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Ultimate India by Rail
This trip has alternate itineraries available. Please select your preferred option to see itinerary and pricing.
From Jan 19

On this six-week trip that circles India via train, you’ll start in Delhi, travelling to Agra for a tour of the legendary Taj Mahal, then head southwest by rail to make stops in Rajasthan, Mumbai, and Goa. From there it’s on to Karnataka, Kochi, and living like a local in the Kerala Backwaters before going south, east, and north to view spectacular temples and ride the famous toy trains of Darjeeling. Top this epic journey off with local meals in family homes, wandering the beautiful streets of Jaipur and Udaipur, and relaxing on beaches along the way. India looks very different through a train’s window — see it all for yourself.

  • Duration: 46 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Average
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: AHFR.B/226840
  • Starts: Delhi, India
  • Finishes: Delhi, India
  • Age requirement: 12 +
You will Visit
  • Delhi
  • Āgra
  • Jaipur
  • Udaipur
  • Būndi
  • Mumbai
  • Goa
  • Hampi
  • Mysore
  • Madikeri
  • Kochi
  • Alleppey
  • Kanyakumari
  • Madurai
  • Māmallapuram
  • Chennai
  • Hyderabad
  • Puri
  • Calcutta
  • Jalpāiguri
  • Darjeeling
  • Gangtok
  • Kalimpong
  • New Jalpaiguri
  • Mughal Sarāi
  • Varanasi
  • Lucknow

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Delhi

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included through the G Adventures-supported Women on Wheels project.

02

Day 2: Delhi/Āgra

Take the Shatabdi Express train to Agra, with breakfast served on board. Enjoy a guided tour of the impressive Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. Time permitting, opt to visit the Baby Taj.

03

Day 3: Āgra/Jaipur

Hop on a Shatabdi Express train in the evening to Jaipur.

04

Day 4: Jaipur

Take an orientation walk around town. Take a photo of the Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds) and visit the Amber Fort. Walk around the Old City and markets and opt to visit the City Palace. With free time, choose to visit local artisans in a nearby village, wander the Jantar Mantar, or check out a Bollywood film at the spectacular Art Deco film house, the Raj Mandir.

05

Day 5: Jaipur/Udaipur

In the morning board a train and soak in the passing scenery en route to Udaipur. Arrive in the evening with free time to explore the city.

06

Day 6: Udaipur

Enjoy an orientation walk, including a visit to the Jagdish Temple and the City Palace, one of the largest royal palaces in India. Attend a Rajasthani cultural show on Gangaur Ghat.

07

Day 7: Udaipur/Būndi

Take a train to Bundi to explore the fort and stepwells.
There is no shortage of notable architecture in Bundi. From palaces to baoris, otherwise known as stepwell reservoirs, explore the many man-made marvels of Bundi.

08

Day 8: Būndi/Mumbai

Explore Bundi with some free time before an overnight trip on the Mumbai Rajdhani Express train, with dinner on board.

09

Day 9: Mumbai

Arrive in the morning in bustling Mumbai, home to 20 million people. Take a walking tour of the Colaba area and see the Gateway of India.

10

Day 10: Mumbai/Goa

Catch a morning flight to beautiful Goa. Spend free time relaxing on the beach or exploring the city's monuments.
Opt to visit the many Portuguese-built monuments, wander around the churches of Old Goa (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), or discover Panjim, the capital of the state. Don't forget to indulge in Goan cuisine.

11

Day 11: Goa

Enjoy a free day in Goa.
With free time in Goa, opt to explore the city and learn about it's ancient Portuguese colony, visit a market, or relax on the beach.

12

Day 12: Goa

Spend the day relaxing in paradise.

13

Day 13: Goa

Spend a free day relaxing on the beach or opt to visit the many Portuguese-built monuments, wander around the churches of Old Goa (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), or discover Panjim, the capital. Don't forget to indulge in Goan cuisine.

14

Day 14: Goa/Hampi

Travel by Visakhapatnam Howrah Express train and then by van to reach Hampi, in the heart of Karnataka.

15

Day 15: Hampi/Mysore

Enjoy a walking tour and explore the spectacular ruins of Hampi Palaces, Vittala Temple complex, Virupaksh Temple, Hazararama Temple, and the boulders on the river. In the evening, take an overnight Hampi Express train to Mysore.

16

Day 16: Mysore

Arrive to Mysore and explore the Mysore Palace and Chamundi Hill.

17

Day 17: Mysore/Madikeri

Drive to Bylakuppe and explore the Namdroling Monastery - home to nearly 5,000 Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns. Later drive to Madikeri for the evening.

18

Day 18: Madikeri

Explore Madikeri (the coffee hub of India) and enjoy a tour of a coffee plantation. Visit the Madikeri Fort and the famed Raja's Seat for its stunning views.

19

Day 19: Madikeri/Kochi

Take a morning drive to the coastal town of Kannur. Catch the Ernakulam Express to Kochi in the afternoon.

20

Day 20: Kochi

Explore the Fort Kochi area and see the Chinese fishing nets at work. If time permits, visit the Jewish area and synagogue, the Dutch Palace, and Spice Market.

21

Day 21: Kochi

Make the most of Kochi with free time to explore.

22

Day 22: Kochi/Alleppey

Take the early train to Alleppey to explore the Kerala backwaters. Walk in the paddy fields and take a canoe ride through the canals the region is famous for.
This evening enjoy a taste of local life with a homestay.

23

Day 23: Alleppey/Kanyakumari

Enjoy some more time in Kerala before an evening train to Kanyakumari for a full day exploring the area.

24

Day 24: Kanyakumari/Madurai

Spend the day in Kanyakumari. Drive to the southernmost tip of India and take a ferry across to Vivekananda Rock and the Ramkrishna Ashram. Take an evening Kanyakumari Express train to Madurai.

25

Day 25: Madurai

Explore the Meenakshi Temple and colourful markets of Madurai.

26

Day 26: Madurai/Māmallapuram

Take the morning Vaigai Express to Chengalpattu before continue by van to Mamallapuram.

27

Day 27: Māmallapuram

Cycle around and explore the rock-cut Shore Temple and Mamallapuram Beach.

28

Day 28: Māmallapuram/Chennai

Drive to Chennai and explore Marina Beach and San Thome Basilica. Later, board an overnight train to Hyderabad.
Accommodation on the train tonight will be either in two tier or three tier bunks.

29

Day 29: Hyderabad

Learn more about the region's history with a visit to the iconic Charminar and historic Golconda Fort.

30

Day 30: Hyderabad/Puri

Enjoy a free morning to continue exploring this state capital before catching an evening flight to Bhubaneshwar. Continue by van to reach Puri.
Opt to visit the Salar Jung Museum or the scenic Qutb Shahi Tombs with free time.

31

Day 31: Puri

Explore Raghuraj Pur village and beautiful Puri beaches.

32

Day 32: Puri/Calcutta

Take a morning Shatabdi Express train to Kolkata, with lunch provided on board. Arrive in the afternoon and take an orientation walk with the CEO.

33

Day 33: Calcutta

Explore the vintage monuments and streets of this former capital of the British Era, also visit Missionaries' of Charity the noble peace prize winner, Mother Teresa's house and final resting place.. Opt to take a ferry ride across the Hooghly River. Opt to join the group for dinner at one of the famed restaurants on Park Street for the final night out.

34

Day 34: Calcutta

Spend some free time exploring this fascinating city.

35

Day 35: Calcutta/Jalpāiguri

Visit the Victoria Memorial and explore Mother Teresa's House. Enjoy free time later and opt to explore the Indian Museum. In the evening, board an overnight New Jalpaiguri Kamrup Express train to New Jalpaiguri.

36

Day 36: Jalpāiguri/Darjeeling

Arrive at New Jalpaiguri and continue onwards by van to Darjeeling. Take an orientation tour of the town before enjoying free time with the rest of the evening.
Famous for the black tea grown amongst the tea plantations, enjoy the scenic views of Darjeeling. Set upon the foothills of the Himalayas, expect the climate to be much different from the plains.

37

Day 37: Darjeeling

Watch the sunrise at Tiger Hill, visit a tea estate and explore the Mahakal Temple. Later, travel the World Heritage-listed Darjeeling Himalayan Railway on a vintage steam engine train. Continue with a visit to the Peace Pagoda.

38

Day 38: Darjeeling/Gangtok

Continue by private van to Gangtok and take an orientation tour of the town. Take in the stunning scenery of the Himalayas surrounding this quaint town.

39

Day 39: Gangtok

Enjoy a day trip to Rumtek Monastery and take the rest of the day to explore this scenic town.

40

Day 40: Gangtok/Kalimpong

Continue by private vehicle to Kalimpong and embark on an orientation walk of the town. Enjoy the rest of the day to explore at leisure.

41

Day 41: Darjeeling to Varanasi

Drive to New Jalpaiguri Station with a stop en route at Deolo Hills to take in views of the mountainous scenery. Catch the overnight train to Varanasi.

42

Day 42: Mughal Sarāi/Varanasi

Arrive to Mughal Sarai in the morning and continue by van to Varanasi. Enjoy an evening visit to the ghats.

43

Day 43: Varanasi

Take a sunrise boat trip on the Ganges. Enjoy a free afternoon to explore Sarnath and the city of Varanasi.

44

Day 44: Varanasi/Lucknow

Take a morning Varanasi-Lucknow Intercity train. In the afternoon, visit the Bara Imambara.

45

Day 45: Lucknow/Delhi

Spend most of the day exploring Lucknow. Opt to explore The Residency and be immersed in colonial era history. In the afternoon, board the Swarna Shatabdi Express train to Delhi, with dinner provided on board. Enjoy the night in the bustle of Delhi.

46

Day 46: Delhi

Depart at any time.
With extra time, you can book our 'Agra Independent Adventure' including accommodation, transport, and a guided visit to India's most famous sight, the Taj Mahal.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • G Adventures for Good: Women on Wheels Transfer, Indira Gandhi International Airport
    • Taj Mahal visit (Agra)
    • Agra Fort visit
    • Jaipur orientation walk
    • Amber Fort visit
    • Udaipur orientation walk
    • Jagdish Temple and City Palace visit
    • Rajasthani cultural show
    • Bundi Fort and stepwells visit
    • Colaba area walking tour (Mumbai)
    • Gateway of India visit
    • Beach time in Goa
    • Walking tour and ruins visit in Hampi (Karnataka)
    • Hazararama Temple visit
    • Mysore Palace and Chamunda Hill visits (Mysore)
    • Namdroling Monastery visit
    • Coffee plantation tour (Madikeri)
    • Madikeri Fort and Raja's Seat visit
    • Fort Kochi and Chinese fishing nets visit
    • Backwaters canal ride
    • Vivekananda Rock and Ramkrishna Ashram visit (Kanyakumari)
    • Meenakshi Temple visit (Madurai)
    • Cycle tour to Shore Temple and Mamallapuram Beach
    • Charminar and Golconda Fort visit (Hyderabad)
    • Jagannath Temple visit (Puri)
    • Raghuraj Pur village visit
    • Kolkata city tour
    • Victoria Memorial visit
    • Visit Mother Teresa's House
    • Tiger Hill sunrise visit
    • Tea estate visit (Darjeeling)
    • Mahakal Temple visit
    • Peace Pagoda visit
    • Toy train ride (Darjeeling)
    • Local lunch (Darjeeling)
    • Rumtek Monastery day trip
    • Deolo Hill visit (Kalimpong)
    • Evening ghats visit (Varanasi)
    • Sunrise boat trip on the Ganges
    • Bara Imambara visit
    • Orientation walks in Darjeeling, Gangtok, and Kalimpong
    • Internal flights
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Hotels/guesthouses (39 nts), sleeper trains (5 nts), homestay (1 nt)
    • 2 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners
    Transport
    • Train (seats), train (beds), toy train, private vans, walking, plane
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides
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Tour Highlights:
  • Ride a toy train in Darjeeling
  • Live like a local in the Kerala Backwaters
  • Enjoy the laidback vibe and tasty food of seaside Goa
  • Take a cycling tour to Shore Temple
  • Visit the Peace Pagoda
  • Watch the sunrise from a boat on the Ganges