JAIPUR – JODHPUR – BIKANER – JAISALMER – JAIPUR

ITINERARY- 5 Nights 6 Days

Jaipur encapsulates the entire Rajasthan experience: magnificent Forts and Palaces, traditional eateries, exotic jewellery, textiles and handicrafts. The massive Junagarh Fort isn’t Bikaner only claim to fame here decode the mystery of the Thar desert with desert camps and safaris close to this town. Jodhpur is also called blue city, blue city is a magnificent spectacle & an architectural masterpiece. Mighty Mehrangarh the muscular fort that towers over this blue city, Close to it are places where you can go for a desert safari or take a jeep safari into the villages and get a glimpse of rural life.

Top 5 Highlights

  1. Mehrangarh Fort
  2. Jaswant Thada
  3. Umaid Bhawan Palace
  4. Clock Tower
  5. Junagarh Fort

DAY 1 – JAIPUR – JODHPUR (330KMS/6 HRS)

Morning drive towards Jodhpur on arrival transfer to hotel. On a very first day you can visit Umaid Bhawan Palace–Umaid Bhawan Palace is an enormous structure with 347 rooms and is touted to be one of the largest royal residences in the world. It’s built on Chittar Hill, which is the highest point in Jodhpur and the views of the city from the top are breathtaking.

This sprawling and gorgeous palace is now part luxury hotel and part museum. The museum houses a range of artefacts, photographs and polo memorabilia of the 500-year – old Marwar Dynasty. The interesting collection includes the original line drawings of the Umaid Bhawan. Jaswant Thada – This is a stunning marble edifice which is often called the Taj Mahal of Marwar. The central building in this memorial complex is fashioned like a temple & this is where all Pujas for the erstwhile rulers are held.

There is a large lake, Devi Kund, nearby where members of the royal family take a holy dip after performing the last rites of their ancestors. Clock Tower – No trip to Jodhpur can ever be complete without a customary visit to the Clock Tower, which despite being 100 years old, still tells the time accurately. A fine structure, the Clock Tower is the central character of the old city around which the drama of everyday life unfolds. The Chowk around the tower is a miniature version of the Chaupads one sees in Jaipur. The busy, narrow bylanes of the markets around it have stalls that sell everything from clothes, artefacts Jutis & jewellery to household items.

DAY 2 – JODHPUR

After breakfast visit to Mehrangarh Fort–The monument itself is a treat for the eyes because of its architectural splendour, intricately hand crafted stone Jalis and Jharokhas and the exquisite miniature paintings of the Marwar School of Art. The fort abounds in stories – of attacks of royal women embracing Sati and of visionary kings and their work. The museum inside the fort speaks of the lives and times of the kings of Marwar who have contributed to holding this 500 year old kingdom together.

Stop by the coronation courtyard: the palanquin gallery, which houses the Mahadol that came as war booty from Gujarat; the collection of lifestyle articles and paintings the Takhat Vilas with its distinct British influence & the pearl – white Moti Mahal. Take a walk on the fort ramparts for breathtaking views of the city below and then walk further up the fort to the Chamunda Devi temple to catch views of the city from a higher altitude

DAY 3 – JODHPUR – BIKANER (255km/6Hrs)

After breakfast drive to Bikaner tour starts with Junagarh Fort- Carved out of red sandstone, Junagarh Fort built in the 16th century is the only fort of Rajasthan that is not perched on a hill. Built in the centre of Bikaner, the fort was never taken by enemies in its entire history. The fort has exquisite embellishments on the walls by Usta artisans, rich in floral patterns and gold inlay work.

Admire the paintings in Anup Mahal where 45 kg of gold has been used and the exquisite art work on wood in Phool Mahal, Badal Mahal, painted by a visiting Italian artist, is adorned with rain clouds in royal blue and Sheesh Mahal has lovely glass inlay work. The fort has a museum with a great collection of royal memorabilia. Bhandeswar Jain Temple–Bhandeshwar Jain Temple built in 1468 by a rich Jain Merchant. The three storey temple dedicated to Sumatinath the 5th Jain Tirthankar.

You get wonderful views of the old city and desert from the third floor. Ganga Singh Museum – Ganga Singh, this museum is a treasure trove of artefacts, armoury, paintings, coins, local art, textiles, sculptures and historical epigraphs, among other things. Sadul Museum – Housed in the Lallgarh Palace complex, an Impressive collection of miniature paintings and accessories used by the maharajas are among the displays./p>

Safari-Safaris are here could be for a few hours, half day or an entire day. Apart from the ride through the desert you could stop at a lake in Hikmat Sarovar visit Bishnoi villages. The dunes in Bikaner are not as high as those in Jaisalmer, but the fact that there aren’t too many camels at sunset point in peak season makes the ride more serene. Here you will see desert foxes and cats, Chinkara, Nilgai, and a variety of birds.

DAY 4 –BIKANER – JAISALMER (330km/6Hrs)

SafariMorning after breakfast visit Karni Mata Temple- It would be hard to believe that rats can be the centre of not just attention, but also worship. However, that is exactly what happens at the Karni Mata Temple in Deshnok (30km from Bikaner) where you walk through corridors being criss crossed by scampering rats (called Kabas) and witness them nibbling Prasad laid out for the deity, Karni Mata.

SafariCamel Breeding Farm -A trip to Camel Breedig farm or the National Research centre on camels in Bikaner is like going to a zoo with camels in Bikaneris like going to a zoo with only camels- but of at least three different varieties. It is definitely worth a visit fo families with children. Every evening around 4 Pm all the camels gather on the main ground and its like witnessing a sea of camels in the middle of Bikaner.

SafariIt is a great opportunity to take stunning pictures of these leggy creatures. Then we will depart to Jaisalmer ,Jaisalmer with its slow pace of life the Dazzling Golden Fort sand dunes close by and its Kitschy Bazaars, wins hands down as the best holiday destination in this region. The sand dunes are a major attraction. Gadsisar Lake– The lake is surrounded by beautiful resting places and small temples. There is a Hinglaj Mata Temple on an island in the middle of lake. Activities include boat ride on the lake, feeding the numerous Catfish and watching the sunset.

DAY 5 – SIGHTSEEING OF JAISALMER

Early Morning visit Bada Bagh – This is the Hill top complex of royal cenotaphs located 6km from Jaisalmer. These were once exquisitely carved memorials that have now fallen into disrepair and need to be restored. The carvings on the domes and pillars of the Chhatris are great examples of the work of the skilled craftsmen of the region. After breakfast day starts to visit Jaisalmer Fort- The Jaisalmer Fort stands tall on Trikuta Hill and crowns the city of Jaisalmer. With 3 layers of walls and bastions it has been the scene of many battles and it is the only fort in that is still lived in today and its several monuments are described subsequently.

Fort Palace- Until 200 years back, the royal family of Jaisalmer lived in this fort and the palace here is now a museum that is open to the public. A tour of the fort Palace begins at Dusserah Chowk, which is still used for royal functions. There is a marble throne at the entrance for the king to use during special occasions. The Palace is divided into the Raja Ka Mahal and the Rani Ka Mahal and showcases various royal pieces from armoury to paintings and more. Straight ahead on the lane next to Rani Ka Mahal is the cannon viewpoint, which, as the name suggests, is a place where an old cannon rests, and you get to see the city spread out below the fort.

Jain Temples – within the Fort is a cluster of beautifully carved Jain Temples, there are seven temples in this complex that are dedicated to various Jain Tirthankars. Fine carvings adorn the facades as well as the Mandaps and pillars inside. The main temple holds a 262 year old statue of Parshvanath which is said to be made from sand and milk. Havelis – The three Havelis that are open to the public are Patwon Ki Haveli, best known for its museum, Nathmal Ki Haveli, a former prime minister’s residence, and Salim Singh Ki Haveli. Five Havelis that belonged to the richest merchant family of Jaisalmerare collectively known as Patwonki Haveli.

The five storey Haveli has been elaborately restored and curated to recreate the life and times of the merchant families of that era and the ground floor has been converted into a showroom that sells fabrics and handicrafts. Another must see is Nathmal Ki Haveli-built 150 years ago, this was commissioned to two brothers. In an effort to showcase their individual work the brothers split the Haveli in half and built one part each in different styles. The family still lives here and runs antique shop where Indian tourists are not allowed. Mandir Palace – To the north of Fort is the Mandir Palace, the King’s residence. It was built 200 years ago and is today part hotel and part open to visitors. Evening visit Sam Sand Dunes- The Sam Sand dunes 40 km from Jaisalmer are one of the most popular excursions from Jaisalmer. The band of dunes is about 2 km long and is one of the most picturesque in the region.

A typical safari starts at 4 pm when the guest is driven in the car to Sam. The ride takes about 40 minutes with a half hour stop to catch the sunset, before heading back to a camp for the cultural show and dinner. You could however opt to spend the night at one of the Swiss tents. (Khuri– The village Khuri, 48 km away has extensive dune areas and a lot of smallish resorts offering the same sort of overnight packages as Sam. Thar ecosystem, including wildlife such as desert fox, desert cat, Chinkara Gazelle, Nilgai and some unusual birdlife, Overnight at hotel.

DAY 5 – SIGHTSEEING OF JAISALMER

After breakfast drive towards Jaisalmer and visit Kuldhara Village – It is fascinating to see how organised the villages were, with their broad approaches and neatly clustered homes. Luderva– Luderva is now known as for its Jain Temples, The main temple houses the idol of Parshvanath, the 23 Tirthankar, while figures of God and Goddesses adorn the walls of temple, the pillars and the central Mandap. See the replica of the Kalpataru preserved here for the last 850 years. Amar Sagar – An 18th century Jain temples is the main attraction here. The temple complex is spread out over lawns that look like Mughal gardens, in a miniature form.
After breakfast drive to Jaipur drop at home /Airport/Railway Station.