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Balotra Fair India Horse Safari
Join this Balotra fair India horse safari for a horseback adventure through India that will surprise and delight you. As well as visiting the famous Balotra Fair, you’ll also take in Kumbhalgarh, the Godwar Festival, Udaipur, Jawai Bandh and spend two nights camping near a game park and enjoying daytime Jeep excursions into the park to spot India’s famous leopard.
- Visit the Citadel of the Sun in Jodhpur
- Visit the Balotra Fair, an event that really hasn’t changed much since biblical times
- Explore the temples, palaces, and gardens of Kumbhalgarh Fort
- Attend the Godwar Horse Fair and festival and take part in the gymkhana games.
- Visit the Godwar temple
- Boat around Lake Pichola
The adventure begins in Jodhpur where you can see the magnificent Mehrangarh Fort. Standing 400 feet at the top of a cliff, it is simultaneously imposing and stunning.
From Jodhpur you’ll travel to the Balotra Fair to camp and ride beautiful Marwari horses. See horse, camel, and cattle trades, and feel like you’ve landed back in biblical times. This is where the colour of India can be truly appreciated. You’ll see many different styles of dress as people come from Gujarat, Maharashtra, the Punjab, Tilwara, and more. In Kumbhalgarh you’ll see the unconquerable fortress surrounded by 13 incredible mountain peaks. It’s considered to be the second longest wall in the world (after the great wall of China).
The horse safari starts in earnest when you ride through Khumbalgarh Sanctuary and Ghanerao forest. Enjoy picnic lunches during the day as you take in the sights and sounds of the forest and countryside. It’s the perfect pace for exploration. You’ll ride on old paths, cross small rivers, and generally find yourself in shaded and quiet riding conditions.
You don’t need to be an expert horse rider to enjoy this trip (although you should be a competent rider). Your guides will accommodate your skill level.
Next, you’ll ride along the bottom of the Aravelli hills on your way to Bali. The group will pass several villages and farms and cross over smooth rock formations created from an ancient volcanic eruption.
Once at Jawai Bandh you’ll be in the middle of true wilderness where leopards roam wild and free. Enjoy a 4×4 Jeep safari in the hope of spotting some.
While in the cities, you’ll stay in hotels and while riding in the countryside you’ll camp under the stars. If you’re looking for a unique way to experience India, this is it.
Enquire today to learn more.
Arrive Jodhpur, check in to hotel.
Afternoon sightseeing Mehrangarh Fort. Mehrangarh Fort stands a hundred feet in splendour on a perpendicular cliff, four hundred feet above the sky line of Jodhpur. Burnished red sand stone, imposing, invincible and yet with a strange haunting beauty that beckons. Much has been written about the Citadel of the Sun, for truly, it is one of the most impressive in all Rajasthan.
So colossal are its proportions that Rudyard Kipling called it “the work of giants”. Today, it is acknowledged as one of the best preserved fort in India.
Overnight: hotel in Jodhpur
Morning depart Jodhpur by minibus and transfer by road to Balotra fair & settle into camp (4 hrs). Evening ride around fair. This fair is one of the largest horse fairs in Rajasthan, but has managed to retain its rural ancestry – with few places for tourists to stay few visit, so you really will feel transported to a biblical world. The days are hot so we will visit the fair in the mornings and evenings, you will see different styles of dress as people make the trek to Tilwara from Gujarat,Maharashtra and the Punjab as well as from all corners of Rajasthan in order to trade horses, camels and cattle.
Early morning ride to Fair where you can dismount and have a guided wander through the stalls and tents.
Lunch and rest in camp.
Evening visit to fair.
Depart by minibus transfer by road for Kumbhalgarh (4 hours). Check in to hotel.
Afternoon visit to Kumbhalgarh Fort. Kumbhalgarh Fort is the second most important fort of Rajasthan after Chittorgarh. This unconquerable fortress is secured under the kind protection of the Aravali ranges. Kumbhalgarh Fort was built by Maharana Rana Kumbha in the 15th century. Encircled by thirteen elevated mountain peaks, the fort is constructed on the top most ridges around 1,914 meters above sea level. The fortifications of the fort extend to the length of 36 kilometers and this fact has made this fort to be in the international records. It is stated to be the second longest wall in the world, the first being ”the Great Wall of China”. The huge complex of the Fort has numerous palaces, temples and gardens making it more magnificent.
Overnight: hotel at Kumbhalgarh
Morning: Start Horse Safari. Full day riding through the Khumbalgarh Sanctuary and Ghanerao forest with picnic lunch, arriving Narlai. We enter the sanctuary near Kumbhalgarh Fort and make our way through the wooded sanctuary using old paths, crossing small rivers to the edge of the Ghanerao forest. The route is shaded and quiet, although harbours much wildlife – keep your eyes open, you never know which animals are watching you through the trees.
Morning visit the local Godwar Horse Show opening procession and celebrations.
Afternoon: visit Godwar horse show in late afternoon, with the possibility of taking part in horse games/gymkhana games.
Evening: Transfer to Muthana Lake (1 hour).
Morning at Godwar Fair, festival and temple. This is a unique opportunity to be part of a local festival and you will find colour and sound and photographic opportunities galore! Afternoon half day ride to Dantiwara Lake.
Full day ride to Bali Forest. We make our way along the bottom of the Aravelli hills South West to Bali. We pass villages and rural farmsteads, making our way through the volcanic smooth rock formations, stopping in the shade for a long picnic lunch.
Full day ride to Jawai Bandh. Today we continue onwards to reach Jawai Bandh – Lying at the heart of an untrammelled wilderness, where leopards roam wild and free encapsulated in a landscape surrounded by craggy granite formations of caves.
Morning ride to search for Leopard. This area is where “the hills throw the moon out and just as soon absorb its glow into their gorges. Where nomadic Rabari herdsmen are as much a part of the earth’s tales as the mysterious felines that grace these hills and vanish at will into their folds. Where pastoral fields meet and merge with wild grasslands and the swells of the JAWAI Bandh’s waters lap at the toes of mighty granite forms. Where flamingos flock and cranes in their hundreds dance to springtime. This special location, the unique flavour of this land and its offerings, provide for an entirely different experience from the rest of Rajasthan”.
Evening Jeep safari to search for Leopard.
Morning depart for Udaipur by minibus road transfer. Check in to hotel. Afternoon sightseeing – lake boat trip.
Beside Lake Pichola, with the ochre and purple ridges of the wooded Aravalli Hills stretching away in every direction, Udaipur has a romance of setting unmatched in Rajasthan and arguably in all India. Fantastical palaces, temples, havelis and countless narrow, crooked, colourful streets add the human counterpoint to the city’s natural charms.
Udaipur is the city of cream, rose and honeysuckle hues. The huge, cupola-crowned City Palace lines the eastern shore of Lake Pichola, with its balconies gazing out at Udaipur’s other famous landmark, the Lake Palace – a fairy-tale confection that seems to float on the lake’s waters, gleaming by day and spotlit by night. Eastward, away from the lake shore, extends a tangled inner city of lanes lined with homes, temples, shops and businesses that is fascinating to explore.
Overnight: hotel in Udaipur
Day at leisure for shopping and City Palace tour. While passing through the markets of Udaipur, the markets present an assortment of items covering handicrafts, pottery, jewellery, wooden toys, antique items and paintings.
Udaipur is particularly famous for its miniature paintings inspired by style of Rajputs & Mughals.
After lunch own transfer to onward destination.
Ride start / end: Start: Jodhpur, End: Udaipur
Timescale: 12 days, 11 nights, 8 days riding
Riding Ability*: Novice / Intermediate / Advanced *riders should be confident in canter on open ground
Rider Max Weight: 90kg / 200lbs / 14 stone
Group Size: Minimum 4, Maximum 12
Riding per day: 4-6 hours
Pace: Slow/Moderate/Fast according to terrain and group riding ability
Tack: Indian Sawar saddles
Horses: Marwari breed, typically between 15 – 16hh of slight build.
Riding Hat: We thoroughly recommend you wear a riding hat that meets current safety standards.
Dates: 24 March – 5 April 2017
Price: from 2,994 GBP
- Full Board on ride and in camp.
- Mineral Water, and small selection of alcoholic drinks on the ride only.
- Horses, grooms, saddlery and transport / care thereof.
- Ride leader: Dr Rao Ajeet Singh
- Internal transfers by road during ride
- Sightseeing tickets
- International flights
- Internal transfers (flight or road) before start and after end of ride itinerary.
- Indian Visa costs
- Travel Insurance
- Items of a personal nature (laundry etc)
- Drinks at hotels.
With over 10 years involvement with Marwari horses and horse safaris in Rajasthan, this operator offers an exciting and informative horse safari experience, combining history, tradition and culture through our knowledge of the landscape, its people and, of course, its unique indigenous Marwari horses. With a true love for horses, an eye for detail and a zest for adventure, they offer truly memorable riding holidays.
India Horse Safari – Balotra Fair
- Trip Code: AWA391
- Dates: 24 March – 4 April 2017
- Price: 2,994 GBP
- Start: Jodhpur, India
- End: Udaipur, India
- Length: 12 days
- Adventure: An adventure on horseback to the biblical Balotra Tilwara horse fair