Day 1: Germany – Delhi
Your flight leaves Germany shortly after noon, with a four hours stopover around midnight in Dubai, reaching Delhi in the early morning. After customs and immigration you will transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your discretion.
This trip can be defined pretty well in project terms. It had a very long preparation phase. A thorough vendor selection has been performed, using an external consultant (our travel agency). We just need to work out the “functional part”. But that is enough to perform next to a full days job.
Catwalk of Cultures
Dubai International Airport, 01:00 am local time. Four hours stopover, tired and red-eyed we enjoy the show right in front of us. Like on a catwalk people from all countries and cultures of the planet are passing by.
Day 2: Dehli
Today you get to know Delhi at a city sightseeing tour. The quarter “Old Delhi" was founded in the early 17th century and was the center of the Mogul empire. It is marked by the monuments of past centuries, and you will find small, angled alleys and bazaars. You will visit the Red Fort, Jama Masjid, the largest mosque of India and the tomb of Mahatma Gandhi. You then will visit New Delhi, the “British Delhi" with its tree-linen alleys, the heart of the British colonial administration and the trade center Connaugth Circus. Here you will visit the Quwwat Mosque and the Humayun Mausoleum – it is one of the most important buildings of the Mogul time and was finished in 1564, nine years after the death of the emperor.
Tamasha in the Inner Ring Road
The term "tamasha", designating a popular form of rural theatre, also stands for trouble, chaos, exitement, loud hustle. You don’t have to visit the theatre for this - just take a drive on the Inner Ring Road at noon.
Dehli - living history
This city has been in the hands of many rulers - Persians, Mongolians and British among them, and all have left their marks. Mosques, palaces, tombs, gardens still tell their stories of victory and downfall of great empires.
Jama Masjid and the Red Fort
New Dehli and Quwwat Mosque
Day 3: Delhi – Agra
In the morning you drive to Agra. On the way you will visit the town of Sikandra and the Mausoleum of Greatmogul Shah Akbar. In the afternoon you will take a sightseeing tour in Agra. You will see the Red Fort with the tower of Musamman Burj, where Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his own son. At sunset you will enjoy the impressive sight of the world famous Taj Mahal, the “crown of palaces”. The magic of the size, harmony, light and colors of the Taj Mahal will entrance all visitors. 200 km, 4 hours.
A monument of love
Shah Jahan was a very lucky man. Emperor of the world’s richest nation state, the borders safe, religious conflicts settled, he could dedicate his life to arts and other pleasures. Being a Muslim he had a harem full with the most beautiful women. He could have become a playboy, although this term was not yet invited in his time. But he did not.
The Taj Mahal
Day 4: Agra – Jaipur
After breakfast you drive overland to Jaipur. On your way you will visit the abandoned city of Fathepur Sikri. The red stand stone buildings are well preserved, and you may get the impression that Akbar has left the city only yesterday. The elegant style of the palaces, mosques and halls with their playful details remind you of the pomp of the royal court. Jaipur is named the red city as all facades have been painted with a pink color, which still can be seen today. 238 km, 5 hours.
Islands in a sea of green
A sea of green fields, with the occasional group of trees, shrubs and small round wooden huts that people use to shelter from the rain. 80 percent of the Indian population still lives in the countryside. Like islands above the waves of green vegetation small market towns are the focal points for the rural farmers.
The white tomb of the wise man
Once upon a time there was a rich and mighty king, called the Great Mogul of India, who had three wives, one Muslim, one Hindu and one Christian. But none of the three was able to fulfill his greatest wish and give him a heir.
Day 5: Jaipur
After breakfast drive to Amer. Highlight of todays sightseeing is the Amer Fort, the original seat of the Maharaja empire. For the climb to the fort you can select between the back of an elephant or a Jeep. The fort is one of the most beautiful palaces of Rahjasthan and still shows the pomp of the former rulers.
In the afternoon you will see the sights of Jaipur city. The pompous city palace is still used as residence of the former maharaja. You can also visit the museum of the royal observatory. A picture stop will be made at the Palace of the Winds. The numerous niches in the façade did allow the ladies of court to observe the bustle in the street without beeing seen.
The Amer Fort
July 19th in the year of the Lord 1735. We had crossed the desert of Thar, a deathly place where the heat burns down like fire, when shortly after midday we saw a large black tower on the flirring horizon. Our native scouts started to whisper around, obviously scared and nervous, and finally Captain Nicholls, the leader of our escort, asked them about their worries.
Silver, gold and crystal
When Madho Singh II, Mahajara of Jaipur, went to Britain in 1900 to join the coronation festivities of Edward VII, preparations had to start months before. Beeing a strict follower of Hindu faith, he needed holy water from the river Ganga for his ritual cleaning ceremonies. As his trip to England would take some months, the amount of water needed was huge.
Waiting for the Monsoon
Pritam Niwas Chowk, the court of the peacock in Jaipur’s city palace, is decorated with four large reliefs of peacocks representing the seasons - autumn, winter, spring and monsoon. While in other places summer brings sun and heat, India’s monsoon breaks loose over the land, with strong rain and thunderstorms.
The Amer Fort
The Royal Observatory
Day 6: Jaipur – Jodhpur
In the morning drive to Jodhpur, with a lunch stop-over in Ajmer. You will reach Jodhpur in the early evening. 330 km.
Highway Jaipur - Jodhpur
A modern three lane highway crosses the flat countryside. Trucks, buses and cars are passing by, pedestrians are crossing, herdsmen drive cattle, sheep or goats from one side of the road to the other. Cows are grazing on the grassy strip between the lanes and trucks are serviced on the narrow bank. Wrecks of trucks line the highway, secured only by a row of stones on the road, victims of collisions that, looking at the state of the drivers cabins, must have been deadly.
The wonderful cow
They are everywhere, in the streets, the fields, the temples, even on the wrong side of the motorway. And they seem to know their special status as they expect the humans and their mechanized transports to give way and divert them. While each day millions of Indians have to fight for their small bowl of rice beef is untouchable and the killing of a cow sanctioned by law and tradition. What makes this animal, not the most beautiful nor the most intelligent creature under the sky, so special?
On the road
Day 7: Jodhpur
In the morning a city sightseeing tour in the modern, busy city of Jodhpur. On a rock, 130 meters above the city, sits the Mehrangath Fort with its impressive doors and royal palaces. Here you will find a museum with beautiful paintings and treasures from the Mogul times. From the massive walls you will have a beautiful panorama of the blue city . You will also visit Jaswant Thada, an impressive monument for Maharaja Jaswant Singh. A stroll over the bazaar will give you the chance to buy some souvenirs.
Living history set in stone
Proud and wild people are the Rajputs, noble warriors that preferred the honorable fight man to man over the use of guns. And so stories of love and hate, blood and honoir are engraved into the walls of Meherangarh Fort. Right at the entrance the walls still have marks from a siege, when the kings of Jodhpur and Jaipur fought battle over a woman.
First he prepares his workplace, which is actually a stone on the floor. He puts some dry clay on the stone, then takes two handful of soft, watered clay and walks it like we would walk a piece of dough for christmas bakery.
Villages and Palaces
A small compound with two or three cows, walled with thorny shrubbery. An old motor bike, battered and rusted, next to a stack of pressed cow dung, used as fuel for the simple oven. Two rooms with open walls and a roof made of grass, two round huts for storing the crop, mostly empty. An open fire side is the kitchen, with tea and spices stored in old paint cans. No furniture except of some mock-up chairs. A typical home of a farmer in a typical Indian village.
The Mehrangath Fort
A trip to the countryside
Day 8: Jodhpur – Udaipur
In the early morning overland travel to Udaipur. On your way you will visit Ranakpur, a pieceful village at the foots of the Arivalli mountains, where you will see the filigree marble temple of Adinath. In the early evening arrival in Udaipur, the city of palaces and lakes. Transfer to the hotel.
A flat tyre
A flat tyre in the middle of nowhere - daily routine on the Indian roads. No flimsy spare tyre or one of the modern foam kits - a real tyre, which to change is hard work. Sweat is dripping in the hot road dust. We can’t risk to continue without spare tyre, not on these roads.
300 Million Gods
A common myth, cited in many Western guides, says that India has 300 million gods. In fact this absurd number is a misunderstanding - when once upon a time an Englishman asked a old Brahmin about the number of the Indian gods, the wise man answered that every Indian had it’s own god. Instead of gasping the full meaning of this statement the Englishman, educated in a monotheistic world, did a simpe calculation.
News from India
You can find out a lot about a country if you look at the headlines of it’s newspapers. This is what the Times Of India features today: Parliament has broken up, the ruling frail coalition has lost one of it’s members over a planned US-Indian nuclear deal, and there might be elections soon. Although the Indian government is ill-famous for it’s ineffiency,the democracy seems to work.
On the road
A flat tyre
The Temple of Adinath
Day 9: Udaipur
In the morning city sightseeing in Udaipur. You will visit the city place over Pichola lake. Afterwards visit of the Jagdish temple which is dedicated to Vishnu. Afternoon at your discretion.
A proud family of kings
The king of the Mewar tribe, Udai Singh, was a proud son of the desert. The Mewar kings then were the highest Rajput dynasty, claiming to be direct decendants of the god king Rama and superior over the other rules.
A symbol of peace and harmony
At the beginning of the 20th century an Austrian writer and publisher got interested in one of the oldest Indian historic texts, the Rigveda, written 100 B.C. in Sanskrit by the priest kings of a group of peoples that had then recently descended from the Northern mountains to the plains of the Indus.
The Garden of the Maharadja
Udaipur Main Street
Day 10: Udaipur – Delhi
Transfer to the airport and flight to Delhi, arrival around 3 p.m. Late in the evening transfer to the international airport and flight to Dubai.
Welcome to Dubai
Cows on the streets, potholes in the streets and a constantly honking traffic of smoking black Tata Diesels and battered little cars, pidgeons in the airport buildings, people sleeping on the floors at Dehli’s old and worn International Airport, currency restrictions and a lively bureaucracy. Only three hours flight and the contrast could not be larger - a large, sparkling airport building, no restrictions in currency or immigration, shops everywhere, motorways with twelve lanes, smooth as silk, European luxury brand cars zipping past.