Rajasthan cycling holiday

“A 16 day holiday with 11 days of guided cycling, not only in Rajasthan but also taking in the Taj Mahal and Delhi. Staying in hotels along the way. ”

Highlights

New Delhi | Old Delhi | Sleeper train journey | Jodhpur | Ranakpur | Udaipur | Pushkar | Jaipur | Game drive in Sariska National Park | Bharatpur bird sanctuary or and bird sanctuary | Fatehpur Sikri | Agra | Taj Mahal

Description of Rajasthan cycling holiday

People talk about India’s Golden Triangle, but this Rajasthan cycling holiday actually takes you along a golden circle, not only taking in the cultural highlights along the way but also enjoying the state’s eclectic natural heritage too.

Cycling is the most perfect way to get around India, so much part of the culture anyway, and we start by cycling around New Delhi. From here, we take a sleeper train into Rajasthan itself waking up in the blue city of Jodhpur, where glorious sights such as the mammoth Mehrangarh Fort that overlooks the city await.

Using a combination of bike and vehicle transfer our next stop is Udaipur, traversing some of the luscious Aravalli Hills en route. Udaipur is pretty unique, and sometimes called ‘Venice of the East’, with a lake system that winds its way around palaces, islands, temples and ancient houses. It is also gateway city to the Thar Desert and we continue on through desert terrain, with our usual 24/7 vehicle support, to our next main stop in Pushkar. This is a spectacular and indeed spiritual place to visit, considered a sacred town by Hindus, with its eponymous lake said to contain holy water. There are consequently over 400 temples here, including the multi-coloured Brahma temple.

Jaipur, the state capital, is also colourful, although most famous for its pink buildings and gated old city that is bursting with flower markets and artisans. And indeed animals. We spend a day taking in its two incredible palaces, forts and other wonderful architectural feats.

More architectural wonders await at the end of this trip, including the Taj Mahal which we visit at sunset. But not before we take in some of the state’s wilderness wonders too. These include a game drive around Sariska National Park, known for its tiger reserve and populations of leopard, jungle cats, hyena and deer. As well as Keoladeo National Park, formerly known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, which was named after the Maharaja who flooded the region and created the most extraordinary wetlands area. Which, of course, we get to cycle around. This is a moderate level cycling holiday, using mostly tarmac but quiet roads, and taking on anything from between 20-94km per day. For eleven days of cycling in all, but staying in hotels along the way, some more three star than others and a few with swimming pools.

Travel Team

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30 Oct 2020
£2299
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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
Activity:
Few holidays have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a cycling trip. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem in certain places and therefore our trip leaders encourage clients to stick to advised routes in order to minimise this. We do believe in leaving no more than footprints (or tyre tracks!). However, this tour does actively encourage clients to make a positive impact by helping guests to talk to local people, visit local cafes and restaurants, use markets to purchase traditional gifts and crafts and get a real impression of India.

Water:
Water is a really important issue with cycling trips and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital that we have a system for providing clean water without causing lots of waste with plastic bottles. Lack of recycling is already a massive problem in India so we suggest that instead of repeatedly buying bottled water, guests should re-fill a singular bottle. We have asked all the hotels and restaurants which we visit regularly on our trips to install Reverse Osmosis plants for treated water, so clients can re-fill. We also keep 20 litre bottles in our support vehicle.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

Local Craft & Culture:
We are keen to encourage guests to engage with the culture of Northern India and to purchase local crafts and services where possible. Your local guide will be able to recommend the best of the area’s colourful and vibrant markets and small businesses and through our commerce, tourist wealth is more evenly distributed. You might pick up some street food in Delhi or take the opportunity to explore the emporiums specialising in silks and brocades or buy block printed material and pottery in Jaipur. There are locally crafted gifts and souvenirs available by most of the landmarks we visit, and your guides will be able to advise you on which to buy and which to avoid. For example, some bangles and other decorative items in Jaipur claim to be made of ivory and, although this is mostly fake, we are against the popularisation of this kind of product and make a point of including a warning in the briefing.

Accommodation & Meals:
This trip sees you spend most nights in hotels with en suite facilities and one night in an overnight train. You will notice that our hotels employ locally and use local produce from markets in the area wherever possible. The hotels are waste and energy conscious and have their own policies like asking guests to turn off the power when leaving a room in order to save electricity. Where meals are not supplied, our group leaders always encourage people to try local restaurants and street food vendors. They can make recommendations which will help boost small businesses and celebrate local specialties. In Jaipur, Agra and Delhi, clients can even see how the food is made e.g. Masala Chai (Tea), Samosa (Mashed Potato Snacks), Jalebe (Indian Donuts), Lassi (Yoghurt Drink), etc.

Charity:
For years we have been involved in campaigning for tiger conservation in Bandhavgarh. In late summer 2014 we teamed up with The Corbett Foundation, an Indian charity dedicated to conservation-oriented research. They have proved instrumental in enabling us to get the funds to where they are needed. Through this we have now completed the building of a community hall at Tala Village, solar pumps in the park for wildlife and staff in the dry season, bio gas plants and smart stoves for villagers and provided the salary for 2 full time teachers at the government school. Our work in India continues to be of great significance and most recently we have been able to purchase a 4 wheel drive medical vehicle and pay for outreach medical support.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

Climate

2 Reviews of Rajasthan cycling holiday

4 out of 5 stars
SHOW
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0
1
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Reviewed on 12 Jan 2018 by

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


It would be wrong to choose one things as there were so many excellent features of the trip, such as the wonderful palaces, people, food, organisation and leaders.

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


The food was very good quality throughout and accommodation was better than we had expected with comfortable beds in all locations. Great time of year to be cycling from a weather perspective - around about 22 degrees once the initial chill had dissipated.

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


Our tour operator had employed local guides at each of the iconic sites and we used local transport on a number of occasions, so yes.

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


Very good indeed with excellent food, superbly organised and delightful cycling conditions.

Reviewed on 10 Jan 2017 by

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


The endless wild receptions as we rolled through village streets; young and old alike excited beyond measure!

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


Don't plan on convenient, ever-present wifi at your hotels. Be mentally prepared for very slow riding.

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


Cycling is the only way to go for so many reasons.

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


Great! Leaders were conscientious and at the ready. If anything, we were over-coddled in that we were afraid, perhaps rightly, to go out on our own in some
places.

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