Explore the cultural heart of vibrant northern India on this cycling holiday. Discover Rajasthan's impressive Moghul architecture, visit the incredible Taj Mahal and look out for tigers in Ranthambore National Park. Indian villages by Bike - Cycle through the back-roads and villages of rural Rajasthan Wild India - Game drive in Rathambore National Park to seek Tigers Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Jaipur - Explore the majesty of the Moghuls and the Rajput princes.
Arrive Delhi and check-in at the hotel. Delhi is a fascinating mixture of old and new. Steeped in history and at the same time buzzing with the comings and goings of modern life. For those arriving on time today our Leader plans to meet you in the hotel reception at 12pm for the welcome meeting. After the welcome meeting there is an optional sightseeing tour of Old Delhi, visiting Jama Masjid mosque which is one of the largest and most well known in India and Chandni Chowk market place, built by Shah Jahan who also created the Taj Mahal. Drive through India Gate and see the government buildings, before returning to the hotel. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL), which is a one hour drive from the city centre. Please note that if you wish to join the optional Delhi sightseeing tour today, you must arrive at the hotel by 12pm. If you are booking your own flights, we recommend giving yourself at least one and a half hours to clear the airport. From the airport to the hotel is around 30 minutes' drive, so therefore the latest your flight can arrive is 10am. Should you miss the welcome meeting, your Leader will inform you of any essential information as soon as you catch up. We will begin our cycle journey tomorrow and over the coming days we will be covering on average some 56 kilometres a day, spending up to six hours in the saddle.
This morning we leave Delhi behind and drive for about four hours heading south to Agra. Once the capital of the mighty Moghul Empire, the city is littered with some of the country's most opulent and spectacular buildings and one particularly fine example is its imposing fort, whose grandeur and importance has seen it inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Built by Emperor Akbar and then embellished by his grandson, Shah Jahan, this was once a great city, with palaces, mosques and halls all lying behind the protective embrace of 20m high walls. After visiting Agra Fort we will watch the sunset over the Taj Mahal, surely one of India's most beautiful and most revered monuments. Certainly one of the most universally recognised buildings on earth, the Taj Mahal was built by the emperor Shah Jahan to honour the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz. No cycling today.
Today starts with a drive of about two hours to the abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri, lying close to the western boundaries of Agra. Today it remains a ghostly testament to the power of 16th century Moghul India and is a perfectly preserved example of an imperial court. After our visit we jump on our bikes for the first time and begin our cycling adventure. Today's almost flat ride will be on back roads passing through picturesque rural India, with its fascinating villages, waving children, and colourful traffic. On reaching Bharatpur we will check in at the hotel depending on your energy levels you may wish to take a walk round the city centre and refuel on a Rajasthani Thali filled with tasty and colorful dishes like Chicken Tikka and Paneer Tikka. Bharatpur is also famous for a few sweet dishes including mango soufflé. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 34 kilometres.
Today starts with a short drive of 30 minutes then get on our bikes and ride along small tarmac roads through scenic villages and though agricultural land. The landscape we ride through becomes more agriculture, and we pass more small villages and people tending crops including mangos, fennel, onion and sweet potato on the cultivated land. This area is also known for its red sandstone used for the construction of the magnificent Red Fort and the majestic Rashtrapati Bhavan. We will cycle past some of these red quarries on our way to Karauli. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 70 kilometres
Ranthambore National Park on the eastern borders of Rajasthan, is one of India's best 'Project Tiger' conservation projects. Cycling there today we follow a series of good roads and quiet cross-country tracks, with quite a few ascents and descents, as we make our way towards what was once the private preserve of the Maharajahs of Jaipur. The last part of the journey (around 70 kilometres) will again be undertaken by bus. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 40 kilometres
Ranthambore encompasses nearly 400 square kilometres of lush jungle, turquoise lakes and ancient temples, providing a rich haven for crocodiles, leopards and some 300 species of birds. It is also one of the best parks in the country for spotting tigers. Today we enjoy a game drive in the park, with an option for those that wish to also pay a visit to some of the local villages by bike. Ranthambore is also home to one of the oldest forts in the country, from whose ramparts there are some fabulous views towards the Aravali and Vindhya Hills. Optinal cycling distance today is approximately 30 kilometres
We start with a drive of about 50 km to Lalsot. From here we start our ride; we follow small roads and tracks through villages and agriculture land, passing Hindu settlements, temples and shrines. Our accommodation tonight is in a Maharaja's Palace. Built in 1938 it is the family home of Maharaja Krishna Chandra Pal, who is the 181st in an illustrious line tracing itself back to Lord Krishna. The Maharaja and his family still live here, and the palace has been converted into a hotel. The façade stands out against the ancient town of Karauli, which dates from 1348. The interior is decorated with an eclectic melding of Oriental and Art Deco forms and you can walk around the grounds and explore the gardens and orchard. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 65 kilometres
Today we start cycling from our hotel and pass by bike small villages and farm land heading towards Jaipur. We cycle through the country side on a quite road surrounded by beautiful green -brown hills dotted with small trees and scrubs with hill-top forts silhouetted against the sky. We drive the last hour to Jaipur where we spend our final two nights. The evening is free for us to enjoy the city at our own pace and for those interested the leader can organise a cookery demonstration with active participation. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 75 kilometres
Early morning we will leave for a short ride (optional) to enjoy being on our bikes away from the crowds in the villages that skirt Jaipur. We return hotel for the breakfast and to freshen up before leaving by bus for a full day exploring Jaipur's magnificent highlights. We will see the iconic monuments of Jaipur, including the old Maharaja's residence, the City Palace which now contains an excellent museum, where we can see fine paintings, old clothing dating from the time of teh Maharajas and collection of antique weapons. We also see the Hawa Mahal, or Palace of the Winds, the observatory of Jai Singh and the Amber Fort. After sightseeing we start the 6 hour drive back to Delhi, we will stop for dinner on the way and expect to arrive to our hotel around 10pm. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 25 kilometres
The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Delhi. There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart from Delhi at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you need to depart from Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL), which is a one-hour drive from the city centre or 30 minutes from our hotel.
9 Break Fast(s)
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