Indian holiday, experience

“A 26-day exploration combining must-see highlights with quiet villages, backwaters and beaches. Stress-free travelling, with a guide throughout and three internal flights to cover the ground.”

Highlights

New Delhi | Jaipur | Agra | Orchha | Khajuraho | Varanasi | Chennai | Mamallapuram | Puducherry | Tanjavar | Karaikudi | Madurai | Periyar | Kochi | Kerala backwaters | Kumarakom | Kovalam

Description of Indian holiday, experience

Experience the real India on this comfortable introduction to the culture of the north and the lush beauty of the south, from Delhi to Trivandrum. This is a 26-day trip and youíll travel in a small, guided group of no more than 16 people, with three internal flights to help you cover the ground and discover everything that India has to offer. Comprehensive and fascinating, this journey takes in Indiaís flamboyant major cities, the vibrant towns of Rajasthan as well as quiet fishing villages, tea gardens, tribal homes and colonial enclaves. Discover the culinary delights of each region and stay in colourful hotels, heritage accommodation and even a palace!

In the north, Indiaís beautiful architecture is the star. From Jaipurís Palace of the Winds and Royal City Palace, Agraís Red Fort and the iconic Taj Mahal, to the palaces of Orchha and the carved steps leading down to the river in Varanasi. There is plenty of opportunity to soak up the countryís spiritual side, too, at the Jama Masjid mosque in Delhi and the ghats of Varanasi, or watching evening prayer ceremonies, ancient bathing rituals and candle flower ceremonies on the Ganges.

In the south, Indiaís highlights and hidden jewels are revealed against a backdrop of green on a Kerala tour. Track footprints in search of wild elephants in the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and explore the rolling hills, tea plantations and chai gardens of Munnar. In Kochi, ferry-hop between the islands to discover palaces, temples and Portuguese architecture at every turn, and explore the idyllic seaside town of Puducherry.

Amongst the included activities on this wide-ranging trip are cooking demonstrations, guided walks, watching a Bollywood movie in Jaipur and traditional dance performances in Orchha and Kochi. This is an unforgettable journey through a diverse and intriguing country, guided and planned so all you have to do is relax and enjoy the ever-changing spectacle.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

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11 Feb 2021
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Holiday type

Small group adventure - Comfort trips

What is a small group adventure?
It's a great way to travel! Whether you are travelling on your own, with a partner or with friends, a small group trip is a fantastic way to see the world. You'll travel on a fixed itinerary that has been designed to help you discover the best of region. From the known highlights, the hidden gems that you won't find in the guidebooks.

Itineraries run on set departure dates, accompanied every step of the way by an English speaking local group leader. You chose the itinerary and the date that suits you best and you book on.

Why travel on a small group adventure?
Small groups allow us to explore where larger tour groups can't. Our maximum group size of 16 travellers allows us to use local transport to get from A to B, to visit rural villages, spend time with the locals and even stay at a local home overnight, and it allows us to give our travellers genuine, real life experiences of the countries we are visiting; what you'll be doing and how you'll travel depends entirely on your chosen itinerary.

Is an adventure right for me?
The word adventure means something different to everyone, and our range of trips reflects that. Whether you want to explore local markets, visit out of the way temples and meet local people or go on an early morning safari drive searching for the 'big five', we'll have a trip for you. If you are looking for a physical challenge such trekking the Kokoda Track or summiting Kilimanjaro, we can help with that too.

So what can I expect on this trip?
This is one of our Comfort trips, designed for travellers looking for more inclusions in their itinerary, a higher standard of accommodation and more focus on private vehicles over public transport.

Comfort trips are aimed at the adventure traveller who wants to discover the world up close, but with some creature comforts along the way. Dependent on the itinerary, there may still be a night multi-share accommodation (at a homestay for example), but this will be to ensure you don't miss out on a fantastic experience. Camping trips will usually stay in permanent, tented camps or some of the safari options may be lodge based.

You'll stay in predominantly 3 Ĺ star and above tourist class hotels with private, en suite facilities, although some itineraries will still include the opportunity to stay with a local family, spend a night on an overnight train or camp out somewhere amazing (without the hassle of putting up your own tent!).

You'll find a number of the meals are included (as per your itinerary) and when eating together we'll focus on smaller, often family run restaurants, often eating where the locals eat and ensuring that you are still getting an authentic travel experience.

Can I book my flights with you?
Yes! We are a fully ATOL bonded tour operator meaning that we can book flights from the UK as part of your holiday package. Just ask us for a quote including flights when you make your enquiry.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
Itís not only the humans in India that need support. Our Company is constantly monitoring the manner in which the elephants at Amber Palace in Jaipur are treated. With the help of a local organisation, Help in Suffering, and the information gathered from our leaders and passengers, we have decided to not include the elephant ride up to the palace due to the inhumane manner in which these animals are maintained. On the Agra-Jaipur highway, there are numerous sloth bears being used to entertain tourists and they are badly abused and beaten. Through our Foundation, we support the efforts of an organisation called Wildlife SOS in their setting up a sanctuary to care for these tortured bears. In voluntarily giving up the bears to the project, the owners are re-educated and re-skilled and are compensated with motorized rickshaws or welding tools.

Community

The Impacts of this Trip

One of the major organisations we support in India is Deepalaya. Through Deepalaya, our Company are currently sponsoring a number of children in the slums of South Delhi to complete their schooling, an opportunity they would otherwise not be able to afford. Since 1990, the support of this organisation has enabled thousands of children to receive quality education and become professionally qualified in such jobs as teachers and technicians.

In a country where so many ethnic communities live together, itís important to respect individual religious beliefs. Our Company wants to promote this understanding through insight into religious and cultural practices. Our leaders will take you into temples, mosques, shrines and gurudwaras where appropriate, and are able to teach the group about the etiquette and customs specific to the place visited, enabling a deeper understanding for the group of the communities and cultures encountered in India.

At the end of our journey travellers may donate any unwanted clothing, medicines and bandages, which are distributed to a group called Goonj. This organisation is a nationwide movement that provides help to remote villages in Assam, Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal, Uttaranchal and wherever the demand arises or disaster forces people to look for support.

Climate

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