19 Day India Varanasi Adventure

Women Only

Max group 12

Lifetime Deposit

There’s nothing as different as India… which is why we’ve created a women-only adventure that’s as unique as India itself.

Sure, you’ll do the ‘big sights’ – palaces, forts, the Taj Mahal, Varanasi – but we’ll also peel back the layers and give you access to the REAL India in all its crazy glory. Oh, and you’re also going to India’s spiritual capital  – Varanasi. Where the Ganges River flows and Hindu pilgrims travel great distances to bathe and perform funeral rites in her sacred waters.  

You’ll get taken to our fav FOODIE spots, enjoy private interactions with local women, stay in interesting, comfortable accommodation and enjoy experiences that are simply NOT available on typical itineraries – not to mention, nowhere to be seen on TripAdvisor.

Get ready to share some laughs together with your small group of women co-travellers – no more than 12 of you!

Highlights

Go tiger spotting on safari in Ranthambore National Park

Travel to the magnificent forts and palaces of Rajasthan

Visit the women of the Jaipur Rug Foundation and witness their traditional skills first-hand

Immerse yourself in the vibrant tapestry of Delhi's bustling energy

Explore the remarkable stepwells of Bundi

Enjoy sunrise by boat on the Ganges River

Trip Details

Price

$6,593 AUD (twin share)

  • $1,650 deposit.
  • 2 week cooling off period applies.
  • Lifetime Deposit. If you need to cancel, your deposit is transferable to other trips.
  • Twin Share: we’ll match you with a roomie if you’re travelling solo.
  • Private supplement available: $1968 AUD
  • Tip Kitty: $79 AUD

Please refer to our payment terms in the FAQs.


Trip length

19 days, 18 nights


Dates

Starts: New Delhi, 01 October 2024

Finishes: New Delhi , 19 October 2024


Meeting point

Suryaa Hotel, New Delhi, India


Ending point

Suryaa Hotel, New Delhi, India


Group size

Maximum 12


Participation requirements

Please see our “Is this trip right for you?” section under the Participation Tab.


Included

  • Meals: 18 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 9 dinners, 1 high tea
  • Boutique accommodation
  • Leader/guides: 1 top-rated English-speaking tour leader throughout
  • Transport: small air-conditioned bus, 2 x internal flights, 1 x train
  • Entrance/admission: fees, where applicable, with included activities
  • 20kg checked bag (1 piece) for domestic flights

Note: Flight details are needed 60 days in advance.


Not included

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Any visas required
  • Late check-out at hotels
  • Meals and drinks not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Drinks with included lunches and dinners
  • Tip kitty. Note: as Aussies and Kiwis, we are not used to tipping! However, guide, driver, restaurant and hotel staff tipping is customary for tours in India.
  • Personal expenditure

Our Accommodation

India is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and we’re going for accommodation with comfort and character. A mix of 3-4 star hotels, with some highlights along the way.


Click the tabs to find out more
Day 1: DELHI

Welcome to India! After receiving a warm welcome at the airport, we’ll gather in the evening and start our adventure straight away with a welcome dinner at one of our favourites. You’ll see a lot on this trip, and this restaurant gives us the chance to ease in and get to know each other in a relaxed environment.

Accommodation: The Suryaa Hotel (or similar)
Included: Dinner

DAY 2: DELHI

You’ll get right into it today with a visit to one of New Delhi’s most famous sights: Jama Masjid – India’s largest mosque, which stands across the road.

Following lunch, the fun really begins with a visit to one of the oldest markets: Chandni Chowk. Chaotic & authentic, the narrow lanes have kept the traditional workmanship alive which makes Delhi famous.

Later you’ll go by rickshaw to visit Khari Baoli – Asia’s largest wholesale spice market. It’s full of interesting smells and people.

We finish the day with an Indian high tea and kite-flying experience at the magnificently restored Haveli Dharampura.

Accommodation: The Suryaa Hotel (or similar)
Included: Breakfast, Lunch, High Tea

DAY 3: THE AMBER FORT

The adventure leaves Delhi today as you head towards the ancient Pink City, Jaipur. It’s a 5-hour drive in your air-conditioned vehicle. Your group will set off early because there’s a lunch reservation to reach in a decadent restaurant, serving dishes from recipes passed down for generations through royal families. 

Later, head out of town to Amber. The ancient town is incredible – not only has it been around for a thousand years, it’s also home to one of Rajasthan’s most treasured monuments – the 17th century Amber Fort. Rising from the ground high on the hill above the town, it will certainly leave an impressionable imprint in your mind!

Accommodation: Traditional Haveli (or similar)
Included: Breakfast and Lunch

DAY 4: JAIPUR

Just outside Jaipur lies a small village where you’ll have the opportunity to meet local Rajasthani women who are dedicated to keeping traditional weaving techniques alive.

The setting is humble and welcoming – those looking for tourist traps won’t find one here! You’ll have ample time to meet the villagers and can have a go at weaving yourself. 

You can also buy a rug to take home to treasure this memory (recommended to bring $50 – $150 AUD).

You will enjoy a traditional Rajasthani lunch prepared by your talented hosts. Take as much time as you like to get to know each other; there’s no pressure to rush back.

A beautiful rooftop dinner awaits you to finish the day.

Accommodation: Traditional Haveli (or similar)
Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 5: JODHPUR

Our next stop is the blue-hued city of Jodhpur – a 6-hour drive away. Lose yourself in the changing scenes outside your window as your vehicle ventures deeper into desert country, or even take a cheeky nap if you’re that way inclined!

Check into your hotel in the afternoon and the rest of the day is up to you. Keep your shoes on and go explore the local area. Or kick them off and relax – there’s a swimming pool to cool off in and a small selection of inhouse spa services too. Stomach a bit growly? Dinner tonight is at your guide’s favourite local rooftop restaurant – the one with the views!

Accommodation: Mandore Guest House (or similar)
Included: Breakfast and Dinner

DAY 6: JODHPUR

This morning, get up close to the famous Mehrangarh Fort – imposing, regal and majestic. Inside, you’ll uncover the magical, hand-chiselled patterns of local artisans from centuries earlier, from palaces to courtyards, to sculptures. Soak it all in.

Before dinner, stroll around the regenerative Mharo Khet farm and find yourself ‘wowing’  at all the produce here, as you remind yourself that this is actually a desert. We wouldn’t bring you here to miss out on the dining part of the experience, so strap yourself in for a multicourse tasting of the delights you were viewing only moments earlier.

Accommodation: Mandore Guest House (or similar)
Included: Breakfast and Dinner

DAY 7: JODHPUR

Kickstart your day with a chill morning after breakfast, and guess what? The entire day is wide open for you to roam around Jodhpur and hit up the local market at your own groove. No rush, no rules – just go with the flow and soak up the vibes. It’s your time to explore, so make it epic in the awesome city of Jodhpur!

Accommodation: Mandore Guest House (or similar)
Included: Breakfast 

DAY 8: UDAIPUR

The drive to Udaipur takes around 6 hours and enroute you’ll relish stopping to explore the Jain Temples in Ranakpur. The building is so intricately carved, it rises from the ground like an enormous ivory-coloured wedding cake decorated with intricate lacework.

Udaipur is known as the ‘City of Lakes’. Dinner is at your leisure tonight. Dine at a local rooftop restaurant – nearly all of them have an incredible view of the lake and City Palace.

Accommodation: Aranya Vilas (or similar)
Included: Breakfast and Lunch

DAY 9: UDAIPUR

Udaipur is a city worth seeing, so you’ll kick the morning off with a visit to the regal City Palace. Towering over the lake, it’s a conglomeration of courtyards, pavilions, terraces, corridors, rooms and hanging gardens. 

The evening boat ride on Lake Pichola will leave you gasping with awe. From palaces to shore-side bathing ghats, be sure to have your camera at the ready!

Accommodation: Aranya Villas (or similar)
Included: Breakfast

DAY 10: BUNDI

Begin your day with a delightful breakfast, followed by an exclusive 5-hour drive from Udaipur to the captivating town of Bundi. Immortalized by Rudyard Kipling in ‘Kim,’ Bundi beckons with its iconic step wells and the majestic Taragarh Fort. 

Upon arrival, explore the city’s lifeline – the celebrated Stepwells, and uncover the intriguing connection between Rudyard Kipling and this picturesque destination. Immerse yourself in the opulent heritage and architectural marvels that define Bundi. Ready to craft extraordinary memories in the heart of this historical gem? Let’s embark on a journey where each moment is a story waiting to be told!

Accommodation: Hadoti Palace (or similar)
Included: Breakfast and Lunch

DAY 11: RANTHAMBORE NATIONAL PARK

Say goodbye to Bundi this morning because the adventure is really getting started now. From RURAL to RAW!! It’s a 6-hour drive to the Tigress Resort: can you guess what’s coming next?

Check in and enjoy the hotel. It’s hard not to notice, your stay here is one of the highlights!

Accommodation: Tigress Resort (or similar)
Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 12: MORNING & EVENING SAFARI 

This morning you will wake up in the heart of the Ranthambore National Park, which is famous for its wildlife.

So, lay your hands on that sunhat because you’ll spend both the morning and afternoon in open-air jeeps on safari drives. Tigers are the main drawcard here.

Seeing a Tiger is likely, but not guaranteed, so let’s cross our fingers and pray to the gods!

Tonight, a magical dining experience awaits you back at your lodging. Step back to the days of the Maharajahs for an open air rooftop feast under the open sky.

Eat in ambience befitting royalty.

Accommodation: Tigress Resort (or similar)
Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 13: AGRA

India is famous for its trains, and this morning we’ll enjoy a 2-hour train journey to Bharatpur. This is a noisy but real train experience as you mingle amongst the hustle and bustle.

From there, you’ll hop into your vehicle and head onto Agra, which will only take around one hour by road. Dinner is at your leisure tonight. Can you believe you’ve been in India for almost 2 weeks? By now you’ll feel so much like a local that you’ll be out that hotel door as quickly as you can to explore the city that’s home to one of the seven wonders of the world!

Accommodation: Grand Imperial Hotel (or similar)
Included: Breakfast

DAY 14: TAJ MAHAL

You might have heard that the Taj Mahal can be overwhelmed with guests, which is why we’re going to do things differently in order to get you the best possible experience.

The absolute best time to see this magnificent building is sunrise. Even the night owls won’t regret getting up a bit earlier than normal as we witness the Taj Mahal slowly reveal itself into the glimmering daylight. 

This gives you the opportunity to breathe, enjoy yourself and take it all in. Though the day has just begun, because Agra Fort is another must see!

Dinner tonight is special. Sheroes Cafe is run by women who have survived acid attacks and we’re honoured to be supporting such a worthy organisation.

Accommodation: Grand Imperial Hotel (or similar)
Included: Breakfast and Dinner

DAY 15: TO VARANASI

Check out after breakfast this morning. Are you ready for the final roadtrip of the journey? It’s around 4 hours to Delhi and the group will head straight to the airport for the afternoon flight to Varanasi. It’s famous: described by Lonely Planet as ‘the India of your imagination’. Pilgrims come here to wash away their sins and to farewell their dead.

It’s confronting, hectic, noisy, colourful and intense, and our home for the next 3 nights. What better way to farewell India?

Let’s get an early night: tomorrow has a lot in store.

Accommodation: The Amaaya Varanasi (or similar)
Included: Breakfast

DAY 16: THE GANGES

This morning starts with a sunrise boat ride along the Ganges. Watch as the world of ghats and temples is gradually illuminated. You will take a walking tour of the old city, through narrow laneways packed with stalls and shops, past the dhobi wallahs, burning ghats, and the endless temples that echo with bells and the aroma of incense.

Then, in the evening, you’re back in a boat and floating past the ghats as you witness the nightly Aarti ceremony with musicians on board and experience the true magic of Varanasi.

Accommodation: The Amaaya Varanasi (or similar)
Included: Breakfast and Lunch

DAY 17: SARNATH 

From Hinduism yesterday, to Buddhism today. India truly is a melting pot of diversity! It’s just a short drive this morning to Sarnath. It’s believed this is the place Buddha first came to, after finding enlightenment. 

You’ll be taken by surprise just how large the site is, and you’ll wander past well preserved stupas, statues and building foundations – some more than 1,500 years old. You may even be caught up in an unexpected sense of tranquillity. Many visitors before you have experienced this, for this complex was built to spread the message of love and compassion.

We’ll cap off an incredibly memorable day with your final Maharajah-style dinner.

Accommodation: The Amaaya Varanasi (or similar)
Included: Breakfast and Dinner

DAY 18: BACK TO DELHI

Today you’ll fly back to Delhi. Your trip is winding up, so you’re going to have a bit of final shopping time to snap up those last minute gifts or mementos in Connaught Place.

Our guide will be with you to point out the best places and help you with any needed negotiations.

A final dinner awaits as you reminisce together.

Accommodation:  Suryaa Hotel (or similar)
Included: Breakfast and Dinner

DAY 19: FAREWELL, FRIENDS

And that’s it: the end of your unforgettable journey. Saying goodbye is the hardest part. Exchange emails and phone numbers and get ready for the next adventure!

Included: Breakfast

Trip Map
The Essential Info
FITNESS

Level 1 or Easy

So long as you have a general level of health and fitness, you’ll be fine. There’s no specific exercise planned for this trip, but there will be days where you’ll be walking and spending a lot of time on your feet. Daily activities may include city walks and getting on and off various forms of transport. 

All activities are optional, meaning that if you don’t feel like it, you can skip it but it will be impossible to enjoy your trip if you’re not able to do a walking tour for a full afternoon. Unfortunately this tour cannot accommodate people requiring walking aids.

Frequently Asked Questions

Prior to the payment of your full balance, the final price may change if there is significant variation in the AUD:INR exchange rate. Our trip pricing is determined by what the exchange rates are at the time of publishing the trip.

The pricing on this trip is based on an exchange rate of 1 AUD: 56 INR.

A deposit of $1,650 is required to hold your spot. Payment can be made by credit card (fees apply) or bank deposit.

There is a cooling-off period of 2 weeks. (Applicable to all bookings made 110 days in advance.)

We have implemented a ‘lifetime deposit’ guarantee. Deposits are not refundable, but they are transferable at any time, right up until the first day of the trip.

The final balance of the trip is required 95 days in advance of the departure date. Our suppliers require upfront payment well in advance to guarantee availability.

Please refer to the full terms and conditions for further information.

Most of our trips have a tip kitty because many cultures have interesting and diverse rules when it comes to tips. We’ve found it to be the easiest way to combat over-tipping, under-tipping or having the tip fall into the wrong hands. Our goal is for guests to relax and know that the complexities of tipping are taken care of, on their behalf.

For your Indian adventure, we ask your contribution be: 4,200 Indian Rupee (equivalent to $79 AUD) which is given to your guide on Day 1. The kitty will be managed by your guide and distributed along the way at restaurants for included meals, hotel staff, drivers and services.

What is not covered is a customary tip at the end of the trip for your guide. If they’ve ensured that your trip is memorable, we recommend the following guidelines:

8,000 to 9,000 per person (equivalent to $150 – $170)

(Exchange Rate used – $1AUD : 53.8 Rupee)

This is the most frequently asked question we get!

Nearly everyone is in their 50s and 60s, with some people above and below (but of course, everyone is welcome!)

Most Patchies come alone and are matched with a room-mate. Remember, you don’t need to pay for a single supplement if you come solo. We will place you with a similarly-aged roommate.

The typical Patchie has travelled a LOT, is a well-seasoned adventurer, and is not easily thrown by small things. However, many Patchies tell us that this is their first ever group tour. Many of our guests have avoided tours to this point as they’re not attracted to being herded around in large groups.

Oh, and one last thing:

Patchies are warm, generous, and kind. We knew it would be like this, but we weren’t expecting it to be *quite* like this. We’re so blessed as a business to have the customers we do; we consider ourselves to be some of the luckiest people in the world.

Food is everything in India. From street food to fine dining, you can find it all. Service in restaurants can be a bit slow, but the wait is worth it.

North India is a vegetarian and vegan paradise, and your guide will be able to point you towards restaurants with better hygiene.

Delhi Belly is a thing. It is common for tourists to get sick in India, as food tends to be on the heavy side. If you enjoy Indian food, you’re going to LOVE this trip. You’re going to discover all kinds of foods that you never even thought existed.

Australian and New Zealand passport holders can apply for an E-Tourist Visa. If you are staying in India longer than 30 days you will need to apply for a 1 year Visa. The Visa fee is around $40AUD for 30 days and $65AUD for 1 year.

Airfares are not included.

Solo travellers will be matched with a room-mate. Of course, if you prefer to have your own space, you can reserve the private room supplement.

Please contact us for more information.

Most of our trips have a tip kitty because many cultures have interesting and diverse rules when it comes to tips. We’ve found it to be the easiest way to combat over-tipping, under-tipping or having the tip fall into the wrong hands. Our goal is for guests to relax and know that the complexities of tipping are taken care of, on their behalf.

For your Indian adventure, we ask your contribution be: 4,200 Indian Rupee (equivalent to $79 AUD) which is given to your guide on Day 1. The kitty will be managed by your guide and distributed along the way at restaurants for included meals, hotel staff, drivers and services.

Airport transfers are included. You can plan to arrive at any time, but we recommend arriving in the morning to give yourself time to settle in.

Level 1 or Easy

So long as you have a general level of health and fitness, you’ll be fine. There’s no specific exercise planned for this trip, but there will be days where you’ll be walking and spending a lot of time on your feet. Daily activities may include city walks and getting on and off various forms of transport. 

All activities are optional, meaning that if you don’t feel like it, you can skip it but it will be impossible to enjoy your trip if you’re not able to do a walking tour for a full afternoon. Unfortunately this tour cannot accommodate people requiring walking aids.

In the unlikely event of a health or security related incident during a trip, we’ve engaged a local partner to assist. From our experience, there is not one framework that fits all, and every incident is unique and requires a different approach. With all trips, your guides are your day-to-day support. While behind the scenes, there is an active line of communication – between your guide, the on-ground support team, and Australian Ops.

Have more burning questions?

Check Out Our Other Trips!