Poppodoms & Palm Trees

From Delhi to Chennai

Visiting: Delhi, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Mandu, Ajanta, Ellora, Mumbai, Goa, Old Goa, Hampi, Mysore, Wayanad, Kochi, Alleppey, Varkala, Kanyakumari, Madurai, Pondicherry, Chennai


Tour Operator: Dragoman

Physical rating: Low

Special diets catered: Vegetarians, Please contact Dragoman with any specific dietary requirements

Group size: 0 - 22

Age range: 18 plus

Tour operated in: English


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Tour Overview

This is a wonderfully laid back trip combining the beaches of India’s southwest with the rural and village life of its northwest and the colourful state of Rajasthan. The route takes in some of India's most spectacular temples and sites of antiquity, including the vast 7th Century Virupaksha Temple at Hampi and the 8th Century Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram. No visit to India is complete without visiting its great cities and centres, and on this trip you’ll see several: the frenetic pace and modernity of Mumbai, the smells, spices and gardens of Mysore, the colourful and pulsating Delhi and the history and heat of Kochi. Then we have the beaches of Goa and Vagator which allow us to chill away from the hustle and bustle of life on the road. Add to this a guesthouse stay in the tea plantations of Wayanad, the great sites and cave temples of Ellora and Ajanta and boating through the backwaters of Kerala, and you get a vision of the nature of this trip.

Highlights

  • iconOvernight Rajasthan camel safari into the Thar Desert
  • iconExplore the amazing Maharaja's Palace of Mysore
  • iconExplore the Buddhist, Jain and Hindu Caves and templed of Ellora and Ajanta
  • iconExplore Jaisalmer and all its fascintating sites
  • iconStay in the French influenced enclave of Pondicherry
  • iconExplore Kochi including a local boat trip to Fort Cochin
  • iconVisit to the Shore Temples & Pagodas of Mahabalipuram
  • iconDiscover the lost kingdom of Vijayanagar in the magnificent ruined city of Hampi
  • iconExplore chaotic and fascinating Mumbai
  • iconOvernight by local boat through the backwaters and villages of Kerala
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Itinerary

Map Image
icon Day 1: Delhi

Location: Delhi

Border Information: If joining the trip in Delhi, you will most likely enter India at Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport (IATA code: DEL).

Today is a free day to explore Delhi. There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm - please look for a note from your tour leader when you arrive at the hotel giving more details about this meeting.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Delhi before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Delhi.


icon Day 2: Bikaner

Location: Bikaner

Today we start our journey with a full day drive to the city of Bikaner.

In Bikaner we will either stay in a local hotel or camp at an eco-lodge a short distance outside the city.


icon Day 3: Jaisalmer

Location: Jaisalmer

Today we continue our journey with a drive to the ancient Rajasthani city of Jaisalmer, stopping at the Karni Mata (Rat Temple) for an included visit en route.


icon Day 4: Jaisalmer

Location: Jaisalmer

We will have free time this morning to explore the sights of Jaisalmer. In the late afternoon we will head out on an included camel safari into the Thar Desert - exploring the desert with local Rajasthani camel drivers is the most authentic way to experience the area!

Tonight we will camp out on the outskirts of the desert, sleeping under the stars.

icon Day 5: Jaisalmer

Location: Jaisalmer

This morning we will return to Jaisalmer from our camel safari. The rest of the day will be free to relax or explore more of Jaisalmer and the surrounding area.


icon Day 6: Jodhpur

Location: Jodhpur

This morning we will drive from Jaisalmer to another famous Rajasthani city, Jodhpur. En route to Jodhpur we will make an included visit to the Sambhali Trust project (a charitable project that works for the empowerment of women and girls in Rajasthan), where we will learn about the efforts of the project and make a group donation from the kitty.

After our visit we will make our way to our accommodation, rooms that have been set up by local families in their own homes for visitors. We will be splitting up into 2 or 3 small groups for our community guesthouses.

icon Day 7: Jodhpur

Location: Jodhpur

After breakfast we will have an included visit to the Mehrangarh Fort and palace. The afternoon is then free to explore this wonderful city independently.

icon Day 8: Udaipur

Location: Udaipur

After breakfast we set off for our drive to Udaipur, visiting the Jain Temple at Ranakpur en route. We will have 3 nights in Udaipur, giving us plenty of time to discover this amazing, romantic Rajasthani city.


icon Day 9: Udaipur

Location: Udaipur

On these 2 days we will have free time to explore the sites in and around Udaipur, take part in some optional activities, and relax on one of the many roof-top terraces in the city.

icon Day 10: Udaipur

Location: Udaipur

We have a 2nd full day in Udaipur to give us plenty of time to discover this amazing, romantic Rajasthan city and relax on one of the many roof-top terraces

icon Day 11: Mandu

Location: Mandu

Leaving Udaipur, we will be joined by a local cook who will accompany us during the next few days as we travel through Ajanta and Ellora.

Today will mostly be spent travelling to Mandu via the backroads of rural Rajasthan. We will be off the tourist trail here and tonight we will camp or stay in a local hotel.

icon Day 12: Mandu

Location: Mandu

Today we will visit Mandu, an extensive and largely abandoned hill-top fort from the Mughal era. We will then spend the afternoon driving to our camping spot near Kharwand Dam, en route towards Ajanta.

icon Day 13: Ajanta

Location: Ajanta

Today we complete the drive to Ajanta, arriving in the afternoon. We will visit the complex of 29 ancient Buddhist temples cut into the rock face. We will find a basic camp nearby or continue onto Ellora depending on time.

icon Day 14: Ellora

Location: Ellora

Today we will drive a short distance to Ellora where we will have an included visit to the ancient Buddhist, Hindu and Jain caves - a set of a small temples in the rock face dating from the 6th to 11th Centuries CE. We will camp in the grounds of a hotel tonight.

icon Day 15: Mumbai

Location: Mumbai

Setting off early today, we will say goodbye to our local cook and drive to the bustling city of Mumbai.


icon Day 16: Mumbai

Location: Mumbai

Border Information: If joining the trip in Mumbai, you will most likely enter India from Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (IATA code: BOM).

There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel in Mumbai - please look out at the reception for a note from you tour leader with further details about this meeting. Otherwise, today is free to explore the sights and sounds of Mumbai.

icon Day 17: Mumbai

Location: Mumbai

Today will be a free day to explore this amazing city. This is also an opportunity to take a tour of the Dharavi slum areas of Mumbai.

icon Day 18: Goa

Location: Goa

We will start our journey by taking the train along the coast to Goa. We will stay for 2 nights at the relaxed beaches of Vagator in the northern part of Goa.

Estimated Journey Time (on train) - 11-12 hours.

icon Day 19: Goa

Location: Goa

We will have a 2nd night in North Goa tonight. Most travellers are drawn to Vagator for the stunning sunsets, the laid-back atmosphere and the proximity of some other quieter beaches in the area such as Arambol and Anjuna.

icon Day 20: Old Goa

Location: Old Goa

After our 2 nights on the northern beaches of Goa, we head off in the truck to the southern end of Goa. En route we will stop off at the site of Old Goa to spend some time independently exploring the area's colonial buildings.

icon Day 21: Old Goa

Location: Old Goa

We will stay for a 2nd night on either the stunning beach of Agonda or Palolem, these beaches are the perfect places to sit back and watch the fishing boats landing their catch or sample the delicious local cuisine.

icon Day 22: Hampi

Location: Hampi

Leaving the beaches of Goa behind us, we set off on a full day drive into the state of Karnataka and to the village of Hampi. The village is located within the ruins of Vijayanagara, the former capital of the ancient Vijayanagara Empire.

icon Day 23: Hampi

Location: Hampi

Today we will have a guided tour of the historical sites around Hampi by rickshaw and on foot.

icon Day 24: Mysore

Location: Mysore

From Hampi we will have another full day drive to the city of Mysore, one of India's most attractive towns.

icon Day 25: Mysore

Location: Mysore

On our 2nd day we will have free time in Mysore to independently explore the city's beautiful gardens, palaces, and the Shir Chamarajendra art gallery.

icon Day 26: Wayanad

Location: Wayanad

Today we travel up into the cool highlands and head to the hill-station of Wayanad, a small settlement surrounded by tea and coffee plantations.

Whilst in Wayanad we stay as guests of local families at a local guesthouse.

icon Day 27: Wayanad

Location: Wayanad

There are many optional actvities available in Wayanad which we will have time to do today, from hiking up Chembra Peak, visiting local waterfalls and tea plantations, or the chance to visit the nearby Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary.

icon Day 28: Kochi

Location: Kochi

Today we will continue our journey with a full day drive to the coastal city of Kochi.

icon Day 29: Kochi

Location: Kochi

This morning we will take a local boat to Fort Cochin and have free time to explore and visit various sites including the Jewish Quarter, St Francis Church and the iconic Chinese fishing nets. In the evening we will be able to see a performance from the famous Kathakali dancers, India's most spectacular dance drama.

icon Day 30: Alleppey

Location: Alleppey

Leaving the bustle of Kochi behind, today we embark on our included overnight houseboat cruise on the tranquil Keralan backwaters of Alleppey. We will often split into smaller groups to board our traditional 'Kettuvallom' boats which will take us around the scenic rivers and spend the night aboard. 

icon Day 31: Varkala

Location: Varkala

After our fantastic overnight cruise along the Keralan backwaters, we continue our journey with a short drive to the beach resort of Varkala.

icon Day 32: Varkala

Location: Varkala

Today we have free time to explore the surrounding areas and relax on the beautiful beaches.

icon Day 33: Varkala

Location: Varkala

Our final day in Varkala today, spend more time relaxing the beautiful beaches or why not sample the justifyably-famous Keralan cuisine at one of the great local restaurants.

icon Day 34: Kanyakumari

Location: Kanyakumari

Today we will have a morning drive to Kanyakumari (also known as Cape Comorin), the very southern point of India. Here we will have free time to explore the Vivekananda Rock and the surrounding sites.

icon Day 35: Madurai

Location: Madurai

This morning we have the option to get up early to watch the sunrise from the southern tip of India with thousands of locals, what can be an incredible experience! From Kanyakumari we then start heading back north again, and drive to the holy city of Madurai. In the afternoon we will have an included visit to the Sri Meenakshi Temple in Madurai.

icon Day 36: Pondicherry

Location: Pondicherry

Today we head to the French-influenced town of Pondicherry, and will have a free time on arrival in the afternoon.

icon Day 37: Pondicherry

Location: Pondicherry

On our 2nd day why not spend the day relaxing and soak up the atmosphere or explore the town and its beautiful colonial architechture.

icon Day 38: Chennai

Location: Chennai

Today we have a short drive to the ancient city of Mahabalipuram, once the capital of the Pallava Dynasty in the 7th Century CE. On arrival we will have an included visit to the incredible Shore Temples and other monuments around the town ( time permitted ).

In the afternoon we will finish the short drive to the bustling coastal city of Chennai.

icon Day 39: Chennai

Location: Chennai

Border Information: If you are leaving the trip in Chennai, you will most likely exit India from Chennai International Airport (IATA code: MAA).

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Chennai. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact your sales agent if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.

Transport

Overland Expedition Vehicle, Camel, Train, Boat

Tour Staff

Two Dragoman Crew Members, Local Guides where necessary
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Dates & Availability

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Monday Oct 04, 2021

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Monday Oct 25, 2021

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Monday Nov 15, 2021

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Monday Jan 31, 2022

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26

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Monday Oct 24, 2022

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24

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Monday Nov 14, 2022

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23

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Monday Jan 16, 2023

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Monday Jan 30, 2023

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24

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Monday Feb 13, 2023

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Monday, Oct 04, 2021

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20Available

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Monday, Oct 25, 2021

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19Available

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Monday, Nov 15, 2021

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19Available

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Monday, Jan 10, 2022

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Monday, Jan 31, 2022

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Monday, Feb 14, 2022

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19Available

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Monday, Oct 24, 2022

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Monday, Nov 14, 2022

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Monday, Jan 16, 2023

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26Available

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Monday, Jan 30, 2023

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24Available

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Monday, Feb 13, 2023

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