Important Please Note
For departures after 31 December 2014 this trip has variations.
Please click here for details.
North India Mixtape
Get some India in-de-ya. Delhi starts the show, Calcutta finishes it. In between you get sand dune camping, Jodhpur’s markets, an Udaipur cooking class, Pushkar’s bazaars, Jaipur’s temples and a Ganges river cruise. You’ll also get enough sensory stimulation to last a lifetime.
India does exactly what it says on the box. Cows are more important than you. The Taj is the best thing you'll ever see. And yes, the people really do smile that much.
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 1-2: Delhi
There's no activities planned for Day 1. So we suggest you use this time to get yourself acquainted with India. Don’t try and fight it. Grab a cup of chai, pull up a seat and let the madness begin. Go from cycle rickshaw to overnight train... don't forget the snack bag.
Welcome meeting at 6pm. Arrive at any time because there's no activities planned today
Visit the World Heritage-listed Mughal masterpiece of Humayun's Tomb, explore the Red Fort of Delhi
Excursion into Old Delhi. Ride on the metro system, cycle rickshaw through Chandni Chowk
Visit the Jama Masjid, Delhi's oldest mosques and the Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple) to learn about the Sikh religion
Overnight train to Jaisalmer (approx 19 hrs). Aircon, padded berths with sheets, pillow and blankets or just bring your own sleeping sheet. Bring snacks. NB. You might be sharing with locals in a same/mixed gender situation
Day 3-5: Jaisalmer/Thar Desert
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 dinner
Jaisalmer looks like the coolest sandcastle you never built. And there’s no chance your brother will come and stomp on it, either. Embrace your inner nomad with a camel ride through the desert, campfire feast and sleeping under the stars.
Day 3 - 4
Arrive in Jaisalmer around midday if there are no train delays
Discover Jaisalmer's narrow twisted alleys full of markets and ornately carved houses
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 your dinner
Wake up early for sunrise before a simple breakfast
Mattresses and blankets are provided but we don't have tented accommodation, you're literally sleeping under the stars
Visit the Jaisalmer Folklore Museum on the banks of Garsisar Lake in the Mehar Bagh Garden
Day 6-7: Jodhpur
Famous for more than just those daggy pants they force equestrians to wear. It’s known as both Sun City for the weather and Blue City for the buildings. After all the shopping, eating and fort-exploring you'll meet members of a Bishnoi tribe, the world's original tree hugging, peace loving hippies.
Bus across the desert to one of Rajasthan's largest cities, Jodhpur (approx 6 hrs)
Visit Sadar Bazaar, one of the oldest markets in India
Explore Mehrangarh Fort
Visit nearby Bishnoi villages
Day 8-10: Udaipur
Start the day right with a breakfast of aloo paratha – two stuffed parathas with a big cube of butter swimming in between. Between the white marble palaces, lakes and hills you'd be forgiven for getting caught up in the lovey-dovey feel of Udaipur. Take a cooking class, a boat ride and get your groove on during a concert that combines seven traditional Rajasthani folk dances.
Local bus to Udaipur (approx 8 hrs)
Explore Udaipur's twisting alleys filled with silver, shoes, bags, leather goods and miniature paintings.
Free time: Take a half hour boat ride on Lake Pichola and see Lake Palace and Jag Mandir Island (seasonal depending on the water level)
Visit City Palace, one of the largest royal palaces in India
Join Spice Box cooking school and spend a half day learning the secrets of Indian cuisine
Be part of a musical concert combining seven traditional Rajasthani folk dances
Check out the Monsoon Palace. Formerly known as the Sajjan Garh Palace, it overlooks Lake Pichola
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
One of India’s holiest places. And also one of the best for kicking back with an ice cold lassi (beware the bhang lassi).This is about as chilled as it gets. To prevent you slipping into a coma why not take the sunrise hike up to Savitri Temple. Eyes peeled for the chai man.
Train to Ajmer (approx 7 hrs)
Private vehicles to your hotel in Pushkar (approx 45 mins)
Head out to explore Pushkar's main bazaar and many sidestreets
Walk around the lake, with its ghats and temples
Visit the only Brahma Temple in India
Early risers can make the sunrise hike up the hill to the Savitri Temple
Day 13-14: Jaipur
Pink is the order of the day in Jaipur. This place is jammed with bazaars full of jewellery, textiles and arty stuff so it's a shopper's paradise. There's the Amber Fort, the Royal City Palace and the >Hawa Mahal, India's most photographed building after the Taj Mahal (it's a tough act to follow).
Local bus to the 'Pink City' of Jaipur (approx 4 hrs)
Free time: Travel out to the old capital of Amber and explore Amber Fort, see Hawa Mahal or 'Palace of the Winds', walk, shop
Royal City Palace
Raj Mandir Cinema
Day 15: Bharatpur
Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary was created 250 years ago, so the birds are used to being stared at. Some people think birds are scary, some think they are boring, but there's 400 different species of the things here so we guarantee you'll find something to tickle your fancy.
Travel to Bharatpur by bus (approx 5 hrs)
Visit Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary, with over 400 different species identified
Day 16-17: Agra
Suddenly all those postcards, paintings, pictures and photos just don’t cut it, do they? It's kind of hard to describe the Taj Mahal so... we won't.
Head east by public bus to Agra (approx 2.5 hrs)
Visit the Taj Mahal
Leave for Varanasi on an overnight train (approx 12 hrs)
Day 18-20: Varanasi
If the holiest thing about you is your socks, even you’ll be blown away by this experience. There's pilgrims bathing and performing hundred-year-old rituals, temples, dhobi wallahs (think of them as an outdoor laundromat), burning ghats and the scent of incense to top it all off. Day 18
Free time: Wander through the Old City, see pilgrims bathing and performing rituals and ceremonies
Witness a candle flower ceremony on a Ganges sunset river cruise
Sunrise boat ride on the Ganges
Leave for Kolkata on overnight train (approx 15 hrs)
Day 21-22: Kolkata
End things on a sweet note, with a taste of our favourite treats - sandesh, rosogolla and chanar payesh. There's no activities on the last day so take a look around, and maybe even stay on a couple of nights to keep exploring.
Arrive in Kolkata early morning, depending on train delays
Browse flower markets or watch traditional wrestlers at their outdoor gymnasiums
No activities planned. Depart the accommodation at any time
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.
We have chosen a selection of some great optional activities to enhance your travel experience. You will need to cover any additional costs yourself. The below list is not exhaustive and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination.
Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed below have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
- 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
Local Emergency Contacts In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency Gecko’s India office can be reached on +91 1145 006 400 during business hours (9.30am to 6pm) or after hours on +91 9999 916 229.
The following departures visit Pushkar for the Camel festival.
6th November 2015
11th November 2015
13th November 2015
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!
3 November 2014
General Contact Details
Web: Visit Geckos