Central India small group tour
Description of Central India small group tour
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Small group tour:
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. Those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.
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.
PlanetThis trip makes use of the wonderful Indian rail system, used by millions of locals every day. Travelling by train from Mumbai to Hyderabad, and from Hospet to Goa avoids using a bus for the longer journeys as well as giving the perfect chance to meet Indians travelling between cities - expect to be welcomed warmly, have food shared with you and to feel like part of the family by the time you leave the train.
Meals in central India are mostly vegetarian and when travelling from Bidar through to Hospet there are very few restaurants serving meat. Instead you will be treated to the freshest food, bought from local markets which help to support families in an area where few tourists visit. Our tour leader encourages sharing dishes, ordering a selection for everyone to try a few at a time. By doing this there is greater variety but food waste is minimised.
The hotels we use on this trip are small, often the only accommodation available to book in each town. Hot water isn't a certainty, electricity can be erratic and most hotels don't offer air-conditioning, however where they do our tour leaders will encourage minimising use of these commodities. While the accommodation is simple the experience of staying in these smaller, less touristy locations offers a really different experience to the more well known areas of Kerala and north India.
As a travel company we are continually looking for ways to improve and are proud to be ‘Responsible in everything we do’. Education is key, and so all staff, Tour Leaders and partnering suppliers are trained in responsible and sustainable tourism. At our Head Office, we continually strive towards a sustainable and planet-friendly working environment, including having solar panels installed and a company commitment to reducing our plastic usage.
PeopleTravelling through central India feels very different to the more touristy regions in the north, far fewer tourists visit this region. The result is a warm welcome and genuine interest in all of the towns. Lack of development for tourists means that the options for eating out are wonderful community based, small restaurants serving mainly vegetarian dishes cooked fresh with ingredients bought at the street market that morning. Often there are chances to stop at the side of the road for snacks, visiting small stalls with piles of fresh fruits, buying small cups of hot chai tea and bags chilli peppers are sold along side giant piles being dried ready to go to market.
The ornately painted cave temples and intricately carved Hindu temples require an expert to fully explain their history. Rather than rely on guidebooks we visit each site with a local guide who can talk us through the details and share their knowledge and passion, we leave with a much deeper understanding and also knowing we are bringing employment to the area.
In larger towns such as Bijapur and Badami we visit the markets where a variety of snacks and crafts are sold. These are not tourist markets but where the locals buy their food and gifts for their family or to donate to the temples. It's a great chance to interact with people, ask them about their stalls and bring a little money in to the economy.
As a company we have valuable and longstanding partnerships with UK charities Toilet Twinning and Send a Cow, plus many smaller initiatives and projects around the world. We’re members of UK travel industry body AITO because we believe it’s important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators.