This ride was specifically developed for Imagine Riding. The place is Malwa, South-East Rajasthan: lush fields, dotted with villages, small palaces, old hill forts and beautifully adorned farmhouses.
A region traditional in character and appearance and undisturbed by tourism, it is also a pleasure for riders with its softer, level ground perfectly suited for long trots and canters. We visit Boheda, the ancestral village of our guide’s family where you can meet some of their friends and family and learn about village life. On two nights we camp on lakeshores full of bird life. We visit the Sita-Mata Wildlife Sanctuary, one of the last virgin forests of Rajasthan home to flying squirrel, spotted deer, sloth bear and leopard.
The ride takes place during Navratri, a nine-day festival devoted to the worship of Goddess Durga.
We will be able to take part in local festivities.
The trail culminates with the Ashwa Pooja in the City Palace of Udaipur. This colorful, age-old traditional ceremony honors the horse as a symbol of strength and royalty. An unforgettable comfortable camping trip with the last two nights spent in a historic heritage hotel.
26.09. – 05.10.2022
15.10. – 24.10.2023
The noble Marwari horse is a beautiful endurance horse that is forward going and light in the contact.
These horse with their lyre-shaped ears were traditionally the war horses of the Rajput soldiers and noblemen.
These trekking horses, many of them home-bred are beautifully trained by the owner and guide and you will enjoy riding at all paces in open country. English tack is used. There will be plenty of opportunities for cantering each day on this ride.
The camping experience is very comfortable with raised camp beds and linens plus a pillow and towels provided and delicious Indian meals are served by the camp chef. There is a hot shower possibility in camp and a simple WC. Everything is done to ensure that you are comfortable. The last two nights in a Heritage Hotel will feel like a delicious reward at the end of your ride.
Arrival in Udaipur. You will be collected from the airport/train station and brought to a comfortable Haveli-style middle class hotel in Udaipur. In the afternoon sightseeing in Udaipur. Overnight stay in a Haveli Hotel (middle class) in Udaipur.
After breakfast you are taken to the farm where you can meet the horses and guide. Today we ride through the Aravalli Mountains around Udaipur. The ride leads through riverbeds which are sometimes dry and sometimes have water, goat paths over the mountains passing tribal villages and rugged countryside. The ride is well suited for the riders to get to know their horses. Arrival back to the farm in the afternoon where lunch will be served. There are some sightseeing opportunities close by in the afternoon. In the evening we will all go an celebrate the first night of the Navratri Festival and join in the Garba Dance. Overnight stay in a comfortable Haveli style middle class hotel in Udaipur.
After breakfast the riders are taken to the little village of Khurabar from where the safari starts. It is a great day’s ride through fertile farmland interrupted by occasional parts of wild forest country and open wilderness. Today you will leave the Aravalli-Mountains behind and descend on the Malwa Plain with its fertile soil and rich farms. Discover the fascinating rural life of Rajasthan where the fieldwork is still done with oxen and handwork. The village kids guard flocks of goats and sheep and greet the riders enthusiastically with a “Namaste”, the Indian hello. Meet the women fetching water from the village well, wearing colorful saris.
Riding through this country is like a journey back into the past.
Today’s camp will be situated near Badwei Lake, where a lot of water birds such as ducks, teals, flamingos or kingfishers, can be observed. In winter, European storks migrate to Badwei where they stay till March. Another highlight is the sighting of Sarus cranes, one of the largest birds in India. They are regular inhabitants of the Badwei Lake. All in all, Badwei makes a small paradise for bird lovers who can spot many different varieties.
Overnight stay in our safari camp at the lakeshore.
The day’s ride is not so long today and will pass over the Malwa Plain, dotted with small villages, lakes, palm trees and fields of corn, wheat, mustard and opium (in spring). In this area it is tradition to paint the temples in bright colours with scenes from Hindu mythology. Each village has at least one temple, so you will pass plenty of them and have enough time to enjoy them. Long sandy country lanes invite for long trots and canters and again we will pass small lakes and ponds often stocked with bathing water buffalo . This area of Rajasthan is much richer than elsewhere, as the soil is very fertile, allowing for multiple harvests during the year. Most farmhouses have richly ornamented wooden entrance gates and the bullock carts which are still rather common, are beautifully carved and painted. Livestock is plenty: water buffalo, cows, bullocks, goats and sometimes camels can be found on the farms and villages.
Arrival in Boheda around 4 pm. Today our safari camp is situated at our farm near the village. Here our riders have the possibility to charge all electronic devices as we have plugs in our little farmhouse. In the evening we can all go to the local Navratri Celebration and Garba Dance. Overnight stay in our Safari camp.
Another day’s ride through fantastic countryside. The soil is now so fertile that even Opium is grown in small fields and blooms between January and March. The ride takes you along shaded country lanes through villages and alongside fields of chickpeas, wheat and mustard. The countryside is flat and the ground allows for a faster pace. Around late morning the riders will reach a more remote and hilly area where the old ruined fort of Parsoligarh is situated. Lunch is in the fort with enough time to enjoy the great views over the countryside and explore the remains of the fort. Return to the plains in the afternoon and circle back to the farm in Boheda, riding through a mix of farmland and wilder, open areas dotted with the typical Dhak trees and palms. With some luck we might spot Nilgai antelopes, mongoose or the the everpresent peacocks. Return to Boheda in the afternoon and visit a local family in the village for a cup of chai and a chat. People in Rajasthan are all extremely friendly and welcoming and are happy to show you the local crops, animals and tell you more about life in their village. Again, a possibility to join in the festivities in nearby Boheda. Overnight stay at the safari camp.
On this day the riders are lead over a large plain, sometimes dotted with fields and villages, sometimes arid and empty. The soft level ground invites for long canters and gallops over the plain. Again and again Nilgai antelopes can be spotted, resting in the shade or grazing on the dry grass. Around late afternoon the riders reach the beautiful lake of Mangalwad where the safari camp is situated. After arrival you can visit the Gaushala in the neighbourhood with the guide who will also act as a translator. Overnight stay in the camp near the lakeshore.
After breakfast the ride continues around the flat, open countryside at Mangalwad. With open bush land before you, you will pass some village and fields. It is perfect terrain for long trots and canters and with some luck you can spot herds of Nilgai antelopes, who love this terrain. Around lunchtime you will reach another flat-water lake, a heaven for birds. Besides teal, ducks and smaller aquatic birds you might be able to spot spoonbills, pained or white-necked storks and Sarus cranes. . Return to Mangalwad where the cars are waiting to bring you back to Udaipur. Arrival at the heritage hotel in the evening and dinner at the roof terrace. In the evening there is the possibility to go and join the Garba Dance near the Jagdish Temple or the one around the corner of our hotel. Overnight stay at the Heritage Hotel.
Today there is the chance for some more sightseeing in and around Udaipur. You can visit a local art school where artists paint the traditional miniature paintings Udaipur is famous for. They will show you how the colors are prepared and then how the paintings are done. You are welcome to try it out for yourself. In the late afternoon we will bring the group to the City Palace to take part in the Ashwa Pooja or Horse prayer ceremony which has always been the traditional day to worship weapons and horses to be ready for war the rest of the year. This tradition is being kept alive by the royal family of Udaipur and is unchanged since medieval times. After the ceremony there will be a cocktail party where you can meet the royal family and some of the former noblemen of Udaipur. Viru, the husband of our guide will be happy to introduce you. Overnight stay in Udaipur at a Heritage hotel.