Aravalli Safari

Rajasthan India: (IT-INRT01)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/india_rajasthan_arvalli.aspx

Introduction
Rajasthan India
This safari includes two of the major sights of Southern Rajasthan, the mighty Kumbhalgarh Fort and the most exquisite Jain Temple of Ranakpur. The riders start outside Udaipur and climb from the city up into the mountains, deeper and deeper every day. Leading over rocky slopes and through long beautiful valleys, this trail is one of the most varied of our safari trails, offering steep climbs as well as open stretches of countryside to go for long gallops. It is also a trail along a historic tradition. The riders will pass the ancient Hindu temples of Nagda and Eklingji, situated on a mountain plateau, ride through the scenic Haldi Ghati Valley, once a famous battle ground and up to the mighty fortress at Kumbhalgarh, perched on the top of the highest peak of the Aravalli Mountains in the area. Kumbhalgarh was once built as a place of retreat in times of danger for the rulers of Udaipur and it has been defeated only once in its history and even then it took the armies of three major kings and treachery. All these battles have long passed, but especially Kumbhalgarh brings home the brave and belligerent spirit of the Rajputs. The lonely mountains around Kumbhalgarh have been converted into a Wildlife Sanctuary and are famous for its population of wolves and the peculiar sloth bears. Both species are to shy to let themselves be seen, but pug marks can be found and occasionally the riders can hear a wolf or a jackal howling at night. Most common in the sanctuary and around are monkeys, mongoose, the majestic peacocks and occasionally Swamp deer or Nilgai antelopes. The final highlight of the safari is the beautiful Jain temple of Ranakpur, situated at the feet of the Aravalli Mountains, far away from any major town or city. Renewed for its white splendor, it attracts many tourists and pilgrims from India and abroad. The safari ends on the other side of the Aravalli Mountains at the edge of the Thar Desert.

Accomodation

Accommodations

This is a wilderness ride, so nights will be spent in a combination of hotels and camps. You will spend 3 nights in hotels and 4 nights in tents, staying in 6 different locations total.

Description
Accommodation during the riding portion of the tour (in most cases) will be in a safari camp. The reason for this is that many of our routes lead through scarcely populated areas away from the usual tourist paths. Very often the night has to be spent in the nature away from human dwellings.
Boheda Palace Hotel
Featuring the architecture of a bygone era and located just 1.9 mi from Udaipur City Palace and Lake Pichola, Hotel Boheda Palace offers free WIFI throughout the property, a rooftop restaurant, and a 24-hour front desk. It has a gorgeous terrace with views of the surrounding area, the hotel also offers luggage storage and laundry facilities as well as a tour desk. Each air-conditioned room features local décor and is equipped with a wardrobe, work desk and a satellite TV. The attached bathroom has shower facilities and contains complimentary toiletries. Laundry is available for an additional cost.

The Aodhi Hotel
Offering majestic views of the Kumbhalgarh Fort, The Aodhi, a sanctuary resort features an outdoor swimming pool. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property. The suites are equipped with tiled/marble flooring, sofa and satellite TV. Tea/coffee and ironing facilities are available. The private bathrooms come with a hairdryer and shower.



Camps

Our campsites are chosen with great care and offer a maximum safety and superb views. Away from the busy Indian towns or villages, they are a paradise for nature lovers and bird-watchers. The camp offers all necessary facilities to the riders. The tents are comfortable and inviting Indian hunting tents with high ceilings, double or single occupancy. The tents are made in the traditional Indian style with a roofed entrance where the riders can leave their shoes. Each tent is equipped with mattresses, sheets, pillow, cushion, quilts, and woolen blankets. The camp has bathroom trolleys with two showers (bucket shower with hot water) and toilets. Hot water is provided in buckets. Towels, soaps, etc. are supplied. Grouped around the dinning area, they are encircled by a partition enclosure of cloth with a colorful Rajasthan pattern.

Accommodation Itinerary
Night 1 & 7: Boheda Palace Hotel
Night 2: Camping in Leelera
Night 3: Camping in Haldi Ghati Pass
Night 4: The Aodhi Hotel in Kumbhalgarh
Nigh 5: Camping in Ranakpur
Night 6: Camping in Narlai


Meals
All meals are included from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 8.
Breakfast and dinner is served in our dining area, an open space with a sunroof, tables and chairs. Breakfast is Continental style with fruits of the season, eggs, and toast. Lunch will be either taken as package on the trail or brought to you by Jeep. Dinner is a traditional 3-course menu of Indian food (non-spicy). Alcoholic beverages are not included but alcohol can be purchased (not expensive) or brought. Beer, wine (Indian), whiskey, rum, gin and vodka are available.

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to most dietary restrictions with prior notice.


This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding


Daily Schedule
A normal safari day includes between 5 and 6 hours in the saddle plus a lunch break (lunch is either taken as a lunch packet or brought to the riders by our jeep) and several smaller breaks for sightseeing on the way or a tea stop in the little hamlet by the way.

Our Horses
Nearly all the horses we use for safaris and trail riding are Marwari horses. This breed is native in Rajasthan and best suited for long rides in this region.
Our horses live in comfortable stables and paddocks and are left to roam free during the day on our farm. All our horses have been handpicked by us as we wanted to have only the best suited horses for our safari. As we have some foals every year, some of our riding horses were born in our stable and raised and trained by us. In fact, we are very proud that today we have a stable of finest Marwari horses fit for riding and breeding.
We believe in the principle of Natural Horsemanship which means that we keep our horses as natural as possible and train them according to NHS. Some of them are ridden with a hackamore, just a halter or even a simple neck rope. All are very well trained, obedient and a pleasure to ride. Our horses are cared for with love and affection. They are properly fed, vaccinated, de-wormed and shoed.
On the safaris we take only horses which are 100% fit and prepared. Already before the safari, we try to find a suitable horse for each rider according to riding skill and preference. Spare horses go along each trail in case another horse goes lame or one rider wants to change.



Tack & Riding Style
We have imported saddle tack for all our horses in order to maximize comfort for horse and rider.
The riding style is different to both English and Western. We offer lessons on the horses prior to the ride. A couple of extra days for pre-safari lessons may make your riding experience more enjoyable. Please let Hidden Trails know if you would like to book lessons before your ride.

Guides
The safari is run by a member of the oldest and most honored noble families of Udaipur, whose history is interwoven with horses for many centuries, and his German wife.

Itinerary

Sample itinerary
- subject to changes

Day 1: Arrival in Udaipur
Arrival in Udaipur, we collect you from the airport/train station and bring you to a comfortable Haveli-style middle class hotel in Udaipur. In the afternoon sightseeing Udaipur. Overnight stay in a Haveli Hotel in Udaipur.

Day 2: Udaipur - Eklingji
After breakfast start your ride from Udaipur, near Fateh Sagar Lake and climb up into the Aravalli Mountains, enjoying the great scenery and views over Udaipur and its surrounding valley. Visit the ancient Eklingji and Nagda Temples after your ride and stay overnight in our safari camp on the shore of a small lake in the hills.

Day 3: Eklingji – Haldi Ghati
Today you will ride through the long beautiful valley of Haldi Ghati (which means Yellow Valley due to the color of the soil). Famous for its scenic beauty it was once upon a time the place of a great battle between Maharana Pratap, the king of Udaipur and the army of Moghul emperor Akbar. Before reaching this high valley horse and rider have to climb further up into the mountains over some rocky slopes where our horses will show you just how sure-footed they really are. At lunch time visit the battlefield of Haldi Ghati and the Chetak Chabutra and learn about the historic deeds done by Chetak, the white Marwari stallion of Maharana Pratap. When time permits it is possible to see the Maharana Pratap Museum in Haldi Ghati. After lunch break the ride continues through the Haldhi Ghati valley, a most scenic part of the ride this the riders reach our camp outside a little village. Overnight-stay in our safari camp.

Day 4: Haldi Ghati - Kumbhalgarh
Enjoy the last virgin dry deciduous forest in Rajasthan and ride through the unique scenery of the Aravalli Mountains. Today horse and rider have to do a lot of climbing as the trail winds up into the higher reaches of the Aravalli Mountains. Ascending through a winding valley along a river, the riders leave the little villages behind and come into the higher reaches of the Aravalli Mountains. Situated on top of one of the highest peaks in these mountains the final destination of this day is the little town of Kumbhalgarh. Once the riders reach the Kumbhalgarh road they are picked up by our jeep and taken the last kilometers the village of Kumbhalgarh. Tonight the riders will stay at a jungle lodge for accommodation. In the afternoon sightseeing of the Kumbhalgarh Fort. Overnight stay at a hotel in Kumbhalgarh.

Day 5: Kumbhalgarh - Ranakpur
Descending from the height of Kumbhalgarh Fort down into the valley of Ranakpur you will cross the Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary and have a chance of glimpsing some wildlife such as monkeys, wild boar or antelopes, smaller mammals such as mongoose or rabbits and countless birds such as nightingales, kingfisher, meena, peacocks or jungle fowls. The sanctuary accounts for a great variety of more than 250 different species of birds. The ride leads from the top entrance of the Sanctuary near Kumbhalgarh down right to the foot of the mountain, an ascent of 800 high meters. In the beginning the views over the mountains are amazing then the riders get swallowed up by forest and now the only sounds come from the birds and animals around them. Much of the forest up here is dry deciduous virgin forest and it is home to an astonishing variety of animals big and small. Depending on the season the forest is lush and green or more autumnally golden and yellow. At times the riders will have to cross streams and rivers which flow high after the monsoon or might be completely dry in spring. At lunch time the riders reach a small Jain temple in a serene valley surrounded by mountains with the Kumbhalgarh Fort situated majestically on top. After lunch the riders continue through the lower reaches of the Sanctuary before they finally leave it behind to cross a village and continue their ride through the fields of the Ranakpur valley. Our safari camp is situated near the Ranakpur river.
After your arrival in Ranakpur, visit the famous Jain temples there.
Overnight-stay in our safari camp near Ranakpur.

Day 6: Ranakpur - Narlai
Today you will ride through the beautiful Ranakpur valley on the Marwar side. Here the countryside is much more arid than on the Southern side of the Aravalli Mountians towards the former kingdom of Mewar (Udaipur). The route will lead you through little villages and along fields where farming is still done with a pair of oxen.  Then you will cross the little town of Sadri which is quite an adventure for riders as well as for the locals with lots to see. On the other side the ride continues over sandy tracks. The terrain on this side of the Aravalli Mountains is now level and soft. Plenty of opportunity for long trots and canters! After lunch the riders reach the peculiar temple of Ketlaji built at the side of one of the many hills rising out of the plain in this area. At the foot of the temple is a small lake and plenty of shops selling food and religious items for the pilgrims coming here. The riders pass directly through here before leaving the village and continuing through a dried up river bed towards Narlai. The safari ends near the village of Narlai, famous for its pretty havelis and fort which has been converted into a Heritage Hotel. Overnight in our safari camp near some strangely shaped rocks.

Day 7: Return to Udaipur
We bring you back to Udaipur after breakfast. Arrival there around Midday. The afternoon can be used for sightseeing or shopping. Overnight stay in a Haveli hotel (middle class).

Day 8: Departure
Program ends after breakfast.


Rates and Dates for Aravalli Safari

Rates include:

Accommodations (4 nights in tented safari camps and 3 nights in middle class hotels), 5 riding days with 5 to 6 riding hours each, local sightseeing, activities and evening program where possible, transfers

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescription US$
    A
    20198 day trip, AP$1820

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionUS$
2019 Round trip transfer from Udaipur is included $0
2019 Single supplement $175
2019 Indian Spring Festival (March 20-22), dbl, pp $325
2019 Indian Spring Festival (March 20-22), single $385

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2019 11/24 - 12/01 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP 2 /12 Reserve

Dates Note:
This trip is available any time during the season with a minimum of 2 riders.

Rates do not include:

Flights, alcoholic beverages, entrance fees, extra excursions

Other Info
Meeting: Udaipur
Airport: Maharana Pratap Airport in Udaipur (UDR)
Transfer: Udaipur airport or railway station

Climate:
                                                Udaipur area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

76

83

92

100

104

99

90

87

90

92

86

79

Average Low Temperature (°F)

49

54

63

73

81

81

78

76

74

67

59

51

Average High Temperature (°C)

24

28

34

38

40

37

32

31

32

33

30

26

Average Low Temperature (°C)

9

12

17

23

27

27

26

24

23

19

15

11

Source: NOAA


Seasons

The largest state in India, Rajasthan's climate can be divided into 4 seasons: summer, monsoon, post-monsoon and winter. Temperatures vary depending on the season and the region.

Summer (April to June)
Summers in Rajasthan are particularly hot with temperatures rising up to 48°C during the day. However, in places like Mount Abu, Kumbhalgarh or Ranakpur, the weather is pleasant and the views offered are breath-taking.

Monsoon season (July to September)
Monsoon is a far more pleasant experience, the temperatures tend to drop across the state and the rain showers transform the arid landscape of Rajasthan. It is a particularly good time to visit if you wish to avoid the crowds you'd usually find during peak tourist season.

Post Monsoon and Winter (October to March)
The temperatures continue to drop once the monsoon has passed, and come October winter sets in that lasts till March. During December and January, there can be a severe variation in temperatures during the day and the night. In fact, temperatures are known to drop as low as 0°C. This is the best time to visit Rajasthan as the desert sun is not as intense and the days are pleasant.

What To Bring:
Your luggage will be transported by car, so you do not have to take everything with you on horseback. We do, however, recommend that you use lockable bags or suitcases. Princess Trails is not responsible for the loss of any valuables unless they are handed to us before the safari. For each item we will give you a receipt.

Each horse has two saddle bags, but your lunch packet and water bottles have to fit in before anything else can.


This list is only a guideline for you

Travel documents and Voucher

Flight tickets

Passport

Visa (check with your consulate)

RIDING GEAR

Riding breeches or comfortable jeans for the ride

Riding boots (short) + Minichaps

Riding helmet  (recommended for all trips)

Riding gloves

Hat (with chin strip) for sun protection

Lightweight Rain coat

 

PERSONAL CLOTHING

Jacket or sweater for cool evenings

Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts

Jeans

Shorts

Underwear and socks

Pyjama

Bag for dirty clothes

Swimsuit

 

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO BRING

Personal Toiletries

Small backpack  or bag to carry with you on when you ride

Insect protection

Personal medications

Small flashlight

Handkerchiefs

Adapter for electric appliances

Camera and enough extra films and batteries

Sun hat and sun block