Rajasthan cycling holiday with Taj and tigers

“16 day small group cycling tour of Rajasthan. City streets, rural roads and walking tours. Moderate energy levels at a conversational pedalling pace.”

Highlights

Delhi | Udaipur | Kumbhalgarh | Ranakpur | Korta | Bhenswara | Jodhpur | Jaipur | Ranthambore National Park | Taj Mahal, Agra |

Description of Rajasthan cycling holiday with Taj and tigers

This fantastic fortnight in India’s most fascinating state conjures up some incredible experiences, least of all the unique opportunity to cycle on Rajasthan’s rural roads and through some of its chaotic city streets.

Travelling by bike allows for a much more insightful and immersive adventure where village communities greet your approach and hosts at comfortable hotels offer warm welcomes as well as delicious regional dishes and a good night’s rest.

The countryside that you’ll encounter en route from Udaipur to Kumbhalgarh and from Ranakpur to Korta and Bhenswara provides ample examples of traditional lifestyles and offers an altogether more organic approach to cultural encounters in addition to visiting the highlights of Jodhpur and Jaipur.

Time spent in and out of the saddle allows you to mix up the muscle stretches with cycling days interspersed with walking tours and overland transport making for a good balance between exercise and relaxation.

A couple of days where the bikes are stowed are the jeep safari in Ranthambore National Park and the early morning visit to the Taj Mahal in Agra. It's this combination of cultural, natural and physical experiences that really make this cycling tour stand out from the pack.

From tyres and tracks to tigers and the Taj, there’s never a dull moment riding through Rajasthan as this two week cycling holiday always goes to prove.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

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Check dates, prices & availability

Date
Price
Basis
18 Oct 2020
US $2140
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 18 Oct 2020 departure
08 Nov 2020
US $2140
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 08 Nov 2020 departure
20 Dec 2020
US $2360
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 20 Dec 2020 departure
20 Jan 2021
US $2140
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 20 Jan 2021 departure
14 Feb 2021
US $2140
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 14 Feb 2021 departure
Top tip:
Keep hydrated and covered up even on a cloudy day in the winter months. Sun hat, shades and sunscreen are a must.
Trip type:
Small group
Activity level:
Moderate
Accomm:
Comfortable locally owned heritage hotels
Meals:
Included (except for Delhi)
Included:
Accommodation, mountain bikes, back up vehicle and mechanic, fresh fruit and cycling snacks, English speaking local guide (Agra, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Delhi) and two Jeep safaris in Ranthambore.
Single supplements:
Solo cyclists welcome
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
We promote travel that does not exploit or harm animals and work towards the preservation of biodiversity. Our itinerary includes a visit to the Ranthambore National Park, one of the best places in the country to see majestic tigers and leopards in their natural habitat. 

We help our guests to discover the Ranthambore's exceptional wildlife, explore its heritage, enjoy its landscape and sample its delicious food and drink through a series of events and activities led by local experts, and encourage respectful behavior towards the protected area.

We collaborate with protected area administration and donate equipment (binoculars, bird guidebooks, and others) to protected area administration, in order to facilitate their job. We promote watching, enjoying, and learning about wildlife in its natural environment.

We have established cooperation with an NGO called "Tiger Watch”, at Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve. An organization’s primary objective is conservation and protection of wildlife and keeping tigers safe from extinction, through programs like infrastructure; capacity building, research, and wildlife monitoring, reduction of man-animal conflicts and direct emergency support.
We provide our support through donations and invite our guests to join us in this collaboration and contribute to the conservation of this valuable ecosystem.

2. Waste: We emphasize the use of electronic communications. Where not possible, when using paper forms for invoices, receipts, survey questionnaires, and others we choose the smallest possible size suitable to a quality job, while at the same time creating minimum waste.

3.Buildings: We stay in locally owned heritage hotels, thus helping protect historically significant buildings from demolition.

4. Transport: We choose to travel by bike, minimizing transportation carbon footprint, and educate our guides and guests on the importance of looking after the areas they are visiting. Where we use back up vehicles, we assess and maximize vehicle occupancy rate. We make sure that vehicles -either our own or transportation service companies’- get regular maintenance.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

1. Friends & Neighbours: During our stay in Ranthambhore NP, we visit Dhonk, a responsible enterprise making handicrafts in the workshop
facility on site. It aims to provide a sustainable livelihood to people living near Ranthambhore. Their objective is to promote local talent and bring out the colours of Rajasthan in the blend of ethnic and modernistic for the consumer. It also saves the local artisans from disappearing and no longer producing their beautiful items.  

Everything is handmade and helps these people survive who otherwise were dependent on poaching (tigers). Dhonk provides training in crafts and selling products at the fair trade store. Local villagers are learning crafts and sewing to create alternative and ecologically friendly sources of income.
We encourage our guests to support local villagers and this impactful enterprise with purchases of beautiful textiles and crafts.

2. Travelling with Respect: We believe opportunities for meetings between local people and guests provide genuine experiences, promote cultural exchange and preserving of local customs. We encourage the sharing of interesting local customs like artwork or dancing.

The songs and dances of Rajasthan form part of a tradition which is passed down, from generation to generation. Our guests visit colorful folk music and dance performance of the nomadic Kalbeliya. The Kalbeliya women wearing intricately decorated black dresses, colorful bead jewelry, and expressive make up dance to folk music that man play. Popular instruments include dholak (a hand drum), khanjari and poongi (a percussion & woodwind musical instruments). The Kalbeliya dance is recognized as UNESCO intangible cultural heritage and it is not only a dance form but a matter of pride for the Kalbeliya community. We support the community’s effort to preserve their cultural heritage. Our guests experience is enriched by the local culture and traditions and our locals see tourism in a positive light because they feel sense of ownership and pride in it.

Climate

3 Reviews of Rajasthan cycling holiday with Taj and tigers

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Reviewed on 11 Feb 2020 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


My wife and I have always wanted to see the wonders of Rajasthan and as keen cyclists we thought why not combine the two? We also wanted to book with a
locally based firm, preferring that to a large organisation, knowing that the total cost of the holiday stays within the local economy.

The operator, based in New Delhi and run by Sabir Mallick, seemed to provide exactly what we wanted. We contacted Sabir with a list of questions we had
relating to his Rajasthan option, he also offers cycling holidays in Kerala, and very promptly we received his reply which clearly, precisely and professionally
answered all our queries. This made my wife and I feel this was a company we would like to deal with and you will see in other related reviews that the
professionalism and promptness with which Sabir deals with potential customers is a constant throughout those reviews. I can 100% agree with those
previous customer’s, and those of our fellow cyclists on our tour (there were six of us in total) that Sabir’s professionalism and conscientiousness was a major
factor why we all independently decided to book with this operator.

As to the holiday itself? From the time we arrived in Delhi to the time we left Delhi some two and a half weeks later everything worked like clockwork. Clearly
the operator are a very experienced company and it was great to know that all the planning and logistics involved in a tour like this were meticulously
worked out beforehand and implemented perfectly. The choice, location and quality of the hotels was first class. The bikes, hardtail Trek mountain bikes,
were of a good quality and adequately handled the roads which were not always super smooth! The crew that accompanied us, one cycling guide/mechanic
plus one minibus driver and a truck driver who drove us, our luggage and the bikes from hotel to hotel and also served us fresh fruit and drinks en route
during our cycling days, were professional and very attentive.

Obviously anyone wanting to visit Rajasthan will have already done their research and will know what it has to offer. All I can say is that the various antiquities
visited, culminating in an early sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal (words simply can’t describe its beauty and the joy one experiences seeing it) are all awe
inspiring and give you a wonderful insight into the past glories of this amazing state. My highlight, apart from the amazing hill forts visited and of course the
Taj Mahal, as a nature lover, was the safari day we spent at the Ranthambore Nature Reserve where we were lucky enough to see two tiger cubs playing
together.

Finally, I suppose, I should say something about the cycling itself after all it is a cycling holiday! Each cycling day was between approximately 55kms to 75kms
so some fitness is required. Saying that there’s no pressure to finish any day in an allotted time and anyway why would you with so much to see and
experience? The route takes you through some fascinating scenery from lush farmland to barren, dessert like landscapes and every day seemed to throw up
some magical experience which will stay with us forever.

I can highly recommend this operator.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Our holiday was Jan 18 to Feb 5 - take warm clothing as its cold early mornings and evenings.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


All hotels, I think, were 'heritage' Indian owned hotels. Local villages benefitted from locally purchased products.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent - the owner Sabir simply planned and supported everything from initial email contact to our date of departure. He was the perfect host/guide
throughout our holiday. I cannot recommend this operator highly enough.

Reviewed on 06 Feb 2020 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Every day was a highlight! Cycling over the small roads, sometimes through villages was an amazing experience. But also the selected siteseeïng objects and
the safari's were amazing.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Do this trip and you will have a very nice holliday.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


There was always the possibillity to shop in local stores. Amd conversation with the local people was easy, everybody was very friendly and tried to help us.
They were very curious about our cycling. The environmental impact is harder to see, but we tried to be an exampel by cleaning up all our picknickplaces.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Just go and see for yourself. We have done a few cycletours, but this one was farout the best.

Reviewed on 11 Jan 2020 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The Udaipur lakes, Amer Fort, Ranthambore park, and Taj Mahal were highlights of the trip. However, the most memorable part of the holiday was cycling through the countryside and rural villages: dodging cows, waving to local kids, chatting with people on scooters as they drove by, and learning about life in India.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Just do it! We took our kids, age 12 and 14 on the trip. Before the trip we took them on several 30-40 km training rides at home on roads with some traffic. This enabled them to finish most of the rides on the trip. This was not necessary for us adults on the trip. If you go in winter, you may want a smog mask to protect against smog and dust.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes. The trip is run by local staff, and we ate local food throughout the trip. The guides took care to reduce plastic usage and garbage creation along the way. The tour of Ranthambore park supports conservation of land for endangered tigers.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


This cycling trip was a fantastic holiday for my family. It was a great balance between active cycling, seeing top cultural attractions, and meeting local people. In Ranthambore, we were lucky and saw two male tigers up close, gaining a new appreciation for this endangered species. Cycling through the countryside was a fun adventure, and we enjoyed sharing the road with pedestrian farmers, cows, scooters, and the occasional tractor. The scenery included lakes, farms, forest, desert, and small villages. Throughout the trip, locals greeted us with waves and welcomed us at all stops. The tour group was small, and the guides took care of my family throughout the trip. They provided bananas, oranges, and clean water during cycling, and added biscuits to the snack tray for the kids. The heritage hotels were each unique and comfortable. The food on the trip was delicious, and the masala chai was a hit with my family. Here is a review from my 12 year old daughter: The trip was amazing! I had so much fun cycling along the green fields and seeing the villages and mountains. We saw so many animals, from camels to elephants to tigers. Once, on one of the first days cycling, I was crossing a busy road when someone yelled 'watch out!' I looked up and there was an elephant right next to me. The pure size shocked me, compared to the many scooters usually on the roads. I ran out of its path, and as soon as I reached the other side of the road I burst out laughing. The tour guides were so nice and friendly, and they always gave us food and juice so we wouldn't run out of energy.

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