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India

Classic Rajasthan Easily the most romantic of all India’s states.

Explore India's ace

Rajasthan is replete with royal palaces, forts, and legendary cities such as Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur whose majesty typifies the opulence synonymous with this region. Not only that, either: also here are ancient tribes, royal Maharajas, forgotten Moghul fortresses, deserts and dense forests.

The lowdown

  • Getting there

    BA and Virgin fly direct to Delhi from Heathrow daily. The flying time is approximately 9 hours. Indirect flights from other UK airports are also possible.

  • When to go

    November to April is considered the dry season but be mindful that northern Rajasthan can be cold in mid-winter.

  • Combine with

    The national parks of Maharashtra can be added on and will give you an opportunity to see tigers. Alternatively head south to the beaches of Goa.

Our carefully-plotted 16-day journey takes in the sights (and sounds, so many sounds) of Delhi and Jaipur before moving onto tented camps, marble temples and the animal-packed Chambal River. It finishes by the legendary Taj Mahal.

Highlights

  • Sightseeing in Delhi, India’s capital and most vibrant city
  • The famed ‘pink city’ of Jaipur, laid out below the Amer Fort
  • The most impressive fort of them all: the Mehrangarh in Jodhpur
  • Ranakpur’s incredible marble Jain temple, plus dinner by an ancient stepwell
  • Udaipur, the city of romance, majesty, lakes and hills
  • Rajasthan’s best-kept secret, the tranquil town of Bundi
  • The Taj Mahal, a legendary emblem of romance
  1. Delhi

    India’s capital has two distinct personalities. First there’s Old Delhi, its chaotic, winding alleys crammed with colourful shops and noisy street traders; you’ll enjoy a full-day tour here, visiting Mosque and Red Fort and riding a classic rickshaw down the lanes. Completely different is New Delhi, built by the British in 1911 in an unashamed imperial display of pomp. The highlights here are the white-domed Humayun’s tomb and government buildings built by Edwin Lutyens.

    Jaipur

    Fascinating bazaars and the opulent City Palace and Palace of Winds characterise old parts of the ‘Pink City’, so nicknamed for its rosy edifices. Amid the hubbub, the ancient Amer Fort creates a dramatic picture of a bygone era while the newer city has spacious roads dotted with luxury showrooms.

Nimaj

Both a luxurious camp and downright magical place, Chhatra Sagar comprises delightful tents pitched above a lake teeming with birds (seasonal) and, coming from the adjacent grasslands, wildlife such as wild boar and blue bull antelope.

It’s run by direct descendants of the area’s former rulers. During two nights here you can tour local villages and go on nature walks before communal, campfire drinks and dinner.

  1. Jodhpur

    You’ve seen the Pink City, now here’s the Blue City. Not only is Jodhpur an ultramarine dream – many walls are that exotic colour – but it’s a city scented with incense and rose-petal. Inside the old, 10km-long walls and tangle of lanes, spend an afternoon exploring the magnificent, mighty Mehrangarh Fort and, below, Jodhpur’s Clock Tower Market and surrounding bazaars.

  2. Ranakpur

    Ranakpur’s white-marble, gold-laden Jain temple seduces with magnificent architecture and numerous elegant pillars – and then enchants still further courtesy of its large population of resident monkeys. After touring around, you’ll have a private, candlelit dinner above an ancient stepwell.

  3. Udaipur

    The magic of Udaipur’s setting is undeniable: its marble palaces and havelis line glittering Lake Pichola, with a ring of wooded Aravali Hills framing the scene. Fairytale? And then some. Rich in old-world atmosphere, the city is  dominated by its massive City Palace, one which overlooks the lake and more island palaces. An evening cruise on the water is a must, and you can also stop en route at the hilltop Kumbhalgarh Fort, whose perimeter walls longer than any defensive fortification on Earth bar the Great Wall of China

Bhainsrorgarh & Bundi

Bhainsrorgarh Fort is memorably located on a promontory above the scenic Chambal River and tribal villages. Spend a day on its 200ft-high rocky ridge, and then move onto Bundi, often described as Rajasthan’s undiscovered jewel. Surrounded on three sides by more rugged and thickly-forested Aravali Hills, it’s a walled 12th century town which has retained much of its historic character. Guarded by the loggia-lined Taragarh Fort Palace, Bundi has more blue houses and wonderful baoris (stepwell reservoirs) to explore, plus hardly any tourists.

Agra

Easily India’s most romantic monument, the Taj is a the garden-tomb erected by Emperor Shah Jahan for his beloved wife, Mumtaz. Visit the Taj Mahal first at sunset, a chance to watch changing hues on its white-marble edifice.  You can see it again at sunrise if desired, before taking a tour of Agra city – visiting its fine Mughal fort and the tomb of I’timād-ud-Daulah, otherwise known as the baby Taj.

Sophie Garland

Sophie Garland

Travel Planner

What I love most about travelling through Rajasthan is the diversity of the region, watching the changing colours, scenery and landscapes, and making my way through bustling crowds in the big cities one day, then escaping to the tranquillity of a rural village on the next. And the incredible array of veggie curries of course!

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