Departure: New Delhi
Duration: 15 Days
Trip Grade: Gentle
A royal tour on Royal Enfields! This really is motorcycle travel at its most refined; generally short days on the road combined with the most splendid heritage accommodation in Rajasthan make this a luxury cruise to remember. You'll stay in some of the most imposing forts in India, experience the magic of the desert and sample the rich and colourful culture of Rajasthan, with some fantastic riding in between! Ignoring for a moment the unpredictable nature of Indian traffic, this is the easiest ride we offer in terms of terrain covered. The vast majority of the riding is on well-paved, flat roads, making this the ideal tour for less-experienced riders, or those coming to India for the first time.
DETAILED ITINERARYDay 01: Arrive in Delhi
You'll be met at the airport and taken to a hotel. The rest of the day can be spent either relaxing or having a look round Delhi.
Day 02: Bus to Neemrana Fort, bike training
After some Delhi sightseeing in the morning, we'll set off after lunch for historic Neemrana Fort, an amazing 10 level palace that dates back to 1464. Our Royal Enfields will be waiting for us there, and we'll spend the rest of the day getting to know them! After a briefing we'll go on a short excursion from the hotel to make sure we're ready to hit the road in the morning.
Day 03: Neemrana to Mandawa (220km)
Our first real ride takes us to another historic hotel, Mandawa Fort. This region, called Shekhawati, is famously dotted with mansions adorned with colourful frescos, built by local merchants. We should have time in the afternoon to have a look round one or two of these unique homes.
Day 04: Mandawa to Gajner via Bikaner (190km)
The short length of today's ride means there'll be time to look around the fortified city of Bikaner en route. Famous for it's pink buildings, colourful bazaars and plentiful camels, Bikaner has a timeless air all of its own. We'll spend the night in Gajner Palace Hotel, a Maharaja's palace set on a lake and surrounded by dense forest.
Day 05: Gajner to Jaiselmer (330km)
The longest ride of the tour, but what a place to end up! Jaiselmer is unique in India and probably the world, rising out of the desert like an approaching ship. It's a beautifully preserved walled city, rich in history and surrounded by the stark beauty of the Thar desert. Our overnight stay within the city walls gives us a taste of what life must have been like here hundreds of years ago.
Day 06: Day in Jaiselmer, camp in Khuri at night
We'll spend most of the day exploring Jaiselmer, and then as the sun begins to cool we'll swap our bikes for camels and head to the desert village of Khuri. We'll camp near Khuri tonight, giving us the chance to experience the amazing serenity of the desert at night.
Day 07: Jaiselmer to Jodhpur (280km)
Today we'll be driven back to Jaiselmer to pick up the bikes and then head for Jodhpur. The second-largest city in Rajasthan after Jaipur, Jodhpur is dominated by its massive hilltop fort. The old city is surrounded by an ancient wall and packed full with narrow alleyways, making a wander around fascinating if navigationally challenging!
Day 08: Jodhpur to Kumbhalgarh via Ranakpur (220km)
We'll break up today's ride with a stop at the stunning marble temples of Ranakpur. Kumbulgarh's fort is one of the most impressive in Rajasthan, set atop the Aravalli range at 1100m. The beautiful ride up shows us how difficult it must have been to attack the fort – it's only been taken once in 600 years!
Day 09: Kumbhalgarh to Udaipur (80km)
There'll be time for a last look round Kumbhalgarh Fort before we ride the short distance to Udaipur. Famous as the setting for James Bond's ‘Octopussy', Udaipur is one of the most beautiful cities in India. Whitewashed palaces surround a picturesque lake, giving the whole town a noble elegance, which together with its tranquil atmosphere make Udaipur a uniquely soothing place to stay.
Day 10: Udaipur to Deogarh (140km)
We'll have a last look around Udaipur in the morning before leaving for Deogarh. Another night, another grand period property! Deogarh Mahal is one of the most imposing forts in Rajasthan, set high on a hillside at 2,100m, and prides itself in offering travellers, “the comforts of today with an ambience of the past”.
Day 11: Deogarh to Pushkar (140km)
An important pilgrimage centre, Pushkar is a fascinating little town, set on a lake right on the edge of the desert. We'll have time to take in the soothing calm of the lakeside area before retiring to the desert for dinner.
Day 12: Pushkar to Bhandarej via Jaipur (215km)
We'll spend most of today seeing the sights of Jaipur before escaping the hustle of the big city and heading for Bhadrawati Palace, our home for the night.
Day 13: Bhandarej to Agra (175km)
We'll stop 30km short of Agra to have a look round the amazing “ghost city” of Fatehpur Sikri before heading on to Agra and the incomparable Taj Mahal.
Day 14: Agra to Delhi (180km)
A final ride on one of India's finest “highways”! The unusually smooth tarmac means we'll be back in Delhi in time for some last minute sightseeing/shopping, as well as bidding goodbye to our trusty Royal Enfields.
Day 15: Flights home
You'll be taken to the airport for your flights home, bon voyage!