Ancestral crafts – Throughout this trip, you will discover the rich artistic traditions of Rajasthan that have been passed on from one generation to another for centuries. This program offers you opportunities to meet with skilled artisans who will share their knowledge, and the secrets of an artist’s journey to create a masterpiece.
Days 1 & 2
Delhi, the capital of India, is an impressive concentration of diversity, between traditions and modernity. This dense and huge city has seen a variety of cultures influencing its development: Mughal, Hindu and Sikh heritages are still alive. Strolling in the multiple streets will give you a first introduction to India and its diversity of crafts. Alongside the visit of the main monuments and religious places, you will also meet a non-governmental organisation belonging to the Fair Trade Forum – India network.
Agra is known all over the world for the jewel of India located there: the Taj Mahal. Symbol of love and pure beauty, this impressive construction attracts all the people visiting India. After this mesmerizing visit, we will visit craftsmen specialized in marble sculpting. You will take the way to Jaipur in the afternoon.
Days 4 to 6
The capital of Rajasthan, the Land of the Kings, is also known as the Pink City. The traditions are still very present in Jaipur, both in the life style as well as in the crafts. The visit of the splendid forts and one heritage walk in the old city will show you the past glory of Rajasthan. In Jaipur, you will get to know about both traditional craft and luxury items. World-class jewelry and rugs will amaze you, as well as secular know-how of local cloth production and pottery. We will see how organizations support these talented craftsmen, and promote slum artists.
Days 7 to 9
The Shekhawati is a rural region of Rajasthan, having kept all its traditions. The city of Nawalgarh hosts incredible frescos that you will have the opportunity to admire. You will discover the rural life, and the traditional crafts. We will organise workshops with artisans to have you learn pottery and bracelet making: self-made souvenirs to bring home!
Days 10 & 11
According to the Hindu culture, a person should visit it once in his life to be eligible for paradise. You will find there a temple for Bhrama, one of the single temples for this special God. It is a perfect place to get to know about Hindu epic stories, and to listen to priests explaining the Hindu rituals in a holy place. If you agree to get up early in the morning, a temple located at the top of a hill will offer a great panoramic view to see the sunrise on Pushkar.
Days 12 to 14
The Venice of the East is well known for its two lakes and the beauty of the piers surrounding them. City of the performing arts, Udaipur will please the amateurs of traditional dance and music, as well as the admirers of the precision of miniature painting. You will attend a dance and puppet show, and visit a government village presenting arts from all over India.
Days 15 & 16
Jodhpur has two nicknames, the Blue City, referring to the walls of the old houses, and the Sun City, due to its incredible exposure to sunlight. The main attraction is the Fort with its history and impressive water management system. Jodhpur is also famous for wooden craft, from small items to splendid furniture. You will get a Kalbeliya dance lesson by community artists who travelled the world to perform this famous traditional art.
Days 17 to 19
Located in the Thar Desert, in the Western part of Rajasthan, Jaisalmer, the Golden City, is entirely made of yellow stone. The façades of ancient palaces were carved by hand, adding to the beautiful colour of the walls. After having strolled in the Fort and admired the leather craft, you will go for a safari in the desert, discovering the life of communities in this arid area. You will discover their know-how for patchwork craft, and then spend a magic night under the stars.
Days 20 & 21
Back to Delhi for a last shopping session, a walk in the city at night, and the end of this tour!
Home-stay, Guest houses, Heritage Hotels
Visit of artist slums, visit of one NGO teaching various crafts to women, visit of one organization training villagers to rug weaving and hiring them
Jewellery, Rugs, Painting, Wooden craft, Leather craft, Block and screen printing, Blue Pottery, Hand-made paper, Marble craft, Metal craft, Lac jewellery, Patchwork
Rural life, Life in desert, Craftsmanship, Dance, Cooking