Rajasthan Desert Biking Tour

Rajasthan Desert Biking Tour

Tourism in India

Destination Covered:

Delhi - Mandawa - Nawalgarh - Fatehpur - Bikaner - Deshnoke - Jaisalmer - Sam - Jodhpur - Jaipur - Bharatpur - Fatehpur Sikri - Agra - Delhi

Duration:
15 Nights / 16 Days
Tour Category:
Day 01 - Arrive Delhi
Late night arrival. Meeting and assistance upon arrival and transfer to hotel. Overnight will be in Delhi.
Day 02 - In Delhi
After breakfast we explore the cultural sights of Delhi in a luxury bus, visiting the presidents house, Parliament, India Gate, Qutub Minar and the Red Fort. The highlight of this days tour would be a ride in cycle rickshaws through the bustling main street of old Delhi.
Return to hotel for overnight. Overnight will be in Delhi.
Day 03 - Delhi - Mandawa
After breakfast we drive to Mandawa with packed lunches. Once we enter the Shekhawati district of Rajasthan we would bike the last 80kms to our destination through interesting countryside and fields.

On our way we negotiate camel carts witch carry gypsy families or hey used for camel fodder. Welcome drink upon arrival at Hotel Rath (chariot) - a family house converted to a hotel.

Late afternoon we explore the town on our bikes. A typical medieval Indian town, once an important trade centre, still lives as it used to a couple of centuries back; one main street (wide enough to permit only a bullock cart), old dilapidated huge mansions of erstwile traders, the street corner barber, the tea stall on pavements, gypsy woman in colourful costumes, the local school - no more than a compartmentlised countyard with children sitting with coir mats, etc are all a small part of this greatly wibrant town. An interesting aspect of this small towm are interesting wall painting executed more than a century ago on the wall of the old mansions - amazingly the painting are still intact. Overnight will be in Mandawa.
Day 04 - Mandawa - Nawalgarh - Mandawa
After breakfast we bike to the small town of Nawalgarh which is quite similar to Mandawa. An important feature of biking in Rajasthan is that one sees more and unexpected things on way to a destination rather than in a destination - women carrying hey stacks over their heads (the head hardly visible under the huge stacks), shepherds flocking their sheeps and buffalows, ploughing of field by ox drawn plaughs, women fetching water from wells etc. Return to Mandawa for overnight. Overnight will be in Mandawa.
Day 05 - Mandawa - Fatehpur - Bikaner (225 Kms)
After breakfast we bike for 30 Kms to Fatehpur, a small town which used to be an important stop in the medieval Indian spice route to Central Asia. Though the glory has disappeared, Fatehpur continues to remain a small self-contained town, with its local school and temple. The lives of people here are simple and most of their needs are fulfilled from the colourful and busy local bazaars. We spend a couple of hours biking through the market and residential portions of the town. We drive onto Bikaner.

Welcome drink served upon arrival at the Lalgarh Palace Hotel - the palace of the maharaja of Bikaner, only parts of which have been used as a modern Hotel. After lunch and a couple of hours rest we bike 10 Kms to the government managed Camel Breeding Farm, which is probably unique to Asia. There are hundreds of camels here and it is a great sight at sunset as the camel came back from grazing. We bike back to our hotel for overnight. Overnight will be in Bikaner.
Day 06 - Bikaner - Deshnoke - Bikaner (80 Kms)
After breakfast we ride out to the impressive medieval Indian Fort of Bikaner. The places within the fort make a picturesque ensemble of courtyards, balconies, kiosks, towers and windows.

A major feature of this fort and its places are the superb quality of stone carving - rivaling the best anywhere in the world. We return to our hotel to pick up our bikes on way to deshnoke. The journey would be through interesting countryside - villages, colourful bus station etc. At desknoke is a Temple who has huge silver gates and marble carvings. The main interest here is rats, which are here in hundreds and are regarded as holy and are fed by the priests.

Opposite the temple is a very interesting obscure little village. People live here in small thatched houses (huts) which are plastered with cow dung. There are no roads here, only dust trails where donkey or camel carts occasionally move up and down. Noisy children scamper about while groups of women eighter broom the community courtyard, fill water in clay pichers from the community tap, light coal and wood ovens outside their gates or just huddle together and gossip. We explore this village on foot carrying our bikes with us. We bike back to our hotel. Overnight will be in Bikaner.
Day 07 - Bikaner - Jaisalmer (300 Kms)
After breakfast we bike / drive our way to Jaisalmer. The drive is through desert country with scantly vegetation and life stock in view. Water is scarce here, we would see long trains of woman fetching water by nearby wells in bright brass pitchers. We arrive at our palace hotel late in the afternoon and it would be a good idea to have a quite evening today. Overnight will be in Jaislamer.
Day 08 - In Jaisalmer
After breakfast we pick up our bikes to explore this, one of India's exotic and unusual towns, right out of the fairy tales of Arabian nights - often described as 'a living museum' and 'the Golden City' (because everything here is of yellow sandstone). We visit some of the beautiful Havelis (mansions) of wealthy medieval Indian merchants. Made of yellow sandstone these huge mansions have beautiful arched roofs with superb carved brackets and apartments painted with beautiful murals. In the afternoon we visit the residential portions of the Jaisalmer Fort, where one third of the population of the old city still lives. The design of the houses remains as they were couple of centuries back and are the lifestyle of people occupying them. This is because most of the families still continue for generations of work for the ruler (only titular now). Hence there is a sense of continuity. The houses are arranged in narrow lanes and have small windows from where the shy child or girl peeps. This is the city believed to be the home of the most handsome men and beautiful women. Overnight will be in Jaislamer.
Day 09 - Jaisalmer - Sam (40 kms)
After breakfast, we bike to Sam, a dessert outpost. On our way we visit a few typical dessert villages, which have a sprinkling of huts. The rough terrain here does not support cultivation. Hence the entire village work as casual labourers in road works or other public utility projects. Inspite of their poverty, these beautiful people are very friendly and hospitable - inviting you to come and have a look at their stone huts, sit on their string cots and share a cup of tea with them. We arrive at Sam at mid - afternoon and proceed on a camel safari, which is perhaps the best way to explore the undulating dunes and craters of the dessert. The experience of the setting sun in the distant horizon, with camel trains and dunes in the foreground is quite unchanting. Today we would camp in the dessert, amidst bonfires and folk dances. Overnight In Tents.
Day 10 - Sam - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur
After breakfast we bike back to Jaisalmer. We would have a couple of rooms for wash and change. The afternoon is free. In the evening we board an overnight train to Jodhpur (D-2210, A-0730-next day). Accommodation would be first class cabins and bed rolls/blankets would be provided. Overnight on Train.
Day 11 - In Jodhpur
Meeting and assistance upon arrival and transfer to hotel Ajit Bhawan Palace. After breakfast we pick up our bikes to visit the massive Jodhpur Fort, set on top of a hill. The biking would quite steep from the foot of the hill to the Fort - 3 Kms. It is most impressive and formidable fort, in a Fort studded Rajasthan.

Inside the Fort, there are a whole series of courtyard and place apartments. The later have a fantastic collection and elephant howdahs, miniature paintings, folk music instruments, the inevitable Rajput armoury, palanquins, furnitures and costumes. The palace apartments are beautifully decorated and have delicately carved red sandstone and lattice work windows. In the afternoon we bike 9 Kms to Mandore, famous due to its extensive gardens with huge rock terraces. The dinner at our palace Hotel is something special. Served in an open courtyard by ethnically dressed waiters, accompained by folk music and dance and the maharaja mixing with the guests in his flowing robes. Overnight will be in Jodhpur.
Day 12 - Jodhpur - Jaipur (260 Kms)
An early morning drive / bike to Jaipur with packed breakfasts. On our way we would buy oranges / bananas from hawkers. The journey would be through interesting small towns and villages. Ploughing by hand, ox drawing water from wells, colorfully dressed woman working on road works or construction work - mixing cement / tar by shovels, carrying them on their head in metal saucers. climbing on flimsy scaffoldings etc are only some of the fascinating sights. We arrive into Jaipur late afternoon. We check into hotel Jaipur Palace. The evening is free. We could visit the popular and busy link road shopping market. Overnight will be in Jaipur.
Day 13 - In Jaipur
After breakfast we bike up to the Amber Fort (11 Kms). Set on the dry wrinkled Aravalli hills, the Amber Fort is a superb example of Rajput architecture. A slow elephant taxi takes to the top of the Fort.

The several interesting buildings include the hall of public audience with a double row of columns and latticed galleries above. The hall of victory has inlaid panels and glittering mirror ceilings. The hall of pleasure, with an ivory inlaid sandalwood door, has a water channel running right through the room. Overnight will be in Jaipur.
Day 14 - Jaipur - Bharatpur - Fatehpur Sikri - Agra
Early morning start. An interesting stop would be at the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary - one of the best water bird sanctuaries in the world. We would bike around the reserve for a couple of hours and observe the egrets, plovers, parakeets, kingfishers, teals, ducks, stroks etc. from here we continue biking 20 Kms to Fatehpur Sikri. This abandoned capital of the mughals is a perfectly preserved city at the height of the empire's splendor. The city divided into religious and secular sections has interesting well-sculpted buildings. We drive on to Agra and check into Holiday Inn. A typical magic show would be organized for us this evening. Overnight will be in Agra.
Day 15 - Agra - Delhi
At sunrise we pick up our bikes to proceed to the Taj Mahal. The rays of the rising sun on this extravagant monument create a dazzling effect. Besides symetry in every aspect of its construction, the inlay work of semi precious stones into marble in pietra dura style is absolutely remarkable. We return to our hotel for breakfast and then drive / bike for our last night in delhi. Check into hotel. Overnight will be in Delhi.
Day 16 - Delhi - Departure
Once the bikes are packed up, we proceed to the airport to connect our return flight.
 
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