Rajasthan Experience Trip Notes

Rajasthan Experience

Last Modified: 09 Jun 2016
Rajasthan Experience
Trip code: HHKR
Validity: 01 May 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
Colourful and chaotic, mysterious and exotic - welcome to Rajasthan. Explore the fairytale cities of the desert, travel to beautiful palaces filled with treasures of the maharajah and wander through forts with fascinating histories. Marvel at the grandeur of the Taj Mahal in Agra, travel across the Jaisalmer desert on camelback and witness the romantic 'Blue City' of Jodhpur. Be immersed in this intriguing state of India - stay in traditional towns, meet the locals in markets and bazaars, and taste delicious regional dishes. Add a touch of comfort and some very special hotels for a true Rajasthani travel adventure.
Table of Contents
StyleGroup sizeFinish point
ThemesYour fellow travellersEmergency contact
Is this trip right for you?AccommodationVisas
Why we love itAccommodation NotesWhat to take
MapMeals introductionHealth
ItineraryMealsTravel insurance
Itinerary disclaimerMoney mattersA couple of rules
Physical ratingGroup leaderResponsible Travel
Included activitiesSafetyThe Intrepid Foundation
Important notesJoining pointFeedback
Style
Comfort
Themes
Explorer
Is this trip right for you?
- India is a big country, and you'll cover a fair amount of distance on this trip, so it's important to be prepared for some long travel days.
- The weather in the Thar Desert can get very hot in the summer. A hat, sunscreen and long sleeves are recommended if you're visiting during the warmer months.
- On Day 10 there's a camel ride through the desert, and basic accommodation. This part of the trip may well be one of the most fun, however.
Why we love it
- The magical splendour of the Taj Mahal is a must-see on any North Indian odyssey. Enjoy a guided exploration of this immaculate icon
- If you're not a Bollywood fan already, you might just become one when you go to Jaipur's most spectacular cinema hall
- A camel safari through the remote Thar desert is not only a highlight, but provides the perfect balance to the frenetic streets of Delhi and Jodhpur
- Travelling by plane, train, rickshaw, private minibus and of course camel, you'll see this beautiful land from many different angles
- Is Udaipur the most romantic Indian city? Decide for yourself as you bask in the beauty of this lakeside gem of the north
- The tantalising tastes of North Indian cuisine are many, from spicy stuffed bati to sweet saffron-scented kulfi
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Delhi
Arrive in Delhi, meet your Intrepid representative and transfer to the airport. Your adventure begins with an important group meeting at 1 pm. You will find more details about this meeting at the hotel reception. Afterwards, your leader will take you on an organised sightseeing trip through Old Delhi via the city’s modern metro. Then it's time for a classic Indian experience – a cycle rickshaw adventure through the lively streets and the famous Chandni Chowk (market). You will also see the oldest mosque in Delhi, Jama Masjid, before visiting the Sikh temple Sheeshganj Gurudwara.
Included Activities
  • Delhi - Old Delhi Walking Tour
  • Delhi - Jama Masjid
  • Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
    Accommodation
    Hotel (1 nt)
    Day 2 Agra
    Today you will experience one of India's faster air-conditioned trains as you travel to the Mughal city of Agra (approximately 3 hours). Take a cycle rickshaw tour of the city, a wonderful way to uncover the best of Agra. If the weather's too hot or foggy, cycle rickshaws will be replaced with battery-powered rickshaws. Next you'll visit the spectacular Taj Mahal. Take in the beauty of this 17th-century masterpiece of white marble set amid beautiful formal gardens. You'll learn more about its history as you explore the site with your local guide. You will also visit the nearby Agra Fort, a huge complex built originally as a military structure of red sandstone by Emperor Akbar in 1565.
    Included Activities
    • Agra - Taj Mahal
    • Agra - Agra Fort
      Accommodation
      Hotel (1 nt)
      Meals
      1 breakfast
      Day 3 Jaipur
      Today you will rise early and leave for Jaipur. Your first stop is the deserted Mughal kingdom of Fatehpur Sikri (approximately 1.5 hours). Built during the reign of Emperor Akbhar, it was abandoned shortly after his death due to a lack of available water. The stunning mosque, Jama Masjid, strikes a lovely pose within the settlement, combining Persian and Hindu aesthetics. See its staggering 54-metre-high main entrance called Buland Darwaza (Gate of Victory) which commemorates Akbar’s great victory in Gujarat. You will stop for a traditional thali lunch (a plate of various selections) en route to Jaipur, the capital of the state of Rajasthan. Here traditionally dressed Rajput men wearing colourful turbans and sporting magnificent moustaches will make their way through crowded streets packed with cars, camel carts, rickshaws, trucks, and bicycles. You will also find bustling, brightly-coloured bazaars filled with hand-crafted textiles, folk art and semi-precious stones (the local specialty). Jaipur is often a favourite among travellers.
      Included Activities
      • Fatehpur Sikri
        Accommodation
        Hotel (1 nt)
        Meals
        1 breakfast, 1 lunch
        Day 4 Jaipur
        Today there's an excellent optional activity – a hot air balloon experience over Jaipur. This is a highlight for many travellers. You will then travel 11 kilometres out to the stunning medieval Amber Fort. This 16th-century marvel is a great example of Rajput architecture. Take your time, as you'll need several hours to explore this massive fortification. Next you'll visit the various rooms and apartments of Jaipur's Royal City Palace, one of India's finest. Continue to indulge in the delights of Indian culture by watching a Bollywood film of action, romance, drama or music (sometimes all rolled into one) at the renowned Raj Mandir Cinema. An option for free time today is to see one of five astronomical observatories built by Maharaja Jai Singh, the founder of Jaipur.
        Included Activities
        • Jaipur - Amber Fort
        • Jaipur - Movie at the Raj Mandir Cinema
          Optional Activities
          • Jaipur - Balloon Safari - USD250
          • Jaipur - Observatory - INR200
            Accommodation
            (1 nt)
            Meals
            1 breakfast
            Day 5 Mandawa
            Today you will drive from Jaipur to the Shekhawati region (approximately 5 hours). Mandawa is a remote town in the centre of the region, an old trading outpost between the Middle East and China. On the way there you'll pay a visit to one of our Responsible Travel Projects – Asha Ka Jharna. Visit one of their three schools where special and vocational education, guidance and counselling are provided to around 160 children, helping them to become self-dependent. We have a chance to meet and chat with some of the teachers to hear about the fantastic work they do in providing opportunities for the children to learn, develop and ultimately become valued members of society.
            Included Activities
            • Nawalgarh - Asha Ka Jharna visit
              Accommodation
              Heritage Property (1 nt)
              Meals
              1 breakfast
              Day 6 Mandawa
              Enjoy a day of exploring this amazing town, which is often referred to as an outdoor museum. Mandawa is famous for its ornate havelis (private residences). You'll notice that some are faithfully restored and others are crumbling. The havelis of this particular part of India are recognised around the country for their lavishly painted walls and art. Perhaps unwind at the day's end with a cold beer and sample some of the spicy local North Indian fare – ask your leader to point you in the right direction.
              Included Activities
              • Mandawa - Haveli tour
                Accommodation
                Heritage Property (1 nt)
                Meals
                1 breakfast, 1 dinner
                Day 7 Bikaner
                Travel deeper into the Thar Desert to the fortified town of Bikaner (approximately 5 hours). Bikaner was an important staging post on some of the great caravan routes, and thus houses a multitude of bazaars along with an impressive fort and palace. Then head to the 600-year-old Karni Mata temple. The temple is notable for its many resident rats, which are thought to be the reincarnation of followers of the Hindu goddess Durga. Locals consider a holy rat running over your bare feet to be particularly auspicious, so if you're not a vermin lover, it might be an idea to stay outside. After you have met the holy rats, you will continue on to Junagarh Fort. As night falls you will travel to a nearby farm and partake in a special evening of traditional Rajasthani food, music and dance.
                Included Activities
                • Bikaner - Junagarh Fort
                • Bikaner - Karni Mata Rat Temple
                • Bikaner - Farmhouse visit incl. dinner & dancing
                  Accommodation
                  Heritage Property (1 nt)
                  Meals
                  1 breakfast, 1 dinner
                  Day 8 Jaisalmer
                  Today you will wind along a remote desert road to the yellow sandstone citadel of Jaisalmer (approximately 7 hours). Watch as it rears its head in the arid, flat desert like a scene from 'One Thousand and One Nights'. Explore the snaking alleyways of Jaisalmer which are filled with markets and intricately carved houses. Located on the banks of Garsisar Lake in the Mehar Bagh Garden is the Jaisalmer Folklore Museum, which is well worth a visit.
                  Included Activities
                  • Jaisalmer - Orientation Walk
                    Optional Activities
                    • Jaisalmer - Folklore Museum - INR10
                      Accommodation
                      Heritage Property (1 nt)
                      Meals
                      1 breakfast
                      Day 9 Jaisalmer
                      Enjoy further time exploring the immense Jaisalmer fort today. Within the fort itself is a maze of houses, temples, shops and restaurants, not to mention some 3,000 permanent residents. Track down some dazzling Rajastani fabrics, marvel at the spectacular facades of the Patwa ki Haveli and Salim Singh-ki-Haveli. Or you may wish to simply wander the labyrinthine paths and soak up the atmosphere.
                      Accommodation
                      Heritage Property (1 nt)
                      Meals
                      1 breakfast
                      Day 10 Thar Desert camel safari
                      No trip to Jaisalmer is complete without a desert safari, so today you'll experience one of the main highlights of your adventure. Your camel safari (approximately 2.5 hours) out to the pristine sand dunes of the Thar Desert is an adventure you're not likely to forget. Visiting some small villages (dhanis) along your travels, your day culminates with a relaxing dinner by the campfire. Cap it off by camping out under the stars, falling asleep to the desert ambience in your tent.
                      Included Activities
                      • Jaisalmer - Camel safari & overnight desert camp
                        Accommodation
                        Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
                        Meals
                        1 breakfast, 1 dinner
                        Day 11 Jodhpur
                        Today you drive across the desert to discover Rajasthan's second-largest city, the frenetic Jodhpur (approximately 6 hours). Jodhpur abounds in antique shops and, according to many a traveller, has the best lassi in India. It's also where the famous Jodhpur trouser originated. While you are here you will explore the colossal Mehrangarh Fort. A highlight of the fort is the expansive views from its ramparts. In your free time you can visit India's last great palace, the Umaid Bhawan Palace. The palace was built in the years between 1929 and 1944 and named for Maharaja Umaid Singhji. His successors still reside there. A palm reading is another informative, or at the very least entertaining, optional activity.
                        Included Activities
                        • Jodhpur - Meherangarh Fort
                          Optional Activities
                          • Jodhpur - Umaid Bhawan Palace - INR50
                          • Jodhpur - Palm Reading - INR350
                            Accommodation
                            Heritage Property (1 nt)
                            Meals
                            1 breakfast
                            Day 12 Udaipur
                            From Jodhpur you will travel through the beautiful hamlet of Ranakpur (approximately 3 hours). Ranakpur is the home of a host of beautifully carved white marble Jain temples. These staggering complex temples attract Jain pilgrims from all over India, making Ranakpur one of the most important pilgrim destinations for Jains in India. From here you will continue on your journey to gorgeous Udaipur (approximately 5 hours).
                            Included Activities
                            • Ranakpur - Jain Temples
                              Accommodation
                              Resort (1 nt)
                              Meals
                              1 breakfast, 1 lunch
                              Day 13 Udaipur
                              Enjoy some time exploring the atmospheric laneways of Udaipur. You will also visit the City Palace while you're here, one of the largest royal palaces in India. This structure took 400 years to build and hosts a range of treasures and antiquities, from vivid murals to royal utensils. Spend your free time today exploring the streets as you please, or perhaps venture further afield into the rolling hills. A boat ride across the water is a great way to see this impossibly charming townscape from another angle.
                              Included Activities
                              • Udaipur - City Palace
                              • Udaipur - Orientation Walk
                                Optional Activities
                                • Udaipur - Lake Pichola Boat Ride - INR300
                                • Udaipur - Ayurvedic Massage - INR1200
                                  Accommodation
                                  Resort (1 nt)
                                  Meals
                                  1 breakfast, 1 lunch
                                  Day 14 Delhi
                                  Today you will take a flight to Delhi (approximately 1.5 hours, arriving at around 5.30 pm). You'll be collected and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy an evening of free time. You can can continue to explore Delhi, arrange onward travel or simply relax and unwind. If you are staying longer, there is much to see. Raj Ghat is a monument that marks the spot where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated. It is now incorporated into the National Gandhi Museum. Hauz Khas Village is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of downtown – it's a hip artistic enclave set amid an interesting historic site.
                                  Optional Activities
                                  • Delhi - Gandhi's Delhi Urban Adventure - INR2500
                                  • Delhi - City Food Crawl Urban Adventure - INR3500
                                  • Delhi - Home-Cooked Experience Urban Adventure - INR4000
                                  • Culture Vulture Delhi Urban Adventure - INR2500
                                    Accommodation
                                    Hotel (1 nt)
                                    Meals
                                    1 breakfast
                                    Day 15 Delhi
                                    Your trip comes to an end after breakfast this morning.
                                    Meals
                                    1 breakfast
                                    Itinerary disclaimer
                                    ITINERARY CHANGES 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. 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.

                                    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.
                                    Physical rating

                                    Included activities
                                    Delhi - Old Delhi Walking Tour
                                    Delhi - Jama Masjid
                                    Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)
                                    Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
                                    Agra - Taj Mahal
                                    Agra - Agra Fort
                                    Fatehpur Sikri
                                    Jaipur - Amber Fort
                                    Jaipur - Movie at the Raj Mandir Cinema
                                    Nawalgarh - Asha Ka Jharna visit
                                    Mandawa - Haveli tour
                                    Bikaner - Junagarh Fort
                                    Bikaner - Karni Mata Rat Temple
                                    Bikaner - Farmhouse visit incl. dinner & dancing
                                    Jaisalmer - Orientation Walk
                                    Jaisalmer - Camel safari & overnight desert camp
                                    Jodhpur - Meherangarh Fort
                                    Ranakpur - Jain Temples
                                    Udaipur - City Palace
                                    Udaipur - Orientation Walk
                                    Important notes
                                    1. This trip starts in Delhi on Day one at 1pm
                                    2. An airport arrival transfer is included. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking.
                                    3. A single supplement is available on this trip. See under the Single Traveller section of your Trip Notes for more information.

                                    Group size
                                    Maximum of 12 travellers per group.
                                    Your fellow travellers
                                    GROUP TRAVEL
                                    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
                                    Camping (with facilities) (1nt), Heritage Property (4nt), Hotel (5nt), Resort (4nt)
                                    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.

                                    Throughout the trip we request that our lodgings 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.

                                    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.


                                    The hotel accommodation on this trip has 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 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
                                    14 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
                                    Money matters
                                    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.

                                    Look for Bank of India or ICICI ATM's. Our experience has shown they are the most reliable ATM's to use for withdrawals. Your tour leader should be able to direct you to these banks.

                                    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.

                                    The use of credit cards can be restricted, mainly to major hotels, shops and establishments.

                                    SPENDING MONEY
                                    When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document).

                                    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 5-7 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.

                                    All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.

                                    Budget for meals not included: 180.00

                                    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.
                                    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.
                                    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:

                                    http://www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us/safety

                                    FESTIVALS - HOLI & DIWALI:
                                    Travelling in India and Nepal during Holi can at times be unsafe - drinking and drug use is more widespread during this holiday. Your leader/guide will advise your group on what places to avoid on the day.
                                    It may be necessary to alter your itinerary for the day.

                                    Diwali (a lunar festival generally held from mid October to mid November every year) is celebrated by local people letting off fireworks in the street. It can be very noisy for several days with extra pollution caused by 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 large crowds gathering and using fireworks.

                                    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.

                                    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.

                                    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.

                                    SWIMMING POOLS:
                                    You may stay at hotels with unfenced pools and no life guard on duty.

                                    BALCONIES:
                                    Some hotel balconies don't meet western standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.

                                    CAMEL SAFARI:
                                    Please note that helmets and professional riding equipment can't be provided on the camel safari.
                                    Joining point
                                    L'Affaire Luxury Boutique Hotel
                                    Pusa Road, 17A/12 (Opp.Jessa Ram Hospital)
                                    WEA, Gurudwara Road, Karol Bagh
                                    New Delhi
                                    INDIA
                                    Finish point
                                    L'Affaire Luxury Boutique Hotel
                                    Pusa Road, 17A/12 (Opp.Jessa Ram Hospital)
                                    WEA, Gurudwara Road, Karol Bagh
                                    New Delhi
                                    INDIA
                                    Emergency contact
                                    For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us

                                    For transfers and accommodation issues, Intrepid's India office can be reached on their 24 hour numbers:
                                    +91 9599 914 852 or +91 9999 005 019

                                    In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local operator on: +91 9599 914 852

                                    For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

                                    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.

                                    Intrepid Emergency number: +91 9599 914 852, +91 9999 005 019
                                    Visas
                                    Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

                                    INDIA:

                                    An E-Tourist Visa (eVT) Facility is available for holders of a passport for a number of countries. This facility allows travellers to pre-register and pay for their visa prior to travel to India. The Visa is collected upon arrival at one of 16 designated airports in India. Please note strict guidelines on the below website.

                                    https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html

                                    An E-Tourist Visa (eVT) visa on arrival is available for select nationalities including but not limited to the following

                                    Australian, Canadian, New Zealand, German, UK and USA passports.

                                    Passport holders from these countries can apply for an E-Tourist Visa (eVT) to have their visa issued upon arrival at 16 major airports in India.

                                    Please follow the instructions at - https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html and 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 entry of up to 30 days. If you plan to be in India longer you will need to apply for a tourist visa at an Indian visa application centre in your home country.

                                    - Please note that travellers entering India overland from Nepal are required to apply for a visa in advance 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 if you are crossing a border between India and Nepal.

                                    - Indian visas are difficult and time consuming to obtain 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.

                                    For your visa application you need to include the following information under the local contact section towards the end of the application. :

                                    PEAK India
                                    25/3 East Patel Nagar
                                    New Delhi 110008
                                    Phone: +91 11 4500 6400

                                    Please note that this information can change at any time. Please always refer to https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html . This is the official visa online site. There have been reports of other non-official websites that travellers should be aware of.
                                    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.

                                    Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:

                                    http://www.intrepidtravel.com/pdf/trips/packinglist.pdf

                                    TRAVELLING ON LOCAL TRANSPORT
                                    It's important that your bags can be locked, as on local transport it may be necessary that your luggage gets stowed 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 inside the bus or your cabin. To ensure maximum comfort, try to pack small and light.

                                    LUGGAGE STORAGE
                                    Where Intrepid covers the cost of luggage storage during 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.

                                    WARM CLOTHING:
                                    Temperatures can be low in the winter months, especially at altitude, so bring a set of warmer clothes including thermal underclothes and a fleece jacket.

                                    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.
                                    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 Travel 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.
                                    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.

                                    http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php
                                    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.
                                    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.

                                    http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

                                    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.

                                    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:

                                    http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

                                    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

                                    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.

                                    http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback