Classic Rajasthan - Premium

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15 days
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$2,635 USD
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Traveller ratings
4.9 / 5 from 34 reviews >
Leisurely
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Trip code: 
AIP
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures, Premium Adventure
Activity:
Culture
Min age:
16
Group size:
5–16

A comfortable exploration of enchanting Rajasthan in Northern India

Travel India's desert state in style. Using exclusive heritage hotels we delve into the history of the many forts and palaces the region has to offer. At every turn Rajasthan bombards the senses - one minute it's full speed ahead as we take a jeep safari through desert countryside, the next you'll seek out serenity in the holy town of Pushkar. Be enthralled by the magnificent Taj Mahal at sunrise, experience a train ride with the locals or slip into one of the many bazaars. This is the perfect trip for a first time visitor to India.

Highlights

  • Discover imposing forts and palaces
  • Visit the holy town of Pushkar
  • Explore the romantic lake city of Udaipur

Key information

  • 14 nights comfortable hotels 
  • Group normally 5 to 16, plus local leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Travel by air-conditioned private bus

What's included

  • All breakfasts included
  • All accommodation
  • Transfer for group flights

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas and vaccinations
  • Single supplement
Call for general departures:
+82-(0)02-6320-4111
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Delhi
to
Udaipur
  • Day 1

    Start Delhi; half-day city tour.

    For those who are on the flight inclusive package we land in Delhi in the morning and transfer to the hotel where we will meet the other members of the group. In the afternoon we visit the walled city of Old Delhi; crowded, full of activities and still influenced by the great Mughals who once ruled from the ramparts of the majestic Red Fort. We visit Jama Mosque - built in 17th century and the largest mosque in India, Chandni Chowk - the typical Indian market always abuzz with activities, and Rajghat - the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi.
    Comfortable Hotel

  • Day 2

    Free morning; half-day sightseeing.

    The morning is free to relax and explore by yourself. During the afternoon you will see some of the sites of New Delhi. We drive past the Presidential Palace, Secretariat Buildings and down the impressive Rajpath to India Gate. We visit the Birla (Laxmi Narayan) Temple and the Qutub Minar which is 72 metres high. We also see Delhi's most curious antique, the un-corroded Iron Pillar, which dates back to the 4th century AD.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Drive to Agra.

    Today we drive to Agra (approx. 5 hour drive), the city of the Taj Mahal. In the afternoon we check in to our hotel in Agra and the rest of the day is free to relax and discover the city.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Sunrise visit to Taj Mahal and then Agra Fort; afternoon free.

    Today we will rise early to visit the beautiful white marble Taj Mahal at sunrise. Built by the Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1631, the Taj is serenely beautiful and never fails to amaze a first time visitor. The white marble exterior changes colour according to the position of the sun during the day and is matched by rich interior detail. Within striking distance is the imposing Red Fort of Akbar, third of the Moghul Emperors, whose mighty sandstone walls enclose the beautiful white marble Pearl Mosque and the palaces, halls, courtyards and fountains of his sons and successors, Jehangir and Shah Jahan. It is here that the latter spent his last years, imprisoned by his own son Aurangzeb.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Drive to Jaipur via Fatehpur Sikri.

    We leave Agra and visit Fatehpur Sikri, Emperor Akbar's deserted royal city. This impressive and well-preserved citadel became his capital in 1571, after the blessing of a local Muslim holy man correctly predicted the birth of a longed-for son, his successor the Emperor Jehangir. The mosque, designed to hold ten thousand worshippers, the palaces, residences and halls of audience are all made of decorative red sandstone. This magnificence only lasted 14 years, as in 1584 Akbar left Fatehpur Sikri to secure his outlying territories, leaving this city much as we see it today - in perfect condition. We then drive on to Jaipur - another very full but rewarding day. Total driving time approx. 7 hrs.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Full day tour including Amber Fort and City Palace.

    Built in the late 18th century, it is a planned city of broad avenues built of sandstone and painted pink at a later stage. We first visit the City Palace. Formerly the residence of the Maharaja it is now a fine museum containing rare manuscripts, paintings, royal garments and weapons. Close to the palace is one of the most intriguing sights of India, the observatory of Jai Singh. This is an assembly of immense astronomical instruments made of marble and brass set in a pleasant garden. We will also see Jaipur's impressive landmark, the Hawa Mahal, or Palace of the Winds. A few miles from the main city is the splendid Amber Fort, rising above a lake where elephants bathe. Jaipur is a centre of many handicrafts, such as durries (woven rugs), carpets, printed cloth, semi-precious stones, leatherwear etc. It will be difficult to leave a workshop without buying something!
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    To Pushkar; visit Brahma temple and Aarti ceremony on the ghats.

    Today we drive to the holy city of Pushkar (approx. 3-4 hrs), a sacred town for the Hindus well-known for its annual camel fair. In the centre of town is holy Pushkar Lake surrounded by a number of temples including the famous Bramha temple - said to be the only temple in the world dedicated to this deity. A dip in the waters of Pushkar Lake and worship at Bramha temple ensure salvation. Late afternoon walk through Pushkar's lanes to see the local life and visit the Brahma temple. The evening culminates with an aarti ceremony on the ghats of the Pushkar Lake.

    Pushkar Camel Fair Departure: The itinerary for the Pushkar Festival departure is exactly the same as the standard trip. However, we try and maximise time in Pushkar in order that there is plenty of time to enjoy the camel fair - one of the largest in the world, and the various events taking place. We will depart early from Jaipur, in order to arrive in Pushkar as early as possible, and we will depart for Khimsar at a time agreeable for the group. Your group leader will brief you on all the options available to you.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Drive to Khimsar in the Thar Desert.

    Today we drive on to Khimsar in the Thar Desert and stay at the historic Khimsar Fort.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Early morning jeep safari; afternoon free to explore Khimsar.

    Early morning jeep safari to the surrounding villages and to Black buck reserve. We will visit the settlements of Gujars (shepherds) and Kalbelia (snake charmers) communities and experience the traditional, rural Rajasthani lifestyle, which still lays emphasis on harmony, conservation and complete utilization of natural resources. Age-old traditions are still practiced. The wildlife sanctuary is home to the beautiful but endangered Black Buck and some colourful birds. The afternoon is free to explore and see village life.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    To Jodhpur via Mandore Gardens; afternoon visit Mehrangarh Fort and Jaswant Thada.

    Morning drive to Jodhpur (approx. 2 hrs drive) visiting the famous Mandore gardens en route. Jodhpur is a bustling desert city and the second largest in Rajasthan after Jaipur. Founded in 1459 by Rao Jodha, the leader of the Rathore clan, the city's gentle atmosphere belies a stormy yet glorious past. 393 feet above the flat surrounding plains soars a bold bluff on which was built the massive Meherangarh (Majestic) Fort. In the old city's maze are several palaces, havelis and temples. Visit the Sardar Bazar with its Clock Tower. Down the road from the Fort see Jaswant Thada, the blinding white marble cenotaph (chhatri) of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Drive to Deogarh; afternoon free.

    Continue to Deogarh in the heart of Rajasthan (approx. 5 hrs drive). The afternoon is free for you to relax or explore.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Visit local school; take a rural train ride; late afternoon birdwatching walk.

    In the morning we visit a government-run primary school to understand the education system in rural areas of the country. The school is attended by children from nearby villages. We then enjoy a 1 hour train ride through the rural countryside of Rajasthan. Experience travelling with the local villagers in non-air-conditioned coaches on wooden berths: some coaches are from the 1930s. Return to the hotel by road. In the afternoon enjoy a bird watching tour to the nearby lakes to see a variety of local and some migratory birds.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    To Udaipur; late afternoon boat ride on Lake Pichola.

    Today we drive to Udaipur, the city of lakes. In the late afternoon enjoy a beautiful sunset boat ride on Lake Pichola, 4km long and 3km wide, surrounded by hills, palaces, temples, bathing ghats and embankments. (Boat ride is subject to the water level in the lake).
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    Morning sightseeing including the City Palace; afternoon free.

    Udaipur is one of the most charming cities of Rajasthan, nestled like a gem in a valley surrounded by the green Aravalli hills, and reflected smooth and white in the clear blue Lake Pichola. Old dwellings, temples and palaces speak of an aristocratic past. Visit the City Palace, once the home of Mewar's rulers with its flawlessly integrated palaces overlooking Lake Pichola. Visit Sahelion-ki-bari - scene of royal parties. Drive around Fateh Sagar Lake. The afternoon is free to enjoy the city with possibilities of a stroll in the colourful traditional market.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 15

    End Udaipur.

    Those on the flight inclusive package will depart this morning for the daytime flight back to London; those on land-only arrangements will leave us after check-out at the hotel.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

India

Visas are required if you are British and for most other nationalities. For UK residents full details of the visa process can be found here. Other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies.

If your trip visits Ladakh, in the very north of India, or Sikkim in the northeast, do not mention this on your Indian visa application. This can sometimes slow down or even cause the embassy to reject your visa.

When you reach immigration, you are required to pick up an immigration form. If you have an e-visa, ensure you stand in the correct queue - please follow the signs to the e-visa booth (in Delhi this is at the back of the immigration hall). You will need to fill out an additional form at the booth - please make sure that you have the details of your start hotel ready (these details can be found on your Final Joining Instructions).

 

Vaccinations

India

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. The risk of malaria is slight but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. Some of our India trips spend time at altitude. In regions over approx. 2000m, there is low to no risk of mosquito-borne diseases. For trips going to altitudes of over 3000m there is a risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness. Our itineraries are designed to enable everyone to acclimatise to these altitudes, but you should be aware that it is still possible for you to be affected. Please see the TRIP NOTES for further information.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts included.

Where meals are not supplied, our group leaders always encourage people to try local restaurants and street food vendors. They can make recommendations which will help boost small businesses and celebrate local specialties. In Jaipur and Delhi, clients can even see how the food is made e.g. Masala Chai (tea), Samosa (mashed potato snacks), Jalebe (Indian donuts), Lassi (yoghurt drink), etc. In most of the towns there is a good choice of restaurants and a choice between Indian and Western style food. If you are a vegetarian, India is probably one of the best destinations to travel to. Tea and soft drinks are very cheap. A (large!) bottle of beer is approximately £4 (approx. US$5). Mineral water is available in the bus in 20ltr containers so please bring a water bottle with you to refill. Please note that service in restaurants can be quite slow.

Weather

Is this trip for you?

Activity Level: 1 (Leisurely). This holiday is designed so that you can see some of the best parts of northern India. There is a lot to see in the time you are there, but everything is scheduled so that it doesn't feel too rushed. You should come armed for an experience: India can be hard work, and the heat and the bustle of some of the cities can be a little overwhelming. That said, there are places where you can find peace, and there are few places in the world to match India in providing you with great stories and memories to last a lifetime. This trip is designed as a more comfortable itinerary and the accommodation is of a high standard.

Please note that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) are responsible for the conservation of many monuments in India, including the Taj Mahal, and very occasionally this may mean that work is taking place at sites visited on this trip. The ASI’s schedule is never published so it is not possible to forewarn our clients of when work will be taking place.

Holi and Diwali Festivals

Some departures will be in India during the festivals of Holi and Diwali. They are great festivals to witness and some very minor itinerary alterations may be made locally in order to make the most of these occasions. Holi celebrations typically involve people throwing coloured water at each other and smearing powder on each other's faces. This is accompanied by dancing, music and traditional Holi sweets such as Ghujiya and Bhanng. It's a riot of colours as the powder bursts into the sky. During Diwali, the festival of lights, people typically light up their houses, shops and streets, and celebrate on the streets with fireworks.

Pushkar Camel Fair

Some departures will be in Pushkar during the festival. These are marked on the website. Please see day 7 of the itinerary for details.

Call for general departures:
+82-(0)02-6320-4111
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels

On this trip we stay in a range of comfortable hotels ranging from modern properties, such as the 5-star Jaypee Vasant Continental in Delhi, to heritage forts and palaces bursting with character, such as the Deogarh Mahal Hotel. Many have pools, and most have excellent facilities as well as restaurants serving tasty local specialities and international dishes.

Single accommodation available on request from GBP620

Call for general departures:
+82-(0)02-6320-4111
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Here at Exodus we are incredibly passionate about wildlife and the conservation efforts to save it.

Embracing a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge, but if you’re going to keep it up there’s got to be more to it than

  • Reviewed December 2018
    Jessica Staniland

    Fantastic trip

    Our trip in India was great- the best part was our guide who was very informative as well as being patient and kind and fun!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The people - all our guides, our bus driver and the bus boy. The people of India that we met and saw. The history, all the historical sites

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Incredible- he made the trip

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a good medical kit for tummy upsets (which we didn't get) and also for colds and coughs (which we did get!)
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Kate Nattrass

    Trip of a life time

    I have waited 30 years for this trip of a life time to India and I was not disappointed. It is an explosion of all your Senses. The beauty and the colour stays with you. The people are humble and gentle. This was a well organised and supported tour of Rajasthan. We felt well informed throughout and the pastoral care given to fellow travellers on the tour who succumbed to illness was second to none. I would recommned it to anyone.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being part of the camel fair at the end of the first week. It will never leave my head or my heart. You were in the "bowels of India" and privileged to be part of this event.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We could not have wished for anyone better. So lucky to have "Moon" looking after us! He was a super star. the driver Amid and Sammy were amazing and never let us down.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Dont give it a second thought .. book. if you have respiratory problems then it may not be a good time of the year to go as the air pollution is high, with fog hanging about in the morning and evening.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    thanks for this opportunity.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Sandra Thompson

    You won’t be disappointed t

    This is an incredible trip. The group size of 9 was perfect. We stayed in amazing hotels, each one different from the last. Organisation was impeccable. I was concerned about the travel distances but the coach was extremely comfortable and there was so much to see it was not a problem. We saw all the promised sights with local guides and many unexpected extras such as a cooking lesson and a Bollywood movie. I can’t recommend this trip highly enough

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Taj Mahal. Unforgettable

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Could not have been better. Very friendly guide, made sure we had the perfect holiday

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Ladies need to keep shoulders and knees covered so pack accordingly
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Sandra Thompson

    You won’t be disappointed t

    This is an incredible trip. The group size of 9 was perfect. We stayed in amazing hotels, each one different from the last. Organisation was impeccable. I was concerned about the travel distances but the coach was extremely comfortable and there was so much to see it was not a problem. We saw all the promised sights with local guides and many unexpected extras such as a cooking lesson and a Bollywood movie. I can’t recommend this trip highly enough

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Taj Mahal. Unforgettable

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Could not have been better. Very friendly guide, made sure we had the perfect holiday

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Ladies need to keep shoulders and knees covered so pack accordingly
  • Reviewed November 2018
    David Wade

    Our first Visit to India

    We had some concerns to start with about our visit to India. We were anticipating being assailed by beggars at every step but were pleasantly surprised that this was not the case. We were riveted by the noise, the movements and the colours which was a lot more than we expected but ever so exciting. As premium travellers, we stayed in the most stunning hotels and locations, some palaces and forts. None of our small group suffered from Delhi belly in spite of having our occasional lunches in roadside cafes. This can be put down to our group leader personally inspecting and quizzing the actual kitchens before giving his seal of approval.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Our leader took us for a walk in a very poor village and we had the privilege of coming across a wedding, groom on horseback on a very colourfully decorated horse. The music was very loud and joyous and the children wanted to shake our hands and have photographs taken with us. What stick in my memory are the friendliness and bright smiles. We were invited into someone's house/courtyard and shown her kitchen with spotless and shiny stainless steel utensils. Not forgetting the Taj Mahal naturally! and all the temples, forts and palaces. Two other eye openers were the train ride with the locals, and the visit to a rural school. We also had some hair-raising tuk tuk drives, more exciting than the big dipper!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ajay was utterly brilliant. He was very patient answering all our questions about religion, culture, language (we managed to learn a few hindi words) etc... In spite of my allergy to green and red chilli, Ajay managed to find me some very tasty curries. We all ate together and sometimes had our lunches in some roadside cafes, and as a testament to his care, none of us got delhi belly. The settings he chose for our evening meals were stunning. He went out of his way to make our holiday very enjoyable. Because of his care and obvious love of his country, I am now considering going to southern India for an other treat.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't take too many clothes! the hotels have an excellent laundry service at a very reasonable price. We have come back home with clean clothes! Take the normal precautions regarding ice cubes, hygiene etc... and you will avoid any upset.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Susan Read

    Trip of a lifetime

    A two week experience which will inspire and live in your memory for years to come

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the Taj Mahal bathed in the softest of lights as day broke brought tears to my eyes. Moving closer and contrasting the pale marble against the dep and dynamic colours of the saris worn by Indian women was simply stunning

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Exceptional...a ‘one off’....but I do love a blue shirt!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If possible fly out a day or two before the trip starts in order to acclimatise and recover from any jet lag

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you like shopping, travel lightly with a large suitcase. Listen to your guide and follow his/ her advice.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Stephen Smith

    Classic Rajasthan - including Holi Festival

    An absolutely super trip which gives the traveller a good introduction into Rajasthan. If you are interested in old palaces, hill forts and the exploits of the Maharajas prior to the arrival of the British then this could well be for you. You take in the sights, sounds, taste and yes, smell of northern India very little of which is unpleasant. The hotels used are of a good standard and vary between old palaces with plenty of character to modern, more clinical establishments. If you enjoy (British) Indian food then the real stuff will make your taste buds explode with delight. The food tends to pack flavour, not heat as per the Indian Restaurants in the UK. I use to always go for meat dishes but being a predominantly Hindu faith country there is a greater selection of vegetarian dishes on offer and they are wonderful - even dahl. The most important thing to remember is that this is India. Keep an open mind and be patient.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Holi Festival is wonderful bit of fun but you are going to get covered in coloured powder - and some will not come out of your clothes! Our guide Ajay took use to a family friendly temple event where there were young children and then onto an official event located in a park area. Both were safe and had a very friendly atmosphere. It is not recommended that you 'play' with the locals as anything goes. In contrast a sterile hotel event where they provide white coveralls and loud 'bangin music' bears little resemblance to the real thing. Go in old clothes and expect to throw all or most of them away afterwards. Ladies, don't wear expensive underwear the coloured powder gets everywhere especially if you are wearing a low necklinedue to the heat. Blond hair is unusual in India so this atracts colour. Expect to get covered (sunglasses are useful in keeping some or most out of the eyes). Protect your photographic equipment but most of all enter into this with open eyes and accept it for what it is. A very friendly and colourful event which you hopefully should treasure for years.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ajay Gupter is one of the best guides we have ever had on holiday. His English is excellent, he projects his voice making it easier to hear and understand him in a noisy environment - and most places visited are! His sense of humour is very good and is happy to share a joke ( especially about British cricket and Geoffrey Boycott). Most important though are his leadership and tour management skills. He does try to please everyone all of the time and it is generally we tourists who make this hard for him if we start expecting to all do different things - at the same time. Ajay will go out of his way to massage the itinerary to ensure the maximum can be gained from the tour and will. Whilst shopping he will endeavour to watch over everyone's safety, financial and physical. Overall I would rate him as exceptional.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is India, not America, Caribbean, Far East or Mediterranean. The culture, safety and accommodation standards are different. Do not expect everything to be pristine, to work immediately or to happen quickly, if you want that then go somewhere else. That said India does have a wealth of culture, sights sounds and tastes to excite your palate. Here is a simple example: Some of the hotels are modern, comfortable, marbled floured with comfortable beds. Great, you'll get this anywhere in the world - I find them clinical, noisy (marble does echo) and uninteresting. However you will also stay in some fantastic old forts and palaces. Some are 350 years old, have bits falling off, not as comfortable a bed, dodgy electrics but are absolutely magical. Where else can you lie in your bed and see old pictures, patterns and frescos which where painted on the ceiling and walls to adorn your ex-harem room? Wi-Fi is available in most hotels but even in the modern ones it can be slow/limited. Live with it! Drinks may take slightly longer to arrive at the pool side or on the terrace - live with it. Go with an open mind and don't be in a rush. If you embrace the country for what it is then you will take the most away from this trip and look back with very fond memories.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would encourage Exodus and all would be travellers to keep up the drive towards sustainable and responsible tourism. The meeting of families and school children - arranged by Ajay was well worth it.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Ros Newnham

    Fantastic historical tour with India insights

    Great tour of royal palaces and forts, staying in very comfortable hotels including former maharajahs palaces. Lots of opportunities to see local life and interesting school visit. Wildlife and flowers a bonus. Delicious, mostly cheap food.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Numerous but Fatehpur Sikri, Udaipur's Lake Pichola and City Palace, the Mandore Gardens, the Jodhpur Hotel's garden grounds & wildlife (Balsamand Garden Retreat), meeting the school children and their teachers stand out, as well as the wild animals, birds and flowers and Sitar players in garden restaurants.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader got us round most of the itinerary, with comfort stops on most drives every 2 hours. But I and several other group members were rather disappoimted that his explanation of the history of places was rather superficial. He also underestimated the drive time to Deogarh, (we arrived at 5pm, not 2.30pm, without road congestion) and the evening coach drive to the Delhi restaurant. And insisted we leave the hotel on the last day at 0400 for an 0650 flight as the airport would be crowded - it was deserted when we arrived! I also felt he was poor on practical aspects of some sites - eg where there were handrails to go up forts, whether you needed an umbrella for shade on the Lake Pichola's boat trip - if doing it in the middle of the day you DO for the boat queue and your time on the island. He also did 't give us an overview of the day's plan and likely timings at the start of each day, (unlike other tours /treks I've done.) Eg on one day we had an unexpected 2nd lunch stop. He didn't fully explain what would happen on the school visit, which was rather chaotic. But for this, I would have unreservedly given the tour a full 5*.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    1. May be obvious but check expected weather (eg it was 34 deg in Udaipur by 27/02/18 - so April is likely to be very hot) and check if there are any Festivals it would be worth extending your stay to experience. 2. Seriously consider flying out a day early, to recover from the journey. 3. Jet Airways seating is rather cramped and due to the return Group flight times (meaning you have to get up at 3.15 for an 0650 flight), then have a 4+ hour gap between flights at Mumbai and are travelling overall for 24 hours to Heathrow - check out other flight options. Eg visiting Mumbai, returning via Delhi and with other flight providers & their premium economy options 4. Take energy bars and buy bananas and oranges from stalls for pre breakfast visits, should lunch be late, to avoid eating at road side restaurants or when you don't want a large lunch. 5. Take sandals and walking shoes with vibram pattern soles (walking boots and poles not needed). Beware slipping on wet marble paths, where gardens have been watered. A small scarf to tie over your mouth and nose may be helpful against pollution (Delhi) and dust (on game drive). 6. Take a guidebook, eg DK, to read just before you visit a site, plus book/kindle & music for the drives. 7. Minimise clothes you take - washed out, they're dry by the middle of the night! Most ladies toilets at sites are 'sit down'. 8. All hotels have kettles and free wifi. 9. If staying in Delhi at the Jaypee Vasant Continental, just 3 minutes to the R the Basant Lok shopping precinct comes alive in the evening and includes fruit stalls, the 'Asia Kitchen' and another restaurant offering reasonably priced N Indian and Oriental food and the tiny 'Krips' eatery with the tastiest, cheapest food. (see TripAdviser for Basant Lok). The restaurant suggested by the Guide, '25-30 minutes' coach drive away, is actually 40+ minutes in Delhi's evening rush hour, PLUS return drive! If wanting a snack or meal outside mealtimes after flight arrival, 'BL's' McDonalds(!) offers indian alternatives and is far cheaper than the Hotel's 24 hour brasserie. 'BL' has an ajoining green area, relaxing to walk around, after a flight and see local life. 10. It was helpful to visit Delhi's Red Fort, with its audio guide, to understand forts' usual components, on our pre-tour day, (accessed via tuk tuk, metro & cycle rickshaw) 11. Deogarh is a good place to buy narrow, long silk scarves from shops near the hotel - we bargained to 200 Rupees Enjoy!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Exodus customer support was oustanding, especially re the Indian e-visa. The trip notes were mostly accurate, but where they say 'afternoon free' may well be 5pm plus. The school does not accept monetary donations due corruption risk. The coach has good air con, but only 17 seats, so if your Group has 16 members some will have to sit on the back seat, which has poor suspension - indian roads can be bumpy in places! Spending money - I spent just £350 (without drinking alchohol) and including £34 on gifts and an extra day & visits in Delhi & 2nd L. Pichola boat trip (300R by 2pm). Changing money - the guide recommended changing only £50 at the Delhi hotel. ATMs may have no money left, especially on Sundays.
  • Reviewed January 2018
    Mary Anthony

    Private Classic Rajasthan

    This trip was organised with great trepidation after persuading a family group to join us on our adventure in Rajasthan. There were several in the party who had concerns about travelling in India and were only going due their persuasive wives. We decided on a private tour and were delighted by the help of the team at Exodus. Our trip was similar to the normal Exodus trip with some minor alterations, selecting our hotels, trying to reduce the time in the minibus and 2 days in hotels where possible. We started with a homestay in Agra, The Coral Tree, thus avoiding the day in Delhi. A beautiful family run hotel sited in a wonderful garden walking distance from the Taj.The family joined us for dinner and were so welcoming the group began to ease into their adventure. We travelled through Rajasthan staying at wonderful palaces, country hotels and homestays. It was a brilliant holiday from visiting forts and temples, to being guests of honour at a wedding in Bikaner, to a wonderful train ride through the Aravalli hills, to receiving a blessing on the Pushkar Ghats. The jewel in the crown for us was a stay at Chanoud Garh, a 300 year old palace in a village in the Aravallis. The old palace was being brought back to life by the family, the thought that had gone into the renovation meant the rooms were beyond anything we had stayed in. The pride and enthusiasm in making our stay memorable was heart warming with wonderful home cooked meals, tea and cake with the father on the roof top watching the sun go down, safari to the salt flats with the brothers picking up shepherds on the way and trips around the village. So much thought had been put into every activity, we were given pictures of the villagers and were asked to find them and give them the photos. This encouraged talking to all around and we felt an inclusion in the daily lives. We visited the village school to present the new uniforms and were included in a sing a long. The father took us along to the hospital he is trying to set up for the locals. It was a brilliant view of Rajasthan that we never expected to be invited to experience and it made our holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Chanoud Garh-as above
  • Reviewed November 2017
    DeeAnn Bowater

    Classic Rajasthan Premium

    This is a lovely trip of 15 days thru the central and Western part of India, including many crowded places but with glorious forts, mosques and temples and excellent accommodations and GOOD FOOD. YOU NEVER had to fear any food problems , and especially if you drank their good Kingfisher beer to tamp down the wee bit of spice.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I enjoyed the feeling in the air of the Sikh temple in Agra. There are hundreds of volunteers EVERY day who cook and serve those who need food-without any pay. This was a wonderful experience. I know some would say the Taj Mahal jolted their senses the most, but the Sikh temple did it for me.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I am going to go out on a limb here-but the BEST part of the India trip was knowing Ajay Gupta, our leader. If I had never seen India, and only heard about it from him, that would have been enough. (But I'm glad I did see India.) Besides being so knowledgeable about all the sites that we saw, and being such a good communicator, he gave us a plan for the future of India. He is full of hope and offered us so many ideas and ideals that , if accomplished, would make India a heaven on earth -the way it started 5, 000 years ago. I can't say enough about his kindness and humanity. A remarkable young man.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As a red head, I wore my hat all the time and always wore long sleeved light cotton blouses. I wore skirts, too, to avoid the tangle around my ankles when using the squat toilets-tho they weren't as horrible as I was led to believe. In fact, most places were just fine. Drink as much water as you can hold. It is hot and you will need it. Enjoy the beer,(not for lunch ,tho) but don't bother with the wine.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I think I needed to be aware of the acceptance of trash more than I was. There are just so many people, and not enough of an infrastructure to take care of the trash...so that was a bit hard to see-also the street dogs-cows I knew were coming.

Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

 

Private Adventures 

Not found the date you’re looking for? We can organise this itinerary as a Private Adventure – just click on the tab above the list of dates and prices, let us know your preferred dates of travel and how many people are travelling, and we’ll do the rest!

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