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Real Rajasthan

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Real Rajasthan

Was From $ 895 AUD
Now From $ 850 AUD
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Description

If you’re looking for an authentic slice of the real Rajasthan, this epic 16-day adventure through India is all you could ask for. Camp under the starry night sky in between desert sand dunes, explore Jodhpur’s markets, learn how to cook your new favourite dishes with a cooking class in Udaipur, traverse Pushkar’s bazaars and Jaipur’s temples and witness the Taj Mahal in the morning light – you can tick that Wonder of the World off the bucket list! With all of this and more, India will definitely exceed all expectations. Get ready for tasty feeds, chaotic streets and enough sensory stimulation to last a lifetime.

Trip Name
Real Rajasthan
Last Updated
2024-04-14
Days
16
Capacity
16
Highlights
  • Prepare yourself for one very memorable night out in the Thar Desert, where you’ll share a feast at sunset and bunk down to camp between the sand dunes under a blanket of desert stars.
  • Witness one of the Seven Wonders of the World – the Taj Mahal – bathed in the morning light. Take your time here, taking in the majesty of this manmade wonder and learn all there is to know from a local guide.
  • Sit down and feast your eyes on an optional Bollywood blockbuster in the coolest cinema in the country – the stylish Raj Mandir Cinema in Jaipur.
  • Experience an authentic Indian market at Jodhpur’s Sadar Bazaar – practice your haggling skills and make sure you bring an extra empty bag for all the trinkets you'll find at one of India’s oldest markets.
  • See Delhi from a new perspective on a bicycle rickshaw ride through the chaotic streets of this epic city. Take in the beauty of Jama Masjid and rub shoulders with the locals in Sheeshganj Gurudwara, where all are welcome despite religion, caste or gender.
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll learn about our Intrepid Foundation partner, Positive Change for Marine Life. Donations help them to nurture ocean health with community-led conservation initiatives that inspire coastal restoration, sustainable fishing practices and waste-management. Intrepid will double the impact by dollar-matching all post-trip donations made to The Intrepid Foundation.

Itinerary

ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It's important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, political unrest or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. Your group leader or local representative will keep you up to date with any such changes once your trip is underway. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance fees only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your group leader or local representative know you are interested at the Welcome Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and group leader or local representative are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

Day 1 - Delhi
Namaste! Welcome to India. Your adventure begins in Delhi – the capital territory of India – with a welcome meeting at 6 pm tonight. If you arrive early, why not hit the streets and try and get into the Delhi flow of life? If you’re a history buff, there’s the 14th-century Humayun's Tomb or 11th-century Qutub Minar to explore. There’s also the former residence of royal families and British soldiers – the mighty Red Fort. After your meeting, maybe continue the introductions over an optional group dinner. Ask your leader for local favourites for a plate of chicken tikka masala or vegetarian curry (with naan bread, obviously) or head out to explore the nightlife.
Day 2 - Delhi - Jaisalmer
Rise and shine nice and early this morning as you embark on an epic journey through the heart of India, trading the hustle and bustle of Delhi for the enchanting desert landscapes of Jaisalmer. You'll spend most of today travelling and will arrive into Jaisalmer late this evening. Today is a great opportunity to get to know your new travel mates over a game of cards and trade stories with the locals. Train travel in India isn't a luxury express; it's a gritty, authentic adventure. Grab a seat, enjoy the ever-changing views, and roll into Jaisalmer with a story to tell and a newfound appreciation for the vastness of India. All aboard!
Day 3 - Thar Desert
Spend today exploring the amazing desert oasis of Jaisalmer – a former medieval trading centre that sort of looks like a giant sandcastle. This afternoon, chuck your essentials in an overnight bag, then hop in a jeep to ride out to tonight’s camp in style – preferably with a scarf wrapped around your face. Traverse the sweeping dunes of the Thar Desert as you say thanks to your driver. Then, help set up camp while the guides get the fire started and ready for your vegetarian campfire feast, which includes chapati, dal, rice and veggies. You’ll be sleeping out in the open tonight, with mattresses, pillows, sheets and blankets provided. There’s no need for a tent – you wouldn’t want to miss the incredible starry sky!
Day 4 - Thar Desert - Jaisalmer
The crack of dawn is your wake-up call this morning – don’t worry, it's worth it! You'll soon see that not much can match up to a desert sunrise. After a simple breakfast and a morning display of light and colour, climb back into your jeep and return to the city. Jaisalmer is a centre for nomadic tribespeople who come to trade in the narrow alleys. Enjoy some free time when you arrive to explore at your own pace. Maybe visit the Jaisalmer Folklore Museum – on the banks of Garsisar Lake in the Mehar Bagh Garden, its wide variety of exhibits offers a great experience.
Day 5 - Jaisalmer
Enjoy a free day to explore Jaisalmer further. Discover the city’s twisted alleys, full of markets and ornately carved houses. Track down some dazzling Rajasthani fabrics to spice up your wardrobe, marvel at the spectacular facades of the Patwa ki Haveli and Salim Singh-ki-Haveli, or maybe just get walking in the maze of paths and soak up the atmosphere. After a big day of exploring, find a good spot on one of the fort's 99 bastions and watch the sunset into the desert.
Day 6 - Jodhpur
Travel by train across the desert to one of Rajasthan's largest cities – Jodhpur. Today's a long travel day, so ensure you’ve got your playlists and road trip games primed and a good book ready. Jodhpur is known for its antique shops and the best lassi in India, so there’s plenty to look forward to. When you arrive, maybe head out for a pyaaz kachori (a fried pastry with spicy onion filling) or some shahi samosas.
Day 7 - Jodhpur
This morning, get ready to bargain at Sadar Bazaar – one of the oldest markets in India. Built around a clock tower, it’s packed with spice and vegetable markets, juice sellers and sari materials. Whatever you’re into, you’ll probably be able to grab it here – there are numerous vendors with carts selling everything from Bollywood soundtracks to armfuls of sparkling bangles. And don’t miss the street snacks! From the chaos of the market, head to the colossal Mehrangarh Fort, which sits up on a hill looking over the town. Take in the great views from its ramparts, which dominate the city's skyline. This is probably the best preserved of all of Rajasthan’s hundreds of forts and gives you a great idea of what life would’ve been like as a royal. Then, head to the nearby Bishnoi villages for your unique homestay experience – this is home to a peaceful nature-loving community, and no trip to this region is complete without experiencing the fascinating traditions of the tribespeople of rural Rajasthan.
Day 8 - Udaipur
Chat away with the locals on a bus to Udaipur this morning – there’s no doubt that this place lives up to its rep as India’s most romantic city. Rolling hills, white marble palaces and lakes come together beautifully, and it’s a place where artists, dancers and musicians perfect their craft. The shopping is also superb, with miniature paintings the speciality, if you’re looking for a souvenir. When you hop off the bus, walk around town to get your bearings. Explore Udaipur's twisting alleys filled with silver, shoes, bags, leather goods and paintings. The rest of the afternoon is yours to explore how you wish.
Day 9 - Udaipur
Today, enjoy loads of free time to explore Udaipur. Maybe head out on a half-hour boat ride on the famous Lake Pichola and see marvels like Lake Palace and Jag Mandir Island. You could check out the City Palace, one of the largest royal palaces in India, and see the unbelievable treasures within – from vivid murals to antiques and royal utensils. Feeling peckish? Join the famous Spice Box cooking school and spend a half-day learning the secrets of Indian cuisine. With lessons on preparation and cooking, you'll whip up a full Indian meal in no time!
Day 10 - Pushkar
Hop on a train this morning after breakfast, to the city of Ajmer – maybe chat to the locals as the chai wallahs make their way down the carriages. Then, transfer to a private vehicle to your hotel in Pushkar – one of India’s holiest places (and in such a spiritual country, that’s saying something), Pushkar is a market centre for many of the local village people and a great place to sit back and relax. Head out to explore Pushkar's main bazaar and many side streets with your leader – this is home to some of the cheapest clothes and jewellery in northern India, so if you need a new pair of pants or a gift to bring home, this is the spot! After, walk around the lake, with its bustling ghats and temples, to watch the devout as they worship at the holy waters.
Day 11 - Pushkar
Early risers can make the sunrise hike up the hill to the Savitri Temple this morning, for magical views over the town. There could also be a wonderful steaming glass of chai waiting for you if the chai man is there – certainly well worth the trek! You can also stop at the colourful Brahma Temple – one of the very few existing temples dedicated to the Hindu god Brahma. It’s said that the god has so few places of worship thanks to a curse laid down by Brahma’s consort, Saraswati.
Day 12 - Jaipur
Travel to the Pink City of Jaipur today – the streets of this earthy red town are busy with camels, motorbikes and rickshaws, and you’ll walk past traditionally dressed Rajputs while monkeys climb wires overhead. Haggle to your heart's content in Jaipur's bazaars and backstreets, filled with textiles, semi-precious gems and blue pottery. Drop by one of India’s finest palaces – the Royal City Palace – a gorgeous complex with various courtyard gates, fascinating museums and impressively moustachioed guards. Tonight, you might want to experience the cinema like never before with an extravagant Bollywood blockbuster at the stylish Raj Mandir Cinema – there’s usually romance, drama and music all rolled into one.
Day 13 - Jaipur
For anyone that wants to see the Pink City a bit differently this morning, there’s the option to drift high over Jaipur in a hot air balloon – a highlight for many visitors. With your free time, maybe drop by Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds) – the impressive five-storey facade with pink, honeycombed windows make it the most photographed building in the country after the Taj Mahal. Then, head out to the old capital of Amber and explore the hilltop fort complex known as the Amber Fort. The Sheesh Mahal inside the fort is a must-see, as the walls are completely covered in little mirrors and the hall illuminates with the light of a single match! If you like, you can hit the streets for raj kachori chaat (a big fluffy chaat served with chutney, yoghurt, chilli and potato). This afternoon, maybe cool off with a lassi from Lassiwala on MI road – Jaipur's oldest and most famous lassi shop.
Day 14 - Agra
Head east by public bus to Agra – home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World. When you arrive, you’ll head to the most iconic sight in India. It doesn’t matter who you are – the Taj Mahal will exceed all your expectations when the morning light shimmers off its white marble surface. Take your time soaking up the majesty of this wonder, learn all about its history from a local guide and make sure to grab your epic Instagram shot. After, maybe jump on a motorised rickshaw to pick out the rest of the city’s monuments, like Akbar's Mausoleum – a beautiful sandstone and marble tomb built for the greatest of the Mughal emperors.
Day 15 - Agra - Delhi
This morning, you might want to return to the Taj Mahal for an incredible sunrise. Then you’ll hop on a train back to Delhi. Head out on a walking tour around the commercial heart of Delhi, visiting Chandni Chowk (Sheeshganj Gurudwara) and Connaught Place along the way. Explore Old Delhi on a bicycle rickshaw to dig that little bit deeper and visit Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib – one of the oldest and most iconic Sikh shrines in Delhi – and try your hand at making chapatis in the community kitchen. This shrine is visited by devotees regularly, and everyone is welcome here, regardless of their religion or gender. Tonight, why not grab a quiet drink with your group and cheers to a trip well-travelled.
Day 16 - Delhi
End things on a sweet note this morning with a taste of your new favourite treats – sandesh, rosogolla and chanar payesh. There are no further activities planned for today and your trip comes to an end. If you’d like to extend your stay, just speak to your booking agent.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
08-07-202423-07-2024AUD $ 895-
12-08-202427-08-2024AUD $ 850-
09-09-202424-09-2024AUD $ 930-
07-10-202422-10-2024AUD $ 930-
21-10-202405-11-2024AUD $ 940-
04-11-202419-11-2024AUD $ 965-
18-11-202403-12-2024AUD $ 965-
09-12-202424-12-2024AUD $ 965-
22-12-202406-01-2025AUD $ 965-
06-01-202521-01-2025AUD $ 940-
20-01-202504-02-2025AUD $ 975-
10-02-202525-02-2025AUD $ 975-
24-02-202511-03-2025AUD $ 1,010-
17-03-202501-04-2025AUD $ 1,010-
15-04-202530-04-2025AUD $ 975-
23-06-202508-07-2025AUD $ 940-
21-07-202505-08-2025AUD $ 940-
18-08-202502-09-2025AUD $ 940-
15-09-202530-09-2025AUD $ 940-
06-10-202521-10-2025AUD $ 975-
27-10-202511-11-2025AUD $ 1,010-
03-11-202518-11-2025AUD $ 1,010-
17-11-202502-12-2025AUD $ 1,010-
24-11-202509-12-2025AUD $ 1,010-
15-12-202530-12-2025AUD $ 975-
29-12-202513-01-2026AUD $ 975-

Accommodation

Hotel (5 nights),Guesthouse (5 nights),Camping (basic facilities) (1 night),Heritage Property (4 nights)

Transport

Private vehicle,Public bus,Overnight sleeper train,Train

Map