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Mysteries of India Adventure Tour

Asia

  • India

India is a land of many nations, civilizations, and histories, where glimpses of empires past can be found at every corner. Immerse yourself in the country's dazzling Mughal and Rajput heritage, exploring sprawling forts and enchanting palaces, and delve into traditional markets that burst with life and colour. Meet local villagers and learn about rural customs, observe craftspeople at work, and cook a delicious Rajasthani meal with a family in Udaipur.


Itinerary Disclaimer  

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

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


Arrival Complications  

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


Safety and Security  

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

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

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

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/


Feedback  

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


Dossier Disclaimer  

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.


Solo Travellers  

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


Group Leader  

CEO (Chief Experience Officer) throughout, local guides.


A Couple of Rules  

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


Emergency Contact  

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

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

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

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

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

Airport Representative
From outside India: +919599193260 or +919599051397

From within Delhi: 9599193260 or 9599051397

From outside Delhi: 09599193260 or 09599051397

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Office (Delhi)
G Adventures South Asia Manager, Sorab (Delhi, India)

>From outside of India: +91 88 5180 6614
>From within Delhi: 88 5180 6614
>From within India, but outside Delhi: 088 5180 6614

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

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below which will connect you directly with our Sales team who will happily assist you. Hours of operation by region can be found here.

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


Detailed Trip Notes  

In India English is widely spoken and transportation and infrastructure is good, but please remember that this is India- expect the unexpected! If you are able to bring with you a lot of patience, a great sense of humour and a willingness to try and interact with the local people, your travel experience will be greatly enhanced.


Tipping  

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


What to Take  

We suggest that you pack as lightly as possible as your are expected to carry your own luggage. As a rule we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 mintues with your bags which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 10-15kg/22-30lb. Most travellers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size (no XXL ones please!) . You will also need a day pack/bag to carry water, cameras and other electronics like ipods and mobile phones.


Optional Activities  

Bikaner
- Camel Breeding Centre Visit (50INR per person)

Jaipur
- Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds) Visit (200INR per person)
- Jaipur Balloon Ride


Travel Insurance  

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.


Laundry  

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


Trip Specific Safety  

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


Associated Planeterra Project  

It is estimated that 400,000 children live and work on the streets of Delhi. In most cases, their families are too poor to provide for them, they have run away from abusive home environments or they are orphans. Planeterra's New Delhi Streetkids Project supports over 5,000 of these street children through strategically placed contact points, shelters and a health post set up by a local partner organization. These youth centers provide clothing, food, healthcare, education, counseling, recreational activities, job skills training and job placements. Through Planeterra's partnership with Salaam Baalak Trust, scholarships are made available to young people who once lived and worked on the streets of Delhi. By funding vocational training in trade schools and universities, and making job-placements based on each child's individual interest, we can help break the cycle of poverty and give these youth the opportunity to create a brighter future. Many of these adolescents have been fully-trained as tour guides and lead exciting tours through the enchanting inner city streets of Paharganj, the New Delhi railway station, and The Old City. This tour is a unique way for travelers to engage in these children's lives and the guiding provides an opportunity for them to improve their communication and speaking skills.


Joining Hotel  

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


Money Exchange  

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


Important Notes  

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

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


Minimum Age  

You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.


Max Pax  

Max 16, avg 12


Local Flights  

All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.

Please Note: Only 1 piece of luggage that weighs up to 15kgs will be permitted on our internal flights in India. For any extra weight the airline may charge an additional fee at the time of check-in.


What's Included  

Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Explore the Caravan Route, Bikaner
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Discover Village Life, Chandelao
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Family Home Meal, Udaipur
Your G for Good Moment: Women With Wheels Transfer, Indira Gandhi International Airport
Your G for Good Moment: City Walk, Delhi. Orientation tour of colonial Delhi. Tour of frescoed havelis of Shekhawati. Visit Junagarh Fort and Deshnoke's Karni Mata Temple (or Rat Temple). Visit Mehrangarh Fort and Clock Tower. Excursion to rural hamlets of Chandelao and Jojawar. Explore Udaipur. Visit Ranakpur Jain temples. Explore Jaipur and Amber Fort. Visit Fatehpur Sikri, Taj Mahal, and the Red Fort of Agra. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.


Accommodation  

Hotels/heritage homes (14 nts).


Packing List  

Cold Weather:
• Long-sleeved shirts or sweater
• Scarf
• Warm gloves
• Warm hat
• Warm layers

Conservative Dress:
• Modest clothing that covers knees and shoulders (Long pants, long skirts, shirts that cover shoulders)
• Shawl or scarf (for temple visits)

Documents:
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)

Essentials:
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Footwear
• Hat
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Moneybelt
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Shirts/t-shirts
• Sleepwear
• Small travel towel
• Sunglasses
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket

Health & Safety:
• Face masks (required)
• Hand sanitizer (required)
• Pen (Please bring your own pen for filling out documents.)
• Quick Covid Test/Antigen Test
• Rubber gloves

Smart Dress:
• Smart outfit (For evenings out)

Train Travel (Optional):
• Slip-on shoes
• Small container with lid
• Travel cutlery
• Travel or camp cup

Warm Weather:
• Sandals/flip-flops
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
• Swimwear

Note: During the colder months (Oct-Apr) the mountains can be cold, so please make sure you pack warm clothes. During the months of Jul-Sep is the rainy season, so please make sure to pack waterproof clothes.


Meals Included  

14 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners


Group Size Notes  

Max 16, Avg 10.


Group Leader Description  

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


Transport  

Van, bus, jeep, train, cycle-rickshaw, walking.


My Own Room  

Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops


About Accommodation  

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


Spending Money  

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


Departure Tax  

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


Meals  

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


Emergency Fund  

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


Health  

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

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


Highlights  

Spend a night in a heritage hotel in Bikaner, Meet the town elders of a traditional village, Visit an NGO that provides services throughout rural India, See the world-famous Taj Mahal


About our Transportation  

ROAD
Road travel in India is certainly not what people are used to in Western countries. Rules are not always followed, drivers appear to speed, do not stay in their lanes, overtake in seemingly dangerous situations, and rarely use their mirrors or driving lights at night. The horn however is used frequently and can range from the latest Bollywood tune to Britney Spears! Although the government is investing large sums of money to improve the road infrastructure, there is a lot more to be done. As a result some of the roads are poorly maintained, pot holed and uneven. This gets even more pronounced particularly during and after the monsoon. Travel time is very long in comparison to Western countries and short distances can take much longer than at home.You have the comfort of an air-conditioned Private vehicle, but be prepared to take an odd ride in a local transport for the experience.


Visas and Entry Requirements  

All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your own responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. Visa requirements for your trip will vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as far as possible, but rules do change and sometimes without warning. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check the information yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.

Visa information specific to your destination and nationality can be found in our Important Pre-Departure Information page here

All travellers must have a valid Indian visa prior to the start of their tour. Please note that visas for India are the responsibility of the individual traveller.

To obtain a visa for India, you may either apply for an e-Visa using the link below, or alternately visit the Indian embassy or consulate nearest you to apply for a physical visa on your passport.

As of 2017, India is now offering e-Visas for most nationalities. Please visit this link for further information and to apply: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html

As there are many fake websites, please only use the link above to apply for your e-Visa and for any additional information.

Please use the start hotel of your tour as a reference for your visa application. Contact us or your travel agent if you need further information.


Local Dress  

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

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

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


Newsletter  

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

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


International Flights  

Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.


Joining Instructions  

An arrival transfer is included when you arrive on Day 1, or if you arrive up to three days prior provided that you have booked your pre-accommodation through National Geographic Journeys in our joining hotel. Due to customer experience and quality considerations, all services related to the tour must be continuous.

Our driver will be waiting for you with a National Geographic Journeys sign with your name on it, and they will be waiting for you outside the luggage hall. There most likely will be many signs, so please check carefully for your name.

Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned, so you may arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day in which no activities are planned.

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

Day 1 Delhi

Arrive at any time; your arrival transfer is included through Women With Wheels, a G Adventures-supported project.

There are no planned activities, so check into the hotel (check-in time is noon) and enjoy the city.

Day 2 DELHI/MANDAWA

Set out to discover New Delhi, a part of India's capital that was built by the British in the early 20th century. Explore the lively Paharganj district with a youth guide from the G Adventures-supported City Walk project, and hear about how the program provides opportunities to disadvantaged street youth. Then get a glimpse of New Delhi's wide boulevards and British colonial architecture. Drive to Mandawa in Rajasthan this afternoon.

Day 3 MANDAWA/BIKANER

Set out on a walking tour of Mandawa. This charming 18th-century town is known for its ornately decorated mansions, where wealthy local merchants used to live. Then drive to Bikaner, situated in the great Thar Desert, and settle into our heritage hotel. Stroll through the town's colourful markets, and opt to visit a camel breeding centre.

Day 4 BIKANER

Explore the vibrant oasis city of Bikaner, which lay on an important caravan route. Delve into traditional markets where tea and spices were once bartered, and learn from a local expert about how modern business practices have been shaped by the town's trading history. Later, explore the stunning palaces and courtyards of the Junagarh Fort, built in the late 16th century of sandstone and marble; then head to the small town of Deshnoke to visit the intriguing Karni Mata Temple, popularly called the Rat Temple.

Don't have a liking for rats? (Really, it's ok if you don't) Opt to stay out and enjoy the beautifully carved doorway and the small market nearby.

Day 5 BIKANER/JODHPUR

Travel to enchanting Jodhpur, known as the “Blue City” for the blue-tinted exteriors of the town's old quarter. Set out to explore Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur's 15th-century citadel, admiring its mirrored rooms and lavish collection of miniature paintings, weapons, and ivory artifacts; and take a walk to the city's iconic clock tower, set in the middle of a bustling market.

Day 6 Jodhpur/Chandelao

Today, we venture into the countryside on 4x4s to visit tribal villages and witness traditional crafts, such as weaving and ceramics. In the Bishnoi village, meet with members of the Bishnoi sect and learn about their spiritual commitment to the environment. Continue to our lodgings in Chandelao Garh-the ancestral home of the former rulers of Chandelao village-and gain a unique insight into the lifestyle of the region's nobility.

Day 7 Chandelao

Enjoy a relaxing stay at Chandelao Garh, strolling through flower-filled gardens where peacocks strut and parrots flutter. Step into quaint Chandelao village and chat with local people as they go about their routine chores, admiring the women's colourful dresses and the men's bright turbans. Meet with village elders and teachers to discuss various aspects of daily life, and visit Chandelao Garh's Sunder Rang project, which aims to preserve local crafts while empowering village women to become economically independent.

Day 8 Chandelao/Udaipur

Drive to Udaipur this morning, stopping en route at the Ranakpur Jain temple-a grand marble shrine devoted to Adinatha, the first of 24 teachers or “saviours” of the ancient Jain religion. This afternoon, take an orientation walk of Udaipur, known as the “City of Lakes.”

Day 9 Udaipur

Set out to explore romantic Udaipur. Visit the exquisite City Palace-the largest palace complex in Rajasthan-and step into Jagdish Temple, which pays homage to the Hindu god Vishnu. Hop on a boat tour of scenic Lake Pichola, and enjoy a cooking demonstration in the home of a local family, sitting down to share a delicious meal of Rajasthani curries.

Day 10 Udaipur/Jojawar

Travel to the colourful village of Jojawar to get a taste of rural Rajasthani life. Settle into your heritage hotel, and embark on a train safari through the lush hills of the Aravalli Range.

Day 11 Jojawar/Jaipur

After breakfast, drive to Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, boasting beautiful palaces and temples and many atmospheric markets. Spend the evening at leisure.

Jaipur, known as the "Pink City," with many beautiful palaces, forts, gardens, temples, and unending market streets, is a city with lots to offer.

Day 12 Jaipur

Explore Jaipur, known as the “Pink City” for its rose-coloured buildings. Take a tour of the sprawling Amber Fort, the former residence of Jaipur's Rajput rulers; and admire the exterior of Hawa Mahal, or the Palace of Winds, a stunning five-story sandstone building with distinctive honeycombed windows. Discover the rich collections of the City Palace museum, and stop by the 18th-century royal observatory known as Jantar Mantar.

Day 13 JAIPUR/AGRA

Drive to historic Agra, which served as the capital of the Delhi sultanate and later of the Mughal Empire. Stop on the way at the magnificent fortified city of Fatehpur Sikri, where the Mughal Emperor Akbar built a short-lived capital in the 16th century. In Agra, take a tour of the Agra Fort, an impressive citadel of red sandstone which conceals palaces of white marble within.

Day 14 Agra/Delhi

This morning, visit the breathtaking Taj Mahal, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Considered the finest example of Mughal architecture, this iconic mausoleum was built by the Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. Later, return to Delhi for your last evening in India.

Day 15 Delhi

Depart at any time.

Details

Duration: 15 Days

Merchandising: Planeterra Project

Travel Style: National Geographic Journeys

Trip Type: Small Group

Service Level: Upgraded

Physical Grading: 2 - Light



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