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Rustic Rajasthan: New Year Celebrations

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  • Rajasthan
  • 29 Dec 2018 - 1 Jan 2019

What do you think about the idea of embarking on a New Year trip to Rajasthan? Isn’t it a great way to celebrate a new starting with mesmerizing folk dance and music, vibrant colors, bonfire, rustic surroundings, and a group of like-minded people?

Rajasthan, the largest state of India, is not just a royal state where every inch of every palace is adorned with exorbitant decorative and pages of history books are filled with the stories of heroism of Rajasthani kings. From being home to India’s largest desert, Thar, to having a hill station, from having color coded cities to mysterious villages and haunted forts, Rajasthan offers a lot more than our visualization. Did you know that people in Rajasthan wear vibrant colors to compensate for the dull and barren landscapes?

On this trip, we are going to wander through the history, culture and landscapes of the districts of Jaisalmer and Jodhpur. We are ready to go so deep so that we have to loosen up ourselves to the vitality of rustic Rajasthan.

Jaisalmer, also known as golden city because of its yellow sandstone architecture, is the home to ravishing havelis, forts, and sand dunes.  It’s located in the heart of Thar desert where riding on the back of the camel, watching sunset over sand-dunes and doing some stargazing has always captured the attention of adventurers.

Jodhpur, the blue city, is the land of affluent Marwars. It’s home to one of the biggest and the best preserved forts in India, known as Mehrangarh fort. To engross ourselves more in the culture, we go beyond the city and gain a memorable experience of staying in a village that too in the most luxurious way possible.
Just a few miles away from Jodhpur, lays a village which houses Bishnoi community. Bishnois are nature worshippers found mostly in Western Thar Desert and a few other northern states of India. You must have heard about the famous forest conservation movement also known as ‘Chipko Aandolan’ which was actually started by Bishnoi Community? Bishnois are highly devoted towards conserving nature and have even sacrificed their lives to save trees. 

So, what do you think about hoping on a new year trip to Rustic Rajasthan?

Trip Highlights

1. Camel Safari: Riding on the golden sand dunes of Jaisalmer while the sun is going down turning the whole sky reddish making it a perfect backdrop for postcard photos, has been the dream of every traveler.  We will have an opportunity take an hour long camel ride during our stay in a camp resort near Jaisalmer.

2. Stargazing: Stargazing in the middle of the Thar Desert has always been an enchanting experience for visitors. After all, all we can see in the skies of our metro cities is smog and pollution. Lying down in the middle of desert and gazing at the dark sky dotted with glittering stars is going to be an experience worth taking back our homes.

3. Kuldhara Village:  Almost 200 years ago, Kuldhara used to be a prosperous village inhabited by Paliwal Brahmins, is now an abandoned and a haunted place. Legend says that deeply tormented by village chief, one night entire community fled leaving behind their homes. No one actually saw them leaving and no one knows where Paliwal Brahmins resettled. All we know is that they cursed the village while leaving that no one will be able to settle in Kuldhara there which stands true even today. Not to mention that house are still intact and look beautiful.

4. Khaba Fort: Khaba Fort is the smallest fort in Jaisalmer (or probably entire Rajasthan). Located at a distance of few miles from Kuldhara village, Kbhaba Fort was also inhabited by Paliwal Bhrahmins and vacated for same reasons. It’s a crumbling structure that houses some ruins of Kuldhara houses and some artifacts of ancient times. The first look of the fort definitely gives a beautiful and a mysterious impression.

5. Patwon ki Haveli: Patwaon ki Haveli was the first Haveli which was built in Rajasthan. It’s also one of the most interesting Havelis of golden city because it’s the combination of five different mansions and its construction took almost 50 years to complete. It was built by Guman Chand Patwa, who was a very renowned brocade trader of that time, for his five sons. It’s also known as ‘House of Brocade Merchants’.

6. Gadisar Lake:  Gadisar Lake was built by Jaisalmer’s first ruler, Raja Rawal Jaisal, in 14th century and it used to be the only source of water in the region during those days. The lake is surrounded by beautiful temples, ghants and some cenotaphs standing beautifully in the middle of the water. It’s a very interesting place for some portrait photography, bird-watching, boating or just to spend some relaxing time.

7. Bishnoi Village Safari: We will visit a Bishnoi house to satiate all our curiosity about their origin, distinct lifestyle and the set of 29 commandments they follow. There is a secret surprise for the group during this visit which will completely leave you hooked to them. 

8. Wildlife:Did you know that a rich variety of flora and fauna resides at gateway to Thar Desert? We will get to see Khejarli trees and some wild animals near Bishnoi Village including Black Buck, Peacock, Antelope, Blue Bull, a few migrated birds, etc. This tour of wildlife is indeed a photographer’s paradise. 

9. Block Printing & Pottery: Jodhpur is home to the rich and vibrant block prints, and captivating pottery. We will get an exclusive opportunity to closely interact with the artisans and try our hands on these arts at their respective workshops. If you wish, you can buy some vintage blocks too. 

10. Mehrangarh Fort: Built in 14th century, Mehrangarh Fort is one of the most magnificent and the largest forts in India. It stands 400 feet above the skyline of Jodhpur. The beige and yellowish hue of the sandstone makes it recognizable even from the miles away. Not to mention that a few famous Bollywood and Hollywood movies have been shot here.

11. Jaswant Thada: Jaswant Thada is the cenotaph of King Jaswant Singh II, located in the city of Jodhpur. It was built in 18th century with pure white marbles. It’s also known as ‘The Taj Mahal of Marwar” which is perfectly justified by its intrinsically carved marble and whimsical domains.

12. Mandore Gardens: Mandore served as a capital to many Jodhpur rulers which faced many invasions from various dynasties. The capital was later on shifted to Mehrangarh Fort believing that being located on a hilltop will provide better safety to the kingdom. That’s why Mandore was left in ruins. It’s only Mandore Gardens which survived the rashes of the time. Mandore Gardens have ancient temples, memorials and high-rock terraces that are quite captivating.

13. Folk Music and Dance: A trip to Rajasthan  is not culminated without experiencing their music. We are going to have a relaxing but fun evening with renowned local artists who are going to perform Kalbelia dance and play Rawanhatta while singing some heartwarming melodious folk songs.

14. Stay in Swiss Tents: In Jaisalmer, we have arranged for a stay in semi-luxury Swiss tents where you satiate your thirst of camping in desert and feeling the taste of adventure. Be ready to be pampered by beautiful views and lot of cultural experiences.

15. Traditional Boutique Resort: We will stay in a traditional boutique resort, just a few miles away from Jodhpur. It’s a newly built rustic luxury in a peaceful village adorned with conventional Marwari round huts with mud painted walls. The huts are spacious with huge double beds giving you all the comfort you need for a peaceful sleep after a long day. It’s a 4 star resort owned and managed by a local family which also gives us an option to experience the Marwari life closely.

Itinerary

Day 1: Sand Dunes Experience

Pick-up from bus-stand/railway station in Jaisalmer (2 PM)
Lunch
Proceed to our camps in desert
Take Rest
Camel Safari
Sunset at Sand Dunes
Rajasthani Folk Dance and Music
Dinner

Overnight stay in semi-luxury Swiss Tents in the sand dunes near Jaisalmer

Day 2: Jaiselmer Sightseeing

Breakfast
Khaba Fort
Kuldhara Village
Lunch
Patwon ki Haveli
Gadisar Lake
Start driving to Jodhpur
Dinner

Overnight stay in a 4 star traditional boutique resort

Day 3: Rural Rajasthan

Breakfast
Jeep Safari to Bishnoi Village while witnessing wildlife
Visit to Block Printing and Pottery artisans
Lunch
Free time to hangout in the resort
Dinner
Welcoming New Year

Overnight stay in a 4 star traditional boutique resort

Day 4: Jodhpur sightseeing

Breakfast
Mehrangarh Fort
Jaswant Thada
Lunch
Mandore Garden
Drop at Railway Station/Airport (6 PM)

Trip Ends

Important

Cost

Ex-Jaisalmer to Jodhpur

Early-Bird Price: 14900 INR per person (if booked on/before Oct 10)

Regular Tariff: 16500 INR per person (after October 10)

Inclusions

  • All transportation from Jaisalmer to Jodhpur as per the plan for four days
  • Stay for 3 nights. One night stay in sand dunes in Swiss semi-luxury tents. Two nights stay in a traditional 4 star boutique luxury resort in Jodhpur. All accommodations are on twin sharing and same gender basis. Please note that in case we have odd number of participants, then in maximum one room, there will be triple sharing. Hence, we expect participants to be a little flexible. Couples will be given a private room.
  • Day 1: Dinner, Day 2: Breakfast and Dinner, Day 3: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, Day 4: Breakfast
  • Cost of local guides from Day 2-4
  • Cost of all activities mentioned in the plan
  • A 24/7 highly professional and friendly group lead throughout the tour

Exclusions

  • Cost of flight/ train/bus Travel from your native city to Jaisalmer or from Jodhpur to your native city
  • Entry cost to the monuments
  • Any expense on any items/services which are personal such as driver tips, medicines, toiletries, sun protection creams, snacks, laundry, STD calls, etc
  • Any extra expenses incurred due to delays arising from bad weather conditions or any unanticipated or uncontrollable conditions
  • Any medical expenses
  • Any other expenses of any nature not included in the INCLUSIONS section
  • All the meals not listed in Inclusions
  • Any snacks or beverages except those given with the meals

Basic Info

The group size will be limited to a maximum of 15 people:  14 participants + 1 facilitator and a minimum of 7 people: 6 participants + 1 facilitator.

Packing List

  • Comfortable Walking Shoes/ Flip Flops
  • Warm Clothes
  • Sunglasses/ Hat/ Headgear
  • Sunscreen
  • Water Bottle
  • Any Prescribed Medication
  • POSITIVE ENERGY & ENTHUSIASM!

Cancellation Policy

• 60 days before the trip: 90% refund
• 60-41 days before the trip: 70% refund
• 40-21 days before the trip: 50% refund
• 20-11 days before the trip: 30% refund
• 10-5 days before the trip: 10% refund
• Less than 5 days before the trip: No Refund

Terms and Conditions
  • Participants will be respectful to the fellow guests, organizers and the hosts
  • Participants have to show a little degree of flexibility during the tour
  • It's the duty of participant to assess whether they are physically fit or not for the tour before joining it.
Photos

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