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Itinerary: Daramshala- 3 Days Himalaya Trek- Rishikesh- Agra-Jodhpur- Cochin-Backwaters-Munnar-Marari
You are on a small budget, but organizing a trip to India and travelling alone overwhelms you? No problem! Every year in March and September Chalo! Travels organizes a three-week Backpacker-India-Trip you can join!
This trip includes almost everything India has to offer: trekking in the Himalayas, living in a yoga ashram on the holy Ganges, camel safari through the desert, cooking classes, visits of lively markets, houseboat tour on the backwaters, hike through tea and spices and finally a few relaxing days on the beach!
You will be received at Delhi airport by our experienced tour guide and for the first two weeks you will travel through northern India together in a group and your Guide. Your guide not only familiarizes you with Indian customs, but also gives you some insider tips about the people and culture of India. You will spend the last week in Kerala, southern India. During this Kerala round trip in a vehicle and with a driver you will visit the Westernghats with tea plantations, do a houseboat tour in the Backwaters, take a hike through the spice forests stroll through the small alleys of Fort Kochi and relaxe at a beach.
This journey is accompanied by Noor, Dikshika, Sarah or Yuvraj.
Day 1 Departure from your home country and arrival in Delhi
You will arrive independently from your home place. At the Delhi airport you will be welcomed and taken by transfer to the hotel. Mostly the arrival time of international flights is late at night or early in the morning of the next day.
Day 2 Delhi Sightseeing and bus ride to Mcleod Ganj/Daramshala (overnight, 10 hours)
We spend the day in Delhi and visit Old and New Delhi by foot, metro and rickshaw. In the evening we set off on the first night bus ride to the Himalayas.
Day 3 Day in Tibetan-influenced Mcleod Ganj
Mcleod Ganj is not only a mountain resort at 1800 m in the middle of the Indian Himalayas, but also home to many exiled Tibetans, including the Dalai Lama. After the bus ride we will have breakfast on a roof terrace and then visit the small town, including the Dalai Lama temple and Tibetan museum and the small villages around.
Day 4 Start of the Three Day Trek
Please note: We have many options for our Three Days Trek and according to the abilities and wishes of the group members, as well as the weather conditions, we can also opt for an easier trek.
1st Trekking Day: Mcleod Ganj to Kareri Village (1800 m)
Today begins our three-day tent trek. Our first five-hour leg takes us through pine forests and small villages to our idyllic camp on a bubbling river near the traditional village of Kareri. With yoga, cooking together and a camp fire, the day will end.
Day 5 2nd Trekking Day: Kareri Village-Kareri Lake (3000 m)-Kareri Village
Today takes us up at 3000 m to the holy Kareri Lake, which is surrounded by snow-capped peaks. Since we also have to go down to the camp again, this day will be a bit more intense and we will start early. Of course you can also just enjoy at the Camp today and visit the near by village.
Day 6 3rd Trekking Day Kareri Village over the village of Bahl to Mcleod Ganj
Today we go back to Mcleod Ganj, this time we take the tranquil route over small mountain villages. We move into our rooms and look forward to a warm shower.
Day 7 Free time in Mcleod Ganj and evening bus ride to Rishikesh (10 hours overnight)
After the intensive three-day trek, we treat ourselves with a break. Mcleod Ganj invites you to shop, to Paragliding, to do yoga and meditation and much more.
Who likes can participate together with the tour guide in the morning Tibetan meditation. In the evening we take the night bus to Rishikesh.
Day 8 Arrival in Rishikesh and participation in the ashram everyday life
We reach in the early morning the holy place Rishikesh- located at the holy Ganges, where holy river leaves the Himalayas. We will live for 3 days in a yoga ashram and participate in the regular everyday life with yoga hours, healthy meals and ashram program.
Note: When the Guru himself is at the Ashram, the Ashram attracts lots of visitors. Sometimes the Ashram is booked out. In this case we will book rooms in a near by hotel and participate in the activities with the Ashram pass.
Day 9 Rishikesh Yoga Ashram and Rafting on the Ganges
Today we will take part in a small rafting tour on the Ganges. In the evening, the fire ceremony at the Ganges can be attended together.
Day 10 Rishikesh and in the evening bus ride to Agra
The last day in Rishikesh can be used independently – Maybe with a trip to the former Beatle Ashram or for a full-body massage? Of course there will be Yoga and Meditation classes as well as three healthy meals offered in the Ashram. In the evening we go for another night bus ride to Agra.
Day 11 In the morning arrival in Agra, visit the Taj Mahal and train to Jodhpur
The day in Agra is of course meant to visit to the Taj Mahal. You reach Agra in the early morning and you can freshen up yourself and have breakfast in your day rooms at the hotel. Then we go to the Taj Mahal. Until the train ride in the evening we visit the Taj Mahal and take a two-hour bike tour through the rural surroundings of Agras. Then we take our first trip by Indian train. (Note: In India, trains are sometimes sold out quickly. If this is the case, we will take a sleeper bus.)
Day 12 Jodhpur: Exploring the Blue City
Upon arrival in Jodhpur, we check in our accommodation. Jodhpur is a rampant Rajasthan town with a lively market and a spectacular fort. We do a small city walk. In the evening, a traditional cooking class at Rishi and Rekha`s home awaits us.
Day 13 Camel Safari with overnight stay in the open at a farmer’s family place
In the morning it is recommended to visit the mighty Mehranghar Fort. Around noon we drive to the desert town Osian and visit the famous Satia Mata temple.
Then we start the camel safari through the Rajasthan desert – The Tharr desert is one of the largest desserts in the world, but might be slightly different from what you are expecting. besides sand dunes, there will be also lot of thorny bushes and even farmer`s fields. We reach the farm of the Indian family for sunset. Here the traditional beds “Palang” are arranged for us outside and a traditional dinner is served. Traditionally Rajasthani people in the rural areas sleep in the open.
Day 14 Back to Jodhpur and Zipplining
Another short ride back from the farmhouse, then we go back to Jodhpur.
Today we have a fun Zippline Tour over the blue city of Jodhpur ahead of us.
Day 15 Bicycle Sightseeing Tour and Train to Delhi
If you feel like, you can participate in a guided bike tour through Jodhpur in the early morning. Otherwise, you can stroll through Jodhpur’s markets and take a miniature painting course. Miniature painting is the traditional painting art of Rajasthan. In the evening it goes back by overnight train to Delhi.
Day 16 Flight to Cochin, Kerala
Today it goes from the train to the plane. You say goodbye to your tour guide and then you travel far down to South India, for the second part of your journey. At the airport in Cochin you will be picked up.Take some rest in your homestay.
Day 17 Fort Kochi Sightseeing by Tuktuk
Today you will explore the Portuguese-influenced island of Fort Kochi by tuktuk and Guide. Visit the Jewish synagogue and old churches, watch the fishing with the Chinese fishing nets and stroll through the small alleys of the city.
Day 18 Drive to Munnar
A five-hour drive in the car takes you up to 1600 meters into the Westernghats to Munnar. On the way stop at a Spice Garden. Here, in the middle of the tea plantations, the temperatures are pleasantly cool. Visit the tea museum, the local market and if you feel like it, it’s worth watching a demonstration in the traditional martial arts in the evening.
Day 19 Day hike in Munnar through the tea and spice plantations
Today you take a guided hike through the tea and spice plantations of Munnar – enjoy the great views and learns more about the tea production and spice sophistication from your guide. Breakfast and lunch are served on the way.
Day 20 Drive to Mararikulum Beach
Your driver will take you to the beach on Kerala’s coast. Here you can just enjoy the beach life or engage with the local Fishermen families. Your host offers also Yoga classes and workshops in the traditional martial art Karali or can organize a trip with the fishermen.
Day 21 Beach Day in Marari
Enjoy a day at the beach or take a trip to nearby Allepey.
Day 22 Excursion to the Backwaters and Kayak Tour
Explore the channel system of the backwaters by Kayak. En route enjoy a traditional Kerala meal.
Day 23 Flight from Cochin
You will be taken to the airport (2 hours transfer). Journey back home
- All accommodations in a shared double room
- Trek: All meals/Ashram: All meals/Camel Safari: Breakfast and Dinner, Kerala Tour: always breakfast, Munnar breakfast and dinner, Mararikulum all Meals
- English-speaking tour guide during the first 14 days with intensive preparation for the subsequent trip
- all Airport Transfers
- All transports by bus and train (Delhi-Mcleod Ganj, McLeod Ganj-Rishikesh, Rishikesh-Agra, Agra-Jodhpur, Jodhpur-Delhi)
- Flight Delhi-Cochin
- Private car with driver: Cochin-Munnar-Mararikulum
- Kayaktour with Lunch Backwaters
- Day hike in Munnar with lunch
- Spice Garden Visit
- Tea Mueum Visit
- Sightseeing Tour in Delhi
- Camel safari in Rajasthan with dinner and breakfast
- Zipline in Jodhpur
- Bicycle sightseeing tour in Jodhpur or painting course of your choice
- Cooking class in Jodhpur
- Bicycle Tour in Agra
- Rafting in Rishikesh
- Yoga Ashram with Meals and Yoga classes in Rishikesh
- 3 days trekking in Dharamshala with full board
International flight Visa Travel companion in Kerala Entrance fees (Beatle Ashram: 8 euros, Jodhpur Fort: 10 euros, Taj Mahal: 15 euros) Unmentioned meals and drinks Yoga and Kalari classes in Mararikulum Smaller rickshaw/taxi rides private expenditure
Prices and Dates
Fixed group date with guaranteed execution:
4-16 participants 1350 € per person
Single supplement: 350 €
This tour is also possible as a private trip any time.
An intense trip in which India is experienced with all its facets and quite authentic. You will be traveling in a small group with your backpacks, enjoy many fun activities, stay in budget accommodation and take mostly overnight buses and trains to commute. For the first 2 weeks, you will have an experienced guide for the Northern India part available. After that, you travel Kerala in a Vehicle with a private driver. India can pose many challenges, but those who master them will have a very special travel experience.
This trip is an organized group trip in which the participants will travel independently in the group after 2 guided weeks. Within these 2 weeks, the participants are intensively prepared for the subsequent trip by a tour guide. All accommodation, transport and activities are organized for the entire trip. During the last week of your trip you will travel in the group in a vehicle and driver, but not with a tour guide. However, our drivers are also very knowledgeable and speak little English. they will assist you as well as they can. For the guided trek and houseboats tour there will be an English-speaking guide with you.
It is best to enter with the electronic tourist visa. You can easily apply for it in advance of the trip online!
Backpacker Trip 2020
Dear Sarah, The adventure of travelling through India as a backpacker at an age of over 55 years was fulfilled. I did not dare to do it alone, and it would not have been possible for me to find all departure points of the train and buses in the short time without a tour guide. I wanted to travel with all sorts of means of transport. Thank you Sarah for the good organization. I was surprised that the toilet on the train was so clean. It was great in Rishikesh and cold but magnificent in the mountains. Until then, Corona hadn't been an issue and we had experienced a lot. Our tour guide Dikshika was like a friend who knows so much and has everything under control and is very flexible. We had a lot of fun together. So I felt well taken care of without stress. First everything went according to plan, then the Corona pandemic came. You have always kept us informed about Corona. We had deliberately decided not to cancel after the first week. Our program has always been changed and adapted at lightning speed. That was a great performance. We could only visit the Taj Mahal from the outside. In this way we got to know the roofs of Agra and the Elephant Gate and the agriculture there. In Jodpur we could not visit the Fort anymore, but we could participate in the cooking course and experience how a market from one day to the next becomes deserted. The overnight stay in the desert was arranged as planned. After that, we had to say goodbye to Dikisha and at the same time the lockdown happened. In Kerala we were very well looked after by Anoop. Unfortunately, the excursions were no longer possible, but we could explore Fort Kochi with the narrow streets and be with the locals for whom the situation was also new. We had a look at the hospital and get to know the authorities. This situation was new to everyone. For the Indians and also for us. Everyone was very polite, considerate and helpful. Finally, we decided to donate the overpaid amount for the uncommitted excursions to the needy in India. That gives a good feeling and it was a successful backpacker trip 2020
Indien in all it's facets
The trip was a great wish of mine, combined with many expectations and a little scepticism. India can be traveled unplanned. It should already have hands and feet. My expectations were exceeded and my skepticism proved superfluous. The trip was so incredibly well planned, that I would like to book another trip via Sarah as soon as possible. Sarah gave in the first 5 days of the trip a kind of "introduction" after that one felt much more comfortable. She could also be reached by phone at any time afterward. The 23 days were so well matched that we could experience 2/3 of India in a very short time. India in all its facets. Our accommodations were only good to very good. At every place, we had a guide that took us to places and events. Looking back, I still can't believe I've experienced so much in 23 days. I don't know where to start talking about the trip. Booking a trip through Chalo Travels is definitely worthwhile and I will definitely do it again in a timely manner ♥ Thank you Sarah for your many additional tips and recommendations during our trip and especially for your ear regarding the many questions before the trip. I do miss India ♥