Day 1: Meet in Delhi
Arrival is late evening or the wee hours of the morning. Transfer to hotel.
Day 2: Alwar
We start our journey into Rajasthan with a drive to Alwar. Nestled in the Aravalli Hills, Alwar is one of the oldest cities in Rajasthan. Viratnagar and areas around Alwar have footprints of Stone Age men who lived in caves and drew sketches of animals on the walls. These prehistoric sites are an archaeologist's dream.
Day 3: Nawalgarh (Shekhawati)-Mandawa
The towns of Shekhawati are known for their amazing painted havelis in rich artistic tradition and is dubbed the "open-air art gallery of Rajasthan.”
Day 4: February Tour: Naguar Festival
The Nagaur Fair or the Cattle Fair of Rajasthan is the second largest cattle fair of India, and boasts of trading about 70,000 bullocks, camels and horses every year. Thousands of animals, magnificently garlanded with accessories to provide a vibrant look to them, are gathered at the fair for trading. The owners, displaying their colorful turban and long moustaches, sell cows, bullocks, oxen, horses and camels.
In addition to the huge animal exhibition, the fair is popular for its Mirchi Bazaar (red chilly market), which is the biggest in India. The fair also trades for wooden items, iron-crafts and camel leather accessories and many other things.
Day 4: November Tour: Kuchman
Kuchaman is a small village untouched by the forces of commercialization and a wonderful place to observe the rural population of Rajasthan at its colorful and charming best.
Perched atop a 1000 ft high cliff, the Kuchaman Fort, converted into a heritage hotel now, displays a rich collection of original inlay work in semi-precious stones, glass and gold paint. The Sheesh Mahal (glass palace) is a sight to marvel at.
A colorful bazaar located below the fort is a great place to shop for handicrafts and fabrics.
Day 5: Pushkar-Kishangarh
We shall stop in Pushkar for a brief stroll and refreshments.
Another one hour drive brings us to Kishangarh, a sleepy town founded by Kishan Singh, a Rathore prince in the first quarter of the seventeenth century.
Kishangarh is a treasure trove of art and handicrafts. The town claims one of India’s foremost schools of miniature paintings, founded in the 18th century. One of the most famous paintings representative of this school is that of Radha, Krishna’s consort who is portrayed as an exceptionally beautiful woman with enamoring almond eyes. The Bani Thani style of miniature painting in Kishangarh went through a spurt of excellence under Nihal Chand - painter in court of Raja Sawant Singh.
Day 6: Bundi
Bundi, an oasis in the desert state, a serene civilization far from the maddening crowds and chaos.
In ancient times, the area around Bundi was apparently inhabited by various local tribes, of which the Parihar Meenas were prominent.
Bundi is one of the few places in India with an authentic school of painting, "The Bundi School." The splendid paintings in the Chitrashala in the Bundi Fort are par excellence and can be compared with probably the best anywhere in the world.
Day 7: Bijapur
On the way to Bijapur, we visit Bassi village, known for its marvelous historical forts, temples and 'Kurds' as well as for its sculptures and woodcraft.
This afternoon, we visit Bundi Palace and Chittashala Gallery which exhibits great Indian miniature paintings; and explore nearby villages.
Day 8-9: Narlai
We'll stop en route to visit Ranakpur Jain Temple Complex, one of five important pilgrim centers for the Jain community. Noted for its grandiose scale and elaborate ornamentation, it is surrounded by tangled forests with monkeys abounding in the courtyard.
We continue to Narlai - a royal hunting retreat, is an enchanting new destination. It is located between Jodhpur and Udaipur, amidst dramatic boulders and ancient temples.
A full day to explore the surrounding region including villages and bustling bazaars.
Day 10-11: Dungarpur
Morning drive to Dungapur, a picturesque town inhabited by the Bheel tribe. One can get an insight into the life of the local people of Dungarpur while visiting.
The city of Dungarpur is well known for its distinguished style of architecture which has been extensively followed in the royal palaces and havelis (mansions).
February Tour: Baneshwar Tribal Fair.
November Tour: Shamlaji & Vautha Tribal Fairs.
Day 12-13: Jambugoda
We shall engage with the local people in the tribal villages of Jambughoda. Most of the indigenous people living in and around Jambughoda are ‘Rathwas’ & ‘Nayaks.’
The tribal museum of Chhota Udaipur has a large collection of tribal artifacts. Many tribal artifacts are also brought for sale in the ‘haats’ (weekly markets) in the city and nearby villages.
Day 14-17: Ahmedabad
We stop en-route to Ahmedabad and visit the World Heritage Site of Champaner (the site of Pavagarh Archeological Park) to see the vast complex of mosques built by Mahmud Begada.
We shall participate in the Heritage walk of Ahmedabad that includes special slide show of the city's history from a 10th century AD ancient site known as Ashaval to the present walled city.
There will be an excursion to the village of Sayla where mirrors are made for Gujarat's famous mirror work embroidery
Other highlights include: the wonderful and fascinating Calico Museum of Textiles; the Sabarmati Ashram, founded in 1918 by Mahatma Gandhi, who revitalized the textile industry here, became the headquarters during the struggle for Indian Independence and it is now primarily a spinning wheel factory; the five-story Adalaj Step Well, built in 1499.
Day 18-19: Poshina
Drive to Posina, a beautiful place surrounded by Garasia and Bhil villages.
We'll drive through the picturesque countryside and enjoy fascinating glimpses into rural Indian life with visits to remote tribal villages.
Day 20: Patan-Modhera-Bajana (Little Raan of Kutch)
We visit the exquisite Sun Temple in Modhera where you will see women of all ages dressed in bright yellows, orange and reds representing and honoring the sun.
Next stop is to visit the Salvi family, master weavers of the colorful Potala silk.
We continue to Bajana Village, surrounded by many tribal villages, making the stay here fascinating and especially exciting for photographers. It is famous as the world's last refuge of the Indian Wild Ass (Khur).
Day 21-22: Hodka Village
Visit various fascinating tribal villages surrounding Bhuj including Dhamaeka, the block printing village; Bhujodi to meet the nomadic Rabari who weave camel wool on pit looms into blankets and shawls and Banni settlements to see the traditional handicrafts of these Abyssinian settlers.
We also visit the Shrujan organization, a network of over 2500 craftswomen spread across 85 villages. Their excellent exhibit displays the various embroidery styles done by a variety of communities and tribal groups.
Day 23: Bhuj-Depart
Morning drive to Bhuj and visit the Kutch Museum and Prag Mahal followed by a walk in the old city.
We’ll enjoy our last Indian meal, a traditional Gujarat Thali lunch and then a short visit to the house of Mr. Alli Mohamad Isha, a tie and dye specialist, for an interactive workshop on the art.
Afterwards, transfer to the airport for a flight to Mumbai and depart.