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Art by Natasha Kumar

Essence of India with Natasha Kumar

16-day escorted tour from £4,295 pp


Short description

Join celebrated artist Natasha Kumar for a unique and exclusive tour of Rajasthan


  • Travel in the company of acclaimed artist Natasha Kumar
  • Enjoy a full range of exclusive excursions and special dining experiences
  • Take in the iconic sites of royal Jaipur and Udaipur's lakeside idyll
  • Explore the Best, (and Second Best) Exotic Marigold Hotel in sleepy Kempur
  • Stay at heritage hotels throughout

In Brief

  • 3 Nights Jaipur
  • 2 Nights Bundi
  • 3 Nights Udaipur
  • 1 Night Narlai
  • 1 Night Jodhpur
  • 3 Nights Nagaur
  • 1 Night Jaipur


Recommended for:
Escorted tour | History & culture | Small group

Natasha Kumar's work is directly inspired by Rajasthan's delicate architecture, vibrant colours and unique cultural history. Recent exhibitions included a five-month solo show at Southbank, and the Royal Geographic Society. Natasha herself will accompany this 15-day tour of her favourite and most inspiring places, including some of India’s most celebrated sites and a few of its hidden gems. Your adventure begins in colourful and chaotic Jaipur, Rajasthan's "Pink City" before you head on to Bundi, a town nestled beneath an enchanting fort-palace. Here Natasha will share the secrets of the Chitri-sala murals, and the extraordinary architecture of the town's step wells. You'll then visit lakeside Udaipur, stopping en-route at Menal, a 12th century temple town perched over a deep gorge. Wrap things up with a journey across the desert to Nagaur, where you'll soak up the sights and sounds of the town's famous cattle fair. For an authentic experience of Rajasthan, you'll stay in specially selected historic heritage hotels throughout.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
30 January 2019: Depart London

Depart London on your overnight flight, arriving in India the following day.

Day 2
31 January 2019: Arrive Jaipur

On your arrival in Jaipur, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Known as the 'Pink City', Jaipur is the capital of the colourful state of Rajasthan. It was once the capital of the Rajasthan province, and known as 'the abode of the Rajahs'. Everywhere you will see the monuments of its Rajput rulers. The city is also one of the main centres for shopping in India - especially in regard to textiles, jewels and gemstones. In the evening you are invited to a welcome dinner, which will provide an opportunity to get to know Natasha and your fellow guests.

Stay: Samode Haveli, Jaipur (Superior)

Meals: B D

Day 3
1 February 2019: Jaipur

Enjoy a day of relaxation in the majestic surroundings of Samode Haveli before the tour starts in earnest. Alternatively, if you fancy a taste of what is to come, enjoy an outing to local markets for shopping with Natasha, with transport provided. In the evening dinner can either be taken at Samode Haveli or transport will be provided to the ITC Rajputana Peshwari restaurant (dinner not included).

Stay: Samode Haveli, Jaipur (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 4
2 February 2019: Explore Jaipur

Today we embark on a full day's sightseeing of the remarkable attractions around Jaipur. We leave after breakfast for a photo-visit to the Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) - a five-story wonder with a spectacular pyramidal façade and overhanging windows with latticed screens, domes and spires - followed by a visit to Amber Fort, a magnificent example of Rajput architecture. Then, after lunch at the atmospheric 1135 AD restaurant, situated within the fort itself, you'll visit the Anokhi Museum to see a demonstration of block printing. You'll also have a the chance to try your hand at this - bring a plain t-shirt or handkerchief. The afternoon continues with a visit to the awe-inspiring Jantar Mantar, an astronomical observation site built in 1726 by Maharaja Jai Singh II before rounding off the day with visits to SATAYAM and Gem Palace, two of Jaipur's leading producers of luxury fashion goods. This evening, perhaps take an optional excursion to the old pink-city market. You could also opt to watch an Indian movie at the iconic Raj Mandir movie theatre, the most famous in India.

Stay: Samode Haveli, Jaipur (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 5
3 February 2019: Bundi

After breakfast we visit the formal gardens of Sisodia Rani Ka Bagh with its attractive Chhatris, where we take a relaxing stroll, before leaving Jaipur for Bundi, with a stop for lunch en route (not included). This picturesque little town in jungle of the Aravalli Hills is one of Natasha's favourite locations in India. It is renowned for its intricate paintings and murals, and was the capital of the state in the heyday of the Rajputs. The walled town, 37km north of Kota, lies in the north of the former Hadaoti state, shielded on the north, east and west by jagged outcrops of the Vindhya Range. The rest of the afternoon and evening is free for you to relax. Natasha and your tour guide will be able to recommend options for dinner (not included). There may be the opportunity to see a film at the private cinema at Hadoti Palace during your stay.

Stay: The Hadoti Palace (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 6
4 February 2019: Bundi

We take a guided tour of Bundi, an astonishing town that holds many secrets, with mesmerising step wells, exquisite Chhatris and captivating animal life. The place is decorated with some of the finest murals in India, including the Chitri Shala. it's no wonder Kipling wrote The Jungle Book here and Natasha finds it so inspiring. We visit the dilapidated and romantic Bundi Palace and Star Fort that looms above the buzzing bazaar, where monkeys clamber through its halls and night bats fly through jali windows. We also visit the Mari Kipling Palace & Hunting Lodge and the nearby Pot Village, where the men turn the pots from local clay and the women decorate them. A special dinner has been arranged at the nearby Bundi Villas (payable locally).

Stay: The Hadoti Palace (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 7
5 February 2019: Udaipur

We spend the day travelling to the beautiful city of Udaipur, set amidst the Aravalli Ranges of Rajasthan, within elevated hills and beautiful lakes. Udaipur is regarded as one of the most romantic cities in the world, and often referred to as the 'Venice of the East'. En route we visit the Menal temple complex - a 12th century temple town overlooking the gorge of Menali River that's dedicated to the Lord Shiva. After lunch (payable locally) we take a lighter break at the Ravla Khempur Palace, a small village hotel famous for its role in the film the The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for afternoon tea. Locally it is known for its Mawari horses with their unique inward turning ears. Once we arrive in Udaipur the evening is free.

Stay: Fateh Prakash Palace, Udaipur (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 8
6 February 2019: Udaipur

We spend three nights in Udaipur, a lakefront city which is decorated with picturesque white marble palaces set against placid blue lakes and mountains. This morning we enjoy a morning relaxing at the hotel in between breakfast and lunch (not included). In the afternoon we visit the Monsoon Palace set high in the mountains overlooking the lakes of Udaipur. This is a great spot to watch the sunset and the Palace below, which in the evenings is illuminated with a golden glow.

Stay: Fateh Prakash Palace, Udaipur (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 9
7 February 2019: Udaipur

In the morning Natasha leads a tour of this fascinating city on foot. included will be a visit the City Palace complex, which was built over a period of 400 years by several kings, starting with Maharana Udai Singh II in 1559. The palace complex consists of four major and several minor palaces forming a single breathtaking façade of 900 metres overlooking the Pichola Lake. Once the home of the Mewar rulers, most of the palace is now converted into a museum. It houses a collection of rare miniature paintings, decorative mirrored mosaics and a large array of artifacts. You'll also visit the armory museum. Don't miss the Dunbar Hall - the place of royal ceremonies even today. In the late afternoon, you'll enjoy a boat ride on Lake Pichola. From the lake, the views of the City Palace stretching along the east bank are simply stunning. Note that the boat ride is dependent on the water level of the lake.

Stay: Fateh Prakash Palace, Udaipur (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 10
8 February 2019: Udaipur – Narlai

After breakfast, we drive to Narlai, stopping en route at Ranakpur to visit the famous Jain temples. The temples are over 500 years old but well preserved. They are unique in style and design, and are one of the most beautiful and isolated places in Rajasthan. Their ceilings are carved with fine, lace-like foliate scrollwork and geometric patterns. After lunch (not included) we continue to Narlai, where you will check into your hotel on arrival and relax for the rest of the day. Narlai is in rural Rajasthan and whilst not always offering as high as in other parts of Rajasthan it has an abundance of charm and character. The real reason for staying in Narlai becomes apparent in the evening, when we enjoy a completely unique dining experience in the 16th century stepwell of Rawla Narlai. We leave the hotel after dark and travel by bullock cart to the stepwell, where a traditional Rajasthani feast is served by candlelight within the stepwell itself, accompanied by a yogi singing devotional songs.

Stay: Rawla Narlai, Narlai

Meals: B D

Day 11
9 February 2019: Narlai – Jodhpur

After breakfast we drive to Jodhpur, home one of Rajasthan's most magnificent forts. Jodhpur has a rich colonial history, and the city prospered under the British Raj. When India gained independence in 1947, Jodhpur became the second city of Rajasthan. During the day we will visit Jaswant Thada, an imposing white marble cenotaph built to commemorate the acts of bravery and generosity of the 19th century rulers.

Stay: Ajit Bhawan, Jodhpur (Superior)

Meals: B L

Day 12
10 February 2019: Nagaur

In the morning we visit the imposing Mehrangarh Fort, one of India's largest, founded 1459 AD. Within the 5km fort, there are several brilliantly crafted palaces. There's also a museum that houses an exquisite collection of palanquins, howdahs, royal cradles, miniatures, musical instruments, costumes and furniture. This afternoon, we continue our journey to Nagaur, home to the famous Cattle Fair. There are no planned activities for the late afternoon and evening, so you will have the chance to enjoy some free time in the the grounds of our spectacular hotel, Ranvas, which is situated within Nagaur Fort.

Stay: Ranvas Nagaur (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 13
11 February 2019: Nagaur

We will enjoy a leisurely morning at the hotel followed by an early lunch (not included) before visiting the colourful Nagaur Cattle Fair. The fair is the second largest in India, and is held annually for eight days between January and February. Its purpose is to trade cattle, bullocks, camels and horses, with more than 75,000 exchanges taking place each year. There is also plenty of entertainment, including games such as tug of war and camel races, dancing horses and desert folk musicians who give performances during the afternoon and sunset. The fair is also famous for its Mirchi Bazaar, or red chili market. There are also quality wooden items, metal work and leather accessories for sale.

Stay: Ranvas Nagaur (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 14
12 February 2019: Nagaur

After breakfast, we spend another morning at the Cattle Fair, take a camel or horse ride, or you may choose to relax at the hotel. In the afternoon we visit Nagaur Fort, a Muslim stronghold built in the 12th century that has many temples and palaces within the complex. It has exquisite Mughal pavilions surrounded by gardens and tanks with a intricate water system that was restored in 2009.The fort's internal and external spaces now serve as a venue to the Sufi Music Festival. In the evening we will enjoy a special farewell Thali dinner at Ranvas Chowk.

Stay: Ranvas Nagaur (Superior)

Meals: B D

Day 15
13 February 2019: Nagaur – Sambhar Lake – Jaipur

Today we return to Jaipur, visiting Sambhar Lake en route, and stopping for lunch nearby. Afterwards we continue to Jaipur where we stay overnight. Dinner can be taken at your leisure at the hotel (not included).

Stay: Trident Jaipur, Jaipur

Meals: B D

Day 16
14 February 2019: Tour ends

After breakfast at the hotel enjoy the morning at leisure before returning to Jaipur airport for your onward or return flight.

Meals: B



Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.


Accommodation rating: Superior

16-day escorted tour from £4,295

Tour price from £4,295 per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room excluding international flights (*),

Supplement for single occupancy is £1,496.

Price includes: 15 nights’ accommodation with meals (including selected soft drinks) as specified in the itinerary, sightseeing, excursions, entrance fees and ground transportation in an air conditioned vehicle. Natasha Kumar will accompany the tour throughout. 

Price does not include meals and drinks other than those specified in the itinerary, camera fees at certain monuments and sites, items of a personal nature and tips.

We have chosen not to include meals in all locations to allow some days with the flexibility for guests to enjoy different dining experiences or meal times either with or without other members of the group.  Natasha will be able to recommend options for dining in each location in addition to the restaurants in the hotels we stay in.

* Note that international flights to and from India are not included in the tour price, we will be happy to quote for flights at the time of booking based on your preference of airline and cabin of travel.

We can also arrange private extensions to the tour, for example, if you wish to visit Delhi and the Taj Mahal or other parts of India before or after this tour, please ask your consultant at the time of booking.

Terms & Conditions: Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.

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