Highlights
  • Mix it up in Mumbai
  • Sleep under the stars in the Thar Desert
  • Laze on the beaches of Goa
  • Be impressed by the temples of Puri
  • Cruise the backwaters of Kerala
  • Dive into the chaos of Delhi
  • Look for elephants in the Royal Chitwan National Park
  • Explore the historic streets of Kathmandu
  • Get spiritual in Varanasi
  • Admire the exquisite palaces of Jaipur
  • Behold the beauty of the Taj Mahal in Agra

Journey Overland through the amazing lands of Nepal and India, taking in the colourful cultures, impressive icons and stunning sights along the way. Experience the very best of these two countries – from the busy cities filled with animated people, crowded bazaars and commercial enterprise, to the small, remote villages where a slow-paced rural life endures. Be awed by the immense beauty of the Taj Mahal, the warm glow of a Goan sunset and the displays of faith around every corner in Varanasi. Escape the heat in the cool climate of Darjeeling plantations, cruise the backwaters of Kerala, try to spot tigers and elephants in national parks and embark on an exciting safari into the desert. Mix with local children, pilgrims, market traders, tribal people and farmers, and see the heart and soul of India and Nepal in these proud people. This adventure delivers many moments of breathtaking beauty and thrilling fun – don't miss the chance to see the very best of Nepal and India.

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Nepal & India Overland

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We had trouble upon arriving in India October 2015

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We had trouble upon arriving in India which unfortunately ended up costing us money. However, after emailing intrepid we were refunded the money we had been forced to spend, no hassle. This gave us a very positive image of the company as they seem to care about its travellers.
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Our Guide CHETAN SHANKER JHA has October 2015

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Our Guide CHETAN SHANKER JHA has been superb!!! Was a fantastic trip and he made it wonderfull!! If I have come back to india will come back to Intrepid and will ask for him for sure!!!

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The guides and porters were fantastic October 2015

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The guides and porters were fantastic

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Our guide Pradeep was excellent. His October 2015

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Our guide Pradeep was excellent. His organisation and attention to detail was commendable. His dealings with everyone he met including our group members were respectful, friendly and helpful. I loved the variety of the trip and enjoyed all the different aspects of India that we saw.
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Friendly and helpful October 2015

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Itinerary

Day 1 Kathmandu

Important Joining Hotel Change for Departures starting between 5th October 2017 and 8th November 2017 only:Hotel Manang Paknajol Thamel 44600 Kathmandu Tel: +97714700888 Please note if your trip departs outside of these dates you will be staying at our normal joining hotel as per your trip notes. Border Information: If you are joining the trip in Kathmandu, you will most likely enter Nepal at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (IATA code: KTM).Wrapped around the Himalayan mountain range is the remarkable country of Nepal. It is the birthplace of the Buddha and is a land of legend and beauty. Within its narrow confines Nepal contains an utterly spectacular variety of culture and landscapes. Nepal has a stunning natural beauty and a simple charm. There is an important group meeting at 6:00pm. Your leader will leave a note at reception telling you where and when this important meeting will take place. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Kathmandu before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Kathmandu. In Kathmandu we stay in a good quality hotel. Hotel for the night: Hotel Tibet Hotel Tibet Lazimpat Road Kathmandu 44600 Nepal Tel - +977 1442 9085 Activity Approximate Cost Discover Kathmandu on a guided city tour NPR 100 Visit the sacred Hindu Pashupatinath Temple, dedicated to Nepal's unofficial national deity NPR 1000 Visit the former royal palace of Narayanhiti and see the crown jewels of Nepal NPR 500 Get out of the city and explore the nearby national park of Sundarijal, and see its idyllic waterfalls and rock formations NPR 250 Visit the beautiful and tranquil Durbar Square in the nearby medieval town of Bhaktapur, and visit its nearby museums NPR 750 About Kathmandu: Kathmandu is the magnificent and evocative capital of Nepal - situated on the shores of the Bagmati river, it's a lively, bustling place where ancient collides with modern to create an exhilarating melting pot of sights, sounds and smells. Today's modern jumble of concrete buildings and busy streets has built up around the medieval old town, where wandering through the winding alleyways is like taking a step back in time. The heart of the old city is the magnificent Durbar Square, where Nepalese Royalty used to be crowned, and today it's a good spot to sit and watch the world go by. The buildings here date from the 17th and 18th Centuries, although many of the original structures were even older and many suffered from earthquake damage over the last few centuries. Other sights worth visiting are the Temple of the Living Goddess, the Royal Palace, the Pashupatinath Hindu temple, Boudhanath Buddhist stupa and Swayambunath (the Monkey Temple), all of which are set against the magnificent Himalayan backdrop. When all the sightseeing gets a bit too much, you can kick back and relax in the numerous cafes and bars around the tourist areas of Thamel and ‘Freak Street'.

Day 2 Chitwan National Park

Today we will leave Kathmandu after breakfast, driving through stunning scenery down to the Terai grasslands. Our destination is Chitwan National Park, where we will stay for the next 2 nights. Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!). If we arrive in good time we will make a visit to Bis Hajaar Tal, also known as 20,000 Lakes, which is a wetland area near the Royal Chitwan National Park. Here we will get the opportunity to see peacocks, wild boars, deer and there is also a slim chance of seeing tigers and rhinos. If we cannot visit 20,000 Lakes today we will make our visit tomorrow. In Chitwan we will stay in a local guest lodge. Activity Approximate Cost Explore the village of Chitwan on a tour by traditional ox and cart Included in Kitty Explore the heart of the incredible Chitwan National Park on a jeep safari (alternative to the 20,000 Lake excursion) NPR 3500 Elephant safari through the grasslands of Chitwan in search of Rhino & Tigers Included in Kitty Take a jeep safari around the stunning wetland area of 20,000 Lakes Included in Kitty Witness the fascinating and impressive local tradition of Tharu stick dancing Included in Kitty About Chitwan National Park: Chitwan National Park is situated in the central Nepali Terai, a huge nature reserve protecting hundreds of square kilometres of grassland and marshes. Home to over 700 species of animals in total, it's a fantastic place to look for wildlife - if you're very lucky then you may spot a heavily-armoured Asiatic Rhino, as well as sloth bears and even tigers! You can go on walking safaris, boat trips or travel by jeep in the National Park.

Day 3 Chitwan National Park

Today we'll spend the day exploring the National Park by canoe and on foot, and there is the option to take a jeep safari! There will be an opportunity to see a traditional Nepali dance demonstration in the evening. In Chitwan we will stay in a local guest lodge. Activity Approximate Cost Explore the village of Chitwan on a tour by traditional ox and cart Included in Kitty Explore the heart of the incredible Chitwan National Park on a jeep safari (alternative to the 20,000 Lake excursion) NPR 3500 Elephant safari through the grasslands of Chitwan in search of Rhino & Tigers Included in Kitty Take a jeep safari around the stunning wetland area of 20,000 Lakes Included in Kitty Witness the fascinating and impressive local tradition of Tharu stick dancing Included in Kitty

Day 4 Gorakhpur

Border Information: Exit Nepal at Belhiya, enter India at Sonauli. Today we enter the legendary country of India. India has so much to offer, from the beautiful landscapes of the Himalayas, to the amazing temples and coastlines, rich culture, and of course the food! This morning we have a fairly relaxed start to the day before packing up and driving to the border. We will cross the border to India and continue on a short drive to the town of Gorakhpur. We will stay in a local hotel in Gorakhpur. Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.

Day 5-6 Varanasi

Today we will continue driving and reach the holy city of Varanasi in the evening. Estimated Drive Time - 6-8 hours. On the following day we will get up very early for an included boat trip down the Ganges. This is a magical time of day to see the famous ghats and watch the morning rituals of the thousands of people who come here to purify themselves in the holy river. We will have auto-rickshaws for the rest of the day to explore the rest of the city - we will have the opportunity to use them to visit a traditional silk workshop and the Mother India temple. In Varanasi we will stay in a comfortable local hotel. Activity Approximate Cost At dawn drift down the holy River Ganges in Varanasi Included in Kitty Explore the stupas and temples of Varanasi Free Visit the Mughal-era mosque of Gyanvapi in Varanasi Free Visit the ancient site of Isipatana and the museum in the town of Sarnath, one of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the world and where many Buddhist nations have built temples in their national styles USD 5 About Varanasi: Set on the banks of the river Ganges, Varanasi (formerly known as Benares) is the holiest place in the Hindu religion. Hindu pilgrims travel here from all over the world come here to wash away their sins in the blessed river water of the Ganges, and to cremate their loved ones who have passed away. In Hindu mythology, to die in the city of Varanasi will result in instant "moksha", a release from the cycle of death and reincarnation. Varanasi is also the birthplace of Buddhism, as the Buddha is said to have given his first ever sermon at the nearby site of Sarnath in 528 BCE. Dawn is probably the best time of day to experience the city - by floating down the river on a boat, you can witness thousands of worshippers coming to the river's ghats to purify themselves in their morning rituals. You will also be able to see the burning ghats, where the bodies of the faithful are cremated and their ashes strewn out over the waters. To the Hindu people, Varanasi is a very special and spritual place, and it has a very evocative and sometimes otherwordly atmosphere, although being so close to the intimate rituals of life and death can sometimes leave you feeling a little overwhelmed.

Day 7-9 Khajuraho

Today we will drive to the town of Khajuraho, having some free time to relax at our treehouse campsite when we arrive. Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours. On the next day we will head out for an included guided visit to the Khajuraho Erotic Temples. The next day is free to explore the area, relax on the banks of the river, or take an optional jeep safari to the nearby Panna National Park in search of wildlife. In Khajuraho we will stay in a campsite with good facilities. Activity Approximate Cost Jeep safari through Panna Game Reserve INR 1500 Guided tour of the famous erotic temples at Khajuraho Included in Kitty About Khajuraho: Khajuraho was once the capital of the Chandelas of Jejakabhukti between the10th-13th Centuries CE, a small Rajput kingdom. Rajput kingdoms were small local dynasties that dominated political life across northern and central India between the 6th Century BCE and the 20th Century CE. The Chandelas of Jejakabhukti ruled over much of the modern-day region of Bundelkhand, and built the magnificent Hindu and Jain temples in Khajuraho in around 1000 CE. Considered to be "one of the seven wonders of India", the temples are in three geographic groups - western, eastern and southern. Because they were built in quite a remote and inaccessible location, the western group of temples have been almost perfectly preserved. Set in peaceful, well-kept gardens, the temples are magnificently decorated and covered in some very graphic carvings depicting all sorts of erotic acts!

Day 10-11 Taj Mahal, Agra

After breakfast we leave our campsite and head to the city of Agra. Most of today will be spent travelling and we will arrive in the evening. Estimated Drive Time - 9-11 hours. On the following day we will have an included day tour of the major sites of Agra, starting with sunrise at the world-famous iconic mausoleum of the Taj Mahal, followed by a visit to the Agra Fort. In Agra we will stay in a local hotel. Activity Approximate Cost See the stunning Taj Mahal and visit the Agra Fort at Agra. Included in Kitty Community homestay to experience true Indian hospitality Included in Kitty Explore the peaceful grounds of the Itmad Ud Daulah mausoleum, often described as a 'draft' of the Taj Mahal INR 100 About Taj Mahal: The Taj Mahal is by far the most recognisable icon of India. One of the New Seven Wonders of the World, coming face-to-face with this magnificent building never disappoints. Built between 1632-1653 CE by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, the spectacular building was a mausoleum in memory of his second wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died while giving birth to their 14th child. Because of this origin, the building is often described as a "monument to love". It took over 20,000 labourers and skilled craftsmen to built it, some of whom were brought in from all over India, Central Asia and even Europe to work on the marble inlay work and complex decorations. The site has been described by UNESCO as being "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage".The Taj Mahal is fantastic to explore at any time of the day, but the early mornings are the best - sitting quietly and watching as the iridescent white marble takes on a soft morning glow is a memory you will never forget. About Agra: Of course the main highlight of Agra is the iconic Taj Mahal, but this means that it is all too easy to overlook some of the city's other magnificient sites. Agra (then known as Akhbarabad) was the capital of the Mughal empire under Shahs Akhbar, Jahangir, and Jahan, before Shah Jahan moved it to Shahjahanabad (modern-day Delhi) in 1648 CE. The heritage of the Mughals is still evident, not just with the stunning Taj Mahal, but with the spectacular Red Fort and wonderful Itmad-ud-Daulah tomb (sometimes known as the 'Baby Taj'). The city is also a good place for shopping, particularly jewellery, textiles and other arts and crafts.

Day 12-13 Jaipur, Fatehpur Sikri

We leave Agra today and head overland to the pink city of Jaipur, stopping en route at Fatehpur Sikri (the old capital of the Mughal Empire). Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours. On the following day we will have a full day exploring the sites of Jaipur on the truck with our local guide. Whilst in Jaipur there will also be the option for an early morning or late afternoon hot air balloon ride over the city. In Jaipur we will stay in a comfortable local hotel. Activity Approximate Cost 2 night stay and guided tour of Jaipur, the beautiful Pink City Included in Kitty Take an unforgettable sunrise or sunset balloon ride over the forts and palaces of Jaipur USD 250 See a traditional outdoor Rajasthani Kathputli puppet show in Jaipur INR 100 Explore the fascinating 18th-century astronomical observatory of Jantar Mantar Included in Kitty Visit the ancient citadel of the Amber Palace, a fascinating blend of Hindu and Mughal architecture Included in Kitty Head out to see a Bollywood movie at the Raj Mandir, one of India's most famous and elegant cinemas INR 80 Discover the perfectly-preserved 16th-century Mughal capital of Fatehpur Sikri, and its beautiful temples and monuments Included in Kitty About Jaipur: The city of Jaipur is the capital of the state of Rajasthan, and named after its founder Maharaja Jai Singh II who moved his capital here from nearby Amer in the 18th Century due to population growth. It is known as the "Pink City", as all the buildings within the walls of the old town are painted a dusky rose pink - the story goes that Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh ordered that all the buildings should be painted in this colour to welcome the visiting Prince of Wales (who later became Edward VII) to the city in 1876, and the buildings have remained the same colour ever since. Jaipur is busy and bustling, with chaotic streets full of traffic, but it is also home to some incredible architecture and colourful history. The Palace of the Winds (Hawa Mahal) in the city centre is the most famous building, with storey after storey of intricately carved honeycomb windows - and the impressive City Palace should not be missed.Other sites of interest include the old Jantar Mantar Observatory and the Iswari Minar Swarga Sal minaret. It's also a great city for people-watching, set out on foot and you will find yourself surrounded by tall, proud Rajasthanis. Many of the men sport magnificent handlebar moustaches and huge brightly coloured turbans whilst the women are equally colourful in their mirrored skirts and chunky jewellery.  About Fatehpur Sikri: Fatehpur Sikri is the site of the perfectly preserved but deserted capital built by Akbar, the third Emperor of the Mughal Empire. In 1569 CE, Akbar founded the new city to honour the Sufi holy man Salim Chishti, who had previously blessed him and foretold the birth of Akbar’s only son. Akbar proclaimed the city as the new Mughal capital in 1571, only for it to be abandoned in 1585 due to the drying up of the only water source. After briefly declaring Lahore as the new capital, it was once again returned to the nearby city of Agra. There is little left of the wider orignal city, but much of the magnificent imperial complex, protective walls and wonderful old mosque remain almost intact, a testament to the might and power of Akbar and the Mughal Empire.

Day 14 Delhi

Today we leave Jaipur and travel to the chaotic Indian capital of Delhi. Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours. In Delhi we will stay in a friendly local hotel. About Delhi: Delhi is the bustling and thriving Indian capital, and the third largest urban area in the world (behind Tokyo and Jakarta). The Delhi area has been continuously inhabited since at least the 6th century BCE and has served as the a capital of various kingdoms and empires throughout the last three millennia, most prominantly by the Afghan and Turkic Sultanates of the medieval period, and the Mughal Empire between the 16th and 18th Centuries. The city was taken by British colonial forces in 1858 and made the capital in 1911, a status which was kept when India gained its independence in 1947. Delhi has many incredible sights spanning all eras of its history. The Lok Sabha (parliament building), President’s Palace, India Gate and the Rajpath are impressive reminders of the old British Indian Empire, while a trip on the metro to Qutab Minar will let you discover this intricately carved tower built during the Afghan Sultanate period. To surround yourself in the phenomenal Mughal-era architecture, take a visit to Humayan's Tomb (allegedly a forerunner of the Taj Mahal), and the magnificent Red Fort and Jama Masjid in the area known as 'Old Delhi'. Bustling Delhi is also a great place to indulge in shopping and people-watching. In the old town you'll find Chandni Chowk, a colourful shopping bazaar and fascinating market. The market is one of the most popular in India, taking it's name from the words meaning "moonlight square".

Day 15 Delhi

Today we will have an included guided tour of Old Delhi, heading to the Mughal Jama Masjid mosque, a local tea-maker, a Sikh temple, and the local spice markets. We will also have some free time to freely explore the sights of Delhi in the afternoon. Activity Approximate Cost Take a walking tour through some of the back streets and narrow alleyways of Old Delhi, discovering the hidden side of the city Included in Kitty Explore the Sanjay Colony 'slum' area of Delhi on a guided tour to see the micro-industries, schools and residential life there INR 600 Freely explore the colossal Mughal Red Fort in Old Delhi, built by the emporer Shah Jahan in 1648 upon moving the capital there INR 250 Visit the stunning Mughal-era mosque of Jama Masjid in Old Delhi, and climb its iconic minarets for an unrivalled view of the old city INR 400 Visit the Indira Gandhi Museum in Delhi, dedicated to the former Prime Minister who was assassinated by her own bodyguards in 1984 INR 100 See the ground-breaking modern architecture of the Delhi Baha'i Temple, known as the Lotus Temple due to its unique shape Free See the India Gate at the end of Delhi's ceremonial axis, built to commemorate all Indians who have died in various wars Free Explore the site of Humayun’s Tomb, a phenomenal early Mughal tomb that is said to be a major inspiration for the Taj Mahal INR 250 Discover the phenomenal 13th Century Qutab Minar and Mehrauli Archaeological Park in the south of Delhi, an intricately-carved pillar built during the Sultanate era of Indian history INR 250

Day 16 Delhi

Border Information: If joining the trip in Delhi, you will most likely enter India at Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport (IATA code: DEL). Today is a free day to explore Delhi. There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm - please look for a note from your tour leader when you arrive at the hotel giving more details about this meeting. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Delhi before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Delhi. In Delhi we will stay in a local hotel. Hotel for the night: Florence Inn Florence Inn 15 A/6 WEA Ajmal Khan Road Near Karol Bagh Metro Station Opposite Puja Park Karol Bagh New Delhi 110005 Tel - +91 987 163 2007 Please note that there is a sister hotel in Delhi called the Hotel Florence. This is a different hotel a few blocks away, so please make sure you go to the Florence Inn. Activity Approximate Cost Take a walking tour through some of the back streets and narrow alleyways of Old Delhi, discovering the hidden side of the city INR 100 Explore the Sanjay Colony 'slum' area of Delhi on a guided tour to see the micro-industries, schools and residential life there INR 600 About Delhi: Delhi is the bustling and thriving Indian capital, and the third largest urban area in the world (behind Tokyo and Jakarta). The Delhi area has been continuously inhabited since at least the 6th century BCE and has served as the a capital of various kingdoms and empires throughout the last three millennia, most prominantly by the Afghan and Turkic Sultanates of the medieval period, and the Mughal Empire between the 16th and 18th Centuries. The city was taken by British colonial forces in 1858 and made the capital in 1911, a status which was kept when India gained its independence in 1947. Delhi has many incredible sights spanning all eras of its history. The Lok Sabha (parliament building), President’s Palace, India Gate and the Rajpath are impressive reminders of the old British Indian Empire, while a trip on the metro to Qutab Minar will let you discover this intricately carved tower built during the Afghan Sultanate period. To surround yourself in the phenomenal Mughal-era architecture, take a visit to Humayan's Tomb (allegedly a forerunner of the Taj Mahal), and the magnificent Red Fort and Jama Masjid in the area known as 'Old Delhi'. Bustling Delhi is also a great place to indulge in shopping and people-watching. In the old town you'll find Chandni Chowk, a colourful shopping bazaar and fascinating market. The market is one of the most popular in India, taking it's name from the words meaning "moonlight square".

Day 17 Bikaner

Today we start our journey with a full day drive to the city of Bikaner. In Bikaner we will either stay in a local hotel or camp at an eco-lodge a short distance outside the city. Estimated Drive Time - 7-9 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!). Activity Approximate Cost Witness the holy rats in the Karni Mata rat temple near Bikaner Included in Kitty About Bikaner: Bikaner is a desert town in north west Rajasthan, protected from the encroaching sands by its high city walls and gates. The atmospheric old town is built out of the same pinky-red sandstone as many of the buildings in nearby Jaipur. Close to Bikaner you will find the bizarre temple of Karni Mata, dedicated to a medieval-era female ascetic Hindu sage - in this temple, thousands and thousands of sacred rats known as kabbas are revered and worshipped. The legend goes that Karni Mata's stepson, Laxman, drowned after falling into a pond when trying to take a drink, and Karni Mata convinced Yama, the god of death, to allow him and all of her other male children and descendants to be reincarnated as rats. They scurry around the temple, over your feet, between your legs, up the walls and on the furniture!

Day 18 Jaisalmer

Today we continue our journey with a drive to the ancient Rajasthani city of Jaisalmer, stopping at the Karni Mata (Rat Temple) for an included visit en route. In Jaisalmer we will stay in a comfortable local hotel. Estimated Drive Time - 5-7 hours. About Jaisalmer: The city of Jaisalmer is one of the old Rajput capitals of Rajasthan, dating back to its founding in 1156 CE. Known as the "Golden City', Jaisalmer is dominated by the old fort, built on a hill which gives it a commanding view over the Thar Desert. Built of beautiful yellow sandstone, the fort's walls are a tawny beige colour during the day, fading to honey-gold as the sun sets. The monumental walls are ornately designed with imposing parapets and towers at every turn, and covered in intricate stonework. In the old town the havelis (houses of once-important Jaisalmer families) look like small palaces with facades covered in fine carvings and highly-decorated balconies.

Day 19 Jaisalmer

Today we will have a free morning in order to freely explore the sights of Jaisalmer. In the late afternoon we will head out on an included camel safari into the Thar Desert - exploring the desert with local Rajasthani camel drivers is the most authentic way to experience the area! Tonight we will camp out in the desert, sleeping under the stars. Activity Approximate Cost Trek into the Thar Desert on an overnight camel safari with Rajasthani camel drivers Included in Kitty

Day 20 Jaisalmer

This morning we will return to Jaisalmer from our camel safari. The rest of the day will be free to relax or explore more of Jaisalmer and the surrounding area. Tonight we will return to our hotel in Jaisalmer. Activity Approximate Cost Visit the beautiful and ornate 18th-century mansions of Salim Singh-ki Haveli and Patwa-ki Haveli INR 70 3 nights at Jaisalmer to explore the medieval streets, the fort and the desert INR 250 Watch the sunset from the stunning Amar Sagar Jain Temple in Jaisalmer INR 100

Day 21-22 Jodhpur, Sambhali Trust

This morning we will drive from Jaisalmer to another famous Rajasthani city, Jodhpur. En route to Jodhpur we will make an included visit to the Sambhali Trust project (a charitable project that works for the empowerment of women and girls in Rajasthan), where we will learn about the efforts of the project and make a group donation from the kitty. After our visit we will make our way to our accommodation, rooms that have been set up by local families in their own homes for visitors. We will be splitting up into 2 or 3 small groups for our homestays. Estimated Drive Time - 5-7 hours.On the following day we will be in and around Jodhpur. In the morning we will have an included visit to the Mehrangarh Fort and Palace, and the afternoon is free to explore the city independently. Activity Approximate Cost Explore the blue city of Jodhpur and the mighty Meherangarh fort Included in Kitty Community homestay to experience true Indian hospitality Included in Kitty Visit and support the Dragoman-supported Sambhali Trust near Jodhpur, and see the excellent work they do to provide local women and girls with education and vocational skills Included in Kitty Visit the Jaswant Thada, a beautiful marble cenotaph next to a picturesque lake built in memorial to Maharaja Jaswant Singh II INR 55 Learn all about Rajasthani cuisine at a cooking class at our guesthouse or homestay in Jodhpur INR 1000 Explore the museum of the Jodhpur Royal Family in the Umaid Bhawan Palace, one of the world's largest private residences INR 50 Explore the nearby Mandore Gardens and ancient ruined fort Free Go out on an exhilarating zip-lining excursion over the gardens of the Mehrangarh Fort INR 1800 About Jodhpur: Jodhpur, situated on the edge of the Thar Desert, is affectionately known as the "Blue City" of Rajasthan due to its many indigo coloured houses in the old town. These are best seen from the ramparts of the mighty Mehrangarh Fortress, which looms above the bustling city. Built in the late 15th Century CE, the colossal fort of Mehrangarh is the largest in the whole of Rajasthan, and has never been taken by force. The fort complex itself is huge and spreads over the hill looking over Jaipur - it houses the Maharaja's Palace as well as a number of temples, extensive gardens and some of the most well-stocked museums and galleries in all of India. Elsewhere in the city, Nai Sadak is the place to head for shopping, and the Sardar Market is a riot of sights, sounds and smells that's a baffling assault on the senses. Also in Jodhpur are the historical sites of Jaswant Thada, built at the end of the 19th Century and constructed entirely out of sheets of marble, and Mandore, the ancient capital of Marwar. About Sambhali Trust: The Sambhali Trust is an organisation near Jodhpur that provides underprivileged Rajasthani women and girls (and now also some boys) with educational, vocational, and social skills to help them to become confident and financially independent. Even though the destructive 'caste'-system is officially abolished in India, it is still a huge issue in the region. They specifically work with 'Dalit' women and girls, who usually have little or no access to education or basic health services. They do not even have the right to choose their husband and manage that relationship. In addition to helping break the cycle of poverty and financial dependence on family members, the Sambhali Trust gives these women a voice and a support network to nurture their hopes, dreams, and ambitions. The Trust also does everything to get the girls into schools and pay for their education. There is also a sewing school, where the Trust helps the women to establish their own small tailoring shops in their own villages. We visit the Sambhali Trust to see all the work they do on our trips between Delhi and Mumbai, and provide a donation on our visit.

Day 23 Udaipur

After breakfast we set off for our drive to Udaipur, visiting the Jain Temple at Ranakpur en route. We will have 3 nights in Udaipur, giving us plenty of time to discover this amazing, romantic Rajasthani city. In Udaipur we will stay in a comfortable hotel. Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours. Activity Approximate Cost 2 nights to discover the stunning white city of Udaipur Included in Kitty About Udaipur: Udaipur is arguably the most romantic city in all of Rajasthan - an evocative and magical place on the shores of Lake Pichola. The city boasts several royal palaces, the most spectacular of which is the floating Lake Palace, made famous in the James Bond film "Octopussy". This palace is now home to a its beautiful mosaics of peacocks - a sacred bird not only to the people of Udaipur but also to all Rajasthanis. luxury hotel and it's sometimes possible to take a short boat trip out onto the lake to see it. Back in the city itself, the huge City Palace towers over the rest of the buildings here - not surprising, seeing as this is the largest palace complex in Rajasthan! Its many balconies, towers and cupolas offer fine views over the lake and city. Now a museum, the City Palace is home to the "Mor Chowk" with its beautiful mosaics of peacocks - a sacred bird not only to the people opf Udaipur but also to all Rajasthanis.

Day 24-25 Udaipur

On these 2 days we will have free time to explore the sites in and around Udaipur, take part in some optional activities, and relax on one of the many roof-top terraces in the city. Activity Approximate Cost Take an evening ride on the Udaipur Ropeway, to see the stunning vista of the city after sunset INR 78 Learn all about the folk art, culture, songs and festivals of Rajasthan at the Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal cultural institution INR 50 Visit the Animal Aid Unlimited animal shelter and hospital in Udiapur, and support the incredible work they do there to look after injured street animals in the area USD 10 Visit the iconic Monsoon Palace, perched on a mountain overlooking Udaipur INR 160 Visit the flamboyant City Palace of Udaipur, built in a fascinating fusion of Rajasthani and Mughal styles INR 250 Explore the Pichola Lake, and it's famous temple islands of Jagniwas and Jagmandir, on a stunning and peaceful boat cruise INR 430 Head out on a half-day horse ride through the beautiful surroundings of the foothills of the Aravalli Mountains around Udaipur INR 1000 Visit the palaces of Udaipur INR 100

Day 26 Mandu

Leaving Udaipur, we will be joined by a local cook who will accompany us during the next few days whilst we are wild camping. Today will mostly be spent travelling to Mandu via the backroads of rural Rajasthan. We will be off the tourist trail here and tonight we will wild camp, perhaps on the edge of a local village. Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours. About Mandu: Mandu was founded as a fortress and retreat in the 10th Century CE by Paramala Dynasty, a Rajput kingdom that ruled over much of the modern-day Malwa region of central Inda. It was conquered by the Muslim rulers of Delhi in 1304. After the victory of the Mughals in the early 16th Century in Delhi, the Afghan cheiftain of Mandu, Baz Bahadur, fled Mandu instead of facing the Mughal army. It was taken by the Maratha Dynasty in 1732, and was mostly abondoned when they moved their capital to the city of Dhar. An extensive deserted hilltop fort on the edge of the Vindhya hill ranges, Mandu was once known as "the city of joy". Today the atmosphere is more one of mystery and romance. The views from the fort are quite stunning, and it's a great spot to take in the vistas of the vast plains below - and if you find Echo Point, when you clap you'll be able to hear the sound you make echoing all the way down the valley. It's interesting to wander around and explore the old buildings, in particular the Royal Enclave, which includes some charming palaces built by the Sultan for the ladies of his hareem. You can also see the Hindola Mahal, or "Swinging Palace", which takes its name from its sloping sided walls that look like a swing.

Day 27-29 Ajanta, Mandu, Ellora

Today we will visit Mandu, an extensive and largely abandoned hill-top fort from the Mughal era. We will then spend the afternoon driving to our wild camp spot near Kharwand Dam, en route towards Ajanta. Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours. The next day we complete the drive to Ajanta, arriving in the afternoon. We will visit the complex of 29 ancient Buddhist temples cut into the rock face. We will wild camp nearby. The following day we will drive a short distance to Ellora where we will have an included visit to the ancient Buddhist, Hindu and Jain caves - a set of a small temples in the rock face dating from the 6th to 11th Centuries CE. We will camp in the same campsite tonight. Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours. Activity Approximate Cost Visit the tomb of Hoshang Shah, the first Muslim leader of Mandu - the tomb itself is India's first marble building and one of the most refined examples of Afghan-syle architecture in the country Included in Kitty Visit to the Jahaz Mahal (or the Ship Palace)the most famous building in Mandu Included in Kitty Visit the deserted hilltop ghost city of Mandu Included in Kitty Take a guided visit around the incredible Buddhist rock caves and paintings of Ajanta, some dating back as far as the 2nd century BCE Included in Kitty Guided visit to the Buddhist, Hindu and Jain rockcut temples and monasteries of Ellora Included in Kitty About Ajanta: Hidden in a rocky escarpment, the phenomenal caves at Ajanta were discovered in 1819 by a British hunting party that stumbled upon them. Their isolation has contributed to the fine state of preservation we find them in today. In all there are 29 caves nestling in the curve of a stunning deep gorge, all dating from around 200 BCE to 650 CE. The caves are beautifully decorated with paintings and sculptures telling the story of Buddha and illustrating tales from Buddhist fables and jatakas. The frescos are amazingly colourful and considered by many as amongst the finest examples of Buddhist art in India. About Ellora: Ellora is known for its remarkable sculptures - the incredible site features 34 Hindu and Jain temples carved into the caves around the area. The Hindu caves are the most dramatic, and the sheer size of the Kailasa Temple is overwhelming. It covers twice the area of the Parthenon in Athens and is oneand-a-half times as high. It was carved out of solid rock from the top down, and it is estimated that it entailed removing 200,000 tonnes of rock. Setting off early today, we will say goodbye to our local cook and drive to the bustling city of Mumbai. In Mumbai we will stay in a comfortable hotel. Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.

Day 30 Mumbai

About Mumbai: Mumbai is India's most cosmopolitan city, and lies on the west coast. It's also home to the largest film industry in the world, Bollywood - so if you've never seen an Indian movie before, this is the place for it. Full of high-drama, romance, suspense, music and dancing, Bollywood films are all-singing, alldancing extravaganzas! Combine India's version of LA with a hefty dose of traffic, busy streets, lively bazaars, briefcase-clutching businessmen and some impressive colonial architecture, and there you have Mumbai. The city is a mad mixture of horrific poverty standing side-by-side with prolific consumerism; this is the financial capital of the sub-continent and it has the shopping centres, bars and restaurants to match - but more than half the inhabitants live in the slums. Mumbai can be a bit of a shock to the system and an assault on the senses. But once you get your head around it, you'll begin to appreciate all the city has to offer. There's tons to do here, wander the streets and discover some of the beautiful old colonial architecture and Art Deco buildings, treat yourself to a meal in one of the country's best restaurants, and shop until you drop in the bazaars. In the evening, you can visit Chowpatty beach where colourful crowds of people mill about in the cooler evening air. Palmists, balloon sellers, magicians and acrobats all compete for your attention, vying to show you the magic of Mumbai.

Day 31 Mumbai

Border Information: If joining the trip in Mumbai, you will most likely enter India from Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (IATA code: BOM). There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel in Mumbai - please look out at the reception for a note from you tour leader with further details about this meeting. Otherwise, today is free to explore the sights and sounds of Mumbai. In Mumbai we will stay in a good quality hotel.  Hotel for the night: Hotel Supreme Hotel Supreme 4 Panday Road Cuffe Parade, Colaba Mumbai 400039 India Tel - +91 222 218 5608  OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES  Take a guided tour of the backstreets, shops and schools of the Dhavari district, to experience a slice of the real Mumbai : INR 1200 Take a Bollywood dance class in one of Mumbai's premier dance studios : INR 500 Discover the marvellous collection of historical objects and art at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya Museum, one of India's premier museums : INR 300 Take a fascinating tour of Film City, one of Mumbai's premier Bollywood filming studios : Free Explore the labyrinth of cave-temples on Elephanta Island near Mumbai, some of the most impressive rock carvings in all of India : INR 250  About Mumbai: Mumbai is India's most cosmopolitan city, and lies on the west coast. It's also home to the largest film industry in the world, Bollywood - so if you've never seen an Indian movie before, this is the place for it. Full of high drama, romance, suspense, music and dancing, Bollywood films are all-singing, all-dancing extravaganzas! Combine India's version of LA with a hefty dose of traffic, busy streets, lively bazaars, briefcase-clutching businessmen and some impressive colonial architecture, and there you have Mumbai. The city is a mad mixture of horrific poverty standing side-by-side with prolific consumerism; this is the financial capital of the sub-continent and it has the shopping centres, bars and restaurants to match - but more than half the inhabitants live in the slums. Mumbai can be a bit of a shock to the system and an assault on the senses. But once you get your head around it, you'll begin to appreciate all the city has to offer. There's tons to do here, wander the streets and discover some of the beautiful old colonial architecture and Art Deco buildings, treat yourself to a meal in one of the country's best restaurants, and shop until you drop in the bazaars. In the evening, you can visit Chowpatty beach where colourful crowds of people mill about in the cooler evening air. Palmists, balloon sellers, magicians and acrobats all compete for your attention, vying to show you the magic of Mumbai. 

Day 32 Mumbai

Today will be a free day to explore the city. This is also an opportunity to take a tour of the Dharavi slum areas of the city. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Mumbai before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Mumbai. 

Day 33-34 Goa

" Day 3 to 4 " We will start our journey by taking the train along the coast to Goa. We will stay for 2 nights at the relaxed beaches of Vagator in the northern part of Goa. Most travellers are drawn to Vagator for the stunning sunsets, the laid-back atmosphere and the proximity of some other quieter beaches in the area such as Arambol and Anjuna. In northern Goa we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities close to the beach. Estimated Journey Time (on train) - 11-12 hours. About Goa: To many people, Goa is all about the beaches - and it's fair to say that the soft white sand and sparkling blue water of the Arabian Sea are definitely some of the main attractions here. But this is also an area rich in history and culture. The coastal state retains much of its old Portuguese colonial architecture, traditions, religion, and lifestyle, particularly in the old capital of Old Goa, where there are several churches, a cathedral and lots of great local markets, all well worth exploring. Relax under a palm tree on the beach, watch the dhows sailing out into the sunset and see the fishing boats landing their catch, or wander around the local spice plantations revelling in their heady scent - there's something here for all kinds of different travellers. The locals say that time moves more slowly in Goa, so if nothing else it's a brilliant stop for a few days, a great chance to enjoy a bit of tranquility in an often frenetic country. Goa is also home to some fantastic cuisine, including many fish-based curries, classic Goan pork vindaloo and Feni, a local spirit made from coconut and cashew nuts. 

Day 35-36 Old Goa

" Day 5 to 6 " After our 2 nights on the northern beaches of Goa, we head off in the truck to the southern end of Goa. En route we will stop off at the site of Old Goa to spend some time independently exploring the area's colonial buildings. Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!). We will stay for 2 nights in beautiful beach huts on the stunning beach of Agonda, which is a perfect place to sit back and watch the fishing boats landing their catch, sample the delicious local cuisine, or visit the nearby beach of Palolem with its many bars and restaurants.  About Old Goa: Old Goa is a historical city in North Goa. The city was constructed by the Bijapur Sultanate in the 15th Century CE, and served as capital of Portuguese India from the 16th Century until its abandonment in the 18th Century due to plague. The remains of the city are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The population was roughly 200,000 by 1543. Malaria and cholera epidemics ravaged the city in the 17th Century and it was largely abandoned, only having a remaining population of 1,500 by 1775. It was then that the viceroy moved to Panjim. It continued to be the de jure capital of Goa until 1843, when the capital was then shifted to Panjim. The abandoned city came to be known as "Velha Goa" (in Portuguese, 'Old Goa'), to distinguish it from the new capital Nova Goa (Panjim). Velha Goa was incorporated into the Republic of India in 1961, together with the rest of Goa. Old Goa contains various churches, including the Se Cathedral (the seat of the Archbishop of Goa), the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, the Church of St. Caetano, and notably, the Basilica of Bom Jesus which supposedly contains the relics of St. Francis Xavier. 

Day 37-38 Hampi

" Day 7 to 8 " Leaving the beaches of Goa behind us, we set off on a full day drive into the state of Karnataka and to the village of Hampi. The village is located within the ruins of Vijayanagara, the former capital of the ancient Vijayanagara Empire. Estimated Drive Time - 9-11 hours. On the following day we will have a guided tour of the historical sites around Hampi by rickshaw and on foot. In Hampi we will stay in a comfortable local guest house.  INCLUDED ACTIVITIES  Discover the lost kingdom of Vijayanagar in the magnificent ruined city of Hampi : Included in Kitty About Hampi: The city of Hampi bears exceptional testimony to the vanished civilization of the kingdom of Vijayanagar, which reached its apogee under the reign of Krishna Deva Raya between 1509 and 1530 CE. The type of structure illustrates a significant historical situation, that of the kingdoms of South India which, menaced by the Muslims, were occasionally allied with the Portuguese of Goa. The grand site of Hampi was the last capital of the last great Hindu Kingdom of Vijayanagar. Its fabulously rich princes built Dravidian temples and palaces which won the admiration of travellers between the 14th and 16th Centuries. Conquered by the Deccan Muslim confederacy in 1565, the city was pillaged over a period of six months before being abandoned. 

Day 39-40 Mysore

" Day 9 to 10 " From Hampi we will have another full day drive to the city of Mysore, one of India's most attractive towns. Estimated Drive Time - 10-12 hours. On the following day we will have free time in Mysore to independently explore the city's beautiful gardens, palaces, and the Shri Chamarajendra art gallery. In Mysore we will stay in a comfortable hotel.  OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES  Climb the 1000 steps to the summit of Chamundi Hill, to visit the famous Sri Chamundeshwari Temple and take in the views of the city below : INR 100 INCLUDED ACTIVITIES  Freely explore the amazing and elaborate Mysore Palace : Included in Kitty About Mysore: Mysore is one of India's most attractive towns. Unlike some of India's biggest cities, it feels quite manageable in size, and its beautiful buildings are packed full of history - the Maharaja’s Palace, the Lalitha Mahal (Summer Palace) and Shri Chamarajendra art gallery are all definitely worth a visit. Historically the town was the capital of the mighty Maharaja kingdom of Mysore, ruled by the same family from 1399 until 1947. There was a brief period where the throne was usurped by one of the most colourful of Indian rulers, Hyder Ali and then by his famous son Tipu Sultan. Today the city is the state capital and one of the centres of the silk trade. It's well laid out with wide streets and many gardens, making it a pleasant place to wander around. It is also one of the major incense manufacturers in India - some call it the "Sandalwood City" and you will find yourself enveloped by the aromas of sandalwood, jasmine, rose and musk. 

Day 41-42 Wayanad

" Day 11 to 12 " Today we travel up into the cool highlands and head to the hill-station of Wayanad, a small settlement surrounded by tea and coffee plantations. Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours. Over the 2 days that we have in Wayanad we will have the chance to hike up Chembra Peak, visit local waterfalls and tea plantations, visit the petroglyphs at the Edakkal Caves, and to visit the nearby Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary. Whilst in Wayanad we stay as guests of local families at a home stay, where they have set up rooms for visitors in their homes.  INCLUDED ACTIVITIES  See the 7000-year-old Neolithic petroglyphs at the Edakkal caves en route : Included in Kitty Enjoy genuine Indian hospitality at a community home stay guest house amongst the hills of Wayanad : Included in Kitty OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES  Take a strenuous day-hike up the 2100m Chembra Peak, the highest peak in the Wayanad area : INR 1000 Take a walk through the scenic Wayanad countryside to visit the Meenmutty or Kanthanppara waterfalls : INR 60 Take a short jeep safari through the Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary near Wayanad : INR 800  About Wayanad: The lush hill station district of Wayanad is nestled at the foot of the Western Ghats. Rolling green hillsides, surrounded by misty-clad peaks and dotted with luxurious tea, coffee and spice plantations, the small communities here are the perfect place for a spot of rest and relaxation - the area is famous with locals for its spectacular natural beauty. Part of the region is designated as a wildlife sanctuary in order to protect the many animals that live here, and its possible to trek through the forest reserves. This is one of the few places in India where you may see wild elephants, and if you're lucky you may also be able to spot deer, bison and langur monkeys. 

Day 43-44 Kochi

" Day 13 to 14 " Today we will continue our journey with a full day drive to the coastal city of Kochi. Estimated Drive Time - 7-10 hours. On the following day we will take a local boat to Fort Cochin and have free time to explore and visit various sites including the Jewish Quarter, St Francis Church and the iconic Chinese fishing nets. In the evening we will be able to see a performance from the famous Kathakali dancers, India's most spectacular dance drama. In Kochi we will stay in a comfortable hotel.  INCLUDED ACTIVITIES  See an evening performance of the classical Indian dance-drama of Kathakali, a signature tradition of Kerala : Included in Kitty About Kochi: Kochi, in Kerala state, is a town split between the mainland and a group of islands just off the coast. For this reason, a boat-trip is the best way to tour the main sights, which include the oldest church in India and Vasco de Gama's final resting place. Opposite Fort Cochin you can watch fishermen working their cantilevered Chinese fishing nets, a typical feature of this region. Interestingly, the town is also home to a dwindling Jewish community that has roots going back as far as 1000 CE, and there is a synagogue here that was built in the 16th Century. This is also the home of Kathakali dancing, India's most spectacular style of dance drama. The hundreds of different arrangements are based on stories from the Ramayan and Mahabharata - the two epic stories of Indian mythology. 

Day 45 Allepey

Leaving the bustle of Kochi behind, today we embark on our included overnight houseboat cruise on the tranquil Keralan backwaters of Alleppey. We will often split into smaller groups to board our traditional 'Kettuvallom' boats which will take us around the scenic rivers and spend the night aboard. INCLUDED ACTIVITIES Travel through the serene Kerala Backwaters on an overnight trip aboard a beautiful traditional 'kettuvallam' house-boat : Included in Kitty About Alleppey: Alleppey is the gateway to the Keralan backwaters. The network of waterways here extends over hundreds of kilometres, so it's no surprise that Alleppey is sometimes described as "The Venice of the East". Life revolves around the water here - children often learn to swim before they can walk, and they row boats before they ride a bike! Of course, the best way to explore the region is by boat - jump on board a typical Keralan houseboat and meander down the waterways, try your hand at fishing, and just lay back and enjoy this unique landscape. 

Day 46-48 Varkala

" Day 16 to 18 " After our fantastic overnight cruise along the Keralan backwaters, we continue our journey with a short drive to the beach resort of Varkala. Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours. We will have 3 nights here with free time to explore the surrounding areas and relax on the beautiful beaches. Varkala is well known for its beaches, and there are also lots of great local restaurants where you can sample the justifiably famous Keralan cuisine. In Varkala we will stay at a beach resort. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES  Get a traditional Ayurvedic massage in the Keralan town of Varkala : INR 1200 Head out for an evening performance of traditional Keralan Kathakali dancing : INR 300 About Varkala: Varkala sits on India's Keralan coast, and is home to some of the whitest and most pristine beaches in the whole country. The sandy bay here is protected by soaring cliffs, the beach sits below the rock face, whilst the town itself sits prettily along the cliff edge above - a string of laid-back bars, restaurants, guest houses and hotels. It's a great place to just kick back and relax, but there are plenty of activities to involve yourself in, including yoga, boat rides, massages and cooking classes. Sitting on the sand and watching the sun dip below the horizon is the perfect way to end a day here. 

Day 49 Kanyakumari

Today we will have a morning drive to Kanyakumari (also known as Cape Comorin), the very southern point of India. Here we will have free time to independently explore the Vivekananda Rock and the surrounding sites. In Kanyakumari we will stay in a local hotel. Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.  OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES  Take the ferry over to Vivekananda Rock and explore the memorial to the Hindu monk Swami Vivekananda : INR 150  About Kanyakumari: Kanyakumari (sometimes referred to as Cape Comorin) is a town in the state of Tamil Nadu in India. Located at the southernmost tip of the Indian Peninsula, it is the geographical end of the Indian mainland and the confluence of the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal, and the Indian Ocean. Kanyakumari takes its name from the Kumari Amman Temple, situated in the town. Just off-shore, on Vivekananda Rock, is a huge statue of the Hindu holy man Swami Vivekananda - this is a wonderful place to join the locals to watch the sun rise in the early morning.

Day 50 Madurai

This morning we have the option to get up early to watch the sunrise from the southern tip of India with thousands of locals, what can be an incredible experience! From Kanyakumari we then start heading back north again, and drive to the holy city of Madurai. In the afternoon we will have an included visit to the Sri Meenakshi Temple in Madurai. In Madurai we will stay in a comfortable local hotel. Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.  INCLUDED ACTIVITIES  Visit the historical Meenakshi Amman Temple, one of the most impressive and colourful Hindu temples in all of India : Included in Kitty  About Madurai: Madurai is Tamil Nadu's third largest town and has been populated since the 3rd Century BCE - there is mention of the city in the works of ancient Greek and Roman historians such as Pliny the Elder and Ptolomy. Madurai is recognised as the centre of Dravidian culture with its main attraction the famous Shree Meenakshi Temple in the heart of the old town. Its many gopurams are covered with profusions of multicoloured images of gods, goddesses, animals and mythical figures, and the views from one of the temple towers are breathtaking. The city is also synonymous with the Tamil language, and is one of the centres of Tamil culture in India. It is one of southern India’s liveliest cities, yet small enough not to be overwhelming

Day 51 Pondicherry

Today we head to the French-influenced town of Pondicherry, and will have a free afternoon to independently explore the town.  In Pondicherry we will stay in a local guest house. Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours. About Pondicherry: The united territories of Pondicherry are unmistakably and charmingly French, complete with an hotel de ville, French consulate and police who wear red 'kepis' hats and belts. Pondicherry is also the home of the famous Sri Aurobind ashram and its offshoot Auroville. The ashram, founded by Sri Aurobindo in 1926, is one of the most popular in India amongst westerners, and also one of the most affluent. The town enjoys duty-free status and is known for its leather goods and hand-made paper products - with its French influence, many of the shops have a distinctly European feel. 

Day 52 Mahabalipuram

Today we have a short drive to the ancient city of Mahabalipuram, once the capital of the Pallava Dynasty in the 7th Century CE. On arrival we will have an included visit to the incredible Shore Temples and other monuments around the town. In Mahabalipuram we will stay in a comfortable local hotel. Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.  INCLUDED ACTIVITIES  Visit the incredible 8th-century Shore Temples and Pagodas of Mahabalipuram, built from huge granite blocks on a promontory in the Bay of Bengal : Included in Kitty OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES  Explore the fascinating cave temples of Mahabalipuram, chiselled into the rock over 1300 years ago : INR 100 Visit the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust near Mahabalipuram, a conservation and research project for crocodiles, snakes and turtles : INR 90 See the curious '7-D cinema' show of the Chronicles of India, and learn all about the history of the Pallava Kingdom while experiencing an array of sounds, smells and sensations! : INR 300  About Mahabalipuram: Mahabalipuram was the second capital and seaport of the Pallava Dynasty of Kanchipuram, a medieval kingdom that ruled the area between the 6th and 9th Centuries CE. It is famous for its granite Shore Temples that overlook the Bay of Bengal, and the ‘Descent of Ganges’, a very detailed relief carved on a vast rock surface. Mahabalipuram is a small but very pleasant and easy-going village, consisting mainly of two main streets. It stands at the foot of a low lying, boulder-strewn hill where most of the temples and rock carvings are located.

Day 53 Chennai

Today we have a short drive to the bustling coastal city of Chennai, visiting an interesting crocodile farm en-route. In Chennai we will stay in a comfortable hotel. Estimated Drive Time - 2-3 hours. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES  Visit the Fort St. George, the site of the East India Company's first trading station in 1640, and the first British fort in India : INR 100 Visit the Chennai Government Museum, and its incredible selection of antiquities including Roman artefacts and coins from all eras of India's past : INR 250 About Chennai: Chennai (previously known as Madras) was the site of the first major settlement of the East India Company in 1639, and is now the fourth largest city in India. The town grew up around the Fort St. George and along Mount Road, and some interesting historic buildings can be seen here. It's true that it is busy, noisy and often extremely hot, but in many ways it is a surprisingly efficient and orderly place. The Government Museum is worth a visit if you're interested in the history of the city, and its 13km-long Marina Beach is the country's longest urban beach. You might prefer to just wander the streets and soak up the atmosphere, exploring the many temples and bustling local markets.

Day 54 Chennai

Border Information: If you are joining in Chennai, you will most likely enter India in Chennai International Airport (IATA code: MAA). Today is a free day to explore the sights, sounds and flavours of Chennai. There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm - please look for a note from your tour leader when you arrive at the hotel giving more details about this meeting. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Chennai before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Chennai. In Chennai we will stay in a comfortable modern hotel. *Important note* - if you are joining the trip in Chennai, please make sure that you send us a scan of your Indian visa as soon as you have obtained it. If you plan to take the e-visa option, please make sure you arrange this well in advance and send us a copy of your receipt as soon as possible. If we do not receive this in advance, then we will not have enough time to get your permits for the Odisha Region and you will not be able to visit this area. Hotel for the night: Hotel Pandian Hotel Pandian 15 Kenneth Lane Egmore Chennai 600 008 India Tel - +91 44 2819 1010 Activity Approximate Cost Overnight stay in Chennai Included in Kitty Visit the many historic temples, mosques, and churches of Chennai Free Visit the Fort St. George, the site of the East India Company's first trading station in 1640, and the first

Dates & Pricing

Price From

$ 8,650

Price Per Day:

$ 105 per day
 
Start DateFinish DateBase PriceAvailability 
Dec-09-2018Feb-28-2019$ 8,65016 spots left Reserve
Feb-03-2019Apr-25-2019$ 8,77017 spots left Reserve
Sep-08-2019Nov-28-2019$ 8,69018 spots left Reserve
Oct-06-2019Dec-26-2019$ 8,70518 spots left Reserve
Oct-27-2019Jan-16-2020$ 8,70518 spots left Reserve
Dec-15-2019Mar-05-2020$ 8,72018 spots left Reserve
Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Intrepid Travel
Details
Group Size:
Small Group - 24 max
Maximum Number of People in Group: 21
Accomodations
Hotels,Guesthouses,Campsites,Wild Camps,Homestays
Start City
Kathmandu
End City
Kathmandu
Guides OUR DRAGOMAN CREW & GUIDES Our crew are passionate about travel and are always up for adventure. It takes someone special to become a Dragoman leader. Our crew undergo the most intensive training program of all the overland companies, spending 8 weeks learning the ropes at our base in Suffolk, UK, and then up to 6 months on the road as a trainee. Our crew are trained to manage and operate the trip safely and efficiently and their duties include: planning the trip according to the itinerary, driving and maintaining the truck, securing services of local guides, general logistics, health and safety, liaising with bureaucracy, dealing with issues where needed and offering advice and support to our customers. In addition they have a basic knowledge of the places visited and will be able to offer suggestions of things to do and see. Dragoman endeavours to provide the services of experienced crew, however, due to the seasonality of travel, situations may arise where your tour leader is new to a particular region or training other crew, new to the area. On all Dragoman overlanding trips, we usually have 2 western crew. However on our trips in East and Southern Africa we either have 2 western crew or 1 western crew and 1 local driver. On trips south of Nairobi in East and Southern Africa we will also have an African camp master/cook who is in charge of running the camp and organising all of the meals. Their knowledge of the local produce makes shopping at the markets great fun and you will learn how to prepare and cook some unusual dishes. In most other areas of Africa, the Americas, India and Turkey, in addition to our crew we will employ local guides in specific locations of interest (for just a few hours up to a few days). On the majority of our trips in Ethiopia, Sudan, Central Asia, China and South East Asia, in addition to our crew we will have a local guide on board who will travel with us for the entire duration of our time within one country. In these cases, the local guide becomes a third crew member and is able to offer their local knowledge as well as an insight into their country and the lives of the local people. Your crew have a duty of care to all members of the group and therefore they have the authority to ask you to leave the trip if you require serious medical assistance, you are behaving in an anti-social manner or refuse to comply with local laws and customs. In all matters relating to the trip, the leader's decision will be final and we appreciate your respect of this.
Additional Information:

Finish point

  • Hotel Tibet
  • Lazimpath
  • Kathmandu
  • NEPAL

Trip ID#: intrepid-HDOLC

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