Rajasthan Cycling Trip
I have just returned home from a great cycling trip in Rajasthan, India, with Gadventures.
I had no idea who I would be travelling with until I met up with them on my arrival in Delhi. Luckily the other 6 members of our group were lovely people who all played a big part in making the trip so enjoyable. Don & Sherry were a couple from America, Stefan was from Germany, Sarah from England and a lovely couple, Layla & Rachel who were on their honeymoon. Here we are along with our Indian cycle guide Kushal.
We first flew to Uidapur where we would start our cycling trip. We stayed in the lovely Hilltop Palace Hotel and took a boat ride on the beautiful Lake Pichola, which reminded me very much of Venice.
We then visited many other interesting places, such as, Jophpur, Chandelao, Chandraguptar, Sawarda, Tordi Garh, Ranthambore Nation Park, Karauli and Agra.
Many of the places we visited were amazing and most of them far exceeded my expectations. One of these places was the beautifully renovated fort, Chandelao Garh in Chandelao (see photos below). The rooms were lovely, the swimming pool was fantastic and the service was second to none.
I had a very lucky escape there during the Indian festival of Diwali. We were having a late dinner outside in the rooftop restaurant with lots of fireworks being let off on the streets below. I picked up my glass of beer and raised it to my lips, at that exact moment a stray rocket flew towards us and hit the bottom of my glass and deflected away without hitting anyone! How is that for luck?
The Amber Fort and Palace (below) is located in Amer, 11 kilometres from Jaipur. It was built in the 16th century and was well worth the hours we spent there.
Last but not least was the magnificent Taj Mahal in Agra. Although the air was very polluted, as it apparently is there on most days, it was still a wonder to behold. The Mughal emperor Shah Jahan was grief stricken when his 3rd wife, Mumtaz Mahal, a Persian princess, died during the birth of their 14th child. He ordered the Taj Mahal to be built to house the tomb of his beloved wife. The construction began in 1632 and the main mausoleum was completed in 1648, the surrounding buildings and garden were finished 6 years later.
The people of Rajasthan were very friendly and courteous. I can also honestly say that they were quite surprised and amused by our bright (and tight) cycling gear.
I was a little apprehensive about going on the trip but I ended up enjoying every minute of it. I would certainly recommend the Rajasthan cycling trip to anyone with a moderate level of fitness.