The Nagaur horseback riding vacation in India includes a visits to local fairs. The Nagaur Fair is smaller, less touristy and without the Brahma festivities of the Pushkar Fair. Both are great colorful and historical events of India. For untold centuries tribesmen have met to trade camels, cattle and horses.
Ride across huge sand dunes, through farmlands and rural villages as you travel to the Fair. Some nights are spent in well-staffed tent camps and others in exquisite palaces.
During the non-camping portion of the trip, accommodations have been reserved in luxurious hotels, converted palaces, which are more rustic and distinctive, and charming heritage-type lodgings. Some of the hotels have swimming pools. Hot water and electricity are reliable in most of the hotels, however, in some of the smaller villages the supply may be somewhat limited, but service is excellent and the beds are comfortable. On the camping portion of the trip, spacious, 2-man wall tents with cots are utilized. Shower and toilet facilities are set up separately.
If you like Indian food, you will be happy as dinners are served buffet style with a very wide choice of tasty dishes with fresh vegetables and fruit. Not all dishes are highly spiced as these places cater usually to European guests.
February 8: Arrive in Delhi and transfer to the Hotel Vasant Continental or similar. Rooms will be available from 12 noon.
February 9: Full day sightseeing of Delhi: The old city, built by Shah Jehan in the 17th century, stands today as an epitome of the whole history of Indo- Islamic architecture. New Delhi, designed and constructed by the Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker is a mixture of east and west. The public buildings in red sandstone are in the Moghul style. It has a circular Parliament House and an imposing Central Secretariat in two blocks which stand at the approaches to Rashtrapati Bhawan, the residence of the President of India.
Delhi is today the political, economic and cultural capital of the World’s largest democracy and has also become one of the greatest tourist centers of the World.
Sightseeing of Old Delhi: Visit Jama Mosque and Raj Ghat, where the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi was cremated.
Sightseeing of New Delhi: Visit Humayun’s Tomb aptly called predecessor of the Taj Mahal. Drive past Safdarjung’s Tomb, the Qutab Minar, 72 meters high and one of the perfect towers of the Persian World. Nearby, amidst the ruins of the Quwut – ul – Islam Mosque stands the Iron pillar which has stood the vagaries of the weather and not rusted over 1500 years. An orientation drive through New Delhi includes the Embassy area, Government Buildings. Drive past Jantar- Mantar Astronomical observatory and through Connaught Place, New Delhi’s main shopping center.
Overnight in Delhi.
February 10: Take a 9:45am flight to Bikaner, arriving at 11:15am. Transfer to hotel Laxmi Niwas or similar.
Laxmi Niwas Palace lies on the outskirts of the city. This
imposing red sandstone palace was built by Maharaja Ganga Singh, in commemoration of his father Maharaja Lal Singh in the early 20th Century. This oriental fantasy designed by Sir Swinton Jacob is among the purest forms of a Rajput palace, full of European luxury.
Sight see in Bikaner and visit the Camel Breeding Farm.
Bikaner lies on the northern point on the triangle of the desert cities. Bikaner is another royal walled city dating back to 1486 AD. It was established by a Rathore prince, Bika and came to be called Bikaner after him. Bika was the eldest son of the founder of Jodhpur state – Rao Jodha. Bikaner was well protected from its enemies by the harsh desert which surrounded this rich city. It was, however, a major trade center as it stood on the ancient caravan route which linked Central Asia and North India with the Gujarat seaports. Other outside influences were minimal and this city was able to keep its medieval flavor alive – in fact, this is true of the city even todayThe main shopping area lies around Kote Gate which has interesting bazaars where it is possible to see rustic men and women in their traditional clothes rub shoulders with their modern counterparts as they go about their daily chores.While other cities of Rajasthan are rich in lakes and pleasure pavilions, Bikaner seems quite bare in that respect. Given its severe climatic architectural heritage lies in its forts, palaces and temples. The Junagarh Fort is one of the best preserved Indian heritage Fort today.The oldest structures are the 14th century Jain temples built by two brothers and named after them – the Bhandeshwar temple and the Sandeshwar temple. While the former is rich in mirror work and frescoes, the latter has stylised enamel and gold leaf wall paintings.
February 11: After breakfast, drive to Gajner, a drive of about 40 minutes from Bikaner, and transfer to Gajner Palace Hotel, a beautiful hotel by the edge of a lake, and where you stay for the night and also meet up with your horses. After lunch, try out the horses by riding in and around Gajner. Overnight in Gajner Palace.
Gajner Palace is an incomparable “Jewel in the Thar Desert”
built on the embankment of a lake by His Late Highness Maharaja
Ganga Singhj of Bikaner. During winter even now, this palace with its beautiful lake and surrounded wooded areas become the home of different species of migratory birds, most renowned amongst them being the Imperial Sand Grouse. Endangered Antelopes like Black Bucks, Nilgais,Chinkaras and other animals like the Wild Boar roam freely in this area which is now a preserved sanctuary. The Gajner
Palace is beautifully architectured and is made of Red Sandstone. One can appreciate the craftsmanship of the intricate carvings on red sandstone. One can experience the true romance of the desert in the comfort of Gajner Palace.
February 12: In the morning ride out about 35 kms towards a village named Jai Singh in the Thar Desert. Trees and grass are sparse. In some places the wind and shifting sands have created spectacular sand dunes which tower above the plain. Despite the austerity of the land a surprising number of people have learned to eek out a living here. En route you will pass several small villages.
Overnight in Camp
February 13: Ride about 35 kms to Dohra Farm. The ride on this day takes you across several farms and huge sand dunes where you likely to see several Chinkara Gazelles. Arrive Dohra and camp near a large sand dune. Overnight in Camp.
February 14: Ride about 30 kms to Tantwas village and make another camp in the desert. While riding through this area you see several Chinkara gazelles and you might also come across the Desert Fox. Overnight in Camp.
February 15: Ride out for about 35 kms. to Khari village passing through a couple of small villages and several farmlands and large sand dunes. More chances to spot the Desert Fox. Overnight in Camp.
February 16: Ride out for about 30 kms to Nagaur. The ride takes you across several farm lands and villages. On this day you also get a chance to climb up on one of the largest sand dunes of this area. There is a small temple on top of this sand dune and you get a lovely view of the entire area. Arrive Nagaur – where the Fair will be full of Camels, horses and other animals. Overnight in Camp which would be set up away from the town and close to the Fair.
February 17: Spend the day in Nagaur visiting the fair on horseback and on foot. There are about 25,000 camels on display as well as a number of horses and cattle. People come from hundreds of miles away to buy and sell, and it is an excellent chance to see the ways of ancient India. There are many shops selling handicrafts, cloth, jewelry, etc. Few tourists visit this fair, as it is little known abroad and is mainly for the local people. Overnight in camp.
February 18: After breakfast, bid good bye to your horses and the camp staff and drive to Jodhpur (about 2 hours). Arrive Jodhpur and transfer to
Hotel Ranbanka Palace or similar. After lunch, sightseeing of Mehrangarh Fort and parts of the old city of Jodhpur.
Jodhpur: This former capital of Marwar state was found by Rao Jodha Singh. A flourishing trading centre in 16th century, today the city has grown to become the second largest city of Rajasthan and is still one of the leading centres for wood, cattle, camels, salt and agriculture in Rajasthan. However, the past is never far behind and the city boasts of some very fine reminders of this glorious past — Palaces, Forts, Temples and other elegant monuments of architectural and historical value.
Mehrangarh Fort: From its towering height of 400 ft, atop a steep hill, Mehrangarh Fort is Jodhpur’s most remarkable monument, enclosing within its mighty ramparts a complex of ethereal palaces notable for their exquisite lattice work. Work began on this massive citadel in 1479 by Rao Jodha, founder of Jodhpur. Certain halls in the palaces have been made into a museum with a display of the royal collection of arms, palanquins, howdahs, cradles, miniature paintings, and personal heirlooms. From here, the view of the city is breathtaking; in the words of James Tod: “The sons of Jodha could command from the windows of the palace a range of vision almost comprehending the limits of their away.”
Overnight in Jodhpur.
February 19: Spend the morning in Jodhpur, transferring to the ariprt in time for a flight to Delhi departing at 3:35pm. Arrive in Delhi at 4:55pm an transfer to a hotel to have dinner and get ready for your trip home, transferring to the international airport in time for flights.
This itinerary is flexible and may be changed at the guide's discretion due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances.
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We are still glowing from our amazing, glorious, magical adventure in India. Everything was perfect! Thank you again for your terrific advice and putting us in contact with the outfitter who we are enormously grateful to. Riding in India was, without the shadow of a doubt, the most wonderful and delightful riding... Read more