This holiday takes you down the kaleidoscope road of Rajasthan. But before you get there, you have a brief glimpse of Delhi, the capital of India, which sums up all the country's contrasts and contradictions. We take you to Agra to see the Taj Mahal, the architectural masthead of India. When you enter Rajasthan be prepared to be awed by its desert, hills, forests, countryside and its cities full of history. From the pink sandstone of Jaipur to the colorful murals and frescoes in Shekawati to the changing yellows of the Thar desert to the blue roofs in Jodhpur and the green countryside on the way to the white city of Udaipur, the colours of Rajasthan are enough to leave you spellbound. We visit the forts that are the legacy of Rajasthan and its erstwhile Rajput warrior rulers. The Rajputs are warriors who claim to have originated from the sun, moon and fire and ruled these parts for thousands of years.
Route: Delhi - Agra - Ranthambore - Jaipur - Shekhawati - Bikaner - Bhap - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Udaipur
Activities: Delhi walking toursI Taj Mahal I Tiger Safari I Folk Expressions I Responsible Shopping I Amer Fort visit I Camel Farms I Rat Temple visit I Village walks I Cycling I Camel Rides I Haveli visits I Pokaran Potters I Jodhpur sights I Boat ride in Udaipur
Duration: 17 days
Delhi: You arrive into Delhi Afternoon: Guided tour of Lutyens New Delhi. We take you through this beautifully planned quarter of the city that is home to important, and architecturally relevant structures such as the Parliament, Rashtrapati Bhavan (president's residence) and India Gate. We finish the tour of Delhi with sunset at the Qutb Complex, which is home to the Qutb Minar, the tallest minaret in India and the Iron Pillar, which is one of the wonder's of India. Overnight in Delhi.
Delhi: Wake up early morning to go on a guided history walk through old Delhi ( except Sundays). Visit the various eateries in the narrow crowded lanes of Chandni Chowk and taste Delhi through its delicacies ( Karims,the most authentic Mughlai eatry) , Visit the Kinari bazaar -tightly packed stalls selling bewildering array of tinsel and sequins, Dariba Kalan is the lane of jewellers and silversmiths.
Rickshaw ride is the best way to explore if you feel tired of walking in the narrow lanes..Visit the Jama Masjid-India’s largest mosque with its soaring minarets. On return to Hotel visit Rajghat, site of Mahatama Gandhi’s cremation. Rest of the day relax or explore on own. Overnight in Delhi.
Delhi – Agra: We drive down to Agra (5.5 hours), the home of the Taj Mahal. Our first stop in Agra is Sikandra, a tomb built by Emperor Akbar and finished by his son Jehangir. We also visit the Agra fort and examine the exquisite architecture of the Mughal empire. Overnight in Agra
Agra – Ranthambore: We set apart the morning to explore one of the seven wonders of the world – the Taj Mahal, built by Emperor Shah Jahan in loving memory of his wife Mumtaz. We stop over at Emperor Akbar's city Fatehpur Sikri on the way to Ranthambore. Overnight in Ranthambore.
Ranthambore: Ranthambore National Park is home to one of the biggest populations of the Royal Bengal Tiger and its terrain and foliage offers the best chances to spot the magnificent big cats. We go on an early morning safari and a late evening one. The day is spent visiting shops nearby that sell local crafts and garments. Overnight in Ranthambore.
Ranthambore – Jaipur: Leave morning for Jaipur-3hrs drive, the pink city of India. Set foot into one of the best planned cities in India. In the afternoon visit City Palace and Observatory and walk in the bazaars..
In the evening attend the Folk and Puppetry programs in a nearby village. Meet the authentic performers working in partnership with The Blue Yonder. You will also get opportunity to buy directly from these artisans small puppets, trinkets, hanging elephants, bangles etc. Avoiding middlemen ensures that your puchase makes a positive difference to the host communities. Overnight in Jaipur
Jaipur – Shekhawati: We drive further north to Nawalgarh (4 hours) in the Shekhawati region, famous for its shrub and desert landscapes. We visit the Amer Fort enroute. Nawalgarh is home to more than 200 ancient havelis, and we walk you through the village visiting a few of them.
Nawalgarh / Shekhawati: Today we can organize cycle trips, camel rides and even horse rides , combined with culinary trails and cooking demonstrations .Ladies can go for Mehendi (Indian Tattoo). Overnight in Nawalgarh.
Leave for Bikaner (4hrs drive), the desert city, the most arid part of Rajasthan. Enjoy the unique eateries of Bikaner. Walk along the sand dunes of this desert city. Visit the majestic Junagarh Fort and National Research Centre on Camel ( Camel breeding farm). Visit the camel museum. Participate in an interactive lecture by traditional camel breeder. Overnight in Bikaner.
Drive out of Bikaner (3hrs drive) and stop over at the Karni Mata Temple, where a thousands of rats are worshipped. (Spotting a white Rat is considered to bring good fortune) .Enter the silent village of Bhap and go on a village walk. Spend some time with yourself and relax. Over night at Bhap.
Bhap – Jaisalmer: The drive through the spectacular landscape of the Thar desert to reach the city of Jaisalmer (4 hours). Late Afternoon: Visit the Khuri Sand dunes for camel ride and see the sun setting over the desert landscape. Overnight in Jaisalmer.
Morning: Guided tour of the Golden Fort ,Jain Temple,Gadisar tank and Havelis. Afternoon : time free. Overnight in Jaisalmer.
Jaisalmer – Jodhpur: On the way to Jodhpur (7 hours), we visit Pokharan, a village where we see families still practising the ancient art of pottery. Overnight in Jodhpur
Jodhpur: We first visit Mehrangarh Fort, which forms the backdrop for what is known as the Blue City. We visit the clock tower and explore the bazaar street which still resembles a market from the 1500s. Overnight in Jodhpur
Jodhpur – Udaipur: Drive to Udaipur via the Jain temples in Ranakpur -4hrs drive. Beautiful Jain Temples made of soft sandstone. Panels are sensual and reminds of Khajuraho temples..
There after proceed onwards to Udaipur- 2 hrs drive
Arrive and check in at a hotel near lake. Over night in Udaipur.
Morning: Spend a day in Rajasthan’s most romantic city, Udaipur. City is known for it’s authentic jewellery , colourful clothes and wooden toys. Go on a guided tour visiting City palace, Saheliyon Ki bari and Jagdish Temple. We can organize a cuisine trail on your last day in Rajasthan. In the evening go for a boat ride on lake Pichola and see the setting sun. Overnight in Udaipur.
Udaipur: Transfer to airport/railway station . Depart onwards for next destination.
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.
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.
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.
Here we take you a little bit off the beaten trail to a landscape that is rich in printing, puppetry, arts and crafts..