From the monuments of Delhi to the colourful cities of Rajasthan, experience three weeks of northern India's best. Marvel at Jaisalmer's mud fortress and Bikaner's unique temple before journeying into the desert for an overnight camel safari. Follow in the footsteps of pilgrims and make your way to the Ganges River at Varanasi. Your expert Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will take care of the hassles so you're free to see the sights or just soak up the vibe — India is home to great food, fascinating culture, alluring sights, and friendly and inviting people. Discover the charms and mystery that make up this incredible country.
Arrive at any time.
Join a youth-led tour through Delhi held by G Adventures-supported project, City Walk, before an afternoon orientation walk in Old Delhi. Take the overnight train to Bikaner.
Enjoy a youth-led walking tour of Delhi with G Adventures-supported project, City Walk. This tour offers a unique perspective of Delhi while supporting at-risk youth.
Afterwards, an orientation walk takes you through Old Delhi to experience some of the history and culture of this vibrant city.
Enjoy a camel safari, then camp overnight in the desert.
We arrive early in the morning and reach our hotel. Bikaner is a semi-arid part of the Thar Desert with sandy dunes and scattered villages. In recent years the topography of the region has changed quite a bit, but you can still see the harsh realities of the desert here.
We drive down in local jeeps to a village called Raisar from where we take our camels and ride into the desert. We ride for a couple of hours through villages and fields to our lunch point at a shady area. Later, remount your camels and ride for another 2-3 hours till you reach a point over the dunes. After witnessing a stunning sunset, we climb down to where our tents are pitched and enjoy a simple but delicious meal.
After an optional sunrise viewing from atop dunes, transfer back to Bikaner. Enjoy an orientation of the Old City and the markets.
Opt to walk up the dunes again for the sunrise. After breakfast, transfer back to Bikaner. Once back, your CEO will give you an orientation of the Old City and the markets.
Arrive in Jaisalmer and take time to explore. Check out its ancient yet still-inhabited fort.
We arrive in Jaisalmer and have the rest of the day to relax after the long journey or explore the city at your leisure.
Jaisalmer, known as the "Golden City," stands on a ridge of yellowish sandstone in the heart of the Thar Desert. This fortress city is best explored on your own. Wander through the lanes of the walled city and inside the fort. Houses, temples, and havelis are very different from what you would find in other regions of Rajasthan. Do not forget to watch the setting sun's reflection on the fort.
Enjoy a free day to continue exploring the "Golden City".
Take an orientation walk around town, then opt to visit the Mehrangarh Fort.
Travel eastwards to the centrally located metropolis of Jodhpur, the second largest city in Rajasthan. A large and varied city, Jodhpur is sometimes called the “Blue City” for the many houses painted that colour. At Jodhpur, stark desert landscapes meet a riot of palaces, forts and temples, all enclosed within imposing city walls. Six enormous gates provide entry to the city centre, and overlooking it all stands the imposing shadow of Meherangarh Fort. Once we arrive, we take an orientation walk of the city.
Journey southeast to the city of Udaipur, and get to know the Old City on an orientation walk.
Continue your journey southeast to Udaipur, famous worldwide for its plethora of breathtaking lakes and Raj-era palaces. Most famous of these, and certainly the most photographed, is the Lake Palace, an island-palace where the white marble buildings entirely cover a small island in Pichola Lake.
Opt to visit the City Palace, or take in an evening dance performance at Bagore Ki Haveli.
Relive life as royalty at Sajjangarh Fort, also known as the Monsoon Palace, summer resort of the Maharajas. Sitting atop a hill with a panoramic view of the city's lakes, the palace was equipped with an ingenious rainwater collection system, essential in the dry desert conditions of the region. Other options include a visit to the Jagdish Temple, the Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandir folk museum, Saheliyon-ki-Bari (the Garden of Maidens), and the City Palace and Museum.
Orientation walk upon arrival in Pushkar. Opt to tour the world's only temple to the Hindu god of creation, Brahma, or scour the markets for Indian wares.
Travel to Ajmer and change to a local bus for the 14 km drive over Snake Mountain to Pushkar. Site of the world's only temple to the Hindu god of creation, Brahma, Pushkar is so sacred that no meat, alcohol, or eggs are allowed within the city. However, most travellers know Pushkar for a different reason: the annual Pushkar Camel Fair.
Once in the city, we take an orientation walk and visit the Brahama Temple, created in the 14th century.
Follow local traditions and try out a camel ride in the desert, or wander this holy Hindu centre on foot or bicycle. Or take a cooking class or visit the market. Rajasthan is famous for its textiles, jewellery and handicrafts, and few places in the country are better for shopping than the bazaars of Pushkar.
Dive into rural life and visit a potter and other local areas of the village. Opt to take a jeep safari to the dunes for sunset, head out for a hike in the hills, or get a henna tattoo from the local women.
Dive into rural life visiting potters, cobblers, and markets. Take a camel cart ride to the dunes for sunset, head for a hike in the hills, or make bangles and try henna paint with the local women. While here, go on an included guided walk through the village and opt to participate in a cricket match with some locals.
Enjoy a local lunch prepared by traditional methods at a village hamlet, then continue to Jaipur. Take an orientation walk around town. Enjoy free time to explore other sites around town.
Before leaving Tordi Sagar, enjoy a local lunch prepared by traditional methods at a village hamlet.
Travel to Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan and the former capital of a princely state of the same name. Clothed in pink stucco (in imitation of sandstone), wide-avenued Jaipur is one of the most important heritage cities in India, and home to India's second most visited site, the Hawa Mahal, or "Palace of the Winds".
Enjoy a guided tour of the Amber Fort. Take some free time to explore other sites around town.
Take a guided tour of the Taj Mahal. Opt to explore the Agra Fort and Baby Taj.
Continue this morning to the Muslim city of Agra. Agra is best known as the site of India's most famous landmark, the Taj Mahal. Enjoy a guided visit to this icon of Mughal architecture. Later, opt to ride one of the ubiquitous cycle rickshaws to visit the Agra Fort or Baby Taj, the less famous—but no less impressive—sister monuments.
Enjoy free time in Agra before boarding an overnight train to Varanasi.
Cruise the Ganges River by boat at sunset and enjoy a candle flower ceremony.
Arrive to legendary Varanasi, the quintessential Indian holy city where millions of Hindu travel to for pilgrimage, to worship, to mourn, or to die. Walk the narrow twisting alleys, poke around some of the literally thousands of temples and shrines, and experience the energy of the dawn rituals of bathing and burial as you float past the famous ghats of the Ganges.
During our stay in Varanasi you will have time to shop, wander, and absorb the atmosphere of this unique city, while optional activities include the monasteries and ruins of nearby Sarnath, site of the Buddha's first sermon. We take boats out onto the sacred Ganges River, both for sunrise and sunset. For the evening boat journey we enjoy a candle flower ceremony.
Cruise the Ganges on a morning boat tour with free time in the afternoon to explore.
Free day to explore Varanasi before boarding an overnight train to Delhi.
Free time to explore Delhi.
Arrive back in the capital of India. The day is yours to explore the temples, markets and museums in this fast-paced amazing city.
Depart at any time.
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Trip Name: Rajasthan and Varanasi on a Shoestring
Duration: 20 Days
From Price: $934
Supplier Tour ID: AHRH/126805
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