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. 

Top India travel deals

Departing Days From ZAR
25 Dec 2018
India Real Food Adventure
15 R30,090
R25,577
View Trip
28 Dec 2018
Real Kathmandu to Delhi
Ages 18 to 29
13 R13,380
R12,042
View Trip
30 Dec 2018
Rajasthan Adventure
15 R18,240
R16,416
View Trip
30 Dec 2018
Essential North India
Ages 18 to 29
11 R8,160
R6,936
View Trip
30 Dec 2018
Epic India
Ages 18 to 29
23 R17,620
R14,977
View Trip
2 Jan 2019
Unforgettable India
15 R18,655
R14,924
View Trip
3 Jan 2019
Classic South India
15 R30,095
R22,572
View Trip
4 Jan 2019
South India Real Food Adventure
12 R22,975
R19,529
View Trip
4 Jan 2019
South India Revealed
16 R14,655
R10,992
View Trip
4 Jan 2019
India South & North
29 R35,965
R34,167
View Trip

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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

India tour reviews

Video

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:

India Bijaipur Jeep

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 Expedition: Tea & Tribes

Northern India Family Holiday

India & Nepal

Delhi to Kathmandu

Classic Rajasthan

India Udaipur 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.

India South & North

Iconic India

Southern India

South India Revealed

Classic South India

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.

Essential North India

North India Revealed

South India Revealed

Delhi to Goa

Indian Getaway

India Delhi Train Station

Metro

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

North India Highlights

Best of India

Rajasthan Adventure

Unforgettable India

India's Golden Triangle

India Delhi Street Rickshaw

Auto Rickshaw

Zip around the big cities of India by auto rickshaw.

Essential North India

Essential India

North India Highlights

Delhi to Kathmandu

Delhi to Goa

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.

India South & North

Iconic India

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: Mind, Body, Spirit

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

India Vegan Food Adventure

Classic Rajasthan

India's Golden Triangle

Indian Getaway

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

Eating and drinking

Geography and environment

History and government

Sensory Experiences of India

Shopping

Festivals and Events in India

Health and Safety

Further reading

India travel FAQs

An E-Tourist Visa (eVT) Facility is available for holders of a passport for a number of countries. This facility allows travellers to pre-register and pay for their visa prior to travel to India. The Visa is collected upon arrival at one of 16 designated airports in India. Please note strict guidelines on the below website.

https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html

An E-Tourist Visa (eVT) visa on arrival is available for select nationalities including but not limited to the following:

Australian, Canadian, New Zealand, German, UK and USA passports.

Passport holders from these countries can apply for an E-Tourist Visa (eVT) to have their visa issued upon arrival at 16 major airports in India.

- Please be aware of strict conditions regarding application and travel (check under ELIGIBILITY section).

- E-visas are only available for entry of up to 60 days. If you plan to be in India longer you will need to apply for a tourist visa at an Indian visa application centre in your home country.

- Please note that travellers entering India overland from Nepal are required to apply for a visa in advance their home country. Visas will not be issued on the Nepal/Indian border.

- The E-Tourist Visa DOES NOT apply to travellers entering India overland. Please check your trip notes if you are crossing a border between India and Nepal.

- Indian visas are difficult and time consuming to obtain in Nepal.

Tourist visas are available in Single and Multiple Entry. Be sure to check the date you require a visa from and the length of time you will need to cover, especially if you change countries during your trip.

Please note that this information can change at any time. Please always refer to https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html

This is the official visa online site. There have been reports of other non-official websites that are in fact operated by visa companies - it is at your own risk if you choose to use other parties to process your e-visa.

While not mandatory, tipping porters, drivers, restaurant staff and other service workers is considered polite. When taking into account the low wages earned by the average Indian person, a small tip of 5-10% of the service is a gracious way to show your appreciation.

The internet has grown rapidly in India, so finding Wi-Fi access and internet cafes in the large cities and regional centres won't be a problem. Smaller towns, isolated areas and rural villages may have limited to no access.

Mobile phone coverage is generally good in India’s urban areas but may not be available in rural and mountainous areas. Ensure global roaming is activated with your service provider before leaving home.

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. Western-style flushable toilets can be found in up-market restaurants, five-star hotels and in some tourist areas.

Cup of tea = 5 INR
Small bottle of beer = 40 INR 
Basic street food plate = 40-60 INR
Buffet dinner in a nice restaurant = 800-1500 INR

Drinking tap water isn’t recommended in India. Remember to avoid drinks with ice and to peel fruit before eating it. Help the environment and try to avoid buying bottled water. Instead, fill a reusable water bottle with filtered water. Ask your trip leader or hotel as to where you can find filtered water.

Credit cards are usually accepted by modern hotels, restaurants and medium-to-large shops in tourist areas. Smaller shops, cafes, market stalls and places in remote areas probably won’t have facilities that support credit cards, so ensure you have enough cash to cover expenses while in rural areas or when visiting smaller vendors and bazaars.

ATMs can be found in India's large cities so finding one shouldn’t be a problem. Smaller towns and isolated areas will have very few or none at all, so have enough cash to cover purchases when out of major cities.

Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. 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

  • 26 Jan: Republic Day
  • 13 Mar: Holi
  • 17 April: Mahavir Jayanti
  • 19 April: Good Friday
  • 21 April: Easter Monday
  • 19 May: Buddha’s Birthday
  • 15 Aug: Independence Day
  • 30 Aug: Islamic New Year
  • 30 Sep: Dussehra
  • 2 Oct: Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday
  • 27 Oct: Diwali
  • 12 Nov: Guru Nanak Jayanti
  • 5 Dec: Birth of the Prophet Muhammad
  • 25 Dec: Christmas Day

The dates of some of these holidays change each year as they are celebrated according to the Indian lunar calendar or the Islamic calendar.

For a current list of public holidays in India go to: https://www.worldtravelguide.net/guides/asia/India/public-holidays/

Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. As for any traveller to India, travellers with disabilities will need plenty of patience and flexibility to get the most out of exploring India. India is working towards becoming more accessible for travellers with disabilities in the face of huge challenges. While resources are scarce and infrastructure currently underdeveloped, accessibility is a focus of government policy. Currently travel in India for people with disabilities is limited by societal attitudes and lack of infrastructure. People with disabilities are often isolated from mainstream society and many locals will not have had experience meeting disabled people. However, a big advantage India does have in making it easier to travel with a disability is that it is affordable to hire additional guides or a car and driver to help you get around.

Only top end hotels may be wheelchair friendly so if you require accessible rooms you will need to enquire with the accommodation in advance. Some restaurants may have ramps, but most buildings will have steps at the entrance. Footpaths are rarely free from crowds, obstacles, litter or holes where they do exist. In many places paths will be unpaved and uneven. Many domestic airlines will not be able to adequately accommodate manual wheelchair users, although Jet Airways and Air India are generally said to have the best provisions.  Progress is being made to make ramps available to enter and exit trains and provide disabled toilet facilities at railway stations. Metro stations in big cities like Delhi and Mumbai should have elevators, however these are not always functioning. Major tourist sites managed by the Archaeological Survey of India often have audio guides available, and guides for hire as well as attendants who may be able to assist with mobility or other needs.

For further resources on travelling in India with a disability see:

http://accessibleindia.gov.in/content/index.php

http://www.airindia.in/disability-assistance.htm

http://www.accessability.co.in/access/Access-Today

Visit your doctor or travel clinic for advice and make sure to schedule vaccinations 4-6 weeks before your departure date, as some require time to become effective.

Discretion is advised for LGBTQI-travellers in India. In some ways, the country is regressing in this area. Though homosexuality was decriminalised in 2009, it was again made illegal in 2013. That said, gay clubs can be found in a number of larger cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Goa. And in 2014, transgendered people received legal recognition as a third gender. Keep in mind that public displays of affection are frowned upon in India, regardless of sexual orientation.

For more detailed and up-to-date advice, we recommend visiting Equaldex or ILGA before you travel.

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 Mumbai Coconuts

Top responsible travel tips for India

1. Be considerate of India’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.

2. Dress modestly and respectfully. Shoulders to knees should be covered, especially when entering places of worship.

3. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water instead.

4. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.

5. When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It's meant to be fun!

6. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.

7. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.

8. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.

9. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.

10. When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.

The Intrepid Foundation

The Intrepid Foundation provides travellers with an opportunity to give something back to the many wonderful communities we travel to. By donating to The Intrepid Foundation you can make a difference in local communities - in health care, education, human rights, child welfare and the protection of wildlife and the environment.

In India, The Intrepid Foundation proudly supports:

Pollinate Energy

Pollinate Energy

Pollinate Energy is a social business with a simple mission – to improve the lives of India’s urban poor by giving them access to affordable products. With a focus on sustainable solutions, such as solar lights and improved cookstoves, people are able to reduce indoor smoke, have better quality light, use less fuel and save money.

Photo provided by Pollinate Energy

Asha Ka Jharna

Asha Ka Jharna

Providing essential services to disabled children and adults, this Rajasthan-based organisation assists disempowered people to feel part of their community. Vocational training, education, guidance and counselling all help to foster self reliance and confidence. 

Image supplied by Asha Ka Jharna.

To learn more or donate, go to: www.theintrepidfoundation.org