Trip to Rajasthan, Mumbai & South India – Behind the Scenes
Testimonial – Barbara Herbert, Washington DC
Hi Niraj – We returned after an amazing trip to Rajasthan, Mumbai and South India. I thank you for the superb arrangements despite last minute alternations. Bonnie really needed to time off and I was glad I could be around with her. Except Delhi, we enjoyed our trip especially interactions with craftsmen especially the amazing ceramics artist, Dinesh Chandra Kumhar at Molela. Hoping to do more trips especially to craft centres of South India.
Destination / Region
Rajasthan / Mumbai / South India
A Trip to Rajasthan – Background
Barbara is a US resident who has visited India many times. Over the years, her interests have gravitated towards textile craft in specific and craft heritage of India in general. However, her husband Bob is the complete opposite with an interest in natural beauty and beaches. So, the challenge always is to keep both of them interested. Barbara planned this trip partly with her friend Bonnie who needed to take her mind off after the loss of her near and dear ones.
We had a real challenge on hand. A frequent traveller with a focus on craft, a first-time traveller and Bob, who would join Barbara later while Bonnie would spend some time on her own visiting Kerala for spirituality centers and exploring backwaters / heritage.
Barbara gave us an idea on the potential trip to Rajasthan, Mumbai and South India, which we later expanded into three different trip segments, i.e., Barbara – Bonnie, Barbara – Bob and Bonnie alone.
We had Barbara visit some craft villages, a rural homestay and offered many different experiences to keep her engaged. While Barbara spent time in Delhi exploring some boutiques, Bonnie did a day trip to Agra. The drive from Jodhpur to Udaipur took them through the pottery village of Molela, which excited Barbara so much that upon her return, she sponsored one of the potters for taking part in a global competition.
Once Bonnie departed for Kerala, as the last leg of the trip, Barbara undertook some very interesting walks in Mumbai, i.e., Bollywood Walk, Slum Walk, Heritage Walk with Bob, while Bob enjoyed his walks by the Arabian Sea.
Just two weeks before their departure, there was a bit of rethinking by Barbara and we decided to make the trip to Rajasthan leg less hectic, while scrapping the desert area of Jaisalmer altogether. This allowed them to spend more time with the craftsmen. We were able to execute the revised plan keeping the flights intact.
The whole process of planning and finalising took a few months, over many email exchanges. Barbara took a few more trips after this one, covering remote Himalayas and continues to be in touch over planning her next trip to craft heritage areas.
Barbara and Bonnie – Delhi (3 nights with a day visit to Agra) – Jodhpur (2 nights) – Deogarh Mahal (2 nights) – Udaipur (4 nights)
Barbara and Bob – Mumbai (3 nights)
Bonnie – Trivandrum Arrival – Amritapuri (3 nights) – Alleppey (2 nights) – Fort Cochin (2 nights)