19 Day North India Adventure

February 25, 2020

Trip price: $4970 AUD

Deposit: $1250 AUD

There’s nothing as different as India… which is why we’ve created an adventure that’s as unique as India itself.

Sure, we’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 we’re also going to celebrate the Holi Festival.

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.

Highlights

Women only! Get ready for some laughs together

Small groups, maximum 12 spots

Experience a Tiger safari in Ranthambore National Park

Enjoy a tour of Jaipur in a Pink Rickshaw, with the famous women of Pink City Rickshaw Company

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

Visit the magnificent forts and palaces of Rajasthan

Experience a local village visit with the earth-worshipping Bishnoi community

Visit some of the most famous markets of New Delhi

Do a yoga class in the shadow of the Taj Mahal

Celebrate Holi with a local family

Trip Details
Price

$4970 AUD – 5 Spots Left

Deposit: $1250 AUD

Private room supplement: $1240 AUD – Sold Out.

Note: Don’t have someone to join you? Most of our bookings are from solo travellers. We can easily match you with another group member to help you avoid paying the private supplement. Just ask!


Trip length

18 days, 17 nights


Dates

February 25 to March 13, 2020

Don’t see your dates? Join our waitlist!

Have a group? Contact us and we can arrange a private departure!


Meeting point

Jaypee Siddharth Hotel, New Delhi, Delhi


Ending point

Indira Gandhi International Airport (Delhi International Airport)


Group size

Maximum 12 — guaranteed departure


Participation requirements

Please see our “Is this trip right for you?” section to see the participation requirements.


Included
  • Meals: 17 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 10 dinners
  • Boutique accommodation
  • Leader/guides: 1 top-rated English-speaking tour leaders throughout, plus local tour guides where appropriate
  • Transport: air-conditioned small bus, 2x internal flights, 1x train
  • Entrance/admission: fees, where applicable with included activities

Note: flight details are needed 60 days in advance.


Not included
  • International airfares and travel insurance
  • Tip kitty ($100 USD). Note: as Aussies, we know that tipping is annoying! However, guide and driver tipping is customary for tours in India.
  • Any visas required (Australian passport holders have a relatively simple online process to apply for their e-Visa. We will gladly help answer any questions you have as you pass through the process)
  • Services not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Late check-out at hotels
  • Meals and drinks not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Expenditure of personal nature

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.

Why Choose This Tour?

The best way to live the true India. You won't just 'see India', you'll be shown around by an experienced female guide who will show you HER India. We'll be invited into a private home to share with a New Deli family and we'll celebrate the Holi festival with an extended family in Udaipur.

The most fun possible in 18 days in India. This trip is the product of a MIND-BOGGLING amount of hard work, research, location visits, emails and phone calls. The result is a perfectly balanced trip for you with regular free mornings and afternoons to enable you to take things at your own pace. You can't rush India! Your guide will always be available to point you around.

Comfy accommodation to top it off. Maintaining a cheery spirit is never easy coming off a bad night's sleep.

Click the tabs to find out more
DAY 1: DELHI

Welcome to India! After receiving a warm hello at the airport, we’ll gather in the evening and start our adventure straight away with a welcome dinner at The Future is Female (TFIF) – Delhi’s First restaurant run by all-female staff.

You’ll see a lot of history on this trip, but this restaurant represents the future.

The menu itself provides a gentle start, with dishes spanning North Indian, Continental and Chinese fares to suit all palates.

Accommodation: Jaypee Siddharth Hotel or similar
Included: Dinner

DAY 2: DELHI

We’ll get right into it today with a visit of New Delhi’s most famous sights: Red Fort and Jama Masjid – India’s largest mosque and stands across the road from the Red Fort.
Following lunch, the fun truly begins with a visit to one of the oldest markets: Chandni Chowk. Chaotic & authentic, the narrow lanes have kept alive the traditional workmanship which makes Delhi famous.

Later we 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 + kite-flying experience at the magnificently restored Haveli Dharampura.

Accommodation: Jaypee Siddharth Hotel or similar
Included: Breakfast, lunch

Day 3: Delhi

Take the morning to relax – we suggest heading down to the hotel pool – as you adjust to the local rhythm.

Then, Connaught Place awaits. It’s a more modern shopping destination and popular with tourists… but why not mingle with the locals and try your hand at bartering with the store owners? Our guide will be on hand to offer haggling tips and can also point out the best place to go for exquisite fabrics and other items.

This evening, you’ll be welcomed into the home of a local Delhiite woman for some traditional food. It’s not just a meal, it’s a dining experience with her family that you’ll never forget. Ask as many questions as you like, share in the laughter, and remember, you’re amongst friends.

Accommodation: Jaypee Siddharth Hotel or similar
Included: Breakfast, dinner

Day 4: AGRA

The adventure leaves Delhi today as we head towards Agra, home of the famous Taj Mahal.

It’ll be a four hour drive from Delhi in our air-conditioned vehicle.

Upon arrival, take the chance to explore before we reunite for a sunset dinner on an open terrace. The Taj Mahal sits in the distance, expectant of our visit.

Bask in the atmosphere as we eat, We’ll retire to bed early today in preparation for tomorrow.

Accommodation: Grand Imperial or similar
Included: Breakfast, dinner

Day 5: TAJ MAHAL

You might have heard that the Taj Mahal can get overwhelmed with guests, which is why we’re going to do things a little bit 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. This gives you the opportunity to breathe, enjoy yourself and take it all in.

We’ll then say goodbye to Agra, but the adventure is just getting started as we spend the afternoon driving to the Tigress Resort: can you guess what’s coming next?

Accommodation: Tigress Resort or similar
Included: Breakfast, lunch, & dinner

Day 6: RANTHAMBORE TIGER SAFARI

Enjoy a total change of pace today as you wake up in the heart of the Ranthambore National Park.

Ranthambore is famous for its wildlife and we’ll spend both the morning and afternoon in open-air jeeps on safari drives.

Tigers are the main drawcard here. Seeing one is likely, but not guaranteed, so let’s cross our fingers and pray to the gods!

A magical dining experience awaits back at our lodging! Step back to the days of the Maharajahs for an open air rooftop grill under the open sky. Eat in an ambience befitting royalty.

Accommodation: Tigress Resort or similar
Included: Breakfast, lunch, & dinner

Day 7: RANTHAMBORE TO JAIPUR

Take the morning at your leisure and enjoy the surrounds. Ranthambore national park offers more than just tigers!

Then, get ready to dive right into the heart of the Rajasthan culture over the coming days.

One of Rajasthan’s most treasured cities is the next on our route. It’ll take around 4 hours to get to Jaipur, home of the famous Amber Fort.

Take the evening off or if you’re in the mood to explore, feel free to do so. Our guide will be on hand to point you in the right direction.

Accommodation: Arya Niwas Jaipur or similar
Included: Breakfast, lunch

Day 8: JAIPUR

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

The setting is humble yet welcoming – those looking for tourist traps won’t find one here! You’ll have ample time to meet the villagers, you can take a go at weaving yourself! You can also buy a rug for yourself (recommended to bring $50-$150)

Then, enjoy a traditional Rajasthani lunch prepared by our multi-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 us to finish the day.

Accommodation: Arya Niwas Jaipur or similar
Included: Breakfast, lunch, & dinner

Day 9: JAIPUR

The Pinky City Rickshaw Company is an initiative to open opportunities to 200 women from low-income households around Jaipur. This allows women to earn income as rickshaw drivers, something they were prevented from doing until only recently.

A group of Pink City rickshaws – piloted by smiling guides – will be waiting for you at your hotel’s doorstep this morning! We’ll see Jaipur through THEIR eyes and enjoy a food tasting tour that is as unique as it gets…

This evening is our last in Jaipur, so we’ll bid farewell with a tour of the fabulous Amber Fort.

Accommodation: Arya Niwas Jaipur or similar
Included: Breakfast

Day 10: JAIPUR TO JODHPUR

Optional: Take the chance to enjoy a hot air balloon experience like no other – $260 USD. You’ll spot villages, palaces and hidden forts hidden throughout the Aravalli ranges. Let us know in advance if interested.

Otherwise, you can relax for a moment and take it slowly this morning.

Next stop: Jodhpur, a 5 hour drive away.

Upon arrival, we’ll have dinner together in a well regarded local restaurant.

Accommodation: Mandore Guest House or similar
Included: Breakfast, dinner

Day 11: JODHPUR – BISHNOI VILLAGE VISIT

The Bishnoi people are a community of nature worshippers who revere the environment surrounding them. So much so, they have fought against local encroachment, even at the price of their own lives, to protect their heritage.

We’ll hop in a jeep to visit them this morning.

In the afternoon, tour through the famous Mehrangarh Fort – imposing, regal, majestic… pick your adjective!

Dinner will be enjoyed at Indique Restaurant, another rooftop terrace with sweeping views.

Accommodation: Mandore Guest House or similar
Included: Breakfast, & dinner

Day 12: JODHPUR TO DEOGARH

India may be famous for huge cities, but the original beating heart of this country will always be its villages.

This is why we’re going to drive 3 hours to Deogarh village – with a population of 50,000, this is very much the Indian definition of the word – this morning. We’ll enjoy a slow walk of the town in the afternoon to get a feel for the local life.

Tonight is a bit of relaxed fun: we’ll get ourselves dressed up in saris tonight – girls will be girls! – to watch a traditional local Tera Taal dance and eat a variety of delicious food. It’s a little bit touristy maybe, but who cares: it’s Day 12, let’s let our hair down a little bit and enjoy ourselves.

Accommodation: Deogarh Mahal or similar
Included: Breakfast, dinner

Day 13: DEOGARH TO UDAIPUR

India is famous for its trains, and this morning we’ll enjoy a 2 hour historical scenic train journey through the Aravali Hills. Built by the British during the days of the Raj, this train is still used as a daily commuter by local villagers. This is a noisy but REAL train experience as you mingle and take it in.

From there, we’ll hop in a vehicle and head up to Udaipur, the perfect way to spend our last 3 nights in Rajasthan.

Udaipur is known as the ‘City of Lakes’. We love the change of pace and you’ll enjoy the more relaxed atmosphere. Dine at a local rooftop restaurant – nearly all of them have an incredible view of the lake and City Palace.

Accommodation: Udai Kothi or similar
Included: Breakfast

Day 14: HOLI FESTIVAL, UDAIPUR

Udaipur is a city worth seeing, so we’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. We’ll then enjoy a boat ride on the lakes and take in the views.

In the evening, we’ll witness the start of the Holi Festival. The Holika Dahan Ceremony held at The City Palace, is a magnificent palace procession. You’ll enjoy the royal parade in their traditional attire-finely liveried palace staff, elegantly bedecked horses and the impeccably turned out band that leads the cavalcade through the Palace from the Royal residence to Manek Chowk. Festivities ensure.

Accommodation: Udai Kothi or similar
Included: Breakfast

Day 15: HOLI FESTIVAL, UDAIPURh

We’ll start with a toned down version of Holi with a local family – this is a nice and courteous affair where you put colours around the cheeks of the family members, relatives and be nice to each other by giving sweets and blowing colours in the air.

We’ll dance to the music and interact with our hosts and enjoy the celebration.

Once you are all painted in colours, exhausted (trust us it is exhausting) and feeling hungry you can enjoy the delicious home cooked meal prepared by your host, sit with the family and enjoy the conversation.

Accommodation: Udai Kothi or similar
Included: Breakfast, lunch

DAY 16: UDAIPUR TO VARANASI

It’s our last morning in Rajasthan. Take the opportunity to have a final stroll through the streets of Udaipur or relax.

In the afternoon, we fly to world-famous Varanasi: 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, messy, noisy, colourful and intense… and our home for the last 2 nights of this trip. What better way to farewell India?

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

Accommodation: Surya Hotel or similar
Included: Breakfast, lunch, & dinner

DAY 17: VARANASI

This morning starts with a sunrise boat ride down the Ganges. Watch as the world of ghats and templates is gradually illuminated. We’ll then 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 pungent aroma of incense.

Then, in the evening, we’re back in a boat and floating past the ghats as we witness the nightly Aarti ceremony with musicians on board and experience the magic Varanasi one last time.

We’ll cap off an incredibly memorable trip with a final farewell dinner together, Maharajah-style.

Accommodation: Surya Hotel or similar
Included: Breakfast, lunch, & dinner

DAY 18: BACK TO DELHI

And that’s it: the end of a wonderful journey. You’ve tasted India like few others: a mix of local experiences, food, the big sights, shopping, wildlife and unique cultures.

We’re going to fly together from Varanasi to Delhi and then head our separate ways.

Included: Breakfast

The Essential Info

India is a place everyone should visit, and this tour is the perfect introduction to this magical country. Experience the colours of Rajasthan, the street food of Delhi the Taj Mahal and more. Please know that we’ll do everything we can to provide an amazing trip, but if you’re
having issues of any sort, please let your group leader know as soon as possible.

VISAS

Australians need to apply online for an e-visa. This is not a complicated process!

Please follow the instructions at https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html and complete the application for your eVT.

DRESS CODE

The weather varies significantly, but is generally quite warm and you should come prepared with loose-fitting, comfortable clothing. India is a conservative country, so dress conservatively and be ready to cover your shoulders and knees for temple visits.

You’re coming in the perfect season, so while you will get hot, it’s nothing outside the range of what is normal in an Australian summer. The reason we’ve got a couple of morning starts is to take advantage of the cooler air at this time and also the fact that the larger tourism groups tend to arrive later (another reason why travelling in small groups is the best!)

Pack a pair of easy-slip-off summer shoes. It’s culturally respectful and expected that everyone removes their shoes at religious sites (socks included). Buckles and laces quickly become a tedious obstacle as a result.

MONEY MATTERS

The official currency of India is the Indian Rupee (INR). The best way to obtain local currency is via ATMs. India has widespread access to ATMs, but they are difficult to find in rural areas. It’s still worth bringing some cash. $600 – $700 AUD will be enough for most people at a squeeze, but we recommend bringing cards or additional cash as a back up.

Frequently Asked Questions
When should I arrive?

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Try to arrive before midday on the start day, although earlier would be recommendable.

How fit do I need to be?

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So long as you have a general level of fitness, you’ll be fine. We don’t have any exercise planned for this trip, but there will be afternoons where we’ll be spending a lot of time on our feet.

What is the food like?

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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.

My best piece of advice is – avoid western food at all cost if you don’t want to get sick.
Please refer to your GP for information on vaccines, and I highly recommend taking probiotics to help your body fight illness.

Things to remember to try to avoid getting sick:

  • Avoid western food. I can’t emphasise this enough!
  • Water is not safe to drink, not even to brush your teeth.
  • Skip the ice. It’s usually made from tap water.
  • Always choose the hot and fresh food options. Street food is delicious and should not be avoided, but always choose to go where there’s a lot of people.
  • Avoid buffets.
  • Avoid salads and cut fruit.
  • Take it slowly. Don’t overeat, specially when you arrive, as it might take your body a little while to get used to it.
  • Take probiotics and stay hydrated.

If you get sick, have some Imodium and drink plenty of water. If the problem persists, let your guide know.

Medical assistance is good in India, I tell you from personal experience. But don’t worry, the problem usually goes away in a day or two.

The most important thing to remember is, enjoy it, but don’t let your guard down. India is a food paradise, and you’ll most likely put on a few kilos.

How do I reserve?

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Reserve your place at online or email rebeca@patchadventures.com.au! There is a maximum group size of 12.

What are the payment terms?

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You need to make a non-refundable deposit of $1250 AUD. A portion of this will go to book and pay for your domestic flight and other internal transport.

From there, you need to pay the final balance of the trip 95 or more days in advance. (This is not for our benefit: our suppliers are in very high demand, and require upfront payment well in advance to guarantee availability.) You can pay with Card (fees apply) or with Bank Deposit.

Note: prior to the payment of your full balance, the final price may change if there is significant variation in the AUD:USD exchange rate. Please refer to the full terms and conditions.

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