Get set for an in-depth Indian adventure from Delhi to Kochi.

Travel across wild India on this trailblazing 23-day adventure tour. In the north, see pilgrims performing ancient ceremonies on the ghats of Varanasi and stare at the iconic Taj Mahal in Agra. Down south, go in search of wild elephants and tigers on safari and take a joy ride on the famous toy train, passing through hill stations, and enjoying the mountainous scenery along the way. This fantastic trip finishes off seaside in the important port city of Kochi – India's idyllic beachside holiday destination. Soak up all the freedom and diverse cultures of this big, colourful, chaotic and enchanting country. Oh, and did we mention all the biryani and chai you’ll eat? Experience real India with a knowledgeable local leader and a wicked itinerary to suit.

This trip is for 18 to 29-year-olds

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Delhi, India
Finish
Kochi, India
Destination
India
Style
Basix
Theme
18 to 29s
Code
HHYHC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 18, Max 29
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Travel solo, together

You're never alone when travelling solo with Intrepid

Why you'll love this trip

  • Capture your best selfie in front of the Taj Mahal – a marble masterpiece and the mother of all mausoleums, this Indian icon is all part of Agra’s allure.

  • Get among the relaxing vibes of Rishikesh with a one-hour morning yoga class, then sleep under the starry Indian sky surrounded by nature and mountain views.

  • Spend a day exploring the world of Bollywood in Ramoji Film City: a huge park full of filming locations. You’ll feel like you’re on the set of a blockbuster!

  • Go in search for elephants and tigers, as well as macaque, civet, giant flying squirrel, striped hyena and leopard on an included safari in the lush Bandipur National Park.

  • Taste the perfect cuppa with a visit to one of Coonoor’s tea plantations. Learn about how tea leaves go from plant to cup.

Is this trip right for you?

  • As this is a Basix trip, there is plenty of free time built into the itinerary for you to enjoy as you wish in each destination. Your leader will take you on an orientation walk in each destination to get your bearings and give you plenty of suggestions - then what comes next is up to you! Please take into account spending money for optional sightseeing (including local transport to and from sights) that isn't included in the trip cost when budgeting for your journey.

  • The regions visited on this trip can be extreme in temperature. It’s important to prepare for hot temperatures during the day and cooler climates in the evening. Rajasthan in particular can be very hot, especially in the summer. Layers are the best way to tackle any disparities in weather. 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 cold in Winter, so choose the season that best suits you.

  • 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.

  • This trip involves some long train rides, including a couple of overnight trains. The train journey from Delhi to Varanasi is approximately 13 hours, while the trip from Varanasi to Agra takes 11 hours and it's another 13 hours from Jaipur to Rishikesh. While this can be tiresome, train travel is a classic Indian experience. Sleeper trains are clean and air-conditioned and 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. For your own security, take a lock for your hand luggage. Sleeper train journeys in and out of Varanasi can be subject to long delays because of weather conditions, including heavy rain or fog.

Itinerary

Namaste, welcome to Delhi! Your adventure begins with an important welcome meeting at 6 pm, if you arrive early, there's plenty to do in this wonderfully chaotic city. Wander the streets, sip on your first chai or practice haggling in one of the many markets. If you prefer some structure, there's a variety of Urban Adventure day tours that offer a great first taste of Delhi. Find out more at urbandventures.com
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information 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.
This morning head out on a walking tour around the commercial heart of Delhi, visiting Chandni Chowk (Sheeshganj Gurudwara) and Connaught Place along the way. Explore Old Delhi on a bicycle rickshaw to dig that little bit deeper. You'll then have some free time to do as much sightseeing as you can, before boarding an overnight sleeper train bound for Varanasi. The journey should take around 13 hours and you'll arrive into Varanasi early in the morning.
Accommodation
  • Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)
  • Delhi - Old Delhi walking & rickshaw tour
Optional Activities
  • Delhi - Humayun's Tomb - INR500
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Arrive into Varanasi early and head straight to the hotel to freshen up before plunging headfirst into this holy city, which is one of the world's oldest. Explore the narrow laneways and backstreets on a walking tour with your guide, before watching the world pass by along the ghats. Your evening is then free to do as you wish.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Varanasi - Old City tour
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Wake up early and experience one of the highlights of your time in India. This morning, jump in boats and watch the sunrise over the Ganges. Pilgrims bathing, cremation fires and riverside haircuts - India is best before dawn and this is the best way to see it. The rest of your day is free to explore, before catching an overnight train to Agra tonight (approximately 11 hours).
Accommodation
  • Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Varanasi - Sunrise boat trip
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Arrive into Agra early this morning, then head to the most iconic site in India, the Taj Mahal. The highlights of India just keep coming. You have a full day to explore Agra on a motorised rickshaw trip, with Agra Fort being another incredible optional activity in the afternoon. The rest of your day is then free.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Agra - Taj Mahal
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Jump on a bus this morning and travel for around four hours to Rajasthan's pink capital, Jaipur. On arrival into the city stop off at the Hawa Mahal (pink sandstone palace) before heading to your hotel. Use the opportunity to freshen up and then venture out for a walking tour of the old city. In your spare time, perhaps take an optional tour of the Jaipur City Palace.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Jaipur - Bollywood Movie at Raj Mandir Cinema - INR400
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
For many travellers, a hot air balloon experience is one of the highlights of Jaipur. Ballooning can be done over Jaipur on the morning of Day 7, between September and June. For additional information, please see the important notes section of your trip notes. Later in the morning, enjoy a guided tour of the medieval Amber Fort with a local guide. Make sure to grab another cup of chai before settling in for this evening's 13-hour overnight train journey. Tonight, you'll hop a train bound for Rishikesh.
Accommodation
  • Overnight train (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jaipur - Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Wind)
  • Jaipur - Amber Fort
Optional Activities
  • Jaipur - City Palace - INR600
  • Jaipur - Jantar Mantar Observatory - INR200
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Arrive early in to Rishikesh, a spiritual town lying in the verdant foothills of the Himalayas. Embark on an orientation walk with your leader before enjoying free time to roam at your own leisure. Aptly named the 'Yoga Capital of the World', Rishikesh is a great place to relax and seek a little enlightenment. In your free time, why not visit The Beatles Ashram – a spiritual retreat inhabited by the famous band in the sixties. In the evening, perhaps take a stroll along the holy Ganges River as temple bells ring and the nightly fire ritual of Ganga Aarti begins.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Rishikesh - Chaurasi Kutia 'The Beatles Ashram' - INR600
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning, get among the relaxing vibes of Rishikesh and take part in a one-hour yoga class. Afterwards, perhaps tuck into a masala dosa for breakfast before walking or riding it off on one of the trails along the Ganges. For something more adventurous there is the option to white-water raft down the Ganges. In the afternoon, reunite with your group for a walk through the jungle nearby. Tonight, experience sleeping under the stars just outside of Rishikesh, you’ll be staying in a fixed campsite with twin-shared tents and western-style toilets surrounded by nature and mountain views.
Accommodation
  • Camping (basic facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Rishikesh - Yoga class
Optional Activities
  • Rishikesh - White Water Rafting - INR1500
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Have a chilled morning at your campsite before returning to Rishikesh where you’ll be able to use a day room to freshen up and have a shower. Spend the rest of the afternoon wandering around Rishikesh before catching an evening train (approximately 5 hours) back to Delhi.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Fly to Hyderabad for the second half of your trip. The flight and local transfers are included in the cost of the trip. Please note you will not be escorted by your North India tour leader on the transfers and the flight.

This morning, say goodbye to some of your crew who may not be joining you for the second stage of the trip, and take a flight from Delhi to Hyderabad, the capital of southern India's Telangana state. At 6 pm, you’ll get to meet your new leader and travel friends. There’s much to see in this busy tech-focused city. Check out the Golconda Fort and its well-manicured gardens, head to Hussain Sagar – a heart-shaped lake with a large standing Buddha statue, and pick up a delicious biryani on your travels. Once you’ve had your important meeting, get the gang together and tuck into some local food! Your group leader will know a great place to go.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
As this is a combination trip, the travellers in your group and your group leader are likely to change today. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary so please attend, and this is also a great chance to meet the new group. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.
This morning, take a walking tour of Hyderabad with your leader to get your bearings and learn a little bit more about this southern Indian city. You’ll also get the chance during the day to discover the weird and wonderful world of Bollywood with a visit Ramoji Film City. This 2000 acres of land is the largest integrated film city and the largest studio complex in the world. It can accommodate up to 20 film units at one time, with various shooting locations such as a London street, Japanese gardens, an airport, a hospital, and even a laboratory.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hyderabad - Ramoji Film City
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today, take a visit with your group to Charminar, also known as the Four Minarets. Constructed in 1591, this monument and mosque has become an icon of Hyderabad, and provides an area where locals Islamic communities come together in the surrounding markets to celebrate events and festivals. The afternoon is free for you to explore, and a perfect opportunity to take up one of the optional activities on offer, like a visit to the Golcanda Fort and the Salar Jung museum. This evening, be ready to take an overnight train to Chennai.
Accommodation
  • Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hyderabad - Charminar
  • Hyderabad - Orientation walk
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Arrive in the morning to Chennai, and then take a private vehicle to Pondicherry via Mamallapuram. You’ll have time to see the sights of Mamallapuram, including the striking granite structure of the Shore Temple overlooking the Bay of Bengal, the ancient carvings of Arjuna’s Penance and the Pancha Rathas (Five Rathas). These five Hindu temples clustered in the southern end of the city are extraordinary examples of structures carved from single large rocks in the 7th century, fully hidden in the sand until they were excavated by the British around 200 years ago. Afterwards, arrive in coastal Puducherry and perhaps relax with a coconut curry. The total driving time today is approximately 5 hours.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Mamallapuram - Shore Temple - INR600
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
The city of Puducherry (Pondicherry) has a strong French influence, seeing it was a French colonial settlement in India until 1954. Explore this cultural mix on a sightseeing walk with your group leader and visiting the French quarter, as well as Arbindo Ashram and Ganesh Temple. During your free time take a walk along the Beach Promenade.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Puducherry - Walking tour & Sri Aurobindo Ashram
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today, take a local bus from Pondicherry to Villupuram (approximately 2 hours), and then a 6-hour train journey to Madurai. Once arrived and checked-in, take a leader-led orientation walk around Madurai city, where you’ll spend the rest of tomorrow exploring. This evening your leader can take you on an optional walk through Madurai market, where you can try crispy dosas, flaky parotta (flatbread) and jigarthanda (Madurai’s answer to a lassi). You might even witness the art of a chai walla (chai street vendor) seamlessly pouring between the jug and cup, and putting on a bit of a show while preparing your drink.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Madurai - Orientation walk
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Wake up in Madurai and go check out the historic Meenakshi Temple, located on the banks of the Vaigai River. It’s colourful and ornate structures are definitely worth a photo. Otherwise, there is the option to visit the National Gandhi Museum, housing important artefacts of Ghandi, as the city of Madurai played an important part of his journey. Make sure you take some time to relax today, as you will board an overnight train bound for Mysore (approximately 14 hours).
Accommodation
  • Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Madurai - Sri Meenakshi Temple
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Arrive in Mysore in the morning (approximately 10 am), and head directly to the ornate Mysore Palace. This is the official royal residence of the Wadiyar dynasty and is the seat of the Kingdom of Mysore. It dominates the skyline of the city and is a clear example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. Afterwards, head by private transport to Bandipur (approximately 1.5 hours). On the way, stop by your local driver’s home for a biryani lunch. Delicious!
Accommodation
  • Jungle resort (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mysore - Maharaja's Palace
  • Mysore - Home cooked lunch & family visit
Meals Included
  • Dinner
This morning, head out and take up an included safari in the Bandipur National Park. The park covers 874 square kilometres and has many endangered animal and plant species in its boundaries. The park is well-known for spotting elephants and tigers, as well as macaque, civet, giant flying squirrel, striped hyena and leopard, to name a few. After your park safari has come to an end, travel by private vehicle for around 2 hours to the highland district of Coonoor.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bandipur - National Park Safari
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Coonoor is in the heart of India’s tea plantations and one of the three Nilgiri hill stations, along with Ooty and Kotagiri. The actual township of Coonoor is a colourful and bustling place perched on the hillside. Today, enjoy a ride on the famous toy train ride on the mountain railway line, passing through the other Nilgiri hill stations, and enjoying the mountainous scenery along the way. Also included today is a visit to one of the surrounding tea plantations, where you’ll get to walk through the estate and learn more about the process of tea making and have a taste, of course.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ooty - Nilgiri Mountain Railway & Tea Plantation visit
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning say goodbye to Coonoor before taking a private vehicle to Coimbatore (approximately 2.5 hours). Around mid-day, we embark on a five hour train journey to Kochi – a major port city on India’s southwest coast.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning we explore Kochi on a leader-led sightseeing tour of Kochi, where you’ll pass the Dutch Palace, the Jewish synagogue and the unique sight of shore operated lift nets, more commonly known as Chinese fishing nets. There is also the opportunity to book into an optional cooking class or to learn the art of Kathakali dance. Ask your group leader for more information if this interests you.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kochi - Dutch Palace
  • Kochi - Jewish Synagogue
Optional Activities
  • Urban Adventures Kaliveedu Cooking Class - Kochi - INR2500
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
With no activities planned for the final day, you are free to leave the accommodation at any time. That doesn’t mean that your adventure has to end! There is a selection of Urban Adventures tours that may interest you, including Aromas of Kochi – a sightseeing experience around the Fort Kochi area, visiting a pappadum factory, among other highlights. Visit urbanadventures.com/destination/Kochi-tours for more information.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

2 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners

Transport

Auto rickshaw, Cycle rickshaw, Jeep, Public bus, Private vehicle, Train, Overnight sleeper train, Metro, Shuttle Bus, Taxi

Accommodation

Homestay (1 nights), Hotel (16 nights), Lodge (1 night), Overnight sleeper train (4 nights)

Included activities

  • Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)
  • Delhi - Old Delhi walking & rickshaw tour
  • Varanasi - Old City tour
  • Varanasi - Sunrise boat trip
  • Agra - Taj Mahal
  • Jaipur - Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Wind)
  • Jaipur - Amber Fort
  • Rishikesh - Yoga class
  • Hyderabad - Ramoji Film City
  • Hyderabad - Charminar
  • Hyderabad - Orientation walk
  • Puducherry - Walking tour & Sri Aurobindo Ashram
  • Madurai - Orientation walk
  • Madurai - Sri Meenakshi Temple
  • Mysore - Maharaja's Palace
  • Mysore - Home cooked lunch & family visit
  • Bandipur - National Park Safari
  • Ooty - Nilgiri Mountain Railway & Tea Plantation visit
  • Kochi - Dutch Palace
  • Kochi - Jewish Synagogue

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. The internal flight from Delhi to Hyderabad is included in the price of your trip.

2. A single supplement is available for purchase on this trip. This single supplement covers all nights with the exception nights on the overnight trains.

3. Hot air balloon flights are operated by Sky Waltz in Jaipur. Flights operate from September 1st to April 31st 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$260pp (subject to change). Flights are subject to availability and weather conditions (tickets are fully refundable in case of bad weather).

4. As this is a combination trip the composition of your group as well as your leader may change on Day 11.

Essential trip information

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