North to South India on a Shoestring
21 days from Delhi to Fort Kochi
From $ 2349
Duration21 days

From the hectic pace of northern Delhi to the beaches of Goa and the fishing nets of relaxed Kochi, this epic journey packages the subcontinent’s highlights into three well-paced weeks. Watch the sunrise at Savitri temple in Pushkar and explore the canals of Alleppey on your way to a homestay with a local family. With your accommodation and transport arranged by our Chief Experience Officers (CEOs), you can concentrate on choosing your own adventure. Pack your trip with everything you want — and nothing you don't. What are you waiting for? Lush hills, bustling cities, and mouth-watering curries await!

This tour is operated by

  • Duration: 21 days
    Service level: Basic
  • Starts in: Delhi
    Physical Grading: Light
  • Ends in: Fort Kochi
    Ages: 18+
North to South India on a Shoestring - Tour Map

Itinerary

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Day 1: Delhi

Start place: Delhi

If you arrive early, wander through the heart of India's capital city and explore Old and New Delhi. Travel by the new metro or auto rickshaws and visit the famous Jama Masjid (Great Mosque) where you could climb the minaret for a bird's eye view of the old city. Explore Chandni Chowk, one of India's oldest and busiest markets or head to the colourful spice market -- a great photo opportunity.
Arrive any time. Please note this tour departs Delhi early on Day 2, so book extra accommodation if you would like to explore the city. Day tours can be booked through the front desk of your hotel if you do arrive early.

End place: Delhi

Day 2: Delhi/Āgra

Start place: Delhi

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 either in the morning or late afternoon for the best light (this depends upon your arrival time). You also have the option to visit the Agra Fort, the Taj’s less famous—but no less impressive—sister monument.
Take a morning train to Agra, then a guided tour of the impressive Taj Mahal. Opt to visit Agra Fort and Baby Taj.
Day 3: Āgra/Jaipur
Today we take a bus ride—always an adventure itself in India— to the capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur, the former capital of a princely state of the same name. Clothed in pink stucco (in imitation of sandstone), Jaipur is known as the "Pink City" and is one of the most important heritage cities in India. It is home to India’s second most visited site, the Hawa Mahal, or "Palace of the Winds".

Take a cycle rickshaw to the markets and enjoy an orientation walk through the stalls. If you haven't tasted one yet, this is a great place to try a delicious masala chai (Indian chai tea).

In your free time, opt to visit the City Palace, the observatory, or check out a song-and-dance Bollywood film in India's largest movie theatre.
Take an orientation walk around town, then enjoy free time to explore other sites around town. Opt to see a Bollywood film.

End place: Jaipur

Day 4: Jaipur

Start place: Jaipur

Enjoy a guided tour of the Amber Fort before having a free afternoon in Jaipur to explore the city.

End place: Jaipur

Day 5: Jaipur/Tordi Sāgar

Start place: Jaipur

Go on an included guided walk through the local village and opt to participate in a cricket match with some locals.
Dive into rural life by visiting potters, cobblers, and markets. Opt to take a jeep safari or camel cart ride to the dunes for sunset. Head out for a hike in the hills or get a henna tattoo from local women.
Meals: D
Day 6: Tordi Sāgar/Pushkar
Have a final taste of rural village life with a traditional lunch before travelling to Pushkar.

This morning, travel to Ajmer and over Snake Mountain to Pushkar. The site of the world’s only temple to the Hindu god of creation, Brahma, Pushkar is often called "Tirth Raj," the Raj (king) of pilgrim centres.

After settling into our accommodation, we will take an orientation walk around Pushkar.
Enjoy a local lunch prepared by traditional methods at a village hamlet. Go on an orientation walk upon arrival to Pushkar. Enjoy a simple but tasty vegetarian lunch at a local village hamlet.

End place: Pushkar

Meals: B, L
Day 7: Pushkar

Start place: Pushkar

Before dawn today, we climb to the hilltop Savitri temple. After the morning walk, there is nothing better than spending time at one of the many cafés in town.
In the morning, climb Savitri Temple, perched atop a hill, and catch the sunrise. Enjoy some free time for shopping or yoga. Opt to partake in a traditional dinner in the desert cooked by cameleers, with local entertainment.

End place: Pushkar

Day 8: Pushkar/Udaipur

Start place: Pushkar

Continue south to lakeside Udaipur, famous worldwide for its plethora of breathtaking lakes and Raj-era palaces. It certainly lives up to its reputation as India's most romantic city.

With its own famous style of painting and plenty of artisans, Udaipur is a great place to stroll through.
Take an orientation walk and an optional boat ride.

End place: Udaipur

Day 9-10: Udaipur

Start place: Udaipur

Free time to explore the "Venice of the East" with its lakes, palaces, and narrow lanes.

End place: Udaipur

Day 11: Udaipur/Mumbai

Start place: Udaipur

Take a local bus to Ahmedabad and explore the famous Gandhi Ashram at Sabarmati. Overnight train from Ahmedabad to Mumbai.

End place: Mumbai

Day 12: Mumbai

Start place: Mumbai

Opt to shoot a picture of the Gateway to India, facing westward out to sea, and stop in for a cup of tea at the famous Taj Hotel next door. From here boats leave for Elephanta Island (also called Gharapuri Island or place of caves), famous for is cave temples carved straight from the rock.

People-watch on Chowpatty Beach or visit Crawford Market, one of South Mumbai's most famous markets. Try some of the many local specialties at one of Mumbai’s many top-notch restaurants, or go out on the town and sample the city’s famed nightlife firsthand.
Arrive to Mumbai and take an orientation walk of Colaba and Fort Area. Enjoy free time to explore the bustling metropolis of Mumbai.

End place: Mumbai

Day 13: Mumbai/Goa

Start place: Mumbai

Relax on a beach, visit the many Portuguese-built monuments, wander around the old churches of Old Goa (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and discover Panjim, the capital.
In the morning, hop on a short flight to Goa. Head to the beaches of North Goa, sample tasty treats at the night markets, and take in the nightlife of this coastal state.
Day 14: Goa
Enjoy a free day to wind down in North Goa. Visit nearby beaches, scour the markets, and be sure to try to some delicious Goan cuisine and fresh seafood.
Day 15: Goa/Kochi
Fly to southern India and explore this major port city. Today, new travellers may join you for the rest of your adventure. You are welcome to join them at a group meeting this evening followed by an optional dinner.

End place: Fort Kochi

Day 16: Kochi/Alleppey

Start place: Fort Kochi

Leaving early to avoid the heat, enjoy the Jewish Town with its old curio shops and the more than 400-year-old synagogue.

Travel afterwards to Alleppey, a golden streak of land woven with rivers, lakes, lagoons, and canals.

In the afternoon, we check out the island with a local English-speaking guide and learn about the way of life here. Afterwards, settle into a homestay and get to know your hosts.
Explore the Jewish Quarter before continuing to Alleppey. Experience local life at a homestay, and enjoy a guided walk along the lagoon.

End place: Alleppey

Meals: L, D
Day 17: Alleppey/Kollam

Start place: Alleppey

Travel to Kollam by bus after enjoying a morning ferry cruise.
Explore the backwaters and its unique ecosystem on a ferry cruise. Transfer to Kollam.

End place: Kollam

Meals: B, L
Day 18: Kollam/Varkala

Start place: Kollam

Note that Kollam Harbour is closed to visitors in May through june.
Enjoy lots of free time to explore the town, get treated by local healers, or visit the Varkala Temple.

End place: Varkala

Day 19: Varkala

Start place: Varkala

Spend time wandering the peaceful gardens of an ashram devoted to Kerala's most eminent spiritual and social reformer and the mystical Janardhana Swamy Temple, or just head to the beach to relax and watch the Arabian Sea.

End place: Varkala

Day 20: Varkala/Kochi

Start place: Varkala

Travel to Kochi and take an orientation tour visiting Fort Kochi, St Francis Church, the Dutch cemetery, and the Chinese fishing nets.

In the late afternoon/early evening, opt to watch Kathakali dancing (a Kerala traditional dance form).
Return to Kochi. Take an orientation walk to Fort Kochi, St Francis Church, and the Chinese fishing nets. Opt to take in a local Kathakali dance performance.

End place: Fort Kochi

Day 21: Kochi

Start place: Fort Kochi

Depart at any time.

End place: Fort Kochi

Inclusions

Included

  • Your Discover Moment: Udaipur Your Local Living Moment: Alleppey Homestay, Alleppey
  • Entrance and guided tour of the Taj Mahal (Agra)
  • Rural Tordi Sagar tour with local guide
  • Sunrise at Savitri Temple (Pushkar)
  • Gandhi Ashram visit (Ahmedabad)
  • Guided Kerala boat tour and homestay
  • Morning ferry cruise on Kollam's backwaters
  • Neendakara Fishing Harbour visit
  • Orientation walks in Jaipur, Pushkar, Udaipur, Mumbai, Kochi, and Kollam
  • Internal flights
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
  • Transport

    Train, Metro, Local bus, Charter bus, Jeep, Tuk tuk, Boat, Plane, Private vehicle
  • Accommodation

    Simple hotels or guesthouse (twin-share) (18 nts), Overnight train (1 nt), Homestay (1 nt)
  • Meals

    2 breakfasts,
    3 lunches,
    2 dinners

Dates & availability: North to South India on a Shoestring

Departing Finishing Catalog Price Sale Price Seats left
Departing Mon, 03/25/2019 Finishing Sun, 04/14/2019 Catalog Price $ 2349 Sale Price $ 2349 9 Book
Departing Mon, 04/01/2019 Finishing Sun, 04/21/2019 Catalog Price $ 2199 Sale Price $ 2199 -
Departing Mon, 04/08/2019 Finishing Sun, 04/28/2019 Catalog Price $ 2199 Sale Price $ 1869 15 Book
Departing Mon, 04/15/2019 Finishing Sun, 05/05/2019 Catalog Price $ 2199 Sale Price $ 2199 9 Book
Departing Mon, 08/12/2019 Finishing Sun, 09/01/2019 Catalog Price $ 2199 Sale Price $ 2199 15 Book
Departing Mon, 08/19/2019 Finishing Sun, 09/08/2019 Catalog Price $ 2199 Sale Price $ 2199 18 Book
Departing Mon, 08/26/2019 Finishing Sun, 09/15/2019 Catalog Price $ 2199 Sale Price $ 2199 18 Book
Departing Mon, 09/02/2019 Finishing Sun, 09/22/2019 Catalog Price $ 2199 Sale Price $ 2199 13 Book
Departing Mon, 09/09/2019 Finishing Sun, 09/29/2019 Catalog Price $ 2199 Sale Price $ 2199 18 Book
Departing Mon, 09/16/2019 Finishing Sun, 10/06/2019 Catalog Price $ 2199 Sale Price $ 2199 18 Book

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