Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Silk Route

Silk Route Escapes is an experiential travel outfitter offering uniquely custom-crafted tour packages in hand-picked travel destinations in India. 

I've written blurbs for the four Featured Destinations and the blurb for Spiritual under Special Interest. The web copy of my writing is given below. 

Here's a screen grab for the same.



Kerala is rich culture, intellect, and beauty. With its 15,000 square miles of palm-fronded
beaches, untainted backwaters, this land of magic is a cultural and esthetic splash.

Silk Route crafts travel experiences through Kerala’s lush mountains, deep jungles; and
delivers it to you like an insider. Featuring prime locations like tea gardens of Munnar,
bustling port town of Fort Kochi, and unexplored beaches of Malabar; coupled with
offbeat activities and cultural encounters.


Set in central Kerala, Spice Coast takes you through the idyllic water ways of
Kumarakom; to the sprawling rubber and spice plantations of Kottayam; and the wild life
conserves of Thekkady. Offering you a ringside view of its characteristic people; well-preserved colonial legacies; nerve-fondling Ayurvedic massages; bullock cart excursions
through spice gardens; rambles with passionate conservationists; and a day with a rescued circus elephant.

Designed in north Kerala, Malabar Coast finds you in the undulating hills and esoteric caves of Wayanad and the virgin beaches of Neeleshwar, helping you establish a primordial connection with this pristine untouched land. Here we lead you through rich treks; restorative beachside Yoga lessons; walks through abandoned forts and caves; front-row seat at Theyyam ritual dance; and experiential regional culinary delights.

Available hand-crafted 9-day and 8-night expeditions or custom-made journeys.


Know the Himalayas. Silk Route takes you through the regional chunks of this vast and
intimate snow-serried mountain system, offering up close encounters with rare mountain
tribes and desolate peaks.


Discover this 11,500 feet high altitude desert blotched by chalky white snow mountains
and lush valley of the Indus river. Choice pick of sites and experiences range from the
bohemian splendor of the annual summer festival at Hemis to first-run meditation lessons
from monks; a shot of archery in apricot orchards; Bactrian camel safaris through Nubra
valley; Shyok river cruises; and snug stays at renovated tea houses. 

Sikkim offers a palette of high altitude treks and luxury jeep safaris in the west; simple
village life in the east; and orchid bowl and grazing yaks in the north. Make pit stops at
monasteries, cardamom forests, and tea gardens. Or milk a cow; cook local Limbu cuisine; dry out honeycombs; bike, kayak, and fish.

Be a tea baron in the colonial vestige of Darjeeling and hoot the toy train before you hit
the sack in a clutch of tea garden bungalows morphed to boutique resorts. Experience the
“first flush” harvest amidst some good tea-induced cheer.

Experience this pastoral paradise. Explore the cradle of Buddhism, with its colorful festivals
and ethnic cultural experiences. Itinerary features ultra luxe lodging; treks through pine
forests; bike rides through flower valleys; and hanging prayer flags.

Silk Route offers both 9-day and 8-night itineraries, as well as custom-crafted expeditions
throughout the mighty Himalayas.


A valiant living spread over fragrant brown land; earthy, intimate, and deliciously rich. Silk
Route brings you this intense territorial mass in a way never done before.


Get to know the ancient villages rife with folk traditions, mud huts, and harsh Thar desert life in Barmer; know the desert mystery that next door Jaisalmer is—its fabled living citadel filled with beautiful crumbling havelis and palaces, lived in by warm hospitable rural folks. Enjoy the nostalgic something in the deserted village Kuldhara; snap up some Jaisalmer stonework in Ramkunda. Explore village of fire dancers and dairy farmers in Bikaner.

Raw Rajput unfolds in the blood-stained ruins of Chittoor, the ghosts of valor and pride. Slow down to bed the impossibly romantic Udaipur: a cluster of toy island palaces amid
shimmering lakes and panoramic rolling greens. Go vintage with the Palace Garage Car
Collection; enjoy moon light dinner on a shikara boat. Peel your eyes at the marvelous Amber stone carvings of Jain temples. Picnic to the artisans village Shilpagram.

Circuit the action-packed Jaipur by lanes and bazaars hawking ethnic pottery,
textiles, metal ware, and jewelry. The soothing pink of its architectural extravagance contrasts with the flaring colors of the local attire. Enjoy intellectual camaraderie at the Jaipur literature festival; a crafts tour to a handmade paper industry; gaze at quaint colorful frescoes in the tired havelis of Shekawati; get camel happy at Pushkar, visit the sole Brahma temple in the world; pump up with game viewing at Ranthambore Park. Stay at luxurious Amanbagh amidst the Aravalli Hills. Live life king size with a round of camel polo, Yoga lessons at abandoned forts; villages safaris and chai brewed with love and leaves.

Lap up the medieval charm of forts looming over the blue cornflower-colored houses in
Jodhpur. Kick back with exclusive champagne walks; luxurious stays at art deco Umaid
Bhawan Palace; shop for antiques, vintage textiles, and handicrafts. Run into the unique
Bishnois tribes in the wildlife delight of Guda; befriend this robust sect that preserves all
forest life forms and follows 29 tenets of good living; visit a local school; partake in an opium ceremony; ride indigenous Marwari steeds; indulge in contemporary Riff Music Festival patronized by Mick Jagger.

Silk Route offers Only-Rajasthan circuits along with a combination of Golden Triangle trip extensions for 9-day and 8-night itineraries.

Classic India is a climax of local moments and ancient monuments. Silk Route hosts an architectural and cultural jamboree for you here.

Delhi—the old, the new, the intense. Stroll through the sweet fragrance of Phool Mandi (flower market). Walk the city’s savory patch in a lattice of imperial monuments—with ancient Shajahanabad; a ubiquitous rickshaw ride in the bursting thoroughfares of Chandi Chowk; a leap in time at the Gandhi Smriti; Qawwalis by Sufi musicians at Nizamuddin (the ancient Muslim urban village). Blaze the culture trail with a visit to the Hauz Khas Designer village; and sail through quick-flourishing art in Gurgaon.
Court the flushed pink toy town of Jaipur in its bazaars and by lanes filled with gems, block print textiles, and traditional Jaipur blue pottery. Stroll the dusty pink medieval bazaars enjoying the riot of colors—bright turbans and women draped in cheerful lehengas; tour the communities of artisans. Graze the Aravalli mountains on a hot-air balloon safari. Experience some blue blood dining with the royals, lodging at remodeled palaces; and warm banter and bonhomie with locals in remote villages. 
Enroute a stopover at the red sandstone magnificence of Fatehpur Sikri; cherish the pearly white monument of love, the Taj Mahal; visit baby Taj, Agra’s true gem.
Experience quintessential Varanasi: watch the cycle of life unfolding in the sacred Ganges water; the pilgrims waist deep in water; on a private boat, witness early morning pujas. Get away from the waters to the local villages and ancient universities; wax eloquent with the silk weavers; slump into a musical reverie at a local musician’s home; take a detour to Saranath, spot of Buddha’s first sermon. Trace your fingers through the scintillating temple sculptures of myths and transgressive erotic acts at Khajuraho; listen to their stories come alive; enjoy some extraordinary game drives; and cosy up in a stone jungle lodge.
Mumbai is everything for everyone. Begin this classic anomaly of slums and skyscrapers with the Gateway of India; ferry across to the Elephanta Cave stone sculptures of Hindu Gods; treasure hunt in Chor Bazaar (thieves market); and breakfast on the turf. Go where Mumbai began, its whimsical fishing villages; drift through the exploding art scene through Colaba art district; partake in Bollywood on-set production; watch the bubbling suds of the massive open air laundromat at Dhobi Ghaat. Drive 4 hours north to the wine trails of Nashik—a swig of the frontier class “drink-now” Indian wines. Stop by the World Heritage Site Ajanta and Ellora Caves in Aurangabad for spell-binding sculptures carved by Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain monks. 
Silk Route hand crafts Classic India trip spectrums to your choice and requirement for 9-day and 8-night itineraries.

Silk Route takes you on a deeply moving spiritual quest through Kerala’s verdant hills and
sparkling waters.
Designed to tap your inner spaces, tour highlights include rendezvous with the Arakkal
royal descendants for a strong waft of Muslim religiosity; warm bonhomie with the legends
of lost Jewish tribes; chanting Vedas with serene young boys wearing the sacred sutra;
personalized mantras to reinforce you once back in your coop; individually slanted
meditation lessons to bring you to your most harmonious state of mind; a guided tour of
the surprising array of temple arts; a pious moment at a snake worship shrine.
Tip your nerves into peace with a soothing Ayurvedic massage; get familiar with your
unique blueprint for health through personalized Ayurvedic meals based on your Dosha.
Walk away with your future in your hands with a visit to a famed astrologer. Seek your
blessing directly from the Gods in the Theyyam ritual dance; enter a spiritual trance along
with the intense nadana of the devoted Theyyam performer incarnating as the shrine deity.
Watch the esoteric spectacle of the red-garbed Oracles at the Bharani festival, slicing the
temple air with bejeweled metallic sabers and smiting their crown with it, establishing
communion with Goddess Kali.
Book now:
Enrich your soul with Silk Route’s individualized spiritual journeys or their carefully
chosen 9-day itineraries.

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