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20 Nights Rajasthan Forts & Palaces with Taj

Destinations Covered
New Delhi-Neemrama-Mandawa-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Udaipur-Kota-Ranthambore-Jaipur-Bharatpur-Fathpursikri-Agra-Delhi

Day 1 New Delhi Arrival

On arrival at Delhi International Airport, you will be met by our representative and assisted to the designated coach/car booked.

Transfer and check-in at selected hotel.

Delhi, the capital city of India, is a blend of many historical eras, which are evident in its many monuments, forts and tombs. The elegant tree-lined avenues and majestic buildings of New Delhi tell us the tales of the British Raj. Delhi encompasses two cities, the older part of the city, Old Delhi, that represents the inherent character of the city (what the city originally was), and its comparatively newer counterpart, New Delhi, that shows the developed character of the city, and is marked by rapid urbanization and infrastructure development (what the city has become). Delhi presents a fine combination of old world charm with modern urban culture.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 2 In Delhi

Post breakfast, full-day sightseeing tour of Old and New Delhi.

The important places in Old Delhi include: the majestic Red Fort, built between 1638 and 1648 with marvellous red stone; Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India, built around 1650; the historical Chandni Chowk, a shoppers hub; and Raj Ghat, the burial site of Mahatma Gandhi. In New Delhi, drive past the President House, built in 1921, the one-time imperial residence of the British viceroys and current residence of the President of India; the India Gate; a war memorial built in 1931. Also visit Humayun's Tomb, built in 1552.

Visit the Lotus Temple, also known as the Baha'i House of Worship.

Also see Qutab Minar, built in 1192 by Qutub-ud-din Aibak and famous Lakshmi-Narayan Temple.

Stay overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 3 Delhi – Neemrana (122km/2hrs 20min)

Post breakfast, check-out and depart for Neemrana Fort Palace.

Neemrana is an ancient historical town, famous for the 16th Century hill-fort that was occupied by the Chauhans until 1947. The erstwhile ruling family is considered to be in the direct lineage from Prithviraj Chauhan. With construction starting in 1464 AD, Neemrana Fort-Palace is located on a high hillock commanding magnificent views of the surroundings. Nowadays, Neemrana Fort is a heritage resort. It is among India's oldest heritage resort hotels, dating from 1986. Its name comes from a valiant local chieftain named Nimola Meo. The Chauhan capital was shifted from Mandhan (near Alwar) to Neemrana when the fort was established by Raja Dup Raj in 1467.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 4 Neemrana – Mandawa (154km/3hrs)

Post breakfast, check-out and depart for Mandawa; on arrival, check-in at the hotel.

Mandawa is known as an “open art gallery”, due to the profusion of beautifully painted havelis in the town and surrounding areas. Many of these depiect mythological and historical themes, including images of gods, goddesses, animals, and the life histories of Shree Rama and Krishna. Mandawa was an important trading spot on the fabled route to China. The structures of this place remind one that this was a cultural and social hotspot in bygone eras. This town exudes an old charm with its colourful bazaar.

In the afternoon, take a half-day excursion of Mandawa, visiting Mandawa Fort, Hanuman Prasad Goenka Haveli, Goenka Double Haveli, Murmuria Haveli, Jhunjhunwala Haveli and Gulab Rai Ladia Haveli.

Mandawa Fort, located in the heart of Madawa City, is a classic example of Rajput architecture, and was built in 1755 AD by Nawal Singh. The fort dominates the town, and has a painted, arched gateway adorned with paintings of Shree Krishna and his cows. The palace's Durbar Hall houses a number of antiques and paintings. The fort rises very high, and offers panoramic views of the city. Mandawa Fort is adorned with beautiful frescoes, and the palace rooms are decorated with paintings of Shree Krishna, exquisite carvings, and amazing mirror work. It has been converted into a heritage hotel.

Hanuman Prasad Goenka, haveli has a painting depicting Indra Dev on an elephant, and Lord Shiva on his Nandi Bull.

Goenka Double Haveli, with two gates, has a monumental façade of elephants and horses. The outer walls, jutting balconies, alcoves and overhanging upper storey are replete with patterns and paintings, ranging from traditional Rajasthani women and religious motifs, to Europeans wearing stylish hats and other Victorian finery.

Murmuria Haveli has paintings of trains, cars, George V, and Venice. These were executed on the walls of this haveli in 1930 by Balu Ram, one of the last working artists of the region. The pictures – like Lord Krishna with his cows, and a young Nehru on a horseback, holding the national flag – uniquely blend the East with the West. The haveli also features a long frieze depicting a train with a crow flying above the engine, and much activity at the railway crossing.

Gulab Rai Ladia Haveli has some of the best decorative outer and inner walls in Mandawa. The blue washes here betray twentieth Century censorship of the erotic scenes that were commonly acceptable one hundred years before.

The murals in the Thakurji temple, located opposite the Goenka Double Haveli and the Murmuria Haveli, show soldiers being shot from the mouths of cannons: a glimpse of the horrors of the Mutiny of 1857. Farther west are a couple of chhatris and a step-well. They are still in use today, and bear paintings inside their decorative corner domes.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 5 Mandawa – Khimsar (275km/5hrs)

Post breakfast, check-out and depart for Khimsar. On arrival, check-in at Hotel Khimar Fort.

Khimsar is a small village nestled at the edge of the Thar Desert. The location of this remote and rural village, facing the water, ensures total tranquillity and peace. Often there is nothing but the sound of shifting sands wafting on the desert winds, occasionally interrupted by the ducks, geese and wild birds.

Once an independent kingdom, Khimsar is most famous for the Khimsar Fort. This was constructed by Prince Rao Karamasji, the eighth son of Rao Jodha – the founder of the royal dynasty of Khimsar – in 1523, with the intention of providing strong defence to the village from invaders. The fort has some finely carved balconies in the women’s section. The royal family moved to the fort in the 18th Century after its construction. Still home to the erstwhile royal family, the Khimsar Fort has been converted into a heritage hotel. The royal garage at the Khimsar Fort is home to a row of vintage cars.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 6 Khimsar – Jaisalmer (302km/7hrs)

Post breakfast, check-out and depart for Jaisalmer.

Jaisalmer is an important ancient trading centre because of its strategic location on the Camel Trading Route. It is often described as the “Golden City”. Situated amid the picturesque Thar Desert, Jaisalmer is a city of fascinating old mansions, better known as havelis (bewitching palaces), as well as sand dunes. It’s blessed with colourful art, architecture, culture and traditions. The folk music of this desert area is an amazing combination of traditions, and it gives a taste of the desert life.

On arrival, check-in at the hotel.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 7 In Jaisalmer

Post breakfast, go on a half-day sightseeing tour of Jaisalmer, visiting Jaisalmer Fort, Patwon Ki Haveli, Salim Singh ki Haveli, then stop for a photo shoot at Gadsisar Lake.

Jaisalmer Fort is one of the largest forts in the world. Built in 1156 AD by Raja Jaisal, the fort stands in the sandy expanse of the great Thar Desert, on Trikuta Hill. It has a museum, shops, hotels, houses and eateries within it. Its massive yellow sandstone walls are a tawny lion colour during the day, and they fade to honey-gold as the sun sets, thereby camouflaging the fort in the yellow desert. For this reason, it is also known as the Sonar Quila or Golden Fort. Rising from the desert sands like a mirage with its 99 turrets, the fort is a real sight.

Patwon ki Haveli is a cluster of five beautifully carved havelis (houses), built by the Patva Brothers in 1800-1860 AD. This massive five-storeyed construction has five intricately decorated huge suites, large corridors and decorated walls, all representing the art forms that prevailed when it was made. The entire construction is made of yellow sandstone. The grandeur of this monument adds immense value to the cultural heritage of the city.

Salim Singh ki Haveli is a grand edifice of six storeys. Built in the 17th Century by Salim Singh, the haveli consists of as many as 38 balconies, each with distinct designs. The front facet of the haveli resembles a ship’s stern, and the beautifully arched roof has superb carved brackets in the form of peacocks.

Gadisar Lake is a man-made water reservoir. The Gadisar Lake was once the only source of water in Jaisalmer. Constructed by the first ruler of Jaisalmer, Raja Rawal Jaisal, it is surrounded by temples and ghats (banks).

Afternoon at leisure.

Later in evening, enjoy a camel safari, and watch the sunset at Sam Sand Dunes with dinner and a Kalbelia Dance Show.

Sam Sand Dunes are located 42km from Jaisalmer, and is a great place to witness the total sandy desert. Sam has a truly magnificent stretch of sweeping dunes, with little or no vegetation.There you see patterns carved in the sand by the desert winds. Camel rides on the sand dunes are an unforgettable experience, as is the sunset.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 8 Jaisalmer – Jodhpur (270km/6hrs)

Post breakfast, check-out and depart for Jodhpur.

Jodhpur, "The Sun City", was founded by Rao Jodha, a chief of the Rathore Clan, in 1459, and is named after him. It was previously known as Marwar. It is divided into two parts: the Old City and the New City. The Old City is surrounded by a 10km long wall, with eight gates leading out. The New City is outside this walled city. Jodhpur’s tourist spots stand as a living proof of the splendour, traditions and culture of Rajputs. The glorious past of Jodhpur is evident through the various forts, palaces and other monuments, such as Mehrangarh Fort, Jaswant Thada, and Umaid Bhavan Palace. The city is known as the "Sun City" because of its bright and sunny weather throughout the year.

On arrival, check-in at the hotel.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 9 In Jodhpur

Post breakfast, go on a half-day sightseeing tour of Jodhpur, visiting Mehrangarh Fort, Umaid Bhawan Palace, and Jaswant Thada.

Mehrangarh Fort is the most magnificent fort in Jodhpur. It is situated on a 150 metres high hill. Rao Jodha, the then-chief of the Rathore clan, constructed it in 1459. There are a number of attractions within the fort: several palaces, galleries, a museum, temples and more.

Jaswant Thada lies to the left of the Mehrangarh fort complex. It is a royal cenotaph made of white marble, and was built to commemorate Maharaja Jaswant Singh. Some rare portraits of the former rulers of Jodhpur are also displayed here.

Umaid Bhavan Palace is one of the most fascinating palaces in Jodhpur. Maharaja Umaid Singh constructed it in 20th Century. A part of the palace has now been converted into a hotel and a museum.

Afternoon at leisure and overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 10 Jodhpur – Ranakpur – Udaipur (275km/8hrs)

Post breakfast, depart for Udaipur, visiting the Jain temples at Ranakpur on the way.

The Ranakpur Jain Temple is acclaimed world-wide for its intricate and superb architectural style, marvellously carved in marble stone. Dedicated to Adinatha, the Jain Temple in Ranakpur rises majestically from the slope of a hill. The temple is an astounding creation with 29 halls and 1,444 pillars, all distinctly carved, with no two being alike. The construction of the temple and quadrupled image symbolize the Tirthankara’s conquest of the four cardinal directions, and hence the cosmos. Marked as one of the five holy places for the Jain community, it was created in the 15th Century.

On arrival, check-in at the hotel.

Udaipur is nicknamed the “City of Lakes”, “Lake City”, or “Venice of the East”, for its picturesque lakes framed by the Aravalli Range. The history of Udaipur shows through a rich and charming tapestry of lakeside palaces, forts, temples and gardens. The erstwhile capital of the Kingdom of Mewar, the city was founded in 1553 by Maharana Udai Singh. From its magnificent palaces and beautiful lakes to its vibrant bazaars, the city is the apogee of romance and beauty.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 11 In Udaipur

Post breakfast, go for a half-day sightseeing tour of Udaipur, visiting the City Palace, Jagadish Temple, Saheliyon-ki-Bari (Courtyard of the Maidens) and Fatehsagar Lake.

The City Palace is a striking architectural marvel, set atop a hill overlooking Lake Pichola. This picture-perfect setting adds to the splendour of this: the largest palace in Rajasthan. Initially, Maharana Udai Singh built this superb wonder, but the present form of the palace is the result of subsequent additions by his successors. The palace has various courtyards, pavilions, terraces, corridors, rooms, hanging gardens, towers, domes and arches, all of which add to the flavour of this heritage site. Encircled by fortifications, this imposing palace is wholly built in granite and marble.

The Jagadish temple was built in 1652, in Indo-Aryan architectural style, by Maharana Jagat Singh. The temple is dedicated to Shree Vishnu (Lakshmi-Narayan), the Preserver of the Universe. This three-storeyed temple is an architectural wonder, comprising beautifully carved pillars, decorated ceilings, painted walls and lush halls. The spire of the main temple is 79 feet high, dominating the skyline of Udaipur. This shikhar (spire) is festooned with sculptures of dancers, elephants, horsemen and musicians, making it truly a sight to behold.

Saheliyon-Ki-Bari, or the “Courtyard of the Maidens”, was built by Maharana Bhopal Singh for a group of 48 young women attendants who accompanied the princess to Udaipur as part of her dowry. With its lush greenery, flowers, beautiful fountains, lotus pools, and marble artefacts and pavilions, Saheliyon-Ki-Bari offers splendid views and used to be a popular relaxing spot for royal ladies.

Fatehsagar Lake is an artificial lake built by Maharana Jai Singh in 1678. The lake, however, got its name from Maharana Fateh Singh, who made additions to it. The lake comprises three small islands, and is surrounded by scenic views of the mighty Aravalli hills.

Afternoon at leisure to relax.

Around sunset, take a relaxing boat ride around Lake Pichola.

A visit to Udaipur is incomplete without taking a boat ride to the resplendent Jag Mandir Palace. The blue water of Lake Pichola evokes a very calm and soothing mood. This hour-long journey gives splendid views of the City Palace Complex, the picturesque ghats, Sajjangarh, and Bagore ki Haveli.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 12 Udaipur – Chittorgarh – Bijaipur (160km/3hrs)

Post an early breakfast, check-out and depart for Bijaipur, visiting Chittorgarh Fort on the way.

Chittorgarh Fort is the epitome of Rajput pride, romance and spirit. It reverberates with the history of heroism and sacrifice, as still sung by the bards of Chittor. The outstanding Fort of Chittor is perched atop a 180-metres-high hillock, covering a massive area of 700 acres. Built in the 7th Century by Mauryans, further structures were added to it by successive Mewar rulers. The mile-long serpentine road to the fort is quite steep and exhausting. The fort is approached through seven huge gateways, or ´pols´, which are guarded by a watch tower and massive iron spikes. The precinct is studded with a series of historical palaces, gates, temples, and two prominent commemoration towers. Chittorgarh was attacked by a more powerful enemy three times (1303, 1535 and 1568); each time, its people chose death before dishonour, performing ‘jauhar’. The men donned saffron martyrs’ robes and rode out from the fort to certain death, while the women and children immolated themselves on huge funeral pyres. After the last of the three sackings, Rana Udai Singh II fled to Udaipur, where he established a new capital for Mewar.

Afterwards, resume journey to Bijaipur.

On arrival, check-in at the Hotel Castle Bijaipur.

Bijaipur Village, at the foot of Vindhyanchal Hills, dates back to 1500 AD, and remains a testament to rural Indian life. The surrounding countryside provides peanuts, mustard, corn and poppy. As you drive toward the village, witness buffalo carts and herds of cattle trundling towards home, raising the dust.

Castle Bijaipur, set within fortified walls in the centre of village, was built in by Rao Shakti Singhji, the younger brother of the great warrior Maharana Pratap. The 16th Century castle was converted to a heritage hotel in 1991 by the ruling family, and it reflects the lifestyle of Mewar. The castle is located adjacent to a wildlife sanctuary, where leopards, chinkaras, spotted deer, birds, crocodiles and wild boar can be seen.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 13 Bijaipur – Kota (170km/3hrs)

Post breakfast, check-out and depart for Kota.

Kota, on the banks of the Chambal River, was founded in the 12th Century. A monument to Rajput traditions and bravery, Kota is famous for its wonderful heritage. Once part of the erstwhile Rajput kingdom of Bundi, it became a separate princely state in the 17th Century. Apart from the several monuments that reflect the town's former glory, Kota is well-known for textile weaving, handicrafts, oilseed, cotton milling, distilleries, gold jewellery, doria sarees made from cotton or silk in an assortment of colours, and delicate gold threads.

On arrival, check-in and stay.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 14 Kota - Ranthambore (147km/3hrs)

Post breakfast, enjoy a half-day sightseeing tour of Kota, visiting City Fort Palace and Rao Madho Singh Museum.

City Fort Palace is situated on the eastern edges of River Chambal. It was built in 1264 and expanded over the years, reaching its present size in 1625, when it was completed. There are some good views from the walls of the fort. The best part of the City Palace is the excellent Rao Madho Singh Museum. The museum was originally a palace, and was later converted into a museum. The palace was named after the son of the first ruler of Kota State, under Mughal emperor Jehangir. The museum showcases an amazing collection of lovely sculptures, Rajput paintings, frescoes and armour. All of these items were used by the Royal Family of Kota, so one can perceive the glory and history of the place.

Afternoon check-out and depart for Ranthambore.

On arrival check-in at hotel.

Over night stay at the hotel.

Day 15 In Ranthambore (147km/3hrs)

Early morning, take a jungle safari to Ranthambore National Park by jeep (subject to availability). The trip lasts for about 3 hours. The jungle safari is an opportunity to spot animal movement and admire the beautiful landscapes in the park. It gives a chance to explore the variety of animals residing in the park.

Afterwards, return to the resort for breakfast.

Ranthambore, at the junction of the Aravallis and the Vindhyas, is a unique juxtaposition of natural and historical richness. It’s spread over a highly undulating topography, varying from gentle to steep slopes: from the flat-topped hills (Indala, Doodh-Bhat and Chiroli) of the Vindhyas, to the conical hillocks and sharp ridges of the Aravallis; and from wide and flat valleys (Lahpur, Nalghati, Khachida, Anantpur etc.) to narrow rocky gorges. An important geological feature, the "Great Boundary Fault", where the Vindhyas were brought against the ancient Aravallis, passes through here. Ranthambhore became a national park in 1980.

Ranthambore National Park, surrounded by the Vindhya and Aravalli hill ranges, is bounded to the north by the Banas River and to the south by the Chambal River. It is named after the historic Ranthambhore Fortress, which lies within the park. The park covers an estimated 392 sq. km. It’s among the finest places in the world to be seen and photographed. Ranthambhore is rich in flora, fauna, canals and waterfalls. Due to its hilly terrain, water is directed to narrow valleys and numerous lakes. Padam Talao, Rajbagh Talao and Malik Talao are three major lakes in Ranthambore National Park, which attract a huge number of animals and birds. Tiger sightings are more likely at Rajbagh Talao, while Malik Talao is home to a large number of crocodiles. The herbivorous population includes striped hyenas, Indian wild boar, chinkara, jackals, Indian flying foxes, Indian foxes, sloth bears, sambar deer, chital, nilgai, macaques, small Indian civets and common mongoose. Different kinds of reptiles are also found here, prominent amongst which are snub nosed marsh crocodiles, desert monitor lizards, tortoise, banded kraits, cobras, common kraits, ganga soft shelled turtles, Indian pythons, north Indian flap shelled turtles, rat snakes, Russel's vipers, saw-scaled vipers and the Indian chamaeleon.

A visit to Ranthambore National Park includes the noteworthy Ranthambore Fort. Built in the 10th Century by the Chauhan rulers, it’s one of the oldest forts in India. Due to its strategic location, the fort was ideal to keep enemies at bay. The fort is also related to the history of the royal women performing jauhar (self-immolation) when the Muslim invader Ala-ud-din Khilji laid siege to this fort in 1303. The fort is characterized by temples, water tanks, massive gates and huge walls. The ruins of Rajput and Mughal cenotaphs, pleasure palaces, watch towers and guard posts dot the park, testaments to its royal and heroic past.

Later in the day, afternoon jeep safari to Ranthambore National Park with naturalist by jeep, or canter visiting Ranthambore Fort.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 16 Ranthambore to Jaipur (151km/3hrs)

Post breakfast, check-out and depart for Jaipur.

On arrival, check-in at the hotel.

Jaipur was founded in 1727 AD by Sawai Jaisingh II. It isthe capital of Rajasthan and popularly known as The Pink City because of the colour of stones used in the walled city. It has broad avenues and spacious gardens. Here the past comes alive in splendid fortresses, majestic palaces, tranquil temples and beautiful havelis. The bustling bazaars of Jaipur – famous for Rajasthani jewellery, fabric and shoes – possess a timeless quality and are surely a treasure-trove for shoppers. This fascinating city, with its romantic charm, takes you back to an epoch of royalty and tradition.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 17 In Jaipur

Post breakfast, proceed for a half-day sightseeing tour to Amber Fort with an elephant ride starting from base till the main entrance of the fort.

The Amber Fort is set in a picturesque location about 11km from Jaipur. It presents a fascinating blend of Rajputana architecture. The original palace was built by Raja Man Singh, and additions were made later by Sawai Jai Singh; it’s built in red sandstone and white marble. The palace complex comprises the Diwan-e-aam (Hall of Public Audience) and the Diwan-e-Khas (Hall of Private Audience), as well as the Sukh Niwas, The private chambers of the queens, where windows with latticed screens once enabled royal ladies to watch the proceedings of the court in privacy. There is also the Jai Mandir (Temple of Victory), with its famed Sheesh Mahal (Hall of Mirrors).

The walls of the Amber fort are adorned with paintings of hunting and war, along with precious stones and mirrors set into the plaster. The Maota Lake in the forefront of the fort reflects the magnificent fort and palace in spectacular and beautiful ways. The most fascinating way to reach the Amber fort is on elephant back: truly a royal experience.

Important Note

  • Elephant ride timings: 07:30 to 10:00.
  • Elephant ride is subject to availability.

Later in the afternoon, go on a half-day sightseeing tour of Jaipur City, visiting the City Palace Museum and Observatory (Jantar Mantar), the Albert House and Jaigarh Fort.

The City Palace is the former royal residence. Part of it is now converted into a museum, while a small portion is still used by the royal family of Jaipur. The Armoury Museum here houses an impressive array of weaponry: pistols, blunderbusses, flintlocks, swords, rifles and daggers.

Jantar Mantar is an observatory begun by Jai Singh in 1728. This Jaipur observatory is the largest stone and marble crafted observatory in the world, and the best preserved of the five observatories he built.

Drive past Hawa Mahal, a component of the City Palace. The five-storeyed building, with 953 windows, allowed woman of royal entourage to watch the activities on the street without being observed.

The Albert House Museum is named after King Edward VII (Albert Edward); its foundation stone was laid on 6 February 1876. The museum has a rich collection of artefacts like paintings, carpets, ivory, stone, metal sculptures, and colourful crystal works.

Jaigarh Fort stands on a hilltop, overlooking the palaces and the city of Amer. The world’s biggest cannon on wheels – the Jai Ban – is positioned here. It was built during the reign of Maharaja Sawai Jaisingh, and has a twenty-foot long barrel.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 18 Jaipur – Bharatpur (192km/4hrs)

Post breakfast, check-out and depart for Bharatpur.

On arrival, check-in at the hotel.

Bharatpur was founded in 1733 by Suraj Mal, who carved it out of the region formerly known as Mewat. Named after Shree Ram’s younger brother Bharat, Bharatpur was the only kingdom in Rajasthan ruled by a dynasty of non-Rajput kings. Maharaja Suraj Mal displayed immense bravery, and made an army out of fierce Jat peasants. He erected many palaces and forts. Bharatpur is best known as the home of Keoladeo National Park / Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary.

Afternoon at leisure to relax.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 19 Bharatpur – Fathpursikri - Agra (55km/3hrs Including Fathpursikri Sightseeing)

Post breakfast, visit Keoladeo National Park with a naturalist.

Bharatpur Bird sanctuary, also known as Keoladeo Ghana National Park, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is home to 364 species of birds. It derives its name from an ancient Hindu temple devoted to Shiva, which stands at the centre of the park. The park’s major attractions are the numerous migratory birds, which come from as far away as Siberia and Central Asia to spend their winters in Bharatpur, before returning to their breeding grounds. Migratory birds at Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary include: cranes, pelicans, geese, ducks, eagles, hawks, shanks, stints, wagtails, warblers, wheatears, flycatchers, buntings, larks and pipits.

In the afternoon, check-out and depart for Agra, visiting Fathpur Sikri on the way.

Fatehpur Sikri: Emperor Akbar was impressed by the Sufi saint Sheikh Salim Chishti’s divine prediction of an heir to the Mughal Empire. He decided to construct a beautiful walled city complex in the saint’s honour. This stunning complex took almost fifteen years to complete, and served as the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1571 to 1585. It is not just a monument but a huge land comprising royal palaces, courts and much more. Following are some of the important attractions in Fatehpur Sikri.

Buland Darwaza is the highest gateway in the world, and is the main entrance to the palace at Fatehpur Sikri.

Diwan-e-Aam is a common hall for ‘audience’. All public meetings and gatherings were held here.

Diwan-e-Khas is a hall for private audiences. It is said that this is the place where Akbar held all of his private meetings.

Jodha Bai's Palace is dedicated to Akbar’s Rajput wife Jodha Bai. This palace is the largest; several Hindu architectural styles suggest that the Palace was occupied by a Hindu lady.

Sheikh Salim Chisti's Tomb is a marvellous tomb inside Fatehpur Sikri. The Mughal Emperor Akbar had no sons and so he went to Sheikh Salim Chisti, whose blessings gave him three sons. As a mark of honour to the saint, Akbar built his tomb inside the city.

After sightseeing, resume journey to Jaipur.

On arrival, check-in at the hotel.

Agra is home to the magnificent Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The city rose to prominence as the capital of the Mughal Empire in the 16th Century, and most of the city's acclaimed heritage sites date back to this era. Carrying the artistic heritage of the Mughal Empire into the present day, the streets of Agra are dotted with ancient buildings existing in happy harmony with modern day shops and houses.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 20 In Agra

An early morning visit to the Taj Mahal at sunrise.

Taj Mahal, the epitome of love, stands on the banks of the River Yamuna. Built in 1648 by the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan, in memory of his empress Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj attracts millions of tourists from all over the world. To experience the beauty of this architectural marvel, you need to view it at different times of the day and year. It is made entirely of white marble and decorated with exquisite pietra dura (stone inlay) work, and different types of precious and semi-precious stones were used in the intricate inlay work done on the interiors. The white marble changes its hue with the variations in the daylight. In moonlight, particularly on the full moon night, the marble appears extraordinarily luminescent. This magnificent monument is built around a “four garden” plan, split by watercourses – reflecting the influence of the Persian architectural style. On a trip to the Taj, it is always better to sit around in the garden and admire the scenic beauty, rather than rushing through to see the monument. Immerse yourself in the serene atmosphere to make your visit even more memorable.

Post breakfast in the hotel, morning at leisure to relax with a car and driver at disposal.

Afternoon visit to Agra Fort at 16:30.

The Agra Fort is a massive red sandstone structure, located on the banks of the Yamuna River. Construction of the fort was started in 1565 by the Mughal Emperor Akbar, and further additions were subsequently made, up until the reign of his grandson Shah Jahan. Originally built for military purposes, it was later used as a palace, and eventually even served as a prison where Shah Jahan was confined by his son Aurangzeb. The fort runs along a length of 2.5 km within enclosed walls; it encompasses several exquisite palaces such as the Shah Jahani Mahal, Jahangiri Mahal, Khas Mahal, as well as audience halls named Diwan-e-Aam and the Diwan-e-Khas. It further contains a fish pavilion, the Nagina Masjid, the Garden of Grapes and the Pearl Mosque.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 21 Agra to Delhi (200km/3hrs 20min)

Post breakfast, check-out and transfer to New Delhi Airport/Railway Station or any convenient point for your onward journey.

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