Colours of Rajasthan - Puskhar Festival

14 days
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£1,859
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4.7 / 5 from 3 reviews >
Leisurely
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Trip code: 
AIKA
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Cultural Wonders
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–16

Experience the best of India's colourful desert state

Rajasthan, the 'Land of Princes’, is full of monuments to its warrior past. The imposing forts of Jodhpur and Jaipur bear testament to the battles that once raged here, whilst the palaces in Udaipur, Fatehpur Sikri and the Taj Mahal offer a softer side to North India's rich history. As well as exploring these historic landmarks we also stay in the charming town of Bundi, exploring its blue alleyways, forts and hillside lake, and every year we run a special departure to visit the world-famous Pushkar Camel Fair.

Highlights

  • Visit the magnificent Taj Mahal
  • Search for the elusive tiger
  • Explore the 'Pearl of Rajasthan', Udaipur

Key information

  • 10 nights hotels in en suite rooms, 2 nights in en suite Swiss cottage tents
  • Group normally 4 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Travel by private air-conditioned bus

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 dinners included
  • All accommodation
  • Transfer for group flights

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas and vaccinations
  • Single supplement
Call for general departures:
0208 772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

London
to
London
  • Day 1

    Depart London.

    Flights usually depart London in the evening.

  • Day 2

    Arrive Delhi; half-day city tour.

    For those who are on the flight inclusive package we land in Delhi in the morning and transfer to the hotel where we will meet the other members of the group. In the afternoon we visit the walled city of Old Delhi; crowded, full of activities and still influenced by the great Mughals who once ruled from the ramparts of the majestic Red Fort. We visit Jama Mosque - built in 17th century and the largest mosque in India and Rajghat - the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. We will also see India Gate and the vast colonial buildings as we navigate around the city.
    Standard Hotel

  • Day 3

    Transfer to Agra; afternoon visit the Red Fort.

    Today we will transfer to Agra (approx. 5 hrs drive) and in the afternoon visit the imposing Red Fort of Akbar, whose mighty sandstone walls enclose the beautiful white marble Pearl Mosque and the palaces, halls, courtyards and fountains of his sons and successors, Jehangir and Shah Jahan.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Sunrise at the Taj Mahal; to Ranthambore N.P. via Fatehpur Sikri.

    A very early start to see the incredible spectacle of the sunrise over the Taj Mahal. The Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1631, built the beautiful white marble Taj Mahal. The Taj is serenely beautiful and never fails to amaze a first time visitor; the white marble exterior changes colour according to the position of the sun during the day and is matched by the rich interior detail. After our visit it's time to leave Agra and drive to Ranthambore National Park. On the way we visit Fatehpur Sikri which is the Emperor Akbar's deserted royal city. This impressive and well-preserved citadel became his capital in 1571, after the blessing of a local Moslem holy man correctly predicted the birth of a longed-for son, his successor the Emperor Jehangir. The mosque, designed to hold ten thousand worshippers, the palaces, residences and halls of audience are all made of decorative red sandstone. But this magnificence only lasted 14 years, as in 1584 Akbar left Fatehpur Sikri to secure his outlying territories, leaving this city much as we see it today - in perfect condition. This is another very full but rewarding day (approx. 7/8 hrs drive).
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Morning and evening game drives.

    Today is more relaxed as we take two game drives into Ranthambore National Park. The reserve was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1957 and in 1974 became part of Project Tiger. Sadly, after initial success, poaching has drastically reduced the tiger population. However, Ranthambore is still considered one of the best places to spot tigers in the wild and many Exodus groups over the last few years have seen the elusive predator. Tiger aside, Ranthambore is also home to a great variety of wildlife such as several species of monkey, deer, crocodile, birdlife, and together with the scenery, make the visit well worth it.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    To Bundi nestled within the beautiful Aravalli Hills, with its picturesque hillside lake; visit Bundi Fort.

    Today we leave Ranthambore and drive to Bundi. Bundi is a delightful town, with a rustic setting, that stands on the foothills of the Azavali Mountains. Bundi is especially famous for its palaces and the beautifully decorated stepwells that back in the 15th and 18th century were used to collect water during the monsoon season. In the afternoon we visit the Bundi Fort, arguably one of the most beautiful palaces in India, home to outstanding miniature paintings portraying the history of the palace and its royal family. The fort is set high on a hill overlooking Bundi and its Krishna blue stonewashed houses. (Approx. 4 hrs drive)
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    To Udaipur.

    Today we set off on our 145 mile journey to Udaipur. Known as 'The Pearl of Rajasthan', the 'City of Sunrise' and 'Venice of the East', Udaipur is a beautiful place regarded by both Indians and travellers as the most romantic city in India. (Approx. 5 hrs drive)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Full day to explore Udaipur including visiting the City Palace and Jagdish Temple.

    Situated on the east side of Lake Pichola, the main palace commands an unsurpassed view across the shimmering lake to the dusty Aravalli Hills with the luxurious Lake Palace hotel adding to the scene. Lake Pichola has two islands, each with a palace to rival that on the mainland; Jag Mandir and Jag Nivas (the latter is now the Lake Palace Hotel) rise out of their own reflections in the waters of the lake. Udaipur is surrounded by a massive bastion with five gates and dominating the town is the City Palace of the Maharana. The sumptuous apartments are decorated with multi-coloured mosaics, elaborate mirror work and inlaid tiles; half of these can be visited as the current Maharaja still occupies the rest of the palace. We spend the morning visiting the City Palace and Jagdish Temple, with a huge black stone image of Jagannath, an aspect of Lord Vishnu. If time allows it may be possible to visit the gardens of Gulab Bag or take a boat trip on the lake. The afternoon is free to enjoy this evocative city.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    To the Hindu pilgrimage town of Pushkar.

    Today we have an early start and head to Pushkar, pilgrimage town and home to the annual Pushkar Camel Fair. Steeped in mysticism and surrounded by the desert this little town is a holy site on the fringes of a lake. This is a great place to relax and soak up the atmosphere. The drive will be approx. 6-7 hrs in total.
    Full-service camping 

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    Pushkar Camel Fair.

    Full day to enjoy the colourful spectacle of one of Asia's most vibrant festivals. The normally peaceful oasis is transformed into a bustling meeting place when the tranquil desert becomes a colourful blanket of camels, fires and tents with stall holders, musicians and comedians plying their wears amid the high-spirited festivities.

    Full-service camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    Morning sightseeing; afternoon drive to Jaipur.

    In the morning we do some sightseeing; in the centre of town is holy Pushkar lake surrounded by a number of temples including the famous Bramha temple said to be the only temple in the world dedicated to this deity. A dip in the waters of Pushkar Lake and worship at Bramha temple ensure salvation. In the afternoon we drive to Jaipur. (Approx. 3 hrs drive)
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Sightseeing in and around Jaipur; including the Amber Fort, Hawa Mahal, the Observatory and City Palace.

    A day of sightseeing. The 'Pink City' of Jaipur is one of the most attractive and colourful cities in India. Rajah Jai Singh decided to abandon his nearby fortress and palace at Amber in 1727 and laid out a planned city of broad avenues, built of sandstone and painted pink at a later stage. In the centre of Jaipur is the City Palace, formerly the residence of the Maharaja, it is now a fine museum containing rare manuscripts, paintings, royal garments and weapons. Close to the palace is one of the most intriguing sights of India, the observatory of Jai Singh. This is an assembly of immense astronomical instruments made of marble and brass set in a pleasant garden. We will also see Jaipur's impressive landmark, the Hawa Mahal, or Palace of the Winds. A few miles from the main city is the splendid Amber Palace, rising above a lake. The imposing hilltop fort contains large courtyards and interiors with fine decorations including inlaid alabaster panels and a Chamber of Mirrors. Jaipur is a centre of many handicrafts, such as durries (woven rugs), carpets, printed cloth, semi-precious stones, leatherwear etc.; it will be difficult to leave a workshop without buying anything!
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    Drive from Jaipur to Delhi.

    Today we drive back to Delhi (approx. 5-6 hrs). Once back in Delhi you are free to relax, explore the sites of New and Old Delhi (an optional sightseeing trip will be organised if you wish) or you can do some last minute shopping.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    Fly to London.

    Those on the flight inclusive package will depart for London this morning for the daytime flight back to London; Land Only arrangements will finish after check-out from the hotel.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Vaccinations

India

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. The risk of malaria is slight but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Some of our India trips spend time at altitude. In regions over approx. 2000m, there is low to no risk of mosquito-borne diseases. For trips going to altitudes of over 3000m there is a risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness. Our itineraries are designed to enable everyone to acclimatise to these altitudes, but you should be aware that it is still possible for you to be affected. Please see the TRIP NOTES for further information.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 dinners included.

India is famous for its food and there is ample chance to try various curries such as the familiar tandoori, Biriyani and Rogan Josh. But there are other specialities and Western dishes available too. In addition there are wonderful deserts and excellent beers, soft drinks and Indian specialities such as lassi, a refreshing yoghurt drink. You should allow at least GBP13-15 (approx. USD20-25) per day for lunch and dinner. You can eat out very cheaply in India, but if you go to the more expensive restaurants most of the time, you will spend more than the suggested amount. In most of the towns there is a good choice of restaurants and a choice between Indian and Western style food. If you are a vegetarian, India is probably one of the best destinations to travel to. Tea and soft drinks are very cheap. A (large!) bottle of beer is approx. GBP3 (approx. USD5). Mineral water is available in 20ltr containers in the bus, so please bring a water bottle with you to refill. Please note that service in restaurants can be quite slow. 

Weather

Is this trip for you?

Activity Level: 1 (Leisurely). The roads are generally pretty good, but local traffic and/or road damage after the monsoon can sometimes slow us down. We travel mainly on comparatively quiet roads for at least half of the journey. The tour is not overly demanding, but some of the days can be busy, where travelling is combined with sightseeing. Lots of sightseeing is combined with the chance to explore on your own two feet. In Ranthambore National Park tiger spotting is from a large open truck called a 'canter'. Longer distances are covered by private bus. Although the travelling is not demanding, it is a busy itinerary; this, together with the overwhelming effect of some of the crowded cities, can make the trip a little tiring. At certain times of the year it will be hot. There are some long drives, mainly on reasonable roads, but there is plenty of time for sightseeing, exploring or simply watch the world go by in this fascinating region of India. Longer travelling days should take around six to seven hours but delays are possible and journey times can increase. At times it can be quite hot and dusty (except December) and the bustle of the Indian cities can be tiring. This trip does involve a lot of time on the road; however, this gives you the perfect opportunity to see the diversity of one of India's most colourful states.

Please note that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) are responsible for the conservation of many monuments in India, including the Taj Mahal, and very occasionally this may mean that work is taking place at sites visited on this trip. The ASI’s schedule is never published so it is not possible to forewarn our clients of when work will be taking place.

Call for general departures:
0208 772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels & Swiss Cottage Tents

During this trip you will spend 10 nights in hotels, all with en suite facilities. Accommodation for the 2 nights in Pushkar will be provided in en suite Swiss Cottage Tents with attached bathrooms. 

Call for general departures:
0208 772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

The mountains will always draw us back to this majestic country: and now, with the return of a very special trip, the

  • Reviewed January 2016
    Constance Adams

    Colours of Rajasthan

    The trip was GREAT! Harish, our guide was fun and informative. I loved the small group of interesting people. My friend and I were the only Americans on the trip. There were 2 Australians, 1 Canadian, and the rest English for a total of 16. We chose Exodus because we didn't want to travel with only Americans. The itinerary was just right, too.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The two things I REALLY wanted to see on this trip were the Taj Mahal and a tiger in the wild. We got to see both! I had always thought that the Taj Mahal was the most beautiful thing man has ever made, and I still believe that after having the privilege of seeing it for myself. And the tiger is surely one of the most beautiful things God has ever made!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Harish was great. He clearly loves his country, but didn't sugar coat it.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Travel with an open mind and an open heart.
  • Reviewed December 2015
    Eileen Newman

    colours of rajasthan

    An adventure a day..utterly brilliant. We saw a tiger at close quarters, walked at dawn to a Hindu Temple, queued early to see the Taj Mahal at its best..an endless variety, an insight into India, and fun besides

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Where do I begin ? Sitting just feet from a male tiger for almost an hour, a cultural show held in a Haveli, Pushkar Camel Fair, the inlaid stones of the Taj Mahal...being part of worship in Hindu Temple, a boat trip in Udaipur...I cannot isolate one episode.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Having done perhaps a dozen Exodus trips, Harish our guide was probably the best. He was fun, passionate about his country, so caring and willing to adapt to our needs. He seemed to have endless ideas up his sleeve, offering us all sorts of possibilities. We loved the long journeys, so much to see and learn...especially about the wildlife. A first class leader who always went that extra mile.He even arranged a trip for us, as we arrived a day early,what more could you ask for ??

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take few, loose clothes. Keep lots of 10 rupee notes handy for tips in the toilets. Imodium were a good idea, as well as hand gels.Just enjoy it all... There are quite a few opportunities to get laundry done,amazingly efficiently and cheaply. The roads are dusty, so a scarf might be handy at times.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A tiring trip, but the trip notes informed us of this. There is little chance for activity, but endless variety.
  • Reviewed December 2015
    Constance Adams

    Colours of Rajasthan

    Thank you, Exodus, for a wonderful trip to India! My friend and I were the only two Americans on the trip, but it was wonderful to learn of the similarities and differences not only of us and our fellow travelers, but of the people of India as well. We are all people with many of the same dreams and needs. Life in India is very different from what I am used to, but that's why we travel, to broaden our knowledge of our world. This trip surely accomplished that.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were two--seeing the Taj Mahal, which I truly believe is the most beautiful thing man has ever built, and seeing a tiger in the wild, which is surely one of God's most beautiful creatures.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Harish was a wonderful leader. I truly felt cared for and watched after. He was great at explaining the Indian way of life, which was invaluable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Keep your mind and heart open.

Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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