The one and only time I have used a trip planner was for our trip to India. We used Mumbai Magic (they customize trips for all of India, not just Mumbai). One of my must haves for the trip was some time in a village, away from large cities. That is how we came to visit Chandelao, a village about 25 miles outside of Jodhpur in the state of Rajasthan. About 1,700 people live in Chandelao and work primarily as farmers. We stayed at Chandelao Garh, the historic home of local landowners. Outside the gates of the hotel is Sunder Rang.
Rajasthan is known for its beautiful handicrafts including bead work, pottery, textiles, block printing and embroidery. Sunder Rang is a joint effort by a Norwegian nonprofit and a local Chandelao development organization. Started in 2007, it gives women of Chandelao a place to make traditional handicrafts and trains younger women to do the same. Competition from mass production has lead to a decrease in the number of people still making handicrafts. Sunder Rang has an ongoing teaching program to keep this craftsmanship alive and provide a marketplace for the finished items which allows women to generate income independently.
We walked around while women worked on their handmade items and also visited their beautiful gift shop.
I purchased a gorgeous handmade beaded necklace and got to meet the woman who made it. Sunder Rang’s web site has photos of products that you can purchase items from them via e-mail.