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India - Treasures & Tigers - 15 Day Private Tour - is currently on backorder. You may still purchase now though and we'll ship as soon as more become available.
ITINERARY

Delhi - Jaipur - Agra – Chambal – Kanha – Bandhavgarh – Khajuraho – Varanasi - Delhi: 15 days

India with its 1.2 billion people is a vibrant country; a kaleidoscopic mix of humanity, culture, history and nature - there is always something happening, all of the time.

This tour takes you through the streets of bustling Delhi, to the history of Jaipur, the majesty of the Taj Mahal, to the heart of the jungle and onto the holy city of Varanasi. 

See the sights, have ample opportunity to interact with locals, walk around local markets, go on safari, try out the delicious local food and have an amazing holiday.

This is a Private Tour with your own personal driver, English speaking guide and private air-conditioned vehicle.

Travelbay Private Tours are set up to provide you with the best possible experience at your own pace. Feel free to request your personal chauffeur or guide to show you something that you may come across while travelling, they will be more than glad to take a quick break or a short detour for you to see and photograph interesting things on the way.

Here you will find the full itinerary, inclusions, exclusions, Terms and a great deal of supporting information. We have also produced additional customer support pages with further details about the wildlife jungle safaris and your drivers & tour guides.

We offer discounted rates during the hot season in India between 16th April and 20th June. You can find details about the weather in the MORE INFO tab and details about the discount in the TERMS tab. Of course you are also always welcome to ring us on 1800 020 020 or email us at team@travelbay.com with any questions.

* Price includes 2 domestic flights, 14 nights' accommodation, private chauffeur driven vehicle, all entrance fees, guides, 23 meals and more. Price does not include international return flights to India. 

We would be happy to provide you with a quote for international flights. Flights from Australia to Delhi are approximately $900 - $1100 per person return. The actual price varies depending on departure city, time of year and luck of the draw! 

We also offer many other India Tours as well as private and custom tours. To read more about Private Tours, click here or contact us for more information. 

Download Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Delhi

Your journey begins in Delhi, one of the world’s great cities - with a colourful mix of history, culture and modernisation, Delhi is a fantastic place to discover. 

On arrival in Delhi you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel for check in.

If your arrival is during the day, your guide will hand over all your documents including hotel vouchers, flight and train tickets, discuss the whole tour with you, answer any questions you may have and arrange the meeting time for the next day. If your arrival is late we give you a chance to rest first and go through the handover the next day followed by your first sightseeing tour. Read more about our meet and greet procedures and your drivers and tour guides.

Overnight in Delhi: Colonel's Retreat or Justa The Residence - Superior room (Standard); Amarya Haveli or Royal Plaza - Superior room (Deluxe); The Oberoi Maidens or Hotel The Met - Heritage room/Deluxe room (Super Deluxe)

Day 2: Discover Delhi - the heart of India

A special opportunity to soak in the sounds and aromas of Delhi and discover why it is known as the heart of India.

In the morning you will be met at the hotel by your professional English speaking guide, then driven to Old Delhi. Here you will meet a local guide from an NGO (non-profit organisation) who speaks good English and has been professionally trained to look after guests. He will have a great knowledge and interest in his area of the walk and take you around the small by-lanes, havelis and other interesting places – this can take 2 – 3 hours.

Your personal guide will wait whilst you are on your local walking tour, and continue with you afterwards to visit the remaining parts of Old and New Delhi. You will visit key places such as: Jama Masjid - one of the largest mosques in India and iconic of DelhiRaj Ghat - Mahatma Gandhi's monument,  Qutub Minar - a 73m ancient minaret and Humayun Tomb – the first garden tomb in India which led to many others including the Taj Mahal. Your driver and guide will take you to India Gate, the President's House and Lutyen's buildings and you will also have the opportunity to shop at some local markets. 

Overnight in Delhi: Colonel Retreat or Justa The Residence - Superior room (Standard); Amarya Haveli or Royal Plaza - Superior room (Deluxe); The Oberoi Maidens or Hotel The Met - Heritage room/Deluxe room (Super Deluxe)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 3: Travel to Jaipur, the colourful capital of Rajasthan

After breakfast, your driver will collect you from your hotel and drive you to Jaipur in Rajasthan (around 5 hours drive). This bustling and fascinating city has some of the finest examples of Rajasthani architecture and whilst it is a growing city with a modern outlook, camels can be found wandering the streets and rickshaws blend in with the traffic.

You will be driven to your hotel on arrival and you can spend the rest of the day at leisure. In the evening your driver will take you to a lovely but simple cafe located in Naharagarh Palace, perched on top of a hill, it offers a superb bird’s eye view of the city. Enjoy watching the sun going down over the city. 

The car and driver will be available this afternoon should you wish to make use of local visits within city limits. 

Overnight in Jaipur: Hotel Park Regis or similar - Superior room (Standard); Shahpura House or Dera Mandawa - Suite/Deluxe room (Deluxe); Marriott or Trident - Deluxe room (Super Deluxe)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 4: Arrive at Amber Fort atop an elephant and discover the Pink City

After breakfast your guide and driver will meet you and take you to the ancient palace of Amber Fort. Arrive at the fort sitting atop an elephant*. The fort, which is exquisite in many ways – size, scale, craftsmanship, history… sits on a hilltop overlooking the lake with stunning views. One of the most spectacular buildings contained in the fort is the Sheesh Mahal (Hall of Mirrors), with its walls completely covered with tiny mirrors. It has been designed so that even if a single ray of light is to enter the hall, this light is reflected in all the mirrors and the entire hall lights up. It really is an incredible sight and the beauty is unmistakeable. 

Later visit the key sights and wonders of the Pink City in the heart of Jaipur. Visit the City Palace, Jantar Mantar - an ancient observatory and Hawa Mahal, the Palace of the Winds (viewed from the outside only). Built of red and pink sandstone it is said to resemble the honeycomb structure of a bee’s nest. It was called the Palace of Winds as in original design it had a clever cooling system that once spread gentle breezes throughout the Palace – very welcome in the hot Rajasthani summers. It is said to have been built as an observatory where the women of the Maharaja's City Palace could observe the outside world whilst remaining inside the palace.

The bustling bazaars of the old city are a great place to shop and explore and are some of the most vibrant in Asia – Rajasthan is known for it’s colour! You also have the option to catch the latest Bollywood movie in the opulent Raj Mandir Cinema (your driver will take you there if you request, but this part of the tour is optional so you will need to pay for your own tickets - approximately AUD$8 per person). 

Your car and driver are available this afternoon for local visits within city limits.

*There are strict regulations in place to limit the total number of journeys each elephant can do in a day, and they are only allowed to carry 2 passengers at a time to prevent any over working of elephants. If you would prefer, there is also the option to enter the fort by jeep. 

Overnight in Jaipur: Hotel Park Regis or similar - Superior room (Standard); Shahpura House or Dera Mandawa - Suite/Deluxe room (Deluxe); Marriott or Trident - Deluxe room (Super Deluxe)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 5: Travel to Agra via the deserted Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri

After breakfast you will be collected for the drive to Agra (around 5 hours). On the way visit the deserted Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri. Walk through the city with your guide hearing the intriguing story behind the abandoning of the city and learn about its great architecture. Visit a local school (subject to the school being open) and village to enjoy interaction with children and villagers. In the evening you have the option to visit the breathtaking Taj Mahal at sunset (this evening visit is optional and whilst your guide and driver will be with you, the entrance fee is at your own expense - approximately AUD$22.) Tomorrow morning there is a scheduled visit to the Taj Mahal.

Overnight in AgraCoral Tree Homestay or Hotel Seven Hill Tower - Deluxe room (Standard); Four Points Sheraton or Radisson Blue - Superior room (Deluxe); Trident or Hyatt - Superior room (Super Deluxe)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 6: The Taj Mahal and Chambal safari

Visiting the Taj Mahal in the early morning is something not to be missed. Watch as the marble changes colour as the sun rises, follow this by wandering the grounds of the Taj Mahal with your guide and marveling at its wonder. Your driver will then take you back to your hotel for breakfast.

Later in the morning, visit the majestic Agra Fort and take yourself back in time to an era of great palaces and grand forts. The fort itself is magnificent, and you also get great views of the Taj Mahal in the distance. Later your driver will take you to visit a Marble factory where you see the fascinating inlay work of local artisans whose forefathers built Taj Mahal.

In the afternoon you will be driven to Chambal Safari Lodge (around 1.5 hrs drive). Nestled in the midst of over 120 acres of woodland and pasture and surrounded by farmland, Chambal Safari Lodge offers a very special wilderness experience. In the vicinity are some lovely cultural sights and the famous National Chambal Sanctuary. In the evening enjoy a guided visit to Bateshwar Temples on the Ghats of River Yamuna, view the sunset from the terrace of The Kunj overlooking the Ghats and Temples.

Overnight in ChambalChambal Safari Lodge - Deluxe wilderness lodge (Standard, Deluxe and Super Deluxe); 

Meals included: Breakfast 

Day 7: Boat safari on the Chambal River

Enjoy a morning boat safari (2½ - 3 hours duration) on the Chambal River and get ready for a treat. The lodge naturalist will accompany you on the safari where you can cruise the calm waters and spot the abundant wildlife. The area is home to gharials, the Gangetic dolphin, marsh crocodiles, different species of turtles, Indian striped hyenas, jungle cats, Indian wolves, otters...as well as over 300 species of birds. Later join the lodge naturalist on a nature and bird walk around the lodge.

After lunch drive to Agra (around 1.5 hrs drive) where you will be taken to the train station for your overnight train to Jabalpur at 20:30 hrs. The driver will make sure you are comfortable on the train before you depart. Travel by first class AC Sleeper to Jabalpur. A packed dry dinner and breakfast will be provided.

The car and driver will be available this afternoon should you wish to make use of local visits within city limits. 

Overnight on the train: First Class AC Sleeper

Meals included: Breakfast and dinner

Day 8: A jeep safari in Kanha National Park

Arrive in Jabalpur at 0820 hrs. You will be met at the station and driven to Kanha National Park (around 4 hours drive).

This famous Park of Central India is home to the Jungle Book’s Sher Khan, Bagheera and Baloo the bear. The lush bamboo, sal forest and wide meadows are also home to the wild Bengal Tiger which can be frequently seen roaming the park - a spectacular sight.

The Park has brought the Swap Deer back from the verge of extinction and with luck and patience it is possible to see leopards, sloth bears and dhole (Indian wild dogs) hunting in packs. More common animals are gaur, or Indian bison, blue cows, swamp mouse, spotted deer, and many birds. This is jungle life at its best. 

In the afternoon, enjoy a jeep safari with your local guide and a naturalist, in the National Park or you can relax at the resort.

Read here for more details about your safari.

Please note: Kanha and Bandhavgarh are closed for afternoon safari on Wednesdays.

Overnight in Kanha: Tuli Tiger Resort or similar - Cottage (Standard and Deluxe); Bagh Tola or Kahna Earth Lodge - Cottage (Super Deluxe)

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 9: Enjoy Kanha spotting wildlife or relaxing at the resort

Enjoy morning and afternoon game drives in the park spotting more wildlife and taking photos. You can read more about the jungle safaris here and remember to take warm clothes with you for the early morning start.

Spending time in the jungle here in Kanha really is a wonderful experience. Spend the afternoon at leisure and relax by the pool. There are also some lovely bird and nature walks in the area. Another option is to enjoy a spa or massage at the resort (at your own expense). 

Please note: Kanha and Bandhavgarh are closed for afternoon safari on Wednesdays.

Overnight in Kanha: Tuli Tiger Resort or similar - Cottage (Standard and Deluxe); Bagh Tola or Kahna Earth Lodge - Cottage (Super Deluxe)

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 10: Travel to Bandhavgarh National Park, home of the Bengal Tiger

After breakfast, your driver will meet you and you will be driven to Bandhavgarh National Park (approximately 5-6 hours). This beautiful park was once the hunting ground of the Maharajas of Rewa and home to the famous white tigers. Today, this is a protected National Park that is known for the Royal Bengal Tiger. In fact, the population of tigers in Bandhavgarh is the highest known in India. It also beholds the largest breeding population of leopards and various species of deer and is home to langur monkeys, sloth bears and many birds. 

Later after you have settled in, if time permits, enjoy an afternoon game drive in the Park. 

Read here for more details about your safari.

Please note: Kanha and Bandhavgarh are closed for afternoon safari on Wednesdays.

Overnight in Bandhavgarh: Infinity Bandhavgarh Wildnerness or similar - Cottage (Standard and Deluxe); Bagh Tola or Kings Lodge - Cottage (Super Deluxe)

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 11: Game drives in Bandhavgarh and relax by the pool

Wake early to catch the sunrise and enjoy a morning and afternoon game drive in the park. Spend the afternoon at leisure or relax by the pool. Here too there also lovely bird and nature walks in the area you can enjoy spa or massage at the resort (at your own expense). 

Read here for more details about your safari.

Please note: Kanha and Bandhavgarh are closed for afternoon safari on Wednesdays.

Overnight in Bandhavgarh: Infinity Bandhavgarh Wildnerness or similar - Cottage (Standard and Deluxe); Bagh Tola or Kings Lodge - Cottage (Super Deluxe)

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 12: Travel to Khajuraho and marvel at the fine temple art

Today your driver will collect you after breakfast and you will be driven to Khajuraho (around 5-6 hours drive). 

Khajuraho is a small village in Central India surrounded by the forestland. This small village came into prominence after discovery of the famous Chandela Dynasty temples. A UNESCO world heritage site in central India, Khajuraho is now a famous tourist and archaeological site. The famous sculptures in the sandstone temples of Khajuraho are truly beautiful, executed with a joy, fluidity and lack of inhibition that is rarely found in modern India. These temples are widely acknowledged as some of the most exquisite temple art in India.

Spend the afternoon at leisure in Khajuraho and in the evening enjoy a Sound and Light show at Khajuraho Temples. This fascinating light & sound spectacle evokes the life and times of the great Chandela Kings and gives you an insight into the story of the unique temples.

Optional, if you are interested, Yoga sessions can be arranged with an expert Yoga Instructor in both Khajuraho and Varanasi

Overnight in Khajuraho: Pace Resort or similar - Standard Room (Standard); Ramada - Superior Room (Deluxe); Radisson Hotel - Superior Room (Super Deluxe)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 13: Fly to Varanasi

This morning you will be taken to visit the famous Chandela Dynasty temples. Marvel at the fine art and detail of the sandstone carvings. 

Your driver will take you to the airport for your flight to Varanasi at 13:25 hrs. Arrive at 14:15 hrs where you will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel.

Please note: The luggage limit for checked in baggage for many domestic flights in India is 15kg. For carry on it is 7kg. Some flights allow more but you cannot depend on this. If your luggage exceeds the allowed rate then you are responsible for paying any excess charges. Again these vary, but start at around AUD5 per kg and are sometimes more for longer flights.

Considered as the abode of Lord Shiva, Varanasi is situated on the banks of River Ganges, which is believed to have the power of washing away all of one's sins. The holy city has been a symbol of spiritualism, philosophy and mysticism for thousands of years.

Later in the evening you will be collected for a rickshaw ride and taken to the Ghats of holy river Ganges to enjoy the evening Ganges “Aarti” ceremony. In Hinduism it is believed that those who die and are cremated here get an instant gateway to liberation from the cycle of births and re-births called “Moksha”.

Overnight in Varanasi: Westin Hotel or similar - Standard Room (Standard); Radisson or Ramada Hotel - Superior Room (Deluxe and Super Deluxe)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 14: Enjoy a ride on the Ganges and fly to Delhi

This morning enjoy a boat ride on holy River Ganges and watch the sunrise over the Ganges from your boat. The Ganges begins life in the Himalayas and flows for over 2,500km to the Bay of Bengal. In Varanasi, from dawn to dusk the riverfront (Ghats) are thronged by thousands of devotees, who perform their holy rituals in the hope of attaining eternal salvation - “Nirvana”.

Later continue your sightseeing of Varanasi and enjoy a walking tour of the narrow lanes of the old city. Varanasi is a sensory experience, from the sounds to the incense and colours, to the cows wandering the laneways...there is no place on Earth like Varanasi. Later in the afternoon, enjoy a visit to Sarnath, the buried Buddhist city where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon after attaining enlightenment 2,500 years ago.

You will be taken to the airport in time for your flight to Delhi at around 18:00 hrs. Arrive at 19:30 hrs where you will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel.

Overnight in Delhi: Justa The Residence Gurgaon or similar - Superior Room (Standard); The Pride - Superior Room (Deluxe); Crowne Plaza or similar - Superior Room (Super Deluxe)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 15: Time to go home or onto your next adventure

Today you will be taken to the international airport in Delhi in time for your flight home or onto your next adventure. 

Meals included: Breakfast 

INCLUSIONS
Inclusions:
  • 14 nights' accommodation (includes one nights' accommodation aboard the overnight train)
  • 23 meals included: Daily breakfast, 4 lunches and 5 dinners.
  • 2 x domestic flights: One from Khajuraho to Varanasi and the other from Varanasi to Delhi (economy class)
  • 1 x overnight train - First Class AC Sleeper from Agra to Jabalpur. 
  • Chauffer driven air-conditioned car.
  • All airport transfers – a representative will be there to meet you on arrival and get you to the airport on time for your departure.
  • Assistance at airports, railway stations and all major cities. At the railway station a representative will make sure you are on the train safely and you will be met when you get off your coach at the end of the train journey. 
  • Porterage at airport and railway station. 
  • English speaking guide for sightseeing as detailed in the itinerary (in each location you will have a different guide).
  • Entrance fees to the monuments and parks as detailed in the itinerary.
  • Bottled mineral water during journeys and transfers. 
  • A hamper with snacks, soft drinks and sweets. 
  • A local cell phone with a pre-charge of INR 1,000 for use during the trip (per couple or single traveller) and to be returned prior to departure. 
Highlights:
  • Discover the colourful mix of history, culture and modernisation in Delhi including a walking tour of Old Delhi.
  • Discover the architectural marvels of Qutub Minar and Himayun’s Tomb.
  • Enjoy a visit to Rajasthan's "Pink City" of Jaipur and discover why it is known as the pink city (we'll give you a clue - it's to do with the buildings).
  • Watch a Bollywood movie in the opulent Raj Mandir Cinema.
  • Discover the magnificence of the Amber Fort and enjoy an elephant ride. 
  • Experience the amazing Taj Mahal, discover why it is often considered one of the wonders of the world and watch as the marble changes colour during sunrise and sunset. 
  • Enjoy the majestic Agra Fort, also known as the Red Fort.
  • Visit a village and school in Agra and interact with locals. 
  • Enjoy a boat safari looking at gharials (fish eating crocodiles), turtles, Indian palm civet and much more wildlife on the calm waters of the Chambal River. 
  • Discover the heart of India's Jungle in Kanha and Bandhavgarh National Parks with 6 jeep safaris (3 in each park). This is home to the Royal Bengal Tiger, the sloth bear, leopards, jungle cats and more. 
  • Visit the temples of Khajuraho and discover the famous sculptures considered to be most perfect figures achieved in stone depicting Gods and Goddesses and amorous couples.
  • Discover the oldest and holiest city of Varanasi including the holiest river of India, the Ganges and a rickshaw ride.
MORE INFO

Travelbay Private tours to India - 15 Day

How to get there:

This tour starts and ends in Delhi. 

Travelbay works together with an excellent corporate flight booking company and is happy to provide you with a quote and organise your flights. We charge a $50 booking fee for this service. Alternatively, if you would like to arrange flights yourself you can find more information and suggestions here.

If you are wanting to know more about how far it is between destinations and how long your flight will take, you can visit www.travelmath.com and use their trip calculator.

    Timezones:
    To help you calculate the time difference we recommend World Time Buddy.

    Visa information:
    Most nationalities require a visa when travelling to India. You need to apply for and receive your visa before you depart

    You can apply for your visa via VFS Global who works in conjunction with the Indian embassy. You will need to send your passport and application form by mail to VFS. See here for more information. 

    Or you can apply for an e-visa online here. Please note, if you apply for an e-visa you may have to wait in queue once you arrive in India (additional to immigration). Sometimes this line can be an hour or more.

    Currency information:
    The currency used in India is the Indian Rupee.

    What currency to take over there is a personal choice. Some people prefer to take US$ cash as a backup whilst others prefer to take AUD$ cash – it depends on what you are comfortable with. There are ATM machines available and you should let your bank know that you will be using your card over there to avoid them freezing any 'suspicious' activity.

    Vaccination information:
    Travelbay recommends you check with your doctor as to any immunisations that you may require or that are recommended for your travels.  Alternatively, you can visit The Travel Doctor or Travelvax for more information. 

    Climate:
    India is a large country with a huge range of varying climates - it is tropical in the South and alpine in the North in the Himalayas. The following information is specific to the region of this tour (Delhi - Jaipur - Jabalpur - Varanasi).

    In the winter months the temperatures range from 22°C to 5°C and can be quite cold in the early mornings so good to pack layers.

    The summer can be very hot and spicy. In North India from mid April to mid May the temperatures can be in the late 30’s to early 40’s with pleasant and slightly cool mornings (especially in wildlife parks). From mid May to mid June the days are hot with temperatures in the mid 40s. July and August are the rainy months and so whilst the rain can bring the temperatures down, some days can be very humid. In September the rains are on and off and the weather starts to cool. April is considered a shoulder months of the hot season and can be a great time to travel.

    All the cars have air conditioning as do all the rooms. Hats caps, umbrellas and sunglasses help a lot. Of course weather being weather may have its own ideas so the above is only a guideline - always best to be prepared for all eventualities!

    Monsoon season: July to September.

    Dry season: April to June.

    Peak season: The end of December and into February is peak season for travel in India.

    October to April is a popular time for visitors’ due to the milder and cool climate. There are some tours to the North of India that we do not run in the summer time due to the sizzling weather in the dry areas such as Rajasthan.

    Diwali and Holi are festivals in India and during this time places are more likely to be crowded and accommodation fills up quickly. Diwali falls in October and is the festival of lights. Holi is also known as the Festival of Colours and is celebrated in March. Whilst crowded, it can be a great time to enjoy the festivities with the locals. 

    Private tours:
    Private tours are a fantastic way to see a country. You have your own driver and also an English speaking tour guide. We can put on vehicles of any size so these tours can cater for anyone from a single traveller to a large group.

    Everything is set up for your benefit. You can go to the toilet when you want, stay a little longer or leave a little earlier at your visits and there are no heavy sales – it is all about you!

    For more detailed information on Travelbay's Private India Tours, you can read more here.

    Travelbay tip: Ask the local guides about the best places to dine.

    Vehicle description:

    Air conditioned car:
    The cars usually engaged for these private tours are Swift Dezire, Tata Indigo or Toyota Itios. All these cars are modern and perceived to be best suited to the Indian terrain having good ground clearance and very good suspension. All these cars have spacious interiors and excellent boot space, offers a comfortable travel experience and can easily accommodate 1-2 person. 

    Travelbay Private tours - India - air conditioned car

    Toyota Innova:
    The Toyota Innova is an elegant sedan designed for space and comfort. The vehicle has higher height, road clearance to drive through rough roads and versatile usability. The Toyota Innova provides excellent ride quality and luxury coupled with versatile space; superior performance. The vehicle with its plush and spacious interiors, reclining seats and adequate space for luggage is certainly an excellent mode of travel for those looking for greater comfort and can comfortably accommodate 2-3 people.   

    Travelbay Private tours - India - Toyota Innova 

    Tempo Traveller:
    Tempo Traveler is a comfortable mini-van. The vehicle is quite spacious with push back seats offering good leg room and there is adequate space in the boot for the luggage. It is ideal for small families or groups to travel together and offers a good ride quality and is best suitable for longer journeys. The vehicle can comfortably accommodate 4-8 people. 

    Travelbay Private tours - India - Tempo Traveller

    Mini Coach:
    Mini Coaches are generally used for large families or mid-sized groups. The seats of the coach are spacious and comfortable with the push back facility. There is a separate boot for luggage. The vehicle with its powerful engines and good suspension is best suited for Indian roads and can comfortably accommodate 9-15 people 

    Travelbay Private tours - India - Mini Coach

    Train travel in India:
    This is one of the most fascinating ways of seeing the "real" India. The railway platforms are like mini bazaars, and curious fellow travellers invariably strike up a conversation with visitors from abroad, often, though not always, in remarkably good English. While this is an exciting way of experiencing the local culture some people may find the upkeep below expectations, especially when compared to trains in the West. All things considered, at least one journey is worth the experience. If visiting remoter parts of the country, including some wildlife parks, trains may be the only or the most efficient means of travel.

    Air-conditioned First Class Sleeper:
    This class is normally used for journeys involving overnight travel but can also be used for day journeys. Cabins have 4 cushioned wide berths sleeping 2 or 4. Each cabin can be locked from the inside. The carriage windows are double-glazed and tinted for effective air-conditioning. Four cloakrooms are available including one with a western style seat. An attendant travels with the carriage. He provides bed linen and is responsible for the safety of the carriage. Your luggage is stored in the vacant space underneath your berth. For couples a two-berth cabin is requested. The Railways, however, do not guarantee it and it often becomes necessary to share a four-berth cabin with others.

    Meals on trains:
    Most trains have a pantry car and serve food, soft drinks, tea and coffee via bearers who regularly pass through your compartment. For long journeys it is advisable to carry packed food from your previous hotel rather than take the meals available on board, as the hygiene may be suspect. 

    Tipping tips:

    Tipping is entirely at your discretion. 

    In response to some customers questions here are a few guidelines:

    It is usual to tip the waiters, porters, guides and drivers. Tips are not included in the bills for hotels, transport companies or any other suppliers. At hotels and restaurants, about 10% of the bill is usually acceptable. Tipping is not necessary for taxis or for cheaper restaurants. It is a good idea to check if service charges are included in your restaurant bill. If not, a tip of 10% of the total bill is normal. 

    Although we give below a few general guidelines, it is to be remembered that tipping is a sign of gratification for good service, and therefore please view the guidelines as the middle ground, which can be adjusted depending on the level of service you feel you have received. 

    Please note the below amounts are per person for individual travellers. 

    Guides, Escorts and Transport:

    • Guide (Full Day) Rs 500 – Rs 800 per day 
    • Guide (Half Day) Rs 400 – Rs 600 per day 
    • Tour Escort Rs 500 – Rs 1000 per day 
    • Driver for the tour Rs 300 – Rs 500 per day 
    • Driver for local duties Rs - 500 per day 

    Hotels/ Restaurants:

    • Bell Boy Rs 30 – Rs 50 per member of staff 
    • Room Service & Restaurants About 10% of the bill total (Unless service charge is mentioned as included) 

    Population: 1.3 billion

    Language: There is no national language in India. Hindi and English are both official languages. India has over 1,000 spoken languages. The languages with the most number of speakers are Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi and Tamil.

    Predominant religion: Hinduism followed by Islam, Christianity, Sikh, Buddhism and Jainism

    Some interesting facts:

    India, Pakistan and Bangladesh used to be one country. After British rule ended in 1947 these countries eventually became independent. 

    Delhi is the capital of India but Mumbai is the most populated with a population of over 20 million. 

    India prides itself on being the world's largest democracy. In the 2009 election there were over 417 million voters. 

    Varanasi is one of the world's oldest continually inhabited cities and is the place where Buddha gave his first sermon. 

    Related blogs & articles:

    Travelbay Blog - The Blue City of Jodhpur Travelbay Blog - Lessons on souvenir buying in India

    Travelbay-Blog-Snapshot-Delhi~Part-1 Travelbay-Blog-Snapshot--Delhi~Part-2

    Travelbay-Blog-Snapshot--Delhi~Part-3 Travelbay Blog - Long Weekend Getaway to Kerala

    More Travelbay Tours to India:

    Travelbay  India - 7 Day Irresistible Kerala Tour Travelbay  India - 12 Days from Golden North to Irresistible South 

    Travelbay India - 9 Day Golden Triangle plus Tigers of Ranthambhore Travelbay India - 17 Day Colourful Rajasthan & Tigers of Ranthambhore Tour   

    TERMS
    Terms & Conditions

    Booking Process:

    Upon purchase of your tour online you will immediately receive a receipt and order confirmation. Travelbay will contact the tour operator to confirm availability for all accommodation and transportation for your tour.

    As soon as we have confirmed the dates (usually within 24 hours sometimes a little longer at weekends) we will email you your booking confirmation.

    We will request further information from you to ensure that all your personal preferences are taken care of. This will include details such as your accommodation preferences, dietary requests, allergies, health issues, emergency contact and any special requirements.

    We will also request a copy of each traveller’s passport so that we can organise and book all the flights that are listed as being included in the price of this tour.

    Very Important:

    It is important to note your dates are only confirmed once we have been in touch with you to confirm availability. Therefore, please wait on purchasing your international flights until you have received a booking confirmation from us. In the unlikely event that there is no availability on your chosen date we will offer you alternate dates. If these do not suit we will fully refund your payment.  

    Booking Information:

    • Quoted prices are per person.
    • Booking valid for selected and booked travel dates.
    • Please book at least 30 days prior to your desired date of travel. We recommend booking as early as possible so that we can reserve you a place on the wildlife safaris as these are limited. 
    • Bookings are subject to availability.
    • Child prices: Children under 5 are free. Please contact us for prices of children 5 and over as it will vary depending on the age of the child and group size. 
    • If you are travelling in a group of 2 or more people and you would like to have separate rooms, the following single room supplements will apply:
      • $570 for the Standard option
      • $833 for the Deluxe option
      • $1,217 for the Super Deluxe option
    • If you wish to upgrade to a Toyota Innova, price per person is $110. For single travellers the price is $198.
    • If you would like to arrive before the start of tour or leave later and require extra nights’ accommodation, please contact us and we can arrange it for you at very reasonable rates.
    • Please note the Taj Mahal is closed for visitors on Fridays. If making a booking outside of the provided dates, you will need to keep this in mind. Tours starting on a Monday and Sunday will be in Agra (Taj Mahal) on Fridays. 

      Inclusions:

      • 14 nights' accommodation (includes one nights' accommodation aboard the overnight train)
      • Daily breakfast, 4 lunches and 5 dinners included (total of 23 meals). 
      • 2 x domestic flights: One from Khajuraho to Varanasi and the other from Varanasi to Delhi. 
        • Please note: The luggage limit for checked in baggage for many domestic flights in India is 15kg. For carry on it is 7kg. Some flights allow more but you cannot depend on this. If your luggage exceeds the allowed rate then you are responsible for paying any excess charges. Again these vary, but start at around AUD5 per kg and are sometimes more for longer flights.
      • 1 x overnight train, First Class AC Sleeper from Agra to Jabalpur. 
      • Chauffer Driver air-conditioned car.
      • All airport transfers – a representative will be there to meet you on arrival and get you to the airport on time for your departure.
      • Assistance at airports, railway stations and all major cities.
      • Porterage at airport and railway station. 
      • English speaking guide for sightseeing as mentioned in the itinerary (in each location you will have a different guide).
      • Entrance fees to the monuments and parks as mentioned in the itinerary.
      • Elephant ride in Amber Fort.
      • Walking tour in Delhi. 
      • 3 x exclusive Jeep Safaris in Kanha National Park.
      • 3 x exclusive jeep safaris in Bandhavgarh National Park. 
      • Rickshaw ride in Varanasi
      • Bottled mineral water during journeys and transfers. 
      • A hamper with snacks, soft drinks and sweets. 
      • A local cell phone with a pre-charge of INR 1000 for use during the trip (per couple or single traveller) and to be returned prior to departure. 

        Exclusions:

        • International airfares to and from India (we can provide you with a quote for these).
        • Meals not outlined in the itinerary.
        • Drinks for all meals.
        • Camera fee wherever levied. 
        • Any visa fee.
        • Travel insurance.
        • Any additional taxes levied by the Government of India on the tourism sector in future will be payable by the guest.
        • Any sudden increase in the entrance fee. The price is based on the presently applicable fee. 
        • Cost incidental to any change in the itinerary/ stay on account of flight cancellation due to bad weather, ill health, roadblocks and/or any factors beyond control.
        • Tips and gratuities.
        • Personal expenses such as telephone, laundry etc.
        • Others not indicated in the inclusions.

          General Terms & Conditions:

          • Your contract with Travelbay commences upon us providing you with a booking confirmation (not upon payment).
          • By purchasing this tour you confirm that you have read, understood and agree to these terms and conditions.
          • All prices we list are in AUD unless otherwise stated and include GST where payable.
          • This package, including any unused portion, cannot be exchanged for other services or cash.
          • Some accommodation providers may require that you present a credit card or cash deposit upon check-in to cover any additional expenses that may be incurred during your stay, for example mini-bar. You are responsible for the payment of any such additional expenses.
          • Please check baggage allowance prior to travel. The allowance may vary according to the destination, airline, cruise or coach operator. You are responsible for any excess baggage fees.
          • Travelbay recommends travel insurance. We would be pleased to provide you with a quote and support you in your insurance needs. Please click here or contact us on 1800 020 020.
          • It is your responsibility to ensure you have a valid visa, if required. Please click here for more information on visa requirements.
          • Passport and visa regulations can change and it is your responsibility to ensure that you possess the relevant travel documents before you travel. Delays can be experienced in obtaining a passport or visa, so you are advised to apply in plenty of time. We accept no responsibility in any regard in relation to customers who are denied entry to a country because they do not possess the correct travel documents.
          • It is also your responsibility to ensure that you hold a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond your date of return. If you hold multiple passports, you may be required to present your passport of residence on departing that country. If you hold a passport for a country to which you are travelling, you may be obliged to produce that passport on entering the country. Accordingly, you could be obliged to carry more than one passport when travelling overseas. You should make your own enquiries in relation to your specific circumstances and requirements.
          • It is your responsibility to ensure that all your details are recorded correctly. Any request for a name change after documents have been issued may incur amendment fees or result in the original booking being cancelled and in the case of airlines, the loss of a seat.
          • When purchasing flights, cruises and other carriage and travel services, the name on the passport must match the name on the ticket otherwise you may not be able to travel and insurance may be invalid. If, after purchasing products or services but before traveling, any member of your party changes their name you must notify the relevant carrier, or us, immediately so that the necessary changes can be made to your documentation. You may incur a fee.
          • Travelbay recommends you check with your doctor as to any immunisations that you may require or that are recommended for your travels.  Alternatively, you can visit The Travel Doctor or Travelvax for more information. For those of you who have any medical conditions please also ensure you are fit to travel and have all the medication you need with you. Recommended inoculations for travel may change and you should consult your doctor for current recommendations before you depart. It is your responsibility to ensure that you meet all health entry requirements, obtain recommended inoculations, take all recommended medication, and follow all medical advice in relation to your trip.
          • Many but not all suppliers have facilities for people who require assistance. If you have any disabilities or require special assistance, please let us know at the time of booking so we can check if suitable services are available.
          • It is your responsibility to review travel prohibitions, warnings, announcements and advisories issued by the relevant government agencies prior to booking travel or departing to international destinations. For Australian travellers, information on conditions in various countries and the level of risk associated with travel to particular international destinations can be found on the Australian Government's travel advisory and consular assistance service website currently located at http://www.smarttraveller.gov.au. For travellers from other countries we recommend you check the travel recommendations of your country.
          • By offering reservations for travel-related products or services in relation to particular international destinations, Travelbay does not represent or warrant that travel to such points is advisable or without risk, and Travelbay is not liable for damages or losses that may result from travel to such destinations.
          • Travelbay sells tours on behalf of other Suppliers/Tour Operators. We rely on the relevant third party suppliers. Travelbay and the airlines, hotels and other Suppliers providing Services made available on or through this Website are independent parties and are not related parties. To the fullest extent permitted by law, Travelbay is not liable for the acts, errors, omissions, representations, warranties, breaches or negligence of any such Suppliers or for any personal injuries, death, property damage, or other damages or expenses resulting therefrom.
          • Whilst we take great care to provide clear and accurate information, there may be occasions where there are inaccuracies or errors. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Travelbay does not guarantee the accuracy of, and disclaims liability for, any errors or other inaccuracies relating to the information, descriptions and activities displayed on this website and in our promotional material.
          • All accommodation and hotels are subject to change. If the stated hotel is not available a hotel of a similar standard and location will be booked.
          • Hotel ratings displayed on this Website and in our promotional material are intended only as general guidelines, and Travelbay does not guarantee the accuracy of the ratings. Hotel room images are representative only and the actual room occupied may vary in inclusions and décor.
          • In some circumstances, some specific products or services as contained on this website and promotional material may not be available due to circumstance beyond our control. In that situation, we will do our best to provide replacement products and / or services of a comparable nature and quality. Travelbay and our respective Suppliers make no guarantees about the availability of specific products and services.
          • Subject to relevant laws, if Travelbay merges, sells or otherwise changes control of our business or this Website, we reserve the right, without giving notice or seeking consent, to transfer or assign your Personal Information, content and rights that we have collected from you and any agreements we have made with you.
          • Travelbay reserves all intellectual property rights, including but not limited to, copyright in material and/or services provided by us.

          If you have any questions please email us 24/7 or call us Monday to Friday on 1800 020 020 to speak with one of our friendly team.

          For more dates please contact us

          13 January 2018

          20 January 2018

          27 January 2018

          3 February 2018

          10 February 2018

          17 February 2018

          24 February 2018

          3 March 2018

          10 March 2018

          17 March 2018

          24 March 2018

          31 March 2018

          7 April 2018

          14 April 2018