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Real North India

Explore the colour, vegetarian cuisine, spirituality and natural wonders of north India on this 11-day adventure. Ride a rickshaw in Delhi, brush up on your bargaining skills in Chandni Chowk and have a spiritual experience in Varanasi as you watch the sunrise over the Ganges. Snap the ultimate selfie in front of the Taj Mahal – one of the famed Seven Wonders of the World, see pink in gorgeous Jaipur, join the yogis in Rishikesh and eat endless amounts of pakoras, samosas, tandoori, chicken tikka masalas and naan. On this immersive journey from cities to mountain campgrounds, you won't just see north India, you'll experience it.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Days 2, 4 and 9 (overnight Sleeper train) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. Hot air balloon flights are operated by Sky Waltz in Jaipur. Flights operate from 1st September to 30th April and last approximately 60mins. Return transfers, tea and coffee plus light refreshments and a certificate of flight are included in the cost. You can register your interest and pay your tour leader at your welcome meeting on day 1 of your trip. Payment must be made by cash in either INR/AUD/USD/GBP only and is USD$280pp (subject to change). Flights are subject to availability and weather conditions (tickets are fully refundable in case of bad weather).
3. Please provide your full name exactly as it appears on your passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport. Fees may apply for adding or amending details within 45 days of departure, and in some cases, you will be required to cover the cost of issuing a new ticket.

Tour details Collapse
Tour Provider Intrepid Travel
Number of Days
11
Price From
RRP: $935 Our price: $795
Start Location
Delhi, India
End Location
Delhi, India
Age Range
18 to 39
Group Size
1 to 16
Tour Style
Basic
Tour Themes
No specific theme
Physical Rating
Easy to Moderate
Itinerary Expand all
Day 1: Delhi
Namaste! Welcome to India. Your adventure officially kicks off in Delhi with an important welcome meeting at 6 pm tonight where you'll meet your trip leader and new travel companions. If you arrive in Delhi with time to spare, there's plenty to do in this wonderfully chaotic city. You might like to wander the streets, sip on your first chai or practice haggling in one of the many markets. Tonight, maybe ask your leader for the best spots to hit the local nightlife and head out with your new buddies for a drink (or four).
Day 2: Delhi - Overnight train
This morning, head out on a walking tour around the commercial heart of Delhi, visiting Chandni Chowk (Sheeshganj Gurudwara) and Connaught Place along the way. Explore Old Delhi on a bicycle rickshaw to dig that little bit deeper and visit Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib – one of the oldest and most iconic Sikh shrines in Delhi. Try your hand at making chapatis in the community kitchen – this shrine is visited by devotees regularly, and everyone is welcome here regardless of their religion, caste or gender. You'll then have some free time to do as much sightseeing as you can before boarding an overnight sleeper train bound for Varanasi.
Day 3: Varanasi
Arrive in Varanasi early this morning and head straight to the hotel to freshen up before plunging headfirst into this holy city, one of the world's oldest. Varanasi is the ultimate destination for Hindu pilgrims who travel far and wide to experience the spirituality of this place. Explore the narrow laneways and backstreets on a walking tour with your leader before watching the world pass by along the ghats (stairs leading to the water). Your evening is then free to do as you wish. Explore the temples, shrines and maybe take the chance to perfect your yoga in one of the epic chakra-balancing spots. Or just chill out and soak in the meditative surroundings, ready for your early start tomorrow.
Day 4: Varanasi - Overnight train
Today’s an early start, but it’s completely worth it – you’ll take a sunrise boat ride along the sacred Ganges. Even if you're not spiritual, you can't help but get goosebumps during this experience. Pass the many ghats and temples along the river and watch thousands of Hindu pilgrims cleanse their sins in the holy water as the sun bathes the surrounds in glorious shades of amber and orange. You might also see some cremation fires and on the other end of the spectrum, riverside haircuts – India is best before dawn, and this is the way to see it! The rest of your day is free to explore before catching an overnight train to Agra tonight.
Day 5: Agra
Arrive in Agra early this morning, then head to one of the most iconic sites in India and one of the famed Seven Wonders of the World – the Taj Mahal. Take in the beauty of this 17th-century masterpiece of white marble set amid beautiful formal gardens – India's most enduring symbol and an epic monument to love and loss. For some reason, local families find it more interesting to take photos of you than the actual Taj Mahal! But you'll be too busy standing there with your mouth gaping open to notice. After, you have free time to explore Agra on your own. Maybe hop on a motorised rickshaw tour, or visit Agra Fort – a huge complex originally built as a military structure of red sandstone by Emperor Akbar in 1565. If you fancy a refreshment, maybe visit Shers Hangout. This cafe is staffed by survivors of acid attacks and is just a ten-minute walk from the Taj Mahal.
Day 6: Jaipur
Jump on a bus this morning and travel to Jaipur – Rajasthan's Pink City. When you arrive, stop off at the Hawa Mahal (pink sandstone palace) before heading to your hotel. Use the opportunity to freshen up and then venture out for a walking tour of the old city. In your spare time, maybe take an optional tour of the Jaipur City Palace or take the opportunity to enjoy a traditional Bollywood film in Raj Mandir Cinema – this one’s for the film buffs – you might not totally understand what's happening in the film, but the crowd's reactions will be enough to entertain you. Plus, the magnificent 1300-seat art deco cinema is enough to make the experience worth it.
Day 7: Jaipur – Overnight train
For many travellers, a hot air balloon experience is one of the highlights of Jaipur. This morning, you have the option to head for the skies over the Pink City and watch as the world wakes up below – this bird’s eye view is an experience you wouldn’t want to miss! Later in the morning, head out on a guided tour of the medieval Amber Fort with a local guide, hearing all about its history. Set high on a hill on the outskirts of Jaipur, Amber Fort is one of the most well-known sites in the city. Make sure to grab another cup of chai this afternoon before settling in for this evening's overnight train journey bound for Rishikesh.
Day 8: Rishikesh
Arrive early in Rishikesh – a spiritual town lying in the verdant foothills of the Himalayas. Embark on an orientation walk with your leader to get your bearings, then kick back with some free time to roam at your own pace. Aptly named the Yoga Capital of the World, Rishikesh is a great place to relax and seek a little enlightenment. Why not visit The Beatles Ashram – a spiritual retreat inhabited by the famous band in the sixties. Tonight, take a stroll along the holy Ganges River as temple bells ring and the nightly fire ritual of Ganga Aarti begins.
Day 9: Rishikesh
This morning, take the opportunity to unwind with a one-hour yoga class. After, maybe tuck into a masala dosa for breakfast before embarking on a short walk with your leader on one of the trails along the Ganges. For something more adventurous, there’s also the option to white-water raft down the river. In the afternoon, reunite with your group for a short walk through the jungle nearby. Tonight, experience sleeping under the stars just outside Rishikesh – you’ll be staying in a fixed campsite with twin-shared beds and western-style toilets. This is a unique experience in India, as Rishikesh has a totally different vibe to the rest of the country. Tuck into a freshly cooked curry for dinner and then enjoy the rest of the night relaxing with your group, among your natural surroundings and the gorgeous views of the mountains.
Day 10: Delhi
Have a chilled morning at your campsite and maybe indulge in a spot of yoga or meditation. Return to Rishikesh’s centre, where you’ll be able to use a day room to freshen up and have a shower. Spend the rest of the afternoon wandering around this gorgeous city, taking photos of the serene Ganges and mountainside or just people-watching. Catch an evening train back to Delhi tonight, where you’ll spend your last night. If you feel refreshed from your secluded camping trip, maybe celebrate a trip well-travelled tonight with your group.
Day 11: Delhi
Your India adventure comes to an end this morning. If you'd like to stay in Delhi a little bit longer, just speak to your booking agent.
Inclusions Expand
Meals: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner.
Transport: Auto-rickshaw, Cycle rickshaw, Jeep, Public bus, Private vehicle, Overnight sleeper train, Train.
Accommodation: Hotel (6 nights), Overnight sleeper train (3 nights), Camping with basic facilities (1 night).
Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple).
Delhi - Leader-led Old Delhi walking & rickshaw tour.
Delhi - Visit to the Jama Masjid Mosque.
Varanasi - Leader-led Old City walking tour.
Varanasi - Sunrise Ganges boat trip.
Agra - Taj Mahal.
Jaipur – Leader-led Walking Tour.
Jaipur - Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Wind).
Jaipur - Amber Fort.
Rishikesh - Leader-led walking tour.
Rishikesh - Yoga class.
Departure dates Expand
Start End Availability Price AUD
01 Sep 2024 11 Sep 2024 9 $935
$795
02 Oct 2024 12 Oct 2024 9 $970
03 Nov 2024 13 Nov 2024 12 $970
19 Dec 2024 29 Dec 2024 16 $935
29 Dec 2024 08 Jan 2025 15 $935
$888