Learn more about the trip and register


Learn more about the trip and register
January 12-26, 2016
CAD 3995 per person
Udaipur • Jodhpur
Jaisalmer • Nagaur
Mandawa • Jaipur
Tour Includes:
Deluxe accommodation
Exclusive private events
Delegate access to the Jaipur
Literature Festival, including all meals
and parties
English-speaking tour manager
Accompanied by Sirish & Laura
Indus Travels have joined forces with
Indian Summer Festival founders
Laura Byspalko and Sirish Rao to offer
a curated cultural journey through
Be transported from a private rooftop
concert with Rajasthan Josh on the
edge of the Thar Desert to the
painted havelis on the backroads of
the Shekhavati region, from the
magical palaces and havelis of desert
to the heady, brainy whirl of the Jaipur Literature Festival. This trip
will be a sensory and intellectual treat, combining must-visit sites
with off-the-beaten-path experience and special access.
You will be the special guests of Laura and Sirish in the country
that is their second home, with introductions to writers, musicians
and thinkers, private concerts and magical invite-only Opening
and Closing events at the Jaipur Literature Festival.
For more details contact:
Tordes at Indus Travels
Tel: 604 279 8794 | Email: [email protected]
Jan 14: Udaipur-jodhpur (Drive
Tour Lodging Info:
08 Nights Hotels + 06 Nights in Jaipur
Accommodation will be provided on a twin sharing basis
02 Nights
02 Nights
02 Nights
01 Night
01 Night
06 Nights
Udai Kothi
Pal Haveli
Desert Resort
280 Kms/ 5-6 Hrs)
Today you leave the romance of Udaipur behind, for the architectural
magnificence of Jodhpur. Stop on the way at Ranakpur which boasts
some of the most exquisite Jain temples in the country, famous for
the almost impossible intricacy of their friezes and sculptures. The
main temple, built in 1439, has 1444 beautifully carved marble pillars,
of which no two are alike. After lunch en-route, arrive in Jodhpur in
the late afternoon. Jodhpur called the ‘Blue City’ for its tangled
jumble of homes all painted light blue. Your hotel lies in the heart of
the city, a stone’s throw from the old clock tower, and at the foot of
the hulking, majestic Mehrangarh Fort – arguably one of the world’s
most impressive fort complexes. Settle into Pal Haveli, former home
of a wealthy merchant family, and then wander through the medieval
streets until dinner at the impeccably designed boutique Hotel Raas
where you will dine on a meal conjured specially for you, looking up
at the floodlit ramparts of Mehrangarh Fort.
Jan 15: Jodhpur
Tour Itinerary:
Jan 12: Udaipur
The tour begins when you arrive in Udaipur, a city that Col. James
Tod of the East India Company breathlessly referred to as ‘the most
romantic spot on the continent of India’ when he first set eyes on it
in 1829. You will be received at the airport and transferred to your
hotel. You will notice that Udaipur has lost none of its charms since
Tod’s days, or indeed since it was founded by the Maharaja Udai
Singh in 1559. Udaipur is arranged around shimmering Lake Pichola
against the backdrop of the tawny Aravalli hills. Udaipur retains a
fairy tale quality to it. Your hotel for the night is the plush, quirky
marble clad Udai Kothi, right by the lake with its own private jetty and
adjacent to Udaipur’s ancient bustling bazaars. Settle in, get your
bearings and sip a sundowner by the rooftop pool before heading out
for an exquisite dinner at one of India’s most grand hotels with the
rest of the group.
Jan 13: Udaipur
The day begins at the City Palace, overlooking the blue waters of
Lake Pichola. Constructed by Udaipur’s founder, Maharaja Udai Singh
in 1559, the palace gives a sense of the grandeur of the Mewar
rulers (believed to be the world’s oldest ruling dynasty with a span of
some 76 generations). Take in the many works of art, opulent
artefacts and beautiful courtyard and gardens. Of note is the crystal
gallery (where even the beds and sofas are fashioned of crystal) and
the darbar hall (or royal reception hall) which is one of India’s most
lavish. Afterwards explore the Old City, wandering through its
crooked, colourful streets lined with spice vendors and artisans and
exploding with bustle in all forms. A sunset cruise on Lake Pichola,
takes you past picturesque embankments and palaces, stopping at
the island of Jag Mandir, a 17th century island palace. Jag Mandir
has much historic weight - the island served as a refuge for prince
Shah Jahan, when he was exiled by his father the Mugahal emperor.
Shah Jahan would later go on to become the Mughal emperor
himself and build the world’s greatest monument to love, the Taj
After breakfast spend the morning exploring the streets and textile
shops around the hotel before driving across the city to the Umaid
Bhawan Palace. This massive Art Deco structure built of honey
sandstone and marble is still the residence of the Jaipur royal family
(a segment of it is a luxury hotel) making it one of the largest private
residences in the world. Wander through its museum and have a
kingly lunch in the hotel wing of the palace, at one of India’s most
noted dining establishments. After lunch, drive up to the magnificent
Mehrangarh Fort which dominates the city of Jodhpur. Its massive
protective walls are chiseled out of the rocky hill that it stands on,
making the ramparts one long, daunting face of stone. Mehrangarh is
suffused with history and legend, and the fort’s excellent audio guide
leads you through its labyrinthine rooms and passageways, each
containing fabulous lattice work, inlays, paintings and royal furniture
and artefacts. Take in the sunset on the ramparts, with rows of
ancient cannons framing a bird’s eye view of the blue city. After a well
earned drink at the tranquil Chokelao Bagh at the foot of the fort,
your packed day comes to a close. Dine at the rooftop restaurant of
your hotel, which commands a great view of the fort and the clock
tower, and is known for its Rajasthani menu.
Jan 16: Jodhpur-jaisalmer (Drive 290 Kms / 5-6 Hrs)
After breakfast we drive due west, towards the Thar Desert and
Jaisalmer, stopping on the way at a sleepy fortress town for lunch.
Few places evoke the desert allure of 1001 Nights and camel trains
like Jaisalmer does. Jaisalmer Fort is an almost mirage-like sight, a
giant sandcastle rising up from the dusty plains. Our hotel, Suryagarh
(or Palace of the Sun), is some distance out of the city, perched
close to the sand dunes and it wouldn’t be unusual to see a herd of
camels ambling outside the hotel. Consistently ranked as one of
India’s top five boutique hotels, this is the perfect place to unwind
after a long day’s drive. Explore the beautifully cared for grounds
(watch for the peacocks that stroll about), catch a music
performance in the garden, and make space for a seemingly
never-ending dinner (this is a hotel which has its own in-house
confectioner who you can observe garnishing his creations with finely
beaten edible silver).
After a sumptuous breakfast, spend the day exploring the town of
Jaisalmer. The stunning honey coloured fort, built in 1156 is unique
because it is still a living urban centre, with some 3000 people living
inside its walls. Beautiful crumbling mansions, latticed windows and
marble temples abound in the complex network of streets. Explore
the sculpture studded temples, the spartan palaces of the warrior
princes and wander the streets to absorb the handiwork of a
thousand years of continuous human habitation. The carved doors of
Jaisalmer alone can keep you occupied for a day. After lunch, visit
the merchant colony that lies just outside the fort walls. Once home
to prosperous traders of the silk route, these gigantic mansions are
exceptional pieces of architecture, built of the same golden
sandstone as the fort, but given to many more ornate flourishes.
Some of the mansions still house textile shops which sell clothing
and tapestries with the brilliant colours that Rajasthan is so famous
for. The day wraps up with a treat. You will be the guests of the
brilliant musician Chugge Khan, who heads the music group
Rajasthan Josh. The group lives in a colony of artists just outside the
fort walls, and has performed to great acclaim around the world
(including a sell out show at the Indian Summer Festival in 2013).
After a private rooftop concert just for you, we are invited to share
dinner with Chugge and his family. Return to Suryagarh, as night falls
on the fort and the desert stars take over the sky.
Jan 18: Jaisalmer-Nagaur (Drive 320 Kms / 5-6 Hrs)
After breakfast we will drive eastwards, circling away from the desert
towards the relatively unexplored city of Nagaur. Stop at the village of
Khichan where thousands of migratory Demoiselle Cranes come to
spend the winter, all the way from far off Mongolia. If you are lucky,
the cranes can be spotted by a small lake outside the village, whose
inhabitants protect and welcome the birds. Reach Nagaur in the late
afternoon, where the massive 12th century Acchutagarh Fort is your
destination as well as your home for the night. Hotel Ranvas is (quite
impossibly and beautifully) set inside the fort, within the former
quarters of the 16 wives of the 18th-century Maharaja Bakht Singh.
Spend the evening wandering the fort complex, inside the heavy
gates and huge ramparts that have repelled many an unwelcome
visitor over the centuries. With its pools, fountains and waterways,
this is one of the finest examples of Rajput-Mughal architecture and
has just emerged from a two decade UNESCO award-winning
Jan 19: Nagaur-Mandawa (Drive 200 Kms / 4 Hrs)
After a leisurely breakfast, travel to Mandawa in the Shekawati
region, an area far less visited than other parts of Rajasthan. This
region is famous for its extraordinary painted havelis (ornately
decorated mansions), adorned with dazzling, often whimsical murals.
This outstanding artwork is quite unexpectedly to be found in
unremarkable, tiny towns, connected to each other by dusty roads
that run through the arid countryside. Today these abandoned
mansions hardly seem in the centre of things, but at one time (from
the 14th -20th centuries) these towns were important trading ports
on the caravan routes to the ports of Gujarat. The artwork on the
havelis were a way for the mostly on-the-road merchants to describe
developments in the fascinating outside world to their homebound
families. The paintings are a fascinating mix of mythology, daily life
and what were then new sights (cars, flying machines, the first
telephone, British soldiers and their strange mannerisms). After an
afternoon exploring these architectural graphic novels, spend the
night in the Desert Resort in charming adobe style huts decorated
with mirror work.
Jan 20: Mandawa-Jaipur (Drive 180 Kms/4 Hrs)
After breakfast we visit the neighbouring town of Nawalgarh where
two of the best preserved mansions (ancestral homes of two of
India’s most powerful business families) give a sense of how the
mansions of Shekawati might have looked in their heyday. Break for
lunch at the Roop Niwas Palace (in case you were feeling palace
withdrawal after 24 hours of mansions), where you can see some
fine Marwari horses on the grounds, prized by Rajput warriors for their
hardiness and bravery in battle. After lunch we continue on to Jaipur,
the pink city, so named for the delicate pink sandstone that is the
building block of almost every building in the old city. This night is
when you go into literati mode at the opening gala of the Jaipur
Literature Festival. Be prepared for a swirl of writers, publishers and
literature lovers from around the world at one of the literary world’s
most glamorous opening parties. This is after all, the Rambagh
Palace the ‘Jewel of Jaipur’, which is in turn the capital of Rajasthan,
India’s most flamboyant state.
Jan 21-25: Jaipur Literature Festival
Today is the first day of the Jaipur Literature Festival, now regarded
as a major cultural catalyst within India and around the world. Over
the next five packed and bustling days, you will get to listen to nearly
300 renowned authors and thinkers and enjoy the music of some 200
musicians. Six stages present events simultaneously in the charming
grounds of the Diggi Palace. Be prepared for rock concert sized
crowds. Just making your choice, and finding your way through the
throngs to a seat can be a challenge. Laura and Sirish will help you
navigate the day’s program over breakfast every morning, and offer
tips and tricks to festival survival. So that the festival doesn’t get too
overwhelming, they will also suggest city excursions to Jaipur’s main
sights and shopping forays.
You will receive a delegate pass for the festival that gives you
access to the festival and delegate only areas such as the lunch
buffet. The pass also gives you access to the nightly music stage,
where you have access to the buffet dinner. Keep in mind lunch and
dinner buffets are busy, and you may wish to break off and explore
some of the city’s restaurants for a quieter meal from time to time.
This segment of the trip does not have a prescribed daily agenda or
the services of a guide. Instead our group has a small fleet of cars
on call during the festival to make it possible for you to attend your
choices of talks, and do unguided city explorations in smaller groups.
Jan 26: Jaipur-delhi (Drive 260 Kms / 5.5 Hrs)
After breakfast travel overland back to Delhi, to Indira Gandhi
International Airport for your flight home.
End of services
Delhi pre tour option
Tour Days: 2 Nights / 3 Days
Tour Price
(based on a minimum of 2 guests):
Price per person based
on twin sharing:
CAD 350
Domestic Airfare: Delhi-Udaipur
Total Per Person:
CAD 185
Please note airfare pricing and availability
are not guaranteed until ticketed
Tour Lodging Info:
02 Nights
Accommodation will be provided on a twin sharing basis
02 Nights
Tour Includes:
Hotel accommodation on a twin sharing basis
at listed hotels or similar
Return airport transfers
Daily Breakfast
Sightseeing & entrance fees as per the itinerary
Service of an English local guide
Transportation & Transfers in a AC Toyota Innova
All currently applicable land taxes
Tour Itinerary:
Welcome to Delhi, India! a monumental city with a vibrant mix of
old and new teeming bazaars, stately British boulevards,
powerful Mughal palaces and forts, and intricate, ethereal
towers, temples and tombs. You will be met on arrival at Indira
Gandhi International airport by a representative of Indus Travels
and escorted by private vehicle to the hotel. Overnight in Delhi
high. Within the Qutab complex, amidst the ruins of Quwat-ulIslam mosque stands the Iron pillar which has stood the
vagaries of weather and has not rusted for over 1500 years.
Continue your tour with a visit to the New Delhi area, through the
Embassy area (Diplomatic enclave), Government buildings
(Parliament House, Presidents House and India Gate). Overnight
in Delh
Jan 11: Delhi
Jan 12: Delhi-udaipur (By Flight)
Jan 10: Delhi
The capital of modern India is actually “The Heart of India”.
Many dynasties and rulers have flourished on its regal soil over
the last 3000 years. The legacy still survives in many monuments varying from the 13th century mausoleum of the Lodi
Kings to the buildings of imperial India’s Parliament House and
the President House. Here medieval palaces and bazaars exist
side by side a modern metropolis. Delhi is the city waiting to be
explored, so enjoy! Your adventure this morning begins in Old
Delhi, the Mughal capital established by Shah Jahan in 1638. At
the famous Red Fort, where Jawaharlal Nehru unfurled the flag
of newly-independent India on August 15, 1947, trade the
vehicle for bicycle rickshaws. Weave through the warren of
crooked, congested alleys off Chandni Chowk, one of India’s
oldest and busiest bazaars, where you will see the traditional
workmanship for which India is well known and still thrives. Visit
Raj Ghat, Mahatma Gandhi’s serene and evocative cremation
site and the Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India.
This afternoon visit the Qutb Minar, a stunning 240-foot minaret,
the tallest in the world, surrounded by an elaborate complex
built in the Indo-Islamic architectural tradition. This striking
medieval tower of victory, build by the slave dynasty, is 73 m
Enjoy your morning at leisure before being transferred to the
airport for a flight to Udaipur where you will join the group.
End of services