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India - Fairs & Festivals
Ride through the ancient kingdoms of Shekhawati and experience the complete spectrum of life in Rajasthan – from subsistence farmers, who maintain a very simple existence, to the privileged life of the princes. The Indian state of Rajasthan (where our rides are located) was once known as Registhan – “land of desert”. Ride over a wide variety of terrain including desert, farmlands, rocky gorges, acacia forests, jungle, scrub and the fertile Aravali hills.
Historically this is one of India’s richest regions, littered with magnificent forts and palaces that were once home, and in many cases still are, to royal princes. Some of these palaces are now hotels where you stay during the ride.
The Fairs and Festivals is a six day ride in Rajasthan, followed by visits to Jaipur, the bird sanctuary at Bharatpur, one of the largest cattle & horse fairs at Bateshwar and the iconic Taj Mahal at Agra. End your holiday in Delhi over the festival of Diwali.
A very special feature of this ride are the horses - the Marwari with their characteristic ears curling in at the top. They are spirited and forward going. The horses come from the stables at Dundlod Castle, home to Kanwar Raghuvendra Singh - known as Bonnie. Bonnie is a warm and considerate host and an expert horseman. He is a direct descendent of Kesari Singh who built Dundlod Castle in the 1750's.
At Dundlod, Bonnie has set up the largest Marwari stud farm in India and has established a breed improvement programme.
You should be a competent rider confident on a horse at all paces in the open. There are some long stretches of canter and you need to be able to keep your distance from the horse in front.
On the riding days you should expect to cover 25km - 30km each day. Possibly more on some days.
The tack is English style Indian army saddlery.
Accommodation during this ride is a combination of hotels and safari style camps:
The hotels are often previous forts and palaces which have been converted into hotels but retain much of their original charm and features. Amidst the sometimes faded grandeur, it is possible to imagine the buildings in their glory days. The bedrooms are all different varying in size and decorations but all comfortable with private bathrooms.
The safari style camps have large spacious tents and are furnished with made up beds and fabric printed walls. Separate shower and toilet facilities are set up and hot water is provided in the morning and evenings. Camps are fully staffed and the support crew will prepare each new camp to await the arrival of the riders each evening.
The date of the Fairs & Festivals ride is designed to fit in with the Festival of Diwali, which changes each year according to the Lunar calendar and is normally in late October/early November.
It is possible to leave from Jaipur after the riding, but you will miss the visit to Bateshwar Fair, Agra and Diwali.
|Holiday||Experience LevelExp Lvl||Arrive - DepartArr - Dep||Price||Itinerary||Availability|
|Fairs & Festivals||
||14 Oct 2019 - 28 Oct 2019||14 nights 14 ngts||£2,923.61||Book|
|Fairs & Festivals (ending Jaipur)||
||14 Oct 2019 - 23 Oct 2019||9 nights 9 ngts||£2,231.84||Book|
INCLUDES Accommodation; full board except in Delhi, Jaipur, Bharatpur and Agra where lunch is not included; riding; sightseeing in cities; some entrance fees; all road transfers.
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT The following single supplements (per person) are payable:
Fairs & Festivals: £701.26
Fairs & Festivals (ending Jaipur): £446.77
The single supplement is refunded if we find you a sharer. If you are willing to share but there is no sharer then the single supplement is reduced by 50%.
SMALL GROUP SUPPLEMENT The following small group supplements (per person) are payable until there are 10 or more guests:
Fairs & Festivals: £495.25 with 3-5 guests, and £96.14 with 6-9 guests.
Fairs & Festivals (ending Jaipur): £394.26 with 3-5 guests, and £71.10 and with 6-9 guests.
There is an extra single supplement of £42.82 with 3-5 guests.
PAYABLE LOCALLY Lunch in Delhi, Jaipur, Bharatpur and Agra; some entrance fees; camera fees; drinks; laundry; tips.
NEAREST AIRPORT Delhi.
TRANSFERS The Fairs and Festivals Ride includes all road transfers from and back to Delhi.
The ride is in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan with sightseeing in the Golden Triangle - Delhi, Jaipur and Agra.
Rajasthan has a hot and dry climate. The monsoon is from June to September during which it is particularly hot. Rain outside the monsoon months is unlikely.
The ride is scheduled for the cooler months of October/November. At this time the maximum temperature would be around 29°C during the day. Evenings can be cool (c. 5°C) and you should bring a warm sweater and be prepared for a chilly morning just in case there is snow fall in the Himalayas – the temperature does drop suddenly at times.
When camping, the cold nights are felt much more and you are advised to bring warm clothes for sleeping.
It was brilliant - I felt fully briefed about what to take/expect - checklist of equipment, tipping culture etc. This was an amazing holiday was extremely well planned! The riding part took us 'behind the tourist curtain' and was such a unique experience! The places we stayed at were varied and we were frequently surprised by beautiful converted havelis/palaces! It was the riding that attracted me to the holiday,of course, but I am glad I stayed for the sightseeing days too - Jaipur and Agra were amazing - and the Taj, well, words fail me!!! The holiday ended with a ricksaw ride through Old Delhi as the preparations for Diwali too place - this summed up India for me - hot, crazy, colourful - amazing!
Josephine ,WarwickshireOverall rating: 4/5
The colours, smells and sounds of India are such an exciting combination that will capture your heart and imagination. The horses are also enchanting with their curling ears and endless stamina.
You are riding through the desert, so take a bandana to pull up over your mouth to keep the dust out during the canters.