Aravalli Hills 1100

Northern Rajasthan, famous for its lakes, palaces and golden desert, is the backdrop to this motorcycle tour. Otherwise known as ‘the land of the kings’, Rajasthan is rich in history and one of India’s biggest states. We cover 1100 km on this fascinating journey, weaving a path through the stunning little explored countryside of central and northern Rajasthan on the iconic 500cc Enfield Bullet.

We explore the Dadhikar valley in the east before heading west to the colourful holy town of Pushkar with a stop-over at magical Samode Bagh en route. We then head north to Nawalgargh in the Shekawatti district where we stay in an eco-lodge on the desert fringes. Nawalgargh town was well known for its strategic location on the spice route. In its heyday it attracted wealthy merchants who built opulent, frescoed havellis (mansions). Many of these fascinating buildings are now museums which we will visit. We have a night in a luxurious palace before ending our tour with two nights in Delhi where we stay in the buzzing Paharganj district. In the afternoon we visit Karol Bagh, famous for its motorcycle & scooter dealers.

As always our hotels are wonderful and full of character, chosen to give our guests the best possible experience of Indian hospitatlity. The roads are epic and carefully selected. Our support team is near at hand at all times and your tour leader will accompany you on each stage of your amazing journey.  

The orders of the day were goggles down and cover up... and by the time we had left Shekhawati we had all been showered in just about every colour of powder paint there was! If the ride slowed or stopped it was greeted with cheers and laughter, then showered in a fog of multicoloured dust. It was great fun, there were ample opportunities for photos, we were photographed, the locals were photographed with us, it was carnival time in India and we were right in the middle of it. Happy Holi...

Dan Brown, March 2014, Nawalgargh Shekawatti - Holi Festival Monday 13 July 2015

Route Planner - Aravelli Hills 1100 - CLICK HERE TO VIEW MAP

Delhi - Alwar - Samode - Pushkar - Nawalgargh - Mandawa - Patan - Delhi

Route Planner - Aravelli Hills 1100 - CLICK HERE TO VIEW MAP

Day 1DELHI TO ALWAR, RAJASTHAN - You will be met at the airport by your team leader. CLICK TO READ ON!

The main task of Day One is to transport you safely and comfortably to our first destination, Alwar - deep in the stunning Dadhikar Valley, roughly 4 hours south of Delhi. We stop for lunch en route before arriving at the splendid Dadhikar Fort Hotel mid afternoon. The hotel is a converted 14th Century Fort with stunning views across the Aravelli Hills and valley beneath. Your motorcycles will be lined up waiting for you. A quick shower and afternoon cup of tea before we spend the early evening pottering around on the safe quiet roads within the valley. We have tea at our friends' house in the tiny village of Hajipur before a sumptous dinner at the hotel in the courtyard.

  • DELHI TO ALWAR, RAJASTHAN - You will be met at the airport by your team leader.  CLICK TO READ ON!

Day 2ALWAR AND THE DADHIKAR VALLEY - Explore the Dadhikar Valley on our motorcycles. This quiet, almost forgotten valley is simply...

...breathtaking, offering a rare glimpse of rural Rajasthani life. After breakfast we visit a nearby charity-run school which is part of the Nirvana Foundation. This inspiring foundation provides education for children on the fringes of society. We then ride to the waterfall followed by a tiger safari in the afternoon. The Sariska Tiger Reserve is located in the Aravalli hills only a few kilometres away from Alwar. The sanctuary, which is a Project Tiger reserve, also boasts of many other species, including rare birds and plants. During our day we will be in the expert hands of Niranjan Sing (Ninja), who is an expert on the history, culture and wildlife of the area. (65Km) 

  • ALWAR AND THE DADHIKAR VALLEY - Explore the Dadhikar Valley on our motorcycles. This quiet, almost forgotten valley is simply...

Day 3HEAD WEST FURTHER INTO RAJASTHAN - Out of the valley we head west journeying to Samode (North Jaipur). A gentle ride for our first...

... proper day in the saddle. An early breakfast before hitting the road and heading west on the winding SH13 road which leads to Shapura cutting through the Sariska wildlife reserve. We continue west, over the NH8 to Ajeetgargh before heading south on rural roads to Samode Bagh, our luxurious third night’s stopover. One can get lost in the grounds of this converted palace so be warned! In the evening we eat in the quite magnificent nearby Samode Palace. Dinner is preceeded by a tour of this beautifully preserved 15th century palace. (155 km) 

Day 4SAMODE TO PUSHKAR - Our fourth day demands a little more from us - 200 km to be precise! We take an early start as we dodge and...

... weave cross-country heading to Pushkar. Away by 8am we take well-surfaced, smaller roads through the villages of Chorum and Renwal before heading south to Jobner, Phulera and Naraina. We hit Dudu before the last short scenic ride to the holy town of Pushkar. Pushkar is considered deeply sacred to the Hindus and has been drawing pilgrims and travellers to its holy lake and temples and colourful bazaar for hundreds of years. We have two nights here after this relatively long ride.  Our hotel is the magical Seventh Heaven, a 200 year old haveli replete with petal strewn courtyards, cushioned swing seats and a roof-top restaurant. (220Km)

Day 5A DAY OFF IN PUSHKAR AND AJMER - either relax and shop or join us for one of our motorcycle excursions....

... into the beautiful countryside surrounding Ajmer and Pushkar. The desert backdrop makes a fabulous place to explore. We take the mountain pass to Ajmer where we visit the Jain Temple, also known as Soniji Ki Nasiyan. It was built in the late nineteenth century. The main chamber, known as the Swarna Nagari "City of Gold", has several gold-plated wooden figures, depicting several figures in the Jain religion.

We dine with a local family, take a tour of the lake and temples and experience the joyful lakeside prayer ceremony. (75Km)

Day 6PUSHKAR TO SHEKAWATTI DISTRICT - An early start as we head north to Shekawatti taking a scenic route with tremendous roads. We weave a...

... path through villages and towns that are completely off-the-beaten-track. We arrive late afternoon at Apani Dhani, a charming eco lodge in the town of Nawalgargh which boasts its own organic farm, wonderful tradiional cuisine and a bougainvillea shaded courtyard where one can relax. Shekhawati is located in North Rajasthan. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Marwari merchants constructed these grand, ornately decorated havelis in a bid to outdo their neighbours. We will visit one of these mansions - covered in exsquisite paintings - on our second day here. (200km)

 

Day 7EXPLORE SHEKAWATTI - Nawalgargh town and the Shekawatti District is steeped in history. We take a guided tour of Nawalgargh....

... after breakfast by foot, visiting museums and taking in the impressive painted havellis and frescos. Nawalgargh was at one time a prominent town on the spice route and many of the painted havellis were owned by wealthy merchants.  After lunch we have a cookery class with the talented Gajendra, the younger son of Ramesh the owner.  Gayatri his wife, and Sushila his sister-in-law, will share their passion for cooking with you. (0Km)

Day 8A SHORT RIDE TO MANDAWA -We pack up and say goodbye to our friends at Apani Dhani. Today we continue north...

... to explore the Shekawatti district and in particular the town of Mandawa...We spend the day exploring before heading to the magnificent Mandawa Havelli for one night.  Mandawa Fort was built by Thakur Nawal Singh Bahadur in 1755. In the zenana (women's quarters), each room is filled with character and history. One room has antique murals, another has a marble fountain, while the turret room boasts walls that are 7 feet (2.1 m) thick! Diwankhana, the formal drawing room, is decorated with family portraits and an array of antique armour and offers fantastic local cuisine. (120 Km)

Day 9HEADING SOUTH TO KOTT PUTLI - Our final day of riding takes us from Mandawa to Kott Putli and Patan. A tremendous series of ...

... roads running parallel to the Aravalli Hills cutting through mustard fields and past hill-top temples. This is a great day's rural riding through farmland and remote villages. Heading south-east, we reach the sumptuous Patan Mahal Hotel by late afternoon. This is possibly the most extravagant hotel on our tour and boasts a magnificent pool and ornately decorated rooms.

Nestled in a valley formed by three hills, Patan Mahal rises in the distance at the end of the city. The palace is well-located with an unhindered birds-eye view of the 13th century ancestral fort and another palace called Badal Mahal which stands loftily at an imposing 2000 ft above sea level. (160 Km)

 

Day 10HEADING BACK EAST TO DELHI -Say 'good-bye' to your Bullet and Rajasthan as we head east...

... back to Delhi this time in the comfort of our minibus! Stopping for lunch on the way we stay in the bustling Paharganj district at the Hotel Hari Piorko. We feel that you are suitably climatised at this point and ready to handle old Delhi.  A final rooftop dinner at the Metropolis restaurant. 

Day 11A DAY SPENT EXPLORING DELHI - Your last day of this tour is spent seeing the sights of Delhi. We also visit the...

... Karol Bagh area just 10 minutes from our hotel.  This is where all the petrol heads hang out!  Road after road of Enfields, scooters and a scattering of old British motorcycles can be found here. Other excursions can also be arranged to see the sights of Delhi (its fabulous museums, markets and temples) - just chat with your tour leader and transport and guides will be arranged. We return to the roof-top restaurant of our hotel for our last evening together.

Day 12HOMEWARD BOUND - Short taxi ride to Indira Ghandi Airport for your flight home...

... and your tour leader will ensure that you reach the airport in plenty of time for your flight home.

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