HORSE RIDING OFF THE BEATEN TRACK IN RAJASTHAN -
12 HOTEL OVERNIGHTS / 14 DAYS INCLUDING
INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT FROM SAN FRANCISCO
Enliven your senses with the vibrant sights, sounds and pageant of Rajasthan while horse riding through its villages with ancient temples and forts. Marwari horses popular in Rajasthan originated in the royal kingdom of Marwar with it capital in Jodhpur. They were already the favorite horses in the battles in 11th. century not only in Marwar but bred and exported to other neighboring friendly kingdoms of Mewar, Amber among many others. Enjoy the hospitality of private residences of former chieftains in remote villages of Rajasthan. In these historic castles and havelis (mansions) the owners still reside. Indulge in history of the capital city, New Delhi. Wonder the harmonious architecture of the world famous Taj Mahal, the eternal monument to love in the ancient Mughal capital of Agra. Experience the blended Hindu, Buddhist and Islamic architecture in the palaces of Emperor Akbar’s Agra Fort and his Jama Mosque in Fatehpur Sikri. Relish the glory of Kachhwaha architecture and culture in the Maharaja’s City Palace of the pink city, Jaipur. All except one of the 17 masonry instruments in the astronomical observatory of Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh still function. Enjoy a ride on beautifully decorated elephants going up to the hilltop palaces of Maharaja Man Singh and Mirza Raja Jai Singh at Amber Fort. The Bengal Tigers of Ranthambhore are elusive, you will enjoy one Safari ride for a chance to this magnificent animal apart from many other species like the rhesus (red faced) and langoor (black faced) monkeys; a variety of deer species, leopard, and many birds.
Schedule: November 30 to December 13, 2017 & February 15 to 28, 2018
CALL 1-559-446-0499 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org for custom designing your Rajasthan Tour
Guaranteed departure at your preferred schedule - minimum 4 persons traveling together are required for this trip. Maximum 6 persons can travel in one group. For more persons special arrangement will be made for luxury tent accommodations.
New Delhi, Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Talabgaon, Bapoi, Harsota, Ranthambhore &Jaipur
Day 1, DELHI:
Arrive at India Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. Traditional welcome with fresh marigold flower garland and transfer to Hotel Surya.
Day 2, DELHI:
After breakfast proceed for sightseeing of New Delhi - Qutub Minar- its construction was initiated by Qutubudin-Aibak in 1199 CE upon becoming the first Sultan of Delhi, the surrounding area was earlier the capital of Chowhan Rajput rulers and had many Hindu & Jain temples that were destroyed by Islamic invaders - the materials from these monuments including carved panels and pillars were used in Qutub Minar and the adjoining mosque. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site ;
Mughal Emperor Humayun's Tomb - its architecture may have influenced the construction of the Taj Mahal in Agra. Humayun, the second Mughal Emperor was named "the fortunate one", ironically his whole life was a series of misfortunes; just six months after winning the throne of Delhi after a 10 year exile in Persia, he slipped while coming down a stairwell in old fort of Delhi and was badly wounded. He died on January 27, 1556, just a few days after his fall in the stairwell. Emperor Akbar designated his mother, Maryam Makani: Hamida Bano Begum, aka Haji Begum, widow of his father, to supervise the construction of first great mausoleum of the Mughals. Its architecture may have influenced the design of the later built Taj Mahal in Agra. Humayun’s mausoleum is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
India Gate (the memorial to soldiers killed in all wars starting from 1st World War), Parliament House, Prime Minister’s & Home Minister’s offices and Presidents House (from outside).
In the afternoon stop by the Red Fort for photography from outside - the massive sandstone fort built by Shah Jahan on the banks of river Yamuna, Jama Masjid - is the largest mosque in India and stands across the road from the Red Fort, built by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan 1648 CE. About 20,000 people can pray here at a time. Overnight stay in Hotel Surya in New Delhi.
End the day's sightseeing with a thrilling bicycle rickshaw ride in Chandni Chowk Bazaar. Overnight in hotel.
Day 3, DELHI - AGRA (165 kilometers or 103 miles in 2 hours):
After breakfast transfer by air-conditioned chauffeur driven air-conditioned car to Agra in about 2 hours.
Getting off the highway stop at the Itmad-ud-Daulah's mausoleum that was designed and constructed under the patronage of Empress Nur Jahan, the only Mughal ruler's spouse to have this title and issue coins in her name. She built this tomb for her parents Mirza Ghiaz Beg & Begum Asmat. Mirza Ghiaz Beg received the title of Itmad-ud-Daulah from Emperor Jahangir. He passed away in 1622, his mausleum's construction started the same year and was completed in 1628. It is decorated with inlay of jasper and black marble in white marble. The carvings inside the top of four main arched gateways in to the mausoleum have been inspired by Chikan embroidary. Upon arrival check in to the hotel.
Afternoon proceed for sightseeing tour of Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The elegant Jahangiri Mahal Palace in the fort reflects an interesting synthesis of Hindu & Islamic architectural styles and Emperor Akbar's tolerant religious philosophy. 14 years old Mughal Prince was crowned in 1556 at Kalanaur in Punjab state of India. He moved his capital to Agra in 1558. The construction of the fort in Agra started in 1565 and was completed in 1573 with about 4000 construction workers employed.
On the way to hotel visit Agra’s oldest and best marble inlay factory, which is a virtual museum. Some of the work done by their artisans is much finer and delicate than the inlay art work in the Taj Mahal itself. Overnight stay in Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in Agra.
Day 4, AGRA - JAMA MASJID IN FATEHPUR SIKRI - TALABGOAN
(240 kilometers in about 6 hours):
Early morning enliven the unforgettable view of the world famous Taj Mahal in the morning glow of sunrise. It is a mausoleum to commemorate Emperor Shahjahan’s love for his favorite queen, the Shia Persian, Arjumand Bano Begum, the name in Persian literally means 'Beloved'. She received the title of Mumtaj Mahal or 'Crown of the Palace'. She died delivering their 14th child outside a battlefield at Burhanpur in central India in 1630.
The construction of the mausoleum started in 1631 and was completed in 1648 according an inscription on the main gate of the building.
The white marble mausoleum was decorated with Pietra Dure motifs – inlay of semi-precious stones like Jasper, Malachite, Lapiz Lazuli, Jade and various shades of Agate etc. On January 22, 1666 Emperor Shahjahan passed away in his white marble palaces in Agra Fort where he was imprisoned for the last 8 years of his life. His grave was added later and is the only architectural element in Taj Mahal mausoleum that is not symmetrical.
After breakfast drive about an hour to Emperor Akbar’s deserted city, Fatehpur Sikri – the Mughal capital from 1571 to 1584. Emperor Akbar went to a Sufi saint Sheikh Salim Chistie when he did not have a male heir to the throne.The saint correctly prophesied that the Emperor would have three sons. When his Hindu queen, Jodha Bai, became pregnant, the emperor moved with her to Sikri village to live near the saint. Gradually a whole new capital evolved with an exceptional and unprecedented blend of religious and secular architecture. The emperor invited Jesuit monks from Goa to teach him about the Christian religion. In the palaces and the mosque in Fatehpur Sikri one witnesses a blend of Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Islamic architecture. After the demise of saint and perhaps because of many other reasons Emperor Akbar moved from Fatehpur Sikri. The city was deserted for almost 400 years until the beginning of the 20th. century when Archaeological Survey of India started the renovation of the capital, which is still continuing. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We will be visiting the Jama Mosque with the white marble mausoleum of the Sufi saint, Sheikh Salim Chistie.
Drive to Umaid Lake Palace Hotel in Dausa for lunch.
Drive further to Talabgaon for an adventurous Horse Safari. Talabgaon and its nearby area is full of typical Rajasthani villages and picturesque sites which are apt for horse riding and exploration. In evening a short casual horse ride will be the highlight for the first day of adventure to get acquainted with your travel companion. The special breed of trained Marwari horses is unique in certain parts of Rajasthan and has been specially bred for the ruling families of the past era. These horses have some specific qualities which make them an appropriate ride in this land of desert. With a delicious home cooked meal straight from the royal kitchen enjoy the overnight stay arranged in a splendid way at the imperial Castle of Talabgaon.
Day 5, Talabgaon (Horse Ride of 15 kilometers):
Breakfast at hotel. Today will be the first longer riding day on horseback for 15 kilometers around Talabgaon. This will be an introductory ride in which tourists get a knowledge of their rides with the help of a trainer and a captain. The troll ride in the village offers some real life experiences of rajasthan countryside and its people, culture along with a wholesome lunch arranged at Bagh Talabgaon (Mud House). Evening participate in traditional folk dance and music with Dinner. Overnight stay at Castle Talabgaon.
Day 6, Tabalgaon To Bapoi (Horse Ride of 40 kilometer):
Another day and another Adventure. After a sumptuous breakfast, hop on your saddle for 40 kms of Horse Safari from Talabgaon to Bapoi (Bapui) Fort, which is another royalty that used to be under Jaipur kingdom.
This region is quite and we find a verity of flora, fauna, forts, palaces, deserts, Rajasthani hamlets, open air villages schools with classes under a shady tree.
Get an original experience of village lifestyle where we are welcomed by the villagers and kids. “People on horseback look more splendid than they are”. Crossing these small villages where kids keep waving their hands saying hello , ladies look through their long veil from roof top or small windows of houses, farmers give a stop to their work and let you pass like a celebrity.The lunch for the day will be at a picturesque setting of 'Girdhari Narada‟ on the way. Entering close to Bapoi Fort, we listen music of drums that‟s the way Bapoi fort welcome their guest, unsaddle your Horse with the help of our grooms. Time to relax in the heritage rooms of Bapoi Fort. Evening campfire and dinner followed by night stay at Fort Bapoi.
Day 7, Bapoi (Horse Ride of 35 kilometer):
Breakfast at hotel. Today brings new possibilities and experience of exploring on Horseback. Some special moments will be witnessed by getting in and around these villages and by observing the style of living there. These places are known for some religious ceremonies and customs which are quite pleasant to see and learn. We Visit some schools and families and spend light moments with kids, farmers and ladies of the house who show the traditional ways of cooking. People in these villages are gracious host that never miss the opportunity to offer a cap of tea to a stranger. Lunch is arranged near „Papri Ka Bandha‟ a beautiful location with a view of Dam, Ride back to Bapoi by evening. Overnight stay is arranged at Fort Bapoi with dinner.
Day 8, Bapoi to Harsota (Horse ride of 30 kilometer):
Breakfast at Bapoi Fort.
The adventure gets bigger with Horse Safari from Bapoi to Harsota village for approx. 30 kilometers of riding. Apart from the riding these marvelous horses. we will get to capture the scenic beauty of Rajasthan. The most desired place for capturing the moments are found at historical places, heritage sites, fields, sand dunes and festival celebrations in villages. We will halt at a farm house for Picnic Lunch, Post lunch relax as per your wish, enjoy the location and then trot leisurely to Village Harsota. The accommodation and dinner is at Harsota, it is not a hotel but the home of the local village Thakur (traditional chieftain). There will be beautifully designed tents with attached full bathrooms in the compound of the Thakur’s home.
Day 9, Harsota (Horse Ride of 30 kilometer):
The Safari for this day will include riding near Harsota village for around 30 kilometers. This village is another attraction with new destinations and locations to explore. Horses are trained to canter and gallop at various pace to amaze the people with their power. Another attraction for the riders is the performance of Horses in the vast sand dune. This whole experience is full of stunts and dance performances by horses which is a life time opportunity to capture. You can't afford to miss these rare moments. This day will also include overnight stay in sophisticated Camps (Tented accommodation) which gives a true feeling of adventure with luxury of king‟s era.
Day 10, Harsota to Ranthambore (total distance 48 kilometers, Horse Ride of 15 kilometers and later car transfer):
After breakfast, saddle up for a farewell ride of 15 kilometers to Village Pura. As the lovely time spent riding in Rajasthan, we say goodbye to our royal companion and the support staff. Drive from Pura to Ranthambore National Park.
On Arrival at Ranthambore, check in and lunch at Kipling Lodge. Later in Evening we will head out to 10th Century Ranthambore Fort which lies in the National Park situated at the top of a hill from where one can get a panoramic view of the park. Dinner and overnight in Kipling Lodge.
Day 11, Ranthambore to Jaipur (distance- 170 kilometer, 4 hours):
In the morning get ready with your cameras for the magnificent Tigers of Ranthambore.
We will travel through the park with its lakes, scrublands and ruined palaces, as well as abundant wildlife including deer, birds and monkeys and many more.
Later drive to Jaipur which is 170 kilometers and 4 hours away with lunch stop on the way. Late afternoon is free for shopping and rickshaw ride in the historic, walled, Pink City (Jaipur). Overnight stay at the heritage Alsiser Haveli Hotel with dinner.
Day 12: Jaipur
In the morning drive a short distance to Hawa Mahal, a palace with screened balconies for the royal household women to watch royal processions without being seen by people on the street outside.
Drive further for an thrilling elephant ride to the hilltop palaces in the Amber Fort.
Lunch at Stag Rooftop Restaurant opposite Amber Fort.
In the afternoon sightseeing of City Palace and Astronomical Observatory.
As this day also marks the end of this amazing tour of Rajasthan, we have arranged a game of stick and ball in evening with some polo players at Polo Club House.
Followed by a farewell dinner to celebrate this journey with our new-found friends and talk about the life long memories that you will cherish for years to come. Dinner and overnight in Alsisar Haveli.
Day 13: Jaipur to Delhi (Distance 275 kilometer in about 5 hours)
Morning after breakfast pack your bags and drive to Capital of India- „Delhi‟ for flight back home. Lunch on the way to Delhi.
Refresh and dinner at Atrio Boutique Resort near airport. Transfer to Indira Gandhi International Airport for the return flight.
The Price of USD 4,198 per person (for the above mentioned schedules) includes following services:
- Round trip international flight between San Francisco and New Delhi
- 12 night’s accommodation plus wash & change room for few hours on the last day
- Accommodation on Twin/Double room sharing basis in mentioned or similar hotels.
- All meals at hotels or as mentioned in the itinerary. (From breakfast on day 02 till dinner on day 13)
- Transfers, local visits and excursions and drive between cities by air-conditioned car as per the program.
- Trained Marwari horses with personal grooms and full saddlery.
- 4-wheel drive vehicles with mineral water, refreshments and First Aid to meet the ride at regular intervals.
- Horse transportation to and from the Safari.
- English speaking Riding Escort and guide
- Price is valid up to April 2018 except from Dec. 10, 2017 to Jan. 15, 2018.
Not included in the above price:
- Single room occupancy supplement of $ 777.
- Expenses of personal nature like laundry, drinks, telephone calls, camera / video camera fee at monuments, medical expenses, etc.
- Tips - $ 2 per person / per day is recommended for driver, guide and horse riding guide
- Any visa fee (Visa is mandatory for visiting India – please visit the website: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html
- Any other services or meals not mentioned in the above program & inclusions, alcoholic & non-alcoholic drinks in restaurants and hotels
An Advance deposit of US$ 1,750 is due with registration. The balance is due and payable 90 days before departure from US airport. Both payments to be made by personal check in favor of India Traveller.
Optional Extension Tours from New Delhi:
An extra overnight in Delhi is required to visit one or more of the three important museums of Delhi: National Museum of artifacts from Indian and foreign antiquity and archaeological excavations, ancient coins, miniature paintings, manuscripts, Buddhist artifacts including the holy relics of Buddha from Kapilvastu where he spent his childhood and youth and/or National Gallery of Modern Art in the former palace of the Maharaja of Jaipur near India Gate and / or Craft Museum where you can witness fine traditional crafts in folk painting, textiles, terracotta figurines and pottery, wood carvings etc. and / or
visit the Akshardham Swami Narayan Temple - capital's largest Hindu temple (about 3 hours required for temple sightseeing).
Optional Extension Tours from Agra:
Sur Sarovar Bird Sanctuary with Bear Rescue Center that has 256 black Himalayan bears and the Elephant Sanctuary (both these are inside the bird sanctuary) and / or visit the Archaeological Museum at Mathura that has India's largest collections of Kushan, Gandhar and Gupta period sculptures and /or Krishna Janmabhumi - the birthplace of Bhagwan Krishna, the incarnation of Vishnu and / or the ISCKON. Hare Krishna Temple in Vrindavan.
Optional Extension Tours from Jaipur:
Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary in Bharatpur where about 150 Indian species of birds reside throughout the year and another 150 species of migratory birds arrive from Tibet, China, Mongolia, Siberia and even Scandinavia. This requires one overnight in Bharatpur. About an hour before arriving in Jaipur is the town of Dausa that is quite close to Chand Baori - the world's deepest stepwell and the Hindu temple of goddess Harshat Mata, there is a large collection of sculptures found in the vicinity here. Just before entering Jaipur in the valley of Aravali Mountains is the Garden Palace of Sisodia Rani (Queen of Sawai Jai Singh belonging to the royal house of Mewar in Udaipur) and further in the same valley is the Hindu pilgrimage center of Galta with a natural water spring and many beautiful Temples. It is a haven for Langoor (black faced) and Rhesus (red faced) monkeys.
One overnight in Samode Palace, a luxurious palace famous for its glass mosaic palace halls and located in a quiet valley.
On the way to Mandawa Castle enjoy the sightseeing of the murals and frescos of Anandilal Poddar Haveli and Murarka Haveli in Nawalgarh.
There is a lot to view in the Mandawa Castle itself that is also the best place to stay in Shekhavati region. Following Haveli (aristocratic mansions) are interesting for their murals and frescos: Hanuman Prasad Goenka Haveli, Goenka Double Haveli, Murmuria Haveli, Jhunjhunwala Haveli, Mohanlal Saraf Havei, Gulab Rai Ladia Haveli, Bansidhar Newatia Haveli, Laxminarayan Ladia Haveli and Chowkhani Double Haveli. Just across the road from Goenka Double Haveli is the Thakurji Temple that also has beautiful mural paintings depicting scenes from British East India Company Period and 1857 during the First War of Indian Independence.
A 4-day Nepal Tour with Mount Everest Flight can be booked at the end of this trip.