Wander Across India (2022)

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Nov. 07 — Nov. 21, 2022
15 days
12/12 spots booked
BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE: To reserve your spot on a tour, a $500 deposit will be required. However, you can book with complete peace of mind as this deposit will be 100% refundable for 60 days (or until 90 days before the tour, whichever comes first).
This is a one-of-a-kind trip personally led by Wandering Earl. Unlike any other destination on the planet, the mesmerizing land of India awaits!
Encounter such friendly people everywhere we go
Explore the city of Varanasi, the truly surreal spiritual capital of India
Take a tiger safari in the Ranthambore National Park
Visit remote villages that almost never see foreigners
Witness the grandeur of the impressive Bundi Palace and Fortress
Dive straight into the appealing flavors and aromas of Indian cuisine
Marvel at the Akshardham and Bangla Sahib temples in Delhi
Wander through colorful markets with shops that haven't changed for 100 years

Join me, Wandering Earl, for an eye-opening experience as we explore India’s deep traditions, history, religions, food and more together. With such staggering diversity in every direction, we’ll travel to large enigmatic cities, small magical towns and welcoming remote villages for authentic cultural exchanges with the people who call these places home.

How about some imposing fortresses and palaces, impressive religious sites, traditional villages, natural wonders and splendidly colorful and pulsing local markets?

How about a tiger safari in Ranthambore National Park, wandering along the fascinating ghats of Varanasi, spending an afternoon at the Taj Mahal, dining on home-cooked meals, visiting villages where no foreigners go and so much more?

As always, this trip will also be ready for the spontaneity that travel brings. There’s no telling what kind of experiences will come our way. Celebrations, weddings, festivals, concerts…there is always something happening in India.

With our local guides and my own expertise from years of traveling in this country, you will embark on such a unique trip, one that will undoubtedly be a constant learning experience and an overall unforgettable adventure!

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  • 1
    Nov 7New Delhi
    New Delhi
    Arrival day
    Included: Dinner
    Upon arrival, you will be transferred from the airport to our hotel by a private driver and I'll be there to greet you. The remainder of the day will be yours to rest and recover from jet lag and meet your fellow travelers. We'll then have a tour orientation in the evening followed by our welcome dinner.
  • 2
    Nov 8New Delhi
    New Delhi
    Full unique Delhi city tour, Chandni Chowk, Bangla Sahib Temple
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    The tour begins with a full morning tour at the bustling Chandni Chowk Market in Old Delhi. From hidden lanes and abandoned villas to markets selling elaborate wedding supplies, sweets, musical instruments and everything else you could imagine, this experience will immediately open your eyes to the wonders of India. After a unique local lunch in a 140-year old eatery, we'll head over to the gorgeous Bangla Sahib Sikh Temple, a holy shrine where we'll encounter Sikh pilgrims from around the country and a massive communal kitchen that serves up 5000 free meals per day. As evening rolls around, we'll head to one of Delhi's best restaurants for a group dinner.
  • 3
    Nov 9New Delhi » Agra
    New Delhi » Agra
    Agra, Taj Mahal, home-cooked dinner
    Included: Breakfast, Dinner
    Hopping into our van, we'll make the short 3 hour drive to Agra. Upon arrival, we'll check in to our family-run guesthouse and enjoy lunch as our rooms are prepared. In the afternoon, we'll meet our local guide and head to the one and only, Taj Mahal. After spending some time learning about the site with our guide, you'll have as much time as you wish, just as the light is at its best, to enjoy this wondrous place. From the manicured grounds and fountains to going inside the Mausoleum to soaking up views of the river and distant countryside, it's bound to be an impressive afternoon. We'll then have a home cooked dinner back at our guesthouse, prepared by our welcoming hosts.
  • 4
    Nov 10Agra » Ranthambore
    Agra » Ranthambore
    Journey to Ranthambore village
    Included: Breakfast, Dinner
    Leaving Agra after breakfast, our destination will be the quiet, countryside village of Ranthambore. The trip will take approximately 7 hours, including stops for lunch and at a mesmerizing stepwell in a remote village that almost nobody knew about until a few years ago. Once we reach Ranthambore in the evening, we’ll head straight to our peaceful accommodation and well-appointed rooms. Dinner will be served shortly after our arrival.
  • 5
    Nov 11Ranthambore
    Ranthambore
    Tiger safari in Ranthambore National Park, Dastkar collective, Ranthambore fortress
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Early this morning, we'll head straight into Ranthambore National Park for a two-hour tiger safari led by a professional guide and naturalist. Considered one of the best locations in India for tiger spotting, we’ll also be on the lookout for endless varieties of colorful birds and other wildlife. After lunch, you'll have a chance to visit a wonderful local women's collective that empowers women from remote villages in the region and to spend time wandering around the historical and expansive Ranthambore fortress perched above the jungle below. We'll then have a relaxing evening back at our lodge.
  • 6
    Nov 12Ranthambore » Bundi
    Ranthambore » Bundi
    Bundi palace and fortress, a magical blue town, best chai in India
    Included: Breakfast, Dinner
    After a quick two-and-a-half-hour drive, we'll arrive in Bundi, where we’ll get situated in our centrally-located heritage hotel. After lunch, we’ll walk up to the ruins of the grand Bundi Palace, towering over this magical blue town. Our walk will take us through narrow lanes, past ancient homes and mansions and bring us into contact with friendly families, shopkeepers and more. We'll also stop for a special chai demonstration with a local vendor who will serve up some of the most amazing masala tea on the planet. Our day will finish with dinner overlooking the palace and fortress high above this small, little-visited, yet picture perfect, town.
  • 7
    Nov 13Bundi
    Bundi
    Local villages, rural school visit, ancient stepwells
    Included: Breakfast
    Heading to a local, rural school in the morning, we’ll meet and interact with both teachers and children, giving everyone a chance for a rewarding cultural exchange in a village that generally sees no tourists at all. After lunch back in Bundi, we’ll visit some of the area's beautiful, ancient stepwells before some free time to wander the peaceful streets on your own or to relax at the hotel, with its sweeping views over the town.
  • 8
    Nov 14Bundi » Udaipur
    Bundi » Udaipur
    Scenic drive to Udaipur, orientation tour of India's romantic city
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Today we’ll drive approximately six hours to Udaipur across the vast plains of Rajasthan. We’ll pass the imposing fortress of Chittogarh, and stop to take in the vistas and eat lunch along the way. Once in Udaipur, we'll check into our hotel near the edge of stunning Lake Pichola. After a rest, we'll go for an afternoon wander to watch the sunset over the lake. We’ll have dinner on the roof of our hotel, with a stunning view over the water and of several sprawling palaces dotting the landscape. You'll quickly see why Udaipur is considered India's most romantic city.
  • 9
    Nov 15Udaipur
    Udaipur
    City Palace, Jagdish temple, old town
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    The day begins with a guided visit to the famous City Palace, one of the best preserved in the entire country, where we'll wander through the courtyards, audience halls, bedrooms, antique textile exhibitions and more. From here, we’ll stop by the city's most impressive Hindu temple with its carved tower depicting infinite gods and religious scenes. After our tour, you’ll have free time to explore the rest of the old town, partake in some shopping (this is a shopping mecca with a local style of painting, marble carving and textiles), enjoy an ayurvedic massage or visit one of the famous local tailors who can quickly create custom-made garments to your specifications. (Udaipur is the best place in India for excellent tailor-made clothes at very affordable prices.) We'll then all meet up in the evening for a fantastic meal along the waterfront.
  • 10
    Nov 16Udaipur
    Udaipur
    Animal Aid Unlimited, Royal Gardens, free time
    Included: Breakfast
    Today the animal lovers among us will hop into our vans for a short drive into the countryside to visit Animal Aid Unlimited, the groundbreaking organization caring for Udaipur's sick and injured animals. After a tour of the grounds, that includes interaction with the animals, we’ll stop by the beautiful Saheliyon ki Badi Royal Gardens that was designed specifically for the royal ladies of this prestigious city. Later in the day there will be an optional cooking class scheduled with a local family for those who wish to learn about the ingredients and cooking styles required to create India’s vast and complex cuisine.
  • 11
    Nov 17Udaipur » Varanasi
    Udaipur » Varanasi
    Flight to Varanasi, introduction to India's spiritual capital
    Included: Breakfast, Dinner
    Departing Udaipur, we'll take a flight across northern India to the city of Varanasi. From the airport, it will be a 1 hour ride to Varanasi where we'll settle in to our hotel in the heart of the old city, right near the holy Ganges River. Known as the spiritual capital of this country, you will instantly encounter an atmosphere that is intense yet calming, strange yet mesmerizing, shocking yet invigorating. As the sun sets and we eat dinner, you'll be left eagerly wondering what awaits us the following day.
  • 12
    Nov 18Varanasi
    Varanasi
    Activity along the ghats, temples, markets
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    With a full tour of the Old City, we’ll walk along the various ghats, observing pilgrims engaged in rituals and prayers, as the city vibrates with activity. We’ll stroll through the winding lanes of the largest market, enjoy a glass of the city’s famous lassis and spend time at the burning ghats. You won't even want to blink as the mystery and allure of this city unfolds all around you. Following lunch, we’ll have some free time before meeting up for a surprise evening event!
  • 13
    Nov 19Varanasi
    Varanasi
    Sunrise boat ride on the Ganges River, Assi Ghat, free time
    Included: Breakfast
    Starting bright and early, we’ll board a typical wooden row boat for a sunrise boat trip along the Ganges River. This experience will allow us to witness the city come to life as holy men make their offerings, bells are rung and chanting fills the air, laundry is washed in the river, cows roam the ghats and meditators and yogis begin their daily routines. In the afternoon, we’ll walk down to Assi Ghat, the last ghat along the river in order to soak up a different vibe and visit an excellent local organization. After sunset, we’ll then witness the evening Aarti (Hindu religious ceremony) that takes place every night on the main ghat along the river.
  • 14
    Nov 20Varanasi » Delhi
    Varanasi » Delhi
    Travel to Delhi, farewell dinner
    Included: Breakfast, Dinner
    In the morning, we'll have time for one more wander through this eye-opening city, with several optional excursions available as well. We can arrange half day trips to the village of Sarnath (where the Buddha gave his first teachings) or to the little-visited Ramnagar Fort and Museum that sits semi-abandoned on the banks of the river. We'll then catch an evening flight, which only takes 1 hour, back to Delhi. After checking into our hotel, we'll all gather for our farewell dinner as the tour comes to an end.
  • 15
    Nov 21Delhi (departure day)
    Delhi (departure day)
    Departure day
    Included: Breakfast
    Depending on the time of your flight, you'll be transferred to the airport by private driver.

Tour Essentials

Medium Physical Level
While the tour itself is not very strenuous, please note that it can involve the following: somewhat long days, a good amount of walking, being in the sun in potentially hot temperatures, long journeys, early morning wake-ups and other similar scenarios.
Accommodation
We’ll stay in a combination of 3/4* hotels and boutique heritage guesthouses. Accommodation is mid-range and all rooms offer a comfortable stay with a private bathroom. However, please keep in mind that accommodation in India can have some quirks! There are 6 single rooms available. The remainder of the rooms will be shared. Solo travelers will be paired together, two travelers per room in two single beds.
Transport
Ride in comfort in our deluxe vans throughout the tour. The use of vans instead of a minibus ensures flexibility, plenty of space for each guest and access to areas that larger vehicles simply can't go. The trip also includes an internal flight from Udaipur to Varanasi and Varanasi to Delhi.
Meals
Breakfast every day, 5 lunches and 11 dinners are included. With included meals, some will be served family style and other times you will be able to order anything you wish from the menu. All dietary restrictions can be accommodated.
Sustainability
As with all of our trips, we aim to offer as sustainable an experience as we can. Trash is recycled where possible and we avoid mass tourism activities that cause harm to the environment and/or do not benefit local communities.
Small Groups
This tour requires a minimum of 8 participants and has a maximum of 12 participants in order to ensure the best small group tour experience. With such a small group, you'll be able to enjoy unique, rewarding activities that would not be accessible with more people. That's the kind of trip we love to offer!

What's included

Included
  • Tour Leader - Wandering Earl
  • Small group (maximum 12 participants)
  • Accommodation (14 nights – 3* hotels, guesthouses)
  • Transportation within India (vans, internal flights)
  • Local English-speaking guides in each destination
  • All activities and all entrance fees
  • Breakfast every day, 5 lunches and 11 dinners
  • Bottled water throughout the trip
  • Gratuities at hotels/included meals
  • All airport transfers
Not Included
  • Flights to/from India
  • Passport/visa fees
  • Meals and activities not mentioned
  • Travel insurance (mandatory)
  • Other gratuities