Destination Himalaya
Sanjay Saxena Conde Nast Top Travel Specialist for India, Nepal, Tibet, Sri Lanka
India, Tibet, Nepal & Sri Lanka

Royal Rajasthan

Rajasthan is the land of the Rajputs, who have held dominion over the western deserts of India for more than a thousand years. It is one of the areas of India where great numbers of people are still to be seen in traditional garb; Swirling skirts festooned with shiny embroidery, turbans of every hue, temple doors daubed with handprints, shrines garlanded with flowers; pleasing color is everywhere.. You can read more about this region on our Rajasthan Page.

This service trip will take you into the Thar desert area of North India.  The Rajput people living in the numerous villages in this region are know for their exquisite adornments and craftwork, and also for their warmth and hospitality in welcoming visitors. Travelers will stay at the Dera Sand Dune Resort, set atop a 130' high sand dune with panoramic views of the vast desert.  Through our long-term contact with the local Bishnoi tribes, we have become aware of the most critical shortfalls, and it is here that we devote our time in community service.

Volunteer travelers will work in the school providing English language and mathematic instruction. Those with teaching experience will also have the opportunity in helping train local teachers. Professional medical expertise is always welcome.

Outline Itinerary

Day 1 (Fri): DEPART USA

Day 2 (Sat): EN ROUTE TO INDIA - If taking one of the non-stop flights to India you will arrive Delhi late tonight. Other flights from the USA arrive early morning of Day 3.

Day 3 (Sun) ARRIVE DELHI – Most international flights arrive Delhi very early in the morning. You will be met on arrival and transferred to our hotel. A relaxed day to help get over jet lag. Orientation meeting in the evening followed by a welcome dinner.

Day 4 (Mon): TO UDAIPUR – Today we fly to the romantic lakeside city of Udaipur, founded by the Maharana Udai Singh in the 16th Century.  Upon arrival, we board a boat to take us across the waters of Lake Pichola to the regal Lake Palace (built by Maharana Jagat Singh II in 1746), where we will be spending our two nights in Udaipur.

Day 5 (Tue): EXPLORING UDAIPUR - We have the day to explore the “City of Sunrise.”  Visits to the Jagdish Temple and City Palace complex, explore the bazaar and other sites in and around Udaipur.  Sunset boat cruise on Lake Pichola.

Day 6 (Wed): TO JAISALMER – We fly to Jodhpur in the morning, then head into the Thar Desert to historic Jaisalmer, lying on the old trade route between India and southwest Asia.  In Jaisalmer, we will be staying at the Taj Rawal-Kot.  Inspired by the historic haveli architecture of Rajasthan, the hotel offers wonderful views of scenic Jaisalmer, founded by Maharawal Jaisal in the 12th Century.

Day 7 (Thu): EXPLORING JAISALMER – Today we will rise early to watch the sunrise from Gadsar Lake, take a walking tour through old Jaisalmer and the fabulous Jaisalmer Fort, and wander the town’s lively bazaars.

Day 8 (Fri): TO JAMBA – Leaving Jaisalmer, we journey to the Bishnois village area of Jamba and the Dera Sand Dune Resort, set atop a 130' high sand dune with panoramic views of the Thar Desert.  The Resort features exquisite examples of traditional Rajasthani architecture used throughout, with stonework and carvings using local design and sustainable materials, utilizing the skills of local craftsmen.  It features individual deluxe cottages, a swimming pool, spa and beautiful restaurant.

Days 9 - 13 (Sat - Wed): BISHNOI TIBAL PROJECT / JAMBA – The Bishnoi Tribe are known as great conservationists, to whom the protection of animal and vegetable life is a religion.  While their existence in the midst of a vast dry landscape is colorful and tradition-rich,  many of their basic needs are left unmet. Based on our background and skills we have five full days to help in the various Bishnois tribal villages.

Day 14 (Thu): TO JAIPUR - In the morning we will drive to Jodhpur and then fly to Jaipur, the “Pink City,” founded by Sawai Jai Singh II in the early 18th Century.  This afternoon we will explore the City Palace, Jantar Mantar, Hawa Mahal and Jaipur’s colorful bazaars.

Day 15 (Fri): EXPLORING JAIPUR - Early morning excursion to Amber Fort.  Balance of the day at your leisure.  In the evening we will have a special Rajasthani dinner with members of one of Jaipur’s noble families.

Day 16 (Sat): TO DELHI & DEPART TO USA – After another glorious sunrise on the Taj Mahal, we will return to Delhi, where we will dine together for our sumptuous “Farewell Dinner” at one of the city’s finer restaurants.  Transfers to international airport for return flight back to the USA.

Day 17 (Sun):  Arrive USA

Click here, If you are unable to join us on this tour, but would still like to make a donation towards this project.

Other Voluntourism Trips:
  • Deepthy School for handicapped
    This 10 day service trip is also in Kerala, and spends time working at the Deepthy Special School in Kottayam, a “home and school for intellectually disabled children.”  

  • Schools of Kerala
    This two week trip extends the Deepthy School trip by visiting and working in three other primary Schools in Kerala.
  • Medical Boat in the Sunderbans
    The Sunderban Islands lie off the shores of India and Bangladesh, where the Ganges River pours itself into the Bay of Bengal.  This service trip (no medical expertise required) travels by boat to assist the millions of farmers and fishermen who eek out a living on small islands
  • Munsel-Ling School: Spiti
    The isolation that preserved the Spiti culture and traditions, also left the children far behind, without an opportunity for education. We will assist in the school founded by Lama Tashi Namgyal, called Munsel-Ling or “Place Illuminating the Darkness.”
Other itineraries featuring Rajasthan:

Call us toll free at 1-800 MY INDIA (1-800-694-6342)
or email us to request a detailed day-to-day itinerary.

" Various Tour Companies have taken us to 17 countries and all 7 continents. None has been better than our tour of Rajasthan with Destination Himalaya."
- Bob & Marlene W, CA

Rajasthani miniature

Bishnoi Tribals
Bazaars of Jaisalmer & Delhi
Camel Safari
Remote Villages
Volunteer Work

It's Included:
Medical & evacuation insurance
Accommodation in Palace & 5 Star hotels
All ground transportation, local guides and entrance fees
All meals after arrival in India

Private Departures:
On Demand - Jan, Feb, Mar, Oct, Nov & Dec

Land Cost:
2-5 participants: $6085
6+ participants: $5800

Photo of Idmad ud daula, Petite Taj, by Sanjay SaxenaRajput beauty
Photo: John Harper

Photo of Rajasthani woman by Gillian MarshallCooking with the locals

artistic photo of arches Amber Fort, Jaipur by Sanjay Saxena
Amber Fort, Jaipur

Photo of Rajasthani camel rider at Pushkar camel fair by Gillian Marshall
Camel rider
Photo: Gillian Marshall
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