The Pushkar Camel Fair is one of the great historical and colorful events of India. For untold centuries tribesmen have met at the full moon to trade camels, cattle and horses. Of late years there have been some 200,000 people and 50,000 animals.
The itinerary also includes a visit to Ranthambore National Park, with game drives to spot the Bengal Tiger.
You will cross varied undulating terrain on athletic, forward horses as you travel through rural Rajasthan on your way to or from the fair.
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. On the camping portion of the trip, two person walled tents are provided, and hot and cold running water also. 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.
The horses used are the indigenous Marwari breed and thoroughbred crosses, some of them polo ponies. The Marwari is a slim athletic breed, the average size being 15 h.h. Army/military type English saddles are used.
Arrive in Delhi and transfer to the Hotel Vasant Continental or similar. Rooms will be available from 12 noon.
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.
On shorter trip without Ranthambore, arrive in Delhi today and do the above sightseeing on Nov. 20
Take an 8am train to Sawaimadhopur, arriving at 1:30pm, and transfer to Tiger Den Resort or similar, where you will stay the night. Go for an afternoon game drive in Ranthambore National Park.
Ranthambore National Park: Nestling between the Aravali and the Vindhya ranges in southeast Rajasthan, the Ranthambore National Park has been one of India’s conservation success stories and is a well known tiger reserve under the “Project Tiger” scheme. The Park’s history goes back to the days of the Maharajas when Ranthambore used to be their hunting grounds. It consists of about 400 square kms. of rocky plains, flat hill tops, gentle slopes and precipitous cliffs covered by dry deciduous forests. Artificial lakes, the shield of the Aravali hills and a 11th century Fort (now a UNESCO World Heritage Site) have helped to make this park very impressive and interesting.Besides the tiger, the Ranthambore National Park is a home to an expansive variety of other wildlife like the Sambhar and the Cheetal deer, leopard, sloth bear, Chinkara gazelle, wild boar, Indian porcupine, jackal, hyena, marsh crocodile, the elusive caracal and about 300 species of birds.
On the shorter trip without Ranthambore, spend today sightseeing in Delhi.
Spend the morning on another game drive to spot the native wildlife. Then drive to Pushkar (about 6 hours). When you arrive, you’ll be checked in to the Aaram Bagh Resort or similar for the night. If time permits, you may visit the town of Pushkar.
Pushkar: On the edge of a small and beautiful lake in eastern Rajasthan, lies the small town of Pushkar – a town of 500 temples and 52 bathing ghats. Pushkar prides itself as the only place in the world having a temple dedicated to Lord Brahma, the Hindu God of creation. Pushkar is, therefore, believed to be the centre of the creation of the world.The origin of the Pushkar Fair is lost in a myth. It is believed that Brahma, the creator, was in search of a place to perform a Vedic yagna (sacrifice). As he pondered, a lotus fell from his hands and water gushed from the spot. Today, the faithful bathe in the holy waters of the Pushkar lake on Kartik Poornima (full moon in end of October/ November). And on its banks, a mammoth 200000 people and some 50000 camels, cattle and horses become a part of the annual Pushkar fair.
On the shorter trip without Ranthambore, leave Delhi today at 6:05am on an air conditioned trail to Ajmer, arriving at 12:45pm. Drive to Pushkar (about 20 km) and check into your hotel before visiting the town and fair as above.
Drive out about 05 kms out of Pushkar and try out your horses
and get used to them before setting out on the safari the next day. After having tried out the horses, drive back to Pushkar and visit the Pushkar Fair and town. Over night at Aaram Bagh Resort , Pushkar or similar
Drive out of Pushkar for about six km and then ride to Amarpura (about 21 km). The ride on this day out of Pushkar takes you through a valley dotted with several villages, farmland, sand dunes and a few temples. The ride is very interesting with opportunities of some good canters. Arrive Amarpura and camp away from the village. Overnight in tented camp.
Ride to Roopangarh (about 25 km). The ride to Roopangarh is partly through a valley and a scenic riding country and partly across open scrub. You will see ancient villages and some ruined forts on the hilltops. Today you might also get to see the Nilgai antelope, which is the largest antelope of India. After lunch you will also be able to see the magnificent fort of Roopangarh from a distance. Arrive Roopangarh and stay at the Roopangarh Fort.
Roopangarh Fort: The fort was built In 1653 AD by Maharajah Roop Singh, the fifth ruler of Kishangarh. Located 125 kms from Jaipur, it became the capital of Kishangarh for the next hundred years. It has invincible ramparts and several underground passages and ateliers of the artists. The fort is situated on a mound and was originally made up of nine turreted fortifications. The serpentine entrance which guarded against a frontal attack leads to a splendid medieval Durbar hall beyond which can be seen some of the finest examples of the famed Kishangarh miniature paintings. The miniatures of Kishangarh have acquired worldwide acclaim. Besides paintings, the rulers also encouraged and patronised music and poetry.The delicate mausoleum of the 12th century ‘Saint Sultan Pir’, overlooks the main terrace. The distinctive ambience of an individually appointed deluxe room. The combined atmosphere of this magnificent ’17th Century War Fort’ and the Palace within is intoxicating. Added to this are splendid views from the massive terrace on the higher level of the Fort.
The ‘Queen’s Suite’ still recalls, faint echoes of the softer footfall, the whisper of silk, of romance and intrigue of the Zenana. Decorated with arms found during the restoration work, this room reflects a heroic past. The double height ‘Durbar Hall’, now the dining room – has latticed windows above for the Queens to view the proceedings below.
Ride to Bakhtawar (about 28 kms). Today’ ride to Bakhtawar is a spectacular ride. The first half is along a beautiful range of Aravali hills, villages and farmlands and then across the salt flats of the Sambhar lake which is the biggest salt water lake in India. When you reach the salt flats, you could canter for long distances (but only enough so that you do not tire out the horses). If there is water in the lake there are good chances that you will get to see the flamingos and several other birds. You are also likely to get good sightings of the Nilgai antelope. Overnight in tented camp.
Ride to Kuchaman (about 28 kms.). The ride to Kauchaman, which is a fairly large town, first takes you close to some hills and then across salt flats of another salt lake which is usually dry. From a distance you can see forts and temples on the hills. The Kuchaman Fort looks very imposing and grand. Overnight in tented camp.
Ride to Bharija (about 30 kms). The ride to Bharija is an interesting ride through several winding paths skirting around various farms of the villagers. The view is particularly wonderful if the crops are standing in the fields. The contrast of the greenery, the sandy soil, the Khejri trees and the hills is very interesting. Today’s ride is through one of the most spectacular areas of Rajasthan. Overnight in tented camp.
Ride to Danta (about 20 km). Today’s ride to Danta is a short one and you ride across a very scenic area comprising of beautiful villages, farmlands and hills. As you get close to Danta, you can see the twin forts of Danta from a distance. Danta Kila (kila means fort), built in 1702, is a delightful mix of Mogul and Rajput architecture and is now a heritage hotel. Overnight Danta Fort
After a leisurely breakfast, bid goodbye to your horses and camp staff and drive to Jaipur (approximately two and a half hours). Arrive Jaipur and check at Hotel Alsisar Haveli or similar, where you will spend the night. See the sights of Jaipur this afternoon.
Jaipur: The rose-pink capital of Rajasthan, is surrounded on all sides by rugged hills, crowned with forts. Enclosed by embattled walls, the city was built early in the eighteenth century. The Maharajah’s palace stands in the center of the city amidst lovely gardens. Houses with latticed windows line the streets, their rose-pink color lending enchantment to the scene and almost magical at sunset. Jaipur is aptly called the ” Pink City of India”. It takes its name from the famous Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh, who founded the city in 1728. A keen astronomer, he built an observatory which still exists and is equipped with quaint masonry instruments of remarkable size. This observatory ( called Jantar Mantar) is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Jaipur is noted for its craftsmen skilled in the art of cutting precious stones and famed for its garnets and rubies. It is equally well known for brass inlay work, lacquer work and the printings of muslin.
City sightseeing: The City Palace which now houses a museum containing rare manuscripts, painting and an armory; the Jantar Mantar observatory- built in the 17th century by Jai Singh- with a sundial 90ft.high; the Museum amidst the Ram Niwas Palace Gardens founded in 1876 with a large collection of antiques; the palace of Winds, a landmark of Jaipur made of pink sandstone and of unique design.
Visit Amber Fort, including an elephant ride.
Amber Fort : 12 km from Jaipur lies the city of Amber with an ancient imposing fort cum Palace overlooking the lake at the entrance to a rocky mountain grove. Built in the 17th century, the palace is a distinguished specimen of of Rajput architecture and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Jai Mandir (hall of victory) is so delicately ornamented with fine inlay work that it glows. The fort of Jaigarh, crowning the summit of a peak is of amazing beauty and grandeur.
Spend the afternoon at leisure to rest or shop, or do more sightseeing. Overnight again at Hotel Alsisar Haveli or similar.
drive to Agra (about 4-5 hr) via Fatehpur Sikri.
Fatehpur Sikri: The deserted city of Emperor Akbar literally means “The City of Victory.” The audience halls, palaces, and the mosques are still in a state of perfection as are the tomb of Shiekh Salim Chisti, Panchmahal and the Buland Darwaza. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Arrive in Agra and check in at the hotel Jaypee Palace or similar for overnight. Spend the afternoon sightseeing at the Agra Fort.
Agra Fort: The Agra Fort (a UNESCO World Heritage site) is one of the most important and robustly built stronghold of the Mughals, embellished with number of richly decorated buildings encompassing the imposing Mughal style of art and architecture. It was constructed by the third Mughal emperor Akbar on the remains of an ancient site known as Badalgarh between 1565 and 1573. He ordered to renovate the fort with red sandstone and some 4000 builders daily worked on it and it was completed in 8 years (1565-1573).
This powerful fortress of red sandstone, semi-circular on plan, is surrounded by a 2.5 km long and 21.4 m high fortification wall. Double ramparts have been provided here with broad massive circular bastions at regular intervals. There are four gates on its four sides, one of the gates was called “Khizri-gate” (the water gate) which opens to the river front, where ghats (quays) were provided. The fort has survived through the onslaught of time, nature and men. Spreading over an area of about 94 acres of land, it comprises many fairy-tale palaces, such as the Jehangir Palace and the Khas Mahal, built by Shah Jehan (the builder of Taj Mahal), audience halls, such as the Diwan-i-Khas; and two very beautiful mosques.
Morning sightseeing of Taj Mahal.
The Taj Mahal, one of the wonders of the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan in memory of his beloved consort Mumtaz Mahal, is a beautiful mausoleum is pure white marble and an architectural marvel. Built in 1631-48 in Agra, seat of the Mughal Empire, the monument sums up many of the formal themes that have played through Islamic architecture. Its refined elegance is a conspicuous contrast both to the Hindu architecture of pre-Islamic India, with its thick walls, corbelled arches, and heavy lintels, and to the Indo-Islamic styles, in which Hindu elements are combined with an eclectic assortment of motifs from Persian and Turkish sources.
After lunch drive to Delhi (about 3.5 hr) and transfer to hotel for dinner. After dinner, transfer to International Airport in time for flight leaving for abroad before or after midnight.
This itinerary is flexible and may change at your 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