Gujarat Adventure Trip Notes

Gujarat Adventure

Last Modified: 12 Oct 2015
Gujarat Adventure
Trip code: HHSA
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
Travel across Gujarat, taking in the clash of sights, cities and cultures that make this colourful country famous. Explore holy Buddhist caves in Porbandar, marvel at the wildlife in Sasan Gir Wildlife Santuary and chill by the beach in Dwarka, all the while meeting friendly locals and indulging in spicy delights. From the Dhobi ghats of Mumbai to archeological sites, this adventure will create amazing memories to last a lifetime.
Table of Contents
StyleDeparture taxFinish point instructions
ThemesImportant notesEmergency contact
Is this trip right for you?Group sizeEmergency funds
Why we love itYour fellow travellersVisas
MapSingle travellersIssues on your trip
ItineraryAccommodationWhat to take
Also available to purchaseMeals introductionHealth
We also recommendMealsSafety
Itinerary disclaimerTransportTravel insurance
Culture shock rating Group leaderResponsible Travel
Physical ratingJoining point A couple of rules
Included activitiesJoining point descriptionThe Intrepid Foundation
Optional activitiesJoining point instructionsResponsible Travel projects
Money ExchangeArrival complicationsCarbon offset
Spending moneyFinish point Feedback
TippingFinish point description
Style
Original
  • Our Original style trips have a great balance of included activities with your group and free time to explore independently. Where we stay ensures we keep our travellers firmly entrenched in a region’s people and culture, and provides them with unique local experiences that benefits the community too. In most locations we stay in simple tourist-class hotels (i.e. 2-3 stars), plus on many trips you'll also get to experience a night with a local family on a homestay or something a little different like a Bedouin camp in the Sahara. Original style trips come with all manner of transport modes and use a mixture of local and private transport. You might find yourself sailing in a dhow in Zanzibar, jumping on a rickshaw in Sri Lanka or sailing on a yacht through the Galapagos. No matter the mode, it's all about minimising our environmental impact and making getting around part of the adventure.
Themes
Expedition
Is this trip right for you?
- Gujarat is known for its intense heat, so it’s important to carry plenty of water and wear layers that will protect you from the sun.
- The walking tours can be quite long and tiring, and will require a moderate level of fitness, especially when climbing the 3,300 steps to Shatrunjaya.
- Although you will have free time in some places, we’ll be moving at a fairly quick pace through more than ten locations in 14 days. It’s important to rest when you can.
- You’ll be taking an overnight sleeper train from Mumbai to Ahmedabad. Sleeper trains are clean and air-conditioned and a great way to travel long distances while still getting maximum time in each place. Beds are padded berths with sheets, pillow and blanket provided (although some people prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet). Please note that you may be sharing with locals of the same or opposite gender.
Why we love it
- Immerse yourself in the interchanging chaos and tranquillity of India’s cosmopolitan cities and traditional towns
- In just 14 days visit the iconic sites of Sabarmati Ashram, Shatrunjaya, Rani-ki-Vav and Aina Mahal
- Mumbai is a city of fascinating contradictions – explore Chowpatty Beach and take a guided tour through the sprawling slums
- Get up close to nature on safari in Sasan Gir Wildlife Sanctuary and Wild Ass Sanctuary, and camp under the stars near the village of Bajana
- Climb the steep summit to the Jain temple complex of Shatrunjaya and enjoy breathtaking views
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Mumbai
Welcome to India’s commercial capital, Mumbai. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 1 pm. Afterwards, you’ll have some time to settle in before heading out on a walking tour of the city with the group.
Note: Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend or please inform the hotel reception. Depending on availability, we'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
Included Activities
  • Mumbai - Heritage Quarter and Chowpatty Beach Walking Tour
Accommodation
Hotel Krishna Palace or similar (1 nt)
Day 2 Mumbai
Once known as Bombay, Mumbai is India’s most cosmopolitan city and home to Bollywood, beaches, sprawling slums and a booming finance industry. Catch a Bollywood film in your free time, or perhaps take a look inside the place ‘where miracles are made’ at the Mount Mary Church in Bandra. Take a taxi to Chowpatty Beach for a stroll along the bustling esplanade and if you’re brave enough, an Indian neck massage. Sip on a coconut and be sure to try the local specialty of Bhel Puri, a crunchy concoction of puffed rice, vegetables and tamarind sauce. Late in the evening, take an overnight train to Ahmedabad, which takes around eight hours.
Accommodation
Overnight Sleeper Train (1 nt)
Day 3 Ahmedabad
Arriving in Ahmedabad early in the morning, grab breakfast before heading out on a tour of Gujarat's major city. Visit the famous Sabarmati Ashram, set up by Gandhi in 1915 during the Indian independence movement. Enjoy the view from the Bhadra Fort and Teen Darwaja (Triple Gateway) and learn about the Jain way of life at the Hathi Singh Temple. Admire the 15th-century Jama Masjid and the medieval minarets of the graceful Rani Sipri’s Mosque. If you have time, you may also like to visit the Textile, Shreyas Folk or Kite Museum.
Included Activities
  • Ahmedabad - Teen Darwaza, Jama Masjid, Hathi Singh Temple, Rani Sipri Mosque, Sabarmati Ashram
Accommodation
Le Grande Residency Hotel or similar (1 nt)
Day 4 Bhavnagar
There’s a total driving time of around six hours today. Head out of Ahmedabad and stop in at the Lothal archaeological site. Discovered in 1954, this site features the remains of a long-gone civilization and was once one of the most significant cities in the Indus Valley. Continue on to Bhavnagar, a gateway to some of Gujarat's best national parks. Wander the old city in the evening to experience local street life, or perhaps settle in for a Gujarati thali banquet of dal, roti, rice, chutneys and curd.
Included Activities
  • Lothal - Archaeological site
Accommodation
Narayani Heritage Hotel or similar (1 nt)
Day 5 Sasan Gir Wildlife Sanctuary
Today, mingle with pilgrims at one of the Jain religion's holiest sights - the hilltop temple complex of Shatrunjaya. The group will leave early in the morning for Palitana before the day gets too hot. There are 3,300 steps to the top and the climb takes around 90 minutes for those with a reasonable level of fitness, but it’s well worth it for the views. Spend time moving with worshippers between the different shrines before returning back to ground and journeying onward to Sasan Gir. Today’s activities include about seven hours of walking, so make sure you bring comfortable footwear and drink plenty of water.
Included Activities
  • Palitana - Shatrunjaya Jain temple complex
Accommodation
Gir Jungle Lodge or similar (1 nt)
Day 6 Sasan Gir
This morning, head into Sasan Gir Wildlife Sanctuary for a guided jeep safari. Sasan Gir is home to Asia's largest population of wild lions, as well as other big cats, sambar deer, nilgai antelope and crocodiles. Not every group will be lucky enough to see a lion, but you’re sure to see some fascinating wildlife. While on safari you will be exposed to the sun for most of the day, so be sure to wear layers, a sun hat and bring plenty of water.
Included Activities
  • Sasan Gir - Wildlife Sanctuary jeep safari
Accommodation
Gir Jungle Lodge or similar (1 nt)
Day 7 Porbandar
On the six-hour journey to Porbandar, stop by the scarcely visited town of Junagadh. Uparkot Fort offers great views over the city and out to Girnar Hill. The fort also contains a mosque and some excellent examples of step-wells, which can be accessed via a spiralling staircase. Close by are a series of Buddhist caves once used as monks quarters, where you can still observe faded ancient carvings. Continue on to the port town of Porbandar, the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi, to spend the night.
Included Activities
  • Junagadh - Buddhist caves
Accommodation
Hotel Harmony or similar (1 nt)
Day 8 Dwarka
This morning, stop in at Gandhi's 220-year-old ancestral home and the nearby memorial of Kirti Mandir. Visit the fascinating Bharat Mandir on the outskirts of Porbandar, a modern building containing a 3D map of India displaying the country’s saints and political leaders. In the late afternoon, continue the drive to the seaside town of Dwarka. Perhaps grab some dinner with the group in the evening.
Included Activities
  • Porbandar - Bharat Mandir
  • Porbandar - Gandhi's birthplace & Kirti Mandir
Accommodation
The Dwarika Hotel or similar (1 nt)
Day 9 Dwarika
Today, visit the Dwarkadhish Temple, one of the holiest Hindu pilgrimage sights in the country, before exploring the inside of a working lighthouse and meeting its keeper. You’ll also have time while you’re here to relax and take part in optional water activities on the idyllic beaches of Okhamadhi or Shivrapur. If you do decide to go for a swim then please wear sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself from the sun.
Included Activities
  • Dwarka - Dwarkadhish & Rukmini Temples
Accommodation
The Dwarika Hotel or similar (1 nt)
Day 10 Jamnagar
In the early morning, take a last look around Dwarka before the three-hour drive to Jamnagar. Jamnagar is famous for its colourful tie-dyed cloth, produced using a process dating back over 500 years. The city’s bazaars are a great place to pick up something special. If you have the chance, visit Gujarat Ayurved University, the world’s first to teach traditional medicine, yoga and naturopathy according to ayurvedic principles. Walk the streets of the old city discovering Jain temples, colonial buildings and markets.
Included Activities
  • Lakhota Palace & Museum
Accommodation
Hotel Fortune Palace or similar (1 nt)
Day 11 Bhuj
En route to Bhuj, stop by the old walled citadel of Darbargadh, which is still being restored after an earthquake in 2001. Peek into the former royal residences of the 17th and 19th centuries, the highlight being the Aina Mahal (Old Palace). Meet some of the local communities on a day tour out of Bhuj to the Banni grasslands. Depending on the season, you may get the chance to visit Jat, Ahir, Harijan or Rabari villages, which all have strong artisan and handicraft traditions. These are great places to stock up on souvenirs.
Included Activities
  • Bhuj - Darbargadh complex
  • Entrance: Kutch Museum in Bhuj
Accommodation
Hotel Ilark or similar (1 nt)
Day 12 Bhuj
In the morning, visit the Kutch Museum to inspect ancient tribal artefacts and the world’s largest collection of Kshatrapa inscriptions. You’ll have the rest of the day to do as you please. Perhaps revisit the past at the Kutch Fossil Park or brave huge crowds for a peek at the Shree Swaminarayan Temple in the heart of Bhuj.
Included Activities
  • Bhuj - Banni villages tour
Accommodation
Hotel Ilark or similar (1 nt)
Day 13 Dasada
Today journey into the desert landscape of Little Rann, home to the world's last remaining population of wild donkeys. Travel by jeep safari into the Wild Ass Sanctuary to observe them in their natural habitat, and keep an eye out for gazelle, wolves and jackals. In the evening, set up camp near the village of Bajana. It can get quite cold at night so bring base layers and warm sleeping gear.
Included Activities
  • Dasada - Wild Ass Sanctuary jeep safari
Accommodation
Rann Riders or similar (1 nt)
Day 14 Ahmedabad
Head to the town of Patan to visit Rani-ki-Vav, a World-Heritage-listed step-well and an impressive example of architectural symmetry. Examine silk textile decoration at the Jain temple of Panchasara Parshvanath and the erotic sculptures of the Sun Temple at Modhera; climbing down into a step-well crammed with shrines. On arrival in Ahmedabad, enjoy an optional final group dinner and sample delicious Gujarati sweet treats like panaki, malpuva crepes, hand churned ice cream or sherbet.
Included Activities
  • Modhera - Sun Temple
  • Patan - Panchasara Parshvanath Jain temple & Rani-ki-Vav step-well
Accommodation
Le Grande Residency Hotel or similar (1 nt)
Day 15 Ahmedabad
There are no activities planned for the final day and you’re able to depart the accommodation at any time.
Also available to purchase
For many of our trips we have other services or experiences that are also available to purchase to extend your trip or to make your holiday a little easier. Below is a list of other travel products you can purchase in conjunction with this trip.
  • HHSA Single Supplement (HHSA)
We also recommend
If this trip is not quite right for you, cast your eye over these alternatives:
  • Delhi to Mumbai (HHSM)
  • Real Food Adventure - India (HHZM)
  • Mountains & Mystics (HHSF)
Itinerary disclaimer
Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!
Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.
Culture shock rating

The comforts of home are more of a rarity. English isn't common and the food will be quite different to home. It's important to observe some of the local customs to not cause offence. Many of the locals’ standard of living may be confronting.
Physical rating

This trip will raise your heartbeat. Moderate physical activities are included and a good level of fitness is required.
Included activities
Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
Optional activities
A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination.
Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
Money Exchange
The official currency of India is the Indian Rupee (INR).
The most convenient and cheapest way to obtain local currency in is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM), which are readily available in most towns.
Foreign currency notes that are old, torn or faded can be very difficult to exchange, so please bring clean bills, and small denominations are most useful.
While traveller's cheques have security advantages exchanging them can be a lengthy process, commissions can be high and they can be difficult to change in rural areas, on weekends and public holidays. The use of credit cards is restricted, mainly to major hotels/establishments.
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, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
Tipping
Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, we have established a tipping kitty system. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips while keeping a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members.
If you are happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. We recommend that any tips are given to the intended recipient by a member of your group, rather than collected and passed on by the group leader.
The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up to the nearest INR20. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% to 15% of your bill.
Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest INR100 per day for local guides.
Porters: Throughout your trip you may at times have a porter in addition to your leader. We suggest INR50 per day for porters.
Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group however a base of INR100-INR150 per day is generally appropriate.
Local transport: For a half day city tour we suggest INR50 per day. For a full day city tour we suggest INR100 per day.
Your Group Leader: You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $US 4-6 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
Departure tax
All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
Important notes
FESTIVALS IN INDIA:
Please note travelling during major festivals such as Holi and Diwali can, at times, cause disruption the the published itinerary. Please see the 'Safety' section for more details.
Group size
Maximum of 12 travellers per group.
Your fellow travellers
As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.
Single travellers
Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
Accommodation
Le Grande Residency Hotel or similar (2 nts), The Dwarika Hotel or similar (2 nts), Hotel Ilark or similar (2 nts), Gir Jungle Lodge or similar (2 nts), Overnight Sleeper Train (1 nt), Hotel Harmony or similar (1 nt), Hotel Fortune Palace or similar (1 nt), Hotel Krishna Palace or similar (1 nt), Rann Riders or similar (1 nt), Narayani Heritage Hotel or similar (1 nt)
OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.
TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS
Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on different Intrepid trips than your own.
CHECK-IN TIME
Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.
PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.
Some of the accommodation along the way is very basic, staying in local guesthouses and homestays with limited facilities. Some facilities are shared and some accommodation has cold water only. We use a mixture of air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned rooms.
SLEEPER TRAINS IN INDIA:
Sleeper trains are clean and air-conditioned (fan-cooled at times), a great way to travel long distances and still get maximum time in each place. Beds are padded berths, sheets, pillow and blanket are provided but some people prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet. There are basic toilet facilities in each carriage, but no showers available on overnight trains. Please note you may be sharing with locals in a same/mixed gender situation. Most trains have a dining carriage or a food/snack cart that is brought through the carriages.
Meals introduction
While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.
Meals
7 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Budget for meals not included:
USD 300.00
Transport
Train, Taxi, Car
There are some long travel days and some of the transport can be quite cramped and without air-conditioning.
OVERNIGHT TRAINS
Sleeper trains in India have berths on both sides of the carriage, with some also having 4-6 berth compartments (dependent on seasonality and the journey). The carriages are multishare, with bunk beds and curtains that close over the beds. Most compartments are air-conditioned. Due to the complex nature of booking train travel in India, Intrepid cannot always guarantee that the group will travel always together in the same compartment or carriage. We have contingencies in place in these cases. Your tour leader is the best guide in these situations.
Group leader
All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.
Your leader 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 places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
Joining point
Hotel Krishna Palace
96/98. Sleater Road
Nana Chowk
Mumbai
Maharashtra
400007
INDIA
Phone: +91 02266293333
Joining point description
Located in the Nana Chowk area, surrounded by a mix of local shops and restaurants. It is only a 25 minute ride by auto rickshaw (INR70-80 with bargaining) to get to the heart of Mumbai Colaba. Rooms are equipped with AC, TV, fridge and telephone. There is a restaurant and 24 hour room service. Luggage storage and safe deposit facilities are also available at the hotel.
Joining point instructions
Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is approximately 24 km from Nana Chowk. One of the biggest airports in the world, it can be quite chaotic and can take some time to process your visa and collect your luggage.
The taxi ride from the airport to our starting point hotel takes approx 1 hour and costs between INR 500 - 600 (prepaid traffic police booths).
IMPORTANT: Please avoid taxi touts who tell you that they have a metered taxi parked outside the airport. Previous passengers have complained that they have been charged hefty amount for the transfers.
Alternatively Intrepid offer a pre-arranged transfer service option. Enquire with your agent and advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your trip departure. If you have purchased an arrival transfer please exit gate.
If you have any problems and cannot locate our representative, or if your flight is delayed please call the following 24 hour numbers:
+91 9560 849 444
Failing the above please take a taxi to the hotel (using the instructions above) and advise your group leader.
Check in time at hotel is 12 midday.
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, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your group leader.
Please also make sure have a copy of the local operator's emergency phone numbers from our Emergency Contact section of these trip notes.
Finish point
Le Grande Residency Hotel
Old Sharda Mandir X Rds, B/h Gujarat College
Ellishbridge
Ahmedabad
Gujarat
380006
INDIA
Finish point description
Located in the Old Sharda Mandir Rd, Le Grande, being located in the heart of city is close to the places of tourist interest. Rooms are equipped with AC, TV, fridge and telephone. There is a restaurant and 24 hour room service. Luggage storage and safe deposit facilities are also available at the hotel.
Finish point instructions
A pre-booked departure transfer to the airport is available if arranged at the time of booking. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 15 days prior to your trip start date. If you plan to stay longer, this departure transfer can only be offered in conjunction with post-tour accommodation booked through Intrepid.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport is approximately 14 km from Old Sharda Mandir Rd.
The taxi ride from the airport to our starting point hotel takes approx 1 hour and costs between INR 400 - 500 (prepaid traffic police booths).
Before check in you must have your check in luggage x-rayed and sealed. Also ensure at check in that your hand luggage is tagged. (This is a mandatory in order to clear security.)
Check-out time from the hotel is 12 noon. If you are departing later, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel.
Emergency contact
In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency Intrepid's India office can be reached on +91 1145 006 400 during business hours (9.30am to 6pm) or after hours on +91 9599 914 852 or +91 9999 005 019
For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist. For further contact details please use the following page:
Emergency funds
Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$500, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (e.g. a natural disaster, civil unrest, strike action or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
Visas
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
INDIA:
e-Tourist Visa Facility is available for holders of passport of following countries/territories
Andorra, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, AUSTRALIA, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia, CANADA, Cayman Island,Chile, China, China- SAR Hong Kong, China- SAR Macau, Colombia, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, FRANCE, Georgia, GERMANY, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Indonesia, IRELAND, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nauru, NETHERLANDS, NEW ZEALAND, Nicaragua, Niue Island, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Macedonia, Russia, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Samoa, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Turks & Caicos Island, Tuvalu, UAE, Ukraine, UNITED KINGDOM, USA, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Vatican City-Holy See, Venezuela, Vietnam.
Visa on arrival is available for select nationalities (upon arrival at selected airports as below.)
including. Australian, Canadian, New Zealand, German, UK and USA passport holders.
Please note - The Indian Government has advised that passport holders from these countries can now apply for an e-Tourist Visa to have their visa issued upon arrival at 16 major airports in India.
Travellers entering India overland from Nepal will still need to apply for a visa in their home country.
Visas will not be issued on the Nepal/Indian border. The e-Tourist Visa does not apply to travellers entering India overland. Please check your trip notes for if you are crossing a border between India and Nepal vv
Indian visas CANNOT be obtained in Nepal.
Please visit and follow the instructions at - https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html to complete the application for your e-Tourist Visa.
Please be aware of strict conditions regarding application and travel (check under ELIGIBILITY section).
E-visas are only available for entries of up to 30 days. If you plan to be in India longer you will need to apply through an Indian visa application centre in your home country.
Tourist visas are available in Single and Multiple Entry. Be sure to check the date you require a visa from and the length of time you will need to cover, especially if you change countries during your trip.
DETAILS OF TWO REFERENCES:
PEAK India
25/3 East Patel Nagar
New Delhi 110008
Phone: +91 11 4500 6400
DRAGOMAN TRAVELLERS:
*Important note* - if you are joining a trip in Chennai, please do NOT plan to obtain your e-Tourist Visa at Chennai airport. Dragoman require a scan of your India visa well in advance for obtaining permits to the Odisha Region; if you enter India on an e-Tourist Visa in Chennai Dragoman will not have enough time to purchase permits. You will not be able to visit the Odisha Region.
If you are joining the trip in Chennai, please always obtain your visa in advance and send a scan to Dragoman at least 21 days before departure.
Issues on your trip
While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
What to take
What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage, although you won't be required to walk long distances with it (max 30 minutes).
Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.
You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.
TRAVELLING ON LOCAL TRANSPORT:
It's important that your bags can be locked, as on local transport it may be necessary to store your luggage separately (and unattended). The smaller your bag the better for you and other passengers, for when it comes to travelling on local buses and trains it's often only the smaller bags that will fit into the storage areas. If your bag does not fit in these areas then often the only place to put it is on your bed or seat. To ensure maximum comfort, try to pack small and light.
Where Intrepid covers the cost of luggage storage for included day trips, we allow for one bag/backpack only, so it's advisable that you travel lightly and keep luggage to a limit of one item (plus your day pack). Extra luggage storage will be at your own expense.
WATER BOTTLE:
Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day.
IMAGES FROM HOME:
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.
PASSPORT COPY:
Please bring a photocopy of your passport main page and airline ticket if you will require airline reconfirmation at the end of your trip.
WARM CLOTHING:
It comes as a surprise to many travellers that India can be cold (ie. below zero!) during winter (particularly Dec/Jan), even in some cities and even when not at high altitudes. Make sure you are prepared for the weather during these months by bringing adequately warm clothes with you, including thermal underclothes and an appropriate jacket. Many hotels in India do not have central heating, so a warmer set of clothes to sleep in has also been recommended by our past travellers.
Health
All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
Safety
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 and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:
FESTIVALS - HOLI & DIWALI:
Travelling in India and Nepal during the Holi festival can at times be dangerous - a lot of locals participate in consumption of intoxicating substances. The day has been associated with physical violence and danger. Your leader/guide will be advising you and your group on what places to avoid on this day and it may even be necessary for us to alter your itinerary for the day to avoid putting you or our group leader/guide in high risk situation.
Travelling during the Hindu festival Diwal and generally held from mid October to mid November every year) can also be dangerous. During this time there are many displays of fireworks in the streets. It can be very noisy for several days and there is also a lot of pollution caused by the fireworks. As there are no restrictions on buying fireworks in India there are often injuries caused by people exploding them inappropriately. During this festival your leader/guide may be required to alter your itinerary to avoid any dangerous areas to avoid putting the group at risk.
PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
HERITAGE HOTELS:
On this trip you will be staying in some heritage hotels and traditional guesthouses - these are one of the charms of this trip, but occasionally their staircases, balconies and passages etc don't always comply with western safety standards. Please don't expect elevators in these properties as they are preserved in their original state.
FIRE PRECAUTIONS:
Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.
TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!
SEAT BELTS:
Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.
LIFE JACKETS:
While life jackets are generally available on water craft, there may be occasions where they are not provided and child size life jackets are not always readily available. If travelling with children and this safety issue concerns you we will be able to advise alternative methods of transport (where available) for you to travel to the next destination. You can choose to travel independently for this leg of the journey. This would be at your own expense.
SAFETY FOR WOMEN TRAVELLERS:
Women should exercise caution when travelling in India. Reported cases of sexual assault against women are increasing; recent sexual attacks against female visitors in tourist areas and cities show that foreign women are also at risk. While the risk of an incident occurring on your trip is very low, below are some things you can do for your safety and peace of mind when travelling:
- Respect local dress codes and customs, perhaps dressing more conservatively than you do at home
- Avoid isolated areas, including beaches, unlit city streets and village lanes when alone at any time of day
- Avoid travelling alone on public transport, or in taxis or auto-rickshaws, especially at night
- If you have to use a taxi get them from hotel taxi ranks and use pre-paid taxis at airports. Try to avoid hailing taxis on the street. Some cities (including Delhi and Chennai) have special taxi services for women with women drivers
- If you’re being collected at the airport by a driver make sure they have properly identified themselves before you set off.
- When leaving your compartment on overnight trains (ie. going to the bathroom), ask a male travel companion to accompany you where possible
For further information and advice, visit:
www.gov.uk/government/policies/supporting-british-nationals-overseas/supporting-pages/advice-for-women-travellers
www.smartraveller.gov.au/tips/women.html
Travel insurance
Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
Responsible Travel
We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller:
LOCAL DRESS:
Dress standards are conservative throughout Asia, especially outside major cities. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means clothing that covers your shoulders and knees by wearing sleeves and long trousers. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in areas of predominantly hot climate. In many rural areas women will need to wear modest clothing even to swim. Singlets, tank tops and topless sun bathing are all unacceptable. When visiting religious sites men often need to wear long trousers and women a long skirt or sarong.
A couple of rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our 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 Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.
The Intrepid Foundation
Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.
The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$1,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:
Responsible Travel projects
Organisations and projects currently supported by The Intrepid Foundation in India include:
* Pollinate Energy is a social business with a simple mission – to improve the lives of India’s urban poor by giving them access to affordable, clean energy products. Pollinate identifies and trains local people, their Pollinators, who have provided solar lights and cook stoves to over 8,000 families and counting.
pollinateenergy.org
* Asha Ka Jharna (AKJ) provides services to disabled children and adults. They run three special schools, currently assisting around 160 children, and an old-age home for the short-stay of elderly people. AJK also provides vocational training, participates in diagnostic camps and distributes aids and appliances to physically disabled persons.
ashakajharna.org/
For more information, or to make a donation please visit: www.theintrepidfoundation.org/projects/?projectcountry=india
Carbon offset
Carbon Offset C02-e 224.00 kgs per pax.
Feedback
After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.