This is your all-encompassing Indian wonder trip! You’ll tick off a whole host of amazing experience over 20 action-packed days and all for an absurdly low price. With India on a Shoestring, discover the charms and mysteries of Rajasthan and North India – witness life-affirming sunsets, mystical temples, opulent palaces, utopian lakes and beautiful landscapes. Come face to face with a spirituality far removed from the shallow complexity of the western world as you interact with people in some truly unique places. India is also home to great and varied cuisine, so there’ll be plenty of opportunities to enjoy a few spiced curries along the way.
Arrive at any time.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Enjoy a walking tour by former streetkids, a G Adventures-supported project. This tour is a unique way for travellers to engage in these children's lives. Giving them the opportunity to guide tours gives the kids a chance to improve their communication and speaking skills.
Afterwards, an orientation walk takes you through Old Delhi to experience some of the history and culture of this vibrant city.
Guided Walking Tour with New Delhi Streetkids Project
Old Delhi Guided Walk
Basic overnight train (beds) (8.00 hour(s))
We arrive early in the morning and reach our hotel. Bikaner is a semi-arid part of the Thar Desert with sandy dunes and scattered villages. In recent years the topography of the region has changed quite a bit, but you can still see the harsh realities of the desert here.
We drive down in local jeeps to a village called Raisar from where we take our camels and ride into the desert. We ride for a couple of hours through villages and fields to our lunch point at a shady area. Later, remount your camels and ride for another 2-3 hours till you reach a point over the dunes. After witnessing a stunning sunset, we climb down to where our tents are pitched and enjoy a simple but delicious meal.
We arrive early in the morning and reach our hotel. We have a couple of rooms to freshen up and change. We also have time to get breakfast before we leave for our desert adventure.
4x4 (1.00 hour(s))
Opt to walk up the dunes again for the sunrise. After breakfast, ride camel carts back to the road and transfer back to Bikaner. Once back, your CEO will give you an orientation of the Old City and the markets.
Bikaner Orientation Tour
We arrive in Jaisalmer and have the rest of the day to relax after the long journey or explore the city at your leisure.
Jaisalmer, known as the "Golden City," stands on a ridge of yellowish sandstone in the heart of the Thar Desert. This fortress city is best explored on your own. Wander through the lanes of the walled city and inside the fort. Houses, temples, and havelis are very different from what you would find in other regions of Rajasthan. Do not forget to watch the setting sun's reflection on the fort.
Local train (6.50 hour(s))
Enjoy a free day to continue exploring the "Golden City".
Travel eastwards to the centrally located metropolis of Jodhpur, the second largest city in Rajasthan. A large and varied city, Jodhpur is sometimes called the “Blue City” for the many houses painted that colour. At Jodhpur, stark desert landscapes meet a riot of palaces, forts and temples, all enclosed within imposing city walls. Six enormous gates provide entry to the city centre, and overlooking it all stands the imposing shadow of Meherangarh Fort. Once we arrive, we take an orientation walk of the city.
Local bus (7.00-8.00 hours, 285km)
Continue your journey southeast to Udaipur, famous worldwide for its plethora of breathtaking lakes and Raj-era palaces. Most famous of these, and certainly the most photographed, is the Lake Palace, an island-palace where the white marble buildings entirely cover a small island in Pichola Lake.
Local bus (7.00-8.00 hours, 285km)
Relive life as royalty at Sajjangarh Fort, also known as the Monsoon Palace, summer resort of the Maharajas. Sitting atop a hill with a panoramic view of the city's lakes, the palace was equipped with an ingenious rainwater collection system, essential in the dry desert conditions of the region. Other options include a visit to the Jagdish Temple, the Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandir folk museum, Saheliyon-ki-Bari (the Garden of Maidens), and the City Palace and Museum.
Travel to Ajmer and change to a local bus for the 14 km drive over Snake Mountain to Pushkar. Site of the world's only temple to the Hindu god of creation, Brahma, Pushkar is so sacred that no meat, alcohol, or eggs are allowed within the city. However, most travellers know Pushkar for a different reason: the annual Pushkar Camel Fair.
Once in the city, we take an orientation walk and visit the Brahama Temple, created in the 14th century.
Follow local traditions and try out a camel ride in the desert, or wander this holy Hindu centre on foot or bicycle. Or take a cooking class or visit the market. Rajasthan is famous for its textiles, jewellery and handicrafts, and few places in the country are better for shopping than the bazaars of Pushkar.
Pushkar Orientation Walk
Local bus (7.00-8.00 hours, 280km)
Dive into rural life visiting potters, cobblers, and markets. Take a camel cart ride to the dunes for sunset, head for a hike in the hills, or make bangles and try henna paint with the local women. While here, go on an included guided walk through the village and opt to participate in a cricket match with some locals.
Tordi Sagar Local Village Tour
4x4 (4.00 hour(s))
Before leaving Tordi Sagar, enjoy a local lunch prepared by traditional methods at a village hamlet.
Travel to Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan and the former capital of a princely state of the same name. Clothed in pink stucco (in imitation of sandstone), wide-avenued Jaipur is one of the most important heritage cities in India, and home to India's second most visited site, the Hawa Mahal, or "Palace of the Winds".
4x4 (4.00 hour(s))
Enjoy a guided tour of the Amber Fort. Take some free time to explore other sites around town.
Amber Fort Guided Tour
Continue this morning to the Muslim city of Agra. Agra is best known as the site of India's most famous landmark, the Taj Mahal. Enjoy a guided visit to this icon of Mughal architecture. Later, opt to ride one of the ubiquitous cycle rickshaws to visit the Agra Fort or Baby Taj, the less famous—but no less impressive—sister monuments.
Taj Mahal Guided Tour
Local train (5.00 hour(s))
Enjoy free time in Agra before boarding an overnight train to Varanasi.
Basic overnight train (beds) (13.00 hour(s))
Arrive to legendary Varanasi, the quintessential Indian holy city where millions of Hindu travel to for pilgrimage, to worship, to mourn, or to die. Walk the narrow twisting alleys, poke around some of the literally thousands of temples and shrines, and experience the energy of the dawn rituals of bathing and burial as you float past the famous ghats of the Ganges.
During our stay in Varanasi you will have time to shop, wander, and absorb the atmosphere of this unique city, while optional activities include the monasteries and ruins of nearby Sarnath, site of the Buddha's first sermon. We take boats out onto the sacred Ganges River, both for sunrise and sunset. For the evening boat journey we enjoy a candle flower ceremony.
Evening Ganges Boat Tour
Cruise the Ganges on a morning boat tour with free time in the afternoon to explore.
Morning Ganges Boat Tour
Free day to explore Varanasi before boarding an overnight train to Delhi.
Basic overnight train (beds)
Arrive back in the capital of India. The day is yours to explore the temples, markets and museums in this fast-paced amazing city.
Depart at any time.
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Great tour! Absolutely exceeded my expectations about accommodations (never travel this well on my own!). The "roam" aspect provided the cultural and local contact that I hoped to experience.Overall Rating
I wanted a budget tour where I could be with the local people, and that's exactly what I got. Everything was well organized, and - as a single female traveler - I never felt unsafe or insecure.Overall Rating
I had an unbelievable experience on the Roam India tour. Everything about it surpassed my expectations, especially the hotels. This tour had such a great variety of things to do, sure to spark any interest. The people that I met on this tour were some of the most amazing travelers with such cool stories. I would recommend this style of travel to anyone and everyone!Overall Rating
It was my first experience with a group tour and I loved it. Traveling in India alone can be complicated and I did appreciate the smooth operation.Overall Rating
The accommodation was better than expected. The long train and bus trips were a little tiresome. Our tour leader was very helpful and patient with our group.Overall Rating
Covered a lot of ground. It was a very convenient way to see so much in a short space of time, without the hassle of arranging transportation and accommodation was taken care of.Overall Rating
Overall we thoroughly enjoyed everything about this basic itinerary. It gave us an excellent insight into the crazy busy life in India and covered most places of interests in Rajistan. We feel incredibly fortunate to have had Parakman Singh 'Perry' as our tour guide, his all round organization was just fantastic and he was always very happy to help out further with anything anyone in the group required. All in all an action packed adventure that I know anyone looking to see the 'real India' will thoroughly enjoy. Thank you for a great experience!Overall Rating
Very good route which covered all the major sites you would want to see with enough time to spend in each place.Overall Rating
My tour guide Karan Khushwant was the best group leader I had so far from G Adventures. He was very ambitious and he did more than he had to. Thank you for that.Overall Rating
I thought the tour was amazing and it included everything I wanted to see! loved it and would definitely recommend it to other travelers :-)Overall Rating
Trip Name: Rajasthan and Varanasi on a Shoestring
Duration: 20 Days
From Price: 1199
Trip Code: 126805
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