Travellers descend upon Rajasthan in greater numbers than any other part of India. Its stunning palaces and huge forts stand as living monuments in an awe-inspiring desert landscape. This luxury tour of Rajasthan makes full use of the excellent Oberoi hotels that are a feature of India’s most celebrated holiday destination, although our commitment to tailor-made holidays means that we are always willing to discuss any other preferred options. The three prongs of the Golden Triangle - the capital, Delhi, the pink city of Jaipur and, in Agra, the incomparable splendor of the Taj Mahal – are a central piece of this tour which also includes safari opportunities at Ranthambore national park in the hope of seeing a tiger in the wild. The vivid colours of Rajasthan, whether sampled in cultural festivals or bright tribal dresses and handicrafts, also leave a permanent impression. Ten days, in our view, is an absolute minimum duration to see Rajasthan’s highlights. Ask us to slow down the pace of the trip with extra days or check out our other Rajasthan itineraries, including our second luxury option, Luxury Rajasthan with Desert Camp
A condensed exploration of the highlights of Rajasthan with an emphasis on wildlife safaris – all with luxurious accommodation at the end of the day.
- Highlights of Delhi
- The enduring beauty of the Taj Mahal
- Historic forts clinging to rocky outcrops
- Beautiful royal palaces
- Safari drives in Ranthambore national park
- A boat ride by the beautiful lakeside city of Udaipur
- Shopping for bargains in Rajasthan's colourful bazaars
- Accommodation in a shared double / twin room
- Chauffeur-guide and vehicle for the duration of the tour (including leisure days)
- Both airport transfers
- Expert advice and support prior to and during the tour
TERMS & CONDITIONS
- Price shown is a starting price and is subject to change, depending on travel dates / the number of people travelling etc.
- Price shown is based on two people sharing a double / twin room
- See our Booking Conditions for more details
Day 1 & 2 Delhi
Delhi is India’s historic capital city which is reason enough not to regard it as more than just an airport hub at the start of your Rajasthan tour. Much remains worthy of your attention. A full-day guided city tour of old and new Delhi enables you to visit the Red Fort (note: closed on Mondays),Gandhi Smriti, a simple memorial to Mahatma Gandhi where his room and possessions when he was assassinated have been caringly preserved (also closed on Mondays); and more. Find time, too, for Qutub Minar, one of Delhi’s most stunning monuments, stretching back to 1193; the National War Memorial, which was established in 2019 at India Gate; and the stunning Akshardham Temple, built entirely of Rajasthani pink sandstone and Italian Carrara marble. Drive past sights such as Jamma Mosque, a pocket of calm in the clamour of Old Delhi, and the modern Lotus Temple, the epitome of cool.
Day 3 and 4 Agra and the Taj Mahal
Time to take a four-hour drive to Agra, and the Taj Mahal – the greatest monument to romanticism the world has ever seen If you choose to make the journey by train instead, you will be met by your car and driver on arrival. If you missed a Son-et-Lumiere show in Delhi, you could experience one at Agra Fort, or take in a display of Kalakriti dance. We prefer to visit Agra at the start of the trip because the Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays (India’s closure days can play havoc with itineraries so be careful!) but you can reverse the itinerary if you wish. We recommend that you relax and stay the night nearby – you can even choose a hotel where you can see the Taj Mahal from your hotel window! Such convenience allows you to visit the Taj Mahal on Day 4 at sunrise which is often more peaceful, although for late risers we can try to arrange a viewing the previous evening. Demand is particularly high on one of the Full Moon days (even if five are claimed per month!).
Day 4 Agra to Ranthambore Natonal Park
What more is there to say about the Taj Mahal? Its legendary beauty really is famous and even the finest photographs struggle to do it justice. Its construction was ordered by a lovesick emperor, Shah Jahan, when his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, died while giving birth to their 14th child. The monument stands in her honour and remains the ultimate symbol of love lost in tragic circumstances. This glorious experience should fill you with resolve for a six-hour journey south in the afternoon to Ranthambore National Park. Depart for Ranthambore early enough and you could even travel via Fatehpur Sikri, a deserted fortified city 40kms west of Agra. Built by Mughal emperor Akbar in the 16C but abandoned soon after when local wells ran dry, remains wonderfully preserved. See stunning palaces and mosques as you journey back in time at this remarkable UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Day 5 Ranthambhore National Park
You awake on Day 5 in Rajasthan's finest wildlife area: Ranthambhore National Park with the possibility of two private game drives on your itinerary today. Once the hunting reserve of the Maharaja of Jaipur, it is the best place to see wild tigers in Rajasthan. Because of the efforts of Project Tiger, there are around 80 tigers in the park, roaming the dry deciduous forests and even swimming in lakes where crumbing hunting lodges can still be seen. But that is not where the story stops. other wildlife includes leopards, hyenas, jackals, sloth bear, deer, antelope and abundant birdlife. Traffic in the park is restricted to safari jeeps and open-top trucks (if the latter seem somewhat risky, there have been no reports of animal attacks). A limited number of Safaris are allowed and controlled by Government Forest Department so booking early is advisable. Ranthambhore Fort, which hails back to the 10C, and which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, also stands on a ridge at the centre of this 1334 sq kms national park. For a different feel, consider a visit to the small Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary 10kms: gazelles a specialty. The park can be visited between October and May and closes during the rainy season. Please note that it is also closed on Wednesdays.
Day 6 Ranthambhore National Park to Jaipur
After another private jeep safari in the morning, in the afternoon of Day 6, take a four-hour car transfer to Jaipur before spending the evening at leisure. Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, and its most tourist-centred city, has royalty at its core. Jai Singh, an 18C Maharaja, designed the city to his liking with royal palaces, gardens and pavilions taking up almost a quarter of the city.
Day 7 Jaipur
The Pink City (salmon is more accurate) was first painted so in 1876 to welcome the Prince of Wales and got subsequent refurbs for Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Diana. The City Palace has a large collection of mace, daggers, shields and other implements of war. The textile collection is rather less threatening. The ponds of the Galta Monkey Palace, crammed into a ravine 3 kms east of Jaipur, provide home for thousands of macaque monkeys. Jantar Mantar Observatory, begun by Jai Singh in 1728, lies next to the Royal Palace and includes the largest sun dial ever built. Highly recommended is Amber Fort, in a one-time capital before water shortages struck. This wonderful honey-coloured fort stands on a rocky mountainside in the Aravalli Hills 12 kms north-east of Jaipur. Visit an ancient step well - the pale-yellow 16C Panna Meena ka Kund impresses with its symmetrical beauty.
Day 8 Jaipur to Udaipur
Today you transfer from Jaipur to Udaipur and to avoid a gruelling eight-hour road journey we recommend that you opt for an internal flight. A road trip would allow you to visit Chittogarh Fort, the symbol of Rajput chivalry, resistance and bravery. This sprawling hillside fort, along with other hill forts of Rajasthan, is certainly and was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013.It lay under siege for about eight months in 1303 and as many as 30,000 Hindus – a colossal number in those days – were said to be put to death after its capture. Udaipur, the City of Lakes, is one of India's most beautiful cities. It is a place for romance, with creamy-white palaces sitting alongside Lake Pichola, pretty old havelis (mansions) on winding streets, and exotic hotels. The marble palaces, gentle gardens and placid waters are an enchanting combination. Relax after the hotel transfer before a sunset boat trip on the beautiful Lake Pichola.
Day 9 & 10 Udaipur
Udaipur is a beautiful spot to while away a couple of days. Get your bearings with the help of a guided city tour. Visit Jagdish Temple, the City Palace Complex – which took more than 400 years to complete and which overlooks the lake - and the Bharathiya Lok Kala Mandal Museum, a cultural heritage museum which features Rajasthani folk art, dance & literature. Your second full day in Udaipur is a day at leisure. If you get itchy feet, wander through the bazaar. Or request an optional day trip out to Kumbalgarh Fort, and Ranakpur Jain Temple which is famous for its beautiful carved idol of Parshvanatha made out of a single marble slab and with more than a thousand snake heads. You can even take a horse ride around the surrounding hills and lakes. Further on are the Sahelion ki Bari gardens, which boasts delicately carved kiosks and fountains.
Day 11 Delhi or Mumbai
After breakfast, transfer in time for your internal flight to Delhi or Mumbai and onward international connections.
The Oberoi, New Delhi, has 220 rooms and a reputation as one of Asia’s finest. It has views of Humayun’s Tomb on one side and a wooded golf course on the other. Award-winning restaurants, spa, pool and fitness centre.
The Oberoi Amarvilas
Agra, Uttar Pradesh
The Oberoi Amarvilas offers unrestricted views of Taj Mahal from all rooms and suite. It is based upon Mughal palace designs with fountains, terraced lawns, pools and pavilions. Excellent restaurants, spa and much more.
The Oberoi Vanyavilas Wildlife tent
Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan
The Oberoi Vanyavilas Ranthambhore is a superbly-manicured jungle resort on the fringes of Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve. Its luxury tents are backed up by a spa, outdoor pool (heated in winter),fitness centre, bars and restaurant.
The Oberoi Rajvilas
Favoured by a relatively peaceful location just outside Jaipur, The Oberoi Raj Vilas is designed like a sprawling Rajasthani desert fort. Stylish tented rooms are supported by Mughal-inspired trellises, courtyard fountains, superb cuisine, and peacocks wandering around its 32-acre grounds.
The Oberoi Udaivilas
An outstanding palace-style hotel with great views over Lake Pichola to the spectacular City Palace. Relax in landscaped gardens and shady courtyards. Eighty-seven rooms boast marble bathrooms with free-standing bathtubs, Facilities include spa and pool.
Following are recommended optional activities