South-west of Delhi, Rajasthan, “Land of Kings”, is India at its most flamboyant. Palaces, warrior kings, camel fairs, hilltop castles, elephants, peacocks and cities that might have sprung from The Arabian Nights – every exotic Indian notion finds its feet in this desert state.
For more than a thousand years the state was ruled by the Rajputs, warrior kings who embraced the romantic ideals of bravery, etiquette and chivalry, and heroism and tragedy on a majestic scale has left the landscape splashed with bloody legends and some of the most impressive forts and palaces in all of India.
As well as the great cities of Rajasthan – Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur – we’ll be spending time in villages, where the traditions, colours and customs of the past are still powerfully in evidence.
We’re hands-on travellers and we like to immerse ourselves in the places we visit. We’ll be trolling through markets, through the sari bazaar in Jaipur, the vegetable bazaar in Jodhpur and the spice market in Delhi, as well as visiting palaces created by the royal rulers of Rajasthan. We’ll be exploring some incredible step wells and temples carved from marble. We’ll see wildlife – desert antelope and peacocks definitely, raptors and leopard most likely – and explore formidable fortresses. The timeless rhythms of village life are still much alive in Rajasthan, and we’ll have time to wander and sample the food, crafts and culture of rural life.
We’ll dine in some truly amazing places, and since food is a great way to understand a culture we’ll be sampling mawa kachori in Jodhpur and daulat ki chaat on the streets of Delhi, which is like eating clouds, as well as experiencing some of the best contemporary Indian dining that India has to offer. Music and dance are a big part of the Rajasthan experience – this is where the gypsy peoples originated – and we’ll be experiencing both.
There’s also time browse, taste and to shop, take a yoga class or cooking lesson, and since we’ll be staying in some truly fabulous hotels we’ll make sure you have time to enjoy them.
Take a look at the itinerary
India can be tough going. It’s crowded, raucous and jostly, a battery of smells and colour and strangeness that adds up to a full-frontal assault on the senses. It’s exhilarating, but it can also be exhausting. In India you need to pace yourself.
There are times when you need to retreat and absorb the amazing sensations that the country presents. That’s why we take things slowly. In most places we’ll be stopping for three nights. That gives us at least two full days to explore. Any fewer and you spend too much time travelling, too little time experiencing the wonders that are to be seen, felt, heard and tasted. We don’t like spending long hours on the bus either so we’ll be travelling in short hops as far as possible.
And although we’ll be visiting the Taj Mahal, the amazing Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur and Jaipur’s Hawa Mahal – Palace of the Winds – we’re not into box-ticking, bucket-list travel. Happy discoveries often come by chance. Magic can’t be planned, and our itinerary leaves plenty of room for magic to happen.
We’ve chosen calm hotels. They’re located either on the fringe of the cities we’ll be visiting or else in green and spacious surrounds. Their rooms are big and quiet, they have nice pools and some have spas.They’re pretty and stylish, comfortable, relaxing and small for the most part, but we’re not aiming to dazzle you with luxury. But you’ll like them, that’s a promise, and our itinerary gives you time to enjoy the pleasures of each.
It’s also a small group. Maximum 10 plus Liz and Michael, but we’ll be travelling in an 18-seater bus, which gives you plenty of room to spread out.
October 26-November 14, 2019
$8870 AUD per person on a twin-share basis. Non-refundable deposit $500 AUD dollars when you book
Full payment by 60 days before trip departure.
Single person Supplement $2953 AUD
More information about travel in India