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Classic Rajasthan

Classic Rajasthan

The enchanting northern state of Rajasthan is awash with all the colours of India. On our classic adventure, we discover the fierce history of massive forts and the opulence and splendour of Maharajahs' palaces. Stroll markets, search for the elusive Bengal tiger, enjoy a shared meal with a family in Pushkar, and soak up the culture of the local people. This is truly the essence of Rajasthan.

Tour At a Glance

  • This is our most popular trip to Rajasthan and one of the top-selling trips in our entire range. Opulent, whimsical, and endlessly fascinating – Rajasthan will no doubt capture your imagination and your heart too.
  • Don't worry if you find the idea of travelling to India daunting at first - your local leader will be on hand to give you all the insider info to help you have a memorable experience of this captivating, but sometimes challenging, country.
  • Walk past hills, shimmering lakes, and marble palaces of Udaipur – India’s most romantic city and one of our favourites. 
  • Keep your adrenaline charged with an evening tiger-spotting safari among the lakes and jungles of one of India's best known national parks - Ranthambhore.
  • Visit our local friends in their home on the border of sacred Pushkar Lake and the evocative Thar Desert. Share a meal together and gain insight into local life.
  • Could any visit to India be complete without a visit to the Taj Mahal? Here's what you need to know about your visit: in India’s changing landscapes on a trip that uses rail travel. By choosing trains to get around, you’ll be giving yourself the best opportunity for local interaction, at a more relaxed pace.
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, Positive Change for Marine Life. Donations help them to nurture ocean health with community-led conservation initiatives that inspire coastal restoration, sustainable fishing practices and waste-management.
  • Tour code: HHSC
  • Group Adventure

15 Days fr £ 892* pp

Itinerary details

  • Delhi
    1 Delhi

    Namaste! Welcome to India. Your adv Namaste! Welcome to India. Your adventure begins in Delhi, with a welcome meeting at 6 pm tonight. If you arrive early and have the day free, consider joining one of our Urban Adventures for a great introduction to the city. After the meeting, maybe head out for your first optional dinner with your group and get to know each other.

    Accommodation :
    Hotel ( Night)

    Optional Activities
    Delhi - Qutub Minar - INR600Delhi - Humayun's Tomb - INR600Old Red Fort - INR600

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  • Delhi
    2 Delhi

    This morning, you'll navigate the c This morning, you'll navigate the city’s metro system and discover Old Delhi on a walking tour with your leader. Hitch a ride on a traditional cycle rickshaw through a classic Indian traffic jam in the streets around the Chandni Chowk marketplace. Visit Delhi’s oldest mosque Jama Masjid, which is also India’s largest, and escape the city streets by ducking into a Sikh temple, Sheeshganj Gurudwara, to observe the spiritual side of this bustling metropolis. The communal kitchen welcomes all, and there's a chance to have a simple meal here together. The rest of the day is free for you to enjoy the sights of Delhi.

    Accommodation :
    Hotel ( Night)

    Included Activities
    Delhi - Leader-led Old Delhi walking & rickshaw tourDelhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)Delhi - Visit to the Jama Masjid Mosque

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  • Agra
    3 Agra

    Travel to Agra by one of India's ex Travel to Agra by one of India's express air-conditioned trains. Steeped in Mughal heritage, Agra has a wealth of gardens, temples and open rooftops. Visit the Taj Mahal and learn why Emperor Shah Jahan built it as a memorial to his wife Mumtaz. Explore inside the spectacular sandstone walls of the Red Fort, built to encompass the imperial city of the Mughal rulers in the 16th century. If you have time, move on to Akbar's Mausoleum to honour the great emperor. For a meal that makes a difference, consider visiting Sheroes Hangout, a remarkable social enterprise that supports survivors of acid attacks.

    Accommodation :
    Hotel ( Night)

    Included Activities
    Agra - Taj MahalAgra - Agra FortAgra - Red Fort guided tour

    Optional Activities
    Agra - Additional entries to Taj Mahal - INR1300

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  • Madhogarh
    4 Madhogarh

    Take a private bus to Madhogarh thi Take a private bus to Madhogarh this morning. When you arrive, walk through the village and see the local craftspeople at work making resin bangles. These families are from the Lakhera community and in Hindu mythology, Lakheras are considered to be created by Lord Shiva for making bangles for Goddess Parvathy. This practice is a traditional art and you can see for yourself how they heat the resin and shape it with handmade tools. In the evening, stay in the beautiful heritage property of Fort Madhogarh, which has belonged to one of Rajasthan’s royal families for centuries.

    Accommodation :
    Heritage Property ( Night)

    Included Activities
    Madhogarh - Leader-led village walkMadhogarh - Dinner at Fort Madhogarh

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  • Jaipur
    5 Jaipur

    Travel on by private vehicle to Jai Travel on by private vehicle to Jaipur. When you arrive, take a walk around the ‘Pink City’ with your leader. Get among the crowds of the city’s bazaars to shop for artisan goods and semi-precious stones. Visit the Amber Fort, an excellent example of Rajput architecture, set on a hilltop overlooking Maota Lake. The Sheesh Mahal inside the fort is a must-see. As the walls are completely covered in little mirrors, the hall illuminates with the light of a single match. After the tour, you'll have further free time to spend as you wish.

    Accommodation :
    Hotel ( Night)

    Included Activities
    Jaipur - Amber FortJaipur - Leader-led walking & market tour

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  • Jaipur
    6 Jaipur

    Today is a full free day that you c Today is a full free day that you can jam-pack with experiences of your choice. This morning, you could take an optional hot air balloon ride. Floating across the skyline of Jaipur in a hot air balloon is a highlight of the trip for many travellers. Jump on a rickshaw to Hawa Mahal, also known as the 'Palace of the Winds’. Alternatively, head to Jaipur's Royal City Palace or the observatory of Jantar Mantar to see a collection of intriguing astronomical instruments. After a long day of exploration, perhaps head to the Raj Mandir Cinema to experience a Bollywood film.

    Accommodation :
    Hotel ( Night)

    Optional Activities
    Jaipur - City Palace - INR1000Jaipur - Jantar Mantar Observatory - INR200Jaipur - Bollywood Movie at Raj Mandir Cinema - INR400Jaipur - Balloon Safari - USD280Jaipur - Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Wind) - INR200

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  • Ranthambhore National Park
    7 Ranthambhore National Park

    Continuing on from Jaipur by privat Continuing on from Jaipur by private vehicle, head to Ranthambhore this morning. Ranthambhore National Park was once a famous hunting ground for the Maharajas of Jaipur and was one of the original Project Tiger reserves. Explore the ruins of the park’s 10th-century fort, and in the evening take a 4WD bus safari in search of tigers and other wildlife, such as hyenas, jackals, deer, langurs, marsh crocodiles, wild boars and birds. Ranthambhore National Park is closed between 1 July and 30 September each year. On trips departing during this time, you'll visit nearby Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary. Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary is about 16 km from Ranthambhore and due to its hilly terrain isn't as affected by the monsoon. Tigers also inhabit this area and spottings are more favourable at this time of year as they move here away from flooded areas of Ranthambhore.

    Accommodation :
    Hotel ( Night)

    Included Activities
    Ranthambhore National Park - Evening wildlife safari

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  • Bundi
    8 Bundi

    Today, you'll travel to Bundi by pr Today, you'll travel to Bundi by private vehicle. When you arrive, navigate Bundi's narrow streets on an insightful walking tour, including wandering through the downtown market and meeting jewellery merchants, street dentists, and fabric dealers. Learn the secret of chai making from a local chai master and try a fresh brew. Stop in at Bundi's intriguing and intricate step wells (baori), an architectural marvel, and once the source of water for the town. Check out the 16th-century Bundi Palace with its famous murals before checking into our next heritage stay for the night.

    Accommodation :
    Heritage Property ( Night)

    Included Activities
    Bundi - StepwellBundi - Bundi PalaceBundi - Market visit & Chai tasting

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  • Paangarh Lake
    9 Paangarh Lake

    Take off from Bundi and take a loca Take off from Bundi and take a local train to Bassi. cross the Chittorgarh countryside to Paangarh Lake. Enjoy the view out to the 15th-century fort and unwind with a cup of chai while watching the sunset over the lake. You'll spend tonight in a beautiful permanent tented camp, right on the lakeshore - a truly relaxing experience away from the chaos of India's cities.

    Accommodation :
    Permanent Tent ( Night)

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  • Bijaipur
    10 Bijaipur

    This morning we drive in an open-to This morning we drive in an open-top jeep out into the countryside past tranquil villages. You might be lucky enough to spot some native wildlife as we drive through the region. Meet some villagers and maybe even get a henna tattoo - a temporary but very traditional souvenir. Arrive at our next heritage stay and enjoy a meal of authentic local specialties. 

    Accommodation :
    Heritage Property ( Night)

    Included Activities
    Bijaipur - Countryside jeep safari

    Optional Activities
    Bijaipur - Henna tattoo - INR150

    Read More

  • Udaipur
    11 Udaipur

    Depart the heritage stay and begin Depart the heritage stay and begin your next journey by private vehicle takes us to Udaipur. Take in the city’s hills, lakes, and white marble palaces, or delve into its twisting alleys and bazaars filled with silver, leather goods, and miniature paintings. A popular centre for artists, dancers, and musicians, there’s plenty to entertain you here. After a city walk with your leader, the rest of your day is free.

    Accommodation :
    Hotel ( Night)

    Included Activities
    Udaipur - Leader-led walking tour

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  • Udaipur
    12 Udaipur

    Visit Udaipur's City Palace, one of Visit Udaipur's City Palace, one of the largest royal palaces in India. Some suggestions for your free time after the tour include an optional boat ride on the picturesque Lake Pichola (seasonal) to marvel at the island palaces off Jag Nivas and Jag Mandir and seeing a cultural performance that combines seven traditional Rajasthani folk dances in the evening.

    Accommodation :
    Hotel ( Night)

    Included Activities
    Udaipur - City Palace

    Optional Activities
    Udaipur - Cultural performance - INR250Udaipur - Lake boat ride - INR500

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  • Pushkar
    13 Pushkar

    Today, take an air-conditioned trai Today, take an air-conditioned train to Ajmer and then a private vehicle to your hotel in Pushkar, a place synonymous with Rajasthan. Enjoy a walking tour to visit the bustling ghats and temples around Pushkar Lake, and watch as the devout worship by the holy waters and at the Brahma Temple. At dinnertime, share a meal with a local family and learn about their life living in this desert city. The rest of the day is free for you to explore further.

    Accommodation :
    Hotel ( Night)

    Included Activities
    Pushkar - Leader-led walking tourPushkar - Home-cooked Dinner

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  • Pushkar - Delhi
    14 Pushkar - Delhi

    Early risers can hike up to the Sav Early risers can hike up to the Savitri Temple for amazing sunrise views over the town this morning. Board the Shatabdi Express train, departing Ajmer around 2 pm for the trip back to Delhi, arriving at around 10:40 pm. Transfer to the hotel on arrival for your final night of the trip.

    Accommodation :
    Hotel ( Night)

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  • Delhi
    15 Delhi

    There are no activities planned for There are no activities planned for the final day and you’re able to depart the accommodation at any time.

    Read More

   

Dates & Prices

Classic Rajasthan

Is this trip right for you.

  • We include some key sights in each destination as well as aim to provide some free time for you to make your own discoveries. Past travellers have found that some research before they travel on what they are most interested in seeing and doing has allowed them to maximise their time in each place.
  • While there is no guarantee you will see a tiger during your safari in Ranthambhore, you may have a chance to see a variety of other wildlife, including hyenas, jackals, deer, langurs, marsh crocodiles, wild boars, and birdlife.
  • Make sure your luggage is light and compact enough to be able to carry it up and down multiple flights of stairs (ie. in train stations, hotels without elevators).
  • There are a number of long travel days on this trip. Some journeys take between six to eight hours, but are a great opportunity to get to know locals, fellow travellers, and the diverse scenery. We are covering a lot of this vast country during the trip, so the journey is all part of the India experience.
  • It’s important to prepare for hot sticky temperatures during the day and cooler climates in the evening, particularly in the desert. Layers are one of the best ways to tackle this disparity in weather. We visit a number of temples on this trip, which requires a certain level of modesty. Please bring clothes that cover the arms and pants/skirts that go past the knees. A light scarf is also a good idea for covering shoulders and arms when it’s hot.

Accommodation

  • Permanent tent (1 night)
  • Heritage Property (3 nights)
  • Hotel (10 nights)

Joining point instructions

    Delhi's Indira Gandhi's International Airport is approximately 25km from Patel Nagar. One of the biggest airports in the world, it can be quite chaotic and can take some time to process your visa and collect your luggage.

    Intrepid offer a pre-arranged transfer service option. Enquire with your agent and advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your trip departure. If you have purchased an arrival transfer you will be met in the arrivals hall after clearing customs, your representative with sign board will be standing near the Costa Coffee next to gate no 5. Please ask them to confirm your name.

    Please do not exit the gates, Costa coffee is just before the exit gate no.5.

    If you have any problems and cannot locate our representative, or if your flight is delayed please call the following 24 hour number:

    If you do not have a mobile phone, there are public phones next to Costa Coffee. Calls cost 1 rupee per minute

    Failing the above please take a taxi to the hotel (using the instructions below) and advise your group leader. When you walk out of the exit door, you will easily be able to spot popular metered taxi counters such as Meru Cabs/Mega Cabs or Easy Cabs, show them your drop location and pay them as per the meter once you get to your hotel.

    Taxi's from the airport to our starting point hotel take approx 1 hour and costs between INR 500 - 600 (prepaid traffic police booths).

    IMPORTANT: Please avoid taxi touts who tell you that they have a metered taxi parked outside the airport. Previous passengers have complained that they have been charged hefty amount for the transfers.

    The Delhi metro is another option from the airport. Trains depart between approx 5am and 11:30pm, the trip takes approx. 45 mins and costs around INR100. Please refer to the metro map for lines, changes and directions to Karol Bagh where most of our hotels are located.

    Check in time at hotel is 12 midday.

Finish point instructions

  • A pre-booked departure transfer to the airport is available if arranged at the time of booking. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 15 days prior to your trip start date. If you plan to stay longer, this departure transfer can only be offered in conjunction with post-tour accommodation booked through Intrepid.
  • Delhi's Indira Gandhi's International Airport is approximately 25km from Patel Nagar. One of the biggest airports in the world, it can be quite chaotic.
  • A taxi to the airport takes about 1 hour and should cost between 450 -500INR. Hotel reception or your leader can help you arrange a taxi.
  • Please have a copy of your e-ticket on your phone/tablet or a printed copy to enter the airport.
  • Before check in you must have your check in luggage x-rayed and sealed. Also ensure at check in that your hand luggage is tagged. (This is a mandatory in order to clear security.)
  • Check-out time from the hotel is 12 noon. If you are departing later, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel.

Safety

  • Most national governments provide regularly updated foreign travel advice on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all destinations and activities on your trip. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trips here: We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your group leader or local representative will accompany you on all included activities, however, during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests or relax and take it easy. While your group leader or local representative will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader or local representative has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Intrepid's operational safety policies can be viewed on our website at the link below. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how safety is being managed on our trips.
  • 'S SAFETY: Women should exercise caution when travelling in India. Reported cases of sexual assault against women are increasing; recent sexual attacks against female visitors in tourist areas and cities show that foreign women are also at risk. While the risk of an incident occurring on your trip is very low, below are some things you can do for your safety and peace of mind when travelling: - Respect local dress codes and customs, perhaps dressing more conservatively than you do at home - Avoid isolated areas, including beaches, unlit city streets and village lanes when alone at any time of day - Avoid travelling alone on public transport, or in taxis or auto-rickshaws, especially at night - If you have to use a taxi get them from hotel taxi ranks and use pre-paid taxis at airports. Try to avoid hailing taxis on the street. Some cities (including Delhi and Chennai) have special taxi services for women with women drivers - If you’re being collected at the airport by a driver make sure they have properly identified themselves before you set off. -When leaving your compartment on overnight trains (ie. going to the bathroom), ask a male travel companion to accompany you where possible For further information and advice, visit: www.gov.uk/government/policies/supporting-british-nationals-overseas/supporting-pages/advice-for-women-travellers www.smartraveller.gov.au/tips/women.html PERSONAL BELONGINGS: We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. FREE TIME: Your group leader or local representative will accompany you on all included activities, however, during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group group leader or local representative has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. FESTIVALS: Travelling in India and Nepal during Holi can at times be unsafe - drinking and drug use is more widespread during this holiday. Your group leader or local representative will advise your group on what places to avoid on this day. It may be necessary to alter your itinerary for the day. Diwali (a lunar festival generally held from mid-October to mid-November every year) is celebrated by local people letting off fireworks in the street. It can be very noisy for several days with extra pollution caused by fireworks. As there are no restrictions on buying fireworks in India there are often injuries caused by people exploding them inappropriately. During this festival, your group leader or local representative may be required to alter your itinerary to avoid large crowds gathering and using fireworks. PERSONAL SAFETY: While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing. SCAMS: Scams involving ATM and credit cards, train tickets, taxis, temple donations and tourist guides operate throughout India. If you are the victim of a scam, report it immediately to the nearest police station. Even though they may not be able to get your money or goods back, they can issue you with an official loss report for insurance purposes.

Medical and health information

    GENERAL HEALTH

  • All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. For the safety and wellbeing of yourself and others, if you are unwell prior to travelling, please stay at home and contact us to make alternative arrangements.
  • When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to manage and enjoy our style of travel. Please note that if in the assessment of our group leader or local representative a traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
  • You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements in their original packaging as they may not easily be obtained while travelling. If you are carrying medication, ensure you check your government's foreign travel advice for any local restrictions or requirements. 
  • MOSQUITO-BORNE ILLNESSES

  • Malaria is a risk in many parts of India, including major cities. Cases of dengue fever are reported, especially in the period after the monsoon. Other mosquito-borne diseases (including Japanese encephalitis, chikungunya fever, and filariasis) also occur. Take preventative measures such as wearing long clothing, using repellent, and being indoors particularly around dusk and dawn. Consult a medical professional regarding prophylaxis against malaria. For more information, see the World Health Organisation's fact sheets
  • AIR POLLUTION

  • During winter months (October-February), air pollution levels in parts of India can spike to hazardous levels. Severe pollution can increase the risk of respiratory problems. Those with pre-existing medical conditions, particularly heart and lung conditions, may be especially affected. Your group leader or local representative can assist you to obtain a face mask if required. All customers are encouraged to pack (reusable) face masks as a precaution.
  • OTHER INFECTIOUS DISEASES

  • Water-borne, food-borne, parasitic and other infectious diseases (including meningitis, cholera, typhoid, hepatitis, tuberculosis, diphtheria and rabies) are common in India. Tap water is not safe to drink. Home-made or unlabelled alcohol can be poisonous. Seek medical attention if you suspect food poisoning, if you have a fever or suffer from diarrhea.
  • ZIKA VIRUS

  • India is classified as an ongoing transmission zone for Zika, with confirmed cases in Tamil Nadu and Jaipur. Basic precautions for protection from mosquito bites should be taken by people traveling to Zika transmission areas, especially pregnant women.
  • INFLUENZA

  • Cases of influenza A(H1N1) are widespread in India during winter with a number of recent cases in Rajasthan. Discuss influenza vaccination requirements with your doctor or a travel health professional before departing and maintain good hygiene practices by covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing, and washing your hands regularly. For more information, see the World Health Organisation's fact sheets (seasonal)

Food and dietary requirements

  • While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader or local representative will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. If you have dietary requirements and/or food allergies, please let your booking agent know prior to departure.
  • FOOD IN INDIA

  • Food is a way of life in India. You can snack for a bargain or dine in the finest Indian restaurants. Generally, you can eat very cheaply in India. There is a huge choice of restaurants and street stalls serving traditional and local Indian food. In bigger restaurants in areas frequented by more tourists, there is a choice between Indian, Chinese and Western-style food. Here are some ideas of what to try
  • Please note that service in restaurants (especially with a group) can be quite slow so patience is a must.
  • India caters very well towards vegetarians and vegans with almost all restaurants having a veg and pure veg section of the menu. If in doubt please check with your group leader or local representative. See our guide to eating vegan in India here
  • Your group leader or local representative will be able to direct you towards restaurants that are known to have better hygiene, especially in tourist areas where they are travelling with our groups regularly. For some more advice on avoiding "Delhi belly", see our article here

Important Notes

    MAIN LUGGAGE

  • What you need to bring will vary according to when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage and walk with it for short distances including up and down stairs and in busy train stations. Our travellers usually find the smaller their luggage is, the more they enjoy the trip not having to worry about carrying heavy bags! Aim to keep your main luggage under 15kg.
  • Small, wheeled suitcases that can also easily be picked up and carried are the best for travel in this part of the world, although if you prefer, a backpack is also fine. If you are taking overnight trains, or primarily using public transport then the smaller your luggage the easier it will be to store under or above bunks.
  • DAY PACK

  • A day pack for carrying essentials when exploring destinations as well as for short overnight stays will be useful. On overnight trains packing this with the essentials you need to access during the trip will also be very useful.
  • Below are some ideas and helpful tips on what you specifically need for this trip.
  • ESSENTIALS

  • Lightweight clothing. A mixture of lightweight clothing and warm layers. Clothes should be easy to wash and dry. Maybe bring a change in smart clothes for dinner in bigger cities. Clothing that covers arms and pants/skirts that go past the knee for entry into local temples.
  • Closed-in shoes (to protect from cuts/scratches/insect bites on city and countryside walks)
  • Sun protection hat, sunscreen, sunglasses
  • RECOMMENDED

  • Parts of India can get very cold (ie. below zero!) during winter (Dec to Feb) and northern regions of India are typically cool in the evenings throughout the year. Many hotels in India do not have central heating. We recommend checking local weather advisory websites before departing to get a better understanding of what to expect and how best to pack. Bringing extra layers and a beanie could improve your overall experience.
  • Personal medical kit, we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes, Band-Aids and insect repellent.
  • Water bottle. At least 1.5litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments.
  • Camera with spare batteries. Our trips have access to power to recharge batteries for phones and cameras most days but we recommend you take a spare battery for your camera.
  • A small chain and padlock for overnight trains is handy to keep your luggage safe and secure.
  • OPTIONAL

  • Sleeping bag. Useful for camping, overnight trains and poorly heated hotels, during the winter months of Dec Feb
  • Sleep sheet
  • Earplugs & eye mask 
  • Swimming costume
  • Binoculars for spotting wildlife
  • OTHER USEFUL THINGS TO TAKE

  • Reusable shopping bag for buying supplies for long journeys
  • Slippers or flip flops
  • Torch/flashlight
  • Travel wipes
  • Small towel
  • Head scarf for women (for when entering temples or mosques)
  • OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER

  • Check weather in destinations you are travelling to online a few days before you go to make sure you pack appropriate clothing
  • Laundry facilities may not be available in all destinations, so make sure you have a few cycles of clothes to tide you over until your next chance to wash
  • VALUABLES

  • Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safe. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden. We strongly recommend that you photocopy or screen shot scan all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificates etc. and keep the copies.
  • MORE!

  • If you need some further tips for packing, you can always check out our ultimate packing list, or read this advice here

Passport and visas

PASSPORT

You’ll need a valid passport to travel internationally and most countries require your passport to have a minimum of 6 months validity, so remember to check the expiry date.

We need your passport information to get everything ready for your trip so it’s important that the information on your booking matches your passport exactly. Please take care to provide the correct details. We recommend carrying a copy of the photo page of your passport while travelling and leaving a copy at home with family or friends.

VISAS & ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Many countries require a visa and obtaining the correct visa for your trip and any countries you may transit through is your responsibility. We recommend you check your visa requirements as soon as you have booked your trip. This will ensure you have time to prepare your documents and for your visa application to be processed. You can check the entry requirements for your nationality on your government's foreign travel advisories, consular websites or on our page here:  www.intrepidtravel.com/visa-entry-requirements

ADDRESS FOR INDIA VISA APPLICATIONS

If you require an address for your visa application please use:

Intrepid India

25/3 East Patel Nagar

Delhi 110008

Phone: +91 11 4500 6400

NATIONAL PARKS:

In order to obtain permits and safari bookings for national parks in India, we require a scanned colour copy of the bio page of your passport at the time of booking. Your safari arrangements cannot be completed without this information.

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory on all our trips for those travelling internationally. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are travelling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travellers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. For international trips, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted by your group leader or local representative.

If you have credit card insurance your group leader or local representative will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number, and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

For travellers who reside within the European Union, Switzerland or USA the requirement to purchase travel insurance cannot be compulsory. However the purchase of travel insurance is still highly recommended, and travellers from these regions who decline travel insurance when travelling outside of their home region must sign a Travel Insurance Waiver Form at the Group Meeting, recognizing personal responsibility for emergency medical and repatriation costs should they arise.

For assistance with travel insurance or other services, please visit the link below:

Responsible travel

Our Responsible Travel Policy outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable, and giving back to the places we travel. All our trip group leaders or local representatives, suppliers, and staff are trained on these principles and are core to us delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel.

Explore the different parts of our Responsible Travel Policy by visiting:

ELEPHANT PERFORMANCES & ELEPHANT RIDING:

While we respect each individual’s decisions while travelling, Intrepid does not include elephant rides or unnatural performance activities on any itinerary, and we recommend you bypass these activities should they be offered to you during your stay. Professional wildlife conservation and animal welfare organisations, including World Animal Protection, advise that contrary to common belief, captive elephants remain wild animals and despite good intentions, unfortunately, many venues are unable to provide the appropriate living conditions elephants require and this ultimately impacts their well-being. While there is some merit in the argument that the money you pay for the activity goes towards keeping the elephants and their mahouts employed, we know that it also fuels demand for elephants to be captured in the wild or captive-bred. We thank you for your support in improving the welfare of these majestic creatures. Further information is available on the below link:

LOCAL CUSTOMS

It's always a good idea to learn something about local language and customs before you travel, and visiting India is no exception. Your group leader or local representative will be on hand to guide you through cultural differences and teach you some basic language. Here are some Hindi phrases to take with you on your trip:

Climate and seasonal

WEATHER IN INDIA

Due to India's size and topography, there's a huge amount of variation in its climate. We recommend you consider both the season and the part of India you intend to visit, so that you can best pack for your adventure.

One of the most beneficial times to visit India is from September to March when temperatures are at their best, with warm days and cool nights.

During winter (December to January), temperatures can get quite cold in Delhi and the north, especially at night. Hotels in some regions may not have adequate heating. In these months you may like to bring thermals for sleeping and a warm jacket for mornings and evenings. Fog can delay trains travelling throughout this region.

Monsoon is from May to October and offers hot and humid conditions. It is not unusual for trains to be delayed, and for activities in towns near rivers and lakes (ie Varanasi) to require amendment at this time of year. Your group leader or local representative will be able to advise you locally on any changes.

PUSHKAR CAMEL FAIR:

The Pushkar Camel Fair is undoubtedly one of the most vibrant festivals in India. Dates can vary from those published, but the fair is usually scheduled for November. The Fair originated as a livestock fair (ie. for buying and trading animals for work and meat) and some of the events today still involve selling, dressing up, parading, racing, and performing camels. Some past travellers have raised animal welfare concerns in witnessing these events. However, camels are only one part of the Fair. There are also carnival-style events involving musicians, magicians, acrobats, dancers. Our favourite is the moustache competition! Many religious rituals take place during this time and there are plenty of regional handicrafts and souvenirs for sale, all of which make it a fascinating time to be in Pushkar.

RANTHAMBHORE CLOSURE:

Ranthambhore National Park is closed between 1 July and 30 September each year. On those trips affected, we'll visit nearby Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary. Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary is located approx. 16km from Ranthambhore and is due to its hilly terrain isn't as affected by the monsoon. Tigers inhabit this area also and spottings are more favorable at this time of year as they move away from flooded areas of Ranthambhore.

FESTIVALS & HOLIDAYS

As a country of many cultures and religions, India has many festivals and public holidays. Here are some of the key dates and events:

HOLI (Festival of Colours)

2023 7-8 March

2024 24-25 March

DIWALI (Festival of Light)

2023 12 November

2024 01 November

RAMADAN (Muslim Holy Month)

2023 22 March – 20 April

2024 10 March – 8 April

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