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Bewitched at The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Bewitched at The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

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Delhi – Agra – Kanota – Jaipur – Ranthambore – Bundi – Shahpura – Deogarh – Ravla Khempur – Udaipur

Delhi Arrival , Day 01

Rest of the day is at leisure.

Overnight at the hotel.

Delhi , Day 02

After breakfast, we go on a guided tour of New Delhi, visiting Baha’i Temple and Humayun’s Tomb (1586). Continue with a drive through the Embassy area, Government buildings (1921-1930) and Connaught Place, the heart and main shopping district of the capital.

We then cross the city and into the walled gates of Old Delhi. The capital of Muslim India between the 17th and 19th centuries, Old Delhi seems somewhat anachronistic as compared to New Delhi. It draws you through congested roads and lanes, interesting mosques, monuments and forts relating to its chequered history. Our tour includes a visit to the Jamma Mosque (1650) and a drive through the fabled area of Chandni Chowk (aptly translates to Moonlight Square) where throngs of shoppers and vendors meet in the oldest area of Delhi, on to the Red Fort (1639-1648 built by Shah Jahan the builder of the Taj Mahal in Agra) to view the inlaid and carved Royal Chambers and finally on to Raj Ghat and other nearby ghats where the founder of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi and thereafter Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, were cremated.

A highlight of this tour is a ride on a cycle rickshaw, a 3-wheel cycle with a sofa seat at the back. The Rickshawalla (Rickshaw driver) sits on a small cushion in the front and two passengers on the sofa seat behind. This is a fun way to explore and photograph the vitality and colour of the narrow winding streets bursting with people, and the pavement shops selling wares of every description.

Evening: Welcome dinner.

Overnight at the hotel (Breakfast & Dinner)

Delhi – Agra , Day 03

After breakfast, drive to Agra. Upon arrival, we continue on a guided sightseeing tour of Agra Fort, and then walk around the local market.

Later check-in to the hotel and rest of the day is at leisure to explore the town or rest.

Overnight at the hotel (Breakfast)

Agra – Fatehpur Sikri – Kanota , Day 04

We visit Taj Mahal at sunrise when the first rays of sun reflect off the glistening white marble of the monument. We recommend morning as the sky tends to be clear and the crowds are manageable; a great opportunity for perfect photographs.

Later we come back for breakfast and a brief rest then continue our journey to Kanota via Fatehpur Sikri. This abandoned capital of the Mughals is a perfectly preserved city from the time of the Empire’s splendour. The city, divided into religious and secular parts, features interesting, well-sculpted buildings.

Continue to drive to Kanota. Upon arrival check in to the hotel.

The famous Viceroy Club featured in both the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel movies is located just over 30 minutes from the downtown Jaipur and belongs to the Thakur of Kanota, a small town off the Jaipur-Agra highway. Castle Kanota is a paradise for those who seek to experience life outside of the hustle and bustle of the city. Still the family’s residence, this heritage castle built in 1872, is set in an eight acre estate and offers 18 beautiful suites that open to the gardens and lawns. A museum is being developed in a separate wing of the Castle to display the exhaustive collections and dairies of Thakur Amar Singhji – the grandfather of the current Scion of Kanota.

During your stay at Castle Kanota, you will discover the secrets of the grandeur of the Rajput royalty, when you see the exquisitely decorated walls and ceilings that are fully covered with frescos and paintings. The period furniture placed all over the hotel is a visual delight.

Rest of the day at leisure.

Overnight at the hotel (Breakfast)

Kanota , Day 05

Explore the local village, and interact with the villagers, visit Abhaneri and the deepest and largest step wells in India. Later relax by the riverside and enjoy cocktails or go boating on the river.

Overnight at the hotel (Breakfast)

Kanota – Jaipur , Day 06

After a leisurely breakfast, enjoy a traditional massage before heading to Jaipur.

Upon arrival in Jaipur, check in to the hotel.

Overnight at the hotel (Breakfast)

Jaipur , Day 07

This morning we visit Amber Fort, the former capital of royal Jaipur. Few fail to be moved by the dramatic Rajput grandeur of this hilltop fortress-palace 11 km north of Jaipur. Set on the dry wrinkled Aravali Hills, and surrounded by fortified battlements, the palace straddles two sepia-hued tundra hills overlooking Maota Lake, and its sprawling crenelated walls lattice the surrounding hills.

We will ride up to this hilltop palace on a caparisoned, painted elephant, passing through the ancient main gate where Maharajas of Jaipur have entered for four hundred years.

Our guide will elaborate on the history of this architectural masterpiece with its mirror-studded alcoves, dazzling mosaics and water-cooled swings that delight today’s visitors as they did their former royal residents.

We shall visit the Hawa Mahal or Palace of the Winds, a five-storied structure of pink sandstone with semi-octagonal and delicately honeycombed windows overlooking the main street of the old city. It was built in 1799 so that veiled women of the royal court could peer down unseen by the world through its 593 stone screens.

Following lunch, a tour of City Palace & Observatory. The City Palace in the heart of the old city is a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. The centre of the palace is a seven storied building called Chandra Palace, with fine views over the gardens and the city. The palace lies in the heart of the city and occupies the whole central grid. The fortified wall has seven gates and was built for protection from invading armies and animals that lived in jungles which surrounded the wall at that time. Next, we visit the Solar Observatory – an astronomical treasure house. We then visit the Palace Of Winds, a five-storied structure of pink sandstone that features semi-octagonal and delicately honeycombed windows overlooking the main street of the old city.

We shall also visit the flower market, another location from the movie, where Sonny bought his marigold garland.

Overnight at the hotel (Breakfast)

Jaipur – Ranthambore NP , Day 08

After breakfast, drive to Ranthambore.

Upon arrival, check in to the hotel.

Located on the intersection of Aravali and Vindhyas, Ranthambore National Park is approximately 11 km from Sawai Madhopur. Once a princely game preserve, Ranthambore is the best location to catch sight of the tigers in their natural habitat. The geography of the park ranges from gentle and steep slopes of the Vindhyas to sharp and conical hills of the Aravali. Having a unique topography, the jungle is scattered with grasslands at the plateaus, pastures in gorges and flourishing foliage around the canals.

Late afternoon drive in Ranthambore wildlife sanctuary on open jeep – one of the finest tiger reserves in the country.

Overnight at the hotel (Breakfast & Dinner)

Ranthambore NP , Day 09

Early morning a safari into the park on an open Jeep (Zone I – IV) followed by a visit to Ranthambore Fort. Late afternoon, a further drive in Ranthambore wildlife sanctuary on open jeep (Zone I – IV).

Overnight at the hotel (All meals)

Ranthambore NP – Bundi , Day 10

After breakfast, drive to Bundi. Upon arrival check in to the hotel.

Brief rest then a guided sightseeing tour of Bundi which includes Taragarh Fort or ‘Star Fort’ which is one of the most impressive structures in the city. A rather ramshackle fort, with its overgrown vegetation, it is located around 39 km from Kota.

It was constructed in AD 1354 on a steep hillside. Most parts of the impressive gateways are now in ruins. During its heyday, Taragarh Fort was renowned for its tunnels crisscrossing the entire hillside. However, these tunnels are now inaccessible in the absence of proper maps. It offers a panoramic view of the city of Bundi situated in Nagpahari of Aravali mountain range.

Overnight at the hotel (Breakfast)

Bundi – Shahpura , Day 11

After breakfast we drive to Shahpura.

A tree bedecked estate and home to myriad birds, Shahpura Bagh is the summer home of the royal family and prides itself on providing an authentic, bespoke home stay experience in Rajasthan. Life is unhurried here. Nine subtle, elegant suites are set in 40 acres of nature in two restored bungalows, a generous pool with enticing decks some shaded, some set within the pool itself. The Shahpura Bagh experience is that of a mansion stay, luxurious and stylish with opportunities to explore if you can get yourself to move from the pool side; farm excursions, sunset visit to the Dhikola fort, tribal village safaris, walk through the colorful town of Shahpura. Spontaneous excursions trace the history of the region through neighboring forts and legends, rambles transform into safaris and the surrounding wetlands are a birdwatcher’s paradise, tempting even to the uninitiated.

Shahpura Bagh is one of the predominant luxury hotels of Rajasthan, a place where you can rest, refresh, and revive yourself. A destination you can come home to…

Overnight at the hotel (Breakfast)

Shahpura – Deogarh , Day 12

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Deogarh – Ravla Khempur , Day 13

After breakfast, drive to Ravla. Upon arrival, check in to the hotel.

And finally we arrive at The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Take a walk around, and chat with the very friendly village people. Go to the horse stable, or relax by the pool which is a new addition to the property.

Overnight at the hotel (Breakfast)

Ravla Khempur , Day 14

Enjoy a guided walk around the village. Late afternoon go to the lake, take a boat and enjoy the serene beauty. Watch the sunset while enjoying a glass of wine.

Overnight at the hotel (Breakfast)

Ravla Khempur – Udaipur , Day 15

Leisurely breakfast and drive to Udaipur. Upon arrival go for a guided visit to city palace, and on to Jagdish Temple. Walk through Chandpur market where parts of the movie were filmed.

Later check in to the hotel.

Overnight at the hotel. (Breakfast)

Udaipur – Delhi Departure , Day 16

Overnight at the hotel. (Breakfast)

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