Overview

Travel from Palace to Palace by Marwari horse, retracing old routes and following a trail along the foothills of the Aravelli Hills. Staying in These are small family country Palaces and heritage castles and hotels you will walk into another era, staying in rooms furnished from days gone by. Dine by candlelight and soak up the architecture of these old family homes. We also explore the amazing Jain temple at Ranakpur en route. You ride along sand tracks between the softly moulded hills, passing rural villages and lakes. On New Years eve we give you a spectacular evening show and special dinner.

There is some wonderful sightseeing included on this tour including the beautiful Udaipur City Palace, Kumbhalgarh Fort, Ranakpur Jain Temple and Jodhpur Mehrangarh Fort.

Key Facts

  • 27th December 2019 – 3rd January 2020
  • Set schedule departure
  • Minimum 4 / Maximum 12 riders
  • Trail with progressive riding
  • 8 Days / 7 nights (4 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 but as with most breeds today, they are increasing in size up to 17hh.

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 cavalry style saddles.

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

Itinerary

Day 1 – Thursday 27th December 2019 – Udaipur
Arrive Udaipur, late afternoon boat ride around Lake Pichola. 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. Overnight: Hotel at Udaipur

Day 2 – Friday 28th December 2019 – Kumbhalgarh
Morning sightseeing Udaipur.  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 spotlit 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. Afternoon: Transfer by road North to Kumbhalgarh 2 hours.  Overnight: Hotel at Kumbhalgarh

Day 3 – Saturday 29th December 2019 – Ghanerao
Morning visit to Kumbhalgarh Fort. The 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 metres 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. Late Morning: Start Horse Safari. Meet your Marwari horses and ride slowly down through the Khumbalgarh Sanctuary and Ghanerao forest. We enter the sanctuary near Kumbhalgarh Fort and pick our way through the wood 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. Late picnic lunch en route. Standing watch over the small village of Ghanerao is the Ghanerao Rawla (castle). A magnificent showcase of Marble and Red sandstone Rajput Architecture built in 1606 that serves as the home of the royal family who still reside. There is a nostalgic air of past glory and of the royal lifestyle that the Thakurs led. The castle has 17 beautiful rooms, having their own quaint sit outs and verandhas. A recent developing project of the museum is under away, where one can see the old elephant hodas and palkis which were used by the rulers when elephants and horses were the only means of travel. The House of Ghanerao has also been patron of the unique style Rajput miniature paintings. A School of Ghanerao Paintings is still functioning in the village employing local artists.  Overnight: Ghanerao Castle

Day 4 – Sunday 30th December 2019 – Ranakpur
Full day ride to Ranakpur. Passing through villages and riding in the plains of the Aravalli hills, stopping for a picnic lunch, we visit the marble Jain Temple at Ranakpur, built in the 15th Century and with intricate carving this is one of the most spectacular Jain temples in Rajasthan. Overnight: Hotel at Ranakpur

Day 5 – Monday 31st December 2019 – Kotri
Full day ride to Kotri. We ride along the bottom of the Aravelli hills heading North East to Kotri. We pass villages and rural farmsteads, making our way through the volcanic smooth rock formations, stopping in the shade, or by a lake, for a picnic lunch and arriving at the 200 yr old heritage country seat at Kotri Castle, set amidst a farming village. Kotri Raola is a 200-year-old small fort palace where continuity with the past is still a norm. The village is located at the foot of Aravalli Hills and a 7th century archaeological site is near by.  Early evening ‘dress up’ and drinks before a short transfer by road to Shobhawas for a spectacular and very special New Years Eve dinner and celebrations. Overnight: Kotri Castle.

Day 6 – Tuesday 1st January 2019 – Narlai
Allowing for a lie-in after last nights’ celebrations, we set off on our ride at a veryrespectable mid-morning. We ride past lakes and villages to arrive at the old haveli in the village of Narlai. Rawla Narlai is a delightful 17th century property, which was once a favourite hunting lodge of the Jodhpur Royal Family. It is still owned by members of the Jodhpur family who have invested vast amounts of time, money, love and care into restoring this little gem. Over the years it has transformed from a simple lodge into a stunning, stylish boutique hotel, albeit with all its original character and structure retained. The rooms are scattered all around the property and each varies significantly in shape, size and décor. Here we say goodbye to our horses. Overnight: Hotel Rawla Narlai

Day 7 – Wednesday 2nd January 2019 – Jodhpur
Early morning departure for Jodhpur by road. 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 Jodhpur

Day 8 – Thursday 3rd January – Jodhpur 2019
After breakfast, departure for 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

Your first night is a boutique hotel on the edge of Lake Pichola in Udaipur. Soak up the atmosphere and romance of the lake city at night. The rooms are modern, with an Indian twist; some decorated in the old colonial style, there’s a great lakeside restaurant, a plunge pool and really friendly, welcoming staff the perfect welcome and start to your Rajasthan adventure.

The following six nights are 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 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 desserts.

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

2019/2020 Dates: 27 December 2019 – 3 January 2020

Cost: £1994.00 British pounds. (Please contact us for the Australian dollar conversion.  We use the ANZ bank sell rate for our conversion).

Single supplement £300.00.  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 Udaipur and finishes at Jodpur 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 Udaipur and Jodpur 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

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