Udaipur Riding Safari

Rajasthan India: (IT-INRT04)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/india_rajasthan_udaipur.aspx

Introduction
Rajasthan India

The simple pleasures of horseback riding and the romantic city of Udaipur come together to create a winning combination! Immerse yourself in the Indian way of life and discover the colorful country's many unique delights!

Beautiful Udaipur was founded in 1567 and is situated on the shores of two lakes – Lake Pichola and Fateh Sagar. Known as the “Venice of the East”, countless poets, writers and painters were and still are inspired by its white splendor. The City Palace of Udaipur is the largest palace complex in India. It houses a museum, luxurious hotels, a school and the residence of the descendants of the king of Udaipur! Outside the city, tour through the tribal regions of southeastern Rajasthan and experience the special culture of the Bhil tribes. The majority of these villages are still constructed of huts made from the earth and are surrounded by a protective wall of thorns. Traditional handicrafts and customs are still prevalent, the evidence notable throughout the journey. On daily rides out of Udaipur, you will explore the countryside upon the back of your own spirited Marwari horse, a descendant of the war horses prized by the Indian nobility of days gone past. Plenty of sight-seeing options are available each morning for riders to choose from, before participating in the afternoon rides.
The Terrain: Mostly open country with the odd hilly areas. Strips of thorn forest and rather dry vegetation.

Accomodation

Accommodations

This is a stationary ride, so all nights are spent in the same location.
There is an option for a short safari add-on, which would involve 2 nights at a safari camp and 5 nights in the hotel.

Option 1: 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.

Option 2: Cottage on the farm    
If the first option is fully booked or if you prefer to stay outside of town, you will be staying in a cottage on our farm. The cottages have attached bathrooms and hot water. This is the perfect choice to experience the farm life!

Safari Camp accommodation (for short safari add-on)
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.


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


The Marwari Horse
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.

Formerly bred for the purpose of war , the Marwari horse has Arab and Turkmeni ancestors, which were brought to India by Central-Asian and Muslim invaders. His home is the desert kingdom of Marwar from where it spread through the whole of Rajasthan. Its name means quite literally “from the land of death”. Over centuries it was bred in the harsh desert climate of Rajasthan by warring Rajput clans.

The Marwari horse is a medium-sized, elegant horse. The most distinguishing features of the Marwari horse are its lyre-shaped ears, which curve inward and often meet at the tips. Besides providing a sharp hearing, they can be turned by 180 degrees. The Marwari has a longish head with a broad forehead, wide-set and alert eyes and a well-shaped rather small mouth. It is elegantly proportioned with a proud head carried on a well-arched neck. The legs are straight and sound with small and very hard hooves.

Let us introduce you to our special royal Marwari horses, an ancient breed of warhorses whose history is entwined with the history of Rajasthan and the Rajputs. It is rightly said that “one cannot separate a Rajput from his horse” and there is a saying: “If God did not create the horse, he would not have created the Rajput.” This makes it quite clear what a role the horse played and is still playing in Rajasthan. The cow is holy but the horse is divine and still serves as a symbol of strength and wealth. So a visit to Rajasthan is a visit to a horse country of the finest order. In every village a fort can be found, in every village some horses can be found. And even in these poorer village horses, often thin and over-worked, one can still see a former gleam of royalty in their eyes.

The Marwari horse used to be the horse of the king and his nobles. Bred for war and show, they still display a remarkable pride and dignity. Their ears are distinctively curved inwards in a lyre-shape and often meet at the tips, which makes them unique and easily recognizable. The fortunes of the Marwari horses changed with the ascendancy of the British in India. British officers found the Marwari to be undersized and hot tempered, so they imported shiploads of Australian Whalers who were quick, tough and inexpensive. The Maharajas turned to luxury and extravagance and copied British ways. Instead of keeping Marwari horses, they bought expensive thoroughbreds or Australian mounts. Having surrendered their very reason d'etre, India's former kings and nobles lost a fundamental part of their soul and left their heritage and traditions behind. After independence things did not improve for the Marwari horse, in fact the situation worsened. Being perceived as a symbol for the despised feudalism, many Marwari horses were castrated, killed and scattered. The breed was neglected for decades and few pure specimen survived. Finally the Marwari horse was saved by its own people. Local land gentry managed to rescue a few animals and started their own breeding programs. Tourism and horseback-safaris have provided a tremendous boost to the revival of the Rajput culture and ultimately to the future of the Marwari horse. Today there are countless breeders in Rajasthan, Gujarat as well as the Punjab and the prospect of the Marwari horse looks brighter than it has for a long time.



Our Horses

Our horses live in comfortable stables and paddocks and are left to roam free during the day on our farm. All our Marwari horses were 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. We have imported saddle tack for all of them in order to maximize comfort for horse and rider. 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. Our family’s faith has been intertwined with those horses for generations and the passion for them is unbroken.

The riding style is different to both English and Western and on the spirited Marwari horse. 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 noble family of Boheda Shaktwat and his wife. The Shaktawats of Boheda trace their lineage to Shakti Singh (1540-1594), brother of Maharana Pratap. By killing two soldiers who were chasing Maharana Pratap after the battle of Haldi Ghati, Shakti Singh saved his brother's life and was thus rewarded with extensive jagirs (land grants) and titles.
 

Itinerary

Sample Itinerary: Stationary Program (excluding Short Safari) - subject to changes

Day 1
Arrival in Udaipur and transfer to your Haveli hotel in the Old City of Udaipur. In the afternoon you can do some first sightseeing or some walking around the little back lanes of the city. Dinner and overnight stay in a middle class hotel.
 
Day 2
After breakfast we take you to our farm where you can meet our horses. Go for a first ride through the countryside around our farm.  Lunch on our farm or after return to the city. In the afternoon go for a romantic boat ride on Lake Pichola. Dinner and overnight stay in a middle class hotel in Udaipur.
 
Day 3
Morning sightseeing of Udaipur and lunch. In the afternoon we take you for a half-day ride from our farm. Dinner and overnight stay in a middle class hotel in Udaipur.
 
Day 4
Today you will start early to go for a day excursion to Kumbhalgarh and Ranakpur, two major sights of Southern Rajasthan. The historic fort of Kumbhalgarh was the main the place the people of Udaipur retreated to in times of danger and it is situated on the top of a high mountain range with spectacular views over the Aravallis and the plains of the Rajasthani Bagar. The Jain temple of Ranakpur is possibly one of the most beautiful and impressive temples of Rajasthan and definitely a highlight for every traveller in India. It is carved from white marble and rests on 1444 pillars. Return to Udaipur in the evening. Dinner and overnight stay in  a middle class hotel.
 
Day 5
Day ride through the Aravalli Mountains around Udaipur with picnic lunch in the hills. Return to Udaipur in the evening. BBQ-dinner with campfire at the farm. Overnight stay at a middle class hotel in Udaipur.
 
Day 6
In the morning we take you for sightseeing to the Nagda and Eklingji temples about 20 Minutes drive from Udaipur. Have lunch at the hotel and come out for a sunset ride in the afternoon to our farm. Dinner and overnight stay at a middle class hotel in Udaipur.
 
Day 7
Today we take you for a day program at the Jaisamand Lake and Wildlife Sanctuary. After breakfast we drive out to Jaisamand (about 48 km from Udaipur) where you will do a boat ride on the Jaisamand Lake before starting your ride at the Jaisamand Wildlife Sanctuary, home to many different animals such as leopards, antelopes, Indian gazelle, jackals, etc. With some luck the riders should be able to spot plenty of birds including peacocks, Nilgai antelopes and maybe some gazelles. Lunch break is held either in the shade of a forest or at a former hunting lodge which offers fantastic views over the mountains. In the afternoon the riders will come to beautiful Piladr Lake, a famous birding spot and a good place to dismount and stretch the legs. Return to Udaipur in the late afternoon. Dinner and overnight stay at a middle class hotel in Udaipur.
 
Day 8
Program ends after breakfast. Transfer to the airport or train station. If your departure is in the afternoon/evening, you can leave your luggage at the hotel and do some more sightseeing. There is also a shower/bathroom facility at the hotel. 
 
-----------------------------------------------------

Sample Itinerary: Stationary Program (including Short Safari) - subject to changes
 
Day 1
Arrival in Udaipur and transfer to your Haveli hotel in the Old City of Udaipur. In the afternoon you can do some first sightseeing or some walking around the little back lanes of the city. Dinner and overnight stay in a middle class hotel.
 
Day 2
After breakfast we take you to our farm where you can meet our horses. Go for a first ride through the countryside around our farm.  Lunch on our farm or after return to the city. In the afternoon go for a romantic boat ride on Lake Pichola. Dinner and overnight stay in a middle class hotel in Udaipur.
 
Day 3
Morning sightseeing of Udaipur and lunch. In the afternoon we take you for a half-day ride from our farm. Dinner and overnight stay in a middle class hotel in Udaipur.
 
Day 4
Today you will start early to go for a day excursion to Kumbhalgarh and Ranakpur, two major sights of Southern Rajasthan. The historic fort of Kumbhalgarh was the main the place the people of Udaipur retreated to in times of danger and it is situated on the top of a high mountain range with spectacular views over the Aravallis and the plains of the Rajasthani Bagar. The Jain temple of Ranakpur is possibly one of the most beautiful and impressive temples of Rajasthan and definitely a highlight for every traveller in India. It is carved from white marble and rests on 1444 pillars. Return to Udaipur in the evening. Dinner and overnight stay in  a middle class hotel.
 
Day 5
Today we will take you for a short safari into the countryside. Pick-up from your hotel in the morning and drive to Badwei Lake (around 1,5 hours driving time). At the lakeside the horses will be already waiting for you. Pick your horse and start your ride through countryside dotted with palm trees, fields and small villages. With some luck Nilgai antelopes can be spotted. You will cross the small railway line connecting Barisadri with Mauvi once a week with a steam engine. Around here the villages are much richer than anywhere else in Rajasthan due to the rich soil. Most farmhouses sport richly ornamented entry gates and even the bullock carts are made of carved wood. Long sandy country lanes are inviting for trots and canters. The horses enjoy the soft ground under their feet and keep going for miles and miles. The landscape is dotted with little villages surrounded by green fields and palm groves. Mighty Mango trees grow along village paths flowering yellow and white in springtime and spending welcomed shade for horse and rider. Village wells are powered by a pair of oxen, slowly brining up buckets full of water for irrigating the fields. Arrival in Boheda around 4 pm. Our safari camp is situated a little outside the village in the middle of fields dotted with palm trees and bushes. If possible we will organize a bullock-cart ride for the riders to enjoy after arrival in the camp.
 
Day 6
Today you will have to get up early as a great ride through the Sita-Mata Wildlife Sanctuary, a wild and untamed piece of land, home of the last leopards of this area, is scheduled. The Wildlife-Sanctuary is situated far away from all touristic circuits and very few visitor find their way to this natural jewel. That is one of the reasons why it is the best place for sighting animals. With some luck the riders can observe cheetal and sambar deer, Nilgai antelopes, monkeys, gazelles, mongoose and many smaller animals and birds, including the majestic peacock, national bird of India. Return to Boheda in the late afternoon, dinner and overnight stay in our safari camp.
 
Day 7
Another day ride through a fantastic countryside. The soil is now so fertile that even Opium is grown in small fields. It flowers between January and March, with many small white flowers.
Around late morning the riders will reach a more lonely and hilly area. Here the old ruined fort of Parsoligarh is situated. Have lunch in the fort with enough time to enjoy the great views over the countryside and discover the remnants of the fort. Return to the plains in the afternoon and ride back to Boheda from where we will take you back to Udaipur by car. Dinner and overnight stay in a middle class hotel in Udaipur.
 
Day 8
Program ends after breakfast. Transfer to the airport or train station. If your departure is in the afternoon/evening, you can leave your luggage at the hotel and do some more sightseeing. There is also a shower/bathroom facility at the hotel. 
 


Rates and Dates for Udaipur Riding Safari

Rates include:

Accommodations - 7 nights middle class hotel or in a simple farm (cottage with private bathroom), all meals, non-alcoholic beverages, daily riding/lessons while in Udaipur, sightseeing with English speaking guide in Udaipur, day excursion to Kumbhalgarh and Ranakpur, half-day excursion to Eklingji and Nagda, all transfers

Packages and Options




* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionUS$
2018 Single supplement $175
2018 Short safari add-on (3days/2nights), pp $200

Season Seasons  Min / MaxReserve
A 2018 01/01 - 03/31 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 2 /12 Reserve
B 2018 04/01 - 05/31 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 2 /12 Reserve
B 2018 07/01 - 08/31 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 2 /12 Reserve
A 2018 09/01 - 12/31 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 2 /12 Reserve

Dates Note: This trip is available any time -except during fixed date riding tours. May and June are usually very hot.

Rates do not include:

Entrance fees, Personal expenses, Alcoholic beverages, 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:


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 the ride

Insect protection

Personal medications

Sore cream (for the emergency)

Small flashlight

Handkerchiefs

Adapter for electric appliances

Camera and enough extra films and batteries

Sun hat and sun block