Rajasthan experience holiday

“A two week small group holiday in Rajastan, staying in a wonderful mix of heritage hotels plus one night camping in the Thar Desert.”

Highlights

New Delhi | Agra | Taj Mahal | Jaipur | Mandawa in Shekhawati region | Bikaner | Jaisalmer | Thar Desert | Desert camel safari and camping | Jodhpur | Uidapur

Description of Rajasthan experience holiday

This two week Rajasthan experience is a holiday that combines the colourful and the exotic, the desert with the dramatic. We begin our break in New Delhi and Agra, so that you can take in Delhiís stunning three UNESCO World Heritage Sites but also the inimitable grandeur of the Taj Mahal.

You might think that anything after the Taj Mahal might be an anti climax, but Rajasthan is the Princely state that is a whole other world onto its own. We visit the unique and almost fairytale like cities of this desert region, such as the rose city of Jaipur and blue city of Jodhpur, as well as the stunning waterways of Uidapur, known as the Venice of the East.

For real immersion in the Thar Desert which dominates this incredible northern state, we also visit the beautiful fortified town of Bikaner and the even more extraordinary Jaisalmer Fort, one of the largest fully preserved fortified cities in the world. We take a camel safari out into the desert, and have the chance to sleep under the stars in this great, arid terrain. In contrast, as well as spending all other nights in hotels on this trip, four of these are in Rajasthanís famous heritage hotels which range from beautifully restored forts to palaces.

This trip, unlike many Rajasthan holidays, also takes us north to the fascinating Shekhawati region. Once home to aristocrats between 17-19th centuries, there is still an array of grand houses here known as havelis. With painted courtyards, colonnades and signs of obvious opulence, the glamour has now faded, but historically they are of great interest to visitors. Rajasthan is like that everywhere really, with great towns, forts or palaces appearing out of the desert like mirages, yet all fantastically real.

Travel Team

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05 Oct 2020
£1810
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11 Oct 2020
£1715
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12 Oct 2020
£1765
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18 Oct 2020
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19 Oct 2020
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08 Nov 2020
£1755
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09 Nov 2020
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16 Nov 2020
£1770
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30 Nov 2020
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13 Dec 2020
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21 Dec 2020
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28 Dec 2020
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11 Jan 2021
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18 Jan 2021
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07 Feb 2021
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15 Mar 2021
£1730
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05 Apr 2021
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13 Sep 2021
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27 Sep 2021
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04 Oct 2021
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11 Oct 2021
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17 Oct 2021
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24 Oct 2021
£1805
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01 Nov 2021
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08 Nov 2021
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15 Nov 2021
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22 Nov 2021
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29 Nov 2021
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12 Dec 2021
£1870
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19 Dec 2021
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20 Dec 2021
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26 Dec 2021
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27 Dec 2021
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Holiday type

Small group adventure - Comfort trips

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 one of our Comfort trips, designed for travellers looking for more inclusions in their itinerary, a higher standard of accommodation and more focus on private vehicles over public transport.

Comfort trips are aimed at the adventure traveller who wants to discover the world up close, but with some creature comforts along the way. Dependent on the itinerary, there may still be a night multi-share accommodation (at a homestay for example), but this will be to ensure you don't miss out on a fantastic experience. Camping trips will usually stay in permanent, tented camps or some of the safari options may be lodge based.

You'll stay in predominantly 3 Ĺ star and above tourist class hotels with private, en suite facilities, although some itineraries will still include the opportunity to stay with a local family, spend a night on an overnight train or camp out somewhere amazing (without the hassle of putting up your own tent!).

You'll find a number of the meals are included (as per your itinerary) and when eating together we'll focus on smaller, often family run restaurants, often eating where the locals eat and ensuring that you are still getting an authentic travel experience.

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.

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
Itís not only the humans in India that need support. Our Company is constantly monitoring 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.

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.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

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 in such jobs as teachers and technicians.

In a country where so many ethnic communities live together, itís important to respect individual religious beliefs. Our Company wants to promote this understanding through insight into religious and cultural practices. Our leaders 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 place visited, enabling a deeper understanding for the group of the communities and cultures encountered in India.

Climate

2 Reviews of Rajasthan experience holiday

3 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 26 Jan 2014 by

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


Obviously the sight of the Taj Mahal will stay with me forever but I really enjoyed the horseriding at Castle Bijaipur.

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


If you are there over Christmas/New Year make sure you have enough warm clothes!

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


Yes. We were very much involved with the local people on a daily basis. I did enjoy the interaction.

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


Most enjoyable. It was good to be based in one place for a reasonable length of time to get to know the local environment and people instead of moving on nearly every day.

Reviewed on 31 Mar 2012 by

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


The country is beyond expectations.

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


This was a 'comfort' trip; check which operator you choose and the kind of tour you sign up. I went on a 'comfort' tour and my expectation was that we would have good hotels (they were all fine) and more inclusions but 'comfort' tour in this instance means later starts as a result much of the day on road instead of allowing more time spent at various locations to learn more about India and locals. I travelled before with other operators, based on my experience I would rather choose those.

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


Visited one project and heard about the operator matching travellers contributions but otherwise very limited actions seen in everyday matters (eg no wastebin on bus etc). We were however much encouraged to tip and I wonder how the operator pays and promotes its on staff, hotels, local guides and drivers if they are so heavily dependent on tipping.... On other tours, we had tipping but there has never been so much pressure than on this tour.

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


It was a good introduction to India and I wished to continue my trip as an independent traveller to explore more. Our scheduled has fallen on 'holy' festival but the programme has neither recognised nor was adjusted for this. We had a tour leader who advised not to go to the streets but remain at the hotel....

Read the operator's response here:

Where you stay is all part of your holiday experience. This tour offers a comfort style of travel which is predominantly tourist class (3-4 Stars) hotels. The accommodation experience on this tour is varied and offers 6 nights in a heritage property which based on previous feedback is a highly rated experience for our travellers. Our Comfort style trips are still adventure travel but with a softer landing, this is perhaps why you felt your tour involved later starts in the morning. Perhaps comfort wasnít the style for you and you would prefer one of our Original itineraries.

Responsible Travel is very important to us and as an Industry leader in sustainable travel it is at the forefront of everything we do. Since opening our doors in 1989 we have been dedicated to a style of travel that is culturally, environmentally and socially responsible. It is through feedback from our travellers that we are able to uphold this passion.

In terms of the tipping -though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to us in the West, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many of our destinations.

Safety of our travellers is of the up most importance to us and travelling in India during the Holi festival (a lunar festival but generally held in March every year) can at times be dangerous - a lot of locals participate in consumption of intoxicating substances. The day has been associated with physical violence and danger. Your leader would have advised what places to avoid on this day and it may even be necessary for you to avoid putting yourself in a high risk situation.

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