Iconic India

Iconic India

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37 Days
From

$2510

$2318

Iconic India

37 Days Starting in Delhi and ending in Goa

Visiting: Delhi, Delhi – Overnight Train, Bikaner, Bikaner to Jaisalmer , Jaisalmer, Thar Desert, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Pushkar, Jaipur, Abhaneri, Fatehpur Sikri – Agra, Agra – Overnight Train, Varanasi, Varanasi – Overnight Train, Trivandrum, Varkala, Kerala Backwaters , Kochi, Periyar , Periyar, Madurai, Madurai – Overnight Train, Mysore, Mysore – Overnight Train, Hampi, Hampi - Overnight train, Goa

Tour operator:

Intrepid Travel

Tour code:

HHRCC

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

1 - 12

Physical rating:

Medium, Medium

Age range:

15-99 years

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians

Tour operated in:
English
Trip Styles:

Small Group

Interests:

Cultural, History

From:
$2510
$2318 (USD) Operator discount: -$126 The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$66
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Tour Overview

Travel to the far-flung corners of India on this epic adventure. In the north, journey through Jaisalmer's desert, lose yourself in the electric bazaars of Jodhpur, witness pilgrims performing ancient ceremonies on the ghats of Varanasi and marvel at the iconic Taj Mahal in Agra. Then bask in the tropical southern climate, cruise along the Kerala Backwaters, come face-to-face with local customs in small rural towns, and laze on the gorgeous beaches of Goa – India's idyllic holiday destination. Enjoy the freedom to be immersed in the diverse cultures of colourful, chaotic and enchanting India on this small-group adventure.

Highlights

  • Rajasthan is the India that many people imagine when they dream of travelling to this captivating country – ancient forts, palaces, rural villages and the colourful cities of Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Udaipur and Jaipur.

  • Pushkar and Varanasi are among the holiest cities in India. Climb to hilltop temples at sunrise, dodge cows in the street, and observe pilgrims praying along the ghats of the sacred Ganges River during a boat cruise.

  • Ride out into the Thar Desert on a camel safari. Feast on Rajasthani cuisine at sunset before bunking down to camp between the sand dunes.

  • Glide through the backwaters of Kerala on a pole boat, going ashore for a village homestay – a beautiful break and a perfect way to get close to local customs and culture.

  • The word ‘colourful’ gets thrown around a lot when people talk about India, but the gateway towers of Meenakshi Amman Temple truly are a technicolour dream.

  • Explore the wonders of the Thar Desert. Feast on Rajasthani cuisine at sunset before bunking down to camp between the sand dunes.

Itinerary

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Day 1: Delhi
Location: Delhi
Accommodation: Hotel

Namaste and welcome to Delhi! Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you arrive in Delhi with time to spare before the meeting, consider finding your feet with an Urban Adventure. The Hidden Gems of Delhi tour offers something a little different from the standard itinerary, taking you to sights most tourists never see.

Optional Activities:
-Delhi - Humayun's Tomb
-Delhi - Qutub Minar
-Delhi - Red Fort
-Delhi - Gandhi's Delhi Urban Adventure
-Delhi - Delhi Food Walk Urban Adventure
-Delhi - Hidden Gems of Delhi Urban Adventure

Day 2: Delhi – Overnight Train
Location: Delhi – Overnight Train
Accommodation: Overnight Sleeper Train

This morning set off by metro to Old Delhi to explore on a walking tour. Experience the chaos of an Indian traffic jam as you inch your way through the streets around Chandni Chowk marketplace in a traditional cycle rickshaw. Visit the Jama Masjid, Delhi's oldest mosque, then stop by the Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple) to learn about the religion. Tonight, transfer to the railway station and board an overnight train to Bikaner. Local vendors will board the train at various stops to sell snacks, but it’s advised that you bring some of your own food for the journey too.

Included Activities:
-Delhi - Leader-led Old Delhi walking & rickshaw tour
-Delhi - Visit to the Jama Masjid Mosque
-Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)

Day 3: Bikaner
Location: Bikaner

Bikaner a city in Rajasthan still displays its ancient opulence through palaces and forts, built of red sandstone that have withstood the passage of time. Upon arrival in Bikaner this morning, freshen up at your hotel and then head out on a walk with your leader through the old city: Visit the Rampuriya Haveli, Spice Market and Bhandasar Jain Temple.

In the afternoon relax or opt to visit Junagarh Fort: Built in 1588 AD by Raja Rai Singh. Constructed in red sandstone and marble, it's courtyard, balconies and windows are a treat to the eye

Optional Activities:
-Junagarh Fort

Day 4: Bikaner To Jaisalmer
Location: Bikaner to Jaisalmer
Accommodation: Guesthouse

After breakfast travel to Jaisalmer by bus. On arrival, choose whether to relax or join the group on an optional trip to the Jaisalmer Folklore Museum. This small museum displays a private family collection of printing blocks, musical instruments, religious artifacts, and decorations which offer insights into the cultural heritage of Jaisalmer.

Included Activities:
-Jaisalmer - Leader-led walking tour

Day 5: Jaisalmer
Location: Jaisalmer
Accommodation: Guesthouse

Enjoy a free day to explore Jaisalmer. The city’s eponymous fort holds twisting alleys with markets where you can wander for hours. You can also find a series of Jain temples dating from the 15th and 16th centuries within the walls of the fort, and it’s easy to spend a few hours admiring their elaborate carvings. The opulent havelis (traditional Indian mansions) found throughout the city make another fine place to spend some time admiring the desert architecture.

Optional Activities:
-Jaisalmer - Folklore Museum

Day 6: Thar Desert
Location: Thar Desert
Accommodation: Camping (with basic facilities)
Meals Included: dinner

Today drive by jeep to the Thar Desert. Meet your guides, who will get a campfire going and cook a traditional Rajasthani dinner while you relax and watch the sunset. Spend the night stargazing and sharing stories in this incredible setting.

Included Activities:
-Thar Desert - Overnight Desert Camp

Day 7: Jodhpur
Location: Jodhpur
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: breaksfast

Rise early to enjoy the sunrise over the sand dunes. After a simple breakfast, take a private vehicle to the railway station and then a 6-hour train ride across the desert to the blue city of Jodhpur. Enjoy a guided walk to explore the sights, including a visit to one of the oldest markets in India – the Sadar Bazaar. Here you can haggle over Bollywood soundtracks, bangles, leather shoes, and colourful saris, or simply soak up the energy of a typical Indian market. Jodhpur is home to some of the best lassis in India, so make sure you try one while you’re here.

Day 8: Jodhpur
Location: Jodhpur
Accommodation: Hotel

Today you have the option to visit the colossal Mehrangarh Fort, one of the largest in India. The fort is still run by the Jodhpur royal family. If you choose to visit, you can explore the palaces, galleries, and artillery inside the fortress walls and admire great views over the city. If you’d prefer to see a more down to earth kind of Rajasthani life, it is also possible to spend today touring nearby Bishnoi villages. Spending time in these villages offers a glimpse into rural Rajasthani life and the chance to learn about the rich cultural traditions of the people who live there.

Included Activities:
-Jodhpur - Leader-led walking tour

Optional Activities:
-Jodhpur - Bishnoi villages day trip
-Jodhpur - Meherangarh Fort

Day 9: Udaipur
Location: Udaipur
Accommodation: Hotel

This morning take an auto-rickshaw to the bus station and board a local bus for an 8-hour journey to Udaipur. This romantic city is set amid the Aravalli Hills and curls around Lake Pichola, a man-made lake created in the 14th century. On arrival, take a guided walk to get your bearings. Explore twisting alleyways filled with shops and bazaars selling things like silver jewellery, shoes, bags, leather goods, and miniature paintings.

Included Activities:
-Udaipur - Leader-led walking tour

Day 10: Udaipur
Location: Udaipur
Accommodation: Hotel


Enjoy a free day to explore the sights of Udaipur. Perhaps take a short boat ride on the famous Lake Pichola (seasonal) and see the palaces of Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas rise out of the water and their own reflections. Otherwise, you could tour the lakeside City Palace complex, the largest palace in Rajasthan, where you can check out vivid murals and royal antiques. Alternatively, learn the secrets behind making the perfect Indian thali during a half-day cooking class.

Maybe you’d like to visit Sajjan Garh (Monsoon Palace), a 19th-century palace perched on a hill overlooking Lake Pichola. Named after Maharana Sajjan Singh of the Mewar Dynasty, Sajjan Garh offers ridiculously great views of the city below. Or perhaps you’re more inclined to visit the nearby village of Shilpgram, an ethnographic museum and arts hubs where traditional crafts are sold, and artists perform. 

Optional Activities:
-Udaipur - Cultural performance
-Udaipur - Sajjan Garh Palace (Monsoon Palace)
-Udaipur - Shilpgram craft village
-Udaipur - Cooking class
-Udaipur - City Palace
-Udaipur - Lake Pichola boat ride

Day 11: Pushkar
Location: Pushkar
Accommodation: Hotel

Transfer to the station and travel by train for around 7 hours to the city of Ajmer. Hop in a private vehicle for a 45-minute drive to your hotel in Pushkar. One of India's holiest towns and a market centre for the surrounding villages, Pushkar is a great place to immerse yourself in Hindu traditions. On arrival, head out to explore the town on a walking tour, wandering through the main bazaar along the way. Finish with a walk around Pushkar Lake and past the bustling ghats and temples, observing the devout as they worship at the holy waters.

Included Activities:
-Pushkar - Leader-led walking tour

Day 12: Pushkar
Location: Pushkar
Accommodation: Hotel

Today in Pushkar is free for you to do as you please. Early morning risers can choose to hike up the hill to the Savitri Temple for sunrise views over the town. If the chai man is there, enjoy a steaming cup of tea at the top for breakfast. Later in the day, maybe pay a visit to the colourful Brahma Temple, which is dedicated to the Hindu god. If you’ve planned your tour to coincide with the Pushkar Camel Fair (which changes each year), today will mainly be set aside to experience one of India’s most famous festivals.

Optional Activities:
-Pushkar - Brahma Temple - Free
-Pushkar - Sunrise at Savitri Temple - Free

Day 13: Jaipur
Location: Jaipur
Accommodation: Hotel

Return to Ajmer and travel by local bus to Jaipur (approximately 4 hours). On arrival take an auto-rickshaw to your hotel, then head out to explore Rajasthan’s capital on a guided walking tour. This tour includes a visit to the market and opt to visit the beehive-like Palace of the Winds (Hawa Mahal), built in 1799 so that women of the royal family could observe street festivities without being seen by the public. Your evening is free, so perhaps ask your leader to point out the best place to grab dal baati (dal served with wheat rolls).

Included Activities:
-Jaipur - Leader-led walking & market tour

Day 14: Jaipur
Location: Jaipur
Accommodation: Hotel

Enjoy a free day in Jaipur, with plenty of optional activities to choose from to fill your day. For many travellers, an optional hot air balloon experience is one of the highlights of Jaipur. If you’d prefer to stay grounded (but still like expansive views) the Amber Fort is both an excellent example of Rajput architecture and a great place from which to see the surrounding area. Or maybe get among the crowds in the city’s bazaars to shop for artisan goods and semi-precious stones. For a true local experience, tonight you could immerse yourself in Bollywood with a movie at a classic cinema.

Optional Activities:
-Jaipur - Amber Fort
-Jaipur - City Palace
-Jaipur - Bollywood Movie at Raj Mandir Cinema
-Jaipur - Balloon Safari

Day 15: Abhaneri
Location: Abhaneri
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: dinner

Head to Abhaneri by private vehicle and local bus. This rural town provides a lovely detour from the bigger cities in Rajasthan. Visit the Chand Baori, a 20-metre-deep stepwell where water was collected and locals used to gather to escape the heat. Built in the late ninth century, the baori is a mind-bending feat of construction. Next visit another jewel of Abhaneri, the Harshat Mata Temple. This temple, which is now mostly ruined, was first constructed between the seventh and eighth centuries and dedicated to the goddess of happiness and joy.

Included Activities:
-Abhaneri - Chand Baori stepwell

Day 16: Fatehpur Sikri – Agra
Location: Fatehpur Sikri – Agra
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: breaksfast

Head east by private transport for the 2–3-hour journey to Agra, via a stop Fatehpur Sikri where you can opt to go inside. Rich in Mughal heritage, Agra is a city of gardens, temples, and open rooftops. On arrival visit the Taj Mahal, a white marble mausoleum built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial to his wife Mumtaz. One of the New Seven Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal attracts over three million visitors each year, so be prepared for crowds. The rest of the day is free for you to explore. If you’re after a cool drink or a light meal, maybe head to Sheroes Hangout. This cafe is staffed by survivors of acid attacks and is located 10 minutes’ walk from the Taj.

Optional Activities:
-Agra - Taj Mahal

Day 17: Agra – Overnight Train
Location: Agra – Overnight Train
Accommodation: Overnight Sleeper Train

Enjoy a free day before boarding the train this evening. Early risers might want to head back to the Taj Mahal for a very memorable sunrise. While you’re here, be sure to visit the spectacular Red Fort on the banks of the Yamuna River. Built in 1565 by Emperor Akbar, the fort was originally designed to be a military structure. If you have extra time, you may like to continue onto Akbar's Mausoleum to pay your respects to the great emperor. In the evening, board a 12-hour overnight train to Varanasi (Third Class AC).

Optional Activities:
-Agra - Agra Fort
-Agra - Akbar's Mausoleum

Day 18: Varanasi
Location: Varanasi
Accommodation: Hotel

On arrival in Varanasi this morning transfer by auto-rickshaw to your hotel. Head out on a guided walk around the Old City, following your leader through the narrow alleyways. The rest of your day is free to do as you please. This evening, there are two options you should consider, both centred around the holy Ganges. The first is a sunset cruise along the river which allows you to observe life from a unique perspective in the fading light of day. If you’d prefer to stay on land, you could watch local priests perform a Ganga aarti (fire ceremony) at the Dashashwamedh Ghat.

Included Activities:
-Varanasi - Leader-led Old City walking tour

Optional Activities:
-Varanasi - Sunset candle flower ceremony

Day 19: Varanasi
Location: Varanasi
Accommodation: Hotel

Enjoy a free day to explore this holy city. We highly recommend starting very early and take an optional sunrise boat trip along the Ganges, passing pilgrims bathing and praying along the colourful ghats. Alternatively, head out to the ghats on foot to watch the dhobi-wallahs (clothes washers) drying clothes along the riverbank. You could even continue your stroll to the sinking Vishnu temple near the Manikarnika Ghat. Perhaps ask your leader about how to visit Sarnath, about ten kilometres outside of the city, where Gautama Buddha is said to have given his first speech after finding enlightenment.

Optional Activities:
-Varanasi - Sarnath
-Varanasi - Sunrise Ganges boat trip

Day 20: Varanasi – Overnight Train
Location: Varanasi – Overnight Train
Accommodation: Overnight Sleeper Train

In the morning, you have some free time to explore more of Varanasi. Perhaps visit the Vishwanath Temple, or simply grab some chaat and watch the world go by. If you’re craving a little peace and quiet before you board another overnight train, consider heading to the Kriti Gallery to check out some contemporary work by local artists. In the afternoon, board the overnight train for a 15-hour journey to Delhi.

Day 21: Delhi
Location: Delhi
Accommodation: Hotel

Arrive in Delhi in the late morning and hop in a taxi to the hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to relax or explore the city at your own pace. The Home Cooked Delhi tour, which sees you visiting a local’s home for a leisurely meal, is a great way to immerse yourself in the city while still relaxing. Tonight, maybe get together with your group and head out for some dinner – your local leader will have plenty of recommendations.

Optional Activities:
-Delhi - Gandhi's Delhi Urban Adventure

Day 22: Trivandrum
Location: Trivandrum
Accommodation: Hotel

Enjoy a free morning in Delhi before transferring to the airport for an included flight bound for Trivandrum. Please note that this flight is most likely unaccompanied, however, you’ll be met in Trivandrum and transferred to your hotel by a local representative. Tonight, there is another group briefing at 6 pm, where you’ll meet your new travel pals and group leader who’ll join you for the next stage of your journey. Afterward, take a walk around Trivandrum and perhaps join an optional group dinner – your group leader will know of some delicious spots to eat at.

Included Activities:
-Trivandrum – Leader-led Orientation Walk

Day 23: Varkala
Location: Varkala
Accommodation: Resort

In the morning, head up the coast by private vehicle for around 2 hours to the town of Varkala. Once settled into your hotel, use the free time to explore the Keralan coast, which is home to some of India’s best beaches. Soaring cliffs protect Varkala’s sandy bay and, depending on the time of year, dolphins can be spotted from high up on the rocks. In the evening, maybe head into town to one of the numerous restaurants serving fresh, local seafood caught right off the coast.

Day 24: Varkala
Location: Varkala
Accommodation: Resort

Enjoy a free day in Varkala. This is a great place to sit back and relax, but if you want to get active there are plenty of water activities on offer, such as surfing and windsurfing. Even though this is a popular destination for Indian tourists, the beaches are quiet and pretty laidback. Today is also the perfect time to check your Lonely Planet app and see what else is popular around the area. Take the rest of the day to relax, beachside, or otherwise, before the rest of South India beckons.

Day 25: Kerala Backwaters
Location: Kerala Backwaters
Accommodation: Homestay
Meals Included: lunch, dinner

This morning, take a 3-hour train journey along the Keralan coastline to Alappuzha (Alleppey). Once an important trading port and now renowned for the annual Snake Boat race in August, Alappuzha is the starting point for most journeys into the backwaters. An auto-rickshaw will take you from the train station to the boat boarding point before heading to an island village for an overnight homestay with a local family. Get settled, then explore the Keralan Backwaters in a pole boat, your guide will also take you on a walk around the village and introduce you to the community.

Included Activities:
-Kerala Backwaters - Pole boat ride
-Kerala Backwaters - Guided village walk

Day 26: Kochi
Location: Kochi
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: breaksfast

In the morning, cross the backwaters by private boat back to Alappuzha. You’ll then take a 2-hour local bus to Kochi, arriving around midday (12 pm). Once arrived, go for a walk around the Fort Kochi area, where you’ll be staying for the next two nights. In the early evening, there’s the option to attend a classic Kathakali dance performance – a snapshot into traditional cultures of the region.

Optional Activities:
-Kochi - Kathakali performance

Day 27: Kochi
Location: Kochi
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: breaksfast

Today, head to the Mattancherry part of Fort Cochin to explore the old Jewish quarter, synagogue, and Dutch Palace (Kochi Palace) on a guided walking tour. The tour takes around three hours, with the rest of the day free to do as you wish. Afterward, why not join an Urban Adventure day tour, such as Aromas of Kochi, to get more of an in-depth look into this city and its cuisine. Visit urbanadventures.com/destination/kochi-tours for more information, and check with your local leader in advance if you’d like to book one of these trips.

Included Activities:
-Kochi - Leader-led Fort Kochi walking tour

Optional Activities:
-Kochi - Dutch Palace

Day 28: Periyar
Location: Periyar
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: breaksfast

This morning, get ready for a day of travel as you head by private vehicle to Periyar National Park (approximately 7–8 hours). After checking in to your hotel, head out on a tour of a local spice farm. Walk through the winding pathways among the plantations as the scent of cardamom, pepper, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla lingers in the air. Take in the beauty of the cardamom flowers, enjoy the cool breeze and watch the sunlight seep in through the leaves of the pepper plants surrounding you. Afterwards, enjoy a relaxed evening around your accommodation, perhaps settling in for an early night.

Included Activities:
-Periyar - Spice plantation visit

Day 29: Periyar
Location: Periyar
Accommodation: Hotel

After breakfast, enjoy a free day with an optional walk around Periyar National Park. Encounters with animals in the wild are never guaranteed, and this is more of a jungle walk than an animal-spotting tour, but do keep an eye out for tiger tracks, spotted deer, Indian elephants, or gaur – the world's largest species of buffalo. In the afternoon, unwind with an optional ayurvedic massage or just relax in your scenic setting.

Included Activities:
-Periyar - Kalaripayattu (Indian Martial Art) performance

Optional Activities:
-Periyar - Guided nature walk

Day 30: Madurai
Location: Madurai
Accommodation: Hotel

In the morning, take a local bus to Madurai (approximately 4–5 hours). This buzzing city is crammed full of bazaars, pilgrims, and cycle rickshaws. After a walking tour to see the sights, perhaps visit the Sri Meenakshi Temple. This ancient temple is still in use and features a labyrinth of lamplit corridors leading to shrines.

Included Activities:
-Madurai - Leader-led walking tour

Optional Activities:
-Madurai - Sri Meenakshi Temple

Day 31: Madurai – Overnight Train
Location: Madurai – Overnight Train
Accommodation: Overnight Sleeper Train

Today is a free day in Madurai. Perhaps head to the Gandhi Museum to learn about the man who fought for India’s independence or wander through the 1000 pillars of Aayiram Kaal Mandapam. This is also a great opportunity to haggle with vendors at the bazaars and the tailors' market. Keep in mind that this evening, you’ll take an overnight sleeper train to Mysore. The journey is approximately 14 hours, so you may want to bring some extra snacks.

Optional Activities:
-Madurai - Gandhi Museum - Free

Day 32: Mysore
Location: Mysore
Accommodation: Hotel

On arrival, transfer to your hotel in Mysore. Mysore is an easygoing town with a pleasant climate. Go on a walk with your group, checking out the ornate Mysore Palace along the way. There’s also the option to visit the Keshava Temple in Somnathpur, which is a stunning example of Hoysala architecture. The temple is a 1-hour drive out of town.

Included Activities:
-Mysore - Leader-led walking tour

Optional Activities:
-Mysore - Keshava Temple
-Mysore - Maharaja's Palace

Day 33: Mysore – Overnight Train
Location: Mysore – Overnight Train
Accommodation: Overnight Sleeper Train

Today is a free day in Mysore, with plenty of optional activities to keep you busy. If you’ve seen all you need to in town, perhaps explore the countryside surrounding Mysore. Climb up Chamundi Hill to the Sri Chamundeswari Temple at the top, which is dedicated to the goddess Durga. At around 7 pm tonight, meet up with your group and board a 10-hour overnight train to Hampi.

Optional Activities:
-Mysore - Chamundi Hill & Temple

Day 34: Hampi
Location: Hampi
Accommodation: Hotel

In the morning, arrive in Hampi and travel to your guesthouse. Hampi is a temple town situated on the banks of the Tungabhadra River. Once you’re settled in, make an optional visit to the architectural masterpiece of Vittala Temple. This 16th-century temple contains mandapas (pillared pavilions), a pool, a palace, and the popular stone chariot, which according to Hindu mythology was the vehicle of the Lord Vishnu.

Optional Activities:
-Hampi - Vittala Temple

Day 35: Hampi - Overnight Train
Location: Hampi - Overnight train
Accommodation: Overnight Sleeper Train

After breakfast, explore the ruins of the Vijayanagar Empire and the huge boulders on the outskirts of town. In the early evening, drive for around 3 hours by private vehicle to Hubli, where you’ll board a 9-hour overnight train to Goa.

Day 36: Goa
Location: Goa
Accommodation: Hotel

Once your train arrives in Goa, head to the hotel and check in. Brimming with Portuguese influences and known for the sandy beaches lining its coast, Goa is a fascinating region in India's south-west. The day is free to do what you like. Perhaps relax on the beach, sip a cocktail at a local bar, or go for a city walk. Tonight, why not get together with your travel crew for a beachside dinner – Goa is cause for celebration.

Day 37: Goa
Location: Goa

There are no activities planned for the final day and you’re able to depart the accommodation at any time. Goa is a great place to end the trip – if you can, we recommend staying on for a couple of nights to relax and explore. If you would like to spend more time in Goa, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).

What's Included

  • Delhi - Leader-led Old Delhi walking & rickshaw tour

  • Delhi - Jama Masjid

  • Jaisalmer - Leader-led walking tour

  • Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)

  • Jaisalmer - Camel safari & overnight desert camp

  • Jodhpur - Leader-led walking tour

  • Pushkar - Leader-led walking tour

  • Udaipur - Leader-led walking tour

  • Jaipur - Leader-led walking & market tour

  • Abhaneri - Stepwells & Harshat Mata Temple

show more

What's Not Included

  • Tipping and Gratuities

  • International Travel

Transport

  • TRANSPORT IN INDIA:
  • Main roads in India are usually very busy with an assortment of vehicles from the biggest trucks (who always have right of way) down to bikes (and animals!). Overtaking on blind corners at speed is common as is the total use of the horn as a form of communication. Our leaders have complete authority to remove groups from local transport if the driver is not driving safely. Drivers of our private vehicles are experienced and well trained. if you are uncomfortable with your driver, please always let your tour leader know immediately. Please ensure you wear your seat belt at all times.
  • TRAVEL TIMES:
  • Distances in India do not reflect the driving time and to cover 100km may take much longer than you would expect at home, even if much of the route is on a highway.
  • TRAINS:
  • India has a massive network of trains and millions of people travel by rail every day. Trains often travel the length of the country over several days. Trains are a great way to see the countryside and get you away from the busy road system. Delays and cancellations are common on trains. Your tour leader will check the train status to see if there are delays and will do their best to keep you informed of any changes.
  • From December to February, delays are more common, especially in the north of the country due to fog. It’s not uncommon for trains to be delayed for up to 12 hours. On occasion, your trip will may to be rerouted to allow for these delays. Your tour leader in conjunction with our local office will advise any changes to the itinerary.
  • The Indian Railway system is one of the largest railway networks in the world and quite complex. Seat allocation is completely computerized on a centralized reservation system and we do not have control over seat allocations. Despite booking tickets months in advance of a departure your group's seats, or sleeping berths on overnight trains, maybe spread out within one carriage or multiple carriages of the same class. There’s a chance you’ll be sharing a compartment with local travelers of either gender.
  • For a detailed look into the experience of travelling by overnight trains read more here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/india-trains-guide/
  • AUTO RICKSHAWS:
  • On this trip, we travel on the local style of transport called an auto-rickshaw. These small, motorised three-wheeled vehicles are a common form of transport in India and do not have seatbelts.
  • FLIGHTS:
  • Airlines in India are of excellent quality. Airports are becoming more modern (especially in the major and tourist cities). To enter the airport, you must have a copy of your flight ticket and passport. Schedule changes and delays do occur, especially when weather conditions make visibility poor.

Accommodation

  • ACCOMMODATION:
  • Some of the accommodation along the way is basic or simple, staying in local guesthouses and homestays. Some may have shared bathroom facilities with cold water only. We use a mixture of air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned rooms. Some areas of India experience daily load shedding. This is where the power may be turned off at certain times of the day and usually occurs for a few hours in the early afternoon. Most hotel properties have a restaurant or cafe serving local meals. Many restaurants and hotels do not serve alcohol for religious reasons or due to local laws.
  • SHOWERS:
  • Showers at some hotels only have hot water at peak times (usually morning and evening). Outside of these times, you may need to speak to reception to obtain hot water.
  • ROOM ISSUES:
  • If you have any issues with your room, please speak to the hotel and your tour leader right away rather than your travel agent so that the problem can be addressed without delay.

Important Information

  • Itinerary change alert:
  • There's no overnight train from Delhi to Jaisalmer at the moment so you'll take an early Day train from Delhi at around 4:30am on Day 2 which will arrive in Jaisalmer around 10:30 pm. After arrival, you'll check into your hotel for the night. All the included activities on Day 2 in Delhi will be moved to the afternoon of Day 21 once you arrive back in Delhi.
  • We'll resume to the original itinerary with the overnight train on Day 2 once the original train schedule is reinstated.
  • 1. This trip is a combination of North India Revealed (HHRR, group size max 16) and South India Revealed (HHSS, group size max 12). As such the makeup of your group and your tour leader may change on Day 22
  • 2. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Days 2, 17, 20, 31, 33 and 35 (Overnight sleeper trains) and Day 3 (Camping) where you will be in shared accommodation, and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
  • 3. The Pushkar Camel Fair is undoubtedly one of the most vibrant festivals in India, and can be a true highlight, but please note the fair is based on the lunar calendar, so the fair dates can vary and it can be hard to confirm the exact festival dates.
  • We will do all we can to ensure that travellers booked on departures that coincide with the fair will get an opportunity to see the best of the festival, but due to the uncertain and flexible nature of this festival we cannot take responsibility if the dates of the fair are changed resulting in your visit not coinciding with the fair.
  • Pushkar hotels typically raise their rates considerably during the fair so departures across this period will be subject to a surcharge. Unfortunately, although we make bookings months in advance, Pushkar accommodation tend to overbook at this time so we ask for a flexible approach from our travellers who choose to travel at this time.
  • 4. Hot air balloon flights are operated by Sky Waltz in Jaipur. Flights operate from September 1st to April 30th and last approximately 60 mins. Return transfers, tea and coffee plus light refreshments, and a certificate of flight are included in the cost. You can register your interest and pay your tour leader at your joining meeting on day 1 of your trip. Payment must be made by cash in either INR/AUD/USD/GBP only and is USD$260pp (subject to change). Flights are subject to availability and weather conditions (tickets are fully refundable in case of bad weather).
  • 5. Please note travelling during major festivals such as Holi and Diwali can, at times, cause disruption the the published itinerary. Please see the 'Safety' section for more details.
  • 6. The trip begins with an important welcome meeting at 6pm.There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
  • 7. Please provide your full name exactly as it appears on your passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport) for flight tickets. Ticketing fees may apply for amendments to details within 45 days of departure, and in some cases you will be required to cover the cost of issuing a new ticket.

Check out our Q&As

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    No

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    Yes if aged 15+ and accompanied by an adult

  • Are flights included in this tour?

    Yes, Delhi to Trivandrum

  • Are all the relevant entry visa’s included in the price of the tour?

    No

  • Is this trip right for you

    This trip is made for travellers who value their independence but also want the benefit of a local leader and a group of like-minded travellers. The itinerary has a mix of included activities and free time when your leader will offer suggestions. Please budget spending money for optional activities you want to partake in.

    Part of travelling with Intrepid means respecting local cultures and sensibilities. That way you get the most out of your interactions with local people and environments. We visit a number of temples on this trip, which requires a certain level of modesty. Please bring clothes that cover the arms and pants/skirts that go past the knees. A light scarf is also a good idea for covering shoulders and arms when it’s hot.

    Sleeper trains are a great way to travel long distances while still getting maximum time in each place. Beds are padded berths with sheets, pillow and blanket provided (although some people prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet). Please note that you may be sharing with locals of the same or opposite gender. More information can be found in the Transport section of the Essential Trip Information.

    You will also be travelling by local bus on this trip. While conditions are basic, this is a great way to rub shoulders with the locals while enjoying the passing scenery.

    This trip runs all year round, so it’s important to be aware of just how hot it can get in India in the summer months and choose the season that best suits you. Depending on the time of year, temperatures in northern India can get very hot and very cold. Please bring layers and a range of adequate clothing, including thermals and sun protection.

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Please contact us for latest COVID-19 policies

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Intrepid Travel has been taking travellers around the world for over 30 years

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Yes

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Since 2002, The Intrepid Foundation has supported over 130 organisations across the world. We’re creating positive impact through the joy of travel, community and connection.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Over 50% of traveller travel solo with Intrepid. You can choose to share a room with another solo travelle of the same sex for no additional charge, or choose to pay a single supplement if you’d like your own room. Please request this when booking, and we will secure you a single supplement wherever possible. Please note, if you are booking a last-minute trip, it may be harder for us to secure a single room

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Henry Guy Robinson   United Kingdom

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22-Jan-2024

The overall experience was fantastic. V good tour leader. All places visited had something special to do or see. I would book a tour with this company again. Only one negative tour hub is not I repeat not available to contact direct by phone.

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02-Dec-2022

Our tour guide,Tamara, was the highlight of our Explore Croatia tour. She was knowledgeable, organized, and so kind and fun. Croatia is a beautiful country. I loved the people, the scenery, the food, the history. I hope to go back one day. Intrepid was perfect for me. There was group time and there was plenty of free time. It wasn’t a luxury tour but all of our accommodations were clean and safe. The dinner in Hvar was SO special!

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Miguel Angel Araujo   Usa

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27-Feb-2024

The trip was amazing, everything was well planned out & there wasn't any issues. The tour guide was very friendly and made the experience fun. During the trip I didn't have to worry about safety as we were never put in harms way. I would definitely recommend & do again.

Kelly  

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25-Oct-2021

Touring the beautiful North of Morocco I learned far more than I’d anticipated in this 9 day tour. Interesting sights to see, with knowledgeable local guides, this tour provides a great balance of exposure to a different culture with ample time for relaxation. Chefchaouen is an absolute highlight, & not a place many Morocco trips of this kind go to. Loved it!

Sharik  

Essential Morocca

21-Oct-2021

Essential Morocco was an absolute dream. Every single day had such informative walking tours and tours of local facilities. Whether it was dinner with a local family or visiting a pottery factory, I learned so much about Moroccan culture. The accommodations were safe and I felt secure the entire 11 days. This trip wouldn’t have been the same without one person. That person is Youssef. If you are coming to Morocco with Intrepid and you don’t request Youssef, you’re doing it wrong. Words cannot describe how incredible of a guide he is. There were 3 of us on our trip of 18-29 year olds and he made us all feel so welcome and safe all the time. Whether that is cracking jokes on long drives or giving us the itinerary for the next day, Youssef ensured we felt respected and seen.

Barbara Ruth Roback   Canada

Cambodia Adventure

15-Jan-2024

Absolutely superb leader - knowledgeable. fun, safety conscious. Group of 15 travellers from 5 countries who bonded into a solid team. In addition to a fantastic itinerary, our leader’s love of karaoke made the trip unforgettable. It even inspired a song written as a tribute to him.

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Book with Confidence

  • Free Date Changes

    Intrepid Travel allows you to make 10 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 56 days before the start of the tour.

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Intrepid Travel allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform intrepid travel, 56 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Intrepid Travel requires a minimum deposit of 400 USD per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 56 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of intrepid travel charges.

    Up to 56 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 55 days before tour starts: Forfeit 30% of booking price.

    At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 60% of booking price.

    At 14 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

  • COVID Protection

    Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards
    From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

    However, we continue to strongly recommend that all travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and other Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

    This policy excludes all Polar trips and select adventure cruises, where testing and vaccination remains a requirement. Please refer to the Essential Trip Information of your chosen tour for more details.

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