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Home » Special Interest Tours » Arts & Crafts Tours of India





Arts & Crafts Tours of India

Duration : 14 Days / 13 Nights
Destination Covered : Delhi - Udaipur - Ranakpur - Jodhpur - Pachewar - Jaipur - Bharatpur - Fatehpur Sikri

Day 01: Arrival/Delhi

arts and crafts toursLate night arrival. Meeting and assistance upon arrival as our representatives welcome you and escort you to your car.

Whilst the room keys and check-in is organized, our representative would introduce the tour to you and hand over the documents to you.

Welcome to India, or as we say ‘atithi devo bhava’ (the guest is an incarnation of God). Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you!

Overnight at Taj Mahal – a 5* Taj Group Hotel

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Day 02: Delhi

arts and crafts tours delhiFollowing a leisurely breakfast, we proceed on a guided tour of New Delhi, Visiting such sights as Bahai Temple, Humayun’s Tomb (1586), the Qutab Minar 72 meters high and one of the most perfect towers in the Persian world. The Iron Pillar which has survived the vagaries of weather for over 1500 years. Continue with a drive through Embassy area, the Government buildings (1921-1930) and Connaught Place, the heart and main shopping district of the capital.

Afternoon we cross the city and into the walled gates of the Old city with visits to the Jamma Mosque (1650) and drive through the fabled area of Chandni Chowk (aptly translates to Moonlight Square) where the throngs of shoppers and vendors meet in the oldest area of Delhi. Visit the Red Fort (1639-1648 built by Shah Jehan the builder of the Taj Mahal in Agra) to view the inlaid and carved Royal Chambers, on to Raj Ghat and nearby ghats where the founder of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi and thereafter Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were cremated.

The highlight of this tour would be a ride on cycle rickshaws. Now these are 3-wheel cycles with a sofa seat at the back. The Rickshawalla (Rickshaw driver) sits on a small cushion in the front and two passengers on the sofa seat behind. This is a remarkable way to explore and picture the hustle and bustle as well as the colour of the narrow winding streets bursting with people and pavement shops selling wares of all description - including a laughing set of dentures. The ride would be accompanied by peals of laughter both from the passengers as well as the onlookers.

Overnight at Taj Mahal – a 5* Taj Group Hotel

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Day 03: Delhi

arts and crafts tours in delhiFollowing a leisurely breakfast, we visit Dilli Haat, a project conceived with the basic idea of providing encouragement and exposure to needy artisans and craftsmen all over the country who often spend their lives within the confines of their own village and town. The success of the project lied in freeing the craftsman and the artisan from the stranglehold of the middlemen and bringing them into direct contact with buyers both within the country and outside. Dilli Haat offers the visitor not only the arts and handicrafts of the country at one place, but also the cuisine and performing arts from different parts of the country. While developing the concept, it was kept in mind that when a ‘Haat’ comes to the city, it has to adjust to urban contemporary needs while retaining the cultural ambience familiar to rural crafts people.

Home Visit & A Dinner with an Indian Family :
This evening we would visit an Indian family for an Indian home experience. The evening is designed to give you a ‘feel’ and insight into Indian family life as well as experience typical Indian hospitality and home made Indian food

Overnight at Taj Mahal – a 5* Taj Group Hotel

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Day 04 : Delhi / Udaipur (9W 707 – 1345 / 1455 Hrs)

arts and crafts tours udaipurAfter a leisurely breakfast transfer to the airport to board your flight to Udaipur

Meeting & assistance upon arrival & transfer to hotel the Lake Palace is located on an island girdled by hills. Built on a rocky island over Lake Pichola about two and a half centuries ago, once it was the summer palace of the rulers of Mewar. Today this pleasure palace is a luxury hotel like no other in the world. To stay here is a privilege, affording as it does a glimpse of pleasure that once were the sole preserve of princes. The Lake Palaces Hotel amazes and delights you at every turn. It is pure white marble, every ancient inch of it - slender carved columns, fountains, filigreed screens, marble from the pinnacles of its domed Chatris to the bottom of its swimming pool, created for the private frolics of a princess.

Evening we enjoy a boat cruise on the serene and beautiful Lake Pichola. The island palace on the Lake called Jagmandir Palace is quite fascinating. The Palace provided inspirations and ideas to the builder of the Taj Mahal. The banks of the lake provide interesting glimpses of the daily bathing and the laundry that takes place here. Looking across the lake, with the city and its great palace rising up behind the island palace, is a scene of rare beauty.

Overnight at Taj Lake Palace – a 5* Taj Group Hotel

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Day 05 : Udaipur

arts and crafts tours rajasthanFollowing breakfast, we proceed on a tour of this "Lake City". Udaipur is a cool oasis in the dry heart of Rajasthan. It is probably the most romantic city in a state where every city has some romantic or exotic tale to tell. The huge city palace towering over the Lake Pichola is the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. Though it is a conglomeration of buildings built by successive rulers, it manages to retain a surprising uniformity of design and affords very fine view of the lake and the city from the upper terraces. The Jagadish temple next to the city palace enshrines a black stone image of Lord Vishnu and his vehicle- a mighty bird called garuda - in a brass image. The temple is a very fine example of Indo-Aryan Art.

This afternoon we explore the bustling bylanes of Udaipur which have artisans practicing their traditional crafts handed down to them by their elders. Khari printers do decorative floral patterns in gold and silver on plain or printed fabric. Block printers print various designs and patterns in different colours with the help of wooden blocks. You’ll also find artisans carving furniture, making puppets and traditional wooden toys. Along with engraving and embossing on brass, silver, jewellery, copper and even pottery, Meenakari is a specialty of this region. Udaipur also specializes in stone carving, especially in marble and sandstone, with artisans working hard at chiseling their finest filigree work. Colour as usual plays an important role in the life of Udaipur as in Rajasthan. It is wonderfully evident in ghagharas (long flowing skirts), cholis (blouses), and odhnis (long scarves) of the women as well as the turbans of the men.

The Gangaur Boat Cruise Dinner :
The Gangaur boat is the antique royal barge of the house of Mewar. The barge is decorated in a regal way and lit up to resemble a fireball from a distance. The guests are taken around the mystical Lake Palace. Their would be folk music, dance and fireworks. Music and dance are intermingled in the lives of the Mewaris who perform in various areas as wandering minstrels, bands of musicians and dancers or as dance drama troupes. They recite religious messages, local legends, and tales of romance or social stories. This is a tremendous experience. A bar would also be set up and people can buy their drinks here.

Overnight at Taj Lake Palace – a 5* Taj Group Hotel

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Day 06 : Udaipur / Ranakpur / Jodhpur (280 Kms)

Following breakfast and then drive to Jodhpur. Our first stop would be at Ranakpur where we tour the exquisitely carved Jain temples made in white marble. The profusion and the detailed sculpture is a mind blowing experience. From here we will continue our drive to Jodhpur.

Upon arrival check in to Umaid Bhawan Palace which built in 20th century conceived by Maharaja Umaid Singh as a centerpiece of his massive famine-relief scheme, giving employment to hundreds of people for nearly 16 years. This opulent edifice in sandstone is still the residence of the former rulers with a part of it running as hotel and remaining part as a museum. The palace captures the imagination of a visitor by its sculpted lawns with sandstone pavements and bouquets of bougainvillea bushes. The name of the palace has been derived from the sandstones being used in its construction. These rocks do not wear out how harsh the weather might be. It took 25 years and 3000 men to give shape to this stupendous expression. The Palace was designed as a smooth combination of European classical elements interlaced with oriental ones. Massive sandstone boulders were cut from a quarry at Surasagar near Jodhpur and transported by a special narrow-gauge train to the construction sites. Master masons chiseled these rough stones into blocks of five and seven tons. The blocks were then fitted into an interlocking fashion with no mortar or cement being used in the construction. Furnished with fashionable Art Deco interiors by the Polish artist and decorator, S. Norblin, the palace consumed one million square feet of the finest marble. The world of Umaid Bhawan Palace contained everything that the royalty required – a private cinema hall, a luxurious swimming pool inlaid with tiles depicting the zodiac, gigantic royal suites, a soaring rotunda, fancy ball rooms, a majestic durbar hall, billiards room, ballrooms, banquet halls, libraries, staff quarters, servant quarters. In 1977, Umaid Bhawan opened as one of India's grandest luxury hotels.

Late afternoon, we visit the Clock Tower Bazaar. This is one of India’s largest and most colourful whole sale market especially with respect to clothes, fabrics, spices, vegetables etc. It is a fantastic experience to walk through the place observing and photographing this incredible spectacle of vibrant lifestyles and incredible colours.

Overnight at Umaid Bhawan Palace– a 5* Taj Group Hotel

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Day 07 : Jodhpur

arts and crafts tours JodhpurAfter rest & relaxation, we proceed on a guided tour of Jodhpur. Our tour includes the massive fort. In olden days this must have been impregnable since its rocky base is scraped straight down making it nearly impossible to ascend. Once inside, royal palaces abound with fascinating history and priceless jewels, on to the armoury and Jaswant Tara - the Royal Crematorium.

Rest of the day is at leisure for independent activities. Jodhpur is a veritable shopper's paradise with entire streets and localities in the walled city devoted to single commodities. The city is famous for bandhani and lahariya, block printed textiles, silver jewellery, antique furniture, wood and metal handicrafts. Carpets and durries can be found on the Umaid Bhawan Palace road. Jodhpur is home to many talented and skilled craftsmen like textile dyers, metal engravers and die-makers and probably the last of the tailors of the classic Jodhpur breeches.

Overnight at Umaid Bhawan Palace– a 5* Taj Group Hotel

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Day 08 : Jodhpur / Pachewar (260 Kms)

arts and crafts tours jodhpur PachewarAfter breakfast we will drive to Pachewar.

Upon arrival check into Pachewargarh, a 300 years old picturesque fort replete with character and old world charm where modern comforts that discerning tourists seek is not overlooked. Here, one can witness great traditions of royal hospitality as you are guests of the erstwhile royalty of the region. A well preserved tranquil fort with its massive ramparts. The period furniture, traditional décor and just the ambience will take you centuries back in time.

We would have opportunities to step out and explore this region frozen in time. This should be the highlight of your tour where you would have opportunities to explore the tribal village beautifully preserved over time. The options here include a visit to royal cenotaphs, built on the banks of Pumpa Sagar lake. These are in memory of the former royalty of the region. However, the village life is special as it brings to you opportunities to witness typical lifestyles as seen in the village schools, the local temples and the atmosphere outside these with pilgrims and religious artifact stalls. Also Pachewar is also a traditional craftsmen village where traditions are maintained and continued for generations. We witness village craftsmen and artisans creating delicate blue pottery, cosy carpets, colorful tie and dye, and terra-cotta. The Nomadic ' Gadia- Luhars (iron-smiths) temper the red-hot iron carry their entire household in a single bullock-craft are a unique legacy of the place. All in all, this is a living museum experience where modern living pauses as we take stock of life in very basic forms, but, very rich in colour, diversity, tradition, and, above all – hospitality. You could walk into the poorest of the poor household, but, they have time for you as they welcome you to their home and offer food or water when they are not sure where their next meal is to come from!

Overnight at Pachewargarh

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Day 09 : Pachewar / Jaipur (90 Kms)

After breakfast we will drive to Jaipur

Upon arrival, check into the Rambagh Palace, which is one of the most beautiful palaces in India. Originally a garden house of a favorite royal maid, it was constructed in the 19th century. The palace is open to all those who seek to be transported to the royal past, the glorious age of grace and beauty.

This afternoon we will visit a workshop where the most exquisite embroidery is carried out. It is a workshop where wedding saris are embellished with tiny beads and intricate gold and silver threads. When you first see the gold thread work that comes from this workshop you will think it is machine work as it is so precise.

Overnight at Rambagh Palace– a 5* Taj Group Hotel

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Day 10: Jaipur

famous printing arts toursAn essential starting point for Rajasthan craftwork is block making and block printing and the morning will be dedicated to exploring the process from start to finish in the villages around Jaipur.

The sound of the muffled thud of the block on the fabric is so gorgeous, and the sharpness of the eye of the printers never ceases to amaze - the block always goes down in the right place. Along the street are tiny shuttered shops with men sitting in wood chips, with smiling faces, chip chip chopping at blocks, making the most intricate designs with the utmost precision.

Later you visit a hand made paper factory where you will see mass production of recycled cotton pulp paper. Here it is made with flower petals or leaves and is then cut and made into books, cards, and all kinds of stationary. Finally, on your way back to the hotel, you can visit a small pottery workshop. Jaipur is famous for its blue pottery and at this workshop you can see the intricate, labour intensive painting of the pottery.

Overnight at Rambagh Palace– a 5* Taj Group Hotel

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Day 11 : Jaipur

arts and crafts tours JaipurThis morning we visit Amber Fort, the former capital of the royal Jaipurs. Few fail to be moved by the dramatic Rajput grandeur of this hilltop fortress-palace 11 km north of Jaipur. Set on the dry wrinkled Aravali Hills, and surrounded by fortified battlements, the palace straddles two sepia-hued tundra hills overlooking Maota Lake, and its sprawling crenellated walls lattice the surrounding hills.

We will ride up to this hilltop palace on a caparisoned, painted elephant, passing through the ancient main gate where Maharajas of Jaipur have entered for four hundred years. Our guide will elaborate on the history of this architectural masterpiece with its mirror-studded alcoves, dazzling mosaics and water-cooled swings that delight today’s visitors as they did their former royal residents.

We shall visit the Hawa Mahal or Palace of the Winds, a five-storied structure of pink sandstone with semi-octagonal and delicately honeycombed windows overlooking the main street of the old city. It was built in 1799 so that veiled royal women could peer down unseen by the world through its 593 stone screens.

Following lunch, a tour Of City Palace & Observatory. The City Palace in the heart of the old city is a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. The centre of the palace is a seven storied building called Chandra Palace, with fine vies over the gardens and the city. The palace lies in the heart of the city and occupies the whole central grid. The fortified wall has seven gates and was built for protection from invading armies and animals that lived in jungles which surrounded the wall that time. Next, we visit the Solar Observatory - an astronomical treasure house, with solar device that give accurate predictions till date. The Palace Of Winds, a five-storied structure of pink sandstone has semi-octagonal and delicately honeycombed windows overlooking the main street of the old city.

Evening, we explore one of the chief attractions of Jaipur - its jewellery, which offers a variety that ranges from chunky tribal jewellery to enamelled gold to modern diamond jewellery. In Rajasthan, men and women can be seen sporting necklaces, armlets, anklets, earrings and rings. Silver is more commonly worn by the rural women and is certainly more affordable for a shopper. For dedicated collectors, goldwork of the highest quality is also available. Kundan (art of stone setting) and enamel jewellery has been a speciality of Rajasthan, particularly that of Jaipur. The stones are embossed into decorative shapes & patterns and embellished with delicate enamel ornamentation in the champeve ( raised field ) technique. Jaipur is well known for its gold and silver enameiling. Colorful bangles made of lac and set with semiprecious stones make an inexpensive buy. The craftsmen take great pains to embed the hundreds of stones into the lac. The skilled gem-cutters of Jaipur carve enchanting little animals and birds from rock, crystal, jade, smoky topaz and amethyst. Intaglio beads & buttons and crystal scent bottles are also available.

Overnight at Rambagh Palace– a 5* Taj Group Hotel

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Day 12: Jaipur / Bharatpur / Fatehpur Sikri / Agra (245 Kms)

Following breakfast we drive to Agra. Our first stop will be at Laxmi Vilas Palace, the former home of the Maharaja of Bharatpur for lunch. Set amidst 40 acres of picturesquely landscaped environs, the palace was built in 1899 as residence for the Royal ladies. A lively fusion of traditional Rajasthani architecture and the prevalent Mughal style, this place with its regal ambience, sunny courtyards, and enchanting cupolas will mesmerize you.

From here we drive to the ancient city of Fatehpur Sikri (ghost capital) for a tour of the magnificent and world heritage buildings still in a state of perfect reservation.

Upon arrival as you are individually checked in at your rooms at the luxurious Amarvilas hotel, which is one of the best boutique hotels in the world. The hotel of whimsical charm has several attractions. However, being in the city of the Taj Mahal, the most relevant charm of the hotels is the unhindered view of the Taj Mahal from your bedroom. It is the most beautiful and an amazingly uplifting sight. Only 600 meters from the Taj Mahal stands this luxury resort. Discerning travelers can now appreciate the fabulous Taj Mahal while enjoying world-class luxury. The elaborate Mughal gardens, terraced lawns, fountains, reflection pools and pavilions complement the classical architecture of the hotel.

You will have rest of the day free for your independent activities. The hotel offers incredible and unobstructed view of the Taj Mahal from almost anywhere. We have offered you rooms with a private balcony that would afford an opportunity to view the amazing monument that epitomizes love. The changing colours of the monument under different lights of the day, including an opportunity to view it under moonlight will indeed add an air of romanticism to your stay here.

Overnight at Amarvilas – a 5* Hotel

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Day 13 : Agra / Delhi (205 Kms)

We are about to witness one of the greatest sights of one’s lifetime - the Taj Mahal at sunrise. Before departure for the monument we shall be served tea/coffee and cookies so that our eyes open real wide to behold this breathtaking sight. A dawn visit to the fabled Taj Mahal to witness the magical effects caused by the reflections of the changing colours of the rising Sun on this brilliant white marble building.

After breakfast we ride to the massive Agra Fort. The elegant buildings inside reflect an interesting synthesis of Hindu and Central Asian architectural styles. Built by Emperor Akbar, the maze of the courtyards, mosques & private chambers of the fort echo the story of the Mughal Empire. The Moti Masjid & other magnificent buildings reflect the skill of the ancient Indian architects.

Late afternoon, ride to Delhi airport through one of India’s finest free ways. We would have opportunities to stop on the way at well appointed comfort stops for refreshments as well as washroom facilities.

Upon arrival, check into Taj Mahal

Rest of the day is at leisure for your independent activities, of course you have car and driver available for local visits and shopping.

Overnight at Taj Mahal – a 5* Taj Group Hotel

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Day 14 : Delhi / Departure

Transfer to the International airport for your onward flight.

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END OF SERVICES…

We do hope the flavor of India will remain on your taste buds for all times to come and hopefully would kindle an indelible fondness for the country and her people; Thank you for being our guest, and as we say in India 'Please Come back Soon"


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