Asian Explorations can arrange a host of special experiences for your holiday in Rajasthan – from walking through the old bazaars with an expert guide in the evenings, or a private meal in an historic fort or beautiful setting, situated behind the hills of the famous Amer Fort. Take an art tour with an artist, or visit the Jantar Observatory with an expert on astronomy. Be involved with a group of elders discussing the problems their village faces in the 21st century, and see the palaces and forts which house miniature art and Rajput treasures. Perhaps stay in Ranthambore National Park, one of the country’s most romantic parks, and where you can take one of the best tiger safaris in India.
Visit the Taj Mahal and other gems of Mughal and Rajput architecture. The diversity of a Rajasthan vacation is astounding – not only does the region boast beautiful architecture, from the art deco influences by Le Corbusier to buildings and monuments designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, but desert countryside and nomadic cultures, too. This is the India of rich colours, ornate and opulent palaces and gorgeous royal tented camps. Here are the colourful festivals of Pushkar and Nagaur. There is a miscellany of things to do, from camel-riding on a Thar desert safari, meeting local villagers en route and perhaps watching them making the pottery that they use every day to riding on the magnificent Marwari horses. Or stay in beautiful havellis, dining with the owners (who may be the descendants of nobility) and where you will, in all likelihood, depart more as friends than just visitors.
This is the essence of what we do, arranging for clients to meet and stay with, for instance, a local maharajah, and to get briefly immersed in local affairs of note or politics. On a countryside sojourn such as this, as far as possible away from mainstream tourism, one sees the harvesting of the crops such, as fenugreek or saffron, and experiences sometimes magnificent wildlife. There is also superb winter birding, including sightings of great Indian bustards and vast flocks of cranes and waterfowl.
What we’ve outlined above is just a glimpse of what one may experience on one of our Rajasthan holidays and there is so much more to it beyond the oft-visited so-called Golden Triangle. Further north there is a whole different feel and setting – and plenty to interest the most jaded traveller, including The Golden Temple at Amritsar, the colourful border ceremony with Pakistan and Uttar Pradesh.