Pushkar Fair Safari

Rajasthan India: (IT-INRT03)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/india_rajasthan_pushkar.aspx

Introduction
Rajasthan India
Twice a year we organize a horseback safari from Udaipur to the Camel Market and Pushkar Fair in this little town at the edge of the Thar Desert. Being a certain highlight of our safari year, this safari is certainly most spectacular firstly for its great landscapes and secondly of course for the participation in the colorful Pushkar Fair, probably one of the most vibrant festivals of India. The safari trail leads from the Aravalli Mountains with its unique geographic features down into the great Thar Desert and the little town of Pushkar. Considered a holy town, once a year Pushkar sports the biggest Camel Market of India, which is also a religious festival and a handicraft fair. There are only a few places of interest along the way but the rather substantial change of landscape taking place is simply breathtaking.

After leaving the Aravalli Mountains behind, the riders will enter the semi-desert stretching around the edges of the Thar Desert where man fights hard in order to make a living from the poor soil. Camels replace horses and cows and the stony terrain of the hills gives way to the sandy desert ground. A few highlights are along the route such as the interesting tribal culture of this region or the impressive fort at Kharwa, which our riders can visit. The local noble family is much interested in horses and if at home, never misses a chat. But the real highlight of this safari is of course the Pushkar Camel Fair where every year around 25 000 animals, camels, horses and cattle, are traded. It is also a major festival so many people of the region come to Pushkar in order to enjoy the fair, take part in the religious ceremonies or indulge in purchasing all sorts of items.

The first set of dates is our safari Udaipur to Pushkar. The second set of dates is our safari from Pushkar to Udaipur (Pushkar Return Safari). The time spend on the Pushkar Fair in both safaris is equal.

Terrain: From the Aravalli Hills to the flat sandy plains of Thar Desert.

Accomodation

Accommodations

This is a wilderness ride, so nights will be spent in a combination of hotels and camps. You will spend 1 night in a hotel and 8 nights in tents, staying in 8 different locations total.

Description
Accommodation during the riding portion of the tour (in most cases) will be in a safari camp. The reason for this is that many of our routes lead through scarcely populated areas away from the usual tourist paths. Very often the night has to be spent in the nature away from human dwellings.

Accommodation Itinerary (Udaipur to Pushkar) - subject to changes based on availability
Night 1: Boheda Palace Hotel in Udaipur
Night 2: Camping near Deogarh
Night 3: Camping near Jormuda
Night 4: Camping in Kherda
Night 5: Camping in Lalpura
Night 6: Camping in Jawaja
Night 7: Camping in Kharwa
Nigh 8 & 9: Camping in Pushkar

Boheda Palace Hotel in Udaipur
This small hotel has been classified as an heritage building thanks to its traditional architecture. Each of the 16 rooms all come equipped with a TV, air conditioning, private facilities and free Wi-Fi access. The hotel’s most appreciated feature is without doubt its rooftop terrace offering panoramic views over the city. There are laundry facilities onsite (extra charge).



Camps

Our campsites are chosen with great care and offer a maximum safety and superb views. Away from the busy Indian towns or villages, they are a paradise for nature lovers and bird-watchers. The camp offers all necessary facilities to the riders. The tents are comfortable and inviting Indian hunting tents with high ceilings, double or single occupancy. The tents are made in the traditional Indian style with a roofed entrance where the riders can leave their shoes. Each tent is equipped with mattresses, sheets, pillow, cushion, quilts, and woolen blankets. The camp has bathroom trolleys with two showers (bucket shower with hot water) and toilets. Hot water is provided in buckets. Towels, soaps, etc. are supplied. Grouped around the dinning area, they are encircled by a partition enclosure of cloth with a colorful Rajasthan pattern.


Meals
All meals are included from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 10.
Breakfast and dinner is served in our dining area, an open space with a sunroof, tables and chairs.

Breakfast is Continental style with fruits of the season, eggs, and toast.
Lunch will be either taken as package on the trail or brought to you by Jeep.
Dinner is a traditional 3-course menu of Indian food (non-spicy).

Alcoholic beverages are not included but alcohol can be purchased (not expensive) or brought. Beer, wine (Indian), whiskey, rum, gin and vodka are available.

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to most dietary restrictions with prior notice.


This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding


Daily Schedule
A normal safari day includes between 5 and 6 hours in the saddle plus a lunch break (lunch is either taken as a lunch packet or brought to the riders by our jeep) and several smaller breaks for sightseeing on the way or a tea stop in the little hamlet by the way.

Our Horses
Nearly all the horses we use for safaris and trail riding are Marwari horses. This breed is native in Rajasthan and best suited for long rides in this region.
Our horses live in comfortable stables and paddocks and are left to roam free during the day on our farm. All our horses have been handpicked by us as we wanted to have only the best suited horses for our safari. As we have some foals every year, some of our riding horses were born in our stable and raised and trained by us. In fact, we are very proud that today we have a stable of finest Marwari horses fit for riding and breeding.
We believe in the principle of Natural Horsemanship which means that we keep our horses as natural as possible and train them according to NHS. Some of them are ridden with a hackamore, just a halter or even a simple neck rope. All are very well trained, obedient and a pleasure to ride. Our horses are cared for with love and affection. They are properly fed, vaccinated, de-wormed and shoed.
On the safaris we take only horses which are 100% fit and prepared. Already before the safari, we try to find a suitable horse for each rider according to riding skill and preference. Spare horses go along each trail in case another horse goes lame or one rider wants to change.



Tack & Riding Style
We have imported saddle tack for all our horses in order to maximize comfort for horse and rider.
The riding style is different to both English and Western. We offer lessons on the horses prior to the ride. A couple of extra days for pre-safari lessons may make your riding experience more enjoyable. Please let Hidden Trails know if you would like to book lessons before your ride.

Guides
The safari is run by a member of the oldest and most honored noble families of Udaipur, whose history is interwoven with horses for many centuries, and his German wife.

Itinerary




Sample Itinerary: Udaipur-Pushkar - subject to changes

Day 1: Arrival in Udaipur
Time for sightseeing. Dinner and overnight in middle class hotel.

Day 2: Udaipur to Deogarh
After breakfast you will have the chance to either take a boat ride on Lake Pichola in Udaipur or do some sightseeing of the Eklingji / Nagda temples on our way to Deogarh, the starting point of the Safari. In the afternoon we will take a test ride to make sure we are well matched with our horses.  Overnight stay in our safari camp.

Day 3: Deogarh to Jormuda
On the first safari day the trail will lead through the lower hills of the  Aravalli Mountains. Todays route takes us through small villages and across lush, fertile lands.  Around 4 pm we will arrive in the safari camp where we will spend the night. Overnight stay in our safari camp.
 
Day 4: Jormuda - Kherda
Another day of riding through the hills. After lunch we can visit a number of tribal villages. They are usually situated on top of small hills surrounded by a wall of thorn bushes. The houses are built in clusters with thatched roofs and with walls made of mud. Often they are nicely decorated with white tribal paintings. Here we can experience first hand the unique culture of the Rajasthani tribes. Overnight stay in our safari camp.

Day 5: Kherda - Lalpura
Today the landscape becomes more level and open. The main range of the Aravalli Mountains lies behind us and today we must navigate through a handful of ravines and canyons on the way to Thar Desert. The landscape is changing again and the lush vegetation is giving way to thorn trees and shrubs. .In the villages camels are becoming an increasingly common sight and cows are being replaced by goats. Overnight stay in our safari camp.

Day 6: Lalpura - Jawaja
Today we enter the semi-desert which borders the vast expanse of the Thar Desert. The ground becomes sandy and the predominant colours are now yellow and brown. The terrain has leveled out and the hills are left behind. Open desert invites opportunity for long trots, canters and gallops and we may spot some antelope. Overnight stay in our safari camp.

Day 7: Jawaja - Kharwa
Another day of riding through semi-desert brings us closer to Pushkar. We will encounter herds of cattle, camels and sheep either going or coming from the fair. Trading in Pushkar has taken place many years before the fair came into being and in the course of nearly a month thousands of animals will arrive in the otherwise sleepy town of Pushkar. We will have lunch today by the very impressive Kharwa Fort which we can visit afterwards. We should arrive back at camp in the late afternoon. Overnight stay in our safari camp.

Day 8: Kharwa - Pushkar
The last day of the safari the trail before reaching Pushkar leads us over sand roads and through thick thorn bush vegetation which is home to Nilgai and Chinkara antelope. Villages are rare at this point on our ride and the sand roads invite faster riding. Arrival in Pushkar is around 3:30 pm but a part of the Mela (fair) has to be crossed in order to reach our camp which is situated within walking distance of the fairground. The riders will have a short glimpse of the fair and the camel market. In the evening we may have a chance to walk over to the fair or perhaps attend some of the evenings activities going on there. Overnight stay in our safari camp.

Day 9: Pushkar Fair
After breakfast we will can visit the Pushkar Fair on horseback. Since the trading ground is on a huge sand dune outside the town, this is a very comfortable and easy way to discover it. After the fair we will visit the area around Pushkar. Pushkar is situated at the edge of the desert and is surrounded by spectacular scenery. The countryside here is dry and infertile making agriculture rather hard. Many farmers choose the business of raising camels here, due to their adaptability in drought stricken areas. Overnight stay in our safari camp.

Day 10:Departure day
Morning free to do sightseeing in Pushkar and then departure.
*Possibility to add on other sight-seeing options for the tours end.

--- the second week runs in the opposite direction of the first week.-----




Sample Itinerary Pushkar-Udaipur - subject to changes

Day 1:
Arrival
Arrival in Pushkar and transfer to our camp (transfer from Udaipur is available). Afternoon free to explore the Fair and to get to know the horses. Overnight stay in our safari camp.

Day 2: Pushkar Fair

After breakfast the riders can see the Pushkar Fair on horseback. Since the trading ground is on a huge sand dune outside the town, it is a very comfortable and easy way to discover it. Lunch can be either eaten in our camp or, if the riders want, packed and eaten along the way. In the afternoon they can set out on their own to either visit Pushkar or have another round at the fair. At the fairground, colorful programs are taking place all day long. Horse and camel races run, as well as fun competitions such as water pot races or a turban tie competition. Information about the timings will be given by us in the camp.

Day 3:
Pushkar - Kharwa
Beginning the safari, the trail leads over sand roads through thick thorn bush vegetation. Occasionally a field can be seen where a farmer tries to grow pulses on the infertile land. The main means of livelihood here is animal husbandry. On the way a small temple can be visited and the riders can admire the ruins of ancient forts. Arrival in Pushkar is around 3:30 pm but a part of the Mela (fair) has to be crossed in order to reach our camp which is situated within walking distance of the fairground. The riders will have a short glimpse of the fair and the camel market. In the evening they have a chance tp walk over to the fair or attending dance programs.

Day 4:
Kharwa - Jawaja
Another day of riding through semi desert, encountering hundreds of animals going to Pushkar or coming from the fair. Today the trail leads through tribal land and the riders can admire their hamlets and villages.

Day 5:
Jawaja - Lalpura
On this day the riders will slowly leave the desert behind. The land however still is level but the hills can be seen in some distance. Flocks of cattle, goats, sheep and many camels are passing. All head towards the Pushkar Fair or are driven back home. Occasionally the riders will encounter nomads with colourful turbans and huge moustaches herding their camels to Pushkar. They transport everything they own and need for a living on the back of their animals. The small children and women with infants are allowed to ride, the rest of the family is walking.

Day 6:Lalpura - Kherda
The main range of the Aravalli Mountains is laying in front of the riders now. The climate is still dry and so is the vegetation. But now trees are lining the way and the thorn bush vegetation is left behind. Stretches of open country invite for an occasional gallop and the horses enjoy the soft and level ground. Camels are still a regular sight.

Day 7:Kherda - Jormuda
Today the landscape becomes hilly. The desert is left behind and the riders enter the lower ranges of the Aravalli Mountains. The riders can visit a number of tribal villages. They are usually situated on top of small hills surrounded by a wall of thorn bushes. The houses are built in clusters with thatched roofs and walls made of mud. Often they are nicely decorated with white tribal paintings. Here the riders can experience first hand the unique culture of the Rajasthani tribes. After arrival in the camp, which is nicely situated at a small lake, Jormuda Fort can be visited.

Day 8:Jormuda - Deogarh
On the last safari day the trail will lead through the low Aravalli Mountains. The route goes through villages and fertile lands. On the way the riders have a chance of visiting temples and see Baoris (step wells) with marble chattris (small pavilions). Around 4 pm the camp will be reached.

Day 9: Udaipur
Transfer back to Udaipur after breakfast, afternoon sightseeing in Udaipur, overnight stay in middle class hotel.

Day 10: Departure
Program ends after breakfast.

 


 


Rates and Dates for Pushkar Fair Safari

Rates include:

Accommodations (8 nights in tented safari camps and 1 night in middle class hotel in Udaipur), all meals with non-alcoholic drinks, 7 riding days, evening entertainment during safari, transfers

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescription US$
    A
    202010 day trip, AP$2360

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionUS$
2020 Round trip transfer from Udaipur is included $0
2020 Single supplement $225

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2020 11/16 - 11/25 10d / 9n 10 day trip, AP 2 /12 Reserve
A 2020 11/25 - 12/04 10d / 9n 10 day trip, AP 2 /12 Reserve

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Flights, alcoholic beverages, entrance fees, extra excursions

Other Info
Meeting: Udaipur or Pushkar
Airport: Maharana Pratap Airport in Udaipur (UDR)
Transfer: Udaipur airport or railway station

Climate:
                                                Udaipur area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

76

83

92

100

104

99

90

87

90

92

86

79

Average Low Temperature (°F)

49

54

63

73

81

81

78

76

74

67

59

51

Average High Temperature (°C)

24

28

34

38

40

37

32

31

32

33

30

26

Average Low Temperature (°C)

9

12

17

23

27

27

26

24

23

19

15

11

Source: NOAA


Seasons

The largest state in India, Rajasthan's climate can be divided into 4 seasons: summer, monsoon, post-monsoon and winter. Temperatures vary depending on the season and the region.

Summer (April to June)
Summers in Rajasthan are particularly hot with temperatures rising up to 48°C during the day. However, in places like Mount Abu, Kumbhalgarh or Ranakpur, the weather is pleasant and the views offered are breath-taking.

Monsoon season (July to September)
Monsoon is a far more pleasant experience, the temperatures tend to drop across the state and the rain showers transform the arid landscape of Rajasthan. It is a particularly good time to visit if you wish to avoid the crowds you'd usually find during peak tourist season.

Post Monsoon and Winter (October to March)
The temperatures continue to drop once the monsoon has passed, and come October winter sets in that lasts till March. During December and January, there can be a severe variation in temperatures during the day and the night. In fact, temperatures are known to drop as low as 0°C. This is the best time to visit Rajasthan as the desert sun is not as intense and the days are pleasant.

What To Bring:
Your luggage will be transported by car, so you do not have to take everything with you on horseback. We do, however, recommend that you use lockable bags or suitcases. Princess Trails is not responsible for the loss of any valuables unless they are handed to us before the safari. For each item we will give you a receipt.

Each horse has two saddle bags, but your lunch packet and water bottles have to fit in before anything else can.


This list is only a guideline for you

Travel documents and Voucher

Flight tickets

Passport

Visa (check with your consulate)

RIDING GEAR

Riding breeches or comfortable jeans for the ride

Riding boots (short) + Minichaps

Riding helmet  (recommended for all trips)

Riding gloves

Hat (with chin strip) for sun protection

Lightweight Rain coat

 

PERSONAL CLOTHING

Jacket or sweater for cool evenings

Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts

Jeans

Shorts

Underwear and socks

Pyjama

Bag for dirty clothes

Swimsuit

 

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO BRING

Personal Toiletries

Small backpack  or bag to carry with you on when you ride

Insect protection

Personal medications

Small flashlight

Handkerchiefs

Adapter for electric appliances

Camera and enough extra films and batteries

Sun hat and sun block