India Christmas holiday, land of the Maharajas

“Discover the colours, culture and hidden corners of Rajasthan on this 15 day small group tour in December – the ultimate Christmas present.”


Delhi | Agra | Taj Mahal | Deserted city at Fatehpur Sikri | Karauli | Ranthambore | Game drives | Jaipur | Pushkar | Jodhpur | Meherangarh Fort | Bishnoi tribe | Bhenswara | Visit the Rabari people | Udaipur

Description of India Christmas holiday, land of the Maharajas

This India Christmas holiday, land of the Maharajas, is a definitive 15 day tour of Rajasthan, providing a rich and thorough experience of this state and a wonderful introduction to India, too. Beginning in Delhi, we will take in the unmissable Taj Mahal and Agra, before working our way south, discovering celebrated highlights and some best kept secrets, far off any familiar tourist route.

Alongside Rajasthan’s beautiful cities – Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur – you will discover unsung treasures: rural villages, remote temples, dramatic forts perched on windy hilltops and peaceful lakes. Throughout, you’ll stay in family-run accommodation that’s big on character, heritage and comfort.

There is the chance to see Rajasthan’s wildlife, too, looking out for tigers in Ranthambore and taking jeep safaris to seek out black buck, chinkaras, nilgais and civet cats. Meet local people, too and learn about their lives, and simply enjoy soaking up the colour and culture of this beautiful region of India.

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20 Dec 2020
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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

We are very aware of the economic, ecological and ethical impact tourism can have on ancient cultures and fragile environments. We realise that taking clients through this region can have a negative impact on the environment if not handled responsibly and as such, on all of our trips we go to great lengths to minimise the negative and accentuate the positive - after all, there are also many good things that the traveller can bring.

Our “Leave No Trace” ethic is applied to this trip and as tour operators, it is something we are careful to promote. Your guide on this trip will have been trained to uphold this policy and all clients are fully briefed on what is responsible behaviour before venturing into wilderness areas. It is extremely important to respect animals within their natural environment and guides will ensure travellers are fully briefed on how to behave appropriately when on safari in Ranthambore National Park or searching for leopards in Bhenswara on day 11.

By keeping the group size to a maximum of 12, we can also minimise the human impact on the fragile sites we visit. This is of particular importance where delicate ecosystems are concerned e.g. Ranthambore National Park. Originally a hunting ground for the Maharajas of Jaipur, Ranthambore was declared a game sanctuary in 1955. By the 1980s it became a national park and one of the ‘Project Tiger’ reserves.

Project Tiger is one of the schemes organised by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change in India which aims to provide central assistance to the tiger States for tiger conservation in designated tiger reserves. By visiting Ranthambore on days 5 and 6 of the tour and enjoying the wonderful diversity of wildlife that lives within it we are supporting India’s efforts to protect endangered species like the Tiger.

Where possible we aim to use characterful and eco-friendly accommodation on our trips. On this particular itinerary you will stay mainly in heritage hotels. These converted palaces, castles and forts are of great cultural and architectural importance to India’s tourism and history so you will be supporting the ongoing conservation & restoration of these beautiful buildings.

The Impacts of this Trip

In India we use local ground handlers - this means that all the operational costs go directly into the local economy and helps to improve employment opportunities in remote regions. By incorporating family run heritage hotels, local restaurants and the services of guides and drivers into our itineraries, we ensure that the money you spend on your trip goes directly into the local economy and local communities benefit from tourism.

This wonderful itinerary will take you on a journey through the colourful state of Rajasthan allowing you to experience both the wealth of historical and cultural attractions on offer as well as unspoiled rural villages and family run heritage hotels. We believe it is very important to venture off the beaten track to get a real feel for the diversity of life in India. Whilst wandering around historic quarters of old cities and overnighting in beautiful heritage hotels is culturally enriching, we also think taking the time to visit smaller, more isolated or overlooked communities can be extremely rewarding for both parties involved.

For example on day 10 of the tour as we journey to Bhenswara, we will make a stop to visit the Bishnoi Tribes. Considered by some to be the world’s first environmentalists, you will have a chance to meet and learn more about this unique community and their intimate relationship with their natural environment. As religious followers of Guru Jambheshwar, who laid down 29 principles 540 years ago, they preach the protection of trees and wildlife – by harming the environment they believe you do harm to yourself. We will visit the villages and homes of the tribe and learn about the ‘dhurry’ a local handmade carpet they produce. Not only is this a chance to show support and respect for the work this community does in protecting their home but it is an opportunity to engage with inspiring local people from whom we could learn a lot.

In order to facilitate an enduring support structure for the communities we visit, and to show a commitment to these values, in January 2009 we set up a charitable foundation through which we can directly channel funds to both existing NGOs and our own development projects. In addition to organising ethically sensitive tours, having our own charitable foundation allows us to raise money – through the cost of our tours, charity trips and fund raising events – which can then be used to fund various projects in education, sanitation, reforestations and a number of other important issues facing developing communities.


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