DURATION: This is a 3-hour tour, although it will depend on the progress of our guests.
FITNESS LEVEL: It is a challenging route up- and downhill which requires an advanced level of fitness and some skill.
From the seat of a bicycle, the pink city’s many ancient forts and palaces give the visitor a firsthand peek into its rich heritage. Cycling past these historic monuments on old, winding streets, watched by the Aravalli Mountains looking down on the city of Jaipur and its inhabitants, makes the experience even more unique. Enjoy all this grandeur from the freedom of a bicycle; it will be the experience of a lifetime.
Nahargarh Fort sits 700 ft. above sea level, which makes it one of the less accessible cycling destinations, but its breath-taking location in the Aravalli Mountains is more than worth the effort. It counts among the most important historic buildings of Rajasthan, and the ride through the forests of Aravalli, and up the slopes hold the promise of spectacular views all the way. From the top, you have a panoramic look over the city of Jaipur, and especially the sunrise and sunset views are unsurpassed.
Fort Jaigarh on Cheel Ka Teela
The ragged remains of this 295-year old military fort sit on the so-called ‘Hill of Eagles’ near Amber Palace. Its sole purpose was to protect the palace to which it was connected through various underground passages. We will cycle past this fortress on our way to Nahargarh.
Closer to Fort Nahargarh, we make a short stop at a temple built in honor of Lord Krishna, namely Charan Mandir. Resembling a mini fortress, the temple is situated in the Nahargarh Reserve, which means we will be cycling through the beautiful green forests at the foot of the Aravalli Range. All along the way, there are beautiful scenic views of the city and Lake Man Sagar with majestic Jal Mahal in its center. The merry chirping sounds of birds accompany us, and you may even spot Indian parrots or parakeets, Indian rollers, and peacocks, so keep your eyes peeled.
Meet at the Jal Mahal
Our starting point is at Jal Mahal in the middle of the man-made Lake Man Sagar. The palace dates from the 1700s and is beautifully reflected in the clear waters surrounding it. Meeting early gives us the opportunity to see the colors changing the entire scene, painting the palace in beautiful hues, as the sun rises its head over the lake. The lake attracts migratory birds, and aquatic varieties in abundance, a true bird lover’s paradise.
You will receive a brief introduction and safety instructions before we take to our bicycles, and start to pedal through the awakening city streets and old markets. Passing the iconic Wind Palace, Hawa Mahal, we marvel at its 953 little windows and extraordinary architecture, all done in red and pink sandstone. We leave the city behind and enter the forest’s winding roads on our way to Kanak Valley until we assemble at the foot of Nahargarh Hill. During this break, our guide will advise us on how to use the bicycle gears to our best advantage on certain uphill stretches. We make regular stops at hairpin bends to take in the dramatic views of the lake with Jal Mahal floating like a huge ship in its center. This cycling adventure to Fort Nahargarh is one of the most sought-after and trendy expeditions for action seekers Jaipur has to offer.
Conquering the Summit
On reaching the summit, it is time to give our muscles some much-needed fuel with a few nourishing snacks, before exploring the fort, a popular site for many a Hollywood and Bollywood movie. Of special interest is the main step well. The complex is located on a hill in the Aravalli Range at a height of 700 ft., and the engineering skills of its builders are evident. A series of six water catchment tanks spread out over a four-mile area, forms the network of drains, canals, and aqueducts that formed the fort’s water system. A total of 10.6 million gallons or 4.5 crores of water was collected in a smaller tank and 2 large baolis or step wells. We stroll on the ramparts and reminisce about the splendid Rajasthan architecture and the rich history of this amazing palace complex.
Downhill to Jal Mahal
Now for a kick of a different kind, so fasten your seat belts, for we are going downhill. After the hard pedal up the slope, it is time for the exhilaration of the steep downward ride, the breeze cooling our faces. This is what you have been waiting for. We make several stops to take a breather and snap many perfect pictures. Look out for Indian parrots or parakeets, peacocks, Indian rollers, and other exotic birds. Take a photo of one of the locals feeding a grey Indian langur. Unfortunately, all good things come to an end, and we arrive back at the beautiful Jal Mahal, where we take the transport back to our hotel. The wonderful experience of riding up Nahargarh, witnessing the spectacle nature had to offer from the hilltop, then cycling downhill through hairpin bends, and finally riding past Jaipur’s many splendid historic monuments, will linger in the mind for a long time to come.
• Energy drinks and bottled water.
• A takeaway breakfast, and refreshments including fresh fruit, chocolates, tea, and juice.
• Brand-new Giant bicycles with gears and helmets of high quality for extra safety.
• Expert tour leaders with a very good knowledge of the route.
• Support vehicle carrying a well-equipped first aid kit for emergencies. You may also ride in the car if you decide not to cycle further for some or other reason.
• A bicycle mechanic and tour escort will be present at all times.
• A short stroll on Fort Nahargarh’s fortification walls.