We provide opportunities for travelers to engage with local communities; see, hear and learn through interactions, stories and experiences that make this trip so unique. Delight and participate in the diversity of cultural expression through folk dance, folk song and puppet show performances. Attend puppetry and pottery workshop to learn and create your own puppets and pots that you can carry home as souvenirs. Discover the source of a community's culture and celebrate the ancient, living traditions that miraculously continue to thrive.
When you are hungry, indulge in well known succulent Rajasthani food and learn secret recipes. On special request, we can arrange for culinary workshops where you can engage with host, source vegetables from the market, give a hand in preparing the delicious Rajasthani dishes and sit out and have a satiating lunch/dinner with the family. During free time, stroll around the village; spend time with farmers and women who engage in different kind of activities.
Route: Jaipur -> Pushkar->Roopengarh->Guda Village -> Mandore -> Siana -> Udaipur -> Delhi
Activities: Jaipur Sights I Bagru Textiles I Camel ride I Roopengarh Villages I Tilonia school IPushkar lake and temple I Puppetry & Pottery Workshop | Folk Dance and Folk Music performance | Puppetry show | Village Walks | Visit to bangle, Durry, shoe and leather bag making units | Visit to Forts | Shepherd tales | Responsible shopping
Duration: 14 days
Jaipur: Arrival into Jaipur. Transfer to a luxury home stay near airport. Owners of this luxury homestay also runs an NGO to support the HIV positive children in Jaipur. The host's insight into the culture, tradition and history of Rajasthan and some of the social issues that she is trying to address within her personal capacity is an great entrance to Rajasthan as a traveller. Overnight in Jaipur.
Jaipur: Visit the city palace and look up for the flag and if you see it you know the Maharaja is in the palace! Walk around the uniquely constructed city, and understand the history of the place. Option to visit Amber fort. Overnight in Jaipur.
Jaipur-Tilonia-Pushkar: Drive to Pushkar-160kms/3.5hrs drive. En-route stop at Bagru, known for its block printed textiles. This is a good opportunity to see craftsmen / women at work. Proceed onwards to Tilonia.
Rajasthan is truly a state with contradictions. From Havelis to Rich home-stays to Heritage Palaces to Luxury Hotels, Rajasthan is also one of the poorest states in the country. If any one wonders about how such contradictions can exist in a place, the visit to Tilonia (http://www.barefootcollege.org ) is important for us to explain the story of the 'bare-foot-engineers’ who are making massive social and environmental changes using local knowledge and resources.
From mask making to workshops on puppetry and interaction with local people, the visit gives ample opportunity to understand the dynamics of the state that is Rajasthan that is far away from the tourism circuits. Subjects like water management , solar energy are touched during the visit . Visit the library and watch documentary film on the achievements of this social college.. Lunch in the campus
Thereafter visit the Harmara village where you will meet the leather maker ..spend some time in his house and watch the process of making bags and belts. You may purchase directly should you wish to.
Proceed to the holy town of Pushkar. Pushkar is one of the most revered Hindu pilgrim centre famous for the cattle fair and Lord Brahmas temple. Watch the evening rituals near the lake. Overnight at Pushkar.
Pushkar: Post late breakfast walk inside the lanes of Pushkar ;you may meet citizens from the most part of world in quest of finding the inner self. Hinduism is a thought process and this you can see it in Pushkar. Enjoy a meal overlooking the lake. Spend time visiting the Brahma temple and if you are lucky meet a Yogi meditating near the lake. Day will pass leisurely.
Overnight in Pushkar.
Pushkar-Roopengarh: Post breakfast leave for Roopengarh ( a desolate Fort where once a Mughal spent a night)
Afternoon: Visit Roopengarh village. Meet various artisans ,weavers, Gota maker ,Durry maker ,Potters . Understand how Rural India connects to commerce through handicrafts. Handicraft making one of the biggest occupations in India after agriculture. Overnight in Roopengarh.
Day 6 & 7
Guda Village: After breakfast leave for Guda Village near Makrana and go for Village stay for 2 nights. The 2 day stay will give you deep understanding on various issues which is faced by the real India.. women empowerment, social conditions, Health, Education ,livelihood issues …
The days spent in the Gudda Village takes you to the "basti's of these artists to do workshops on puppetry. The focus of workshops will be to explore how puppetry can be used in the modern days to convey the message of literacy, health, hygiene and primary education. The guests get to make these puppet and learn from the masters who are traditional artists. Evening with the Bhopa community: The feudal stories of Papuji Rathore is sung by the members of Bhopa community in the evenings post sunset. 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. You will also get opportunity to visit a local school and interact with children. In the evening house ladies will put Mehendi !! Overnights in Makrana Village.
Makrana - Mandore: Drive to Mandore near Jodhpur - 270kms/6.5hrs drive. Arrive at Mandore and proceed to Mandore Guest House. Mandore guest house provides great opportunity to work with volunteers of the NGO supported by the family. If you could let us know about any particular skills you would want to make use of during your travel, we can connect you with the local partner who will match the skills, provided there is a need for such voluntary engagement. Visit the magnificent Mehrangarh Fort and the bazaar. Overnight in Mandore/Jodhpur.
Mandore: Various activities are possible at Mandore ranging from Bird watching and cycling to nearby village to see the rural projects. Jeep Safari to Bishnoi village is also offered by the hosts at Mandore Guest House.Overnight in Mandore/Jodhpur
Mandore - Siana: Drive to Siana( 120km/3.5hrsdrive), a quaint little town, a less explored destination of Rajasthan. Hosts are famous for their hospitality. Evening go for Panther safari .Overnight in Siana.
Siana: Go on a village walk and explore the carpentry culture of Siana. Visit a traditional carpenter's house to see their pieces of work. Drive across the dry river bed and meet with the Rabari community, the traditional shepherds of this region. Go on a panther trail at dusk and come back to immerse yourself in stargazing. Overnight in Siana.
Siana-Udaipur: The Aravallis welcome your entry into Udaipur via Ranakpur temples( 180km/5hrs) and enjoy the changing landscapes on the way. Stroll along the lakes and the narrow lanes, each with a unique character. Overnight in Udaipur.
Udaipur: Morning: Spend a day in Rajasthan’s most romantic city, Udaipur. From authentic jewellery to 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-Delhi/Mumbai: Transfer to airport ..Depart for Delhi/Mumbai by flight..
How this particular trip 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 except for a visual contact, there is real no connection with the artist. 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. 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 provides an opportunity to not only learn their craft but also understand their 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.
- This trip covers some popular destinations, but we have tried to include places like Siana, which gets lesser tourist traffic in Rajasthan. By including less popular destinations, we hope to equalise the tourist cash flow to some extent.
- We promote responsible shopping in Rajasthan - buying local handicrafts directly from the artists, thereby ensuring that the artist gets his worth. 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.
Here we take you a little bit off the beaten trail to a landscape that is rich in printing, puppetry, arts and crafts..
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.
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.