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Ampersand's Unusual Escorted Journey to Rajasthan, Diwali

12 days from £5,600 per person

There’s nowhere in India quite as magnificent as the Land of Kings, particularly during India’s visually spectacular Festival of Lights. Ampersand’s Unusual Escorted Journey to Rajasthan will take you on a magic carpet ride through India’s familiar destinations but with exceptional one-off experiences. The tour will be guided by author of Glorious Hotels of India, Cosmo Brockway, who has lived and worked in India for 20 years. Using Cosmo’s and Ampersand’s wide range of contacts, you will meet an assortment of the most interesting and talented movers and shakers and have an exclusive insight into what makes this royal state so enchanting.

The journey begins in India’s most romantic setting, the lake city of Udaipur. With Richard Hanlon’s beautiful creation at Bujera Fort as your base, you will explore the 'Venice of the East' with its temples, palaces and colours. Meet artisans with long-time resident, Rosie Cornwallis, enjoy cocktails at the City Palace, sail across Lake Pichola for a candlelit dinner on the 18th-century Jag Mandir Island and discover regional cuisine from the ancient court of Mewar. In this magical city is where you will have front row seats for the unforgettable celebrations of Diwali; the dazzling and seemingly endless firework displays light up the entire city, as wide-spread celebrations of wealth, auspicious beginnings and the triumph of good over evil engulf the city.

The journey will continue to the Blue City of Jodhpur, with its fascinating and lively bazaars and the majestic Meherangarh Fort, from staying in luxurious haveli, RAAS to an unforgettable dinner at the most famous palace in India, Taj Umaid Bhawan. Next explore to the beating heart of Rajput culture in the Pink City of Jaipur, home to both colourful royal characters and a thriving arts scene (and fabulous shopping). We finish the journey exploring the hidden gems of India’s bustling capital, between the colonial splendour of Lutyens’ New Delhi and intoxicating history of the Old City.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:

* Private tour of the Lake City of Udaipur, called the Venice of the East 
* Explore the Royal collection of the Maharana’s at City Palace
* Meet local artisans with specialist Rosie Cornwallis
* Celebrate Diwali, the Festival of Lights, with fireworks and cocktails
* Explore Hindu and Jain temples
* Private viewings of the Jewels of Jaipur with specialist talks
* Guided tour of Old Delhi with lunch at traditional Haveli
* Morning visit to the Houses of Parliament, formerly Viceroy’s House
* Listen to Sufi music at 18th century shrine
* Private farmhouse dinner
* Architectural tour of Lutyens’ New Delhi
* Shopping in the renowned boutiques of Jaipur and Delhi
* Lunch at one of the most beautiful Palaces in Rajasthan, Raas Devi Garh

The tour is subject to minor changes to ensure the smooth running of the tour, and due to the schedules of the private individuals hosting the group. Not included in the rate: Alcoholic beverages other than when provided, meals at leisure or those indicated as independent, personal expenses, trip insurance, Tourist Visas.


Itinerary details

12 days from £5,600 per person

  • Day 1 - In transit.
    Fly London Heathrow to Delhi on Jet Airways.
  • Day 2 - Bujera Fort - Udaipur
    Arrive in Delhi catch your connecting flight to Udaipur. Transfer to your hotel for drinks and dinner with owner, Richard Hanlon.
  • Day 3 - Bujera Fort - Udaipur
    Spend the morning at leisure. Afternoon guided tour of Udaipur City Palace and Monsoon Palace. Evening cocktails and dinner at Fateh Garh.
  • Day 4 - Bujera Fort - Udaipur
    **DIWALI** - Morning drive to Delwara for a tour of Devigarh Fort with lunch at Devigarh. Late evening trip to Udaipur followed by a boat ride to Jag Mandir.
  • Day 5 - RAAS Jodhpur - Jodhpur
    Morning drive to Jodhpur visiting Ranakpur Jain temple en route. Stop for lunch at Mountbatten Lodge and spend the afternoon at leisure.
  • Day 6 - RAAS Jodhpur - Jodhpur
    Morning guided tour of Mehrangarh Fort, Jaswant Thada, Old city & Sadar market. Spend the afternoon at leisure followed by dinner at Umaid Bhawan Palace.
  • Day 7 - Samode Haveli - Jaipur
    Morning drive to Jaipur. Spend the afternoon at leisure followed by dinner at Shikar Bagh.
  • Day 8 - Samode Haveli - Jaipur
    Morning guided tour of Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar and The City Palace (including private rooms). Have lunch at SUJÁN Rajmahal Palace with the rest of the day at leisure.
  • Day 9 - Samode Haveli - Jaipur
    Morning visit to Amber Fort and Brigitte Singh studio, followed by the Amarpalli Museum. Spend the rest of the afternoon and evening at leisure with car and driver at disposal.
  • Day 10 - Taj Mahal Hotel - Delhi
    Morning flight from Jaipur to Delhi. Transfer to the hotel and spend the afternoon at leisure. Late afternoon guided tour of Humayun’s Tomb followed by dinner at Farmhouse.
  • Day 11 - Taj Mahal Hotel - Delhi
    Early morning visit to Rashtrapati Bhawan, and continue for a tour of Old Delhi, Jama Masjid, Chandini Chowk with lunch at Haveli Dharampura. Afternoon at leisure and dinner at Chor Bazaar, Bikaner House.
  • Day 12 - In transit.
    Transfer to Delhi airport for onward flight to London Heathrow on Jet Airways.
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Key

20.593684,78.96288000000004,4
The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it.
Rudyard Kipling

I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
Ampersand’s details preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet/direct booking age. Shalmali was a delight to work with – before and during our trip.
- Mr David Wallace, North India
We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka

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