A SHORT BREAK IN RAJASTHAN (5 Days, 4 Nights)

A SHORT BREAK IN RAJASTHAN (5 Days, 4 Nights)

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Rs.13,750
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Destination
Destinations: 
Rs.11,550
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Overview

Itinerary
Day 1:    Arrival at Mount Abu
Pick up from the Abu Road Railway Station and transfer to the Hotel. Rest for some time and start exploring this beautiful hill station.
Day 1 & 2: Mount Abu
Mount Abu is set amidst lush surroundings of Aravali hills at an altitude of 3500 feet above the sea level and is the only hill station in the desert state of Rajasthan. Besides its exceptional scenic beauty, Mount Abu is also famous for its 11th century exquisite Dilwara temple. Sacred to Jains, they are considered masterpieces of temple architecture. The spectacular Nakki Lake also adds to the scenic beauty of Mount Abu and makes it a lovely little hill station to experience.
 
Day 3:    Travel to Udaipur (4 hrs)
In the morning, travel from Mount Abu to Udaipur. Arrival at Udaipur and transfer to the Hotel. Rest for the day and start exploring one of the most beautiful cities of India.
Day 3 & 4:
The imperial city of Udaipur boasts of picturesque lakes, massive forts, magnificent palaces, art museums, splendid gardens and grand temples. Also called as the ‘Lake City’, Udaipur mesmerizes you by the beauty of the large lakes that form a picture-perfect background of the city. The beautiful palaces of the city depict the lavish lifestyle of the ancient rulers. The temples of Udaipur showcase a striking architecture and impressive structures. The massive forts reveal the stories of the glorious past and make you feel the royal past.
 
Day 4:    Departure from Udaipur
As per schedule, drop at the Udaipur Airport / Railway Station for further journey to your hometown.
OR
Day 4:    Departure from Mount Abu (4 hrs)
As per schedule, drop at the Mount Abu Railway Station for further journey to your hometown.
 
Travel Plan
Arrival at Mount Abu
2 Nights at Mount Abu
2 Night at Udaipur
Departure from Udaipur / Mount Abu
 
PACKAGE INCLUDES:
 Accommodation:
Accommodation in the specified hotels in the selected Holiday Category with meals subject to the plan selected. All rooms will be Air Conditioned. The accommodation will be in the base category of the specified hotel, if not mentioned otherwise. 
Twin sharing accommodation with private bath or shower and toilet in each room, where available.
Meals:
Daily buffet breakfast at all the hotels for the guest travellers
Pick up and Drop:
Pickup and drop will be done from Mount Abu Railway station / Bus station on the arrival and departure day respectively.
 Road Transfers:                                                                                                                          
All sight-seeing and land transfers in A/c Taxi (as specified in the Holiday Category) accompanied with an English/Hindi speaking friendly driver-cum-guide throughout your trip.
Transfers between the appropriate overseas airports/stations/ports and your hotels as specified in your itinerary and unless otherwise stated
Driver allowance, toll, parking, road tax, fuel charge, interstate charges.
 Complimentary:
Child below 5 yrs will be complimentary with the guest.             
Services of our local representatives as applicable
 
package excludes:
Air / rail / bus tickets from hometown to Mount Abu and back
All personal expenses related to flight / train tickets from your Hometown to Mount Abu
Entrance fees at all sightseeing spots, wherever applicable.
Any other optional activities not mentioned in the itinerary.
Lunch and any other food and beverages, etc. (not mentioned in the itinerary)
Travel insurance.
The cost of personal items such as laundry, drinks with meals or otherwise, incidentals etc.
Airport security charges if levied by any airport to cover the cost of security arrangements. 
Airport departure taxes payable locally.
Every city in Rajasthan makes a tourist want to camp for at least three days, and explore its forts, havelis, lakes, shopping districts and nearby getaways in luxury. But if you’ve got a week off from work, and want to sample every part of the state, the good news is you can do it in a single, exhausting but delightful, week.
Day 1: Arrive at Jaipur
There’s a lot to see in the Pink City – so called because its old districts were painted pink to welcome Prince Albert in 1876 – and most tourist attractions close their gates by early evening, so it’s important to reach the capital as early as you can. The spacious, well-ventilated airport has the soothing atmosphere of a resort, and the soft, Hindustani classical music playing on the speakers is a welcome change from the hoarse yells and frequent announcements of busier airports.
Fortunately for tourists, some of the city’s key monuments – the Hawa Mahal, City Palace, Jantar Mantar and Govinddevji Ka Mandir – are located within walking distance of each other.
Jaipur Hawa Mahal
Jaipur Hawa Mahal
The imposing facade of Hawa Mahal, made of pink and red sandstone and decorated with quicklime, is used on the cover of most tour guides on Rajasthan. The stunni ng architecture of the interior unfolds over five levels. The courtyard where the autumn celebrations were held is the Sharad Mandir. Right above is the exquisite Ratan Mandir, with beautiful stained glasswork on its walls. The third storey, where the king used to worship Lord Krishna, is the Vichitra Mandir. As you climb to the fourth storey – Prakash Mandir – your clothes begin to flap about in the wind. With open terraces on both sides, this level offers great views of the city below. The top storey, Hawa Mandir, from which the monument draws its name, is an open roof. You may want to cling on to the walls for support, as the height and breeze can have a rather vertiginous effect.
If you want to visit the Govinddevji Mandir, keep an eye on the clock. The shrine opens for about fifteen minutes at select windows through the day. It would be a good idea to make enquiries about the next darshan before scheduling your trips to the other attractions nearby. The temple is several centuries old, and emanates an aura of peace.
 
 
Nearby is the City Palace, part of which is occupied by the royal family. Photography is not permitted in most of its galleries, so unless you’re into aerial vistas, you may want to leave your camera behind. Overpriced souvenirs can be bought at the museum shop as well as the Palace Atelier. The exhibition-sale at the palace is a good place to purchase art and handicrafts directly from their creators.
Depending on how much time you have left, you can head to the Albert Hall Museum and Doll Museum next, before starting off on the 11-kilometre journey to Amer Fort (Amber Fort). Or, you may want to switch the order. Keep in mind that the Albert Hall Museum shuts by 5:30 pm, and the guards start shooing out visitors by about 5:15 pm, so you should get there at least by 4:00. The main attraction at the museum is an Egyptian Mummy, but it houses a formidable collection of antique porcelain vases, idols, miniature paintings and artefacts. The beautiful sandstone-and-marble building is quaintly draped with nets to keep pigeons out, but you may be startled every now and again by a feathered visitor fluttering across a gallery. The Doll Museum, located near the Police Memorial on Jawaharlal Nehru Marg, boasts a collection of dolls from all over the world.
 
 
Whatever else you miss in Jaipur, don’t leave out Amer Fort. The sprawling, sturdy structure exudes elegance even from the outside, its red sandstone walls bright against the green water of the natural moat formed by Maota Lake, and its white marble domes glowing in the sun. The interior of the fort has exquisitely carved walls, roofs and terraces, separated by manicured garden mazes. Combining Islamic and Rajput architectural styles, the construction of the fort began in 1592. The most beautiful part of the fort is the Sheesh Mahal. It is said a single ray of light could illuminate the entire hall, because of the clever placement of the tiny mirrors within. The precious jewels that once decked the inner walls of the palace have been lost in raids.
If you have time to spare, you can accommodate visits to Gaitore – the cremation site of the Maharajas of Jaipur, containing beautiful cenotaphs – and the Kanak Vrindavan temple, whose verdant gardens are especially lush right after the monsoon rains. Both are located just off the Amer-Jaipur road. This road also offers a view of the Jal Mahal lake palace.
Most hotels offer overpriced night tours of the city, but the more economical option is to book a cab and take it around the city at night.
Pushkar
Pushkar
Day 2: Pushkar, Ajmer and Jodhpur
After staying the night in Jaipur, you need to make an early start for Pushkar. The pilgrimage site is less than 150 km from the capital, but the roads are especially bad after the monsoon.
The town of Pushkar is walled in on three sides by hills, and a sandy bank rides up to the fourth. The legend goes that the lake was created when a lotus fell from Brahma’s hand. On the way to a temple that is believed to be as old as creation itself, you’ll find plenty of expat ventures – the Pink Floyd Café, advertised in the same font as the album cover of The Wall, and the Bob Marley Café.
 
 
Guides will harass you from about a kilometre ahead of the entrance to the temple. Many tend to cling on to windows and run with the car, so you may want to keep those shut. If you need information about the temple, members of the trust will speak to you within its premises, near the bathing ghat. They usually refuse to accept money, and ask tourists to donate instead at the hundi.
It is said a dip in the waters of the lake on Kartika Poornima is equivalent to undertaking penances for centuries.  But the more fastidious may want to desist, because the waters are not exactly pristine. Neither is the changing area. The more faithful can choose from more than 50 bathing ghats around the lake, each of which is said to have special powers.
The temple itself is crowded at any time of day, on any day of the year. Smaller than one would expect, the temple has only two shrines – the main Brahma shrine, and an underground shrine for Shiva. There are lockers right before the steps to the temple, to deposit cameras and mobile phones, which are not allowed into the temple.
Ajmer Dargah Sharif
Ajmer Dargah Sharif
The 12-kilometre journey to Ajmer will take you across the Nag Pahar, or the Snake Mountain of the Aravali Range, which winds around the beautiful lake.
There are several factors you must keep in mind if you intend to visit the Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti dargah in Ajmer. First, avoid the dargah at namaaz time, unless you want to do namaaz. The crowds swell, and you’ll get pushed around pretty roughly if you happen to step in just before the call to prayer.
Also, the walk from the car park – which charges between Rs. 50 and Rs. 100 an hour, depending on the vehicle – takes about half an hour.
If you’re taking children along, keep them close. The sight of children crying in corners and frantic parents calling for their kids is a common one.
Cameras are not allowed inside, but mobile phones are.
The ideal clothing for this trip would be kurtas for men and salwar kameez for women. Men wearing shorts will have to rent lungis at the dargah. Heads should be covered, and men can either rent plastic skullcaps, or buy handkerchiefs. Women simply wrap their dupattas over their heads.
The number of visitors to the dargah increases manifold during the Urs Festival, held during the month of Rajab. For 2012, this period is 22 May-20 June.
Make sure you leave early enough to finish the 216-km journey to Jodhpur by nightfall. The roads are narrow and bumpy, and the traffic heavy, so the going will be slow. If you reach Jodhpur early, you may want to catch the sound and light show at the Mehrangarh Fort, and make a trip to the Balsamand and Gulab Sagar lakes.
Jodhpur
Jodhpur
Day 3: Sightseeing in Jodhpur, travel to Jaisalmer
The Mehrangarh Fort at Jodhpur is famous for its architecture, the views on offer, as well as its museum – which has a collection of palanquins, howdahs, weapons, paintings, and clothes. The adrenaline addicts may want to swing across the skies by registering for the fort’s aerial ‘zip’ tour, which entails being strapped to a rope and, well, zipped around.
You’ll have to leave for Jaisalmer at least by 1:00 pm, if you intend to see the sunset. If you’ve got time to spare, you may want to spend some at the government museum, which is best known for its collection of stuffed animals and desert birds. This museum also contains ancient teaching materials, and an exhibition of handicrafts.
 
 
The road to Jaisalmer is a good one, and you can drive at over 100 km an hour nearly all the way through. Head straight for Khuri village if you want to catch the sunset over the sand dunes. The resorts that organise jeep and camel safaris into the desert also put up folk entertainment shows and offer a typical Rajasthani dinner.
With good planning, you can spend the night at the desert, but since the next day will involve a long journey, you may want to spend the night on a soft bed in the comfort of a hotel room.
Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer
Day 4: Sightseeing in Jaisalmer, arrival at Udaipur
Sonar Quila, whose yellow sandstone walls glitter in the sun, is the ‘Golden Fort’ made famous throughout the world by Satyajit Ray’s movie Shonar Kella. For those tourists who’ve seen the film, the actual fort can come as a surprise, drastically changed as it is from the seventies.
Aside from an intricately carved Jain temple, the fort, which is nearly a millennium old, houses an entire village within its walls. The statue of Gangaur Mata, whose annual procession is one of the most festive events in Jaisalmer, is also housed in the fort’s museum.
Jaisalmer’s famous havelis include Patwan Ki Haveli and Nathmal Ji Ki Haveli.
But make sure you leave at least by 11:00 am for Udaipur. The nearly-600-kilometre journey involves a 15-kilometre crawl through a densely forested area, and you don’t want to run the risk of dealing with a flat tyre in the dark.
If you reach Udaipur early enough, you can hop over to the Pichola Lake, which offers a spectacular view of the Jag Mandir, City Palace and Lake Palace, lit up at night.
Mount Abu Delwara Jain Temple
Mount Abu Delwara Jain Temple
Day 5: Mount Abu
The only hill station in Rajasthan, Mount Abu is a three hour drive from Udaipur. The road is beautiful, and the dappled hillocks are a photographer’s dream. Make sure you reach the top of the mountain early, because a mist floats down by noon and hovers over the hill for the larger part of the day. On weekends, and often during weekdays, one may come across a volley of jeeps with Ahmedabad registration numbers, carrying intoxicated visitors from the dry state.
The Dilwara Jain Temple opens at noon, so it would be a good idea to trek up to the top of the mountain and come back down in time for that. If the weather permits, you can take in some great views from the Dattattreya temple perched on the crown of the hill.
 
 
The Jain temple looks plain enough from the outside – but apparently, built at a time when raids were frequent, the dull exterior was a bid to fool the marauders. The interior of each of the temple’s five shrines and domes is a study in patience and aesthetic. The beautiful carvings can’t be photographed, though, as cameras and mobile phones are not allowed in the temple premises.
The other tourist attractions in Mount Abu are the wildlife sanctuary – which looks like a forest straight out of an Enid Blyton children’s book – and the Nakki Lake, an artificial water body 1200 metres above sea level.

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