Rajasthan tours, India

“As well as the classics such as the Taj and the Raj, this small group tour gets to grips with the gorgeous grassroots of Rajasthan, and the wildlife wonders of Ranthambhore NP.”

Highlights

Delhi | Taj Mahal and Agra | Bassi | Jaipur | Ranthambhore National Park (not in monsoon season) | Udaipur | Bundi | Holy City of Pushkar

Description of Rajasthan tours, India

Rajasthan tours in India are a journey through the north’s great desert state, although we start in Delhi where, after taking in its most wonderful sites, we take a train to Agra to see the Red Fort and of course the renowned Taj Mahal.

From here we head into Rajasthan itself, starting in the rural town of Bassi and then moving on to the world famous, majestic city of Japiur where we spend two days. The capital of this great state, its ancient walled city is home to two palaces, and is also famous for glowing in pink, thanks to everything being built with the local red sandstone.

You can’t visit Rajasthan without going to Ranthambore National Park, one of the top habitats in India for the Bengal tiger and where we take an evening jeep safari. Please note that the park is closed between 1 July and 30 September every year, during which period we will visit Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary instead.

Bundi and Bijaipur are our next two stops, the former famous for its eponymous lake and palace and the latter a more rural spot where we take another jeep outing. From here we head further south by private vehicle to Udaipur, completely different from other Rajasthani towns and known as the Venice of the East, thanks to its complex lake system that winds its way around palaces, temples and waterside dwellings.

Our final stop in Rajasthan travelling by train is in Pushkar, with more water at its heart. Because Pushkar Lake is a sacred site, with pilgrims packing into the bustling ghats and temples around it. You can also take a camel ride out to the desert from here, which is a highlight for many people on this trip. Finally, we take the train back to Delhi to bring this ravishing Rajasthan odyssey to a close.

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Our top tip:
The greeting ‘Namaste’ is overused by tourists. Try "Ram Ram" instead, much more typical in Rajasthan.
Trip type:
Small group, max. 12 people.
Solos:
Welcome. Surcharge for single room when available.
Accomm:
10 nights in standard hotels, 3 nights heritage accommodation, 1 night in luxury tent.
Included:
Accommodation, transport (except airport transfers), activities, tour leader.
Meals:
3 breakfasts, 2 dinners. Budget £200 for extra meals.
Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type

Small group adventure

What is a small group adventure?
It's a great way to travel! Whether you are travelling on your own, with a partner or with friends, a small group trip is a fantastic way to see the world. You'll travel on a fixed itinerary that has been designed to help you discover the best of region. From the known highlights, the hidden gems that you won't find in the guidebooks.

Itineraries run on set departure dates, accompanied every step of the way by an English speaking local group leader. You chose the itinerary and the date that suits you best and you book on.

Why travel on a small group adventure?
Small groups allow us to explore where larger tour groups can't. Our maximum group size of 16 travellers allows us to use local transport to get from A to B, to visit rural villages, spend time with the locals and even stay at a local home overnight, and it allows us to give our travellers genuine, real life experiences of the countries we are visiting; what you'll be doing and how you'll travel depends entirely on your chosen itinerary.

Is an adventure right for me?
The word adventure means something different to everyone, and our range of trips reflects that. Whether you want to explore local markets, visit out of the way temples and meet local people or go on an early morning safari drive searching for the 'big five', we'll have a trip for you. If you are looking for a physical challenge such trekking the Kokoda Track or summiting Kilimanjaro, we can help with that too.

So what can I expect on this trip?
This is a classic style of small group adventure. You'll find your trip combines a good mix of included activities and free time, with some meals included as per your itinerary. We don't want you to feel chaperoned, it's your holiday not ours. Your group leader will be on hand to assist with organising anything you might wish to do in your free time, but how you spend it is up to you. Anything listed as included in your itinerary will be included in trip price; whereas anything listed as optional will be at an additional cost should you wish to take part.

These trips are great value, including things that you would struggle to organise independently, such as a night at a homestay in a remote village, or local guides around a remote place of interest. Transport will be a combination of private vehicle and public transport, whichever is the most appropriate for the route we are travelling; this might include train, plane, camel, tuk tuk, bicycle, boat…

On a majority of these trips you'll stay in 2-3 star accommodation, locally owned and reflective of the region you are travelling through. All solo travellers will be automatically roomed on a twin share basis with another group member of the same sex, unless you opt to pay for your own room at time of booking. There are no compulsory single supplements for solo travellers willing to share. Single rooms aren't available on camping trips, and you will be expected to help out with camp tasks such as setting up and breaking down your camp.
“You have to divest yourself of the cultural trappings that you bring from your own homes. India is indeed a feast for the soul.”

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
We constantly monitor the manner in which the elephants at Amber Palace in Jaipur are treated. With the help of a local organisation, Help in Suffering, and the information gathered from our leaders and passengers, we have decided to not include the elephant ride up to the palace due to the inhumane manner in which these animals are maintained. On the Agra-Jaipur highway, there are numerous sloth bears being used to entertain tourists and they are badly abused and beaten. Through our foundation, we support the efforts of an organisation called Wildlife SOS in their setting up a sanctuary to care for these tortured bears. In voluntarily giving up the bears to the project, the owners are re-educated and re-skilled and are compensated with motorized rickshaws or welding tools.

Community

The Impacts of this Trip

You will be accompanied by local leaders on this trip who will take you into temples, mosques, shrines and gurudwaras where appropriate, and are able to teach the group about the etiquette and customs specific to the places visited, enabling a deeper understanding for the group of the communities and cultures encountered in India. In a country where so many ethnic communities live together, it’s important to respect individual religious beliefs. Our company wants to promote this understanding through insight into religious and cultural practices.

Where possible we will travel on local bus or on the Indian Railways minimising our demand for special tourist vehicles and fuel while giving you plenty of opportunity to meet and interact with local communities.

One of the major organisations we support in India is Deepalaya. Through Deepalaya, our company are currently sponsoring a number of children in the slums of South Delhi to complete their schooling, an opportunity they would otherwise not be able to afford. Since 1990, the support of this organisation has enabled thousands of children to receive quality education and become professionally qualified as, for example, teachers and technicians.

At the end of our journey travellers may donate any unwanted clothing, medicines and bandages, which are distributed to a group called Goonj. This organisation is a nationwide movement that provides help to remote villages in Assam, Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal, Uttaranchal and wherever the demand arises or disaster forces people to look for support.

Climate

8 Reviews of Rajasthan tours, India

4.5 out of 5 stars
SHOW
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Reviewed on 26 Jan 2020 by

So many magical memories. What I really loved was the cohesive and infectious enthusiasm of the group energy and the ease because of our highly organized, fun tour leader Afshar who took care of our logistics with expertise and caring attention. Read full review

Reviewed on 06 Nov 2019 by

The most amazing experience, mainly due to our highly skilled and approachable tour leader Arpu (Arhana), India is an amazing place and completely exceeded all my expectations. Read full review

Reviewed on 03 Nov 2019 by

Very good, specially because of all the contacts with local people. Read full review

Reviewed on 10 Mar 2019 by

The main part of the holiday was great, with a very well balanced itinerary, and we had a brilliant guide. The most exciting things were catching a first closeup sight of the Taj Mahal and seeing tigers in Ranthambore. Read full review

Reviewed on 05 Mar 2016 by

Seeing tigers in Ranthambore National Park- yes two less than twenty feet away. I had no expectations of seeing so to come across one resting beside the track who was then joined by another was amazing. Read full review

Reviewed on 22 Mar 2015 by

Don't hesitate to book. Just go! It was amazing. The operator uses local transport, including trains. The hotels were small businesses and not part of large world wide chains. Our group was a mix of ages from 20 year olds to over 60's so it is suitable for all wanting to experience India. Read full review

Reviewed on 23 Jan 2014 by

Most memorable - the amazing places we stayed and the wonderful people we met most exciting - being driven through the streets of Delhi, it got the adrenaline pumping anyway! Read full review

Reviewed on 08 Nov 2011 by

The most memorable part was the Camel Fair at Pushkar. To see so many camels and horses assembled in one spot was awesome. Read full review

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