Iconic India

37 Days | Experience a kaleidoscope of colour and culture

4.5 out of 5 based on 6 reviews submitted.
Explorer
From
AUD $3,285
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Travel to the far-flung corners of India on this epic adventure. In the north, journey through Jaisalmer's desert, lose yourself in the electric bazaars of Jodhpur, witness pilgrims performing ancient ceremonies on the ghats of Varanasi and marvel at the iconic Taj Mahal in Agra. Then bask in the tropical southern climate, cruise along the Kerala Backwaters, come face-to-face with local customs in small rural towns, and laze on the gorgeous beaches of Goa – India's idyllic holiday destination. Enjoy the freedom to be immersed in the diverse cultures of colourful, chaotic and enchanting India on this small-group adventure.

Trip overview

Map of Iconic India including India
Start
Delhi, India
Finish
Goa, India
Theme
Explorer
Destinations
India
Physical rating
Indicates how physically exerting a trip is, and how fit you will need to be to enjoy it. More info on physical ratings
Style
Basix
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 - Max 16
Trip code
HHRCC
This trip generates 70 kg of CO2-e per person per day.
We offset these emissions on your behalf. But we know that is not enough, so we also have a carbon reduction target.

Why you'll love this trip
  • Rajasthan is the India that many people imagine when they dream of travelling to this captivating country – ancient forts, palaces, rural villages and the colourful cities of Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Udaipur and Jaipur.
  • Pushkar and Varanasi are among the holiest cities in India. Climb to hilltop temples at sunrise, dodge cows in the street, and observe pilgrims praying along the ghats of the sacred Ganges River during a boat cruise.
  • Explore the wonders of the Thar Desert. Feast on Rajasthani cuisine at sunset before bunking down to camp between the sand dunes.
  • Glide through the backwaters of Kerala on a pole boat, going ashore for a village homestay – a beautiful break and a perfect way to get close to local customs and culture.
  • The word ‘colourful’ gets thrown around a lot when people talk about India, but the gateway towers of Meenakshi Amman Temple truly are a technicolour dream.

Is this trip right for you?
  • This trip is made for travellers who value their independence but also want the benefit of a local leader and a group of like-minded travellers. The itinerary has a mix of included activities and free time when your leader will offer suggestions. Please budget spending money for optional activities you want to partake in.
  • Part of travelling with Intrepid means respecting local cultures and sensibilities. That way you get the most out of your interactions with local people and environments. We visit a number of temples on this trip, which requires a certain level of modesty. Please bring clothes that cover the arms and pants/skirts that go past the knees. A light scarf is also a good idea for covering shoulders and arms when it’s hot.
  • Sleeper trains are a great way to travel long distances while still getting maximum time in each place. Beds are padded berths with sheets, pillow and blanket provided (although some people prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet). Please note that you may be sharing with locals of the same or opposite gender. More information can be found in the Transport section of the Essential Trip Information.
  • You will also be travelling by local bus on this trip. While conditions are basic, this is a great way to rub shoulders with the locals while enjoying the passing scenery.
  • This trip runs all year round, so it’s important to be aware of just how hot it can get in India in the summer months and choose the season that best suits you. Depending on the time of year, temperatures in northern India can get very hot and very cold. Please bring layers and a range of adequate clothing, including thermals and sun protection.

Itinerary

Map of Iconic India including India

Inclusions

Meals

5 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners

Transport

Auto rickshaw, Boat, Bus, Car, Cycle rickshaw, local bus, Metro, Overnight sleeper train, Private vehicle, Taxi, Train

Accommodation

Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night), Guesthouse (5 nights), Heritage Property (2 nights), Homestay (1 night), Hotel (18 nights), Overnight sleeper train (6 nights)

Activities
  • Delhi - Leader-led Old Delhi walking & rickshaw tour
  • Delhi - Visit to the Jama Masjid Mosque
  • Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)
  • Jaisalmer - Leader-led walking tour
  • Thar Desert - Overnight Desert Camp
  • Jodhpur - Leader-led walking tour
  • Udaipur - Leader-led walking tour
  • Pushkar - Leader-led walking tour
  • Jaipur - Leader-led walking & market tour
  • Abhaneri - Chand Baori stepwell
  • Varanasi - Leader-led Old City walking tour
  • Trivandrum – Leader-led Orientation Walk
  • Kerala Backwaters - Pole boat ride
  • Kerala Backwaters - Guided village walk
  • Kochi - Leader-led Fort Kochi walking tour
  • Periyar - Spice plantation visit
  • Periyar - Kalaripayattu (Indian Martial Art) performance
  • Madurai - Leader-led walking tour
  • Mysore - Leader-led walking tour
Add on activities
  • Delhi - Humayun's Tomb - INR600
  • Delhi - Qutub Minar - INR600
  • Delhi - Red Fort - INR600
  • Delhi - Gandhi's Delhi Urban Adventure - INR3350
  • Delhi - Delhi Food Walk Urban Adventure - INR3750
  • Delhi - Hidden Gems of Delhi Urban Adventure - INR4100
  • Junagarh Fort - INR300
  • Jaisalmer - Folklore Museum - INR10
  • Jodhpur - Bishnoi villages day trip - INR750
  • Jodhpur - Meherangarh Fort - INR600
  • Udaipur - Cultural performance - INR250
  • Udaipur - Sajjan Garh Palace (Monsoon Palace) - INR300
  • Udaipur - Shilpgram craft village - INR50
  • Udaipur - Cooking class - INR600
  • Udaipur - City Palace - INR300
  • Udaipur - Lake Pichola boat ride - INR600
  • Pushkar - Brahma Temple - Free
  • Pushkar - Sunrise at Savitri Temple - Free
  • Jaipur - Amber Fort - INR500
  • Jaipur - City Palace - INR1000
  • Jaipur - Bollywood Movie at Raj Mandir Cinema - INR400
  • Jaipur - Balloon Safari - USD280
  • Agra - Taj Mahal - INR1300
  • Agra - Agra Fort - INR650
  • Agra - Akbar's Mausoleum - INR300
  • Varanasi - Sunset candle flower ceremony - INR400
  • Varanasi - Sarnath - INR315
  • Varanasi - Sunrise Ganges boat trip - INR400
  • Kochi - Kathakali performance - INR500
  • Kochi - Dutch Palace - INR20
  • Periyar - Guided nature walk - INR1400
  • Madurai - Sri Meenakshi Temple - INR50
  • Madurai - Gandhi Museum - Free
  • Mysore - Keshava Temple - INR200
  • Mysore - Maharaja's Palace - INR200
  • Mysore - Chamundi Hill & Temple - INR100
  • Hampi - Vittala Temple - INR500

Dates and availability

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Important notes

Itinerary change alert:
There's no overnight train from Delhi to Jaisalmer at the moment so you'll take an early Day train from Delhi at around 4:30am on Day 2 which will arrive in Jaisalmer around 10:30 pm. After arrival, you'll check into your hotel for the night. All the included activities on Day 2 in Delhi will be moved to the afternoon of Day 21 once you arrive back in Delhi.
We'll resume to the original itinerary with the overnight train on Day 2 once the original train schedule is reinstated.

1. This trip is a combination of North India Revealed (HHRR, group size max 16) and South India Revealed (HHSS, group size max 12). As such the makeup of your group and your tour leader may change on Day 22
2. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Days 2, 17, 20, 31, 33 and 35 (Overnight sleeper trains) and Day 3 (Camping) where you will be in shared accommodation, and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
3. 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.
4. Hot air balloon flights are operated by Sky Waltz in Jaipur. Flights operate from September 1st to April 30th and last approximately 60 mins. Return transfers, tea and coffee plus light refreshments, and a certificate of flight are included in the cost. You can register your interest and pay your tour leader at your joining meeting on day 1 of your trip. Payment must be made by cash in either INR/AUD/USD/GBP only and is USD$280pp (subject to change). Flights are subject to availability and weather conditions (tickets are fully refundable in case of bad weather).
5. Please note travelling during major festivals such as Holi and Diwali can, at times, cause disruption the the published itinerary. Please see the 'Safety' section for more details.
6. The trip begins with an important welcome meeting at 6pm.There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
7. Please provide your full name exactly as it appears on your passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport) for flight tickets. Ticketing fees may apply for amendments to details within 45 days of departure, and in some cases you will be required to cover the cost of issuing a new ticket.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Read Essential Trip Information

Reviews

4.5 out of 5 based on 6 reviews submitted.
Reviews are from travellers who have completed their trip and want to share their experience. We show all reviews, but may remove any that include profanity or inappropriate content, are unrelated to the trip or reveal personal details.

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Jennifer · Traveled April 2024
Our North India trip was one of the best I’ve ever done. The culture and monuments are beautiful and our guide Surya was the most attentive and kind host. 10/10
Review submitted 15 May 2024

Nadin · Traveled October 2023
Die Reise Iconic India ist die beste Option um so vieles wie möglich in kurzer Zeit von Indien zu sehen. Man beginnt im hektischen Norden und endet im entspannten Süden. Für mich die perfekte Kombination.
Review submitted 05 Dec 2023

Laura · Traveled April 2023
Brilliant trip, brilliant country, an assault on all of your senses.... in a good way! Exceptional tour leaders.
Review submitted 22 May 2023

John · Traveled February 2023
Take any quotes from all we have written that you like. We are exhausted at this point of the reviews. If we think of anything else for you to post we will send. Please know we recommend Intrepid constantly and I would like to offer to do a presentation for you if you would like at our local travel expo via Midwest Mountaineering. Intrepid is not known well yet in the USA and we would be happy to be ambassadors for you!
Review submitted 25 Jun 2023

Natalie · Traveled November 2022
The Iconic India tour was fantastic in showing the highlights of India especially for the first time in visiting - I thought it was the perfect length of time to spend seeing the north and the south. My only concern was feeling safe and the leaders were fantastic in supporting and changing my perception of India in this way. Would recommend!
Review submitted 13 Dec 2022
Iconic India
From
AUD $3,285