- Work with women artisans in a village near Jaipur & design your own block prints
- Stay at a village homestay and learn about everyday life in Rajasthan
- Explore Jaipur's famous Amber Fort, a palace carved out of sandstone and marble
- Behold the Taj Mahal, India’s monument of love and a “teardrop on the face of eternity”
This tour offers a unique perspective on the popular Golden Triangle of Delhi, Jaipur, and Agra. While there will be plenty of time to be awestruck by the amazing monuments of these three cities, you'll also meet ordinary people, get a glimpse into rural and artisan life, and see the good work of several local Indian social enterprises.
Day 1: Explore Old Delhi & Nizamuddin
Delhi is one of the most historical and vibrant cities on earth and is certainly a city of contrasts. The city is divided into two main zones: Old Delhi, with old Mughal monuments, and New Delhi, the city built during British colonial times.
In the morning, you'll take a city walk through Old Delhi to Raj Ghat, the site of a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, near the lively district of Chandni Chowk. There, browse the famous silver jewelry market, and even buy a few pieces if you wish.
Later, take a walk through the narrow streets of Nizamuddin, the Sufi area in Delhi. You'll be guided by local youth who will help you uncover the traditions, monuments, flavors, and history of this neighborhood, which is a vibrant mix of old and new, upscale residences and ancient tombs. Travelers and pilgrims flock to the Nizamuddin Dargah, the saint’s tomb, to hear qawwalis, Sufi devotional songs, eat kebabs, and shop in the lively market area.
Day 2: Delhi to Jaipur, India's famous Pink City
Today drive to Jaipur, also known as the Pink City due to the color of many of the buildings in the old city. Jaipur is the capital of and gateway to Rajasthan. For two nights, be immersed in the daily life of the villages of Jaipur.
Visit a community led by Jaimala and Hitesh, who for more than ten years have worked with youth from Rajasthan and artisan women to develop an ethical fashion project. Visit the school and small initiatives that play a part in making the community more self-sufficient, such as a biogas plant and an organic farm.
Overnight stay in the community. The rooms are basic but cozy and come with a shared bathroom. (Note that your tour can be customized to stay in the city center instead of the rural area.)
Day 3: Meet local women artisans in Jaipur
With the help of local artisan women, you will learn the art of block printing, one of the oldest printing techniques in India. Here, you will make your own handkerchief using Rajasthani wood blocks.
Later you'll have a chance to chat with the women and learn about their lives. If you wish, you can join them in young people’s daily meditation, or even join in their evening games.
Tonight, you'll stay overnight in the community in modest dwellings.
Day 4: Jaipur to Agra, the home of the Taj Mahal
In the morning visit the incredible Amber Fort, in a hill on the outskirts of the city. While you will see many elephants carrying tourists up the hill, we don't promote the labor of elephants as a tourist attraction, so will take you by Jeep instead.
In the afternoon, you'll travel to Agra by car.
Day 5: Visit the Taj Mahal, return to Delhi
Early in the morning, visit the world-famous monument of love, the Taj Mahal. Arrive at sunrise, one of the best times of day to witness this wonder of the world, as the white marble changes color with the changing light. The beautiful structure was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1631 for his queen Mumtaz Mahal.
After the visit, stop for a rest at an inspiring café run by acid attack survivors, where you can read, relax, and interact with the women entrepreneurs.
Later, return by road to Delhi.