The rich, colourful heritage of Rajasthan, its splendid ancient forts and magnificent palaces and its proud tradition of horses all combine to create a fascinating setting for these rides. Using polo ponies and the native Marwari horses with their characteristic bell-ears, these rides show you Rajasthan's immense contrasts, from its rural subsistance villages, the acacia scrub and wilderness of the Thar desert to the splendid hunting lodges, ancient forts and charming country estates in the Aravalli hills. Most rides include visits to the bustling centres of Jaipur or Jodphur and some take you to the lively camel fairs of Pushkar and Nagaur, an intoxicating mix of camel traders, hawkers, bazaars, craftsmen and entertainers. Accommodation is in a combination of opulent palace hotels, some of which were once private residences of the ancient Rajput rulers, in forts, havelis and in comfortable Raj style camps. All in all an enchanting view of a magical India.
Rides are run between October and late March with fixed date rides of 9 to 15 nights offered. Tailor-made trips for 2 or more and one base rides from Dundlod Fort are also possible on request.
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
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.
Shekhawati Desert Ride 2019
Shekhawati Desert Ride - 11th to 24th January 2019
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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).