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Rajasthan Cycle

India Cycle CHALLENGING
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About the Challenge

India offers a broad diversity of landscapes, people and wildlife, with an incredible mix of colourful cultures and a sense of history at every turn.

We travel to the desert state of Rajasthan, where our exciting ride takes us through an historic area known for its characteristic old forts, painted houses and maharajah’s palaces – some of which we stay in overnight. Trip highlights include the pink city of Jaipur, Ranthambore National Park, and the old abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri. We then celebrate our achievements at India’s most iconic monument, the graceful Taj Mahal.

The long hot days in the saddle make for a demanding trip, but there are plenty of rewards for your efforts along the way! This is a truly unforgettable experience.


Rajasthan Cycle

10 DAYS
  • We arrive and connect onto our flight to Jaipur, capital of Rajasthan, India’s largest state. We transfer to our hotel and relax! Night hotel.

  • Jaipur is known as the Pink City because of the terracotta colour of many of its buildings, and we spend a whole day exploring its many sights. The setting for ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ films, it’s a fascinating city and gives us a good cultural introduction to India, whose frenetic and vibrant street-scenes assault the senses wonderfully but can be a shock to the system! We visit Amber Fort, a magnificent ornately-decorated hill-top fort perched above the city; there are stunning views over the surrounding area. Look out for monkeys playing on the fort walls! We also have time to visit the famous Observatory, or Jantar Mantar – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and the City Palace, and see the striking Hawa Mahal, or ‘Palace of the Winds’, which is actually just a facade. Heading back to our hotel, we have time to check our bikes and prepare our kit before dinner and a full briefing. Night hotel.

  • After an energising breakfast, we set out on our Rajasthan adventure! After an hour’s transfer out of the busy city, we unload the bikes and start pedalling. Heading out into the countryside, we are able to appreciate the scenery around us: beautiful green-brown hills surround us, dotted with small trees and scrub, hill-top forts silhouetted against the sky. The roads are fairly quiet now, but we’ll see bicycles, motorcycles and camels pulling carts laden with all manner of produce. We head east to the 11th-century village of Bhanderej, passing small villages and plots of farmland. Our route is predominantly flat, but it’s a long, hot day of cycling! A short transfer will take us the last 15km to our hotel, unless our group pace allows us time to ride the whole distance. We stay in a wonderful Maharaja’s palace. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx 75km (or 90km) / 5 – 6 hours; drive approx 1 hour

  • Our route today follows trails made by the many pilgrims, traders and armies whose journeys reflect the rich cultural history of this region. We follow small roads and tracks through villages and agricultural land, passing Hindu settlements, temples and shrines, and start to gain a real insight into the way of local life. Photogenic blue-painted Brahmin houses stand out from the natural colours of the land: Brahmins are the high priestly rank of the caste system. Vibrantly-clad children wave to us as we pass their houses and brightly-coloured truck-buses pass us, passengers riding on the roofs. We reach a larger road and follow it to the town of Lalsot, where we load up in the vehicles for the last 50km to Ranthambore National Park – famous for its magnificent tigers and the Project Tiger conservation project. There are many other species living here, including samba, cheetah, wild boar, leopard, sloth bear, jackal and hyena. We stay in a hotel just outside the Park. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx 70km / 5 – 6 hours; drive approx 1.5 hours

  • Our day starts with an exciting safari into Ranthambore National Park, where we can spot wildlife from canters (open minibuses). Formerly a hunting ground for Maharajas, the National Park is one of Rajasthan’s few areas of lush jungle and grassland and forms a great contrast to the landscapes we have seen so far. The terrain is diverse with open bush, dense forest, grassland and jungle, and we can enjoy the views of the surrounding steep craggy hills while keeping alert for signs of wildlife. If we are very lucky we may see a tiger basking in the sun or ambling down a track. After our safari is over, we leave the green forest behind and head off on our bikes on small tarmac roads through scenic villages and fields growing crops and fruit. We arrive in lovely Karauli, an ancient holy city dotted with bright blue buildings and home to an impressive palace – we should have plenty of time to explore. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx 30km / 2 - 3 hours; drive approx 2 hours

  • We continue our Indian adventure, heading north over hillier terrain through more villages and towns. We’ll be more used to the sights around us now, and we gain a greater insight into the lives of the local people with every mile that we pedal! The landscapes we ride through become more agricultural, and we pass more small villages and people tending crops on the cultivated land. The diverse scenes of local life become one of the highlights of the trip for most people. We drive the last section to our hotel. If we have enough time (and energy!) we can then ride to the nearby Keoladeo National Park, home to hundreds of bird species. In order to preserve the park and wildlife, bicycles are the only vehicle permitted – and the best way to explore the water marshes which attract thousands of water birds. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx 75km / 5 – 6 hours; drive approx 1 hour

  • We set off, enjoying our last morning’s cycle through picturesque rural India, with its fascinating villages, waving children, and colourful traffic. We are heading to the impressive ‘ghost’ city of Fatehpur Sikri. Capital of the Mughal Empire, it was built in the 16th century and abandoned little more than 10 years afterwards. Now its almost-perfectly-preserved sandstone buildings, which include mosques, palaces and living areas, allow an unique glimpse into the civilisation – and an impressive backdrop for our grand finale group photos! We then load up onto the vehicles and leave the city’s rocky ridge as we drive towards Agra on busier roads through more built-up areas. Agra itself is a huge, modern city with some beautiful historic landmarks – the most famous of which is the iconic Taj Mahal, which we’ll visit tomorrow. At our hotel we can wash off the dust and relax! Night hotel.

    Cycle approx 45km / 3 – 4 hours; drive approx 1 – 2 hours

  • The Taj Mahal at sunrise is an unmissable experience and a wonderful finale to our Indian challenge. This incredible monument – built by the Emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial to his wife in the 17th century – changes hue as the sun grows stronger and the shadows recede. We have plenty of time to explore and soak up the peaceful atmosphere. We then drive back to Delhi and celebrate our amazing achievement with an evening of celebrations. Night hotel.  (Dinner not included)

  • Enjoy a more leisurely start than we’ve been used to, then we transfer to the airport for our flight home. (Lunch not included if not in-flight)


Prices may vary depending on date.

  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £299 Fundraising target £3,950 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £299 Fundraising target £2,950 Tour Cost £500.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £299 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £1,750 Airline Taxes £225.00 Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 or 6 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 or 4 weeks prior to trip departure

    WHAT'S INCLUDED

    • All return transport from London to Jaipur / Delhi to London
    • All meals except where specified and accommodation
    • Rapid fire gear shifters front suspension mountain bike
    • Discover Adventure leaders/mechanics; doctor with group of 15 or more participants; local guides 7 cooks
    • Local support and back-up equipment
    • Entry to Taj Mahal and any other sites included in the itinerary

    WHAT'S EXCLUDED

    • One or two meals (depending on flight schedules) as specified in the itinerary
    • Cycle helmet (compulsory) and water bottles
    • Travel insurance
    • India entry visa
    • Personal spending money, souvenirs and drinks
    • Tips for local guides and support crew
    • Inbound airport departure tax (no tax applied at the time of writing)
    • Fees for any optional sites, attractions or activities
    • Airline taxes: we cap these so that £250.00 is the maximum you will pay
    • Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions

     

    Download Challenge Details
  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £299 Fundraising target £3,950 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £299 Fundraising target £2,950 Tour Cost £500.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £299 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £1,750 Airline Taxes £225.00 Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 or 6 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 or 4 weeks prior to trip departure

    WHAT'S INCLUDED

    • All return transport from London to Jaipur / Delhi to London
    • All meals except where specified and accommodation
    • Rapid fire gear shifters front suspension mountain bike
    • Discover Adventure leaders/mechanics; doctor with group of 15 or more participants; local guides 7 cooks
    • Local support and back-up equipment
    • Entry to Taj Mahal and any other sites included in the itinerary

    WHAT'S EXCLUDED

    • One or two meals (depending on flight schedules) as specified in the itinerary
    • Cycle helmet (compulsory) and water bottles
    • Travel insurance
    • India entry visa
    • Personal spending money, souvenirs and drinks
    • Tips for local guides and support crew
    • Inbound airport departure tax (no tax applied at the time of writing)
    • Fees for any optional sites, attractions or activities
    • Airline taxes: we cap these so that £250.00 is the maximum you will pay
    • Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions

     

    Download Challenge Details
  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £299 Fundraising target £3,950 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £299 Fundraising target £2,950 Tour Cost £500.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £299 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £1,750 Airline Taxes £225.00 Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 or 6 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 or 4 weeks prior to trip departure

    WHAT'S INCLUDED

    • All return transport from London to Jaipur / Delhi to London
    • All meals except where specified and accommodation
    • Rapid fire gear shifters front suspension mountain bike
    • Discover Adventure leaders/mechanics; doctor with group of 15 or more participants; local guides 7 cooks
    • Local support and back-up equipment
    • Entry to Taj Mahal and any other sites included in the itinerary

    WHAT'S EXCLUDED

    • One or two meals (depending on flight schedules) as specified in the itinerary
    • Cycle helmet (compulsory) and water bottles
    • Travel insurance
    • India entry visa
    • Personal spending money, souvenirs and drinks
    • Tips for local guides and support crew
    • Inbound airport departure tax (no tax applied at the time of writing)
    • Fees for any optional sites, attractions or activities
    • Airline taxes: we cap these so that £250.00 is the maximum you will pay
    • Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions

     

    Download Challenge Details

Detailed Information

  • Group flights leave from London Heathrow or Gatwick, (we regret that we are unable to book connecting flights), and are booked through Discover Adventure Ltd under ATOL licence 5636. By travelling with Discover Adventure you are protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We do not always use the same airline for each destination; if you wish to know the probable carrier please call for details. You will usually receive confirmed flight details several months before departure. Our itineraries are always based on current flight schedules and are therefore subject to change by the airline. If you prefer to book your own flights please ask us for a land-only cost.

  • Accommodation is usually on a twin-share basis in hotels or camp. Occasionally we may use hostel-style accommodation. Please tell us if you know somebody else on the trip that you would like to share with and we will try our best to accommodate your request. If you don't know anyone else in the group don't worry, we always pair you up with someone of the same gender, and a similar age where possible. We do not charge a single supplement if you are a solo traveller.

  • Hotels are comfortable and clean with private facilities, and vary from simple city hotels to former maharaja’s palaces which are wonderful insights to the region’s history as well as fantastic places to stay. Although standards are generally very good, please do not expect palaces every night!

  • The food provided is plentiful, often local in style and freshly-cooked, and will give you plenty of energy. Sometimes we enjoy a buffet-style lunch-stop, other times we might have packed lunches. On some trips we stop at small local restaurants. Dinners are generally eaten in camp or at the hotel, depending on accommodation. In some regions there may be less variety than you are used to, and in others fresh meat or produce can be harder to come by. Any meals not included are listed in the itinerary and are generally on travel / free days, giving you the opportunity to explore and try other culinary experiences! There is always something to suit different budgets.

    Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. Please do not expect as much variety as you would have access to at home – we may be in very rural or remote areas and among people of a different culture who may not understand your requirements, however willing they are to help. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat we strongly recommend you bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply. Please feel free to ask us for advice.

  • Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders. Our leaders are selected for their experience in harsh wilderness environments, knowledge of travel in remote areas, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises. They are also trained in expedition first aid. You are in very safe hands with a Discover Adventure leader. Usually leaders are based in the UK or other English-speaking countries and lead for us regularly throughout the year in many different countries. In some instances, trips are led by in-country guides with a wealth of knowledge about the region; they have been trained by us to provide the level of support expected on a Discover Adventure trip.

  • An expedition doctor or medic accompanies the group (dependent on group size.) Their role is to look after the well-being of the whole group and deal with any incidents. They help the leaders to ensure the trip runs smoothly, and encourage you when things get tough. The total number of crew looking after you will depend on the final size of your group, but at Discover Adventure we pride ourselves on our high leader: participant ratio and believe it leads to greater trip enjoyment as well as excellent trip safety.

  • Our local support crew is made up of local guides, assisted by drivers, porters, cooks and other support staff, depending on the type of trip. Local guides know the area well, and are a great source of knowledge about local customs and lifestyles. Not all support crew will speak English well, but are very friendly and approachable. The Discover Adventure crew work closely with the local crew to ensure your trip runs smoothly and safely. 

    Your leader will arrange a collection of tips for the local support crew at the end of your trek, and you will be provided with a guideline amount in advance. Tipping is not obligatory, but once you see how hard they work on your behalf you will be happy to donate something! All our local crew are paid wages, but bear in mind that the average wage in many countries we travel to is far below what you would spend on a normal night out.

  • Your luggage, food, water and equipment is transported for you from one night-stop to the next. If there is easy road access this is done by vehicle; if not porters, mules or even camels might carry your bags, depending on the destination and terrain.

    Space is limited and hard-sided luggage is not suitable, so it is essential that your kit is packed in a soft bag, rucksack or expedition kitbag. Ask us about our specially-designed low-cost kitbags if you don’t have one already. You should also bring a small daypack to carry for items needed during the day as you will not have access to your main luggage until the evening.

  • Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with communication devices (eg phones, radios and/or emergency satellite phones), medical kit and other safety apparatus appropriate to the destination. Our leaders always have access to our 24-hour emergency UK back-up. They are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary, should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration - such as medical questionnaires and travel insurance as appropriate - is all done with your safety in mind.

Preparing for the Challenge

  • We plan our trips around the optimal weather conditions, but could still be exposed to bad weather at any time. It is vital you are prepared for all conditions. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.

  • This is designed to be a challenge, and it is vital that you train sufficiently for it. We will supply you with a thorough training guide once you have registered. We expect all participants to train hard in advance, but we respect everyone’s limits and do not expect everyone to maintain the same pace. Inadequate training is likely to have an impact not just on your chances of completing the challenge, but enjoying it too - and we want you to have the time of your life!

    Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience and fitness, all ages and backgrounds. We design our challenges so that everyone can go at their own pace: this is not a race. For logistical and safety reasons we sometimes need to re-group, so the front-runners may find themselves waiting for the slower ones. Please relax, and remember that this is a team effort that enables people to achieve their personal goals and earn sponsorship.

  • Entry requirements vary depending on your destination and nationality. It is your responsibility to ensure your passport is valid, and any visas are obtained in good time. Check the FCO’s advice on entry requirements for your destination to be sure. To find out if you need a visa you can check requirements on our website; please ensure you allow plenty of time.

    Your routine UK schedule of vaccinations should be up-to-date (especially tetanus). We recommend you check Fit For Travel for further details. You should always check with a GP or travel clinic for up-to-date travel health advice as it does change.

  • For most people, the main attraction of travelling to a different country is to see new sights and enjoy new experiences. Sometimes those new experiences can make life harder or more inconvenient than you may like, such as toilet hygiene or different food, or simply a different attitude to solving problems. This is all part of the challenge you are signing up for! We are very privileged to live in a country with a high standard of living, and travelling exposes us to different challenges – all of which help broaden our horizons. We can guarantee that coming face-to-face with experiences outside your normal ‘comfort zone’ will help you bond with your fellow participants and provide you with plenty of things to laugh about! A sense of humour and sense of adventure are two of the most important things to bring with you!


Testimonials

Jo


Such a thoughtful mind blowing experience that will take days to process everything.

Shirley


A great trip to begin the understanding of Rajasthan.

Isobel


Incredible India it was! A great trip from start to finish.

Cycle Training Weekends

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£160 Special Offer - Only when you book at the same time as registering for your main challenge

Discover Adventure Cycle Training Weekends take place in and around the valleys and ridges of the chalk downs around Salisbury. They are designed to gauge your fitness so that you can be confident you are well prepared for the challenge ahead!

MORE INFORMATION

grade | CHALLENGING (1)

Trip grades range from Challenging (1) to Extreme (5).

CHALLENGING trips involve full days of activity, and are designed to be challenging for those of good health and fitness, but are achievable for most people with a commitment to training and a can-do attitude.

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