Rajasthan Tour Itineraries - Rural Rajasthan Tour

This tour through Rural Rajasthan takes you off the beaten track to visit a wide array of small towns.

Staying in some fantastic heritage-style accommodation. This is authenticity with comfort, with cultural context provided by your various hosts throughout.

Day 1 : Arrival in Delhi

You’ll be met on arrival, introduced to your driver who will be with you throughout the tour, and assisted with the transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Delhi

Day 2 : Delhi

Full day for sightseeing around Delhi, including famous and iconic locations such as the Red Fort, Jama Masjid and Humayun’s Tomb. Delhi traffic means it’s hard to see everything in one day, but time in the markets of Chandni Chowk in the heart of Old Delhi is a must along with the more grandiose sights. Most of the major buildings and manmade structures of New Delhi can’t be visited as such, but a driving tour around Lutyens Delhi is an impressive undertaking nonetheless. If you have time, consider adding a second day in Delhi to include more far-flung sights as well as a walking or cycle-rickshaw tour. Overnight in Delhi

Day 3 : Neemrana

Begin the driving part of the trip with a relaxed 3 hour drive to the fort and landmark heritage hotel at Neemrana. On arrival, check in at the hotel and relax. Time later in the day to explore the nearby Kesroli Fort and 11-level-deep stepwell and local traditional village during Rural Rajasthan holidays trip. Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 4 : Neemrana - Mandawa

A relaxed start this morning as the drive today is once again only 3-4 hours. Depart at your leisure and drive into the Shekhawati district, home to countless beautifully muralled havelis- traditional merchants’ homes. This ‘open-air-art-gallery’ is a perfect place to explore on foot- a guide can help add context but many people enjoy just wandering and seeing what might be around the next corner. Overnight in Mandawa or Nawalgarh

Day 5 : Mandawa - Bikaner - Gajner

Depart Shekhawati after breakfast and drive 4-5 hours to Bikaner. There are some important historic sites here, none more impressive than Junagarh Fort which is worth some time for a visit. Later on continue on to the smallish town of Gajner, where the erstwhile former home of the local maharaja has now been converted into a fine heritage hotel. The expansive grounds, manmade lake (home to many bird species, depending on the season), resident peacocks and opulent buildings all combine to create a tranquil oasis surrounded by the vast Tahr Desert. Overnight at Gajner Palace

Day 6 : Gajner - Khimsar

If you are musophobic then you probably won’t want to make the stop at the infamous Karnimata ‘rat temple’ near Deshnok. There are fascinating legends attached to this place,, but there’s no doubt it’s not for everyone! Continue on to Khimsar, and the fort here which sits dramatically amidst dunes and a vast desert-scape. There are 2 accommodation options- the fort itself, or the nearby Sand Dunes Village. During the afternoon, ride a camel to visit local villages, with the possibility of seeing desert dwelling species such as chinkara, nilgai and blackbuck. Overnight at Khimsar Fort or Sand Dunes Village

Day 7 : Khimsar

After several travel days, this is a great point in the trip to spend a day doing nothing more than walking in the village or watching the world go by. Overnight at Khimsar

Day 8 : Khimsar - Osiyan – Jodhpur

If time is no restriction on your tour, you might like to consider adding a couple of days to incorporate a visit to Jaisalmer, the Golden City. Otherwise, today’s drive will take you to Osiyan, where there are stunning Hindu and Jain temples, and on to Jodhpur. Overnight in Jodhpur

Day 9 : Jodhpur

While Jodhpur is a big enough city to defy any vague sense of being rural, it is something of an outpost in the desert, and certainly once you are outside the city limits the vastness of Rajasthan imposes itself pretty much immediately. Spend time at Mehrangarh Fort this morning, with an afternoon excursion by jeep to visit tribal groups in their villages outside the city. Make sure you spend some time in the markets of Old Jodhpur during the late afternoon and evening- this is one of the most atmospheric cities in India and a great place for unplanned wanderings. Overnight in Jodhpur

Day 10 : Jodhpur- Narlai

Make sure you don’t eat too much breakfast this morning so you can sample the justly famous potato-stuffed/deep-fried sweet peppers sold in the town of Rohet- this has become a legendary stop in this part of Rajasthan, and while there are many imitators, the one original stall still makes the best and most authentic ‘chili bombs’ around. Continue on into the fringes of the Aravali Hills to the small town of Narlai, where an imposing rock outcrop awaits energetic visitors- the small temple at the top commands great views of the countryside around the town. The hotel here, Rawla Narlai, is a gem, and various activities are offered including a genuinely unforgettable traditional thali dinner served in an old stepwell near the town. Overnight in Narlai

Day 11 : Narlai- Ranakpur- Bera

Relaxing time around the village in the morning, followed by an hour’s drive to Ranakpur where the Jain temples have to be seen to be believed. Continue on to Bera, home to a large concentration of leopards and a great place to spot these majestic cats in the wild- head out on a safari in the late afternoon. Overnight near Bera at a safari camp

Day 12 : Bera- Chittorgarh- Begu

After a 2nd jeep tour at first light and breakfast back at the camp, depart and drive to Chittorgarh (another add-on here would be to include time in Udaipur). The largest of all the forts of Rajasthan, Chittorgarh sits atop a steep ridge overlooking the town of the same name. Spend some time at the fort, then head out to Fort Begu, another of Rajasthan’s iconic heritage hotels. Overnight at Fort Begu

Day 13 : Begu- Kota- Bundi

Explore the surrounding area in the morning, then drive a couple of hours to Kota, a city which sees few tourists but has many great sights including Jagmandir Palace in the middle of Kishore Sagar Lake as well as the picturesque Chambal Gardens and Maharao Madho Singh Museum which has an impressive collection of historic artefacts. Finish the day with a further 2 hour drive to Bundi. Overnight in Bundi

Day 14 : Bundi

Famous for the hill top Taragarh Fort, intricate stepwells, manmade lakes and a compact old city area on the hill near the fort. Take your time to explore all these places today. Overnight in Bundi

Day 15 : Bundi- Jaipur

Drive to Jaipur, a journey of around 4-5 hours. Relax on arrival with time, if you wish, to visit the walled city in the late afternoon/early evening. Another popular option in Jaipur is to watch (and, if you don’t speak Hindi, be totally confused by!) a Bollywood movie at the very famous Raj Mandir Cinema. All Bollywood movies veer towards pastiche, but seeing this grandiosity in such opulent surroundings as Raj Mandir adds another level of exuberance to the whole procedure. Overnight in Jaipur

Day 16 : Jaipur

Full day around Jaipur with sightseeing and, our recommendation, a heritage walking tour to explore an aspect (history, spirituality, commerce etc) of the older parts of Jaipur later in the day. Overnight in Jaipur

Day 17 : Jaipur- Delhi- Depart

Drive or fly back to Delhi and depart in the evening.