rest of the day is at leisure.

    Overnight at the hotel (B)

  13. Day 13 Mumbai

    Mumbai

    After breakfast, we begin our sight-seeing at the waterfront Gateway of India, an impressive 85-feet high arch built by the British in 1924 to serve as a ceremonial entrance to the country. When India gained its independence in 1948, the last British battalion formally passed through the Gateway.

    From here take a boat to visit the Elephanta caves (Closed on Monday) which are declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site dating back to the 6th century A.D. It was the Portuguese who named the caves after the statue of an elephant which is seen close to the landing area. These caves were carved out from a single rock. The most striking statue of Trimurti, Shiva in the three moods as the Creator, the Destroyer and the Preserver is a masterpiece by itself.

    Return to the city and visit the Prince of Wales Museum (Closed on Monday). Founded in the early years of the 20th century, it houses approximately 50,000 exhibits of ancient Indian history as well as objects from foreign lands, categorized primarily into three sections: Art, Archaeology and Natural History. The Museum houses Indus Valley Civilization artefacts, and other relics from ancient India. (Closed on Mondays and national holidays)

    Overnight at the hotel (B)

  14. Day 14 Departure

    Mumbai

    After breakfast, check-out and transfer to Mumbai airport to connect with flight to onward destination (room reserved till 12 noon).

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