With much of polo’s history rooted here, India is a country rife with first-hand opportunitiesÂ to experience the sport-both the classic and pachyderm versions. U.S.-based tour operatorÂ Micato Safaris offers over-the-top and in-depth itineraries in India that put guests right in the heart of the action. Here, one example, the “Polo with the Maharajahs” tour, which will have you grabbing forÂ your mallet-and your passport.
? Day 1Â Depart the U.S.
? Days 2-3 Delhi
Polo is a game that signifies power, adventure, beauty, elegance, grace, teamwork, class, and, above all, tradition. Guests will delve into the history of polo in India as they travel through some of the polo capitals of the country.
Begin in Delhi, the capital city of India. During their stay, guests will explore Old Delhi, including an exciting rickshaw ride through the famed bustling alleyways of Chandni Chowk bazaar. They will also venture into New Delhi to see such sites as Humayun’s Tomb, thought to be an architectural inspiration of the Taj Mahal. A special tour of the hotel’s unique priceless collection of well-preserved paintings, engravings, and lithographs is not to be missed. Last but not least is a first look at a polo match in India at the Jaipur Polo Grounds. Enjoy high tea afterwards with members of the playing teams.
Â ? Days 4-5 Jodhpur
Jodhpur traces its history of polo back to the 19th century. The Jodhpur players were the Indian champions in the 1920s and, in fact, were responsible for the start of polo in Jaipur-which now is better known for polo in India. The current Maharaja revived polo in Jodhpur in 1993 and maintains high standards for the game today.
During this visit to Jodhpur, guests will have the opportunity to view the famous Marwari horses of the region, learn about them, and interact with some of the best polo players India has produced. While you are here, a private match will be arranged, during which guests who ride can try their hand at the game.
Guests will also visit the imposing Meherangarh Fort, one of the largest forts in India.
Â ? Days 6-8 UdaipurÂ Â
The fabled romantic city of Udaipur- known by many names:Â Venice of the East, City of Lakes, and City of Dawn, among them-is the next magical stop on the itinerary.
During their stay, guests will visit the City Palace and enjoy a boat ride on the tranquil water of Lake Pichola, including a stop to explore Jag Mandir Palace, perched in its center. They will also visit the temple groups of Eklingji, comprising more than 100 ancient temples dating to the 10th century, and Nagda, the site of two fourth-century temples.
Â ? Days 9-11 Jaipur
Next, guests will journey by road to Jaipur, known as the “Pink City” because of the pink terra cotta hues of its buildings. Here, they will have the opportunity to explore the imposing Amber Fort and City Palace, see the delicate stone screens of the Palace of the Winds, and wander through the 18th-century Observatory.
The association of polo and the kingdom of Jaipur is legendary. Explore the history of polo in Jaipur through a private visit to the Rajasthan Polo Club. Enjoy cocktails one evening at the Taj Rambagh Palace’s Polo Bar (their specialty drink is a “polo-tini”!) and spend time discussing the nuances of the game with master players of Jaipur.
Guests will also have the opportunity to have some fun with a fascinating version of the game-elephant polo!
Â ? Days 12-13 AgraÂ
An interesting drive south takes guests to the capital of the great Mughal Empire in the 16th and 17th centuries, Agra, perhaps best known as home to the ethereal beauty of the Taj Mahal, a true monument to eternal romance. Sunset and sunrise visits to the Taj, built in memory of emperor Shah Jehan’s beloved wife, ensure ample time to enjoy this iconic structure.
Â ? Day 14 Drive to Delhi; Depart
After one last leisurely breakfast, tour guests enjoy the drive back to Delhi. There, a room will be available at The Imperial Hotel until guests are ready to be escorted to the airport to board their international flight back to the United States.
The rate for this tour is $14,750, based on 10 people traveling. Rate includes domestic airfare, meals, accommodations, ground transportation and transfers, and most gratuities; excludes international air. For more information, visit micato.com or call 800-MICATO-1.