Enjoy an extended tour of cultural, spiritual and magical India

Circle India on this epic cross-country trip, soaking up the sounds, sights and smells of this remarkable nation. Travel from the bustle of Mumbai to the mellow shores of Goa, via Delhi, Varanasi and Udaipur to name a few, and see how India pulses with the life and culture of over a billion people. Here religion is lived and breathed each day in a thousand ways and glimpses of history are found on every corner. Travelling in India is an out-of-this-world experience, so let us guide you not only through the major sights but also to some off-the-beaten-track delights.

Start
Mumbai, India
Finish
Goa, India
Countries
India
Themes
Explorer
Code
HHRLC
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 12
Group size
Min 1, Max 12
Carbon offset
1 072kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Uncover Hindu spirituality in Omkareshwar temple
  • Relax by the river in easy-going Orchha
  • Bargain up a storm in a chaotic Delhi city market
  • Visit the Udaipur Lake Palace for some old world romance
  • Travel deep into the Jaisalmer Desert by camel
  • Admire the Taj Mahal in Agra
  • Be humbled by spiritual ceremonies on the ghats of Varanasi
  • Explore eclectic Chennai
  • Travel to Madurai and witness religious rituals
  • Check out Varkala's nightlife
  • Live rural life in the backwaters of Kerala
  • See the impressive Kochi fort
  • Shop for silk in Mysore or take a tour of the Maharaja's Palace
  • Explore ancient ruins in Hampi
  • Experience India's beach culture in idyllic Goa

Itinerary

Discover Mumbai's bustling markets and bazaars. Perhaps check out the Gateway of India or take a stroll along Chowpatty Beach at sunset, sampling delicacies from street stalls along the way.
India's nearby Ellora Caves are home to the magnificent Kailasa Temple. Carved out of a single rock, it is the largest monolithic structure in the world.
The caves at Ajanta, en route to Jalgaon, conceal exquisitely detailed rock-hewn chapels and monasteries.
Take a jeep to Omkareshwar, a holy place of great importance to Hindus. See steep fort walls, ancient palaces and colourful bathing ghats.
Go on an optional bike ride out to the Jahaz Mahal. Built between two lakes, this phenomenal four-storey structure has a deep pool with an ingenious filtration system that looks like a coiled snake.
Spend the night in an ashram located on the banks of a river. Hindus from all over the world makes pilgrimages to this sacred location.
A melting pot of Buddhist architectural wonders, expect to see fine examples of creative art and sculpture along with temples, monasteries and stupas on an exploration of Sanchi.
Bursting with temples and palaces, Orchha is a lovely town in which to relax. In free time, take a stroll by the river, visit a local community project or perhaps watch a puja ceremony.
The journey comes to a close in vibrant Delhi. There's plenty to see here. Haggle for a souvenir in the bazaars of Old Delhi, marvel at the Qutb Minar, explore India's largest mosque or escape the chaos at the Indira Gandhi Museum.
From Jaisalmer, experience nomadic life on an overnight camel safari through the Thar Desert. Eat local specialties by the camp fire and sleep under a blanket of stars.
Sip on a lassi and admire views of the colossal Mehrangarh Fort. Wander among colourful saris and sparkling bangles in the Sadar Bazaar, one of the oldest markets in India.
India's most romantic city, Udaipur, is a centre for artists and musicians. Why not visit the dramatic Monsoon Palace or have dinner at a rooftop restaurant overlooking the lake?
Mingle with holy men in spiritual Pushkar and seek out a bargain in side-street bazaars. Early risers can take a walk to Savitri Temple for an inspirational sunrise.
See the intricate, pink sandstone latticework of the Hawa Mahal, the 'Palace of the Winds'. Have a unique cinema experience at an optional Bollywood movie screening.
Take an optional trip to the famous Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary, a welcome relief from the chaos of modern India.
Discover spectacular views from the Red Fort and admire the elegant architecture of the Taj Mahal of Agra - sunrise over this iconic monument is worth rising early for.
The holiest place for Hindus, Varanasi is a city of ritual and ceremony. Walk the ghats for a heady experience or hire a boat and see the city from the water.
The former capital of British India boasts dramatic colonial architecture. The city also showcases poetry, art, music, film and theatre. Browse flower markets or sample the tangy Bengali cuisine.
Revel in an exciting mix of modern commercialism and tropical languor - hang out with the locals along Marina Beach or check out the museums, palaces and bazaars.
Relax on the beaches or cycle around the village to see the worn and weathered Shore Temple. Indulge in a feast of freshly caught seafood by the beach.
Weave through chaotic streets filled with bazaars, pilgrims and rickshaws or explore the labyrinthine corridors of the Sri Meenakshi Temple.
Take a dip in the Arabian Sea, sip chai at a cliff-top cafe, practise some yoga or visit the ancient Janardhana Temple.
Cruise past palm trees, rice fields and coconut groves on a sunset boat trip through the winding backwaters of Kerala. Enjoy an island homestay, including a delicious home-cooked Keralan meal.
Explore the heart of Kerala on a local ferry. This fascinating city is an invigorating mix of Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and English influences. See spice bazaars, the beautiful Dutch Palace and perhaps a catch a Kathakali dance performance.
Famous for its silk, incense and sandalwood, relaxed Mysore also boasts amazing temples. Take time to climb Chamundi Hill and be sure to visit the Maharaja's Palace.
Wander through the ruins of the Vijayanagar Empire, nestled in an outlandish boulder-strewn landscape. Hampi also has plenty of temples, chilled cafes and great little markets to explore.
This southern adventure concludes in Goa, famed for its palm-fringed beaches and relaxed pace. The Portuguese influence endures in the city's whitewashed churches.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
2 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners
Transport
Auto rickshaw, Boat, Bus, Camel, Canoe, Jeep, Overnight sleeper train, Train
Accommodation
Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night), Guesthouse (10 nights), Homestay (1 night), Hotel (30 nights), Overnight sleeper train (7 nights)
Included activites
  • Delhi - Jama Masjid
  • Delhi - Old Delhi walking tour
  • Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)
  • Jaisalmer - Camel safari & overnight desert camp

Dates

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Notes

1.Internal flight from Kolkata to Chennai NOT included. Please see important notes for details.
2. This trip starts in Mumbai on day one at 1pm

TRIP CHANGES 2013

Please note this tour will now visit Agra and Chanderi in 2013, instead of Ujjain. Departures will begin on Selected Saturdays in 2013, instead of Selected Sundays in 2012.

The itinerary will be as follows:

Day 1 Mumbai
Days 2-3 Aurangabad
Day 4 Jalgaon
Days 5-6 Omkareshwar
Day 7 Mandu
Day 8 Sanchi
Days 9-10 Orchha
Days 11-12 Chanderi
Day 13 Agra
Days 14-16 Delhi
Days 17-19 Jaisalmer/Thar Desert
Days 20-21 Jodhpur
Days 22-24 Udaipur
Days 25-26 Pushkar
Days 27-28 Jaipur
Day 29 Bharatpur
Days 30-31 Agra
Days 32-34 Varanasi
Day 35 Kolkata
Day 36 Chennai
Day 37 Mamallapuram
Days 38-39 Madurai
Days 40-41 Varkala
Day 42 Kerala Backwaters Homestay
Days 43-44 Kochi
Days 45-46 Mysore
Days 47-48 Hampi
Days 49-50 Goa

The detailed itinerary and prices will be released 1st November 2012

Important 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