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A flamboyant showcase of Rajasthani architecture and a firm favourite on tourist itineraries as the third corner of India’s ‘Golden ...

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last updated - 25 Dec 2014 3:31 AM

Mandu Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF INDIA 2638

If you like the itinerary below please quote REF INDIA 2638 when enquiring for further details.

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The grand entrance into Delhi's famous Red Fort

Day 1: Delhi

Namaste! Welcome to New Delhi, the capital city of India and the start of your eye-opening adventure! Our friendly team will be waiting in the arrivals hall to transfer you to your hotel where you can relax for the rest of the day.

India Gate

Day 2: Delhi - Alsisar

Today we drive to the semi-desert Shekhawati region of Alsisar and on to the small village of Surajgarh, which lies in a triangular area between Delhi, Jaipur and Bikaner. The small towns in this region were once important trading posts, and today their legacy is carried on through the beautifully painted havelis that were constructed by wealthy merchants here in the 18th and 19th centuries. Spend the afternoon here exploring in your own time.

Day 3: Alsisar - Bikaner

This morning we travel west to the 14th century desert town of Bikaner. Once an important staging post on the great caravan routes, much of the atmospheric old town which we will explore is still encircled by massive fortified walls. Within these walls are havelis, artisan shops and people going about their daily lives. We also visit the spectacular Junagarh Fort and museum, built between 1587 and 1593 during the rule of Rai Singh.

Indian Ladies in the Thar Desert

Day 4: Bikaner - Jaisalmer

We leave Bikaner today and drive through the Rajasthani Thar desert and arrive at the medieval caravan outpost of Jaisalmer, one of the jewels in India’s crown. Along the way we will visit the Karni Mata Temple at Deshnoke, dedicated to Karni Mata, a mystic. Legend goes that she foretold the victory of success of Rao Bika and the prophecy came true. Today along with her, thousands of rats are revered here.

Camels in the desert

Day 5: Jaisalmer

During today in this stunning Rajasthani fortress town, we’ll enjoy some touring of it's ancient buildings. In the evening explore the rolling sand dunes in the surrounding desert to see a fantastic sunset.

Temple carving detail

Day 6: Jaisalmer - Rohet

This morning we drive to Rohetgarh, which is an evergreen oasis and has linked its blue-green lakeside environs to a perennial stream, which irrigates the desert lands of Jodhpur. A small but quaint village, and you can also visit nearby Bishnoi settlements with their flamboyantly dressed and bejeweled women. It's a free day to explore this area at your leisure.

Day 7: Rohet

This morning we drive to Jodhpur, a charming town located on the eastern edge of the Thar Desert. Dubbed the Blue City due to the distinctive colour of its old town houses, the city is dominated by the grand Meherangarh Fort which sits on a hilltop within the ancient walls of the old city. We’ll enjoy a day sightseeing in this colourful city, taking in the mighty fort and bazaars of the old city which are gathered around the city’s tall clock tower. We return to your hotel in Rohet by the evening.

Day 8: Rohet - Udaipur

Leaving Rohet we drive to Ranakpur, a small town tucked away in a remote valley and famed for its beautiful 14th century Jain temples. We’ll enjoy some free time for exploration here, before continuing the drive to Udaipur.

Maharaja City Palace

Day 9: Udaipur

This morning will consist of an orientation and sightseeing tour of Udaipur - including the City Palace and museum - before having a few hours in the afternoon to explore for yourselves. This evening you will take ride in a shared boat on tranquil Lake Pichola.

Jagdish Temple

Day 10: Udaipur - Poshina

We take to the road on a journey over the Aravali Hills and into the tribal lands of the Gujarat/Rajasthan borders. Arriving at your destination called Poshina, enjoy free time to unwind and enjoy the hospitality of your hosts at the Darbargarg Castle.

Day 11: Poshina

This morning we head out to explore Balaram with visits to Modhera Sun Temple and Patan. The afternoon will spent exploring the surrounding tribal villages the area is known for, each tribe having there own customs, dress and unusual language.

Day 12: Poshina - Ahmedabad

Leaving Poshina and rural India behind, we drive to the big city of Ahmedabad. Along the way explore Patan, which contains many Hindu and Jain temples as well as few mosques, dargahs and rojas, and we also visit the Adalaj Step Well, built in 1499 A.D. by Queen Rudabai.

Jain Temple Tower

Day 13: Ahmedabad

Ahmedabad is a mix of medieval and modern, along with the coexistence of Hindu, Muslim and Jain communities, a compelling place to explore. Our city tour leads us to the old city to view the finest blend of Hindu and Islamic architectural style known as Indo-Saracenic. We also visit the site of Gandhi’s ashram and the place where he launched his celebrated march against the Salt Law. We wander through the vibrant bazaars of Ahmedabad and visit Jami Masjid, built in the 15th century. Also worth seeing is the Calico Museum, the premier textile museum in the country.

Ahmedabad skyline

Day 14: Ahmedabad - Bhavnagar

We make our way deeper into Gujarat today, with a drive to Bhavnagar.

Colourful Ganesh

Day 15: Bhavnagar

Enjoy a day exploring Palitana, the worlds Vegetarian city. Two peaks covered with shrines encompass the Jain pilgrimage centre of Palitana. Spend the day here with our guide exploring this fascinating place (Lift Charges and Porter charges are included for you to get up the peaks to visit the temples)

Painted roof

Day 16: Bhavnagar - Baroda

We make our way Baroda today. Along the way exploring the excavations of Lothal, one of the great cities of the ancient Indus valley civilization.

Shankar Bhagwan

Day 17: Baroda

Enjoy a full day excursion of Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This place is dotted with forts and bastions starting from the hills of Pavagadh, and extending into the city of Champaner. The park's landscape includes archaeological, historic and living cultural heritage monuments such as chalcolithic sites, a hill fortress of an early Hindu capital, and remains of the 16th-century capital of the state of Gujarat. There are palaces, entrance gates and arches, mosques, tombs and temples, residential complexes, agricultural structures and water installations such as stepwells and tanks, dating from the 8th to the 14th centuries.

Baroda Palace Gate

Day 18: Baroda - Mandu

This morning we make our way to Mandu, known as the ‘city of joy’ founded as a fortress and retreat in the 10th century and came under the sway of the Delhi’s Sultan. In the early 14th century it became a pleasure resort, its lakes and palaces the scenes of magnificent festivities.

Darya Khan's tomb in Mandu. Photo credit varunshiv.

Day 19: Mandu

Enjoy a full day tour of Mandu. Jahaj Mahal, the Ship Palace, is probably the most famous building in Mandu. There is Taveli Mahal, just south of the Jahaj Mahal, now the Archaeological Survey of India. Hindola Mahal is known as the Swing Palace since the inward slope of the walls is supposed to create the impression that the wall are swaying. Some other places of interest are Champa Baoli, Jama Masjid, Hoshang’s Tomb, Ashrafi Mahal, Nil Kanth Palace, Palace of Baz Bahadur, Rupmati’s pavilion, Darya Khan’s tomb and Hathi Mahal.

Jahaz Mahal in Mandu. Photo credit mckaysavage.

Day 20: Mandu

Enjoy a full day excursion of Maheshwar, which was a glorious city at the dawn of Indian civilization when it was Mahishmati, capital of King Kartivarjun. This temple town on the banks of the river Narmada finds mention in the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata. Revived to its ancient position of importance by the Holkar Queen Rani Ahilyabai of Indore, Maheshwar's temples and mighty fort-complex stand in quiet beauty, mirrored in the river below. Today, Maheshwar is also known for its distinctive handwoven sarees called Maheshwari.

Charminar

Day 21: Mandu - Indore

This morning we drive to Indore. Arriving here we enjoy a tour of the sites. Indore is more known as a starting point for excursions to lot of nearby tourist attractions. A huge statue of Lord Ganesha installed in the main street in Malharganj area is quite famous. Apart from this, Chhatri Bagh has the cenotaphs of the erstwhile Holkar rulers of Indore. The Kanch Mandir or Hukum Chand's Temple is a Jain shrine with its walls, roof and floors inlaid with glass, multi coloured beads and mother of pearl.

Golconda Fort

Day 22: Indore - Bhopal

We continue the journey to Bhopal, a vibrant city, full of lakes, mountainsides and flanked by forests on three sides. Bhopal is an important tourist centre for Buddhist and special interest travellers. Spend the afternoon here with our expert guide exploring places of interest.

The minaret of Moti Masjid Mosque in Bhopal. Photo credit to Carol Mitchell.

Day 23: Bhopal

Enjoy the day exploring Bhojpur and Bhimbetka caves.

Taj-ul-Masjid Mosque in Bhopal. Photo credit to tjollans.

Day 24: Bhopal - Mumbai

We take to the sky today and head south to India's city of dreams Mumbai! Arriving here, a transfer brings you to your hotel.

Crawford market architecture

Day 25: Mumbai

This morning learn all about the cottage industries of the Dharavi Slum, home to an estimated 5000 businesses across 15,000 small area factories. To ensure our visit benefits the community, we ask that you buy pencils and colouring books to give to the local children. In the afternoon enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city, and in the evening a leisurely horse and buggy ride along Marine Drive.

Gateway to India

Day 26: Mumbai - Kovalam

This morning we take to the sky once again and fly south to Trivandrum. Arriving here, a transfer brings you to your hotel in Kovalam Bay.

Kovalam Beach

Days 27-30: Kovalam

A former fishing village, Kovalam is an enchanting strip of golden sands laced with the rich greenery of coconut palms. Ayurvedic massage parlours, yoga centres and water sport facilities makes Kovalam a popular haven. Spend the next four days at leisure enjoying the scenery, dining on fresh seafood or taking part in local activities on offer.

Beach sunset

Day 31: Kovalam

Today marks the end of your incredible journey with On the Go Tours. After hotel check out, we will transfer you to the airport in Trivandrum for your onward departure flight.