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Indian Odyssey by Rail

Travel like a local on this 54-day trip, exploring India by train from the northeast to the southwest. Skip the backpacking and let the train and the innumerable beautiful sights move you, from the Taj Mahal to the colours of Rajasthan to the ruins of Karnataka. This trip will hit some of the countrys highlights, with loads of time to hop off and get to know your surroundings in a way only a Rail tour allows. The trip wont last forever, but the memories definitely will.

  • Duration: 54 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Average
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: AHIR/145654
  • Starts: Delhi, India
  • Finishes: Delhi, India
You will Visit
  • Delhi

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Delhi

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included through the G Adventures-supported Women on Wheels project.
There are no planned activities until an evening welcome meeting.

02

Day 2: Delhi/Amritsar

Enjoy a youth-led walk through Delhi with G Adventures-supported project, City Walk. Continue on, travelling to Amritsar by the Shatabdi Express train, with dinner served on board.
Embark on a youth-led city tour of Delhi with G Adventures-supported project, City Walk. Get a unique perspective of the city while supporting at-risk youth and learning about the work of local nonprofit Salaam Baalak Trust. In the afternoon catch the Shatabdi Express to Amritsar.

03

Day 3: Amritsar

Visit the Golden Temple before witnessing the formal India-Pakistan Wagah border ceremony in the evening. Sit in the grandstands and cheer for India as the bystanders wave flags and soldiers march back and forth.
Amritsar, meaning "Pool of the Nectar of Immortality," is the spiritual and cultural centre of the Sikh Religion. Learn more about Sikhs on our visit to Harimandir Sahib, also known as the Golden Temple, the most sacred shrine in Sikhism.

As Amritsar sits right on the Pakistan-India border, we offer an optional trip to the border post to watch the formal flag ceremony, which is sure to be one of the highlights of the trip.

04

Day 4: Amritsar/Dharamshala

Take an orientation walk around McLeod Ganj, the famous seat of the Tibetan government in exile and current home to the Dalai Lama. Opt for a tour of the Norbulingka Institute, set amongst beautiful gardens, dedicated to preserving Tibetan culture.
Travel along Himalayan mountain roads to the famous seat of the Tibetan government in exile, Dharamsala (literally "Rest House").

Opt to visit Norbulingka. Set amidst beautiful gardens, surrounded by the green fields of the Kangra Valley, the Norbulingka Institute stands against a backdrop of the towering Dhauladhar mountains of the outer Himalayan range.

05

Day 5: Dharamshala

Enjoy free time to explore Dharamsala.
There are lots of ways to spend free time in this charming place. Visit the Kangra Art Museum in the Kotwali bazaar, or take in a performance of the Tibetan folk opera 'Lhamo' at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts.

06

Day 6: Dharamshala/Shimla

Enjoy a long drive to the charming town of Shimla, high in the beautiful Himalayas.

07

Day 7: Shimla

Enjoy a CEO-led orientation walk on The Ridge and The Mall (local hangouts) and explore this summer capital of British India. Opt to visit the Viceregal Lodge or admire the neo-Gothic or Tudorbethan architecture of the heritage buildings.

08

Day 8: Shimla/Delhi

Take the World Heritage-listed toy train from Shimla to Kalka. Switch to the Shatabdi Express for the rest of the journey back to Delhi, with dinner included on board.
Take the World Heritage-listed toy train from Shimla to Kalka. Over the course of 3 hrs, the train winds through tunnels as you head out of the mountains of Shimla.

09

Day 9: Delhi

Enjoy a free day in Delhi.

10

Day 10: Delhi/Āgra

Take the Shatabdi Express train to Agra, with breakfast served on board. Enjoy a guided tour of the impressive Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. Time permitting, opt to visit the Baby Taj.

11

Day 11: Āgra/Jaipur

Hop on a Shatabdi Express train in the evening to Jaipur.

12

Day 12: Jaipur

Take an orientation walk around town. Take a photo of the Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds) and visit the Amber Fort. Walk around the Old City and markets and opt to visit the City Palace. With free time, choose to visit local artisans in a nearby village, wander the Jantar Mantar, or check out a Bollywood film at the spectacular Art Deco film house, the Raj Mandir.

13

Day 13: Jaipur

Enjoy free time to explore Jaipur before boarding an overnight train to Udaipur.

14

Day 14: Udaipur

Enjoy an orientation walk, including a visit to the Jagdish Temple and the City Palace, one of the largest royal palaces in India. Attend a Rajasthani cultural show on Gangaur Ghat.

15

Day 15: Udaipur

Enjoy a free day in Udaipur.
With free time in Udaipur, opt to check out the many beautiful lakes, take a boat ride, visit the Monsoon Palace for some excellent views, or take an Indian cooking class.

16

Day 16: Udaipur/Būndi

Take a train to Bundi to explore the fort and stepwells.

17

Day 17: Būndi

Explore Bundi with some free time before an overnight trip on the Mumbai Rajdhani Express train, with dinner on board.

18

Day 18: Mumbai

Arrive in the morning in bustling Mumbai, home to 20 million people. Take a walking tour of the Colaba area and see the Gateway of India.

19

Day 19: Mumbai/Goa

Catch a morning flight to beautiful Goa. Spend free time relaxing on the beach or exploring the city's monuments.
Opt to visit the many Portuguese-built monuments, wander around the churches of Old Goa (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), or discover Panjim, the capital of the state. Don't forget to indulge in Goan cuisine.

20

Day 20: Goa

Enjoy a free day in Goa.

21

Day 21: Goa

Spend a free day relaxing on the beach or opt to visit the many Portuguese-built monuments, wander around the churches of Old Goa (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), or discover Panjim, the capital. Don't forget to indulge in Goan cuisine.

22

Day 22: Goa/Hampi

Travel by Visakhapatnam Howrah Express train and then by van to reach Hampi, in the heart of Karnataka.

23

Day 23: Hampi/Mysore

Enjoy a walking tour and explore the spectacular ruins of Hampi Palaces, Hazararama Temple, and the boulders on the river. In the evening, take an overnight Hampi Express train to Mysore.

24

Day 24: Mysore

Arrive to Mysore and explore the Mysore Palace and Chamundi Hill.

25

Day 25: Mysore/Madikeri

Drive to Bylakuppe and explore the Namdroling Monastery - home to nearly 5,000 Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns. Later drive to Madikeri for the evening.

26

Day 26: Madikeri

Explore Madikeri (the coffee hub of India) and enjoy a tour of a coffee plantation. Visit the Madikeri Fort and the famed Raja's Seat for its stunning views.

27

Day 27: Madikeri/Kochi

Take a morning drive to the coastal town of Kannur. Catch the Ernakulam Express to Kochi in the afternoon.

28

Day 28: Kochi

Explore the Fort Kochi area and see the Chinese fishing nets at work. If time permits, visit the Jewish area and synagogue, the Dutch Palace, and Spice Market.

29

Day 29: Kochi

Make the most of Kochi with free time to explore.

30

Day 30: Kochi/Alleppey

Take an Ernad Express train to Alleppey to explore the Kerala backwaters. Walk in the paddy fields and take a canoe ride through the canals the region is famous for.
This evening enjoy a taste of local life with a homestay.

31

Day 31: Alleppey/Kanyakumari

Enjoy some more time in Kerala before an evening Ernad Express train to Kanyakumari for a full day exploring the area.

32

Day 32: Kanyakumari/Madurai

Spend the day in Kanyakumari. Drive to the southernmost tip of India and take a ferry across to Vivekananda Rock and the Ramkrishna Ashram. Take an evening Kanyakumari Express train to Madurai.

33

Day 33: Madurai

Explore the Meenakshi Temple and colourful markets of Madurai.

34

Day 34: Madurai/Māmallapuram

Take the morning Vaigai Express to Chengalpattu before continue by van to Mamallapuram.

35

Day 35: Māmallapuram

Cycle around and explore the rock-cut Shore Temple and Mamallapuram Beach.

36

Day 36: Māmallapuram/Chennai

Drive to Chennai and explore Marina Beach and San Thome Basilica. Later, board an overnight train to Hyderabad.
Accommodation on the train tonight will be either in two tier or three tier bunks.

37

Day 37: Hyderabad

Learn more about the region's history with a visit to the iconic Charminar and historic Golconda Fort.

38

Day 38: Hyderabad/Puri

Enjoy a free morning to continue exploring this state capital before catching an evening flight to Bhubaneshwar. Continue by van to reach Puri.
Opt to visit the Salar Jung Museum or the scenic Qutb Shahi Tombs with free time.

39

Day 39: Puri

Explore Raghuraj Pur village and beautiful Puri beaches.

40

Day 40: Puri/Kolkata

Take a morning Shatabdi Express train to Kolkata, with lunch provided on board. Arrive in the afternoon and explore Mother Teresa's house in the evening.

41

Day 41: Kolkata

Explore the vintage monuments and streets of this former capital of the British Era. Opt to take a ferry ride across the Hooghly River. Opt to join the group for dinner at one of the famed restaurants on Park Street for the final night out.

42

Day 42: Kolkata

Spend some free time exploring this fascinating city.

43

Day 43: Kolkata/Jalpāiguri

Visit the Victoria Memorial, New Market and take a ferry on the Ganges. In the evening, board an overnight New Jalpaiguri Kamrup Express train to New Jalpaiguri.

44

Day 44: Jalpāiguri/Kalimpong, Крукети

Arrive at New Jalpaiguri and continue by van to Kalimpong. Take in views of the mountainous scenery with a stop at Deolo Hill.

45

Day 45: Kalimpong, Крукети/Gangtok

Continue by private van to Gangtok and take an orientation tour of the town.

46

Day 46: Gangtok

Enjoy a day trip to Rumtek Monastery.

47

Day 47: Gangtok/Darjeeling

Head to Darjeeling by private van and take an orientation tour of the town.

48

Day 48: Darjeeling

Watch the sunrise at Tiger Hill, visit a tea estate and explore the Mahakal Temple. Later, travel the World Heritage-listed Darjeeling Himalayan Railway on a vintage steam engine train. Continue with a visit to the Peace Pagoda and a cooking demonstration at a local, family-run restaurant.

49

Day 49: Darjeeling/Mughal Sarāi

Drive to Siliguri to catch an overnight sleeper train to Mughal Sarai.

50

Day 50: Mughal Sarāi/Varanasi

Arrive to Mughal Sarai in the morning and continue by van to Varanasi. Enjoy an evening visit to the ghats.

51

Day 51: Varanasi

Take a sunrise boat trip on the Ganges. Enjoy a free afternoon to explore Sarnath and the city of Varanasi.

52

Day 52: Varanasi/Lucknow

Take a morning Varanasi-Lucknow Intercity train. In the afternoon, visit the Bara Imambara.

53

Day 53: Lucknow/Delhi

Spend most of the day exploring Lucknow. In the afternoon, board the Swarna Shatabdi Express train to Delhi, with dinner provided on board. Enjoy the night in the bustle of Delhi.

54

Day 54: Delhi

Depart at any time.
With extra time, you can book our 'Agra Extension' including accommodation, transport, and a guided visit to India's most famous sight, the Taj Mahal.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • G Adventures for Good: Women on Wheels Transfer, Indira Gandhi International Airport G Adventures for Good: City Walk, Delhi
    • Golden Temple visit and evening Wagah border ceremony (Amritsar)
    • McLeod Ganj orientation walk
    • Bhagsunag visit
    • Taj Mahal visit (Agra)
    • Agra Fort visit
    • Jaipur orientation walk
    • Amber Fort visit
    • Udaipur orientation walk
    • Jagdish Temple and City Palace visit
    • Rajasthani cultural show
    • Bundi Fort and stepwells visit
    • Colaba area walking tour (Mumbai)
    • Gateway of India visit
    • Beach time in Goa
    • Walking tour and ruins visit in Hampi (Karnataka)
    • Hazararama Temple visit
    • Mysore Palace and Chamunda Hill visits (Mysore)
    • Namdroling Monastery visit
    • Coffee plantation tour (Madikeri)
    • Madikeri Fort and Raja's Seat visit
    • Fort Kochi and Chinese fishing nets visit
    • Backwaters canal ride
    • Vivekananda Rock and Ramkrishna Ashram visit (Kanyakumari)
    • Meenakshi Temple visit (Madurai)
    • Cycle tour to Shore Temple and Mamallapuram Beach
    • Charminar and Golconda Fort visit (Hyderabad)
    • Jagannath Temple visit (Puri)
    • Raghuraj Pur village visit
    • Victoria Memorial visit
    • Ganges ferry ride
    • Deolo Hill visit (Kalimpong)
    • Mangal Dham Temple visit (Kalimpong)
    • Local lunch
    • Gangtok orientation tour
    • Rumtek Monastery day trip
    • Darjeeling orientation tour
    • Tiger Hill sunrise visit
    • Tea estate visit
    • Mahakal Temple visit
    • Peace Pagoda visit
    • Toy train ride in Darjeeling
    • Evening ghats visit (Varanasi)
    • Sunrise boat trip on the Ganges
    • Sarnath visit
    • Lucknow orientation tour
    • Bara Imambara visit
    • Internal flight
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Hotels/guesthouses (44 nts), sleeper trains (8 nts), homestay (1 nt)
    • 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 5 dinners
    Transport
    • Train (seats), train (beds), Shatabdi Express train, toy trains, private van, walking
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides
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Tour Highlights:
  • Witness the famous India-Pakistan border ceremony
  • See Delhi on a walking tour led by a former at-risk youth
  • Explore the Bundi Fort and stepwells
  • Ride the toy trains of Shimla and Darjeeling
  • Indulge in the amazing food of seaside Goa
  • Experience a homestay in the Kerala Backwaters
  • Visit the ghats of Varanasi