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North India Revealed

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highlights
  • India can be a daunting place at times, even for experienced travellers. With a local leader to support you the whole way and take care of all the logistics, you’ll build plenty of confidence in how to find the best food, activities and fun in each destination.
  • This comprehensive trip covers many of the diverse sights and destinations in Rajasthan and North India. There is a lot of travelling, but plenty of free time to decide on what you are most interested in seeing and doing.
  • A group size of up to 16 other travellers means you will have plenty of new friends to share experiences, meals and good times with during your trip.
  • Rajasthan is the India that many people imagine when they dream of travelling to this captivating country: ancient forts, palaces, rural villages and colourful cities: sandy red Jaisalmer, blue Jodhpur, white Udaipur and pink Jaipur.
The North India Revealed tour starts and ends in New Delhi. The North India Revealed is a Rickshaw, Cyclo Or Local Transport Tour that takes 22 days taking you from New Delhi, India and through other destinations in Asia.

Visit northern India and join an adventure to one of the planet's most enticing destinations. See towering fortresses above city squares, vibrant colours in busy bazaars, pilgrims praying on river banks, Maharajah mementos in a ghostly palace and camels silhouetted on a desert landscape – welcome to a land of magic and life. Discover well-known sites and hidden secrets, from the beating heart of Delhi to the holy city of Varanasi – this is chaotic and inspiring India.
Namaste and welcome to Delhi, India. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. Your leader will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you bring these details. If you're going to be late, please inform hotel reception. If you arrive into Delhi with time to spare, perhaps pay a visit to the World Heritage-listed Humayun's Tomb or the 12th-century Qutub Minar. As the former residence of royal families and British soldiers, the Red Fort plays a vital part in Delhi’s history.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Delhi - Humayun's Tomb - INR 500
  • Delhi - Qutub Minar - INR 500
  • Delhi - Red Fort - INR 500
  • Delhi - Gandhi's Delhi Urban Adventure - INR 2700
  • Delhi - City Food Crawl Urban Adventure - INR 3500
  • Delhi - Home-Cooked Experience Urban Adventure - INR 4000
In the morning, set off with the group by metro to Old Delhi and explore on a walking tour. Experience the chaos of an Indian traffic jam, as you inch your way through the streets around Chandni Chowk marketplace in a traditional cycle rickshaw. Visit the Jama Masjid, Delhi's oldest and India’s largest mosque, and then stop by the Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple) to learn about the Sikh religion. Tonight transfer to the railway station and board a 19-hour/750 km overnight train to Jaisalmer. Local vendors will board the train at various stops to sell snacks, but it’s advised that you bring some of your own food for the journey too.
Accommodation
  • Overnight Sleeper Train
If there are no delays, you should arrive into Jaisalmer around midday. Pack a small overnight bag and leave the rest of your luggage at the hotel. Embark on a camel safari into the sand dunes of the Thar Desert. Drive by jeep to the starting point, where you’ll meet your guides and set off through the desert for the three-hour ride to the camping ground. The campsite is very basic, with a wind break set up against a sand dune. Your guides will get a campfire going and cook a traditional Rajasthani dinner while you relax and watch the sunset. Water and soft drinks are available for purchase. Sleep under the open sky on a camp style cot with a pillow, sheets, mattress and blankets provided. There are no structured bathroom facilities so please bring toiletries with you, including hand sanitiser. Toilets are simple long drop style.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities)
Rise early to enjoy the sunrise over the sand dunes before having a simple breakfast. The ride back to the drop off point from the desert takes around 90 minutes. Return to the city by private vehicle, where you can take an optional trip to the Folklore Museum. This small museum displays printing blocks, musical instruments, religious artefacts and camel decorations, offering insights into the cultural heritage of Jaisalmer. Our accommodation in Jaisalmer is in a simple guesthouse.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse
Optional Activities
  • Jaisalmer - Folklore Museum
Today is a free day to explore Jaisalmer. This old fortress city has long been a centre for nomadic tribespeople who come to trade in the twisting alleys and markets inside the walls. Perhaps visit the Jain temples, do some shopping or admire the ornate havelis (traditional Indian houses) found throughout the city.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse
Take a private bus to the railway station and then a six-hour train ride (approximately 300km/3rd Class AC train) across the desert to the blue city of Jodhpur. Enjoy a walk to see the sights, including a visit to one of the oldest markets in India, the Sadar Bazaar. Haggle over Bollywood soundtracks, bangles, leather shoes and colourful saris, or simply soak up the energy of a typical Indian market. Jodhpur is said to be home to the best lassis in India, so make sure you try one.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
You have the option to visit the colossal Mehrangarh Fort today. The fort is one of the largest in India and is still run by the Jodhpur royal family. Explore the palaces, galleries and artillery inside the fortress walls and admire great views over the city. Today’s other option is to take a tour of the nearby Bishnoi villages. Take a glimpse into rural Rajasthani life and learn about the rich cultural traditions of these peaceful, nature-loving tribespeople.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Jodhpur - Bishnoi villages day trip - INR 750
  • Jodhpur - Meherangarh Fort - INR 600
Take auto rickshaws from our hotel to the bus station this morning board a local bus for the eight-hour/300km journey to Udaipur. Known as the ‘Venice of the East’, this white city is often regarded as the most romantic in India. Set amid the Aravalli Hills, Udaipur curls around a huge lake. On arrival, take a walk to gather your bearings. Explore twisting alleyways filled with shops and bazaars selling things like silver jewellery, shoes, bags, leather goods and miniature paintings.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Enjoy a free day to explore the sights of Udaipur. Perhaps take a short boat ride on the famous Lake Pichola (seasonal) and see the palaces of Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas rise out of the water of their own reflections. Tour of the lakeside City Palace complex, the largest palace in Rajasthan. While inside, check out vivid murals and royal antiques, and pop into the impressive Jagdish Temple that’s dedicated to the Lord Vishnu. Alternatively, learn the secrets behind making the perfect Indian thali during a half-day cooking class.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Udaipur - Lake Pichola boat ride - INR 350
  • Udaipur - City Palace - INR 300
  • Udaipur - Cooking class - INR 600
Today’s options include a visit to Sajjan Garh (Monsoon Palace). Perched atop a hill overlooking Lake Pichola and built it in 1884, the palace was named after Maharana Sajjan Singh of the Mewar Dynasty. You might like to join a trip to the nearby rural arts and crafts village of Shilpgram, where mud huts, artistic performances and traditional rural ways of life can be observed. Back in Udaipur, enjoy a concert combining seven traditional Rajasthani folk dances.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Udaipur - Cultural dance show - INR 150
  • Udaipur - Monsoon Palace - INR 300
  • Udaipur - Shilpgram craft village - INR 25
Transfer to the station and travel by train for around seven hours/300km to the city of Ajmer (AC seated carriage). From here, it’s a 45-minute/30km drive by private vehicle to your hotel in Pushkar. Pushkar is one of the India's holiest towns and a market centre for the surrounding villages. Head out to explore the town on a walking tour, exploring the main bazaar along the way. Take a walk around Pushkar’s lake and past the bustling ghats and temples, observing the devout as they worship at the holy waters.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Early morning risers can hike up the hill to the Savitri Temple for sunrise views over the town. If the chai man is there, enjoy a steaming cup of tea at the top. Later in the day, pay a visit to the colourful Brahma Temple, which is dedicated to the Hindu god, Brahma. If you’re lucky enough to be in town for the Pushkar Camel Fair, experience one of India’s most famous festivals.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Pushkar - Brahma Temple - Free -
  • Pushkar - Savitri Temple - Free -
Transfer back to Ajmer and then travel by local bus to the 'Pink City' of Jaipur today (approximately four hours/150 km). On arrival take auto rickshaws to our hotel, then explore Rajasthan’s capital on a walking tour. See the beehive-like structure of the Palace of the Winds (Hawa Mahal), built so that women of the royal family could observe street festivities unseen. Your evening is then free.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Today is yours for optional activities. For many travellers, a hot air balloon experience is one of the highlights of Jaipur. Ballooning can be done over the city early in the morning between September and June. For additional information, please see the ‘Important Notes’ section of the trip notes. In the afternoon, visit the Amber Fort. Set on a hilltop overlooking Maota Lake, the fort is an excellent example of Rajput architecture. Entering the Sheesh Mahal (Hall of Mirrors) is a particularly memorable experience. Explore Jaipur’s Royal City Palace and get among the crowds of the city’s bazaars to shop for artisan goods and semi-precious stones. A true local experience is to immerse yourself in Bollywood culture with a movie at a classic cinema.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Jaipur - Amber Fort - INR 500
  • Jaipur - City Palace - INR 600
  • Jaipur - Bollywood Movie at Raj Mandir Cinema - INR 400
  • Jaipur - Balloon Safari - USD 260
Head to Abhaneri (approximately 2 hours / 95km). This rural town provides a lovely detour from the bigger cities of Rajasthan. It is known for its 'baoris', step-wells which were invented long ago to harvest rain water. You will visit the 10th-century Chand Baori, one of the most awe-inspiring sights in Rajasthan. This step-well is some 20 metres deep, and the cool lower reaches of the well is where locals used to gather to escape the heat. See the pavillion on one side, which was reserved for the royals. Afterwards, visit Abhaneri's other crown jewel, the Harshat Mata Temple, which is right nearby. This architectural delight was dedicated to the goddess of happiness and joy, and dates back to the 7th century.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Head east by private transport for the two to three hour/60km journey to Agra via Fatehpur Sikri. Rich in Mughal heritage, Agra is a city of gardens, temples and open rooftops. No doubt everyone will be keen to visit the Taj Mahal, a white marble mausoleum built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial to his wife Mumtaz. The building is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and attracts over three million visitors each year. The rest of the day is free to explore. An amazing local social enterprise, Sheroes Hangout, an initiative by the Stop Acid Attacks campaign and staffed by survivors, is located about 10 mins walk from the Taj Mahal and is an excellent place to stop for a cold drink, coffee or light meal while you are here.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Agra - Taj Mahal
Today perhaps return to the Taj Mahal at sunrise, then explore the spectacular Red Fort on the banks of the Yamuna River. Built in 1565 by Emperor Akbar, the fort was originally designed to be a military structure. If you have extra time, you may like to continue onto Akbar's Mausoleum to pay your respects to the great emperor. In the evening, take a 12-hour/700km overnight train to Varanasi (3 AC class).
Accommodation
  • Overnight Sleeper Train
Optional Activities
  • Agra - Agra Fort - INR 600
  • Agra - Akbar's Mausoleum - INR 210
On arrival this morning transfer by auto rickshaw to your hotel and check in. Then wander through narrow alleyways on a walk around the Old City. At sunset, a great experience is to take a boat cruise down the Ganges, releasing an offering of floating candles and flowers into the river. Every evening at 7 pm, priests perform a ganga aarti (fire ceremony) at the Dashashwamedh Ghat. Each year thousands of Hindu pilgrims come to the holy city of Varanasi to pray along the banks of the sacred Ganges River and to cremate the dead in open-air funeral ceremonies.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Varanasi - Sunset candle ceremony
We highly recommend starting very early with a sunrise boat trip along the Ganges, passing pilgrims bathing and praying along the colourful ghats. See dhobi-wallahs (washerwomen and men) drying clothes along the riverbank. Make sure you keep an eye out for the sinking Vishnu temple near the Manikarnika Ghat. The rest of the day is free for you to do as you please. Perhaps take a trip out to Sarnath, where Buddha gave his first speech after finding enlightenment. The Dhamekh Stupa dominates the landscape of this holy site.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Varanasi - Sarnath day trip (entry only) - INR 250
  • Varanasi - Sunrise boat trip - INR 80
In the morning, you have some free time to explore more of Varanasi. Perhaps visit the Vishwanath Temple, which is laden with 800 kg of gold plating. Slow down your pace with a visit to the Kriti Gallery, which displays the work of local Indian artists. In the afternoon, board your final 15-hour/800km overnight train to Delhi.
Accommodation
  • Overnight Sleeper Train
Arrive into Delhi late in the morning from your overnight train and taxi to the hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to relax or explore the city. Your leader will be able to give you some suggestions – our Urban Adventures are highly recommended!
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Delhi - Gandhi's Delhi Urban Adventure
Your North India adventure comes to an end today. There are no more activities planned and you’re free to depart the accommodation at any time.
what’s included
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night), Hotel/Guesthouse (17 nights), Overnight sleeper train (3 nights)
Meals
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
Transport
  • Overnight sleeper train , Train , Private vehicle , Public bus , Metro , Auto rickshaw , Cycle rickshaw , Camel , Taxi
Included Activities
  • Delhi - Old Delhi walking & rickshaw tour
  • Delhi - Jama Masjid
  • Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)
  • Jaisalmer - City tour
  • Jaisalmer - Camel safari & overnight desert camp
  • Jodhpur - City walk
  • Udaipur - City walk
  • Pushkar - Walking tour
  • Jaipur - Walking & market tour
  • Abhaneri - Stepwells & Harshat Mata Temple
  • Varanasi - Old City tour
what’s excluded
  • International Flights
  • Any international flights to/from New Delhi are not included in this price. We always recommend that you arrive 1 day prior to your tour starting date.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Travel insurance is not included in this North India Revealed tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy. We recommend purchasing it from World Nomads.
Tour details
Booking Type Instant Booking  
Duration 22 days
Tour Type Group Tour - Max 16 participants
guiding method Live guide/instructor
Guide Language English
Starts/Ends New Delhi/ New Delhi
Get a PDF file with detailed trip information: Download Trip Notes for North India Revealed
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Good to know
Payment

A deposit of 400 USD is required to confirm this tour. The remaining balance will be charged 57 days before departure. For any departures within 13 August 2019 full payment is required.

Travel Insurance

The North India Revealed tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.

Visa

For this North India Revealed tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

CancellationNo additional cancellation fees apply for this North India Revealed tour. You can cancel the tour up to 58 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 57 days of departure.
Trip Details
  • Last modified (date)

    13 Jun 2019

  • Trip title

    North India Revealed

  • Trip code

    HHRR

  • Validity

    Validity: 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019

  • Introduction

    Visit northern India and join an adventure to one of the planet's most enticing destinations. See towering fortresses above city squares, vibrant colours in busy bazaars, pilgrims praying on river banks, Maharajah mementos in a ghostly palace and camels silhouetted on a desert landscape – welcome to a land of magic and life. Discover well-known sites and hidden secrets, from the beating heart of Delhi to the holy city of Varanasi – this is chaotic and inspiring India.

  • Style

    Basix

  • Themes

    Explorer

  • Transport

    Overnight sleeper train,Train,Private vehicle,Public bus,Metro,Auto rickshaw,Cycle rickshaw,Camel,Taxi

  • Physical Rating

    2

  • Finish point instructions

    A pre-booked departure transfer to the airport is available if arranged at the time of booking. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 15 days prior to your trip start date. If you plan to stay longer, this departure transfer can only be offered in conjunction with post-tour accommodation booked through Intrepid.

    Delhi's Indira Gandhi's International Airport is approximately 25km from Karol Bagh. One of the biggest airports in the world, it can be quite chaotic.

    A taxi to the airport takes about 1 hour and should cost between 450 -500INR. Hotel reception or your leader can help you arrange a taxi.

    Before check in you must have your check in luggage x-rayed and sealed. Also ensure at check in that your hand luggage is tagged. (This is a mandatory in order to clear security.)

    Check-out time from the hotel is 12 noon. If you are departing later, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel.

  • Group leader

    All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.

    Your leader 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 places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

  • Communications

    WIFI
    Generally WiFi is available in most parts of India and at most of the accommodation we use. It's usually free in public areas of hotels but some properties will charge for in room use. Please ask your tour leader or the specific hotel reception upon check in. Many restaurants and cafes (especially in tourist areas) offer customers free WiFi. Ask for the password when ordering.
    Internet cafes are widespread in India and connections are usually reasonably fast, except in more remote areas.

    MOBILE
    You can purchase a SIM at the airport (or at kiosks everywhere) for use while travelling in India. Airtel or vodaphone are a good bet. SIMs are relatively cheap. You will need to usually provide 2 passport sized photos and a copy of your passport will be made.

    MAIL
    Posting airmail letters to anywhere overseas costs ₹25/15. International airmail postcards cost around ₹12. For postcards, stick the stamps on before writing, as the post office can give you as many as four stamps per card. The post office is always a fun adventure in India!

  • Money matters

    The official currency of India is the Indian Rupee (INR). It's symbol is ₹. The most convenient and cheapest way to obtain local currency in is via ATMs, which are readily available in most towns. Look for Bank of India or ICICI ATMs. Our experience has shown they are the most reliable ATMs to use for withdrawals. Cash shortages at ATMs can be a problem in rural areas. Foreign currency notes that are old, torn or faded can be very difficult to exchange, so please bring clean bills, and small denominations are most useful. The use of credit cards can be restricted, mainly to major hotels, shops and higher end establishments.

    CONTINGENCY FUNDS:
    We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result there may be some extra costs involved.

    SPENDING MONEY:
    When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document).

    Optional tipping kitty for this trip: 1500 INR per person

    COMMISSION:
    The receipt of commissions or kickbacks in exchange for recommending particular shops, services or activities is ingrained in the culture of the Indian tourism industry.

    In an effort to best control and monitor shopping and activities with an aim for the best experience possible, Intrepid has established a system of carefully selected shopping experiences and activities based on positive feedbacks from our previous travellers. On occasion these will be as part of included walking tours or outside of included activities in free time. Please note that if you feel that you do not wish to join in on these shopping experiences we assure you there is no obligation and if you indicate your desire to not partake your group leader will help to facilitate a suitable alternative during this time.

    While Intrepid endeavours to ensure that these suppliers and services maintain reasonable levels of quality, please note recommended suppliers are chosen based on past travellers feedback and experiences and Intrepid cannot explicitly guarantee the quality of the product. A priority in establishing this fund is that the experience of you our traveller is not compromised in any way. Please let us know via the feedback after your trip if we are successfully meeting this objective.


    TIPPING
    If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations.

    Your Tour Leader:
    You may consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline US$3-US$5 per person (in local currency), per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service. Please don't tip with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult

    Commissions:
    The receipt of commissions or kickbacks in exchange for recommending particular shops or services is ingrained in the culture of the tourism industry. Rather than turning a blind eye to this unavoidable issue in some areas, we have established a centralised fund whereby contributions from recommended suppliers are collected and distributed back into the business. We aim to provide the best value trips in the market, and this fund assists in keeping operating costs and trip prices low to you. A priority in establishing this fund is that the experience of our traveller - you - is not compromised in any way. Please let us know via the feedback form completed after your trip if we are successfully meeting this objective.

    Optional Tipping Kitty:
    On Day 1 your tour leader will discuss with you the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips for drivers, local guides, and hotel staff (excludes restaurant tips). The leader will keep a running record of all monies spent which can be checked at any time, and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members. This is often the easiest way to avoid the hassles of needing small change and knowing when and what is an appropriate amount to tip. Participation in this kitty at your own discretion, and you are welcome to manage your own tipping separately if you prefer. Please note the tipping kitty excludes tips for your tour leader.

  • Climate and seasonal

    INDIA SEASONS:
    As a general rule have a look online to check the weather in India just before you are about to travel. This gives you a clearer understanding of what to pack. Here are some general ideas of seasons in India:

    December to March:
    Pleasant weather – warm days, cool nights.
    December and January bring chilly nights in the north.
    Fog can delay trains travelling across the north of the country
    Temperatures climb steadily from February.

    April to June:
    April is already hot; May and June are really hot and dry.
    From June, the monsoon sweeps from south to north, bringing high temperatures and humidity
    Cooler in the hills and mountains across the country

    July to November:
    Monsoon continues until November.
    The southeast coast and southern Kerala see heavy rain from October to early December.

    MONSOON:
    Travel in rural areas during the monsoon season can be hazardous. Monsoon rains cause flooding and landslides that can cut off some towns and villages for days. It is not unusual for trains to be delayed or cancelled resulting in itinerary changes or for activities in towns near to rivers and lakes (ie Varanasi) to need to be changed during this time of year. During the monsoon, excessive rainfall can see the river Ganges rise to unsafe levels. This may cause the suspension of all water related activities by local government. At this time of year walking along the Ghats can also be dangerous. Your tour leader will be able to advise you locally on any changes.

    WINTER:
    Winter in India can be colder than you might expect and as this is not peak travel season hotels in some regions may not have adequate heating. In these months you may like to bring thermals for sleeping.

    FESTIVALS & HOLIDAYS
    As a country of many cultures and religions, India has many festivals and public holidays. Here are some of the key dates and events:

    HOLI (Festival of Colours)
    2019 20-21 March
    2020 9-10 March
    2021 28-29 March

    DIWALI (Festival of Light)
    2019 27 November
    2020 14 November
    2021 4 November

    RAMADAN (Muslim Holy Month)
    2019 5 May-4 June
    2020 23 April-24 May
    2021 13 April-12 May

    PUSHKAR CAMEL FAIR:
    The Pushkar Camel Fair is undoubtedly one of the most vibrant festivals in India. Dates can vary from those published, but at the time of writing the Fair was scheduled for 4-12 November 2019 & 22-30 November 2020. The Fair originated as a livestock fair (ie. for buying and trading animals for work and meat) and some of the events today still involve selling, dressing up, parading, racing, and performing camels. Some past travellers have raised animal welfare concerns in witnessing these events. However, camels are only one part of the Fair. There are also carnival style events involving musicians, magicians, acrobats, dancers. Our favourite is the moustache competition! Many religious rituals take place during this time and there are plenty of regional handicrafts and souvenirs for sale, all of which make it a fascinating time to be in Pushkar.

  • A couple of rules

    Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden.

    Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption.

    The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips.

    By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund.

    If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.

  • Accommodation notes

    OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
    The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

    TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS
    Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on a different Intrepid trip than your own.

    CHECK-IN TIME
    Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

    PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
    If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (subject to availability), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

    ACCOMMODATION:
    Some of the accommodation along the way is basic or simple, staying in local guesthouses and homestays. Some may have shared bathroom faciluties with cold water only. We use a mixture of air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned rooms. Some areas of India experience daily load shedding. This is where the power may be turned off at certain times of the day and usually occurs for a few hours in early afternoon. Most hotel properties have a restaurant or cafe serving local meals. Many restaurants and hotels do not serve alcohol for religious reasons or due to local laws. 

    SHOWERS:
    Showers at some hotels only have hot water at peak times (usually morning and evening). Outside of these times you may need to speak to reception to obtain hot water.

    ROOM ISSUES:
    If you have any issues with your room, please speak to the hotel and your tour leader right away rather than your travel agent so that the problem can be addressed without delay.

    SLEEPER TRAINS IN INDIA:
    Sleeper trains are clean and air-conditioned (fan-cooled at times), a great way to travel long distances and still get maximum time in each place. Depending on the route, we travel 2AC or 3AC class as not all classes are available on all routes. Due to the complexity of the ticket purchasing system and high demand for tickets, we are unable to offer upgrades to other classes.

    Second Class or 2 Tier AC (2AC) carriages have 4 berths in the compartment section and 2 berths in the aisle bay and individual reading lights. Third Class or 3 Tier AC (3AC) has 6 berths in the compartment and 2 in the aisle bay. Both have curtains for privacy. There are no sinks or charging points in these classes. During the day, bunks are folded away and serve as seats. Toilet facilities are located at either end of the carriage. There is usually an Indian style squat toilet at one end and a western style toilet at the other. You will need your own toilet paper or tissues and cleanliness will depend on the number of people using them. 

    Beds are padded bunks, with sheets, pillow and blanket provided. Some people prefer to bring and use their own sleeping sheet. Your luggage travels with you on the train, so packing light will make your journey more comfortable.

    Many trains have a dining carriage or a food/snack cart that is brought through the carriages. There are also plenty of vendors selling tea, coffee, water and snacks during the journey, although the hygiene may not be up to standards you are used to at home.

    Please note you may be sharing with other members of your group or locals on a mixed gender basis. Tickets are booked on a real name basis using your passport details. We book for all members of the group at the same time, but unfortunately this is no guarantee that we will be accommodated all together on the train. Your leader will do their best to swap with other travellers to allow people who booked together to travel together, but please be aware that this is not always possible. We may at times ask male travellers to swap with solo female travellers for safety considerations.


    DESERT CAMPING:
    We ride camels into the dunes of the Thar desert and camp under the stars. Bedding, blankets and pillows are provided and we sleep on a camp style cot in the open air. Sleeping bags are recommended as it can get very cold at night. The camp is very simple with a wind break, and set up against a sand dune. It’s a great experience to wake up under the stars in the desert. Simple vegetarian meals will be prepared by our local team for dinner and breakfast (included). Water and soft drinks are available for purchase. Toilets are very basic long drop style. There is no shower and many travellers recommend bringing a small hand towel or some wet wipes (don't forget to carry them and any other rubbish out again).

  • Your fellow travellers

    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

    SINGLE TRAVELLERS:
    Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Essential Trip Information. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

  • Itinerary disclaimer

    ITINERARY CHANGES:
    Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour.

    OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:
    A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, 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. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist.

    Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

  • Accommodation

    Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night),Hotel/Guesthouse (17 nights),Overnight sleeper train (3 nights)

  • Important information

    1. A single supplement is available on this trip. The single supplement is available for all nights with the exception of overnight sleeper trains as well as the night at the Thar desert camp.
    2. Hot air balloon flights are operated by Sky Waltz in Jaipur. Flights operate mornings from September to June and morning and evening from September to March. Morning flights depart around sunrise and evening flights late afternoon and last 60 mins. Return transfers, tea and coffee plus light refreshments and a certificate of flight are included in the cost. You can register your interest and pay your tour leader at your joining meeting on day 1 of your trip. Payment must be made by cash in either INR/AUD/USD/GBP only and is USD$260pp (subject to change). Flights are subject to ticket availability and weather conditions. Tickets are fully refundable in case of poor weather.

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How our Travel Expert Service Works
  • 1 We connect you with a hand-picked and qualified travel expert who can match your trip requirements. The advantage of working directly through a travel expert is that you get the best and unfiltered advice from the very beginning.
  • 2 The travel expert will help you with creating and customising a trip for you. If you have any questions or concerns relating to the trip, the travel expert will also be able to help you with those.
  • 3 When you feel that your trip is exactly per your wish, you'll be able to book the entire trip here on Bookmundi.
The Advantages of Bookmundi
  • Selected Local Travel Experts All our local travel experts have been chosen based on rigorous selection criteria. In fact, we reject 98 out of 100 local travel agencies, and thereby giving you access to the top 1-2% local travel experts.
  • Secure Online Payment and Financial Guarantee Each and every trip is required to go through Bookmundi's secure payment platform, powered by Stripe and supported by SSL. All payments are therefore carried out in secure manners. We are furthermore member of the Danish Travel Fund which gives you a 100% financial guarantee for any money you pay on Bookmundi, even if we went bankrupt (which we we will not!).
  • Trip Replacement or 100% Reimbursement Bookmundi has hand-picked your local travel expert. Our role, as your trusted third party, is therefore to make sure that your entire experience runs as seamless and secure as possible. We guarantee to you that in the unlikely event where a local travel expert cancels your trip after your deposit or full payment has been made, we commit to replacing these services with another equally qualified agency so that your trip can go ahead as planned, or failing to replace it, we will give you a 100% reimbursement.
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