Visit India’s lively cities and beautiful coastline on this Overland tour

Travel to India’s west, a place of divine beaches, remote landscapes and unique cities. Embark on an Overland adventure from chaotic Chennai to cultured Kolkata, a fascinating and memorable tour of India’s unforgettable settings. While there are many places to visit in Chennai and Kolkata, rural India is equally rewarding, with remote tribes and holy towns providing a long list of essential experiences. So come soak up the sun, cities and surprises of this unique land, and get ready for the Overland tour of a lifetime.

Start
Chennai, India
Finish
Kolkata, India
Countries
India
Themes
Overland
Code
HDOJ
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 18
Group size
Min 4 Max 22
Carbon offset
428kg pp per trip


Highlights


Itinerary

Today we have a short drive of 55kms to Chennai, the fourth largest city in India, stopping at a crocodile farm en-route.

In Chennai we will stay in a comfortable hotel.

Drive time - 2 hours.
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.

In Chennai we will stay in a comfortable modern hotel.
Today we start our journey with a 145kms drive to the bustling town of Tirupati. In the afternoon we will visit the Sri Venkateswara holy temple in the nearby town of Tirumala.

In Tirupati we will stay in a friendly local hotel.

Drive time - 5 hours (please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, borders and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!)."
Leaving Tirupati, we will spend the next few days overlanding through Andhra Pradesh, one of the least developed states in India. This is real off-the-beaten-track overlanding and we will aim to cover 420kms today to reach the small city of Vijayawada.

In Vijayawada we will stay in a basic local hotel.

Drive time - 10 hours.
Today we continue our journey and drive 370kms through the back roads of Andra Pradesh. Our final destination tonight is the costal town on Visakhapatnam.

In Visakhapatnam we will stay in a local hotel on the sea front.

Drive time - 8-9 hours.
Today we begin our guided tour through the rarely-visited Odisha Tribal Regions, which we will comprehensively visit over the next 6 days. In these regions the itinerary has to be kept fairly flexible, allowing us the freedom to alter things slightly if we hear of any special events or market days in particular villages. However, we will generally follow the plan below:

On the first day we will have an early start from Visakhapatnam to arrive in a small village called Goudaguda in time to visit the Monday markets. Beautiful earthen pottery is skillfully produced in this area and you may even get the chance to try this for yourself. In Goudaguda we will stay in a local guesthouse which has been styled on local tribal houses. Drive time - 6 hours.

On the following day we will have a full-day guided walk through the countryside around Goudaguda, visiting the neighbouring Mahali and Kondh tribal villages. We will return to our guesthouse in Goudaguda for the night.

On the next day we will drive to the lively Chatikona Market, a weekly highlight for the Dongria Kondh tribe. We then roll through the hills to Muniguda, our destination for tonight. On arrival we will be welcomed by the New Hope Charitable Trust (a local NGO helping to uplift the poor and disadvantaged); in the afternoon we will have a cooking demonstration and spend some time with the children and the elderly people of the New Hope Trust. We will stay in basic rooms in the grounds of the charitable trust tonight. Drive time - 6-7 hours depending on the length of the visit to the Chatikona Market.

On the following day we will drive to a small village called Taptapani, where on arrival we will visit the temple hot springs. We will stay in a basic local hotel for the night. Drive time - 8 hours.

On the next day we will drive to the fascinating fishing town of Gopalpur, a once major port for the East India Company which has an interesting decaying charm. We will have a free afternoon to explore the town. In Gopalpur we will stay in a local hotel. Drive time - 5-6 hours.
Today our tour of the tribal areas comes to an end and we drive on to the small town of Puri. Puri is one of the holiest pilgrimage places in India, and has a wonderful long sandy beach. On arrival we will explore the old pilgrim route by cycle-rickshaw, taking in ashrams, Hindu monasteries, a palm leaf manuscript library and the awesome Jagannath temple.

Drive time - 7-8 hours.

We will spend 3 nights in Puri. On the first full day here, we will take a short drive back to visit Chilika Lake and explore the lake on bamboo-pole-driven canoes. There may also be the opportunity to visit the Usthi Children's Foundation in the town.

On the second full day, we will begin with a cycle ride through rice paddies and rural hamlets, meeting local craftsmen and women and watching them demonstrate their unique crafts. In the afternoon we will have a guided tour of the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Konark Sun Temple.

In Puri we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.
Today is a free day to explore the sights, sounds and flavours of Kolkata, India's largest city. 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.

In Kolkata we will stay in a comfortable hotel.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
n/a
Transport
Overland vehicle, Train
Accommodation
Hotel (14 nights)

Dates

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Important notes

1. With increasing concerns about tourists embarking on tribal safaris, the government of Orissa has imposed strict rules for trips to areas inhabited by tribal groups. As a result, the Orissa part of our itinerary has changed and we will now stay in hotels, lodges, or campgrounds associated with local NGOs rather than bushcamping in villages. We will also travel with a local guide for the duration of the visit to the tribal area and have more meals and activities included. This has all resulted in a significant increase in the kitty for this trip compared to what has previously been advertised.
2. Please note that this trip requires minimum numbers to depart, and may be cancelled up until 56 days prior to departure. The places showing on the dates and availability page are an indication only so please contact Intrepid to check if your preferred date will depart before making any final arrangements, such as booking non-changeable flights.
3. In order to confirm your place on this trip we will need a scanned copy of your passport, passport photo and your Indian visa as soon as possible after booking.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes