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India - The Punjab Hola Mohalla Ride
A truly wonderful ride in rural Punjab on fantastic Marwari horses.

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from £2,605 or €2,970

Horse Riding Holidays India – The Punjab Hola Mohalla Trail

PRICES & DATES top

The Punjab Hola Mohalla Trail: Prices 2019

Suitable for intermediate plus riders and non riders.

7 night itinerary
8 plus riders – £2,605/€2,970/$3,585
6 – 7 riders – £2,860/€3,260/$3,940
4 – 5 riders – £2,980/€3,395/$4,105

Single Supplement – £605/€590/$835

10 night itinerary – Includes 3 night non riding extension with famous Shimla Train Journey & ‘Holi, the Hindu festival of colour’
8 plus riders – £3,160/€3,600/$4,350
6 – 7 riders – £3,415/€3,890/$4,705
4 – 5 riders – £3,620/€4,125/$4,9845

Single Supplement – £695/€785/$960

Note: Rates are subject to daily exchange rate fluctuations, please refer to our ‘Terms & Conditions’ for full details.

The Punjab Hola Mohalla Trail:Dates 2019

This is a fixed date departure ride.

7 nights / 15 – 22 March 2019

10 nights / 15 – 25 March 2019
Includes 3 night non riding extension with famous Shimla Train Journey & ‘Holi, the Hindu festival of colour’

Included – All riding, English speaking guide, full board accommodation (except in Delhi where breakfast and only dinner is included and Shimla, where only breakfast is provided), transfers, sight seeing & entrance fees, sectors and all entrance fees. The cost also includes one bottle of water per day on all riding days.

Excluded – Flights, drinks, lunch in Delhi, lunches and dinners in Shimla and expenses of personal nature and tips.

Getting There
International flight to Delhi, the meeting and exit point for the ride.

Transfer
We meet and transfer you to your hotel on the first night in Delhi.

All our horse riding holidays hold a price guarantee. We believe in your piece of mind on price when you book one of our horse riding holidays and will refund the difference should you find the same horse riding holiday elsewhere at a lower price.

SUMMARY OF THE TRIP top

Travel back in time and experience an ancient 17th century Sikh festival entrenched in rich traditions, daredevilry and spirituality.

This a completely new ride in the region of Punjab, which has rich historic culture and topography. With only one set departure date each year the ride will also include a visit to Holi, the famous Indian festival of colours and Shimla (an old summer capital of the British).

It’s an exciting ride spanning Haryana, Punjab and Himachal. The ride showcases the rich topography and culture of all three states culminating at the Hola Mohalla festival, which is a feast for the eyes and an extensive display of local martial arts drawing an international audience every year. The ride also includes the historic train ride to Shimla (the old British summer capital) and the ever colourful festival of Holi.

THE RIDING top

Horses – A beautiful selection of mostly Marwari riding horses, bred and sourced by Ajeet and indigenous to Rajasthan. They have the unusual characteristic of curly ears which can turn 180 degrees, they are usually 15hh to 16hh but as with most breeds today, they are increasing in size up to 17hh.

They have a high, arched head carriage, they are extremely strong and fast paced, especially over the desert terrain. In addition to the normal gaits of the horse, they can also travel at great speed on a smooth gait called the Revall.

Level of Riding & Pace – Intermediate plus riders.

Tack – Mostly snaffles bridles and cavalry style saddles.

Weight Restriction – 90kg / 200lbs / 14 stone.

Group Size – Minimum 4 to a maximum of 10.

ACCOMMODATION top

 

There is a mix of hotels and safari style camps. The hotel are mostly converted forts and palaces, which retain much of their original charm and glamour.

The camps are in beautiful settings, all stand up in size, with comfortable beds. In addition there are seperate shower and toilet facilities with hot water.

The food is great, lots of dishes to choose from Indian and Western style, you will be amazed by what is offered especially when out in camp.

Please Ask About

India is such an interesting place to experience and we can easily arrange and recommend additional culturl highlights, like tours of Delhi and Mumbai and in Rajasthan, a visit to the lake city of Udaipur, the beautiful monument of the Taj Mahal and the Amber fort in Jaipur.

SAMPLE ITINERARY top

Friday 15 March
Arrive in Delhi and transfer to Hotel Vasant Continental. Rooms will be available from midday. Meet the other members of the group and share expectations of the week ahead. This afternoon join a guided tour of Delhi with the group.
Dinner and overnight in Delhi.

Saturday 16 March
You will be transferred to Delhi train station for a train departing at 07.40. The train has comfortable spacious seating as you would find throughout Europe. Arrive Chandigarh at 11:05. You will be met on arrival and transferred by vehicle to Ramgarh (c.22 kms ) and to the Hotel Ramgarh Fort. www.thefortramgarh.com The fort was built 350 years ago and is famous for its huge wooden door, apparently the world’s tallest door.
After lunch at the Fort Ramgarh, you are driven away from the hustle and bustle of town to meet your horses which are ready and waiting for you in the Ghaggar river bed. The riding today mainly follows the river bed and is a good opportunity for you to get to know your horse. Sometimes you climb up onto the banks and ride through small villages.
You finish riding near to the town of Pinjore and, if time, you will make a visit (on foot) to the beautiful Pinjore gardens, one of the oldest gardens in northern India which is laid out on seven terraces. It is a pretty place, particularly at dusk. Later arrive at your tented camp which is within sight of a Sikh temple, called a “gurudawara”.
Overnight in the Tented Camp.

Sunday 17 March
After a delicious breakfast in camp, you set off riding. You mostly follow the river bed with occasional detours through small villages. There is much to see as you ride. Today, as on each day, the grooms and support vehicle will meet you about midday. The horses are untacked and rested and you have a delicious lunch and a chance to rest.
After lunch continue riding following the river bed. It is fascinating to pass by the nomadic people, with their herds of water buffalo, who have set up semi-permanent homes right in the middle of the river. In just a few months, they will move on and their homes will be washed away as the river floods (when the snow melts in the mountains and the monsoon rains arrive).
Later arrive at the town of Siswan and to your accommodation at the lovely Siswan Jungle Lodge. Tonight you are in for a treat with a delicious meal, possibly served in the gardens if the weather is good.
Overnight at Siswan Jungle Lodge. www.siswanjunglelodge.com

Monday 18 March
You are likely to have attracted quite a crowd of onlookers since the horses are corralled almost in the middle of town just across the road from the Siswan Jungle Lodge.
Today your ride continues to follow the river bed, sometimes following the many jeep tracks which cross back and forth. You can only imagine the communication problems when the river is in flood.
Many people live along the river bank in very basic living conditions, but times are moving fast and many people in modest houses have their own tractor.
Have lunch at a shady spot near to a village. The smell of marijuana plants pervades. It is remarkable to see it growing in widespread abundance everywhere, as far as the eye can see. It is used in tea, lassis and also its own crushed smoothies. This may well account for the Nihangs benevolent disposition, as they consume large amounts of the plant in a variety of ways.
As you continue riding after lunch you might see some water buffalo forage and bathe in the shallows. Egrets, grey herons and a variety of raptors feed off the abundant fish and meadow rodents. There are beautiful high cliffs on the left of the river which have been eroded and etched by rain and waterfall into impressive battlements. Ride on crossing and re-crossing the river until you arrive at the town of Nalagarh.
You leave the horses about 3 kms short of Nalagarh and drive the final stretch up to the Nalagarh Fort (a heritage hotel). http://nalagarh.in/
Nalagarh Fort is a gateway to Himachal Pradesh and was built in 1421 during the reign of Raja Bikram Chand. Located in the foothills of the Himalayas it offers panoramic views of the Shivalik hills. It is the most handsome of the many forts in the area and within easy access to the others (Palasi in the plains and Ramgarh , Chamba and Malaon in the hills). The rooms are spacious and comfortable, reflecting its heritage status. There is also a pool, a large communal dining room, and lovely gardens and quiet corners that meander around the hilltop as the fort was added to over the years. The rooftop offers some spectacular views over the surrounding hills with the twinkling domes of the Gurudwaras (Sikh temples) in the distance.
Weather permitting you might have dinner on the rooftop. Overnight at Nalagarh Fort heritage hotel.

Tuesday 19 March
After breakfast drive back to the horses and ride out back to the river bed. It is a fairly short morning ride with a couple of opportunities for fast canters along the tracks until you come close to the ruins of Palasi Fort. You climb up to the Fort for your lunch stop. There is grass for the horses, broken battlements to explore and shady corners to eat and rest in after lunch. After lunch there may well be an opportunity to explore the village, visit a hindu temple and perhaps be invited into one of the village homes. Everyone is very welcoming.
After lunch set off riding again towards Bharatgarh.
Eventually you ride along the side of the canal and will start to see heavily laden motorbikes and lots of tractors pulling trailers full of people. All are flying an orange flag. These are Sikhs either coming from the temple or going to Hola Mohalla.
Your destination tonight is Bharatgarh Fort. www.bharatgarhfort.com
Bharatgarh was built in 1783 and was the most important stronghold of the Singhpuria missile as its location over the banks of the Satluj river gave it a key strategic position.
The area of the fort is about 7 acres and it has 100 acres of forest land. Bharatgarh Fort remains with and is occupied by the descendant family and operates as a private family-run hotel with its own unique charm. The fort is small and compact, well maintained and with wonderful views from the roof-top. The rooms are comfortable and pretty. One very much gets the feeling one is staying in a rather unusual bed and breakfast.
Overnight at Bharatgarh Fort.

Wednesday 20 March
Ride out after breakfast from Bharatgarh Fort. You are now on the home run to the Hola Mohalla and will be riding alongside the canals. These canals run from a huge dam called Bhakra – one of the highest gravity dams in the world. The dam holds excess waters during the monsoon and releases it into this huge network of canals which provide irrigation and run all the way to western Rajasthan – almost 500kms away. The water in the canals flows very fast and is a bright blue.

The back–up vehicle will also negotiate the trails along with increasing numbers of motorbikes and small trucks going to the festival. You may encounter fellow pilgrims who have pitched camps along the canals offering tea and refreshments to any and all who pass by. You break for lunch at Kiratpur a short distance from the river and the grooms are able to bathe the horses in the shallows.
After lunch continue riding along the canal, past a huge dam and to the town of Anandpur Sahib. As you get closer to the town you can hear a huge roar of music and voices coming through loud speakers, as well as the throbbing engine noise and air-horns from turbo-charged tractors and bikes that people are using to get to Anandpur Sahib.
In the late afternoon you arrive at your tented camp near to Gogamedi temple, just on the outskirts of the town of Anandpur Sahib.
All being well, after an early dinner, you may be able to drive into town just to experience a little of the excitement. Everything is lit up with a million fairy lights and there is a huge carnival atmosphere.
Overnight in tented Camp for two nights.

Saturday 21 March
In the morning, after breakfast, you will be driven into the town of Anandpur Sahib.
You should take the opportunity to visit Virasat-e-Khalsa, the beautiful museum of the Sikhs. The museum, opened in November 2011, celebrates 500 years of the Sikh history and the 300th anniversary of the birth of the Khalsa. The architecture is stunning and the exhibits fascinating.
The rest of the day is spent visiting various aspects of the Hola Mohalla. At some point in the day you will return to camp for lunch.
In the afternoon, you return to town. There may be the opportunity to see some displays of horsemanship or to see the martial arts displays. There is colour and excitement everywhere. Later this evening, depending on how much you have seen and how tired you are, you might go back again to town to see further displays.
Overnight at camp.

Sunday 22nd March
This morning those leaving for home will be driven to Chandigarh in time for a train to Delhi.
Those continuing to Shimla will depart by vehicle (about 2 hours’ drive) to the town of Kalka and to the train station.
Shimla is famous as the former summer capital of the British Raj. From the 1860’s the Viceroy of India would move the entire administration between Calcutta and Shimla, a journey of some 1000 miles, to get away from the heat on the plains. The railway between Kalka and Shimla was opened in November 1903. Some facts: it is 96kms long, goes through 102 tunnels and over 886 bridges and climbs from Kalka at 655m to Shimla at 2,100m.
You will be boarding the Himalayan Queentoy train which departs Kalka at 12:10 and arrives Shimla at 17:20. The transfer vehicle will continue by road to Shimla and so you only need to take onto the train what you need for the journey. The train, which is pulled by a diesel engine, doesn’t travel very fast (25kms/hr) and there is plenty of opportunity to watch the world go by. You may have short stops at some of the stations and it is sometimes possible to get off for a quick leg stretch. There are many highlights – Bridge 541 is the highest arch gallery bridge in the Indian railway. It has a total of 34 arches in a four storey construction.
After a relaxing and fascinating journey you see Shimla in the distance, a sprawling town stuck onto the hillside. On arrival at Shimla you will be met by your guide and vehicle who have made the journey by road and will be transferred to your hotel – the historic Clarkes Hotel. The hotel is in a vehicle free zone but there is an intriguing lift from where the vehicles may park which transports you and your luggage up to the hotel.
Clarkes Hotel is a short walk from the Mall in Shimla and so you are within easy access of many shops and restaurants. Dinner is to your own account. Overnight Clarkes Hotel for three nights.

Monday 23 March
Shimla mall is famous for its shops selling everything from books, to expensive fabrics to jewels. Lunch and dinner to own account. Overnight Clarkes Hotel.

Tuesday 24 March
Day to explore Shimla. You will have a guide and vehicle at your disposal but you could go and explore on your own if you prefer. The main things to visit will be the Jakhu (Monkey) temple, the State Museum and the Viceregal Lodge. The monkeys at the temple are a real nuisance so do take your guide’s warnings seriously. Lunch and dinner to own account. Overnight Clarke’s Hotel.

Wednesday 25 March
Morning at leisure in Shimla. After an early lunch, drive from Shimla to Kalka in time for the Shatabdi Train leaving Kalka at 17:45 which will arrive into Delhi at 21:55. You will be in premier class and be served dinner during the journey.
You will be met on arrival at Delhi. Depending on your flight time you should have time to transfer to a hotel for the opportunity to wash and change. Later transfer to the airport for your homeward flight. Your flight should depart in the early hours of Thursday 26 March. If you would prefer to or need to overnight in Delhi, then we can make these arrangements for you.

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Zara’s Planet Horse Riding Holidays Guarantee:

All our horse riding holidays hold a price guarantee. We believe in your piece of mind on price when you book one of our horse riding holidays and will refund the difference should you find the same horse riding holiday elsewhere at a lower price.

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India Holidays Testimonials

Sandra McCracken on Riding in Rural Rajasthan

Still trying to process all the wonderful experiences we had over the last couple of weeks, it was and amazing time with  a super group of people! There was very little I would change about the trip if I had to do so, it had  the right combination of interesting terrain, constantly changing, great villages