Day 1 - Arrival
Riding: No riding.
Arrival to Jaipur airport with transfer to Roop Niwas Kothi Hotel. Check-in, welcome drink and time to relax. You may wish to visit the stables to see the horse herd galloping in for dinner - a beautiful sight!
Day 2 - Morning Riding Assessment and Afternoon Visit to Nawalgarh
Riding: 1 - 2 hours
After breakfast you will meet down at the stables for a morning riding assessment. The team will find you a suitable mount and you can test them out in the safety of the paddock, getting accustomed to your Marwari Horse and the saddles. There is a wide range of horses available and you are able to switch until you find one you are comfortable with for the days to come.
Lunch is eaten at the hotel before you embark on a guided tour of the local town, Nawalgarh. The tour takes approximately 2 3 hours and will show you the best sights and colours - Nawalgarh is famed for its beautiful painted ‘havelis’ (country mansions) and you will visit some of the most spectacular painted frescoes and temples whilst also observing a little of local life. After the tour you will head back to the hotel.
Day 3 - Breakfast Picnic Ride and Afternoon Mehndi (Henna Tattoo)
Riding: 2 - 3 hours
This morning you will meet early at the stables with time for some Indian tea and a few biscuits for energy. You will then mount up and head off into the countryside, stopping en-route for a picnic breakfast whilst your horse waits patiently nearby. The breakfast samosas are not to be missed! The ride takes a few hours altogether and you will end up back at Roop Niwas Kothi in time for lunch.
For those who wish, traditional mehndi (henna tattoos) can be organised for you in the hotel grounds. A paste made from the dry leaves of the Henna plant is applied in various traditional and more modern designs. You leave the paste on for a while before washing it off to reveal its intricate patterns on your skin. The design can last between 1 - 3 weeks on average and will provide a fond memory of your time in Rajasthan.
Aside from the henna, this is a free afternoon for you to enjoy your surroundings. You might wish to enjoy the pool or simply settle into the scenic gardens to read a book. Free WiFi is also available for you to keep in touch with loved ones back at home or perhaps to share some photos of your first experiences with Marwari Horses!
Day 4 - Morning Farm Walk and Afternoon Ride
Riding: 2 - 3 hours
Today you will take a guided farm walk which starts from the stables and takes you out through the home farms, meeting the farming community of Nawalgarh and discovering the age-old techiques they employ in order to cultivate crops in this semi-arid region of Rajasthan. You will have a chance to interact with a family of potters and perhaps even to try your hand on the potter’s wheel! You may even see some of the native bird life of the region as you explore the countryside.
The walk culminates with breakfast at the farm and a meeting of the Shoal family who have been tilling the hotel’s farmland for decades. This is a rare glimpse of an ever-evolving yet firmly traditional Indian farming family. This walk takes approximately 2 3 hours altogether and you will be back at the hotel in time for lunch.
In the afternoon you will meet your horse and riding guide for a half day ride of around 2.5 - 3 hours. Now that you know your horse a little better, it’s a good chance for those who wish to experience the stamina of these horses with some great canters! You’ll be back at the stables in time for another delicious dinner and overnight.
Day 5 - Full Day Ride
Riding: 4 - 5 hours
Enjoy a full day ride, exploring the countryside and old temples of this fascinating region. Lunch today will be taken en-route in a picturesque spot. You’ll be provided with a mat in the shade in order for a little siesta before riding back to the stables. This is approximately 4.5 - 5 hours altogether and allows you to get further afield, testing out your horse’s paces and seeing more varied landscapes and terrains.
Day 6 - Morning Massage and Afternoon Cookery Demonstration
Riding: No riding.
Today you will take a break from riding and will enjoy a full body massage in the morning to help ease any aches and pains from yesterday’s longer hours in the saddle.
In the afternoon you will experience a must-do activity in the area - a cookery demonstration! This is a one-of-a-kind experience during which you will enjoy the warm hospitality of a true rural Rajasthani family on their farm. You will learn traditional Rajasthani recipes from the daughter of the house. She cooks over a wood-fired stove using local produce and fresh farm ingredients. This is an interactive session.
You will end your day on the farm, feasting on a sumptuous dinner before leaving with a souvenir of some Indian recipes to try back at home. The trip takes 2 - 3 hours on average and you’ll be transported there and then back to the hotel after dinner.
Day 7 - Morning Ride and Afternoon High Tea at the Stables
Riding: 2 - 4 hours
Today is your last day at Roop Niwas Kothi so you will saddle up for a final ride on your Marwari steed - both you and they will be energised and ready to go, having had a break yesterday. You’ll take a final look at the surrounding landscapes, enjoying the sandy tracks and the fitness and nobility of your horse, before arriving back at the stables in time for lunch.
After lunch you have a little free time before you head back to the stables for high tea, the perfect way to end your stay at this former palace. Meet the passionate owner, Rawal Devendra Singh, and learn about the history of the three-decade old stables. Hear a first-hand account of the birth and evolution of equine tourism in Rajasthan. You may be introduced to some of their impressive Marwari stallions whilst also enjoying the company of many other animals, from the camels and sheep to the ducks and geese who are milling about. Devendra can give an interesting talk about the history of the majestic Marwari breed or, for those who are interested, a tour of the dairy. The cows are a key part of meeting the hotel’s demand.
After you watch the horses gallop in to dinner for the final time, you can tuck into a final dinner in the hotel restaurant.
Day 8 - Departure
Riding: No riding.
Time to say farewell. You will be transported back to Jaipur after breakfast (or when your flight requires it).
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.