We bet you have a bucket list. And if biking in India isn't on it, it should be. This could be your one epic journey. The colors, sounds, smells, history, culture…the ride. A bit overwhelming? Perhaps. But who wants to cross an ocean and be underwhelmed. 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!
To better traverse the less than ideal and ever-changing cycling conditions, we use mountain bikes with touring tires on this trip.
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 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 opulent 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.
- 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
Taj Hari Mahal (2 nights): A grand 21st-century palace spread over six acres of lush, landscaped gardens. (pool, spa)
Manvar Desert Camp (1 night): Enjoy stunning sunrises and dazzling night skies in this remote desert tented camp with simple but comfortable amenities. (pool)
Rawla 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 (2 nights): Guarding the road to the Udaipur Valley, this palace-turned-luxury-hotel welcomes us with fabulous amenities and comfort. (pool, spa)
Oberoi Udaivilas (1 night): This exquisite hotel located on Lake Pichola has perfected the art of hospitality. Condé Nast Traveler Gold List; Travel + Leisure World's Best. (pool, spa)
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.
Routes For All Abilities
|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)|
|Narlai Hiking (1 - 3 Hours)|
|Guided Delwara Village Walk (1 Hour)|
|9||Conclusion of the Trip|
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
2015 Dates & Pricing*
- 10/25-11/2 Price: $7348 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1570 for sgl. occ.)
- 11/27-12/5 Price: $7248 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1570 for sgl. occ.)
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
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 from a large selection of dates for your group of 8 or more. Call us for date availability.
If your party has fewer than 8 guests, or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.
Pricing for Private Trips (prices may vary based on departure date)
|8 - 9 guests from $7,598 pp dbl. occ.||12 or more guests from $6,798 pp dbl. occ.|
|10 - 11 guests from $7,098 pp dbl. occ.|
All Private Singles-Solos trips require a minimum of 16 guests.
For groups of 2 to 7 guests, please call for Custom Trip pricing.
Guest Trip Reviews
I have been on several Backroads trips. The trip to India takes First Prize. The flow of trip was amazing...the right mix of biking, culture, downtime...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
The best trip I have ever taken! I wish I could put into words how much I enjoyed it. The sights, sounds, smells and overall experience were something one has to see in person to really understand. India is a beautiful and very special place with remarkable people. Backroads really knows how to help one experience that firsthand.- Manchester, MA
India - vibrant, rich, saturated colors of silk saris on women walking with bundles of wood/fodder/other stuff (tins of milk, axes, water buckets) on their heads seen against impossibly green fields or sandy desert landscapes. Monkeys, elephants, camels, water buffalo, sheep, goats, wild peacocks, jewel-toned birds and zillions of cows with kind eyes, droopy ears and calm demeanor. A rich stew for the senses, a fabulous trip! Backroads has done it again!!- Denver, CO
This trip was chaotic, colorful and completely enjoyable from start to finish. This was our fifth trip with Backroads and although we travel a great deal, we always feel a sense of relief, in very foreign countries, when we meet up with our Backroads leaders because we know that they will take good care of us!- Roswell, GA
From the very first hello to the last goodbye every step of the way was a magical experience. Everything far exceeded any expectation. The guides' attention to detail was perfect in every way. I hope my friends and family will have the opportunity to experience the magic of a Backroads tour. I couldn't think of a more perfect way to connect with the locals and experience a culture than on a bike to a palace.
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
One of the best trips I have ever been on. This was an outstanding way to explore rural India. It was also a terrific bike trip with the most beautiful route giving me the right balance between exercise, sightseeing and relaxation.- Toronto, ON
I think you did a great job of taking care of us, of making sure everything went smoothly, of teaching us cultural India as well as just biking. This trip for me was not about the bike, I just wanted to go on off the beaten track in India, and I feel like that was just what happened. Thank you for a fabulous experience.- Lafayette, CO
This trip was our 32nd trip. I don't know how Backroads does it, but the quality of the leaders and the carefully planned itineraries continue to be consistently outstanding. Friends ask us why we like to travel with Backroads and we say that every trip has met and exceeded our expectations. We have never been disappointed! We have traveled to places in the world that we would have not gone on our own. Backroads carefully orchestrates each trip. Locals guides on many of the trips provide an inside view of the people and their customs in a very authentic and respectful way. The Backroads leaders handle all the details making the trip experience stress free! All we have to do is be active and have fun!- Minneapolis, MN