9 to 14 night riding and sightseeing combinations in Rajasthan, using comfortable hotels and private camps. Available October to March. Suitable for intermediate riders and above.
Where In Rajasthan, northwest India. A number of different routes, most starting close to the village of Dundlod in Rajasthan's Shekawati region with its ancient forts, painted havelis and magnificent palaces.
What is it like An area of immense contrasts, from rural subsistence villages, acacia scrub and dry dusty desert, to historic hunting lodges, once grand but now dilapidated, and rambling forts. Rides are from place-to-place, with routes across farmland, desert and scrub and through backwater towns, with nights in hotels or private camps along the way.
Who does it suit Competent, confident riders who want to experience all the hustle, bustle, excitement, colour and magic of India. You need to be a strong intermediate rider, happy on an energetic polo pony type - the native Marwari horses with their characteristic bell-ears, are like mini thoroughbreds and there's plenty of fast riding across dusty plains, winding around scrub and fields of crops. Most rides include a healthy dose of sightseeing, with visits to the busy centres of Jaipur or Jodphur with their must-see sights, and some take you to the camel fairs of Pushkar and Nagaur, an intoxicating mix of camel traders, hawkers, bazaars, craftsmen and entertainers. Accommodation is in a variety of hotels, most converted from traditional havelis (mansions) or opulent palaces, and comfortable Raj style camps.
Why do we love it Its the best way to get to know Rajasthan! For a chance to see more than the usual tourist, riding along the back streets of a rural village, peering into gardens and seeing local people in their everyday lives, and to enjoy India's unique hospitality, its history and heritage and its bustling, peopled, culture rich life. For the energy, bravery and spirit of the wonderful Marwarai horses and the joy of riding one!
Riding: 4-7 hours a day
Horses: Marwari, Kathiari cross
Pace: moderate, with good chances to canter; can be fast in places
Riding ability: confident intermediate to experienced riders
Weight limit: about 95kg (15 stone) but please contact us if you are over 90kgs (14st 2lbs)
Accommodation: 3* guesthouses, 4* and 5* palace hotels, 4∆ camping
Group size: max 14 (may be less depending on itinerary)
Season: October to March
Price: 9 night safaris from USD 3115 (approx £2395) per person
Horses: The horses are mainly pure or cross bred native Kathiari or Marwari horses (an elegant, spirited breed with lovely 'bell' shaped ears). Some of the horses are used for polo, and most are between 15hh and 16hh. They are slim and athletic, generally narrower in build and thinner than horses in the west, and a forward going and responsive ride. Most are trained to neck rein. English style saddles are used and saddlebags are provided where necessary. Rides are limited to a maximum of 14 guests though groups are often less than this.
Hours: There is usually between 4 and 6 hours riding a day, moving from place to place, broken with rests, for lunch and sightseeing.
Pace and experience required: These rides are for reasonably experienced riders who are comfortable, secure and in control on a well schooled horse at the walk, trot and fast canter and are used to riding in open country and over varied terrain. The horses are a well mannered ride but they are naturally fairly spirited, so best suited to reasonably experienced riders. The pace on the rides is moderate overall, but it can be fast at times. Participants should also have a reasonably good level of general and riding fitness.
Accommodation is either in 3*, 4* and 5* Palace hotels, in other good quality and comfortable hotels, forts or havelis that are run as hotels or in private tented camps set up for you by staff. Many of the Palace hotels are renown for their unique setting and wonderful (though often slightly faded) grandeur. Rooms have private bathrooms. When a camp is set up, large, walk in twin bedded tents are used with camp beds and bed linen and a table and chairs or stools provided. Camps have a shared shower and washing facilities and meals are prepared for you.
(valid to March 2021)
Nagaur Fair Ride
Average temperature guide
Itinerary in brief - Shekhawati Desert Ride. Please enquire for other itineraries
|Day 1||You will be met in Delhi and transferred to the Vasant Continental Hotel or similar. Overnight in Delhi.|
||A full day sightseeing in Delhi. Overnight Delhi.|
||Drive from Delhi, about 6 hours to Dundlod Fort in the Shekhawati district of Rajasthan.|
||The day to try out the horses, riding in area around Dundlod, visiting local villages and small temples. Night at Dundlod.|
||Set off riding to Churi Ajitgargh where the night is spent in a hotel, once a Haveli (merchants mansion)|
|Day 6-10||Five days riding from village to village through the Shekhawati Desert region. Nights in comfortable desert camps, forts and and local havelis. On the final day you ride to Alsisar Mahal, a lovely converted fort.|
|Day 11||Breakfast and transfer to Jaipur. Afternoon sightseeing and night at a haveli in Jaipur.|
|Day 12||A full day in Jaipur - in the morning vist the vast Amber Fort, about 12km from town, and in the afternoon more time to explore the city of Jaipur|
|Day 13||Drive about 4 hours to Agra. Afternoon to visit the Taj Mahal. Night at a hotel in Agra.|
|Day 14||The morning to visit Agra Fort. After lunch drive to Delhi International airport for your onward journey.|
|Contact us at email@example.com or on tel (+44) (0)1837-82544 / 825440 for further information, detailed itineraries, dates and answers to questions.|
The meeting point for the rides is Delhi, India's capital. Several airlines fly from London to Delhi and British Airways, Virgin, Jet Airways and Air India have direct flights. For flights from London budget around £600 to £750 economy return (varies with the airline and season).