Inspiration from India

An inspirational tale from India.

As we all take time to adjust to the latest coronavirus restrictions and get over the disappointment of more postponements to our forthcoming plans, I just wanted to take this opportunity to share an inspirational travel related story from India that might brighten your day a little.

As travel lovers, many of you will have seen the BBC series the Real Marigold Hotel where a group of adventurous aging celebs set off to discover whether they can have a more rewarding retirement in a foreign land than here in the UK.

Way back in Series 1 (2016!), we saw Miriam Margolyes, Jan Leeming, Wayne Sleep and others head to India to experience life in a haveli in Jaipur, the capital of India’s Rajasthan state. Jaipur was founded in 1727 and was one of the earliest planned cities of modern India. It’s also known as the Old City or Pink City for its trademark building colour.


They joined their knowledgeable guide, Raju Meena, for a tour of Amer Fort. Raju was a 27 year old determined to educate himself for the betterment of his family. As they explored the temple surrounded by mischievous monkeys who make haste with their offerings, Raju explained the karmic benefits of feeding animals.

Afterwards, he invited the visitors to his home, where they were warmly welcomed into the family. Over a chappati-and-curry meal, Raju explained how caste discrimination has limited his employment opportunities. His stark story contrasts with the warmth of the family reception and the unjustness of his situation hits home hard.

However,  thanks to the wonders of the World Wide Web and his entrepreneurial spirit, Raju has been able to bypass these social limitations, take his destiny into his own hands and build his own successful local tour company, Hidden Jaipur, rated excellent on Tripadvisor. Born in Jaipur, Raju provides a unique experience for those who strive for something different to the usual tourist trail. His tours help you explore places in-depth and discover the stories and history unseen or unheard by most travellers.

Adjusting, adapting, and moving on

But, as is the case for the travel industry across the globe, Covid-19 has had a severe impact on his business this year. Not to be deterred, Raju has harnessed the power of the internet once again and come up with an idea to enable you to enjoy a little piece of Jaipur from your own home. He has started a shop on Etsy to offer wonderful creations handmade in Jaipur and thus help the artisans to keep working through this difficult time.

If you have had to postpone your trip to India this year or if India is on your bucket list, this is a great way to still be able to treat yourself to an authentic souvenir. Rather than a memento of holidays past, it could be a happy reminder to look forward to holidays to come when the time is right, as well as providing much needed support to local economies so badly hit by the crisis.

If you would like to have a browse, you can find Raju’s Etsy shop here (I’m not sure whether the traditional bartering system works in an online marketplace though!)

If you’d like further information on travelling to India or maybe there’s somewhere else you’d like to visit and you’d like us to create a tailor-made holiday for this year or next or even if you just have a general travel question and don’t know what to do, give us a call on 01733 834435 or complete the Contact Me form on the website and whether it’s a Bellissimo Travel booking or not, we’re here to help.


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