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Duration: 16 days Visiting: India
We invite you to join a luxury heritage journey through timeless Rajasthan, where maharajahs built forts and lavish palaces towering over desert cities. Along the way, stay like royalty in palatial hotels and gain in-depth insights into local life. Look forward to a delicious dinner, prepared over hot coals at a lamp-lit camp among the Kanoi sand dunes and be welcomed into the homes of local people during your village safari in Jodhpur. You then join a life-changing ME to WE Culturally Immersive Experience, with the opportunity to contribute to a sustainability project in a local village. Explore the vibrant countryside culture, learn about the everyday lives of the locals and participate in a series of rejuvenating yoga sessions. ME to WE is honoured to provide travellers with a truly transformative experience. Leave a legacy. Leave a positive impact.
Delhi, a Rich Melting Pot of Old and New.
Your complimentary, private transfer takes you to your local departure airport. Welcome to India! On arrival at Indira Gandhi International Airport, you will be greeted with a traditional floral garland and transferred to your hotel. At 19:00, join your Travelling Concierge and fellow travellers for your Welcome Dinner.
Enjoy a ride by rickshaw through the lanes of Chandni Chowk bazaar in Old Delhi. Visit Qutub Minar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Red Fort. Visit the Gandhi memorial at Raj Ghat and the Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque. Travel along the broad Rajpath, passing the India Gate and Parliament House, to visit the Tomb of Humayun.
Agra and the views of the Taj Mahal.
Spend time exploring the famous market, Sadar Bazaar, as you make your way through the city to Agra Fort, a powerful fortress of red sandstone. After your tour through the palatial Royal Pavilions and gardens there is free time to relax. Walk through a village in the shadow of the Taj Mahal with one of the villagers to discover the way of life as an agriculturist next to India's most famous monument.
Sunrise at the Taj and Jaipur, the Pink City.
At sunrise, visit the lustrous Taj Mahal, a monument of love and flawless architectural creation, built by an emperor in memory of his beloved queen. After breakfast, travel to the historic city of Bharatpur for lunch, before continuing to the Pink City of Jaipur.
Ascend by jeep to the Amber Fort, with its royal halls decorated with intricate ivory, mirrors, glass and exquisite paintings. Return to Jaipur to see the Hawa Mahal, or The Palace of Winds, and visit the City Palace Museum and royal observatory. Enjoy tea in the Royal Families living room at Sukh Niwas, Jaipur’s City Palace. This VIP experience is exclusive to Luxury Gold Guests.
Bikaner, Camel Country with a Royal Aura.
Journey northwest to the fortified desert city of Bikaner, known for its camel festival which is celebrated on a grand scale every January. Learn all about this indispensable part of the desert at the Camel Research Farm before reaching your hotel. Your exploration of Bikaner includes the Junagarh Fort, an unassailable fortress comprising of various palaces, pavilions and a museum containing priceless art and antiques.
The Sun City, Jaisalmer.
Your exploration of Bikaner includes the Junagarh Fort, an unassailable fortress comprising of various palaces, pavilions and a museum containing priceless art and antiques. This afternoon continue through the Great Thar Desert to the trade route town of Jaisalmer, crowned by its hilltop fortress.
Embark on a city exploration of Jaisalmer, visiting Gadisar Lake and the Fort, built in 1156, that is still in use today. Pass by the local market where you can witness desert life at its best. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure. No visit to Jaisalmer is complete without a trip to the rippling Kanoi Sand Dunes. Savour a dinner accompanied by the gentle melodies of a local musician.
The Blue City of Jodhpur.
Follow the ancient silk routes to the Blue City of Jodhpur and your beautiful hotel. Later, journey to Rohet and feel the very pulse of rural Rajasthan on your village jeep safari where you are welcomed into the homes of the local Bishnoi community to share a slice of their life. In the evening savour a delicious meal at a local restaurant.
Explore Mehrangarh Fort.
Visit Mehrangarh Fort set on a cliff 30 metres above the city skyline and the white marble Jaswant Thada. Experience a tuk tuk ride through the ancient winding streets before returning to your hotel, where the rest of the day is free to relax.
Udaipur, Venice of the East.
Travel to Ranakpur, the temple town of Rajasthan. Explore the elaborate carvings and classic architecture of the sprawling Jain temples, which are regarded as perhaps the best in the country. At lunch, you will learn from a local chef during your included cooking demonstration. Then, continue through the undulating countryside to Udaipur, the beautiful City of Lakes.
Explore the City Palace complex and wander through the markets and bazaars to visit the Jagdish Temple, as well as the Garden of the Maids of Honour. Take time out to unwind and find balance at your hotel’s renowned wellness spa, which offers ancient treatments such as reflexology, Indian head massages and hot-stone massages. Cruise the serene waters of Lake Pichola, before enjoying a special Celebration Dinner at the landmark Sunset Terrace while musicians serenade you.
From Udaipur to your lodge.
Enjoy breakfast at The Leela Palace before meeting your ME to WE guide and travelling to the rural surroundings for a stay at the bespoke Araveli Cottages and Tented Camp. During your stay, dine al-fresco and enjoy outstanding meals with a range of cuisine from locally-inspired dishes to western favourites. After a quick lodge orientation, enjoy lunch and then learn a few words of Hindi before visiting the community and seeing projects underway.
The Locals of Araveli.
Start the day with optional light morning yoga at sunrise, overlooking the Araveli mountain range. Following breakfast, spend time with the women of the community and learn what daily life in rural India is like. Participate in a cooking class and learn how these women cater for up to 14 people for each meal. After lunch, meet a local farmer and hear about his life in agriculture and the local farming processes and methods he uses. Then, return to the project site where you will participate firsthand in a sustainable development project.
Participate in an optional sunrise nature walk with your ME to WE guide, exploring the local flora and fauna. Return to site and continue making progress on your community project. After lunch, unwind and try your hand at traditional crafts like tie-dying and block-printing. Connect with a community member as you join a women’s or men’s circle to hear their personal stories and participate in meaningful discussions. With the afternoon at leisure, enjoy the serenity and scenery of your hotel's surrounds or there is time to visit a local market, should you wish to do so.
Depart for your onward travels.
Begin the day with an optional light morning yoga at sunrise, overlooking the Araveli mountain range. Depart with your driver to your next destination. On arrival at your home airport, your driver will greet and escort you to your waiting car for your private transfer home.
Delhi (Traditional) - India
Set in the heart of bustling Gurgaon, the beautiful gardens, courtyards and reflection pools of the Trident fill you with a sense of calm, before retreating to your luxurious and stylish room.
Agra (Traditional) - India
Jaipur (Traditional) - India
Bikaner (Historic) - India
The hotel continues to salute the vision of its last Maharaja. The deep blue infinity pool takes its colour from the bright and light Bikaner sky and offers great vantage views of the city, both the old and the new. The space transforms at twilight and takes on a mantle of celebration with starlit skies, live grills and party music. The elegant venues and avant-garde outdoor spaces are especially designed to ensure our guests have many memorable experiences.
Jaisalmer (Historic) - India
Situated close to the Thar Desert, the magnificent Suryagarh is testimony to the pomp and panoply of Rajputana, juxtaposed with every modern convenience.
Jodhpur (Traditional) - India
Udaipur (Palace) - India
Stay at the magnificent Leela Palace Udaipur and be treated like royalty. Listed as TripAdvisor's #1 hotel in Udaipur of 2017.
Araveli (Resort) - India