Why should you break away?

Lockdowns, deadlines, itineraries – we all have something we need to take a break from. The question is, especially in uncertain times, is how best to do in the safest, surest manner on the subcontinent.

Breakaway is the answer to that question. We’re not just a travel company as much as a company of travellers who have broken away from the clichés of travel and love nothing more than to help you look deep into the eyes of India’s people and thus, into her very soul.

Founded by a traveller who is an authority on the country’s handmade heritage and supported by a team of wanderers who love sending travellers off as much as setting off themselves, Breakaway is where you can choose a carefully curated itinerary or ask to have one made especially for you.

When we set up over a decade ago, our signature experience was Beyond The Brochure, a defining and much-loved collection of journeys that stayed true to its name and offered not an itinerary but an imagination of the India experience that would be crafted specially for every guest. Our team of intrepid adventurers went travelling through some of India’s most visited landscapes and dug deep to find gems so hidden that they didn’t find much mention in tourism brochures, hence the name. These experiences have been compiled to give you a taste of the food, culture, and heritage of those destinations that few others might have even seen, leave alone sampled.

Over time, going beyond the brochure became our raison d’etre. It infused every new place we unearthed, every new journey we planned, and every person we collaborated with until one day, our signature experience evolved into our guiding ethos.

Today, we organise arts, crafts, and textiles experiences ranging from day-long workshops to week-long trails, led by and to the most respected names in their fields. Our expertise also extends across plantation tours, social sector interactions, bespoke itineraries, pet vacations, solo travels for women and sabbaticals for those want to recalibrate. But if there’s a place or person you want to see that you don’t see on here, please ask. We’ll make it happen.

The diversity of India inspires us. We are an inclusive company that works with and for all genders and identities. We are egalitarian and treat each and every member of our core and support staff the same. This helps us practice an empathetic responsibility that is very mindful of the cultural footprint we leave.

Whether for a large group or a small set, our process is centred around your needs. Extensive conversations with you and exhaustive suggestions from us help us arrive at a bespoke itinerary that reflects your personality. Every place and person you will engage with on your Breakaway will be someone we’ve vetted and only then suggested. This desire to craft unique, customised India itineraries for every visitor is what still thrums at our core.

So come, start your new traditions of travel. Come, Breakaway.

“Breakaway is where you can choose a carefully curated itinerary or ask to have one made especially for you.”

Shilpa Sharma • CEO/ FOUNDER

Shilpa Sharma

After two decades of travelling across India during her time with FMCG and retail giants, Shilpa decided to leverage her insights and learnings from travelling across India and launch Breakaway to help the discerning craft bespoke travel experiences across the subcontinent. Her standing in the craft & textile and F&B sectors means that doors open for her guests that most can’t even knock on. She co-founded Jaypore, a portal that defined Indian handmade products online and blended her love of food and travel into co-founding Mustard, a concept restaurant that tells travel tales on a plate. Best of all, Shilpa is an avid solo traveller which makes her uniquely placed to create special trips for women breaking away alone.

Shilpa runs Curation and Business Development.

Bindu Menon

A Malayali born and raised in Jaipur, Bindu is that rare being in the travel world – someone who loves sending people off more than taking off herself. Her mother swears it began from the cradle, when rocking Bindu to sleep would make her motion sick. Nothing rocks her now, though. Midnight requests, drivers and guests not finding each other, guests realising they are claustrophobic after clambering into a train – Bindu breaks it all down without breaking a sweat. Which is more than she can say about that time she ventured up to Kaza. With motion sickness pills, of course.

Bindu runs Operations and Customer Service

Geetika Sachdev

Geetika handles everything to do with communication, including the social media feeds that the rest of our dread. Besides strategising content and working for reputed publications like Zee Zest, Mint Lounge, The Hindu, and Moneycontrol as an independent journalist, she is always on the lookout for undiscovered sights and sounds. It’s her love for travel and all things unconventional that led her to be a part of Breakaway and ever since she’s been handling communications and storytelling for us. When not writing, you’ll find Geetika raiding the best cafes and book stores in town.

Geetika handles Content and Communications at Breakaway

All journeys are best savoured with like-minded travellers

The spirit of collaboration defines us and much as the desire to innovate drives us. This is why we have something unique to us – Breakawayers. Simply put, these are domain experts from various fields like textile design, gourmet world cuisine, wellness, art history, photography, and creative writing, to name a few. Wanderers at heart who’d love nothing more than to help you see and hear anew via their storytelling. They pack years of experience and passion to ensure that every breakaway does what you’d expect – live up to its name.

Bharat Kinger

An authority on India’s cultural and historical landscape and someone who specialises in Western India, the Gangetic plain, and the Northern Himalayas, Bharat has spent the better part of 25 years leading curious visitors around India, which is at least how much longer we hope he leads them for us.

Sonal Chitranshi

Studying at the NIFT, Gandhinagar sparked a love for craft and textiles which led Sonal to Jaipur, where she runs Soul Roots, via which she develops garments, accessories, and more. Teaching at the renowned Kalaraksha Vidyalaya in Kutch helped Sonal discover a love for textiles that she translates into the experiences she leads for us.

Priyanshi Saxena

An art advisor who’s worked with leading contemporary galleries across South Asia, Priyanshi helms the art advisory PSArts, building and managing art collections, and consulting on the South Asian Art Market. She is also the director of Indian Art Market, which works on reviving, restructuring, and connecting the regional art market, especially in regional languages in India. She has also contributed to books on art and has written pieces for leading publications.

Durga Venkatswamy

For over three decades now, Durga has travelled across the warp and weft of various textile ecosystems. In that time, she’s gained an understanding of the traditional technologies used in the practice of textile crafts and handloom weaving that she’s very eager to share with all those who breakaway with her.

Abrar Ali Saiyed

As if earning a PhD from IIM, Ahmedabad is not enough, Abrar designs heritage, neighbourhood, and community walks, old city markets walks, and craft and textile walks in Ahmedabad. Actively involved in creating sustainable business models in the Art & Heritage sectors, Abrar curates and leads breakaways around Gujarat.

Shabri Wable

Inspired by the sheer beauty of handmade products, Shabri discovered that the process is equally important especially to make consumption more conscious. She relocated from Pune to Bhuj where she works closely with the pastoralist communities and interprets their sartorial culture via Bajra, her clothing label.

Puneetinder Kaur Sidhu

Writer of travel guidebooks. Travel and food columnist. Literary critic. Blogger and author. Content developer. Chronicler of the colonial heritage of the Himalayas. Storyteller extraordinaire. We’re really glad for the agrarian upbringing that helped Puneet (as she’s fondly known) farm out into a wide range of passions that helped her breakaway.

Gulzar Hussain

Holder of a Master’s in Travel and Hospitality Management, Gulzar is a photographer who’s exhibited overseas. A passionate ethnographer and Western Himalayan Researcher, he speaks all languages of the region and has co-authored Journey Through Paradise (Kashmir, Ladakh & Jammu), a travel guide focusing on the history, culture and faith of each region.

Mehru Jaffer

Raised in Lucknow, Mehru fled its decay in the 70s by going to Mumbai and then Delhi before making her home in Vienna. But even though she left Lucknow, it didn’t leave her and she came back to the home of her heart in 2012 where she now leads trails that uncover the city’s textile and craft heritage at the unhurried pace it deserves.

Suhail Shaikh

An upbringing in Bombay, a design education in Ahmedabad, working and living in Bangalore, followed by a complete change-over and a new start in France were the stops on Suhail’s journey before this paper artiste stumbled across us in 2011.

Megha Moorthy

Over 15 years of driving news at some of India’s leading newspapers have left Megha with the drive to often get away from it all. Basically, she was a breakawayer before she even met us. Today, she helms RoundGlass Sustain, a website that drives awareness of India’s rich biodiversity. Having been closely involved with Outlook’s Responsible Tourism initiative, she brings that awareness to all her interactions.


When Rajith discovered that his true goal was to travel India and get paid for it, he chucked up his corporate job in Mumbai and took a sabbatical across Kerala for two months. Meeting new people and organising heritage events led to the creation of Travelling Gecko, via whom he shows people how easy it is to breakaway.

Sunaina Suneja

Over a 30 year career, Sunaina has worked closely with women artisans in the villages of Punjab, which led to her helping revive Phulkari embroidery, a vivid form symbolic of Punjab. She’s also spent years promoting Khadi, the fabric that Mahatma Gandhi used to symbolise India’s independence struggle. These deep immersions have left Sunaina with a wealth of anecdotes and learnings on handicrafts, which she shares freely with travellers on her trails with us.

Poulomi Das

A planner and curator of museums, Poulomi has spent over two decades researching and documenting Indian arts, textiles, and heritage. She has worked deeply with museums like Bhau Daji Lad, the Bihar Museum, Buddha Smriti Park, and the Monetary Musuem and in 2020, she founded the oral history documentation project called The Museum Memories Project which invites memories of museums visited by individuals across the globe.

Rajni Upadhyay

A tour guide licensed by the Ministry of Tourism & Culture, Rajni is one of the few female guides in what is a male dominated profession. Originally from Delhi, she is now based in Jaipur from where she leads tours across North India. She speaks Italian and has earned a scholarship to Italy, which is just one more example of her love for travel and how it inspires her to go the extra mile.

Anindita Ray

Popularly known as Toopsi, Anindita worked for over four decades in one of the world’s largest schools before retiring as Add. Vice Principal and joining Sasha, a fair trade organisation in her hometown of Kolkata. She loves cooking and is always happy to teach to the interested. Perhaps the only thing she loves more than cooking is meeting new people and showing them new facets of Kolkata, which is what she does so lovingly for us.

Manan Dhuldhoya

A chance encounter on Facebook brought us together and before we knew it, Manan was scampering across the country, identifying new locations and creating new breakaways for you to savour. A travel writer and a copywriter, Manan hopes to one day be writing with the sand between his toes.

Ankita Khattry

Hailing from the eternal city Banaras, Ankita’s work reflects the unique confluence of art, music, culture and literature that is her personality. Her publications of poetry have been very well received. She relentlessly contributes to promoting the seen and unseen heritage of Banaras and loves sharing her city with visitors. She’s passionate about the famed weavers of Banaras and has organised various fashion shows to showcase them and their craft. When not taking out guests to visit weavers, Ankita can be found writing songs and stories for the Indian film industry.


An architect, a graphic designer and a travel curator, Nishita was born and raised in Delhi, though she now sees all parts of the country as home. From the mountains of Ladakh to the beaches or Goa, she works and lives like a locally wherever she currently call home while ensuring that creativity and spirituality form the warp and weft of her explorations. Nishita enjoys hosting travellers and enabling immersive experiences for them during their journeys into new cultures and see travel as a way of engaging with diverse cultures in a way that helps one to learn from grow.


Sainath is a proud Hyderabadi who loves taking guests around the Deccan region of India. A Master’s in History, an MBA in Tourism & Travel Management and a PhD in Medieval Deccan History bear testament to him vast knowledge of the region.

This is a long overdue mail to you both. We wanted to thank you very much for one of the most amazing trips our family has ever made. Everything was just perfect. We had the best guides, the best hotels, the best driver, the best of everything. We do not stop talking about this wonderful trip and show pictures around.
Phillipe Weil & family, October 2019
These 3 days were really one of the highlights of my trip. Durga is a very kind and knowledgeable person, she could reply to all my questions. I really appreciated her and the way she took care of me, even for things not related to my trip (driver, changing money, etc). The program you made for me was awesome. I could never find all these places and persons without your help. Thank you.
Kati Murbach, July 2019

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