India South & North Trip Notes

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Last Modified: 30 Jan 2013
India South & North
Trip code: HHSZC
Validity: 01 Jan 2012 to 31 Dec 2012
This all-encompassing trip takes in the highlights of India - both north and south - revealing some of the country's wonderful secrets. Revel in the tropical climate, the food, the aromatic spices, the warm waters and the lush green landscapes of the south. Then be dazzled by the kaleidoscopic colours, the Mughal grandeur, the spiritual mysteries and powerful Rajput heritage of the north. Travel from Kochi to Delhi and combine the slower delights of Kerala and Tamil Nadu with the rush and jumble of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan for this incredible adventure.
PLEASE NOTE: A recent decision by the Indian Government to ban all tourist activity within tiger parks has been lifted. Tourists are again allowed into national parks, including Ranthambore National Park and Bandhavgarth National Park, and all game drives will resume as normal.
The Classic Rajasthan itinerary will run as per it’s original itinerary, and this will begin from today, including trips which have already departed.
Table of Contents
StyleGroup sizeEmergency funds
ThemesYour fellow travellersVisas
MapSingle travellersIssues on your trip
ItineraryAccommodationWhat to take
Also available to purchaseMeals introductionHealth
Itinerary disclaimerMealsSafety
Culture shock rating TransportTravel insurance
Physical ratingGroup leaderResponsible Travel
Included activitiesJoining point A couple of rules
Optional activitiesJoining point descriptionThe Intrepid Foundation
Money ExchangeJoining point instructionsResponsible Travel projects
Spending moneyArrival complicationsCarbon offset
TippingFinish point descriptionFeedback
Departure taxFinish point instructions
Important notesEmergency contact
To save you money and the hassle of booking multiple trips, this journey is a combination of some of our most popular adventures so your leader and the composition of your group may change.
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
Explorer
Map
India South & North
Itinerary
Days 1-2 Kochi
Namaste! Welcome to India.
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1.
You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. 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. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. 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.
Spread over several islands, Kochi is a fascinating place full of Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and English influences.
Head out to explore the major sights of Fort Cochin and visit the spice bazaars and antique shops. The best way to get around the islands is by using the ferry network.
Visit the Dutch Palace, built by the Portuguese in the middle of the 16th century. It was taken over by the Dutch in 1663, who added some improvements before presenting it to the Rajas of Cochin.
Be part of a Kathakali dance performance. This classical dance is a highly charged and powerful drama that combines devotion and physical virtuosity with symbolic storytelling to produce one of the most impressive and vibrant forms of theatre in the world. It requires lengthy and rigorous training to attain complete control of the body and sensitivity to emotion so as to be able to render all its nuances through facial expressions and hand gestures.
Included Activities
  • Kochi - Fort Kochi sightseeing
  • Kochi - Dutch Palace
  • Kochi - Kathakali performance
Optional Activities
  • Kochi - Jewish Synagogue - INR5
Accommodation
Hotel (2 nts)
Days 3-4 Ootacamund
Catch a train to Coimbatore (approx 3.5 hrs).
Travel by private vehicle to Ootacamund (approx 4 hrs).
Ootacamund was the British hill station known as Snooty Ooty and it was here the game of snooker was named, if not invented.
Take a ride on the famous toy train - be sure to get a window seat.
Visit a tea garden in nearby Coonoor.
Stroll around the Botanical Gardens, home to over 650 species of plants and trees.
Included Activities
  • Ooty - Tea factory visit and toy train ride
Optional Activities
  • Ooty - Botanical Gardens - INR30
  • Ooty - Boating on lake - INR150
Accommodation
Hotel (2 nts)
Day 5 Mudumalai National Park
Continue on by private vehicles to Masinagudi (approx 2 hrs).
Set against the picturesque backdrop of the enchanting Nilgiris with their mist-covered peaks, Mudumalai National Park was once the Mysore Maharaja's private hunting ground. It was brought under Project Tiger in 1974 and is one of the best game sanctuaries in India to observe and photograph wildlife in close proximity. Some animals you may see here include tigers, leopards, elephants, sloth bears, sambars and spotted deer. There's also an amazing variety of birdlife, some of the most notable birds being the heron, stork, egret, kite, falcon, peafowl, woodpecker, drongo and warbler.
On our arrival at the foot of the Nilgiris (Blue Mountains), embark on a short wildlife-spotting safari in the Mudumalai National Park.
Our family-run accommodation in Masinagudi is dormitory style.
Included Activities
  • Madumalai - Wildlife safari
Accommodation
Jungle resort (1 nt)
Days 6-7 Mysore
Travel by private vehicle through the scenic Karnataka plains to Mysore (approx 3 hrs).
Stop en route to enjoy a biryani lunch with our local friend Raju and his family.
Mysore is an easygoing town with a pleasant climate, perfect for wandering around on foot.
Your leader will take you out to get your bearings.
A visit to Mysore isn't complete without a look around Mysore Palace. One of the most ornate palaces in India, its interior is a riot of colour, mosaics and mirrors.
Visit the Keshava Temple in Somnathpur - a stunning example of Hoysala temple architecture (approx 1 hr from Mysore).
You have plenty of time to explore the surrounding countryside, so head out and climb Chamundi Hill - site of the Sri Chamundeswari Temple, which is dedicated to Goddess Durga.
Catch an overnight train to Chennai (approx 11 hrs). Sleeper trains are clean and air-conditioned, a great way to travel long distances and still get maximum time in each place. Beds are padded berths with sheets, pillow and blanket provided but some people prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet. Please note you may be sharing with locals in a same/mixed gender situation.
Included Activities
  • Mysore - Home cooked lunch & family visit
  • Mysore - Maharaja's Palace
  • Mysore - Keshava Temple
  • Mysore - Chamundi Hill temple
Optional Activities
  • Mysore - Cinema - INR100
  • Mysore - Palm Reading - INR350
  • Mysore - Tipu Mausoleum - INR500
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt), Overnight sleeper train (1 nt)
Day 8 Mamallapuram
Arrive in Chennai and take private vehicles along the scenic East Coast Road to the laidback beaches of Mamallapuram (approx 2 hrs).
Mamallapuram is a scenic fishing village.
Embark on a bicycle tour, visiting the World Heritage-listed 7th-century Shore Temple and the massive bas-relief rock carving known as Arjuna's Penance.
There's also time to inspect the numerous mandapams (carved pillars in front of temples), watch stone carvers at work, see the fishing fleet or simply relax at a beachside restaurant.
Included Activities
  • Mamallapuram - Cycling tour
  • Mamallapuram - Shore Temple
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 9 Pondicherry
Travel by private vehicle through a landscape of palm trees and rice paddies, visiting Auroville en route to Pondicherry (approx 5 hrs).
Auroville is an amazing experiment in international living. Made up of 80 rural settlements and home to over 1,500 residents, more than half of whom are foreign nationals, this living project dedicated to human unity also houses the world's largest solid crystal.
Once a French colony, there are still reminders of French influence in Pondicherry's architecture, the wide town squares and even in the policemen's uniforms.
Take a walking tour and visit the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, the local temples and the old French quarter.
Included Activities
  • Pondicherry - Auroville
  • Pondicherry - Walking tour and Sri Aurobindo Ashram
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 10 Madurai
Take a local taxi to the railway station at Villapuram (approx 40 mins).
Board a train to the temple city of Madurai (approx 6 hrs).
Crammed full of bazaars, pilgrims, cycle-rickshaws, beggars and street markets, Madurai showcases southern India at its colourful and lively best.
Visit the Sri Meenakshi Temple, which lies at the heart of the city. This ancient, still active temple is a labyrinth of lamp-lit corridors which lead to shrines where some mysterious and interesting rituals are performed.
Visit the moving Gandhi Memorial Museum, which displays the blood-stained dhoti he wore when he was assassinated, along with an impressive and detailed account of the country's struggle for independence.
Included Activities
  • Madurai - Sri Meenakshi Temple
Optional Activities
  • Madurai - Gandhi Museum - Free
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Days 11-12 Periyar National Park
Travel by public bus along a winding road to the spice plantation town of Thekkady and Periyar National Park (approx 5 hrs).
Set high in the ranges of the Western Ghats is the Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve. This wildlife sanctuary surrounds a picturesque lake, formed by the building of a dam in 1895, which meanders around the contours of the wooded hills and provides a permanent source of water for the local wildlife. Though it's a tiger reserve, tourists come here to view the Indian elephants in the act of ablution and playfulness by the lake.
In the evening, enjoy a tour around a local spice plantation and a delicious meal prepared by the owner's family.
Venture into the acclaimed Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary for a guided nature walk in the hope of glimpsing sambar, bison, elephant, spotted deer, tiger and leopard.
Included Activities
  • Periyar - Spice farm tour & dinner
  • Periyar - Guided National Park wildlife walk
Optional Activities
  • Periyar - Lake boat tour - INR650
Accommodation
Hotel (2 nts)
Day 13 Kerala Backwaters Homestay
Travelling by private vehicle, head for the backwaters of Kerala (approx 4.5 hrs). It's a great ride through plantations of rubber, tea and coffee to the boarding point for our boats.
Crossing the backwaters, head to an island village to stay with local families (approx 1 hour).
In the late afternoon, we explore the island with a local English-speaking guide or your homestay host to observe the different facets of local life - this is a great chance to meet and talk with the people who live here. Strolling under palm trees and weaving in between the rice fields that cover the island, we have a chance to learn about the lifestyles of the locals.
Take a leisurely pole boat ride around the lake and enjoy the outstanding scenery.
Accommodation is on a multishare basis and all the families live within a few hundred metres of each other, with at least one person in the family speaking a reasonable standard of English. Food is traditional Keralan home cooking.
Included Activities
  • Backwaters - Pole Boat Ride
  • Backwaters - Guided walk
Accommodation
Homestay (1 nt)
Day 14 Kochi
Get up early and start your day to the sound of bird songs, before crossing the backwaters by private boat to Alleppey (approx 1.5 hrs), and a local bus to Kochi (approx 2 hrs). The rest of the day is free for some last-minute sightseeing or shopping.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Days 15-16 Delhi
Fly to Delhi for the second half of your trip. You must arrange your own flight from Kochi to Delhi. This flight is NOT included in the cost of the trip. Please try to arrange your flight for early in the morning as delays are common.
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!
Join your group leader on an excursion into the sights and sounds of Old Delhi! Set off on the city's modern metro system, then get a taste of India's famed public transport with a cycle rickshaw ride through chaotic streets, such as the famous Chandni Chowk. Make a visit to the Jama Masjid, Delhi's oldest mosque and one of its most impressive buildings, then visit the Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple) to learn about the Sikh religion.
Included Activities
  • Delhi - Old Delhi walking tour
  • Delhi - Jama Masjid
  • Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)
Optional Activities
  • Delhi - Qutb Minar - INR250
  • Delhi - Humayun's Tomb - INR250
  • Delhi - Red Fort - INR250
Accommodation
Hotel (2 nts)
Day 17 Agra
Take one of India's fastest air-conditioned trains to the Mughal city of Agra (approx 3 hrs).
Hop on to your motorised rickshaw for a tour of the city - a truly fun and Intrepid way to see the monuments of Agra.
Visit the Taj Mahal - a masterpiece of shimmering white marble set amid beautiful formal gardens. Built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial to his wife Mumtaz, this 'teardrop on the face of eternity' (as it was described by writer Rabindranath Tagore) lives up to all expectations.
Visit Agra Fort on the banks of the Yamuna River. 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.
See Akbar's Mausoleum - a beautiful sandstone and marble tomb built for the greatest of the Mughal emperors.
Included Activities
  • Agra - Motorised rickshaw tour
  • Agra - Taj Mahal
  • Agra - Red Fort
Optional Activities
  • Agra - Akbar's Mausoleum - INR125
  • Agra - Additional entries to Taj Mahal - INR750
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 18 Rural Rajasthan Heritage Stay
Take a local bus to Bassi, a small town in the middle of rural Rajasthan (approx 4 hrs).
Travel by private jeeps right to the heart of the village where we stay.
On an exploratory walk through the village, you'll see local craftspeople at work and have plenty of opportunity to meet with the villagers.
Stay in a beautiful heritage property that belongs to one of the royal families of Rajasthan.
Included Activities
  • Heritage Stay - Village walk
Accommodation
Heritage Property (1 nt)
Days 19-20 Jaipur
Travel in private vehicles to the 'Pink City' of Jaipur, via the Amber Palace (approx 2 hrs).
Stop at the old capital of Amber and explore the hilltop fort complex known as the Amber Palace.
A friendly, busy town crammed with palaces and bazaars full of jewellery, textiles and folk-based arts, Jaipur is a firm favourite with travellers.
Make a stop at India's most photographed building after the Taj Mahal, the Hawa Mahal or 'Palace of the Winds'.
Take a walk to the city's crowded and colourful bazaars, which sell a wide variety of artisan goods. Semi-precious stones are the local speciality - be sure to wander by the stalls at least once.
Go to Jaipur's Royal City Palace - one of India's finest - and spend time exploring the various rooms and apartments.
Visit one of the five astronomical observatories built by Maharaja Jai Singh, the founder of Jaipur.
Discover the extravagance of a Bollywood blockbuster, with all the Hollywood-style elements of action, romance, drama and music (sometimes all rolled into one), at the spectacular Raj Mandir Cinema.
Included Activities
  • Jaipur - Amber Fort guided tour
  • Jaipur - Hawa Mahal
Optional Activities
  • Jaipur - City Palace - INR300
  • Jaipur - Observatory - INR200
  • Jaipur - Bollywood movie at the Raj Mandir Cinema - INR300
Accommodation
Hotel (2 nts)
Day 21 Ranthambore National Park
Travelling by private vehicle, head north-east to Ranthambhore (approx 5 hrs).
Ranthambhore National Park is one of the original Project Tiger reserves, although with its lakes, crags and ruined pavilions, it's well worth a visit in itself.
One of the biggest and most renowned national parks in northern India, Ranthambhore was once a famous hunting ground for the Maharajas of Jaipur - today it's a major wildlife tourist attraction.
Take 4WD safari vehicles and go searching for tigers and other wildlife inside the park.
Explore Ranthambhore Fort. Founded in 944, few of the buildings inside have survived the ravages of war and time, but among the remaining ruins, two pavilions - Badal Mahal and Hammirs Court - give an idea of its old grandeur.
Ranthambhore National Park is closed between 1 July and 30 September each year. On those trips affected, we'll visit nearby Mansingh Sanctuary.
Included Activities
  • Ranthambore - National Park Safari
Optional Activities
  • Ranthambore - Fort tour - INR200
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 22 Bundi
Take private vehicles to the small rural town of Bundi (approx 4 hrs).
A delightful town teeming with Rajasthani life, Bundi's narrow streets are packed with shops of all kinds and the downtown market is an interesting spot to mingle with the local people.
This is a fantastic place to explore on foot and there's plenty of time to visit the baoris (step-wells) and experience local street life down in the bazaars.
Explore Bundi Palace and its famous murals. Built during the 16th and 17th centuries, it's a classic piece of Rajasthani architecture.
Included Activities
  • Bundi - Bundi Palace
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Days 23-24 Bijaipur
Take a slow but interesting train journey with rural villagers and locals to the small town of Bassi (approx 3 hrs).
Enjoy a drive in open jeeps out into the countryside visiting rural villages - a special and unique experience indeed!
Spend the night camping (in relative luxury!) beside a lake and under the stars. Our tents have attached bathrooms, electricity and hot & cold running water. It gets cool in the months of November & December, but quilts are provided. (no AC or heating)
Please note during the monsoon period (April - September) we do not camp and spend both nights in the heritage stay.
Take jeeps to explore the surrounding villages.
Be treated to a night of luxury in a wonderful heritage stay, a fortified mansion still run by the erstwhile local landlord and his family. It is a perfect place to take a break and immerse yourself in the local culture and lifestyle. The place is warm and people and staff friendly, welcoming all their guests and treating them as part of the family.
Included Activities
  • Heritage Stay - Village jeep safari
Optional Activities
  • Heritage Stay - Henna painting - INR125
Accommodation
Heritage Property (1 nt), Deluxe permanent tent (1 nt)
Days 25-26 Udaipur
A short journey by private vehicle takes us to Udaipur (approx 4 hrs).
Udaipur undoubtedly lives up to its reputation as India's most romantic city. Rolling hills, white marble palaces and lakes come together appealingly and it's a centre for artists, dancers and musicians. The shopping is also superb, with miniature paintings being the speciality.
On arrival in Udaipur, take a walk around town to help gather your bearings. Explore Udaipur's twisting alleys filled with silver, shoes, bags, leather goods and miniature paintings.
Visit City Palace, one of the largest royal palaces in India, and check out the unbelievable treasures within - from vivid murals to antiques and royal utensils.
Enjoy a half hour boat ride on the famous Lake Pichola and see marvels like Lake Palace and Jag Mandir Island (seasonal depending on the water level in the lake).
Be part of a musical concert combining seven traditional Rajasthani folk dances.
Included Activities
  • Udaipur - City Palace guided tour
Optional Activities
  • Udaipur - Lake boat ride - INR250
  • Udaipur - Cultural performance - INR100
Accommodation
Hotel (2 nts)
Days 27-28 Pushkar/Camel Safari
Depart from Udaipur by air conditioned train to Ajmer (approx 6 hrs).
Take private vehicles from Ajmer to our hotel in Pushkar (approx 45 mins).
Pushkar is one of the India's holiest places. It's also a market centre for many of the local village people and a great place to sit back and relax.
Head out to explore Pushkar's main bazaar and many sidestreets - some great bargains can be had, as some of the cheapest clothes and jewellery in northern India can be found here. Walk around the lake, with its bustling ghats and temples, to watch the devout as they worship at the holy waters. Visit the only Brahma Temple in India.
The highlight of our visit to Pushkar is a camel ride out into the local desert area. For those who don't want to ride a camel, there's a camel cart option.
Early risers can make the sunrise hike up the hill to the Savitri Temple for magical views over the town. There could also be a wonderful steaming glass of chai waiting for you if the chai man is there - certainly well worth the trek.
Board the overnight train to Delhi (approx 9 hrs). Sleeper trains are clean and air-conditioned, a great way to travel long distances and still get maximum time in each place. Beds are padded berths with sheets, pillow and blanket provided but some people prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet. Please note you may be sharing with locals in a same gender/mixed gender situation.
Included Activities
  • Pushkar - Camel safari
Optional Activities
  • Pushkar - Savitri Temple - Free
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt), Overnight sleeper train (1 nt)
Day 29 Delhi
After arriving in Delhi, transfer to our hotel.
Back at the hotel you can use group day rooms until midday.
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.
If you're departing India today it's best to book your flight for later in the afternoon as train delays do occur.
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.
  • HHSZC Single supplement (HHSZC)
    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.
    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
    INTERNAL FLIGHT NOT INCLUDED:
    The flight on day 15 from Kochi to Delhi is NOT included in this trip. You must book this ticket yourself. Please try to arrange your flight for early in the morning as delays are common.
    PUSHKAR CAMEL FAIR:
    In 2013 the Pushkar camel fair will be held between approx 9 - 17 November.
    In 2014 the Pushkar camel fair will be held between approx 30 October - 6 November.
    The Pushkar Camel Fair is undoubtedly one of the most vibrant festivals in India, and can be a true highlight, but please note the fair is based on the lunar calendar, so the fair dates can vary and it can be hard to confirm the exact festival dates.
    We will do all we can to ensure that travellers booked on departures that coincide with the fair will get an opportunity to see the best of the festival, but due to the uncertain and flexible nature of this festival we cannot take responsibility if the dates of the fair are changed resulting in your visit not coinciding with the fair.
    Pushkar hotels typically raise their rates considerably during the fair so departures across this period will be subject to a surcharge. Unfortunately, although we make bookings months in advance, Pushkar accommodation tend to overbook at this time so we ask for a flexible approach from our travellers who choose to travel at this time.
    PUSHKAR CAMEL FAIR DEPARTURES
    The departures on the 26th October and 2nd November 2012 will be in Pushkar during the festival.
    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. 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. On the following nights a single room is not available:
    Days 1, 2 & 14 - Kochi Lodge (limited rooms)
    Day 7 Overnight Train
    Day 13 Homestay
    Days 25-26 Udaipur (limited rooms)
    Accommodation
    Hotel (21 nts), Overnight sleeper train (2 nts), Heritage Property (2 nts), Jungle resort (1 nt), Homestay (1 nt), Deluxe permanent tent (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.
    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