There are almost too many spectacular sights and experiences in Rajasthan — camel trekking in the Thar Desert, the watery splendors of Udaipur, open-air art museums in Bundi, the sandcastle city of Jaisalmer, the mesmerizing blue of Jodhpur, and the sacred lake-side town of Pushkar. Add on the must-sees of Delhi, Jaipur, and Agra and you'll begin to understand why so many travelers are drawn back to India time and again.

Highlights

  • Walk in the blue indigo streets of Jodhpur and fall in love with fairytale Mehrangarh Fort
  • Discover magical Jaisalmer, the golden sandcastle city, and sleep on sand dunes under the stars
  • Behold India’s monument of love, a “teardrop on the face of eternity,” the Taj Mahal
  • Wake early to experience morning prayers on the banks of the lake in sacred Pushkar

Overview

The north-western Indian state of Rajasthan contains some of the most magical palaces, forts, markets, and cultural experiences of anywhere in India. Combine a trip to this amazing state with the popular Golden Triangle circuit — Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur — and you have the makings of an epic two weeks in India that you won't forget.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Delhi sightseeing, train to Jaisalmer

The Red Fort, Delhi

Delhi is one of the most historical and vibrant cities on earth, and is certainly a city of contrasts divided into two main zones: Old Delhi, with old Mughal monuments, and New Delhi, the city built during British colonial times.

In the morning, we will take a city walk through Old Delhi to Raj Ghat, the site of a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, near the lively district of Chandni Chowk. There, browse the famous silver jewelry market, and even buy a few pieces if you wish.

Later, take a walk through the narrow streets of Nizamuddin, the Sufi area in Delhi. You'll be guided by local youth who will help you uncover the traditions, monuments, flavors, and history of this neighborhood, which is a vibrant mix of old and new, upscale residences and ancient tombs. Travelers and pilgrims flock to the Nizamuddin Dargah, the saint’s tomb, to hear qawwalis, Sufi devotional songs, eat kebabs, and shop in the lively market area.

In the afternoon, you will be transferred to the train station to catch the train to Jaisalmer on the western edge of Rajasthan, and one of the most magical cities of India. Spending the night on the train will undoubtedly be an unforgettable experience.

Day 2: Explore the fairytale fort of Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer is one of the most magical and incredible cities in India. Once a stop on the Silk Road, traces of its rich past are evident today in the intricately carved havelis (traditional homes) and the fairytale-like 11th-century fort. This day is dedicated to exploring the city, with its beautiful temples, wooden and golden limestone mansions, and beautiful Jaisalmer Fort.

Day 3: Jaisalmer to Khuri for a camel safari

Camels in the Thar Desert

In the morning, move towards the village of Khuri, where you will have a camel ride towards the edge of the Thar desert. Arrive at the desert camp at sunset. In the evening, enjoy an amazing night with traditional music and food from Rajasthan. Sleep under the starry sky in the middle of the desert.

Day 4: Khuri to Jodhpur, the Blue City

The blue city of Jodhpur

Leave the Thar Desert in the morning and drive east along the old Silk Road to Jodhpur, another spectacular city in the edge of the desert. Jodhpur is called the blue city, due to the distinctive color of its houses. After arrival, take a walk through the famous market, known as Sardar.

Day 5: Jodhpur to Udaipur, the Venice of India

Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

In the morning, visit one of the largest and best-preserved forts in Rajasthan, Jodhpur's Mehrangarh Fort, and the museum inside. There are amazing views of the city from the fort.

In the afternoon, drive south to Udaipur, a small city of beautiful lakes dotted with palaces and surrounded by hills. On the way, stop at one of the most important and impressive Jain temples, the exquisite temple of Ranakpur, full of detailed stone carvings. It is located within the mountains, approximately 90km from Udaipur.

Day 6: Lakes, markets, and palaces in Udaipur

Udaipur Lake Palace

Udaipur is located in a valley surrounded by the dense Aravalli Range. Among the famous palaces of this city is the gorgeous Lake Palace in the middle of Lake Pichola, as well as the immense City Palace with its ornamental doors and buildings. Today, visit the city palace with its beautiful museum, and exploring the surrounding markets. In evening, enjoy a sunset boat ride to enjoy some of the most magical views in this incredible state.

Day 7: Udaipur to Bundi, with decorative old homes

Art in Bundi

Today, travel north-east to the charming village of Bundi, where the paintings of the walls of the traditional haveli homes tell tales of medieval Rajasthan. Enjoy local delicacies in the market, such as the steaming cups of sweet spiced chai and the typical kachori (spicy savory snack) of Rajasthan. Spend the night in a beautiful haveli.

Day 8: Bundi to Pushkar, a holy town

Ghats at the holy city of Pushkar

Visit the palace of Bundi in the afternoon, and then move towards the sacred city of Pushkar. Pushkar is a major Hindu pilgrimage site, visited by many Sadhus and travelers from all over the world looking for spirituality, and to worship the Hindu God Brahma.

After arrival in Pushkar, take a cooking class to learn to make some of the delicious Rajasthani cuisine you've spent the last few days enjoying. As a desert state without an abundance of fresh water and vegetables, Rajasthani cuisine is characterized by its use of dairy and millet.

Day 9: Experience the spirituality of Pushkar

Pushkar

This morning, visit the numerous temples around Pushkar, such as the Brahma temple, the Panch Kund Shive Temple and the Vishnu Temple. Take a walk along the bathing ghats (steps) along the banks of the lake.

Day 10: Pushkar to Jaipur, the Pink City

Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds), Jaipur

This morning, drive to Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan. It's known as the Pink City due to the color of many of the buildings in the old town area.

First visit the incredible Amber Fort, in a hill on the outskirts of the city. While you will see many elephants carrying tourists up the hill, we don't promote the labor of elephants as a tourist attraction, so will take you by Jeep instead.

In the evening you can stroll through the bustling markets of Jaipur, and even shop for the famous block-printed cotton textiles of this region.

Day 11: Visit a rural community outside Jaipur

The City Palace, Jaipur

In the morning, visit a rural community outside of Jaipur to experience the daily lives of rural Rajasthanis. Visit a community led by Jaimala and Hitesh, who for more than ten years have worked with youth from Rajasthan and artisan women to develop an ethical fashion project. Visit the school and small initiatives that play a part in making the community more self-sufficient, such as a biogas plant and an organic farm.

In the afternoon, with the help of local artisan women, you will learn the art of block printing, one of the oldest printing techniques in India. Here, you will make your own handkerchief using Rajasthani wood blocks. You'll have a chance to chat with the women and learn about their lives. If you wish, you can join the in young people’s daily meditation, or even join in their evening games. 

Tonight will be spent at a homestay in the local community.

Day 12: Jaipur to Agra, home of the Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal

Early in the morning, depart by road to Agra home of the world-famous monument of love, the Taj Mahal. Arrive in the afternoon to visit an inspiring café run by acid attack survivors, where you can read, relax, and interact with the women entrepreneurs.

Day 13: Agra to Delhi, via an elephant rescue centre

Elephant rescue centre

In the morning, visit the Taj Mahal one of the wonders of the world built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1631 for his queen Mumtaz Mahal. After many beautiful photographs of the unforgettable monument, depart by road for Delhi.

En route, we'll stop to visit an elephant rescue center, where we will meet elephants that have been rescued from exploitation as a tourist attraction. Depending on the time, you will be able to feed them, bathe them, or walk them around. It's amazing to see the gentleness of this huge creatures.