Trip idea / India

Little Explorers

In Rajasthan

Fire up your family’s imagination in India’s evocative Rajasthan.

The Lowdown

  • When To Go:

    October to March is the dry season, so travel over Christmas and Easter school holidays is a great time to visit.

  • How To Get There:

    Fly direct to Delhi from London in eight and a half hours

  • Good To Know:

    We’ve deliberately carved time into this itinerary for families to recharge their batteries as we know India can easily overwhelm. As with all of our itineraries we create it from scratch, incorporating your precise needs.

Is there anywhere more vibrant than colourful Rajasthan to open your kids’ eyes to India? For a holiday with a difference, this two-week trip to northern India will take you to some of Rajasthan’s most enduring sights paired with local, insider experiences and interactions to get under the skin of this captivating country.

Highlight

  • With a meticulously crafted itinerary, your trip to India will include guided tours and access to immersive and off-radar experiences
  • Stay in charming and unique properties such as heritage homestays allowing you to experience authentic India
  • Making India more child friendly, our itinerary is made up of art workshops, tuk-tuk trips, kite flying, train journeys, stays in palaces and visits to schools
  • Explore the best of Rajasthani cities including Delhi, Agra, Jaipur and Udaipur
  • Absorb unforgettable sights such as the Taj Mahal, the Amer Fort and the observatory, Jantar Mantar
  • Make connections on a deeper level and get to know Rajasthan’s residents meeting ex-street children, weaving artisans and female rickshaw guides

 

DAY 1-3

Auto Rickshaws in front of India Gate in New Delhi
Women walking on street in Pushkar, India
Cow lies in the busy streets of Indian city.
An aerial view of the Jama Masjid, New Delhi, India
Jama Masjid, Old town of Delhi, India
Rashtrapati Bhavan
Humayun’s tomb in New Delhi, India
The Sansad Bhawan or Parliament Building is the house of the Parliament of India, New Delhi.  It was designed based on  Ashoka Chakra by the British architect Edwin Lutyens & Herbert Baker in 1912-13.
Haveli Dharampura
Qutub Minar, India
2024-04-18 13_26_41-The Claridges New Delhi, New Delhi – Updated 2024 Prices
2024-04-18 13_27_00-The Claridges New Delhi, New Delhi – Updated 2024 Prices
1

DELHI

Arrive in Delhi to the colour and cacophony of daily Rajasthani life. Be met at the airport and whisked to your hotel to recuperate from the journey. In the morning, start your exploration of New Delhi with a guide, hopping on a tuk-tuk to preserve energy levels and navigate India’s notorious bustle where cows, cars and carts all jostle for space. Admire brightly hued street art in the Lodhi Street Art district painted by Indian and international artists and drive past Lutyens Delhi, an area designed by British Raj architect Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869–1944). Pop in to see heritage treasures and artisan work in the National Crafts Museum before lunch on-site at Café Lota for Indian-style family favourite – fish and chips.

Over the next few days, make time to explore Old Delhi with another exhilarating rickshaw ride, stopping by Masjid-i-Jehan-Numa, one of the largest mosques in India before a cultural evening at Mughal-era heritage hotel Haveli Dharampura with a chance to fly colourful homemade kites from its rooftop. Enjoy a meaningful encounter with the Salam Balak Trust on a guided tour by children who used to live on the streets and have been helped by the trust. Made of earthy red sandstone and white marble, Humayun’s Tomb makes for an arresting sight, as does the soaring victory minaret tower of Qutub Minar.

“Welcome to Delhi, a busy urban metropolis full of history, culture and fascinating daily rituals - the start of your journey in Rajasthan.”

STAY: THE CLARIDGE'S DELHI

The Claridge’s in New Delhi is a comfortable retreat from city life, with a smart décor that fuses British design and Indian workmanship. Enjoy a spacious heritage suite with a balcony and be amazed by the hotel’s seven restaurants, covering a raft of worldwide cuisines and flavours, something for even the fussiest of eaters.

DAY 4-5

Red Fort in Agra
The Agra Fort in Agra
Admiring the Taj Mahal from Mehtab Bagh park in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India
india, agra: taj mahal
The majestic front view of Taj Mahal in India.
Chand Baori,step well in Abhaneri village,India
View of Chand Baori stepwell situated in the village of Abhaneri in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It is one of the deepest and largest stepwells in India
2

AGRA

Leaving the busyness of Delhi behind, board the train, enjoying a slice of local life for a few hours as you join the daily commuter route that bustles towards Agra. On arrival, be met by a guide who will take you to your peaceful hotel to relax and settle in before a visit to the colossal surrounds of the impressive Agra Fort, cloaked in burgundy sandstone fortified walls, once the residence of Mughal emperors.

Get to know Agra and its history on a Mughal heritage walk which ends at Mehtab Bagh Garden, for a run around its tree-lined boulevards and tinkling fountains; you can also enjoy a view of the Taj Mahal from across the Yamuna River. Of course, you will want to get up close to this shimmering marvel of Mughal architecture. To avoid the crowds, rise at dawn and with a guide, feel the full impact of this luminous beauty, built between 1631 and 1648 by order of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife. Continue your journey westwards to Jaipur, making a stop to stretch your legs at a step well in Abhaneri, an intricately carved architectural feat that is thirteen storeys deep.

“An archetypal sight on any north Indian itinerary, we recommend visiting the Taj Mahal at sunrise to beat the crowds, allowing you to bathe in its sublime luminosity.”

STAY: EKAA VILLAGE

Located in a quiet residential district, yet walking distance from the Taj Mahal, Ekaa Villa is Agra’s hidden gem, full of Indian character. It’s also a place to sample fantastic homecooked north Indian cuisine using generational family recipes or try your hand at cooking traditional dishes. The King Room is spacious enough for the whole family and its balcony offers a snapshot onto local neighbourhood life.

DAY 6-8

Amber palace, India
Detail of decorated gateway. Amber fort. Jaipur, India
Beautiful gardens in Amer Fort, Jaipur, India
Amer Fort near Jaipur
Amer Fort near Jaipur
Hawa Mahal – Palace of Winds, Jaipur, India.
Astronomical instrument at Jantar Mantar observatory – Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
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3

JAIPUR

Arriving in Jaipur, head straight to your hotel for an afternoon by the beautiful Moorish-style pool at the Samode Haveli, for a well-earned rest and family splash about. Come evening, feast on Rajasthani cuisine in the dining room, surrounded by hand-painted murals.

Feeling fully recharged, start the day with a guided visit to the Amer Fort, an extensive palace complex located atop a small hill which was home to the Rajput Maharajas who lived in opulent surroundings; today admire the intricate Sun Gate on entry and the glimmering gold ‘Sila Devi’ temple and fantastic views across the pink city of Jaipur. At the Anokhi Textile Museum enjoy a family-friendly hands-on block printing session taught by local artisans. While you’re in Jaipur, experience the thrill of a Pink City Rickshaw ride – electric tuk-tuks that are driven by women from low-income households in Jaipur so you can travel in style while doing good. Spend an afternoon at the pink-hued observatory, Jantar Mantar, where the world’s biggest sun dial can be found plus the ornate Maharaja’s City Palace, built between 1729 – 1732.

“The pink-hued city of Jaipur will not disappoint; children will find its vivid architecture mesmerising, alongside smaller details such as colourful peacocks that screech at intervals.”

STAY: SAMODE HAVELI

Heritage gem Samode Haveli is steeped in history, located within the walled city of Jaipur. A traditional Indian mansion, the hotel has an abundance of Indian character in its courtyards, hand-painted dining rooms, lavish bedrooms and candle-lit verandahs. Kids will love the vast swimming pool, with adjoining shallow play zone; adults will relish the comfortable Indian day beds that line the pool’s edge.

DAY 8-10

Two Indian women carry water on their heads in  pots
Charrue à bœufs au Rajasthan, Inde
The Jaswant Thada and Mehrangarh Fort in background at sunset, T
View of the blue houses in the old town of Jodhpur, India’s Blue City, a famous tourist destination in Rajasthan and a Unesco World Heritage Site
Two women dressed in the traditional Indian Saree are walking through the narrow streets of the blue city of Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India.
Majestic ancient Mehrangarh fort in Jodhpur, Rajasthan in India
Ceramic decoration inside Mehrangarh fort.
Mehrangarh Fort with Jaswant Thada.
facade view of jaswant thada cenotaph in jodhpur
Kot Dunara (9)
Kot Dunara (2)
DSC_5374_Khushi-Mishra-Photography
Kot Dunara (7)
Kot Dunara (3)
Kot Dunara (8)
Kot Dunara (5)
Kot Dunara (4)
Kot Dunara (1)
Kot Dunara (6)
4

DHUNDHARA

Leaving peach-tinted Jaipur behind you, get back on the road westwards to Dhundhara. With a packed lunch for the journey, observe the sights and smells of rural Rajasthani life as you pass by small villages, farmers at work, children walking to school and cows wandering freely across the road.

Once settled at your heritage homestay with the chance for some pool time and relaxation on your verandah, take a day trip to the blue city of Jodhpur, just one and half hours away. Marvel at the magnificent hilltop Mehrangarh Fort, built in 1460 and still run by the Jodhpur royal family, and packed with history and legend. Almost in its shadow is Jaswant Thada, carved intricately from white marble and evoking fairytales with its multi-domed roof. Back at your hotel-homestay, take the opportunity to explore the area, walking around the village of Dhundhara and meeting local artisans skilled at weaving, pottery and woodwork. Visit a school and let your kids see the differences and similarities from life back home or jump in a jeep for a safari to spot black bucks, blue bulls and chinkara deer in the wild, finishing with a high tea in the wilderness.

“To get off the beaten is a sincere privilege at heritage homestay Kot Dunara, engaging with a local community totally untouched by tourism. A wholly authentic experience.”

STAY: KOT DUNARA

A place to experience authentic Indian hospitality, far from the beaten track, heritage homestay Kot Dunara is located near Dhundhara village which offers a glimpse of rural Indian life, untouched by tourism. Although remote, Kot Dunara is the perfect spot for families, with a pool and stylishly furnished suites that open out onto verandahs with day beds.

DAY 11-14

Ranakpur Jain Temple in Rajasthan, India
Ancient Ranakpur Jain temple in Rajasthan state of India
Chaumukha Mandir – Jain Temple, Ranakpur.
Mohan Temple and Taj Lake Palace at Pichola lake in Udaipur, India
Tourists on the boat taking Udaipur Lake Pichola sunset boat ride with City Palace on background
City Palace and Pichola lake in Udaipur, India
Taj Fateh4
Taj Fateh 3
Taj Fateh2
Taj Fateh
5

UDAIPUR

Today you will drive to Udaipur taking around five hours with a stop to visit Ranakpur Jain Temple, built in the 15th century and hewn from white marble. Have a wander around this exquisite building and see if the kids can count all 1444 of the intricately carved pillars!

Enjoy the whirlwind of Udaipur over the next few days, taking a boat trip on Lake Pichola and visiting the Lake Palace on an island in the centre. You will also slow the pace with a guided walking tour of the Old City absorbing its old-world charm, fairytale architecture and the busy bazaar that sells everything from clay pots to red chillis. Enjoy an art class practising the Jal Sanjhi method – where you paint the deity Lord Krishna on water, rather than canvas, then let the kids have a run around on the lush lawns of the Royal Gardens. For something different, take a guided cycle ride into the countryside for a picnic breakfast to beat the heat of the day and see rural morning routines. Your last experience will be a cookery lesson and dinner with a local family before you enjoy some final pool time at the hotel. Begin the journey home with an internal flight to Delhi and onwards to home.

“Finish on a high in Udaipur, staying in an opulent palace that overlooks the lake.”

STAY: TAJ FATEH PRAKASH PALACE

For your last stay in Rajasthan, enjoy a touch of luxury at Taj Prakesh Palace, located on the banks of shimmering Lake Pichola. Part of the royal residence of the 16th century City Palace, the design is rich and opulent and the infinity pool overlooking the lake is a sublime spot. Stay in a Palace room which has traditional arched windows which frame views of Jagmandir Island.