India In Slow Motion (Chandrabhaga Cattle Fair)

India In Slow Motion (Chandrabhaga Cattle Fair)

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15 Days
From

$4563

$4335

India In Slow Motion (Chandrabhaga Cattle Fair)

15 Days Starting in UDAIPUR and ending in INDORE AIRPORT

Visiting: Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Hotel Castle Bijaipur, Athana, Pangarh Lake, Bundi, Jhalawar, Barnagar, Ahilya Fort Heritage Hotel, Ahilya Paltan

Tour operator:

Wild Frontiers

Tour code:

ISM

Recommended For:

Couples, Singles

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

4 - 12

Physical rating:

Low, Low

Age range:

1-99

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians, Please contact Wild Frontiers with any specific dietary requirements

Tour operated in:
English
Private Available:

Request A Private Tour

From:
$4563
$4335 (USD) The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$228

This tour is no longer available, please see similar tours below or send an enquiry

Tour Overview

Very few visitors get to experience the day-to-day beauty of rural India, focusing instead on the well-known monuments of the crowded urban centres. At Wild Frontiers we also like to head into the heart of India.On this, our most in-depth Village India tour, you probably won’t recognise many of the locations, but don’t let that be a worry as you’ll become totally immersed in rural life. We’ll stay in many beautiful places, witnessing and taking part in the life of local people, visiting fascinating temples and forts and camping by a lake. It’s a trip into Kipling’s India of our childhood imagination: a gentle land of bullock carts and bicycles, of elegant sari-clad women carrying water urns from wells, of turbaned men working in the fields, of wandering elephants and their accompanying sadhus.This is a journey on which you will see few other tourists and that will stay with you forever.

Highlights

  • Spend the night as guests of a Maharaja and unwind in spectacular accommodation such as fort hotels

  • Explore the ‘white city’ of Udaipur and its wonderful buildings and gardens

  • Learn about Rajput chivalry and bravery at Chittorgarh fort

  • Discover the atmospheric town of Bundi with its narrow alleys and stunning city palace

  • Stay in Castle Bijaipur and visit surrounding villages, a local school and a farm

  • Learn about the everyday lives of the locals through workshops, market visits and village daytrips

Itinerary

Expand All
Day 1 : Tour Starts In Udaipur
Location: Udaipur
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Karohi Haveli or similar
Meals Included: Dinner

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.

Day 2 : In Udaipur
Location: Udaipur
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Karohi Haveli or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner,

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.

Day 3 : Udaipur - Chittorgarh - Castle Bijaipur
Location: Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Hotel Castle Bijaipur
Accommodation: Castle Bijaipur or similar
Accommodation Name: Castle Bijaipur or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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.

Day 4 : At Castle Bijaipur
Location: Hotel Castle Bijaipur
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Castle Bijaipur or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

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.*

Day 5 : Castle Bijaipur - Athana - Pangarh Lake
Location: Hotel Castle Bijaipur, Athana, Pangarh Lake
Accommodation: Camp, Fixed or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

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.

Day 6 : Pangarh Lake - Bundi
Location: Pangarh Lake, Bundi
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Bundi Vilas or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

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.

Day 7 : In Bundi
Location: Bundi
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Bundi Vilas or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

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.

Day 8 : Bundi - Jhalawar
Location: Bundi, Jhalawar
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Prithvi Vilas or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

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.

Day 9 : In Jhalawar (Main Festival Day)
Location: Jhalawar
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Prithvi Vilas or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

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.

Day 10 : In Jhalawar
Location: Jhalawar
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Prithvi Vilas or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

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.

Day 11 : Jhalawar - Barnagar
Location: Jhalawar, Barnagar
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Fort Amla or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

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.

Day 12 : Barnagar - Fort Ahilya
Location: Barnagar, Ahilya Fort Heritage Hotel
Accommodation: Ahilya Fort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

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.

Day 13 : At Fort Ahilya
Location: Ahilya Paltan
Accommodation: Ahilya Fort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

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.

Day 15 : Fort Ahilya - Indore Airport (Tour Finishes)
Location: Ahilya Fort Heritage Hotel, Indore Airport
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch,

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

What's Included

  • MEALS

    13 x Breakfasts, 12 x Lunches, 13 x Dinners

  • TRANSPORT

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

  • GROUP SIZE

    Maximum: 12

  • CARBON CONTRIBUTIONS

    Contributions to carbon offset & tree planting projects for all bookings

  • EXPERT TEAM

    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

  • FITNESS RATING

    Low

What's Not Included

We believe in a completely transparent approach to pricing with no hidden extras. As such, please note that the following are not included in the cost of the tour.Visas & Travel Insurance: Visas will always be tour/nationality dependent but travel insurance is mandatoryTips: Always optional but some guidance will be given in the pre-departure information documentsInternational .Flights: Please ask us for an obligation-free quote for flights which originate in the UKAirport .Transfers: We include complimentary transfers if arriving/departing on the suggested group flights.Beverages & any costs of a personal nature: This will include items such as laundry and souvenirs

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 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.

Check out our Q&As

  • What is the maximum group size?

    12

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    We include complimentary transfers if arriving/departing on the suggested group flights

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    We have a complete Covid-19 hub here: https://www.wildfrontierstravel.com/en_GB/covid-hub

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Over 70% of passengers on our group tours are solo adventurers. Unlike many tour operators, we don’t believe in charging solo travellers a premium, so if you are happy to share a room with a fellow traveller of the same sex, you will pay exactly the same as a couple..Occasionally you may even end up with your own room. You can travel as a single traveller on any of our holidays, from our escorte

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Yes

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Since 2002

  • Do I need to be double-vaccinated against Covid-19 to travel with you?

    In most cases, yes. Not only are many destinations making double-vaccination a requirement of entry to the country and/or access to restaurants, museums etc., but additionally on all our group tours for the foreseeable future, for everyone’s peace of mind, we are asking that all clients be double vaccinated.

Reviews from Travellers on this Tour

Jackie Newey  

Jackie Newey

This was my first trip to India and I'd spent a long time choosing the tour. I could not have had a better introduction to that part of the world.

Elaine Tomkins  

Elaine Tomkins

I felt that we had seen the beating heart of India.

Terry Cole  

Terry Cole

So many ingredients go into making a successful holiday and on my Village India trip I found the perfect mix.

Susie Hill  

Susie Hill

This was an amazing voyage discovering the colour, history and hospitality of Rajasthan.

Stephen and Sari Gilbert  

Stephen and Sari Gilbert

The whole holiday, from being met at Delhi Airport to our departure from Indore was a delightful experience

Anne Tyley  

Anne Tyley

Meeting villagers and farm workers was one of the highlights of my trip.....

Shelley Dugan  

Shelley Dugan

'Village India' was better than I had dreamed. This was my first trip to India, and I could not have chosen a better introduction to such a wonderful and rich place.

Nichola & Richard Keeble  

Nichola & Richard Keeble

A wonderful experience. We really felt that we experienced the real life of India.

Geraldine Sharpe-Newton  

Geraldine Sharpe-Newton

Sunrise on the Narmada holy river to its setting at the end of a day, totally magical......

Jean Walters  

Jean Walters

Wild Frontiers has a fresh new approach to travelling ... I have returned relaxed, refreshed and inspired, having seen the real India rather than tourist India.

Read all 17 reviews

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Dates & Availability

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Mar 03, 2025 - Mar 17, 2025
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Oct 27, 2025 - Nov 10, 2025
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Book with Confidence

  • Free Date Changes

    Wild Frontiers allows you to make 2 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 90 days before the start of the tour.

  • Low Deposit

    Wild Frontiers requires a minimum deposit of 200 GBP per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 70 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of wild frontiers charges.

    Up to 71 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 51 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

  • Wild Frontiers' COVID Promise

    You will have the right to transfer without any transfer fee, from any of our trips at ANY time if your trip is not Covid Viable (see below).*
    We will not ask you to pay your final balance if your trip is not yet Covid Viable.
    If your trip is not Covid Viable, by 30 days prior to departure at the latest, we will cancel your holiday and you can either transfer your funds to another departure or have a refund.**


    We will only consider a trip Covid Viable*** if pre-departure it meets all of the following criteria:

    There is no national lockdown or ban on foreign travel for the period when your trip is due to depart.
    Destinations on the tour must not be on the UK’s Red List. ****
    No destinations visited on the tour have in place any significant COVID-19 restrictions for travellers.
    Tourist visas (if required) are available.
    There is reliable airline access to/from the start/end of the trip.
    Following an assessment by both Wild Frontiers and our local partners we are confident that your trip is able to run in both a safe and enjoyable manner.*****




    ** If you were originally booked to travel before 30 April 2020 and transferred to a later date, or if you have a tailor-made booking, there may be some irrecoverable costs which we cannot refund. Please speak to us and we will be able to advise you if this is the case for your booking.
    ***Since our HQ is in London, Covid Viable status for our Group Tours will be assessed on UK-based travellers. However we are fully aware that many of our clients live in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and beyond. As such, when we deem a trip to now be Covid Viable, everyone booked will have a chance to review their own personal situation before deciding whether or not to remain booked on the trip. Anyone wishing to, will have the option to transfer without fees to another trip at this time. For tailor made bookings, we may also able to consider additional countries’ travel advice when deciding if a trip is Viable. Please discuss this with us at the time of booking.
    **** This relates to bookings from UK clients only. We may operate trips to destinations which the British FCDO advise against travel for Covid reasons. If this is the case, anyone wishing to will have the option to cancel with a refund or transfer to another trip. In some cases we may choose to offer a tour to a Red destination but these will be at both clients’ and Wild Frontiers’ discretion and will be subject to alternative conditions to be discussed on an ad hoc basis.
    *****If a destination, that we have deemed to be Covid Viable, subsequently fails any aspect of the criteria for two consecutive weeks, you will have the right under our Covid Promise to transfer without any fees.

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