12 Days, 11 Nights
Duration

Inside Rajasthan with Vikas Kumar
(including the 2019 Jaipur Literature Festival)

Picture majestic forts, bustling bazaars, holy temples, ancient monuments and unique festivals – all set against a sweeping desert backdrop. Come and experience all this and more with Ekno’s passionate insider guide, Vikas Kumar. With over 20 years experience as a tour guide, Vikas will help you to discover the hidden gems of Rajasthan as he shares his beloved India with you. Inside Rajasthan is a unique tour that will allow you to truly see India through a local’s eyes.
The tour also incorporates two days at the Jaipur Literature Festival – billed as the ‘greatest literary show on earth’. Every year this festival brings together an eclectic mix of the world’s greatest writers, thinkers, humanitarians, politicians, business leaders, musicians, sports people and entertainers. To top it off the festival takes place at the beautiful Diggi Palace in the stunning Rajasthani capital. Rich with cultural heritage, colourful bazaars, mesmerising music and delicious food – this is a once in a lifetime experience.
As with all Ekno experiences, we select our hotels and locations with an eye on combining luxury and comfort into one fabulous experience. With Vikas as your guide you will not only discover hidden experiences unique to India, but you can also relax safe in the knowledge that your security is foremost in our minds. But don’t just take our word for it, see what some of our satisfied clients have had to say about Vikas:

‘Vikas is a remarkable tour guide. Well organised, fun and with such an inspirational life story! It was great to have him interpret and explain situations, history and culture. I can’t actually speak highly enough of him – one gem of a tour guide.’ Rosalyn Johnson, New Zealand

‘Local guide Vikas was a brilliant choice, always open to chat about India and arrange some extra wishes. He was tireless, always living the slogan – “In India, everything is possible!”
It was just an amazing, brilliant, fantastic journey every hour of the way. I really fell in love with the country and I can’t wait to return!’
Mario Becker, Switzerland

TOUR DATES

20-31 January 2019

TOUR COST

 A$2950 per person twin share

Single Supplement A$1050

* Fixed departure – price based on minimum 6 people
Independent Travels – Price on Application

DURATION

12 days, 11 nights

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Escorted by Ekno’s popular and knowledgeable insider guide, Vikas Kumar
  • Experience the colourful chaos of Old Delhi
  • Marvel at the majestic Taj Mahal and Red fort in Agra
  • Attend the world renown Jaipur Literature Festival and explore this famous ‘Pink City’
  • Wander through the holy lakeside town of Pushkar and explore your inner hippy
  • Enjoy the stunning views from the Mehrangarh Fort in the blue city of Jodhpur
  • Bespoke Indian experiences such as elephant and camel rides, yoga lessons and Rajasthani cooking classes

TOUR ROUTE

Delhi – Agra – Jaipur – Pushkar – Jodhpur – Delhi

 

Additional information

Dates20-31 January 2019
Day 1

20 January 2019

Arrive Delhi

Welcome to incredible India and to the start of your holiday! An Ekno representative will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. After checking into the hotel, spend the rest of the day at your leisure exploring the local area and soaking up the vibrant atmosphere. Vikas will be on hand at the hotel if you need any assistance or recommendations.

Overnight: Hotel, Delhi

Day 2

21 January 2019

Delhi

Today we will step back in time with Vikas as he leads us through the bustling and fascinating streets of Old Delhi. We’ll admire India’s largest mosque, the magnificent Jama Masjid, and enjoy a rickshaw ride through the ancient alley ways of Chandni Chowk bazaar. We’ll pass by the Red Fort before paying our respects at Raj Ghat, the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi. As we continue to weave our way back to New Delhi, we will pass British era landmarks such as India Gate, Rajpath, the President’s House, Parliament House & the Government Secretariat Buildings. We will spend the afternoon shopping at one of Delhi’s many bustling outdoor bazaars. In the evening Vikas will take the group to one of his favourite restaurants in Delhi, specialising in delicious North Indian cuisine.

Overnight: Hotel, Delhi

Day 3

22 January 2019

Delhi – Agra

After breakfast at the hotel we will drive to Agra, arriving by early afternoon. Agra is the former capital of the Mughal empire and home to a number of UNESCO World Heritage sites. This relatively small city is packed with history, which is testament to the power and wealth of the Mughal reign in India.

After checking into our hotel we will spend the afternoon exploring Agra’s Red Fort, one of the most beautiful forts in Northern India. The Red Fort was the main residence for the emperors of the Mughal Dynasty until 1638, when the Mughal capital was shifted from Agra to Delhi.

Overnight: Hotel, Agra

Day 4

23 January 2019

Agra – Jaipur

Rise and shine early to witness a once in a lifetime event, a spectacular sunrise visit to the magnificent Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is India’s most-photographed monument, and today you’ll see why. Built between 1632 and 1653 in memory of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan’s beloved third wife, the Taj Mahal is world-renowned and widely admired as a wonderful photo opportunity.

After visiting the Taj we will return to the hotel for breakfast before setting off for Jaipur, the capital city of the desert state of Rajasthan. Sit back and enjoy the changing desert scenery and be sure to look out for elephants and camels on the road!

Overnight: Hotel, Jaipur

Day 5-6

24-25 January 2019

Jaipur Literature Festival

For the next two days we will attend the Literature Festival in Jaipur. This yearly event is in its 11th year and has become a celebrated event with over 200 speakers from 20 different countries. Acclaimed writers and festival Directors Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple handpick a diverse and exciting line up of speakers and performers every year in what is a global celebration of debate, creative expression and thoughtful dialogue. You will find it all here – from Man Booker prize winners to local activists, Nobel laureates and writers from the vast Indian diaspora.

There will also be the opportunity to visit some of Vikas’ handpicked sights in Jaipur, known as the ‘Pink City’. We will visit the majestic City Palace, Hawa Mahal and the ancient Jantar Mantar observatory. In the evenings you will be able to explore the sights and colours of the Jaipur Markets including the famous Johari Bazaar (Jeweller’s Market), where Vikas will take you to his favourite gem and silver shops. In the evening you can visit the most iconic cinema in Jaipur, Raj Mandir, for a taste of Bollywood’s magical brand of entertainment. On your last night in Jaipur, why not visit the exclusive and historical Taj Rambagh Palace for a drink in the exclusive Polo Bar?

Overnight: Hotel, Jaipur

Day 7

26 January 2019

Jaipur – Pushkar

We will start the day with a visit to the magnificent Amber Fort. You can choose to walk, take a jeep, or ride an elephant up to the fort’s entrance. The ascent to the fort, no matter your mode of transportation, offers unbeatable views. Once inside the fort’s walls we will explore the inner rooms of the palace along with the impressive gardens, temples, and opulent private apartments that were once home to Mughal rulers.

We will then drive to the lakeside town of Pushkar – a prominent Hindu pilgrimage town and home of the world famous Camel Fair. Spend the afternoon wandering around the colourful streets that lead down to the lakeside ghats. According to legend, the Hindu God Brahma made Pushkar Lake appear out of thin air while searching for a place to perform a fire sacrifice. Roam around the hidden alley ways with Vikas and contemplate life in this laid back and picturesque town.

Overnight: Hotel, Pushkar

Day 8

27 January 2019

Pushkar

Today you will have the chance to really explore the hidden gems of Pushkar with Vikas. This holy town is centred around a sacred lake with over 400 temples including the only temple dedicated to the Lord Brahma in all of India. You can also visit a gurdwara (Sikh temple) and wander along the 52 bathing ghats, observing Indian daily life.

There are many lovely roof top restaurants in Pushkar that offer beautiful lakeside views and a quiet place for contemplation. In the afternoon Vikas can help to arrange a bespoke experience just for you – options include a camel safari, yoga class, music lesson or natural healing session.

Overnight: Hotel, Pushkar

Day 9

28 January 2019

Pushkar – Jodhpur

This morning we will drive to Jodhpur, known as the ‘Blue City’ owing to the many blue houses that dot the landscape. It also boasts the impressive backdrop of Mehrangarh Fort, one of the largest forts in India. We will pass through spectacular desert scenery before arriving and checking into our hotel in the afternoon. In the evening Vikas will help you to explore Sadar Bazaar, one of the oldest markets in India, famous for its handicrafts and antiques. The diversity of what’s on offer is impressive, as are the colourful surrounds. Be sure to let Vikas know what you are after and he will be sure to find it for you.

Overnight: Hotel, Jodhpur

Day 10

29 January 2019

Jodhpur

Enjoy breakfast before heading up to Mehrangarh Fort, perched on a hill overlooking the city, to take in the sweeping views of the city. You will then be able to explore the many hidden and intricately decorated palaces that lie within the fort’s walls.

You can either have the late afternoon free to relax or attend a Rajasthani cooking class at a local family’s home. Try cooking with traditional Indian spices and see if you can taste the difference!

Overnight: Hotel, Jodhpur

Day 11

30 January 2019

Jodhpur – Delhi

Spend the morning relaxing or shop for Rajasthani souvenirs in the bazaar. In the early afternoon we will take a flight back to Delhi. After checking into our hotel the afternoon is at your leisure.

Tonight we will enjoy our final meal together, at one of Vikas’ favourite local restaurants.

Overnight: Hotel, Delhi

Day 12

31 January 2019

Depart Delhi

Our tour concludes after breakfast. We will transfer you to the airport for your onward international or domestic flight.

We look forward to seeing you on another Ekno experience soon. Why not add on one of our extension tours so that you can see another exciting part of India, such as a trip to Udaipur and the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Amritsar or Varanasi.


INCLUDES

Met at Delhi Airport by an Ekno representative

11 nights’ accommodation with breakfast

All transfers and sightseeing by private car

Services of Vikas for the duration of the trip

Welcome and farewell dinners in Delhi

Attend Jaipur Literature Festival for 2 days

Entrance fees to all sights and monuments as per the itinerary

EXCLUDES

Return airfares to India

Cost of Indian tourist visa (on arrival)

Lunches and dinners unless otherwise specified in the itinerary

Personal expenditure such as drinks (including bottled water), laundry service and souvenirs

Tipping

Camera and video entry charges at local sights and monuments

Occasional optional items not identified in itinerary description

Compulsory insurance of any kind

OPTIONAL EXTRAS

  • Elephant ride in Jaipur (Amber fort)
  • Rajasthani cooking class in Jodhpur
  • Visit to the cinema in Jaipur
  • Extra activities in Pushkar (including music lessons, camel safari and yoga)
Amber-fort-Rajasthan
Local Bangles Market in Jodhpur
Jaipur Literature Festival 2017
Photo-01
Step well near Jaipur
Blue City - Jodhpur
Pic-6
Rajasthan