This is the trip that launched a website! Thanks to the inspiration of India our Girls Trip to Rajasthan became the springboard for five friends to stretch their wings and try something new. We had never travelled together before but we more than survived on our group trip – we thrived.
We arrived in New Delhi India on a flight from Singapore. We stayed with fellow GlobalWOT Robin at her home in Gurgaon. She picked us up personally from the airport with her driver. If you are staying in a hotel you can arrange airport transport through your hotel.
We had a lot of catching up to do once we arrived at Robin’s. We settled in and chatted the night away. Girls trips are always a rejuvenation of the soul for this reason!
Day 2: New Delhi
After a simple breakfast at home we hit the streets of Old Delhi with Mr. Anubhav Sapra, our friendly Delhi Walks Food tour guide.
We tried everything from little one-pot stalls in old alleyways to restaurants. Every single bite of food was amazing! This was one of the highlights of our trip. It is a great way to experience the streets and try street foods in a safe way. It also gives you confidence when ordering food for the rest of your trip.
After a full morning and lunch enjoying food, we took a tuk-tuk to the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib Sikh Temple on Ashoka Road near Connaught Place.
It is a must see!
You will need to remove your shoes and cover your head to enter. Head coverings are available at the door if you need them. We listened to members chant and we explored the hallways of this beautiful temple. In the kitchen next door volunteers work endlessly to prepare food for 30,000 local people. Anyone is welcome to eat there – even you. Be sure to help roll out the chapati while you are there!
We did a quick stop at Jama Masjid built in 1644, and then we headed to Greater Kailash N Block Market. In the comfort of air-conditioned stores you can find beautiful clothes that won’t fall apart when you wash it, all at reasonable prices. Jaypore, Kilol, Anokhi, Suvasa, Fab India are all great shops for clothes. For fantastic lotions and potions visit Forest Essentials. We bought some colorful Indian styled clothes to wear for our trip and finished the evening in a restaurant in the area. There are several to choose from.
Day 3: Agra
With an early 5:30 am start, we drove three hours with our private driver to experience the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. It is as majestic as you hope it will be. We spent a wonderful day exploring the grounds with the most fabulous tour guide Ramesh Deewan from The Colours of India tours.
We splurged for lunch at The Oberoi Agra. They only take reservations, so if you want to visit, call well in advance. It was delicious and a lovely respite from the hot sun. We refreshed ourselves in their gorgeous bathrooms before leaving to journey back to New Delhi. We wish we had saved more time to see the grounds of the hotel – we’ve heard they are pretty amazing.
Before leaving Agra, we agreed to stop at Kalra’s Cottage Industry. We learned about carpet making and unrolled just about every rug in the shop. This is a stop you do not need to make, and it’s possible the guides get a kick-back for taking people in, but ultimately, we ended up buying rugs! If you don’t like these kinds of situations, just say ‘no thanks’ at the outset.
After expressing my concern about extra customs and taxes, they gave me their personal guarantee that nothing would prevent my rug getting to my home (Bali) safely and if I had a problem I could call and they would handle it. Surprisingly, nothing happened and I love my rug.
While some of us were in Agra, the other half of our group who had done Taj Mahal previously took some time out to relax and enjoy the spa facilities of Roseate House in New Delhi.
Day 4: Jodhpur
An early start to catch our flight to Jodhpur. We travelled with IndiGo. They were very reasonably priced with nice clean planes.
We were picked up by the hotel and went straight to RAAS Jodhpur. We stayed in their Heritage Suites with private courtyards and balconies. It was absolutely stunning and we felt pampered in every way. But be aware: the RAAS has a mosque right next door that calls for prayers (loudly) at 5am every morning. The call lasts a couple of minutes. Foam ear plugs are provided – have them unwrapped and ready beside you is our best advice!
After exploring our rooms we hit the streets. Just down the road from RAAS you will find the Stepwell. When we got there they were filming a movie! India has an unparalleled vibrant movie industry. We watched the action while enjoying our lunch at The Stepwell Cafe.
Close to the Stepwell is Good Earth Moon House Haveli, a beautifully crafted boutique store. They also have a cafe which we planned to try (it was recommended) but ran out of time to do so. The entire Haveli is impeccably designed and revived as part of the Walled City Regeneration Project in historic Jodhpur.
Our wanderings took us to the New Market area and Jain Textiles for some fabric shopping. So much fabric! One of our favourite items were the cashmere blankets that were fairly priced and so incredibly soft.
We walked back arriving in time to see the beautiful sunset and enjoy dinner at Darikhana which is one of the restaurants at RAAS. The food was fantastic, with good company to match.
Day 5: Jodhpur
After breakfast at the hotel, we took tuk-tuks through the streets to visit Mehrangarh Fort on the hill. We had a spectacular view of it from our hotel and couldn’t wait to visit. Check out discount tickets on tours with our affiliate.
There is an entrance fee, and you’ll also need to pay to use professional cameras (photos by smart phone are just fine). You pay a few extra rupee to take an elevator to the top level which we highly recommend. It’s a hot uphill walk otherwise!
The fort was full of intriguing architecture, patterns, carvings and paintings as well as tourists from all over India.
What a stunning place!
It was almost as enjoyable watching and meeting the local tourists as it was to see the fort.
From the fort we walked down the hill back into the narrow streets of Jodhpur.
In the late afternoon guides from Blue City Tours took us on a tuk-tuk tour of the historic Blue City. The Blue City is best appreciated from above though. Be sure to ask your guide where you can go for best views.
For dinner we took a car (arranged by our hotel reception) to Khaas Bagh. This is a unique five star hotel and restaurant with a spacious courtyard surrounded by glass garages of antique cars. Some cars were even converted into dining spaces. It was a unique place with delicious food and a charming atmosphere. Though mosquitoes were a good reminder to pack your bug spray!
Day 6: Udaipur
We were met by a transit driver in the morning for a drive to Udaipur. This is typically a six hour drive, somehow we did it in just over four. Our driver was crazy and dangerous. We do not recommend him!
We had one bathroom break mid drive and then went straight to Udaipur School of Social Work. There we met Dr. Veena Dwivedi who is an assistant professor and was our contact for a school of girls who we were distributing Days for Girls kits to that day. We met students of the Social Work program who are learning all they can to help the people of India rise out of poverty, abuse and oppression. We are more than grateful to have had this experience!
With Dr. Veena we drove to the girls school where we were greeted by smiling faces. We were privileged to teach them truths about menstruation, their bodies and about how strong they are as girls. It was an unforgettable experience.
We are firm believers in the good that Days for Girls does around the world and Global Women on Tour are grateful to be a part of it in our own little way.
Our inspiring day ended with our arrival at our new accommodation: Udai Kothi Hotel. Our original rooms were very small and not up to standard so they upgraded us to the suites which we really appreciated!
Dinner that night was opposite our hotel at the Harigarh Restaurant which is right across the road. Great location and excellent food!
Day 7: Udaipur
Up early to walk across the bridge for a bike tour with Art of Bicycles. Our hotel, thankfully, wrapped our breakfast for us to take with us. It was a longer bike ride than expected, but we had a patient guide and thoroughly enjoyed it.
It was exhilarating to experience the countryside on bikes. We highly recommend it for anyone who feels up to the physical challenge.
After an energizing morning we came upon people at The Gavari Festival. It was a beautiful sight of color, sounds of singing and devotion. They gave out food in the streets and everyone was dressed for celebrating.
Udaipur City Palace and Museum was next on our itinerary. We walked there. The palace is remarkable with the tastes, designs, colors and feel of India’s beauty.
We ate a late lunch at Palki Khana – a cafe in the palace courtyard. Prices were on the higher side for India pricing but the food was good, and we enjoyed the smoothies.
After such an active day we thoroughly enjoyed the rooftop pool at our hotel for a refreshing swim.
In the evening we taxied out to The Oberoi Udaivilas where we enjoyed a private tour of the grounds. It is a stunning hotel and we enjoyed every inch of the architecture, design and the location on the river. We had a delicious dinner in their Indian restaurant. Eating there was expensive compared to previous meals, but it was a fitting splurge as friends whose trip to India was drawing to a close. Do you want to stay at the magnificent Oberoi Udaivilas? Book here!
Day 8: Back to Delhi
The following morning we had a couple of hours before heading to the airport so we shopped for silver jewelry at shops down the street from the hotel and received henna art from a lovely woman in her home.
That was an unexpected experience that came from asking a storekeeper where we could get henna. He told us his sister could do it and he personally escorted us to her home. She was a true artist and we sat on the floor chatting in broken English while she worked.
After arriving back in New Delhi we had one last stop to be sure our India experience was complete. We went shopping one more time!
We shopped for rugs and scarves and other fabulous things at Dilli Haat which is an outdoor market. Stalls sell top quality products from all the different regions of India (they change out, so every time you go, you’ll find something different). They also have performances and a food court which is delicious and authentic but quite a bit less spicy and safe to eat. It is 100 rupees to enter. Be sure to check out Amar Shakti Handloom for rugs that can fold up in your luggage and check out the beautiful handiwork on pieces in Tribes India.
As a nice cap to the evening we drove back to Gurgaon to the fancy Cyber Hub where we had a fun meal at SodaBottleOpenerWala. They had fantastic food that we all loved.
Girlfriend Travel to India
We said one last goodbye with hugs all around before retiring for the night to catch an early flight back to Singapore. For three of the group it was the first time to travel to India. We all learned a lot and this trip is forever etched in our hearts.
As well as strengthening our own relationships we helped spread knowledge and power to women and girls and even planted the seed that quickly grew into what www.globalwot.net is today. This girls trip to Rajasthan was life altering in every way. We can’t wait to go back!
Trip taken September 2018