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Land only price£2,865
Duration15 Days

Optional Single Supplement£385

Deposit£25

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Departure Date: 3rd November 2019

India In Slow Motion (Chandrabhaga Cattle Fair)

Itinerary

Day 1: Tour Starts in Udaipur

The tour starts this afternoon in the ‘white city’ of Udaipur. After checking in to our hotel we’ll head out for an orientation tour of the city, before our first group dinner and the chance to talk about the trip ahead.

  • Karohi Haveli or similar
  • Dinner
Day 2: In Udaipur

This morning we’ll head out on a guided tour of some of the key sites in Udaipur such as the City Palace, the Jagdish temple and the beautiful gardens at Saheliyon-ki-Bari. To allow for greater flexibility lunch will be at your own expense today, and this afternoon will be free to wander through the alleys and narrow streets, to take a cooking lesson or even a miniature painting class. We’ll meet later in the day to take a sunset boat ride on Lake Pichola, before heading out for dinner at a local restaurant favoured by Wild Frontiers clients.

  • Karohi Haveli or similar
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3: Udaipur - Chittorgarh - Castle Bijaipur

After breakfast we’ll drive to Chittorgarh to visit the colossal fort that most represents the doomed idea of Rajput chivalry. Chittorgarh was attacked and taken by Muslim invaders on three separate occasions and always with the same result; Jauhar being declared - and while the men donned the saffron robes of martyrdom and rode out to certain death - the women consigned themselves to the flames on a huge funeral pyre. From here we’ll continue to Castle Bijaipur. This wonderful castle – parts of which date back 360 years – is run by the ruling family, our friend Narendra Singh and his clan, and is the perfect place to relax. Once we’ve settled in we’ll take an orientation walk of the castle and surrounding village, before heading back in time for dinner.

  • Castle Bijaipur or similar
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4: At Castle Bijaipur

This morning we will visit a local school that Wild Frontiers supports to spend some time with the children and to see how a local rural education establishment works. We’ll also visit some of the nearby villages to learn about the culture and activities of the community. After lunch and some time to relax we hope to experience a traditional opium ceremony at the castle (please be aware that this is the plan but, as always when trying to organise such activities things don't always work out quite how we'd like so your understanding and flexibility is greatly appreciated). From here we will visit a local farm for drinks before returning to the castle in time for dinner. If you prefer you can instead enjoy the optional activities at Castle Bijaipur like cycling and horse riding today. Please note optional activities at Castle Bijaipur are at your own expense and can be paid for locally.

  • Castle Bijaipur or similar
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5: Castle Bijaipur - Athana - Pangarh Lake

After breakfast we’ll drive for an hour or so to Athana, a large village that has a great deal of old world charm. On arrival there will be time for a leisurely stroll through the village and the chance to visit the crafts workshops – Athana is famous for carpet making – before moving on to visit the hand block printing village of Tarapur. The printers in Tarapur still use 100% natural dyes and prepare colours with techniques that are centuries old. The fabric is made locally from natural fibres like cotton, silk, jute, etc. From here we’ll drive to Pangarh Lake for the rest of the day. Set on the banks of a beautiful lotus lake and surrounded by hills on all sides, the village of Pangarh is 1,000 years old and to this day the villagers hunt fish using spears in the marshy waters of the lake, famous for its abundance of seasonal lotus flowers. After lunch we will take a walk to the nearby ruined fort, before heading back to spend the evening out beneath the stars sleeping in fixed tents.

  • Fixed Camp or similar
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6: Pangarh Lake - Bundi

After an early breakfast we’ll drive east towards Bundi. On the way we will stop at the old town of Bijoliya to see its small castle and temples, most of which is still inside the fortress walls that take you back to the 18th century. From here we’ll continue to the Menal temple complex of the Maurya Dynasty. Here we can see examples of Khajuraho erotic iconography dating back 1,000 years. After visiting the temples we’ll journey further east, crossing the biggest sandstone mining area in India, arriving at the beautiful town of Bundi. Carrying the same relaxed feeling of Udaipur – only with a fraction of the tourists – Bundi comprises many narrow alleys and streets, a colourful vegetable market and a stunning city palace for us to explore and visit.

  • Bundi Vilas or similar
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7: In Bundi

After breakfast we’ll head out on a tour of the small city of Bundi, seemingly untouched by modernisation. Bundi is famous for its bangle makers and brass pottery but the real attraction is the stunning fort and palace, which we’ll enjoy a guided tour of. We’ll have lunch today with a local cooking demonstration, from where we’ll visit the bazaar, the Kipling palace and the royal cenotaph.

  • Bundi Vilas or similar
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8: Bundi - Jhalawar

This morning we head south for Jhalawar, stopping on the way to visit the spectacular Gagron Fort. Surrounded by the Vindhyan Hills and the waters of the Ahu and Kalisindh rivers on three sides, this UNESCO World Heritage site makes for an impressive structure. On arrival in Jhalawar we’ll receive a royal welcome at the residence of the former Maharaja of Jhalawar in the families former hunting lodge. It’s a stunning place - more akin to a museum than a family home, and in the evening we’ll have dinner and take the chance to unwind and relax.

  • Prithvi Vilas or similar
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9: In Jhalawar (Main Festival Day)

After a leisurely breakfast we will take our first trip to the Chandrabhaga Cattle Fair - a truly spectacular event spread over some 100 acres - and take a look at the horses and other animals on sale. From here we’ll walk down to the famous Chandrabhaga Temples that date back to 700AD. Chandrabhaga loosely translates as ‘the place of moon worship’ and every year on the auspicious day – when the fish God Matsya becomes reborn as the full moon rises – thousands of pilgrims come to offer pujas and submerge themselves in the holy river. It is believed that by doing so all sins of the past 12 months can be washed away. We’ll then take lunch back at the palace and in the afternoon, stroll through the fascinating walled city and visit the famous Jhaldappatan sun temples. The rest of the afternoon will be spent relaxing at the palace before cocktails and dinner in the evening.

  • Prithvi Vilas or similar
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10: In Jhalawar

Today there will be another chance to visit the spectacular cattle fair, before heading into Jhalawar as there is so much to see and do here as well. For a start, the palace – the present Maharaja’s grandfather’s former hunting lodge – is so amazing you could easily spend a day just relaxing in the quiet grounds! The city itself is worth having a look around with a fine palace and library. In addition we’ll visit the nearby pilgrimage town of Jhalrapatan, one of the purest towns that remain to be seen in India today. Although more than 800 years old the town is very well planned, most of it still lying within the city walls that were built to defend against local dacoits and looters. The town has some beautiful temples and a very nice market. Right outside the city walls are the famous temples of Chandrabhaga. From here we will return to Jhalawar for dinner.

  • Prithvi Vilas or similar
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 11: Jhalawar - Barnagar

This morning we’ll drive south for around 5 hours to Ujjain, where we’ll visit the only temple in India dedicated to the alcohol drinking god of death, Kal Bhairay. From here we’ll continue to Fort Amla. Established by the descendants of Bappa Rawal, the fort boasts of a proud heritage with bold sweeping arches and long open terraces, and is another opportunity for us to stay in a place full of character. The Fort offers authentically decorated guest rooms and staying here among the faded history and its charming simplicity provides a contrasting reflection against the modern world.

  • Fort Amla or similar
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 12: Barnagar - Fort Ahilya

This morning we continue south to visit the impressive ruined Mughal era city at Mandu. After a guided tour of the site we’ll head for Maheshwar and Ahilya Fort, where you’ll experience a stay straight out of the 18th century. Situated above the banks of the sacred Narmada River, it was once the capital of one of India's celebrated women rulers, Ahilya Bai Holkar. Her fortress has been converted into a wonderful heritage hotel of discrete charm, where guests can appreciate surroundings which have not changed since Ahilya Bai. Her Wada palace is simple and elegant; built in 1766 it is a typical example of the Maratha architecture of that period. On arrival we will check in and enjoy our first group dinner at this stunning heritage property.

  • Ahilya Fort
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Days 13-14: At Fort Ahilya

We now have 2 full days to relax at this gorgeous location. We can visit the local handloom manufacturers of the Maheshwari saris, and also visit different villages located on the riverbanks travelling by boat. But really these days in rural India will be for you to unwind and relax amongst this charming setting.

  • Ahilya Fort
Day 15: Fort Ahilya - Indore Airport (Tour Finishes)

We’ll enjoy a relaxing morning at this stunning property before having lunch. From here we’ll drive to Indore where our tour ends.

  • Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation

As an overall ethos, wherever possible we aim to use characterful accommodation that enhances the overall travel experience, not just offers a bed for the night. This can obviously vary dramatically from country to country and from trip to trip.

On this trip you will experience some of the most characterful and interesting accommodation the subcontinent can offer: wonderful converted fort hotels, private palaces, old havelis and tented camps - you will not be disappointed.

However this is still India and in certain forts the facilities are sometimes not quite up to a western standard and therefore patience is occasionally required.

Please note that the accommodation mentioned in the itinerary is intended as a guide only and is always subject to availability.

Events

Chandrabhaga Cattle Fair

Each year on the full moon of Kartik Purnima, thousands of devotees gather on the banks of the Chandrabhaga River at Chandravati in Jhalarapatan to take a dip in the river’s sacred waters. It’s believed that as the fish god is reborn so the waters become pure and wash away their sins. Coinciding with this religious event is a spectacular animal fair to which numerous agricultural castes – such as the Rabari – come to buy and sell their camels, horses, cows, bullocks and buffaloes. With the more famous counterpart, Pushkar, these days resembling more a western tourist fair than anything particularly ethnic or indigenous, we believe this a great, truly off the beaten track alternative with all the colour and authenticity that Pushkar held 30 years ago. The fair provides a great opportunity for you to glimpse the religion, culture, trends, traditions, commercial practices and rituals of the people, all at once and without the tourist hordes.

Transport

On this tour we will use minibuses and open sided jeeps.

Climate

The temperature should be pleasant at this time of year, with a day time average of around 15-25oC dropping in the evening to around 5-10oC. It can sometimes feel chilly in the early morning and evenings so it is worth bringing some warmer clothes with you.

Is this trip for me?

It may sound obvious but Wild Frontiers tours are not always for everyone and it is important to us that the tour you choose is the most suitable. Please therefore take time to read the itinerary carefully. All our tours are graded to give an overall picture of the trip but these are only guidelines and you should check the daily itinerary. In certain instances we may ask you to complete a travel questionnaire before confirming your booking in order to ensure your suitability. Should you have any concerns about your ability to partake in any aspect of the tour then please contact the office. 

Key aspects to consider

Anyone in a reasonable state of health, with an open mind and a sense of adventure should be perfectly able to cope with this tour, as many of the activities are optional.

Extensions

If you have more time available, why not arrive early to adjust to a new time zone or just to get a feel for the country before your tour starts? Or alternatively you might choose to allow a few extra days after the tour to relax or to undertake some further exploration.

The choice is completely yours and we can usually arrange anything from simply additional accommodation and transfers to full tailor-made itineraries.

Below is just a small sample of what you could do. Please contact the office for more details and to discuss your individual requirements. 

Aurangabad

Fly south to Aurangabad for a 3 day extension, visiting the impressive UNESCO listed Ellora and Ajanta caves

Beach Extension

Travel to the coast for a few days to relax on the beaches of Kerala or Goa

Tigers

Visit one of the Tiger Parks in Central India, such as Tadoba, Satpura or Kanha

Mumbai

Spend the weekend in Mumbai, visiting the architectural highlights and Elephanta Island

Responsible travel

Responsible travel and sustainable tourism are fundamental ideas that Wild Frontiers has been committed to since our birth. It is our strong belief that these words should not be simply ‘tagged on’ to itineraries and websites but should be at the very core of each trip, and our adventures are therefore designed with the local people, culture and eco-system in mind. We believe that a successful trip not only delivers a unique and unsurpassable journey for our clients, but that it also benefits the peoples whose lands we are privileged to visit.

Women’s Co-operative Sadhna

In Udaipur you will have the opportunity to visit the women’s co-operative.  Sadhna provides women from the tribal, rural and urban slums of Udaipur, with a support network and the oportunity to earn a secure living.  Jointly owned by 700 local women artisans, Sadhna provides handcraft training, teaching methods such as embroidery and patchwork. These women subsequently produce quality fair trade clothing and home furnishings.  During your stay in Udaipur you will have the chance to shop at Sadhna, learn about the craft processes and understand how Sadhna empowers women in the community of Udaipur. www.sadhna.org

*Please note the opening hours & days of operation do vary, so a visit here in your free time can not always be guaranteed.

Getting There

If you would like us to send you a quote for the suggested tour flights or on any alternative flight that may suit you better, please let us know, noting that for our US clients, we will most likely refer you to one of our preferred partners. For this trip our suggested flights from the UK (subject to change) are shown below.

If you wish to arrange your own flights you are completely free to do so and in this case we can arrange any transfers or supplementary accommodation that you may require. However please note that if you are planning on making your own flight arrangements, we recommend that you first check with us to see if the trip is guaranteed. We then suggest that you purchase flights that are flexible and ideally refundable as due to the nature of adventure travel, itineraries and destination accessibility can change at any time. For more information, please refer to our booking conditions.

If you plan to spend time in Indore once the tour has finished, we can arrange for you to be complimentary transferred to our designated post-tour accommodation, once the group tour has finished at Indore Airport. 

Flight Code Departing Arriving
BA 0199 London Heathrow (LHR)
02 Nov 2019 - 20:40
Mumbai Airport (BOM)
03 Nov 2019 - 11:15
AI 643 Mumbai Airport (BOM)
03 Nov 2019 - 14:25
Udaipur Airport (UDR)
03 Nov 2019 - 15:40
6E 587 Indore Airport (IDR)
17 Nov 2019 - 20:00
Mumbai Airport (BOM)
17 Nov 2019 - 21:30
BA 0138 Mumbai Airport (BOM)
18 Nov 2019 - 02:15
London Heathrow (LHR)
18 Nov 2019 - 06:55

Visas

Visas are necessary for many of the destinations we travel to and while we aim to provide you with the most up-to-date information, requirements frequently change and as such for the latest advice we advise that you check with the relevant embassies or contact our recommended visa agency, Travcour www.travcour.com 

For this tour UK passport holders currently require a visa for India.

Non-UK passport holders or non-UK residents should contact the relevant embassies for individual requirements.

Further details will be sent out to you on booking, however ensuring that correct and valid visas are obtained remains the sole responsibility of the client.

Key information

Tour price

All our tours are priced on a land-only basis, giving you maximum flexibility when deciding how to get to and from your tour. For the latest prices, please refer to our website or contact the office.

Deposit

A £500 (or equivalent) deposit is required to confirm your booking. 

Travelling Solo & single supplement

As a company approximately 70% of our clients are solo travellers, so it’s very unlikely you’ll be alone!

Our prices are typically based on twin-share accommodation, but single supplements are not compulsory for any Wild Frontiers tour. If you prefer not to pay a single supplement we’ll pair you with someone else of the same sex for you to share with throughout the trip.

On this trip, if you do opt to pay for a single supplement then please note that it will cover you for all nights of the tour except possibly Bundi Vilas, Prithi Vilas and/or Ahilya Fort. This is due to the small nature of these properties, so single rooms here will depend on overall group size. If we can’t get you a single room at these locations then a reduction in the cost of a single supplement will apply accordingly.

Please note that paying a single supplement entitles you to lone occupancy of a single room. In many cases these rooms will be of the same size as a double/twin room, but in some cases they may be smaller.
 

Insurance

Insurance that provides cover for emergency repatriation in case of a medical emergency is compulsory for all tours. You should be aware that due to some of the geographical areas visited and some of the activities included on certain of our trips some standard insurance policies may not always provide adequate cover. As such we strongly recommend that you purchase a policy that adequately covers your trip. If you choose to purchase the Wild Frontiers bespoke policy through Travel & General (currently available to UK residents only) then please note for this trip the minimum required level of cover will be the Standard policy. Please see the Insurance section for more details.

What's Included

Transport

All transport as required for the tour

Guides

The full services of a Wild Frontiers Tour Leader with local guides where appropriate

Accommodation

All accommodation as outlined in the itinerary

Entrance Fees

All entrance fees for sights mentioned in the itinerary

Meals

Meal plan as detailed in the itinerary with the majority of meals being taken in local restaurants where viable

Airport transfers

Complimentary airport transfers are included for anyone arriving/departing on the suggested group flights (see GETTING THERE for details)

Carbon contribution

A carbon-offsetting contribution to Eco Act (if booking international flights through us)

What's Not Included

Visas & Travel Insurance

Visas will always be tour/nationality dependent but travel insurance is mandatory

Tips

Always optional, but some guidance will be given in the pre-departure information pack you’ll receive after booking

International Flights

Please feel free to ask us for an obligation-free quote

Beverages & any costs of a personal nature

This will include items such as laundry and souvenirs

Additional information

Protection for your money

For further details please see our travelling with peace of mind page

Responsible Travel

For more information, please refer to our responsible travel page

British foreign & Commonwealth office

As advocates of the FCO's Travel Aware campaign, we highly recommend checking out their website for lots of useful information. Non-UK citizens should consult the travel advice of their respective government.

Wild Frontiers Community

If you’re still not sure if this trip is right or just want to see get some different perspectives, then why not have a look at the wide variety of resources we have on our website?

Browse our community section to read our blogs, watch videos and find out about our events.
https://www.wildfrontierstravel.com/en_GB/community

Why Wild Frontiers?

We are frequently asked what makes Wild Frontiers different from other tour operators. Visit our why Wild Frontiers page to find out.

Talk to us about India

Amit

Kanha National Park is a great place for tiger spotting but also a beautiful park, resembling an English meadow.

Speak to one of our team on
+44 (0)20 8741 7390 or use the simple online form below