Imperial Rajasthan - Insight Vacations

Imperial Rajasthan (Luxury Gold - Summer 2017)

Duration: 14 days Visiting: India

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You are invited on this luxury heritage journey through timeless Rajasthan, where Maharajahs built forts and lavish palaces towering over desert cities. Many of these palaces have been converted into modern hotels, making India one of the few places in the world where you can still truly live like a king.

• Stay at the Taj Lake Palace, set in a majestic location on Lake Pichola with captivating views of Udaipur and the surrounding Aravalli Mountains

• Savour a delicious dinner, prepared over hot coals at a lamp-lit camp at the Kanoi sand dunes

• For the complete cultural experience, be welcomed into the local people's homes during your village safari in Jodhpur

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  1. Day 1

    Your Journey Begins

    Board your overnight flight (please ask about our great deals).

  2. Day 2

    Delhi, a Rich Melting Pot of Old and New

    Welcome to India! On arrival at Indira Gandhi International Airport, you will be greeted with a traditional floral garland and transferred to your hotel. Join your Travelling Concierge for a Welcome Reception with a delicious meal in the evening.

  3. Day 3 - Relaxed Start

    Delhi Sightseeing

    (Relaxed Start) Enjoy a ride by rickshaw through the lanes of Chandni Chowk bazaar in Old Delhi. See the Red Fort, Qutub Minar, visit the Gandhi memorial at Raj Ghat and the Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque. Later, drive along the broad Rajpath past the India Gate and Parliament House to visit the Tomb of Humayun.

  4. Day 4

    Agra & the Taj Mahal

    On arrival in Agra, visit the lustrous Taj Mahal, a monument of love and flawless architectural creation, built by an emperor in memory of his beloved queen. Afterwards, spend time exploring the famous market - Sadar Bazaar as you make your way through the city to Agra Fort, a powerful fortress of red sandstone. After your tour through the palatial Royal Pavilions and gardens there is free time to relax. Later, walk through a village in the shadow of the Taj Mahal with one of the villagers to discover the way of life as agriculturists next to India's most famous monument. Enjoy tea and pakoras on a rooftop with exceptional views.

  5. Day 5 - Relaxed Start

    Jaipur, the 'Pink City'

    (Relaxed Start) In the morning, travel to the historic city of Bharatpur for lunch, before continuing to the ‘Pink City' of Jaipur.

  6. Day 6

    Jaipur Sightseeing

    Embark on an early morning walk through this stunning walled city. Meet with local residents to fully experience their culture, traditions and rich heritage in their homes and workshops. Ascend by jeep to the Amber Fort, with its royal halls decorated with intricate ivory, mirrors, glass and exquisite paintings. Back in Jaipur, see the 'Hawa Mahal' (The Palace of Winds) and visit the City Palace Museum and royal observatory.

  7. Day 7

    Bikaner, Camel Country with a Royal Aura

    Journey northwest to the fort town of Mandawa for lunch. Afterwards, continue to the fortified desert city of Bikaner, known for its camel festival which is celebrated on a grand scale every January. Learn all about this indispensable ship of the desert at the Camel Research and Breeding Farm before reaching your hotel.

  8. Day 8 - Relaxed Start

    The Sun City, Jaisalmer

    (Relaxed Start) Your tour of Bikaner includes the Junagarh Fort, an unassailable fortress comprising of various palaces, pavilions and a museum containing priceless art and antiques. This afternoon continue through the Great Thar Desert to the trade route town of Jaisalmer, crowned by its hilltop fortress.

  9. Day 9 - Relaxed Start

    Jaisalmer Sightseeing

    (Relaxed Start) Embark on a city tour of Jaisalmer, visiting Gadisar Lake and the Fort built in 1156 that is still in use today. Pass by the local market where you can witness desert life at its best. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure. No visit to Jaisalmer is complete without a trip into the rippling Kanoi Sand Dunes. Savour a dinner accompanied by the gentle melodies of a local musician.

  10. Day 10 - Relaxed Start

    The 'Blue City' of Jodhpur

    (Relaxed Start) Follow the ancient silk routes to the ‘Blue City' of Jodhpur and your beautiful hotel. Later, journey to Rohet and feel the very pulse of rural Rajasthan on your ‘village safari' where you are welcomed into the homes of the local Bishnoi people to share a slice of their life.

  11. Day 11 - Relaxed Start

    Explore Mehrangarh Fort

    (Relaxed Start) Visit Mehrangarh Fort set on a cliff thirty metres above the city skyline and the white marble Jaswant Thada. Experience a tuk tuk ride through the ancient winding streets before returning to your hotel, where the rest of the day is free to relax.

  12. Day 12

    Udaipur, Venice of the East

    Drive to Ranakpur, the temple town of Rajasthan. Explore the elaborate carvings and classic architecture of the sprawling Jain temples, which are regarded as perhaps the best in the country. At lunch, learn from a local chef in our included cooking demonstration. Then, continue through the undulating countryside to Udaipur, the beautiful ‘City of Lakes'.

  13. Day 13 - Relaxed Start

    Udaipur Sightseeing

    (Relaxed Start) In the morning, sightseeing includes the City Palace complex, the private residence of the ‘King of Kings'. Wander through the markets and bazaars to visit the Jagdish Temple and Garden of the Maids of the Honour. In the evening, enjoy a boat cruise on the serene waters of Lake Pichola, followed by a special Celebration Dinner with drinks.

  14. Day 14

    Depart Delhi

    Your tour draws to a close after breakfast. Check out from your hotel and transfer to the airport for your flight back to Delhi. For connecting flights in Delhi, please do not schedule flights before 21:00 from Delhi. For those taking an early morning flight home the following day, and needing to stay overnight at a hotel close to the airport, post-tour accommodation is available and you will be transferred there at the end of the tour.

Highlights

 

EXCLUSIVE INSIGHTS

  • Delhi: Enjoy a rickshaw ride through the bustling streets.
  • Agra: Visit the Taj Mahal, a monument of love, built by a king in everlasting memory of his beloved queen.
  • Agra: Accompany a local, walking through their village and learn about their way of life as an agriculturalist. Enjoy tea and pakoras from a rooftop with exceptional views. Money generated from the tour is used for sanitation in the village and education for women.
  • Jaipur: Ascend by jeep to the Amber Fort and stroll through the sprawling complex of courtyards and halls.
  • Jaipur: Embark on an early morning walk and meet the locals to fully experience their culture, traditions and rich heritage.
  • Bikaner: Learn about all things dromedary at the Camel Research and Breeding Farm.
  • Bikaner: Enjoy a visit to the Junagarh Fort.
  • Jaisalmer: Visit Garhi Sagar Lake and Fort.
  • Bishnoi: Experience rural village life with a 'jeep safari'.
  • Jodhpur: Visit Mehrangarh Fort.
  • Ranakpur: Visit the fortified Jain temple complex.
  • Udaipur: Visit the City Palace complex, a testimony to the Rajput passion for art and architecture.
  • Agra: Walk through a village in the shadow of the Taj Mahal with one of the villagers to discover the way of life as agriculturists next to India's most famous monument. Enjoy tea and pakoras on a rooftop with exceptional views. Money generated from the tour is used for sanitation in the village and education for women.

ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Delhi: Take a rickshaw ride through the Chandni Chowk Bazaar. See the Red Fort. Visit Raj Ghat. See Qutub Minar. Drive along the Rajpath. See India Gate and Parliament House. Visit the Humayun Tomb.
  • Agra: Group picture taken at the Taj Mahal.
  • Jaipur: See the Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) and visit the City Palace Museum and Jantar Mantar.
  • Udaipur: Visit the Jagdish Temple and Garden of the Maids of the Honour.

EPICUREAN DINING

  • Delhi: Join your Travelling Concierge for a Welcome Reception and dinner.
  • Jaisalmer: As the sun sets over the Kanoi Sand Dunes, be entranced by the traditional musicians welcoming you to this magical evening. Under the stars, a traditional feast is prepared for you in a truly unique environment.
  • Udaipur: Showcasing the best of Indian cuisine, our mouth-watering dinner with drinks is the perfect environment to celebrate your time in India.
  • Ranakpur: Learn the kitchen secrets of the chef of one of Ranakpur's finest hotels in our cooking demonstration of local specialities and lunch.
  • 12 Buffet Breakfasts (BB), 1 Afternoon Tea (AT) and 3 Lunches (L); plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 1 Highlight Dinner (HD) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, beer or soft-drinks. 18 Dec: This departure has a Christmas Highlight Dinner included

OUTSTANDING HOTELS

  • Delhi: Set in the heart of bustling Gurgaon, the beautiful gardens, courtyards and reflection pools of the Trident fill you with a sense of calm, before retreating to your luxurious and stylish room.
  • Jaisalmer: Situated close to the Thar Desert, the magnificent Suryagarh is testimony to the pomp and panoply of Rajputana, juxtaposed with every modern convenience.
  • Udaipur: Stay at the Taj Lake Palace hotel, a floating vision in marble emerging from Lake Pichola.

INCLUSIVE LUXURY GOLD SERVICES

  • Be escorted by the crème de la crème of Insight Travelling Concierges - handpicked for every departure. This skilled guide will act as consummate organiser and be your 'friend in a foreign land'.
  • Enjoy the unique comfort of Insight’s luxury air-conditioned coach with on-board restroom. It's Business Class comfort, complete with complimentary bottled water for you to enjoy during your luxury coaching tour. (Alternate coaches and vehicles, without on-board facilities or 40 seats, may be used on occasion).
  • At every hotel, you'll be treated to seamless baggage handling with prompt delivery to inside your door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. Plus, we include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • With Insight Flourishes, from time to time, your Tour Director will enchant you with local tidbits, each representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
  • Airport transfers to and from your hotel are included.

Accommodation

 

Trident Gurgaon New Delhi

New Delhi (Central) - India

Trident, Gurgaon is located in the central business district of Gurgaon, a part of the New Delhi National Capital Region. The Hotel is set amongst 7 acres of landscaped gardens, walkways, courtyards, reflection pools and fountains.

Jaypee Palace Agra

Agra (Central) - India

Complimentary Wifi

The regal Jaypee Palace Hotel and Convention Centre, a glorious structural blend of red sandstone and marble is spread over an unbounded 25 acres of elegantly landscaped luxuriant greenery. Sprinkled with enormous water bodies and endless walkways, this magical creation impeccably blends Mughal and contemporary architecture with modern amenities.

Le Meridien Hotel Jaipur

Jaipur (Scenic) - India

Complimentary Wifi

Le Meridien, Jaipur, five star deluxe hotel, located just 3.5 miles from Amber Fort, Le Méridien Jaipur promises a memorable stay characterized by an unrivalled assortment of services.

Laxmi Niwas Palace Bikaner

Bikaner (Scenic) - India

Complimentary Wifi

Laxmi Niwas Palace, Bikaner

Suryagarh Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer (Scenic) - India

Complimentary Wifi

Suryagarh, a luxury boutique hotel is truly unique and an escape from the everyday. Architecturally pure and true to an ancient craft, this magnificent hotel offers its guests a wonderful sense of space.

Welcomhotel Jodhpur

Jodhpur (Scenic) - India

Welcomhotel, Jodhpur

Taj Lake Palace Udaipur

Udaipur (Scenic) - India

Taj Lake Palace Udaipur, a five-star deluxe Living Palace and member of Leading Small Hotels of the World, is a resplendent palace, an island unto itself. The Vintage coupé glides to a stop at the lake’s edge. It’s hard to believe the floating vision in marble is real. Blink, and indeed, there is a luminous palace emerging from the mist. Each room and suite in the palace is distinctly designed to capture a different mood and period. Mosaics, exquisite artifacts, and other fine embellishments punctuate opulent silks, richly coloured frescoes and ornately carved furniture.

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  • 5 out of 5

    Trip of a lifetime

    3/6/2017 Duane Pederson, Calgary, Canada

    We had a great trip. We had an outstanding tour guide by the name of Virendra Kohli. He was very knowledgeable, unflappable and answered all questions thoroughly. His pride for his country was always on display. We also had a great group of people. Everyone got along very well. The only suggestion that I would make is to decrease the number of palaces such that on at least a couple of days one could arrive back at the hotel a little earlier - 4:30 vs 6:30 PM or later. The hotels we stayed at were outstanding however we had very little time to really enjoy them. Hats off to Insight. Thanks, Duane

    6 out of 6 people found this comment useful

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  • 1 out of 5

    Imperial Rajasthan

    8/28/2015 Patrick Wickenhauser, Regina (SK), Canada

    In this part of the world, there are a lot of historical monuments (temples, palaces, forts, castles) and they are all very important to each city or area that has one. Even though we really like to experience the local culture, too much of anything gets to be exhausting. Finding that balance in tour activity is always the challenge. We felt that this tour was very well-balanced and interesting. Our Tour Director's sense of humor added a lot to the enjoyment of our experience. He gave us a wide panorama of life in India and that is exactly what we came for.

    9 out of 22 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Great Indian Tour Guide

    3/8/2015 Cary Allen, Bligh Park, Australia

    I would like to congratulate Insight Tours for providing us with a most enjoyable tour of Rajasthan India and in particular with providing us with the most informative,pleasant and friendly tour guide Ravi Shanker Tiwani. Ravi made the tour one of the best overseas tours that we have been on . During the tour our tour guide was subjected to personal abuse from a most obnoxious and abusive American person whose main pupose was to complain and object to anything and everthing from the type of coach, seating, hotels, roads and crowds at all the locations visited on the itinerary.. Despite this abuse and this individual's complaint,Ravi continued to be very courteous,friendly, informative and professional to ALL members of our tour group.

    29 out of 29 people found this comment useful

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  • 4 out of 5

    Amazing

    2/22/2015 Norma Walker, Banksia Beach, Australia

    We have just returned from our tip to Rajasthan. What an experience.India is a place of extreme poverty and immense wealth. Do go with an open mind and remember its not Australia. Our tour guide was both efficient and had a wonderful knowledge of the customs and culture. Our coach driver, what can I say amazing amazing. Not once did I feel afraid driving down narrow narrow streets, over roads that we would say only suitable for a four wheel drive.Th hotels were of an excellent standard. The Trident Hotel in Delhi and the Leela Palace in Udaipur were fantastic. Staff were warm, efficient and the attention to detail was wonderful.Would recommend this tour but be aware there are an awful lot of steps.All in all a wonderful time was head by my husband and I.

    19 out of 20 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Imperial Rajahstan

    1/30/2014 Richard Gray, Christchurch, New Zealand

    The tour through Rajahstan was a marvellous experience. The accommodation throughout was varied in style but always excellent - the highlight accommodation for me was the palace accommodation. The bus was well equipped and very comfortable the driver and his assistant ensure we travelled safely and that the bus was always in top condition. Our guide Devender contributed immensely to the unforgettable trip. He was always there to assist and provided much "insightful" information that made our travels all the more meaningful. I also enjoyed the various side trips and activities we had that included the camel ride in the desert, the rickshaw ride in Old Delhi. the boat ride in Udaipur and the trip to the local farm and village out of Jodphur. The meals included in the tour were excellent and we ate lunch at some superb palaces. I cannot recommend this trip highly enough. Whilst we travelled in great comfort we were still able to experience India first hand. Thank you to Insight, Devender and his team.

    49 out of 52 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Imperial Rajasthan tour Dec 2013

    1/10/2014 Julle Lindsay, Kippa-Ring, Australia

    We had just returned home from an Insight tour of Spain/Portugal and Morocco when we read a highly favourable review of this tour and decided we could squeeze in one more trip before Christmas. We are really pleased that we did !!!! Our tour director (Devender)did a remarkable job making sure that the whole group had a fantastic experience of India - we went half expecting to be underwhelmed but the reality was the total opposite. It was a stunning assault on the senses in so many ways, some of them sad, but we will remember our time there forever. We were fortunate to travel in a relatively small group so there was even more room on the coach than usual. An added bonus for us was the ability of the tour director to provide detailed information about all the sights we visited without the need for 'local guides'. All in all a tremendously rewarding experience and one we would highly recommend to anyone who was thinking of a trip to India but was a little unsure whether to take the plunge !!!

    48 out of 50 people found this comment useful

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