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 decendant 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

Safari Camp accommodation (2 nights for safari option). The camp offers all necessary facilities to the riders. The tents are comfortable and inviting with double or single occupancy. Each tent is equipped with beds, chairs, bedrolls, and floor covering. The camp has both toilet and shower facilities. Hot water is provided in buckets. Towels, soaps, etc. are supplied.
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). Vegetarian food preparation is possible. Our camp gives a very colorful impression, reminiscent of the hunting camps of the Maharajas. The tents are made in the traditional Indian style with a roofed entrance where the riders can leave their shoes. Grouped around the dining area they are encircled by a partition enclosure of cloth with a colorful Rajasthan pattern.

Hotel Accomodation (7 nights for non-safari option and 5 nights for safari option). The hotel is a middle class hotel in the Old Quarter of Udaipur and is walking distance to the City Palace and the Bazaars. Rooms are equipped with traditional wooden furniture, TV, A/C and a ceiling fan. The hotel has a Palace View Restaurant offering prime views over the city, the Palace and the Aravalli Mountains; it also has a roof terrace for sunbathing. Internet is available at the hotel.
All meals and non-alcoholic beverages are included in your stay.

upgrade option: Shiv Niwas Palace, Udaipur
Where royalty has always felt at home, today you are invited to an experience of a lifetime

Shiv Niwas Palace Hotel
The crescent-shaped palace was built in the early 20th century, in the reign of Maharana Fateh Singh (period of reign: 1884-1930), and has been meticulously maintained and preserved. The palace was reserved exclusively for visiting dignitaries and guests of the House of Mewar. Today it is a Grand Heritage Palace for guests, combining the elegance of the last century with modern 21st century amenities.
Shiv Niwas Palace offers beautiful, yet differing suites and rooms to choose from 17 individually decorated suites carry original furniture and portraits that have been with the royal family for generations. All the suites look out onto the natural panorama of Udaipur. Unparalleled splendor and spaciousness characterise each room.
Guests to Shiv Niwas Palace like to return time and again. The hospitality is unchanged from the not-so-distant times when Shiv Niwas Palace was a royal guesthouse.
The distinctive character of Shiv Niwas Palace contributes substantially to the success of events of all types. Events benefit from a unique combination of history, luxury, impressive architecture, personalised service and the finest cuisine.
The ancient guesthouse of this palace has witnessed the arrival of Queen Elizabeth II nd also the shooting of the famous James Bond film Octopussy. It is famous for the traditional Rajputana hospitality The moment you step inside the doors of this hotel, you are sure to remember the royal past of the Rajput dynasty. The Shiv Nivas Palace hotel is three times winner of the prestigious award for the best national hotel in the Grand Heritage category.

Riding

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.

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.

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.

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

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.
 
 
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Stationary Program including Short Safari
 
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 remainants 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.

** subject to changes **


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



  • SeasonYearDescription US$
    A
    20188 day trip, AP (High)$1490
  • B
    20188 day trip, AP (Low)$1340

* 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: New Dehli or Udaipur
Transfer: Udaipur

Climate:

Climate:

Summer: 38.3 degree C(Max.) 28.8degree C(Min)

Winter: 28.3 degree C(Max.) 11.6 degree C(Min)

Rainfall: 61 cms

Clothing:  Summer: light tropical  Winter: light woolen

Best Season: September- March.

What To Bring:

What to bring

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

 

(each horse has two saddle bags, but you lunch packet and water bottles have to fit in already)

Your luggage will be transported by car, so you do not have to take everything with you on horseback. We however recommend you to 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.


Malaria:
Rajasthan has a very low malaria risk and this mainly during the rainy season (end of June till end of August). Rajasthan is in any case a low risk area without the more severe form of malaria tropica prevalent in Africa. We thus do not advice any malaria medication.
Some non-aggressive mosquitoes can be there in March around certain camp sites during dusk so we advise our riders to bring some repellent in order to protect themselves against bites.
Effective repellents can be also purchased locally at a low cost. In any case usually, a normal repellent is sufficient to prevent bites.