Day By Day
Nov. 26 to Dec 10, 2016 Land only - $2,399; single room add $678
Explore the Rajasthan and Gujarat the most colorful regions in India
Mon., Nov 28 – Leisurely breakfast, Drive to Agra. Refresh at hotel, visit Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site. See the iconic Taj Mahal at sunset from Mehtab Bagh, a garden created in 1530, perfect photo opps of the Taj. Hotel Grand Imperial, Heritage Hotel in heart of medieval Agra, spa facilities
Tues., Nov 29 – Up early to see the Taj at sunrise, guided tour of this wonder of the world! Visit a workshop to see masterpieces in marble work. Explore the majestic buildings of Fatehpur Sikri, a planned walled city of royal palaces and a harem, built by Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1569. Drive to Bassi to stoll the camera-ready main street filled with vendors of exotic foods and wares. Festive welcome to Rajasthan with dinner on the rooftop of our Haveli, a historic city palace hotel. Local music and a marvelous array of delicacies served up under the stars! Hotel Umaid Bhawan, haveli and heritage style hotel in Jaipur.
Wed., Nov 30 – Jaipur, the colorful Pink City, where the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel movies were filmed! Marvel at the magical Hawa Mahal, Palace of the Winds, one of the loveliest buildings in India. Ascend to the picturesque Amber Fort on a painted elephant, long ago only the Maharajah was allowed this. Guided tour of the Palace/Fort. Optional lunch at Surbhi restaurant in the courtyard of the Turban Museum with a colorful musician to entertain us. Enjoy your first Lassi, a delicious Indian smoothie. Visit the shop where celebs from around the world come to buy gems and exotic jewelry and textiles. Then a special treat - a cooking demo by a young designer in her home, meet her extended family and marvel at the freshly ground spices that she uses to prepare our feast. Experience traditional customs Hotel Umaid Bhawan, Jaipur
Thurs., Dec 1 – Visit the famed Jaipur Flower Market for mountains of marigolds and incredible photo opps. Four hours drive to Bundi but we’ll stop along the way to photograph nomads, shepherds or sugar cane harvesters. Bundi is Hippie Heaven, a bit scruffy, we loved the winding roads and exotic views. Walking tour of Bundi to visit with the shopkeepers, see the colorful temple, marvel at the treasures and antiques of a 7th generation silversmith, view a step well, opportunity to toast with a famed Bundi Lassi! Time to tour the palace/fort. Our historic hotel is Haveli Brajbhushan Jee in the heart of Bundi’s old town. Our travelers loved the scarves and textiles in a mini shop in our hotel.
Fri., Dec. 2 – On to Udaipur famed for its floating Rajput Palace on Lake Pichola. If time an and weather permit we'll take a boat ride on the lake. Then a picturesque ride to Gujarat stopping for a visit at the Rabari camp with the gypsy shepherds, then on to our village stay in the country palace Darbargadh where we will be greeted by the charismatic Maharajah and his family. Tour the palace – the harem, the sculpture filled gardens and a fabulous textile collection with items and saris for sale. Climb to the gazebo on top for a magnificent view. Stroll the village lanes for photo opps galore. Dinner of local delights. Darbargadh Palace, Poshina
Sat. Dec. 3 – Get your cameras ready – the Maharajah will lead our jeep safari into Garacia villages. We travel back roads and drive through a creek to remote villages where we will be invited into homes and have an opportunity to meet and visit with villagers, the children love to see us come. We view one site of the terracotta horses; incredibly moving and the magic mountain where more than 30,000 of the horses carry the wishes of the people who placed them there. Relax on the palace veranda and be royalty! Entertainment by local tribals. Darbargarh Palace, Poshina
Sun. Dec. 4 - Head north to the Blue City, Jodhpur. We visit a shop we love – room after room of antiques wood carvings to jewelry, plus embroidered and woven textiles at totally amazing prices – great place for gift shopping! Dinner alfresco on a candlelit rooftop with a view of the fort. Heritage Hotel, Jodhpur
Mon. Dec 5 – Guided tour of Mehrangarh Fort and marvelous photo opps of the famed blue houses. On to learn about the Bishnoi, a people famed for their ecological and health practices who were the first tree huggers. The Bishnoi live in homes of sticks or mud, no rain there for 18 years! We visit a village home to view an opium ceremony. On to a Bird Sanctuary, then a Bishnoi Textile Center, treasures galore! Heritage Hotel, Jodhpur.
Tues. Dec 6 – Karni Mata, a unique temple to Rats in Deshnok with a compelling story. You will be amazed at the reverence of the visitors. A special night - dinner in the desert and a Fire Dance by the Siddh community - they walk on hot coals and even blow them from their mouths. Incredible star gazing! Desert Camp or Resort in Bikaner
Wed. Dec 7 - If you’ve never ridden a camel – this is your big chance for a mini-camel safari in the desert, a big hit with our tourgoers! A great glimpse of life in the desert and an opportunity to see wildlife and rare birds. Travel to Shekwati to explore stunning and haunting deserted painted palaces decorated in Mughal style. Our hotel is Vivaana Haveli, a meticulously restored 19th century painted haveli, with pool and wellness center B
Thurs. Dec 8 – Leisurely breakfast and time to enjoy the pool and wellness center or wander on a photo shoot; festive Farewell Dinner and local entertainment in Mandawa at our Haveli.
Fri., Dec. 9 - Journey to Jaipur - Time for last minute shopping or a trip to the Monkey Temple in a gorgeous mountain setting near Jaipur; feed them, they are so gentle. On to Hotel Theme where we will rest up until we are transported to the airport, many flights go after midnight.
Sat. Dec. 10 – Farewell to India!
Lux accomodations, great food, bottled water on the bus every day.
Travelers who arrive on Nov 27 met at the airport and transported to our tour hotel.
Tips for hotel and meals on the itinerary included except for tips for the driver and local guides and meals on your own Since most overseas flights depart from Jaipur about 4 am – we have rooms in a hotel the last night to relax before departure to the airport, many flights leave at 4 am.
Tour leaders: Jozef Kaufmann, Debbie Jackson, Helene Cincebeaux and Sheesh Moodh (trip is a compilation of 3 in-depth trips Debbie & Helene made to India in the past 4 years and our 2015 tour)Debbie Jackson, contributing photographer to the National Geographic YOUR SHOT community, will give photo tips. She will again offer the very popular early morning walks. Jozef and Helene will add from their photo experiences in 60 countries.
We immerse in the sights, colors and sounds of India and the attractions but we also like to stop along the road and photo camel caravan nomads, shepherds, visit with the sugar cane harvesters and the people making lunch for them, with a family of guava growers – anything that catches our eye. Impromptu village visits are fun and a key part of what makes our tours so unique – we like to wander the dusty lanes – photo opps galore! If someone wants to arrive early in India to sightsee or stay longer – that can easily be arranged. Let me know if you have thoughts about this. Tour in conjunction with Sheesh Moondh and Hidden Treasures of India Tours.
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