Desert festival of Jaisalmer
07 - 09 February 2021
A classic itinerary to get to know Northern India, in particular Rajastan, made even more special if carried out on the occasion of the Desert Festival in Jaisalmer, organized every year by the Indian government, which marks the end of Poormina, the day of the full moon. The three-day festival takes place at Sam Sand Dunes, 42 kilometers from Jaisalmer, where local Rajasthani culture is celebrated. Thus Jaisalmer and Sam Sand Dunes become a large market full of local people, with colourful clothes, typical dances, gair, fires, kites, snake charmers, acrobats, fire eaters, horsemen, camels and elephants adorned for festivities, competitions a turban or a longer mustache. The evocative city of Jaisalmer, on the edge of the Thar desert, with its ancient bastions and finely carved buildings, the havelis, still inhabited by artisans and traders, will be the unmissable setting of this unique festival. As often happens in India, every important event has its religious roots and in this case the legend has it that the God Krishna, head of the Yadav clan, told Arjuna that some descendants of the clan would build a kingdom on top of the Trikuta hill. His prediction came true around 1156 AD. when Rawal Jaiswal, who belonged to the Yadav clan, abandoned the fort in Lodurva and formed the present city of Jaisalmer.
01 February: Arrivo a Delhi
Upon arrival at the airport in Delhi, meeting with our staff for presentations. Transfer to the hotel and overnight.
02 February: Delhi
Breakfast and then a tour of Old Delhi. External visit of the Red Fort, built in 1639 by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and a UNESCO heritage site. Visit of the Jama Masjid, an imposing mosque from 1656. Passage through the 17th century Chandni Chowk market. Visit of the Raj Ghat, where Gandhi was cremated in 1948. Continue to New Delhi to the government district. Stop at India Gate, an arch in memory of Indian soldiers who perished fighting for the British in the First World War. Visit of the Qutub Minar complex, a 73 meters high tower, engraved with verses from the Koran, built in 1193 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak, Dinner and overnight at the Hotel.
03 February: Delhi / Agra (km. 210 - approx 04 hrs)
Breakfast and departure for Agra. In the afternoon visit the Agra Fort and the famous Taj Mahal. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
04 February: Agra / Fatehpur Sikri / Jaipur (Km.245 - approx 5 hrs)
After breakfast, depart for Jaipur with a stop to visit Fatehpur Sikri. Continue to Jaipur, the "pink city", with ancient buildings in pink sandstone. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
05 February: Jaipur
Breakfast and visit to the Amber fortress, in red earth and white marble, whose construction began in 1592 by the hand of Raja Man Singh I, the ancient capital of the state and seat of the Rajput dynasties until the foundation of Jaipur. The interiors are decorated with sculptures, mirrors, precious stones. On the back of an elephant or by jeep (according to availability), you will travel along the ramparts of the fort until its entrance. Return to the city and stop in front of the magnificent Palace of Winds or Hawa Mahal, from 1799. Visit of the capital of Rajastan, founded in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. Visit of the City Palace, from the 16th century, the historic seat of the Maharaja of Jaipur, wanted by Sawai Jai Singh II and still today the residence of the royals. Visit of the Jantar Mantar, Astronomical Observatory, UNESCO heritage, architectural forms used as astronomical instruments built by Maharaja Jai Singh II between 1727 and 1734. City tour on the typical Indian vehicle, the Tuc Tuc. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
06 February: Jaipur/Bikaner (Km. 335 - approx 5 hrs)
Breakfast and departure for the ancient capital Bikaner and visit of the Junagarh fort built by Raja Raj Singh, sixth ruler of Bikaner, who reigned from 1571 to 1611 and fought for Akbar. The fort, in red and gold-colored sandstone, among the most beautiful fortresses in the world, is surrounded by a large moat, has seven gates and contains numerous palaces, pavilions and Hindu and Jianist temples, the first dating back to the 16th century. Inside the walls, the old city with its bazaars, founded in 1488 by Rao Bikaji, who in medieval times was located on an ancient caravan route. Departure for Jaisalmer. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
07 February: Bikaner/Jaisalmer (Km. 330 - approx 5 hrs)
Breakfast and visit of Jaisalmer, in the Thar desert, on a ridge of yellowish sandstone, dominated by a fortress that houses the palace and numerous Jain temples. All around, endless hills of sand. Characterized by ancient alleys, beautiful temples and “havelis”, Jaisalmer was founded in 1156 by the Rajput Rawal Jaisal. Called "the desert island" because it is a place of rest and passage of caravans that traveled the Silk Road, it preserves the havelis, beautiful palaces carved in yellow sandstone built by princes and merchants who gave it the name of "golden city ". Visit two 1100 Jain temples or a village. Afternoon, excursion to Sam or Khuri, to admire the sunset over the dunes. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
08 February: Jaisalmer (Desert Festival)
In the morning, visit the fortified city through its maze of ancient alleys, splendid Jain temples and the Haveli. Participation in the Desert Festival celebrations. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
09 February: Jaisalmer / Jodhpur (Km. 275 - approx 5 hrs)
Breakfast and departure for Jodhpur, in the Thar desert, the second city of Rajasthan, called the "blue city" for the many 15th century houses painted indigo. In the afternoon visit the Mehrangarh Fort on a scenic hill. Its construction began in 1458 by Rao Jodh and the rulers have always lived there. Inside, collections of crowbars, elephant sedans, musical instruments, costumes, furnishings, weapons and sepulchral monuments. Visit of Jaswant Thanda, a white marble mausoleum built by Maharaja Sardar Singh in 1899 where the royals of Jodhpur are cremated. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
10 February: Jodhpur/Ranakpur/Udaipur (Km. 264 - approx 5 hrs)
Breakfast and departure for Udaipur and stop in Ranakpur with the largest Jain temple complex in India which dates back to the 15th century. Inside, refined mythological sculptures, columns of stained marble, decorations such as fine embroidery, an example of the West Indian style. Continue to Udaipur. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
11 February: Udaipur
Breakfast and visit of Udaipur, the "Venice of the East", the "white city", with fabulous white marble palaces and Lake Pichola. Founded in the 16th century by Maharana Udai Singh, it is known for its handicraft, marble articles , paintings, silverware, terracotta. In the morning visit the City Palace, the largest Royal Palace in Rajasthan, consisting of 5 palaces, where the Maharaja currently lives. In the late afternoon, boat excursion on the lake for the sunset. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
12 February: Udaipur/Delhi (by flight)
Transfer to the airport for boarding the flight to Delhi. Free time available. Transfer to the hotel. Dinner and overnight.
13 February: Depart from Delhi
Transfer to the airport to board the flight for the return home.