Rajputana: On Tod’s Trail
Trip Code: AITTOD
AU$7,705 per person in twin share or double room
AU$9,060 per person in a single room
Prices are valid until 30 September 2019, excluding the Christmas / New Year period.
Please contact us for a detailed itinerary and current prices.
The price includes:
- Hotel accommodation for 17 nights including breakfast
- Meals as listed in the itinerary at Hotels or Local Restaurant (17 Breakfasts, 14 Lunches and 12 Dinners)
- All touring, transfers and sightseeing by air-conditioned 18 seat mini coach
- Accompanying English speaking Indian tour escort for entire tour (staying in same hotels)
- Local expert guide for sightseeing of Bundi and Kota Regions
- Monument entrance fees as per itinerary
- 2 shared safaris inside Ranthambore National Park including naturalist guide and park entrance fees
- Two hour boat ride at Chambal river in Kota
- Boat transfer to Bhainsorgarh Fort
- Jeep ride to tribal villages in Bhainsorgarh
- Interaction with king/prince of Deogarh Mahal with cocktails
- Rural Rumble activity at Deogarh
- Rural train ride tickets in general class
- Jeep safari into Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary
- Boat Cruise at Lake Pichola in Udaipur
- Sound & light show and dinner at City Palace in Udaipur
- Gala dinner at Fort Anjana, Deogarh Mahal if the group size is 10 or more
- Cocktail hour at Hotel Udai Bilas
- Train tickets for Delhi-Sawai Madhopur in 2AC class
- Assistance by our representatives at airports and railway stations
- Government of India service tax
- International airfare
- Visa fee
- Porter charges at hotels, airport and railway stations
- Camera fees at monuments
- Meals other than specified
- Activities at the hotels other than those specifically mentioned as included
- Any expenses of a personal nature eg tips to guides, in restaurants or hotels, laundry, table drinks, telephone calls, etc
- Domestic airfare
- Any other expense which is not mentioned in inclusions
James Tod was an officer of the British Raj who first arrived in India in 1799. This tour draws on Tod’s writing as it retraces his travels through the area. Relive the romance, chivalry and glory of his ‘Rajputana’.
James Tod arrived in India in 1799 as an officer of the British Raj. Over 22 years he travelled and researched widely, eventually publishing “Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan” – one of the earliest studies of Rajasthan and a rich insight into its people and traditions.
While Tod’s travels took him cross country on elephant and horseback, we retrace his journey through eastern Rajasthan – including visits to Bundi, Kota, Bhainsorgarh and Chittorgarh – in the comfort of an air-conditioned vehicle, staying in many of the same palaces and forts – now splendidly restored heritage hotels – he wrote so meticulously about. Tod’s seminal work offers us the perfect framework by which to explore these lesser known parts of Rajasthan.
Day 1 Delhi
On arrival at Delhi International airport you will be met by our tour escort, transferred to the hotel and assisted with check-in. Delhi, India’s capital, is a colourful, busy, chaotic city of more than 14 million people – half of whom appear to have come to the airport for your arrival.
Day 2 Ranthambhore
This morning journey 5 hours by train to Sawai Madhopur and transfer by road from there to Ranthambhore.
In the afternoon, trek up to the 1,000 year old Rajput Ranthambore Fort, set high on a rock cliff, 215 metres above the surrounding plain. Explore its splendid ruined interiors and enjoy the spectacular views of the park and its three lakes from the ramparts.
Day 3 Ranthambhore
Former hunting grounds of the Maharajas of Jaipur, Ranthambhore became a national park in 1980. Covering an area of 392 km², it is one of India’s Project Tiger reserves and one of the best places to see these majestic predators. It is also home to a number of other animals and a wide variety of trees, plants, birds and reptiles. Today we take early morning and late afternoon game drives into the park.
Day 4 Bundi
This morning we drive 3 hours to Bundi. Afternoon free to explore the quaint medieval town on your own. Wander through Bundi’s cobbled lanes winding past blue whitewashed houses, temples and old havelis and through colourful markets of vegetable, fruit and flower sellers; explore bazaars offering silk and cotton textiles, stone crafts, Bundi paintings, Kota silk saris and much more.
Day 5 Bundi
A day of sightseeing, starting at the Palace, lavishly decorated in murals covering a range of subjects including legends of Lord Krishna, battle and court scenes.
Following this, drive around the Sukh Sagar Lake to view Kesar Bagh, the sixty-six cenotaphs of the Bundi royals, elegantly carved with marble ceilings, decorative friezes and elephants. Lunch at Umaid Bagh overlooking the lake and the Sukh Niwas Palace, where Rudyard Kipling was inspired to write ‘Kim’.
Day 6 Kota
After breakfast we make the short drive to Kota, where we visit the Museum housed in the City Palace, followed by lunch at the Umaid Bhawan Palace. Steeped in history, the Palace Hotel is a subtle blend of Rajput and Victorian architecture, comprising lush green lawns and courtyards, picturesque ceilings, marble corridors, hunting trophies, and exquisite royal heirlooms.
In the late afternoon we take a boat ride through the steep ravine of the river Chambal.
Day 7 Bhainsorgarh
Depart Kota for the 2 hour drive to Bhainsorgarh, stopping en route at Baroli, site of one of Rajasthan’s most beautiful 9th century temple complexes.
Bhainsorgarh Fort is situated 70 metres above the Chambal River. Transfer to the fort by boat, disembarking at Panchdevla, where the owners’ ancestors’ Cenotaphs are located, and make the 10 minute walk up to the property. This evening enjoy a barbeque dinner and entertainment by traditional musicians. [Image: Chris Caldicott].
Day 8 Bhainsorgarh
After breakfast we take a jeep ride through farms of wheat and mustard and small villages. Lunch is a picnic on an island in the Chambal River. Continue on to the village of Balapura situated by the edge of a reservoir, and enjoy tea and snacks whilst taking in the beauty and serenity of sunset – birds settling down at day’s end, jungle cats preparing for their nocturnal prowls and the sounds of temple bells from villages. [Image: Chris Caldicott].
Day 9 Bijaipur
Today we drive two hours to Menal, the site of 12th century temples dedicated to Shiva. Carvings of gods and goddesses, dancers, attendants and animals adorn the complex.
After a short stop, we continue on to Hotel Castle Bijaipur, set in the serene Vindhyachal Mountain Ranges. Built in the 16th century, it was converted into a heritage hotel by the present owner who shares with us stories and letters exchanged between James Tod and his forefathers.
Day 10 Deogarh
Departing Bijaipur, a short drive brings us to the 8th century fort of Chittorgarh. The history of this battle-scarred fort epitomizes the valour, romance, chivalry, and death before dishonour code glorified in Rajput legends. Between AD734 and AD1567, it fell victim to three sieges, each ending in defeat and jauhar, the mass self sacrifice of its womenfolk in a sacred fire. We explore the architectural masterpieces of this magnificent fort before continuing on to Deogarh. [Image: Krutikaa].
Day 11 Deogarh
After breakfast we explore the tiny village of Todgarh, where James Tod’s bungalow is located, returning to Deogarh for lunch.
In the late afternoon set out on a ‘Rural Rumble’ – a leisurely drive through the countryside. Visit a cave temple – a cavernous rock containing a shrine of Lord Shiva – before stopping by a lake, home to a multitude of migratory birds, where we are served refreshments as the sun sets.
Day 12 Kumbalgarh
This morning we take a 2 hour scenic train ride, crossing 30 metre high bridges, passing through tunnels and remote one-man stations. The ride ends at Phulad from where we make the 2 hour drive to the magnificent 15th century fort of Kumbalgarh. With its commanding views, massive fortifications, rounded bastions and tall watch towers, it was reputed to be the most impregnable fort in Rajasthan. This afternoon trek up to the Fort for a short tour.
Day 13 Udaipur
Rise early this morning to take a jeep safari or jungle walk through the Kumbalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary, where we may see leopards, wolfs, flying squirrels and a variety of birdlife.
After a late breakfast drive 2 hours to Rajasthan’s magical ‘White City’, Udaipur. Afternoon free, prior to a sunset boat cruise on Lake Pichola. Later attend a Sound and Light Show at the City Palace complex, followed by dinner on the Sunset Terrace of the City Palace.
Day 14 Dungapur
After breakfast explore the City Palace, its exterior a blend of stern Rajput military architecture whilst its interiors contain lavish Mughal inspired decorative art and a fine collection of paintings. Following this we pay a visit to the Crystal Gallery in the Durbar Hall at the Fateh Prakash.
After lunch drive 2 hours to the picturesque town of Dungarpur, ‘City of Hills’, set amongst the rugged peaks of the Aravalli Mountains.
Day 15 Dungapur
Today we visit the Old Palace or Juna Mahal. Built in the 13th century, on a rocky peak some 460 metres above sea level, this seven-storied structure resembles a fortress with crenulated walls, turrets and narrow entrances and passage-ways designed to slow down the enemy. The interiors glow with colourful and vibrant frescoes, miniature paintings, glass and mirror inlay work. Remainder of the day free to wander and explore the town. [Image: Meanest].
Day 16 Ahmedabad
After breakfast we drive 3 hours to Ahmedabad. The capital of Gujarat, this bustling commercial and industrial city has a fascinating old quarter of dwellings with beautifully carved facades, bazaars, temples, mosques and stepwells. On arrival, check into our hotel. You may like to relax in the afternoon, and in the evening visit the city’s famous night markets.
Day 17 Ahmedabad
Today we have a full day sightseeing including visits to the magnificent Mosque of Siddi Saiyad with its exquisite stone carvings; the beautiful Jama Masjid; the highly decorated white marble Hathee Singh’s Temple; and the Dada Hari Baoli stepwell with its spiral staircase. We also visit the outstanding Calico Textile Museum, considered as one of finest museums of its kind and Sabarmati Ashram, started by the father of the Nation – Mahatama Gandhi.
Day 18 Ahmedabad
After breakfast transfer to the airport to board flight home or to onward destination.
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