Day 1: Arrive in India
Welcome to India, a country that requires little introduction. Unrivalled cultures awash throughout the huge sub-continent, giving rise to phenomenal food, warm people, incredible diversity and immersive architecture influenced by religion, pride, patriotism, and history. Walking around the streets of India can feel like a trip through time, watching brahmins wash in the rivers of the Ganges one morning and then glimpsing sun rays bounce off the glistening white marble walls of the Taj Mahal the next. This is India. Arrive any time throughout the day and meet your group leader in your hotel in the heart of New Delhi. Tonight we’ll venture out as a group for our welcome dinner and our first chance to sample that famous Indian Cuisine. Accommodation: Twin Rooms.
Day 2: Delhi Day Tour & Overnight to Varanasi
After breakfast, we’ll head out with our local guide through the streets of Delhi and get our first real introduction into Indian life. Our first stop is a beautiful Sikh Temple which your local legend will tour you around and educate you on this important religion and culture. You’ll then step into the huge mass kitchen, where Sikh’s provide free meals daily to residents of the city. Watch how thousands of chapattis are made and stir the giant curry pots yourself. After lunch, we’ll then head to the illustrious Lotus Temple, wander around the gardens before heading inside for a moment of silence to reflect on your reasons for visiting this great country. In the evening we’ll take our first overnight train to the oldest inhabited city in the world - Varanasi. Accommodation: Overnight Train
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3: Welcome to Varanasi
Prepare for a real attack on the senses as we visit one of the holiest cities in the world. This is a true Indian city where cows roam the street, tuk tuks provide a symphony on the roads, narrow alleyways with tall buildings almost block out the sunlight and form a maze close to the Ganges River. Hindu priests bathed in grey ash wash in the holy waters and bodies burn as cremations to the Hindu Gods. After we arrive, we’ll check into a traditional homestay, eat breakfast and relax before our venture into the madness. Our new local legend will guide us around the streets before we finish with a relaxing sunset cruise on the river and watch the daily Brahmin Ceremony on the banks of the Ganges. We’ll finish the day with a family dinner at the homestay and get some well-deserved rest. Activities today include Varanasi Heritage walk, sunset boat cruise with offerings and visiting the Ganga Arti Ceremony and the Burning Ghats. Accommodation: Double/Twin/Triple/Quad Rooms.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4: Sunset at the Taj Mahal
In the morning, feel free to take advantage of the optional sunrise boat ride on the river. After breakfast, we’ll check out and head to the airport to take a flight to Delhi before jumping on the bus for a 4-hour journey to Agra, home to a wonder of the world. On arrival, we’ll check into our hotel and then take tuk tuks to a quiet garden south of the Taj to view this magnificent structure away from the crowds at sunset. Tomorrow we’ll head inside, but today is all about enjoying the beauty that this building has to offer. We’ll grab dinner in the evening and get an early night as we are up for sunrise tomorrow. Accommodation: Double/Twin Rooms. Inclusions: Domestic Flight with 15kgs check-in luggage, all transport, Taj Mahal sunset viewing from across the river.
Day 5: Sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal and travel to Jaipur
An early start today as we wake up at the crack of dawn to head to the Taj Mahal in an attempt to beat the crowds and see this place in almost perfect silence. Your new local guide will show you the best spots to see the building, where Princess Diana took that famous shot and of course the fascinating story of romance behind one of the world’s most recognisable buildings. We’ll get to walk inside and learn all the secrets that most people don’t know about what makes the Taj Mahal just that more special. After, we’ll head back to the hotel for breakfast and jump on a day train to Jaipur to complete our visit to the Golden Triangle. On arrival to Jaipur, we’ll make our way to our stunning traditional accommodation in the heart of the old town and then watch a Bollywood movie the way the director intended it to be watched, in one of the grandest theatres in the world. Accommodation: Double/Twin Rooms.
Day 6: Jaipur
After breakfast in the hotel, our guide will meet us to take us on an orientation walk of the old town. We’ll get to visit the local market, understand the origins of the “Pink City”, meet some locals and market traders, learn all about the spices that are synonymous with Indian cooking and view the excellent Palace of the Winds. We’ll then all jump in tuk tuks to visit Galta-Ji, or otherwise known as the Monkey Temple. A temple built into the hills that is the home to hundreds of grey long-tailed Asian monkeys. We’ll then come back to Jaipur where you will then have the rest of the day free to explore the other sites of this famous city. Accommodation: Double/Twin Rooms. Inclusions: Orientation Walk of City and Market, Galta-Ji Monkey Temple. Optional Activities: Leopard Safari, Jantar Mantar, Jaipur City Palace, Amber Fort.
Day 7: Travel to Pushkar and Sunset on the lake
After breakfast in the morning, we’ll then take the bus to Pushkar, known as the holiest town in India. After Varanasi, Pushkar is a backpacker’s paradise with amazing food, beautiful markets, rolling landscapes, hiking and unrivalled sunsets over the holy central lake. Tonight we sleep in the desert in a purpose-built campsite with huge tents fitted with comfortable beds. In the afternoon, a local Brahmin will induct you to Pushkar properly with a blessing on the lake, we’ll then grab a drink at a lakeside cafe before heading back to camp to sleep under the stars. Accommodation: Double/Twin Rooms.
Day 8: Pushkar
Today we have the whole day to drink in the essence of this great little town. Take an optional sunrise hike to a temple for imperious views of the city and lake at sunrise or take up some yoga on the deck of the infinity pool, the morning is truly yours. Around noon, we’ll shuttle everyone into Pushkar for free time to explore the town at your leisure. Browse the markets, take a yoga class, or simply read a book on the steps by the lake. We’ll then head back to camp to take a camel safari through the desert at sunset. On returning we’ll work with some local villagers to learn how to cook traditional Indian cuisine. Accommodation: Double/Twin Rooms. Inclusions: Camel desert safari, cooking dinner with locals. Optional Activities: Sunrise hike, yoga class.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9: Travel to Jodhpur
Today we wave goodbye to Pushkar and take an afternoon train to the home of the blue city, Jodhpur. On arrival in the evening, we’ll transfer to our traditional Haveli accommodation. Haveli’s used to be the go-to stopovers for travelling royalty in India and each comes equipped with beautiful Indian architecture and art often with a throwback to the centuries gone with a modern flavour for more comfort. Our Haveli is situated in the middle of the blue city where the walls are painted blue throughout this labyrinth of buildings in the shadow of the ever imposing Mehrangarh Fort. After checking in, we’ll meet on the rooftop for dinner to catch our first glimpse of one of our favourite cities in Rajasthan. Accommodation: Double/Twin Rooms.
Day 10: Mehrangarh Fort, Blue City Walk, and Street Food Classics
We’ll give you the morning free to relax after travelling yesterday. Venture on a walk around the blue city (don’t forget your camera), take a rooftop yoga class or for those more adventurous, zip line over the ramparts of the Jodhpur fort. We’ll meet in the early afternoon and walk to the Mehrangarh fort together with our local guide. Your guide will show you around the immaculately kept fort and along with your audio guide, we’re sure you’ll leave this place with a fantastic sense of Indian Royal life. After, we’ll walk through the blue city and stop off at the Jodhpur stepwell, an impressive feat of ancient stonework before walking around the clock tower market to sample some famous Saffron Lassi and delicious samosas. We’ll then make our way back to our accommodation to finish the day. Accommodation: Double/Twin Rooms. Inclusions: Mehrangarh Fort, Blue City Tour, Jodhpur Step-Well visit, Market & Food Tour. Optional Activities: Sunrise Yoga, Flying Fox Zipline, Blue City Photography Walking Tour.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 11: Travel to Udaipur
Today we’ll be taking an 8:00 am bus to Udaipur and arriving around 2:00 pm, perfect for checking in to your central accommodation. Udaipur is known as the “White City” as well as the city of lakes and you’ll see why on arrival, it is also the location for filming the James Bond film, Octopussy! The lakes and palace-like structures provide a perfect balance between the hectic and the tranquil and no better way to experience this than with a walk through the markets and old town and finishing with a private sunset cruise on the lake. After, we’ll then head to one of our favourite rooftop restaurants for dinner with a view. Accommodation: Double/Twin Rooms/. Inclusions: Udaipur Orientation Walk, Private Sunset Boat Cruise on Lake Pichola.
Day 12: Local Village Visit, Bike Tour and Free time
An early start today as we head out of town to take a fantastic bike ride through typical Indian villages. A well known saying in India is that “You haven’t seen India until you’ve seen the villages” and we could not agree more since 80% of the population lives out here. Our local guide is from the village and so will introduce you to the ways the locals live, teach you about their survival, culture, and heritage as well as show us the local temples important to village life. We’ll also get to visit a local school during our time in this area. After we’ll head back to town to check out and we’ll give you the rest of the day free to take one last trip around the markets or grab a beer in a rooftop. We’ll be taking our final overnight train tonight, so make sure to make the most of your final day in Rajasthan. Accommodation: Overnight train.
Day 13: Old Delhi Food Tour and “Wedding Street”
We’ll arrive back into New Delhi in the morning, drop off our bags at the hotel and grab some breakfast. We’ll check in as early as we can and allow the afternoon to rest after your long trip from Udaipur. In the evening our final local legend will accompany us to Old Delhi, a city lost in time but abounding with scrumptious delicacies. Our guide will educate us on the area, fill our bellies with Indian sweets and snacks and then arrange for us to take rickshaws through Chowa Chowak to Mutton Street for us to finish with some of the most delicious skewers and Islamic food available. We’ll then head to a bar for our final night together before making our way back to our accommodation for a well-earned rest. Accommodation: Double/Twin Rooms. Inclusions: Old Delhi Food tour, Rickshaw Rides.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 14: Depart
Today is our final day together in fantastic India. Your local guide can help you arrange transport to the airport to whatever destination you are off to next. We hope we have shown you why India is a dream location for most people, why Indian food should be on the top of everyone’s cuisine bucket lists and why India holds so much more than you could have ever imagined. Have a safe journey to where-ever you are off to next and always remember to explore more.