India Family Discovery Trip Notes

Take an action packed family tour of India and follow tiger trails, visit Dehli and travel to the Taj Mahal. Taste Indian cuisine and be amazing by the pink city of Jaipur.

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Last Modified: 27 Nov 2012
India Family Discovery
Trip code: HFFT
Validity: 01 Jan 2012 to 31 Dec 2012
From a cultural point of view, perhaps no other country on earth has as much to offer as India. During the imperial days of the British Raj, first-time visitors were staggered by the beauty of buildings such as the Taj Mahal in Agra and the Palace of the Winds in Jaipur. Today’s traveller – young or old - can expect to experience a similar sense of wonder on visiting these monuments, which still retain their classic elegance. This great family trip not only includes visits to the great Moghul sights, you’ll also spend time in the remote area of Shekhawati with its highly decorated houses, go on a tiger safari in Ranthambore National Park and experience the hustle, bustle, noise and colour of day to day Indian life by using local transport such as rickshaws and trains. A perfect introduction to incredible India!
This trip is operated by our trusted local partners, The Adventure Company.
Table of Contents
StyleImportant notesEmergency contact
ThemesGroup sizeEmergency funds
MapYour fellow travellersVisas
ItinerarySingle travellersIssues on your trip
Itinerary disclaimerAccommodationWhat to take
Culture shock rating Meals introductionHealth
Physical ratingMealsSafety
Included activitiesTransportTravel insurance
Optional activitiesGroup leaderResponsible Travel
Money ExchangeJoining point A couple of rules
Spending moneyJoining point instructionsThe Intrepid Foundation
TippingArrival complicationsResponsible Travel projects
Departure taxFinish point Feedback
Style
Original
  • Original trips are classic Intrepid adventures. With a mix of included activities and free time, they offer plenty of opportunities to explore at your own pace and take part in activities that really get beneath the skin of a destination. While the occasional meal may be included, you'll have the freedom to seek out your own culinary adventures. Accommodation is generally budget or tourist class (2-3 star), but you're as likely to find yourself as a guest of a local family as staying in a hotel or camping. Transport will vary as well. Depending on the destination and the itinerary you could find yourself travelling on anything from a camel to a train or a private safari vehicle. It's all part of the adventure! Original travellers have a desire to make the most of their travel time and really get to know a place, its people and cultures.
Themes
Family, Explorer
Map
India Family Discovery
Itinerary
Day 1 Delhi
Namaste! Welcome to India.
You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until a group meeting early this afternoon.
You will be sent joining instructions approximately 2-3 weeks before your trip starts, which will contain full details of exactly where to meet your group leader.
India's capital is an exciting, busy, and often chaotic city but it's also one of the most interesting in the world with historical sites from different eras, museums and galleries, shops and endless bazaars!
After a chance to freshen up and have some lunch, this afternoon we’ll take a guided sightseeing tour of Old and New Delhi. Old Delhi is bustling and vibrant, a network of narrow streets and alleys teeming with people. Mosques and temples are squeezed into unlikely places between shops and market stalls. You’ll visit the Jama Masjid (Friday mosque), Delhi’s largest mosque. Not only is it a place of religious worship, but also a lively meeting place for the city’s Muslims and a fascinating insight into Delhi’s way of life. In Old Delhi we travel by local transport, the rickshaw (own expense), to ply our way through the crowds and down to the impressive Red Fort. A fascinating contrast awaits as we head into New Delhi. Its wide boulevards and imposing buildings conjure up images of the British Empire at its peak. We'll visit the main sights - Parliament House, President House and India Gate before returning to the hotel.
Included Activities
  • Delhi - Red Fort
  • Delhi - Jama Masjid
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 2 Agra
This morning, you’ll make a very early start for your train journey to Agra, home of the Taj Mahal.
Alternating with Delhi as the capital of the Moghul Empire, the city’s past is inextricably linked with the most famous of India’s rulers. Today it is best known as the home of the Taj Mahal but also boasts a fort, a Friday Mosque and the royal tombs on the opposite bank of the river.
Upon arrival in Agra we will have some free time until mid-afternoon when we will head further along the banks of the Yamuna river to visit Agra Fort.
Built in 1565 by Emperor Akbar, the fort was originally designed to be a military structure. It was converted to a palace in Emperor Shah Jahan's time and eventually became his prison after he lost power in 1658. Spend some time exploring the nooks and crannies within. From the top of the Fort you can glimpse the Taj Mahal across the river and even from this distance it is an impressive sight.
Included Activities
  • Agra - Red Fort
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Days 3-4 Ranthambore National Park
This morning we set off early to get to the Taj Mahal in time for the sunrise.
The Taj Mahal is a travel icon. Often described as one of the wonders of the world and familiar to us all, coming face to face with this magnificent building never disappoints. Built in the 1600s by Emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum in memory of his second wife, Mumtaz who died during child-birth, it took over 20,000 people many years to complete. Craftsmen were brought in from all over India, Central Asia and even Europe to work on the marble inlay work and complex decoration. The building is often described as a "monument to love", because of the story of Shah Jahan's love for his wife, the woman who he said claimed his heart at first sight. To see the sunrise at the Taj Mahal is a magical experience, sitting quietly and watching as the iridescent white marble takes on a soft morning glow is a memory you will never forget.
Afterwards, we take the road leading to Fatehpur Sikri, approximately 2 hours away. Along the way are the remains of the Kos Minars - wayside markers which survive only as crumbled towers, pointing the way to this city built of rich red sandstone.
The magnificent deserted Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri was built by Emperor Akbar in 1569, but was abandoned after 15 years due to the scarcity of water. A highlight of the settlement is Jama Masjid, a striking mosque featuring elements of both Persian and Hindu design. The main entrance of the mosque is the impressive 54-metre high Buland Darwaza, the Gate of Victory, constructed to commemorate Akbar's military victory in Gujarat.
We then continue by road to Bharatpur and take a train journey of just over two hours to Sawai Madhopur and Ranthambore National Park.
Ranthambore National Park is one of the premier national parks of India - 'Jungle Book' brought to life! A wonderful blend of historical ruins and wildlife, it is the habitat of Bengal tiger, nilgai, sambar and chital (types of antelope) and jungle cat, plus crocodile in the lake.
We will make a couple of game drives during our stay here, with hopes of getting a sighting of the majestic Bengal tigers that survive among the ruined forts and temples. Game drives take place early in the morning and in late afternoon for the best chance of animal sightings. Leopards have occasionally been spotted on the periphery of the park, and jackals and hyenas can also be glimpsed, so there’s plenty to watch out for.
During the hot summer months, Ranthambore National Park is closed. Therefore during July and August we alter our itinerary and take the opportunity to visit the nearby Swai Mansingh Sanctuary instead. A wide variety of interesting wildlife is resident here, including hyena, sloth bear, wild boar, panther and cheetah. While there is the rare chance to spot a tiger, this should not be expected. An exciting wildlife walk and a game drive will be included here.
Included Activities
  • Agra - Taj Mahal
  • Fatehpur Sikri
  • Wildlife safari
Accommodation
Hotel (2 nts)
Days 5-6 Jaipur
A leisurely start this morning before travelling a little over two hours by train, north-west to the famous 'Pink city' of Jaipur. Travelling on an Indian train is an experience in itself - like being in a town on wheels with a complete cross-section of life aboard.
Jaipur, like Delhi, has both old and new parts, although we will concentrate on the old. The streets are busy with camels and bullock-carts, and monkeys make their home in the old city walls. We visit the City Palace, once the home of the Maharaja, before seeing the 18th century Jantar Mantar, an astronomical observatory built by the city’s founder Jai Singh. We’ll also see the famous Palace of the Winds; here royal maidens once watched the streets below through the fabulous jali (lattice screens) which hid them from prying male eyes. Today snake charmers and fortune-tellers ply their trade below the same hideaway.
Included Activities
  • Jaipur - Hawa Mahal
Optional Activities
  • Jaipur - City Palace - INR300
  • Jaipur - Observatory - INR200
Accommodation
Hotel (2 nts)
Day 7 Shekhawati
Located 11 km from Jaipur, and reached by twisting road, is the historic Amber fort-palace.
Set in stunning surroundings on a hilltop overlooking Maota Lake, the fort is superb example of Rajput architecture. One of the its most spectacular buildings is the Sheesh Mahal (Hall of Mirrors). With its walls completely covered with tiny mirrors, the hall becomes a dazzling fantasy with the light of a single match.
There is time to thoroughly explore the site before travelling into the 'Land of Princes' - Rajasthan. During the 4 hour journey you will catch glimpses of life in this most colourful of India's regions. Most notable are the elegant women, who carry terracotta pots of water from the village well, dressed in saris in a myriad of colours, their bangles tinkling as they walk. There may be an opportunity to walk around the village and meet or even have a game of cricket, with the locals.
Included Activities
  • Jaipur - Amber Fort guided tour
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Days 8-10 Shekhawati/Delhi
The Shekhawati region was home to many rich merchants and their wealth is evident from their finely built havelis (mansions). Surrounded by large walls, with many internal courtyards, the havelis provided security, privacy and shade. They were painted with floral designs of Moghul influence, scenes from Hindu mythology and - since the arrival of Europeans - modern inventions such as trains, bicycles and cars. These paintings document the changes that took place in India during the nineteenth century.
Nawalgarh, founded in 1737, is a typical Shekhawati town. The temples and town walls still survive today and the old fort has some find examples of painted frescoes.
While here we will visit the Haveli Museum and learn more about the region and the paintings.
After lunch we eave Shekhawati and begin our journey eastwards back to Delhi, by charter bus. This distance is a bit much to cover in one day, therefore after just a couple of hours driving we’ll make an overnight stop at another Shekhawati town - Surajgarh. Our hotel tonight is a former fortified palace, and makes for both an unusual and memorable night’s stay.
After breakfast this morning, we leave the Shekhawati region and continue our onward journey to Delhi, where we’ll arrive by mid-afternoon. The remainder of the day is then free for some final sightseeing or shopping. Gandhi’s house in New Delhi tells the life story of one of India’s most renowned figures, whilst there are bargains galore to be found in the shops and markets around Connaught Place. No doubt your group leader will arrange a ‘last supper’ where you can look back over the trip of a lifetime.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. Please check the 'Finishing Point Hotel' section for checkout times and luggage storage possibilities.
Included Activities
  • Haveli Museum
Optional Activities
  • Connaught Place Market - Free
  • Indira Gandhi Museum - Free
Accommodation
Hotel (2 nts)
      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. For the latest updated Trip Notes please visit our website: www.intrepidtravel.com
      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.
      Culture shock rating

      Expect some culture shock. You'll be exposed to signs of poverty and access to services may be sporadic. The food will be quite different to home and English speakers harder to find. Respecting the local culture will make it easier to fit in and really experience the location.
      India is a developing country, so be prepared to leave Western expectations behind; not everywhere has air conditioning and rail journeys can be delayed; a little patience and a sense of humour are essential. Fog can occasionally cause delays and affect sightseeing in winter months.
      Physical rating

      Some easy physical activities included in your trip. No physical preparation is required to make the most of the journey.
      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 for entrance only and don't include transport costs to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Optional activities aren't necessarily endorsed or recommended by Intrepid nor included in price of this trip. If you do any optional activities, you do so at your own risk and it must be clearly understood that your participation is your own decision and doesn't form part of your contract with Intrepid. You may be required to sign/complete a waiver form or a receipt for some optional activities.
      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
      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 per day is generally appropriate.
      Local transport: For a city tour we suggest INR50 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 2-4 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
      HOT WEATHER:
      Heat and humidity during summer (Apr-Jun) in India can be particularly oppressive with temperatures reaching 45 degrees C/113 degrees F.
      LOCAL PARTNER:
      This trip is operated by our experienced local partner, The Adventure Company.
      AGE RESTRICTIONS:
      Age restrictions apply to this trip: minimum age 5. Please note that anyone aged under 18 must be accompanied by (and share accommodation with) a parent or legal guardian.
      Group size
      Maximum of 20 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. However you can download Intrepid's FREE Meet Up app to chat with your fellow travellers before your trip. Meet up, discuss your upcoming trip and share the excitement of planning for your adventure. For more information visit:
      www.intrepidtravel.com/meetup
      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 room (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.
      A single supplement is available on this trip, please refer to your booking agent for further information.
      Accommodation
      Hotel (9 nts)
      Accommodation is clean and simple. You'll mainly stay in small, locally-run, 2-3 star hotels and guesthouses, which reflect the character of the area,generally these will be a twin room with private facilities. Sometimes you'll stay in larger, more comfortable hotels or occasionally rustic accommodation with basic facilities. We use a variety of accommodation on most trips; chosen for their value for money, location and atmosphere. We also try and incorporate unique accommodation experiences, such as a night with a local tribe, or sleeping under the stars in the desert.
      GENERAL ROOMING CONFIGURATIONS:
      Family of two - All family groupings of two will be put into a twin room.
      Family of three - Wherever possible we will put you in a triple room. Please be aware that in some places triple rooms are in short supply. This means that, in practice, a triple room will often simply be a twin room with a mattress on the floor or a further bed squashed in. Where it is impossible to provide a triple room, you will have to decide which of your party takes the single room.
      Family of four or more - You will most likely stay in two twin rooms. If and wherever possible we will aim put you in a quadruple room. Whilst we will do our very best to ensure that families are roomed close together (in some cases, we can arrange adjoining rooms), we can’t guarantee this. Most family holidays occur during peak season and we sometimes have little to no control over where you will be put. You need to come prepared for this.
      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
      9 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 3 Dinners
      Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.
      USD 150.00
      Transport
      Train, Bus, Private Bus
      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
      Hans Plaza Hotel
      15 Barakhamba Road
      New Delhi
      INDIA
      Joining point instructions
      A complimentary arrival transfer from the airport is available if arranged at the time of booking. Transfers cannot be arranged on arrival. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your departure. If you plan to arrive earlier, this arrival transfer can only be offered in conjunction with pre-tour accommodation booked through Intrepid. Intrepid provides one complimentary arrival transfer per booking even if clients are arriving at different times.
      Arrival complications
      We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your group trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your group leader.
      If you have pre-booked an airport transfer (where available) 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 in these Trip Notes. Should this occur, please apply to your travel agent for a refund of the transfer cost on your return.
      No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.
      Finish point
      Hans Plaza Hotel
      15 Barakhamba Road
      New Delhi
      INDIA
      Emergency contact
      In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency only, The Adventure Company can be reached on Tel: +44 1420 593000. For further contact details please use the following page:
      Emergency funds
      Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest 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:
      Australia: Yes - in advance
      Belgium: Yes - in advance
      Canada: Yes - in advance
      Germany: Yes - in advance
      Ireland: Yes - in advance
      Netherlands: Yes - in advance
      New Zealand: Yes - in advance
      South Africa: Yes - in advance
      Switzerland: Yes - in advance
      United Kingdom: Yes - in advance
      USA: Yes - in advance
      There is NO visa on arrival in India. Indian visas can NOT be obtained in Nepal. 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.
      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 and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb.
      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.
      CLOTHING & EQUIPMENT:
      Below is a suggestion of what you might find useful to take on this trip.
      * Lightweight, cotton clothing is most suitable
      * Lightweight windproof/waterproof outer shell – for cold early mornings
      * Warm mid-layer (fleece or wool), hat, gloves and a scarf are essential – game drives in the morning are cold!
      * Comfortable shoes
      * Sun-hat
      * Trainers/sandals for relaxing
      * Swim wear
      * Sunglasses, high-factor sunscreen and lipsalve
      * Waterbottle
      * Personal first aid kit
      * Insect repellent
      * Torch
      A laundry service may be available, but we recommend you take biodegradable detergent so you can wash clothes as you choose.
      For departures between 1 November and 28 February only:
      * Warm mid-layer (heavy fleece / woollen sweater)
      * Lightweight windproof/waterproof outer shell
      * Hat, gloves and scarf
      * Thermal underwear
      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
      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. 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 group 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 group 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:
      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!
      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 and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
      SEAT BELTS:
      Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in the western world or from your home country and not all the transport which we use provides seat belts.
      FESTIVALS - HOLI & DIWALI:
      Travelling in India and Nepal during the Holi festival, a lunar festival next held in March 17, 2014 and generally held in March each year, 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 Diwali (a lunar festival next held on 03 November, 2013 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.
      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 group 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:
      When packing be aware that 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. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly hot Asian climate. In many rural areas in Asia 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.
      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$5,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your group 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:
      * 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.
      * Deepalaya is focused on building a better future for India's street children. They have assisted more than 44,000 underprivileged children through the provision of food and board, health care, meaningful education and vocational training, counselling and career guidance, understanding, friendship, and warmth and solace.
      * GOONJ channels vital resources to rural India through the distribution of used items such as clothes and household goods. Their school-to-school program of channelling resources like uniforms, shoes, stationery, lunch boxes etc from urban schools to rural schools will benefit more than 35,000 children in its first phase.
      Any donations you'd like to make can be given to your group leader in Delhi ONLY, they can then arrange for it to be passed on to GOONJ who will distribute these items to rural villages and people in need. You might like to consider taking over some clothes or other things you no longer require: woollens, footwear, bed sheets, blankets, utensils, first aid items, books, toys and school items - notebooks, pencils, pens, old uniforms or school bags - are all useful.
      Feedback
      After your travels, we want to hear from you! This is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next trip if your feedback is completed online within 4 weeks of finishing your trip.