Overview

Visit the biblical Balotra Tilwara Horse Fair . Ride through the fair to see horses, camels and cattle being traded then transfer to Kumbhalgarh where you start your ride on the Leopard’s trail.  We ride down through the wooded forest, passing cool streams to arrive on the hot plains, camping by farms and lakes and stop off at the Godwar Festival and horse show where you can take part in the mounted games. We then make our way between the smooth rocks and hills to the scrub forest at Bali, and then set camp for two nights at Jawai Bandh, transferring to jeeps for morning and evening  excursions into the park for Leopard safari, finally we transfer to Udaipur to see the lake and City Palace.

There is plenty of sightseeing included on this tour including a visit to the Mehrangarh Fort at Jodphur, the City Palace at Udaipur and the Fort at Kumbhalgarh.

Key Facts

  • 1 – 12 April 2019
  • Set schedule departure
  • Minimum 4 / Maximum 12 riders
  • Trail with progressive riding
  • 12 Days / 11 nights (8 days riding)
  • 4 – 6 hours riding per day / 25 – 30 kms per day
  • Suits intermediate and advanced riders
  • Weight limit – 90 kilos

Riding Level and Horses

Riders must be at ease at all 4 paces across varied, uneven terrain and be in good physical condition. You must be secure in the saddle and be comfortable riding for long hours. Rider weight limit: 90 kilos.

The horses are a beautiful selection of mostly Marwari riding horses, bred and sourced by Ajeet and indigenous to Rajasthan. They have the unusual characteristic of curly ears which can turn 180 degrees, they are usually 15hh to 16hh.

They have a high, arched head carriage, they are extremely strong and fast paced, especially over the desert terrain. In addition to the normal gaits of the horse, they can also travel at great speed on a smooth gait called the Revall.

Level of Riding & Pace – Intermediate plus riders. Slow/moderate pace according to the terrain and group riding ability.

Tack – Mostly snaffles bridles and Indian Sewar style saddles.

Helmets are strongly recommended and a packing list will be provided when you book the ride.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Monday 1st April
Arrive Jodhpur, check in to hotel. Afternoon sightseeing Mehrangarh Fort. Mehrangarh Fort stands a hundred feet in splendour on a perpendicular cliff, four hundred feet above the sky line of Jodhpur. Burnished red sand stone, imposing, invincible and yet with a strange haunting beauty that beckons. Much has been written about the Citadel of the Sun, for truly, it is one of the most impressive in all Rajasthan. So colossal are its proportions that Rudyard Kipling called it “the work of giants”. Today, it is acknowledged as one of the best preserved fort in India. Overnight: hotel in Jodhpur

Day 2 – Tuesday 2nd April
Morning depart Jodhpur by minibus and transfer by road to Balotra fair & settle into camp (4 hrs). Evening ride around fair. This fair is one of the largest horse fairs in Rajasthan, but has managed to retain its rural ancestry – with few places for tourists to stay few visit, so you really will feel transported to a biblical world. The days are hot so we will visit the fair in the mornings and evenings, you will see different styles of dress as people make the trek to Tilwara from Gujarat, Maharashtra and the Punjab as well as from all corners of Rajasthan in order to trade horses, camels and cattle. Camp overnight.

Day 3 – Wednesday 3rd April
Early morning ride to Fair where you can dismount and have a guided wander through the stalls and tents. Lunch and rest in camp. Evening visit to fair.

Day 4 – Thursday 4th April
Depart by minibus transfer by road for Kumbhalgarh (4 hours). Check in to hotel. Afternoon visit to Kumbhalgarh Fort. Kumbhalgarh Fort is the second most important fort of Rajasthan after Chittorgarh. This unconquerable fortress is secured under the kind protection of the Aravali ranges. Kumbhalgarh Fort was built by Maharana Rana Kumbha in the 15th century. Encircled by thirteen elevated mountain peaks, the fort is constructed on the top most ridges around 1,914 meters above sea level. The fortifications of the fort extend to the length of 36 kilometres and this fact has made this fort to be in the international records. It is stated to be the second longest wall in the world, the first being ”the Great Wall of China”. The huge complex of the Fort has numerous palaces, temples and gardens making it more magnificent. Overnight: Hotel at Kumbhalgarh

Day 5 – Friday 5th April
Morning: Start Horse Safari. Full day riding through the Khumbalgarh Sanctuary and Ghanerao forest with picnic lunch, arriving Narlai. We enter the sanctuary near Kumbhalgarh Fort and make our way through the wooded sanctuary using old paths, crossing small rivers to the edge of the Ghanerao forest. The route is shaded and quiet, although harbours much wildlife – keep your eyes open, you never know which animals are watching you through the trees. Overnight: Hotel at Narlai.

Day 6 – Saturday 6th April
Morning visit the local Godwar Horse Show opening procession and celebrations. Afternoon: visit Godwar horse show in late afternoon, with the possibility of taking part in horse games/gymkhana games. Evening: Transfer to Muthana Lake (1 hour).  Camp overnight.

Day 7 – Sunday 7th April
Morning at Godwar Fair, festival and temple. This is a unique opportunity to be part of a local festival and you will find colour and sound and photographic opportunities galore!  Afternoon half day ride to Dantiwara Lake. Camp overnight.  

Day 8 – Monday 8th April
Full day ride to Bali Forest. We make our way along the bottom of the Aravelli hills South West to Bali. We pass villages and rural farmsteads, making our way through the volcanic smooth rock formations, stopping in the shade for a long picnic lunch. Camp overnight.

Day 9 – Tuesday 9th April
Full day ride to Jawai Bandh. Today we continue onwards to reach Jawai Bandh – Lying at the heart of an untrammelled wilderness, where leopards roam wild and free encapsulated in a landscape surrounded by craggy granite formations of caves, kopjes, Anogeissus scrub and winding sand river–beds. Camp overnight.

Day 10 – Wednesday 10th April
Morning ride to search for Leopard. This area is where “the hills throw the moon out and just as soon absorb its glow into their gorges. Where nomadic Rabari herdsmen are as much a part of the earth’s tales as the mysterious felines that grace these hills and vanish at will into their folds. Where pastoral fields meet and merge with wild grasslands and the swells of the JAWAI Bandh’s waters lap at the toes of mighty granite forms. Where flamingos flock and cranes in their hundreds dance to springtime. This special location, the unique flavour of this land and its offerings, provide for an entirely different experience from the rest of Rajasthan”. Evening Jeep safari to search for Leopard. Camp overnight

Day 11 – Thursday 11th April
Morning depart for Udaipur by minibus road transfer. Check in to hotel. Afternoon sightseeing – lake boat trip. Beside Lake Pichola, with the ochre and purple ridges of the wooded Aravalli Hills stretching away in every direction, Udaipur has a romance of setting unmatched in Rajasthan and arguably in all India. Fantastical palaces, temples, havelis and countless narrow, crooked, colourful streets add the human counterpoint to the city’s natural charms.  Udaipur is the city of cream, rose and honeysuckle hues. The huge, cupola-crowned City Palace lines the eastern shore of Lake Pichola, with its balconies gazing out at Udaipur’s other famous landmark, the Lake Palace – a fairy-tale confection that seems to float on the lake’s waters, gleaming by day and spot lit by night. Eastward, away from the lake shore, extends a tangled inner city of lanes lined with homes, temples, shops and businesses that is fascinating to explore. Overnight: hotel in Udaipur.

Day 12 – Friday 12th April
Day at leisure for shopping and City Palace tour. While passing through the markets of Udaipur, the markets present an assortment of items covering handicrafts, pottery, jewellery, wooden toys, antique items and paintings. Udaipur is particularly famous for its miniature paintings inspired by style of Rajputs & Mughals.  After lunch own transfer to onward destination.  End of trip…

Please note that this program is for information only and the itinerary may be modified according to the availability of the hotels, the weather, any other local conditions.

Accommodation and Food

All rides are full board and you will be spending seven nights in Maharajah style tents which come complete with en suite bathrooms, all furniture, linen and towels, hot water etc. We also use a mixture of heritage havelis, castles & forts, or hotels above 3* rating.  With the following four nights spent in a variety of hotels ranging from bespoke family run old castles and country palaces, to more modern hotels who have recreated the Moghul palace architecture of the area. The hotels are picked for their location, ambience and facilities. All rooms are 3* and above with comfortable beds, side tables and all have ensuite bathrooms.  The rooms are modern, with an Indian twist; some decorated in the old colonial style.

The food offered by each hotel will be a mixture of traditional Rajasthani dishes as well as some modern options such as pasta, salads, pastries etc. Breakfast includes eggs (scrambled/omelettes/hard boiled), yoghurt, porridge, cornflakes, muesli, Danish pastries as well as Indian breakfast options of poha (rice and nut dish), puri or idli.

Lunches are welcome after a hard mornings ride and you can expect a variety of light curries with side dishes of vegetables, poppadoms and naan breads.

Dinners are a highlight and include some meat dishes, of chicken and lamb, along with vegetable curries, poppadoms and naan breads, or with continental options, followed by some local sweet deserts.

Water is available throughout the day, each ride morning and afternoon you are encouraged to drink at least a litre of water, which is carried in your saddle bags. At lunchtimes, you are also served and encouraged to drink a special rehydration drink called Nimboo Pani, which is refreshing and made up of freshly squeezed lemon juice, water, salt and sugar.

Each evening, the meeting point is the bar and the dining area, with evening meal taken in either the venue’s palatial restaurant, luscious gardens or candlelit rooftop for dining under the stars.

Dates and Prices

2019 Dates: 1 April – 12th April 2019

Cost: £2994.00 British pounds. (Please contact us for the Australian dollar conversion.  We use the ANZ bank sell rate for our conversion).

Single supplement £600.00.  Please advise when booking.

Rates are based on the British pound and subject to currency fluctuation, so please contact us for the most up to date pricing for your riding holiday.

Includes

  • All accommodation in twin or double share.  Single available with supplement
  • Full board including all meals, mineral water and a small selection of alcoholic drinks on the ride
  • One certified english speaking riding guide
  • Horses, grooms, saddlery and transport / care thereof.
  • Ride leader Dr Rao Ajeet Singh
  • Internal transfers by road during the ride (Udaipur to Khumbhalgarh and Narlai to Jodhpur)
  • Sightseeing tickets as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Not included
  • International and internal flights and transfers to start of ride
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Indian visa costs
  • Drinks not included with meals, items of personal nature, laundry and tips

We reserve the right to alter the itinerary or accommodation, and change horses where necessary, but will keep you informed at all times

  • Single room supplement on application

Other Information

Location
The ride starts at Jodhpur and finishes at Udaipur in India

Weather
Weather website: http://www.holiday-weather.com/

Activities
During the ride you will enjoy cultural visits

India is such an interesting place to experience and we can easily arrange and recommend additional cultural highlights, like tours of Delhi and Mumbai and in Rajasthan, the beautiful monument of the Taj Mahal and the Amber fort in Jaipur.

Languages spoken
English and Indian

Closest Train or Airport
Fly from Delhi to Jodhpur and Udaipur Airport at the end return to Delhi to back to Australia

Terms and conditions and terms apply to this riding holiday

Please contact Snaffle Travel for further information, booking terms and conditions to info@snaffletravel.com.au

You might also be interested in other riding holiday & group tours