Rajasthan - Palaces & Desert Dreams

Delhi, India, Asia

Rajasthan Desert Dreams

Cruise Rajasthan on a Royal Enfield Bullet or in our jeeps. The Land of the Princes, this is perhaps the most fascinating region on the subcontinent. Once the home of the Rajput warriors, Maharajahs and Mogul rulers, Rajasthan is still the land of 1,001 Nights.

The intense hues of the men's turbans and women's clothing are a dazzling contrast to the broad desert landscapes. Mighty fortresses line the ancient caravan routes between distant desert horizons and rugged mountain ranges.

Fairytale palaces, oriental markets, extravagant artistic treasures and extreme contrasts even by Indian standards are guaranteed to fascinate even the most jaded traveler.

Desert highways lead to the golden city of Jaisalmer, where we will briefly continue our tour by camel. From there, we'll continue to the blue city of Jodhpur with its imposing fort, a jewel of Mughal architecture. Winding mountain roads in the Aravalli range will take us up to the ancient Kumbalgarh fort and on to the enchanted streets of Udaipur, the Venice of the East. We then continue through little-known terrain into an entirely different world at Bambora. Finally, narrow country lanes will take us to Ranthambhore National Park and its tigers. The kaleidoscope of caravanserais, small desert castles, temples and palaces culminates with a visit to the world's most famous monument to love, the Taj Mahal.

Organised by Classic Bike India

Rajasthan - Palaces & Desert Dreams


Day 1: Flying independently to Delhi

Day 2: Arrival in Delhi, bus transfer to Mandawa
Approx. 8-hour bus trip to the starting point of the tour, the unique Mandawa Royal Desert Camp of the Raja of Mandawa.The camp was created with great attention to detail and local building traditions, and will give us a lively impression of life in the desert villages of Rajasthan. We'll enjoy a dinner buffet under the desert sky.
Day 3: Warm-up tour on the Enfields, approx. 50 km
Today we'll be taking a short tour through the arid countryside of the Shekhavati District to get acquainted with our Enfield Bullets. We'll be stopping in the bustling town of Mandawa with its opulent merchants' mansions. Evening buffet in the Royal Desert Camp.
Day 4: Start of tour, Mandawa - Bikaner, 200 km
Today is our first day on the desert highway, with pure adventure on the road to Bikaner, an imposing walled city of palaces and colorful bazaars. Our first overnight stay in a true palace hotel.
Day 5: Bikaner - Jaisalmer, 350 km
Continuing along the highway to Jaisalmer, an old caravan city. Sand dunes stretch across the northern Tharr Desert. We'll take a mostly-paved military road to the desert fortress of Jaisalmer, to this day a dream from 1,001 Nights. We'll visit the fortress with its impregnable city walls, the palatial houses of merchants and princes, bustling bazaars and winding alleyways of the old city. A mouth-watering dinner buffet will await us in our palace hotel at the end of the day.
Day 6: Jaisalmer, desert ride, camel ride, 100 km
Heading further into the Tharr desert, we'll saddle up our Bullets first thing in the morning and take a military road westwards to the remote San oasis. There we'll change to a different mode of transport. We'll spend the next four hours amid the sand dunes riding ships of the desert. From our Sunset Point, we'll experience the magical glitter of the fortress of Jaisalmer in the distance and the golden glow of the surrounding desert. From the dinner buffet, we'll have a view of the illuminated fort.
Day 7: Jaisalmer - Jodhpur, 320 km
Today we'll spend a long, meditative day on endlessly straight desert roads to reach the next Maharajah city. The arid countryside along the road is used as grazing land for camels, sheep and goats. We'll then reach Jodhpur, a royal city founded in 1459 with imposing city walls, the mighty Meherangarh Fort and two unusually beautiful palaces. The early evening wil be free for exploring the bazaars of the old city around the bell tower in bicycle rickshaws or on foot. Barbecue dinner and overnight stay in a historical palace and garden hotel.
Day 8: Jodhpur - Luni, 60 km
After visiting the imposing Meherangarh Fort, we'll move on to Fort Chanwa in Luni. This stylish palace hotel, which is still a tip for insiders, was recently restored and is now run by the Raja and his family. It's as though time stood still in the 18th century. Musicians, dancers and puppeteers will entertain us during the festive dinner. The Raja himself often joins us for a drink in his audience courtyard, and we'll warm ourselves by the fire under the stars of a cold, clear desert night.
Day 9: Luni - Ranakpur, 200 km
Today we'll be starting the mountainous leg of the tour through the Aravalli Range on our way to Ranakpur, the Jain temple city. Quiet country lanes wind their way through the fertile green hills. Our palace resort has a magnificent garden in the middle of the bizarre, craggy landscape. We'll visit the Jain temples which are renowned for their marble sculptures.
Day 10: Ranakpur - Udaipur, 80 km
We'll start the day by riding up to the majestic mountain-top Fort Kumbalgarh, one of the true high points of our tour.
We'll reach Udaipur in the afternoon. Many western and Hindi movies have been set there, and Roger Moore - aka Bond, James Bond - is virtually a local hero. The city features outstanding architecture, palaces, bazaars, temples and parks. The artificial lakes integrated in the forts and the views of the wild hill country around Udaipur are also truly unforgettable. We'll be spending two nights in the city. Our hotel is in the middle of the old city's bazaar. Dinner will be in a roof garden restaurant overlooking Lake Pichola.
Day 11: Udaipur, the Venice of the East
We'll be spending the morning sightseeing in the old city, visiting the city palace, the bazaars, and Honeymoon Point. The afternoon will be free for shopping. Udaipur is the home of artisans, miniature painters, silversmiths and puppeteers. Museums await you, and a stroll to Sunset Point is a great experience, as are visits to dance and puppet performances in the evening. We can also arrange an especially stylish dinner with a view of Lake Palace Jag Nivas, the Maharaja's marble palace on Lake Pichola.
Day 12: Udaipur - Bambora, 100 km
We'll be continuing the tour on winding roads through the far south of Rajasthan, past peaceful Lake Jalsamand and through landscapes virtually unknown to travelers. On our last tour, many participants considered Bambora to be the highlight of the trip. Be ready for a pleasant surprise. We'll be spending the night in Bambora Fort.
Day 13: Bambora - Bassi, 170 km
Passing through exotic city of Chittogarh, we'll wind our way up to the vast, commanding fort overlooking the city from its rocky plateau. Next, we'll continue 25 km to the small town of Bassi and the Bassi Fort Palace.
Day 14: Bassi - Bundi, 120 km
Today we'll ride northeast to the picturesque little town of Bundi with its colorful bazaars. Hotel: Ishwari Niwas Palace
Day 15: Bundi - Ranthambhore National Park, 190 km
We'll be taking quiet country roads to Ranthambhore National Park. The Enfields will remain silent tomorrow, and with a bit of luck, we'll experience the roar of a tiger instead.
Hotel: Ranthambore Regency
Day 16: Ranthambhore National Park
We'll spend the day on the lookout for tigers, hyenas, bears, crocodiles, elephants and other wild animals. For centuries, Ranthambhore was a hunting ground for the maharajas, who even created artificial lakes and watering holes to attract big game. This huge area of forests and swamps has some of the richest wildlife in India. We'll be seeing an incredible variety of animal life, and maybe even catch a glimpse of a tiger in the wild.
We'll wrap the day with a sundowner on the roof of the Jhoomar Baorii hunting lodge and return to the resort for dinner and another overnight stay.
Day 17: Ranthambhore - Bharatpur, 230 km
Look forward to a lively mix of country roads and national highways on our last long day on our Enfield Bullets. We'll spend the night in the nature reserve's palace hotel.
Day 18: Bus tour, Bharatpur - Agra - Delhi
Today we'll take a tour bus to Agra to see the Taj Mahal, the legendary monument to love, and the Red Fort.
We'll be making a brief stop for lunch during the four-hour trip (190 km) to Delhi. There, we'll have time for our farewell dinner and a couple of hours to relax in a basic airport hotel. Later that night, we'll be going to the airport to check in for our return flight.
Day 19: Flying independently from Delhi to your home or next destination.

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