Rajasthan has a long and colourful history and a warm and vibrant yet fiercely independent people. It has long been considered the centre of Hindu culture in northern India and every town and village is steeped in history. Our tour explores attractions both off the beaten track, and on the tourist circuit. We visit hill forts, nature reserves, pilgrimage centres, medieval towns, palaces and bustling walled cities. Ample time is allowed to soak up the atmosphere of Rajasthan, as we spend at least two nights at most destinations. The Rajasthan tours are of 3 weeks duration, departing Auckland on Saturday and arriving back on the Friday three weeks later.
For a first timer in India, New Delhi and its chaotic traffic can be overwhelming so we start the Rajasthan tour from Bharatpur, a small town 190 kms to the south. We meet you at New Delhi airport and after a quick freshen up in a hotel we take a short train journey to Bharatpur where the bikes are waiting. We will spend 2 days acclimatising, relaxing and taking day trips from here.
Bharatpur boasts a beautiful bird reserve with enormous lakes and tranquil walks. Nearby is the city of Agra, home of the Taj Mahal which we will have an opportunity to visit. From here we set out for the world renowned wildlife reserve at Ranthambhore where some of the last wild populations of the Bengal Tiger live as well as a host of other wildlife. A dawn safari into the park is scheduled and the chances of sighting a tiger at this time of year are good. Next on the agenda are the beautiful rides on back roads to the towns of Bundi, Bijaipur and Chittorgarh. Several days are spent exploring the extensive ancient forts and palaces of the Rajput era here as well as visiting the bustling small town markets and bazaars. Relatively few westerners venture into this area as public transport is limited and there is an inquisitive friendliness and hospitality shown to westerners. From here we take a short trip to Udaipur, one of the travellers' centres of Rajasthan where we spend two days relaxing , shopping and sightseeing around the palaces. From Udaipur we travel to the
pilgrimage centre and holy city of Pushkar via the spectacular Jain temples at Ranakpur with an overnight stop at Kumbhalgarh. From Pushkar the next and last stop is the ancient walled city of Jaipur, the largest in Rajasthan, where we spend a day taking in the stunning architecture, palaces and bazaars. We have a farewell dinner here, before departing for our flight from Delhi.