Taj Mahal Extension

3 Days from $620

START: Delhi

FINISH: Delhi

AGES: 5 - 99

THEME: Short Breaks

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Description

Journey to India’s famous Taj Mahal, a majestic monument to love. Built by a Mughal emperor as tribute to his late wife, this incredible structure continually astounds visitors with its inspiring architecture and remains one of the world's finest examples of Islamic art. Beginning in Delhi, journey to Agra to see this iconic sight, enjoying plenty of sightseeing along the way. Watch the sun rise over the Taj before taking a trip to the magnificent sandstone Red Fort and experiencing the expansive deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri. Returning to Delhi, sample spicy curries and bargain at markets to get a feel for the unforgettable culture, colour and character of India.

Start: Delhi

Finish: Delhi

Ages: 5 - 99

Theme: Short Breaks

Accommodation: Hotel (2 nights)

Destination: Delhi

Highlights

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This Short Break Adventure runs three times a week, so pick the date that suits you and add it to other travels in India or enjoy it on a quick stopover.
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Experience the sights with up to 12 other travellers, however with an average of 2-5 travellers per departure you'll have all the benefits of being in a special small group.
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Local guides to show you the most important sites and then freedom to do as you wish the rest of the time.
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This trip is available in Original or Comfort levels of accommodation so you can choose what is best for you.
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Wander Old Delhi on a walking tour and be immersed in the sights and sounds of this thriving and historical part of the city.
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Choose between sunset or sunrise visits to the Taj Mahal and decide for yourself if this is indeed the most beautiful structure known to mankind. Read all about it before you go here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/taj-mahal-firsthand-account/
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Stop in at the mighty Agra fort and deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri - both important and impressive historical sights from Mughal times.

Itineraryicon readmoreicon minus

icon check Day 1 : Delhi - Agra

Namaste! Welcome to India. Make your way way to the joining point listed in the Essentail Trip Information at 9am today. We will begin with a tour of Old Delhi. Your English speaking guide will take you by private vehicle to the heart of the city, pulsing with the energy and colour of bazaars and laced by mazes of narrow lanes full of the sights, sounds and smells of India. Visit the Jama Masjid Mosque, which boasts wonderful marble domes and tapering minarets. You can also ride a rickshaw around the back streets to experience the hustle and bustle of everyday Indian life. After a busy morning, stop for an optional lunch in Old Delhi before departing from Delhi at around 2 pm for the drive to Agra by a private air conditioned car (approx 5 hrs). Upon arrival, check in to your hotel in Agra with the assistance of our local representative who will provide you with a briefing of the next day's itinerary, including arranging the time of your Taj Mahal visit. The rest of the evening is free for you to explore or enjoy an evening meal.

icon check Day 2 : Taj Mahal - Agra

If you opt to view the Taj Mahal at sunrise you will be met at your hotel at approx 6 am by your guide who will brief and accompany you on today's activities. Alternatively if you opt for a later 2 pm visit to the Taj your guide will meet you at a time decided the previous evening (this is usually around 8.30 am in order to visit the Red Fort first). Visit the Taj Mahal - a masterpiece of shimmering white marble set amid beautiful formal gardens. Built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial to his wife Mumtaz, this 'teardrop on the face of eternity' (as it was described by writer Rabindranath Tagore) lives up to all expectations. Visit Agra Fort on the banks of the Yamuna River. Built in 1565 by Emperor Akbar, the fort was originally designed to be a military structure. It was converted to a palace in Emperor Shah Jahan's time and eventually became his prison after he lost power in 1658. Today there will also be some free time to unwind and relax, explore the back lanes of Agra, visit the Taj again, or watch local artisans and villagers making handicrafts, marble inlay work, or carpets. A visit to the Sheroes Cafe, which provides employment for women who have been affected by acid attacks, is also highly recommended.

icon check Day 3 : Fatehpur Sikri - Delhi

After breakfast you will be met by your guide who will assist in checking you out of your hotel. Travel by private A/C vehicle towards Delhi, stopping en route at the deserted Mughal kingdom of Fatehpur Sikri (approx 4 hrs). Built by Emperor Akbar in 1569, it was abandoned after 15 years due to the scarcity of water. A highlight of the settlement is Jama Masjid, a striking mosque featuring elements of both Persian and Hindu design. The main entrance of the mosque is the impressive 54 metre-high Buland Darwaza, the Gate of Victory, constructed to commemorate Akbar's military victory in Gujarat. After this visit your guide will bid you farewell as you begin your journey back to Delhi. Your driver will drop you off at your hotel in Delhi. You can expect to arrive back in Delhi by approx 3 pm. If you are departing today, please do not book your flight before 8 pm to allow enough time to get to the airport and check in.

What's Included?icon readmoreicon minus

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Transport

Private vehicle, Cycle rickshaw, Shuttle bus
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Accommodation

Hotel (2 nights)
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Included Activities

  • Fatehpur Sikri - Guided tour

Important Detailsicon readmoreicon minus

icon readmoreicon minusJoining Point

Hotel Surya International

4/33, Saraswati Marg, W.E.A.

Karol Bagh

Delhi

110005

INDIA

Phone: +91 9999663111

icon readmoreicon minusFinishing Point

Hotel Surya International

4/33, Saraswati Marg, W.E.A.

Karol Bagh

Delhi

110005

INDIA

Phone: +91 9999663111

icon readmoreicon minusImportant information

1.This trip begins on Day 1 at 9am in Delhi and finishes in Delhi on Day 3 at 3pm. Please do not book any international flights before 8pm on Day 3,

2. This is a join-in trip, so if other travellers have booked on the same date you will share included activities. As this is not a group itinerary you may be travelling or accommodated on your own, without other Intrepid travellers.

3. Using mud pack therapy the Archaeological Survey of India is planning to clean the four small canopies around the main dome of the Taj Mahal from the start of April 2018. This will be followed by the cleaning of the main dome but that could take some time as ASI is yet to calculate its load bearing capacity. The ASI’s science branch officials have stated that cleaning the four canopies will take approximately 2 months while main dome cleaning will be completed in phases. We will continue to update as information becomes available.

4. This Short Break is available in Original & Comfort levels of accommodation.

icon readmoreicon minusGroup leader

Short Break Adventures are generally not accompanied by an Intrepid group leader from start to finish and instead have local guides for tours and activities.

icon readmoreicon minusSafety

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service 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 areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trips. 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 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. Your leader 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 leader 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 Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:

WOMEN'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: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/women-safety-india https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/india-solo-female-traveller-story/ 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 leader 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 leader 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 leader/guide 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 leader/guide 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.

icon readmoreicon minusCommunications

WIFI

Generally WiFi is available in most parts of India and at most of the accommodation we use. It's usually free in public areas of hotels but some properties will charge for in room use. Please ask your tour leader or the specific hotel reception upon check in. Many restaurants and cafes (especially in tourist areas) offer customers free WiFi. Ask for the password when ordering.

Internet cafes are widespread in India and connections are usually reasonably fast, except in more remote areas.

MOBILE

You can purchase a SIM at the airport (or at kiosks everywhere) for use while travelling in India. Airtel or vodaphone are a good bet. SIMs are relatively cheap. You will need to usually provide 2 passport sized photos and a copy of your passport will be made.

MAIL

Posting airmail letters to anywhere overseas costs ₹25/15. International airmail postcards cost around ₹12. For postcards, stick the stamps on before writing, as the post office can give you as many as four stamps per card. The post office is always a fun adventure in India!

icon readmoreicon minusVisas

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

INDIA:

An E-Tourist Visa (eVT) visa on arrival is available for select nationalities including but not limited to the following: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Germany, UK & USA. Passport holders from these countries can apply for an eVT to have their visa issued upon arrival at 16 major airports in India.

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

IMPORTANT:

- Please be aware of strict conditions regarding application and travel (check under ELIGIBILITY section of the website).

- E-Tourist Visas are available for entry of up to 90 days. For residents of USA, UK, Canada and Japan e-Tourist Visas are available for up to 180 days. If you plan to be in India longer you will need to apply for a tourist visa at an Indian visa application centre in your home country.

- Please note that travellers entering India overland from Nepal are required to apply for a visa in advance their home country. Visas will NOT be issued on the Nepal/Indian border.

- The e-Tourist Visa DOES NOT apply to travellers entering India overland. Please check your trip notes if you are crossing a border between India and Nepal.

- Indian visas are difficult and time consuming to obtain in Nepal.

Tourist visas are available in Single and Multiple Entry. Be sure to check the date you require a visa from and the length of time you will need to cover, especially if you change countries during your trip.

For your visa application you need to include the following information under the local contact section towards the end of the application. :

PEAK India

25/3 East Patel Nagar

Delhi 110008

Phone: +91 11 4500 6400

Please note that this information can change at any time. Please always refer to https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html

This is the only official visa online site. There are many other mirror sites that are run by visa service companies or scammers and may not be reliable.

icon readmoreicon minusWhy we love it

This Short Break Adventure runs three times a week, so pick the date that suits you and add it to other travels in India or enjoy it on a quick stopover.

Experience the sights with up to 12 other travellers, however with an average of 2-5 travellers per departure you'll have all the benefits of being in a special small group.

Local guides to show you the most important sites and then freedom to do as you wish the rest of the time.

This trip is available in Original or Comfort levels of accommodation so you can choose what is best for you.

Wander Old Delhi on a walking tour and be immersed in the sights and sounds of this thriving and historical part of the city.

Choose between sunset or sunrise visits to the Taj Mahal and decide for yourself if this is indeed the most beautiful structure known to mankind. Read all about it before you go here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/taj-mahal-firsthand-account/

Stop in at the mighty Agra fort and deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri - both important and impressive historical sights from Mughal times.

icon readmoreicon minusIs this trip right for you

This is a join-in trip, so if other travellers have booked on the same date you will share included activities. As this is not a group itinerary you may be travelling or accommodated on your own, without other Intrepid travellers. If you would prefer the experience of travelling with others, please consider our HHSN (Original) or HHKH (Comfort) trips.

icon readmoreicon minusHealth

All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid Travel reserves 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 as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

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 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: http://www.who.int/neglected_diseases/vector_ecology/mosquito-borne-diseases/en/

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.

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 diarrhoea.

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 leader can assist you to obtain a face mask if required.

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: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/influenza-(seasonal)

icon readmoreicon minusFood and dietary requirements

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's some ideas of what to try: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/best-food-in-india/

https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/foodies-guide-south-india/

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 tour leader. See our guide to eating vegan in India here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/india-vegan-food-guide/

Your tour leader 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: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/how-to-avoid-delhi-belly-in-india/

icon readmoreicon minusMoney matters

The official currency of India is the Indian Rupee (INR). It's symbol is ₹. The most convenient and cheapest way to obtain local currency in is via ATMs, which are readily available in most towns. Look for Bank of India or ICICI ATMs. Our experience has shown they are the most reliable ATMs to use for withdrawals. Cash shortages at ATMs can be a problem in rural areas. Foreign currency notes that are old, torn or faded can be very difficult to exchange, so please bring clean bills, and small denominations are most useful. The use of credit cards can be restricted, mainly to major hotels, shops and higher end establishments.

SPENDING MONEY:

When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document).

Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.

Drivers:

You may have a driver on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group however a base of INR100-INR150 per day is generally appropriate.

Local guides:

You may have local guides on this trip. We suggest INR100 per day for local guides.

COMMISSION:

The receipt of commissions or kickbacks in exchange for recommending particular shops, services or activities is ingrained in the culture of the Indian tourism industry.

In an effort to best control and monitor shopping and activities with an aim for the best experience possible, Intrepid has established a system of carefully selected shopping experiences and activities based on positive feedbacks from our previous travellers. On occasion these will be as part of included walking tours or outside of included activities in free time. Please note that if you feel that you do not wish to join in on these shopping experiences we assure you there is no obligation and if you indicate your desire to not partake your group leader will help to facilitate a suitable alternative during this time.

While Intrepid endeavours to ensure that these suppliers and services maintain reasonable levels of quality, please note recommended suppliers are chosen based on past travellers feedback and experiences and Intrepid cannot explicitly guarantee the quality of the product. A priority in establishing this fund is that the experience of you our traveller is not compromised in any way. Please let us know via the feedback after your trip if we are successfully meeting this objective.

icon readmoreicon minusWhat to take

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 back pack 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 of 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.

- Ear plugs/eye mask 

- A good book, a journal and music player

- 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/scan all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals.

MORE!

If you need some further tips for packing, you can always check out our ultimate packing list, or read this advice here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/what-to-take-to-india/

icon readmoreicon minusClimate and seasonal

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)

2019 20-21 March

2020 9-10 March

2021 28-29 March

DIWALI (Festival of Light)

2019 27 November

2020 14 November

2021 4 November

RAMADAN (Muslim Holy Month)

2019 5 May-4 June

2020 23 April-24 May

2021 13 April-12 May

INDIA SEASONS:

As a general rule have a look online to check the weather in India just before you are about to travel. This gives you a clearer understanding of what to pack. Here are some general ideas of seasons in India:

December to March:

Pleasant weather – warm days, cool nights.

December and January bring chilly nights in the north.

Fog can delay trains travelling across the north of the country

Temperatures climb steadily from February.

April to June:

April is already hot; May and June are really hot and dry.

From June, the monsoon sweeps from south to north, bringing high temperatures and humidity

Cooler in the hills and mountains across the country

July to November:

Monsoon continues until November.

The southeast coast and southern Kerala see heavy rain from October to early December.

MONSOON:

Travel in rural areas during the monsoon season can be hazardous. Monsoon rains cause flooding and landslides that can cut off some towns and villages for days. It is not unusual for trains to be delayed or cancelled resulting in itinerary changes or for activities in towns near to rivers and lakes (ie Varanasi) to need to be changed during this time of year. During the monsoon, excessive rainfall can see the river Ganges rise to unsafe levels. This may cause the suspension of all water related activities by local government. At this time of year walking along the Ghats can also be dangerous. Your tour leader will be able to advise you locally on any changes.

WINTER:

Winter in India can be colder than you might expect and as this is not peak travel season hotels in some regions may not have adequate heating. In these months you may like to bring thermals for sleeping.

icon readmoreicon minusA couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden.

Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption.

The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips.

By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund.

If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.

icon readmoreicon minusFeedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

icon readmoreicon minusEmergency contact

GENERAL ISSUES ON YOUR TRIP

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.

For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us

For transfers and accommodation issues, Intrepid's India office can be reached on their 24 hour number:

+91 95608 49444

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local operator on: +91 9999 005 019

Intrepid emergency contact: +919999005019

icon readmoreicon minusResponsible 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 leaders, 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:

https://www.intrepidtravel.com/responsible-travel

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

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:

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/elephants-welfare

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 leader 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: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/how-to-sound-like-a-local-in-india/

LOCAL DRESS:

You'll be most comfortable travelling in India if you wear light, loose fitting clothing. It's respectful to cover shoulders and knees for both men and women, and you'll find that most local women will usually wear long trousers or skirts too.

icon readmoreicon minusAccommodation notes

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

Throughout the trip we request that our lodgings prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

ACCOMMODATION

The hotel accommodation on this trip is in air-conditioned rooms. Some areas of India experience daily load shedding. This is where the power may be turned off at certain times of the day and usually occurs for a few hours in early afternoon. Most hotel properties have a restaurant or cafe serving local meals. Many restaurants and hotels do not serve alcohol for religious reasons or due to local laws. 

SHOWERS:

Showers at some hotels only have hot water at peak times (usually morning and evening). Outside of these times you may need to speak to reception to obtain hot water.

WIFI:

Generally wi-fi is available in most parts of India and at most of the accommodation we use. Sometimes its free in the room, other times only available in reception or public areas. A general rule of thumb is the more expensive the hotel, the higher charge for WiFi access. Your tour leader can assist locally in accessing the internet.

ISSUES:

If you have any issues with your room, please speak to the hotel and your tour leader right away rather than your travel agent so that the problem can be addressed without delay.

ACCOMMODATION:

Some of the accommodation along the way is basic or simple, staying in local guesthouses and homestays. Some may have shared bathroom faciluties with cold water only. We use a mixture of air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned rooms. Some areas of India experience daily load shedding. This is where the power may be turned off at certain times of the day and usually occurs for a few hours in early afternoon. Most hotel properties have a restaurant or cafe serving local meals. Many restaurants and hotels do not serve alcohol for religious reasons or due to local laws. 

SHOWERS:

Showers at some hotels only have hot water at peak times (usually morning and evening). Outside of these times you may need to speak to reception to obtain hot water.

ROOM ISSUES:

If you have any issues with your room, please speak to the hotel and your tour leader right away rather than your travel agent so that the problem can be addressed without delay.

icon readmoreicon minusTravel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.

If you have credit card insurance your group leader 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 credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php

icon readmoreicon minusItinerary disclaimer

ITINERARY CHANGES:

Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:

A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and may be on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist.

Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

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