The undulating sand dunes are
ideal for ballooning buffs. People can even travel short
distances between towns or historic resorts in these hot
air balloons. The best, of course, is to coast over fairs
such as Pushkar, or Beneshwar or Nagaur in a hot-air balloon.
A sport that is begging to
be tried out in Rajasthan, with its open, sandy countryside,
it is considerably complex to organise and expensive to
operate. However, should your operator be able to put
all the machinery in place, it could provide another facet
of excitement to your visit to Rajasthan.
If you thought the Himalayas
or the Ghats are the only places where trekking is possible,
you obviously need to re-think your options, for the hilly
areas of Rajasthan provide several days of ideal trekking
opportunities. The Mewar belt with the Udaipur-Kumbhalgarh-Chittaur
combine, or the area around Mount Abu, or the Sariska-Alwar-Amber
belt is best for trekking. Winter is the best time for
trekking, though the monsoon months provide romantic,
Horse & Camel Polo
Considered the most prominent
and elite sports, polo has always been popular in Rajasthan.
Horse polo is taken more serious and is played by professional
teams with thoroughbred horses. Camel safari provides
more amusement and is unique to Rajasthan.
The Rajputs have always been
passionate about flying kites and there are clubs in various
cities where this sport is ardently practiced. An international
kite flying competition is held in Jaipur, which adds
to the fervor. You can buy a couple of colorful kites
and join the Rajasthani people in this zestful activity.
Regular boating, of course,
has been offered at several places in Rajasthan, whether
on the lakes in Udaipur, or at places such as Siliserh
lake near Alwar. Such activities are possible in most
lakes in Rajasthan. However, should you wish to introduce
boating in other lakes, whether paddle, motor, row or
sail, you will have to cart your own boats.
Nepal and Rajasthan are the
only two places where polo is played on elephant-back.
Though not a serious sport, it attracts the international
media because of the oddity of a fast game played from
the backs of pachyderms who can hardly move as fast in
the confined space of a stadium. It is, however, amusing
to watch. Though elephant polo too can be specially organised
on request, competitions are arranged annually at Jaipur’s
Chaugan during Holi (February-March).