Upon arrival at Delhi airport you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel and your leader will brief the group on the trip. The rest of the day is free to adjust to the sights, sounds and smells of India.
We transfer to New Delhi station to board the early morning Express train to Jaipur. The train takes five hours, reaching Jaipur by lunchtime, giving us the afternoon to wander the city. The famed "Pink City" of Jaipur is the capital of the state of Rajasthan, and was founded in the early 18th century by Maharajah Jai Singh, who moved from Amber to this new site on the plains.
Today is a full day to explore further the city of Jaipur. We visit the City Palace and the Jantar Mantar - the remarkable observatory reflecting Jai Singh's passion for astronomy. There is also the Old City with its bazaars and the Hawa Mahal - the Palace of the Winds, originally built as part of the City Palace complex to allow the ladies of the Royal household to watch the everyday life in the city without themselves being observed. Overnight: Mandawa Haveli
Departing from the outskirts of Jaipur we commence the bike section of our trip. Instruction and bike adjustment will take place this morning. We follow the old road that was once a merchant route between the princely state of Alwar and Jaipur. We continue along the Ramgargh road passing small farm settlements and providing endless entertainment to the villagers who are intrigued at the notion of westerners cycling through India. After 17km of cycling we stop at Ramgarh Dam, once the main water source for Jaipur, before continuing to an ancient brick factory, long since abandoned where we stop for a box lunch. After lunch we continue cycling past small towns until late afternoon where stop near Jaisinghpura and travel by vehicle to Sariska Tiger Resort where we will spend two nights. Overnight: Sariska Tiger Resort
Cycling distance: 65km
We continue riding through timeless India, with lush flowering mustard plantations flanked by overhanging willow trees, and ancient ruins standing as witness to the glorious past of this region. Cycle 10 km to beautiful Siliserh Lake and enjoy lunch at a historical property built by Maharaja Vinay Singh in 1845. We continue our ride to Sariska National Park where our cycling ends for today. Sariska National Park was once home to a significant population of tigers, until a few seasons ago, when poaching reduced numbers. However there are many other animals in the park, and the atmosphere and natural surrounds make the visit very much worthwhile. Return to our hotel the Sariska Tiger Resort.
Cycling distance: 41km
Note: Sariska National Park is closed 1 July to 30 September and alternative sightseeing is a visit to Alwar Fort and our overnight accommodation will be in Sariska Tiger Camp Resort.
We ride through a number of small villages to Rajgarh where we stop for a packed lunch. After lunch we continue cycling another 15km before boarding the bus for the journey to Bharatpur via Mahua. Overnight: Kadam Kunj Resort.
Cycling distance: 38km
Today we begin cycling early to Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. Our bikes provide a wonderful mode of transport to move around and explore the park, where swamplands provide habitats for hundreds of bird species. We will then travel with our vehicle to Fatehpur Sikri, to explore Akbar's deserted capital, before continuing on to Agra. Overnight: Man Singh Palace
Cycling distance: 28km
In the early morning we have a sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal, Shah Jahan's mausoleum for his wife Mumtaz Mahal. We continue to Agra Fort, a fitting testimony to the Great Moghuls – Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan – during the era when Agra was the capital of the Moghul empire. From the Red Fort we'll have more views of the Taj Mahal before driving back to Delhi that afternoon where our trip concludes.