Royal Orient Express
Delhi – Chittaurgarh – Udaipur – Mehsana – Ahmedabad – Sasan Gir – Udaipur – Ranakpur – Jaipur – Delhi (7 nights / 8 days)
Day 01 Leave Delhi
The journey begins from Delhi every Wednesday evening at 1500 hrs. from Delhi Cantonment Railway Station.
Day 02 Chittaurgarh
Arrive Chittaurgarh at 0530 hrs. The places of interest that you will visit today would include The chittaur Fort which sprawls over 700 acres and was built in the 7th century; the nine-storey watch tower, the 12th century tower of fame and sculptures of the Jain Pantheon and the Rana Kumbha Palace. Later proceded to Udaipur the city of lakes. There is no place in India which sets fire to the imagination of poets and painters, travelers and writers, the way Udaipur does. The lake-side capital of medieval Mewar, has a past embroidered with tales of heroism, romance and regal opulence its streets lined with gardens, temples, esplanades and palaces - every beauteous feature mirrored in the placid blue waters of lake Pichola. Later proceed for Mehsana
Day 03 Mehsana – Patan - Ahmedabad
At Mehsana, you will see the Sun Temple at Modhera, built in 1026 AD by Bhimadeva of the Solanki Rajput clan. The temple is one of the two Sun Temples in the world - the other being at Konark. It is an exemplary model of art and architecture of the 11th century - a style that was to influence the development of temple architecture in neighboring regions.
Ran-ki-Vav stepwell at Patan, some distance from the town centre. Built in the 1050s and named after Rani Udamati, the stepwell is the oldest and perhaps the grandest among the more than 120 stepwells in Gujarat. No other vav in India is so profusely adorned as the Ran-ki-Vav. More than 800 sculptures from a remarkable backdrop to what was purely a functional structure.
Ahmedabad means different things to different people. For architects it is a rich repository of magnificent styles - from the Indo-Saracenic to the 15th century Muslim styles and from the experimental modern styles to the legendary Le Corbusier. In Ahmedabad, you will visit the Jumma Masjid built in 1423 AD, described by historians as the most beautiful mosque in the east. The Siddi Saiyad Mosque (1571), with its exquisite windows of pierced stone tracery is also an architectural delight.
Day 04 Sasan Gir
Morning arrive Sasan Gir. It is not only one of the most important wildlife sancturies in India, but also the only place in the world outside Africa where the lion can be seen in its natural habitat. A crocodile farm has also been developed is Gir, which is one of the few remaining forests that comprise divergent habitat.
Later proceed for Delwara. The Nawab of Junagadh set up a heaven for romantic rendezous at Mandvi, in a grove flanked by lush greenery, cooled by winds from the shores and serenaded by seagulls. The Nawabs and their begums (wives) are history but their seaside pleasure palace, renovated and updated with modern amenities, is open to visitors.
Across Ahmedpur-Mandvi lies the island of Diu, a sensuous blend of sun, sand and deep blue sea. It is one of the country's finest beaches. Another cynosure at Diu is the Fort - an imposing statement of power and ancient warcraft.
Day 05 Palitana
Arrive Palitana in the morning. The sight of Palitana's Shetrunjaya Hill with its 863 Jain temples, and the
aura of devotion is palpable. This complex is on one of the greatest tourist attractions in Gujarat and probably India's most picturesque pilgrim center. The temples are exquisitely carved in marble and when seen from a distance, they appear to be ivory miniatures.
Later depart for Udaipur via Ahmedabad
Day 06 Udaipur / Ranakpur / Udaipur
Arrive Udaipur and later depart for an excursion to Ranakpur. Located 96 km from Udaipur, Ranakpur is one of the five main holy places of Jains. Its history dates back to the 15th century when Rana Kumbha of Mewar gave a large stretch of land in a quiet and picturesque valley, deep in the aravallis, to the Jains. Although over 500 years old, these temples are well preserved and are almost in perfect condition. Few places in Rajasthan can match the ambience of Ranakpur.
Day 07 Jaipur
Arrive Jaipur in the morning. A city of royal grandeur, ancient romance and a splendor that is awe-inspiring, there is history is every nook. Here, you will visit the city palace, a historic and architectural landmark and the fascinating medieval observatory, named Jantar Mantar by its founder, Sawai Jai Singh II. You will also visit the Hawa Mahal built by the poet-king Sawai Pratap Singh. The Hawa Mahal is the most strikingly-designed monument in Jaipur. The five-storey royal complex was built to give the palace ladies a vantage view of royal processions passing below, while remaining unseen by the public eye.
Later depart for Delhi
Day 08 Delhi
Arrival at Delhi Cantonment Railway Station at 0700 hrs. After traveling through the awesome corridors of history, you are back in Delhi.
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