Discover India at its most colourful amid the deserts, bazaars and forts of Rajasthan. This is a land where massive hilltop fortresses loom over ramshackle cities and where markets are awhirl with locals dressed in the brightest shades of scarlet, gold and rose. From the heady whirlwind of Delhi, to a night under the stars on a desert camel safari, to the beauty of sunrise at the Taj Mahal this journey through Rajasthan promises to be a true adventure.
Day 1 Delhi
Namaste! Welcome to Delhi. India’s capital is an exciting city with abundant historical sites, museums and bazaars. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place, and make sure youve got your insurance info and next of kin details to pass on to your leader. If you arrive with time to spare, rejoice! Theres so much to do in Delhi and we wont have time to cover it all in this trip. Perhaps visit the palatial Humayun’s Tomb, the towering and intricately carved 12th-century Qutub Minar or the historic Red Fort.
Day 2 Delhi/Overnight Train
Ah, Delhi in the morning. Its chaotic, sure, but the energy is invigorating. Set off on the citys modern metro system to explore the sights and sounds of Old Delhi on a guided walking tour. They really dont make traffic jams like this anywhere else, and youll see what its like as you inch your way through the streets around Chandni Chowk marketplace in a traditional cycle rickshaw. Visit Jama Masjid, Delhi’s oldest and Indias largest mosque, and then stop by the Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple) to learn about the Sikh beliefs and practises. Tonight, transfer to the train station and mentally prepare yourself for the 19-hour, overnight journey ahead. Local vendors will board with various goods along the way, but its a good idea to bring some of your own food for the journey too. Riding the rails in India is an experience youll never forget.
Day 3 Jaisalmer
Youre scheduled to arrive in Jaisalmer at around midday, depending on any delays. Dump your luggage at the hotel and pack a small overnight bag its safari time. Head into the dunes of the Thar Desert in a jeep. Meet your guides and your ride for the rest of the journey a camel. Set off on a three-hour ride to your basic campsite, where your guides will get a fire going to cook a traditional Rajasthani dinner while you relax and watch the sunset. Youll be able to buy bottled water and soft drinks tonight, but there are no facilities like running water. Because of this, we recommend you bring hand sanitiser and other toiletries. Toilets are a simple long-drop style. Stretch out under a star-studded sky and spot constellations as you drift to sleep.
Day 4 Jaisalmer
Mount your camel for the return journey to Jaisalmer this morning. Take a walking tour of the city and learn the history of the ornate sandstone buildings. Later, explore at your own pace. Perhaps wander among the intricately carved statues of the Jain Temples or visit the Folklore Museum to learn more about Rajasthani culture. With its imposing parapets and towers, the Old Town is full of steep stonewalls that lead to your accommodation for the evening the havelis. These private mansions once homed Jaisalmers nobility and resemble small palaces. They make a very comfortable base after a long day of sightseeing.
Day 5 Jodhpur
Answer the call of (arguably) the nations best lassi and most striking vistas today and head to Jodhpur. Its a six-hour train ride away, but its worth it once you see the ancient fort towering over thousands of cobalt-blue buildings. Get your bearings on a walking tour around the Old City and visit Sadar Bazaar, one of the oldest markets in India. Stroll through spice and vegetable stalls, past juice sellers and sari peddlers and maybe give your haggling skills a road test. The rest of the day is free, so perhaps grab one of the lassis we mentioned and pound the pavement in search of a dal baati. This dal and bread dish doesnt sound too exciting, but this delicious meal is a Rajasthani classic for a reason.
Day 6 Nimaj
India be can be an intense place to travel. Seek a little peace and quiet today in rural Rajasthan. Take a two-hour drive to the tiny town of Nimaj. A relaxed and quiet place, Nimaj is the opposite of a tourist trap and the perfect place to spend a day unwinding. Take a walking tour of the town with your leader, then spend the afternoon and evening as you please. Perhaps chat with the locals and learn more about their day to day life, take a stroll or relax with a book under the shade of a tree.
Day 7 Jaipur
Hit the road and make tracks for Jaipur. Arrive and jump on an auto-rickshaw to the hotel, dump your luggage and set out on a short tour of Jaipur. A city bathed in pink, Jaipur is full of elegant buildings and delightful bazaars. The honeycomb-esque Palace of the Winds, constructed from red and pink sandstone, is a highlight of the guided walk today. After the tour, maybe follow the crowds to the markets and shop for artisan goods and semi-precious stones. Tonight, visit yet another opulent pink building, this time in the form of a cinema. The iconic Raj Mandir Cinema plays Bollywood blockbusters and tonight youll get to see one of these great tales unfold before your eyes.
Day 8 Jaipur
For many travellers, a hot air balloon ride over the Pink City is one of the highlights of their trip. Ballooning can be done on the morning of Day six between September and June. For additional information, please see the important notes section of Essential Trip Information. If youre afraid of heights, or just dont fancy a float, maybe check out the Royal City Palace or one of the five quirky astronomical observatories built by Jaipurs founder. Later this afternoon, visit the Amber Fort. Set on a hilltop overlooking Maota Lake, the fort is a superb example of Rajput architecture. Entering the glittering Sheesh Mahal (Hall of Mirrors) is also something you wont soon forget.
Day 9 Agra
Head east to Agra in a public vehicle, stopping en route to see the breathtaking imperial gate of Fatehpur Sikri. Rich in Mughal heritage, Agra is a city of gardens, temples and open rooftops. Even if youve never heard of it, youll probably recognise its most famous attraction the Taj Mahal. See this awesome monument upon arrival, taking in the splendour of the white marble mausoleum built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial to his wife Mumtaz. The rest of the day is free to explore the city. An amazing local social enterprise, Sheroes Hangout, is located about 10-minutes from the Taj Mahal and is an excellent place to stop for a cold drink, coffee or light meal while you are here. The initiative is part of the Stop Acid Attacks campaign and staffed by survivors.
Day 10 Delhi
Return to wild Delhi by train. Freshen up at the hotel and then decide how you would like to spend the rest of your day. India can be a pretty crazy place, and its likely youve formed some new friendships with your fellow travellers. Maybe head out tonight for one last meal together and say your goodbyes before the trip comes to an end tomorrow.
Day 11 Delhi
There are no activities planned for the final day and you’re able to depart the accommodation at any time after you check out at midday. If you are departing later, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel. If you decide to stay an extra couple of days in Delhi, consider getting involved in an Urban Adventure. Cant get enough of lentils and spice? The City Food Crawl might be right up your alley. Or maybe contemplate the legacy of one of Indias great icons on a Gandhi’s Delhi Urban Adventure. Find out more at urbanadventures.com/destination/delhi-tours.