Tours

It's usually easiest to book tours through your hotel or a travel agent, although a few operators allow direct booking. Shop around—sometimes agents will try to undercut the competition by offering small discounts on their offerings: there are usually several agents next to each other on the same street, so you can go from one to another. Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation also organizes city tours and excursions.

Tour Contacts

Karwan Tours. This Jaipur company can also help with general travel arrangements, including a hired car with driver to any location in Rajasthan. Bissau Palace Hotel, outside Chandpol gate, near Saroj Cinema, Jaipur, Rajasthan, 302016. 141/235–2785; www.karwantour.com.

Le Passage to India. This company functions both as an agent and as an operator, and offers custom tours as well as reliable cars and drivers in all major Rajasthan towns. 101 Ganpati Plaza, M.I. Rd., Jaipur, Rajasthan, 302001. 141/511–5415; 982/905–1387; www.lepassagetoindia.com.

Le Passage to India. 14/21 Lake Palace Rd., first fl., Udaipur, Rajasthan, 313001. 0294/510–0422; 0294/510–0432; www.lepassagetoindia.com.

Le Passage to India. Shop 04, Geeta Ashram Rd., Hanuman Circle, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, 333001. 299/225–0355; 299/225–0354; www.lepassagetoindia.com.

Le Passage to India. Airport Rd., Ratananda circle, opposite R.S.E.B. sub station, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, 342001. 291/251–0859; www.lepassagetoindia.com.

Parul Tours and Travels. This is a reliable tour operator. 32 Lal Ghat, opposite Kankarwa Haveli, Udaipur, Rajasthan, 313001. 0294/242–1697; www.rajasthantravelbycab.com.

Royal Desert Safaris. In Jaisalmer, Royal Desert Safari organizes treks, camel safaris, and nights in the desert around Bikaner, Jodhpur, and Jaisalmer, as well as visits to traditional villages, craftspeople's homes, little-known fairs, and ashrams. Nachna Haveli, Gandhi Chowk, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, 345001. 2992/252–538; 2992/251–402; www.campsandsafaries.com.

Savaari Car Rentals. Book cars online, including airport pickups, short-distance city driving, or long hauls. 904/545-0000; www.savaari.com.

Virasat Exeriences. Run by enterprising local youths, this company organizes meticulously designed walking tours that bring alive diverse elements of the city's living heritage that underpin the main monuments. The off-beat tours—a leisurely two- to three-hour walk, including a break for tea and food sampling—begin (morning and evening) at the heart of the old walled "Pink" city, and explore hidden, derelict, abandoned homes, temples, monuments, and buildings. The knowledgeable guides point out living crafts, culture, and traditional cuisines (including sweet making) with a historical perspective, and walks can be customized to specific interests. The fee includes all admission fees, temple donations, food sampling and tea; tip of Rs.100 per person, to a maximum Rs. 500 for a group, is customary. Virisat Experiences also organize tours in Jodhpur and Udaipur. Book at least one day ahead. Om Niwas Hotel, E-23 Kaushalya Marg, Bani Park, Jaipur, Rajasthan, 302001. 141/5109090; 941/406-6260; 966/720-0797; www.virasatexperiences.com. Rs. 1500.

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