There’s probably no other country on the planet that blazes its way into your memory like India.

Years later, you can still hear the morning calls of the chai wallahs and the silence of the desert, see smoke curling over the Ganges and a pale gold Varanasi sunrise. A lot of India tours rush from highlight to highlight, ticking them off in a blur of temples and tikka. But not us. Our India trips are more about spotting Bengal tigers in Ranthambhore or Panna National Park, hanging with nomads in Jaisalmer, meeting the holy men of Pushkar or camping under the stars in the desert. This isn’t just the India you see on postcards. This is India as it is. Raw, bizarre and totally addictive. 

Our India trips

Search all similar trips
8 Days From 11065

Take an action-packed eight-day tour through the essential sights and bites of India’s...

15 Days From 17770

Travel to India and visit the Rajasthan region. Tour from Delhi to Pushkar through...

15 Days From 21875

Travel to India and Nepal on a tour from Delhi to Kathmandu. Visit the Taj Mahal of...

11 Days From 9530

Get the most out of 11 days in India on this Lonely Planet Experience powered by...

15 Days From 29945

See the best of Rajasthan on this 15-day tour. Behold the delights of Agra, Jaipur,...

22 Days From 15655

See the essentials of India’s north on a 22-day Lonely Planet Experience through Delhi,...

10 Days From 16315

Take an action-packed family tour of India, following tiger trails, visiting Delhi and...

15 Days From 29220

Relish the sights and flavours of Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, Mumbai and Goa on this...

10 Days From 21360

Take road less travelled from Nepal to India on a 10-day tour. Start in Kathmandu, spot...

13 Days From 18305

Travel to India and visit Delhi, Shimla, Mandi, Dharamsala, Rishikesh and Amritsar on...

15 Days From 21085

Explore the tropical and spiritual southern India. Ride the toy train in Ooty, relax in...

15 Days From 14065

Discover India in all its glory on this 15-day spice-filled Lonely Planet Experience,...

10 Days From 14830

Take an action-packed family tour of India, following tiger trails, visiting Delhi and...

8 Days From 7965

We've taken a classic adventure through Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, India's Golden Triangle...

16 Days From 15840

See the landscapes of South India on a 16-day Lonely Planet Experience from Varkala to...

11 Days From 9805

Join us for a jaunt around north India, with rickshaws in Delhi, spirituality in...

13 Days From 14468

Explore India and Nepal with other folks aged 18-29 on this 13-day adventure including...

9 Days From 25010

Visit ancient temples and colourful cities on this northern India adventure through...

15 Days From 16395

Get on the road from Kathmandu to Delhi on a trip from Nepal to India, through Pokhara,...

19 Days From 32430

Spend 19 days touring India and Nepal, departing from Delhi and visiting Jaipur, Agra,...

16 Days From 10854

Get an authentic slice of the real Rajasthan on a trip that takes you to Delhi,...

23 Days From 25930

From Varanasi's ghats and the Taj Mahal to Hyderabad's Bollywood film studios and...

13 Days From 28990

Explore the backroads of India’s south on this 13-day tour. Travel from Chennai to...

13 Days From 12740

Explore the best bits of the India on a jam-packed southern adventure, including stops...

15 Days From 19305

Visit India and travel from the capital Delhi to spiritual Varanasi, through Panna,...

37 Days From 35010

Discover the colours and cultures of India on this Lonely Planet Experience visiting...

15 Days From 22185

Travel to India and cycle the romantic Rajasthan region. Tour from Delhi to Pushkar and...

11 Days From 13655

Discover northern India on this tour through Delhi, Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Nimaj,...

29 Days From 42650

This 29-day tour traverses India from south to north, winding from Kochi to Delhi and...

10 Days From 21235

Your whole family will love this incredible sensory adventure into the diverse life of...

20 Days From 22892

From the deserts of Rajasthan to the holiest river around, India will blow you away....

8 Days From 10700

Visit India and tour the famous Golden Triangle of Dehli, Agra and Jaipur with a group...

16 Days From 32205

Take an essential tour through Nepal and India on a 16-day adventure from Kathmandu....

21 Days From 64970

Get a cultural insight into India’s north and south, travelling through Delhi, Agra,...

12 Days From 15775

Discover what life is like for women living in Rajasthan, India on this female-only...

23 Days From 24095

Spend time in Kathmandu and Pokhara and then see where Buddha did his thing. Get active...

19 Days From 28830

Visit India and tour the famous Golden Triangle of Dehli, Agra, and Jaipur, delve into...

19 Days From 70250

Beginning in the hustle and bustle of Delhi, travel through Jaipur, Varanasi, Bandipur,...

8 Days From 8510

Celebrate the festival of lights the local way and watch the country erupt in happiness...

22 Days From 31235

Discover North India on this 22-day tour through Delhi, Jaisalmer, Jodphur, Nimaj,...

8 Days From 12000

Experience Delhi and the spectacular Diwali festival on this unique, small-group...

3 Days From 4518

Visit India and travel from Delhi to Agra. Travel to the Taj Mahal and Agra’s Red Fort,...

24 Days From 74005

Cross from Beijing to Delhi on an epic journey, seeing the temples and stupas of Lhasa,...

10 Days From 20635

From spicy curries and fragrant biryanis to flaky pastries and the scent of coconuts,...

8 Days From 14430

Travel to Delhi, Jaipur and Agra on this next-level vegan food trip in India’s Golden...

11 Days From 28780

Whether it's on a raft, two feet or two wheels, adventure can be found everywhere in...

13 Days From 28705

Travel from the bustling streets of Kolkata into Odisha, travelling between markets...

24 Days From 52390

Relish the sights and flavours of Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, Mumbai, Goa, Kochi,...

4 Days From 4193

Lift your spirits as you float on the Ganges at dawn in Varanasi, and explore the city...

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

India tour reviews

Articles on India

India travel highlights

Transport in India

Intrepid believes half the fun of experiencing a new country is getting there, and getting around once there! Where possible, Intrepid uses local transport options and traditional modes of transport - which usually carry less of an environmental impact, support small local operators and are heaps more fun.

Depending on which trip you're on while in India, you may find yourself travelling by:

Travellers sit in the back of Jeep in India Bijaipur

Jeep

Safari through jungles and national parks aboard a jeep, which is ideal for conquering the difficult terrain and offers supreme wildlife viewing opportunities.

India & Nepal Adventure

Northern India Family Holiday

Delhi to Kathmandu

Classic Rajasthan

Passengers seeing Udaipur from a boat

Boat

Cruising the waterways of India is a revealing, inspiring experience. Whether it’s the iconic Ganges or peaceful Kerala backwaters, seeing India from the water is a must.

Iconic India

India South & North

Classic South India

Southern India

South India Revealed

Passenger looks out window on Udaipur Mumbai Ovenight Train

Overnight Sleeper Train

Travelling by train is one of the great experiences of India. It's a system which looks like chaos, but it works - and well. Click here to read more about travelling by train in India.

South India Revealed

North India Revealed

Indian Getaway

Delhi to Goa

Real North India

Travellers getting around Delhi by metro

Metro

Use the efficient metro to get around the sights and suburbs of Delhi.

Best of India

Unforgettable India

Rajasthan Adventure

North India Highlights

India's Golden Triangle

Travellers exploring Old Delhi by auto rickshaw

Auto Rickshaw

Zip around the big cities of India by auto rickshaw.

Delhi to Kathmandu

Delhi to Goa

North India Highlights

Real North India

Accommodation in India

Travelling with Intrepid is a little bit different. We endeavour to provide travellers with an authentic experience to remember, so we try to keep accommodation as unique and traditional as possible.

When travelling with us in India you may find yourself staying in a:

Tordi India local family at window

Homestay

Make new friends, feast on authentic home cooking and receive kind hospitality while staying with friendly families in India.

Iconic India

India South & North

Southern India

South India Revealed

Jungle resort accommodation in India

Jungle Resort

With walks, wildlife spotting and adventure sports nearby, staying in a jungle resort is the perfect way to see another side of India.

India South & North

Southern India

India Udaipur City Palace

Heritage Stay

From ex-royal palaces to historic hill stations and converted forts, India is full of heritage properties that have been turned into comfortable accommodation with an old-world touch.

Northern India Family Holiday Comfort

Classic Rajasthan

Indian Getaway

India's Golden Triangle

India Vegan Food Adventure

The Taj Mahal in front of its reflecting pool, Agra, India

India holiday information

At a glance

Best time to visit India

Culture and customs

Food and drink

Geography and environment

History and government

Sensory Experiences of India

Shopping

Festivals and Events in India

Health and Safety

Further reading

India travel FAQs

India’s climate varies from place to place but the best time to visit, generally speaking, is in the winter, from December until early March. The whole country tends to get very hot from April onwards and most regions experience the summer monsoon in at least June, July, August and September.

Read more about the best time to visit India

India can be overwhelming sometimes but most travellers enjoy their time in India without any problems. That said, some regions experience ongoing issues, and there are several things a traveller should keep in mind when travelling through India to minimise their chances of running into any trouble.

Read more about safety in India

Yes, all foreigners entering India will need a visa. Whether you can apply for an e-visa is dependent on your nationality, the duration of your India tour and how you plan on entering the country.

Read more about India visas

While travelling through India, on a tour or otherwise, it’s expected one would tip porters, drivers, restaurant staff and other service workers given the low wages they earn.

Read more about tipping in India

Internet access is generally very good in India, with most cafes, restaurants and accommodations offering free wi-fi, even in the more rural areas. There is also good phone coverage for data use if you choose to purchase a local SIM card to stay connected for the duration of your India tour.

If you do wish to purchase a local SIM in India, make sure your phone has been unlocked before your tour begins. There are quite a number of carriers that are all very competitive, but Airtel is probably the best option for travellers. You’ll need to a copy of your passport and visa to pick up a SIM, and the process can sometimes be a hassle, but rates in India are very affordable given the competition.

Yes, you’ll be able to use your mobile/cell phone while on an India tour, but only if you have activated global roaming or purchased a local SIM card.

Read more about phones in India

Squat toilets are the most common toilets in India. Always carry your own toilet paper and soap or hand sanitizer, as they are usually not provided. Flushable, Western-style toilets can be found in up-market restaurants, some higher-end hotels and in some tourist areas.

India’s unit of currency is the rupee. Prices here are approximate and shown in US dollars for ease of comparison.

  • Cup of tea = USD 0.20
  • Small bottle of beer = USD 2 
  • Meal at a local restaurant (thali, masala dosa or similar) = USD 1–2
  • Meal in a tourist restaurant = USD 4–8

India is notorious among travellers for sickness – we’ve all heard horror stories about Delhi belly. We do not recommend ever drinking the tap water in India, and travellers should avoid drinks with ice and foods that haven’t been cooked or peeled. Salad is off the menu for now ­– let your inner-child rejoice!

Read more about water in India

Credit cards are being accepted an increasing number of cafes, shops, restaurants and accommodations in India, with Mastercard and Visa being the most common. That said, cash is still king, especially outside of cities like Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai.

Read about money in India

ATMs are widespread across India in both cities and smaller towns. Visa, Mastercard, Cirrus and Maestro are the most commonly accepted cards, but of those Visa and Mastercard are more likely to have success. The daily withdrawal limit differs from bank to bank.

The weather in India varies from region to region, but it’s generally safe to say that December–February sees dry, cooler weather before the heat intensifies from March–May. June, July and August are the monsoon months, though the amount of rain differs across the country, while October, September and November see rainfall ease once more.

Read our regional breakdown

Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their tour. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance

India has different classifications of holidays because of the multitude of faiths in the country. There are compulsory holidays and then various others chosen by government offices within each state. The following are the compulsory ‘gazetted holidays’ taken by government offices across India:

  • 26 Jan Republic Day
  • Feb/Mar Maha Shivaratri
  • Mar Holi
  • Mar/Apr Rama Navami
  • Apr Mahavir Jayanti
  • Mar/Apr Good Friday
  • May Buddha’s Birthday
  • May Eid ul-Fitr (end of Ramadan)
  • Jul/Aug Eid ul-Adha
  • 15 Aug Independence Day
  • Aug/Sep Janmashtami
  • Aug/Sep Islamic New Year
  • Sep/Oct Dussehra
  • Oct Birth of the Prophet Mohammed
  • 2 Oct Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday
  • Oct/Nov Diwali
  • Nov Guru Nanak Jayanti
  • 25 Dec Christmas Day

The dates of some of these holidays change each year, often across a number of months, as they are celebrated according to the Indian lunar calendar or the Islamic calendar.

For a current list of public holidays in India, including the movable dates noted above, go to: 

timeanddate.com/holidays/india/

Discretion is still advised for LGBTQIA+ travellers in India, as it is for couples of any sexual orientation, as public displays of affection are frowned upon in India. Though homosexuality was decriminalised in 2009, it was again made illegal in 2013, then decriminalised once more in 2018. 

Read more about LGBT India

 

Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. We’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and, where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.

As a general rule, knowing some common words in the local language, carrying a written itinerary with you and taking to the streets in a group, rather than solo, can help make your travel experience the best it can be.

Learn more about Accessible Travel

What you decide to pack and wear in India will depend on where you are and what time of year it is. The weather across India usually follows the monsoon cycle, so it’s quite easy to plan what to pack when it comes to rain, but temperatures will vary quite a bit from the north to the south.

Read more about packing for India

Responsible Travel

Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.

Travellers buying coconuts in Mumbai

How we're giving back

In India, we stay in locally run accommodation including guesthouses, smaller-scale hotels and homestays in an effort to support the local economies. We also visit locally-run restaurants and markets where travellers will have opportunities to support local businesses and purchase handicrafts created by local artisans.