A Desert Romance o f Rajasthan

20-31 October 2018 

Join artist and India enthusiast Maxine Relton for a taste of a royal way of life in a timeless corner of Rajasthan.

This Art Safari is a chance to paint spectacular forts and magical palaces set in a wild landscape of dunes and lakes, to glimpse rural and tribal life, and to stay in some wonderful accommodations steeped in history.

Our 11 night tour starts in the beautiful city of Udaipur, from where we will travel south by road to Dungarpur then turn north to Ghanerao, Rohetgarh and Jodphur, from where we will fly to Mumbai for the final two days of the trip.

Each of these Thar Desert cities has breath-taking architecture that will be offset in your sketchbooks by the vibrancy of the people: elegant women in brilliant saris and glittering jewellery and proud men with colourful turbans and long moustaches. This is also an area for camels and impressive cattle.

Udaipur is one of the most romantic cities in Rajasthan. It is set around the vast Lake Pichola and is celebrated for its sumptuous palaces and the atmospheric narrow lanes of its Old City. On the east shore of the lake lies the spectacular City Palace, founded in the 16th century which is now both a museum and still the residence of the Maharaja. The views from the palace across the lake are stunning, including the two island palaces – Jag Mandir and Jag Nivas.

Dungarpur is a lakeside heritage getaway on the edge of the Rajasthan/Gujarat border, an area which is rich in tribal heritage and also excellent for birdwatching. It is famous for its miniature paintings of which there are splendid examples inside the 13th century Juna Mahal palace. This seven story rugged stone edifice guards many splendid and delicate treasures including murals, glass and mirror work. In this area we will also spend time with the Bhil tribes and visit a local charity for a brief insight into the semi-nomadic way of life here.

En-route to the Ghanerao Royal Castle we will explore the 15th-century Jain Temple at Ranakpur. This white marble temple complex, supported by over a thousand elaborately carved pillars, is simply breath-taking.

In Rohetgarh we will stay a delightful family-run fort, lovingly restored in traditional Rajput style, and set on the banks of a small lake teeming with birdlife. With its sprawling lawns and manicured gardens, cool courtyards and breezy verandas it is a haven of peace and tranquillity. But there is also plenty to do and a highlight of our stay here is an all-day village safari where you’ll be to welcomed into people’s homes, experience their traditional lifestyle and customs, and enjoy a picnic lunch of local delicacies. As we drive into the desert along the camel tracks and dry river beds there is a chance to spot some local wildlife including the black buck, chinkara, neel gai, wild boar, and desert fox.

Our last stop in Rajasthan is Jodhpur – a dazzling blaze of blue on the eastern edge of the Thar Desert. Jodhpur is dominated by the imposing fortress of Mehrangarh Fort that towers above the city’s rooftops on a sandstone ridge. Bathed in yellow light at night, this imposing stronghold has the reputation of being the best maintained fort in Rajasthan and holds an outpouring of stories in its walls. It is well worth painting from every viewpoint. 

The Art Safari finishes in Mumbai – India’s fast paced and cosmopolitan financial, fashion and film capital. The heart of the city contains some of the grandest colonial-era architecture on the planet but explore a little more and you’ll uncover unique bazaars, eye-catching flower markets and hidden temples. Behind the magnificent archway of the Gateway to India, a ferry service will take you on a short cruise through Mumbai’s splendid natural harbour to the sacred Elephanta Caves. These rock-cut temples created between AD 450 and 750, represent some of India’s most impressive temple carving and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

We have chosen the coolest time of year to be in the desert – daytime temperatures will be around 25° C, just perfect for watercolour.

Why not extend your trip?
• Spend some extra days exploring the gardens, palaces and historic sites of Udaipur or Mumbai



Tour Cost per person sharing: £3285 per person
Single supplement if required: £1115 per person
Internal flights from/to Mumbai: £300 per person
International flights with British Airways from London Heathrow: from approx £650 (subject to availability)

We are happy to arrange all or some your flights for you but offer you the option of sourcing them yourself.

Our prices include: All accommodation, all meals, art tuition, guiding & hosting, excursions & internal transport by private mini-bus, entrance fees as stated on the itinerary, group airport transfers, group gratuities, and service taxes.

Our prices exclude: International flights, visa fees, travel insurance, alcoholic drinks, items of a personal nature, gratuities, optional activities, and art materials.

Please note: The cost of this Safari is calculated upon a minimum of 5 guests, in the unlikely eventuality that the tour runs with less than 5 guests you may be required to pay an additional supplement of approx £300 per person.
Further information about what art materials and clothing to take with you, medical and insurance requirements etc will be given to you later. Please also feel free to discuss your own private safari, with dates to suit you and with an itinerary to suit you.

Join our Art Safari in northern India

The quickest and often easiest way to make an enquiry is to call us on +44 (0) 1394 382235

Alternatively you can email us at info@artsafari.co.uk