Capture your best selfie in front of the Taj Mahal – a marble masterpiece and the mother of all mausoleums, this Indian icon is all part of Agra’s allure.. Get among the relaxing vibes of Rishikesh with a one-hour morning yoga class, then sleep under the starry Indian sky surrounded by nature and mountain views.. Spend a day exploring the world of Bollywood in Ramoji Film City: a huge park full of filming locations. You’ll feel like you’re on the set of a blockbuster!. Go in search for elephants and tigers, as well as macaque, civet, giant flying squirrel, striped hyena and leopard on an included safari in the lush Bandipur National Park.
Travel across wild India on this trailblazing 23-day adventure tour. In the north, see pilgrims performing ancient ceremonies on the ghats of Varanasi and stare at the iconic Taj Mahal in Agra. Down south, go in search of wild elephants and tigers on safari and take a joy ride on the famous toy train, passing through hill stations, and enjoying the mountainous scenery along the way. This fantastic trip finishes off seaside in the important port city of Kochi – India’s idyllic beachside holiday destination. Soak up all the freedom and diverse cultures of this big, colourful, chaotic and enchanting country. Oh, and did we mention all the biryani and chai you’ll eat? Experience real India with a knowledgeable local leader and a wicked itinerary to suit.
Breakfast Included: 2 Lunches Included: 1 Dinner Included: 2
Namaste, welcome to Delhi! Your adventure begins with an important welcome meeting at 6 pm, if you arrive early, there's plenty to do in this wonderfully chaotic city. Wander the streets, sip on your first chai or practice haggling in one of the many markets. If you prefer some structure, there's a variety of Urban Adventure day tours that offer a great first taste of Delhi. Find out more at urbandventures.com
Delhi - Overnight train
This morning head out on a walking tour around the commercial heart of Delhi, visiting Chandni Chowk (Sheeshganj Gurudwara) and Connaught Place along the way. Explore Old Delhi on a bicycle rickshaw to dig that little bit deeper. You'll then have some free time to do as much sightseeing as you can, before boarding an overnight sleeper train bound for Varanasi. The journey should take around 13 hours and you'll arrive into Varanasi early in the morning.
Arrive into Varanasi early and head straight to the hotel to freshen up before plunging headfirst into this holy city, which is one of the world's oldest. Explore the narrow laneways and backstreets on a walking tour with your guide, before watching the world pass by along the ghats. Your evening is then free to do as you wish.
Varanasi - Overnight train
Wake up early and experience one of the highlights of your time in India. This morning, jump in boats and watch the sunrise over the Ganges. Pilgrims bathing, cremation fires and riverside haircuts - India is best before dawn and this is the best way to see it. The rest of your day is free to explore, before catching an overnight train to Agra tonight (approximately 11 hours).
Arrive into Agra early this morning, then head to the most iconic site in India, the Taj Mahal. The highlights of India just keep coming. You have a full day to explore Agra on a motorised rickshaw trip, with Agra Fort being another incredible optional activity in the afternoon. The rest of your day is then free.
Jump on a bus this morning and travel for around four hours to Rajasthan's pink capital, Jaipur. On arrival into the city stop off at the Hawa Mahal (pink sandstone palace) before heading to your hotel. Use the opportunity to freshen up and then venture out for a walking tour of the old city. In your spare time, perhaps take an optional tour of the Jaipur City Palace.
For many travellers, a hot air balloon experience is one of the highlights of Jaipur. Ballooning can be done over Jaipur on the morning of Day 7, between September and June. For additional information, please see the important notes section of your trip notes. Later in the morning, enjoy a guided tour of the medieval Amber Fort with a local guide. Make sure to grab another cup of chai before settling in for this evening's 13-hour overnight train journey. Tonight, you'll hop a train bound for Rishikesh.
Arrive early in to Rishikesh, a spiritual town lying in the verdant foothills of the Himalayas. Embark on an orientation walk with your leader before enjoying free time to roam at your own leisure. Aptly named the 'Yoga Capital of the World', Rishikesh is a great place to relax and seek a little enlightenment. In your free time, why not visit The Beatles Ashram – a spiritual retreat inhabited by the famous band in the sixties. In the evening, perhaps take a stroll along the holy Ganges River as temple bells ring and the nightly fire ritual of Ganga Aarti begins.
This morning, get among the relaxing vibes of Rishikesh and take part in a one-hour yoga class. Afterwards, perhaps tuck into a masala dosa for breakfast before walking or riding it off on one of the trails along the Ganges. For something more adventurous there is the option to white-water raft down the Ganges. In the afternoon, reunite with your group for a walk through the jungle nearby. Tonight, experience sleeping under the stars just outside of Rishikesh, you’ll be staying in a fixed campsite with twin-shared tents and western-style toilets surrounded by nature and mountain views.
Have a chilled morning at your campsite before returning to Rishikesh where you’ll be able to use a day room to freshen up and have a shower. Spend the rest of the afternoon wandering around Rishikesh before catching an evening train (approximately 5 hours) back to Delhi.
Fly to Hyderabad for the second half of your trip. The flight and local transfers are included in the cost of the trip. Please note you will not be escorted by your North India tour leader on the transfers and the flight.
This morning, say goodbye to some of your crew who may not be joining you for the second stage of the trip, and take a flight from Delhi to Hyderabad, the capital of southern India's Telangana state. At 6 pm, you’ll get to meet your new leader and travel friends. There’s much to see in this busy tech-focused city. Check out the Golconda Fort and its well-manicured gardens, head to Hussain Sagar – a heart-shaped lake with a large standing Buddha statue, and pick up a delicious biryani on your travels. Once you’ve had your important meeting, get the gang together and tuck into some local food! Your group leader will know a great place to go.
This morning, take a walking tour of Hyderabad with your leader to get your bearings and learn a little bit more about this southern Indian city. You’ll also get the chance during the day to discover the weird and wonderful world of Bollywood with a visit Ramoji Film City. This 2000 acres of land is the largest integrated film city and the largest studio complex in the world. It can accommodate up to 20 film units at one time, with various shooting locations such as a London street, Japanese gardens, an airport, a hospital, and even a laboratory.