Cycling through Rajasthan Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
Destinations:
India
Programmes:
Cycling
Trip Code:
MIJ
Activity Rating - Moderate
Moderate

You are moderately fit and possess a spirit of adventure. Some previous experience is required for most activity based trips.

16 Days Flight Inclusive
15 Days Land only
Ages: 16+

Trip Overview

Rajasthan has landscapes varying from green rolling hills to barren deserts. The whole state is dotted with dramatic fortresses and the countryside is a patchwork of villages and towns where we see the timelessness of rural India. From the captivating Mehrangarh Fort at Jodhpur, the lakeside palace of Udaipur, the holy town of Pushkar and onto the superb 'pink city' of Jaipur, each place has its own story to tell. A fitting way to finish the trip is at the magnificent Taj Mahal. Cycling is the perfect way to explore Rajasthan, offering a fascinating insight into the traditional way of life here. 

At a Glance

  • 13 nights hotels and 1 overnight train
  • 12 days cycling (including optional rides) with full vehicle support
  • Group normally 5 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Pushkar and Diwali Festival departures available

Trip Highlights

  • Discover imposing forts and palaces 
  • Cycle along Rajasthan's rural backroads
  • Visit the magnificent Taj Mahal at Agra

Is This Trip for You?

This trip is classified Road
Activity Level: 3 (Moderate)
12 days cycling (including optional rides), average 70km/day (43 miles), with full vehicle support.
Terrain and route: Mostly quiet backroads with some roads with traffic. All roads are surfaced. Our route is a mixture of rolling hills and flat plains. There are two steeper optional climbs; to Mehranharh Fort on Day 3 and Kumbhalgarh Fort on Day 6. All the climbs are optional. The support vehicle is there for anyone who decides to stop riding. This part of India can be very hot. Although this trip is moderately demanding there is plenty of time to explore.

Diwali Festival
Some departures will be in India during the Diwali festival, these are marked on the website; this is a great festival to witness and some minor itinerary alterations may be made locally in order to make the most of this occasion.

Pushkar Festival
Each year we operate a departure of this trip that coincides with the Pushkar Camel Fair; please see Day 7 of the itinerary.

Please note that the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) are responsible for the conservation of many monuments in India (including the Taj Mahal) and very occasionally this may mean that work is taking place at sites visited on this trip. The ASI’s schedule is never published so it is not possible to forewarn our clients of when work will be taking place.

Group

Our Indian team of leaders have proved very popular with their incredible knowledge, passion and hospitality adding greatly to the experience. There is no better way to experience Indian culture than letting an Indian leader show you around their country.

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
5
Max group size:
16

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Delhi
End City:
Delhi

Flight Inclusive

Start City:
London
End City:
London

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Delhi.

    The group flight arrives in the morning. Those who have made their own flight arrangements will join us at the hotel. The rest of the day is used to assemble the bikes and explore locally before an evening briefing about our cycling adventure.
    Comfortable Hotel

  • Day 2

    Morning cycle tour of New Delhi; afternoon sightseeing tour of Old Delhi; overnight train to Jodhpur.

    We start cycling early in the morning in order to get used to the Indian weather and city traffic. After cycling for about 25km we return to the hotel. After breakfast and a shower we start our sightseeing of New and Old Delhi by bus. The bikes and main luggage will be transferred to Jodhpur by bus (you are advised to take your required toiletries and other essential items in your day bag for the overnight train journey). In the evening we transfer to the station and catch the overnight train to Jodhpur

    Overnight Sleeper Train 

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 25 km / 15 miles
  • Day 3

    Arrive Jodhpur; free morning then afternoon city cycle tour including Mehrangarh Fort.

    We arrive into Jodhpur in the morning and transfer to our hotel where we have some time to relax or have a wander in the surrounding area. In the afternoon we get the bikes out and go sightseeing on two wheels. Jodhpur was founded by the Rajput chief Roa Jodha and was formerly the capital of the State of Marwar. The city is surrounded by an immense wall almost ten kilometres in circumference and is dominated by the massive fort that stands on a rocky hill commanding the surrounding desert. In the afternoon we visit the magnificent Meherangarh Fort from where we have a great view of the blue houses, painted to distinguish them as those of Brahmins. 
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 23 km / 14 miles
  • Day 4

    Ride/drive to Udaipur via Jain Temple at Ranakpur; cycle towards lakeside town of Udaipur.

    Today is a long day so we will have an early start. We begin our day cycling from the hotel for about 40km. We then take a transfer by bus to Ranakpur where there is time to visit the stunning 15th Century Jain Temple. The main temple, beautifully carved from marble, is dedicated to Adinath. It has 29 halls supported by 1444 pillars, each delicately carved with a different design. We then take a short 15km transfer by vehicle to a roadside Hindu temple. From here we then get back on our bikes and ride through the Aravlli hills for about 34km and finally transfer by bus to the stunning lakeside town of Udaipur. 
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch
    Distance covered: 74 km / 45 miles
  • Day 5

    Cycle tour around Udaipur including City Palace.

    Known as 'The Pearl of Rajasthan', the 'City of Sunrise' and 'Venice of the East', Udaipur is a beautiful place regarded by both Indians and travellers as the most romantic city in India. Situated on the east side of Lake Pichola, the main palace commands an unsurpassed view across the shimmering lake to the dusty Aravalli Hills with the luxurious Lake Palace hotel adding to the scene. Lake Pichola has two islands, each with a palace to rival that on the mainland; Jag Mandir and Jag Nivas (the latter is now the luxurious Lake Palace Hotel) rise out of their own reflections in the waters of the lake. After breakfast we set off on the bikes and spend the morning exploring the countryside around Udaipur. We cycle on quiet roads past farmland and small villages as we head to Tiger Lake. Continuing on rural backroads, we have the chance to visit Animal Aid, a local NGO animal hospital for injured animals. We finish our ride close to the city, from where we visit the impressive City Palace. 
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 25 km / 16 miles
  • Day 6

    Ride on backroads to the fort of Kumbhalgarh.

    This morning we take a short drive (1.5 hours) to Iswal where we start our cycle ride to Kumbhalgarh. The route stays away from the main road and follows a less direct but quieter series of back roads and allows us to see the fascinating rural life of India. It can be hot cycling in India but the vehicle support will be on hand if required for a four-wheeled break. We arrive in Kumbhalgarh for a late lunch and a rest. Then there is a chance to cycle to Kumbhalgarh Fort, a challenging 5km uphill ride (there is an option to take a jeep). Kumbhalgarh has one of the finest examples of defensive fortifications in Rajasthan including a lovely temple and palace with panoramic views.

    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch
    Distance covered: 60 km / 37 miles
  • Day 7

    Ride/drive to Pushkar

    It's back to the desert scenery today as we make our way to the holy town of Pushkar. Our route follows rural backroads to the main highway from where we dismount our bikes and travel the rest of the way in our vehicle Surrounded by the desert the little town of Pushkar is a Hindu pilgrimage town which sits on a holy lake.  Legend has it that its lake was created from petals that fell from the divine hands of the creator god Brahma and it is here that you can see one of the worlds few Brahma temples. Dotted with 52 ghats and around 400 milky-blue temples this town is also famous for its annual Camel fair that transforms the town into a bustling market.  Before heading to our hotel we will spend some time exploring the sites and sounds of a town like no other in Rajasthan. 

    Comfortable Hotel

    PUSHKAR CAMEL FAIR DEPARTURES: The itinerary for these departures is slightly amended to spend two nights in Pushkar and one night in Sariska N.P, this is done in order to maximise time at the Camel Fair. Accommodation in Pushkar during the festival departure will be provided in en suite Swiss Cottage Tents (canvas tents designed to emulate Swiss cottages) with attached bathroom and all meals will be included.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch
    Distance covered: 35 km / 22 miles
  • Day 8

    Ride/drive to Jaipur, capital of Rajasthan, via rural villages and Rupnagar.

    We leave Pushkar on our bikes travelling through desert backroads and small villages to the town of Rupnagar; a marble working centre. There is the option to extend the ride by another 34km to the Naraina railway crossing, from where we transfer by vehicle to Jaipur. Cycle approx. 60km (94km including optional ride).
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 94 km / 58 miles
  • Day 9

    Optional early morning city heritage ride, Jaipur sightseeing.

    For those who are up early we have an optional heritage ride around the wonderful Pink city. A great way to discover the life of Jaipur is cyling through its fascinating narrow laneways. Passing havelis (private mansions) and sacred temples we will head for the majestic Albert Hall which was built to welcome the Prince of Wales on his visit during the 1870s. Along the way we wil stop at some of the popular food stalls where you can sample what the locals enjoy for breakfast. After the ride you will have time back at the hotel to freshen up before we head out for a wonderful day of sightseeing. We will visit the majestic Amber Fort and enjoy the fine museum within the City Palace, former residence of the Maharaja. A trip to Jaipur must include a photo stop at the iconic Hawa Mahal, or Palace of the winds. This city is the centre of many handicrafts such as woven rugs, carpets, printed cloth, semi-precious stones and leather ware. During our stay there will be time to visit the markets and possibly pick up a treasure to remind you of Jaipur.

    Optional cycle approx. 12 km / 7 miles.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Ride/drive to Sariska National Park via Pratap Garh.

    A combination of cycling and transfer as we leave the 'the pink city' behind us and return to rural India. We transfer to Jamwa Ramgarh and then cycle to Sariska via Pratap Garh and through the beautiful landscape of Aravali foot hills. 
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch
    Distance covered: 85 km / 52 miles
  • Day 11

    Game drive; optional afternoon ride.

    Before breakfast we head off in open jeeps for our early morning game drive. Sariska is a beautiful and interesting park to explore and it has an abundance of wildlife. Leopard sighting is a possibility, along with deer, wild boar, antelope, jackal, hyena and other wildlife. A large variety of bird species are also grace the landscape.  We return to the hotel for a late breakfast and in the afternoon there is the option to do a cycle ride to the near-by Siliseth Lake. This takes us on backroads through rural villages and farmland.  We can have tea at the Lake Palace Hotel with stunning views across the lake to the surrounding Aravali hills. For those who don’t want to cycle they can enjoy the garden and swimming pool back at the hotel. 

    Optional cycle approx. 9 miles/15Km

    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Ride/drive to Bharatpur N.P., renowned for its bird sanctuary, later visited by bike.

    After breakfast we begin the day's ride from our hotel to Muhwa where we then take a short transfer to our lunch spot. Another short transfer takes us to Bharatpur N.P. This park is renowned for its UNESCO World Heritage listed bird sanctuary - the Keoladeo Ghana National Park. This entire region was originally semi arid and only received rainfall during the monsoon season. The Maharaja of Bharatpur diverted water from a nearby irrigation canal and it was converted into a bird sanctuary in 1956. On arrival in Bharatpur we visit the bird sanctuary on our bikes, home to an array of egrets, ducks, coots, storks, kingfishers, owls, eagles and harriers. There are now over 360 species of birds to be found here. 
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 70 km / 43 miles
  • Day 13

    Cycle to Agra, Fatehpur Sikri on route; Taj Mahal visit at sunset.

    In the morning we leave Bharatpur and cycle on backroads passing through Fatehpur Sikri, the emperor Akbar's deserted royal city. Later we transfer to Agra in time to see the sunset over the stunning Taj Mahal. This romantic monument was built by the Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1631. The Taj is serenely beautiful and never fails to amaze a first time visitor; the white marble exterior changes colour according to the position of the sun during the day and is matched by the rich interior detail.
    Standard Hotel

     

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 40 km / 24 miles
  • Day 14

    Visit Agra Fort; transfer to Delhi

    In the morning we will visit the imposing Agra Fort of Akbar where the mighty sandstone walls enclose the beautiful white marble pearl mosque, palaces, halls, courtyards and fountains of his sons and successors, Jehangir and Shah Jahan. In the afternoon we transfer to Delhi by bus arriving early evening in time for dinner.  Your leader will arrange a group dinner for those who would like one last time together to share memories of the trip. 
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 15

    End Delhi.

    For those who are on the flight inclusive package we depart for Delhi airport in the morning for the day flight back to London. The arrangements for those not flying with the group ends after check out.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotels & Sleeper Train

You will spend 13 nights in a mixture of comfortable and standard hotels, all with en suite facilities and most with swimming pools. 1 night will be spent in an overnight air-conditioned sleeper train. 

Hotels in India usually do not have heating as there are really only a couple of months in the year when the weather can get rather cold.  You can however request more blankets or the hotel may be able to provide a standing heater for your room.  Please talk to your tour leader if you need help in this matter.  Some of the hotels we use on this trip may have swimming pools however these are not heated. 

Overnight Train Journeys

The overnight train will be booked in 2-tier sleeper A/C (or 3-tier if 2-tier is not available). There are many excellent trains in India however the standard of seating and sleeping is not in line with European standards. All seats are pre-allocated at the time the tickets are issued, meaning that we are not able to guarantee the whole group are together on the train, your leader will manage this as best as possible and will always check on you during the journey. Indian trains are safe to travel on however we would recommend that you keep any valuables with you at all times. Snacks are often offered on board (at an additional cost) but you may wish to purchase your own food prior to the journey. Whilst some trains have western-style facilities, the majority of services are equipped with squat toilets. Please note trains sometimes get delayed for numerous reasons, which is obviously beyond our control, however we endeavour to minimise the impact of these delays on the overall itinerary. Most of the luggage will be transported to Jodhpur by bus, so we just take a small overight nag on the train.

PLEASE NOTE: Accommodation in Pushkar during the festival departure will be provided in en suite Swiss Cottage Tents  (canvas tents designed to emulate Swiss cottages) with attached bath and all meals will be included.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Single supplement from £350.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts, 4 lunches and 1 dinner included.

Breakfast on day 1 of the Land Only itinerary in not included as you should be given breakfast on the flight. If you do want another breakfast it costs approximately £5 (US$8) at the hotel in Delhi. You should allow at least £15 (approx. US$22) per day for lunch and dinner. You can eat out very cheaply in India, but if you go to the more expensive restaurants most of the time, you will spend more than the suggested amount. In most of the towns there is a good choice of restaurants and a choice between Indian and Western style food. If you are a vegetarian India is probably one of the best destinations to travel to with a wide range of dishes on offer. Tea and soft drinks are very cheap. A large bottle of beer is approximately £3 (US$5). Mineral water is widely available.

Transportation

A support vehicle is with the group at all times so you only have to carry your day-to-day items. When we take the train we book in 2nd class a/c. In Sariska we take game drives in open topped jeeps.

 

Weather & Seasonality

When to go

October to March is the ideal time to visit Northern India. Days are normally warm to hot and nights cool or mild. Humidity is very low and little or no rain can be expected. In March, April and October it can get very hot during the day. Evenings in Delhi and in the Thar Desert can be surprisingly cool, so bring a jumper as well as sun hat, sun cream and sunglasses. It gets very cold in the early mornings and evenings between December and February.

Weather Information

October to March is the ideal time to visit Northern India. Days are normally warm to hot and nights cool or mild. Humidity is very low and little or no rain can be expected. In March, April and October it can get very hot during the day. Evenings in Delhi and in the Thar Desert can be surprisingly cool, so bring a jumper as well as sun hat, sun cream and sunglasses. It gets very cold in the early mornings and evenings between December and February.

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 16 days

The group flight from London is an overnight flight departing the day before Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London

As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

Travelling land only: 15 days starting and ending in Delhi

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in Delhi in the morning of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.
Accommodation check‐in times are normally from around 12 noon.

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Free Transfers

Exodus offers FREE airport arrival and departure transfers on any flight for this trip, for both Land Only and Flight Inclusive clients. Unless specified otherwise, the transfer will be to the Exodus start (or pre-tour) hotel and from the end (or post-tour) hotel, and will be on the date on which the tour starts/ends; transfers to other hotels in the same city and/or on different dates may attract an extra charge. Transfers may be shared with other Exodus customers on the same flight, or on a flight with similar arrival times. All those taking advantage of the free airport transfers must provide full flight details for both arrival and departure in advance. 

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start:
Delhi
Location end:
Delhi

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Helmet (compulsory on all cycling trips)

Loose overshorts

Insect repellent

Light cotton trousers

Lightweight long sleeved shirt

Sun hat

Sun cream and sunglasses

Favourite energy snacks

Water bottle

Buff (for dusty areas)

Cable lock, or small chain and padlock, to lock your bag up on the train

Good set of warmer leggings/tops for cold cycling mornings; this is particularly required on departures during the winter months. You should take a thick jumper or fleece and warm trousers for the game drive into Sariska National Park where it can get very cold in the early morning. As you will be visiting a national park please do bring some long sleeved neutral coloured clothing. This will help you prevent mosquito bites and will also improve your chances of seeing game, which are scared of the bright colours. 

Please note:

As of November 2019 the Indian government has announced a ban on e-cigarettes and related products.  You will be unable to buy e-cigarettes in India or bring them into the country. Please ensure you do not pack these in your luggage.

Equipment Hire

Local Bike Details: Merida Big Seven 40D and Big Seven 100

Discount for bringing your own bike: £150.

A quality local hire bike is now included in the overall price of our cycling holidays (excluding UK trips). At the time of booking we will take your height in order to reserve equipment. There may on occasions be insufficient bikes available in the correct size; we will endeavour to find suitable alternative equipment but this cannot be guaranteed. We will tell you before you book whether suitably sized bikes are available.

Conditions

1. The equipment remains the property of the supplier and you may not sell, hire out or part possession with the equipment.

2. You must not misuse the equipment and must return it in the same condition as when received (ordinary wear and tear excepted). The supplier is entitled to charge for any damage caused to the equipment during the period of hire.

3. You must ensure that the equipment is adequately secured when not in use. In the event of the equipment being lost or stolen, you may be liable for the replacement value of the equipment

4. You must not use the equipment whilst under the influence of drink or drugs and should immediately notify the Supplier in the event of breakdown or loss.

Bringing Your Own Bike

If you prefer the familiarity of your own bike, you may, of course, bring it along. Please advise us at the time of booking and you will receive a discount on the price of the holiday, as specified above.  You will be responsible for any extra baggage charges, please speak to our Sales team for individual airline fees.

N.B This does not apply to trips within the UK, for which local bike hire is not included.

You will also be responsible for assembling and disassembling your bike as well as bringing along spare parts and any tools specific to it. It is also your responsibility to ensure your bike is roadworthy and suitable for the type of cycling to be undertaken. If in doubt, the model of local bike hire available should act as a guide and details of terrain, ascent and descent are available both in the itinerary and the ‘Is this trip for you’ sections. Our cycling team only carry the relevant spares for the hire fleet. Any clients bringing their own bike should ensure they have adequate cover for loss, damage or theft under their travel, home contents or a specialist insurance policy. If Exodus is confident that we have taken all reasonable care to ensure the safety of your bike, in the rare event of loss, damage or theft you will need to claim under your own insurance policy.

Extra Bike Bits

You may like to bring your own pedals and saddle (excluding the seat post) or gel saddle cover to fit to the hire bikes. We encourage this, if it is your preference. However, please note that you are responsible for your own equipment, and removing your saddle/pedals at the end of the trip. We cannot guarantee the return of any bike parts left behind.

Exodus Policy on Cycling Helmets

Wearing a helmet is mandatory for anyone taking part in any guided Exodus cycling holiday. Group members must bring their own helmets, as they are not available for hire, even if they are hiring a bike from Exodus.

For self-guided cycling holidays wearing a helmet is highly recommended. Customers who choose to ignore our advice do so entirely at their own risk and on the understanding that it may affect the validity of their travel insurance. It should also be noted that in some countries we travel to wearing a helmet is already a legal requirement.

Cycling of all kinds has its dangers and accidents can happen from time to time. Please ensure that you are properly prepared for the riding you are going to undertake.

Recommended Cycling Clothing

Padded cycling shorts (with loose 'over-shorts' where recommended), breathable clothing, and a lightweight waterproof/windproof top. Shoes with relatively stiff soles are better for biking, but are not essential unless you are cycling long distances. Most people want to carry certain items with them during the day while cycling, for this we recommend a large bum-bag or small close-fitting daysack.

Please be aware that you will be passing through some remote villages where the locals are unaccustomed to seeing people in tight lycra - we recommend you wear baggy shorts or loose 'over shorts' so as not to cause offence.

Reading List

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide - Delhi, Agra, Jaipur
A Brief History of the Moghuls by Bamber Gascoigne
Lonely Planet Guide - Rajasthan Delhi and Agra
The 20th Wife by I Sundaresan
Shadow Princess by I Sundaresan

Practical Information

Passport

India

All nationalities require a full passport which must be machine readable, with 2 blank pages for your visa and valid for a minimum of 180 days at the time of your visa  application. However, the guidelines regarding passport validity on arrival in India are unclear. To avoid possible problems at immigration, make sure your passport is valid for a minimum of 180 days at the time of entry into India.  It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

India

Visas are required if you are British and for most other nationalities. For UK residents full details of the visa process can be found here. Other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies.

If your trip visits Ladakh, in the very north of India, or Sikkim in the northeast, do not mention this on your Indian visa application. This can sometimes slow down or even cause the embassy to reject your visa.

When you reach immigration, you are required to pick up an immigration form. If you have an e-visa, ensure you stand in the correct queue - please follow the signs to the e-visa booth (in Delhi this is at the back of the immigration hall). You will need to fill out an additional form at the booth - please make sure that you have the details of your start hotel ready (these details can be found on your Final Joining Instructions).

 

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

India

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. The risk of malaria is slight but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. Some of our India trips spend time at altitude. In regions over approx. 2000m, there is low to no risk of mosquito-borne diseases. For trips going to altitudes of over 3000m there is a risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness. Our itineraries are designed to enable everyone to acclimatise to these altitudes, but you should be aware that it is still possible for you to be affected. Please see the TRIP NOTES for further information.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

Dengue fever and/or Chikungunya are known risks in places visited on this trip. Both are tropical viral diseases spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for either, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

As we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

The risk of malaria on this trip is slight, but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice.

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

India's Timezone:
Asia/Kolkata IST (GMT +05:30)

Electricity

India's Electricity:

In India the voltage is 230/240 volts AC, 50 Hz.

Power plugs and sockets are of type C, D and M. It varies greatly which is used in different locations. M is the least used. There are recharging facilities at all the hotels, though the electricity supply is not 100% reliable but it is usually only off for short periods of time.

Money

India's Currency

The national currency of India is the Indian Rupee (INR), with an exchange rates at the time of publication (September 2019) GBP£1 - 88 INR, CAN$1 - 54 INR, US$1 - 71 INR, AUS$1 - 48 INR.

It is illegal to import or export rupees. Do not accept torn or (very) dirty Indian banknotes from banks or in change as they will almost certainly not be accepted as legal tender in India. Please ask for low denomination notes of 100 and 500 Rupees as the new 2000 Rupee notes can be difficult to use out of Delhi. You can change money back from Rupees into Pounds or Dollars at Delhi airport (before going through security), but you must produce an exchange receipt showing that you changed money in India.

ATM Availability

ATM machines are widely available in India (Visa and MasterCard are best) though you should not rely on these 100% of the time, so please take some cash with you as well. Please inform your bank before departure that you are travelling to India and carry the relevant telephone number with you in case they put a block on your card. You can pay with credit cards in bigger shops all over India Well-known brands of travellers cheques can be exchanged but this can take time and banks are not always open when you need them. You can bring Sterling or US Dollars.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

It is illegal to import or export rupees. Do not accept torn or (very) dirty Indian banknotes from banks or in change as they will almost certainly not be accepted as legal tender in India. Please ask for low denomination notes of 100 Rupees, as 500 Rupee notes will be more difficult to use. You can change money back from Rupees into Pounds or Dollars at Delhi airport; this has to be done before you go through security and please note that only a few outlets accept Rupees in the departure lounge (the Duty Free shop does not accept Rupees), you must produce an exchange receipt showing that you changed money in India.
Money change facilities are available on arrival at Delhi's international airport although the rates are not always favourable. You can change US$ and £ in cash outside of Delhi in the main cities.

It is recommended that you allow at least £5 (US$8) per day for personal expenditure such as stamps, postcards and soft drinks. Shopping opportunities throughout this tour are endless and we suggest that you take as much as you can afford for souvenirs - even if you are generally not a keen shopper we have found that most people succumb to some of the wide variety of handicrafts on offer.

Many sights now charge a small fee for cameras and you should allow approximately £5 (US$8) for these.

Tipping

Tipping is very much part of the culture in India and is usually expected. Tipping can often be an awkward affair, especially when in an unfamiliar country where you are not sure when or how much to tip. As such, your tour leader will offer to arrange and look after a group tipping kitty which will be used to tip hotel staff, local sightseeing guides, Mechanics, bus drivers as well as any other support staff used throughout your trip. Your leader will suggest how much to contribute, depending on group size, but it is usually in the region of 4000 INR (approx. GBP£40 US$60) per person. At any time during the trip your leader will be happy to show you an account of how the kitty is being distributed. Please note that for smaller groups the leader may have to collect more than the above amount.

Tipping of leaders is not included in the kitty and is at your own discretion. If you wish to show your appreciation a tip of around £3-4 (CAD $5-7, USD $4-5, AUD $6-7) per person per day would be appreciated. By definition, gratuities are not something that can be included in the tour price.

 

Responsible Tourism

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

 

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.