Destinations Covered under Rajasthan Forts and Palaces Tour:
Delhi, Mandawa, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Chittaurgarh, Jaipur
- Delhi: Delhi, the capital city of India, is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world with a long history and diverse heritage. Delhi is home to three of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and numerous other significant historical heritage sites within its small geographical area. The history of Delhi goes back to the second millennium BC, while she has been continuously inhabited since at least 6th century BC. The three World Heritage Sites in Delhi are the Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb, and Kutab Minar, and they are major tourist attractions in the city along with other monuments like Akshardham temple, India Gate, Lotus temple, Purana Quila, and many others. Delhi is also famous for her street foods and a plethora of shopping opportunities across the city.
- Mandawa: Mandawa is a small fort town of Shekhawati region in north Rajasthan. It is famous for its colorful Havelis which has beautiful works of art painted all over them. Because of the colorful paintings all over the old Havelis, Mandawa is also called “Open Art Gallery”. Founded between the 17th and 18th century this medieval town is a major tourist center in North Rajasthan. The Mandawa Fort, founded in the 18th century dominates the town. The Havelis built by rich trading families of the Shekhawati region are adorned with paintings in yellow, blue, indigo, and green, mostly with mythological contents. The later paintings also depict the colonial heritage including cars, trains, gramophones, and English men in hunting attires. The major tourist attractions in Mandawa are Mandawa fort, Hanuman Prasad Goenka Haveli, Murmuria Haveli, Mohan Lal Saraf Haveli Lakshminarayan Ladia Haveli, Harlalka well, and numerous other beautifully adorned Haveli scattered all over the township.
- Bikaner: Bikaner is one of the medieval fortified cities in the northern parts of Rajasthan. The city as founded in 1488 by the Rathore Prince Rao Bikaji, in the wilderness area of Rajasthan then called ‘Jangladesh’. Rao Bikaji turned the wilderness into one of the most impressive cities of Rajasthan. The old city lies on a raised surface within fortified walls with five gates. The major tourist attractions in the city are the Junagarh palace, the Suraj Pol or Sun gate, Lalgarh Palace, Bhandasar Jain Temple, and Karni Mata temple. The Junagarh fort was built by Raja Jai Singh in 1588 and one the most impressive forts in Rajasthan with some of the most beautiful palaces within its walls. The Lalgarh palace was built in 1902 in the Indo-Gothic style of architecture. The Katartni Mata Mandir was built in the late 19th century and is famous for its resident rats. Besides these heritage monuments, Bikaner is also famous for its deserts and large sand dunes.
- Jaisalmer: Jaisalmer, also known as “The Golden City” is located in the heart of the Thar Desert in the western region of Rajasthan. The landscape of the city is dominated by the Jaisalmer fort, built by Raja Jaisal in 1156 AD by yellow sandstone. The fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was the scene of several battles and is a symbol of the bravery of Rajput Kings and the women folks of Rajputana. The fort contains the Royal Palace and several beautiful Jain temples. Jaisalmer is also famous for its deserts and sand dunes, which draws tourists from across the world. The major places of tourist attraction in Jaisalmer are the Jaisalmer fort, Gadisar Lake, Badal Vilas Palace, and several Jain temples and Havelis.
- Jodhpur: Jodhpur, also called “The Blue City”, is the second-largest city of the state of Rajasthan, located in the geographical center of the state. Jodhpur founded in 1459 AD by Rao Jodha, chief of the Rathore clan. The medieval city was the capital city of the erstwhile ‘Kingdom of Marwar’. The landscape of Jodhpur is dominated by the Mehrangarh fort, situated on a rocky hill and surrounded by a 10-kilometer long high wall with 8 gates. The 5 Km long fort houses some of the most magnificent palaces of Rajasthan including the Sheesh Mahal, the Moti Mahal, and the Phool mahal. Some of the other monuments within the fort premises are the Sileh Khana and the Daulat Khana. Other major tourist attractions in Jodhpur are Jaswant Thada, Umaid Bhawan Palace, and the government museum.
- Udaipur: Udaipur is also known as “the City of Dawn” and “The City of Lakes” was founded in 1558 by King Udai Singh II, belonging to the Sisodia clan of Rajput. He built the city when he shifted his capital from Chittaurgarh after the city of Chittaurgarh was besieged by the Mughal Emperor Akbar. Udaipur was the capital city of the Kingdom of Mewar, till 1818 when it became a British princely state. The Kingdom of Mewar was ruled by the Sisodia dynasty for 1200 years and Udaipur is often referred to as the jewel of Mewar, its most fascinating city. The city is located in the southernmost part of the state of Rajasthan and is known for its several lakes. The major attraction of the city is the City Palace towering over Lake Pichola. There were seven gates to the palace, out of which five have survived the times. The main entrance to the palace is through the triple-arched gate called “Tripolia”. Other important tourist attractions in Udaipur are Jagdish Temple (built-in 1651 AD), Saheliyon – Ki- Bari, Lake Palace, Jag Mandir, Monsoon Palace, and Lake Pichola.
- Chittaurgarh: Chittaurgarh was a scene to some of the most fascinating tales of erstwhile kings of the Maurya dynasty and the Sisodia dynasty of Mewar. Chittaurgarh is home to the Chittaurgarh Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is the largest fort in India and Asia. It was originally called Chitrakuta and the Chittaur fort was originally built in the 7th century AD by the King Chitrangada Maurya of the Maurya Dynasty. The fort was the site of three major sieges (1303, 1535, and 1567), by Muslim invaders, when the Hindu Rajput Rulers of the kingdom fought fiercely to maintain their honor and independence. In 1303, Alauddin Khilji sieged the fort and the fort was a scene to a large scale massacre in which some 30,000 local Hindu inhabitants were butchered. In 1535, Bhadur Shah, the king of Gujarat, besieged the fort and captured it. The final Muslim invasion to the fort took place in 1567-68 when the Mughal emperor Akbar besieged and captured the fort, resulting in the massacre of around 20-25000 Hindu inhabitants of Chittaurgarh. The fort remained under the control of Mughals until it came under the colonial rule of the British Empire. The other major places of tourist attraction in the city besides Chittaurgarh fort are Vijay Stambh, Kirti Stambh, Palace of Rana Kumbha, Palace of Rani Padmini, Kalika Mata temple, and the government museum. Chittaurgarh was also home to the devotion of Rani Meera Bai.
- Jaipur: The fortified city of Jaipur, a UNESCO World Heritage City is one of the main pillars of the famous Golden Triangle of Indian tourism, Delhi and Agra being the other two pillars. Famous for its architecture, colorful gems, culture, cuisine, and several palaces and forts scattered across the city, Jaipur is one of the major tourist destinations in South Asia. The city was founded in 1727 by the king Sawai Jai Singh, the founder of modern Jaipur. The major tourist attractions in the city are Amber Fort (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Jantar Mantar (UNESCO World Heritage Site and astronomical observatory), Hawa Mahal, Jal Mahal, Albert Hall Museum, Nahargarh Fort, Jaigarh fort, Birla temple, and several other monuments.
The Rajasthan Forts and Palaces Tour take you to some of the most fascinating kingdoms of the medieval period ruled by kings and queens of bygone days. You will visit the palaces and castles of childhood stories. These forts and palaces were also sites of several battles fought fiercely by the local kings against invaders to retain their independence and honor. You will visit the Shekhavati region, the erstwhile Kingdom of Mewar, and the Erstwhile kingdom of Marwar, besides visiting several other kingdoms and their palaces and forts of the past. You will be visiting several World Heritage Sites, including the Red fort, Qutub Minar and Humayun’s tomb in Delhi, the World Heritage city of Jaipur, the World heritage site of Jantar Mantar, and the World Heritage Hill Forts of Rajasthan. The Rajasthan Forts and Palaces tour takes you to some of the most fascinating forts and palaces in India with a rich history of courage and valor.
Highlights of the Tour
- Delhi, the capital city of India
- Jaipur, the pink city with rich history
- Udaipur , the city of lakes
- Jodhpur, the Blue City
- Jaisalmer , the golden city
- Mandawa, the open art gallery
- 6 UNESCO World Heritage sites (Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb, Kutab Minar, Jantar Mantar, Hill forts of Rajasthan and Jaipur city)