An Architectural Journey in Rajasthan, India
Arts & Culture
Rajasthan is the place to visit in India for its iconic history and culture. The region has some of the best examples of historic architecture. Simply put, Rajasthan is where people come enough to get the wow factor of Indian culture. It’s one of the most popular Indian destinations for good reason.
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Where to stay
A beautiful Jaipur heritage hotel that is a family-owned and operated hotel centrally located in the Pink City.
Haveli Bruh Bhushanjee
Heritage property in Burundi that’s been heavily restored to conserve grand ancestral details.
Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur
Udaipur’s most luxurious accommodation is perched in the middle of the lake. Amazing views out over the mountains and the service is incredible.
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Daily Continental breakfast for two guests per bedroom per stay, served in Hotel restaurant
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Day 1: Arrive in Jaipur
Getting to Jaipur
Take an early morning train to Jaipur from New Delhi, a journey that takes about five hours. Check in to your Arya Niwas hotel and have lunch at LMB Restaurant in the Johari Bazaar which serves up reliably delicious vegetarian curries at a good price. Try a paneer dish.
Be dazzled at the Amer Fort
Hire a driver to take you to the Amer Fort. Don’t ride the elephants up the hill; it’s easy to walk up. This will be a half-day trip. Jaipur was once the historic capital of Rajasthan, making Amer one of the most iconic forts in the state and in India. There are incredible gateways to be seen here and mesmerizing rooms including one full of mirrored art. Drive back to Jaipur with the driver you hired for the day.
Dinner in Jaipur
After a long day, have an easy dinner at the hotel. The Arya Niwas restaurant serves traditional Rajasthani food like curry dishes served with rice and dhal.
Day 2: Explore Jaipur
Spend the day at the City Palace
Grab breakfast at the hotel and choose from a mixture of continental breakfast with omelets and fruit or Indian breakfast items such as chat and paratha. After you’re done with breakfast, visit the City Palace, which is known for its beautiful rooms, pink hall and decorative gates.
Lunch at Anokhi Cafe
When you get hungry, pop into the Anokhi Museum about textile printmaking and stay for lunch. They serve western cafe-style food.
Get to know the Pink City
Jaipur is Rajasthan’s biggest city and has been listed by UNESCO as a creative city. Take yourself on a walking tour of the Pink City at your own pace. Go shopping in the walled city’s center through the Johari Bazaar. Buy fabrics, clothing, and souvenirs. There are many different printed textiles; tie-dye textiles are popular. Jaipur is also known for blue pottery which you can find at the Jaipur Blue Art Pottery Centre.
Look at the Hawa Mahal
Go to the Hawa Mahal, also known as the House of the Winds. It used to be the women's palace and is right in the city center. The Hawa Mahal is beautiful from the outside and can be viewed from the street.
Dinner at Peacock Rooftop Restaurant
The Peacock Rooftop Restaurant is a gorgeous dinner spot with incredible views over the Hathroi fort. Order north Indian style thalis.
Day 3: Bundi
Head to Bundi
Have breakfast at your hotel in Jaipur and check out. Hire a private driver to take you to Bundi. Check in to Haveli Bruh Bhushanjee.
Go to Bundi Palace and the Taragarh Fort
Once you arrive in Bundi, make your way to the Bundi Palace, a must-see in the region. Tickets for the Bundi Palace and Taragarh Fort are sold together at the Palace entrance, so start there. The rooms of the palace are beautifully decorated, and are full of art and history. The Fort offers nice views over the palace and city, but keep a look out for the monkeys as the grounds are quite wild still (taking a stick with you is recommended). The fort is full of history and is interesting to walk around.
Walk around the Blue City
Jodhpur isn’t the only blue city in Rajasthan; Bundi also has a blue area! Walk around the indigo buildings and grab street food for lunch like a chat or paratha. Krishnas Chai is one of the best tea shops in the old city
Italian for dinner
Out of the Blue serves good Italian food if you need a break from curries.
Day 4: Go to Jodhpur
Take the train
Have breakfast at the hotel, ask for a packed lunch for the train ride and check out. Hop on a morning train to Jodhpur (it’s about a four-hour journey).
Visit Mehrangarh Fort
You can’t miss Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur as it towers over the whole city and is a sight to behold. Visit the fort and get the audio tour to learn about the fort’s history. It’s one of the most stunning forts in India. From the fort, you’ll get a view of the whole city and a good panoramic point also for looking down on the Blue City. On your way down from the fort, wander through the beautiful Rao Jodha desert rock park.
After a long day, opt for dinner at the hotel. Enjoy the incredible views of the stepwell and try traditional Rajasthani curries.
Day 5: Tour the Blue City
Explore with a local guide
Enjoy the beautiful breakfast at the hotel and hire a local guide to walk you through Jodhphur’s Blue City. You’ll grab snacks along the way such as a made-to-order omelet from the omelet shop near the clock tower, samosas from Shahi Samosa, and plenty of chai from street vendors.
Visit Umaid Bhawan Palace
Visit the museum at the Umaid Bhawan Palace. The royal residence is spectacular and just east of the old city. It’s one of the largest palaces in the world. You’ll learn about the royal family of Jodhpur and see their regalia, textiles, cars, and gilded weapons including crystal-embellished swords.
Have dinner at Namaste Cafe. You’ll sit on pillows low to the ground and look out over the fort as the sun sets and the Muslim call for prayer sounds. They serve excellent curries – order a few to try!
Day 6: Chandelao
Drive to Chandelao
Have breakfast at the hotel and then hire a driver to take you to Chandelao. Chandelao is a small village, about 25 miles from Jodhpur.
Check in to Chandelao Garh, the ancestral home of the Jodhpuri royal family, and a space that operates as a homestay today. It is run by Mr. Praduman Singh, a descendant from the old Maharaja (a great ruler) of the area. When you arrive, take time to enjoy the property, swim in the pool and have lunch at the hotel.
Take a village tour by Jeep
The homestay can organize a village tour where you’ll go to talk with villagers to learn about their traditions as you share tea with them. On the drive, you’ll see the countryside and local towns. You’ll learn more about rural life in Rajasthan. Stop by the women's empowerment center where you can buy different handmade arts and crafts. Cap off the day by watching the sun set over a beautiful lake.
Return to the homestay for dinner and dine in the courtyard for a memorable experience.
Day 7: Udaipur
Head to the White City
Have an early breakfast at the homestay, and then hire a driver to take you to Udaipur. Make a stop at Ranakpur Jain Temple, a stunning white-marble temple with intricate pillars and carvings of deities.
Grab lunch along the way at a roadside food vendor.
Arrive in Udaipur and take the boat to Taj Lake Palace. Relax at the pool as you watch the sunset. Have dinner at the gorgeous restaurant and enjoy traditional Rajasthani entertainment.
Day 8: Explore Udaipur
Get up early and have breakfast at the hotel and choose from western or Indian offerings. Arrive at Udaipur’s City Palace before the gates open in the morning to avoid crowds. Admire the morning light over Lake Pichola and the surrounding mountains.
Have lunch at the Millets of Mewar Cafe, a great spot that serves vegan and gluten-free options including millet chapati (which is less common).
Take a Rajasthani puppets-making workshop. The class is about four hours, and you’ll learn about traditional Rajasthani storytelling and make your own puppet.
Have dinner at Savage Garden, set in a 250-year-old Haveli. They serve excellent Mediterranean food.
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