The Land of Maharajas - travel to experience the best of Rajasthan
Holidays for Birders
The Natural World
The Land of Maharajas - travel to experience the best of Rajasthan
Rajasthan is a centre of creativity, diversity, magnificence, and beauty with a lavish and industrious past. This 17 day, 15 night tour encapsulates the grandeur of Rajasthan’s impressive history, its rich cultural roots and contemporary, flourishing future.
You will be visiting and staying in Delhi, Agra, Ranthambhore, Jaipur, Khimsar, Jodhpur and Udaipur.
Rajasthan is often referred to as ‘the glittering jewel of India’. Amidst a rugged landscape once thick with forests, tilled fields, fine palaces, forts and estates, the marvels of the region’s architectural splendour are as many as the stories behind them. Join us and discover gems from Delhi’s Mughal-era Red Fort and the unforgettable Taj Mahal in Agra, to Jaipur’s lavish palace complex, Jodhpur’s Mehrangarh Fort and Udaipur’s impressive Jagdish temple, the largest Hindu temple in the region.
This tour will not only take you to splendours of Rajasthan’s past, it will also give you the chance to see many wonders of the natural world. Go on safari in Ranthambore National Park and spot tigers and leopards in the wild, then enjoy an extraordinary birding experience in Keoladeo Ghana National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site and important bird sanctuary.
Our flexible programme allows you to include special cultural experiences to suit your interests from music and dance, to textiles, photography and sport. Here are some suggestions to whet your appetite…. visit the home of a master scholar for an introduction to Indian classical music; meet with a member of the Rajasthan Cricket Association; visit a local artisan whose family has been creating textiles for generations for a hands-on workshop; take an off-the-beaten track photography tour; visit an elephant sanctuary; join a Bollywood dance class; make - and then fly - a kite in the skies of Jaipur.
January departure for this tour coincides with the annual Jaipur Literature Festival which you might like to visit as an optional experience.
What we love
- Expert and attentive local guides whose local knowledge and passion for sharing hidden treasures along the way will make your time in Rajasthan extra special
- Flexibility to tailor your adventure to your interests
- Staying in fabulous hotels and heritage homes with first class service
- Breakfast and dinners included with your stay at all hotels and 12 additional lunches
- Private transfers
Experiences you will treasure
- Morning safaris to spot leopards and Bengal tigers and an evening talk with a Naturalist
- Walking among grand palaces and forts and learning about the rich history of their royal rulers
- Two train journeys, including India's first semi-high speed train, the Gatimaan Express
- Seeing the Taj (if you have seen it before… once is never enough!)
- Visiting the workshops of artists whose ancestors created the masterful inlaid marble designs of the Taj
- Enjoying a Kalbelia Dance performance, followed by dinner in the sand dunes in Khimsar.
- A steamboat ride on Udaipur’s serene Lake Pichola
- Visiting a UNESCO wetland of international importance for migratory waterfowl – look out for sighting of a rare Siberian crane.
- Dinner & cooking demonstration with a Noble Rajasthan family at their home in Jodhpur
- Tasting authentic Mewar Style cusine at the legendary House of Bedla
- Seeing the world’s largest private collection of crystals – glittering galleries of luxurious, monumental cut glass created for royal and noble families.
- Visiting traditional artisans and having opportunity to learn from them at hands-on workshops
- Attending the Jaipur Literature Festival (this option is available on the January tour only).
What people say
This is indeed India! … The one land that all men desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for the shows of all the rest of the world combined.
How much is it?
Specially curated visits and experiences - you decide!
For a more immersive holiday, we have created a flexible programme so you can 'pick and mix' from a selection of specially curated excursions and activities in each destination.
Delhi - Day 2:
- Visit to Salaam Baalak Trust - working with street children in Delhi
- Visit Balaknama - an Indian newspaper run by children
- Visit to Gandhi Smriti, Birla House - museum dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi
- Visit to Purana Quila fort
- Evening visit to Lodhi Garden
Agra - Day 4:
- Take a colonial tour of Agra for an insight into life in the days of the British Raj
- Cross the Yamuna River and see hidden treasures beyond the Taj Mahal
Ranthambore - Day 6:
- Visit Dastkar cooperative society of artisans creating amazing traditional craft
Jaipur - Day 7:
- Attend the Jaipur Literature Festival (January tour only - two full days!)
- Design and print your own woodblock print with artist Renu Bhagwat (read more about AMAZING Renu here)
- Learn about Jaipur blue pottery and make your own piece
- Visit a wonderful elephant sanctuary - an amazing experience spending time with these majestic creatures
Jaipur - Day 9:
- Visit to Bagru village enjoy a wood-blocking workshop then visit Titanwala textile museum - a must for textile lovers! (Read more about Bagru's fascinating block printing tradition here )
- Enjoy a photography tour of Jaipur - get the best photos of extraordinary sites in Jaipur
- Take a Heritage Water Walk - learn about the importance of water, historically and culturally
- Enjoy a leather-making workshop, learn ancient techniques and processes then make your own piece
Jaipur - Day 10:
- Learn about art and tradition of Kathputli - Rajasthan puppetry
- Visit Samode - see the palace, fort and haveli, a marvellous fusion of Mughal and Rajasthani styles
- Enjoy visiting a kite maker, make your own kite and then fly it
- Take a Bollywood dance workshop - dance with expert instruction.
- Museum & Royal Garden of Jaipur - Albert Hall Museum and Sisodia Rani a Bagh
Jodhpur - Day 13:
- Learn about Bandhani Art (Tie and Dye art) - meet with a local family who have been creating for generations for a hands-on workshop
- Enjoy a photography tour of Jodhpur - get the best photos of extraordinary sites in Jodhpur off the beaten track.
Udaipur - Day 14:
- Meet with a member from the Rajasthan Cricket Association at the Field Club and enjoy High Tea
- Visit the home of an musical scholar for a fascinating insight into classical Indian music including a vocal recital and instrumental performances with Sitar and Tabla
Udaipur - Day 16:
- Visit to Menar, a local village for a tour with a choice of a bird or photography expert
- Visit Ravla Khempur for a walking tour of the Marigold Hotel
- Visit to Bada Bazaar and the NGO Women of Sadhana to learn about the women artisans' life and work
Prices for these optional experiences range from £20pp to £100pp please email for more details.
A Deeper Dive
Once part of a royal Maharaja hunting lodge, this quintessentially Rajasthani wild life park is home to predators such as tigers and leopards, as well as jackals, sloth bears, crocodiles, the common Langaur monkey and extensive birdlife, including the jungle fowl, partridge, quail, crested serpent eagle, woodpeckers and flycatchers. The park also plays an important role in protecting its wildlife, particularly tigers, and the rangers are incredibly passionate and knowledgeable about Ranthambore’s commitment to conservation. The Park has been under the Protect the Tiger scheme since 1972.
These are some of our favourite books about India:
Freedom at Midnight by Lapierre and Collins
A Princess Remembers by Gayatari Devi
A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
Maharajas of India by Ann Morrow
City of Djinns by William Dalrymple
India A Million Mutinies Today by V.S. Naipaul
Indira by Katherine Frank
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