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.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

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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.

Can I book my flights with you?
Yes! We are a fully ATOL bonded tour operator meaning that we can book flights from the UK as part of your holiday package. Just ask us for a quote including flights when you make your enquiry.
“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

Responsible tourism: Rajasthan tours, India

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.

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.

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.

9 Reviews of Rajasthan tours, India

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 05 Mar 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


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.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


As the trip moves on almost every day there is quite a lot of unpacking/packing so make life easy for yourself and pack light!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Travel covered most forms so included public trains and buses so no additional load on the environment.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Travel to fill all your senses with many surprises and some chance to relax along the way.

Reviewed on 22 Mar 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


It is impossible to choose from so many wonderful experiences. The Rajasthan palaces and forts were stunning in their scale and beauty and it was amazing to stay in two that were now offering hotel accommodation. The bright colours of the saris worn by women at work in the fields was a very memorable sight too.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


It was a well planned itinerary covering a wide range of cultural and leisure activities making the most of the two weeks in India. Don't hesitate to book. Just go! It was amazing. One thing we found a minor problem with was the lack of credit card facilities so be prepared to use ATMs to get out cash. ATMs are widely available but could be temperamental, working some times and not others
for no apparent reason. We were taken to some 'factory outlets' which were expensive and Used the hard sell. Think carefully before buying from these places. It is better to wander through the shops and markets to check out prices, quality and choice.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


The operator uses local transport, including trains. The hotels were small businesses and not part of large world wide chains. The company has a carbon off set scheme with a large tree planting programme to help off set the impact of the holiday on the environment. It included visits to local markets, villages and farms which allowed us to see the real India and understand the lives of the people. It provided a canvas bag to use for shopping to reduce the use of plastic bags.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


It was a brilliant holiday, good value for money and I would enthusiastically recommend it to others. 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.

Reviewed on 23 Jan 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


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!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


We went in January, it was pretty chilly, especially on some of the early mornings, take some warm clothes.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We didn't see any direct impact on the local people as a result of our holiday or tour providers. Although we stayed in some locations where the hotel was the main source of employment, but I expected to see more projects in the small, rural areas we visited.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


The holiday was fantastic, it was my first 'tour' holiday and I enjoyed leaving all the planning (and worrying) to someone else. There was a good balance of organised activities and free time to do our own thing. We visited some amazing places, met some lovely people, saw amazing sights and ate an awful lot of curry! I much preferred the rural areas we visited, the people were lovely. I became a bit tired of the frenetic mayhem of Delhi and the constant pestering from locals.

Reviewed on 20 Dec 2011 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


We had many memorable and exciting experiences from this trip. Some of the local villages we visited were fantastic in terms of getting a glimpse of rural life in Rajasthan. We also stayed at some very interesting accommodation.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Bring supplies of tissues of all kinds - toilet, face, hand and wet wipes - they will come in handy! Pack your suitcase with old clothes that can be donated to charity at the end of the trip.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Possibly some benefits to the local people in terms of spending money there but no long term benefits.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


The tour was fantastic - one of our most memorable trips. We had a great tour leader (Veerendra Rathore) who went the extra mile for the group.

Reviewed on 08 Nov 2011 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The Camel Fair at Pushkar. To see so many camels and horses assembled in one spot was awesome.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Do take Olbas oil as the fumes from toot toots and cars is unbearable and a few drops on a tissue held to the nose really helps.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Oh definitely. We used local guides, visited small villages and bought goods we saw being made in their homes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Fantastic.

Reviewed on 08 May 2011 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The most memorable parts of the holiday in Rajasthan were the diversity of the scenery and the people. The colours and the smells and the respect for cows are also etched into my memory. Despite the busy and often scary driving all motorists avoided the cows with skill and care. This level of respect could be used to develop other areas where respect and care does not so readily exist. People were generally very happy and were very welcoming. It was a lovely holiday and one I will remember for a long time.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be prepared for a diverse level of accommodation and prices charged for basic commodities such as bottled water. All the hotels provided clean towels and bedding so there is no need to take your own. If possible have a good camera with you as there are sights to see and to capture for the future.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


I was led to believe that there was a 'good water provision in place' that would mean the purchase of bottled water was not necessary. This did not turn out to be the case and for the majority of us that meant buying approximately 4 litres of water a day in plastic bottles which amounts to 48 bottles a day! I think the holiday benefited those persons who own the accommodation and certain companies that we visited through the hiring of tuk-tuks or taxis. I think that we could have had a bigger impact on local small retailers if we had been taken or guided to the smaller shops and market stalls that were available in the cities we stayed in.

I think more guidance needs to be provided to the visitors about the potentially negative impact they have on children and families by continually taking their photographs. Although many children already shout 'one photo', the children themselves are not aware of what happens to the photographs they so willing give or provide to long lines of visitors. The one phrase has been learnt from an early age and is in my opinion a form of tourist exploitation; each group building on this as it is seen as 'sweet' that the children want their photos taken.

Guidance was provided by the Group Leader not to give money to the children but he did say it was ok to buy goods off children; this is debatable when the child earns money through this for his family or minder and may not be going to school as he has to work.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


The holiday was at times quite tiring, but it was a wonderful experience and one that I hope many others take to see a small glimpse of a truly inspiring and diverse country.

Reviewed on 04 Nov 2010 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The whole trip was unforgettable-especially loved the rural parts we visited and stayed in and the various transport and accommodation-much fun and very unique! Every day waking up was like Christmas morning, so exciting.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Keep an open mind and be prepared for lots of fun and laughter!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


I hope so. The tour company work very hard to make sure this is carried out.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


India is amazing, the country, the people, the food - a very beautiful place. This is my second trip with this tour operator and I love the diversity that it brings. Our leader was fantastic and I would not have wanted to see the country in any other way.

Reviewed on 14 Mar 2010 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Perhaps it was playing Holi with the locals in a remote Rajasthan village. But there are many possible answers - including the Taj Mahal, of course.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


- If possible, go early in the season (not long after the Monsoon) when the lakes are less likely to be dry.
- Don't pre-book airport transfers (at least for the return trip), as the operator grossly overcharges for this.
- Pack plenty of Imodium.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes - this was much emphasised in the Trip Notes and by the Group Leader.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Sensational - all that I dreamed it could be and more. The itinerary is very well planned to combine historic monuments, town life, village life and wildlife. The Tour Leader was excellent, worked tirelessly on the group's behalf, and soon became a real friend. Accommodation ranged from the fully adequate to the magnificent (converted hilltop palaces at two locations).

Reviewed on 06 Aug 2008 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Racing camels down the street in Pushkar!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


I found it difficult deciding what to pack due to the Monsoon season. We found that it only rained 3-4 days during the holiday and every day was extremely hot and sticky. Pack cools clothes and don't worry about the rain too much.
Take plenty of insect bite cream.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes, although I would have liked to have felt more involved with local initiatives.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Very good. The trip was exciting and interesting and the leader was great. However there were a couple of disappointing days. The website does tell you that the visit to Ranthambhore National Park is not possible during the Monsoon Season. It doesn't warn you that the camping at the lakeside is also cancelled during this time. Unfortunately no activities were provided as alternatives which lead to a couple of boring days.

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