Ride the back roads of Rajasthan, India. Cycling through fascinating towns like the blue city of Jodhpur & Lake city of Udaipur, to the ancient desert hamlets and oasis of Marwari forts. This bike tour starts and finishes in Delhi, staying in historic palaces, fortresses and Havalis along the way. You'll cycle through rural farmlands, desert scrubland, and mountain passes, exploring temples and shrines from all faiths throughout history along the journey.
If "variety is the spice of life", India is the dish for you.
Rajasthan is one of India's most captivating states, famed for its Rajput forts and palaces, desert villages, spice markets and the warmth of its people. However the deserved popularity of Rajasthan's key sights sometimes leaves scant room for a sense of adventure. Touring by bicycle is the perfect antidote to this and, as well as some of the big drawcards like Jodhpur, Rankapur and Udaipur, our back-road cycle route takes us through barren desert and lush oasis to remote villages where traditional Rajasthani life continues untouched by the outside world, as it has done for centuries.
The exact back-country tour route we take between Jodhpur and Udaipur is a closely guarded secret, but distances covered are between 40km and 100km a day, and the route progresses from the flatlands south of Jodhpur, climbing up to the Araveli Hills towards the end of the journey. Along the way we take rest stops at the principal attractions as well as at a few places where you'll have the chance to experience rural Rajasthan firsthand. Indeed you may well find that the highlight of your bike tour is a chance encounter with a pink-turbaned man miles from anywhere, or maybe a shared Rajasthani family meal. That is the beauty of this trip!
13 days duration
502 km distance
Trip Features & Tour Inclusions
What makes a Grasshopper bike tour so special?
Find out how your next ride goes the extra mile.
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No matter where we are some things don’t change. Great bikes are essential to a great cycle tour. All the bikes we use are quality imported GT bikes in all sizes. with appropriate tires, lockout front suspension and hydraulic disc brakes. Set up for touring these bikes are perfectly suited to the distances and terrain we cover. Sizes available to suit all heights.
Grasshopper bike tours have always focused on quality riding and experiences. Accommodation and cuisine play a large part in this. Our focus on accommodation and cuisine is to deepen the richness of your experiences. Staying, wherever possible, in beautiful, unique places, that reward you after a day's cycling. Food is equally important, we understand the importance of a quality meal after a ride. But it can also be part of the experience, we will open horizons in your culinary adventure, with delicious and exciting local fare. From mouth-watering snacks presented mid-ride to the adventurous tasting of local delicacies you will never go hungry on a Grasshopper bike tour!
This India bike tour has been hand crafted by our Expedition Engineer, Blair Coburn. Blair, or one of our other Expedition Engineers will accompany you on this tour. This team brings with them a wealth of knowledge on all things Asian, and all are highly experienced in the delivery of outstanding expeditions. They will also be supported by a well informed, English speaking local guide who can provide unique insights on the local customs, cultures and landscapes.
All hotel nights are in comfortable 3-5 star hotels, most of which are beautifully restored heritage properties with swimming pools. There is also one night travel by private air conditioned first class carriage on an overnight train.
Pioneering bicycle tours have the same Grasshopper support systems as our regular cycle tours. Groups of 4-8 guests will be accompanied by our expert local guide and our expedition leader. For groups of 8 or more, we will be joined by a cycle mechanic. Our support crew are always on hand to help tired riders whenever needed.
Full vehicle support follows riders at every step of the tour. The vehicles carry your luggage and bikes when not in use and there is always a comfortable seat when needed.
Energy bars and electrolyte drinks as well as delicious local snacks are provided to keep your energy up for the riding.
Take It Home
A beautiful souvenir Grasshopper cycling jersey is yours to wear and take home. We also provide a Grasshopper drink bottle as an extra memento from your bike tour.
This is one of the few tours where we work with partners. In the remotest parts of Asia, we have worked very hard to seek out the finest partner businesses to work alongside us to create bike tours that are unique to Grasshopper. These businesses share the same attention to details and customer centred focus, working together to bring you the best possible cycle tour. Importantly, each tour is comprehensively researched in advance by the Expedition Leader.
Our pioneering bicycle tours are designed for those who crave the edge of adventure, the wilds, the remote, the unusual. Those willing to push their limits for an insight into the less explored. The locations of our pioneering tours are on the more remote, less travelled roads, tracks and trails across Asia. We travel beyond the usual tourist areas.
Being pioneers doesn't stop us doing what we do best! The Grasshopper attention to details and quality service is ever present throughout all of our tours. From the time you arrive to the time you leave the details are taken care of. There are no additional (hidden) costs to our tours.
4 to 14
This pioneering cycle tour is guaranteed for a minimum of 4 travellers. And we limit the group size to only 14 travellers so that you get all the attention you want in an intimate group.
There is no surcharge for single travellers - we will match you with another same sex single traveller. If you want a single room there is a an optional upgrade that you can book.
Bike Tour Itinerary
for Riding the Real Rajasthan
Delhi - Arrival Day
You arrive into modern India. The nations capital compresses all of India’s identity into one city, it is all things to all people. This singularity is intensily exhilarating. The streets are full of personalities from 1.3 billion different walks of life, buildings of cutting edge modern architecture neighbouring 2000 year old structures standing proudly through the test of time. This evening of we have an introduction to the tour ahead and get to know one another over a local meal in the centre of this vibrant city.
Overnight Train to Rajasthan
We spend the day exploring Delhi. Being expertly guided through the old and new aspect of the city. We are shown the diversity of India, visiting beautiful Hindu, Sikh & Islamic places of worship. We use all of our senses to navigate the markets of “Old Delhi”, take a breath of fresh in many manicured parks, littered with ancient tombs and shrines and visit the impressive parliament buildings. In the evening we take an overnight 1st class sleeper train to the start point of our ride through Rajasthan.
After arriving in Rajasthan and disembarking from our train cabins, we take a short transfer to have breakfast in an old palace. Then we continue our drive out to Khimsar, stopping briefly to experience a special local temple. Once we have arrived at our fortress accommodation, we are fitted to our bikes and take a short ride around the fort and out to the sand dunes for sunset drinks. Before heading back to the hotel for New Year’s Eve dinner and celebrations.
Osain - Cultural Camel Camp
Today we begin our epic journey across Rajasthan, we set off for Osain. Through the farmland, spotting large antelope amongst the poppy fields. Stop at local Jain & Goddess temples along the way, before settling for the night at a camel camp. This luxury tented camp is situated on the edge of the Thar desert. Treat yourself to a camel ride catching sunset on the dunes, before you enjoy the delishious local dinner and entertainment.
Jodhpur -The Blue City
This morning we set off early on our ride to discover the famous blue city of Jodhpur and it’s magnificent Mehranrarh fortress. We ride out of the desert and make our way through the scenic agricultural lands scattered with small ancient villages that have been there for centuries. These villages become larger and increasingly modern as we approach the city. We transfer from the outskirts into the heart of the city where we reach our destination a beautifully preserved heritage Haveli outside the old market square.
Our guide will then take us up to explore the imposing Mehranrarh fort with stunning views of the “blue city”.
Rohet - Ancient Oasis
Today is a day of desert palaces as we ride ride out of the old city of Jodhpur to have lunch in Jhalamand Garh and then by the end of the day we will be riding dusty lanes through the desert to Rohet. These roads are as old as time. Used by Marwari then Rajput traders to navigate the treacherous lands between the different warlord kingdoms. The ride ends at historic Rohet Garh, set next to a desert oasis this Rajput stately home is beautiful and comes complete with swimming pool and massage therapy to take the edge off the saddle sore! We will take a trip out to visit local villages among the sand dunes where different tribal communities have very unique ways of living and produce interesting handy crafts.
Jojowar - Heritage Home from Home
This is the longest ride of the tour today. After a few kilometers on the main road, we pay thanks to our safe travel at a shrine to motorcycles (and all travelers), then take a beautiful desert odyssey on narrow farm lanes through picturesque and friendly Rajasthani villages Looking out for the herds of camels (and cows, as always). The journey ends at a 250-year old fort at Jojowar where you can relax and rest on the swinging Jhoola by the pool. This evening’s dinner is set in the open courtyard, warmed by open fires, served by mustachioed waiters dressed in the traditional style.
Jojowar - Rest Day
Relax, rest your legs and enjoy your 250-year old surroundings. Take a swim or treat yourself to a massage after yesterday's long ride. Explore the local village and barter with locals for beautifully made handicrafts. Or take a breath-taking excursion through the hills on a vintage old toy train, over valley bridges and through mountain tunnels. The day is yours to choose.
Ranakpur - Foothills of the Aravelli Range
Today we continue our journey, as we ride the landscape starts to change dramatically. From sandy scrubland, we ride through villages, across boulder strewn plateaus, towards the ever growing Aravelli range. We overnight in the a lush wooded valley of Ranakpur. The last stop before the mountains of Aravelli, Ranakpur is a popular holiday destination for local families with it’s beautiful forests, cool climate and jaw dropping Jain temple. In the afternoon we'll have some time to explore the intricate Jain Temple complex, as well as just relax and enjoy the hotel’s amenities.
Kumbalgarh - 'The Wall' of India
Although only a relatively short ride, the route from Ranakpur up to Kumbhalgarh is the most challenging. As we start to climb up into the Aravelli Hills, the terrain here is completely different from the rest of our ride and we will pass small hill-side hamlets and villages and see traditional ox-drawn wells as we work our way through the undulating hill-scape to our destination. Deep in the heart of the Aravelli hills is the incredible hilltop fortress of Kumbhalgarh. With the world’s second largest man-made wall creating the impenetrable defenses of the Marwar kingdom, this fortress is an awe-aspiring sight.
Udaipur - The City of Lakes
Our final day cycling takes us down from the heights of the Araveli Hills and one of Rajasthan’s most important forts and travel to one of it’s most important cities. We ride the long descents through the many ancient mountain villages. Into the desert lowlands famous for their rose water and healing elixirs, until we reach the palace of the famous warrior Pratap Singh, where we end our ride and transfer into the fabled lake city of Udaipur. The glow of the city lights reflecting on the waters of the lake make a romantic backdrop for our dinner tonight.
Today we will explore the the many wonders of the white city. Our sightseeing trip will visit the exquisite City Palace, fascinating Jagdish Temple and the lofty Monsoon Palace. In the evening we will celebrate the end of the tour with a delicious Udaipur dinner.
Then we board an evening flight back to Delhi.
Delhi - Departure Day
Today we say our goodbyes after check out. Our hotel is conveniently situated close to the airport and also the new train-line into Delhi city or beyond. We are more than happy to help you with any transfers or onward travel plans you may have.
What's the Riding Like?
Can get cold at night
8 days riding
India's state of Rajasthan offers a variety of cycle terrain. This bike tour follows predominantly small, flat, country roads and lanes with little traffic and some occasional stretches on busier roads. To mix it up a little there are two days of hill riding at the end of the tour. A support vehicle is always on hand throughout the entire trip to give you a lift if you need a break from the riding.
What our guests tell us...
Just a selection of reviews from 2016's Rajasthan tour...
Riding Rajasthan was an amazing trip. The trip provided a great insight into Rajasthan - the food, the people, the history. Every day was a surprise. The highlights were often the unexpected people and things we happened to come across. The riding was really interesting and the food and accommodation was amazing.
We’re 60, live in regional Australia, and have liked occasional rides along local country roads in light traffic. So going to India and ‘Riding the Real Rajasthan’ was something very, very new, and turned out to be an absolute, wonderful eye-opener. The “Land of Kings” exceeded expectations! We’ve travelled countries where the landscapes, ‘things-to-do’, hotels, even eating spots all merge into a single hazy memory. India was different!
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