Roop Niwas Kothi Hotel riding holiday in India - Far and Ride
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Roop Niwas Kothi Hotel, India





Reviews



I had a FABULOUS time! The riding was great: beautiful, clean, healthy, lively horses, amazing terrain and scenery, great picnics/naps at mid-day and lots of exercise. Devendra is very nice, very interesting, has a great sense of humor, and clearly loves his horses. At the end of each day we had tea/chai in the corral area and watched as 30-odd mares galloped back into the stalls. Quite a sight (I have a video if you'd like to see it). I am definitely planning on returning, hopefully next year, and hopefully with my wife.

Scott K.
It was fantastic. I went out as a competent rider but lacking in confidence. I came back feeling like a proper rider. (Accommodation?) Very happy. A lovely room and totally looked after. Fantastic food - nothing was too much trouble. (Horses?) Very happy with my sweetie. Lovely, all the tack and the care the horses were given. (Guides?) Fantastic - I am aiming to be as cool as Altaf. (Favourite memory?) Day 3, when I came out after lunch and Madhur Pirea (my horse) looked over her shoulder and 'smiled' at me!

Susan W. (Christmas 2017)
Absolutely Fantastic!! I have not felt so happy in a very long time. I travelled by myself and cannot convey just how well I was looked after in the Palace and made to feel so welcome. The time at the stables and riding was beyond my greatest expectations. The staff and the care they took of the horses and me was exceptional. Every minute was a pleasure. My favourite memory of the holiday (there are many) but the best was when Altaf turned to me when we were on an area of open land with a track and said “Are you ready?” and I, under a blue sky on the most fantastic horse could reply ”I am ready” and we cantered across the sand. Just magical!!! As you described the horses were spirited and responsive. I could have ridden as many as I wanted, I rode 3 in total but just loved the one chosen for me on the first day. I rode her every day - 8 times!! She was brave and kind. She gave me very, very happy times which I will never forget. Also, not once did I feel saddle sore!! How fantastic was that!!!! Altaf was the very best. He was a great and kind horseman, taught me so much about the flora and fauna, took me to forts, temples, farms, family homes. I underestimated how much of the cultural side of India I would be able to experience. The reception we received everywhere was proof of how much this man is respected. He also did that thing that only real horsemen can do, he enabled me to love every minute in the saddle, to ride through all sorts of terrain, to have fun and never feel inadequate. Well done to him and the horse. Special thanks also to Nihad who cared for me and ensured I was always okay. My final ride with him on the Friday was great fun, although I was sad it was my last, for now anyway. I really hope to go back. Everything was covered. The only surprises were the good ones. When we stopped for lunch on the full day rides they supplied me with Horse and Hound mags, flip flops, hand washing facility.

Lyn P. (Christmas 2018)
The efforts and engagement of host Devendra Singh elevated the holiday to something really memorable. I very much felt that they were interested and concerned in my experience there. He looked for ways to enhance my riding experiences and my understanding of the horses and the nature of riding in India.

Hilary D. (Jan 2019)
 

Horses



Type of horses:

Primarily Marwaris with a few Kathiawadis and Sindhis.

Nature of horses:

Spirited but responsive and intelligent.

Height of horses:

14.2 - 16hh

Weight limit:

85kg

Tack type:

Indian cavalry saddles which are strong, simple and comfortable for riding (and for the horse).

 

Travel Advice



Please ensure you read the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice before you travel.
 

Ride Description

This charming hotel is home to one of the biggest stud farms for Marwari horses in India. It has been in the same family for decades and offers regular stationary rides and riding lessons, the family taking great delight in sharing their passion for horses and riding with guests. The tranquility and peace of the lavish hotel grounds are a wonder for guests who wish to experience nature, relaxation and some excellent horse riding on these beautiful Indian horses with their curly touching ears.

The horses here are famed for their quality and breeding and for their participation in international endurance races of 60 to 100kms in Shekhawati. They are extremely hardy, have great stamina and offer a spirited but responsive ride. The hotel welcomes riders of all standards and ages, offering lessons to those who would like them and rides out. The horses here are very well cared for and kept in excellent condition - watching them gallop into the stable yard for dinner each night is a sight not to be missed!

The hotel itself was originally built as a country house on 150 acres of land, mainly used for stabling and grazing the family's favourite horses. The beautiful and lush surroundings soon meant that it became a permanent residence of the royal family. It received a makeover in 1928 and opened its doors to guests in 1981, maintaining much of the original style. It is the ideal base from which to explore the local havelis (mansions with a central courtyard) and colourful bazaars of Nawalgarh, whilst still offering a serene atmosphere and old world charm to escape to. The perfect place to experience the true essence of Rajasthan's hospitality!

Team member Holly has stayed here on a few different occasions and has very fond memories of her stays. Please feel free to get in touch with any questions.

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

Hotel room accommodation with modern amenities. There is 1 suite, 10 deluxe rooms and 15 standard rooms. The rooms are cosy and well furnished with carved furniture, old photographs and miniature paintings.

Each room has an en suite with shower, toilet and sink.

The hotel itself has a variety of other facilities including a swimming pool, billiards room, restaurant and bar, laundry and dry cleaning, bikes for hire, internet access, parking, cloak room, postal service and WiFi in the lounge area.

The hotel restaurant serves Indian cuisine and traditional Rajasthani delicacies. You can enjoy a lovely lounge breakfast in the morning, treating yourself with the fabulous views of the bird varieties and peacocks, or you can dine beneath the star studded sky with their lavish buffet.

 

Activities

There is a swimming pool, billiards room and bike hire on site. Guided bike tours are offered for 2 - 10 people and these can be a half day or full day (additional cost).

Other activities available from the hotel at an additional cost include jeep drives, trekking, camel rides, picnics, folk dances and mehndiwali (Indian tattoos). You can also watch a half hour show of a dancing horse or ride in a camel cart (4 people).

If you are planning to extend your travel sin India beyond your stay at the hotel, then we can certainly recommend tours and trips to some of the countries most famous monuments and natural sights. Please just ask us for more details on these.

 

Further Details

Languages: English.

Health requirements: No specific requirements.

Age limit: None.

Tuition: Can be arranged.

Included: Shared room accommodation, use of hotel facilities, half day or full day horse rides. Breakfast is included but full or half board possible.

Not included: Flights, travel insurance, airport transfers, drinks or extra activities.

 

Travel Information

It is recommended that you fly into New Delhi or Jaipur and then travel to Nawalgarh by road. Jaipur is the closer of the two airports, at roughly 2h45 by road, and connecting flights from Delhi can certainly be booked. Delhi is the easier to reach from Europe but is around 6 hours by road from the hotel.

We recommend booking your airport transfers with tour operator Royal Expeditions based in India: www.royalexpeditions.com

This company works regularly with the hotel and knows it very well. They are efficient and very friendly, regularly driving into Nawalgarh from Delhi and Jaipur. You can specify what type of vehicle you would prefer and all are air-conditioned. Vehicles are available to take anything up to 8 passengers at any one time and generally, the more passengers there are, the cheaper the transfers become.

We can help you with all of these arrangements, as well as booking other tours in India after your trail.

Airport: Sanganer International Airport, Jaipur

Alternative Airport: Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi

 

Programmes


Stationary Programme



A stationary programme offering full board hotel accommodation and either half day or full day rides leaving from the hotel. Riding lessons can also be arranged for you at the hotel stables. Staying at the hotel means you can experience the peace and tranquility of the grounds and the old charm of the rooms, relaxing when out of the saddle.

All standards and ages of rider can be accommodated, though the Marwari horses are generally spirited and responsive rides and so those with some experience will be better suited to the rides out.



Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 6
Ability description: Beginner - Experienced
Type of ride: Based rides.
Total riding time: Half day or full day rides. It is recommended that you only ride half days in April due to the heat (early morning rides are best).
Departure dates: All year round except for May and June (too hot for riding). Summer days are hot but you can ride out early morning and monsoon time (July and August) could well be very wet!
 
Pricing: 2020:

Accommodation only rate: per day / per week (7 nights)

Double room (B&B): £40 / £283 per person
Double room (Half board): £47 / £330 per person
Double room (Full board): £54 / £378 per person

Single room (B&B): £74 / £519
Single room (Half board): £81 / £566
Single room (Full board): £94 / £661

* suites are also available at an additional cost - please enquire.

Horse riding (per person):
1 hour (hack or lesson): £27
half day ride (2-3 hours): £67
full day ride (5 hours, with picnic lunch): £148


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.



Marwari Horses and Indian Culture



This is a seven night stationary programme, based out of Roop Niwas Kothi, designed to combine the best riding, sightseeing and cultural activities of the area. The programme can be adapted to suit families or groups as required but it can be confirmed for just one rider. We will try to match up single travellers where possible to create a more sociable atmosphere but many riders have stayed here alone and always feel welcome. 

Day to Day Itinerary:

Day 1 – Arrival:

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:

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):

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

Time to say farewell. You will be transported back to Jaipur after breakfast (or when your flight requires it).



Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 8
Ability description: All levels can be catered for - less experienced riders can switch out the full day ride for something else.
Type of ride: Stationary programme.
Total riding time: Riding on 5 days to include a riding assessment in the paddocks, 3 half day rides and 1 full day ride.
Departure dates: 2020: dates available on request from September to March. We can offer an adapted programme for April, July or August but riding is not available in May or June since it is too hot.
 
Pricing: 2020:

£1483 per person.

The price includes transfers from and to Jaipur airport (2h45), 7 nights of single room accommodation, all meals from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day, riding and sightseeing as detailed in the programme, full body massage and henna tattoo.

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.