IOYO - 36
Experience the majestic states of Rajasthan and the beautiful city of Varanasi in the photography tours in Rajasthan. India is a perfect melange of cultures and religions melding together to form a country full of wonders. The sheer diversity offered by India and her people will boggle your mind and give a chance to delve deeper into this society. Hailed as a mysterious “country of snake-charmers,” it will provide you with fifteen days-worth of enjoyment and fun. To experience this cocktail of culture and heritage is a dream. And the photography tours in Rajasthan offers a chance to fulfill this dream.
This tour package will kick-start in Delhi, and come to a full circle in Delhi only, after fifteen days. Aside from coursing through Rajasthani culture and cities, this tour package will also extend its leg to Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. After initiating the trip to Delhi and its beauty, the tour will continue to the open art gallery at Shekhawati, followed by the rustic deserts of Bikaner and Jaisalmer. Immerse yourself in the royalty of Rajasthan by visiting majestic palaces of Jodhpur and Udaipur which are also one of the most famous wedding destinations. Visit the holy lakes of Pushkar and revel in the exquisiteness of the city of Jaipur. The Taj Mahal at Agra will leave you astounded by its loveliness followed by a trip to Varanasi and a visit to its holy river the Ganges and her ghats, which will mark the end of this photography tours in Rajasthan.
The expansive tour itinerary helps you find the best photography stops in Rajasthan:
Upon arrival, our representatives will be there to welcome you to the 'City of Cities.' A transfer will be arranged to take you from the airport to the Hotel. Said to have been built and destroyed about 11 times, Delhi is a Photographers Paradise with multiple overlapping architectural styles standing next to glass and steel complexes in perfect harmony. Refresh yourself and set out on a tour of Old Delhi. Built by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1639, this mesmerizing part of town is intense and full of history.
Visit Raj Ghat and other memorials dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, the landscaping and planting of which was performed by Alick Percy-Lancaster, the last Englishman to hold the post of Superintendent of Horticultural Operations, Government of India.
Continue onwards to Jama Masjid, a complex structure consisting of three gates, two towers and two 130-foot high minarets, all constructed from red sandstone. Chandni Chowk, the area around Jama Masjid is a treat for all those who wish to feast on Delhi street food. It is so densely packed with shops selling trinkets and sweetmeats, the only way to navigate the roads is either to walk it up or take a rickshaw.
A haven for those interested in trick photography the next stop on this photography tours in Rajasthan is Qutub Minar, a majestic cylindrical structure built in the 13th century is still a beautiful example of architectural brilliance and fortitude and also visit Humayun's tomb.
With its eternal flame dedicated to Soldiers martyred in the World War I, India gate is a monument that is sure to touch your soul. Enjoy the passing views of the majestic Parliament house, President’s house and Secretarial Buildings as you speed towards the quaint Laxminarayan Temple, built across 7.5 acres of green lawns and many shrines and fountains.
After a day full of history lessons and delicious street food, we will take you back to your hotel for the night.
Highlights: Delhi - Visit Raj Ghat, Jama Masjid, Qutab Minar, Humayun's Tomb, Laxmi Narayan Temple & drive past Red Fort, Chandni Chowk, President House, Parliament. etc.
After enjoying a delicious breakfast at your hotel in Delhi, we will take you to a mesmerizing little village of Mandawa about 250 kilometers away. With its brightly painted havelis this small town was a trading outpost for caravans travelling from China and Middle East. In order to protect this trading outpost, the Rajput ruler of Nawalgarh, Thakur Nawal Singh built a fort in 1755 which still dominates the cityscape. The township around the fort attracted a lot of wealthy traders of those days, who built a lot of graceful and elegant havelis. Most of these havelies have been restored and converted into hotels while some are still inhabited by the families. The Havelies might be old but their faded grandeur still attracts a steady stream of visitors.
While the Havelies are huge and mesmerizing, nothing compares to the resplendence of the Fort itself. Adorned with beautiful frescos as per the medieval theme, the rooms of the Palace are decorated with exquisite carvings, amazing mirror work and paintings of Lord Krishna. Many tourists come here to capture the glory of this era bygone and we will give you a chance to do just that on the Photography tour in Rajasthan.
Highlights: Visit the Shekhavati Villages.
Post breakfast enjoy a scenic drive from Mandawa to Bikaner which is about 192 kilometers away. This dust swerling town is home to the amazing Junagarh fort built by Raja Rai Singh, the sixth ruler of Bikaner. Standing in stark contrast to the modern day Bikaner City, Junagarh fort will surely transport you back into the bygone era as you walk through the palace. Another interesting place to explore here is the museum inside the fort that has on display the ornaments and weapons of the old days.
With its awe inspiring size and dimensions this fort is one of the few that were never defeated. The most unique feature of this ancient masterpiece is the Suraj Pol or the Sun gate, which is built in yellow sandstone, unlike the rest of the fort which is made with red sandstone. There are 4 other gates on the fort which provide access to various monuments within the fort walls. Stop and take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the Har Mandir, the royal chapel used to make offerings specifically by the royal family and Jormal Temple with it stunning interiors and unparalleled surroundings.
You are free to explore the city at your own leisure. The transport will be at your disposal for the rest of the day. Retire to your hotel in Bikaner for the night.
Highlights: Bikaner - visit the Junagadh Fort with Suraj Pol & Chand pol gates, Joramal temple, Har Mandir & the bazaars.
Enjoy a hearty breakfast at your Hotel in Bikaner before you move out to travel onwards to Jaisalmer. A ride of about 330 kilometers, the landscape changes as soon as you leave Bikaner city and becomes more arid and desert like. Situated in the heart of the Thar desert Jaisalmer town looks like a mirage from a bygone era. It maybe one of Rajasthan's remotest cities but the its allure draws enough tourists here to make it the biggest tourist destination of the state of Rajasthan. And on this photography tour of Rajasthan, this is a stop that will fill your camera with pictures as vivid as the colours of the setting sun.
From herbal healing to camel safaris, dance performance and soothing music, Jaisalmer is a hot pot of art, culture and history. Bringing all the stories about Aladdin and Ali baba to life, this magical town is sure to leave you with some unforgettable memories. You have the afternoon at your disposal to explore the interesting bazaars, famous for their stunning embroidery, bedspreads, mirror work wall hangings and antiques. The transport will be at your disposal for the rest of the day.
Today be sure to have a full breakfast as we take you out to scout the city of Jaisalmer for the most iconic photographs of this photography tour of Rajasthan. Our first stop on today’s journey is the Jaisalmer fort, a breathtaking sight of this massive sand castle rising from the sandy plains will leave you speechless. It is the oldest living forts on the planet with the current population of inhabitants close to 3000.
Another gem hidden inside the palace is the Tazia Tower, a five storey building with each level having its own unique individual designs and stands apart as a piece of Islamic architecture in a landscape otherwise dotted with Rajputana heritage. Next stop is Salim Ji Ki Haveli. Built in the hills near the Jaisalmer fort, it is famous for its distinctive architecture and the roof that has been constructed to form a peacock. It is one of the few Havelies that has not been converted into a hotel. Another such haveli that you will visit is the Patwon ki Haveli.
We understand that just one evening was not enough to explore the vibrant markets of this Golden City. Today evening is also at your disposal to enjoy shopping.
Highlights: Jaisalmer - Visit the Jaisalmer Fort, Salim Ji Ki Haveli & Patwon ki Haveli.
Post breakfast, we will drive you to the second largest city of Rajasthan. Jodhpur is a fascinating destination where the modern and ancient reside peacefully side by side. Famous for many things, the pompous fair put on during festivals and its sweetmeats are the crown jewels in this cities fame.
In the afternoon, you will set out to explore the Meherangarh fort - a muscular structure that towers over the blue city of Jodhpur, it stands atop a rocky hill about 120 meters above the jodhpur skyline. Packed with history and legend, this fort is home to the magnificent Moti Mahal. Room for private audience, Moti Mahal is a palatial room with coloured glass windows and ceiling decorated with gold leaf, seashells and mirrors. Another must see inside the fort is the Phool Mahal, probably the pleasure dome for the Maharajas of old, this room is decorated to look as majestic as a flower. Ceiling decorated with golden filigree work is accentuated by the beautiful paintings and the British Furniture.
Next stop on this photography tours in Rajasthan in Jodhpur is the Jaswant Thada, made in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II, the 33rd Rajput ruler of Jodhpur. It is made completely out of marble which is so fine that the whole structure is said to emit a warm glow when sunlight falls on it. The last stop for the day is Umaid Gardens which is a sight to sore eyes with its lush green lawns and beautiful roses and seasoned flowers. Inside the 82 acre area covered by these gardens is the museum where you can take your cameras inside the museum and bring back with you photographs of all the rich historically important artifacts on display inside. The Government Museum of Rajasthan are also located within the grounds of Umaid Gardens and display a wide collection of weapons, textiles, local art and crafts including a military section displaying wooden biplane models and brass battleships.
You have the rest of the day at leisure and have the transport at your disposal within the city limits. Overnight in Jodhpur.
Highlights: Jodhpur - visit Meherangarh fort, Jaswant Thada and Umaid Public Gardens
Enjoy a scrumptious breakfast post which we will drive you to Udaipur with a halt to enjoy the offerings of Ranakpur. The Village of Ranakpur host’s one of India’s biggest and most important Jain Complexes. The first temple to visit is the Chamukha temple, with its 29 halls and intricately carved 1444 pillars all distinct from one another. Another important temple is the Surya temple famous for its marvelous sight of the Sun god driving his seven horse chariot.
Onwards we proceed to the city of lakes, the magical marble mosaic of Udaipur. With its fantastic palaces, quaint temples and narrow crooked timeless streets Udaipur has a romance of setting unparalleled in Rajasthan and the whole of India. Here in this magical city, we offer you the best way to stay, in the middle of the lake. Overnight in the lake in Udaipur.
Highlights: Ranakpur Temples.
After breakfast, we will take you out to see the best of Udaipur city. Starting with the City Palace located on the Pichola Lake, the imposing structure with its balconies and towers this is the largest Palace in Rajasthan. Moving on we will visit the Jagdish Temple, a beautiful example of Hindu Iconography this temple has 32 marble steps leading up to its entrance intercepted by a brass image of Garuda, the mount of Lord Vishnu.
We will take a drive around the Fatehsagar Lake, an artificial lake constructed in the 1960, it is considered as the pride of Udaipur. Next stop is the Bhartiya Lok Kala Museum, a private folk-art museum, known for its Dalek-like entrance tower, exhibits dresses, tribal jewellery, turbans, dolls, masks, musical instruments, paintings and puppet shows. The last stop for day is Saheliyo ki Bari, located on the banks on the Fatehsagar Lake presenting a green retreat in the dry lands of Rajasthan. Overnight in Udaipur.
Highlights: Udaipur - Visit the City Palace, Jagdish Temple, Bhartiya Lok Kala Mandir, Sahelion ki Bari & drive around Fatehsagar Lake.
After a delicious breakfast, drive
Famous for its fair which lasts for 5 days, there are many temples with ancient histories and fascinating architecture that you can explore. Overnight in Pushkar.
Highlights: Pushkar - visit the Sacred Lake and the Brahma Temple.
Today morning we will drive towards the pink city of Jaipur. Known for its chaotic colourful streets the capital of Rajasthan has an enthralling history. Once you check into the hotel and relax for a while, we will set out on a tour of the city.
First stop on our journey will be the Amer fort. Housed in the former capital of Jaipur state, this magnificent, formidable honey hued fort is an ethereal example of Rajput architecture. Next is the Maharaja city palace of Jaipur, standing tall in the middle of the Old City, this is a striking example of Rajasthani and Mughal architectural styles. There are four glorious gates in this palace each representing a season: the Peacock Gate depicts autumn, the Lotus Gate signifies summer, the Green Gate represents spring, and finally the Rose Gate embodies winter.
You will also be taken to Jantar Mantar, observatory built for measuring the heavens, its name is derived from the Sanskrit yanta mantr, meaning 'instrument of calculation' and the Hawa Mahal, extraordinary pink-painted delicately honeycombed hive that rises a dizzying five storeys this is the most distinctive landmark in Jaipur.
Highlights: Jaipur - Visit Amer Fort, City Palace, Jantar Mantar & drive past Hawa Mahal.
We will set out from Jaipur and stop at the magnificent fortified city of Fatehpur Sikri. It was Akbar’s short lived capital and this is where he built a stunning mosque, which is still in use as of today. This city was an amazing example of Indo-Islamic architecture but was abandoned shortly after Akbar’s death. Here you will explore the Jama Masjid, a 17th Century mosque which is a world heritage site and known for its Iranian Architecture. Proceed to visit the Tomb of Salim Chisti, a elegant building with its intricate marble carvings and white marble floors inlaid with multicolored stones.
You will also visit the Panch Mahal and Buland Darwaza before you proceed onwards to Agra.
Highlights: Agra – Visit Fatehpur Sikri.
Known famously for Taj Mahal, Agra has much more to offer as you will find out today on this tour of Agra city. First stop is undoubtedly, Taj Mahal. An embodiment of all things pure, as described by Rudyard Kipling, the Taj Mahal is widely considered the most beautiful building ever built. You will get a chance to experience its grandeur first hand as we take you on a tour of this majestic monument.
Next we visit the Agra fort, one of the finest Mughal forts of the country. As you walk through courtyard after courtyard of this palatial red-sandstone and marble fortress, your amazement will grow as the scale of what was built here begins to sink in.
You can spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the various bazaars and shopping in the vibrant, loud chowks (Market places) of Agra. Overnight in Agra.
Highlights: Agra – Visit Taj Mahal & Agra Fort.
The next leg of your journey will take you to Varanasi from via Agra to Delhi which will be travelled by road. Flight will be boarded at Delhi after which you will reach Varanasi. You will be welcomed and escorted to a hotel by our representatives for a relaxing stay. The rest of the day is for your leisure activities and discovering the ancient city of Sarnath where Buddha is supposed to have given his first sermon after enlightenment. A trip to Varanasi is incomplete if you don’t experience the evening Arti at Ganges River or a stroll in the busy bazaars of Varanasi which is also called Benaras or Banaras or Kashi. Enjoy the overnight stay at Varanasi which is an ancient city dating back 5000 years.
Next day will bring more adventures, like the boat excursion in Ganges from two different ghats, Manikarnika and Harischandra Ghats which is frequented by thousands of devotees. These ghats are known for holy purposes and also for cremations, as you will notice by seeing many funeral pyres burning there. Afternoon will bring free leisure time which you can spend roaming around or an optional visit to Sarnath.
Highlights: Varanasi - Boat ride on the River Ganges visiting the Manikarnika and Harishchandra ghats.
On day 15, the last day, you will be transferred back to Delhi by flight. Delhi will connect you to your onward flight home and since most of the flights depart mid-night, accommodation in Delhi isn’t provided. This will mark the end of your Rajasthan and Ganges travel package!