- Day 1 : Arrive New Delhi, India
Welcome to India!
Arrive into New Delhi - India's capital which is a great fusion of the ancient and the modern - standing along the West End of the Gangetic Plain, the city is rich with culture, beautiful architecture and human
diversity. It is a city of history, monuments, museums, galleries, gardens and glamorous spectacles.
Comprising two contrasting yet harmonious parts, Old Delhi and New Delhi, the city is the main travel hub of Northern India.
Upon arrival, transfer to The Imperial Hotel. The hotel designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens when he redesigned Delhi in 1933, is located on Janpath, the former Queensway, in the city’s main business and shopping area. The building is a mixture of Victorian and old colonial styles, creating the aura of an early 19th century English manor, with an extensive collection of art.
Night at The Imperial
- Day 2 : Delhi
This morning, proceed to visit Old Delhi, the historic city also known as Shahjanabad, where some of
Delhi's best-known local food joints are found. Here you’ll wander through narrow alleyways and enjoy an authentic Delhi street food-style breakfast. Keep your eye out for the local Chaiwala (tea maker), well
known for his delicious milky tea.
Post breakfast, head to Jama Masjid, Delhi's oldest mosque and one of its most impressive buildings.
While Hinduism is the dominant religion in Delhi, there is also a significant Sikh population – so continue the religious theme with an insight into the food traditions of Delhi’s Sikh residents over a vegetarian lunch at a local Sikh temple.
After lunch, tour Chandni Chowk, one of the oldest and busiest markets in Old Delhi. Visit the spice
warehouses in the back alleys of Khari Baoli, Asia's largest wholesale spice market. See the spice selling
process from truck to table, and meet a spice seller to hear him talk about how he mixes the spices for
Optional - this evening, take the unique opportunity to visit a local family for a home-cooked meal – get an insight into the day-to-day life of Delhites and enjoy a delicious dinner. Shivani is a Punjabi from the holy city of Amritsar in north India and her husband Kapil is a Peshawari who settled in Delhi after the partition. Shivani has been cooking since she was a teenager and has inherited all her Amritsari recipes and cooking techniques from her mother. You can expect to learn from your host Shivani how to make 2-3 of the dishes you will be eating (this cooking demo and dinner are optional suggestion at an additional cost).
Night at The Imperial
- Day 3 : Delhi – Jaipur drive (270 km/4.5 hrs)
Post breakfast; drive (4 hrs) to Jaipur – the “Pink City”. Founded by Maharajah Sawai Jai Singh II in 1727, it is the only city in India symbolizing the nine divisions of the universe through nine rectangular sectors subdividing it according to the principles laid down in the “Shilpa Shastra”, the ancient Indian treatise on architecture.
Upon arrival, check-in to Samode Haveli. An urban oasis in the historic walled city of Jaipur, Samode Haveli is a traditional Indian mansion set in a verdant garden with apartments arranged around a series of intimate courtyards. Built 175 years ago as a residence of the rulers of Samode, it is still occupied by their descendants, who have converted their home into a luxury hotel.
Late afternoon, go for visit to a beautiful 600-acre private jungle farm on the outskirts of Jaipur. Here we will arrange an exclusive elephant safari. The elephant safaris are conducted in the original Aravali forests surrounding the camp and follow a route through villages, agricultural fields, rolling hills, ancient monuments and thick forests thriving with birdlife. Later enjoy the food and ambience at the Dera Amer. A sizzling Indian barbecue will be cooked in front of you. You’ll be eating home-style local Rajasthani food, all made with fresh produce and seasonal vegetables picked from the farm. (Elephant safari and dinner are inclusive in the package, however, alcohol would be charged separately as per actual consumption).
Night at Samode Haveli
- Day 4 : Jaipur
After breakfast, depart for the deeply impressive Amber Fort. Construction of the Fort was started by Raja Man Singh I in the year 1592. The fort is remarkable as much for the majestic grandeur of its surroundings as for its sturdy battlements and beautiful palaces. It is a fine blend of Hindu & Muslim architecture.
Our tour continues with a visit to Jantar Mantar, an observatory built by Sawai Jai Singh ll in the 18th
century. The Maharajah, a scientist as well as an astronomer, translated the principles of Euclid into
Sanskrit. One of the most remarkable sites in Jaipur, the Jantar Mantar has fourteen major geometric
devices for measuring time, predicting eclipses and tracking stars and planets. We go on to the city palace built within the fortified area of the original city, with one of the finest monumental entrances in India. The palace is now principally a museum housing a collection of great treasures, including miniature paintings, carpets, royal garments and other interesting objects from Jaipur's intriguing past. The former royal family retains a part of the palace for their personal use.
For lunch, try a local favourite, Kachori at LMB. Kachori is deep-fried bread stuffed with vegetables and
lentils and are one of the most sought after snacks in north India. If sweets are your thing, try the Mawa
Kachori, a dried fruit and Mawa (milk solids) stuffed Kachori, deep-fried and coated in sugar syrup.
Visit to the Johri bazaar. As a major trading centre for gems and jewelry, we will check out Jaipur's famed enamel jewelry and vast resources of cut and uncut precious stones.
Optional – go for another authentic home cooking experience with Vasudha. She has lived all over the
world and owns a food event company called the Jaipur Kitchen. She is famous for her slow-cooked
Mughlai meat dishes that are inspired by Rajasthani flavors. You will learn about spices, make your own masalas and prepare succulent kababs. For your meal you will enjoy the two or three dishes you learn how to prepare in her studio kitchen as well as an additional three or four dishes prepared by Vasudha (this cooking demo and dinner are optional suggestions at an additional cost).
Alternatively, return to the hotel and cool off in the swimming pool or enjoy a spa treatment until…it’s
time for dinner.
Night at Samode Haveli
- Day 5 : Jaipur – Nimaj drive (230 km/4 hrs)
After breakfast at the hotel, we will drive you (2 hrs) to the Chhatra Sagar. Few places in India come more spectacular than this. Your luxurious camp is pitched on a dam, overlooking a lake bustling with birds and surrounded by grasslands full of wildlife. The owners are the charming Nimaj family, fourth generation of Thakur Chhatra Singh who first created this unique rainwater reservoir. They are always personally involved in looking after their guests.
In the afternoon, you will experience rural Rajasthan, accompanied by one of your hosts. Venture out to
explore the farms, local temples and meet the villagers. You can also take a drive through the grasslands to see myriad bird species and herds of blue bulls, which are unique to this area. Watching the light of day slowly fade into myriad shades of pink and yellow above the waters is an experience you will not forget easily.
We continue for an Al Fresco dinner under the stars. The recipes for the meals served at the Chhatra Sagar have been in use for generations and are prepared in the family kitchen using fresh farm produce grown locally.
Night at Chhatra Sagar
- Day 6 : Nimaj – Jodhpur drive (115 km/2 hrs)
After a leisurely breakfast, drive (2 hrs) to Jodhpur, the “Blue City”, founded in 1459 by Rao Jodha. While the graceful palaces, forts and temples bring alive the historic grandeur of the city, the exquisite
handicrafts, folk dancers and brightly attired locals lend a romantic aura to this medieval city.
Upon arrival, transfer to RAAS. This glorious little hotel lies at the foot of the mighty Mehrangarh Fort, in the heart of Jodhpur’s Walled City. It is the only luxury hotel in the Old Town and the views of the fort looming above are quite spectacular. The hotel comprises four beautiful, old, restored, red sandstone buildings juxtaposed with slick, modern structures. It won the 2013 WAN "Hotel of the Year"- award and the "World Holiday Building of the Year"- award at the 2011 Barcelona Architecture Festival. It has been featured in Elle, Conde Nast Traveller, Tattler, the Financial Times and Travel + Leisure, among many others.
Relax by the pool or enjoy a spa treatment until it’s time of dinner. “ila only” spa specialize in natural and ethical results-driven treatments. Inspired by the energy of their surroundings, they facilitate a
reconnection to the beauty and bliss that resides within.
Early evening, enjoy a specially-tailored menu as you gaze at the beautifully-lit Mehrangarh Fort. Chef will first demonstrate “Mulligatawny”, the only Indian International soup and 1 or 2 more of his specialties before he serves you fragrant dishes which sizzle with the aromas of hand-ground old delhi spices, specially selected from a 200 year old shop hidden in the warren of Old Delhi. Seasonal vegetables, salads and herbs are homegrown in RAAS’ own organic garden.
Night at Raas
- Day 7 : Jodhpur
After breakfast at the hotel, your guide will take you around the meticulously restored Mehrangarh Fort. It was founded by Rao Jodha in 1459. Here you will enjoy a treat for the senses as well as the intellect with a glimpse into the remnant of a bygone age in which royalty, chivalry and beauty reigned.
The Mehrangarh houses grand palaces; the notable ones are the Phool Mahal (Flower Palace), with its
beautifully painted walls, Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace) with its Shringar Chowk (coronation seat) featuring peacock armrests and gilded elephants, Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Palace), the Umaid Villas and the Daulat Khana. At the Daulat Khana, you will get to see a rich and varied collection of fine Rajput miniatures and Ragmala paintings. The Mehrangarh Fort Palace Museum also houses a rich collection of royal memorabilia, armory and arms, bejeweled howdahs, palanquins etc. The display of cannons at the rampart of the Fort gives you a glimpse of the gallant history of Mehrangarh.
If you feel adventurous, take the aerial tour by the Flying Fox zip lines, operated by a British adventure
company, found in the Chokhelao garden at Mehrangarh Fort (flying fox zip lines is an optional suggestion at an additional cost).
A cluster of a few houses is known as “Dhani” in Rajasthan. Those who want to live in proximity to their
fields make their huts in the field and are able to take care of their crop in a better way. The crop when
ready is a valuable asset and needs to be properly guarded from stray animals and enemies.
Based on the above theme, one of the heritage palace hotels has recently introduced a new restaurant in
their property where ladies make food live and serve lunch or dinner then and there. It is based on
authentic Rajasthani Dhani theme with interior of village with a sitting arrangement on gadda (square cut foam mattress) with a round table. Beyond the food & drinks there will be a live traditional instrumental music (dinner here is an optional suggestion at an additional cost).
Alternatively, enjoy some South Indian dishes at one of our favourite South India cuisine restaurant.
Night at Raas
- Day 8 : Jodhpur – Rohet drive (55 km/1.5 hrs)
After breakfast, drive (1 hr) to Rohet Garh. Situated on the edge of the Great Thar Desert, just south of
Jodhpur, this lovely, family run fort is an ideal choice for those wanting to stay outside the city, in a rural environment. It was named one of the "101 Best Hotels in the World" in the 2008 Tattler Travel Guide, and won the "Traveller's Choice Award" on TripAdvisor in 2012.
En-route, you could stop in village Salawas for ‘durry’ (carpet) weaving at Roopraj Durries Udyog (a small scale industry).
Spend the remaining part of the day horse riding, go on a camel or village safari by jeep showcasing the
prevalent Bishnoi tribal culture surrounding Rohet Garh or pamper yourself in the spa. Guests have called a meal at Rohet Garh their best in India. This resulted in the late Thakurani Sahiba
Jayendra Kumari authoring a small cookbook on the cuisine. Under her expert guidance, they began their culinary workshops. Today her legacy is carried forward by her daughter in-law, Rashmi Singh. Their workshops promote traditional Rajasthani cuisine and are extremely comprehensive and popular. The guests are not only given demonstrations but also practical training following which they get to sample their own efforts! (this cooking demo and dinner are optional suggestions at an additional cost).
Night at Rohetgarh
- Day 9 : Rohet – Kumbhalgarh drive (143 km/3 hrs) – Udaipur drive (84 km/2 hrs)
After breakfast, we will first drive (approx. 3 hrs) to visit the majestic Kumbhalgarh Fort 1452 A.D sitting wonderfully perched upon the Aravali Ranges. Also, famous for having the second longest wall after the Great Wall of China. The drive takes you through the Adivasi (indigenous tribes) villages of Bheels, Meenas and Garasiyas. The cultural heritage of these Adivasis takes one back into the early days of civilization.
Villages in this region still use the ancient Persian Wheel for irrigating their fields.
After lunch at the nearby Aoudhi Hotel (lunch is not part of the package), drive (2 hrs or so) to Udaipur.
Udaipur is known as the "Venice of the East" and the "Most Romantic City of India". An enchanting town in the heart of the Aravali Mountains, Udaipur is home to three interconnected lakes - the Fateh Sagar Lake, Lake Pichola and the smaller Swaroop Sagar Lake. It is a city of forts, palaces, temples, gardens, mountains and narrow lanes lined with stalls.
Upon arrival, check-in to RAAS Devigarh. One of India’s most sublime ‘boutique’ hotels, this glorious 18th century hilltop fort palace is a little gem, hidden away in the Aravali Hills. It ranks #2 of 6 hotels in
Rajsamand and was awarded the TripAdvisor "Certificate of Excellence" in 2013.
Late afternoon, we will have the Chef joins you for a visit to nearby market following by a visit to Chef’s
organic garden where you can pick your own fresh salad/vegetables/herb which will be served on the table for dinner. We could also arrange for a cooking demo either at the organic garden or upstairs at their bar deck (this is optional activity at an additional cost).
Night at RAAS Devigarh
- Day 10 : Udaipur
After breakfast, go for a visit to the opulent City Palace, standing on a crest overlooking Lake Pichola. The majestic palace is a stunning blend of medieval European architecture, surmounted by balconies, towers, cupolas and terraces with wonderful views of the city and lake. The main part of the palace is now a museum with an interesting, eclectic collection.
Stop to see the Crystal Gallery in the Fateh Prakash Palace. This amazing museum in Durbar Hall houses the world’s largest cut crystal collection, with ornaments, fountains, vases, crockery, furniture and beds. We will also visit a private collection of vintage cars.
This will be followed by a visit to Udaipur bazaar which is famous for its craftsmanship on wood and clay. We’ll also take you to visit an artist’s school where you may try your hand at painting a miniature painting.
Optional - In the evening enjoy a cooking demonstration with an expert cook followed by dinner with a
Rajput family at Devra, a colonial style house built on top of a hillock in the lap of the Aravali hills of
Udaipur. It overlooks the city of Udaipur and offers grand panoramic views of the Udaipur environs, once the scene of many a hunt and battle (this cooking demo and dinner are optional suggestions at an
Night at RAAS Devigarh
- Day 11 : Udaipur – Delhi – Home
Fly to Delhi by either Indigo Airline flight 6E-747 at 1410/1530 hrs or evening Indigo flight 6E-4299 at
1925/2045 hrs and catch the connecting International flight to your next destination.