Ultimate India by Rail
On this six-week trip that circles India via train, you'll start in Delhi with a tour of the legendary Taj Mahal, then head southwest by rail to make stops in Rajasthan, Mumbai, and Goa. From there it's on to Karnataka, Kochi and living like a local in the Kerala Backwaters before going south, east, and north to view spectacular temples and riding the famous toy trains of Darjeeling. Top this epic journey off with local meals in family homes, wandering the beautiful streets of Jaipur and Udaipur and relaxing on beaches along the way. India looks very different through a train's window see it all for yourself.
Ride a toy train in Darjeeling, live like a local in the Kerala Backwaters, indulge in the relaxing vibe and tasty food of seaside Goa, explore the breathtaking ruins of the Karnataka region in Hampi, marvel at the iconic Taj Mahal, wander the Rajasthani streets of Jaipur and Udaipur.
Train (seats), train (beds), toy train, private vans, walking, plane.
Hotels/guesthouses (37 nts), sleeper trains (7 nts), homestay (1 nt).
Arrival transfer included through the G Adventures-supported Women on Wheels project. 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. Kolkata city tour. Mangal Dham Temple visit (Kalimpong). Deolo Hill visit (Kalimpong). Gangtok orientation tour. Rumtek Monastery day trip. Darjeeling orientation tour. Local lunch. 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/Agra (1B)
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.
Day 3 Agra/Jaipur
Hop on a Shatabdi Express train in the evening to Jaipur.
Day 4 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.
Day 5 Jaipur
Enjoy free time to explore Jaipur before boarding an overnight train to Udaipur.
Day 6 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.
Day 7 Udaipur
Enjoy a free day in Udaipur.
Day 8 Udaipur/BÅ«ndi
Take a train to Bundi to explore the fort and stepwells.
Day 9 BÅ«ndi (1D)
Explore Bundi with some free time before an overnight trip on the Mumbai Rajdhani Express train, with dinner on board.
Day 10 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.
Day 11 Mumbai/Goa
Catch a morning flight to beautiful Goa. Spend free time relaxing on the beach or exploring the city's monuments.
Day 13 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.
Day 14 Goa/Hampi
Travel by Visakhapatnam Howrah Express train and then by van to reach Hampi, in the heart of Karnataka.
Day 15 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.
Day 16 Mysore
Arrive to Mysore and explore the Mysore Palace and Chamundi Hill.
Day 17 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.
Day 18 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.
Day 19 Madikeri/Kochi
Take a morning drive to the coastal town of Kannur. Catch the Ernakulam Express to Kochi in the afternoon.
Day 20 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.
Day 21 Kochi
Make the most of Kochi with free time to explore.
Day 34 Kolkata
Spend some free time exploring this fascinating city.
Day 12 Goa
Spend the day relaxing in paradise.