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Rajasthan & Rajput Explorer

Rajasthan is undoubtedly the most colourful part of India; despite being such a harsh arid area that culminates in the Thar Desert. It’s the juxtaposition of the deep orange and browns of the desert with the iridescent reds, yellows, blues and greens of the saris, dhotis, and turbans that create such a vibrant atmosphere. Add in the spectacle of the multi coloured spice market, spectacular sunsets over blood orange desert sands, the vivid deep blues of Jodphur town houses, and the mirror whites of Udaipur and you get a feel for what awaits the traveller in Rajasthan.

This trip takes us through the great cities of Rajasthan, through the deserts and beyond to some of India’s hidden gems and none more so than the Ghost City of Mandu; yes, its way off the beaten track and takes a long time to get there, but that’s why so few folks visit. Add to this the great sites and cave temples of Ellora and Ajanta and you have an amazing trip. Above all its about rural India and village life…. Oh and, of course, Mumbai and Bollywood!

  • Duration: 16 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of: Local Culture & Cuisine, Historical Sites, Active/Adrenaline
  • Physical rating: Light
  • Supplier Tour ID: SDM1/157972
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Starts: Delhi, India
  • Finishes: Mumbai, India
  • Age requirement: 18 +
You will Visit
  • Delhi
  • Bikaner
  • Jaisalmer
  • Jodhpur
  • Sambhali Trust
  • Udaipur
  • Mandu
  • Ajanta
  • Ellora
  • Mumbai



Day 1: Delhi

Border Information: If joining the trip in Delhi, you will most likely enter India at Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport (IATA code: DEL).

Today is a free day to explore Delhi. There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm - please look for a note from your tour leader when you arrive at the hotel giving more details about this meeting.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Delhi before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Delhi.

In Delhi we will stay in a local hotel.


Day 2: Bikaner

Today we start our journey with a full day drive to the city of Bikaner.

In Bikaner we will either stay in a local hotel or camp at an eco-lodge a short distance outside the city.

Estimated Drive Time - 10- 12 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).


Day 3: Jaisalmer

Today we continue our journey with a drive to the ancient Rajasthani city of Jaisalmer, stopping at the Karni Mata (Rat Temple) for an included visit en route.

In Jaisalmer we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-7 hours.


Day 4: Jaisalmer

Today we will have a free morning in order to freely explore the sights of Jaisalmer. In the late afternoon we will head out on an included camel safari into the Thar Desert - exploring the desert with local Rajasthani camel drivers is the most authentic way to experience the area!

Tonight we will camp out in the desert, sleeping under the stars.


Day 5: Jaisalmer

This morning we will return to Jaisalmer from our camel safari. The rest of the day will be free to relax or explore more of Jaisalmer and the surrounding area.

Tonight we will return to our hotel in Jaisalmer.


Day 6-7: Jodhpur

This morning we will drive from Jaisalmer to another famous Rajasthani city, Jodhpur. En route to Jodhpur we will make an included visit to the Sambhali Trust project (a charitable project that works for the empowerment of women and girls in Rajasthan), where we will learn about the efforts of the project and make a group donation from the kitty.

After our visit we will make our way to our accommodation, guesthouses that have been set up by local families for visitors. Depending on the group size sometimes we will be split up between different guesthouses.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-7 hours.

On the following day we will be in and around Jodhpur. In the morning we will have an included visit to the Mehrangarh Fort and Palace, and the afternoon is free to explore the city independently.


Day 8: Udaipur

After breakfast we set off for our drive to Udaipur, visiting the Jain Temple at Ranakpur en route. We will have 3 nights in Udaipur, giving us plenty of time to discover this amazing, romantic Rajasthani city.

In Udaipur we will stay in a comfortable hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 7 - 8 hours


Day 9-10: Udaipur

On these 2 days we will have free time to explore the sites in and around Udaipur, take part in some optional activities, and relax on one of the many roof-top terraces in the city.


Day 11: Mandu

Leaving Udaipur, we will be joined by a local cook who will accompany us during the next few days whilst we are camping.

Today will mostly be spent travelling to Mandu via the backroads of rural Rajasthan. We will be off the tourist trail here and tonight we will be in a basic camp, perhaps on the edge of a local village.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.


Day 12-14: Mandu

Today we will visit Mandu, an extensive and largely abandoned hill-top fort from the Mughal era. We will then spend the afternoon driving to our camping spot near Kharwand Dam, en route towards Ajanta.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-5 hours.

The next day we complete the drive to Ajanta, arriving in the afternoon. We will visit the complex of 29 ancient Buddhist temples cut into the rock face. We will find a basic camp nearby or continue onto Ellora depending on time.

Estimated Drive Time - 6 -7 hours.

The following day we will drive a short distance to Ellora where we will have an included visit to the ancient Buddhist, Hindu and Jain caves - a set of a small temples in the rock face dating from the 6th to 11th Centuries CE. We will camp in the grounds of a hotel tonight.

Estimated Drive Time - 3 -4 hours.


Day 15: Mumbai

Setting off early today, we will say goodbye to our local cook and drive to the bustling city of Mumbai.

In Mumbai we will stay in a comfortable hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.


Day 16: Mumbai

Border Information: If you are leaving in Mumbai, you will most likely exit India from Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (IATA code: BOM).

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Mumbai. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Sales Team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.

    • Witness the holy rats in the Karni Mata rat temple near Bikaner
    • Trek into the Thar Desert on an overnight camel safari with Rajasthani camel drivers
    • Explore the blue city of Jodhpur and the mighty Meherangarh fort
    • Community guesthouse to experience true Indian hospitality
    • Visit and support the Dragoman-supported Sambhali Trust near Jodhpur, and see the excellent work they do to provide local women and girls with education and vocational skills
    • 2 nights to discover the stunning white city of Udaipur
    • Visit the tomb of Hoshang Shah, the first Muslim leader of Mandu - the tomb itself is India's first marble building and one of the most refined examples of Afghan-syle architecture in the country
    • Visit to the Jahaz Mahal (the Ship Palace) - the most famous building in Mandu
    • Take a guided visit around the incredible Buddhist rock caves and paintings of Ajanta, some dating back as far as the 2nd century BCE
    • Guided visit to the Buddhist, Hindu and Jain rock-cut temples and monasteries of Ellora
    Tour Staff
    • 2 Dragoman crew, Local guides where necessary
    • 25% Camping - 75% Hotels
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Tour Highlights:
  • History & Culture
  • Adventure Activities
  • Overland Journey
  • R & R