Map of Essential India including India

Your Geckos trip, Spiritual India, has moved here to Intrepid.

From October 1st, Geckos Adventures tours will be run by Intrepid Travel under our brand new 18 to 29s range.

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Hit the spiritual hotspots of India – Varanasi, Rishikesh and more

This awesome India adventure is for the inner-balance types out there (you know who you are). Seek out the best eats in Delhi, snap a selfie at the Taj Mahal, take a sunrise boat cruise down the Ganges in Varanasi, and get up early in Rishikesh for some yoga in an ashram. Spiritual enough for you?

This trip is for 18 to 29-year-olds

Some of our under-30 travellers prefer to get around with people their own age. If that’s you, you’re in the right place!

Over 29? We’ve got over 900 other great adventures to choose from for solo travellers, friends, families, food lovers, hiking enthusiasts, and more.

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Terms & Conditions

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

Why you'll love this trip

  • The Taj Mahal may be one of the most recognisable buildings in the world, but do you know its poetic history? A local expert will fill you in.See pilgrims praying and bathing along the ghats of the sacred Ganges River during an unforgettable sunrise cruise in Varanasi, one of India's holiest cities. Get up early in Rishikesh – the yoga capital of the world – for some yoga in an ashram. After more of a rush? Whitewater raft down the Ganges instead.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip involves some long bus and train rides, which can be tiresome but offer a quintessential Indian experience. You’ll be taking a few overnight trains.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

Namaste! Welcome to Delhi. Today is an arrival day with no planned activities, except a welcome meeting at 6 pm where you'll meet your tour leader and fellow travel pals. After this important meeting, why not continue the introductions over an optional group dinner.



Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Delhi - Home-Cooked Experience Urban Adventure - INR4000
  • Delhi - Gandhi's Delhi Urban Adventure - INR2700
  • Delhi - City Food Crawl Urban Adventure - INR3500
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive in time for today's welcome meeting, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please have these on hand.
Take a morning train to Agra, then it’s off to check out the one, the only, Taj Mahal. A local guide will tell you all about it and explain why it’s often called the world’s greatest monument to love (and don’t forget your camera). In the evening, catch an overnight train to to Varanas.
Accommodation
  • Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Agra - Taj Mahal
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Arrive early in the morning in Varanasi. Head straight to the hotel to freshen up, then plunge head first 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, then watch the world go by along the ghats. Your evening is free for you to chill out or explore some more.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
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 Delhi.
Accommodation
  • Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Varanasi - Sunrise boat trip
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Arrive back in Delhi, freshen up, then 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 your next stop.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Delhi - Old Delhi walking tour
  • Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)
  • Delhi - Jama Masjid
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Take a morning train north to Rishikesh. In the afternoon we’ll set off on a guided walk around the city. Later you may want to wander by the river, seek out a sitar or tabla lesson, or do more exploring through the city on two wheels. Tonight we camp at a site just outside of town.
Accommodation
  • Camping (basic facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Rishikesh - City walk
Optional Activities
  • Rishikesh - Bike hire - INR300
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
What does one do in the yoga capital of the world? Yoga, of course. Enjoy an optional yoga lesson in the early morning or, for something more thrilling, whitewater raft down the Ganges. In the evening, maybe 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 - Rafting - INR1200
  • Rishikesh - Yoga class - INR400
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Take a morning train back to Delhi. The day is free for you to explore the city however you like. Maybe check out the World Heritage-listed Humayun's Tomb, Qutub Minar or Red Fort of Delhi. Or find a spot to grab a beer and chill. This is a good chance to grab some eats with your new travel pals before you all go your separate ways – perhaps some stuffed parathas, golden-brown aloo tikki or some tangy yogurt-drenched chaat.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
That's all folks. This is the end of the adventure. There are no activities planned for today. Time to hit the beach?
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Transport

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

Accommodation

Hotel (6 nights), Camping (basic facilities) (1 night), Overnight sleeper train (1 night)

Included activities

  • Agra - Taj Mahal
  • Varanasi - Sunrise boat trip
  • Delhi - Old Delhi walking tour
  • Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)
  • Delhi - Jama Masjid
  • Rishikesh - City walk

Dates & availability

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

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Travel lightly with Intrepid. We’ve offset the main sources of carbon emissions from this trip on your behalf, including transport, accommodation & waste. Read more

Important notes

1. A single supplement is available for purchase on this trip with the exception of night 2 and 4 on the overnight train.

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.