Travel like a local on this 54-day trip, exploring India by train from the northeast to the southwest. Skip the backpacking and let the train — and the innumerable beautiful sights — move you, from the Taj Mahal to the colours of Rajasthan to the ruins of Karnataka. This trip will hit some of the country’s highlights, with loads of time to hop off and get to know your surroundings in a way only a Rail tour allows. The trip won’t last forever, but the memories definitely will.
Your G for Good Moment: Women on Wheels Transfer, Indira Gandhi International Airport. Golden Temple visit. Wagah border ceremony. McLeod Ganj orientation walk. Dalai Lama Temple visit. Bhagsunag visit. Rewalsar Lake orientation walk. Taj Mahal visit. Agra Fort visit. Jaipur orientation walk. Amber Fort visit. Udaipur orientation walk. Jagdish Temple and City Palace visit. Rajasthani cultural show. Bundi Fort and stepwells visit. Colaba area walking tour. Gateway of India visit. Beach time in Goa. Walking tour and ruins visit in Hampi. Hazararama Temple visit. Mysore Palace and Chamunda Hill visits. Namdroling Monastery visit. Coffee plantation tour. Madikeri Fort and Raja’s Seat visit. Fort Kochi and Chinese fishing nets visit. Backwaters canal ride. Vivekananda Rock and Ramkrishna Ashram visit. Meenakshi Temple visit. Cycle tour to Shore Temple and Mamallapuram Beach. Charminar and Golconda Fort visit. Jagannath Temple visit. Raghuraj Pur village visit. Victoria Memorial visit. Visit Mother Teresa’s House. Tiger Hill sunrise visit. Tea estate visit. Mahakal Temple visit. Peace Pagoda visit. Toy train ride. Rumtek Monastery day trip. Deolo Hill visit. Evening ghats visit. Sunrise boat trip on the Ganges. Bara Imambara visit. Orientation walks in Darjeeling, Gangtok, and Kalimpong. Internal flights. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Witness the famous India-Pakistan border ceremony, see Delhi on a walking tour led by a former at-risk youth, Explore the Bundi Fort and stepwells, ride the toy trains of Shimla and Darjeeling, Indulge in the amazing food of seaside Goa, Experience a homestay in the Kerala Backwaters, Visit the ghats of Varanasi
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.
Want to experience the sights and sounds of Holi? Make sure you’re in India on March 21, 2019 or March 10, 2020 for the nation’s most colourful festival.
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 humor, then we know that you – like all of us – will be captivated by what India has to offer.
2. COMBO TRIP
This trip is a combination of multiple G Adventures tours. As such, the CEO and/or group members on your tour may change between tour segments. Likewise, some CEOs and group members may have previously been travelling together on another G Adventures tour, or they may continue travelling together on another G Adventures tour after your trip concludes.
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 12
3 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 4 dinners
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 (seats), train (beds), Shatabdi Express train, toy trains, private van, walking
About our Transportation
The best way to see India is at ground level on the railway system. In fact, no visit to India would be complete without the experience of tavelling on a train and negotiating the busy railway stations. The chaos in the Indian Railway stations is a replica of the life in India. Indian trains are not merely a conveyance they are an odyssey so sit back relax, be patient and enjoy the show.
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. Indian railways operate with a centralized reservation system. This means that G Adventures cannot control how seats are assigned within a class. Despite our requests to seat the entire group together, often times seats are spread out in the coach or throughout different coaches. This is all part of the adventure that is travelling India by rail. Take advantage of the opportunity to chat with locals and remember you always have the support of your CEO.
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 antibacterial lotion.
Indian trains are quite safe to travel on, even for families or women travelling 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 particularly in winter time when fog is heavy, and sometimes it’s hours rather than minutes. Make sure you have something to occupy your time – a good book, music, a magazine or photos of your home country and family to show the Indian travellers also waiting for the train. You should also have snacks and water for the journey.
Please note that you MUST be comfortable carrying your own luggage, as there will be a lot of up and down stairs on this trip due to the size and layout of train stations in India. Most often, you will not have access to escalators or elevators. You will also be required to carry your luggage short distances between transport start or end points and hotels.
Traveling by road in India 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! In India, although the government is investing large sums of money improving the road infrastructure, there is a lot more to be done. As a result, in India, some of the roads are poorly maintained, pot holed and uneven. This gets even more pronounced particularly during and after the monsoon. Travel time covering relatively short distances is very long in comparison to Western countries.
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 (47 nts), sleeper trains (5 nts), homestay (1 nt).
My Own Room Exceptions
Night 16, 23, 36, 43 and 49 – Sleeper train
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.
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
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 the Sakha Call Centre at +91 92787-08888
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.
Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned for that day other then your welcome meeting in the evening, so you can arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day during which no activities have been planned.
Your CEO will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. A welcome note will be left for you in the hotel so you have all the necessary information regarding the meeting time. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.
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
You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. We highly recommend using a backpack or whatever you find easiest to carry, plus a small daypack. Remember that luggage space on public transport is limited. You must be prepared to carry your own bags and be comfortable carrying them between transport and hotels, hopping on and off trains and public transportation, and up and down stairs.
Standard luggage allowance for internal flights is 15kg (33lb) for checked luggage, and is 7kg (15lb) for carry-on luggage. Any charges for additional luggage or weight is the responsibility of the passenger.
• Long-sleeved shirts or sweater
• Warm gloves
• Warm hat
• Warm layers
• Modest clothing that covers knees and shoulders (Long pants, long skirts, shirts that cover shoulders)
• Shawl or scarf (for temple visits)
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Small travel towel
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket
• Hiking boots/sturdy walking shoes
• Hiking pants (Convertible/Zip-off and quick dry recommended)
Train Travel (Optional):
• Slip-on shoes
• Small container with lid
• Travel cutlery
• Travel or camp cup
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
Note: During the colder months (Oct-Apr) the mountains can be cold, so please make sure you pack warm clothes. During the months of Jul-Sep is the rainy season, so please make sure to pack waterproof 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.
Visas and Entry Requirements
As of 2017, India is now offering E-Visas for most nationalities. Please visit the link below for further information and to apply:
As there are many fake websites, please only use the above to apply for your E-Visa and for any additional information.
Please use the start hotel of your tour as a reference for your visa application. Contact us or your travel agent if you need further information.
**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 be an embassy and consulate in the country that you live in.
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.
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
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.
- Kitchen with a Cause
- Optional Welcome Meeting for Travellers on Combos
- Kangra Art Museum Visit
- Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts Show
- Bhagsunath Temple Excursion
- Norbulingka Institute Visit
- Viceregal Lodge (Rashtrapati Niwas) Visit (50INR per person)
- Baby Taj Visit (300INR per person)
- Raj Mandir Cinema and Movie (200-400INR per person)
- Jantar Mantar Visit (200INR per person, 1000INR per group)
- Udaipur Cooking School (2000-2000INR per person)
- Monsoon Palace Visit (250INR per person)
- Udaipur Sunrise Cycle tour
- Old Goa Visit (1600INR per group)
- Goa Beach Visit (5INR per person)
- Panjim Visit
- Jewish Synagogue (10INR per person)
- Kochi Spice Market
- Dutch Palace Visit
- Cycle-Rickshaw Tour (350INR per person)
- Gandhi Museum
- Thirumalai Nayak Palace Visit (50INR per person, 1200INR per group)
- Mamallapuram Bicycle Tour (325INR per person, 1000INR per group)
- Victoria Memorial Visit (250INR per person)
- Ganges Ferry Ride (20INR per person)
- New Market Visit (Free)
- Indian Museum (500INR per person)
- The Residency (200INR per person)
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.
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.
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.
After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we’ll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send it on to you.
Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/
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You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
PRODUCT_LINE: AHIR, ID: 24326
Day 1: Delhi
There are no planned activities until an evening welcome meeting.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Women on Wheels Transfer
Day 2: Delhi/Amritsar (1B)
Amritsar which literally translates as “his pool of nectar”, is a flourishing city and religious centre in the state of Punjab. Important from a religious point of view to the Sikh religion, with many pilgrims coming to have a divine bath in the pool of nectar at the Golden Temple. Also an important political city where in 1947 the separation of India and Pakistan created a long white line known as the Wagah Border between the two neighbours.
Wagah Border Ceremony
Golden Temple Visit
Train cars offer rows of 3 and 3 reclining seats for the evening ride.
Train (6.00 hour(s))
Day 3: Amritsar/Dharamshala
Travel along Himalayan mountain roads to the famous seat of the home of the Dalai Lama. “Dharamshala” translates to “a spiritual dwelling” or loosely, shelter or rest house for pilgrims and travellers. It is a beautiful former British hill station situated in the snow-capped mountains of Himachal Pradesh, in the foothills of the Dhauladar ranges. The city is divided into lower and upper Dharamshala according to the altitude. A popular pilgrimage site, the town is filled with temples, markets, galleries and gathering places.
Golden Temple Visit
Private Vehicle (6.00-7.00 hours)
Day 4: Dharamshala
There are lots of ways to spend free time in this charming place. Visit the Kangra Art Museum in the Kotwali bazaar, or take in a performance of the Tibetan folk opera ‘Lhamo’ at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts.
Opt to visit Norbulingka. Set amidst beautiful gardens, surrounded by the green fields of the Kangra Valley, the Norbulingka Institute stands against a backdrop of the towering Dhauladhar mountains of the outer Himalayan range.
Dalai Lama Temple
Day 5: Dharamshala/Māndi
Explore the town of Mandi. Walk around Rewalsar Lake, a sacred spot for Hindus, Sikhs, and Buddhists. Renowned for its ancient stone temples with fine carvings, Mandi is also known as the “Varanasi of the Hills”.
Rewalsar Lake Orientation Walk
Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s), 127km)
Day 6: Mandi/Shimla
Embark onto the next destination, Shimla, the capital of Himachal province. This was once the British summer capital during the Raj Era. View the colonial era architecture still prominent throughout this city.
Private Vehicle (3.50-4.00 hours, 163km)
Day 7: Shimla
Enjoy a CEO-led orientation walk on The Ridge and The Mall (local hangouts) and explore this summer capital of British India. Opt to visit the Viceregal Lodge or admire the neo-Gothic or Tudorbethan architecture of the heritage buildings.
The Ridge and The Mall Orientation Walk
Day 8: Shimla/Delhi (1D)
Take the World Heritage-listed toy train from Shimla to Kalka. Over the course of 3 hrs, the train winds through tunnels as you head out of the mountains of Shimla.
Toy train (3.00 hour(s))
Train (4.00 hour(s))
Day 9: Delhi
Enjoy a free day in Delhi.
Day 10: Delhi/Āgra (1B)
Take the Shatabdi Express train to Agra, with breakfast served on board. Enjoy a guided tour of the impressive Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. Time permitting, opt to visit the Baby Taj.
Taj Mahal Guided Tour
Agra Fort Guided Tour
Train (2.00-3.00 hours)
Day 11: Āgra/Jaipur
Hop on a Shatabdi Express train in the evening to Jaipur.
Train (4.00-4.50 hours)
Day 12: Jaipur
Take an orientation walk around town. Take a photo of the Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds) and visit the Amber Fort. Walk around the Old City and markets and opt to visit the City Palace. With free time, choose to visit local artisans in a nearby village, wander the Jantar Mantar, or check out a Bollywood film at the spectacular Art Deco film house, the Raj Mandir.
Amber Fort Visit
Day 13: Jaipur/Udaipur
In the morning board a train and soak in the passing scenery en route to Udaipur. Arrive in the evening with free time to explore the city.
Train (7.50-8.00 hours, 430km)
Day 14: Udaipur
Enjoy an orientation walk, including a visit to the Jagdish Temple and the City Palace, one of the largest royal palaces in India. Attend a Rajasthani cultural show on Gangaur Ghat.
Jagdish Temple Visit
City Palace Visit
Rajasthani Cultural Show
Day 15: Udaipur/Būndi
Opt for a sunrise bicycle tour of Udaipur before the train to Bundi this afternoon.
There is no shortage of notable architecture in Bundi. From palaces to baoris, otherwise known as stepwell reservoirs, explore the many man-made marvels of Bundi.
Bundi Fort and Stepwells Visit
Train (4.50 hour(s))
Day 16: Būndi/Mumbai (1D)
Explore Bundi with some free time before an overnight trip on the Mumbai Rajdhani Express train, with dinner on board.
Train (1.00 hour(s))
Basic overnight train (beds) (12.00 hour(s))
Day 17: Mumbai
Arrive in the morning in bustling Mumbai, home to 20 million people. Take a walking tour of the Colaba area and see the Gateway of India.
Colaba Walking Tour
Gateway of India Visit
Day 18: Mumbai/Goa
Opt to visit the many Portuguese-built monuments, wander around the churches of Old Goa (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), or discover Panjim, the capital of the state. Don’t forget to indulge in Goan cuisine.
Day 19: Goa
With free time in Goa, opt to explore the city and learn about it’s ancient Portuguese colony, visit a market, or relax on the beach.
Day 20: Goa
Enjoy a free day in Goa.
Day 21: Goa
Spend a free day relaxing on the beach or opt to visit the many Portuguese-built monuments, wander around the churches of Old Goa (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), or discover Panjim, the capital. Don’t forget to indulge in Goan cuisine.
Day 22: Goa/Hampi
Travel by Visakhapatnam Howrah Express train and then by van to reach Hampi, in the heart of Karnataka.
Private Vehicle (1.00-1.50 hours)
Local train (6.00-7.00 hours)
Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s))
Day 23: Hampi/Mysore
Enjoy a walking tour and explore the spectacular ruins of Hampi Palaces, Vittala Temple complex, Virupaksh Temple, Hazararama Temple, and the boulders on the river. In the evening, take an overnight Hampi Express train to Mysore.
Private Vehicle (1.00-1.50 hours)
Overnight train (beds) (12.00 hour(s))
Day 24: Mysore
Arrive to Mysore and explore the Mysore Palace and Chamundi Hill.
Mysore Palace Visit
Chamundi Hills Visit
Day 25: Mysore/Madikeri
Drive to Bylakuppe and explore the Namdroling Monastery – home to nearly 5,000 Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns. Later drive to Madikeri for the evening.
Namdroling Monastery Visit
Private Vehicle (2.00-3.00 hours)
Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s))
Day 26: Madikeri
Explore Madikeri (the coffee hub of India) and enjoy a tour of a coffee plantation. Later, enjoy an orientation walk around the town and then enjoy free time to explore in the afternoon.
Coffee Plantation Tour
Day 27: Madikeri/Kochi
Take a morning drive to the coastal town of Kannur. Catch the Ernakulam Express to Kochi in the afternoon.
Private Vehicle (3.00-4.00 hours)
Train (6.00 hour(s))
Day 28: Kochi
Explore the Fort Kochi area and see the Chinese fishing nets at work. If time permits, visit the Jewish area and synagogue, the Dutch Palace, and Spice Market.
Fort Kochi Visit
Chinese Fishing Nets Visit
Day 29: Kochi
Make the most of Kochi with free time to explore.
Day 30: Kochi/Alleppey (1D)
This evening enjoy a taste of local life with a homestay.
Kerala Boat Tour
Train (1.00-1.50 hours)
Tuk-tuk (0.50 hour(s))
Day 31: Alleppey/Kanyakumari (1B)
Enjoy some more time in Kerala before an evening train to Kanyakumari for a full day exploring the area.
Meals are available for purchase on board.
Train (4.50 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (0.50 hour(s))
Day 32: Kanyakumari/Madurai
Spend the day in Kanyakumari. Drive to the southernmost tip of India and take a ferry across to Vivekananda Rock and the Ramkrishna Ashram. Take an evening Kanyakumari Express train to Madurai.
Vivekananda Rock and Ramkrishna Ashram Visit
Ferry (0.50 hour(s))
Ferry (0.50 hour(s))
Train (4.50 hour(s))
Day 33: Madurai
Explore the Meenakshi Temple and colourful markets of Madurai.
Meenakshi Temple Visit
Day 34: Madurai/Māmallapuram
Take the morning Vaigai Express to Chengalpattu before continue by van to Mamallapuram.
Train (6.50 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (0.50-1.00 hours)
Day 35: Māmallapuram
Cycle around and explore the rock-cut Shore Temple and Mamallapuram Beach.
Shore Temple Visit
Mamallapuram Beach Visit
Day 36: Māmallapuram/Chennai
Accommodation on the train tonight will be either in two tier or three tier bunks.
Chennai City Tour
Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s))
Basic overnight train (beds) (13.00 hour(s))
Day 37: Hyderabad
Learn more about the region’s history with a visit to the iconic Charminar and historic Golconda Fort.
Golconda Fort Visit
Day 38: Hyderabad/Puri
Opt to visit the Salar Jung Museum or the scenic Qutb Shahi Tombs with free time.
Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s))
Day 39: Puri
Explore Raghuraj Pur village and beautiful Puri beaches.
Raghuraj Pur Village Visit
Day 40: Puri/Kolkata (1L)
Take a morning Shatabdi Express train to Kolkata, with lunch provided on board. Arrive in the afternoon and take an orientation walk with the CEO.
Train (7.50-8.00 hours)
Day 41: Kolkata
Explore the vintage monuments and streets of this former capital of the British Era, also visit Missionaries’ of Charity the noble peace prize winner, Mother Teresa’s house and final resting place.. Opt to take a ferry ride across the Hooghly River. Opt to join the group for dinner at one of the famed restaurants on Park Street for the final night out.
Day 42: Kolkata
Spend some free time exploring this fascinating city.
Day 43: Kolkata/Jalpāiguri
Visit the Victoria Memorial and explore Mother Teresa’s House. Enjoy free time later and opt to explore the Indian Museum. In the evening, board an overnight New Jalpaiguri Kamrup Express train to New Jalpaiguri.
Victoria Memorial Visit
Mother Teresa’s House Visit
Basic overnight train (beds) (13.00 hour(s))
Day 44: Jalpāiguri/Darjeeling
Famous for the black tea grown amongst the tea plantations, enjoy the scenic views of Darjeeling. Set upon the foothills of the Himalayas, expect the climate to be much different from the plains.
Private Vehicle (3.50-4.00 hours, 115km)
Day 45: Darjeeling
Watch the sunrise at Tiger Hill, visit a tea estate and explore the Mahakal Temple. Later, travel the World Heritage-listed Darjeeling Himalayan Railway on a vintage steam engine train. Continue with a visit to the Peace Pagoda.
Please note that occasionally the cooking demonstration may be moved to Varanasi to better suit the day’s schedule.
Tiger Hill Sunrise Visit
Tea Estate Visit
Mahakal Temple Visit
Peace Pagoda Visit
Day 46: Darjeeling/Gangtok
Continue by private van to Gangtok and take an orientation tour of the town. Take in the stunning scenery of the Himalayas surrounding this quaint town.
Private Vehicle (3.50-5.00 hours, 100km)
Day 47: Gangtok
Start the day with an orientation walk, then enjoy a free day to explore this scenic town.
Day 48: Gangtok/Kalimpong
Continue by private vehicle to Kalimpong. Stop along the way at Rumtek Monastery. Embark on an orientation walk of the town of Kalimpong then enjoy the rest of the day to explore at leisure.
Private Vehicle (2.50-3.00 hours, 75km)
Day 49: Kalimpong to New Jalpaiguri
Drive to New Jalpaiguri Station with a stop en route at Deolo Hills to take in views of the mountainous scenery. Catch the overnight train to Varanasi.
Deolo Hill Visit
Overnight train (beds) (18.00-20.00 hours, 750km)
Private Vehicle (2.50-3.00 hours, 75km)
Day 50: Mughal Sarāi/Varanasi
Arrive to Mughal Sarai in the morning and continue by van to Varanasi. Enjoy an evening visit to the ghats and watch the prayer sessions.
Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s))
Day 51: Varanasi
Take a sunrise boat trip on the Ganges. Enjoy a free afternoon to explore Sarnath and the city of Varanasi.
Morning Ganges Boat Tour
Day 52: Varanasi/Lucknow
Take a morning Varanasi-Lucknow Intercity train. In the afternoon, visit the Bara Imambara.
Bara Imambara Visit
Train (6.00 hour(s))
Day 53: Lucknow/Delhi (1D)
Spend most of the day exploring Lucknow. Opt to explore The Residency and be immersed in colonial era history. In the afternoon, board the Swarna Shatabdi Express train to Delhi, with dinner provided on board. Enjoy the night in the bustle of Delhi.
Train (6.00 hour(s))
Day 54: Delhi
With extra time, you can book our ‘Agra Independent Adventure’ including accommodation, transport, and a guided visit to India’s most famous sight, the Taj Mahal.