India Encompassed: Northern discovery and Southern adventure - Novoto

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Overview

Catch the majestic Taj Mahal, explore Mumbai’s Manhattan – Colaba and Fort, relax on the beaches of Marari, and be awestruck by Hampi’s landscape. This 30-day adventure takes you through the must-see destinations in the North to off-beat destinations in the South. Added with activities such as volunteering at an animal shelter, learning how to make Chicken Chettinad, and staying in family-run homestays in Hampi, this tour offers you a complete package to uncover India while supporting your host communities.

Who's Leading The Tour?

Abhishek, Tour Leader

Aniket, Founder

Trip Highlights

Old Delhi tour with food and Visit to an NGO
A guided tour of The Taj Mahal
Uncover the ancient ruins of Hampi
Learn how to make Veg Thali and Chicken Chettinad
Witness an authentic Rajasthani and Keralite folk dance

What’s Included?

Accommodation : 26 night (3 overnight train)

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Attraction & experiences: 45 included

Tour leader, 24X7 backup and pre-departure support

Meals - 29 breakfasts, 6 lunches & 8 dinners

All domestic transport and transfer

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Exclusions

  • 30 days,18 stops
  • Is this for you?
  • Max group size: 12
  • Difficulty Level: Light
  • Age Requirement: Designed for 18-35s

Where does your money go?

Read More..

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Delhi

Namastay!

Feeling pumped up, right? On arrival at the Delhi airport, you’ll be taken to your accommodation. After the Meet Your Crew Session where you’ll meet your new gang and your tour leader, head to Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, a Sikh shrine. This will be followed by a Crew Bonding Night Out where we will hit various bars, including a stopover at the India Gate.

What’s included
  • Transfer from Airport
  • Meet Your Crew Session
  • Bangla Sahib Gurudwara and India Gate visit
  • Crew Bonding Night Out
  • Dinner
  • Twin Accommodation: The Hosteller
Impact inclusions

Sikhism is a religion that is all about giving. Meet the volunteers who feed thousands of people every day!!

Day 2: Delhi

Champions!

Let’s kickstart this day with a guided tour of Old Delhi. This will be fuelled by some delicious food from the ancient alleyways to bless your bellies for lunch. You will also be indulging in Your Responsible Activity at Salaam Baalak Trust, an NGO that is championing the art of transforming the lives of former street kids. The rest of the day is free for you to explore at your own pace with your gang!

What’s included
  • Old Delhi tour with food
  • Your Responsible Activity: Salaam Baalak Trust visit
  • Breakfast & Lunch
  • Twin Accommodation: The Hosteller
Impact inclusions

Engage in a discussion with Salaam Baalak Trust and learn how they are transforming the lives of thousands of street kids!

Day 3: Agra

Off the bucket list!

You’ll wake early for your train to Agra, all set to tick something off your bucket list! Catch the greatest tribute to love, the Taj Mahal on a guided tour. You will get free time to grab lunch as we continue exploring the secrets of the Old City of Agra, including Agra Fort. In the evening, you will visit the Sheroes Cafe, a joint run by acid attack survivors.

What’s included
  • Taj Mahal & Agra Fort guided tour
  • Agra old city walk
  • Breakfast
  • Twin Accommodation: Village Homestay
Impact inclusions

Meet the brave women who’ve survived some hard blows to their appearances and self-esteem.

Day 4: Ranthambore

Into the wild!

After bidding farewell to Agra, catch an early train to Ranthambore National Park, one of the biggest in India. After your arrival, have some delicious lunch prepared by the locals. Later, make your way to Dhonk Craft Centre, a cooperative that supports the local community. After that, visit the Ranthambore Fort. Feel the tranquillity of nature and end the day with a scrumptious group dinner set against a backdrop.

What’s included
  • Dhonk and Ranthambore Fort visit
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Twin Accommodation: Shergargh
Impact inclusions

Visit Dhonk Craft Centre, a cooperative empowering the locals with skills in handicraft and artistry!

Day5:Ranthambore/Jaipur

Safari time!

Wake up early for sunrise and a safari adventure as we try to spot the magnificent Royal Bengal Tiger, as they should be seen – in the wild. Safari trucks will pick you up from your accommodation before we head out into the forest for some diverse wildlife watching. After your safari, head back to your accommodation for breakfast before boarding your train to Jaipur. On arrival, check into your hotel and enjoy your leisure time while grabbing some lunch. The rest of the day is free for you to explore the local bazaars.

What’s included
  • Ranthambhore National Park Safari
  • Breakfast
  • Twin Accommodation: Rawla Mringiyani Palace

Day 6: Jaipur

A city so pink!

Today, you will head for the Jaipur orientation walk which will include the enclosures of the royal family at the City Palace, Hawa Mahal, Jal Mahal, and one of the finest forts in India, Amer Fort. Hear stories about this city which for centuries have been home to the Rajputana. You will have most of the day to explore the city at your own pace and explore Jaipur’s mouth-watering delicacies.

What’s included
  • Pink City orientation walk
  • Amer Fort guided tour
  • Breakfast
  • Twin Accommodation: Rawla Mringiyani Palace

Day 7: Pushkar

Oasis in the desert!

Today you will make your way to Pushkar. What makes it unique is that it is the only place on the planet that has a temple dedicated to Brahma, the creator god of Hinduism. On arrival, check into your accommodation and then head for an orientation walk of the city. The rest of your day is for you to Explore With Your Crew in the historical town with its vibrant markets and bazaars at your own pace.

What’s included
  • Pushkar orientation walk
  • Explore With Your Crew
  • Breakfast
  • Twin Accommodation: Shaanu’s Raanch
Impact inclusions

Stroll through the bazaars and support the local entrepreneurs by doing some shopping for your loved ones back home!

Day 8:Pushkar

Let’s roam the Countryside!

This morning, hike up the Savitri Temple for a stunning view of the sunrise. In the afternoon, you will have Your Rural Experience with the local guide Himanshu and his family. When he was 12, he gave up his education to support his 4 sisters as his father passed away. At 16, he still supports his family by driving a tuk-tuk. Have a delicious lunch prepared by his family and engage yourself in a rich cultural exchange.

What’s included
  • Savitri Temple hikeM/li>
  • Your Rural Experience: Pushkar Village TourM/li>
  • Breakfast & LunchM/li>
  • Twin Accommodation: Shaanu’s RanchM/li>
Impact Inclusions

Visit Himanshu and his family and take part in a cultural immersion where you will learn about village life in India

Day 9: Udaipur

Venice of the East

Today, after breakfast, you will board your train to Udaipur, the Venice of the East. On arrival, check into a family run homestay for Your Authentic Stay. We will then head for an orientation walk around town followed by a boat ride at Lake Pichola. In the evening, witness a mesmerising Rajasthani cultural show at Bagore Ki Haveli.

What’s included
  • Your Authentic Stay
  • Udaipur orientation walk
  • Lake Pichola boat ride
  • Bagore Ki Haveli cultural show
  • Breakfast
  • Twin Accommodation: Jagat Villa Guest House
Impact inclusions

Authentic stay with a local family and support a local family run business!

Day 10: Udaipur

Making the perfect Indian Roti!

Today explore Udaipur with stops at City Palace, Monsoon Palace, and Saheliyon Ki Bari. In the afternoon, you can opt to visit an animal sanctuary. Although most of you will have minimal to no experience in animal care, the sanctuary welcomes people to help them with their daily chores. In the evening, participate in an authentic cooking class provided by your host.

What’s included
  • Animal shelter visit
  • Indian Cooking class
  • Breakfast & Dinner
  • Twin Accommodation: Jagat Villa Guest House
Impact inclusions

Learn how to make various Indian dishes such as roti, sabzi, and daal taught by the most amazing host.

Day 11: Mumbai

The city that never sleeps!

Today after a quick flight, you will be arriving in Mumbai, home to Bollywood and the powerhouse of India’s rapid economic growth. On arrival, you will be transferred to your hostel. After a lot of guided activity, Explore With Your Crew and see if you can get your way around this bustling city. Not to mention, it’s the glam capital of India and there are plenty of clubs to hit with your gang. Time to groove!

What’s included
  • Explore With Your Crew
  • Breakfast
  • Dorm Accommodation: Hebbar’s Heritage

Day 12: Mumbai

Slumdog millionaires

Time to be filmy! Let’s explore this Bollywood city of dreams. Take on a cinematic tour of the city. Explore Fort and Colaba area, Mumbai’s Manhattan. Visit Dhobi Ghat, a popular open-air human laundry, an age-old Mumbai speciality. Enjoy Marathi cuisine for your lunch. Visit the famous slums but make sure you learn about the community and not make a spectacle out of poverty. In the evening, you will board an overnight train/coach to your last destination, Goa.

What’s included
  • Mumbai city guided tour with street food
  • Breakfast & Lunch
  • Overnight train to Goa
Impact Inclusions

Educative visit to the Dharavi slums where you will learn about the community in an ethical way

Day 13: Goa

Wave your worries away!

Welcome to Goa! Beaches. Trance parties. Hippies. But, this place is so much more than that! On arrival, you will be transferred to your accommodation. Run to the beach and let the waves from the Arabian Sea do their magic. This day is free for you to Explore With Your Crew so take it as it comes. Don’t miss out on the awesome calamaris and soothing cocktails!

What’s included
  • Explore With Your Crew
  • Breakfast
  • Twin Accommodation: Queen of Queen’s Calangute

Day 14: Goa

Down the Memory Lane

In the morning, head for the Your Impact event that marks the halfway point of the tour. These past 14 days, you saw a lot. You experienced a lot. Do you feel that you made a difference? Did you leave a mark? Share your experience with us. We would love to hear any ideas and suggestions you think will help us. In the evening, we will head for crab fishing with local fishermen. Guess what’s cooking?

What’s included
  • Your Impact Event
  • Crab fishing experience
  • Breakfast & Dinner
  • Twin Accommodation: Queen of Queen’s Calangute
Impact inclusions

Visit local fishermen cove and participate in a crab fishing activity in which the money goes to the local community

Day 15: Goa/Kochi

Goa/Kochi

Today you bid adieu to the North and start the second leg of your journey! You have the entire day free to Explore With Your Crew. More beach time? Cannot say ‘No’ can you? In the evening, board your train to Kochi as you enter Southern India, the home to offbeat experiences and fascinating cultures.

What’s included
  • Explore With Your Crew
  • Breakfast
  • Train to Kochi

Day 16: Arrive Kochi

Namaste!

Ready to kick start this adventure? Heck Yes! After landing at Cochin International Airport, meet your team and tour leader and go to the hotel. Get ready for the Meet Your Crew Session where you will meet the rest of the crew. Later on, hit the town with your new gang for your Crew Bonding Night Out! Right from the fisherman’s cove to Jew town, let’s get it started!

What’s included
  • Transfer from Airport
  • Meet Your Crew Session
  • Kochi Jew Town walk with street food
  • Crew Bonding Night Out
  • Dinner
  • Twin Accommodation: Bastian Homestay
Impact inclusions

Get introduced to the culture of South India in an interactive group session hosted by your tour leader!

Day 17: Cheruthuruthy

Meet local artists!

Let’s kickstart this day already!Head to Cheruthuruthy where you will meet different craftsmen and artists who live on the banks of the river Nila, especially the famous potter Gopalan. You will attend a musical trial show and visit a women’s cooperative to interact with them in order to learn about women’s cooperative movement. The evening is dedicated to independent activities with your crew!

What’s included
  • Visit mat weaving unit and local potters
  • Musical Trail show
  • Breakfast
  • Twin Accommodation: River Retreat
Impact inclusions

Visit local potters and women’s cooperatives to learn about local trades and social
movements in Kerala!

Day 18: Cranganore

Resilience!

After a hearty breakfast, let’s drive towards Cranganore. Today, let’s get inspired by a unique community-based initiative by the local farmers, who are protecting the Pokkali rice from extinction for Your Responsible Activity. Later, visit the Muziris to check out the Jewish Synagogue and Cheraman mosque. Later, head to your home for the next two days, the white sand beaches of Marari!

What’s included
  • Your Responsible Activity: Pokkali
  • Cranganore orientation walk
  • Breakfast and Lunch
  • Twin Accommodation: Sea Scape
Impact inclusions

Attend an insightful activity to learn how farmers are trying to protect their traditional livelihood

Day 19: Marari

Get Beachy!

Cleanse your soul sipping on some margaritas and taking in that Vitamin SEA. Today, you are free to explore whatever you want. This beautiful town of Marari, unlike other beaches in Kerala, is untamed. So, hit the Arabian Sea, and soak in the cool breeze. Go click some pictures and create some trendy reels. It’s time to Explore With Your Crew and wash off all your worries by having a good time!

  • Explore With Your Crew
  • Breakfast
  • Twin Accommodation: Sea Scape

Day 20: Alleppey

Calm Backwaters!

Heard of world-famous Kerela Backwaters? Go on an authentic village tour in Alleppey. Learn about this amazing community, drift through the picturesque paddy fields, and form memories. Enjoy Your Rural Experience while canyoning in the mesmerising backwaters. This will be topped off with lunch prepared by a local family which is a great opportunity to interact with locals and engage in a cultural exchange. Return to Marari and spend the night there.

What’s included
  • Your Rural Experience: Alleppey backwaters excursion
  • Overnight in Marari
  • Breakfast & Lunch
  • Twin Accommodation: Sea Scape
Impact inclusions

Explore the backwaters of Alleppey and interact with local families to learn about the village way of life

Day 21: Thekkady

God’s Own Country

TIme to hit the lush town of Thekkady. On the way, you will visit a spice plantation to learn about the exotic spices grown in this region. After checking in your accommodation, freshen up. In the evening, watch the two powerful Keralite performances – Kathakali, an age-old traditional Keralite dance form, and Kalaripayattu, an ancient martial arts form originating in this state.

What’s included
  • Visit spice plantation
  • Kalaripayattu martial arts show
  • Kathakali cultural dance performance
  • Breakfast
  • Twin Accommodation: Stay Melody
Impact inclusions

Brace yourself for two power-packed performances that take you back in time to give you an insight into Kerala’s traditions!

Day 22: Thekkady

Safari on foot!

Today, you will go deep into the Periyar Tiger Reserve for an adventurous trek through the forest. Spot beautiful creatures like elephants, deers, monkeys, and a wide variety of birds. You’d probably be lucky to spot a tiger too! This will be followed by an exciting bamboo rafting in the Periyar lake. You are bound to be stunned by the rich flora and fauna in this tranquil setting.

What’s included
  • Periyar Tiger Reserve safari with Bamboo Rafting
  • Breakfast
  • Twin Accommodation: Stay Melody
Impact inclusions

This wildlife safari offers a unique proposition to support locals who work in the reserve. Many of them are ex-poachers who have taken a u-turn and are now protecting this habitat.

Day 23: Madurai

Light up your soul!

Today, we leave Kerala for Tamil Nadu. After having a delicious breakfast, travel down to Madurai by private vehicle. Upon reaching the hotel, unpack and relax. In the evening, you will go on a lip smacking food trail, starting from the very famous South Indian restaurant- Amma’s Mess. Later, if you wish to, you can witness a night procession in Madurai’s Meenakshi Temple which is sure to light up your soul!

What’s included
  • Madurai street food walk
  • Breakfast & Dinner
  • Twin Accommodation: Royal Homestay
Impact Inclusions

Witness the Hindu procession in Meenakshi Temple. It is a first-hand experience for you to understand the traditions!

Day 24: Madurai/Kumbakonam

Through Ancient Architecture!

A long day! After breakfast, you will go for a heritage walk through Temple Town. Explore the innermost areas of this historic city on foot, including the iconic Thirumalai Nayakar Palace and stone sculptures in addition to the bustling tailors, banana, flower, and vegetable markets. Later in the afternoon, you will make your way to Kumbakonam and spend the night there.

What’s included
  • Temple town guided tour
  • Breakfast
  • Twin Accommodation: Shivamurugan
Impact inclusions

Explore the bazaars of Madurai which have been there for centuries and get exposed to the local lifestyle!

Day 25: Kumbakonam/Pondicherry

What’s 'Vedic'?

Today, visit the legendary Raja Veda Kavya Patasala, which has produced renowned scholars and pundits since its establishment in 1542. Get to learn about ancient Vedic studies. Later, visit the Ramamohan’s house for the Kalamkari workshop, an ancient art form that has been passed on from generation to generation. Later, make your way to the former colonial coastal town of Pondicherry.

What’s included
  • Kumbakonam classical trail
  • Breakfast
  • Dorm Accommodation: Gurukulam Hostel
Impact inclusions

Experience cultural exposure through an art form and an education system that are very unique to South India and its heritage!

Day 26: Pondicherry

Gotta appreciate the French!

Today, you will go on a morning heritage walk through the French Quarter. Admire the architecture, serenity, and the clear contrast in surroundings and get all the French feels! Later, go on the Tamil Town trail, both on foot and on rickshaws. The Tamil side of town is busy and colourful, with Hindus, Muslims, and Christians living here. You will walk through the local bazaar to witness daily life and take a rickshaw ride to see residential areas.

What’s included
  • French Quarter and Tamil Town trail
  • Breakfast
  • Dorm Accommodation: Gurukulam Hostel
Impact Inclusions

Witness the clear contrast in culture and traditions, between the French Quarter and the Tamil town. India is truly diverse!

Day 27: Pondicherry/Hampi

Finally an overnight train

This morning it’s time to Explore With Your Crew. Pondicherry has a lot to offer including the world-famous Auroville – a universal city in the making dedicated to human unity. Following this, you make your way to Chennai. On the way, you have an option to visit Mahabalipuram which is known for its unique temples. In the evening, catch an overnight train to Hampi with your crew.

What’s included
  • Explore With Your Crew
  • Breakfast and Dinner
  • Overnight Train to Hampi
Impact Inclusions

You do not want to miss experiencing the famous sleeper train in India!

Day 28: Hampi

Soaking in the landscape!

On arrival, you’ll be taken to Your Authentic Stay in Anegundi village. Enjoy a delicious breakfast prepared by your host Meenaxi – the best chef in Hampi. Later on, go on a tour around the village by Murli, Hampi’s famous guide, to get an insight into this community that has been there since the time of the Vijayanagara Empire. Later, do some coracle rafting in the Tungabhadra river. Sounds fun?

What’s included
    • Your Authentic Stay
    • Anegundi Orientation walk
    • Tungabhadra Coracle ride
    • Breakfast
    • Twin Accommodation: Meenaxi Sarovar
    Impact inclusions

    The village orientation tour is meant for you to learn about this community. Legends say that the residents here are direct descendants of the Vijayanagara Empire.

Day 29: Hampi

Don't want this to end!

Being your last day, you will take part in the Your Impact Event which is an interactive closure session at the village library to discuss the trip. Exchange ideas, provide insight and let us know how we can make an even greater impact. The rest of the day is free for you to Explore With Your Crew. In the evening, get ready for your End With A Bang Night to party it out!

What’s included
  • Your Impact Event
  • Explore With Your Crew
  • End With A Bang Night
  • Breakfast & Dinner
  • win Accommodation: Meenaxi Sarovar

Day 30: Departure

Goodbye 🙁

The last 30 days have been a roller coaster! You will have experienced Indian culture, relished the food, conversed with locals, made a lasting impact on local businesses, and have a lifetime of memories to take back! However, just like all good things, this too has to come to an end. Bidding goodbye to the new experiences and getting back home. Ugh. Your friends and family will be waiting for you, undoubtedly jealous of your adventure!

NOTE: Ensure to book your flights for later this day or the next from the nearest airports, i.e Bangalore/Hyderabad. And in case you choose to spend a few extra days in this beautifully cultural country, let us know in advance.

Impact

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null Enabling to make sustainable travel a regular practice

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Supporting local businesses dependent on tourism

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Promoting the exchange of culture, languages, ideas via conversation with locals

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Catering to your personal growth through travel

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Supporting rural communities through your experiences

Orientation and Support

Be in touch 24x7

For any problems, we are available via our helpline number and social media

Friendly Staff

Our staff is very friendly, and are there to make your experience comfortable!

Authentic Service providers

We partner up with local accommodations and activity providers

Get the right information

From booking your tour to the end of your trip and beyond, we will be here to support you in every step

Efficient Safety and health facilities

Travelling to a new country can be daunting but don’t worry cause your health is our priority

Cultural Exchange

Homestays instead of hotels

Authentic homestays make up a lot of your accommodations. Live the local way!

Interaction with local individuals

Nobody can provide you with an experience as authentic as the amicable locals. Through them, get to know a destination

Experienced personnel

Your tour guide and hosts are extremely experienced, having served travellers like you for a long time

Visiting off-beat destinations

Besides popular destinations like Delhi, Agra & Jaipur and you will explore offbeat destinations such as Hampi, Marari, and Cheruthuruthi!

Try Local food

Whether it is Rajasthani Laal Maas, Goan Fish curry, or Keralise veg thali; make sure that you try the local flavour. You’ve got travel experience, and so does your palate

Usual day during the Trip

Look forward to what the day has to offer. Enjoy the breakfast provided as per the itinerary at 8:30 AM. Freshen up, and get ready. By 9:30, join your fellow travelers for an exciting day. Get greeted by Novoto executives, as they take you sight-seeing as per the daily itinerary.

At noon, we make a stop for lunch and refreshments. After lunch, we continue with the sight-seeing with regards to the schedule. Enjoy your day as you come across well-known and new destinations. After 5 PM, the evening is kept free for a range of independent activities with fellow travellers. Occasionally, there shall be organised social events in the evening.

Finally, dinner is provided as per the itinerary. Later, rest and think about the fond memories created in India.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are flights included in my trip?

International flights booked for arrival/ departure have not been included in our travel fee. It must be purchased separately.
However, in case of any inquiries, you can contact us.

What do I do about the visa?

You will be required to obtain either an Indian E-Visa (you can check your eligibility here – https://www.visahq.co.uk/) or apply in person at your nearest Indian Embassy prior to your travels.

What are the extra costs that I should keep in mind?

The itinerary has been curated with the most observant prior due diligence. Any additional expenses individuals incurred during the tour are at their own discretion, such as any shopping and souvenirs they might wish to purchase, additional meals and activities not mentioned in the itinerary and of course, the booze.

What do I carry?

For a trip of 15 days, you would be better off by a light packing. Carry comfortable foot wears and light clothes. Make sure you carry the essentials- your passport, VISA, and Indian currency. Oh also, leave some room in your suitcases. You never know what you might like to buy here.

Is tipping included?

No, tipping has not been included in your travel plan. It’s up to you to decide the amount for the same. We totally respect your discretion.

Who are my travel companions?

We very much believe in privacy. Hence, we are sorry that we cannot reveal their names. However, we have a wide range of travellers from all over the world who you will meet on your first day.

How do I contact in case of an emergency?

No need to worry! We have our on-ground team for your assistance. Besides that, you can get in touch with us through our social media handles on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can call us directly on our helpline.

Can I join a trip late, or extend my stay?

As much as we would LOVE you to join us, it will be difficult for us to accommodate you in an already on-going trip. Good news? You are more than welcome to extend your stay, but the expenses for the same have to be taken by you.

Is there any minimum age requirement?

Although our trips are designed for 18-35s, we don’t believe in limiting it to them. So, as long as you’re 18+, feel free to be a part of the tours!

Does Novoto provide me a travel insurance?

Unfortunately, no. We leave that to your discretion to book travel insurance of your choice.

Will there be any showcase?

Definitely! Your entire experience would be well-documented in the form of videos, and also in other means as approved by the group.

What’s the weather like?

April to September is summer in India where temperatures are generally soaring around 40 C at most destinations in this tour. From October onwards the temperatures start going down averaging around 22 C during the day at most locations.

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Look Forward To One Hell Of An Adventure
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