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 country's highlights, with loads of time to hop off and get to know your surroundings in a way only a Rail tour allows. The trip won't last forever, but the memories definitely will.
Witness the famous India-Pakistan border ceremony, see a different side of Delhi with a former streetkid-led walking tour, ride the toy trains of Shimla and Darjeeling, indulge in the amazing food of seaside Goa, wander the Rajasthani streets of Jaipur and Udaipur, experience a homestay in the Kerala Backwaters.
Train (seats), train (beds), Shatabdi Express train, toy trains, private van, walking
Hotels/guesthouses (44 nts), sleeper trains (8 nts), homestay (1 nt).
Arrival transfer included through the G Adventures-supported Women on Wheels project. G Adventures-supported Delhi Streetkids walk. 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. Kerala Backwaters homestay. 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.
Day 1 Delhi
Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included through the G Adventures-supported Women on Wheels project.
Day 2 Delhi/Amritsar (1D)
Visit the G Adventures-supported New Delhi Streetkids Project on an included walk led by former streetkids. Continue on, travelling to Amritsar by the Shatabdi Express train, with dinner served on board.
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.
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.
Day 5 Dharamshala
Enjoy free time to explore Dharamsala.
Day 6 Dharamshala/Shimla
Enjoy a long drive to the charming town of Shimla, high in the beautiful Himalayas.
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.
Day 8 Shimla/Delhi (1D)
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.