Duration: 16 days / 15 nights
Rajasthan Agra and Varanasi Tour Destinations: Delhi / Mandava / Bikaner / Deshnoke / Kheechan / Jaisalmer / Khuri / Osiyan / Jodhpur / Ranakpur / Udaipur / Pushkar / Ranthambore / Jaipur / Bharatpur / Fatehpur Sikri / Agra / Varanasi / Delhi
Rajasthan Agra and Varanasi Tour - Day 1: Arrival in Delhi
On your arrival at the international airport in Delhi, you will be received by me personally or by a representative of Popular India Vacations and helped to check into your hotel. Relax and stay overnight at the hotel.
Rajasthan Agra and Varanasi Tour - Day 2: Delhi - Mandawa
After breakfast we leave for Mandawa. On the way we halt at Bagar for lunch and visit the Piramal Haveli, which has paintings of flying angels and Gods driving cars on its walls. Arrive at Mandawa in the afternoon, check into the hotel and relax. In the evening we take a tour of the mansions or painted havelis of Mandawa. The residences of rich merchants, who have migrated from the region, these houses have beautiful fresco paintings on their walls. You can also see the traditional lifestyle of the local people. Return to your hotel to stay overnight.
Rajasthan Agra and Varanasi Tour - Day 3: Mandawa - Bikaner
After breakfast we leave for Bikaner. On arrival in Bikaner, check into your hotel and relax. Later we take a tour of Bikaner, also known as the camel city. You can see camel carts, women wearing traditional clothing and men in colorful turbans on the streets of Bikaner. In the afternoon we tour the Junagarh Fort, a grand structure built in the 16th century with many defensive bastions. We also see the Jain temples at Bandeshwar and the Deshnoke Temple, where rats are considered holy and worshipped. Return to your hotel to stay overnight.
Rajasthan Agra and Varanasi Tour - Day 4: Bikaner - Jaisalmer
After breakfast we leave for Jaisalmer. On the way we stop at Kheechan, a village famous for the winter nesting grounds of thousands of cranes and other migratory birds. The local villagers feed the birds that come to Kheechan, ensuring that they return every year. You can see thousands of birds at Kheechan in winter, on tours with Rajasthan India Travel. On arrival at Jaisalmer, check into your hotel and refresh yourself. Then go for a drive to see the sunset over the sand dunes near Jaisalmer. Return to your hotel to stay overnight.
Rajasthan Agra and Varanasi Tour - Day 5: Jaisalmer
After breakfast leave for a daylong tour of Jaisalmer and see the beautiful Sonar Fort, with its golden walls rising from the edge of the desert. In the Jaisalmer Fort you will see beautiful mansions or havelis with balconies and windows covered by fine carved screens. There are many beautiful havelis along the narrow lanes in Jaisalmer town, which has medieval ambience. The Gadisar Lake and museum nearby are also places to visit on tours to Jaisalmer. Later take a trip to the sand dunes at Khuri, 50 Km from Jaisalmer to see the stark beauty of the Rajasthan desert. Return to your hotel to stay overnight.
Rajasthan Agra and Varanasi Tour - Day 6: Jaisalmer - Jodhpur
After breakfast leave Jodhpur. On the way we visit Osiyan, an oasis in the desert with many beautiful Hindu and Jain temples. Arrive at Jodhpur, check into your hotel and refresh yourself. Then we begin a tour of Jodhpur. See the majestic Mehrangarh Fort, one of the largest forts in India. Within the fort there are beautiful palaces, and a display of royal arms and artifacts. Visit the Jaswant Thada or royal cenotaphs in the Umaid Public Gardens and tour the magnificent Umaid Bhawan Palace, which has a heritage museum. Relax at your hotel or go shopping in the evening. Stay overnight at your hotel in Jodhpur.
Rajasthan Agra and Varanasi Tour - Day 7: Jodhpur - Udaipur
After breakfast we leave for Udaipur. On the way we visit the Ranakpur Temples, one of the largest groups of Jain Temples in India. The most famous temples at Ranakpur are the Chaumukha, Neminath and Parashnath Temples. Arrive in Udaipur and check into the hotel, where you stay overnight.
Rajasthan Agra and Varanasi Tour - Day 8: Udaipur
After breakfast leave for a daylong tour of Udaipur. See the City Palace, a grand palace with beautiful architecture, the Jagdish Temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, and the folk art museum with a colorful collection of puppets, musical instruments and paintings.
In the evening you can wander through the city or take an optional boat ride on Lake Pichola and see the fabulous lake palaces of Udaipur, the Jag Mandir Palace and the Jag Niwas Palace now known as the Taj Lake Palace, where you can enjoy your dinner in a regal ambience. Return to your hotel to stay overnight.
Rajasthan Agra and Varanasi Tour - Day 9: Udaipur
In the morning we leave for the pilgrimage destination of Pushkar. Arrive in Pushkar in the afternoon and check into your hotel. In the evening we visit Pushkar Lake, and tour the temples in Pushkar including the Brahma Temple, which is the only Brahma Temple in India. The Pushkar Lake is considered a very holy spot by Hindu's and pilgrims come to bathe at this holy lake on auspicious days. Return to your hotel to stay overnight.
Rajasthan Agra and Varanasi Tour - Day 10: Udaipur - Ranthambore
After breakfast we leave for Ranthambore. Arrive in the afternoon, check into your hotel and relax. Later you can explore your surroundings and visit the nearby town of Sawai Madhopur, known for its handicrafts and paintings. Return to your hotel to stay overnight.
Rajasthan Agra and Varanasi Tour - Day 11: Ranthambore National Park - Jaipur
Early morning we leave for the Ranthambore National Park where you can enjoy a thrilling jeep safari. The Ranthambore National Park is one of the best places to see tigers in India. The tigers of Ranthambore can be seen in the scrub jungle, near the lakes and resting in the shade of the monuments, in Ranthambore National Park. Apart from tigers you can also see deer, leopards, monkeys, squirrels, mongoose, wild boar, crocodiles and many species of birds, on your safari tour at Ranthambore National Park with Popular India Vacations.
Return to your hotel for refreshment. Then we leave for Jaipur. Arrive in Jaipur check into your hotel and relax. In the evening you can enjoy walking through the streets and colorful markets of Jaipur, where many kinds of handicraft items, textiles, pottery and artifacts are sold.
Rajasthan Agra and Varanasi Tour - Day 12: Jaipur
After breakfast we leave for a daylong city tour of Jaipur. In the well planned Pink City of Jaipur built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh you will see the beautiful facade of the Hawa Mahal palace, the City Palace which also contains a museum, the Jantar Mantar astronomical observatory and take a trip to Amer Fort, 11 Km from Jaipur where you can enjoy an elephant ride to Amer Fort. Within the fort there are many palaces and royal buildings. Return to your hotel to stay overnight.
Rajasthan Agra and Varanasi Tour - Day 13: Jaipur - Agra
After breakfast we leave Jaipur for Agra On the way we stop at Deeg Palace, the summer retreat of the royal family of Bharatpur. We also stop at the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, a famous wildlife reserve in India where you can see thousands of birds nesting in the trees in the Bharatpur National Park. We then proceed to Fatehpur Sikri, a beautiful city built by Emperor Akbar but later abandoned. There are many grand monuments in Fatehpur Sikri, including a large mosque - the Jama Masjid, a beautiful palace - the Panch Mahal, and a grand gateway - the Buland Darwaza. Arrive in Agra in the evening and check into your hotel, where you will stay overnight.
Rajasthan Agra and Varanasi Tour - Day 14: Agra - Varanasi
Rise early and visit the Taj Mahal at 6:00 a.m. See the breathtaking sight of the Taj Mahal, along with the sunrise. The early morning light is perfect for taking photographs of this beautiful monument in white marble. The best example of Islamic architecture in India, the Taj Mahal built by Emperor Shah Jahan for his queen Mumtaz Mahal, is a symbol of everlasting love, which you can see on tours to India with Popular India Vacations.
Return to the hotel for breakfast. After breakfast we proceed for an Agra Tour where we will see the grand Agra Fort. The Mughal Emperor Akbar built this majestic fort, with later additions by the Emperors Jahangir and Shah Jahan. Within the fort there are grand palaces, halls of private and public audience and formal gardens. Transfer to the railway station to board the train for Varanasi. Stay overnight on the train. (If you prefer to fly to Varanasi, we return to Delhi and catch the flight to Varanasi).
Rajasthan Agra and Varanasi Tour - Day 15: Varanasi
Arrive in Varanasi and check into your hotel and relax. Varanasi is a city with a history that is more than 2500 years old. Also known as Kashi, it is believed to have been founded by King Kashya in 1200 B.C. In the afternoon, take a tour of Varanasi, and see the Sarnath Temple, where Lord Buddha preached his first sermon, the Chaukhandi Stupa, the Dhamek Stupa and the 20 meter high Ashoka Pillar, set up by the Emperor Ashoka in 258 B.C. Return to your hotel and stay overnight.
Rajasthan Agra and Varanasi Tour - Day 16: Varanasi - Delhi - Departure
Early in the morning we leave for a boat ride on the River Ganges, considered sacred by Hindus. As you float past the bathing ghats, or steps leading down to the river, you can see pilgrims taking a ritual dip, chanting prayers, and offerings flowers in worship to the holy river. Smell the incense and feel the spiritual aura of the city of Varanasi, as the sun rises over the city of temples. Return the hotel for rest and refreshment. In the afternoon we leave for the airport to board the flight to Delhi. Arrive in Delhi and enjoy a city tour of Delhi. In Old Delhi you can see immense sandstone Red Fort, Jama Masjid and Qutab Minar. In New Delhi you can see the Parliament House, India Gate and Bahai Temple. Leave for the airport in the evening to board your flight to your onward destination, at the end of your Rajasthan Agra and Varanasi Tour with Popular India Vacations.