“Epic 87 day overland truck tour of India from the Himalayan foothills in Bhutan and Nepal to Kerala and Goa via Delhi, Mumbai and the Taj Mahal.”
Kolkata | Darjeeling | Tigers’ Nest Monastery | Chitwan National Park | Kathmandu | Nepal to India | Varanasi | Fatehpur Sikri | Jaipur | Delhi | Rajasthan | Udaipur | Jodhpur | Jaisalmer | camel safari | Ajanta and Ellora caves | Mumbai | Goa | Hampi | Mysore | Kerala | Kanyakumari | Chennai | Sri Venkatesvara Tirumala | Odisha | ancient sites of Puri |
Description of India overland truck tour, with Nepal and Bhutan
If you’ve got the time and the energy, this 87 day India and Nepal tour lets you really get to grips with the landscapes, the culture and the people of this mesmerising region of Asia with trips into the Kingdom of Bhutan adding to the excitement of travelling overland.
From the capital of West Bengal, Kolkata, you’ll travel overland through the tea plantations of Darjeeling and across Himalayan foothills to the mountain monasteries and plentiful green vales of Bhutan where you’ll get your first taste of Buddhism on a trek to the legendary Tigers’ Nest Monastery.
Next stop on this epic overland journey is Nepal where the perimeters of Chitwan National Park provide the scenery en-route to the enchanting capital city of Kathmandu prior to continuing onwards into India.
The Nepal to India tour leg is never going to be forgotten and as you travel from Kathmandu to Delhi via Varanasi, Fatehpur Sikri, Jaipur and, of course, the Taj Mahal in Agra, you’ll enter one of the world’s most hectic, chaotic and breathless cities where time stands still as life races by.
Exiting Delhi takes you into the country’s largest state, Rajasthan, where Udaipur, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer provide ever-changing scenes of urban life before you experience a traditional desert safari on a camel as you set sail for the ancient caves of Ajanta and Ellora before departing Thar Desert and heading for Mumbai.
After experiencing the bright lights of Mumbai, the beaches of Goa will be calling although there’s still plenty of time to take in Hampi, Mysore and the peaceful waterways of Kerala in between.
Bidding your hammock in Goa a fond farewell our India overland tour continues to the country’s southernmost point, Kanyakumari, before heading northwards to the hustle and bustle of Chennai by way of the temple-filled towns of Madurai and Mahabalipuram.
Next stop on our Indian odyssey is the temple of Sri Venkatesvara Tirumala and the tribal region of Odisha, an area hardly ever visited by casual tour parties. This is an intrinsically fascinating cultural precursor before you travel back to Kolkata via the ancient sites of Puri to end what will have been an incredible adventure that will live in the memory long after the tan has finally faded.
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Responsible tourism: India overland truck tour, with Nepal and Bhutan
We are dedicated to minimising the effects our trips have on the environment, and are committed to ensuring that we have a positive impact on the local communities we travel through.
On this epic trip through India, Bhutan and Nepal, we will be travelling overland, using a combination of overland vehicles, boats, rickshaws, 4x4s and trains thus cutting out the need for air travel and reducing carbon-emissions. Going overland (by car and on foot for excursions) means you get to experience physically crossing the borders between countries as well as explore places which are off the beaten track.
We believe that local culture and communities must be an integral part of our trips. We recognise that we are guests of the local communities we travel through and strive to make these communities into our partners.
Wherever we are in the world, we prefer to use smaller locally-owned businesses, ensuring that local communities gain a direct economic benefit from our business, for example, we use small locally owned hotels, campsites and activity providers wherever possible. In Bumthang we stay in a local farmhouse, where we will experience a genuine slice of Bhutanese life and hospitality, and the food is in no way adapted for tourists. While in Muniguda we stay at a guesthouse run by the New Hope Charitable Trust, an NGO helping to uplift the poor and disadvantaged, and support and visit their project and the people that they assist.
We use local guides and operators throughout the trip, for example in Bhutan and the Odisha Tribal Region of India, we use a responsible local operator that provides training and employment to many local people as guides, providing them with stable employment in the tourism industry.
We also feel it is important that our guests immerse themselves in the culture of their host country and we ensure that we weave experiences that will facilitate this into our itineraries. For example, we visit local markets in Thimphu and in Chitwan, we support and attend the performances of local musicians and dancers keeping the ancient tradition of Thali stick-dancing alive.
We have a strict set of rules regarding wildlife-spotting, for example when in Chitwan and Bandhavgarh National Parks. In order to minimise the impact of our presence on the wildlife and ecosystem of the areas where we travel, we explicitly forbid any involvement in activities that harm or exploit animals, and advise our crew in specific activities to avoid in this regard.
On the road: All of our vehicles conform to UK emission controls when they leave the UK and are regularly serviced and maintained in established, locally-owned workshops ensuring that they run as efficiently as possible and our economic returns to a country reach beyond tourism. Waste products such as oils and tyres are often reused several times after we have finished with them, as we pass them on to local people.
All trucks carry a 350-litre water tank, providing drinking water for the group and minimising the need to purchase bottled water. Rather than using plastic bags when shopping for food, we also provide reusable longer lasting bags; we bury our bio-degradable waste or give it to local people to feed livestock; and for cooking we generally use gas instead of wood, a cleaner fuel which leaves natural resources for local people. Passengers and crew are encouraged to use rechargeable batteries for items such as cameras, which can be charged from mains supplies or on our trucks as we travel.
In the office and as a company: We are committed to trying to reduce, re-use and recycle as much as is possible: we reduce what we print by using email and online media for the majority of our communication; any necessary print is always 2-sided and all paper products (in addition to plastics, glass, cardboard, oils and metal) are recycled. We minimise our energy consumption in whatever way we can (e.g. using energy efficient light bulbs and minimising water usage with reduced water cisterns in the bathroom for example).
We are committed to promoting human rights within our sphere of influence – this means trying to ensure that everybody involved with us are treated with fairness and respect, including our office staff, crew, local guides and suppliers, as well as all the other stakeholders. For example, In Kolkata, we have the opportunity to visit and support the Ushti Foundation, who support underprivileged children and young people through schooling and professional training, so that they can lead self-determined, financially independent lives.
We are also involved with a variety of community projects in key destinations as we visit. For example, In Jodphur we visit and support the Sambhali Trust, a centre run by a local charity for providing local women and girls with education and vocational skills. Our involvement with these projects is a long-term commitment, allowing us and our passengers to participate directly in delivering real practical benefits to the communities we travel through on the ground. The projects are not tourist initiatives, but a way of employing tourism to generate funding and support and facilitate community interaction.