Best of North India with Varanasi tour
Description of Best of North India with Varanasi tour
This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetWe put a lot of effort into working with local providers who are as committed as us to share advice on how to best leave a lighter footprint on your trip. Our excursions maintain small-group sizes to limit the negative environmental impact in accordance to the carrying capacity of the visited site.
We are trying to keep the extra unneeded waste to a minimum in all our tours through our “bring it in, bring it out” policy for litter and rubbish such as food packaging and recycling wherever possible. Also in our UK and local offices we re-use or recycle the information booklets we provide to every client on arrival wherever possible. We also concentrate on providing information online via our website and electronically rather then producing a glossy brochure, hence reducing the use of paper and inks.
Wherever possible we will give preference to transport by train. This trip includes many train journeys, which will limit and balance the environmental impact of your holiday. You will be on the Toy Train, a UNESCO World Heritage Train of outstanding universal value. Built in the 19th century, the Kalka Shimla Toy Train is emblematic of the technical and material efforts to give access to mountain populations through the railway. With your journey you will also help protect the architectural conservation and condition monitoring of the railway.
We also try to include no-emission transport modes like traditional cycle rickshaws, which will moreover give you the opportunity to meet and interact with the local people. If motorized forms are unavoidable, we make sure that vehicle sizes are as small as appropriate and proper licensing on vehicles and certifying to national emission standards are maintained.
For your tour we have chosen responsible resorts like the Oberoi Hotels (in Shimla and Delhi), which are committed to employing the best environmental and ecological practices in technology, equipment and operational processes. Your stay will contribute to an organisation that is using natural products and recycling items, thus ensuring proper use of the diminishing natural resources.
You will also stay at the Coral Tree Homestay in Agra, which is run by passionate naturalists who will happily accompany you to a Taj Mahal Nature Walk. Set within blossoming trees, the gardens of the homestay attract over 100 species of birds in its environment, so your visit will contribute to the enhancement and conservation of important wild and plant life in the touristy area of Agra.
Another great responsible resort you foster with this trip is the Shahpura Bagh, a man-made oasis of lakes created by a ruler family to bring water to its people. Shahpura Bagh has many green practices: they use waste material for construction such as broken stone tiles, arras (lime) or marble powder, they employ local artisans that use age old building techniques to preserve unique skills, all gray water is recycled by creating soak pits and diverting the processed water to landscaping areas and gardens, all water is heated via solar heating, they grow their own organic vegetables and grains, and for the rest the food is sourced locally to minimise transportation and support local farmers.
Through this trip you will contribute to the preservation of precious ancient monuments, unique architecture and Unesco World Heritage sites, such as the Amber Fort, the Red Fort, the best preserved stone observatory Jantar Mantar, the deserted stone sand city of Fatehpur Sikri or the ruins of the Buddhist monastery Sarnath.
PeopleWe make sure we only work with local guides that come from the very region you are visiting, giving back to their families and communities.
While many operators pay per day or per tour, our guides receive an hourly rate which allows a fair and fruitful reward for their expertise. We provide staff with written employment contracts and fair working conditions (e.g. overtime payment, national wage requirements, no discrimination, grievance mechanisms in place and no child labour). Furthermore we ensure that our drivers do not more than 9 hours of driving per day and are provided adequate accommodation and do not drive at night (with the exception of airport pick-ups/drop-offs). After a driving period of 4.5 h the driver must take a break of at least 45 min.
By staying at the Oberoi Hotels, you support an organisation that has a partnership with SOS Children’s Villages with the objective of supporting the education and well being of under-privileged children, a primary principle of the group’s CSR policy. The group also sponsors higher education through Bachelors Programs of 61 youths at various professional institutes. Team members from hotels and business units of The Oberoi Group are actively engaged with the children of SOS Children’s Villages and help drive a number of initiatives around learning, fun and games.
You are also supporting the incredible Shahpur Bagh Hotel with your stay, an equal opportunity employer ensuring that all the staff are hired locally and across several tribal communities therefore maintaining diversity. They promote the sale of locally made handicrafts and provide design ideas and business concepts in an effort to support and re-energise the artisans of the area.
The Shahpur Bagh family also has exceptional educational and charity projects, that your visit will further encourage. They founded many schools (the first Modern Primary Hindi School, an All Girls School for empowerment and education of women, the first English Middle School, Shahpura Agricultural School, the Dayanand Saraswati Girls School...). The family has donated large amounts of land to charitable trusts for distribution to the people or for education, such as the Kasturba Gandhi Trust (Gandhi’s wife) for vocational training of destitute women. The Shahpura family contributes a portion of its turnover towards the charity Sudarshan Deo Charitable Trust and encourages clients to support and get involved in these works of philanthropy, thereby using tourism as a tool to foster social and economic development in this under-developed area.
All in all, we give our best to educate our guides to increase customer awareness by familiarizing our guests with local history, culture, religions and traditions as much as possible, and by informing on culturally appropriate behaviors such as dress codes for religious sites, taking photographs of people, language tips… The trip is your once in a life time experience, and we will give you the best possible opportunities to interconnect with the locals in the most appropriate and rewarding ways.