Ultimate India by Rail

India · about Escorted or Guided Tour

On this six-week trip that circles India via train, you’ll start in Delhi with a tour of the legendary Taj Mahal, then head southwest by rail to make stops in Rajasthan, Mumbai, and Goa. From there it’s on to Karnataka, Kochi and living like a local in the Kerala Backwaters before going south, east, and north to view spectacular temples and riding the famous toy trains of Darjeeling. Top this epic journey off with local meals in family homes, wandering the beautiful streets of Jaipur and Udaipur and relaxing on beaches along the way. India looks very different through a train’s window – see it all for yourself.

What's Included

Arrival transfer included through the G Adventures-supported Women on Wheels project. Taj Mahal visit (Agra). Agra Fort visit. Jaipur orientation walk. Amber Fort visit. Udaipur orientation walk. Jagdish Temple and City Palace visit. Rajasthani cultural show. Bundi Fort and stepwells visit. Colaba area walking tour (Mumbai). Gateway of India visit. Beach time in Goa. Walking tour and ruins visit in Hampi (Karnataka). Hararama Temple visit. Mysore Palace and Chamunda Hill visits (Mysore). Namdroling Monastery visit. Coffee plantation tour (Madikeri). Madikeri Fort and Raja’s Seat visit. Fort Kochi and Chinese fishing nets visit. Kerala Backwaters homestay. Backwaters canal ride. Vivekananda Rock and Ramkrishna Ashram visit (Kanyakumari). Meenakshi Temple visit (Madurai). Cycle tour to Shore Temple and Mamallapuram Beach. Simachalam Temple visit (Vizag). Jagannath Temple visit (Puri). Raghuraj Pur village visit. Beach time in Puri. Kolkata city tour. MacFarlane Memorial Church visit (Kalimpong). Deolo Hill visit (Kalimpong). Gangtok orientation tour. Rumtek Monastery day trip. Darjeeling orientation tour. Local lunch with cooking demonstration. Tiger Hill sunrise visit. Tea estate visit. Mahakal Temple visit. Peace Pagoda visit. Toy train to Kurseong. Evening ghats visit (Varanasi). Sunrise boat trip on the Ganges. Sarnath visit. Lucknow orientation tour. Bara Imambara visit. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Highlights

Ride a toy train in Darjeeling, live like a local in the Kerala Backwaters, indulge in the relaxing vibe and tasty food of seaside Goa, explore the breathtaking ruins of the Karnataka region in Hampi, marvel at the iconic Taj Mahal, wander the Rajasthani streets of Jaipur and Udaipur.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Important Notes

1. CULTURE
India is a country which is very different to anything you will have experienced before. Although this means it is not the easiest place to travel, this is also what makes it so special. Pollution, poverty and the crowds can result in initial culture shock but should be seen as an exciting new challenge. During our time here we have come to love this large and wonderfully different country but we know that we should always expect to encounter some difficulties along the way.

In India there are very different attitudes to time keeping, public cleanliness, privacy and service. Trains will sometimes be late, plumbing can sometimes be temperamental and power will often just vanish. Optimistic menus turn out to have only one dish available and everyone, just everyone, will want to know your name. If you are able to travel with a lot of patience and a healthy sense of humor, then we know that you – like all of us – will be captivated by what India has to offer.

2. COMBO TRIP
This trip is a combination of multiple G Adventures tours. As such, the CEO and/or group members on your tour may change between tour segments. Likewise, some CEOs and group members may have previously been travelling together on another G Adventures tour, or they may continue travelling together on another G Adventures tour after your trip concludes.

3. RAMADAN
Depending on the lunar cycle, Ramadan will fall between June 7th and July 7th, 2016. Please note that Ramadan is a month of fasting observed by Muslims throughout the world, during which time the followers of Islam should not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. Only about 20% of Indians are Muslim, but it is important to note that there may be some limitations to services and disruptions to schedules during Ramadan. Generally our tours still operate effectively during this period and food is available to non-muslims throughout the day. It is important to display increased cultural sensitivity during Ramadan in predominately Muslim areas of India. Please wear loose fitting clothes, that cover knees and shoulders, and try to avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public out of respect for those who can’t at that time.

Group Leader Description

All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.

Group Size Notes

Max 15, avg 12

Meals

Eating is a big part of travelling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. Vegetarians will be able to find a huge range of different foods – India is vegetarian heaven. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Transport

Train (seats), train (beds), toy train, private vans, walking

About our Transportation

TRAINS
The best way to see India is at ground level on the railway system. In fact, no visit to India would be complete without the experience of tavelling on a train and negotiating the busy railway stations. The chaos in the Indian Railway stations is a replica of the life in India. Indian trains are not merely a conveyance they are an odyssey so sit back relax, be patient and enjoy the show.

G Adventures uses a combination of AC 2 tier, AC 3 tier and sleeper class (for overnight journeys) and AC Chair car or second class seats for day journeys. Indian railways operate with a centralized reservation system. This means that G Adventures cannot control how seats are assigned within a class. Despite our requests to seat the entire group together, often times seats are spread out in the coach or throughout different coaches. This is all part of the adventure that is travelling India by rail. Take advantage of the opportunity to chat with locals and remember you always have the support of your CEO.

There are no restaurant or buffet cars on Indian Railways, but on long distance trains an attendant will appear in your coach and ask you if you would like to order food. Regular stops are made at stations where food is also available and on some trains many vendors board the train selling chai, cold drinks and crisps and biscuits.

Don’t expect pristine western standards anywhere in India, but you’ll find AC2, AC3 and AC Chair class fairly clean by Indian standards, with both western-style and squat toilets usually in a reasonably sanitary condition. Sleeper Class and 2nd class toilets may be a different matter! Bring your own toilet paper and hand wash soap or antibacterial lotion.

Indian trains are quite safe to travel on, even for families or women travelling alone, and you are unlikely to have any problems. Having said that, theft of luggage, although rare is not unheard of, so just for peace of mind you might like to take along a chain and padlock to secure your bags (readily available at all Indian stations).

Generally, Indian Railways are very efficient, but Indian trains do run late particularly in winter time when fog is heavy, and sometimes it’s hours rather than minutes. Make sure you have something to occupy your time – a good book, music, a magazine or photos of your home country and family to show the Indian travellers also waiting for the train. You should also have snacks and water for the journey.

Please note that you MUST be comfortable carrying your own luggage, as there will be a lot of up and down stairs on this trip due to the size and layout of train stations in India. Most often, you will not have access to escalators or elevators. You will also be required to carry your luggage short distances between transport start or end points and hotels.

ROAD
Traveling by road in India is certainly not what people are use to in Western countries. Rules are not always followed, drivers appear to speed, do not stay in their lanes, overtake in seemingly dangerous situations, rarely use their mirrors or driving lights at night time. The horn however is used very frequently and can range from the latest Bollywood tune to Britney Spears! In India, although the government is investing large sums of money improving the road infrastructure, there is a lot more to be done. As a result, in India, some of the roads are poorly maintained, pot holed and uneven. This gets even more pronounced particularly during and after the monsoon. Travel time covering relatively short distances is very long in comparison to Western countries.

Solo Travellers

We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Hotels/guesthouses (37 nts), sleeper trains (7 nts), homestay (1 nt).

About Accommodation

A variety of styles of hotels/guest houses are used in India. These can vary in terms of service, efficiency and cleanliness. In many instances they might not be like what you are used to back home. Power cuts can and are a regular occurrence in many places, especially throughout North and Central India. Although a number of hotels have generators there may be times when these won’t work. It is also recommended when you are in your room to lock the door, as staff will sometime enter without reason.

Joining Hotel

For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.

Joining Instructions

If this is your first trip to India an arrival transfer is recommended. The arrival transfer will be provided by our G Adventures-supported project Women on Wheels. This program provides safe and reliable transport for travellers, while providing a dignified livelihood for a local woman from a resource poor community. You will be greeted by a trained driver from the project with a G Adventures sign with your name on it. The drivers mostly wait outside exit Gate number 6. Please check carefully once you exit the baggage hall as there seem to be hundreds of people waiting outside in the arrival area. If you have any questions, please feel free to call our transfer representatives in Delhi. Our airport representatives can be reached at the Sakha Call Centre at +91 92787-08888

Taking a taxi from New Delhi airport is convenient, but taxi drivers are famous for tampering with their meters and overcharging. Use the prepaid taxi service offered at the airport. You can make the arrangements at designated counters outside the baggage-claim area of the domestic terminals and international terminal. Unfortunately scammers have set up similar services, so make sure the counter is operated by the Delhi Traffic Police. Your destination, the time of your arrival and the amount of luggage determine the rate, which you pay in advance at the counter, but should be between INR200-300. Take the receipt and locate your assigned taxi. Taxis are black with yellow tops and have yellow number plates. Once you get into the taxi, don’t give the driver the payment slip until you reach your destination. If the driver demands more rupees, politely refuse, although if they have driven safely, you may like to tip INR10-20.

Be aware also, of touts at the airports, even at hotel-reservation counters. They may try to trick you into booking a hotel room by claiming that your prior reservation is invalid. Ignore them.

Your CEO will contact you at the hotel on Day 1 and make sure you are settled comfortably. If you arrive late, they will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning. Your CEO will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive some general and specific information about aspects of the trip.

Arrival Complications

We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

AIRPORT TRANSFER
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:

Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.

If your call is specifically concerning Airport Transfer complications please call our local G Adventures Transfer providers directly at:
New Delhi Airport:

Sakha Call Center
From outside India: +91 9278708888
From within Delhi: 9278708888
From outside Delhi: 09278708888

Airport Representative
From outside India: +919599193260 or +919599051397

From within Delhi: 9599193260 or 9599051397

From outside Delhi: 09599193260 or 09599051397

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Office (Delhi)
G Adventures South Asia Manager, Rishab (Delhi, India)
Emergency number:
From outside of India: +91 99 7179 5447
From within Delhi: 99 7179 5447
From within India, but outside Delhi: 099 7179 5447

G Adventures Office Bangkok, Thailand
During Office hours (Weekdays, 9am-5pm Local Time): +66-02-3815574

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

What to Take

What you need to bring depends on the trip you have chosen and the countries or regions you are planning to visit. We suggest that you pack as lightly as possible as you are expected to carry your own luggage. As a rule we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 minutes with your bag which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 10-15kg/22-30lb. Suitcases are not recommended for G Adventures trips! Most travellers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size (no XXL ones please!) as they need to fit under the beds when travelling on sleeper trains. You will also need a day pack/bag to carry water, cameras and other electronics like ipods and mobile phones. If your trip involves overnights in home stays, villages or camping then you usually have the opportunity to rent sleeping bags if need be instead of bringing them with you.

Checklist

-Passport (with photocopies)
-Travel insurance (with photocopies)
-Airline tickets (with photocopies)
-Debit or credit card
-Cash in USD
-G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and – Required visas or vaccination certificates
-Day pack for daily personal items
-Locks for bags
-Wet wipes
-Sunblock/Sun hat
-Sunglasses
-Alarm Clock
-Insect Repellent
-Flashlight
-Toiletries
-Reusable water bottle
-Ear plugs
-Small towel
-Money belt
-Shirts/T-shirts
-Shorts
-Sturdy walking shoes/Sport sandals
-Hiking pants/track pants
-Camera
-Waterproof backpack cover
-Umbrella
-Rain jacket or poncho
-Reading/writing material
-First-aid kit
-Binoculars
-Pocketknife
-Rehydration powder
-Long pants/jeans
-Long-sleeved shirts or sweater
-Thermal base layer

  • Note: During the colder months (Oct-Apr) the mountains can be very cold, so please make sure you pack warm clothes.

Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

Visas

Please note that visas for India are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. For the most up to date information please check your governments foreign ministry website or with you travel agent as rules do change. It is important that you check for yourself. For most travellers there will probably have an embassy and consulate in the country that you live in.

Standard Indian tourist visas are good for 6 months with multiple entry and exits. VISA IS NOT AVAILABLE AT PORT OF ENTRY AND must be obtained in advance.

For nationals of Afghanistan, China, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan and Bangladesh if you are planning on entering India multiple times in a two month period will need to get special authorization.

a) If you are already in India you must register with FRRO (Foreign Regional Registration office).

b) If you are still outside of India you must advise consulate or embassy at time of visa application of your plans. You will need to provide supporting documents which includes airline tickets.

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

As currency exchange rates in Asia fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com As of Feb 2012 the exchange rate for INDIA was 1 USD = 49.00 INR (Indian Rupees). There are many ATM machines that accept both Visa and Mastercard but these are limited to major cities. Major credit cards are accepted in most shops but they may charge a 2-4% transaction fee.

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Departure Tax

All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.

Tipping

It is customary in Asia to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is expected – though not compulsory – and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from USD1-2 per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline USD20-30 per person, per week can be used.

Health

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. In Asia pharmacies tend to stock the same western drugs as you get at home but they are usually produced locally so please bring the full drug name with you when trying to purchase a prescription drug. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.

Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.

Trip Specific Safety

We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that an average level of fitness and mobility is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our leaders work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.

Please note that all passengers traveling to Antarctica are required to fill out this questionnaire.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at www.gadventures.com/medical-form.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

Planeterra is G Adventures’ non-profit foundation created to make a positive difference in the communities where G Adventures takes travellers. Planeterra supports sustainable social and environmental solutions in destinations travellers love to visit.

As travellers, it’s natural to want to give back to the places we’ve come to love. But to truly impact poverty, we work to build self-sufficiency, not dependency.

Planeterra partners with grassroots organizations with firsthand knowledge of local culture and true community needs. This ensures that solutions come from the people we support. Then G Adventures brings travellers to visit, fuelling sustainable local income in these communities. This model is helping many rural and marginalized communities on their way to self-sufficiency because they are harnessing the power of the tourism industry as a force for good. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit planeterra.org.

MAKE EVERY DAY COUNT
Fifty percent of our planet lives on less than $2/day. For the price of a coffee, you can make every day of your trip count by giving back to the communities you visit through Planeterra.

To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking).

Local Dress

In Asia the dress standard is more conservative than it is back home. When packing try to pick loose, lightweight, long clothing that will keep you cool in the usually hot and humid climate of Asian summers. In predominately Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim countries we ask that you dress respectfully and avoid very short shorts/skirts and singlets/tanktops when visiting small rural communities or visiting temples or mosques or other holy sites as this may restrict your entry.

India is very conservative and you should dress accordingly. As a general guideline shoulders and knees should be covered at all times. The wearing of shorts is not allowed as it will restrict your entry into buildings of a religious nature and family homes. A light water and windproof jacket is useful and a hat essential.
NB: WE STRESS THAT IT CAN BE VERY COLD IN THE HILLS DURING THE MONTHS FROM DECEMBER TO FEBRUARY.

NB: During our trip there will be many opportunities for you to meet and “talk” with locals. One way to start any conversation is with pictures. We recommend that you bring some photos/postcards of your family, home, city or country where you live, animals peculiar to your country etc.

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we’ll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.

Newsletter

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra’s monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.

Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you’re interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.

Max Pax

15

Group Leader

Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.

Meal Budget

Allow USD1045-1360 for meals not included.

Meals Included

2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners

PRODUCT_LINE: AHFR, ID: 24328

Itinerary

Day 1: Delhi

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included through the G Adventures-supported Women on Wheels project.

Included Activities:
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

Transport:
Women on Wheels Transfer

Day 2: Agra (1B)

Take the Shatabdi Express train to Agra, with breakfast served on board. Enjoy a guided tour of the impressive Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. Time permitting, opt to visit the Baby Taj.

Included Activities:
Taj Mahal Guided Tour
Agra Fort Guided Tour

Transport:
Train (2.00-3.00 hours)

Day 3: Jaipur

Hop a Shatabdi Express train in the evening to Jaipur.

Transport:
Train (4.00-4.50 hours)

Day 4: Jaipur

Take an orientation walk around town. Take a photo of the Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds) and visit the Amber Fort. Walk around the Old City and markets and opt to visit the City Palace. With free time, choose to visit local artisans in a nearby village, wander the Jantar Mantar, or check out a Bollywood film at the spectacular Art Deco film house, the Raj Mandir.

Included Activities:
Orientation Walk
Amber Fort Visit

Day 5: Udaipur

In the afternoon, continue your travels on the Udaipur Express train.

Transport:
Train (7.00-7.50 hours)

Day 6: Udaipur

Enjoy an orientation walk, including a visit to the Jagdish Temple and the City Palace, one of the largest royal palaces in India. Attend a Rajasthani cultural show on Gangaur Ghat.

Included Activities:
Orientation Walk
Jagdish Temple Visit
City Palace Visit
Rajasthani Cultural Show

Day 7: Bundi

With free time in Udaipur, opt to check out the many beautiful lakes, take a boat ride, visit the Monsoon Palace for some excellent views, or take an Indian cooking class.

Transport:
Train (4.50 hour(s))

Day 8: Būndi/Mumbai (1D)

Explore the Bundi Fort and stepwells before an overnight trip on the Mumbai Rajdhani Express, with dinner on board.

Included Activities:
Bundi Fort and Stepwells Visit

Transport:
Train (1.00 hour(s))
Overnight train (beds) (12.00 hour(s))

Day 9: Mumbai

Arrive in the morning at bustling Mumbai, home to 20 million people. Take a walking tour of the Colaba area and see the Gateway of India.

Included Activities:
Colaba Walking Tour
Gateway of India Visit

Day 10: Mumbai/Goa

Spend the day exploring more of Mumbai before an overnight ride on the Konkan Kanya Express train to Goa.

Transport:
Overnight train (beds) (11.50 hour(s))

Day 11: Goa

Opt to visit the many Portuguese-built monuments, wander around the churches of Old Goa (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), or discover Panjim, the capital of the state. Don’t forget to indulge in Goan cuisine.

Day 12: Goa

Spend the day relaxing in paradise.

Day 13: Goa

Spend a free day relaxing on the beach or opt to visit the many Portuguese-built monuments, wander around the churches of Old Goa (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), or discover Panjim, the capital. Don’t forget to indulge in Goan cuisine.

Day 14: Hampi

Travel by Visakhapatnam Howrah Express train and then by van to reach Hampi, in the heart of Karnataka.

Transport:
Train (6.50-7.50 hours)
Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s))

Day 15: Hampi/Mysore

Enjoy a walking tour then explore the spectacular ruins of Hampi Palaces, Hararama Temple, and the boulders on the river. In the evening, take an overnight Hampi Express train to Mysore.

Included Activities:
Walking Tour

Transport:
Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s))
Overnight train (beds) (13.00 hour(s))

Day 16: Mysore

Arrive to Mysore and explore the Mysore Palace and Chamundi Hill.

Included Activities:
Mysore Palace Visit
Chamundi Hills Visit

Day 17: Mysore/Madikeri

Drive to Bylakuppe and explore the Namdroling Monastery – a home to nearly 5000 Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns. Later drive to Madikeri for the evening.

Included Activities:
Namdroling Monastery Visit

Transport:
Private Vehicle (2.00-3.00 hours)
Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s))

Day 18: Madikeri

Explore Madikeri (the coffee hub of India) and enjoy a tour of a coffee plantation. Visit the Madikeri Fort and the famed Raja’s Seat for its stunning views.

Included Activities:
Coffee Plantation Tour

Day 19: Madikeri/Kochi

Take a morning drive to the coastal town of Kannur. Catch the Ernakulam Express to Kochi in the afternoon.

Transport:
Private Vehicle (3.00-4.00 hours)
Train (6.00 hour(s))

Day 20: Kochi

Explore the Fort Kochi area and see the Chinese fishing nets at work. If time permits, visit the Jewish area and synagogue, the Dutch Palace, and Spice Market.

Included Activities:
Fort Kochi Visit
Chinese Fishing Nets Visit

Day 21: Kochi

Make the most of Kochi with free time to explore.

Day 22: Alleppey (1D)

This evening enjoy a taste of local life with a homestay.

Included Activities:
Kerala Boat Tour

Transport:
Train (1.00-1.50 hours)
Tuk-tuk (0.50 hour(s))

Day 23: Kanyakumari (1B)

Enjoy some more time in Kerala before an evening Ernad Express train to Kanyakumari for a full day exploring the area.

Transport:
Meals are available for purchase on board.
Train (4.50 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (0.50 hour(s))

Day 24: Madurai

Spend the day in Kanyakumari. Drive to the southernmost tip of India and take a ferry across to Vivekananda Rock and the Ramkrishna Ashram. Take an evening Kanyakumari Express train to Madurai.

Included Activities:
Vivekananda Rock and Ramkrishna Ashram Visit

Transport:
Ferry (0.50 hour(s))
Ferry (0.50 hour(s))
Train (4.50 hour(s))

Day 25: Madurai

Explore the Meenakshi Temple and colourful markets of Madurai.

Included Activities:
Meenakshi Temple Visit

Day 26: Mamallapuram

Take the morning Vaigai Express to Chengalpattu before continue by van to Mamallapuram.

Transport:
Train (6.50 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (0.50-1.00 hours)

Day 27: Māmallapuram

Cycle around and explore the rock-cut Shore Temple and Mamallapuram Beach.

Included Activities:
Shore Temple Visit
Mamallapuram Beach Visit

Day 28: Chennai/Vizag

Drive to Chennai and catch an early Coromondal Express train to Vizag. Spend the day on the train with plenty of time to relax and watch the scenery of East Coast India glide by.

Transport:
Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s))
Train (12.50-13.50 hours)

Day 29: Vizag

Explore Vizag and the northern beaches, along with the Simachalam Temple.

Included Activities:
Simachalam Temple Visit

Day 30: Puri

Take an early Puri Express train to Bhubaneshwar and marvel at the scenery. Continue by van to reach Puri.

Transport:
Meals for purchase on board.
Train (9.50 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s))

Day 31: Puri

Explore Raghuraj Pur village and beautiful Puri beaches.

Included Activities:
Raghuraj Pur Village Visit

Day 32: Kolkata (1L)

Take a morning Shatabdi Express train to Kolkata, with lunch provided on board. Arrive in the afternoon and explore Mother Teresa’s house in the evening.

Transport:
Train (7.50-8.00 hours)

Day 33: Kolkata

Explore the vintage monuments and streets of this former capital of the British Era. Opt to take a ferry ride across the Hooghly River. Opt to join the group for dinner at one of the famed restaurants on Park Street for the final night out.

Day 34: Kolkata

Spend some free time exploring this fascinating city.

Day 35: Kolkata

Visit the Victoria Memorial, New Market and take a ferry on the Ganges. In the evening, board an overnight New Jalpaiguri Kamrup Express train to New Jalpaiguri.

Transport:
Overnight train (beds) (13.00 hour(s))

Day 36: Kalimpong

Arrive at New Jalpaiguri and continue by van to Kalimpong. Explore the MacFarlane Memorial Church and take in views of the mountainous scenery with a stop at Deolo Hill.

Included Activities:
MacFarlane Memorial Church Visit
Deolo Hill Visit

Transport:
Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s))

Day 37: Gangtok

Continue by private van to Gangtok and take an orientation tour of the town.

Included Activities:
Orientation Walk

Transport:
Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s))

Day 38: Gangtok

Enjoy a day trip to Rumtek Monastery.

Included Activities:
Rumtek Monastery Visit

Transport:
Travel roughly 24km to the monastery and back.
Private Vehicle (24km)

Day 39: Darjeeling

Head to Darjeeling by private van and take an orientation tour of the town.

Included Activities:
Orientation Walk

Transport:
Private Vehicle (6.00-7.00 hours)

Day 40: Darjeeling (1L)

Watch the sunrise at Tiger Hill, visit a tea estate and explore the Mahakal Temple. Later, travel the World Heritage-listed Darjeeling Himalayan Railway on a vintage steam engine train. Continue with a visit to the Peace Pagoda and a cooking demonstration at a local, family-run restaurant.

Additional Notes:
Please note that occasionally the cooking demonstration may be moved to Varanasi to better suit the day’s schedule.

Included Activities:
Tiger Hill Sunrise Visit
Tea Estate Visit
Mahakal Temple Visit
Peace Pagoda Visit

Transport:
Toy train

Day 41: Siliguri

Drive to Siliguri to catch an overnight sleeper train to Mughal Sarai.

Transport:
Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s))
Enjoy an air-conditioned train with linens provided.
Overnight train (beds) (14.00 hour(s))

Day 42: Varanasi

Arrive to Mughal Sarai in the morning and continue by van to Varanasi. Enjoy an evening visit to the ghats.

Included Activities:
Ghats Visit

Transport:
Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s))

Day 43: Varanasi

Take a sunrise boat trip on the Ganges. Enjoy a free afternoon to explore Sarnath and the city of Varanasi.

Included Activities:
Morning Ganges Boat Tour

Day 44: Lucknow/Delhi

Take a morning Varanasi-Lucknow Intercity train. In the afternoon, visit the Bara Imambara.

Included Activities:
Bara Imambara Visit

Transport:
Train (6.00 hour(s))

Day 45: Lucknow/Delhi (1D)

Spend most of the day exploring Lucknow. In the afternoon, board the Swarna Shatabdi Express train to Delhi, with dinner provided on board. Enjoy the night in the bustle of Delhi.

Transport:
Train (6.00 hour(s))

Day 46: Delhi

With extra time, you can book our ‘Agra Extension’ including accommodation, transport, and a guided visit to India’s most famous sight, the Taj Mahal.

Interested in Ultimate India by Rail?

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