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INDIA: Boutique Rajasthan Gems, Jewels & Textile Tour - November 2020

INDIA: Boutique Rajasthan Gems, Jewels & Textile Tour
October / November 2020. Enquiries Welcome

Destinations: INDIA : Rajasthan

Tour Grading Moderate: Walking on uneven surfaces and climbing staircases included in Tour

Tour Commences In: Delhi

Number of Days: 11 days / 10 nights

Accommodation: 5

Leaders: Specialist local Textile Guide (PhD in Art History)

Tour Concludes In: Udaipur

Tour Style: Luxury / Deluxe

Meals: Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Transportation: Luxury Mini Bus with Wiffi

Tour Summary

Immerse yourself in the fantastic textiles that Rajasthan has to offer with our enthusiastic and amazing specialist guide who has a PhD in local art & craft history.

Tour Highlights

India

Tour Inclusions

• International & domestic airport arrival and departure private transfers for all guest
• 5, 4 & 3 star modern & boutique accommodation - twin sharing / single supplement basis
• Chauffeur driven luxury / deluxe air- conditioned private vehicles for all transfers & sightseeing with High Speed Wi Fi included, hand sanitisers, wet tissues, toilet paper
• Block Printing workshop in Pink City of Jaipur.
• Special curated Art & Architecture tour of Old Pink walled city, Jaipur.
• Specially designed old city walk in Jodhpur.
• Bhopa Bhopi performance at exclusive venue at Pal Haveli, Jodhpur.
• Meals as indicated in Itinerary; B = Breakfast: L=Lunch: D=Dinner:
• Australian Tour Manager & local Professional textile specialist guide
• Admission fees to all Monuments and activities as per the program
• 1 Litre Bottled water between city transfers travel days

Brief Itinerary

·  Day 1:    October / November 2020:   Arrive Delhi:    

·  Day 2:    October / November 2020:    Delhi:   

·  Day 3:    October / November 2020:    Delhi – Agra

·  Day 4:    October / November 2020:    Agra – Jaipur:   

·  Day 5:   October / November 2020:    Jaipur:    

·  Day 6:    October / November 2020:    Jaipur:    

·  Day 7:    October / November 2020:    Jaipur – Jodhpur:    

·  Day 8:   October / November 2020:    Jodhpur:     

·  Day 9:    October / November 2020:    Jodhpur – Udaipur:    

·  Day 10:    October / November 2020:    Udaipur:   

·  Day 11:   October / November 2020:    Depart Udaipur:

 

 

Country Information

Accommodation:
All our hotels are excellent 5 and 4/3 star boutique hotels. We highly recommend our hotels as they have excellent services and facilities. All rooms have modern facilities, private bathrooms with double or two twin beds.

Climate & Clothing:
The climate in India is warm to hot all year around. The rainy season is June till October. The general rule is to bring comfortable clothing including lightweight cottons. Comfortable walking shoes are essential as is a light waterproof jacket. We provide a detailed packing list to all our guests prior to departure.

Currency & Money Matters:
The currency is the Indian Rupee (INR), which is divided into 100 paise (singular paisa). Major currencies can be changed at banks, and authorised bureaux de changes. It is advisable to refuse torn notes, as no one will accept them apart from the National Bank. It is best to change money into small denominations. Major credit cards are widely accepted, particularly in tourist orientated establishments. ATM’s are not generally available.

Electricity:
The electrical current in India is 250 volts AC. 50Hz. A variety of power outlets are used in India, but most plugs have two or three round pins.

Insurance:
You must obtain Comprehensive Travel Insurance as a condition of travelling with Boutique Tours & Travel. We recommend that you purchase insurance at the time of Booking.

Language:
Hindi is the official language. English is fast becoming the language of the younger generation.

Meals:
Our hotel offers a variety of dishes at their buffet breakfasts with a wide variety of both menu and venue for lunches and evening meals.

Medical Services & Facilities:
Our hotels have access to a doctor if required. They can also assist guests with purchasing of medicine. The international hospitals in India are very good and have western trained medical and surgical specialists. Dental care is also available.

Passports & Visas:
To enter India you require a passport valid for at least six months beyond the date of entry and with at least two blank pages. A visa is required for most guests and will be organised prior to departure.

Pre & Post Tour Accommodation:
Boutique Tours & Travel suggests that you may like to arrive a day before the start of your tour to allow time to relax and refresh. You are also very welcome to linger longer after the tour is completed. Boutique Tours & Travel has negotiated special overnight rates at many hotels for both pre and post tour accommodation. Please request when booking.

Time Zone:
Despite the size of the country, the standard time throughout India is GMT +5.30.

Tipping:
We know that some of our guests are not familiar with tipping customs, so any gratuities (eg to waiters, porters etc) are already taken care of as part of your fee. A tip from you to the guides and drivers is always a goodwill gesture.

Tour Group:
Our small group tours provide you with a good balance of group activity and personal discovery.

Transport:
Most of our road journeys between major cities are longer than 3 hours so we include modern Luxury sedan cars or minibuses for this tour. They are spacious and comfortable so we can all enjoy the journey.

Water & Beverages:
Some of our hotels offer bottled water in your room,  and bottled water is provided when travelling ibetween cities.  Tea maybe available with some meals. Alcoholic beverages are not included in the cost of this tour.

Full Itinerary

Day 1:    November 2020:   Arrive Delhi:    (D)

Welcome to Delhi; India’s most vibrant city. You will be met by your tour director and transferred to your hotel. Depending on your arrival time, you may have free time to explore Delhi. Your tour director is able to offer you a number of options including shopping and site seeing. Or you may just wish to relax and soak up the atmosphere in the beautiful surrounds of your hotel. Later this evening, meet other fellow like-minded travellers as we head of to our welcome dinner

 

Day 2:    November 2020:    Delhi:    (B/D)

Today we take a tour of both chaotic Old Delhi and New Delhi it is melting pot of different cultures. We hop aboard a rickshaw to explore the 300-year-old bustling Chandni Chowk area. Its a dense maze of alleyways with old havelies (mansions) markets, mosques and in the midst lies one of the country’s largest mosques. The market includes the colourful Kinari Bazaar which is full of trimmings and tinsel. In some of these bazaars the items for sale are manufactured on site, which lends a special charm to the shopping experience. Well integrated into the culture of the old city, the bazaars offer the visitor a glimpse of life in Old Delhi, including the textile traditions that have been prevalent in this area for over a hundred years or more. We will visit a specialist reputable jeweller for those who wish to purchase gemstones or have them made to order. We visit the amazing Jama Masjid, believed to be the largest mosque in India and which was Shah Jahan’s last architectural legacy.
We then visit the spice market. Then try your bargaining power at Dilli Haat, a huge food and craft bazaar. See food stalls serving authentic Indian food and a bonanza of Indian handicrafts on sale directly from Indian craftsmen.
Following lunch, we continue to the Humayun’s Tomb one of the earliest examples of a Mughal Garden Tomb. This mausoleum was designed by a Persian architect, and provided the prototype for future tombs, including the Taj Mahal. Recently taken over by the Agha Khan Trust, the gardens have been restored to their former glory, and the tomb and surrounding monuments restored.
From Humayun’s Tomb we drive along the tree lined avenues of the New City built by the British. The drive takes us past the houses of Parliaments, the India Gate and the jewel of this architectural collection – the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the presidential Palace. 

 

Day 3:    November 2020:    Delhi – Agra:    (B)

This morning after breakfast, you will check out and drive to Agra (around 8:00 Am). Drive will take approx. 3.5 to 4 Hours.
On arrival we will visit the Red Fort. Two great Mughal monarchs, Akbar and Shah Jahan, transformed the little village of Agra into a befitting second capital of the Mughal Empire – giving it the name of Dar – ul – Khilafat (seat of the emperor). Today, a visitor to Agra is caught up in a world of contrasting edifices of red sandstone and white marble, narrow gullies and quaint buggies and that irresistible charm that this favourite city of Mughals still preserves, so delicately.
Later in evening you shall witness Sun Set from Mehtab Bagh or Moonlight Gardens with the setting Sun casting a magnificent glow on the Taj Mahal across the river.
Agra is famous for Marble inlay works & Zari Zardozi works. Zardozi is formulated by combination of two persian words, Zar or Zarin (meaning Gold) & Dozi meaning sewing. Designs are often created using gold or silver or other metal threads and can incorporate pearls, beads, and precious stones. We shall visit a crafts place to see the artisans at work. We will also have time to see artisans who are descendants of those who worked at Taj Mahal, creating magic on Marble. It is a dying art and can only be seen in Agra. 

 

Day 4:    November 2020:    Agra – Jaipur:   (B/D)

This morning we visit the spectacular Taj Mahal at sunrise. The monument built by Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz Mahal took 22 years to build. It’s perfect proportions and exquisite craftsmanship was the work of artisans from both India and overseas.   The Taj Mahal represents the wealth and luxury of Mughal art. The experience is breathtaking. We return to our hotel for breakfast.  After breakfast we check out and drive to Jaipur . (250Kms/ 5 hours) We shall aim to arrive in Jaipur by late afternoon.
Jaipur is famous for its hand block printed textiles, hand embroidered home furnishings, hand woven silk, camel wool rugs, beautiful hand embroidered shawls, stunning blue pottery,  precious & semiprecious Jewellery, ‘go to tailors’ and many more. It is a shoppers paradise.
In the evening we will visit a local family home where you have an option of assisting to cook the evening cooking. Under the guidance of our host, you can try your hand at cooking some different recipes and you may also like to participate in making chappatis (Indian bread), an integral part of a Rajasthani meal. On the way to the cooking class, we visit the local market to buy vegetables and spices and learn the art of bargaining, a hereditary art of Indian housewives. We will have a private dinner with the family. It’s a fabulous experience.

 

Day 5:   November 2020:    Jaipur:    (B)

This morning after breakfast we visit the Block printing factory. The art of block printing was developed about 400 years ago in a small town of Sanganer right on the out skirts of present Jaipur. The blocks are carved out of teak wood and colours derived from natural substances. At the factory we have an in depth hands on printing class. The brand ‘Earthen Nest‘ is a brain child of third generation women entrepreneurs Tanu & Shilpa. Combining the age old techniques developed by master craftsman over the centuries with some modern chic designs, Tanu & Shilpa create eco-friendly magic on cloth. They take special care of all the artisans and their families who are associated with Earthen Nest. We shall be enriched by their heart warming stories which are classic examples of community development and women empowerment.
This morning’s activities include learning the art from block making to colour mixing with ‘Ustads’ and then proceeding to hands on printing of our own Handkerchiefs/ Scarfs.
Post lunch we shall visit the sprawling City Palace which is a superb marriage of the Rajput and Mughal styles of architecture. Within the Palace complex are several museums including an interesting textile gallery exhibiting a fine selection of beautiful textiles and costumes from the royal collection.
We then visit a famous tailor shop; they did all the tailoring for the movie cast of ‘Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’.  Here you will have the opportunity to get some shirts, dresses, jackets etc made to order.
Later in the afternoon we’ll stop for photos at the iconic Hawa Mahal or the “Palace of the Winds” before entering the busy markets of the Old City.

 

Day 6:    November 2020:    Jaipur:    (B)

This morning we visit Amer fort and Palace. Hill forts were always important to the Rajput rulers.  Belonging to the Hindu “Kshatriya” or warrior class, they believed in the line from the sacred holy book, the Purana that “a fort is the strength of a king”.  They built a number of such forts all over the state of Rajasthan; some made for purely defensive purposes, but most built as fort palaces.  Amber is one of the finest examples of a fort palace, built similar in style to the surrounding richly decorated Mughal courts.
Following lunch, we shall embark on a crafts tour of Old Jaipur making our way through narrow alleys in the Pink city. We visit tie and die artisans, Lacquer Bangle makers, incense makers etc.
Later we a famous cooperative to learn the art of rug weaving including the impressive of the methods, burning of rug to check its authenticity!  500 artisans’ families work with in the area and every carpet woven has a story as every artisan is encouraged to weave in their own creative style with modern patterns.  
Jaipur, the crafts city is also very famous for cutting and polishing of gemstones. If time permits, we shall visit a gem design and cutting workshop where everything is done by hand. 

 

Day 7:    November 2020:    Jaipur – Jodhpur:    (B/D)

This morning after breakfast shall drive to Jodhpur. (350Kms/ 6 hours)
On the way we stop and visit a village and meet the local block makers artisans and we take time to learn about dyeing and watch skilled block printers at work. Later we continue our drive to Jodhpur. On arrival in Jodhpur we shall check in to our hotel.
It is the second largest city in the Indian state of Rajasthan, formerly the seat of princely state and the capital of kingdom, known as Marwar. The city is also known as the Sun city for the bright sunny weather. It is also referred to as Blue city due to vivid Blue painted houses around the Mehrangarh fort. It was founded in 1459 by Rao Jodha, a Rajput chief of the Rathore clan, he succeeded conquering the surrounding territories and thus founded a state known as Marwar.

Later this afternoon we attend a private and exclusive presentation of an ancient yet dying art form of Bhopa performance. This is a unique cultural performance that combines singing, dancing and painting all in one.

 

Day 8:   November 2020:    Jodhpur:    (B)

Of all the many forts in Rajasthan, very few compare to majesty of the Mehrangarh Fort.  Almost impregnable, the fort is entered through seven fortified gateways. The fort is divided into three sections – the public areas, the Maharajas palaces, and the zenana, or queens’ palaces.  The zenana is decorated with exquisite sandstone filigree work. Within the fort is the museum which among its varied exhibits has an excellent collection of royal palanquins and the howdah section which has perhaps the finest collection of old ornate elephant howdahs in the world.
Next we visit Jaswant Thada, the graceful marble cenotaph of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II (1873-95) sitting above a small lake 1km northeast of Mehrangarh. It is an array of whimsical domes. It’s a welcome, peaceful spot after the hubbub of the city, and the views across to the fort and over the city are superb. Built in 1899, the cenotaph has some beautiful jalis (carved marble lattice screens) and is hung with portraits of Rathore rulers going back to the 13th century. Look out for the memorial to a peacock that flew into a funeral pyre.  
This afternoon we visit one the largest collections of home furnishings in North India. This fashion house works for the likes of Hermes, Kenzos, Loro Piana etc. Here we learn more about the textiles of Rajasthan. We view amazing textiles produced by the nomads, gypsy’s etc of Rajasthan. It is just an amazing.  

 

Day 9:    November 2020:    Jodhpur – Udaipur:    (B/L)

After Breakfast we drive to Udaipur arriving later in the afternoon.  En route we visit the fantastic Ranakpur temple which is one of the most important Jain temples in India. It lies in a remote and peaceful valley of the ancient Aravali hills range. The main temple is the Chamukha temple, or Four Faced temple, dedicated to Adinath. Built in 1439, this huge, beautifully crafted and well-kept marble temple is supported by 1444 pillars, no two of which are alike. Within the complex there are two other Jain temples, Neminath and Parasnath.
It is said that the ghost of Udaipur looks towards Chittorgarh, for it was after the tragic fall of that fort, that Udaipur, a fairy tale city of marble palaces and lakes came into existence.  The City was founded by Maharana Udai Singh in 1559 and became the capital of the region of Mewar. The rulers of Mewar, the Sisodia Rajputs trace their dynasty to AD 766 and believe they are the defenders of Rajput honor. Unlike other Rajput royal families, this was a fiercely independent clan who refused to enter into matrimonial alliances with the Mughals or military alliances with the British. The city is dominated by the massive City Palace which overlooks the lovely Lake Pichola with its romantic island palaces.

 

Day 10:    November 2020:    Udaipur:   (B)

Today you visit the City Palace.   The detailed art and workmanship is a tribute to the skills of local artisans and craftspeople. Built as a stepped palace encompassing a hill, the four places illustrate various architectural styles, reflecting prevailing influences, mostly Mughal and Rajput. In keeping with the claim of the royal family that they are “Surya vansh” – descendants of the Sun, the whole structure faces east, and a stunning bejewelled image of the sun greets you at the entrance. Also of interest here is the remarkable collection of Rajput miniature paintings and the Crystal Gallery with its rather eccentric collection of Object d’art, household items and furniture.
After City Palace we walk in the old city, sharing space with cows, elephants, people. The walk through the winding lanes is an interesting insight into lifestyles in what is referred to as “small town India”.  Shops selling a variety of items, unexpected folk art decorating the walls of houses and small architectural gems like a latticed work Haveli window.
Later we visit a painting school to learn about the Mewar School of Painting. They work closely with state government in preservation of miniature paintings, antiques and object d art. Its interesting to learn about the squirrel hair brushes and crystallized cow urine colours. Later we return to the hotel and afternoon is at leisure. your tour Manager and vehicle with driver will be available for any last min shopping.
In evening we shall drive short distance to a famous roof top restaurant for our farewell dinner.

 

Day 11:   Depart Udaipur:    (B)

 

After breakfast, prepare for you onward or homebound journey.

BT&T can arrange your flight to Delhi or Mumbai or you may wish to continue on to our Gujarat Textile & Arts Tour http://www.boutiquetours.com.au/india-boutique-vip-gujarat-textile-arts-tour-2020

Tour Hotels

 
Delhi:   Taj Mahal Palace  
Agra:   Taj View  
Jaipur: Rambagh Palace Alsisar Haveli  
Jaipur:     Umed Bhawan Palace Pal Haveli  
Udaipur:     Taj Lake Palace Taj Fateh Prakash  
       
 
Start Date End Date Luxury Deluxe Boutique Availability

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