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From spice-filled bazaars to white sandy beaches, opulent palaces to spice plantations, discover India in all its glory on this well-balanced 15-day adventure with Lonely Planet, powered by Intrepid. Delve into a world of delicious street food, ride rickshaws through narrow alleyways, stroll by beautiful lakes and forested hills, mingle with Mumbai merchants and explore centuries-old icons. Finish up on the shores of easygoing Goa, where yoga, cocktails and golden sands are all you need to chill out after the bustling big towns of India. Now that's an idyllic Indian adventure.
Day 1: Delhi
Arrive in the fun and frenetic capital of Delhi and settle into your hotel. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm, where you’ll meet you group leader and travel pals. If you arrive early, there are plenty of Urban Adventures you can book if you have some spare time. These chaotic streets are the perfect place to have an expert guide show you the ropes. Epicureans can get a taste of home-cooked Delhi and history buffs can take a Ghandi-focused excursion around town – see urbanadventures.com/destination/delhi-tours for more information. After your important meeting, take an orientation walk to get your bearings and perhaps head out for an optional dinner with your group.
Day 2: Delhi
Start your day with a ride on the metro. Your tour heads first to Old Delhi – the heart of the city. Inch your way through the streets around the Chandni Chowk marketplace in true local style – by cycle rickshaw! Perhaps visit the Jama Masjid – Delhi's oldest (and India’s largest) mosque – and then stop by the Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple). Learn about the Sikh guru who, in the 17th century, stuck to his religious beliefs and paid the ultimate price in this very spot. This afternoon is free to explore more of Delhi's sights at your own pace, so be sure to have your Lonely Planet app ready to point you in the right direction!
Day 3: Agra
Agra itself may not be the world’s prettiest city, but the minute you see its iconic sights, that won’t matter one bit. You will arrive by one of India's express air-conditioned trains (approximately 3 hours), then head straight to the most recognisable sight in India. The Taj Mahal may well exceed your expectations as the light shimmers off its white marble surface. Best known as a monument to love and loss, the 17th century Taj is a beautiful example of Mughal architecture, surrounded by trimmed English gardens. The highlights keep coming as you take a motorised rickshaw tour around town – a great way to see the monuments of Agra. You can also visit Akbar's Mausoleum, a beautiful sandstone and marble tomb built for the greatest of the Mughal emperors. Stop off for a optional meal at Sheroes Hangout, a cafe that supports victims of acid attacks.
Day 4: Jaipur
Travel by public bus to Rajasthan’s colourful capital, Jaipur. Settle in to your hotel, then enjoy a walk through the streets and markets of this ‘Pink City’. Use the rest of the day to explore the city on your own, perhaps visiting Jaipur’s ornate Royal City Palace. Your accommodation for tonight is a family-run heritage hotel. In the evening, perhaps take the opportunity to see a Bollywood film. Jaipur is home to one of the world's great cinema halls – the grand art-deco Raj Mandir.
Day 5: Jaipur
For many travellers, an optional hot air balloon experience is one of the highlights of Jaipur, and today would be the ideal day to book in on one. In the afternoon, visit the hilltop Amber Fort, an excellent example of Rajput architecture, and see the red stone palace of the Hawa Mahal (The Palace of the Winds). Take in its dazzling coloured glass work and learn its interesting history.
Day 6: Pushkar
Travel to Pushkar by public bus and then private vehicle via the town of Ajmer. Pushkar is one of India's holiest towns and a market centre for the surrounding villages. Head out to explore the town on a walking tour, stopping in at the main bazaar along the way. Here you'll come across anything from 1960s fashion and glass lamps to jewellery and traditional Rajasthani puppets. Then, take a walk around Pushkar’s lake, which is considered sacred in Hindu culture and has an interesting mythology behind it. Wander past the bustling ghats and temples, observing the devout as they worship at the city’s holy waters.
Day 7: Pushkar
Early morning risers may like to hike up the hill to the Savitri Temple for sunrise views over the town. If the chai wallah is there, enjoy a steaming cup of tea at the top! Later in the day, you will pay a visit to the colourful Brahma Temple, which is dedicated to the Hindu god-creator Brahma. If you’re lucky enough to be in town for the Pushkar Camel Fair, you can experience one of India’s most famous festivals. It's held every November.
Day 8: Udaipur
Continue on to your next destination today, travelling by private vehicle back to Ajmer and then day train 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 leader-led city walk to get your bearings around town. Explore twisting alleyways filled with shops and bazaars selling things like silver jewellery, shoes, bags, leather goods and miniature paintings.
Day 9: Udaipur
Enjoy a free day to explore the sights of Udaipur. Season depending, why not take a short boat ride on the famous Lake Pichola and see the palaces of Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas rise out of the water. Take a guided 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 Lord Vishnu. Alternatively, you could learn the secrets behind making the perfect Indian thali during a half-day cooking class.
Day 10: Udaipur – Overnight Train
Enjoy another free day in Udaipur before your overnight train to Mumbai. You might like to spend the day exploring Shilpgram – an interesting artistic neighbourhood located just a couple of kilometres away from town. Here you can see a range of village houses from Rajasthan, Gujarat, Goa and Maharashtra with exhibitions on display (season depending). Board your train to Mumbai from Falna station and settle in for a long and exciting overnight journey.
Day 11: Mumbai
Wake up in Mumbai, perhaps the most cosmopolitan city in India. You will take a short walk through the heritage quarter of Mumbai, the nearby Gateway of India and the famous Taj Hotel. Discover some of the beautiful old colonial and art deco buildings, treat yourself to a meal in one of the country's best restaurants, or shop ‘til you drop in the bazaars and malls. Later in the day, visit Chowpatty Beach where colourful crowds mill about in the cooler evening air. Palm readers, balloon sellers, magicians and acrobats all compete for your attention. A great optional activity is to visit Elephanta Island. Easily accessible by ferry from Mumbai, it's about 10 km from the south-east coast of the island city. Boats leave daily from the Gateway of India (approximately 1 hour each way).
Day 12: Mumbai – Overnight Train
While away the day in magnificent Mumbai. Perhaps ride the excellent rail system and make your own discoveries around the city – it's a good idea to avoid the hectic peak hours! You’re free to discover Mumbai at your own pace today, and be sure to ask your group leader for their recommendations. Keep in mind that tonight you’ll board an overnight sleeper train bound for Goa.
Day 13: Goa
Arrive in Goa nice and early and check into your hotel. Take a walk to acquaint yourself with Goa and its relaxed tropical atmosphere. You're bound to see the Portuguese influence that is ever so present in the city's whitewashed churches. There's an optional visit to a local spice farm today, which gives you a fascinating look behind the rich aromas and flavours of some of India's essential ingredients. Goa's dense forested areas and favourable climatic conditions make it a perfect location to grow the spices liberally used in its cuisine, and all the spice farms use organic methods of cultivation. A tour of the plantation culminates in a mouth-watering Goan buffet lunch – so what’s not to like?
Day 14: Goa
The day is yours to spend as you please, and there's no shortage of things to do in this unique coastal spot. A bicycle trip into the countryside is a great option. For a more spiritual kind of exertion, spend the day seeking a little enlightenment with a touch of yoga. Otherwise, take this opportunity to relax on the beach or sip a cocktail at a local bar. Tonight, why not join your group for an Indian feast – the local seafood is definitely a winner.
Day 15: Goa
As there are no activities planned today, your trip comes to an end this morning after breakfast. You are welcome to leave at any time, provided you comply with the accommodation’s internal check-out procedures.
- Delhi - Jama Masjid
- Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)
- Delhi - Old Delhi tour
- Agra - Taj Mahal
- Jaipur - Leader-led walking & market tour
- Jaipur - Amber Fort
- Pushkar - Walking tour
- Pushkar - Savitri Temple
- Pushkar - Brahma Temple
- Udaipur - Leader-led walking tour
- Mumbai - Chowpatty Beach
- Mumbai - Gateway of India
- Mumbai - Taj Mahal Palace Hotel
Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?
Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?
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The trip was both both educational and exciting. I very much enjoyed the sights and culture.
The itinerary was just as I expected! The guide was very good as were the accomodations
Intrepid did such a great job. I never had to worry about where I was supposed to be and it felt so good not to worry about a thing but just to enjoy myself. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about culture and history.
Taiwan people very friendly. Accommodation were centrally located and easily accessible. Did extra activities then in brochure which was greatly.
Larus our tour guide did an excellent job and was very attentive to our needs. He is very knowledgeable and has a great sense of humor.
Our guide Tarang chandola was exceptional. Courteous, knowledgeable, organized, polite, professional and went above and beyond taking care of our needs and requests offen anticipating what that might be. He made sure we all had the best possible time and offered suggestions to meet the needs of everyone on the tour. This made the trip even more enjoyable.
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