North India Unplugged Tightarse Trip
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 1-2 - DelhiNamaste! Welcome to India.Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1.You 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 leader.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!There 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.Join 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.Board an 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 DesertWe should arrive in Jaisalmer around midday if there are no train delays.Looking 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 carved houses.Discover Jaisalmer's narrow twisted alleys, which are full of markets and ornately carved houses.Take 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 accommodation.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 visitors.Breakfast | Dinner
Day 6-7 - JodhpurTake 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.Visit 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.Take 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 Rajasthan.
Day 8-10 - UdaipurTake a local bus to Udaipur (approx 8 hrs).Udaipur 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.Take a walk around town to help gain your bearings and explore Udaipur's twisting alleys filled with silver, shoes, bags, leather goods and miniature paintings.There's plenty to see and do in your free time here:Enjoy 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 utensils.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.Check 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.Explore Shilpgram, a rural arts and crafts village, which depicts the lifestyles of the tribal people of western India with displays of traditional mud huts and artistic performances.
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).Pushkar 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 relax.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.Early 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 - JaipurTravel by local bus to the 'Pink City' of Jaipur (approx 4 hrs).A friendly, busy town crammed with palaces and bazaars full of jewellery, textiles and folk-based arts, Jaipur is a firm favourite with travellers.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'.Take 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.Discover 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 - BharatpurTravel to Bharatpur by bus (approx 5 hrs).Bharatpur is home to the famous Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary.Once 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 - AgraHead 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.Visit 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.Visit 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 - VaranasiThe 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:Wander 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 - KolkataWe 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?Once 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.There 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.
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Trip Dates and Prices
Start Date – End Date Trip Status Price 06 Jul 2013 - 27 Jul 2013 2 Request US $1,395 Book Now 20 Jul 2013 - 10 Aug 2013 0 Request US $1,395 Contact Us 03 Aug 2013 - 24 Aug 2013 2 Available US $1,395 Book Now 17 Aug 2013 - 07 Sep 2013 7 Available US $1,395 Book Now 31 Aug 2013 - 21 Sep 2013 7+ Available US $1,395 Book Now 07 Sep 2013 - 28 Sep 2013 7+ Available US $1,395 Book Now 14 Sep 2013 - 05 Oct 2013 7+ Available US $1,395 Book Now 21 Sep 2013 - 12 Oct 2013 0 Request US $1,395 Contact Us 28 Sep 2013 - 19 Oct 2013 7+ Available US $1,395 Book Now 05 Oct 2013 - 26 Oct 2013 0 Request US $1,395 Contact Us 12 Oct 2013 - 02 Nov 2013 0 Request US $1,465 Contact Us 19 Oct 2013 - 09 Nov 2013 4 Available US $1,465 Book Now 26 Oct 2013 - 16 Nov 2013 7 Available US $1,465 Book Now 02 Nov 2013 - 23 Nov 2013 0 Request US $1,465 Contact Us 09 Nov 2013 - 30 Nov 2013 0 Request US $1,465 Contact Us 16 Nov 2013 - 07 Dec 2013 5 Available US $1,465 Book Now 23 Nov 2013 - 14 Dec 2013 7+ Available US $1,465 Book Now 30 Nov 2013 - 21 Dec 2013 7+ Available US $1,465 Book Now 07 Dec 2013 - 28 Dec 2013 7+ Available US $1,465 Book Now 14 Dec 2013 - 04 Jan 2014 7+ Available US $1,465 Book Now 21 Dec 2013 - 11 Jan 2014 7+ Available US $1,535 Book Now 28 Dec 2013 - 18 Jan 2014 5 Available US $1,535 Book Now 04 Jan 2014 - 25 Jan 2014 7+ Available US $1,395 Book Now 11 Jan 2014 - 01 Feb 2014 7+ Available US $1,395 Book Now 18 Jan 2014 - 08 Feb 2014 7+ Available US $1,395 Book Now 25 Jan 2014 - 15 Feb 2014 7+ Available US $1,395 Book Now 01 Feb 2014 - 22 Feb 2014 7+ Available US $1,395 Book Now 08 Feb 2014 - 01 Mar 2014 7+ Available US $1,395 Book Now 15 Feb 2014 - 08 Mar 2014 7+ Available US $1,395 Book Now 22 Feb 2014 - 15 Mar 2014 7+ Available US $1,395 Book Now 01 Mar 2014 - 22 Mar 2014 7+ Available US $1,395 Book Now 08 Mar 2014 - 29 Mar 2014 7+ Available US $1,395 Book Now 15 Mar 2014 - 05 Apr 2014 7+ Available US $1,395 Book Now 22 Mar 2014 - 12 Apr 2014 7+ Available US $1,395 Book Now 29 Mar 2014 - 19 Apr 2014 7+ Available US $1,395 Book Now 05 Apr 2014 - 26 Apr 2014 7+ Available US $1,395 Book Now 12 Apr 2014 - 03 May 2014 7+ Available US $1,395 Book Now 19 Apr 2014 - 10 May 2014 7+ Available US $1,395 Book Now
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