Princess Gauravi Kumari, daughter of Princess Diya Kumari of Jaipur, is deeply involved with PDKF, her mother’s social outreach programme for the women of Jaipur. The royal talks to Travel + Leisure India & South Asia about balancing two different lifestyles in New York and Jaipur, her idea of luxury travel, and how her journeys inspire her work at PDKF. By Aindrila Mitra
T+L India: As a millennial traveller, which are some of your favourite destinations and why?
Gauravi Kumari: My all-time favourite travel destination has to be New York, because I went to university there and it feels like home when I go back every time. I love the energy of the city, its shopping places, restaurants, and how everything is easily accessible. I also always enjoy travelling around Italy and Greece, and to London.
T+L India: What has been your most memorable luxury holiday of yours?
Gauravi Kumari: The family holiday we took to Capri, Italy, was beautiful. The island is absolutely stunning, and from the balconies of our rooms, we had the most amazing views of the coast and the Faraglioni, which are the natural rock formations in the sea next to Capri. We enjoyed fresh seafood, cheeses, and beaches; went shopping day and night; took boat trips around the island; and went swimming in the Blue Grotto!
T+L India: What does luxury travel mean to you?
Gauravi Kumari: For me, luxury travel means travelling in comfort, with detailed, curated experiences. Luxury also means something that is very unique and exclusive, where you don’t feel like one in a million tourists, doing, seeing, and experiencing the same things. Luxury does not always mean opulent or lavish, it can also be very simple but bespoke experiences that you will cherish for a lifetime.
T+L India: How does travel inspire your work at Princess Diya Kumari Foundation?
Gauravi Kumari: Travel keeps my ideas fresh, and also allows me to understand the international market. It gives me an idea of the type of products that the lady artisans at PDKF can produce using traditional craft techniques of Rajasthan and adjust them for the design sensibilities of the West. It also opens my mind to different traditions, ways of living, and thought processes, and helps me be a well-rounded human and citizen of the world.
T+L India: What motivated you to get involved with PDKF, and what’s your vision for the foundation?
Gauravi Kumari: PDKF was started by my mother in 2013 to empower the women of Rajasthan. I grew up seeing my mother working for the welfare of the women. Visiting the foundation as a child, I would be amazed to see the work of women artisans and how PDKF helped transform their lives. I started The PDKF Store to expand and improve the reach of the products the ladies were creating at the foundation. The PDKF Store provides a direct platform for women artisans of Rajasthan to showcase their skills at a global level. Through this, we aim to train more women and create sustainable livelihood opportunities for them. We also aim to support more girls and women through our education, health, and hygiene programmes.
T+L India: What kind of traveller are you—the adventure junkie or the laid-back tourist?
Gauravi Kumari: Adventure junkie! I love exploring new places, meeting locals, and learning about cultures when I am traveling. I like an open and flexible itinerary, not too packed so that I can experience things as they happen, and go with the flow.
T+L India: You used to live in New York City and now in Jaipur—how do you balance the two lifestyles?
Gauravi Kumari: I enjoy having the best of both worlds. I love both so much that I also enjoy the differences. I love our culture and traditions—my family is dedicated to preserving the cultural, architectural, and artistic heritage of Jaipur, and I am so proud to be a part of that. I love being home in Jaipur and spending time with my grandmother and family. Then again, I also love the freedom of New York, where I am just another New Yorker moving about the city freely at any time of the day. I love the buzz of the city and walking everywhere: art galleries, cafes, restaurants, and museums.
T+L India: What are your favourite haunts in NYC and Jaipur?
Gauravi Kumari: In Jaipur, I spend most of my day at Badal Mahal, the home of PDKF. But some of my favourite things to do in Jaipur include a relaxing meal on the lawns of Rajmahal Palace, Baradari, or Bar Palladio. In NYC, there are so many places that I hardly get a chance to go back to the same place often! I love the cafes in Soho and the restaurants on the Lower East Side. I also enjoy hanging out at the art galleries, walking around Soho, exploring new stores and coffee shops.
Favourite cuisine: Italian
Favourite fashion trend: Relaxed fit denims
Favourite restaurant: KazuNori in New York
Favourite travel accessory: Sunglasses
Bucket-list destinations: Japan, South Africa, Marrakesh