The first destination to launch Purposeful Trips was India in November 2017. Our exclusive Curio Trips itinerary starts at the palaces and temples of Rajasthan, ticks the Taj Mahal off your travel bucket list, and ends in the backwaters and beaches of Kerala for some much needed rest, relaxation and reflection time.
WHO: India first-timers, couples, families & friends, multi-generational groups
CAUSES: Equality - women and girls, Health - access to food, water and vaccines
WHY: To travel to a country that is home to extreme income inequality and observe what that means for its inhabitants. Discover the consequences for women and children, and the health risks for all in a place where access to food, water and health care is a struggle for many. By ending your trip with two travel bucket list experiences you get to vacation in India too.
WHERE: Rajasthan & Kerala
WHEN: October - March
IDEAL TRIP LENGTH: 14+ days including arrival & departure
SETTING: Cities, countryside, backwaters & beach
HOTEL STYLE: Luxury, boutique, tented camps & houseboats
BUCKET LIST EXPERIENCE: The Taj Mahal
TRIP COST: From $5,500 USD per person excl. airfare
udaipur, the city of lakes
Udaipur, "the city of lakes", is many people's favourite city in the state of Rajasthan. Life centres around Lake Pichola, which is home to the iconic white marble hotel Taj Lake Palace that floats quite literally in the middle of the lake. Overlooking the lake is the City Palace and off in the distance is the Araveli mountain range. It's no wonder Udaipur is nicknamed "the Venice of the east" for all the beauty it holds. Spend your days here learning about the rich history of the region and getting acquainted with local life through markets and fantastic food. En route to Jodhpur take the scenic route to understand how water is managed in rural India and the lengths people go to to gain access to it.
JODHPUR, the blue city
Known as the blue city for its blue painted houses that stretch as far as the eye can see, the second largest city in Rajasthan is also home to palaces, forts and temples, and is famous for its spices. Also referred to as "The Sun City" for its year-round sunny weather, a two day stop in Jodhpur gives you a chance to bask in the views from Mehrangarh Fort, stroll through spice bazaars and visit the beautifully intricate Jaswant Thada. Get to know some locals during your two days in Jodhpur through a cooking class designed to show off the best of Rajasthan cuisine using the spices that the city is famous for.
JAIPUR, the pink city
The pink city of Jaipur is re-painted every eight years to maintain its coral glow. Standout architectural sights include the Amer Fort, Hawa Mahal (pictured) and the City Palace. As well as learning about the history of the city, it is here that you will gain firsthand insights into the complexities around domesticated elephants in Rajasthan and the long road to creating freedom for these gentle giants. En route to Agra, stop to meet female victims of horrendous and life-changing acid attacks. This incredible group of women are open to sharing their stories in a bid to raise awareness of this important issue to eventually put an end to all acid attacks in India.
Agra, the city of love
Now for the bucket list part of the trip...the Taj Mahal. The main attraction of Agra is the marble mausoleum commissioned in 1632 by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan to serve as the tomb for his wife. Completed 20 years later, it has become a global symbol of Mughal architecture and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. Attracting around 8 million visitors a year it is virtually impossible to find a quiet time at the Taj Mahal, but luckily sharing the site with thousands of others doesn't take away from the magical experience of seeing it for the first time.
The backwaters of Kerala are a network of rivers, lakes and canals that by their nature force you to slow the pace. The only way to experience them at their finest is on a houseboat rolling on the river. Soak it all in as you pass by palm trees and rice fields, and watch local life take place along the river. Ranked one of the "50 destinations of a lifetime" by National Geographic Traveler, floating along the backwaters of Kerala rounds out your trip with space, time and serene surroundings that create the perfect setting to reflect on your trip and decide on the actions you want to take when you return home.