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India Road Trip

Embark on a 28-day India road trip and explore seven distinct regions of this exotic and diverse country.

From the capital to the Himalayan foothills, the Golden Temple, and the Taj Mahal, you’ll experience the country’s rich history and culture. Take a camel safari in the Thar Desert, hike in the Himalayas, visit palaces and UNESCO heritage sites, and engage with communities in Goa. Relax on the sandy beaches of Goa and enjoy the adventure of a lifetime. Don’t miss this opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and stunning landscapes of India.

612.50

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Description

Program Description

This is an eco-tourism travel program that gives you the opportunity to visit 7 distinct states in India in 28 days! Experience everything from its amazing culture, beautiful monuments, stunning nature, to its sublime cuisine by traveling through a cross-section of this vast sub-continent. Keeping with the values of our organization, this program is environmentally friendly.

Once you arrive in New Delhi, our tour leader will receive you. After checking into your hotel, you will receive an in-depth orientation regarding your travel program. On Monday, early morning, we will travel to Shimla by a unique train called the “Himalayan Queen,” which is also recognized by UNESCO.

Experience this wonderful heritage train journey through the Deccan Plateau and into the Himalayan landscape with splendid views of the Himalayan mountains. During your time in Shimla, experience hiking in the mountains, absorb breathtaking views, taste the local food with local people, stay in a beautiful guest house located in the midst of the mountains, experience the mountain village lifestyle, and walk around the Shimla town to view temples, monuments, and museums.

On the next part of your journey, you will go on a bus journey through the Himalayan mountains to dive into Tibetan culture in Dharamshala, the home of the Dalai Lama. Go on a walking tour through the monasteries, experience a holy walk the way locals do, visit marvelous waterfalls, and learn about Buddhist teachings and their way of life.

You will then travel to Agra to visit the “TAJ MAHAL” and witness its amazing grandeur. Walk into the Taj Mahal at sunrise, which is the best time to visit the Taj. Spend your time marveling at the beauty of the Taj. You will also be taken to the ghats of the Yamuna river to relax in the beautiful garden with the Taj as its backdrop.

You are just at the beginning of this real adventure! Next, you will be immersed in the colorful and vibrant culture of Udaipur. Witness an energetic cultural dance show and visit the beautiful Udaipur Palace, which is the second-largest palace in India. Your experience of a lifetime begins as you travel into the Thar desert. Go on a camel safari into the desert for an amazing camping experience under the starlit sky and experience a caravan lifestyle.

After that, you will travel to Mumbai, where you will visit its crowded streets, go on a boat ride into the Arabian Sea to visit an ancient island temple called the Elephanta Caves, and explore the city. You will also have some time to explore on your own in the evenings.

Your adventure does not end here. You will travel to the most exotic location of Goa, where you will be met by other participants taking part in various community engagement programs. In Goa, you will be introduced to various UNESCO sites and taken to the most famous beaches of Goa to unwind. We will also introduce you to yoga and an Ayurvedic massage, which will relax your body and prepare you for the project phase.

From Goa, you will be traveling to the magical ruins of Hampi, the capital of the ancient Vijayanagar Empire. This destination was the heartbeat of a powerful dynasty in its heyday. The ruins, spread over 16 sq miles, have temples, mandalas, sacred and religious structures that will inspire your imagination. This architectural splendor was reduced to ruins by marauding sultanate armies that razed the city to the ground, leaving back only the ruins in Hampi that you see today.

In the last week of your trip, you will have the splendid opportunity to take part in a variety of community engagement projects. You can work alongside local people at our women’s empowerment project, community school, renovation project, animal shelter, or participate in interacting with senior citizens at an old age home. The choice will be yours to find the best project that suits you and become a part of an ever-expanding community.

What’s included

  • Airport transfers as per the policy – Airport Pickup in New Delhi
  • Presence of a dedicated program coordinator throughout your travel, at the projects and facilities- Logistical management support in case of emergencies
  • Authentic Indian meals and European (breakfast, lunch, dinner) for the duration of the entire program as per the meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Accommodation at hotels, homestays, and at our accommodation facility – Shared single gender accommodation.
  • Local transportation to all venues.
  • Entry fees to all places.
  • Extensive pre-departure information

What’s Excluded

  • Personal expenses such as table drinks, room service items, laundry, telephone calls, tips, portage at hotels or airports, bottles of water during your road trip etc.
  • Any additional expenses caused by or liability for disturbance in the trip program due to circumstances, weather conditions, sickness, natural disasters, riots etc.
  •  Liability for or insurance against injury, loss of life, accidents or loss of goods
  • Our program does not cover any liability and does not insure participants. Participants must have appropriate insurance before joining the program
  • Any camera fee where applicable.
  • Any service not specified above.

Few things to consider while you are with us

  • Request to be back at the accommodation by 22:30 everyday
  • Participants will not be entertained to hire any vehicles on their own
  • Consumption of alcohol are strictly prohibited at all our Centres
  • Respect and adhere to our code of conduct
  • Our staff are there to support you and to guide you and make your trip memorable, we request you to kindly follow their instructions at all times.
  • You will not be allowed to bring outsiders inside our centres, guest houses or hotels
  • Please provide your mobile phone number during the time of booking, as this will be useful for us to contact you at the Delhi Airport as this is quite a crowded airport, and we would not want to lose you!

Add-on: +Learning

There is no +Learning add-on available for this program.

Aims & Objectives

This program aims to immerse you in authentic Indian culture and provide opportunities for community engagement to better understand local lifestyles.

Schedule

Day 1:Sunday

Arrival at Delhi Airport. Our Coordinator will be at the airport to welcome you into India & direct you to your accommodation. Soon after your arrival and overnight stay at New Delhi on Sunday.

Week 1: Delhi, Shimla & Dharamsala

Day 2: Monday

Travel from Delhi to Shimla:

On the morning of Monday, your first day in India, hop into a UNESCO heritage train ride to Shimla. On this vibrant train journey, observe the beautiful and ever changing Indian landscape, regular day to day life on the streets, and finally a 5 hours ride into the amazing Himalayan mountain landscape. After reaching Shimla, we check into a guesthouse located with a great view of Shimla.

  • New Delhi to Shimla – Train (Air conditioned with recliner seats Delhi to Kalka, Toy Train Kalka to Shimla)
  • Travel Time: 10 hours travel time
  • Distance 370 km

Day 3: Tuesday

The day begins early with an orientation session with our tour leader. This session also includes briefing on aspects such as culture, safety and health precautionary measures, transportation, money, etc. Visit the famous monkey temple also called “Hanuman Temple” which is situated atop a hill, it is a 30 minute uphill walk and brings you to the highest point of Shimla city set at 2250 mts. Spend your afternoon, soaking into the views of the beautiful hill town, visit the local market and get acclimated to the Himalayan environment. Late afternoon, we proceed for a 2 hour bus ride deeper into the misty mountains of the Himalayas for an overnight stay at a local himalayan village. A local family in the mountains will host you for the night.

Carry an extra set of clothes and drinking water in a light backpack. The tour leader will arrange for you to leave your bigger backpacks that you may be travelling with at a safe place from where you can collect them after the hike.

Day 4: Wednesday

Today is the best! to experience the Himalayan ranges. Hike into the Himalayan mountains which is also quite a challenging element of your trip which culminates on top of a hill at 3100 metres offering an amazing picturesque view of the Himalayan range. You will rest here while having your lunch in the ambiance of the outdoor himalayan setup. Head back down to the village and drive back to Shimla, overnight stay at a guesthouse at Shimla.

The coordinator will help you get safe drinking water at the start of the trek. Packed lunch will be provided during the trek. The trek through the mountains will be approximately 7 hours long.

Trek Distance:         7 Km Trek

Difficulty Level 2 –         Uphill and downhill

Altitude:                 Approximately 3100 meters

Terrain:                 Rocky, gravel, river crossing and winding tracks.

Duration of Trek:         7 hours.

Day 5: Thursday

Our tour leader will take you on a beautiful heritage walk through the deodar forests to visit historical monuments and temples. Afternoon, we take a bus to Dharamshala, the abode of  the Dalai Lama.

Shimla to Dharamshala Bus ride: 9 hours

Day 6: Friday

Dharamshala – Experience Tibetan culture, visit the traditional Tibetan market.

After a relaxed breakfast, visit McLeod Ganj and walk into the beautiful Buddhist monastery and go on a 20 minute walk to a wonderful waterfall located in the mountains. Your walk through the markets will give you an insight into traditional Buddhist shops selling various interesting traditional ornaments and cultural clothing. The evening will be spent around McLeod Ganj and treat yourself for a traditional Tibetan dinner. Night stay in Dharamshala.

Day 7: Saturday

Dharamshala – Experience Tibetan art Visit Norbulingka Monastery to learn thangka Painting and wood carving.  

The Norbulinka Monastery is dedicated to the preservation of Tibetan art & has 300 artisans with traditional masters passing these skills down to coming generations. Housed within the monastery the art of statue making, metal craft, thangka painting, tailoring and wood craft are some of the heritage skills that are honed within aspiring artisans.

Day 8: Sunday

Spend your day in Delhi to visit Lotus temple, Gandhi Museum, Red Fort. Overnight stay in Delhi. New Delhi is the Capital city of India and contains the best of modern India fused with  a rich history that spans centuries. The Lotus Temple is a marvel that serves as a monument which embodies the true nature of a country with a myriad array of faith & religions. Delve into the architectural wonder of the Red Fort that was once was the capital of the mughal empire  exhibiting  Mughal style building with the influence of Hindu design.  The Gandhi Museum will serve as a window to  one of the most influential personalities in Indian & World History.

Week 2: Agra & Rajasthan

Day 9: Monday

Taj Mahal (Agra)

Today we have an early start, we take the morning train from Delhi to Agra.  Arrive in Agra and check into a hotel just next to the Taj Mahal. A stunning architectural triumph that was inspired by love.

The highlight of the India Road Trip is today, witnessing one of the Seven Wonders of the World – The Taj Mahal. Visit the Taj Mahal at sunrise and spend the day by the river Yamuna to marvel at its beautiful architecture and its surroundings. Later in the evening, hop into an overnight train to Udaipur “the city of lakes” in Rajasthan.

Agra to Udaipur (Air conditioned Indian Railways).

  • Agra to Udaipur (Air conditioned Indian Railways)

Day 10: Tuesday

Experience Rajasthan – Udaipur “the city of lakes”. While in Udaipur, you will be hosted at our house. Fans of The Jungle Book and James Bond films may recognize Udaipur as the birthplace of Bagheera and the location for the Roger Moore starrer Octopussy. Spend the next 2 days visiting India’s second largest state, visit the beautifully architectured palace, enjoy a boat ride in lake Pichola, and watch a traditional Rajasthani dance and music concert. Overnight stay in Udaipur.

Day 11: Wednesday

Today we went on a temple tour in the morning. Visit the beautiful sculptured 8th and 10th century ancient temples on the outskirts of Udaipur. We return back to our center and then in the evening, we take an overnight bus to Jaisalmer which is approximately 12 hrs for the next highlight of our trip – The Desert experience.

Day 12: Thursday

“The experience of a lifetime” camping in the Desert. Once in Jaisalmer, you will have a bit of time to refresh at the guest house. We then go sightseeing in Jaisalmer to a 11th century fort and then take a jeep safari and a camel ride deeper into the Thar desert, where you will stay for the night. Please remember to pack your sleeping bags and water bottles for this part of the trip. Our tour leader will inform you of anything else that may be necessary. Tonight we camp in the desert under the stars. Overnight stay in the desert which is guaranteed to be one of your most memorable moments in life.

Day 13: Friday

You will return from the desert to the guest house and spend time in the city of Jaisalmer, visiting a beautiful authentic Haveli and a lake which is considered to be the largest in Jaisalmer and other tourist attractions. Later this evening, we took an overnight bus back to Udaipur.

Day 14: Saturday

  • You will spend the entire morning learning the art of rajasthani puppetry and painting. We will then take an overnight bus to Mumbai.
  • Udaipur to Mumbai – Bus (Comfortable air conditioned bus)

Day 15: Sunday

After breakfast, visit the Gateway of India and go on a boat ride into the Arabian sea to visit the ancient Elephanta caves. A good Indian lunch will be provided at the island. Return to the mainland and spend the remaining part of the day exploring the sights of Mumbai. Overnight stay at Mumbai.

Day 16: Monday

Today, we took an early morning superfast train to Goa. Arrive in Goa early at noon. Check into our house where you will be hosted for the remaining days of your travel. Once at our centre in the afternoon, after a good spread of Goan lunch, you can relax and freshen up and meet other participants at the house. Overnight stay at our centre in Goa.

Day 17: Tuesday

Explore the rich history and impressive architecture of Old Goa, the former colonial capital of the state. The convents and churches are stunning, and the area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Be sure to visit the Basilica of Bom Jesus, which contains the relics of St Francis Xavier.

Visit the interesting spice plantation, know about various Indian spices, how they are grown before reaching your plates. After a sumptuous lunch at the plantation, spend some time at the plantation and on the way back visit a small but yet beautiful waterfall. Later in the evening, take your time out on your own. Overnight stay in Goa. \

Day 18: Wednesday

After breakfast spend the morning with a hands-on session in preparing a typical Goan lunch. We then visit the mangroves of Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary to get a glimpse of local & migratory birds in the afternoon. We trek up a small hillock to witness the ruins of a Portuguese seminary before getting back to the centre & get packed up for the next leg of our adventure. We board a bus & head out for Hampi after dinner

Day 19: Thursday

Arrive in Hampi early morning where we check in to our rooms & freshen up.After breakfast we take a guided tour into the ancient realm of the Vijaynagar empire. Your guide & the exquisitely carved structures will take you back in time to an ancient civilization at its peak. The sprawling complex of Hampi is an UNESCO heritage site. We then lunch at one of the finest eateries in Hampi & resume with our tour.  We also get a glimpse into one of the rituals carried out by the main temple in Hampi.Dinner & a well deserved nights sleep.

Day 20: Friday

After breakfast you are free to explore this amazing destination dating back to the 14th Century, at your leisure. Hampi is truly a photographer’s paradise where you can capture elements of a bygone age that still endures within these ruins.  We then meet for lunch & board a bus & head back to the beaches of Goa. On reaching Goa we get back to our centre for the night.

Day 21: Saturday

  • Experience an authentic ayurvedic massage to relax your body. After lunch at our centre,  spend your time at one of the beautiful beaches of Goa to return to the centre for dinner. Overnight stay in Goa.

Day 22: Sunday

Day to relax, breathe in, and catch up with your new friends at the guest house in Goa

Week 4: Community engagement week in Goa

Day 23-27: Monday to Friday

During this week, participate in our community engagement program which consists of many projects such as  the community school or at a renovation project or animal shelter or even participate in interacting with senior citizens at an old aged home. The choice will be yours to suit yourself into a project to become a part of an ever expanding community. During the second half of the day spend educational and quality time with migratory children at our outreach program. Overnight stay in Goa.

Day 28: Saturday

Departure.

Mode of transportation could change due to unavoidable circumstances.

This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.

Your departure can be planned either on Saturday (28th Day) from Dabolim Airport in Goa. If you choose to travel further in India on your own or have various other plans after completing your trip with us, we request you to kindly check out on Sunday (28th Day).

Starting Dates

During 2023

First Monday of every month.

During 2024

First Monday of every month.

Participant Criteria & Requirements

Standard Requirements

Minimum age:                18

Maximum age:                –

Minimum English level:        Basic

CRB required:                On Signup

Passport copy required:        On Signup

Resume copy required:        No

Required qualification:        None

Additional Requirements

The following are further necessary in order for both the participants, local staff and everyones involved to have a meaningful, enjoyable and safe experience..

  • Older participants or over 65 years are required to have a medical clearance as proof of their physical fitness as they may perform various activities.
  • Participants below 18 years old need a signed parental consent as proof of involvement of their children for the program. If possible, accompaniment by an adult is highly advised.
  • Due to the length and active nature of this program and as there are lots of outdoor activities under the heat of the sun, a decent level of fitness is required.
  • Excellent time management and self – organizing and strong desire to take on new challenges and learn as much as possible.
  • Recommended a COVID – 19 Vaccination, purchase travel insurance, medical and Covid – 19  insurance prior to your arrival.
  • Have completed or recommended the following vaccines: Polio, Hepatitis A, Diphtheria/Tetanus, Typhoid, Malaria, Hepatitis B, Tuberculosis.

Additional Equipment

  • Medicines you may require: if you have to take specific medicines on a regular basis, bring them along Otherwise, be aware that most basic medicines and even antibiotics are available in India for which you should have a doctor’s prescription.
  • First-aid kit should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, antihistamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking
  • A sleeping bag, warm clothes and rain jackets (July to March & November to February)
  • Mosquito repellents/mosquito nets
  • Hiking shoes or trainers
  • Please bring a rucksack (backpack), avoid trolleys and suitcase to make you travel comfortable
  • Modest clothing that covers knees and shoulders such as Long pants, long skirts, shirts that cover shoulders
  • Shawl or scarf for temple visits
  • Cash, credit and debit cards
  • Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
  • Flashlight/torch
  • Fleece top/sweater
  • Locks for bags
  • Outlet adapter
  • Toiletries – Preferably biodegradable