Rustic Rajashtan

by Jenny Griffin on 08 July 2015, 13:07PM

Our amazing trip started with an evening flight from Heathrow direct to Delhi, flying Business Class with Jet Airways. After enjoying a glass of wine and some snacks in the lounge we boarded the aircraft, and the service throughout was excellent. 

Greeted by the friendly staff we made ourselves at home for the flight. We had an excellent dinner service, complete with Bollinger, before our beds were made up ready for us to sleep before the tour started. We woke up with plenty of time before we landed and enjoyed breakfast to help prepare us for the day’s events.

Day 1:

Soon we arrived in Delhi; a city full of contrast where the new meets the old. Delhi was as I expected and has a lot going on. Everyone is always on the move, with tuk tuks, buses and taxis crowding the roads.


This was our first taste of the amazing history that India has to offer and we started our trip with a visit to New Delhi; where there is still plenty of history but where you can also see modern India too. Delhi is known as the green city and it’s easy to see why in this part of the town; all the streets are lined with trees and there is a real buzz around the area.

Along with the business people and students, we also saw monkeys roaming the trees and paid a visit to Qutab Minar; a true masterpiece built to establish the might of Islam. We also visited Huyayun’s Tomb, the first great example of the Mughal Dynasty, while other impressive sites on our trip were The India Gate, Parliament house and a number of other government buildings.

We stayed at the Oberoi New Delhi; a great place to get your head down before another busy day. The hotel was excellent and we were greeted in the traditional Indian way. Rooms have a colonial design to them and the food was first class. We also tried the Indian Beer, Kingfisher, while we were here. It’s certainly worth trying and just what I needed after my first day! The hotel also arranged a packed breakfast for our early start the next day.

Day 2:

It was an early start as we headed for Agra. Today we had chance to experience the Indian train system. It’s provides a great chance to see the local countryside but also cuts down on your journey time. The first stop was India’s most visited site, the Taj Mahal. It was amazing and no matter how many pictures you have seen, it will still take your breath away.


It was stunning to see and I also found it interesting that it wasn’t only international tourists who were visiting while we were there, with many Indians coming from remote parts of the country to marvel at the monument. A fantastic guide told us all about the history of the Taj Mahal and explained why it was built before we had chance to take the all-important picture. Make sure you don’t forget your camera.


Whilst we were in Agra we also visited The Agra Fort, which is another site packed with history and another great example of Mughal architecture. A lot of these buildings have carved marble, so we went to see how this was done before leaving Agra.

Leaving Agra we headed for Dholpur, where we stayed at The Raj Niwas Palace; a fantastic hotel with huge grounds and impressive gardens. The hotel – owned by the Minister of Rajasthan - is like an old English manor and the walls are lined with paintings of the royal family that once owned it. Peacocks and chipmunks can be found at the hotel, and they also have pool Villas! The main house itself has rooms for guests and this is where we ate our evening meals.

Tourism is still quite new in this area but it’s worth going for a wander in the market, which can be found just minutes away from the hotels. The locals are always intrigued by visitors and very welcoming. We went for a walk through the town and although we didn’t come back with much - a pineapple and some local sweets - it was great to see the local village. The children all came along to talk to us and have pictures taken with us.

Dinner at Raj Niwas Palace was great. There was lots of authentic food being cooked and so much of it!. The paneer curry was my personal favourite.

Day 3:

Today we headed out on boats to do the Chambal Safari. We saw crocodiles and turtles but unfortunately, missed the freshwater dolphins that can be found in this river.

We set off early as this is when the wildlife is out and about but the river isn’t just used by animals. The locals can be found here too, with kids swimming in the river - even though we saw a crocodile not too far away.

After our morning cruise we headed back to the hotel for a late breakfast, again offering a wide selection from fruit to masala eggs. Before heading out again, we went for a swim and another wander in the village.

In the afternoon we went out in jeeps to visit Machkund Temple, which I’d say was like walking into a scene from “The Jungle Book”.


This is the India I wanted to see.  We only saw about two people whilst we were there, and the main residents were the monkeys. The old abandoned village is based around a freshwater tank full to the brim with water lilies and at certain angles you can catch the temple reflected in the water. Fantastic is the best word to describe it.

After this, we were driving past some children who were playing cricket and the men thought they should join in. We stayed for about half an hour and the kids ran circles around them; quite literally at times. Before we said goodbye, I managed to get some pictures of our new friends and then we headed back to the hotel via a number of local villages.

Day 4:

Our next stop was Karauli and having arrived around lunchtime, we had a tour of our hotel; the Bhanwar Vilas Palace. Although they don’t reside here all the time, the hotel is still owned by the royal family of Karauli and there were plenty of paintings of them on the wall. While the hotel is slightly dated, a modern five star resort would have been out of place as it’s like stepping back in time.

After lunch and an afternoon swim, we went to The City Palace and our mode of transport was different; a camel cart. This was one of the most interesting parts of the trip, being pulled through the village by a camel.


The streets themselves are very narrow and while cars, tuk tuks and scooters use them, camels seem to have the right of away. After lots of giggling, and a few screams, we reached the palace. Again this part of India doesn’t have many tourists visiting and the local children will ask to have their pictures taken with you. Many of them have only seen westerners on TV, but never in person.

The red sandstone palace was like a maze and I’m so glad we had a guide as I would probably still be there otherwise! It is a beautiful place with some of the rooms being decorated with gold leaf and crushed rubies. The views from the top of the palace were incredible, and it is located next to the Kalyanji Temple, where we were able to watch the local people who still come to pray on a daily basis.

When we were heading back we were told that the Maharaja, his wife and son – the royal family of Karauli - would be joining us for dinner.  Just when I thought the day couldn’t get any better, I was now having dinner with royalty...

They were very welcoming and interested in meeting new people. Although they had travelled a lot themselves they were proud of their village and I had a great conversation with his wife about the village and the work they do locally to improve it. By opening up their home to visitors, they are helping to support it and after an amazing feast with great company, it was time to head off to bed.

Day 5:

Today we headed for Jaipur. It was the longest drive in our tour but we stopped along the way and it was a chance to drive through some of the smaller villages and take in the beautiful scenery. Remember they only have tarmac roads in the main city, so it was a bit of a bumpy drive in places.

Jaipur is known as the Pink City, which we saw first-hand in the old quarter. We stayed at The Shahpura House, a fantastic hotel with a lovely pool where we could enjoy another swim. It was a bit like a mini oasis in the city.

We had dinner and watched some traditional singing and dancing performed by a local family. Of course after a cocktail, we were encouraged to join them dancing. It was great entertainment finished by a puppet show, an art developed in Jaipur which was very entertaining. It was worth seeing as I never realised a puppet could twerk!!!

Day 6:

Our first stop was the Amber Fort and the mode of transport was interesting again; an elephant. This was a great experience and I’m glad we decided to do this rather than the jeeps. Lots of people there were trying to take out picture and they then came to find us to see if we wanted to buy it.

After lunch we went on a City Tour and visited the City Palace and the Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds). We also visited The Jantar Mantar Observatory, which looked like a giant skateboard park! It is a stone astrological wonder that was built in the 18th century and has the biggest sun dial I have ever seen; telling the time to within 20 seconds.


Day 7:

Boarding the train, we headed back to Delhi, giving us another great chance to be part of the hustle and bustle of India. We treated ourselves to
samosas and at about 5 pence a samosa, I would have easily paid more.

When we arrived in Delhi we headed into Old Delhi to explore and saw a local mosque, the red fort and Raj Ghat (where Mahatma Ghandi was cremated).

After exploring the old town we headed to Veda Restaurant for some lunch. The food was excellent and I loved the deep fried spinach leaves.  In the evening we decided we had to do some shopping before we headed for home and our guide took us to Dillihaat - a market where people from different regions come and sell their different crafts. There was everything here from incense sticks, to painting to furniture.  It was a great place to get some souvenirs and you have to be prepared to barter; it’s ideal if you love a bargain.

On our last night, there could be no better way to finish the trip but to have dinner at The Taj Palace hotel. The hotel is incredible, which you can tell as soon as you walk in. The dinner was great and the service was fantastic.

The hotel was stayed at, the Oberoi Maidens, was also lovely and the ideal place to spend out final night before heading for home.

Without doubt, I really enjoyed my time in India and would recommend it to anyone who wants to go. The people are so friendly and can’t do enough for you; it’s one of the most welcoming places I have ever been, especially the smaller villages.

Our guides throughout were knowledgeable but also had a great sense of humour. Our main guide for the whole time we were there was called Sorab; he was great and made our trip. 

The other thing I enjoyed was the food. If you think you liked curries before, then wait until you try the different varieties that are available when you get to India itself. I don’t think I’ll ever look at a tikka masala the same way now. Along with drinking Kingfisher, I also had some Indian wine. This grows on you, normally by the second glass, but its all part of the experience.


The history of India is amazing and it leaves you wanting to learn and see more. So I’m sitting here writing this, wishing I had a nice Kingfisher to quench my thirst, thinking about where in India I want to visit next.

I'm based in our Brighton Store, do pop in and see me if you would like to hear more about Rajashthan, or any other destination you are thinking about for your holiday. You can also reach me on 020 7001 4223.


The Ultimate Guide to Japan: 8 Reasons to Visit

Read More

Must See Festivals and Carnivals in Mexico

Read More

3 Maldivian Dishes to try on your Maldives Holiday

Read More

Perfect Honeymoon Hotels in Barbados

Read More
Post of the month
by Tourism Australia More

Email sign up

Register to receive holiday offers, cheap flights deals, hotel offers and more.

Travelbag Travel/Leisure London

Looking for something a little different? How about Japan? Take a look at why we think Japan is so amazing in our latest travel blog.
25 Oct 19:06 Read More
Travelbag's Twitter
Common Tags
3 days in 48 hours in 5 Reasons abseiling Abu Dhabi UAE Activities adrenalin Adventure Holiday Africa Alamo Alaska Alec Stewart America Antigua Architecture Argentina art arts asia Atlantis The Palm Auckland Australasia Australia Backpacking bahamas Bali Bangkok Barbados Beach Holidays Beaches beer Birdwatching Bora Bora Brazil Building bungee jumping Byron Bay Caibbean California Cambodia Canada Cancun Cape Town Caribbean celebrity Celebrity Holidays Chicago Chile China City Breaks cocktails Coffee Competition Corfu cowboys cricket Cruise Holidays Cruises Cuba culinary holidays culture cycling Darwin Days Out Dining Dining Abroad Dominican Republic Drinks Driving Dubai Dubai Hotels east coast eating EdgeWalk England Europe Events Exotic Holidays Explorers Way Family Holidays Festivals Fiji Fishing Flights Florida food Free gastronomy Girlie holidays Gold Coast Great Walks Greece Hanoi Hawaii helicopter Ho Chi Minh City Hobbit holiday reading holidays Honeymoon Hong Kong Hua Hin India Indian Ocean Indian Ocean Luxury Holidays Indonesia Ireland Italy Jamaica Japan Jordan Journey Jumeriah Beach Kenya Khao Lak kids holidays Kiwi Koh Samui Krabi kuala lumpur Langkawi asia Laos las vegas last minute Legendary Pacific Coast Literature los angeles Luang Prabang Luxury Holidays Macau Majorca Malaysia Malaysia Airlines Maldives Map Mauritius Mauritius Hotels Melbourne Mexico Miami Middle East Middle East UAE money Montreal motorhome holidays Movie museums music Myanmar Nature New York New Zealand nightlife Norfolk North America North New Zealand Northen Territory Northern Ireland Oman Oregon Orlando Patong Pattaya Perth Perth Beaches Philadelphia Phuket Portland Quebec Queensland Queenstown quiz Rail Rail Travel Reading on holiday Relaxing holiday Relaxing on holiday religion rollercoaster Romance Royal Jubilee Safari Samoa Samoa Hotels scenic Scotland Scuba Diving Self-Drive Seychelles Shopping Sightseeing Trip snorkelling South Africa South America South Australia South New Zealand Southern Spirit Spain Sports Sri Lanka St Lucia sun city Surfing survey Sydney Tahiti Tasmania temples Texas Thailand theater theme parks Things To Do Tips Tokyo Top 10 Top 5 Things to Do Toronto Toronto Dining tour Train Travel Travelbag Trip of a lifetime Tthailand TV TV Advert UAE UK United States USA USA Roadtrip Vancouver Vietnam Vietnam Beaches Vineyards Virginia Wales Wedding Wellington west coast Western Australia whale watching whales What to see Wildlife Win Wine Wineries Winnipeg Winter Sun With you all the way Yucatan Caribbean
Please Wait...