Magic Of Marwar Horse Tour

About the Experience

Riding horses in India may seem like the thing of dreams. Witness the magic and the riot of colours from the back of a Marwari horse in their homeland, equidistant between the blue city of Jodhpur, the lake city of Udaipur, and the pink city of Jaipura. Canter through sand dunes, and camp in the desert scrub where you wake up to the sounds of desert life. 

Ride past small rural hamlets, pass villages and rural farmsteads, through the volcanic smooth rock formations. Feel the excitement of riding in the heart of the untrammelled wilderness, where leopards roam wild and free. See the temples in the distance. Watch thousands of migrating Demoiselle Cranes come in to feed at Khichan.

Drink chai and watch the sun come up.

You’ll connect with the mystical Marwari horses that were instrumental in shaping Indian history. And you’ll journey through the breathtaking landscapes, and culture of India full of warmth and joy.

 

 

Click here to see the full itinerary!
Magic Of Marwar Horse Tour

About the Experience

Riding horses in India may seem like the thing of dreams. Witness the magic and the riot of colours from the back of a Marwari horse in their homeland, equidistant between the blue city of Jodhpur, the lake city of Udaipur, and the pink city of Jaipura. Canter through sand dunes, and camp in the desert scrub where you wake up to the sounds of desert life. 

Ride past small rural hamlets, pass villages and rural farmsteads, through the volcanic smooth rock formations. Feel the excitement of riding in the heart of the untrammelled wilderness, where leopards roam wild and free. See the temples in the distance. Watch thousands of migrating Demoiselle Cranes come in to feed at Khichan.

Drink chai and watch the sun come up.

You’ll connect with the mystical Marwari horses that were instrumental in shaping Indian history. And you’ll journey through the breathtaking landscapes, and culture of India full of warmth and joy.

 

 

DAY ONE: ARRIVAL

Arrive in Udaipur by midday, where you’ll be picked up from the airport and transferred to the hotel. We’ll take a sunset boat trip around Lake Pichola world-famous for its majestic beauty.

Udaipur, the ‘lake city’, set beside Lake Pichola, with the ochre and purple ridges of the wooded Aravalli Hills stretching away in every direction has a backdrop unmatched in Rajasthan and arguably in all India. Palaces, temples, havelis and countless narrow, crooked, colourful streets add the human counterpoint to the city’s natural charms.

We will congregate at the hotel to transfer by tuk-tuk to the boat (We use only Pink City Tuk-tuks, a company employing lower caste women). A brief wash up at our hotel is followed by dinner at an enchanting rooftop restaurant, overlooking the lake and floodlit City Palace.

  • Driving Time: 1 hr transfer
  • Overnight: Hotel

 

DAY TWO: MARWARI HORSES

In the morning we’ll do some sightseeing at the City Palace Museum complex and some shopping. Lunch will be at the hotel or a specialty roadside Café should the group prefer.

Late afternoon, we’ll do a quick check in to the hotel to change into riding clothes, and then off to meet your Marwari horses!  We’ll take a late afternoon trail ride from the hotel to Jodha Stud Farm (the horses home) this is a walk/ trot orientation ride.

Once we’re done riding, we’ll have a delicious home-cooked special horse heritage farm dinner provided within the magic of the stable complex, where a special surprise is planned. We’ll head back to the hotel for an early night.

  • Driving Time: 3 hrs / 120 km
  • Riding Time: 1 hr
  • Overnight: Hotel

 

DAY THREE: RIDE TO DANTIWARA

It’s a 6 am start for those that wish to climb the 700 steps up Elephant Hill to watch the sunrise over the foothills of the Aravalli! Truly breathtaking and well worth the early start. Tea and biscuits at the top. (Others may prefer a well-deserved sleep in.)

After breakfast, we have a full day ride to Dantiwara. Passing through villages and a dry riverbed, we’ll ride through the plains of the shadowy Aravalli hills, India’s oldest mountain range. We’ll stop for a picnic lunch near a Temple and then make our way to our tented safari camp situated in front of the lake.

  • Hiking Time: 1.5 hrs Elephant Hill (optional)
  • Riding Time: 6 hrs / 30 km
  • Overnight: Tented safari camp

 

DAY FOUR: BALI FOREST 

Today we take a full-day ride to Perwa in the Bali Forest.
Making our way along the bottom of the Aravalli hills South West to the village of Perwa, we pass villages and rural farmsteads, through the volcanic smooth rock formations. We stop in the shade for a long picnic lunch at a shepherd’s village.

After lunch, we’ll ride along a reservoir wall on a high sand track perfect for picture taking. Here, there’s a chance of sunset leopard spotting at a known hill near our camp outside Perwa.

Jeeps take us to our camp after a glass of Chai where we have a hot meal after clean-up.

  • Riding Time: 6 hrs / 30 km
  • Overnight: Tented safari camp

 

DAY FIVE: LEOPARD SPOTTING

For those that wish to rise extra early this morning, there’s an additional chance for some dawn Leopard spotting. After breakfast, we ride to Jawai Bandh and continue onwards to reach Jawai Bandh(reservoir). Lying at the heart of the untrammelled wilderness, leopards roam wild and free in this area. Encapsulated in a landscape surrounded by granite formations of caves, kopjes, Acacia scrub forest and winding sand riverbeds. We’ll see temples in the distance. Our lunch is at a charming clay bungalow where a family will greet us and we can see how a Rajasthani lives.

Our dinner will be served by the side of a large reservoir. We’ll have security guards watch over us in case leopards or alligators wish to visit!

  • Riding Time: 4 hrs / 20 km
  • Late Afternoon / Evening: Transfer to jeeps to search for Leopards in the dusk
  • Overnight: Tented safari camp

 

DAY SIX: WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT

After breakfast, we’ll transfer by road to Jodhpur. Here we have the opportunity to visit some women’s empowerment initiatives and NGOs including: ‘Camel Charisma’ at Ranakpur – camel milk, paper and cloth production by the Raika camel herding community.

‘Ghoomar’ at Pali, is a self-help women’s initiative which is supported by an NGO called Srijan (Self-Reliant Initiatives through Joint Action). Ghoomar was formed and is run by local women of the Garasiya tribe who now make and sell food pulp from the local fruits.

‘Sambhali Trust’ is a non-profit charitable organization in Jodhpur, whose focus is the development and empowerment of women and girls in Rajasthan.

Lunch will be late as we travel to experience a local delicacy, Kachori, in Rohet.

  • Driving Time: 3 to 4 hours
  • Overnight:  Hotel

 

DAY SEVEN: GREAT THAR DESERT 

In the morning, we’ll do a 45km road transfer North to Mathania to meet up again with your beloved Marwari horses. We mount up on sand dunes and ride until lunch in the desert. Our lunch will be at a desert farmer’s house with a watering hole for the horses.

Today we ride North West, making our way over the sand and pink granite which is local to the area and that was used to build the impressive Meharangarh Fort. We’ll pass small hamlets and farmsteads, taking in the vistas from the edge of the Great Thar Desert of Rajasthan.

We stop for a picnic break and little siesta, before heading off again to reach our desert camp on the outskirts of Osian. If we are lucky, we will canter into Camp!

  • Riding Time: 5 hrs / 25 km
  • Driving Time: 1 hr
  • Overnight: Tented safari camp

 

DAY EIGHT: DEEP INTO THE SAND DUNES

Today we take a full-day ride from Osian to Hacra and get deep into the sand dunes. You will see the local huts with thatched roofs as well as the scrub of desert vegetation and acacia bushes. We may encounter wild Nilgai (Asian antelope) small chinkara gazelle, mongoose as well as other flora and fauna local to this desert environment.

We arrive at our tented camp close to the Bishnoi community hamlet of Hacra. We will have local nature guides travel with us when possible to give us more insight into the beauty that surrounds us. Some of the camps may even be visited by locals who will share traditional music and dancing.

  • Riding Time: 6 hrs / 30 km
  • Overnight: Tented safari camp

 

DAY NINE: DESERT RIDE 

Today we’ll take a full-day ride from Hacra to Cullu amongst the desert! We’ll ride north, where the sand may be deeper but your trusted Marwari horse has amazing stamina not known in other breeds. They are desert horses and you are riding in the heart of their Marwar district, from where their name derives.

Lunch will be at a shady spot near a farm. Our afternoon ride through the desert traverses camel paths but has the opportunity to climb sand dunes and for long canters. We will see gazelles and goats along our path.

  • Riding Time: 6 hrs / 30 km
  • Overnight: Tented safari camp

 

DAY TEN: LAST RIDE TO KHICHAN

Today we take a full-day ride form Cullu to Khichan. Our final day of riding!

By now you will have built up a good partnership and connection with your horse and we can take full advantage of the open landscape. We will see more villages as we travel. The scenery will shift from desert sand to pink rock and rolling farmland. Today we say goodbye to our grooms and tent wallas as well as our cooks.

We arrive at Khichan, famous for the Demoiselle cranes that visit during the winter season (Oct to March). The birds migrate here from the Mongolian steppes and at the peak (Dec, Jan, Feb) the numbers reach over 10,000 which is quite a sight to see! We canter into camp and then have dinner, where we may be visited by the farm women.

We’ll say goodbye to the horses as they travel home overnight for a well-earned rest. Dinner will be in the restaurant at the resort.

  • Riding Time: 6 hrs / 30 km
  • Overnight: Hotel/ Resort

 

DAY ELEVEN: DEPARTURE

We’ll have an early morning visit to the nearby bird feeding grounds – what a sight! The birds will fly over us as we drink chai and watch the sun come up.

After breakfast, transfer by road to Jodhpur airport for departure to your onward destination.

 


HORSE DETAILS

The Marwari or Malani is a rare breed of horse from the Marwar (or Jodhpur) region of India. Known for its inward-turning ear tips, it comes in all colours. The height is usually 15.2 to 16.2 hands. It is known for its hardiness and is quite similar to the Kathiawari, another Indian breed from the Kathiawar region southwest of Marwar. Many breed members exhibit a natural ambling gait. The Marwari horses are descended from native Indian ponies crossed with Arabian horses, possibly with some Mongolian influence. They are uniquely adapted to living and working in the desert.

The Rathores, traditional rulers of the Marwar region of western India, were the first to breed the Marwari. Beginning in the 12th century, they espoused strict breeding that promoted purity and hardiness. Used throughout history as a cavalry horse by the people of the Marwar region, the Marwari was noted for its loyalty and bravery in battle. The breed deteriorated in the 1930s when poor management practices resulted in a reduction of the breeding stock, but today has regained some of its popularity.

The Marwari is used for light draught and agricultural work, as well as riding and packing. In 1995, a breed society was formed for the Marwari horse in India. The exportation of Marwari horses was banned for decades, but between 2000 and 2006, a small number of exports were allowed. Though they are rare, they are becoming more popular outside of India due to their unique looks.

 

 

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