India on a Shoestring
Delhi to Delhi
From the monuments of Delhi to the colourful cities of Rajasthan, experience three weeks of northern India’s best. Marvel at Jaisalmer’s mud fortress and Bikaner’s unique temple before journeying into the desert for an overnight camel safari. Follow in the footsteps of pilgrims and make your way to the Ganges River at Varanasi. Your expert CEO will take care of the hassles so you’re free to see the sights or just soak up the vibe – India is home to great food, fascinating culture, alluring sights, and friendly and inviting people. Discover the charms and mystery that make up this incredible country. Age Restriction 18-39
RAJASTHAN AND VARANASI ON A SHOESTRING
Drink in a kaleidoscope of colour and culture | Experience spiritual Varanasi along the Ganges | Marvel at the Taj Majal | Wander the streets and markets in vibrant cities | Revel in the colourful villages of Rajasthan
- Simple hotels (15 nights), sleeper trains (three nights), camping (one night).
- Two breakfasts, two lunches, and two dinners; Allow USD435-565 for meals not included.
- Train, metro, local bus, charter bus, tuk tuk, small riverboat, camel, 4x4 vehicle.
- Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
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Day 1: Delhi
Arrive at any time.
Day 2: Delhi/Bīkāner
Join a youth-led tour through Delhi held by G Adventures-supported project, City Walk, before an afternoon orientation walk in Old Delhi. Take the overnight train to Bikaner. Enjoy a youth-led walking tour of Delhi with G Adventures-supported project, City Walk. This tour offers a unique perspective of Delhi while supporting at-risk youth.
Day 3: Bīkāner/Rāisar
We arrive early in the morning and reach our hotel. Bikaner is a semi-arid part of the Thar Desert with sandy dunes and scattered villages. In recent years the topography of the region has changed quite a bit, but you can still see the harsh realities of the desert here. We drive down in local jeeps to a village called Raisar from where we take our camels and ride into the desert. We ride for a couple of hours through villages and fields to our lunch point at a shady area.
Day 4: Rāisar/Bīkāner
After an optional sunrise viewing from atop dunes, transfer back to Bikaner. Enjoy an orientation of the Old City and the markets. Opt to walk up the dunes again for the sunrise. After breakfast, transfer back to Bikaner. Once back, your CEO will give you an orientation of the Old City and the markets.
Day 5: Bīkāner/Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer, known as the "Golden City," stands on a ridge of yellowish sandstone in the heart of the Thar Desert. This fortress city is best explored on your own. Wander through the lanes of the walled city and inside the fort. Houses, temples, and havelis are very different from what you would find in other regions of Rajasthan. Do not forget to watch the setting sun's reflection on the fort.
Day 6: Jaisalmer
Enjoy a free day to continue exploring the "Golden City".
Day 7: Jaisalmer/Jodhpur
Travel eastwards to the centrally located metropolis of Jodhpur, the second largest city in Rajasthan. A large and varied city, Jodhpur is sometimes called the “Blue City” for the many houses painted that colour. At Jodhpur, stark desert landscapes meet a riot of palaces, forts and temples, all enclosed within imposing city walls. Six enormous gates provide entry to the city centre, and overlooking it all stands the imposing shadow of Meherangarh Fort. Once we arrive, we take an orientation walk of the city.
Day 8: Jodhpur/Udaipur
Continue your journey southeast to Udaipur, famous worldwide for its plethora of breathtaking lakes and Raj-era palaces. Most famous of these, and certainly the most photographed, is the Lake Palace, an island-palace where the white marble buildings entirely cover a small island in Pichola Lake.
Day 9: Udaipur
Relive life as royalty at Sajjangarh Fort, also known as the Monsoon Palace, summer resort of the Maharajas. Sitting atop a hill with a panoramic view of the city’s lakes, the palace was equipped with an ingenious rainwater collection system, essential in the dry desert conditions of the region. Other options include a visit to the Jagdish Temple, the Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandir folk museum, Saheliyon-ki-Bari (the Garden of Maidens), and the City Palace and Museum.
Day 10: Udaipur/Pushkar
Travel to Ajmer and change to a local bus for the 14 km drive over Snake Mountain to Pushkar. Site of the world’s only temple to the Hindu god of creation, Brahma, Pushkar is so sacred that no meat, alcohol, or eggs are allowed within the city. However, most travellers know Pushkar for a different reason: the annual Pushkar Camel Fair.
Day 11: Pushkar/Tordi Sāgar
Dive into rural life and visit a potter and other local areas of the village. Opt to take a jeep safari to the dunes for sunset, head out for a hike in the hills, or get a henna tattoo from the local women.
Day 12: Tordi Sāgar/Jaipur
Enjoy a local lunch prepared by traditional methods at a village hamlet, then continue to Jaipur. Take an orientation walk around town. Enjoy free time to explore other sites around town. Before leaving Tordi Sagar, enjoy a local lunch prepared by traditional methods at a village hamlet.
Day 13: Jaipur
Enjoy a guided tour of the Amber Fort. Take some free time to explore other sites around town. Admire the city from above by pre-booking the Jaipur Balloon Ride when booking your tour.
Day 14: Jaipur/Āgra
Take an afternoon train to the Muslim city of Agra, known for India’s most famous landmark - the Taj Mahal! Immerse yourself in a guided tour of this iconic mausoleum and learn of its unique history as you admire the impressive Mughal architecture. Later, opt to ride one of the ubiquitous cycle rickshaws to visit the Agra Fort or Baby Taj, the less famous—but no less impressive—sister monuments.
Day 15: Āgra/Varanasi
Enjoy free time in Agra before boarding an overnight train to Varanasi.
Day 16: Varanasi
Arrive to legendary Varanasi, the quintessential Indian holy city where millions of Hindu travel to for pilgrimage, to worship, to mourn, or to die. Walk the narrow twisting alleys, poke around some of the literally thousands of temples and shrines, and experience the energy of the dawn rituals of bathing and burial as you float past the famous ghats of the Ganges.
Day 17: Varanasi
Cruise the Ganges on a morning boat tour with free time in the afternoon to explore.
Day 18: Varanasi/Delhi
Free day to explore Varanasi before boarding an overnight train to Delhi.
Day 19: Delhi
Free time to explore Delhi. Arrive back in the capital of India. The day is yours to explore the temples, markets and museums in this fast-paced amazing city.
Day 20: Delhi
Depart at any time.
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