Nagaur Fair ride. Ride Marwari horses to the Nagaur Fair in RajasthanVenture Co Worldwide Nagaur Fair ride. Ride Marwari horses to the Nagaur Fair in Rajasthan

Nagaur Fair Ride

At a GlanceItineraryDetail

Nagaur Fair Ride, Rajasthan

Nagaur Fair ride

Mawari horses come in all colours.

12 days; 7 days riding.
Nagaur is a market town mid-way between Jodhpur and Bikaner in Rajasthan. The town hosts an annual fair, similar to Pushkar, but on a more modest scale, with virtually no western visitors. There are significant numbers of excellent quality Marwari horses bought and sold, Nagauri Brahman bulls are famous and this area produces the best red chilies in the whole of India. In fact the wholesalers here sell sacks of chilies which are delivered directly to restaurants as far afield as Mumbai, Delhi and Calcutta. The whole experience is a great deal less frantic than the larger, more famous fairs of Pushkar and Balotra.

 

Nagaur Fair Ride: 2020

22 Jan 2020: Arrive in India
We will collect you from Delhi airport and drive you into the city. Rooms are available from 12:00 onwards.

Overnight in Delhi

Delhi pigeons on the Nagaur Fair ride

Delhi pigeons admiring a temple

23 Jan: Explore Delhi
In the morning we’ll take you on a half-day guided tour of New Delhi. In the evening board the overnight sleeper train for Bikaner in the Thar Desert, Rajasthan.

New Delhi: Visit Humayun’s Tomb which is a predecessor of the Taj Mahal. Drive past Safdarjung’s Tomb and the 72 m high Qutab Minar. Nearby, amidst the ruins of the Quwut – ul – Islam Mosque stands the Iron pillar which has survived the vagaries of the weather and not rusted for 1,500 years. Drive on to the embassy area, the government buildings and the Birla temple. Drive past Jantar- Mantar astronomical observatory and through Connaught Place, New Delhi’s main shopping centre.

24 Jan: Arrive Bikaner & explore
The Bikaner flight departs at 09:45 and arrives an hour and a half later at 11:15. Transfer to the lovely Laxmi Niwas Palace or similar.

Laxmi Niwas Palace lies on the outskirts of the city. This imposing red sandstone mansion was built by Maharaja Ganga Singh, in commemoration of his father Maharaja Lal Singh in the early 20th Century. The oriental fantasy designed by Sir Swinton Jacob is among the purest forms of a Rajput palace in the entire region. It’s also full of European luxury!

Sightseeing of Bikaner and a visit to the Camel Breeding Farm:

Bikaner: is the northern point of the triangle of the desert cities; the other two cities being
Jodhpur and Jaisalmer. Bikaner is a royal walled city dating back to 1486. It was established by Prince Bika, the eldest son of the founder of Jodhpur, Rao Jodha. Bikaner was well protected from its enemies by the harsh desert which surrounds this rich city. It was a major trading centre due to its location on the ancient caravan route that linked Central Asia and North India with the Gujarat seaports. Apart from trade, other outside influences were minimal and the city retained its medieval flavour – in fact, this is true of the city today. The main shopping area lies around Kote Gate which has interesting bazaars where it is possible to see rustic men and women in their traditional clothes rub shoulders with their modern counterparts as they go about their daily chores. While other cities of Rajasthan are rich in lakes and pleasure pavilions, Bikaner seems quite bare in this respect. However, its architecture is comparable to the other two desert cities. The oldest structures are the 14th C Jain temples built by two brothers and named after them – the Bhandeshwar temple and the Sandeshwar temple. While the former is rich in mirror work and frescoes, the latter has stylized enamel and gold leaf wall paintings.

25 Jan: Meet the horses
After breakfast drive to Gajner (40 mins) and transfer to the Gajner Palace Hotel which is a beautiful hotel on the edge of a lake and where you stay for the night. After lunch try out the horses by riding in and around Gajner.

Trial rides; 2+/- hrs.
Overnight in Gajner Palace.

Nagaur Fair ride; marwari horse

Marwara horses are desert marathon athletes!

Gajner Palace is said to be “The Jewel in the Thar Desert”. It stands on the lakeshore surrounded by wooded areas which are ideal habitat for many species of migratory birds, most notable being the Imperial Sand Grouse: this is the bird that has specially adapted down on its belly that can hold water when the bird lands in a pond or lake; it then flies back to its nest (which could be 60 miles away) and its young take water from its feathers. Endangered antelopes like Black Bucks, Nilgais, Chinkaras and Wild Boar roam freely in this area which is now a preserved sanctuary. The Gajner Palace is built from red sandstone and the craftsmanship of the intricate carvings is remarkable.

26 Jan: Setting off into the desert
In the morning ride out due south towards a village named Jai Singh deep in the Thar Desert. Trees and grass become progressively more sparse and in some places the wind and shifting sands have created spectacular sand dunes which tower above the plain. Despite the austerity of the land a surprising number of people have learned to eke out a living here. En route we pass several small villages.

Km ridden: 35 Km
Overnight in camp.

A typical day on safari
To give you an idea of what to expect here is a typical day on the trail…

Wake up early and have a wash in one of the camp’s warm-water shower tents before sitting down to some Indian-style scrambled eggs and Chai (chai = milky, spicy, sweet tea – which is much nicer than it sounds!).

The grooms will tack up your horse and we set off before the sun gets too hot. The morning ride usually lasts between 3 and 4 hours, with a watering stop en route for both horses and riders. It doesn’t take long for the horses to warm up and before you know it, we are cantering along the sandy tracks with the sun on our backs. The hours and miles fly by and in no time at all it’s time for lunch.

Life in the countryside stops when the mercury rises, so we take a long slow lunch in the shade and rest for several hours. Take a nap, play a card game, or simply enjoy some time to relax and read.

In the late afternoon as the sun descends we mount our Marwari horses once again and set off for about a two hour ride. Before long we’ll see the bright colours of the tented camp and a lively canter gets us there in no time.

The camp is no ordinary camp: it’s huge! The individual canvas-walled rooms are large enough to stand up in; they are carpeted and each contains 2 cot-beds; linen, blankets, quilts and pillows are provided. There are between 5 and 7 “rooms” erected around a central fire-pit, where we take sundowners and chat about the day’s action. There’s a communal mess tent for dining and a separate bathroom with hot showers: shower water is heated over a log fire. This creates a totally private camp in the bush. Beyond the camp is a separate kitchen, which you’re welcome to visit. The horses are individually tethered and looked after by the team of grooms.

Glamping; Nagaur Fair ride

Glamping during the Nagaur Fair ride, Rajasthan

27 Jan: riding deeper into the desert
The ride leads across farmland that is farmed in traditional ways. You will see the occasional tractor, but many fields are ploughed by oxen, or camels pulling a single furrow. The land is ‘light’ and the sand dunes become larger and larger, good habitat for Chinkara Gazelles. Our destination is the village of Dohra where camp is established close to a large sand dune.

Km ridden: 35 Km
Overnight in camp.

28 Jan: ride to desert camp
We continue riding south, further in to the Thar Desert. There is wildlife in this remote area and we are likely to see Chinkara gazelle, and maybe the elusive desert fox. Our destination is the village of Tantwas where camp is established.

Km ridden: 30 Km
Overnight in camp.

Sunday 10th Feb 2019: ride into the land of sand dunes
The villages become more spread out and the land gradually more arid. Many large sand dunes which are spectacular to see, but hard work for the horses.

Km ridden: 30 Km
Overnight in camp

29 Jan: Arrive at Khari

The ride takes you across more fertile farmland and villages that begin to look more affluent. Today you have the chance to climb up on one of the largest sand dunes of this area. There is a small temple on top giving lovely views of the entire area. Arrive Nagaur where the Fair will already be full of camels, horses and other animals.

Km ridden: 35 Km
Overnight in camp

30 Jan: Explore Nagaur Fair
Ride towards Nagaur village crossing open, flat farmland. This area is also sandy and we ride near to one of the largest sand dunes in the whle of the Thar Desert. There’s a small temple built on the top of the dune, with outstanding views from the porch.. Arrive Nagaur where the fair will be in full swing.

Km ridden: 30 Km
Overnight in camp

31 Jan: Explore Nalgaur Fair

Spend the day in Nagaur visiting the fair on horseback and on foot. There are about 25,000 camels on display as well as a number of horses and cattle. People come from hundreds of miles away to buy and sell and it is an excellent chance to see the ways of ancient India. For example, prices of horses are never discussed: instead buyer and seller join hands beneath a cloth and the price is bargained via an exchange of hand signals, as has been the case for centuries. There are many shops selling handicrafts, cloth, jewelry, etc. Few tourists visit this fair, as it is little known abroad and is mainly for the local people.

Km ridden: around the fair

Overnight in camp

01 Feb: Return to Jodhpur

After breakfast, bid good-bye to your horse and the camp staff and drive to Jodhpur (2 hours). Arrive Jodhpur and transfer to Bal Samand Palace or similar which is 5 Km north of Jodhpur on the shore of Lake Balsamand. Bal Samand Palace is a fine example of Rajput architecture in red sandstone and is surrounded by lush green gardens.

After lunch visit the magnificent Mehrangarh Fort which overlooks Jodhpur, ‘The Blue City’.

Jodhpur: This former capital of Marwar state was founded by Rao Jodha Singh. A flourishing trading centre in 16th C, today the city has grown to become the second largest city of Rajasthan (after Jaipur) and is still one of the leading centres for wood, cattle, camels, salt and agriculture in Rajasthan. However, the past is never far behind and the city boasts some very fine reminders of this glorious heritage including palaces, forts, temples and other elegant monuments of architectural and historical value.

Mehrangarh Fort: the fort dominates the city from its cliff-top position; within its mighty ramparts is a complex of palaces noted for their exquisite lattice work. Work began on this massive citadel, in 1479. Certain halls in the palaces are now museums displaying the royal collection of arms, palanquins, howdahs, cradles, miniature paintings, and personal heirlooms. From here, the view of the city is outstanding; in the words of James Tod “The sons of Jodha could command from the windows of the palace a range of vision almost comprehending the limits of their sway.”

Overnight in Jodhpur.

The magnificent Mehrangarh Fort in "the blue city" Jodhpur

The magnificent Mehrangarh Fort in “the blue city” Jodhpur

02 Feb: Fly to Delhi and connect for flight home.
During the morning you are free to explore Jodhpur before catching the early afternoon flight back to the capital. Transfer to the international terminal for the flight home.

 

Nagaur Fair ride

Included in the price
Meet and greet at Delhi airport
Accommodation in Delhi
Train travel: Delhi to Bikaner (overnight sleeper car)
Trial rides to match horse and rider
Full board throughout the ride (Indian or continental menu)
Glamping accommodation in luxury camp (cots, bed linen, en suite facilities) x 6 nights
Palace accommodation x 3 nights
Guide, grooms and all equine requirements
Saddlebags x 2 each
Back-up 4 x 4
Bottled drinking water and soft drinks while riding
Guide and entrance tickets at Nagaur Fair
Return transfer to airport in Delhi

Not included
International flight
Bottled water and soft drinks at Nagaur Fair
Travel insurance

Nagaur Fair ride aboard Marwari Horses, Rajasthan

Nagaur Fair ride aboard Marwari Horses, Rajasthan