Indian Odyssey by Rail

Company : G Adventures
Activities: Tours / Rail passes & tours
Country: India
Duration: 2 months to 2 months
Approx Costs: 2500 to 3000+ £ Pound (UK)

India is the perfect destination if you’re looking to do some long-term travelling that will stay in your memory for years – so why not skip the backpacking and get on board a train?

This 54-day trip allows you to travel like an India native by taking the train from northeast to southwest, spotting innumerable beautiful sights along the way. From touring the Taj Mahal to spotting the colours of Rajasthan to visiting the ruins of Karnataka, this train trip hits some of India’s highlights with plenty of time to disembark and get to know your surroundings.

 

Itinerary

Day 1 Delhi
Arrive at any time.

Day 2 Delhi/Amritsar
Support Planeterra's New Delhi Streetkids Project on an included walk led by rehabilitated street kids before travelling to Amritsar by the Shatabdi Express train, with dinner served on board.

Days 3 Amritsar 
Visit the Golden Temple before witnessing the formal India-Pakistan Wagah border ceremony in the evening. Sit in the grandstands and cheer for India as the bystanders wave flags and soldiers march back and forth.

Days 4-5 McLeod Ganj/Dharamsala
Take an orientation walk around McLeod Ganj, the famous seat of the Tibetan government in exile and current home to the Dalai Lama. Opt for a tour of the Norbulingka Institute, set amongst beautiful gardens, dedicated to preserving Tibetan culture.

Days 6-7 Shimla
Enjoy a long drive to the charming town of Shimla, high in the Himalayas. Enjoy a CEO-led orientation walk on The Ridge and The Mall (local hangouts) to explore this summer capital of British India. Opt to visit the Viceregal Lodge or admire the neo-Gothic or Tudorbethan architecture of the heritage buildings.

Days 8-9 Delhi
Take the World Heritage-listed toy train from Shimla to Kalka. Over the course of three hours the train winds through tunnels as you head out of the mountains of Shimla. Switch to the Shatabdi Express for the rest of the way back to Delhi, with dinner included on board. Day 9 is a free day to explore Delhi.

Day 10 Agra
Take the morning 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.

Days 11-12 Jaipur
Hop a Shatabdi Express train in the evening to Jaipur. In the morning take an orientation walk around town. Take a photo opportunity at 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 on Day 12, 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.

Days 13-14 Udaipur
In the afternoon, continue by the Udaipur Express train to 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. With free time here, opt to visit the many beautiful lakes, take a boat ride, visit the Monsoon Palace for some excellent views or take an Indian cooking class.

Days 15-16 Bundi
Enjoy a free day in Udaipur before an evening train to Bundi on the Bundi Mewar Express. On Day 16, explore the Bundi Fort and stepwells before an overnight on the Mumbai Rajdhani Express, with dinner on board.

Days 17-18 Mumbai
In the morning arrive to bustling Mumbai, home to 20 million people. Take a walking tour of the Colaba area and see the Gateway of India. Spend Day 18 exploring more of Mumbai before an overnight on the Konkan Kanya Express train to Goa.

Days 19-21 Goa
Arrive to beautiful Goa and spend your free time relaxing on the beach. 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 Goan state. Don't forget to indulge in Goan cuisine.

Days 22-23 Hampi
Travel by Visakhapatnam Howrah Express train and bus to reach Hampi, in the heart of Karnataka. Spend all of Day 23 on a walking tour and exploring the spectacular ruins of Hampi Palaces, Hararama Temple and the boulders on the river. In the evening, take an overnight Hampi Express train to Mysore.

Days 24-25 Mysore
Arrive to Mysore and explore the Mysore Palace and Chamunda Hill. Spend Day 25 on a day trip to Srirangapatnam.

Days 26-27 Bangalore
Take a morning Shatabdi Express train to Bangalore. Explore the Lal Bagh Gardens and Bangalore Palace. Spend Day 27 visiting Bangalore markets and Cubbon Park. In the evening, take an overnight Ernakulam SF Express train to Kochi.

Day 28-29 Kochi
Explore the Fort Kochi area and see the Chinese fishing nets at work. If time allows, visit the Jewish area and synagogue, the Dutch Palace and Spice Market.

Days 30-31 Alleppey
Take a morning Ernad Express train to Alleppey for an overnight in a Kerala Backwaters homestay. Walk in the paddy fields and take a canoe ride through the canals the region is famous for. Day 31 is a free day to continue exploring.

Day 32 Kanyakumari
Take an evening Ernad Express train to Kanyakumari for a full day exploring the area.

Days 33-34 Madurai
Most of Day 33 is in Kanyakumari. Drive to the southernmost tip of India and take a ferry across to Vivekananda Rock and Ramkrishna Ashram. Take an evening Kanyakumari Express train to Madurai. On Day 34, explore the Meenakshi Temple and colourful Madurai markets.

Days 35-36 Mamallapuram
Take morning Vaigai Express train to Chengalpattu before continue by van to Mamallapuram. Cycle around and explore the rock-cut Shore Temple and Mamallapuram Beach.

Day 37 Chennai
Drive about one hour to Chennai and catch an early Coromondal Express train to Vizag. It's a full day train with plenty of time to relax and watch the scenery of the East Coast glide by.

Day 38 Vizag
Arrive to Vizag and explore northern beaches and the Simachalam Temple.

Days 39-40 Puri
Take an early Puri Express train to Bhubaneshwar and marvel at the scenery. Continue by van to reach Puri. Explore the Jagannath Temple, Raghuraj Pur village and beautiful Puri beaches.

Day 41-43 Kolkata
Take a morning Shatabdi Express train to Kolkata, with lunch provided. Arrive in the afternoon. Day 42 and 43 are free days to explore Kolkata – visit the Victoria Memorial, New Market and take a ferry on the Ganges. In the evening of Day 43, board an overnight New Jalpaiguri Kamrup Express train to New Jalpaiguri.

Day 44 Kalimpong
Arrive to New Jalpaiguri in the morning and continue by van to Kalimpong. Explore MacFarlane Memorial Church and visit a cactus and orchid nursery and the Lepcha Museum, dedicated to preserving the dwindling culture of the indigenous Lepcha tribe. After, enjoy lunch with a local family including a cooking demonstration.

Days 45-46 Gangtok
Continue by private van to Gangtok and take an orientation tour of the town. On Day 46, enjoy a day trip to Rumtek Monastery.

Days 47-48 Darjeeling
Head to Darjeeling by private van and take an orientation tour of the town. On Day 48, watch the sunrise at Tiger Hill, visit a tea estate, explore the Mahakal Temple and meet Tibetans at a Refugee Camp. After, visit the Peace Pagoda.

Day 49 Toy Train/Siliguri
In the morning take the Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express toy train to Kurseong before driving to Siliguri. Visit Akshardham.

Days 50-51 Varanasi
Enjoy free time in Siliguri before an overnight North East Express train to Mughalsarai. Arrive to Mughalsarai in the morning of Day 51 and continue by van one hour to Varanasi. Enjoy an evening visit to the ghats.

Days 52-53 Lucknow
Take a sunrise boat trip on the Ganges with free time before an afternoon Varanasi Lucknow Intercity train. Spend most of Day 53 exploring Lucknow, including a visit to Bara Imambara. In the afternoon, board the Swarna Shatabdi Express train to Delhi, with dinner provided on board. Enjoy the final night of the journey and the bustle of Delhi.

Day 54 Delhi
Depart at any time. With extra time, you can book our 'Agra Extension' including accommodation, transport, and a guided visit to India's most famous sight, the Taj Mahal.

 

Trip Specifics

  • Price: From £3349 (available to book in other currencies)
  • Duration: 54 days
  • Start/Finish: Delhi 
  • Code: AHIR

 

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