Lotus India Adventures
Lotus India Adventures is unlike other tour companies. We like to keep group sizes small, we prefer "off the beaten track" destinations and choose mostly family run, boutique, and wherever possible, eco hotels. Specialising for the last ten years only in India travel - we aim to give you an authentic 'hands-on' experience of India's extraordinary culture, spirituality, history and wildlife. We like to keep our tours as relaxed as possible and aim to give you the sense of adventure, freedom and wonder you would experience as an independent traveler. Perhaps this is why most of our travelers have come back with us a second time.
Hari and carrie who lead the journeys have been living, studying and working in India for many years. They are holistic therapists and also run The Lotus Retreat - a yoga centre and India boutique in Oxfordshire.
Lotus India Adventures is a subsidiary of the Glorious Adventure Company - www.thegloriousadventurecompany.com
24th October - 5th November 2018
22nd January - 3rd February 2020
This Autumn’s Hidden Rajasthan tour journeys through some of the most beautiful and lesser known parts of central and southern Rajasthan. We will follow the Aravelli Hills eastwards through the wild and beautiful Dhadikar Valley, to the holy town of Pushkar, then make our way south to the lakeside city of Udaipur, before heading back to Delhi via Chittor and the charming painted city of Bundi. Highlights include tiger spotting in Sariska, absorbing the sacred energy of the lakeside town of Pushkar, exploring the spice markets and palaces of Udaipur and two nights at the stunning Castle Bijapur - nested amongst forests and remote villages. This tour will be lead by holistic therapist and India enthusiast Carrie Rossiter and Hari Lambani.All the accommodation we have chosen is boutique, heritage and full of charm. Most serve home-grown organic food and support “eco-tourism.” You will sleep in a stunning 12th Century Fort at Rambihari, the historical palaces of Deogarh and Bijapur, and several picturesque Haveli’s (traditional Rajasthani family mansions). The pace of the tour is slow - allowing you time to fully absorb each destination and we have included plenty of free time for you to follow your own interests whether that be cookery, Ayurvedic treatments, yoga or shopping! Your tour guides will always be on hand to help you make the most of your trip. Included in the tour will be many fascinating cultural experiences - including dining with local families, village treks, a morning spent at a rural charity school, camel riding in Pushkar, the chance to learn local cookery skills and experience the healing power of yoga and Ayurveda. Your trip is bookended with a night in Delhi where you can explore the markets and sights of India’s fascinating capital city.
highlights of our ITINERARY
Visiting the villages and schools of rural Alwar.
Watching the sun set over the lake from Pushkar’s temple-topped mountain.
Tiger spotting in Sariska’s wildlife sanctuary.
Cookery and camel riding in Pushkar.
Being treated like royalty at the stunning Deogarh Mahal and Castle Bijapur.
Wandering through Bundi’s ancient painted streets.
Sunset boating on Lake Picola, Udaipur.
cost and what's included
£1575 (flights not included)
Airport transfers in Delhi.
All transport between tour destinations.
All accommodation when in India.
All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 10 evening meals.
Sariska wildlife sanctuary safari.
Guided tours of the Udaipur, Pushkar and Delhi.
Aravelli Valley village tour and charity school visit.
Pushkar sunset trek and camel safari.
Visit to Udaipur summer palace and Chittor Fort.
day by day ITINERARY
DAY ONE - DELHI
You will be greeted at New Delhi airport on the morning of your arrival in India and taken by taxi to the charming Jyoti Mahal hotel - just a stones throw from the bustling Paharganj bazaar. After a thali lunch and time to rest, we will visit Raj Ghat - Ghandi’s final resting place, and take a guided walk around the Jama Masjid - India’s largest and most splendid mosque - and experience the colour and energy of the surrounding Chandi Chowk bazaar. The day will end with a rooftop dinner in Paharganj market.
DAYS TWO & THREE - Rambihari Palace
On the morning of day two we depart by minibus for the Rambihari Palace in the ancient region of Alwar. This beautiful heritage hotel is located amongst the Aravelli Hills and affords panoramic views of Siliserh lake and surrounding farmland. It will make an idyllic second stop to recuperate after your flight and adapt gently to Indian culture.
In the afternoon we will enjoy a short trek - with our guide Ninja, through the surrounding hills and local villages. Our day will end with a candle lit dinner on the hotel terrace.
On our third day, we will visit the Nirvana Foundation school. The afternoon will be filled with a tiger safari in the remote Sariska wildlife sanctuary. With Ninja’s infamous tracking skills we can expect to see crocodiles, deer, rare birds and even the elusive Indian tiger.
DAYS FOUR & FIVE - PUSHKAR
Day four we will leave early for the holy town of Pushkar. Pushkar is considered deeply sacred to the Hindus and has been drawing pilgrims and travellers to its holy lake and temples for hundreds of years, it has a palpable spiritual energy which will leave a deep impression. The town is circled by the Aravelli hills and beyond this lies the far-reaching Thar desert. Pushkar also boasts a fantastic market where you can purchase anything from a singing bowl to a silk sari and sit and watch the world go by in one of the rooftop cafes. Included in your stay in Pushkar will be a guided tour of the temples, a lakeside spiritual ceremony, a sunset trek to the temple-topped Savriti mountain and camel riding in the surrounding desert. In your free time you may wish to enjoy a traditional cookery course, try a yoga session with Prakash or simply wander the vibrant market.
Our accommodation in Pushkar will be the Seventh Heaven - a charming family run haveli with a petal strewn courtyard and an excellent roof top restaurant overlooking the town and lake. Ayurvedic treatments and shiatsu are available with resident masseur Kishore.
DAY SIX - DEOGARH MAHAL
We will depart early on day seven to reach the stunning Deogarh Mahal hotel by midday. Today’s journey will take us from the deserts of Pushkar directly south into the more fertile plains of central Rajasthan. After lunch in the hotel gardens you will have the remainder of the day to relax by the fabulous flower shaped pool or explore the beautiful local town. Within the Deogarh Mahal (which is a luxurious 15th century converted palace) there is also an art deco bar, a lovely Ayurvedic centre and rooms fit for a queen! Dinner will be served on the roof terrace which affords stunning views.
DAYS SEVEN & EIGHT - UDAIPUR
On day eight we will head south to the infamous city of lakes and Palaces, Udaipur. We will arrive in time for lunch and time to unwind by the pool, followed by an afternoon guided tour of the Summer Palace. The day will end with a classical music and dance concert in the old city (optional) followed by a candle-lit dinner at the fabulous lakeside “Ambrai” restaurant.
The following morning you will enjoy a guided walk to the ancient Jadish temple for morning prayers and through Udaipur’s colourful spice bazaar. You will then have an afternoon at leisure to explore the many historic sights of Udaipur. For the yogi’s amongst you, yoga sessions can be arranged in the hotel gardens. We will be staying in the Mahenrda Prakash hotel - an extremely friendly family-run boutique hotel with a pleasant pool, pretty heritage decor, a garden cafe and a small Keralan spa.
DAY NINE & TEN - CASTLE BIJAPUR
On day nine we depart early by minibus into the heart of rural Rajasthan for two nights at the stunning Castle Bijapur. We will break up our journey east by stopping to explore Chittorgarh Fort. We will reach Castle Bijapur early afternoon in time for a gentle trek through the surrounding hills. Day ten will be a day at leisure for you to explore the surrounding countryside either by jeep or on foot. Birdwatching and wildlife treks are on offer as well as horse riding through the surrounding hills and villages and yoga and meditation sessions. Or perhaps you will choose to relax by the fabulous pool, enjoy the Ayurvedic spa or simply sit and watch the abundant wildlife from your verandah.
DAY ELEVEN - BUNDI
On our eleventh morning we will depart for nearby Bundi. The lakeside town of Bundi - with its charming painted havelli’s, and glorious hill-top palace - is one of Rajasthan’s undisputed ‘hidden gems’. It’s remote location means it has remained relatively untouched by tourism and holds a peaceful unspoiled ambience that cities like Jaipur and Jodhpur now lack. We have a full day here to visit the palace and wander through the old bazaar, our day will end with dinner at the hotel’s lovely rooftop restaurant.
DAYS TWELVE & THIRTEEN - DELHI
Day twelve we will catch the 6.00am express train back to Delhi. Breakfast and chai will be enjoyed on the train as we watch the farmland and villages of Rajasthan’s heartland roll past. We will reach delhi for lunch and an afternoon to do some final sightseeing and shopping. For those interested in Ayurveda - India’s ancient medical system - one-to-one consultations and treatments can be arranged with Dr Meenakshi. On our final evening we will enjoy a celebratory South Indian dinner and drinks in nearby Connaught place before departures the following morning for the UK.