classic-rajasthan

Delhi to Delhi 15 days.

  • Route: Delhi to Delhi
  • Length: 15 days
  • Transport: Auto rickshaw, cycle rickshaw, metro, taxi, train, bus, jeep, private vehicle, 4WD safari vehicle, camel
  • Accommodation: Hotel (8 nts), heritage hotel (4 nts), deluxe permanent tent (1 nt), overnight sleeper train (1 nt). 3 Breakfasts, 2 Dinners

The enchanting northern province of Rajasthan is awash with all the colours of India. On our classic adventure we discover the grisly history of massive forts and the opulence and splendour of Maharajahs' palaces. Stroll bustling markets, search for the elusive Bengal tiger, enjoy a sunset camel safari and soak up the culture of the local people. This is truly the essence of Rajasthan.

trip-grade

 

Standard

For those of you who dream of experiencing a location in depth and comfort but are mindful of budget. Ideal for those that enjoy the quirkier side of a destination without roughing it. Join inquisitive travellers of all ages for an fun, informative experience.

Discovery

Discovery tours are all about exploring & experiencing the world with like-minded people, dipping your toe beneath the usual tourist surface & discovering the real essence of a region. They are genuinely innovative, exciting & imaginative tours that offer that little bit more to travellers.

countries-visited

 

India

India Street Delhi Traffic

India has shared so much of its wonderful culture with the rest of the world, so a visit to this diverse country is a chance to experience where it all began. India has so much to offer: from the beautiful landscapes of the Himalayas, to the amazing temples and coastlines, rich culture, not to mention the food!

Although India might be famous for it's flavours, often the wildlife is forgotten about. India is home to the Asian elephant, Bengal tiger and the Indian rhinoceros. It is also a hot spot for smaller beasts such as the praying mantis.

India's music scene is beautifully crafted, and the range is quite incredible. The range of folk music spreads across the country and it is also the genre which Bangra music falls into. This is possibly the most famous music to come out of the country. Although regions have their own style of music, there are types that bring the country together as a whole. The national anthem of "Jana Gana Mana" translates as "Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people".

New Delhi, the capital is a lively place and hosts many festivals throughout the year, including the idiosyncratic International Mango Festival - where over 500 different types of mangoes are found. Mangoes are only the start of the wonderful taste India has to offer. The blend of herbs, spices and other vegetables can create the aromas known all over the world. Across the country there are different assortments that are associated with each region. In the north, milk is the main ingredient which creates the wonderful bread, and the samosa is popular here. Deep in the south is where rice dictates the main proportion of a meal. Into the east you will find the places where popular Indian desserts are from. Finally, in the west of the country, rice and coconuts are just two of the ingredients that make their dishes so distinct.

Foremost a visit to India is probably best remember by the welcome you are likely to receive this combined with the seemingly endless variety is what brings travellers returning time and time again.

daily-itin

Days 1-2 Delhi

 

Namaste! Welcome to India.

Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6:00pm on Day 1.

You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.

India's capital is an exciting, busy, and often chaotic city but it's also one of the most interesting in the world with historical sites from different eras, museums and galleries, shops and endless bazaars!

There are plenty of things to see and do in free time. Visit the World Heritage-listed Mughal masterpiece of Humayun's Tomb. This was the first garden tomb in India, built way back in 1570. Wonder at the tall brick minaret of Qutub Minar, which was started back in the 1100s. Explore the mighty Red Fort of Delhi. Part palace and part fort, it plays an integral part in the history of the city with former residents ranging from royal families to British soldiers.

Join your group leader on an excursion into the sights and sounds of Old Delhi! Set off on the city's modern metro system, then get a taste of India's famed public transport with a cycle rickshaw ride through chaotic streets, such as the famous Chandni Chowk. Make a visit to the Jama Masjid, Delhi's oldest mosque and one of its most impressive buildings, then visit the Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple) to learn about the Sikh religion.

Included Activities

  • Delhi - Old Delhi walking tour
  • Delhi - Jama Masjid
  • Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)

Optional Activities

  • Delhi - Qutb Minar, New Delhi - INR250.00
  • Delhi - Humayun's Tomb, New Delhi - INR250.00
  • Delhi - Red Fort, New Delhi - INR250.00

Accommodation

Hotel (2 nts)

Day 3 Agra

 

Take one of India's faster air-conditioned trains to the Mughal city of Agra (approx. 3 hours)

Hop on to your motorised rickshaw for a tour of the city - a truly fun and Intrepid way to see the monuments of Agra.

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.

See Akbar's Mausoleum - a beautiful sandstone and marble tomb built for the greatest of the Mughal emperors.

Included Activities

  • Agra - Motorised rickshaw tour
  • Agra - Taj Mahal
  • Agra - Red Fort

Optional Activities

  • Agra - Akbar's Mausoleum, Agra - INR110.00
  • Agra - Additional entries to Taj Mahal, Agra - INR750.00

Accommodation

Hotel (1 nt)

Day 4 Rural Heritage Stay

 

Take a local bus to Bassi, a small town in the middle of rural Rajasthan (approx 4 hrs).

Travel by private jeeps right to the heart of the village where we stay.

On an exploratory walk through the village, you'll see local craftspeople at work and have plenty of opportunity to meet with the villagers.

Stay in a beautiful heritage property that belongs to one of the royal families of Rajasthan.

Included Activities

  • Heritage Stay - Village walk

Accommodation

Heritage Property (1 nt)

Days 5-6 Jaipur

 

Travel in private vehicles to the 'Pink City' of Jaipur, via the Amber Palace (approx 2 hrs).

Stop at the old capital of Amber and explore the hilltop fort complex known as the Amber Palace.

A friendly, busy town crammed with palaces and bazaars full of jewellery, textiles and folk-based arts, Jaipur is a firm favourite with travellers.

Make a stop at India's most photographed building after the Taj Mahal, the Hawa Mahal or 'Palace of the Winds'.

Take a walk to the city's crowded and colourful bazaars, which sell a wide variety of artisan goods. Semi-precious stones are the local speciality - be sure to wander by the stalls at least once.

Go to Jaipur's Royal City Palace - one of India's finest - and spend time exploring the various rooms and apartments.

Visit one of the five astronomical observatories built by Maharaja Jai Singh, the founder of Jaipur.

Discover the extravagance of a Bollywood blockbuster, with all the Hollywood-style elements of action, romance, drama and music (sometimes all rolled into one), at the spectacular Raj Mandir Cinema.

Included Activities

  • Jaipur - Amber Fort guided tour
  • Jaipur - Hawa Mahal

Optional Activities

  • Jaipur - City Palace, Jaipur - INR300.00
  • Jaipur - Observatory, Jaipur - INR100.00
  • Jaipur - Bollywood movie at the Raj Mandir Cinema, Jaipur - INR150.00

Accommodation

Hotel (2 nts)

Day 7 Ranthambhore National Park

 

Travelling by private vehicle, head north-east to Ranthambhore (approx 5 hrs).

Ranthambhore National Park is one of the original Project Tiger reserves, although with its lakes, crags and ruined pavilions, it's well worth a visit in itself.

One of the biggest and most renowned national parks in northern India, Ranthambhore was once a famous hunting ground for the Maharajas of Jaipur - today it's a major wildlife tourist attraction.

Take 4WD safari vehicles and go searching for tigers and other wildlife inside the park.

Explore Ranthambhore Fort. Founded in 944, few of the buildings inside have survived the ravages of war and time, but among the remaining ruins, two pavilions - Badal Mahal and Hammirs Court - give an idea of its old grandeur.

Ranthambhore National Park is closed between 1 July and 30 September each year. On those trips affected, we'll visit nearby Mansingh Sanctuary.

Included Activities

  • Ranthambore - National Park Safari

Optional Activities

  • Ranthambore - Fort tour, Ranthambhore - INR200.00

Accommodation

Hotel (1 nt)

Day 8 Bundi

 

Take private vehicles to the small rural town of Bundi (approx 4 hrs).

A delightful town teeming with Rajasthani life, Bundi's narrow streets are packed with shops of all kinds and the downtown market is an interesting spot to mingle with the local people.

This is a fantastic place to explore on foot and there's plenty of time to visit the baoris (step-wells) and experience local street life down in the bazaars.

Explore Bundi Palace and its famous murals. Built during the 16th and 17th centuries, it's a classic piece of Rajasthani architecture.

Included Activities

  • Bundi - Bundi Palace

Accommodation

Hotel (1 nt)

Days 9-10 Rural Heritage Stay

 

Take a slow but interesting train journey with rural villagers and locals to the small town of Bassi (approx 3 hrs).

Please note: This town of Bassi is not the same Bassi we visit on Day 4 of the itinerary. There are two Bassi's!

Enjoy a drive in open jeeps out into the countryside visiting rural villages - a special and unique experience indeed!

Be treated to a night of luxury in a wonderful heritage stay, a fortified mansion still run by the erstwhile local landlord and his family. It is a perfect place to take a break and immerse yourself in the local culture and lifestyle. The place is warm and people and staff friendly, welcoming all their guests and treating them as part of the family.

Spend the night camping (in relative luxury!) beside a lake and under the stars. Our tents have attached bathrooms, electricity and hot & cold running water. It gets cool in the months of November & December, but quilts are provided. (no AC or heating)

Please note during the monsoon period (April - September) we do not camp and spend both nights in the heritage stay.

Included Activities

  • Heritage Stay - Village jeep safari

Optional Activities

  • Heritage Stay - Henna painting, Bijaipur - INR100.00

Accommodation

Heritage Property (1 nt), Deluxe permanent tent (1 nt)

Days 11-12 Udaipur

 

A short journey by private vehicle takes us to Udaipur (approx 4 hrs).

Udaipur undoubtedly lives up to its reputation as India's most romantic city. Rolling hills, white marble palaces and lakes come together appealingly and it's a centre for artists, dancers and musicians. The shopping is also superb, with miniature paintings being the speciality.

On arrival in Udaipur, take a walk around town to help gather your bearings. Explore Udaipur's twisting alleys filled with silver, shoes, bags, leather goods and miniature paintings.

Visit City Palace, one of the largest royal palaces in India, and check out the unbelievable treasures within - from vivid murals to antiques and royal utensils.

Enjoy a half hour boat ride on the famous Lake Pichola and see marvels like Lake Palace and Jag Mandir Island (seasonal depending on the water level in the lake).

Be part of a musical concert combining seven traditional Rajasthani folk dances.

Included Activities

  • Udaipur - City Palace guided tour

Optional Activities

  • Udaipur - Lake boat ride, Udaipur - INR250.00
  • Udaipur - Cultural performance, Udaipur - INR80.00

Accommodation

Hotel (2 nts)

Days 13-14 Pushkar

 

Depart from Udaipur by air conditioned train to Ajmer (approx 6 hrs).

Take private vehicles from Ajmer to our hotel in Pushkar (approx 45 mins).

Pushkar is one of the India's holiest places. It's also a market centre for many of the local village people and a great place to sit back and relax.

Head out to explore Pushkar's main bazaar and many sidestreets - some great bargains can be had, as some of the cheapest clothes and jewellery in northern India can be found here. Walk around the lake, with its bustling ghats and temples, to watch the devout as they worship at the holy waters. Visit the only Brahma Temple in India.

The highlight of our visit to Pushkar is a camel ride out into the local desert area. For those who don't want to ride a camel, there's a camel cart option.

Early risers can make the sunrise hike up the hill to the Savitri Temple for magical views over the town. There could also be a wonderful steaming glass of chai waiting for you if the chai man is there - certainly well worth the trek.

Board the overnight train to Delhi (approx 9 hrs). Sleeper trains are clean and air-conditioned, a great way to travel long distances and still get maximum time in each place. Beds are padded berths with sheets, pillow and blanket provided but some people prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet. Please note you may be sharing with locals in a same gender/mixed gender situation.

Included Activities

  • Pushkar - Camel safari

Optional Activities

  • Pushkar - Savitri Temple, Pushkar - Free

Accommodation

Hotel (1 nt), Overnight sleeper train (1 nt)

Day 15 Delhi

 

After arriving in Delhi, transfer to our hotel.

Back at the hotel you can use group day rooms until midday.

There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. Please check the 'Finishing Point Hotel' section for checkout times and luggage storage possibilities.

Please note we will arrive at the Delhi train station early in the morning, however train delays can occur. We recommend you do not book any international flights until after 12pm.

Also available to purchase

For many of our trips we have other services or experiences that are also available to purchase to extend your trip or to make your holiday a little easier. Below is a list of other travel products you can purchase in conjunction with this trip.

  • Single supplement

 

what-else

Itinerary Disclaimer

Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route.


included

Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.

optional-extras

A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are for entrance only and don't include transport costs to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Optional activities aren't necessarily endorsed or recommended by Imaginative Traveller nor included in price of this trip. If you do any optional activities, you do so at your own risk and it must be clearly understood that your participation is your own decision and doesn't form part of your contract with Imaginative Traveller. You may be required to sign/complete a waiver form or a receipt for some optional activities.

money

 

Money Exchange

The official currency of India is the Indian Rupee (INR).

The most convenient and cheapest way to obtain local currency in is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM), which are readily available in most towns.

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.

While traveller's cheques have security advantages exchanging them can be a lengthy process, commissions can be high and they can be difficult to change in rural areas, on weekends and public holidays. The use of credit cards is restricted, mainly to major hotels/establishments.

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Tipping

If you are happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Imaginative Traveller destinations. We recommend that any tips are given to the intended recipient by a member of your group, rather than collected and passed on by the group leader.

The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:

Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up to the nearest INR20. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% to 15% of your bill.

Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest INR100 per day for local guides.

Porters: Throughout your trip you may at times have a porter in addition to your leader. We suggest INR50 per day for porters.

Drivers: You may have a range of drivers 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 per day is generally appropriate.

Local transport: For a city tour we suggest INR50 per day.

Your Group Leader: You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $US 2-4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

Departure Tax

All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.

other-important-information

 

PASSPORT DETAILS AND NATIONAL PARKS:

Please provide your passport details to Imaginative Traveller at least one month before travelling. Please note that if you do not provide your passport details you may be denied entry to any National Parks that are visited along this itinerary, or you may be charged a fee by the local government as passport details are now a requirement for entry into all national parks in India.

PUSHKAR CAMEL FAIR:

 

In 2013 the Pushkar camel fair will be held between approx 9 - 17 Nov.

The Pushkar Camel Fair is undoubtedly one of the most vibrant festivals in India, and can be a true highlight, but please note the fair is based on the lunar calendar, so the fair dates can vary and it can be hard to confirm the exact festival dates.

We will do all we can to ensure that travellers booked on departures that coincide with the fair will get an opportunity to see the best of the festival, but due to the uncertain and flexible nature of this festival we cannot take responsibility if the dates of the fair are changed resulting in your visit not coinciding with the fair.

Pushkar hotels typically raise their rates considerably during the fair so departures across this period will be subject to a surcharge. Unfortunately, although we make bookings months in advance, Pushkar accommodation tend to overbook at this time so we ask for a flexible approach from our travellers who choose to travel at this time.

PUSHKAR CAMEL FAIR DEPARTURES:

The departures 27th, 29th, 31st October 2013, and 1st, 3rd November 2013 will be in Pushkar during the festival.

RANTHAMBORE NP:

Ranthambhore National Park is CLOSED between 1 July and 30 September each year. On those trips affected, we will be visiting Mansingh Sanctuary about 12 kms away from hotel in smaller vehicles. Camping is closed during 1st April till 30th September, during this period we spend both the nights at Castle Bijaipur.

FESTIVALS IN INDIA

Please note travelling during major festivals such as Holi and Diwali can, at times, cause disruption the the published itinerary. Please see the 'Safety' section for more details.

Group-Size

Maximum of 12 travellers per group.

your-fellow-trav

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.

Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. 

Single-Travellers

Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own room (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

A single supplement is available on this trip. On the following nights a single room is not available:

- Days 11-12 Udaipur (limited rooms)

Accommodation

Hotel (10 nts), Heritage Property (2 nts), Overnight sleeper train (1 nt), Deluxe permanent tent (1 nt)

OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION

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.

TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS

Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on different Imaginative Traveller trips than your own.

CHECK-IN TIME

Throughout the trip we request that our hotels 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.

PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION

If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

Some of the accommodation along the way is very basic, staying in local guesthouses and homestays with limited facilities. Some facilities are shared and some accommodation has cold water only. We use a mixture of air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned rooms.

meals

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

Meals

3 Breakfasts, 2 Dinners

Budget for meals not included:

USD 300.00

transport

Metro, Private vehicle, Bus, Auto rickshaw, Jeep, Train, Overnight sleeper train

LONG TRAVEL DAYS

There are some long travel days and some of the transport can be quite cramped and without air-conditioning.

OVERNIGHT TRAINS

Sleeper trains in India have berths on both sides of the carriage, with some also having 4-6 berth compartments (dependant on seasonality and the journey). The carriages are multishare, with bunk beds and curtains that close over the beds. Most compartments are air-conditioned.

group-leader

All Imaginative Traveller group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Imaginative Traveller endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.

Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Imaginative Traveller we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

joining-point


Hotel Sunstar Heights

8A/41 WEA Channa Market

Karol Bagh

New Delhi

110005

INDIA

Phone: +91 1125751646

Join-point-desc

Centrally located in the Karol Bagh market area, a 25 minute ride by auto rickshaw (INR70-80 with bargaining) to the heart of Delhi, Connaught Place. The hotel has 24-hour reception, elevator, luggage storage, and all rooms have AC and security lockers.

sunstarheights.hotel-sunstar.com/index.php

Join-point-instruct

 

 

Delhi's Indira Gandhi's International Airport is approximately 25km from Karol Bagh. One of the biggest airports in the world, it can be quite chaotic and can take some time to process your visa and collect your luggage.

The taxi ride from the airport to our starting point hotel takes approx 1 hour and costs between INR 500 - 600 (prepaid traffic police booths).

IMPORTANT: Please avoid taxi touts who tell you that they have a metered taxi parked outside the airport. Previous passengers have complained that they have been charged hefty amount for the transfers.

Alternatively Imaginative Traveller offer a pre-arranged transfer service option. Enquire with your agent and advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your trip departure. If you have purchased an arrival transfer please exit by doors 4 & 5 and you will be met in the arrivals hall. If you cannot find your representative, please look for him at Costa coffee.

If you have any problems and cannot locate our representative, or if your flight is delayed please call the following 24 hour numbers:

+91 9911 972 636

+91 9560 849 444

Failing the above please take a taxi to the hotel (using the instructions above) and advise your group leader.

Check in time at hotel is 12 midday.

Arriv-complications

We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your group trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your group leader.

If you have pre-booked an airport transfer (where available) and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the starting point hotel, following the Joining Instructions in these Trip Notes. Should this occur, please apply to your travel agent for a refund of the transfer cost on your return.

No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.

finishing-point


Hotel Sunstar Heights

8A/41 WEA Channa Market

Karol Bagh

New Delhi

110005

INDIA

Phone: +91 1125751646

Finishing-P-Desc

Centrally located in the Karol Bagh market area, a 25 minute ride by auto rickshaw (INR70-80 with bargaining) to the heart of Delhi, Connaught Place. The hotel has 24-hour reception, elevator, luggage storage, and all rooms have AC and security lockers.

sunstarheights.hotel-sunstar.com/index.php

Finish-point-instruc

A pre-booked departure transfer to the airport is available if arranged at the time of booking. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 15 days prior to your trip start date. If you plan to stay longer, this departure transfer can only be offered in conjunction with post-tour accommodation booked through Imaginative Traveller.

Delhi's Indira Gandhi's International Airport is approximately 25km from Karol Bagh. One of the biggest airports in the world, it can be quite chaotic.

A taxi to the Delhi Indira Gandi Airport takes about 1 hour and should cost between 450 -500INR. Hotel reception or your leader can help you arrange a taxi.

Before check in you must have your check in luggage x-rayed and sealed. Also ensure at check in that your hand luggage is tagged. (This is a mandatory in order to clear security.)

Check-out time from the hotel is 12 noon. If you are departing later, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel.

emergency

Emergency Contact

In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency the local India office can be reached on +91 1145 006 400 during business hours (9.30am to 6pm) or after hours on +91 9999 916 229.

We also have a dedicated 24 hour telephone number which should only be used once you have left the UK and in the event of a real emergency. Should you need to call the number, we will do what we can to help but please bear in mind that real progress or action may not be possible until normal office hours.

If your flight is delayed or cancelled, please let us know and then make your way to the joining hotel as instructed in these trip notes. If you cannot get through leave a message and a contact number as these will be regularly checked. Emergency Number: +44 (0) 7985106564

Emergency Funds

Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.

visa-information

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.

We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.

INDIA:

Australia: Yes - in advance

Belgium: Yes - in advance

Canada: Yes - in advance

Germany: Yes - in advance

Ireland: Yes - in advance

Netherlands: Yes - in advance

New Zealand: Yes - in advance

South Africa: Yes - in advance

Switzerland: Yes - in advance

United Kingdom: Yes - in advance

USA: Yes - in advance

There is NO visa on arrival in India. Indian visas can NOT be obtained 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.

Issues

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.

what-to-take

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb.

Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.

TRAVELLING ON LOCAL TRANSPORT:

It's important that your bags can be locked, as on local transport it may be necessary to store your luggage separately (and unattended) from the group. The smaller your bag the better for you and other passengers, for when it comes to travelling on local buses and trains it's often only the smaller bags that will fit into the storage areas. If your bag does not fit in these areas then often the only place to put it is on your bed or seat. To ensure maximum comfort, try to pack small and light.

Where Imaginative Traveller covers the cost of luggage storage for included day trips, we allow for one bag/backpack only, so it's advisable that you travel lightly and keep luggage to a limit of one item (plus your day pack). Extra luggage storage will be at your own expense.

WATER BOTTLE:

Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day

WARM CLOTHING:

Temperatures can be low in the winter months, especially at altitude, so bring a set of warmer clothes including thermal underclothes and a fleece jacket.

SLEEPING BAG:

A sleeping bag is very useful for the camping and the overnight train journey during the colder months but in the warmer months a sleeping sheet will suffice. If you prefer, a blanket can be bought locally.

IMAGES FROM HOME:

During our trip there will be many opportunities for you to meet and talk with locals. One way to start any conversation is with pictures. We recommend that you bring some photos / postcards of your family, home, city or country where you live, animals peculiar to your country etc.

PASSPORT COPY:

Please bring a photocopy of your passport main page and airline ticket if you will require airline reconfirmation at the end of your trip.

fitness

 

Health

All Imaginative Traveller 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, Imaginative Traveller 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 and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

safety

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. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.

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.

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. While your group 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 Imaginative Traveller itinerary, and Imaginative Traveller 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 group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

FIRE PRECAUTIONS:

Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:

Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!

PETTY THEFT AND 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.

SWIMMING POOLS:

You may stay at hotels with unfenced pools and no life guard on duty.

BALCONIES:

Some hotel balconies don't meet UK standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.

SEAT BELTS:

Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in the western world or from your home country and not all the transport which we use provides seat belts.

FESTIVALS - HOLI & DIWALI:

Travelling in India and Nepal during the Holi festival, a lunar festival next held in March 17, 2014 and generally held in March each year, can at times be dangerous - a lot of locals participate in consumption of intoxicating substances. The day has been associated with physical violence and danger. Your leader/guide will be advising you and your group on what places to avoid on this day and it may even be necessary for us to alter your itinerary for the day to avoid putting you or our group leader/guide in high risk situation.

Travelling during the Hindu festival Diwali (a lunar festival next held on 03 November, 2013 and generally held from mid October to mid November every year) can also be dangerous. During this time there are many displays of fireworks in the streets. It can be very noisy for several days and there is also a lot of pollution caused by the 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 any dangerous areas to avoid putting the group at risk.

CAMEL SAFARI:

Please note that helmets and professional riding equipment can't be provided on the camel safari.

HORSE RIDING:

Horse riding is an option available to groups on this trip. Please note however that horse riding is usually not covered by your travel insurance and helmets are not always available. If riding without a helmet is a concern then you should bring our own.

HERITAGE HOTELS:

On this trip you will be staying in some heritage hotels and traditional guesthouses - these are one of the charms of this trip, but occasionally their staircases, balconies and passages etc don't always comply with western safety standards. Please don't expect elevators in these properties as they are preserved in their original state.

travel-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 group 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.

Please go to our website for more information:

www.imaginative-traveller.com/travel-insurance

 
responsible-travel

 

At Imaginative Traveller we love helping our clients experience the beauty and cultures of the destinations we visit. However, hand in hand with this we have always been aware that we have a responsibility to minimise any negative impacts that tourism can bring.

Responsible Travel is twofold. It's about taking people to the places they want to go in a safe and responsible manner but also about respecting and maintaining the natural and often delicate balance of the destination. Economic gain from tourism is often fundamental to a country, but should never be at the expense of its culture or the environment.

Our Aims

  • It is our aim to provide journeys that have minimal negative and maximum positive impact on the places we visit.
  • We do not believe that, as visitors, we should impose our own cultures on others; rather that we should experience foreign cultures and appreciate them for what they are.
  • Whilst it is our aim to show destinations and cultures in a positive light, we do not believe in papering over the cracks or shielding visitors from the realities of life. This does not mean, however, that we condone or endorse certain situations or regimes that may be in place.

Our guidelines are meant not as rigid instructions but rather as suggestions to make our holidays more enjoyable – for everybody. As cultural and environmental sensitivities vary from country to country more specific guidelines can be found in our individual country and trip dossiers.

LOCAL DRESS:

Dress standards are conservative throughout Asia, especially outside major cities. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in areas of predominantly hot climate. In many rural areas women will need to wear modest clothing even to swim. Singlets, tank tops and topless sun bathing are all unacceptable. When visiting religious sites men often need to wear long trousers and women a long skirt or sarong.

Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Imaginative Traveller travellers. Imaginative Traveller's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Carbon

 

Carbon Offset C02-e 338.00 kgs per pax.

 

give-us-your-feedback

Your feedback is important to us and to our tour guides and helps shape the quality of our trips. It tells us what we're doing right, what you believe could be done better and what improvements you feel could help future travellers choose and enjoy Imaginative Traveller. Just go to http://on.fb.me/16wYISa for our easy to fill out form. We’d love to hear what you have to say!

 

Affordable Adventures

search

226 holidays

  • info If you're searching for a trip to fit in with a larger travel schedule, or simply have an exact idea of the city advanced search
    • Activities & Interests

need help & expert advice?
01728 862231


Sign-up for our newsletter

tailor-made adventure trips

Our tailor made adventure holidays will truly inspire and delight the senses and will live in your memory for ever.

more info


Last Minute Specials -  Up to 20% Off

Join us on one of our worldwide adventures coming up over the next few months – all guaranteed to depart, all at up to 20% off.

more info