2020 “Discover Northern India” – Luxury Royal Rajasthan Experience

Another UNIQUE Cooking Passions “Small-Group” Cuisine & Culture Experience

“This is India indeed! The one land that all men desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for all the shows of all the rest of the globe combined. Mark Twain (c.1897)


Date : Sunday 04 October 2020 to Friday 16 October 2020
13 Days / 12 Nights

PRICING*
INR295,000 per person  (Double or Twin Occupancy) ~ $AUD6,555pp*
(Own Room + INR92,650 per person) ~ $AUD2,060pp*

– Booked Out –
(Expressions of Interest currently being accepted for our 2021 “Discover Northern India” Experience)

Booking Deadline: 01 April 2020

*ALL INCLUSIVE LAND CONTENT including 12 nights Luxury Accommodation; Arrival & Departure Airport Transfers; Luxury A/C Coach Transfers with private driver; Included meals as per itinerary; Cuisine & Culture Guided Tours as per itinerary; Private Group Escorts.
(*AUD to INR Exchange Rate – $1AUD = 45 INR)

Join Nico & Belinda Moretti of Urban Provider’s Cooking Passions Cooking School as we journey to the jewel in the crown of India’s regions – Rajasthan (“Land of Kings”) – which some say possesses more history than the rest of India put together.
This is quintessential India – a land filled with some of the country’s most iconic monuments & colourful cities (The Taj Mahal; Jodhpur (The Blue City); Jaipur (The Pink City); Udaipur (The Lake City) and once the timeless realm of the world’s richest empire of Mughal emperors and royal maharajas!
Our journey will have us stepping back in time and experiencing Rajasthan’s history of massive forts; the opulence & splendour of Rajasthan’s palaces; the bustle & buzz of local markets & bazaars and enjoying the unique regional Indian cuisine of Rajasthan & Northern India!

Cooking Passions Cuisine & Culture Journeys
Cooking Passions Cuisine & Culture Journeys have been designed so that you can make the most of your precious time, as we have done all of the “behind the scenes” research to scope out the finest hotels, local transfers, sights, restaurants and cultural excursions, so you don’t have too.
Each of our tours are designed so you can do as much or as little as you like, while allowing you plenty of free time to explore and immerse yourselves in the sights, shopping, relaxation and eating that YOU want to experience (we’ll be happy to provide suggestions and tips on some of our favourites from our previous visits). So all you have to do is book your preferred flight, pack a bag & a sense of adventure, and join us for an unforgettable and unique Northern Indian experience!

“Discover Northern India – Luxury Royal Rajasthan Experience”
– Cuisine & Culture Experience Highlights – 

Taj Mahal (Agra)

ALiLA Fort Bishangarh Hotel (Bishangarh)

Amer Fort – Mughal Courtyard Garden (c.1623)

ITINERARY

Rajasthan, India

Day 1 – Sunday 04 October 2020 – Arrival DELHI

14:00pm – Upon arrival at Indira Gandhi International Airport (Delhi), we have arranged for you to be met at the airport for your Private Hotel Transfer to our New Delhi accommodation, The Taj Mahal Hotel (New Delhi). Check in to your Taj Club Room (with Lounge Privileges), and settle into the luxurious comforts of one of Delhi’s finest hotels.
Delhi is one of the oldest and largest cities of the world and with a greater population of more than 28 million people, it is probably the largest city we have ever visited. Although this may sound daunting, we find it a fascinating & visceral place to visit and have broken our exploration of this captivating city down into smaller pieces so as to better understand this capital of several empires.
Old Delhi, with its labyrinths of narrow streets is where we can experience the history, traditions and chaos of India’s oldest city. It is a place that contains a history set over more than 3,000 years and possesses some of the most spectacular Indo-Muslim architecture in the country. New Delhi, at just over 100 years old, was designed & built by British colonisers as the capital and seat of government. At only 5km south of central Delhi,  its broad tree-lined avenues and surreal calm is a world away from the captivating chaos of the old town .

The Taj Mahal Hotel (New Delhi), located in the heart of the city, stands as a tribute to legendary hospitality and service, complementing the broad leafy boulevards of Delhi’s chief architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens. Central to The Taj Mahal Hotel’s prominence is its old-world grace and charm, blended effortlessly with contemporary comforts and amenities. Its close proximity to the seat of government, the city’s diplomatic corps, commercial hubs, cultural centers and iconic heritage wonders, has furthered the hotel’s reputation as the epicentre of the capital.

17:00pm to 19:00pm – Welcome Drinks at the Taj Club prior to our welcome dinner.
19:30pm – Welcome Dinner

Accommodation: Taj Mahal Hotel (New Delhi)
Included Meals: Taj Club Lounge Privileges; D

Day 2 – Monday 05 October 2020 – The Mughal’s Origins of Delhi

am – Breakfast at your leisure.
09:00am – This morning we will commence our introduction to the Mughal’s influence in India, dating back to the 12th century, with a visit to two of Delhi’s most historically significant sites.

Qutub Minar (c. 1192)

Qutab Minar (c.1192) – A perfect starting point to establish when Islam arrived into India, the Qutab Minar (“minaret”) complex holds great importance in Delhi’s history as it represents the commencement of Muslim rule in India following the defeat of Delhi’s last Hindu ruler. The Qutub Minar, a 73 meter high tower built in 1192, is still the highest tower in India and is testament to the engineering capabilities of the culture at the time as it is only 5ft less than the height of the Taj Mahal built by the Mughals 450 years later.

 

Humayun Tomb (c.1565)

The Tomb of Humayun (c.1565) – This UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the most magnificent tombs built in Delhi during the Mughal rule and is an excellent example of Persian architecture. Humayun was the second Mughal Emperor (1530 to 1556) and Humayun’s Tomb was commissioned in 1565, nine years after the death of Emperor Humayun, by his widow Hamida Banu Begum. In Humayun’s Tomb one can witness architectural features which over time went on to become important components of Mughal architecture, such as its octagonal shape and its high central arch.

Constructed out of red sandstone, Humayun’s Tomb was the first ever Persian garden-style tomb to be constructed in India. The Humayun’s Tomb stands in the centre of a Charbagh-style of gardens complete with pools linked by channels. The Humayun’s Tomb served as an early example for other Mughal tombs which were built later, such as Akbar’s tomb in Sikander, the tomb of Sikander Lodi in the Lodi Gardens and the Taj Mahal.

pm – The remainder of the day & evening at your leisure. Enjoy some downtime poolside at the hotel, or continue your own exploration of some of New Delhi’s sites including India Gate and Sansad Bhavan (Parliament House) designed by by the British architects Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker in 1912-1913 as part of their wider mandate to construct a new administrative capital city for British India.

India Gate (c.1921)

New Delhi – In December 1911 King George V of Britain decreed that the capital of British India would be moved from Calcutta (now Kolkata) to Delhi. Construction began in 1912 at a site south of the Delhi city centre, and the new capital, New Delhi, was formally dedicated in 1931. The straight and diagonal pattern of the broad tree-lined avenues in New Delhi, with extensive green spaces and wide vistas, contrasts sharply with the crowded, narrow, and winding streets characteristic of Old Delhi.

Accommodation: Taj Mahal Hotel (New Delhi)
Included Meals: B, Taj Club Lounge Privileges

 

Day 3 – Tuesday 06 October 2020 – Old Delhi Experience

am – Breakfast at your leisure.
09:00am to 12 noonOld Delhi City Walk
This morning we visit Old Delhi in a unique and “off grid” experience that will leave you both awestruck and inspired. We go beyond what most tourists see of Delhi’s historical monuments such as The Red Fort and Jama Masjid, and will experience every day life on the streets. Streets in India are not just about getting from A to B; they are where people live, work, pray, eat and sleep.
The most unique part of our walk in Old Delhi is that we will see not only this area of crumbling havelis and crowded markets; street food and street characters found nowhere else in the city; but we will also see the social aspects of what life is really like for the lives of workers – often migrant labourers – in Old Delhi’s teeming makes and factories.
Our guides for the day are the heroes of our walk, as we will witness this part of the city through the eyes of adolescents that were once street children on these streets of Old Delhi. Although they are no longer street children – they have gone through several years of study and exams since they were supported by the Salaam Baalak Trust – they still have a youthful enthusiasm and a free spirit. They have opinions, hopes and characters.  They are quite likely to ask questions as well as give answers.  But less likely to stick to a script about old buildings and dead people.

Nico’s post from our
2019 “Discover Northern India” Research Experience:

 

Sanju is one of the most inspirational and resilient 23 year olds we have ever met. He was our guide as he showed us “his” Old Delhi, through “Street Connections”, an amazing non-profit organisation affiliated with Salaam Baalak Trust (SBT), which helps to get street kids off the streets and into a safe & caring environment. 

He showed us Delhi’s real life in the streets, from crowded markets to crumbling ancient havelis (Mughal palaces); Hindu & Jain Temples next to Muslim mosques; and street food, chai wallas, makeshift factories and characters found nowhere else in the city.

He also shared his incedible story of being born in Old Delhi’s sprawling slum, leaving & losing touch with his displaced family to live on the streets at the age of 6, where he survived with other street kids by begging & garbage picking for almost 8 years before being supported by SBT.

He’s completed his schooling and is now continuing his studies. The great part of his story is that he found his family, by chance, when he was 18, ten years after they had last been together. Truly amazing!! Here’s some of what he shared with us:

 

 


13:00pm – Lunch at one of Old Delhi’s oldest and most popular kebab shop.

pm – Remainder of the afternoon at your leisure. Return to the hotel for some relaxation or continue your exploration of Old Delhi at your own pace to include a visit to Delhi’s Red Fort (c.1638) or the Jama Masjid (c.1655), India’s largest mosque built by Emperor Shah Jahan.

The Red Fort (c.1638)

Delhi’s Red Fort is the most impressive architectural masterpiece in Delhi, a symbol of the rise and fall of the Mughal Empire, and today – a symbol of the Indian nation. Commissioned by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1638, when he decided to shift the capital of the Mughal Empire from Agra to Delhi, the Red Fort took a total of ten years to be completed. The main gate to the Red Fort is the Lahore Gate and is also the site for the Prime Minister’s speech every year on Independence Day. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Red Fort is spread over a rambling 254.67 acres and the walls alone are around 2kilometres long.

Accommodation: Taj Mahal Hotel (New Delhi)
Included Meals: B, L, Taj Club Lounge Privileges

 

Day 4 – Wednesday 07 October 2020 – Agra (Amber Fort & Taj Mahal)

am – Early breakfast at your leisure prior to our group departure for Agra.
07:30am – Group departure by luxury coach for the city of Agra. 
10:30am – Private guided tour of the magnificent Taj Mahal – India’s most iconic monument and one of the world’s finest architectural masterpieces.

Taj Mahal (c.1631)

Taj Mahal – Possibly the most beautiful and famous mausoleum in the world, this UNESCO World Heritage site is the emblematic monument of the country. It was built between 1631 and 1653 under the command of 5th Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in order to shelter the tomb of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died in childbirth during the delivery of their 14th child. The Taj Mahal is a marvel of Mughal architecture, at the crossroads of Islamic, Iranian, Persian and Indian styles.


Nico’s post from our
2019 “Discover Northern India” Research Experience:

 

 

There is nothing as captivating as witnessing the viseral beauty of the perfectly proportioned Taj Mahal once you have taken your first steps through the red-sandstone arched entry gate and it is standing right before you

 

 

The sublime symmetry of the Taj Mahal in Agra. Completed in 1640, it is the mausoleum of the fifth Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan’s, favourite of his three wives – Mumtaz Mahal.

The shimmering marble masterpiece took over 22,000 artisans from across India, Central Asia and Europe to carve the intricate marble screens and precious stone inlayed marble panels that adorn’s Mumtaz’s tomb.

 

 

 

 

If you were to draw a line down the middle of the entire 1.2 hectare property & Persian-styled garden courtyards, each side would be perfectly identical! Spectacular!

 


13:00pm – Check in to our hotel – ITC Mughal Luxury Hotel Collection –  and time for a light snack at your leisure or relax prior to our sunset visit Agra Fort. 

 

16:00pm – Agra Fort Experience. With its origins dating back to the 11th century, the Agra Fort was the capital of the Mughal’s empire prior to their relocation to the Red Fort in Delhi.

Agra Fort (c.1573)

Agra Fort – Before moving to the newly built Red Fort in Delhi in 1638, Agra Fort was the main residence of the Mughals in Agra. The Agra Fort was built in the year 1573 under the reign of Akbar – one of the greatest Mughal Emperors. It took more than 4000 workers and eight years of hardship to complete the fort. Knowing the significance of its location, Akbar built the fort to make it the main residence of the Mughals. The fort remained as the main residence of the emperors belonging to the Mughal dynasty until the year 1638. In 1638, the capital of the Mughal dynasty was moved from Agra to Delhi, causing the Agra Fort to lose its status as the main residence of the Mughal emperors. The fort is separated from its sister monument, the Taj Mahal, by just 2.5 kilometers. Often described as the walled city, Agra Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

19:00pm – Group dinner, a short walk from our hotel.

Travel : 200 km / 3 hours
Accommodation: ITC Mughal Luxury Collection Hotel
Included Meals: B, D

 

Day 5 – Thursday 08 October 2020 – Agra (Fatepur Sikri & Bishangarh)

am – Breakfast at your leisure.
08:30am – Group departure for Bishangarh.
09:30am – Enroute to Bishangarh, we will visit the deserted red sandstone city, Fatehpur Sikri, built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar. Fatehpur Sikri was the capital of the Mughal empire from 1572 to 1585. It was abandoned shortly after its completion, due to lack of water and the proximity with enemies. 

Fatehpur Sikri (c. 1572)

Fatehpur Sikri – This magnificent fortified ancient city, 40km west of Agra, was the short-lived capital of the Mughal empire between 1572 and 1585, during the reign of Emperor Akbar. Earlier, Akbar had visited the village of Sikri to consult the Sufi saint Shaikh Salim Chishti, who predicted the birth of an heir to the Mughal throne. When the prophecy came true, Akbar built his new capital here, including a stunning mosque, still in use today, and three palaces, one for each of his favourite wives – one a Hindu, one a Muslim and one a Christian (though Hindu villagers in Sikri dispute these claims).

14:30pm – Visit of the Chand Baori (Abhaneri) Stepwell – Although the village of Abheneri is nearly abandoned, the location is famous for its ‘Baoris’ (stepwells which were invented by the Rajasthani natives to harvest rain water). Abhaneri’s stepwell dates back to the 8th century.

Nico’s post from our
2019 “Discover Northern India” Research Experience

I have become absolutely fascinated, almost to the point of obsession, with Rajasthan’s mesmerisingly beautiful ancient “stepwells”! I can’t stop trying to get the best photo to capture the almost vertiginous feeling you experience when looking down into these architectural masterpieces. It’s like stepping into an Escher drawing!

Built over 1,000 years ago, the Chand Baori (left) is an architectural masterpiece. Extending 13 stories below ground and consisting of 3,500 narrow stone steps it is the deepest and largest stepwell in India.

In Rajhastan where it is so dry most of the year, and the water table located more than 10 stories underground, they were essential to guarantee water supply for drinking, washing and irrigation. The monsoon rains could also be effectively collected in them once they arrived. Many of India’s stepwells have now been abandoned. Their use diminished during the British Raj era as they felt them to be unsanitary and began installing pumps and pipes to service the needs of locals. As a result, many have been left in a state of disrepair or, sadly, used as rubbish dumps.


16:00pm – Check in to ALiLA Fort Bishangarh, a 230 year old warrior fortress transformed into a luxury hotel. Enjoy some time poolside at ALiLA’s Haveli or have a rest prior to dinner this evening.

ALiLA Fort Bishangarh – Perched on top of a granite hillock in the midst of a vast expanse of the Aravalli Range, surrounded by hills dotted with havelis, villages and temples, Alila Fort Bishangarh is legendary amongst heritage hotels in Jaipur for the adaptive reuse of a 230-year-old warrior fort into one of India’s most unique heritage properties.

A work of passion and endurance spanning almost a decade, the rebirth of this historic fort into the stunning Alila Fort Bishangarh provides an architecturally and historically rich experience for guests, encompassing fun, indulgence, discovery, and respect for the past. A walk through the broad corridors (deliberately left open to let the breeze in) with granite stones peeping out every here and there; where standing in the courtyard, one can gaze up at the open sky to have the sun warm your face or enjoy the rain…there is a quiet sense of tranquility and reverence that can be felt … a feeling of the utmost privilege to have arrived.

20:00pm – Group Dinner at Nazaar, ALiLA’s rooftop restaurant with spectacular views over the village of Bishangarh and surrounding Aravali Ranges. 

Travel : 240 km / 5 hours
Accommodation: ALiLA Fort Bishangarh
Included Meals: B, D

 

Day 6 – Friday 09 October 2020 – Bishangarh

am – Breakfast at your leisure.
Free Day – Today is a free day for you to you to take part in any of ALiLA’s Experiences* or to simply take some time out to relax poolside or enjoy some pampering at ALiLA’s renowned Spa ALiLA.
pm – Dinner at your leisure. Enjoy dinner at ALiLA’s AMARSAR speciality restaurant inspired by the Silk Road Route or return to the rooftop Nazaar Restaurant.

Travel : No travel day
Accommodation: ALiLA Fort Bishangarh
Included Meals: B

 

Day 7 – Saturday 10 October 2020 – Jaipur

am – Breakfast at your leisure.
09:00am – Group departure for the city of Jaipur (The Pink City).
10:30am – Prior to arriving into Jaipur we will visit the famous Amer Fort situated on the outskirts of the city.

Amer Fort (c.1592)

Amer Fort – Located high on a hill in the town of Amer, this magnificent fort is one of Jaipur’s principal monuments and one of the most famous forts of Rajasthan.  Amer, originally, was the capital of the state before Jaipur and was built in 1592 by Maharaja Man Singh. 

The Amer Fort was built in red sandstone and marble and the Maotha Lake adds a certain charm to the entire Fort. The Amer Fort has influences of both Hindu, Rajput and Muslim architecture. This fort also has the ‘Shila Devi’ Temple and the ‘Ganesh Pol’ which is a gate that leads to the private palaces of the kings. 


 

Nico’s post from our
2019 “Discover Northern India” Research Experience

Rajhastan literally means “The Land of Kings” and it is through the architectural magnificence of its incredibly well preserved medieval towering forts and awe-inspiring palaces that one best experiences the glorious heritage and rich royal past of India’s largest state.

For us, it’s been “another town, another colossal fort palace” and today we experienced the Amer (Amber) Fort built in 1592.

Although it looks all of its almost 500 years from the outside, it is beautiful on the inside boasting beautiful royal residences, manicured gardens and many ceremonial courtyards. This is the elaborately frescoed Ganesh Pol (Gate), the entry to the private palaces of the Maharajas.

 

The “Sheesh Mahal”, known as the “Mirror Palace” is a magnificent piece of architecture built with beautiful precious stones and glass and with beautiful handmade paintings. This the outside, and inside is one bedroom.

The reason for having a “Sheesh Mahal” in the palace is because the queens were unable to sleep in the open air, but as they wanted to see the stars while sleeping, the reflection of two lit candles in the middle of the room would appear as stars on the mirrored ceiling, walls and floors. Amazing design for 500 years ago!

 


12:30pm – Group Departure for the city of Jaipur

Jaipur, the capital of India’s Rajasthan state, was founded in 1727 by Maharaj Jai Singh II, who ruled Jaipur State from 1699-1744. Initially his capital was Amer, which lies 11 km from Jaipur. As the kingdom’s population grew, he moved the capital to Jaipur, which was developed as India’s first ever planned city, following the principles of Shilpa Shastra (the science of Indian architecture), and referencing the ancient Indian knowledge on astronomy.

It was in 1876 that the city was painted its famed pink colour – the colour of warmth and welcome – for the visit of the Prince of Wales (who later became King Edward VII). Since then, the “Pink City”, as it is lovingly called, has retained its rosy blush, which continues to charm travellers from around the world.

Jaipur could be said to be the face of Rajasthan. By perfectly balancing tradition with modern culture, it has earned a special place for itself in the hearts of travellers. Jaipur never ceases to surprise you. The breathtaking City Palace, Jaigarh Fort and Hawa Mahal are integral parts of sightseeing in Jaipur. The city is a paradise for shoppers. Blue pottery, traditional jewelry, mojaris and tie and dye prints are the highlights of Jaipur shopping. 



Nico’s post from our
2019 “Discover Northern India” Research Experience


Rajhastan loves a good coloured city! You’ve got Jodphur – the “Blue City”, Udaipur – the “White City”; Jaisalamer – the “Golden City” and here are some pics of its capital, Jaipur – the “Pink City”.

This is the amazing Hawa Mahal (The Palace of Wind) built in 1799 as a summer palace for the royal family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As well as keeping the palace cool and airy in summer, the small peephole sized windows allowed the royal ladies of the court an opportunity to watch the goings on the street below as they were not able to be seen by the public.

Its honeycomb design of 953 windows and lattice allowed the breeze to flow through during the height of summer. The top floors are only one room wide.

 

 

 

 


14:00pm – Check in to our accommodation – Royal Heritage Haveli

Royal Heritage Haveli –  Built in the 18th century by Maharaja Madho Singh of Jaipur, this former royal hunting lodge continues to be run by royalty. Now owned by Maharaj Jai Singh of Jaipur, the Royal Heritage Haveli is run by his niece Angelique and her husband Pradip. Known for their warm hospitality, Angelique and Pradip give each guest a personalised and truthful taste of the bygone era of the Maharaja’s way of life. An ethereal destination, the Royal Heritage Haveli is complete with rambling lawns, serene courtyards, plush interiors and stately living areas. Only 14 suites and one apartment are in service as the hotel is dedicated to providing a quiet and tranquil haven of space and luxury to the discerning few.  

19:00pm – Group Dinner at one of Jaipur’s best Indian Vegetarian restaurants. Alternatively, enjoy your dinner in-house at our hotel.

Travel : 90 km / 2 hours
Accommodation: Royal Heritage Haveli
Included Meals: B, D

Day 8 – Sunday 11 October 2020 – Jaipur

am – Breakfast at your leisure.
09:00am – Visit to Jaipur’s historical sights including the City Palace, Hawa Mahal (Wind Palace) and Jantar Mantar Observatory.

Hawa Mahal (c.1799)

Hawa Mahal (“Palace of Winds”) – is one of Jaipur’s most iconic landmarks and a standing example of the fine architecture of the Mughal era. Built in 1799 by the poet-king Sawai Pratap Singh, the five-storey structure is made of pink sandstone and features 356 intricately carved jharokhas (windows) through which women of the royal family could observe life on the street in privacy.

 

City Palace (c.1729)

City Palace – Located at the heart of Jaipur and built between 1729 and 1732, the City Palace is a glorious remnant of Jaipur’s royal past, with beautiful architecture that blends Mughal and Rajput styles, vast courtyards and attractive gardens. The most commanding building is Chandra Mahal, a seven-storey tower where royal descendants continue to reside, and housing a museum showcasing royal artefacts. An example of the impressive designs placed within the palace is an inner courtyard called Pritam Niwas Chowk, where there are four doorways in the walls (see above). Each of these doors is unique in its design and decoration, and beautiful to behold. The four doors represent the four seasons and different Hindu gods.

Jantar Mantar (c. 1727)

Jantar Mantar – The Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is a collection of architectural astronomical instruments built by Maharaja Jai Singh II between the year 1727 and 1734. The name is derived from ‘jantar’ which means instrument and ‘mantar’ which means formula. Therefore Jantar Mantra means ‘calculation instrument’. Experts say that the Jantar Mantar of Jaipur is modeled after the one that he had built in Delhi (the Mughal capital at that time). It is said that similar structures were built at five different locations. But the Jaipur observatory is the largest and best preserved out of these. It has a set of about 20 main fixed instruments built in masonry. Built from stone and marble that were locally bought, each instrument has an astronomical scale, marked on the inner lining of the marble. It has been inscribed as cultural property on the UNESCO World Heritage List as “an expression of the astronomical skills and cosmological concepts of the court of a scholarly prince at the end of the Mughal period.”

14:00pm – Remainder of the afternoon at your leisure. Take advantage of the Royal Heritage Haveli’s in-house Aruyvedic Clinic or alternatively continue your exploration of Jaipur and its many bazaars.
19:00pm – Haveli Cooking Class – We will enjoy the demonstration of some classic Rajasthani recipes with the Royal Heritage Haveli chef followed by dinner.

Travel : No travel day
Accommodation: Royal Heritage Haveli
Included Meals: B, D

Day 9 – Monday 12 October 2020 – Jodhpur

am – Breakfast at your leisure.
09:00am – Group departure for our journey to Jodhpur (The Blue City).

Jodhpur – Well known for its impressive forts and palaces, this city is known as the “Blue City” because most of the houses are painted an iridescent shade of blue. Rajasthan’s second largest major city, it is one of the most important travel places in the country. The gateway to the vast Thar Desert, Jodhpur is crowned by the enormous Mehrangarh fort which is the main attraction of the town. Other main attractions of the town are the magnificent Umaid Bhawan Palace and the Jaswant Thada.

15:00pm – Check in to our Jodhpur accommodation – Pal Haveli – situated in the centre of Jodhpur’s bustling town centre and market and only a few hundred metres from Jodhpur’s clocktower. Locally known as the Ghanta Ghar, the enormous clock tower is the second biggest clock tower in the world after Big Ben in London. It is still operated manually with the twisting of the key for the running of the clock.

Pal Haveli – Dating back more than two hundred years, this haveli was restored securing the architectural structure intact by the noble family of Thakur Umaid Karan Ji. Set in heritage architecture that seamlessly blends into the urban style, the rooms and suites at Pal Haveli are still keeping the taste and character of its occupants alive. No extensive refurbishment was done and the elements are kept the same way as used by the family decades ago. A different room for each generation is the most beautiful essence of the haveli where every component enlivens with grandeur and historical tales whenever a guest checks in. For a delightful stay, the rooms and suites of Pal Haveli come well equipped with new-age amenities like a king-sized or twin beds, a study area in the room, an en-suite bathroom, with impeccable services.There are rooms with a wooden roof, decorative windows, old lamps and lots of little details specific to the period in which it was built.

19:00pm – Group Dinner at Pal Haveli’s rooftop “INDIQUE” restaurant, with its uninterrupted views above The Blue City and its Mehrangarh Fort.

Travel : 350 km / 6 hours
Accommodation: Pal Haveli Heritage Hotel
Included Meals: B, D

Day 10 – Tuesday 13 October 2020 – Jodhpur

am – Breakfast at your leisure.
10:00am – Exploration of Jodhpur’s sights which date back to when it was the stronghold of the fierce Rathore clan and founded in 1459.

Mehrangarh Fort (c. 1459)

Mehrangarh Fort – One of the largest forts of India, Mehrangarh Fort commands a captivating view of the entire Jodhpur  city. It is from the top of this fort that you can see the famous blue houses of the city that give the city its nickname ‘The Blue City’.

The burnished red sandstone structure of Mehrangarh fort takes center stage in Jodhpur, looking down at the city from atop a rocky hill that’s 400 feet high. The foundation for the fort was laid by Jodha Rao in 1459, the fifteenth ruler of the Rathore dynasty of Jodhpur, when he decided to move the capital from Mandore. The walls, in addition to being 118 feet high, are 69 feet wide with seven gates barricading entry to the main complex. The first of these gates, Jai Pol (meaning ‘Victory gate’), was built by Maharaja Man Singh in 1806 as a celebration of his victory in the war against Bikaner and Jaipur. Loha Pol, the final gate, has on the wall beside it the hand prints of the maharanis, who committed sati (immolation on the funeral pyre of Maharaja Man Singh).

Mehrangarh fort also has beautiful palaces, which are ornately decorated, including Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace), Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Palace) and Phool Mahal (Flower Palace). It’s one of the best preserved forts in India and has a museum within that displays treasures, armory, paintings and other artifacts.

Mehrangarh Fort’s “Phool Mahal” (Flower Room)

 

Jaswant Thada (c. 1899)

Jaswant Thada – This white cenotaph was built in 1899 as a tribute to the leader Jaswant Singh, who ruled Jodhpur and invested well in his state. He made attempts to bring down the level of crime, subdue dacoits, built railways and broadly worked on raising the economy of Marwar. The mausoleum is built out of intricately carved sheets of marble. These sheets are extremely thin and polished so that they emit a warm glow when illuminated by the Sun.

Umaid Bhawan Palace (c. 1929)

Umaid Bhawan Palace – Umaid Bhawan Palace was built by Maharaja Umaid Singh in 1929 to counter a famine which had hit the state at the time. It was also known as the Chittar Palace while being constructed thanks to the use of stones drawn from the Chittar hill. The palace was designed by HV Lanchester, a renowned British architect, and was completed in 16 years. Built with sandstone and marble, the architecture of the palace is described as a blend of lndo-Saracenic, Classical Revival and Western Art Deco styles. It is recognised as one of the largest private homes in the world, with its 347 rooms, and also one of the more spectacular buildings. It is the only palace built in the 20th century.

13:00pm – Remainder of the day and evening at your leisure to further explore The Blue City and its charming Old Town, including the nearby Sardar Market and newly restored Jodhpur Stepwell. Join Nico for wander through Jodhpur’s charming “blue” streets and a tasting of Jodhpur’s famous samosas and saffron lassi amongst the buzz of the Sardar Market.

pm – Remainder of the day and evening at you leisure. Visit one of the many Jodhpur’s  rooftop bars or restaurants for a drink or dinner with the majestic Mehrangarh Fort set before you.

Travel : No travel day
Accommodation: Pal Haveli Heritage Hotel
Included Meals: B

Day 11 – Wednesday 14 October 2020 – Udaipur

am – Breakfast at your leisure.
09:00am – Group departure for the “Lake City” of Udaipur. Situated on Lake Pichola, Udaipur is known as “The Venice of the East” and is one of India’s most picturesque cities.  
11:00am – Enroute to to Udaipur we will visit the famous Jain Temple. dedicated to Adinatha. Built in the 15th century, the temple made of white marble offers many beautiful carvings. 

Ranakpur Jain Temple (c.1389)

Ranakpur Jain Temple – Situated in the lush green valley of the Aravalli mountain ranges between Jodhpur and Udaipur is the home to one of the biggest and most important Jain temple complexes of India. Dating back to the 14th century, the temple covers an area of nearly 48,000 square feet area and is supported by 1444 marble pillars, each of them intricately and artistically carved, yet no two of them are alike.

15:00pm – Arrival in Udaipur.

Udaipur – Udaipur was founded in 1553 by Maharana Udai Singh II as the new capital of Mewar Kingdom. Often referred to as the ‘Venice of the East’, the city of lakes Udaipur is located around azure water lakes and is hemmed in by the lush green hills of Aravallis. The famous Lake Palace, located in the middle of Lake Pichola is one of the most beautiful sights of Udaipur.

15:00pm – Check in to your lakeview hotel room at the Jagat Niwas Palace Hotel.

Jagat Niwas Palace Hotel – The Jagat Niwas Palace is an early 17th century ‘haveli’ (mansion), situated in the heart of the most romantic city of Rajasthan. Nestled in the fertile valley on the breezy, eastern banks of the famous Lake Pichola, Jagat Niwas Palace is a heritage boutique hotel and is highly acclaimed for it’s location and for the stunning view that it provides. The charming property, with its rooms restored back to their old charm and glory, is a vision in white. It famously featured as the venue for rooftop drinks in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel film.

17:00pm – Sunset Lake Cruise on the mirror-calm Lake Pichola with its sparkling Lake Palace and views back towards the city’s famous City Palace, one of the largest royal residences in the world.

pm – Remainder of the evening at your leisure to explore the narrow lanes and back streets of Udaipur leading to the Washing Ghats at the Lake Pichola. Visit one of the fine downtown restaurants for a dinner in one of the most romantic cities of Rajasthan. 

Travel : 280 km / 5 hours
Accommodation: Jagat Niwas Palace Hotel
Included Meals: B

Day 12 – Thursday 15 October 2020 – Udaipur

am – Breakfast at your leisure.

Udaipur City Palace (c.1553)

10:00am – Following breakfast we have arranged a guided tour of Udaipur’s City Palace, the largest palace complex of any in Rajasthan.

Udaipur City Palace – Commenced in 1553, the complex was built over a period of nearly 400 years, with contributions from several rulers of the Mewar dynasty. Located on the banks of Lake Pichola, it is the epitome of a colossal citadel that is a mixture  of Rajasthani, Mughal, Medieval, European and Oriental architecture. The construction of this magnum opus, started by Maharana Udai Singh II, was carried on by his successors. Each king commissioned his vision to this bastion by sourcing architectural influences and constituents from different parts of the world. Despite having a diverse assortment of architectural influences, they fit seamlessly to showcase the palace as a congruous marvel.

One highlight of the palace is the Crystal Gallery, with its extravagant collection of exquisite crystal objects, including tables, chairs, sofas and even beds. In 1877, Maharana Sajjan Singh commissioned the F&C Osler Company in England to create custom-made crystal objects for his personal use. Unfortunately, the maharana died before the consignment arrived and the shipment lay forgotten for almost 110 years until it was opened and displayed in 1994.

pm – Remainder of the afternoon at your leisure. Visit some of Udaipur’s other sites at your leisure; do some final shopping at some of the many clothing, art or handicraft boutiques, or simply relax in your Lakeview room as the sun sets over Lake Pichola.

19:00pm – Rooftop sunset drinks prior to our Final Group Dinner in Udaipur.

Travel : No Travel Day
Accommodation: Jagat Niwas Palace Hotel
Included Meals: B, D

Day 13 – Friday 16 October 2020 – Departure

am – Breakfast at your leisure.
Our exploration of Northern India has come to an end and today is time to say our final good-byes to the group and check out from our hotel.
We have arranged for your Airport Transfer to Udaipur Airport for those enroute back home. When making your travel arrangements, you will normally find that flights ex-Udaipur will transfer through Mumbai or Delhi, so select the route that would best suit your international return flight.
Namaste!

 


“Discover Northern India” Experience Inclusions

 

The following is INCLUDED:

The following is NOT INCLUDED in the price:

 


How to Book

If you are able to join us on our special 2020 “Discover Northern India – Luxury Rajasthan” Cuisine & Culture Experience, please contact us on +61 402 154 358 or email urbanprovider@icloud.com to secure your places and request a Booking Form or please download the following “Discover Northern India” Booking Form (PDF) – 2020 “Discover Northern India – Luxury Rajasthan”
Booking Deposit:An $AUD950 non-refundable* BOOKING DEPOSIT is required to hold a booking for the tour, at the time of your reservation. *Booking Deposits are used to pay necessary accommodation deposits with our Indian accommodation providers at the time of booking rooms. *We are able to refund any Booking Deposits if we can fill your cancelled places with another traveller)
Booking Deadline: Monday 06 April 2020 (or while places remain)
Final Payment:Payment in full is required at least 90 days prior to departure. (Final Payment Due: July 06 2020)
We look forward to hosting you on tour. Please don’t hesitate in contacting us should you have any questions about any aspects of our “Discover Northern India – Royal Rajasthan Experience”.
Namaste,
Nico & Belinda Moretti
Cooking Passions Cooking School
267 Vincent Street, LEEDERVILLE WA 6007
AUSTRALIA
www.urbanprovider.com.au