Royal Rajasthan – Royal Tents and Exotic Estates

Rajasthan is where to fall in love with India. 
Welcome to mystery, to enchantment, to unsurpassable beauty. 
To ravishing colour and light. To timelessness. 
To a kaleidoscope of cultures, religions and landscapes. 
To a richness of humanity. To exotic splendour. Where a thousand lifestyles breathe as one nation. 
A fascinating tapestry of languages, customs and beliefs. It is a whole continent in a country, as large and varied as Europe.

Of all her states, Rajasthan is perhaps the most tribally diverse, artistically decorative, architecturally magnificent and regal in India. It is impossible to experience and absorb in a single trip the magnitude of what India offers:

a cacophony of colour, the austere and atmospheric landscapes of desert and ancient Aravali mountains, the romance of Rajasthan’s heritage and chivalry, the hospitality, warmth and humour of her people whether from regal lineage or simple, dignified desert-dwellers, the spine-tingling music, and their abundantly diverse, arts and crafts.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • superb heritage properties and romantic palaces that make you feel like royalty
  • music and authentic folk performances under starry skies
  • majestic monuments steeped in Mughal history and chivalric tales
  • fabulous shopping for the beautifully hand-made

AT A GLANCE

Now in its 21st year!
LENGTH:
14 Days
ACTIVITY LEVEL:   Moderate
TYPE: Small Group Tour | AoL Escorted | Bespoke
STYLE: Culture | Heritage | History | Crafts
START | FINISH: Delhi | Delhi

INCLUSIONS

All meals, entertainment, tour leader, local and expert guides, entry fees

HOTEL STANDARD:

Luxury, Heritage + Royal Tented Camps

TRANSPORT:

Luxury mini coach and internal airfares included

TRAVEL DATES

10-23 January 2019

PRICING

Per person from: USD 10500

Minimum 6 guests

ITINERARY OVERVIEW

  • DAY 1

    DELHI

    This evening at a cocktail party at the grand and iconic Imperial hotel, you will meet your fellow adventurers and your esteemed guide Durga Singh, Marieke’s beloved colleague for over 20 years.

  • DAY 2

    JODPHUR

    This morning, fly to the quintessential Raj city of Jodhpur and settle into the glorious tented camp exclusively established for us within the ramparts of the ancient fort. If numbers are less, we stay instead at the former summer pleasure palace of the Maharaja.
    This evening, enjoy your first camp-fire under the stars with traditional folk entertainment. You might even dance.

  • DAY 3

    JODHPUR

    This morning explore the imposing, magnificent, burnished red sand stone Mehrangarh Fort that soars above the washed out indigo blues of the old city. , “I have just seen the eighth wonder of the world” said Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
 This afternoon wander through the maze of alleys of the old bazaar where colourfully clad Bishnoi women come to shop and where we open a Pandora’s box of treasures in an ancient renovated haveli.

  • DAY 4

    JODPHUR

    This morning there is a safari to the countryside to visit the Bishnoi tribes, the original conservationists who for centuries have protected animals and plants and still live traditional lives.
This afternoon, gents learn the art of turban tying and ladies beget glamour in preparation for your invitation to HH Maharaja’s birthday celebrations on the lawns of the majestic Umaid Bhawan Palace, one of the world’s largest residences built in the art deco style of early 20thC.

  • DAY 5

    CHANOD

    This morning travel to Chanoud Garh, the ancestral home of the sophisticated Singh family who painstakingly restored the 330-year-old palace into a sanctuary with great respect to the original building’s style and character.
    Enjoy meeting the local Rabari tribes and in the evening a sundowner over the salt lakes.

  • DAY 6

    DELWARA

    This morning visit the splendid living Jain temple at Ranakpur with over 1444 white marble pillars, carved in exquisite detail.
 This afternoon settle into your sumptuous palace suite at Devigarh – one of Art of Living’s all-time favourite boutique hotels. Surrounded by the majestic austerity of the Aravali mountains, this is a divine small hotel (18thC fort on the outside and sleek contemporary Indian on the inside) with wonderful food, service, pool and spa and your sanctuary for three nights.

  • DAY 7

    UDAIPUR

    This morning descend into the magical city of Udaipur for a full day’s excursion – an oasis of white marble, soothing lakes and green hills in an otherwise arid region. Explore the City Palace, visit the local miniature painting school and by mid afternoon punt across the lake and catch the sun setting over the Lake Palace.

  • DAY 8

    DELWARA

    This morning explore some local sites. At Nagda are the remains of temples of the early 10th century AD, dedicated to Vishnu that retain their original splendour and perfect geometry. 
Mingle with pilgrims and devotees at the Eklinji, a lively Hindu Shiva temple, elaborately constructed from marble and sandstone  and patronised by the Mewar royal family.
    This afternoon is at leisure so you can enjoy the pool or spa at the hotel.

  • DAY 9

    DEOGARH

    This morning reach the charming, unspoiled village of Deogarh and settle into your elegant, boutique accommodation and meet dear friends and your hosts, one of Rajasthan’s most hospitable families. This evening, drinks are served in the courtyard, warmed by braziers before a splendid dinner of family recipes. If leopards have been sited, there may even be an opportunity at dusk to go and spot one.

  • DAY 10

    DEOGARH

    Today enjoy a gentle trek through the beautiful Aravali hills that enjoy a vast and varied birdlife. Relax on bolsters under colourful tents as a lavish “bushtucker” lunch is prepared for you over open fires overlooking a vast temporary lake created by the past monsoon.

  • DAY 11

    JAIPUR

    Today is the longest travel day on this tour. Lunch en-route is with a gracious family who have opened their home to visitors near the holy city of Pushkar.
 This afternoon reach the “Pink City” of Jaipur and check into your hotel, formerly an 18th century aristocratic palace set in capacious gardens.
    The largest city of Rajasthan is is a marvellous synthesis of Hindu, Jain and Mughal influenced architecture. All around the magnificent palaces and buildings are bazaars teeming with people, camels and horses.

  • DAY 12

    JAIPUR

    Amber Fort, built in the 16thC, is the epitome of royal architecture and has enjoyed a sensitive restoration in recent years. Nearby is the wonderful Anohki Textile museum celebrating the history of block printing for which the city is famous. 
After lunch segue back to the heart of the Pink City visiting the City Palace and the UNESCO-listed Royal Observatory (Jantar Mantar), an enthralling 18thC observatory of still functional sculptural forms.
    Jaipur is also a shopper’s paradise and we’ll make sure your interests are catered for.

  • DAY 13

    JAIPUR

    Today’s excursion takes in Jawahar Kala Kendra designed by architect and urban planner, Charles Correa that serves as a cultural hub and preserve Rajasthan’s myriad arts and craft.
    We also try to visit the Gyan Museum, a private collection of 3000 years of cultural heritage and the newly inaugurated Sculpture Park in one of the lesser known forts.
    The final evening is celebrated with a special party that includes caparisoned elephants and soul-stirring musicians.

  • DAY 14

    DELHI | DEPARTURES | ONWARD TRAVELS IN INDIA

    After a leisurely breakfast/brunch, guests returning to Delhi will be driven to Delhi to arrive in time at the airport before evening departures home.
    Alternatively, guests wishing to have a little extra time in Jaipur may elect to fly back to Delhi late afternoon, at a small additional expense.

    SUGGESTED TOUR EXTENSIONS:
    Jaipur Literary Festival
    Gujarat Tribals + Textiles Tour
    Taj Mahal
    Ranthambhore National Park to spot tigers
    Bharatpur and Keoladeo Ghana National Park for bird twitchers
    Varanasi and the temples of Khujaraho

TESTIMONIALS

Hi Dear Marieke, how often we have thought of you and our wonderful Rajasthan trip! Thank you so much for sharing all your wonderful knowledge of India, shared with such a heartfelt passion that it was impossible not to come away sharing a little of that passion!  That to me is an indication of a very well thought out and loved tour, so thank you for taking us on the journey with you!
How wonderful to meet Durga also, a beautiful character and a great addition to the experience. Thank you again Marieke,

Hi Marieke,
Oh yes, I am definitely back with a bang and trying desperately to keep some sort of ‘Karma’ about me… 
Where to begin….from our magical tented camp in Jodhpur that still sends shivers up my spine….to our picnic in the Aravlli hills with VB and his very elegant mum.
Our wonderful Indian food and desert fires at night. One of my most treasured feelings of India will always be the memory of Durga each morning wearing his beautiful turban and genuine warm smile….. such a lovely, lovely man is our Durga and what a privilege to spend time with him in his homeland.
You really do complement each other beautifully.  It certainly was a special time and only hope it won’t be our last.
Please keep me in the loop for new tours as we would all love to do another group holiday together.
A big hug and kiss from Jono and I xxxxoooo

Dear Marieke ,
Thank you for the email and welcome home !
We really loved the Indian adventure Marieke and Durga style and felt we did experience so much more with the tented camps that were a favourite and all  the superbly chosen hotels  sharing some of the essence of India.. Every detail was thought about and the cuisine delicious. I have now stocked the pantry with The Very Best Basmati and have already attempted to make Indian dishes for the family, although not quite the Thali yet . I did love my yoga class with you on the rooftop at Deogarth and particularly loved the small town and our lovely Kashmiri boys at the turban shop. We loved our proud aristocratic Rajput Durga with a wonderful art of storytelling and a great sense of humour. You will be pleased to know that Brad and I are back to yoga once a week and Yin is our new experience .Brad is glued to Indian Summer and I am loving Nine Lives and am able to understand so much more regarding Hindu Jain and Muslim religion with a lot to learn. Thank you for such a wonderful experience in India and we will be back .We already miss the busy street life and the smiling beautiful faces .
Lots Love Lisa and Brad xxx

YOUR GUIDES

Your Tour Leader, Marieke Brugman has designed, refined and escorted this unique tour for more than two decades as well as leading cultural and gastronomic Tours to other regions of the sub-continent and has developed a lifelong attraction to the exotic and compelling experience that ignites all the senses with the sights, sounds, tastes, smells, festivals, music, bazaars like no other on earth. Indeed, it makes you think about the meaning of life, in ways that you don't, living in the west. She brings to the tours meticulous planning, humour, passion and inspired conversation.

Your Tour Guide + Escort, Thakur Durga Singhji is an exceptional guide and host. A proud, aristocratic Rajput, Durga brings his culture and country vibrantly alive.
A rare Renaissance man his interests are as diverse as philosophy, religion, contemporary politics, farming, tribal culture, music and poetry.
Durga sports not only a grand moustache but also a wonderful sense of humour. A marvellous and engaging raconteur, his insights will leave a lasting impression and cement new friendships. Durga is revered as one of India’s most in-demand guides and has been Marieke’s friend and professional colleague for over two decades, accompanying all her programmes in India.

BOOKINGS & ENQUIRIES

For further details or to request a brochure on this tour please complete your details below.

EXPLORE MORE TOURS & EXPERIENCES

  • 0 DAYS
    Mexico
    New Tour Coming Soon!
    This exciting new small group, guided Tour explores the confluence between pre-Columbian, colonial and modern day Mexico – such a fascinating and multi-layered country. In mythology Mexico was variously known as the Navel of the Moon, the Foundation of Heaven and the Sea-Ringed ...
    READ ON
  • 7 DAYS
    Kashmir
    The Enchanting Kingdom
    “If there is a paradise on earth, it is this, it is this, it is this”.  Persian poet Jami Kashmir has been romanticised by everyone from the 16th-century Mogul emperor Jahangir (who, when asked on his deathbed if he wanted anything, whispered "Kashmir, only Kashmir") to...
    READ ON
  • small group tour
    14 DAYS
    Bhutan
    Land of the Thunder Dragon
    Bhutan is a country like nowhere else and a still relatively unexplored destination. For centuries, Bhutan has remained shrouded in a veil of mist and very little about it was known to the outside world until the 1970's. This isolation has given the proud people of this country ...
    READ ON
  • small group tour
    18 DAYS
    October
    SACRED PASSAGE TO INDIA
    an Odyssey - off the beaten path and no ordinary journey
    This is the ultimate Indophile’s journey of the subcontinent, designed for traveller’s who wish to explore a deeper experience and understanding of the sub-continent’s extraordinary culture, history and belief systems. This kaleidoscopic sweep through India’s great dy...
    READ ON
  • small group tour
    11 or 14 Days
    Exotic Cultural and Culinary Tour India
    Exclusive Bespoke Tour
    This exceptional and exclusive 11 or 14-day tour has been designed and conceived by Marieke Brugman, a renowned chef and teacher in her earlier career as co-proprietor of the Howqua Dale Gourmet Retreat and Cooking School. The most obscure doors are opened to you, enab...
    READ ON
  • 3 Days/Nights
    20-23 November 2018
    Residential Yoga Retreat with Saraswathi Vasudevan
    Mindful Self Compassion
    This deeply immersive retreat is a rare opportunity to work ‘within’ and learn from one of India’s great masters and my revered teacher this last decade, Saraswathi Vasuvedan who is visiting Australia from Chennai.
    READ ON

JOIN THE TRIBE

Subscribe and be first to know about new tours and experiences

“Travel does what good novelists also do to the life of everyday, placing it like a picture in its frame or a gem in its setting, so that the intrinsic qualities are made more clear. Travel does this with the very stuff that everyday life is made of, giving to it the sharp contour and meaning of art.” –Freya Stark

The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he’s always doing both. James A Michener

People say that what we are all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think this is what we’re really seeking. I think what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive. Joseph Campbell

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart. ~Helen Keller

As you journey through life, choose your destinations well, but do not hurry there. Avoid the shortcuts… wander the back roads… enjoy the scenery. And remember that the true worth of your travels lies not in the destination but in who you come to be along the way. Anon.

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page. Saint Augustine

Leave a Comment