India Art Tour 2017 March
14 Day Guided Art Tour of Rajasthan, India
Delhi ~ Jaipur ~ Pushkar ~ Bundi ~ Udaipur ~ Jodhpur
Including the Holi Festival in Bundi
Mar 6 – Mar 20, 2017
(Other Tours of India: Sep/Oct 2016 and Sep/Oct 2017)
10% discount until Jan 30th
There is much to see in India but so much more to feel.
I invite you to join me in India for 14 magical days, travelling through majestic Rajasthan from Delhi to Jodpur visiting the ancient cities of Pushkar, Bundi, Udaipur, Jaipur and Jodhpur.
On our sketchbook tour, we’ll travel with the eyes and heart of an artist, connecting with local people and taking the time to see what is around us. We are guided all the way by Kamlesh. an expert local tour guide and dedicated to showing you the heart of his country.
Watch blue Bundi turn pink during the festival of Holi, stay in Maharaja’s heritage hotels, visit artisans in their villages and sketch in ancient temples and palaces.
Exquisite textiles, incredible frescoes and huge smiles will flood your soul.
A sketchbook tour of Rajasthan is for the artist at heart – whether you want to learn the basics of sketching, or are an accomplished artist.
You can start each day with a meditation, and then fill your sketchbooks with the brilliant colours of Rajasthan. We’ll be using mixed media, including embroidered and block printed textiles, natural pigments and beautiful Sanskrit or Hindi Texts.
Price: $3,900 (twin share) or $4,400 (private room)
Start and End: Delhi
Group Size: Max 10
Accommodation: Heritage Hotels
Travel Inclusions: accommodation & breakfast, air-conditioned bus travel between cities and one train journey, tour entrance fees.
Places Visited: Delhi ~ Jaipur ~ Pushkar ~ Bundi ~ Udaipur ~ Jodhpur
If you’d like to arrive in Delhi a bit early, you can meet up with Dawn and early birds on the day before the tour. There is a free pick up from the airport.
Day 1 – Mar 6, Mon
After breakfast we’ll make a day visit to an Artists Community in the outskirts of Delhi. We will be looking at their rich heritage, a wonderful collection of textiles and objects, and this will form a basis for workshops in the gardens to help you explore Indian culture. The day includes a delicious Indian lunch.
Jaipur – The Pink City
Day 2 – 4
Tuesday: Today we travel from Delhi to Jaipur, (a 6hrs trip) Jaipur is known as ‘The Pink City’.
We will be staying at a heritage Palace Hotel with a peaceful garden on the edge of old Jaipur. Later after settling in, we will do a workshop in the Palace Hotel gardens, to design your own wood block motif. This will be carved and delivered to you by the end of your tour.
Wednesday: To explore traditional Rajasthan woodblock carving and textile printing, we’ll travel around 35 km by bus to a small town. The town is textile heaven, and we will visit many workshops and artisans and a warehouse/shop full of exquisite textiles you can buy.
Thursday: Today we explore the Tiger Fort in Nahagarh, on the hills overlooking Jaipur. We’ll do some drawings of the extensive murals, surfaces and views. Then we’ll head out for a rickshaw ride through the centre of Jaipur – a great way to see the famous architecture up close.
We’ll wander through the streets of the old quarter where artisans are still using the traditional methods. There will be an opportunity to explore at leisure other places of interest such as the City Palace, Palace of the Winds or the Observatory.
In the evening we go and see a Bollywood movie at the palatial movie theatre Rajmandir.
Day 5 – 6
Friday: Today we travel 3hrs to Pushkar, a small town, built around a sacred lake nestled in the Aravali hills. It is one of the most holy places of pilgrimage for Hindus as the lake was created where Brahma dropped a lotus flower. It is also known for growing roses and producing essential oils.
We check into our peaceful heritage hotel and then after lunch explore and draw the Pushkar Lake and Ghats.
Saturday: Workshop on painting the ghats and drawing in the gardens of our hotel.
Visit the Kalbeliya gypsies. At the edge of the town Wander through the narrow streets of Pushkar’s bazaars.
Day 7 – 9
Sunday: Today we travel 4 hrs to Bundi
Bundi is a hidden gem of Rajasthan, bluer than Jodhpur, it is a small but lively, colourful, market town set amidst craggy hills. You can meet artisans as they work in their open shops and drink cardamom and saffron lassi. On a rocky plateau above the town sits the impressive Tara Garh Fort, famous throughout India for its intricate and beautiful murals in the palace.
We stay in a small ancient heritage hotel on the lake. In the afternoon you can wander the cobbled blue streets and in our garden by the lake.
Monday: Holi Festival of Colour. Play Holi with the local Bundi people, where people gently smear colour across each other’s cheeks, throw coloured powder and coloured water at each other, turning the streets pink with much drumming and loud music.
Tuesday: Visit Tara Garh Fort for the day. The fort is partially in ruins with much of the palace within it still in place. The exquisite, intricate frescoes of the palace are filled with lapis blue, Turquoise and cadmium reds. After a picnic and painting workshop in the gardens you will be free to wander and paint the palace for the rest of day.
Day 10 – 11
Wednesday: Udaipur is said to be one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in Rajasthan It a romantic city, the Venice of Rajasthan and is built around the shimmering Pichola Lake which is enveloped by lofty white palaces, temples, bathing ghats, and elevated hills on all sides.
We arrive late afternoon to a heritage hotel right on Pichola Lake overlooking the palace and ghats. It would be enough to stay right here for two days doing nothing but sketching the view.
Thursday: Sketch from the city palace gardens on the lake in the morning, then take a leisurely boat ride around the lake.
After lunch you can visit the palace museum with it’s intricite inlaid mosaics and frescoes, wander the narrow lanes and traditional crafts or come back and sketch from the hotel or one of the many lakeside cafes.
Jodhpur – The Blue City
Day 12 – 14
Friday: Setting out fresh in the morning, we travel to Jodhpur, the famous city washed with blue and crowned by the truly magnificent Meherangarh Fort. Rudyard Kipling described by the fort as ’the work of giants’. We’ll check into a heritage hotel in the heart of this ancient city.
In the afternoon we’ll walk around clock tower area in the local market with its multitude of spices, vegetables and craft. We’ll do some sketching from the rooftop restaurant at our heritage hotel, focusing on the domes and blue buildings of Jodhpur overlooked by the fort.
Saturday: After breakfast we take a Jeep Safari into the Bishnoi Tribe area where we can sketch tribal life. We will visit a local potter and meet master craftsman and Dhurri weavers, have lunch in a traditional Bishnoi family homestead and watch family elders perform their daily opium ritual to the god Shiva.
Sunday: time to finish off your sketchbooks and have a last day of shopping in Jodpur’s markets and narrow streets bustling with crafts and spices.
We catch the night sleeper train to Delhi. Train journeys in India are an experience not to be missed.
Day 15 March 20
Monday: Arrive in Delhi early morning
Fly out that evening or the next day or stay on and travel.
From Dawn’s Sketchbook
Inclusions and Exclusions
16 nights of accommodation from the night of Sunday March 5th and including Monday night March 20th in Heritage hotels with breakfast (except one night on the sleeper train)
14 days of tours.
All travel on an air-conditioned bus or sleeper train once
All entrance fees on guided tours with the group.
Airport pick up and drop off.
Lunches and dinners ( budget AUS $250 -300 minimum includes tips, not including alcohol)
Flights to and from India.
A $500 non refundable deposit is required to book your place. The balance must be paid three months before the tour starts.
There is a huge risk of textile gluttony so save up and bring half your suitcase weight.
There are only 10 places for each retreat as we like to keep the groups small.
We will meet up in our March and September groups in person or via skype well before the trip as many people often express a desire to keep travelling afterwards and you may want to do that together. Our tour guide can arrange further travel for you for 10% service fee.
Here is a video of our last two trips to Rajasthan which includes some of the destinations for the March Tour.
Here is a little taste of India for you so you can start learning your Hindi now. I met these beautiful souls along my way.