Here we take you a little bit off the beaten trail to a landscape that is rich in printing, puppetry, arts and crafts, cuisine and elaborate architecture. We take you on a journey to absorb the true essence of Rajasthan. The Shekhawati area welcomes you with its frescoes, the arts and unique arid landscape. Explore the blue city of Jodhpur, that peeps out of a rocky ridge overlooking the Thar desert.
The Mehrangrah Fort, still run by the Maharaja of Jodhpur, stands tall as the backdrop of the sun city. Rajasthan is never complete without stopping at the magical city of Udaipur which will keep you busy with its lakes, temples and museums. Visiting Chandelao and Siana will bring you close to communities which have been part of rural Rajasthan for years
Route: Jaipur - Nawalgarh - Khimsar - Chandelao - Rohetgarh - Siana - Udaipur
Activities: Puppetry, folk dances, responsible shopping, fresco study, carpentry & pottery workshops, camel safari, panther trail, bazaar walks
Duration: 14 days
Arrive into the pink city of Jaipur. Transfer to Hotel/home stay. Spend time relaxing and strolling about the dimly lit city and explore the capital of Rajasthan known for its town planning. In the evening attend the Folk and Puppetry programs at a nearby village. Meet the authentic performers. The Blue Yonder supports these artisans in partnership of Kalakar Vikas samiti . You will also get opportunity to buy directly from these artisans small puppets, trinkets, hanging elephants, bangles etc.. Such buying directly helps the artisans. Overnight at Jaipur.
Jaipur: We visit the city palace and look out if the flag is hoisted, which indicates if the Maharaja is at the palace. We take you on a walk around the uniquely constructed city, and study its planning. You have an option of visiting Amber fort or you can indulge in responsible shopping at fair trade shops.Overnight in Jaipur.
Jaipur – Nawalgarh: The next morning, drive into the ruggedly beautiful Shekhawati region (4 hours).
We take you on a walk through the town of Nawalgarh to explore its havelis. Overnight in Nawalgarh
Nawalgarh: Today we can organize cycle trips, camel rides and even horse rides, cooking demos .Women travelers should try the famous Mehendi (Indian Tattoo). Overnight in Nawalgarh.
Nawalgarh – Khimsar: We drive to Khimsar via Fatehpur (5 hours) and visit some exquisitely built havelis. We check into a sensitively designed desert camp and settle in to watch the dazzling sunset. Overnight in Khimsar.
Khimsar: We take you to visit a weaving centre supported by a local foundation that has been involving the local women from the nearby villages. You can interact with the women to understand where they come from and learn the art of weaving. Overnight in Khimsar.
Khimsar – Chandelao: We drive to Chandelao, a quaint village which serves the best food and here you get to meet some of the best people - from potters to crafts people to folk artists. The hosts here will make your stay memorable. Go on a 'sundowner' trip at camel pace. Overnight in Chandelao.
Chandelao: You can go to the local markets around the town of Pipar or go watch migratory birds at a nearby bird sanctuary. Over lunch or dinner, the locals will reveal the history of the fort and how the feudal system works. Overnight in Chandelao.
Chandelao – Rohet: We drive down to Rohetgarh (3 hours) and on the way visit the massive Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur to meander through its passages, stories and history. The drive to Rohet is via the famous Bishnoi villages. The Bishnois are known for being the original environmentalists who would give their lives to protect the environment. Be sure to be inspired by their will power. The present rulers of Rohetgarh are known for their warmth and hospitality. The stables of Rohetgarh have the best Marwari breed of horses in Rajasthan. Overnight in Rohet.
Rohet: Stroll about the picturesque village of Rohetgarh. You can just stroll in the village or just relax at the hotel. Horse riding will be a quite an experience if you try it. Overnight in Rohet.
Rohet – Siana: We drive to Siana, a quaint little town, a less explored destination of Rajasthan. The hosts are famous for their hospitality. By nightfall, the constellations will be your guide. Overnight in Tents/Bungalows.
Siana: We go on a village walk and explore the culture of Siana, which revolves around carpentry. We visit traditional carpenters at their homes to see their pieces of work. We drive across a dry river bed and meet with the Rabari community, the traditional shepherds of this region. Explore the village and the sheep will keep you company! Go on a panther safari at dusk and come back to immerse yourself in stargazing. Overnight in Tents/Bungalows
Siana – Udaipur: The Aravallis welcome your entry into Udaipur, Rajasthan's most romantic city. Enjoy the changing landscapes on the way. Stroll along the lakes and the narrow lanes, each of which has a unique character. Walk around the bazaar streets and take back some wooden toys and authentic silver accessories.Overnight in Udaipur.
Udaipur-Delhi/Mumbai: You can on a guided tour of the city . Walk around the bazaar streets and take back some wooden toys and authentic silver accessories. Transfer to airport for flight to Mumbai/Delhi
How your travel makes a difference to the local community & environment:
- We work with the Kalakar Vikas Samiti, a small group of traditional artists who make a living out of art and handicrafts. Most of the hotels and restaurants showcase Rajasthani artists, and barring the visual appeal, there is real no connection with the artists. Our holidays give you an opportunity to understand where they come from, their art and culture. You can visit them in their houses and villages during the trip. As typical of our holidays, the performances are not organised in hotels or resorts, instead we invite our travellers to our villages to meet and interact with the communities and understand more about their social backgrounds and enjoy the ritualistic traditions.
- This ensures that they don't compromise on their dignity and perform just for the sake of making a living. Our involvement with the community ensures their capacity building, training on social skills and building networks of artists in different parts of the Rajasthan so that the benefits of Responsible Tourism is spread across the state and not restricted to certain tourist places.
- We organise workshops that provide an opportunity to not only learn craft but also understand its social environment. One of the off shoots of these workshops is responsible shopping where travellers can purchase products directly without paying middle men who make unreasonable profits at the expense of the real artists.
- Our interpreters have travelled to other destinations we offer as holidays in India. They spend time with other communities to understand how they are part of the growing responsible tourism initiatives run by our company.
- This trip covers some popular destinations, but we have tried to include places like Siana, which gets far less tourists. By including less popular destinations, we hope to equalise the tourist cash flow to some extent.
- We promote home stays so that the benefits go directly to local people. What better way to learn about the Rajasthani culture than to stay with an ordinary family enjoying home cooked food.
This trip takes you to the greener side of Rajasthan. Rajasthan is home to 400 different species of birds and a rich wildlife belt to explore. Come and beat the heat out in the wilderness of Rajasthan.
Rustic Rural Rajasthan
This trip gives you an opportunity to travel ethically through villages and cities of Rajasthan on spirited journeys set to open your eyes, heart and soul. Meet everyday extraordinary people, immerse yourself in ancient, thriving cultures and marvel at Rajasthan's characters.
Colors of Rajasthan
Pink palaces, golden forts, blue cities and glowing turbans. Breathe in all the colours of India on a journey through the soul of Rajasthan.