India Encompassed

Classic, Delhi to Kochi
Image by G Adventures

Information from G Adventures

Tour description

From the white marble of the Taj Mahal to the unforgettable backwaters of Kerala, your camera's shutter will be snapping nonstop throughout this comprehensive Indian journey. Sail along the sacred Ganges River in Varanasi and explore Abhaneri’s carved stepwells in the North before flying south to search for tigers in the wild and exotic spices in relaxed hill stations. With an intriguing combination of included activities and free time, city streets, and rural spirit, you're sure to gain an understanding of the people and some insight into this fascinating land.

What's included

  • Your G for Good Moment: Women With Wheels Transfer, Indira Gandhi International Airport Your G for Good Moment: City Walk, Delhi Your G for Good Moment: Lunch at Theuvoram Women Empowerment Project, Alleppey Your Welcome Moment: Meet Your CEO and Group Your Local Living Moment: Kerala Backwaters Homestay, Alleppey
  • Old Delhi walk
  • Amber Fort tour
  • Rajasthani rural village stay
  • Dhula Village cycling excursion
  • Taj Mahal and I’timad-ud-Daulah (Baby Taj) entrance
  • Agra Fort tour
  • Orchha Palace complex visit
  • Western Temple complex visit
  • Ganges River boat trips at sunrise and sunset, including candle flower ceremony
  • Fort Kochi orientation walk
  • Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary walk and safari
  • Chaumundi Temple and Mysore Palace visit
  • Mamallapuram Shore Temple visit
  • Pondicherry orientation walk
  • Madurai cycle-rickshaw ride and Sri Meenakshi temple visit
  • Cardamom Hills spice plantation tour
  • Internal flights
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Highlights

  • Discover ancient forts and temples
  • Revel in the beauty of agra's taj mahal
  • Sail the ganges in venerable varanasi
  • Stay with the locals in the kerala backwaters
  • Smell spices at a plantation in the cardamom hills

Itinerary

Day 1: Delhi Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included through the G Adventures-supported Women With Wheels project.

Day 2: Delhi Enjoy a youth-led morning walk through Delhi by G Adventures-supported City Walk project offering a unique perspective of Delhi while supporting at-risk youth. Later, visit Delhi’s famous Jama Masjid (Great Mosque) and climb the minaret for a bird’s eye view of Old City. Walk through Chandni Chowk, one of India’s oldest and busiest markets, and learn the history of the Sikh religion at Gurdwara. Stop for photos at the colourful market before finishing at Connaught Place, one of the most prominent architectural remnants of British rule.

Day 3: Delhi/Jaipur Drive to Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, and start exploring the Pink City. Opt to visit the Jantar Mantar, or Royal Observatory. Don't miss the opportunity to see a Bollywood film at the famous Art Deco Raj Mandir cinema.

Day 4: Jaipur Stop and admire the intricate architecture of Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds) before venturing to the ruined city of Amber to explore the famous Fort.

Day 5: Jaipur/Dhula Village Travel to Dhula Village and get a closer look at rural life in Rajasthan during a cycling excursion. Tonight, settle in to your cozy tent, relax by the fire, and take in the starry night sky.

Day 6: Dhula Village/Āgra Stop by the impressive Abhaneri stepwell en route to Agra, home of the Taj Mahal.

Day 7: Āgra Visit the sparkling, iconic Taj Mahal for sunrise with time to explore the picturesque grounds. Afterward, jump on a cycle-rickshaw for a rustic ride to the walled city of Agra Fort and Baby Taj.

Day 8: Āgra/Alīpura Board a morning train then transfer to a private vehicle for a ride across rough Indian roads to Alipura. This friendly village will be our base for two days where you'll stay in a heritage property with time to wander the town and interact with local people.

Day 9: Alīpura Enjoy a day trip to Khajuraho, where India's largest group of medieval temples reside, known for their Kama Sutra statues. Learn the history of these world-famous temples on a guided tour and enjoy a taste of a little erotica from the Middle Ages. After, opt to visit a nearby waterfall or watch an evening dance performance.

Day 10: Alīpura/Orchha En route to Orchha, visit a unique paper making plant, set up to assist tribal women from the area. All the paper is made from recycled clothing and wood pulp. Continue on to Orchha and embark on an orientation tour of this small town. Set on the banks of the Betwa River, it is the perfect antidote to the chaos of India’s cities. Later, attend an evening puja ceremony at the Ram Raja Temple.

Day 11: Orchha/Varanasi Visit the Orchha Palace complex and enjoy free time before the overnight train to Varanasi.

Day 12: Varanasi Disembark the train in legendary Varanasi - the quintessential Indian holy city where millions of Hindus visit for pilgrimage, to worship, to mourn, or to die. Take an orientation walk through the oldest continually inhabited city in the world. There is time here to shop, wander, and absorb the atmosphere of this unique city. Marvel at the ghats from the River Ganges as you enjoy an evening boat trip to witness a mesmerizing candle-lit flower ceremony.

Day 13: Varanasi Watch the sunrise from a boat along the Ganges. Spend the rest of the day getting to know this holy city. Opt to visit the monasteries and ruins of nearby Sarnath, the site of the Buddha's first sermon.

Day 14: Varanasi/Delhi Soak up some free time this morning and continue exploring Varanasi. Later, cut out the travel time with a flight back to bustling Delhi.

Day 15: Delhi/Kochi Fly to the port city of Kochi. Settle into your hotel and enjoy free time to relax the rest of the day. Opt to catch the sunset over the Arabian Sea, framed by hundreds of boats and fishing nets.

Day 16: Kochi/Kalpetta Take a morning train followed by a scenic drive to reach Kalpetta, in the Wayanad district.

Day 17: Kalpetta Walk the nature trails through the forested areas in Wayanad. Also take a wildlife drive in search of elephants and bison.

Day 18: Kalpetta/Mysore Settle in for the drive to the ancient city of Mysore.

Day 19: Mysore Explore the vibrant city of Mysore including visits to Chamundi Temple and Mysore Palace. After enjoy free time and opt to visit the Devaraja market or join a yoga class.

Day 20: Mysore/Māmallapuram Enjoy a full day of train travel to Chennai before a short bus ride to Mamallapuram. Visit the Shore Temple.

Day 21: Māmallapuram Free time to explore Mamallapuram.

Day 22: Māmallapuram/Puducherry Continue to Pondicherry (now known as Puducherry) and learn about Sri Aurobindo Ghose at the ashram.

Day 23: Puducherry/Madurai Travel inland to Madurai, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.

Day 24: Madurai Hop on a cycle rickshaw for a tour of the city before visiting the famous Meenakshi Temple.

Day 25: Madurai/Thekkady Drive to Thekkady. Take a guided tour of spice plantations in the Cardamom Hills.

Day 26: Thekkady/Kerala Backwaters Travel to Alleppey for a local homestay. Experience local life and a guided walk along the lagoon.

Day 27: Kerala Backwaters/Kochi Spend the morning enjoying last moments with your host family. Learn to cook some local food, watch the toddy tappers at work, or wander around the village. Travel to a Planeterra project for lunch before returning to Kochi. Head out for an orientation walk, then enjoy an evening performance of kathakali, a form of traditional dancing from Kerala.

Day 28: Kochi Depart at any time.