Map of India: Women's Expedition including India

Get a glimpse into the lives of Indian women on this adventure through colourful Rajasthan

Journey between the cities, villages and desert of Rajasthan and gain unique insight into the lives of Indian women. With an all-women group and local female leader, this 12-day Women’s Expedition will immerse you in the culture and history of the region, as seen through the eyes of the women who live here. Starting in energetic Delhi, travel in the female-only carriage on the metro, then head out to the Thar Desert to meet local women and enjoy a traditional Kalbeliya dance performance. In the village of Chandelao Garh, visit a project empowering female artisans, and join an inspiring rickshaw tour of Jaipur with a female guide from the Pink City Rickshaw Co. This is India like you’ve never seen it before.


Start
Delhi, India
Finish
Delhi, India
Destination
India
Style
Original
Theme
Women's Expedition
Code
HHSL
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Get to know northern India through the lives of the women who live there as you explore with a female leader, ride in women-only carriages on the metro and meet inspiring local women throughout your journey.

  • Head to the rural desert village of Chandelao Garh, where a local project provides female artisans with employment and education while preserving traditional craft practices. Check out their handicrafts and hear their stories.

  • Take a jeep safari into the Thar Desert and enjoy an exclusive Kalbeliya dance performed by local women at a desert camp. Enjoy some quality one-on-one time with the dancers while the gentlemen prepare dinner.

  • Visit a local woman's home and select a saree and accessories to wear on your visit to the Taj Mahal, one of the most beautiful buildings in the world inspired by the extraordinary love of an exceptional woman.

  • See the highlights of Jaipur and get to know your female driver on a tour with the eco-friendly Pink City Rickshaw Company, a non-profit providing employment and economic independence to women from low-income households.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip involves some long train journeys and an overnight train, but entertaining chaiwalas, food vendors and conversations with local travellers make these unforgettable experiences. For your own security, we recommend you take a lock for your hand luggage on the overnight train.

  • While beautiful and atmospheric, our Thar Desert camp is very simple, with cots set up under the stars and with very basic bathroom facilities. More details can be found on Day 3 of the itinerary.

  • Don’t underestimate the weather at any time of year in India. In the summer months, heat can be extreme. In winter months, some travellers have been surprised at the cool of the evenings. A hat, sunscreen, and clothing that can be layered will serve you well year-round.

  • We visit several temples on this trip, which require a level of modesty. Please bring clothes that cover the arms and pants or skirts that go past the knees. A light scarf is a good idea for covering shoulders and arms when it’s hot.

  • In extreme cases, long drives or overnight trains can be delayed and occasionally cancelled due to heavy fog, but alternative arrangements will be made. Please see the transport section of the Essential Trip Information for details.

Itinerary

Namaste! Welcome to Delhi. Your India Women’s Expedition will begin with a welcome meeting held at the hotel at 6pm – please check with the hotel reception to find out where it will be. Meet your local leader and fellow female travellers and find out what to expect over the course of your adventure. After your meeting, get to know your group and enjoy your first taste of India’s famous cuisine over an included dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Delhi - Welcome dinner
Optional Activities
  • Delhi - Humayun's Tomb - INR500
  • Delhi - Qutub Minar - INR500
  • Delhi - Red Fort - INR500
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance and emergency contact details at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.
In the morning, navigate the city’s metro system to discover Old Delhi on a walking tour. For some parts of the tour, you may ride the metro in a women’s only carriage, which will give you a unique insight into the way local women travel around Delhi. Hitch a ride in a traditional cycle rickshaw through a typical Indian traffic jam in the streets around Chandni Chowk marketplace. Visit Delhi’s oldest mosque of Jama Masjid, which is also India’s largest. Duck into a Sikh temple for a quiet escape from the city and a chance to observe a spiritual side of this bustling metropolis. In the afternoon, board an overnight train to Jaisalmer. Make friends with entertaining chaiwalas (tea vendors), food vendors and enjoy conversations with the locals to pass the time and make this an unforgettable experience. You’ll have a sturdy bed to sleep in when you get tired and clean bedding will be provided (although some travellers prefer to BYO a sleeping sheet). There’s no food cart on the train, but your local leader will recommend the best snacks for you to buy before you board the train, so you won’t be left hungry. Check out the Essential Trip Information for details about what to pack for the overnight train.
Accommodation
  • Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Delhi - Leader-led Old Delhi walking & rickshaw tour
  • Delhi - Jama Masjid
  • Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
There are shared day use hotel rooms available this afternoon in Delhi if you would like to freshen up before the overnight train. There is one room provided for up to six members of the group. Single supplements do not apply to day rooms.
Your overnight train pulls into Jaisalmer this morning. You’ll have a chance to grab some breakfast before heading out on a jeep safari in the Thar Desert. The Thar Desert covers 200,000 square kilometres, so while you won’t get to see it all, you will spend the day exploring the rolling sand hills before arriving at your desert camp. Here you’ll meet some local men and women – the men will head off to prepare a traditional Rajasthani dinner for you, giving you a chance to get to know the women. They will also put on a Kalbeliya dance performance for you, a traditionally female dance where women in long skirts replicate the movements of a serpent, as a representation of the snake charmer’s role in traditional Rajasthani society.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Thar Desert - Kalbeliya Dance Performance
  • Thar Desert - Jeep Safari
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
Tonight's campsite is very basic, with a windbreak set up against a sand dune. Water and soft drinks are available for purchase. You'll sleep on a camping cot with a pillow, sheets, mattress, and blankets provided. There will be one tented toilet facility so please bring toiletries with you, including hand sanitizer.

During the winter months (December and January), temperatures in the desert can drop below zero. Your leader will monitor the weather forecast to decide whether this activity will go ahead. If not, you’ll take a day trip to the Thar Desert instead of the overnight stay. Some travellers also like to bring a sleeping bag and base layers for camping in the colder months.
After breakfast at the desert camp, you’ll make the one-hour drive in your jeep back to Jaisalmer. From here you’ll have a chance to check in to your hotel and freshen up before heading out on a walking tour with your leader to get to know this storied desert city. The citadel was built by Rawal Jaisal of the Bhati Rajput in 1156 AD, and with a history that’s been carefully recorded by the bards of Rajasthan since the 12th century, its not hard to imagine what life here once looked like. Strung between the former trade routes of the Great Thar Desert, your leader will share stories of Jaisalmer’s prosperous past. Today the city is alive with colourful shops and ornately decorated royal havelis contained within the ancient fort walls. After your tour of the city, enjoy a free afternoon for your own discoveries.
Accommodation
  • Heritage Property (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jaisalmer - City Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Rise early and catch a train to Jodhpur, taking around six hours. Use this time to connect with your fellow travellers and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Once you arrive in Jodhpur, you’ll head straight to the striking Mehrangarh Fort that towers over the city. Enjoy a guided tour as you explore some of the ornately decorated palaces and visit one of Rajasthan’s most interesting museums to learn about battles past. From here you’ll make your way to the Sadar Bazaar in the Old City for a guided tour of the market and the opportunity to taste some local delicacies like lassi and dal baati, both classics of Indian cuisine for a good reason – they’re delicious! You may like to spend the rest of the evening exploring the Old City and your local leader will be able to recommend great places for dinner.
Accommodation
  • Heritage Property (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jodhpur - Meherangarh Fort
  • Jodhpur - Sadar Bazaar
  • Jodhpur - City Walk
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Say goodbye to Jodhpur and make the drive out to the village of Chandelao Garh (approximately 1 hour). On arrival, get your bearings during a walk through the village, then pay a visit to Sunder Rang, a project that employs local artisans, mostly women, while keeping traditional craft practices alive. Meaning ‘beautiful colours’, the vibrant pieces crafted by the women at Sunder Rang stand in contrast to the surrounding desert landscapes. More than 30 women are currently employed by Sunder Rang, with an hour of their workdays dedicated to their education. Meet the ladies who work here, browse the beautiful pieces they’ve created and learn about the impact the project has had on their lives, as well as their families and the wider village. This evening, take some time to further explore Chandelao Garh, or relax at your heritage property accommodation.
Accommodation
  • Heritage Property (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Chandelao Garh - Village Walk
  • Chandelao Garh - Sundar Rang Crafts Centre Visit
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Limber up and start your day with a yoga session at your accommodation, then drive by private vehicle to Nimaj (approximately 1.5 hours), a small town in the Pali district of Rajasthan. After a traditional welcome by the local women, your leader will take you on a guided walk around the village where you’ll have an opportunity to have a chat to some of the locals and get a sense of small-town Indian life. This evening you’ll have the chance to take part in a very special women’s-only celebration. Join the local women for a night of festivities – learn about the art of rangoli, where colourful patterns are made with a range of materials, join your hosts for traditional henna painting, and watch a lively dance show.
Accommodation
  • Heritage Property (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Nimaj - Leader-led village walk
  • Nimaj - Henna painting
  • Nimaj - Dance performance
  • Nimaj - Rangoli making
  • Chandelao Garh - Morning Yoga
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
This morning, hop back in your private vehicle and make the five-hour journey to Jaipur, the capital of the Rajasthan region. On arrival, stretch your legs with an orientation walk around the city. Follow your leader down streets buzzing with camel carts, rickshaws, trucks and bicycles and explore bazaars bursting with colourful goods, including handcrafted textiles, folk art, and the local speciality of semi-precious stones. After your walk, discover a beloved part of Indian culture as you head out for a screening of a Bollywood film. Visit the Raj Mandir Cinema – this Art Deco style building is one of Jaipur’s most popular spots and has played host to many movie premiers.
Accommodation
  • Heritage Property (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jaipur - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Jaipur - Bollywood movie at Raj Mandir
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning, head into town for a memorable rickshaw ride with The Pink City Rickshaw Company, a not-for-profit organisation that aims to provide a new aspirational employment opportunity to 200 women from low-income households in Jaipur. See the highlights of the city and get to know your amazing female driver as you zip through the streets. In the afternoon, take a guided tour of the Amber Fort, one of Jaipur’s most recognisable landmarks. The red sandstone and marble palace is set high on a hill overlooking the Maota Lake, and there is plenty of history to learn about as well as picturesque sights to see. This evening, visit a local home in Jaipur where you’ll be welcomed in for an evening of fun and feasting. Chat to your hosts about their lives, learn about the meals they make at home then sit down to a truly tasty dinner.
Accommodation
  • Heritage Property (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jaipur - Amber Fort
  • Jaipur - City tour with The Pink City Rickshaw Company
  • Jaipur - Home-cooking Class
Optional Activities
  • Jaipur - City Palace - INR700
  • Jaipur - Jantar Mantar Observatory - INR200
  • Jaipur - Balloon Safari - USD260
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
If you are joining our 16 October 2022 or 04 November 2023 departures, you'll be joining our local family for Diwali celebrations at their home as well as the cooking class and dinner.
Today you’ll make the six-hour trip to Agra on board a public bus. On arrival, your first stop will be a visit to the home of a local woman who will help you choose the perfect saree and show you how it's worn. She’ll also help you dress up with an armful of glittering bangles and a matching bindi in the traditional style, ready for your sunset visit to India’s most iconic landmark – the Taj Mahal. Spend time wandering around the pristine grounds and watching the setting sun illuminate the stunning marble mausoleum built by Shah Jahan in his favourite wife’s honour.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Agra - Saree lesson
  • Agra - Taj Mahal
  • Agra - Agra Fort Visit
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Leave Agra behind and hop on a train bound for Delhi (approximately 4 hours). Back in the country’s capital, pay a visit to the Dilli Haat market, where artisans from across the country are invited to showcase their wares for 15 days at a time, ensuring prices are fair and not subject to the inflation common in big cities. Visitors are exposed to the culture and crafts of various corners of India, all on display in one place. The market is also home to a tempting array of food stalls, so you may like to take your tastebuds on a trip with some momos from Sikkim, spicy chicken from Nagaland or kebabs from Jammu. This evening, perhaps join your group for a final dinner in Delhi and take the chance to look back on all you have seen and done on your journey.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Delhi - Dilli Haat INA Visit
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today is the final day of your Women’s Expedition in India. There are no included activities planned, so you’re welcome to check out of the hotel any time before midday. If you are departing later, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel until your flight. If you decide to stay an extra couple of days in Delhi, there are plenty of activities in and around the city to enjoy, as well as many Urban Adventures on offer.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

3 breakfasts, 5 dinners

Transport

Auto rickshaw, Bus, Car, Cycle rickshaw, Jeep, Metro, Overnight sleeper train, Private vehicle, Shuttle Bus

Accommodation

Hotel (3 nights), Overnight Sleeper Train (1 night), Camping with basic facilities (1 night), Heritage Property (6 nights)

Included activities

  • Delhi - Welcome dinner
  • Delhi - Leader-led Old Delhi walking & rickshaw tour
  • Delhi - Jama Masjid
  • Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)
  • Thar Desert - Kalbeliya Dance Performance
  • Thar Desert - Jeep Safari
  • Jaisalmer - City Tour
  • Jodhpur - Meherangarh Fort
  • Jodhpur - Sadar Bazaar
  • Jodhpur - City Walk
  • Chandelao Garh - Village Walk
  • Chandelao Garh - Sundar Rang Crafts Centre Visit
  • Nimaj - Leader-led village walk
  • Nimaj - Henna painting
  • Nimaj - Dance performance
  • Nimaj - Rangoli making
  • Chandelao Garh - Morning Yoga
  • Jaipur - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Jaipur - Bollywood movie at Raj Mandir
  • Jaipur - Amber Fort
  • Jaipur - City tour with The Pink City Rickshaw Company
  • Jaipur - Home-cooking Class
  • Agra - Saree lesson
  • Agra - Taj Mahal
  • Agra - Agra Fort Visit
  • Delhi - Dilli Haat INA Visit

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our India: Women's Expedition trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

Travellers on Intrepid trips are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Read details here.

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Day 2 (Overnight Train) 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.
2. Hot air balloon flights are operated by Sky Waltz in Jaipur. Flights operate mornings from September to June and morning and evening from September to March. Morning flights depart around sunrise and evening flights late afternoon and last 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$260pp (subject to change). Flights are subject to ticket availability and weather conditions. Tickets are fully refundable in case of poor weather.

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.

View Essential Trip Information

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