Indian Odyssey by Rail

Rail, Delhi to Delhi

Image by G Adventures

Tour description provided by G Adventures

Travel like a local on this 54-day trip, exploring India by train from the northeast to the southwest. Skip the backpacking and let the train — and the innumerable beautiful sights — move you, from the Taj Mahal to the colours of Rajasthan to the ruins of Karnataka. This trip will hit some of the country’s highlights, with loads of time to hop off and get to know your surroundings in a way only a Rail tour allows. The trip won’t last forever, but the memories definitely will.

What’s included

  • G Adventures for Good: Women on Wheels Transfer, Indira Gandhi International Airport G Adventures for Good: City Walk, Delhi Carte Blanche: Udaipur
  • Golden Temple visit and evening Wagah border ceremony (Amritsar)
  • McLeod Ganj orientation walk
  • Bhagsunag visit
  • Taj Mahal visit (Agra)
  • Agra Fort visit
  • Jaipur orientation walk
  • Amber Fort visit
  • Udaipur orientation walk
  • Jagdish Temple and City Palace visit
  • Rajasthani cultural show
  • Bundi Fort and stepwells visit
  • Colaba area walking tour (Mumbai)
  • Gateway of India visit
  • Beach time in Goa
  • Walking tour and ruins visit in Hampi (Karnataka)
  • Hazararama Temple visit
  • Mysore Palace and Chamunda Hill visits (Mysore)
  • Namdroling Monastery visit
  • Coffee plantation tour (Madikeri)
  • Madikeri Fort and Raja's Seat visit
  • Fort Kochi and Chinese fishing nets visit
  • Backwaters canal ride
  • Vivekananda Rock and Ramkrishna Ashram visit (Kanyakumari)
  • Meenakshi Temple visit (Madurai)
  • Cycle tour to Shore Temple and Mamallapuram Beach
  • Charminar and Golconda Fort visit (Hyderabad)
  • Jagannath Temple visit (Puri)
  • Raghuraj Pur village visit
  • Victoria Memorial visit
  • Ganges ferry ride
  • Deolo Hill visit (Kalimpong)
  • Mangal Dham Temple visit (Kalimpong)
  • Local lunch
  • Gangtok orientation tour
  • Rumtek Monastery day trip
  • Darjeeling orientation tour
  • Tiger Hill sunrise visit
  • Tea estate visit
  • Mahakal Temple visit
  • Peace Pagoda visit
  • Toy train ride in Darjeeling
  • Evening ghats visit (Varanasi)
  • Sunrise boat trip on the Ganges
  • Sarnath visit
  • Lucknow orientation tour
  • Bara Imambara visit
  • Internal flight
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Highlights

  • Witness the famous india-pakistan border ceremony
  • See delhi on a walking tour led by a former at-risk youth
  • Explore the bundi fort and stepwells
  • Ride the toy trains of shimla and darjeeling
  • Indulge in the amazing food of seaside goa
  • Experience a homestay in the kerala backwaters
  • Visit the ghats of varanasi

Itinerary

Day 1 Delhi There are no planned activities until an evening welcome meeting. Included Activities: Women on Wheels Transfer Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Delhi/Amritsar (1D) Embark on a youth-led city tour of Delhi with G Adventures-supported project, City Walk. Get a unique perspective of the city while supporting at-risk youth and learning about the work of local nonprofit Salaam Baalak Trust. In the afternoon catch the Shatabdi Express to Amritsar. Included Activities: City Walk Transport: Train cars offer rows of 3 and 3 reclining seats for the evening ride. Train (6.00 hour(s))
Day 3 Amritsar Amritsar, meaning "Pool of the Nectar of Immortality," is the spiritual and cultural centre of the Sikh Religion. Learn more about Sikhs on our visit to Harimandir Sahib, also known as the Golden Temple, the most sacred shrine in Sikhism. As Amritsar sits right on the Pakistan-India border, we offer an optional trip to the border post to watch the formal flag ceremony, which is sure to be one of the highlights of the trip. Included Activities: Golden Temple Visit Wagah Border Ceremony
Day 4 Amritsar/Dharamshala Travel along Himalayan mountain roads to the famous seat of the home of the Dalai Lama. "Dharamshala" translates to "a spiritual dwelling" or loosely, shelter or rest house for pilgrims and travellers. It is a beautiful former British hill station situated in the snow-capped mountains of Himachal Pradesh, in the foothills of the Dhauladar ranges. The city is divided into lower and upper Dharamshala according to the altitude. A popular pilgrimage site, the town is filled with temples, markets, galleries and gathering places. Included Activities: Orientation Walk Transport: Private Vehicle (6.00-7.00 hours)
Day 5 Dharamshala There are lots of ways to spend free time in this charming place. Visit the Kangra Art Museum in the Kotwali bazaar, or take in a performance of the Tibetan folk opera 'Lhamo' at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts. Opt to visit Norbulingka. Set amidst beautiful gardens, surrounded by the green fields of the Kangra Valley, the Norbulingka Institute stands against a backdrop of the towering Dhauladhar mountains of the outer Himalayan range.
Day 6 Dharamshala/Shimla Enjoy a long drive to the charming town of Shimla, high in the beautiful Himalayas. Transport: Private Vehicle (6.00 hour(s))
Day 7 Shimla Enjoy a CEO-led orientation walk on The Ridge and The Mall (local hangouts) and explore this summer capital of British India. Opt to visit the Viceregal Lodge or admire the neo-Gothic or Tudorbethan architecture of the heritage buildings. Included Activities: The Ridge and The Mall Orientation Walk
Day 8 Shimla/Delhi (1D) Take the World Heritage-listed toy train from Shimla to Kalka. Over the course of 3 hrs, the train winds through tunnels as you head out of the mountains of Shimla. Transport: Toy train (3.00 hour(s)) Train (4.00 hour(s))
Day 9 Delhi Enjoy a free day in Delhi.
Day 10 Delhi/Āgra (1B) Take the Shatabdi Express train to Agra, with breakfast served on board. Enjoy a guided tour of the impressive Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. Time permitting, opt to visit the Baby Taj. Included Activities: Taj Mahal Guided Tour Agra Fort Guided Tour Transport: Train (2.00-3.00 hours)
Day 11 Āgra/Jaipur Hop on a Shatabdi Express train in the evening to Jaipur. Transport: Train (4.00-4.50 hours)
Day 12 Jaipur Take an orientation walk around town. Take a photo of the Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds) and visit the Amber Fort. Walk around the Old City and markets and opt to visit the City Palace. With free time, choose to visit local artisans in a nearby village, wander the Jantar Mantar, or check out a Bollywood film at the spectacular Art Deco film house, the Raj Mandir. Included Activities: Orientation Walk Amber Fort Visit
Day 13 Jaipur Enjoy free time to explore Jaipur before boarding an overnight train to Udaipur. Transport: Basic overnight train (beds)
Day 14 Udaipur Enjoy an orientation walk, including a visit to the Jagdish Temple and the City Palace, one of the largest royal palaces in India. Attend a Rajasthani cultural show on Gangaur Ghat. Included Activities: Orientation Walk Jagdish Temple Visit City Palace Visit Rajasthani Cultural Show
Day 15 Udaipur With free time in Udaipur, opt to check out the many beautiful lakes, take a boat ride, visit the Monsoon Palace for some excellent views, or take an Indian cooking class.
Day 16 Udaipur/Būndi Take a train to Bundi to explore the fort and stepwells. Included Activities: Bundi Fort and Stepwells Visit Transport: Train (4.50 hour(s))
Day 17 Būndi (1D) Explore Bundi with some free time before an overnight trip on the Mumbai Rajdhani Express train, with dinner on board. Transport: Train (1.00 hour(s)) Basic overnight train (beds) (12.00 hour(s))
Day 18 Mumbai Arrive in the morning in bustling Mumbai, home to 20 million people. Take a walking tour of the Colaba area and see the Gateway of India. Included Activities: Colaba Walking Tour Gateway of India Visit
Day 19 Mumbai/Goa Opt to visit the many Portuguese-built monuments, wander around the churches of Old Goa (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), or discover Panjim, the capital of the state. Don't forget to indulge in Goan cuisine. Transport: Plane
Day 20 Goa Enjoy a free day in Goa.
Day 21 Goa Spend a free day relaxing on the beach or opt to visit the many Portuguese-built monuments, wander around the churches of Old Goa (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), or discover Panjim, the capital. Don't forget to indulge in Goan cuisine.
Day 22 Goa/Hampi Travel by Visakhapatnam Howrah Express train and then by van to reach Hampi, in the heart of Karnataka. Transport: Private Vehicle (1.00-1.50 hours) Local train (6.00-7.00 hours) Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s))
Day 23 Hampi/Mysore Enjoy a walking tour and explore the spectacular ruins of Hampi Palaces, Vittala Temple complex, Virupaksh Temple, Hazararama Temple, and the boulders on the river. In the evening, take an overnight Hampi Express train to Mysore. Included Activities: Walking Tour Transport: Private Vehicle (1.00-1.50 hours) Overnight train (beds) (12.00 hour(s))
Day 24 Mysore Arrive to Mysore and explore the Mysore Palace and Chamundi Hill. Included Activities: Mysore Palace Visit Chamundi Hills Visit
Day 25 Mysore/Madikeri Drive to Bylakuppe and explore the Namdroling Monastery - home to nearly 5,000 Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns. Later drive to Madikeri for the evening. Included Activities: Namdroling Monastery Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (2.00-3.00 hours) Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s))
Day 26 Madikeri Explore Madikeri (the coffee hub of India) and enjoy a tour of a coffee plantation. Later, enjoy an orientation walk around the town and then enjoy free time to explore in the afternoon. Included Activities: Orientation Walk Coffee Plantation Tour
Day 27 Madikeri/Kochi Take a morning drive to the coastal town of Kannur. Catch the Ernakulam Express to Kochi in the afternoon. Transport: Private Vehicle (3.00-4.00 hours) Train (6.00 hour(s))
Day 28 Kochi Explore the Fort Kochi area and see the Chinese fishing nets at work. If time permits, visit the Jewish area and synagogue, the Dutch Palace, and Spice Market. Included Activities: Fort Kochi Visit Chinese Fishing Nets Visit
Day 29 Kochi Make the most of Kochi with free time to explore.
Day 30 Kochi/Alleppey (1D) This evening enjoy a taste of local life with a homestay. Included Activities: Kerala Boat Tour Transport: Train (1.00-1.50 hours) Tuk-tuk (0.50 hour(s))
Day 31 Alleppey/Kanyakumari (1B) Enjoy some more time in Kerala before an evening train to Kanyakumari for a full day exploring the area. Transport: Meals are available for purchase on board. Train (4.50 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (0.50 hour(s))
Day 32 Kanyakumari/Madurai Spend the day in Kanyakumari. Drive to the southernmost tip of India and take a ferry across to Vivekananda Rock and the Ramkrishna Ashram. Take an evening Kanyakumari Express train to Madurai. Included Activities: Vivekananda Rock and Ramkrishna Ashram Visit Transport: Ferry (0.50 hour(s)) Ferry (0.50 hour(s)) Train (4.50 hour(s))
Day 33 Madurai Explore the Meenakshi Temple and colourful markets of Madurai. Included Activities: Meenakshi Temple Visit
Day 34 Madurai/Māmallapuram Take the morning Vaigai Express to Chengalpattu before continue by van to Mamallapuram. Transport: Train (6.50 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (0.50-1.00 hours)
Day 35 Māmallapuram Cycle around and explore the rock-cut Shore Temple and Mamallapuram Beach. Included Activities: Shore Temple Visit Mamallapuram Beach Visit
Day 36 Māmallapuram/Chennai Accommodation on the train tonight will be either in two tier or three tier bunks. Included Activities: Chennai City Tour Transport: Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s)) Basic overnight train (beds) (13.00 hour(s))
Day 37 Hyderabad Learn more about the region's history with a visit to the iconic Charminar and historic Golconda Fort. Included Activities: Golconda Fort Visit Charminar Visit
Day 38 Hyderabad/Puri Opt to visit the Salar Jung Museum or the scenic Qutb Shahi Tombs with free time. Transport: Plane Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s))
Day 39 Puri Explore Raghuraj Pur village and beautiful Puri beaches. Included Activities: Raghuraj Pur Village Visit
Day 40 Puri/Calcutta (1L) Take a morning Shatabdi Express train to Kolkata, with lunch provided on board. Arrive in the afternoon and take an orientation walk with the CEO. Transport: Train (7.50-8.00 hours)
Day 41 Calcutta Explore the vintage monuments and streets of this former capital of the British Era, also visit Missionaries' of Charity the noble peace prize winner, Mother Teresa’s house and final resting place.. Opt to take a ferry ride across the Hooghly River. Opt to join the group for dinner at one of the famed restaurants on Park Street for the final night out.
Day 42 Calcutta Spend some free time exploring this fascinating city.
Day 43 Calcutta/Jalpāiguri Visit the Victoria Memorial, and take a ferry on the Ganges. In the evening, board an overnight New Jalpaiguri Kamrup Express train to New Jalpaiguri. Included Activities: Victoria Memorial Visit Ganges Ferry Ride Transport: Basic overnight train (beds) (13.00 hour(s))
Day 44 Jalpāiguri/Kalimpong Arrive at New Jalpaiguri and continue by van to Kalimpong. Take in views of the mountainous scenery with a stop at Deolo Hill. Included Activities: Deolo Hill Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s))
Day 45 Kalimpong/Gangtok Continue by private van to Gangtok and take an orientation tour of the town. Included Activities: Orientation Walk Transport: Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s))
Day 46 Gangtok Enjoy a day trip to Rumtek Monastery. Included Activities: Rumtek Monastery Visit Transport: Travel roughly 24km to the monastery and back. Private Vehicle (24km)
Day 47 Gangtok/Darjeeling Head to Darjeeling by private van and take an orientation tour of the town. Included Activities: Orientation Walk Transport: Private Vehicle (6.00-7.00 hours)
Day 48 Darjeeling Watch the sunrise at Tiger Hill, visit a tea estate and explore the Mahakal Temple. Later, travel the World Heritage-listed Darjeeling Himalayan Railway on a vintage steam engine train. Continue with a visit to the Peace Pagoda. Additional Notes: Please note that occasionally the cooking demonstration may be moved to Varanasi to better suit the day's schedule. Included Activities: Tiger Hill Sunrise Visit Tea Estate Visit Mahakal Temple Visit Peace Pagoda Visit Transport: Toy train
Day 49 Darjeeling to Varanasi Drive to Siliguri to catch an overnight sleeper train to Mughal Sarai. Transport: Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s)) Enjoy an air-conditioned train with linens provided. Basic overnight train (beds) (14.00 hour(s))
Day 50 Mughal Sarāi/Varanasi Arrive to Mughal Sarai in the morning and continue by van to Varanasi. Enjoy an evening visit to the ghats. Included Activities: Ghats Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s))
Day 51 Varanasi Take a sunrise boat trip on the Ganges. Enjoy a free afternoon to explore Sarnath and the city of Varanasi. Included Activities: Morning Ganges Boat Tour
Day 52 Varanasi/Lucknow Take a morning Varanasi-Lucknow Intercity train. In the afternoon, visit the Bara Imambara. Included Activities: Bara Imambara Visit Transport: Train (6.00 hour(s))
Day 53 Lucknow/Delhi (1D) Spend most of the day exploring Lucknow. In the afternoon, board the Swarna Shatabdi Express train to Delhi, with dinner provided on board. Enjoy the night in the bustle of Delhi. Transport: Train (6.00 hour(s))
Day 54 Delhi With extra time, you can book our 'Agra Independent Adventure' including accommodation, transport, and a guided visit to India's most famous sight, the Taj Mahal.
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