Fields, forests and wildlife sanctuaries are often included in the routes and being on horseback allows you to explore the ‘back country’ providing a marvelously intimate view of the old, the colourful and unchanging India that refuses to succumb to the anonymity of 21st century ‘globalisation’.
Every day you will see something that will lodge forever in your memory – a camel train cresting a sand dune at sunset; a line of brightly clad women swinging by with gleaming brass pots on their heads; a herd of blackbuck antelope grazing in a field while the farmer looks on indulgently; a hawk-faced shepherd in bright red turban watching his flock.
Our horse riding safaris in Rajasthan are conducted with immense style and the riding guides and staff that we use are all hand picked, knowledgeable and proud of their history and culture and often passionate about the wildlife which – for religious reasons – live alongside the human community. The accommodation is often a mix of stylish full service ‘shikar’ (hunting) camps and heritage hotels.
The Rajputs – the warrior clans of the north – are a horse people and here at the edge of the desert they have bred a horse renowned for its stamina and intelligence – the Marwari. They take immense pride in this horse that served their ancestors in countless campaigns through the centuries. You do need to be a reasonably experienced rider. The riding tack is predominantly English and the horses are Marwari.
If you don’t want a dedicated riding holiday then you can spend simply a few nights again either in Rajasthan at a luxurious tented camp in the desert or a historic fort in a village whose walls are decorated with miniature art. Here you will find a friend of ours who has some truly well schooled Marwari horses and he will take you riding amongst black buck. Alternatively you can ride from a basic tented camp where there is the chance to see leopard.
The locations which we use and recommend are always interesting and often quite dramatic and the result of much research and interaction with the local communities and guides and very frequent visits by our planning experts! We do this meticulously for one reason and one reason only which is to ensure that we can deliver a holiday experience beyond what you may have expected.
By Marcela Kunova - 20th April 2017
Nicola Shepherd, founder and CEO of The Exploration Company, organises unusual trips for HNW and UHNW clients ranging from birthday parties at an Indian Maharajah's palace to reliving Sir Vivian Fuchs's 1950s expedition to the South Pole. Citywealth caught ...
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