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Treasure Hunting Through India: Markets & Artisans

The Experience

Begin your journey in Delhi. Delhi’s markets and boutiques are often overshadowed by Mumbai’s, but over the last several years Delhi has matured into a bona-fide shopping mecca, you just have to know where to look. This journey will steer you clear of the tourist markets and take you to our favorite silver shops buried in Old Delhi’s twist of lanes, and the forward-thinking boutiques where New Delhi’s most fashionable residents go to outfit themselves and their homes. You’ll pick up custom-made wallpapers inspired by Mughal designs and plush velvet throw pillows embossed with whimsical motifs. From Delhi, head to Varanasi where you will see the revival of a 500-year-old silk weaving tradition. Watch as spindles zip through huge looms creating yards of fabric in intricate patterns, and be amazed by the delicate patterns hand embroidered along hems. You’ll see the inspiration for all of the colors as you observe the daily rituals take place along the Ganges. No India trip is complete without a visit to the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal has inspired creativity for centuries. Many overlook Agra for artisan crafts, but since the Mughal era, Agra has produced marble inlay work, stonework, and rich Zardozi embroidery. We’ll take you to the source so you can see how delicate slivers of jade and coral are inlaid in marble—a practice perfected by the artisans who built the Taj. From here, you’re on to India’s best-loved city for arts, crafts, and all things beautiful: Jaipur. More than any other Indian city, Jaipur has inspired creative imaginations with its overflow of hand polished gems and whole markets devoted just to fabric, bangles, and trimmings. Jaipur is also a magnet for expatriate designers and some of the country’s best homegrown talent. You’ll visit the famous studio of block printer Bridgette Singh, and see hand block printing in action. Venture to the outskirts of Jaipur to see paper being handmade from scraps of cloth, enormous dying ghats and sails of fabric drying by the river, and carpet weaving. Your next stop is the blue city of Jodhpur where you’ll hunt for palace antiques and cashmere and be fitted for your own pair of Jodhpurs—one of the world’s last clothing articles that must be individually fitted. From Jodhpur you may choose to travel deeper into Rajasthan, searching for diaphanous dohars—traditional Rajasthani summer quilts—in the romantic city of Udaipur then to see mirror work embroidery and track down tribal jewelry amongst the dunes in the sand-swept outpost of Jaisalmer. For a shorter journey, head straight to your departure point: Mumbai. There is no better place for a final spree then Mumbai. You’ll meet designers and score cutting-edge designs that merge traditional techniques with modern aesthetics. From the chicest apothecaries stocking delightfully packaged Ayurveda elixirs to the hippest clothing and homeware boutiques in the country, Mumbai will not disappoint. Along the way you’ll gain inspiration from stays at refurbished palaces, tented oases, and even the world’s best hotel.

Detailed itinerary

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