DESERT TRADITIONS: SHADES OF INDIA
5 Cities…5 Colours…5 Adventures plus…
Carole Douglas and her expert team will lead you through 21 days filled with shifting hues, tempting tastes, opulent textiles, rich aromas and the melodies of Rajasthani life. Follow in the footsteps of Joanna Lumley and explore Juna Mahal at Dungarpur, mingle with Raika camel herders and seek tigers in Ranthambore. Uncover the rich legacy of the Maharajahs and spend leisurely days exploring monuments, museums and markets while delving into local arts. Visit forts, palaces and temples, track embroidery styles, meet indigo masters and tie dyers and dip your own hands into colour! Explore rural areas and enjoy village walks, camel encounters and special events including the sparkling festival of Diwali on the edge of the Thar Desert. Complete your journey with the ‘jewel in the crown’ of India – the fabled Taj Mahal.
Friday October 18th Accommodation: TBA
Rendezvouz in Mumbai
UDAIPUR – the White City
Saturday October 19th – Tuesday October 22nd Accommodation: Hotel Mahendra Prakash
Udaipur, referred to as the white city due to its marble and white-washed buildings, is also known as the City Of Lakes. The city has a proud legacy of valour and is renowned for the culture that stems from this. Udaipur’s City Palace, natural parks, gardens and temples, miniature painting skills and traditional puppetry arts are not to be missed.
City Palace and Lake tour
Juna Mahal, Dungapur
Theatre and fine dining
Miniature painting demonstration/workshop
Traditional village visit
JODHPUR – the Blue City
Wednesday October 23rd – Friday Oct 25th Accommodation: Ajit Bhawan Hotel
Known as the Blue City, Jodhpur is strategically located between Delhi and India’s most industrialised state, Gujarat. It benefitted from the trade of copper, opium and silks during the pre-colonial period. Majestic Mehrangarh, the fort that towers over the city, is an architectural gem. Jodhpur is home to many Bishnoi communities, is a centre for weaving and textile dyeing and is also the sport of Polo – after which the trousers were named!
Ranakpur Jain temple
Mehrangarh Fort and Blue City tour
Traditional weaving and Bishnoi village visits
Tie and dye workshop with a master
An afternoon/ evening of Indian connoisseurship
JAISALMER – the Golden City
Saturday October 26th – Monday October 28th Accommodation: Fort Rajwada Hotel
The journey by coach to Jaisalmer leads you through rural Rajashtan. The ‘Golden City’ is a former medieval trading centre and rings of its past – of camel-caravan trade routes, great battles and desert lore. Today the fort is the only living fort in India and enjoys a vibrant market atmosphere. No visit to Jaisalmer is complete without a spectacular adventure with cameleers into the dunes at sunset.
Jaisalmer fort and havelis
The traditional embroidery of border villages
Evening on the dunes
BIKANER – the Red City
Tuesday October 29th – Thursday October 31st Accommodation: Narendra Bhawan Hotel
Bikaner is the red heart of the Thar Desert and is a vibrant desert town with a fabulous fort and energetic outpost feel. The seat of Rajput pride, Bikaner is the camel capital of India and camel husbandry is one of its principal occupations. The city is overlooked by Junagarh Fort containing several palaces and museums that house Rajput miniature paintings and must-see royal costumes.
Junagarh Fort and Palace
Textile tour of old city
National Research Centre on Camels
JAIPUR – the Pink City
Friday November 1st – Monday November 4th Accommodation: Alsisar Haveli
Jaipur, the enchanting ‘Pink City’ is the capital of Rajasthan. Its beautifully maintained streets are an eclectic mix of old and new. The City Palace houses the former royal family, the Jantar Mantar ( royal observatory), maintains its heavenly aspect, the intricate facade of the Hawa Mahal oversees the bazaar and, overlooking the erstwhile princely state, is the magnificent Amber Fort. Textile arts are a major industry and Jaipur is noted for its block printing and indigo dyeing.
Anokhi Textile Museum
Block printing and indigo dyeing workshops
The best movie experience in India
RANTHAMBORE – Tiger Sanctuary
Tuesday November 5th – Wednesday November 6th Accommodation: Ranthambore Kothi
Tucked between the rugged Aravalli and Vindhya hills, Ranthambhore National Park is a vast wildlife reserve. It boasts a spectacular landscape filled with boulder-strewn highland plateaus, lakes and rivers dotted with old forts and abandoned mosques – a wonderful setting for wildlife viewing. One of the original ‘Project Tiger’ reserves, Ranthambore still offers one of the best opportunities of spotting a tiger.
Visit/workshop to women’s cooperative Dastkar Ranthambore
AGRA – Taj Mahal
Thursday November 7th – Friday November 8th Accommodation: The Taj Gateway
Experience the magical allure of the Taj Mahal – the ‘jewel in the crown’ of India and it’s every bit as good as its reputation. Besides the Taj, the legacy of the Mughal empire offers a magnificent fort, fascinating tombs and mausoleums and the mysterious deserted city of Fatehpur Skiri.
Saturday November 9th
Delhi and homebound flights.
GENERAL INFORMATION AND SPECIAL BOOKING CONDITIONS
Land only, per person twin share AU$7,250
Single Supplement AU$1,850
LAND ONLY TOUR PRICE INCLUDES:
• Domestic air travel (incl taxes) within India
• Land transport (private coach lines) and autos
• Twin-share accommodation
• Meals as per the final itinerary (daily breakfast plus celebration meals)
• Drinking water
• All transfers, entrance fees, workshops (some material costs may apply), sightseeing as per itinerary
• All applicable tipping for hotel porterage, guides and drivers
• Services of tour leader and arts expert, Carole Douglas
• Services of professional guides throughout the itinerary
•Program handbook, pre-tour information package, related materials
LAND ONLY TOUR PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:
• Return international air travel
• Meals not listed in final itinerary
• Tipping for personal services including meals and room services
• Beverages with meals, alcoholic drinks, morning and afternoon teas
• Visa requirements of the tour member
• Travel Insurance
• Items of personal nature (telephone, laundry, room and personal services etc)
We recommend that Australian passengers book their international flights through Alumni Travel who offer the best fares available at the time of booking. Airfares are subject to change up until final payment has been received. Once the ticket is issued, airline cancellation and amendment conditions will apply. If you have additional travel in mind and require an earlier departure there may be a supplement payable.
I’m Interested…How Do I Find Out More?
Contact Carole Douglas at Desert Traditions who will talk you through the tour, send you a questionnaire which will allow her to shape the tour to suit your requirements and to supply further information.
PO Box 152 Manly NSW Australia 1655
Phone: 02 9949 3787 Mob: 0438 772 795
I’m Ready…How Do I Book?
Fill in the online Booking Form, read and agree with our Terms & Conditions, select your payment option for your deposit of $750.00 per person to Alumni Travel and Submit. Upon receipt of your Booking Form and deposit, you will receive a confirmation of your place in writing.
DEPOSIT AND FINAL PAYMENT:
The deposit is accepted as a first installment of the tour cost and will be fully refunded if the arrangements can not be confirmed or the tour is cancelled by Alumni Travel. To meet our supplier policies, final payment is due at least 60 days prior to tour departure. You will receive an invoice 2 weeks before final payment is due.
CANCELLATION AND REFUNDS:
Any cancellation from the tour needs to be done in writing. The cancellation date will be taken from the day your written cancellation is received by Alumni Travel. Because of the tour cancellation charges imposed by our various suppliers, the following cancellation charges apply, per person:
Over 60 days $50.00 – Administration Fee
59 – 30 days 50% of tour cost
Within 30 days 100% of tour cost
If a difference occurs between these cancellation conditions and those imposed by our suppliers, then the conditions of the supplier shall apply.
There is no refund before or after travel has commenced or for any unused portion of the tour, either in regard to the standard group arrangements or separate independent arrangements.
CREDIT CARD PAYMENTS:
Any payments by credit card will be subject to a 2% non-refundable Merchant Administration Fee.
It is standard policy with our company that all our international travellers have some type of international travel insurance, so that you are covered for any unforeseen circumstances that may arise. A comprehensive Insurance brochure is available from Alumni Travel. The insurance brochure contains the terms and conditions under which insurance cover will be offered to you.
ADDITIONAL TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS:
If you would like Alumni Travel to assist you with any additional arrangements pre or post tour, please contact our office for assistance at time of booking. All arrangements need to be finalised at least 30 days prior to your departure.
An administration fee of $30.00 per amendment will be charged for any changes made to any reservation within 30 days prior to your departure. Any additional charges imposed by our suppliers will also be payable.
PASSPORT AND VISAS:
It is the traveller’s responsibility to ensure that they possess the necessary travel documentation for the tour, such as a valid passport and any required visas. Your passport should be valid at least 6 months beyond the end of your journey and have two clear pages for each country to be visited in your journey.
In the event that passenger numbers do not reach the minimum number of tour participants (8, excluding the tour leader) required for the tour, it may be necessary to either surcharge or cancel the tour. If such an event does occur, you will be notified at least 60 days prior to the tour departure.
Tour prices have been calculated on the basis of exchange rates and tariffs as at time of print and are subject to change up until final payment has been received. Once final payment is received, no surcharges will apply. Should you decide to cancel your arrangements on the basis of a change in the tour price, normal cancellation charges will apply.