Rajasthan is a state

Rajasthan - Colorful desert state

Trip No. 4632

Oriental bazaars, magnificent palaces, mighty fortresses, lively cities and barren steppe and desert landscapes - India's state of Rajasthan is intense and rich in contrasts. In India, which is already known for its extremes, the “land of the king's sons” manages to stand out in particular. While a touch of modernity has already found its way into the tourist centers, rural Rajasthan sticks to old traditions. And yet in the villages you occasionally meet a cowherd who calls on his smartphone. When we meet locals from different walks of life, we look below the surface and recognize the shades of today's Rajasthan from different angles: a land of colors, sounds and smells. How could it be expressed more aptly than Hermann Hesse did: "Anyone who has not only been to India with their eyes but with their soul will always be homesick."

Rajasthan - Colorful desert stateRajasthan - colorful desert state

Itinerary:

1st + 2nd day: Flight to Delhi

Flight from Frankfurt to Delhi. Arrival expected in the afternoon. Our tour guide greets us at the airport and takes us to the centrally located hotel. Dinner together in a local restaurant. - / - / A 2 nights at the Jaypee Siddarth Hotel in Delhi

Day 3: Explore Delhi on foot, by metro and rickshaw

From our hotel it is only a short walk to the Chandi Chowk metro station, where our city tour begins. Together with commuters, students and school children, we use the fast means of transport to get to Old Delhi. Partly on foot, partly by rickshaw, it goes through the bazaar district of Chandni Chowk and to the richly decorated havelis, the palatial former homes of wealthy long-distance traders, accompanied by a local. During our tour we will enjoy the delicious street cuisine and also visit a typical local house. We experience the pulsating capital of India from the exciting perspective of the people who live there and discover it with all our senses. After lunch, the bus takes you to the sights a little further away. We see the Qutab Minar (UNESCO World Heritage Site) built on the foundations of a Hindu temple. In New Delhi we will learn about the architecture of the architects Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker, who were commissioned to build the “Imperial City” at a young age and who fell out after years of working together. Both parliamentary buildings and administrative offices were built in the new city. They are unmistakably built with the local red sandstone in the traditional Mughal style. The cityscape is loosened up by gardens in the style of the Mughals. Finally, the tour takes us to Gurdwara Bangla Sahib, an important Sikh temple. With its golden dome, it can be seen from afar. Inside the Bangla Sahib Gurudwara Temple, the verses from the sacred book of the Sikhs, the Adi Granth, and the teachings of the ten Sikhs gurus are continuously recited from early morning to evening. The ceremonies are broadcast over loudspeakers to the place in front of the temple. Visitors of other religions are not only tolerated in the temples of the Sikhs, their visit is even encouraged. For the Sikhs, all people are brothers and sisters and they reject the Indian caste system. F / - / -

Day 4: Train ride to Bundi / city tour by bike

Early in the morning we drive to the train station and board the train to Bundi. The former capital of a small principality is located in the southeast of Rajasthan, between two ranges of hills of the Aravalli Mountains. Time seems to have stood still in the winding streets. After freshening up in our extraordinary tented resort, we get on our bikes and visit the mighty Tarangarh Fort and the huge palace complex that towers above the city. The writer Rudyard Kipling, who spent several years of his life in Bundi, wrote: "The palace in Bundi is, even in full daylight, a palace that people dream of building". In the evening an artist of miniature painting visits us in our hotel and tells us about his art and its long tradition. We have dinner around the campfire. B / - / D Train ride: approx. 7 hours, journey: approx. 1 hour, 36 km, bike tour: approx. 2 hours, mostly flat and paved. 1 night at Ummaid Bagh Resort

Day 5: Cycling in rural Rajasthan

The morning is free to relax in the hotel and enjoy the beautiful landscape. The tent resort is located on the shores of Jait Sagar Lake. Many migratory birds rest on the site in the winter months. Around noon we drive to Bijaipur. We check into our hotel, a castle from the 16th century. In the Mewar Empire, Bijaipur was a strategic location to defend the borders from the invading Mughal and Marathan armies. From the hotel we cycle to the village at the foot of the Vindhyanchal Hills. Like the castle itself, the village sticks to old traditions and offers an authentic insight into everyday life in Rajasthan's rural areas. Mainly farmers live here who grow peanuts, mustard, corn and poppy seeds. During our bike tour, one or the other buffalo cart will certainly cross our path. B / - / A bike tour: approx. 4 hours (with breaks, support vehicle available), journey: approx. 3 hours, 150 km. 2 nights in the Heritage Hotel Castle Bijaipur

Day 6: Jeep tour to villages and through the jungle landscape

In the morning we drive to the villages in the area by jeep. We meet farmers and other villagers and maybe even take a look into one of the houses. We continue through the fascinating landscape, in which the agricultural areas slowly merge into dense jungle. We take our lunch at Pangarh Lake, in the middle of which there is an old fort and a temple on an elevation. Spend this afternoon according to your individual wishes and design it according to your needs and personal ideas. We have prepared several recommendations for you. Our customers enjoy the contents of our special adventure trips in small groups. However, many of you would like to organize your time according to your own wishes from time to time. We are happy to comply with this request. You will find our special suggestions in the detailed information under the point "Design your day - our recommendations" - right behind the "Services" section. Of course, you can also simply relax in a princely atmosphere in the hotel or by the pool. F / M / -

Day 7: Udaipur - Venice of the East

After a relaxed breakfast we drive to Udaipur, which is nicknamed the “Venice of the East”. The city is located on the artificial Lake Pichola and is surrounded by mountains. Winding old town streets, extensive parks and the fantastic palace make an India cliché a reality. In the afternoon we visit the city palace, which we enter through the elephant gate in the old town. Part of the palace is still inhabited by the Maharaja family today. Later we stroll through the Sahelion-ki-Bari, a well-tended park where the Maharajas once met with their concubines. If there is enough water in the lake, we will take a trip on a tour boat on Lake Pichola. From here you have a great view of the city. If the weather cooperates, we can watch a spectacular sunset over the lake. B / - / - drive: approx. 3 hours, 159 km 2 nights at the Hotel Devra Udaipur

Day 8: Hike to Bhil villages

We leave the city and take a hike to two Bhil villages in the Aravali Mountains. With 39% of the population of Rajasthan, the Bhil represent the largest population group. In the past, most of them were warriors, especially archers, in the Mewar Empire. Today agriculture is the main source of livelihood. Our hike takes us through slightly hilly terrain, while we are always surrounded by the high peaks of the Araveli Mountains. We pass through several villages and hamlets. Again and again we will have the opportunity to get in touch with the locals and learn more about their everyday life and culture. Our lunch is traditionally prepared on an open fire and we are welcome to lend a hand ourselves. Back in Udaipur, the afternoon is free. B / - / - hike: approx. 4 hours, mostly flat with slight inclines

Day 9: Jain temples and leopards

On the way to Bera we make a stop at the Jain temples in Ranakpur. The temple complex from the 15th century is one of the most beautiful in Rajasthan. The interior of the marble structure is decorated over and over with beautiful reliefs and detailed sculptures. Bera is located at the foot of the Aravelis and is popular with nature lovers, especially because of the large population of leopards. With a little luck we can catch a glimpse of the rare and shy animals on our jeep safari. But not only leopards can be seen in this protected area. Many other animals such as hyenas, crocodiles or pelicans are also at home here. Since there is not a lot of vegetation in the rough landscape, you can observe animals here exceptionally often. B / - / - drive: approx. 3 hours, 147 km 1 night at the Heritage Hotel Castle Bera

Day 10: Jodhpur - the blue city

After breakfast we leave Udaipur and drive to Jodhpur. The most striking feature of the city, which lies on the edge of the Thar desert, is the indigo blue in which many of the houses in the old town are painted. From the Meherangarh Fort we enjoy a great view over Jodhpur. The huge fort is located in the middle of the old town and seems to have grown out of a 120 meter high rock. After a detailed tour of the complex, we see the Jaswant Thada tomb with its white marble pavilions. We then explore the old town by tuk tuk. B / - / - trip: approx. 3 hours, 147 km 1 night at the Hotel Ratan Vilas

Day 11: Pushkar pilgrimage town

The pilgrimage town of Pushkar lies like an oasis in the middle of the desert. The houses are built in steps around the holy lake, on whose ghats crowds of pilgrims from all over India perform their ritual acts. In the afternoon we meet an astrologer who tells us about the importance of astrology in Indian culture. In the world of the normal Indian, astrology - as an integral part of cult and religion - is still deeply rooted. Before important decisions or rituals, such as a wedding, an astrologer is always asked. In the evening we visit the Brahma Temple, the most important sacred building in the city. Not only the inside of the temple impresses with the four-faced Brahma statue, from the surrounding walls you can also enjoy a beautiful view over the city. B / - / D trip: approx. 3 hours, 160 km 1 night at the Hotel Pushkar Resort

Day 12: Project visit to Barefoot College / Bollywood in Jaipur

In Tilonia we visit the "Barefoot College", where the contrasts in the state of Rajasthan are shown to us. Away from the splendid havelis, the pompous palaces and the well-air-conditioned luxury hotels lies the meager and hardly literate Rajasthan. In Tilonia we get to know the history of the "barefoot soldiers" and learn how such an imbalance could arise in the poorest state in India, how it can continue and how it can be counteracted. The basic idea of ​​the project is to use the knowledge already available in the villages and to provide assistance with further development. The aim is to make the rural population largely self-sufficient from external influences so that the community has the chance to take care of itself. The visit will give us a good look at Rajasthan that is off the beaten track. We continue to Jaipur, the pink capital of the state. The old town of Jaipur was painted pink, the traditional color of hospitality in Rajasthan, on the occasion of a visit by Crown Prince Albert Eduard in 1876. Since then, Jaipur has been world-famous as the "Pink City". In the evening we go to the cinema together and watch a Bollywood film in the city's beautiful cinema. A very special experience! B / L / - Total travel time: approx. 3 hours, 145 km 2 nights in the Hotel Umaid Mahal

Day 13: Sightseeing in Jaipur

In the morning, when the light is at its best, we make a photo stop at the Hawa Mahal, the “Palace of the Winds”. The palace is actually a beautifully decorated facade with countless windows, which was used to give the women of the palace a view of the parades without being seen themselves. By jeep or on foot it goes up to the Amber Fort, which is located on a hill just outside the city. Hindu and Muslim stylistic elements were combined in the unique architectural style. The imposing fortress is considered the most beautiful fortress in the country. The Jai Mandir Hall of Mirrors and the Shak Mandir with their filigree marble lattice windows are particularly impressive. In the afternoon it goes back to Jaipur. In the city palace we visit the museum, in which weapons, clothes and furniture from the time of the Rajputs and Mughals are exhibited. Afterwards it goes on to the observatory Jantar Mantar (UNESCO world cultural heritage). In the evening we are invited to dinner with a family from the middle of society and have the opportunity to gain interesting insights into everyday culture. B / - / D ride: 6 hours, approx. 240 km, asphalt.

Day 14: Bird sanctuary and desert town

Today we drive to Agra. On the way we make a first stop in the Keoladeo bird sanctuary near Bharatpur. The wetland is one of the most important bird sanctuaries in the world. About 370 different bird species have been observed so far. We explore the park by bicycle rickshaw. Afterwards we visit Fatehpur Sikri. “Akhbar's ghost town” was supposed to be the new capital of the Mughal empire. Construction of the imposing residence began in 1571. Only 15 years later, the city was finally given up because the water supply turned out to be an insoluble problem. In the evening we arrive in Agra, home of the Taj Mahal. The once influential city on the Yanuma River used to be a magnet for artisans from Persia, Central Asia and India, who all left their influences and made Agra a jewel of Indian architecture. Check-in at the hotel and farewell dinner at a local restaurant. B / L / D Total travel time: approx. 5 hours, approx. 250 km 1 night in the Hotel Utkarsh Vilas

Day 15: Taj Mahal & Red Fort / back to Delhi

At sunrise we visit the legendary Taj Mahal. Mughal Mughal Shah Jahan had it built as a tomb for his late wife Mumtaz Mahal. Around 20,000 craftsmen were involved in the 17-year construction. The Taj Mahal is the most visited building in the world and impresses with its perfect harmony and the impression of floating lightness. After breakfast at the hotel, we visit the Agra Fort, also known as the Red Fort. The huge fortress was built over a period of over a century and the construction was influenced by various rulers. The individual architectural styles are therefore very different. Christian, Islamic, Hindu and Jain style elements are combined here. The best way to grasp the extent of this is to keep in mind that the fort used to be a separate city with thousands of residents. In the afternoon we drive back to Delhi, where we check in at our hotel near the airport in the evening. B / - / - drive: approx. 5 hours, 200 km 1 night at the hotel ibis Delhi Airport

Day 16: Departure and arrival in Frankfurt

Probably in the early morning a short transfer to the airport and flight to Frankfurt. Arrival the same day. F / - / -

Program information:

  • Planned and unplanned encounters represent an important aspect of this trip. Culture, nature, encounters and active relaxation, these are the core elements of this multifaceted adventure trip through Rajasthan. Out of consideration for the people living there, please remember to cover your shoulders and legs with regard to your clothing.

Included in the tour price

  • Flight Frankfurt - Delhi - Frankfurt with Oman Air in Economy Class
  • All transfers according to the program
  • Total 14 nights (double room, shower / wc; 8x with pool): 8x mid-range hotels, 5x heritage hotels, 1x tent - resort
  • 14x breakfast, 3x picnic / lunch, 7x dinner
  • Program details: 2 guided bike tours. Hike. 2x jeep safari, rickshaw safari. Boat tour in Udaipur. Tuk Tuk ride in Jodhpur. Project visit. City tour of Delhi, Bundi, Udaipur, Jodhpur and Pushkar
  • Entrances according to the detailed program
  • Qualified tour guide in German
  • Partly local guides
  • Information material

Not included in the tour price

  • Arrival and departure to the airport (we recommend the climate-friendly arrival by train and would be happy to book tickets for you at a budget price).
  • Visa for India (currently 65+)
  • Drinks and meals, unless otherwise mentioned in the program
  • Tips and other personal expenses
  • optional excursions
  • Travel protection

Desired services

  • Miniature painting workshop; Implementation for 2 or more people (see detailed information): € 15
  • Horse riding excursion in Bijaipur; Implementation from 1 person (see detailed information): € 0

  • Minimum number of participants: 8
  • Maximum number of participants: 12