Tailor-made Tour 12 days from £2730 per person

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  Places Visited: Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Mumbai, Ahmedabad

Textiles are among the most vibrant expressions of a nation’s cultural heritage, and nowhere is this more true than in India. Visit any Indian shopping district or handicraft emporium and you’ll encounter an extraordinary wealth of living traditions, from glittering, gold-encrusted wedding sarees to humble, hand-loomed cotton garments.

Whether Benarasi brocade or Orissan ikat, each region, community and tribe retains its own handicraft traditions, many of them dating back centuries. This fact is especially apparent in the northwest of the country, where the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat provide the focus for our short, textile-oriented tour.

We start by plunging into Delhi’s Kinari Bazaar, renowned as a source of traditional fabrics and jewellery. Watch block printers and dyers at work on the outskirts of Jaipur, the fabled ‘Pink City’, whose bazaars are filled with luminous patchwork bedspreads, mirror-inlaid wall hangings and exquisitely embroidered cloth from across the region. 

Further south in Gujarat, Ahmedabad was once dubbed the ‘Manchester of the East' for its pivotal role in India’s cotton trade. Today it’s the home of the fabulous Calico Museum, whose collection of antique and modern textiles ranks among the finest in the world. It includes Kashmiri shawls that took three years to make.

In the course of this trip, you’ll have the chance to experience some of India’s most iconic monuments, including the Taj Mahal, the Mughal's deserted sandstone capital at Fatehpur Sikri and romantic Amber Fort – all of them sumptuously embellished with ornate carving and inlays of semi-precious stones. Opportunities to shop for fine fabrics will be numerous and seriously tempting: we recommend you keep plenty of spare room in your suitcase.

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Suggested itinerary

Day 1

Fly direct from Heathrow to Delhi on an overnight service.

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Day 2

Arrive Delhi in the morning, stay two nights. In the afternoon, visit the Craft Museum and the popular Dilli Haat, an open-air food plaza offering cuisines from across India.

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Day 3

Full day sightseeing in New and Old Delhi today includes a cycle rickshaw ride through the busy lanes of Chandni Chowk. Of particular note is Kinari Bazaar – a popular market for Indian traditional clothes, embroidery, stonework and jewellry. We’ll also visit Humayun’s Tomb and medieval Qutb Minar.

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Day 4
Delhi, Agra

Drive to Agra today for an overnight stay. Afternoon sightseeing includes the beautiful Mughal Fort, and a visit to the Taj Mahal at sunset.

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Day 5
Agra, Jaipur

Drive westward to Jaipur today stopping en route at Fatehpur Sikri – a medieval city built at vast expense by the Emperor Akbar, but abandoned soon after. Stay three nights.

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Day 6

Visit Amber Fort, renowned for its resplendent Sheesh Mahal, or ‘Hall of Mirrors’. The nearby Anokhi Museum offers a fascinating insight into the ancient tradition of hand-printed textiles. Explore the monuments in the Jaipur’s old city this afternoon including the much-photographed Hawa Mahal or ‘Palace of Winds’.

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Day 7

Take an excursion out of town today to the villages of Sanganer and Bagru, known for their decorative textile art. The afternoon is at leisure for shopping and relaxation.

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Day 8
Jaipur, Ahmedabad

Fly to Ahmedabad this morning; stay two nights. Spend the day seeing the main sights: the Gandhi Ashram, the ornately carved Adalaj Vav (stepwell) & Calico Museum.

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Day 9

Enjoy an atmospheric early morning heritage walk through Ahmedabad’s old city. The remainder of the day is at leisure for shopping or to visit the Shreyas Museum of Folk Art and the busy street market of Law Gardens.

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Day 10
Ahmedabad, Mumbai

Fly to Mumbai this morning; stay overnight. Sightseeing includes a drive up to Malabar Hill for a bird’s eye view for the city’s trademark skyline, and through the heritage quarter with its impressive Art Deco and Indo-Saracenic buildings, dating from the heyday of the Raj. Enjoy a late afternoon treat of street food snacks.

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Day 11

The day is at leisure for shopping or for a cruise to the rock-cut Elephanta Caves.

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Day 12
Mumbai, London

Fly to London on an overnight service arriving back early morning.

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Tailor-made Tour 12 days from £2730 per person

What's included

✓   International flights from London
✓   9 nights accommodation
✓   All internal transportation and transfers
✓   English-speaking guides
✓   Breakfast daily
✓   Entrance fees to sites and monuments listed in tour itinerary

Places and Experiences in this tour

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