Northern India holiday, tailor made
Description of Northern India holiday, tailor made
Take an unforgettable tour through beautiful Rajasthan, visiting its famous cities with their imposing forts and palaces, but also exploring the quieter side of this corner of northern India. This is a chance to see the classic and most iconic sights, but with a local perspective. Youíll enjoy unique accommodation, from tiny village hunting lodges to ancient palaces converted into hotels, and meet families, seeing first-hand how tourism can positively impact on people and communities.
Accommodation throughout is in family-run properties that maintain strong connections with the local community. Most hotels employ staff from nearby villages and also make sure they support schools, hospitals and the environment. This ensures that your stay directly benefits the area and the people who need it most.
This 15-day tour starts in the history-rich capital of Delhi. Explore the cities hidden corners, bustling bazaars and local specialities. From here travel either by road or rail to Agra to see the iconic Taj Mahal at sunrise. Your trip then continues onto the vibrant and colourful state of Rajasthan, visiting the famous cities of Udaipur, Jodhpur and Jaipur which boast impressive forts and beautiful palaces. In between the cities you will have stops in rural Rajasthan, offering a unique insight into village life.
This trip can be tailor made throughout the year. India has five seasons: spring, summer, monsoon, autumn and winter. Different regions are affected at different times by the monsoon rains, as they move from the Indian Ocean up to the Himalaya. They affect north and central India from May to September. In the south, the monsoon generally hangs on into October. Rajasthan is largely dry so itís possible to travel here off-season, and often hotels drop their room rates and famous monuments are less crowded.
Planet and peopleTransport on this itinerary is generally by car, although there are a few train journeys.
Travelling responsibly can take many forms and need not comply solely with the expected norm and focus only on the preservation of wildlife. Simply by visiting an area the traveller can benefit the locality and this positive impact can be greatly enhanced by operating in a sustainable and considerate manner. On this suggested itinerary your qualified guide, local in each place, will ensure that you learn a great deal about the culture, history and wildlife of the region but they will also encourage you to buy in local shops, try local restaurants or pick up the odd souvenir in a market.
This spending will not only help support the local economy but will sustain local trades and crafts. All the guides used on this tour are locally qualified and they will offer you a first rate service. By employing only local Indian guides travellers are providing both a valuable source of employment as well as generating income for the local community.
On this trip all but two hotels are owned by local families who rely upon tourism for the upkeep of the ancient buildings and land that have been in their families for generations. Your money does stay within the community as all of the hotels hire their staff from local villages and towns, training them up to the high standard that tourists expect, including teaching them English. In general this itinerary does take you away for the usual tourist path and this really does mean that your money helps develop these regions at ground level.
A good example is Ramathra Fort, which just a couple of years ago was a ruin but is now slowly and carefully being rebuilt with local materials and methods and is staffed by young men and women from the tiny villages in the area. The owners of Khem Villas are actively involved in the local school, hospital and welfare centre as well as various environmental projects in and around Ranthambhore National Park. Most other hotels on this route work in a similar manner, and by staying in these smaller, family-run properties, you really are helping the local communities.
Staying in homestays such as Saubhag Bed & Breakfast in Delhi mean that you can get a feel for how Indian families live and the owner will take you out into Delhi, away from the main tourist sights, to her favourite local restaurants and shops, so again you're spending your money somewhere that most other tourists don't.
By using small family run local hotels you can not only be sure that your money is going straight to the people who need it most but have the chance to see a side of India that the majority of tourists miss.