Travel to India on an adventure through the Rajasthan region

Travel to India and discover the country at its most colourful amid the deserts, bazaars and forts of Rajasthan. This is a land where massive hilltop fortresses loom over cities and where markets are awhirl with locals dressed in the brightest shades of scarlet, gold and rose. Take time out to experience the local traditions of remote villages. From the whirlwind of heady Delhi, to a night under the stars on a desert camel safari, to the beauty of sunrise at the Taj Mahal - this journey through Rajasthan promises to be a true adventure.

New Delhi, India
New Delhi, India
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 Max 12
Carbon offset
224kg pp per trip


  • The Taj Mahal is one of the most recognisable buildings in the world, with its poetic history and beauty having the power to surprise even the most jaded travellers
  • The world famous Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary is home to hundreds of bird species. Share in the delight and knowledge of local amateur bird watchers, you’re pedalled around the park in a cycle rickshaw
  • Discover the rich history and architecture of the Amber Fort, with the expertise of a local guide. The kaleidoscopic magic of the Hall of Mirrors is unforgettable
  • The Rat Temple in Bikaner is a place even the squeamish will appreciate. If brave, pay homage to the goddess of the temple but beware that rodents will probably run across your feet
  • India is famous for its great sleeper trains and you’ll be tucked up nicely in your own padded bunk
  • The Thar Desert is a vast space, but the locals treat it as their own back garden. Have the chance to take a guided camel ride into the sunset and sleep under the stars
  • A hot air balloon experience above Jaipur is extraordinary. Float high over the spectacular palaces and forts with the ultimate bird’s eye view


This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2016. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

Namaste. Welcome to Delhi. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. When you arrive for the welcome meeting, please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. If you have time, perhaps visit the World Heritage-listed Humayun's Tomb, the 12th-century Qutub Minar or the Red Fort. India's capital is an exciting city with abundant historical sites, museums and bazaars.

Notes: If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time for the meeting, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
In the morning, set off on the city’s modern metro system to explore the sights and sounds of Old Delhi on a guided walking tour. Experience the chaos of an Indian traffic jam as you inch your way through the streets around Chandni Chowk marketplace in a traditional cycle rickshaw. Visit Jama Masjid, Delhi's oldest and India’s largest mosque, and then stop by the Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple) to learn about the Sikh religion.
Board one of India's faster air-conditioned trains to Agra (approximately three hours). Rich in Mughal heritage, Agra is a city of gardens, temples and open rooftops. Visit the Taj Mahal, a white marble mausoleum built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial to his wife Mumtaz. Zip around Agra in a motorised rickshaw and explore the spectacular Red Fort, whose sandstone walls were built to enclose the imperial city of the Mughal rulers in the 16th century. If you like, continue on to Akbar's Mausoleum to pay your respects to the great emperor.
Travel by private vehicle for two hours to Fatehpur Sikri, which is a fortified city built by Emperor Akbar in 1569. A highlight of the settlement is Jama Masjid, a striking mosque featuring elements of both Persian and Hindu design. Afterwards, drive to Bharatpur by private vehicle to visit to Keoladeo National Park (approximately two hours). Once the domain of royal duck shooters, this World Heritage-listed park is home to over 350 species of bird. Explore the sanctuary in cycle rickshaws pedalled by local amateur bird-spotters.
Take a local bus to Jaipur. The journey can take between five and six hours, and the reclining seating is comfortable enough to relax and enjoy the passing scenery. Once you arrive, be treated to an orientation tour of Jaipur, known as the ‘Pink City’. A highlight of the walk is seeing the Palace of the Winds (Hawa Mahal). Get among the crowds of the city’s bazaars to shop for artisan goods and semi-precious stones. In the evening, perhaps sit back and enjoy the extravagance of a Bollywood blockbuster at the iconic Raj Mandir Cinema.
For many travellers, a hot air balloon experience is one of the highlights of Jaipur. Ballooning can be done over the city on the morning of day six between September and June. For additional information, please see the important notes section of the Essential Trip Information. Visit Jaipur's Royal City Palace and/or one of the five astronomical observatories built by Maharaja Jai Singh, the founder of Jaipur. Later this afternoon, we’ll visit the Amber Fort. Set on a hilltop overlooking Maota Lake, the fort is a superb example of Rajput architecture. Entering the Sheesh Mahal (Hall of Mirrors) is also a particularly memorable experience.
In the morning, head to Fatehpur by local bus (approximately 3.5 hours). We then travel further by private vehicle to Mandawa (2 hours) A remote town in the centre of the Shekhawati region, this was once a trading outpost on the ancient caravan routes from China and the Middle East. Enjoy a guided tour of Mandawa's ornate havelis (private residences), with some of them crumbling at the foundations and others well preserved. There’s plenty of time to explore this thriving market town and its surrounds before spending the night in a beautifully restored haveli.
Take the four-hour journey to Bikaner via a combination of private jeeps and buses. Once an important staging post on the great caravan routes, the city still contains many bazaars, palaces and a historic fort within its impressive walls. Visit Junagarh Fort, which was built by Raja Rai Singh, the sixth ruler of Bikaner (AD1571 to 1612). In the evening, travel to a nearby farmhouse and enjoy an evening of traditional Rajasthani food, music and dance.
After an early morning walking tour of Bikaner, spend free time exploring bazaars before visiting the city’s famous ‘Rat Temple’. Travel out to the 600-year-old rat kingdom of Karni Mata Temple, which is believed to be home to the reincarnated followers of the Hindu goddess, Durga. Locals believe that it's particularly favourable if one of these rats takes a shine to you and scurries over your bare feet. For the squeamish, just stand still or view from afar.
Catch an early morning local train from Bikaner to Jaisalmer, which may take up to six hours. We travel in general class, where seating is unallocated and carriages are fan-cooled only. Stock up on plenty of food and water beforehand, as temperatures can get fairly warm on this long trip. The standard of the train is pretty basic, but it can be a fantastic way of meeting the locals and like-minded travellers. Once there perhaps explore the markets, ornately carved houses and museum before the sun goes down.
To get a taste of nomadic life, take a three-hour camel ride into the desert to watch the sunset behind sand dunes.

While here we visit a Hindu Temple, a Jain temple, step wells, a small rural market and the sand dunes. In the evening local musicians will join us at the campsite for a performance. Dinner & breakfast are included during our stay here.

Notes: During the winter, this experience may be changed due to weather conditions; however, we’ll still ride camels into the desert, but will ride back to Jaisalmer to sleep.
Head back into Jaisalmer by camel in the morning and enjoy a free day. The city is one of the oldest Rajasthan capitals and dates as far back as AD1156, so it’s teeming with history. Perhaps explore the Jain Temple, the Jaisalmer havelis or Folklore Museum. With imposing parapets and towers at every turn, the Old Town is full of intricate stonewalls that lead to the havelis. These private mansions once homed Jaisalmer’s nobility and resemble small palaces. Tonight we sleep in a haveli-converted hotel; a comfortable base after a long day.
In the morning, travel to Jodhpur byrail (approximately 6 hours). The city is known for its antique shops and the best lassi in India. Enjoy an orientation walking tour around the ‘Old City’ and visit Sadar Bazaar, one of the oldest markets in India. It’s built around a clock tower amid spice and vegetable markets, juice sellers and sari materials. This is a great place to test your haggling skills. The evening is then free to do as you wish.
This morning explore the colossal Mehrangarh Fort and take in the views from its ramparts, which dominate the city's skyline. Afterwards, possibly visit the nearby Bishnoi villages where you’ll find a welcoming, nature-loving community. Perhaps take a village safari tour, where you’ll come across wildlife and learn why the Bishnoi are so protective of their land. This evening, board an overnight train to Delhi for a comfortable trip of around 11 hours.

Notes: Sleeper trains are clean and air-conditioned, and are a great way to travel long distances so maximum time can be spent in each place. Beds are padded berths and sheets, pillow and a blanket are provided, but you may prefer to bring your own sleeping sheet. Please be aware that you may be sharing with locals in a same gender/mixed gender situation.
Arrive at the Delhi train station early in the morning. There are no activities planned for today and you’re free to depart once we’ve arrived. Train delays can occur so please don’t be surprised if we’re late. Due to potential delays, we recommend booking any international flights for after 2 pm today.
View trip notes to read full itinerary


1 breakfast, 2 dinners
Bus, Camel, Cycle rickshaw, Metro, Overnight sleeper train, Private vehicle, Shuttle Bus, Train
Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night), Heritage Property (4 nights), Hotel (8 nights), Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Included activities
  • Delhi - Old Delhi Walking Tour
  • Delhi - Jama Masjid
  • Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)
  • Cycle rickshaw tour
  • Agra - Taj Mahal
  • Agra - Agra Fort
  • Bharatpur - Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary
  • Fatehpur Sikri
  • Jaipur - Walking Tour
  • Jaipur - Hawa Mahal photo stop
  • Jaipur - Amber Fort
  • Mandawa - Haveli tour
  • Bikaner - Junagarh Fort
  • Bikaner - Karni Mata Rat Temple
  • Jaisalmer - City Walk
  • Jaisalmer - Camel safari & overnight desert camp
  • Jodhpur - City walk
  • Jodhpur - Meherangarh Fort


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Important notes

1. A Single Supplement is available on this trip. The single supplement is available for all nights on trip with the exception of night 11 Desert Camel Safari and night 14 overnight train.
2. This trip finishes in Delhi in the morning of Day 15. No accommodation is included on this day.

Hot air balloon flights are operated by Sky Waltz in Jaipur. Flights operate mornings from September to June and morning and evening from September to March.
Morning flights depart around sunrise and evening flights late afternoon and last 60 mins. Return transfers, tea and coffee plus light refreshments and a certificate of flight are included in the cost.
You can register your interest and pay your tour leader at your joining meeting on day 1 of your trip.
Payment must be made by cash in either INR/AUD/USD/GBP only and is USD$250pp (subject to change)
Flights are subject to weather conditions and tickets are fully refundable in case of poor weather.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes


Our Rajasthan Adventure trips score an average of 4.72 out of 5 based on 64 reviews in the last year.

Rajasthan Adventure , October 2016

Rajasthan Adventure , October 2016