From the beautiful symmetry of the Taj Mahal to the unforgettable backwaters of Kerala, this comprehensive Indian journey is a photographer’s delight. Sail along the sacred Ganges River in Varanasi and explore Abhaneri’s carved stepwells in the North before flying south to search for tigers in the wild and exotic spices in relaxed hill stations. With an intriguing combination of included activities and free time, city streets and rural spirit, you’re sure to gain an understanding of the people and some insight into this fascinating land.
Arrival transfer included through the G Adventures-supported Women on Wheels project. Walking tour with a guide from the G Adventures-supported New Delhi Streetkids Project. Old Delhi walk with stops at the Jama Masjid, Gurduwara, Chandni Chowk, spice markets, and Connaught Place. Camel Cart ride (Tordi). Taj Mahal and I’timad-ud-Daulah (Baby Taj) entrance. Agra Fort entrance and guided tour. Amber Fort tour (Jaipur). Orchha Palace complex visit. Western Temple complex visit. River Ganges boat trips at sunrise and sunset, including candle flower ceremony. Fort Kochi orientation walk. Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary walk. Mudumalai National Park safari. Chaumundi Temple and Mysore Palace visit. Mamallapuram Shore Temple visit. Pondicherry orientation walk. Madurai cycle-rickshaw ride and Sri Meenakshi temple visit. Cardamom Hills spice plantation tour. Kerala backwaters homestay with guide. Internal flights. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Discover ancient forts and temples, revel in the beauty of Agra’s Taj Mahal, sail the Ganges in venerable Varanasi, stay with the locals in the Kerala backwaters, smell spices at a plantation in the Cardamom HIlls
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
India is a country which is very different to anything you will have experienced before. Although this means it is not the easiest place to travel, this is also what makes it so special. Pollution, poverty and the crowds can result in initial culture shock but should be seen as an exciting new challenge. During our time here we have come to love this large and wonderfully different country but we know that we should always expect to encounter some difficulties along the way.
In India there are very different attitudes to time keeping, public cleanliness, privacy and service. Trains will sometimes be late, plumbing can sometimes be temperamental and power will often just vanish. Optimistic menus turn out to have only one dish available and everyone, just everyone, will want to know your name. If you are able to travel with a lot of patience and a healthy sense of humour, then we know that you – like all of us – will be captivated by what India has to offer.
2. BANDHAVGARH NP CLOSURE
Bandhavgarh NP is closed between 1 July – 30 September each year. During this time an alternative program will operate.
3. COMBO TRIP
Please note that this tour combines with other G Adventures tours. As such, the staff and some travel companions on your tour may change on Day 15.
Depending on the lunar cycle, Ramadan will fall between June 7th and July 7th, 2016. Please note that Ramadan is a month of fasting observed by Muslims throughout the world, during which time the followers of Islam should not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. Only about 20% of Indians are Muslim, but it is important to note that there may be some limitations to services and disruptions to schedules during Ramadan. Generally our tours still operate effectively during this period and food is available to non-muslims throughout the day. It is important to display increased cultural sensitivity during Ramadan in predominately Muslim areas of India. Please wear loose fitting clothes, that cover knees and shoulders, and try to avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public out of respect for those who can’t at that time.
6. Please Note: Only 1 piece of luggage that weighs up to 15kgs will be permitted on our internal flights in India. For any extra weight the airline may charge an additional fee at the time of check-in.
Group Leader Description
All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.
Group Size Notes
Max 15, avg 10
Eating is a big part of travelling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. Vegetarians will be able to find a huge range of different foods – India is vegetarian heaven. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.
Train, local bus, private vehicle, auto-rickshaw, camel cart, boat, plane.
About our Transportation
Traveling in India by train is an experience. Distances in India are long and Indian trains aren’t the worlds best, but traveling in these adds a fascinating new dimension to a visitor’s experience in the country. There is virtually no better way to get to make friends with the people and see the spectacular views of the diverse Indian countryside. The chaos on the Indian Railway stations is a replica of the life in India.
G Adventures uses a combination of AC 2 tier, AC 3 tier and sleeper class (for overnight journeys) and AC Chair car or second class seats for day journeys.
There are no restaurant or buffet cars on Indian Railways, but on long distance trains an attendant will appear in your coach and ask you if you would like to order food. Regular stops are made at stations where food is also available and on some trains many vendors board the train selling chai, cold drinks and crisps and biscuits.
Don’t expect pristine western standards anywhere in India, but you’ll find AC2, AC3 and AC Chair class fairly clean by Indian standards, with both western-style and squat toilets usually in a reasonably sanitary condition. Sleeper Class and 2nd class toilets may be a different matter! Bring your own toilet paper and hand wash soap or liquid.
Indian trains are quite safe to travel on, even for families or women traveling alone, and you are unlikely to have any problems. Having said that, theft of luggage, although rare is not unheard of, so just for peace of mind you might like to take along a chain and padlock to secure your bags (readily available at all Indian stations).
Generally, Indian Railways are very efficient, but Indian trains do run late, and sometimes it’s hours rather than minutes. Make sure you have something to occupy your time – a good book, magazine or photos of your home country and family to show the Indian travelers also waiting for the train.
Traveling by road is certainly not what people are use to in Western countries. Rules are not always followed, drivers appear to speed, do not stay in their lanes, overtake in seemingly dangerous situations, rarely use their mirrors or driving lights at night time. The horn however is used very frequently and can range from the latest Bollywood tune to Britney Spears! Although the government is investing large sums of money improving the road infrastructure, there is a lot more to be done. As a result some of the roads are poorly maintained, pot holed and uneven. This gets even more pronounced particularly during and after the monsoon. Travel time is very long in comparison to Western countries and short distances can take a lot longer than at home.
All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.
Please Note: Only 1 piece of luggage that weighs up to 15kgs will be permitted on our internal flights in India. For any extra weight the airline may charge an additional fee at the time of check-in.
We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Hotels/guesthouses (25 nts), sleeper train (1 nt), homestay (1 nt, multi-share).
My Own Room Exceptions
Night 11& 21 Sleeper train, Night 27 Homestay.
A variety of styles of hotels/guest houses are used in India. These can vary in terms of service, efficiency and cleanliness. In many instances they might not be like what you are used to back home. Power cuts can and are a regular occurrence in many places, especially throughout North and Central India. Although a number of hotels have generators there may be times when these won’t work. It is also recommended when you are in your room to lock the door, as staff will sometime enter without reason.
If this is your first trip to India an arrival transfer is recommended. The arrival transfer will be provided by our G Adventures-supported project Women on Wheels. This program provides safe and reliable transport for travellers, while providing a dignified livelihood for a local woman from a resource poor community. You will be greeted by a trained driver from the project with a G Adventures sign with your name on it. The drivers mostly wait outside exit Gate number 6. Please check carefully once you exit the baggage hall as there seem to be hundreds of people waiting outside in the arrival area. If you have any questions, please feel free to call our transfer representatives in Delhi. Our airport representatives can be reached at +919599193260 or +919599051397, or contact the Sakha Call Centre at +919278708888.
Taking a taxi from New Delhi airport is convenient, but taxi drivers are famous for tampering with their meters and overcharging. Use the prepaid taxi service offered at the airport. You can make the arrangements at designated counters outside the baggage-claim area of the domestic terminals and international terminal. Unfortunately scammers have set up similar services, so make sure the counter is operated by the Delhi Traffic Police. Your destination, the time of your arrival and the amount of luggage determine the rate, which you pay in advance at the counter, but should be between INR200-300. Take the receipt and locate your assigned taxi. Taxis are black with yellow tops and have yellow number plates. Once you get into the taxi, don’t give the driver the payment slip until you reach your destination. If the driver demands more rupees, politely refuse, although if they have driven safely, you may like to tip INR10-20.
Be aware also, of touts at the airports, even at hotel-reservation counters. They may try to trick you into booking a hotel room by claiming that your prior reservation is invalid. Ignore them.
Your CEO will contact you at the hotel on Day 1 and make sure you are settled comfortably. If you arrive late, they will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning. Your CEO will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive some general and specific information about aspects of the trip.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.
If your call is specifically concerning Airport Transfer complications please call our local G Adventures Transfer providers directly at:
New Delhi Airport:
Sakha Call Center
From outside India: +91 9278708888
From within Delhi: 9278708888
From outside Delhi: 09278708888
From outside India: +919599193260 or +919599051397
From within Delhi: 9599193260 or 9599051397
From outside Delhi: 09599193260 or 09599051397
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Office (Delhi)
G Adventures South Asia Manager, Rishab (Delhi, India)
From outside of India: +91 99 7179 5447
From within Delhi: 99 7179 5447
From within India, but outside Delhi: 099 7179 5447
G Adventures Office Bangkok, Thailand
During Office hours (Weekdays, 9am-5pm Local Time): +66-02-3815574
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
What to Take
What you need to bring depends on the trip you have chosen and the countries or regions you are planning to visit. We suggest that you pack as lightly as possible as your are expected to carry your own luggage. As a rule we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 mintues with your bags which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 10-15kg/22-30lb. Suitcases are not recommended for G Adventures trips! Most travellers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size (no XXL ones please!) as they need to fit under the beds when travelling on sleeper trains. You will also need a day pack/bag to carry water, cameras and other electronics like ipods and mobile phones. If your trip involves overnights in homestays, villages or camping then you usually have the opportunity to rent sleeping bags if need be instead of bringing them with you.
-Passport (with photocopies)
-Travel insurance (with photocopies)
-Airline tickets (with photocopies)
-Debit or credit card
-Cash in USD
-G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and – Required visas or vaccination certificates
-Day pack for daily personal items
-Locks for bags
-Reusable water bottle
-Sturdy walking shoes/Sport sandals
-Hiking pants/track pants
-Waterproof backpack cover
-Rain jacket or poncho
-Clothes that cover knees and shoulders (long pants/sarong)
-Long-sleeved shirts or sweater
-Thermal base layer
- Note: During the colder months (Oct-Apr) the mountains can be very cold, so please make sure you pack warm clothes.
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
Please note that visas for India are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. For the most up to date information please check your governments foreign ministry website or with you travel agent as rules do change. It is important that you check for yourself. For most travellers there will probably have an embassy and consulate in the country that you live in.
Standard Indian tourist visas are good for 6 months with multiple entry and exits. VISA IS NOT AVAILABLE AT PORT OF ENTRY AND must be obtained in advance.
For nationals of Afghanistan, China, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan and Bangladesh if you are planning on entering India multiple times in a two month period will need to get special authorization.
a) If you are already in India you must register with FRRO (Foreign Regional Registration office).
b) If you are still outside of India you must advise consulate or embassy at time of visa application of your plans. You will need to provide supporting documents which includes airline tickets.
Detailed Trip Notes
In India English is widely spoken and transportation and infrastructure is good, but please remember that this is India- expect the unexpected! If you are able to bring with you a lot of patience, a great sense of humour and a willingness to try and interact with the local people, your travel experience wil be greatly enhanced.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
As currency exchange rates in Asia fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com As of Feb 2012 the exchange rate for INDIA was 1 USD = 49.00 INR (Indian Rupees). There are many ATM machines that accept both Visa and Mastercard but these are limited to major cities. Major credit cards are accepted in most shops but they may charge a 2-4% transaction fee.
All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
It is customary in Asia to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is expected – though not compulsory – and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from USD1-2 per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline USD20-30 per person, per week can be used.
We suggest you bring along USD100 for additional sightseeing including
Delhi – Red Fort – INR250
Delhi – Qutab Minar – INR250
Delhi – Humayuns Tomb – INR250
Agra – Akbar’s Mausoleum – INR235
Agra – I’timad-ud-Daulah (Baby Taj) – INR100
Agra – Nature Park – INR50
Fatehpur Sikri – Monument – INR485
Khajuraho – Eastern Temple Complex – INR10
Khajuraho – Dance performance – INR250
Orchha – Village Safari – INR150
Varanasi – Sarnarth Deer Park – INR230
Varanasi – Dawn or Sunset Boat Ride – INR50
Varanasi – Ram Nagar Fort – INR10
Kochi – Jewish Synagogue – INR5
Kochi – Kathakali Dance – INR225
Kochi – Boat to Vypeen Island- INR20
Madurai – Ghandi Museum – INR50
Mysore – Palm Reading – INR300
Mysore -Tipu’s Mausoleum – INR100
Mysore – Somanathpur – INR100
Periyar – Ayurvedic Massage – INR500
Periyar – Spice tour (excl transport) – INR100
Periyar – Jungle Walk – INR500
All prices are per person (unless stated otherwise), and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. In Asia pharmacies tend to stock the same western drugs as you get at home but they are usually produced locally so please bring the full drug name with you when trying to purchase a prescription drug. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:
Trip Specific Safety
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility’ is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
The medical questionnaire can be found online at:
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org
Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our G Adventures for Good projects.
To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)
In Asia the dress standard is more conservative than it is back home. When packing try to pick loose, lightweight, long clothing that will keep you cool in the usually hot and humid climate of Asian summers. In predominately Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim countries we ask that you dress respectfully and avoid very short shorts/skirts and singlets/tanktops when visiting small rural communities or visiting temples or mosques or other holy sites as this may restrict your entry.
India is very conservative and you should dress accordingly. As a general guideline shoulders and knees should be covered at all times. The wearing of shorts is not allowed as it will restrict your entry into buildings of a religious nature and family homes. A light water and windproof jacket is useful and a hat essential.
NB: WE STRESS THAT IT CAN BE VERY COLD IN THE HILLS DURING THE MONTHS FROM DECEMBER TO FEBRUARY.
NB: During our trip there will be many opportunities for you to meet and “talk” with locals. One way to start any conversation is with pictures. We recommend that you bring some photos/postcards of your family, home, city or country where you live, animals peculiar to your country etc.
Travel Forum - The Watering Hole
Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you’re interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
Allow USD610-795 for meals not included.
3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners
PRODUCT_LINE: AHHE, ID: 24310
Day 1: Delhi
Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included through the G Adventures-supported Women on Wheels project.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Women on Wheels Transfer
Day 2: Delhi
In the morning enjoy a city tour by local streetkids, a G Adventures-supported project.
Later, visit Delhi’s famous Jama Masjid (Great Mosque) and climb the minaret for a bird’s eye view of the Old City. Walk through Chandni Chowk, one of India’s oldest and busiest markets, and learn the history of the Sikh religion at the important Gurdwara, (Sikh place of worship) Gurdwara SisGanj. Stop for photos at the colourful spice market before finishing at the Victorian Connaught Place, one of the most prominent architectural remnants of British rule.
Guided Walking Tour with New Delhi Streetkids Project
Jama Masjid Visit
Gurdwara Sis Ganj Visit
Delhi Spice Market
Connaught Place Visit
Chandni Chowk Visit
Day 3: Delhi/Jaipur
Drive to Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan and start exploring. Opt to visit the Jantar Mantar, or Royal Observatory. Don’t miss the opprtunity to see a Bollywood film at the famous Art Deco Raj Mandir cinema.
Private Vehicle (5.00-6.00 hours, 260km)
Day 4: Jaipur
Head out to visit the ruined city of Amber, the former capital of Jaipur state. Stop and take a photo of the Hawa Mahal palace complex, elaborate formal gardens, and a small lake.
Amber Fort Visit
Day 5: Jaipur/Tordi Sāgar (1L, 1D)
Travel to the rural village of Tordi Sagar. Walk with a local resident through the markets, potters, iron smiths, temples, and farms and get a taste of the complexity of rural India.
Go on a camel cart ride to the dunes or opt to take a jeep safari in the surrounding region. Visit hamlets around the village, ancient stepwells, or watch a stunning sunset on the reservoir.
Tordi Sagar Local Village Tour
Tordi Sagar Camel Cart Ride
Private Vehicle (2.00-3.00 hours, 100km)
Day 6: Tordi/Āgra (1B)
Opt for an early morning hike to the old fortress before continuing on towards Agra. Visit Abhaneri, known for its beautiful baoris (stepwells) and the famous Harshat Mata temple.
Arrive to Agra, a city that is best known as the site of India’s most famous landmark, the Taj Mahal.
Abhaneri Stepwell Visit
Private Vehicle (6.00-7.00 hours, 250km)
Day 7: Āgra
Visit the sparkling Taj Mahal for sunrise then stick around to explore (if the light is better around sunset, we may visit later in the day instead). Later, visit the walled city of Agra Fort by cycle-rickshaw and the I’timad-ud-Daulah, or the Baby Taj.
Taj Mahal Visit
Agra Fort Visit
Baby Taj Visit
Visit the Agra Fort by human-powered cycle-rickshaw.
Day 8: Āgra/Alīpura
Leave early and travel along typically rough Indian roads to Alipura, a friendly village which will be our base for two days.
Here, stay in a heritage property with time to wander the town and interact with locals.
Train (2.50 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (3.50 hour(s))
Day 9: Alīpura
Travel 1.5 hrs to Khajuraho, one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Learn the history of these world-famous temples on a guided tour and enjoy a taste of a little erotica from the Middle Ages.
After, opt to visit a nearby waterfall (seasonal), watch an evening dance performance, or see a sound and light show within the temple complex itself.
Khajuraho Temples Guided Tour
Private Vehicle (1.50-2.00 hours, 96km)
Private Vehicle (1.50-2.00 hours, 96km)
Day 10: Alīpura/Orchha
En route to Orchha, visit a unique paper making plant, set up to assist tribal women from the area. All the paper is made from recycled clothing and wood pulp. Continue on to Orchha and enjoy an orientation tour of this small town. Set on the banks of the Betwa River, it is the perfect antidote to the chaos of India’s cities. Later, attend an evening puja ceremony at the Ram Raja Temple.
Private Vehicle (2.50-3.00 hours, 96km)
Day 11: Orchha/Varanasi
Visit the Orchha Palace complex and enjoy free time before the overnight train to Varanasi. Opt for a local cooking class with a family.
Orchha Palace Visit
Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s), 20km)
Overnight train (beds) (13.00 hour(s))
Day 12: Varanasi
Disembark the train in legendary Varanasi, the quintessential Indian holy city where millions of Hindus visit for pilgrimage, to worship, to mourn, or to die.
There is time here to shop, wander, and absorb the atmosphere of this unique city, while optional activities include the monasteries and ruins of nearby Sarnath, the site of the Buddha’s first sermon.
Evening Ganges Boat Tour
Day 13: Varanasi
Watch the sunrise from a boat along the Ganges. Enjoy free time in this holy city.
Morning Ganges Boat Tour
Day 14: Varanasi/Delhi
Cut out the travel time with an afternoon flight back to Delhi.
Day 15: Delhi/Kochi (1B)
Transfer to the airport and fly to Kochi. In the evening, there will be a welcome meeting for new travellers joining the group.
You may have one CEO for the North and one for the South. In this case you will be transferred to the airport in Delhi and fly unescorted to Kochi — either on your own or with any other travellers who are continuing on for the south portion of the tour. Upon arrival to Kochi, there is free time to relax until the welcome meeting in the evening.
Plane (3.00-3.50 hours)
Day 16: Kochi
Enjoy an early morning orientation tour of Fort Kochi. Enjoy free time to explore before an evening performance of kathakali, a form of traditional dancing from Kerala.
Day 17: Kochi/Kalpetta
Take a morning train followed by a scenic drive to reach Kalpetta, in the Wayanad district.
Train (4.00 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s))
Day 18: Kalpetta
Here, we go on nature trails in Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary and visit the Edakkal Caves, which are believed to have been a shelter of neolithic people.
Wayanad Nature Walk
Day 19: Kalpetta/Mudumalai
We leave the hills for the plains, and stop for the night at the Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary.
Spend part of the afternoon on a short safari and spot the variety of wildlife within the park.
Mudumalai Jeep Safari
Private Vehicle (3.00-4.00 hours)
Day 20: Mudumalai/Mysore
Imagine life as a Maharaja on a guided tour of the Mysore Palace. Later, join the throngs of pilgrims at Chamundi Hills, with its temple on top, and Nandi the Bull (ridden by the Hindu god Shiva) a short walk below.
In your free time, visit the Devaraja fruit and vegetable market or join a yoga class at one of the many local institutes.
Opt to drive to Somnathpur, home to one of the most famous Hoysala Temples in India.
Chamundi Temple Visit
Mysore Palace Visit
Private Vehicle (2.00-4.00 hours)
Day 21: Mysore/Māmallapuram
Arrive by train to Chennai before continuing south for a short ride to the small village of Mamallapuram. Visit the 7th century Shore Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Shore Temple Visit
Enjoy a scenic ride to the east coast aboard Indian’s vast rail system. Play cards, meet your fellow passengers or let the landscapes soak in.
Train (8.00 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (1.00-1.50 hours)
Day 22: Māmallapuram
Free time to explore Mamallapuram.
Day 23: Māmallapuram/Puducherry
In the morning, drive to Pondicherry (now known as Puducherry), formerly the the largest French Colony in India and an important trading town. There is a strong French influence in the city’s layout, with wide boulevards and French-style houses, but the city is undoubtedly Indian.
Private Vehicle (2.00-2.50 hours)
Day 24: Puducherry/Madurai
Travel inland to Madurai, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
Private Vehicle (6.00-7.00 hours)
Day 25: Madurai
After visiting the temple complex, opt to visit the handicraft shops or duck into the cool shade of the covered, stone tailor’s market where, for a few rupees, rows of expert tailors will whip you up a custom shirt in minutes, all done on antique foot-pump sewing machines. In the late evening, opt to visit the Meenakshi Temple again for a glimpse of the nighttime rituals.
Meenakshi Temple Visit
Day 26: Madurai/Periyār Sanctuary (1D)
Thekkady, adjacent to Periyar National Park, is the spice capital of India. On arrival, enjoy a guided tour of the spice plantations and a tea factory.
Opt for a boat ride on the Periyar Lake.
Cardamom Hills Spice Plantation Tour
Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s))
Day 27: Periyār Sanctuary/Kerala Backwaters (1L, 1D)
Travel down to the backwaters from Thekkady to catch a private boat for the short journey to the village homestay.
In the afternoon, explore the island with a local person to observe the different facets of local life — it’s a great opportunity to meet and talk with the people who live in this unique location.
Just before sunset, hop on a small country boat and journey along with the locals to enjoy sunset on the winding backwaters.
For this homestay, you will only need to take a small overnight bag. Your main bags will be transferred directly to the hotel in Kochi.
Kerala Backwaters Homestay
Private Vehicle (4.00-5.50 hours, 145km)
Boat (0.25 hour(s))
Day 28: Kerala Backwaters/Kochi (1B)
The morning is spent enjoying the last of our host family’s hospitality. Learn to cook some of the wonderful food, watch the toddy tappers at work, or wander around the village and explore more of the life on the backwaters.
Depart the homestay and travel back to Kochi. The trip ends on arrival to Kochi in the early afternoon.
Departure Day (Activities)
Boat (1.50 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s))