Destinations Covered : Delhi – Jaipur – Roopengarh – Tilonia – Fort Kuchman – Makrana – Mandore – Siana – Udaipur – Delhi
Duration : 13 nights / 14 days
Puppetry & Pottery Workshop | Folk Dance and Folk Music performance | Puppetry show | Village Walks | Visit to bangle, dhurry, shoe and leather bag making units | Visit to Forts | Shepherd tales | Responsible shopping
About the itinerary:
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.
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.
Day 01: 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.
Day 02: 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.
Day 03: Jaipur – Roopengarh
Drive to Roopengarh-130kms/2.5hrs drive. En-route stop at Bagru, known for its block printed textiles. This is a good opportunity to see craftsmen / women at work. Proceed to Roopengarh Fort. Afternoon: A short drive from the hotel, you can reach the traditional living spaces of the artists. This evening introduces one to the rural Rajasthan.
Overrnight in Roopengarh /
Day 04: Roopengarh-Tilonia-Roopengarh
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-soldiers’ 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. Return back to Hotel at Roopengarh .
Overnight in Roopengarh.
Day 05 & 06: Fort Kuchman
After breakfast leave for Fort Kuchman. 60kms/1hr drive. The Fort set atop a steep hill along what was once an integral Central Asian trade route. The two days spent in Kuchaman includes visit to local markets, but most importantly to understand the traditional livelihood and skills of the people living in and around the region. This includes those cobblers who make the famous Kuchaman Mojdi, The Kumhars who make unique pottery, traditional carpet weavers and bangle makers. Our trip provides an opportunity to get to know the workers and their environment better and helps to shop responsibly. One of the evenings, we can also go for a short train ride closer to the Sambhar salt lake.
Day 07 & 08: Makrana
The evenings spend in Makarana 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 gets 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.
Day 09: Makrana – Mandore
Drive to Mandore near Jodhpur – 270kms/6.5hrs drive. Arrive 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. Possibilities to visit the magnificent Mehrangarh Fort and the bazaar.
Overnight in Mandore/Jodhpur.
Day 10: 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
Day 11: Mandore – Siana
Drive to Siana( 120km/3.5hrsdrive), a quaint little town, a less explored destination of Rajasthan. Hosts are famous for their hospitality.
Overnight in Siana.
Day 12: Siana
Morning depart by surface for Udaipur enroute visiting the Jain temples at Ranakpur built in the 15th century are situated in the lovely valley of the Aravali. Its surrounding is quiet and picturesque. Ranakpur has grand structures and beautiful sculpture. There are 1444 pillars in the temple and none of them are similar. The magic of light and shade is really awe inspiring. Surya Temple and other Jain Temples are side attractions. On arrival at check-in at the hotel.
Day 12: In Udaipur
Go on a village walk and explore the carpentery 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.
Day 13: 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.
Day 14: Udaipur – Delhi/Mumbai
You can reminisce your trip over a lunch by the lake. Walk around the bazaar streets and take back some wooden toys and authentic silver accessories. Depart for Delhi/Mumbai by flight.