Important Please Note
For departures after 31 December 2013 this trip has variations.
Please click here for details.
North India Unplugged
India has embraced the power of the horn: short blasts let the drivers know you're there, long blasts tell someone to hurry up and continuous beeps from motorbikes happen for no reason whatsoever.
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 1-2: Delhi
Namaste! Welcome to India.
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1.
can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this
important meeting; please ask the hotel reception where it will take
place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may
wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to
book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If
you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be
collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this
meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your
India's capital is an
exciting, busy, and often chaotic city but it's also one of the most
interesting in the world with historical sites from different eras,
museums and galleries, shops and endless bazaars!
are plenty of things to see and do in free time. Visit the World
Heritage-listed Mughal masterpiece of Humayun's Tomb. This was the first
garden tomb in India, built way back in 1570. Wonder at the tall brick
minaret of Qutub Minar, which was started back in the 1100s. Explore the
mighty Red Fort of Delhi. Part palace and part fort, it plays an
integral part in the history of the city with former residents ranging
from royal families to British soldiers.
your group leader on an excursion into the sights and sounds of Old
Delhi! Set off on the city's modern metro system, then get a taste of
India's famed public transport with a cycle rickshaw ride through
chaotic streets, such as the famous Chandni Chowk. Make a visit to the
Jama Masjid, Delhi's oldest mosque and one of its most impressive
buildings, then visit the Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple) to learn
about the Sikh religion.
overnight train to Jaisalmer (approx 19 hrs). Our sleeper trains along
the way are clean and air-conditioned, and are a great way to travel
long distances and still get maximum time in each place. Beds are padded
berths with sheets, pillow and blankets provided but some people prefer
to bring their own sleeping sheet. Please note you may be sharing with
locals in a same/mixed gender situation. It's advised to bring your own
food on this train.
Day 3-5: Jaisalmer/Thar Desert
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 dinner
We should arrive in Jaisalmer around midday if there are no train delays.
like a scene from The Thousand and One Nights as it rises from flat
desert surrounds, Jaisalmer is a centre for nomadic tribespeople who
come to trade in the narrow twisting alleys full of markets and ornately
Discover Jaisalmer's narrow twisted alleys, which are full of markets and ornately carved houses.
the opportunity to ride camels out over the sand dunes to spend a night
under the stars. At night, the riders get the camp fire burning and
cook us dinner. In the morning, wake up early for an amazing desert
sunrise, before a simple breakfast. This is a taste of nomadic life and
it's definitely travelling at its very best. We sleep under the stars -
mattresses and blankets are provided but we don't have tented
Visit the Jaisalmer
Folklore Museum. Located on the banks of Garsisar Lake in the Mehar Bagh
Garden, its wide variety of exhibits offer a great experience for
Day 6-7: Jodhpur
Take a bus across the desert to one of Rajasthan's largest cities, Jodhpur (approx 6 hrs).
Jodhpur is known for its antique shops and the best lassi in India. And yes, it is where those famous trousers come from.
Sadar Bazaar, one of the oldest markets in India. Built around a clock
tower amid spice and vegetable markets, juice sellers and sari
materials, Sadar Bazaar also has numerous vendors with carts selling
everything from Bollywood soundtracks to armfuls of sparkling bangles.
Explore the colossal Mehrangarh Fort and take in the great views from its ramparts, which dominate the city's skyline.
a tour of the nearby Bishnoi villages. The Bishnoi are a peaceful
nature-loving community and no trip to this region is complete without
experiencing the fascinating traditions of the tribespeople of rural
Day 8-10: Udaipur
Take a local bus to Udaipur (approx 8 hrs).
undoubtedly lives up to its reputation as India's most romantic city.
Rolling hills, white marble palaces and lakes come together appealingly
and it's a centre for artists, dancers and musicians. The shopping is
also superb, with miniature paintings being the speciality.
a walk around town to help gain your bearings and explore Udaipur's
twisting alleys filled with silver, shoes, bags, leather goods and
There's plenty to see and do in your free time here:
a half hour boat ride on the famous Lake Pichola and see marvels like
Lake Palace and Jag Mandir Island (seasonal depending on the water level
in the lake).
Visit City Palace,
one of the largest royal palaces in India, and check out the
unbelievable treasures within - from vivid murals to antiques and royal
Join the famous Spice Box
cooking school and spend a half day learning the secrets of Indian
cuisine. With lessons on preparation and cooking, you'll be able to whip
up a full Indian meal in no time.
Be part of a musical concert combining seven traditional Rajasthani folk dances.
out the Monsoon Palace. Formerly known as the Sajjan Garh Palace, this
palatial hilltop residence overlooks Lake Pichola. It was originally
named after Maharana Sajjan Singh (1874–1884) of the Mewar Dynasty, who
built it in 1884.
a rural arts and crafts village, which depicts the lifestyles of the
tribal people of western India with displays of traditional mud huts and
Day 11-12: Pushkar
Travel by train to the city of Ajmer (approx 7 hrs).
Take private vehicles from Ajmer to our hotel in Pushkar (approx 45 mins).
is one of the India's holiest places. It's also a market centre for
many of the local village people and a great place to sit back and
Head out to explore
Pushkar's main bazaar and many sidestreets - some great bargains can be
had, as some of the cheapest clothes and jewellery in northern India can
be found here. Walk around the lake, with its bustling ghats and
temples, to watch the devout as they worship at the holy waters. Visit
the only Brahma Temple in India.
risers can make the sunrise hike up the hill to the Savitri Temple for
magical views over the town. There could also be a wonderful steaming
glass of chai waiting for you if the chai man is there - certainly well
worth the trek.
Day 13-14: Jaipur
Travel by local bus to the 'Pink City' of Jaipur (approx 4 hrs).
friendly, busy town crammed with palaces and bazaars full of jewellery,
textiles and folk-based arts, Jaipur is a firm favourite with
Some options for your free time here include:
Travel out to the old capital of Amber and explore the hilltop fort complex known as the Amber Fort.
Make a stop at India's most photographed building after the Taj Mahal, the Hawa Mahal or 'Palace of the Winds'.
a walk to the city's crowded and colourful bazaars, which sell a wide
variety of artisan goods. Semi-precious stones are the local speciality -
be sure to wander by the stalls at least once.
Go to Jaipur's Royal City Palace - one of India's finest - and spend time exploring the various rooms and apartments.
the extravagance of a Bollywood blockbuster, with all the
Hollywood-style elements of action, romance, drama and music (sometimes
all rolled into one), at the spectacular Raj Mandir Cinema.
Day 15: Bharatpur
Travel to Bharatpur by bus (approx 5 hrs).
Bharatpur is home to the famous Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary.
the domain of royal duck shooters, the World Heritage-listed Keoladeo
Ghana National Park is now regarded as one of the world's most important
bird sanctuaries with over 400 different species identified. Even for
non-bird fanciers, the forests and wetlands in the area are a welcome
respite from the noise and chaos of Indian cities.
Day 16-17: Agra
Head east by public bus to Agra (approx 2.5 hrs).
Agra is home to one of the world's most recognisable monuments, the Taj Mahal.
the Taj Mahal - a masterpiece of shimmering white marble set amid
beautiful formal gardens. Built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial to
his wife Mumtaz, this 'teardrop on the face of eternity' (as it was
described by Rabindranath Tagore) lives up to all expectations.
Agra Fort on the banks of the Yamuna River. Built in 1565 by Emperor
Akbar, the fort was originally designed to be a military structure. It
was converted to a palace in Emperor Shah Jahan's time and eventually
became his prison after he lost power in 1658.
Leave for Varanasi on an overnight train (approx 12 hrs).
Day 18-20: Varanasi
The ultimate destination for all Hindu
pilgrims, Varanasi is full of temples, shrines and devotees. It may not
be one of the world's cleanest cities but there is no doubt it is one of
the world's most amazing.
You have a plenty of free time to explore this holy city:
through the Old City with its maze of narrow alleyways packed full of
small shops and stalls. See pilgrims bathing and performing rituals and
ceremonies unchanged for hundreds of years; temples full of bell chimes
and the smell of incense; the dhobi wallahs and the burning ghats.
Spend the evening soaking up the magical atmosphere of a candle flower ceremony, on a Ganges river cruise as the sun sets.
Start early with a sunrise boat ride on the Ganges, passing the many ghats and temples along the river.
Leave for Kolkata on an overnight train (approx 15 hrs).
Day 21-22: Kolkata
We arrive in Kolkata early in the
morning, depending on train delays. While we wait to check into our
hotel, why not go for a wander to check out the city?
the capital of British India, Kolkata has had some bad press over the
years. Flooded by refugees after the partition of India and famines in
Bengal, the city suffered as wave after wave of immigrants pushed its
infrastructure to the limit and slums and street dwellers came to
symbolise the city to the world. However, the Kolkata of today is
renewed and emerging as a major cultural centre with art galleries,
museums and a healthy film and theatre scene. With its British
architecture, its trams and, of course, the river with its famous
bridge, Kolkata is a vibrant and exciting city with plenty to offer.
Head out to browse the flower markets or watch traditional wrestlers at their outdoor gymnasiums.
are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart
the accommodation at any time. Please check the 'Finishing Point Hotel'
section for checkout times and luggage storage possibilities.
What to know
This trip is run by our sister company, Intrepid.
Nuts and Bolts
• Expert English-speaking local tour guide throughout the tour, and local site guides at some sites.
• Sightseeing (including entrance fees where applicable): Jaisalmer - Camel safari & overnight desert camp, Delhi including Chandni Chowk, Jama Masjid, Sheeshganj Gurudwara.
• All transport as per the itinerary, and accommodation
Summary of accommodation, transport & meals
- Public bus
- Sleeper train
- 1 night Camping
- 3 nights Sleeper train
- 7 nights Guesthouse
- 10 nights Hotel
International flights, arrival and departure transfers, airport/departure taxes, visas, pre or post tour accommodation, meals, optional tours sightseeing or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature, laundry and flights unless specified. Some places that we visit charge additional fees if you are entering with a camera or camcorder - your city guide will advise on these and they can be paid for locally.
- Agra - Agra Fort entrance
- Agra- Taj Mahal
- Delhi - Full day tour of the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort (from Delhi)
US$170/entrance fees US$18 & US$8
- Delhi - Half-day sightseeing tour of New Delhi including India Gate, Raj Ghat, President's Palace, Humayun's Tomb & Qutab Minar
US$50 per car / US$20 entrance fee
- Delhi - Red Fort Entrance
- Delhi - Sound and Light Show
US$40 per car/entrance US$5
- Jaipur - Half-day sightseeing tour of city palace, Jantar Mantar, Albert Hall, gardens & temple
US$50 per car/entrances US$15.
- Jaipur - Tour of Nahargarh Fort
US$40 per car/entrance US$3.
- Jodhpur - Bishnoi safari - a visit to a traditional village.
US$50 per jeep
- Jodhpur - Meherangarh fort
- Jodphur - Half-day sightseeing of Fort, Jaswant Thada & Umaid Bhawan Palace
US$30 per car/entrance US$10
- Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary
US$25per car, entrance USD 8, Rickshaw USD 2 per hour
- Udaipur - Boat ride on Lake
US$16 per person - duration 1 hour
- Udaipur - Half-day sightseeing tour of Saheliyon ki Bari, Royal Cenotaphs and crystal gallery
US$45 per car/entrance US$2
- Varanasi - Half-day city tour of Varanasi
US$40 per car
- Varanasi - Half-day tour of Sarnath
US$40 per car/entrance US$4
Entrance fees for major sites such as the Taj Mahal are not included, please allow $100 to cover various site entrance fees
About this Information
The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please ensure that you have the most up-to-date information for your trip. We recommend that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!
6 November 2013
General Contact Details
Web: Visit Geckos