Adventures Sports in Rajasthan: Camel Safari, Elephant Safari, Jeep Safari, Horse Polo, Horse Safari, Bicycling, Cart Races, Tonga Races, Elephant Polo, Camel Polo, Kite-Flying, Golf, Ballooning, Para-Sailing, Gliding, Desert Rallies, Vintage Car Rally, Desert Safari, Trekking, Camping  

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      Adventure Sports in Rajasthan

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Most of the royal sports of the earlier years are today, the means of relaxation and leisure that are very exotic and varied. The land of Rajasthan may appear, at first sight, unexciting from the point of view of sports, but under the rule of the Maharajas, the skillful outdoor activities were encouraged. Rajputs, the skilled warriors and horsemen were able to refine their riding skills when it came to competitive sports, creating one of the finest polo teams in the world. The villagers too participated in the camel and cattle races, turban-tying competition and racing horse carriages and carts. If polo was nurtured in Rajasthan, safaris and safari camps were an essential part of their defence strategy. Later, the golf was also introduced with the coming of the British. In more recent years, outdoor lovers have found the open countryside with its undulating dunes ideal for more exciting outdoor sports like ballooning or gliding, and various other leisure activities like rallies and desert safaris. Various water-related sports are also being organized in the extensive water bodies in Rajasthan.

Camel Safari in Rajasthan

Camel Safaris in Rajasthan are organized to take one through the golden sands of the vast Thar desert and untamed countryside, enabling one to experience the days gone by when time drifted at a leisurely pace. Most of the journeys into the hinterlands are still made on camel back, or in camel carts. The camel-carts are fully equipped and tourists need not bother about comfort in the desert of Rajasthan. The camels safaris are conducted in the entire Shekhawati belt, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Nagaur and around Pushkar. Such safaris are usually run by professionals who hire Raikas. The camel breeders of Raika are the best guides for camel safaris in Rajasthan.

Camel Safari, Camel Safari in Rajasthan

They know every pasture, waterhole and village of the region and can find the best routes for the camel safaris. The safaris runs from a day to several days, and covers about a distance of 30-40 km a day and can be adjusted on the basis of need. The best time for a camel safari is in the morning and evening and during winters.

Elephant Safari in Rajasthan
Elephant Safari, Elephant Safari in Rajasthan

The most royal way to visit Rajasthan is on an elephant safari, since nothing can be compared with it. Various rulers used elephants for their journeys and were equipped with a howdah, a large seat on which they would sit, and a ceremonial umbrella over their heads, but the modern elephant safaris are very different from them, and regal as they used to be. The elephant treads slowly and steadily, hence an elephant safari would be ideal to visit the princely towns and wild life sanctuaries in Rajasthan. The elephant safari camps are lavish and the tourists will have a unique experience, which they are unlikely to ever have elsewhere. The elephant safaris will provide you an opportunity to experience the royal past of Rajasthan.

Jeep Safari in Rajasthan

The open jeep safaris are the best way to visit Rajasthan, especially in the winter months when the chilly breeze and warm sunshine provide a heady combination. A safari means exploring the lesser known destinations and the countryside, away from the roads. The jeep safaris are conducted around Udaipur and Shekhawati region in Rajasthan since the rugged terrain with the forested valleys, hills and desert provides an enchanting landscape. The tribal regions, the small villages, the ruins of old forts and the temple complexes are covered in such safaris. Jeep safaris can be fun because the pace can be varied to suit one’s needs, and packing in days of fast travelling with leisure camps.

Jeep Safari, Jeep Safari in Rajasthan
Horse Polo in Rajasthan

Polo is the most fascinating sport of elites in Rajasthan. A formidable horse polo playing family belongs to Jaipur, and the last Maharaja of the state also died with his spurs on, on a polo field. Polo is such an exciting sport that it excites even a spectator who knows a little about the game. The polo is a glamorous game and draw international publicity for India. Along with Jaipur, some polo teams are also located in Jodhpur and Udaipur, while the 61st Cavalry, also based in Jaipur, has kept it alive in the army. It is not possible to simply arrive and start playing polo, since the sport needs special breed of large number of horses.

Horse Polo, Horse Polo in Rajasthan

These horses are largely maintained by the players themselves, or with the help of their sponsors. In this play, the men on their horses, move the ball with their sticks with great skill. So, you are requested to send a special request in advance to the concerned authorities to play, before planning your trip to Rajasthan. Even if you do not get the chance to play, you can also watch the sport as a spectator, which is almost as good as playing.

Camel Polo in Rajasthan

Camel Polo has also been introduced as a friendly, competitive sport at various festivals in the state. The Camel Polo is only played n Rajasthan and provides a great deal of amusement, but is still not a serious sport. The camel polo is also organized only on the special request.

Horse Safari in Rajasthan

Horse Safari, Horse Safari in Rajasthan

The horse safaris are very exciting and more recent variation of the camel safari. The horse safaris are the most historic way to explore Rajasthan. The Rajputs were great horse riders, and the tradition was strongly enforced in the medieval ages when the cavalry formed one of the most important flanks of the desert armies. Some of the famous breed of horses are the Marwari, Kathiawadi and Sindhi. Horse safaris are usually conducted in Udaipur where the hilly terrain and forested countryside are ideal for the taking the trail. The horse safari routes are diverse and passes through the villages, ruined historical monuments, and temples.


Bicycle is also the most popular mode of transport in Rajasthan. The traveling on a bicycle provides leisure and exercise without being exhausting, and is very inexpensive. Bicycles can be hired almost anywhere in Rajasthan, from a few hours to few days. However, those looking forward to perform some serious biking in the state should buy racy, gear bicycles that are available in all major towns, and are not expensive. At the end of a trip, such bikes can be either sold or simply gifted away. Bikes are ideal in exploring the countryside in Shekhawati or for getting around the hilly places such as Mount Abu. The bicycle polo is also as exciting as the horse polo. This sport was very popular in Bikaner, during sixties and seventies, but in the recent years, it has disappeared and only performed in the Shekhawati region.

Cart Races

Cart Races are held in sandy terrain and pulled by the camels. The camel carts are especially decorated for the special events and during the festivals, with streamers and buntings. Camles can be made to run fast, and as they lope ahead, the carts seem to jump behind to keep pace with the beasts. Camel cart races are fun, and provide lot of merriment and excitement to the people.

Tonga Races

The tonga or horse chariot provides an environment-friendly mode of transport in most of the towns of Rajasthan. Although, they are very slow but their fastness can be tested only during the fairs when tonga races are organized. In these races as the owners ride the carriage, they make a wonderful sight when they passes through the sandy countryside.

Elephant Polo

Polo is also played on the back of elephants in Rajasthan. Although, it is not a serious sport, but still attracts the people as polo is a fast game and it is played on the elephants who can hardly move as fast in the confined space of a stadium. It is very amusing to watch the elephant polo. The elephant polo can also be specially organized on request and competition are arranged annually at Chaugan Stadium in Jaipur during the festival of Holi (February-March).

Elephant Polo, Elephant Polo in Rajasthan

Kite Flying, Kite Festival in Rajasthan

The passion for kite-flying in Jaipur is legendary, and every city has community clubs where the sport is ardently practiced. The kites are flied during Makar Sankranti festival and monsoons. However, the kite-flying continues throughout the year. Makar Sankranti is the famous kite flying festival, which is celebrated with great joy and enthusiasm in Jaipur. On this day, the skies of the city are alive with kites whole day. All the people of different age groups gather at rooftops to compete about both their prowess as well as the resilience of their strings. An international kite flying competition is also held in Jaipur on this day.


It is very unlikely to have the golf course in Rajasthan and due to the weather and the lack of water, it was even difficult to have the small green garden. The golf was the gentlemen’s game and was popular in British India. It was only in Jaipur that as a part of the large scale palace renovations undertaken by Maharaja Man Singh, a golf-course was added to the city. The 18-hole golf-course is the only golf-course in Jaipur and Rajasthan, which are maintained in the picturesque surroundings. A golf course in Bikaner is different from the golf-course in Jaipur as this course exists in the desert terrain, and even the ‘greens’ have been replaced by ‘browns’ which are very unconventional.

Golf, Golf in Rajasthan

The undulating sand dunes are ideal for the ballooning purposes. The people can even travel for short distances between towns or historic resorts in these hot air balloons. The best way to travel in these balloons is during the Pushkar fair, Baneshwar or Nagaur fair.


Para-Sailing is a sport that has not been tried out in Rajasthan, in its open and sandy countryside. It is considerably complex to organize and expensive to put all the machinery in place. But this sport could provide another facet of excitement to your visit to Rajasthan.


The open countryside in Rajasthan offers remarkable gliding opportunities. The gliding can be conducted with permission from civil aviation authorities, and can be organized in several cities where there are no scheduled services, runways and strips. The gliding is organized in Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Bikaner and Kota.

Desert Rallies

When the first motorcars started coming to India, Rajasthan’s princes and aristocracy were among the earliest to order them. No wonder the state has such as extensive network of roads that connects even small towns and villages. These, in turn, have become the venue for various rallies.

Vintage Car Rally

The Vintage Car Rally is held annually in Jaipur in the month of January and has thus become an important one on the Indian social calendar. This rally is keenly contested, and various people participates in it. Some of the aristocratic families have still kept their old cars in the their garages, and these cars belong to the very early years of the century. Some of these cars are still running in the good condition and hired out on some special occasions, rides, parties and marriages.

Desert Safari

Warfare would not have been possible without detailed planning, especially in this desert region where all supplies had to be carried, when the armies came to pitch camp and the battle lines were drawn. A safari is a journey into the desert which is accompanied with comforts and luxurious amenities. As each journey progresses, there is an excitement of setting camp at a new spot in the lonely wilderness of the Thar desert, of being entertained by groups of wandering people, enjoying the splendid camp meals and sleeping in the night under the stars. With these desert safaris, you will be able to know the living of the people in one of the harshest conditions of the world. The Desert Safari has become a popular sport with rallyists, but there are several other rallies where, the desert too is included in the rally itinerary for a change in the terrain. Since the roads of Rajasthan are fairly isolated, with very little traffic, as such they are very ideal for such sporting events. Those who are interested in such a rally, they can write to the rally organizations in India to create events specially for them, as a part of India or a larger, world circuit.


The hilly areas of Rajasthan also provide the ideal trekking opportunities besides the Himalayas or the Ghats. The Mewar belt, together with the Udaipur-Kumbahlgarh-Chittorgarh, or the area around Mount Abu, or the Sariska-Alwar-Amer belt is best for trekking. Apart from trekking along the established routes, one can also make his own trails, moving practically as one likes. The best time for trekking is during the winters, although the monsoons also provide romantic and green getaways. It is also considered best to trek in a small group. Trekkers can also set up a camp in the open countryside, although various hotels are also available in most of the areas.


Camping, Camping in Rajasthan

Camping is a fine art in Rajasthan, and established camps in set locations would be fit for royalty. These special created tents have bedroom, a small hallway or leisure area, and attached bath. These tents use hand-block printed fabrics within the interiors, to crate a rich ambience. Such tented camps can be found at places like Samode, or during the Pushkar fair. However, such tents can also be hired, and can also be used to create cities wherever required; or for moving visitors to different places, where these tents are pegged each night. Such camping expeditions bring the outdoors alive, albeit in style. Everything is very exciting at the camp that ranges from the food to the entertainment, and you can take back with you nostalgic memories of among the best times you have had in you life.

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