- Cycle through peaceful countryside past small villages, ancient temples and stately palaces
- Rush hour traffic? Depends on how keen those cows are to move off the road
- Explore the Thar desert as travelers and nomads have for centuries: on camelback
- Accompanied by our Indian friends, be welcomed into a vibrant and culturally rich land
- Exquisite accommodations, from former Raj estates to a hotel recently named the world's best
The Caravan Routes & Desert Palaces of Rajasthan
Bucket lists. We bet you have one. And if biking in India isn't on it, it should be. You need one epic journey. This could be yours. The colors, the sounds, the smells, the history, the culture…the ride. A bit overwhelming at first? Perhaps. But who wants to cross an ocean and be underwhelmed. Yes, India is crowded - but our route through regal Rajasthan is not. Those cows ambling down the road and the kids walking to school? Think of them not as obstacles on your bike path but as fellow travelers. When you need a break from the raw energy of it all, peace can be found. In Brahmin temples. In the quiet desert. And in our luxury hotels - some of the finest in the world - where you'll dine and slumber like royalty. Come with us. It's time to check India off.
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.
AccommodationsRajasthan's history of prosperous kingdoms has produced a wealth of luxurious palaces-turned-five-star-hotels scattered throughout the desert and Aravalli Hills. On this trip we stay in several wonderful properties, chosen either for their grandeur or location, many of which rank among the world's finest accommodations. On one night we stay at Manvar Desert Camp, a remote rustic retreat that provides a taste of old Rajasthan. And while the historic Rawla Narlai brims with character and romantic charm, the accommodations are a bit more casual than our other hotels.
Biking in an Emerging WorldYour journey through India will be unlike any other travel experience. The people and places you visit will likely stay with you for a very long time. But as wonderfully fulfilling as travel is in India, it's not always easy.
Within congested cities and near busy social centers, even something as simple as crossing the road can be daunting - you may be sharing it at any one time with cars, pedestrians, rickshaws, bikes, scooters and even cows.
India is a developing country and different attitudes can sometimes be jarring. Yet the beauty of the people, the culture and the landscape shines through, making for an amazingly exotic adventure that's unforgettable and completely worthwhile.
Days 1-2 A journey through Rajasthani history, from the Maharaj kingdoms to British rule and India's dynamic present Tour Jodhpur's staggering 15th-century Mehrangarh Fort Sleep like kings and queens in a palace still inhabited by the Jodhpur royal family Saddle up for a culturally rich bike ride to Bisnoi, stopping to admire the region's finest pottery and dhurrie rugs A local family welcomes us into their home for a traditional Indian feast.
Day 3 Relive a classic Indian form of travel - with a camel caravan across desert sand for a night beneath the stars in safari-style tents (with all the necessary amenities, of course) Pedal through the countryside, rolling dunes and green farmland.
Days 4-5 Bike rural India, past friendly villagers, colorful temples, peacocks, cows and goats Pali's three exquisite Brahman temples leave you inspired for the heart-pumping ride through the Aravalli Hills to Narlai Explore Kumbhalgarh, an imposing 15th-century citadel perched above the arid landscape.
Days 6-7 From Ranakpur, a breathtaking 14th-century Jain temple with 1,444 intricately carved pillars, cycle through rolling terrain to the exquisite Devi Garh Palace, our home for the next two nights Venture into the countryside by foot, bike - or even camel!
Days 8-9 Spin past lake palaces and temples en route to the lakes of Udaipur Stroll through Udaipur's craft shops for handmade paper, silver, copper or leather goods - or relish some R&R at one of the world's most luxurious and romantic hotels.
Guests Reviews About This Trip
I have been on several Backroads trip. The trip to India takes First Prize. The flow of trip was amazing...the right mix of biking, culture, down time...it really seems like a dream. I look at my pictures and realize how much I am still digesting from the trip. Every day was so full. I have already recommended this trip to several of my friends. Thanks for making this trip a highlight of my life.- Golden Valley, MN
Everything about the trip was amazing. The experiences, the sights, the sounds, the smells....will be in my mind and in my heart for the rest of my life. The trip leaders now feel like friends, the other travelers were lovely people, the hotels and activities were all top notch. I truly cannot say enough about what a once in a lifetime experience this was for me.- Golden Valley, MN
As usual, Backroads did a great job of showing me around a very foreign place. I really enjoyed the emphasis towards cultural experience. I saw and experienced amazing things that I never would have experienced without Backroads.- Seattle, WA
Jodhpur (2 nights) Spread over six acres of lush, landscaped gardens, this 21st-century palace offers an experience of elegance. (pool, spa)
Manvar Desert Camp
Manvar (1 night) Enjoy stunning sunrises and dazzling night skies in this remote desert tented camp with simple but comfortable amenities. (pool)
Narlai (2 nights) This 17th-century fortress midway between the cities of Jodhpur and Udaipur once served as a luxurious hunting lodge. (pool)
Devi Garh Palace
Delwara (2 nights) Guarding the road to the Udaipur Valley, this palace-turned-luxury-hotel welcomes us with fabulous amenities and comfort. (pool, spa)
Udaipur (1 night) This exquisite hotel located on Lake Pichola has perfected the art of hospitality. A Small Luxury Hotels of the World Member. Condé Nast Traveler Gold List; Travel + Leisure World's Best. (pool, spa)
Private Trips Options & Pricing
Gather your favorite people to share a Backroads adventure on a ready-to-book Private Trip - featuring all the legendary Backroads hallmarks from expert leaders to unforgettable activities.
You can pick any open date in next year's lineup for your group of 8 or more except for trips departing during the last two weeks of December, where a 16 guest minimum is required - just book by December 31st of this year. Call us for date availability.
Pricing for Private Trips
|8 - 9 guests $7,498 pp dbl. occ.||12 or more guests $6,598 pp dbl. occ.|
|10 - 11 guests $7,198 pp dbl. occ.|
For groups of 2 to 7 guests, please call for Custom Trip pricing.
This Trip Is Rated Level 2-5
Routes For All Abilities
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one day to the next-and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.
|Daily Route Options|
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||Level 5|
|miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain|
|1||Mehrangarh Fort walk and market tour (2 hours)|
|Sunset camel ride (1 hour)|
|Hiking (1 - 3 hours)|
|Guided Delwara Village walk (1 hour)|
|9||Trip end and travel day|
On this trip, we'll be using titanium mountain bikes that are just right for the non-technical dirt road riding as well as the paved riding. (approximately 20% dirt and 80% paved).
* Includes a shuttle