Rural Rajasthan

10 Days
from AUD$ 6,205

Highlights

  • Explore Delhi’s bustling streets and vibrant markets
  • Dining experience at a 16th-century stepwell, illuminated by 110 lanterns
  • Embark on an exhilarating Leopard Safari in Narlai’s untamed wilderness
  • Discover Rajasthani architecture with Mughal influences
  • Experience Jaipur’s local culture on an E-Rickshaw ride
  • Watch a Bollywood film in one of India’s most spectacular cinemas
  • Witness sunrise at the Taj Mahal
  • Vintage Car Ride through Neemrana’s picturesque village
  • Jeep Safari Adventure through Narlai’s countryside
  • Bullock cart ride under the starlit sky

Embark on an enchanting journey through the royalty and grandeur of Rajasthan, a land rich in culture and dotted with palaces, forts, and havelis.

Offering a true insight into the real India and the rituals and life of its people, this tour takes you to the palaces of Maharajas past and present, and from small villages to the bustling city of Delhi. From the majestic forts of Jaipur to the regal palaces of Jodhpur, immerse yourself in the colourful past and fast-growing present that blend to create the future of India. Indulge in exclusive experiences such as dining in an ancient stepwell, sipping champagne in the royal family’s quarters of Jaipur’s City Palace, and exploring the rural side of life in Rajasthan in traditional villages like Barli, Narlai, and the picturesque village of Nereema. Immerse yourself in the timeless charm of mud-plastered houses, colourful bazaars, and warm hospitality while staying in meticulously restored forts, palaces, and mansions, where every corner reveals a new chapter in India’s culture and heritage.

Journey map

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Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival in Delhi

Namaste! Welcome to India! Upon arrival, you will be greeted with a traditional welcome with marigold garlands. Afterwards, you will be transferred to your hotel, where you will have a tour briefing on arrival.

Arriving in Delhi, you will immediately captivated by the bustling streets, vibrant markets, and rich blend of cultures that define India’s bustling capital city. From the aroma of spices wafting through the air to the majestic monuments dotting the skyline, Delhi is just the introduction to your Indian adventure!

The remainder of the day is yours at leisure.

Meals

Not Included

Accommodation

Hotel Claridge’s or similar

Services

Airport Transfer

Day 2 – Delhi

This morning, you will explore the vibrant city of Delhi.

Jama Masjid

Your day will begin with a visit to Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India. Explore the peaceful ambiance of this historic site, steeped in centuries of cultural and religious significance.

Chandni Chowk Market

Following this, you’ll enjoy a rickshaw ride to explore the vibrant Chandni Chowk Market. You will board your rickshaw and enter the colourful and narrow laneways of Old Delhi. Discover the gems of the main street of Chandni Chowk before veering into the bustling streets clamouring with daily life and trade, offering a glimpse of what life was like when the city first started as a trading hub.

Humayun’s Tomb

Your next stop will be at Humayun’s Tomb, the final resting place of the Mughal Emperor Humayun. Commissioned by his first wife, Empress Bega Begum, in 1569-70, this architectural marvel was designed by Mirak Mirza Ghiyas, a Persian architect. Notably, it was the first structure to extensively use red sandstone. Recognized for its historical significance and exquisite design, Humayun’s Tomb was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.

India Gate

In the afternoon, continue to India Gate, known as the All-India War Memorial. Located on the Rajpath, it stands as a tribute to the 82,000 soldiers of the undivided Indian Army who sacrificed their lives during 1914–21, spanning the First World War and the Third Anglo-Afghan War. These brave soldiers fought and fell in various theatres of conflict, from France and Flanders to Mesopotamia, Persia, East Africa, Gallipoli, and beyond in the Near and Far East. India Gate serves as a solemn reminder of their courage and valour, ensuring that their memory endures for generations to come.

Bangla Sahib Gurudwara

Later in the afternoon, drive through the buildings of parliament and head to the Sikh Temple, Bangla Sahib Gurudwara where you can witness this impressive community service. This temple feeds 10,000 people every day. The food is cooked in the temple’s community kitchen as thousands shuffle through in their colourful turbans and white clothing. This is a truly ‘soul-stirring’ experience. You are welcome to volunteer in the kitchen too!

Meals

Breakfast and dinner

Accommodation

Hotel Claridge’s or similar

Services

Private vehicle with Professional English – speaking guide

Day 3 – Delhi - Jodhpur - Narlai

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Jodhpur, the Blue City. Here, the azure hues of the city’s iconic buildings contrast with the golden sands of the Thar Desert. Wandering through the winding streets of the historic old town before marvelling at the majestic Mehrangarh Fort perched atop a rocky hill.

Mehrangarh Fort

Mehrangarh Fort is one of Rajasthan’s most magnificent forts known for its captivating structure and rich history. Built in the 15th century by Rao Jodha, the founder of Jodhpur, Mehrangarh Fort is renowned for its massive gates, intricate carvings, and expansive courtyards. As you enter through its imposing gates, you’ll be greeted by a series of palatial structures, including intricately decorated palaces, sprawling courtyards, and ornate balconies, all showcasing the opulence of the Rajputana era.

Continue to Narlai, and check in at your hotel. Narlai is a quaint village nestled in the Aravalli Hills which exudes timeless charm and rural tranquillity. Surrounded by rugged landscapes and dotted with ancient temples and step wells, Narlai is like a well-preserved time capsule of rural Rajasthan. Its winding lanes, adorned with colourful houses and bustling bazaars, provide a glimpse into traditional Rajasthani culture, while its warm hospitality and authentic cuisine make it a hidden showcasing immersive village experience in India.

Jeep Safari adventure

In the afternoon, enjoy the countryside with a jeep safari adventure. This exhilarating ride will take you through the picturesque countryside, where you’ll have the chance to visit a nearby village and witness different craftsmen practising their trades. Explore the famous temples renowned for their beautiful architecture and visit a traditional working farm to experience rural life firsthand.

Meals

Breakfast and lunch

Accommodation

Rawla Narlai or similar

Services

Private vehicle with Professional English – speaking guide

Day 4 – Narlai

Leopard Safari Experience

Today, you will embark on an unforgettable Leopard Safari lasting around 2 and a half hours. Delve into the wilderness and search for these majestic creatures in their natural habitat, surrounded by the breathtaking landscapes of Narlai.

Dining Experience at the Stepwell

This evening, enjoy dinner in an ancient stepwell lit by 110 lanterns. This is truly an experience that will linger in your mind for many years to come. Taste the flavour of true Rajasthani royal hospitality at the 16th-century-old Baori (stepwell).

Your journey to Stepwell begins in the courtyard with a welcome drink enjoyed in the company of a resident royal who will regale you with stories and the history of the locals before you are transferred by a bullock cart. The ride may be a little rough, but it is all part of the experience. You will be guided into the dusk as the village starts to sleep with the starlit sky appearing above you. You will pass the yogi who mediates by a blazing fire before you reach your lantern-lit destination. Your culinary journey is about, to begin with elaborate fare offered over the next few hours whilst you are entertained by a local yogi singing devotional folk songs.

Following dinner, return to the hotel for a cup of herbal tea.

Meals

Breakfast and dinner

Accommodation

Rawla Narlai or similar

Services

Private vehicle with Professional English – speaking guide

Day 5 – Narlai – Barli

After breakfast drive to Barli. Barli is a charming Indian village nestled amidst the rustic landscapes of Rajasthan, renowned for its rich cultural heritage and traditional way of life. With its mud-plastered houses, vibrant bazaars, and welcoming locals adorned in colourful attire, Barli offers a glimpse into the timeless traditions and warm hospitality that define rural India.

In the afternoon, indulge in a cooking demonstration where you’ll learn the art of preparing a vegetarian dish, a non-vegetarian delicacy, and a delectable dessert.

Meals

Breakfast and lunch

Accommodation

Fort Barli or similar

Services

Private vehicle with Professional English – speaking guide

Day 6 – Barli – Jaipur

After a refreshing breakfast, begin your day with a scenic drive to Jaipur, the vibrant capital city of Rajasthan known as the Pink City.

City Palace

Marvel at the magnificence of Rajasthani architecture and artistry that blends seamlessly with distinct Mughal influences. The palace, which was once the private royal museum of art and artefacts from the world over is now open to the public. At the City Palace, you will be escorted to the residential areas of the royal family (their presence cannot be guaranteed), followed by a glass of sparkling wine in one of the living rooms.  These beautifully decorated rooms are where Princess Diana had dined.  This part of the palace is for VIP access only.

Jantar Mantar

Next, explore Jantar Mantar, an extraordinary astronomical observatory built by Maharaja Jai Singh II. Admire the precision and accuracy of the massive instruments used for celestial observations, reflecting the advanced knowledge of astronomy in ancient India.

Aarti Ceremony

Finally, attend the Aarti Ceremony at the Birla Temple. Experience the sacred rituals performed by priests, fostering a deep sense of inner peace and spiritual connection. This serene experience offers a glimpse into Rajasthan’s rich cultural heritage.

Meals

Breakfast and dinner

Accommodation

Samode Haveli or similar

Services

Private vehicle with Professional English – speaking guide

Day 7– Jaipur

Hawa Mahal

After breakfast, start your day with a visit to Hawa Mahal, also known as the Palace of Winds, an iconic structure in Jaipur famous for its intricate façade designed for the women of the royal household to observe street festivals.

Amber Fort

Following this, embark on a thrilling Jeep Safari to visit the majestic Amber Fort, situated high on a hill and offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

E-Rickshaw Experience

Later in the afternoon, immerse yourself in the local culture with an E-Rickshaw trail starting from the four Bavdis around Mansagar Lake, integral to Jaipur’s indigenous water system, and continuing to Kanak Vrindavan Garden, featuring a historic temple dedicated to Lord Krishna.

Later in the day, explore the local market of Hawa Mahal, and indulge in shopping for souvenirs and traditional Rajasthani handicrafts.

Bollywood Film

This evening, it is time to slip into local life as you experience watching a Bollywood film at Raj Mandir Theatre. This is one of the most spectacular cinemas in the country which can accommodate over 1000 viewers! The beauty of this experience is to observe the interactive audience – the way they sing, cry and dance in the aisle is unlike anything you have seen before.

The Raj Mandir Cinema opened on 1st June 1976 with the film “Charas”. It was designed by architect W.M. Namjoshi in a spectacular Modern Art style. The exterior of the building consists of various asymmetrical shapes, zig-zags, curves and even stars set into the facade, all lit at night by concealed lighting. The theatre’s name is located on top of the building in large red neon letters and it also boasts the legend ‘The Showplace of the Nation – Experience the Excellence’. In the large foyer, there are chandeliers set into domes in the ceiling. A large ramp (rather than stairs) takes patrons up into the balcony area. Seating in the auditorium is provided in stalls and balcony areas. The decoration in the auditorium is awesome, with indirect lighting that changes colours, hidden behind and underneath a frond fern leaf-like plaster trough which has openings all over the ceiling and walls. The cinema is equipped to screen 70mm films.

The Raj Mandir Cinema is the best-known cinema building in India. It certainly lives up to its reputation as one of the most remarkable cinemas in India.

Dinner this evening is at Dera Amer – Dinner is served in a separate dining tent, or in a beautiful arched pavilion depending on the weather set on lush lawns and lit with mashals (flame torches) and bonfires by night. Sample Pushkar cuisine, including a delicious Dera mutton dish, which is cooked slowly and results in melt-in-the-mouth meat.

Meals

Breakfast and dinner

Accommodation

Samode Haveli or similar

Services

Private vehicle with Professional English – speaking guide

Day 8 – Jaipur – Agra

After breakfast, drive to Agra. Along the way, explore two captivating sites – Abhaneri Stepwell and Fatehpur Sikri.

Abhaneri Stepwell

Abhaneri Stepwell is a stunning example of ancient Indian engineering and architecture. This remarkable stepwell, also known as Chand Baori, is one of the deepest and largest stepwells in India, with its intricate design consisting of thousands of steps leading down to the water level. It was not only a source of water for the local community but also served as a gathering place and a refuge from the scorching heat of the region.

Fatehpur Sikr

Continue to Fatehpur Sikri, founded in the 16th century by Emperor Akbar, Fatehpur Sikri served as the capital of the Mughal Empire for a short period. This UNESCO World Heritage site is renowned for its exceptionally well-preserved Mughal architecture, including palaces, mosques, tombs, and courtyards. Wander through the labyrinthine streets and marvel at the architectural splendour, you’ll be transported back in time to the golden age of the Mughal Empire.

Lunch in a Heritage Mansion

Continuing your drive, you will stop in Peharsar for lunch in a heritage mansion – Chandra Mahal Haveli. Builtin 1840 this 170-year rich heritage is witnessed many generations of multi-cultural and multi-ethnic past. The Haveli is a representation of Persian architecture, which is very different from the palaces and forts of Rajasthan.

Agra

Agra is the city of love and longing – meticulously planned, built and nurtured by three successive Mughal emperors – Akbar, Jehangir and Shah Jahan, during the most glorious era of the Mughal empire. The buildings spread across Agra are stellar examples of Mughal architecture and engineering skills. Conversations about Agra usually begin with mentions of the Taj Mahal.

Agra Fort

Visit the impressive Agra Fort, an outstanding example of Mughal architecture & the seat & stronghold of the Mughal Empire under successive generations. Shah Jahan, the Taj’s creator, spent the last years of his life imprisoned at the fort by his son Aurangzeb. It was built in the late 1560s by their predecessor, Akbar, with later embellishments by Jehangir, his son, & Shah Jahan, his grandson.

Meals

Breakfast and lunch

Accommodation

ITC Mughal Hotel or similar

Services

Private vehicle with Professional English – speaking guide

Day 9 – Agra – Neemrana

Taj Mahal at sunrise

This morning, head to the Taj Mahal and spend time here until the sun rises witnessing the beautiful wonder of the world changing its colour. This is one of the most beautiful times to view this iconic monument – one of the Seven Wonders of the World, celebrated for its architectural magnificence and aesthetic beauty. Emperor Shah Jahan built this exquisite white marble mausoleum for his favourite queen Mumtaz Mahal. The monument was commissioned in 1631 and took 20,000 artisans, 22 years to complete.

After breakfast, embark on a scenic drive to Neemrana. Neemrana is a quaint village known for its rich historical significance. It boasts magnificent forts, temples, and palaces. The village exudes an old-world charm with its narrow lanes, traditional architecture, and vibrant marketplaces, offering a glimpse into Rajasthan’s cultural heritage. Neemrana’s picturesque surroundings, adorned with lush greenery and rolling hills, make it a serene destination as a retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Vintage Car Ride to Neemrana

In the afternoon, explore the charm of Neemrana with a Vintage Car Ride through the picturesque village surroundings. Experience the nostalgia of bygone eras as you cruise through the charming streets in a classic car.

Neemrana Fort

Afterwards, visit the majestic Neemrana Fort. Discover the rich history and architectural splendour of this historic fortress perched atop a hill, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

Meals

Breakfast and dinner

Accommodation

Neemrana Fort or similar

Services

Private vehicle with Professional English – speaking guide

Day 10 – Delhi and Departure

After breakfast, drive to Delhi.

Qutab Minar

Upon arrival, head directly to explore the iconic Qutab Minar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the tallest brick minarets in the world. Discover the intricate carvings and architectural brilliance of this ancient monument.

Farewell Dinner

In the evening, savour a delightful Farewell Dinner at a typical Indian restaurant, indulging in the rich flavours of Indian cuisine.

After dinner, transfer airport for your onward flight.

Meals

Breakfast, Dinner

Services

Airport Transfer

Private vehicle with Professional English – speaking guide

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What’s included

  • Return airport transfers
  • 9 nights’ accommodation
  • 9 Breakfast, 3 Lunches, 6 Dinners
  • All transfers, sightseeing and excursions by air-conditioned private vehicle
  • Entrance fees as per the itinerary
  • Professional English-speaking local guide
  • Rickshaw ride in Delhi
  • Countryside jeep safari in Narlai
  • Leopard sightseeing jeep safari in Narlai
  • Historic Stepwell dinner in Narlai
  • Cooking class and lunch
  • Bullock cart tide
  • Jeep ride to Amber Fort
  • Dinner at Dera Amer
  • Bollywood movie at Raj Mandir
  • City Palace VIP area with sparkling drink
  • E-rickshaw trail to visit Bavdi’s (stepwell)
  • Vintage car ride at Neemrana
  • Airfare from Delhi to Jodhpur (economy class – 20kg luggage allowance)
Exclusions
  • International & domestic flights not mentioned above
  • Visas
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • All services, and meals other than those indicated above
  • Any changes to the proposed and confirmed program.
  • All items of a personal nature e.g. drinks, laundry, telephone calls, tips etc

**Please note that this tour can be organised on request for private departures.

* Pricing is subject to change at anytime until full payment has been received.

* A minimum of 2 adults is required to guarantee this departure.

A non-refundable deposit of $1000 AUD per person is required to secure your place. Final payment is due no later than 60 days prior to departure. Travel insurance is mandatory for travelling with Crooked Compass. For full terms and conditions, please click here.

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Start Date
05th Apr 2025
End Date
14th Apr 2025
Duration
10 Days
Availability
Available
Price
$6,205 AUD
Start Date
19th Sep 2025
End Date
28th Sep 2025
Duration
10 Days
Availability
Available
Price
$6,205 AUD
Start Date
26th Oct 2025
End Date
04th Nov 2025
Duration
10 Days
Availability
Available
Price
$6,205 AUD