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The Golden Triangle is a great starting point for anyone visiting India for the first time. The journey is made up of three of the most visited cities in north India – Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, offering a fantastic combination of history and culture.
Only after stepping foot in India will you realise that Indian cuisine, as you know it, just doesn’t exist. To paint both the delicate and punchy flavours of India with the same broad brushstroke overlooks the smorgasbord of dishes on offer from north to south. Tried and tested recipes balance coriander, cumin and cardamom with almost scientific precision, guaranteeing a culinary experience you will never forget.
Enjoy a sneak peek into daily life in India by staying at a haveli or in a homestay. If only for a few nights, you will be shoehorned into a family, enjoying traditional Indian hospitality, sampling home cooked food and exploring the path less travelled. Staying at one of these unique lodgings will give you an incredible insight into real India, and you will be welcomed with open arms by hosts whose wealth of local knowledge knows no bounds. Coming in all shapes and sizes, from plantation bungalows to historic houses, majestic forts and charming cottages, a short stay in one of these unique properties allows you to immerse yourself in India rather than simply visit it.
India is a magical country which welcomes travellers with a chaotic and colourful assault on the senses. Never is this more prominent than during one of the many festivals. Below we have listed the dates for the major festivals in India. Speak to one of our specialists about incorporating one of these into a tailor-made itinerary.
With millions of passengers on the move every day, travelling on some 71,000 miles of track, India's intricate network of railways are the arteries of the country, connecting its bustling cities with its sleepy villages and everywhere in between. The sprawling rail network reaches the nooks and crannies of India which are otherwise impossible to find. Amongst the country's miles of train tracks are some of the most picturesque rail journeys in the world, most notable of which are its famed toy trains. Whilst perhaps not the most efficient way of getting from A to B, the experience is an absolute must to add to your India itinerary.
Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Barli, Jodhpur, Narlai, Udaipur
Best for: Culture History, Highlights, Spectacular scenery
Discover Rajasthan’s essential highlights on this diverse and good value itinerary. Explore culture rich cities, iconic landmarks, and rural villages whilst staying at some simple yet characterful boutique accommodation.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8916
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Experience the diversity of India’s colourful desert state on this 14 night essential Rajasthan journey. It features Rajasthan’s major cities alongside some hidden rural gems and a few delights outside of the state, including India’s bustling capital city and a visit to the Taj Mahal at dawn. After exploring the cultural delights of Delhi, the trip takes you south to the visit Agra and the Taj Mahal before travelling to Rajasthan’s glimmering capital of Jaipur. From Jaipur, the journey through Rajasthan’s major cities of Jodhpur and Udaipur are broken up with visits to the ancient villages of Barli and Narlai, offering a great insight into local life in rural Rajasthan. We have included some wonderful boutique havelis, traditional homestays and heritage properties along the way, offering a great deal of charm and a wonderfully authentic Indian experience.
Days 1 - 3 : New Delhi, India
Stay at The Metropolitan for 2 nights
Your journey begins in India’s vibrant capital city of Delhi. Upon arrival, you will be met by one of our representatives and transferred to The Metropolitan, a bright and comfortable hotel in the colonial heart of New Delhi. We then suggest a relaxing afternoon settling into your hotel, however if you wish to explore, a guided tour of Delhi’s magnificent Garden Tombs and the Lodi Gardens can be arranged. Your first full day in India will be spent discovering Delhi’s cultural and historic highlights with a private guide. Spend the morning visiting the vibrant and bustling Bazaars of Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi, before spending the afternoon exploring the attractions of New Delhi including Humayun’s Tomb and the Qutb Minar minaret.
Day 3 - 4 : Agra, India
Stay at Coral Tree Homestay for 1 night
The following day you will be transferred to Delhi’s train station in time to catch a two hour train south to Agra, home of the Taj Mahal. You will be spending one night at Coral Tree, a warm and welcoming homestay just a stone’s throw from the Taj Mahal’s Eastern Gate. Spend that day exploring some highlights of Agra including Agra Fort and Mehtab Bagh, a grand park that enjoys spectacular views of the Taj Mahal across the Yamuna River. The following morning is an early start as you head to the Taj Mahal in time for sun rise. The sight of the Taj Mahal bathed in hues of orange and pink at dawn is an unforgettable sight, and you avoid the crowds that come later in the day.
Days 4 - 7 : Jaipur, India
Stay at Khandela Haveli for 3 nights
From Agra, it is approximately a four hour drive to Jaipur, Rajasthan’s rose-tinted capital. Upon arrival, you will be taken to check-in at the delightful heritage hotel of Khandela Haveli. The following day, enjoy a tour of the city with a private specialist guide, including the historic City Palace, Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), the Jantar Mantar observatory, and the bazaars of the old city. Your second day in Jaipur takes you to enjoy some more hidden delights as you enjoy a guided walk to the settlement of the Meena Tribe, before ascending the Aravalli Hills on a historic path. The path offers spectacular views of Jaipur’s magnificent Amber fort, which you will then visit later that afternoon.
Days 7 - 9 : Barli, India
Stay at Fort Barli for 2 nights
From Jaipur, you will be driven approximately five hours to the rural village of Barli. Spend the next two nights at Fort Barli, a converted 16th century fort that still retains much of its original charm. Your time in Barli is free to spend how you wish. We would suggest taking some time to explore the village, interacting with local people and visiting pottery artists alongside relaxing by the hotel’s pool. Fort Barli also offers a popular bullock cart safari through the village and its colourful markets.
Days 9 - 11 : Jodhpur, Rajasthan
Stay at Ratan Vilas for 2 nights
Leaving rural Rajasthan behind, you will be driven one hour to Jodhpur, home of the mighty Mehrangarh Fort. That afternoon, enjoy a walking tour of Jodhpur’s ‘Blue City’, a large section of the old town awash with blue coloured buildings. Visit the bustling bazaars, stroll down winding lanes and observe some local craftsmen. The following day will be spent on a private guided tour of the city’s most notable attractions, including the Mehrangarh Fort, the Jaswant Thada royal cenotaph and the silver and textile markets near the clock tower. Whilst exploring the delights of Jodhpur, you will be staying at Ratan Vilas, a fabulously restored heritage property just outside of the city.
Day 11 - 12 : Narlai
Stay at Rawla Narlai for 1 night
On the morning of day 11, you will be driven approximately two and a half hours to the 15th century village of Narlai. Spend one night at the small heritage hotel of Rawla Narlai, a great accommodation option for enjoying the simple delights of rural Rajasthan. That afternoon and the following morning are free to spend how you wish. We would recommend exploring the beauty of the local surroundings, enjoying walking tours, horse-riding safaris and exploring the local village to gain and insight into rural life that has largely remained untouched for centuries.
Days 12 - 15 : Udaipur, India
Stay at Madri Haveli for 3 nights
From Narlai, it is a two hour drive to the ‘Lake City’ of Udaipur. Located at the foot of the Aravalli hills and set around the tranquil waters of Lake Pichola, Udaipur is the perfect place to relax and unwind for a few days at the end of your trip. Spend your first day in Udaipur enjoying a guided tour of the city, visiting highlights including the City Palace, Saheliyon-ki-bari and Jagdish Temple. The following day, explore Udaipur’s beautiful countryside on a rural cycling trip, before visiting a rare sword making family to learn about the delicate and ancient art of Koftgari. In Udaipur, you will be staying at Madri Haveli, a vibrant hotel located in the heart of Udaipur’s old town. The following morning sees your Rajasthan journey come to an end as you are driven to Udaipur’s airport in time to board your flight back home via Delhi.
This is just one idea.
We have endless ideas on holidays to India and are experts at designing unique holidays tailored specifically to you. Call us on 020 3141 2850 to talk through your ideas and let’s see what we come up with. It’s what we do best.
When to go
Rajasthan is known as the desert state. It is largely hot and dry throughout the year, making it a great destination to get away from European winters.
Summer in Rajasthan extends from April to June. It is the hottest season, with temperatures ranging from 32 degrees C to 45 degree C, so not ideal for travel, although early April is a good time to get cheaper rates if you dont mind the temperature in the high 30s. In western Rajasthan the temperature may reach at high as 45 degrees C, particularly in May and June so we'd suggest avoiding Jaisalmer and the Thar Desert at this time.
The second season - technically the "Monsoon" (although in reality Rajasthan never receives much rainfall) extends from July to September. The temperature drops slightly, and humidity increases. 90% of the rain Rajasthan can expect occurs during this period. Lakes and rivers will be higher from mountain run-off and flowers and grasses come to life, bringing added colour to the landscape.
The Post-monsoon period is from October to November. The average maximum temperature is 33 degree C to 38 degree C, and the minimum is between 18 degree C and 20 degree C. The official "season" for hotels in Rajasthan starts in October. It’s a great time to travel - warm and sunny during and perfect for exploring and relaxing.
The fourth season is "winter", and runs from December to March. With day time temperatures still in the high 20's during the day this a very popular time to travel. Hotels are at the their busiest over the Christmas and new year period. Be aware though that December and January can have very cool mornings and evening and we suggest taking some warm clothing. Whilst temperatures in the desert areas are always hot in the daytime, they become some of the coolest areas of the state once the sun goes down. It’s also fairly standard to expect some fog in the major cities of Northern Rajstasthan and Delhi in December and January.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8916
From $2222 per person
All accommodation and breakfasts
Private car and guide
Ask our specialists for prices excluding flights from the UK. This price is as a guide only. The actual price is influenced by fluctuations in exchange rate, time of year, travel class of flights and the use of private versus shared excursions. Single supplements are likely to apply.