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“The food was the BEST I’ve ever had in my life!”

Kate & Robert Goldhouse, US

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Tracy Scott, US

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“Our hearts are bursting with gratitude…”

Amy Leventhal, US

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<’h1′ class='av-special-heading-tag' itemprop="headline" style='padding-bottom:’0′px;font-size:”px;'>’Vegin’

ADVENTURE DETAILS

DURATION12 days
GROUP SIZEMaximum 14 people
GROUP MINIMUM1 person (all our trips are guaranteed departures)
STARTS INDelhi
ENDS INDelhi
START DAYTuesday
END DAYSaturday

Double click on the map to enlarge it – click and drag to move it

“Veg out” for 12 exhilarating days in splendid centuries-old palaces, mystical ancient Hindu temples, remote rural villages and delightful medieval desert towns while enjoying sumptuous local vegan cuisine!  

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Rajputs have been known for centuries not only for their bravery and courage, but also for their warmness and hospitality. Recognized as a fearless warrior caste, they ruled Rajputana – one of the most colorful states in India, for hundreds of years. Building vast kingdoms complete with majestic palaces, impregnable fortresses and extravagant gardens, they developed a rich culture known for their unique architecture, vibrant local dances, charming folk music, tasty cuisine and brightly attired locals in their colorful dress that stand out in deep contrast to an otherwise dry and arid desert landscape.

As evident in their culture and daily lives by the murals that adorn the walls of many Rajput families’ homes and the amazing, intricately carved and mystical temples that fill the rugged terrain, the arts and spirituality were not only supported, but also encouraged by the local princely Rajput kings known as Maharajahs.

When many people think of India, the colorful images that come to mind of desert kingdoms, scenic centuries-old villages, Maharajahs and camel caravans crossing the vast desert, are those of Rajasthan. On our 12-day Vegin’ Out in the Land of Rajputs adventure these images come to life as we step back in time to the lands made famous in the journals of Rudyard Kipling, where we’ll not only visit the must-see highlights of this mysterious land, but also journey well off the beaten track to not only see, but experience, the India of a thousand years.

Come join us for 12 days of literally “vegin’ out” in centuries-old palaces, ancient Hindu and Jain temples, rural back road villages and medieval desert oasis towns while enjoying a plethora of tasty local vegan cuisine!

WHAT’S INCLUDED

ACCOMMODATION

11 nights accommodations (3 nights at hotels, 2 nights at a charming old Maharajah’s palace, 2 nights at a Raja’s remote desert palace, 1 night at a serene hillside retreat, 2 nights at an old lakeside mansion, 1 overnight air-conditioned sleeper train)

MEALS

31 meals (10 breakfasts, 1 brunch, 9 lunches, 11 dinners)

TRANSPORT
  • Private air-conditioned cars
  • bicycles
  • auto
  • rickshaw
  • jeep
  • boat
  • and train (air-conditioned overnight sleeper train from Udaipur to Delhi)
STAFF

VegVoyages Adventure Leaders & Local Guides

OTHERS INCLUDED
  • Yoga classes
  • vegan cooking class
  • daily language lessons
  • all local guide fees
  • live traditional music and folk dances
  • airport arrival pick up
  • Taj Mahal entry fee
  • Keoladeo Ghana National Park entry fee
  • Keoladeo Ghana National Park private naturalist guide
  • Fatehpur Sikri entry fee
  • Udaipur City Palace entry fee
  • boat trip in Udaipur
  • desert jeep safari
  • village visits
  • guests at local schools
  • donation to local schools
  • guests at a Bishnoi village
  • exploring local bazaars
  • visit to a local animal sanctuary
  • donation to a local animal sanctuary
  • dinners with local families
  • participation in an ancient aarti (Hindu ritual) ceremony at a thousands-year-old remote temple
  • visit to an auspicious Jain temple
  • and all other activities, entertainment and entry fees as per the itinerary
NOT INCLUDED

International airfare, airport departure transfer, visa for India, personal travel insurance, gratuities and items of a personal nature.

ADVENTURE DATES AND PRICE

YEAR20142014201420142014
START DATEFebruary 11March 18September 16December 2December 22
END DATEFebruary 11March 29September 27December 13January 2, 2015
START DAYTuesdayTuesdayTuesdayTuesdayMonday
END DAYSaturdaySaturdaySaturdaySaturdayFriday
PRICE (US$)COMPLETEDCOMPLETEDCOMPLETED1,7951,695*
YEAR201520152015201520152015
START DATEJanuary 20February 10March 17September 29November 24December 22
END DATEJanuary 31February 21March 28October 10December 5January 2, 2016
START DAYTuesdayTuesdayTuesdayTuesdayTuesdayTuesday
END DAYSaturdaySaturdaySaturdaySaturdaySaturdaySaturday
PRICE (US$)1,695*1,7951,7951,7951,7951,650*

* Promotional Prices – please note, promotional prices are not valid with any other discounts or offers. Also, bookings must be made directly to VegVoyages. Thank you.

ITINERARY

DAY 1 Arrival in Delhi / Gurgaon

Namaste! Welcome to India! On arrival, we’ll pick you up at the airport. There are no planned activities for today. After your flight, you may want to relax. If you arrive early and feel like going out to see the city, just talk with your Adventure Leader who will be on hand to assist you and point you in the right direction. Make sure you get plenty of rest, as we’ll start early tomorrow. In the evening, we’ll have our group orientation meeting complete with traditional snacks and dinner where you’ll have the chance to get to know your Adventure Leader and fellow travelers while we discuss the adventure that lies ahead. (Snacks, Dinner)

DAY 2 Bharatpur

In the morning we set out for Bharatpur where we’ll explore the UNESCO World Heritage Keoladeo Ghana National Park. A haven of wetlands and forests, the sanctuary is home to over 400 species of birds including a selection of herons believed to be among the best in the world, along with a wide variety of other wildlife. We’ll traverse the back trails of the sanctuary by bicycle or rickshaw (your choice) with our naturalist before returning to our hotel for dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 3 Bharatpur and the Taj Mahal

After breakfast, we’ll visit India’s most famous landmark – the stunning Taj Mahal, which of course needs no introduction. A remarkable mausoleum built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a tribute to his favorite wife – Mumtaj Mahal, when one sees it in person, the feeling is best summed up in the words of Tagore who described the tomb as “one tear drop…upon the cheek of time”. After taking in the Taj, we’ll explore the ghost city of Fatehpur Sikri. Built in the 16th century by Emperor Akbar, these well-preserved ruins were the capital of the Mughal Empire between 1571 and 1585 AD before being deserted. Returning to our hotel, you’ll have time to freshen up before dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 4 Kishangarh

Setting out into the desert, we’ll stop at Abhaneri village to visit its epic half- millennium-old Chand Baoli step-well, the largest step-well in India, before arriving in the romantic Kingdom of Kishangarh. Founded by a Jodhpur prince four centuries ago, the kingdom flourished with its military prowess and fortunes earned as a member of the Mughal court. Here we’ll be staying at the Maharajah’s beautiful monsoon palace built in 1870 just outside the walls of the massive Kishangarh Fort on the banks of the monsoon fed Gundalao Lake – so be on the lookout for kites, peacocks, herons and wild ducks that call the lake and nearby fields home. On arrival, we’ll head out to explore the colorful bazaar and centuries old streets of this princely state founded in 1611 AD. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 5 Kishangarh

After yoga, we’ll be guests of a local school before learning a little bit about marble. Rajasthan is famous for its marble – you’ll see it in temples, homes and palaces and today, you’ll get a chance to find out how it comes to be – from the quarry to the final product. Then, it’s off for lunch at the 1648 built Roopangarh Palace where we’ll also explore the four-centuries-old streets of its surrounding village. Heading back to Kishangarh, we’ll visit the local bazaar where we’ll buy gifts for kids at a school we’ll be guests of in Bhadrajun. As the sun sets, we’ll return to the palace for a tasty vegan dinner of local delicacies. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 6 Bhadrajun

Today we travel to the rustic yet charming village of Bhadrajun where we’ll be personal guests of the Raja (equivalent of a Lord) at his 16th century palace residence. The history of Bhadrajun dates back thousands of years and is mentioned in the famous Indian epic, the Mahabharata. This picturesque village will be our home for the next two days as we focus on local village life, culture and customs. Arriving at the palace, we’ll board jeeps and head into the desert to catch sunset from atop a sand dune. As the sun dips off on the horizon, we’ll continue out to a remote and auspicious Hindu temple that dates back over 3,000 years for their aarti (Hindu ritual) ceremony. At nightfall, we’ll return to the palace for a candlelight dinner as personal guests of the Raja’s family. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 7 Bhadrajun

After breakfast, we’ll visit a remote Bishnoi village. The Bishnois, who are strict vegetarians and strong environmentalists, are known for their protection of the trees and wildlife that surround their villages. Many of their villages, like the one we visit today – look similar to the way they’ve looked for hundreds of years. For lunch we’ll join a Bishnoi family at their home before being guests of a local girl’s school where we’ll join the students in the popular game of sitolia. From the school we’ll travel to a nearby shepherd’s village, where brightly attired locals go about their lives much as they have for centuries – their vibrant clothes standing out in stark contrast to the surrounding desert. Returning to the palace, we’ll meet for a colorful evening of traditional Marwari music, dinner, and dance. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 8 Saira Countryside

The magnificent 15th-century Ranakpur Jain temple – one of the five holiest sites in the Jain religion, is an awe-inspiring marble marvel sprawling over 48,000 square feet with 20 domes and 1,444 pillars. After taking in the temple complex, we’ll ascend the Aravalli Mountains to a serene hillside retreat surrounded by forests, rivers and small villages. Exploring the picturesque hills, fields, forests and quaint Bhil villages in the late afternoon, we’ll return to our retreat at sunset for dinner and traditional local music. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 9 Udaipur

Today we journey to the formidable 15th century medieval citadel of Kumbhalgarh. This massive fortress rises 1,100 meters from a ridge and is encompassed by a 20-mile long defensive wall with seven gates, ramparts, watchtowers and rounded bastions making it nearly impregnable. Next, we’ll drive through the rural roads of the Aravallis to the enchanting oasis city of Udaipur. Known as the Venice of the East, Udaipur is one of the most romantic cities in India. Surrounded by lakes and rich in history, we’ll spend our time here taking in the alluring princely charm of Rajasthan. Arriving at our home, a charming old noble’s mansion set along the banks of Pichola Lake, we’ll take a cruise on the lake before meeting our friends who just happen to be great chefs for a cooking class of local vegan classics. So be ready to roll up your sleeves as we’ll not only learn, but also cook tonight’s meal. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 10 Udaipur

One of the highlights of our stay here in the City of Lakes is our visit to a very special animal rescue organization known as Animal Aid. We’ll spend the morning with them out at their base where they not only offer a hospital, but also a home for the abused and neglected animals of the city. Their patients include everything from donkeys to dogs, cows to water buffalos, monkeys to pigs – whoever is in need gets the help. After lunch, we’ll visit an 18th century royal garden of fountains made to work by gravity alone, and the majestic Royal City Palace. As the sun sets, we’ll sample the tastiest cuisine the oasis town has to offer – a delicious home-cooked Mewari feast at a local Rajput family’s home while enjoying live music and folk dances. Make sure you have a good appetite – and don’t forget to bring your party shirt and dancing shoes! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 11 Udaipur – Overnight Train to Delhi

After breakfast, you’ll have the day free to get in any last minute souvenir shopping or just kickback and relax until we meet up to catch the overnight train to Delhi. On the way to the railway station, we’ll stop for dinner. (Breakfast, Dinner)

DAY 12 Delhi / Gurgaon

Arriving in the morning by train, our adventure ends in Gurgaon after brunch. Bahut, bahut dhanyavaad (thank you very much)! (Brunch)

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING…

There was no way I could have planned a trip like this on my own and enjoy it even half as much as I did with this tour. Everything was planned perfectly.  We really got to see how the locals live and see what India is really like. The food was amazing. It was a trip of a lifetime!

Deirdre SullivanNY, USA

A truly memorable trip! To experience the vibrancy of this fascinating country and to interact with the local people was a real privilege. Every day had a highlight and our guide had detailed knowledge, which made the experience even better. I would recommend Vegvoyages to anyone who wants to experience a country in the most responsible and ethical way.

Andy Jones 
West Sussex, UK