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Mahabalipuram_2

Northern & Southern Explorer

Northern & Southern Explorer

From {{totalPrice}} EUR Extra expenses at the destination
Flight tickets are not included. Our travel experts will gladly help you find the cheapest flights. The price above is based on 2 adults traveling together. The price is a from-price and varies with the date. See the exact price when selecting date.
What's included?
From 5400 EUR
Flight tickets are not included. Our travel experts will gladly help you find the cheapest flights. The price above is based on 2 adults traveling together. The price is a from-price and varies with the date. See the exact price when selecting date.
What's included?
Duration
54 days
Starts in
Kathmandu
Ends in
Chennai
Group size
25
Since the first trip back in 1981, Dragoman has been at the forefront of overland vacations, taking people on unique, off the beaten track adventures in their iconic custom-made orange trucks. Dragoman make it a whole lot easier to get off the tarmac and to take the road less-travelled be it a short trip or an epic journey. It is this ability to go beyond the traditional tourist tails on a life changing overland journey that attracts people from all over the world ranging in age from 18 to 80!. Now as much as we love the highlights of the places we visit, it is often the journey where the real magic happens. Be it the the small village stop in Benin, trying to spot Jaguars in the dense Amazonian jungle of Guyana or staying with the nomadic people of Mongolia. Our balanced itineraries give you the chance to get under the skin of the country and get a true insight into the local culture. Start your overlanding adventure and become part of the family.
  • Explore the backstreets and alleyways of bustling Delhi
  • Witness the holy rats in the Karni Mata rat temple near Bikaner
  • Explore Jaisalmer and all its fascintating sites
  • Overnight Rajasthan camel safari into the Thar Desert
  • Explore the blue city of Jodhpur and the mighty Mehrangarh fort
  • Overnight in a community guesthouse to experience true Indian hospitality
  • Visit and support the Sambhali Trust near Jodhpur
  • Discover the stunning white city of Udaipur
  • Visit an extensive hill-top fort from the Mughal era at Mandu
  • Explore the Buddhist, Jain and Hindu Caves and templed of Ellora and Ajanta
  • Explore chaotic and fascinating Mumbai
  • Relax on a fascinating train ride to the coast of Goa
  • Discover the lost kingdom of Vijayanagar in the magnificent ruined city of Hampi
  • Explore the amazing Maharaja's Palace of Mysore
  • Relax at the community guesthouse in the hills of Wayanad
  • Explore Kochi including a local boat trip to Fort Cochin
  • Overnight by local boat through the backwaters and villages of Kerala
  • Visit the southern tip of India at Cape Comorin - Kanyakumari
  • Stay in the French influenced enclave of Pondicherry
  • Visit to the Shore Temples & Pagodas of Mahabalipuram
  • Itinerary

    Northern & Southern Explorer

    Day 1 Kathmandu

    Border Information: If you are joining the trip in Kathmandu, you will most likely enter Nepal at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (IATA code: KTM).Wrapped around the Himalayan mountain range is the remarkable country of Nepal. It is the birthplace of the Buddha and is a land of legend and beauty. Within its narrow confines Nepal contains an utterly spectacular variety of culture and landscapes. Nepal has a stunning natural beauty and a simple charm.Please note: If joining in Kathmandu you will be met by a local guide on the first day where you will have a brief meeting at 6pm. On the second day you will be transported by private transport to Chitwan National Park where you will join your overland leaders and truck!Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Kathmandu before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Kathmandu.

    Day 2 Chitwan NP

    Today we will leave Kathmandu after breakfast, driving through stunning scenery down to the Terai grasslands. Our destination is Chitwan National Park, where we will stay for the next 2 nights.If we arrive in good time we will make a visit to Bis Hajaar Tal, also known as 20,000 Lakes, which is a wetland area near the Royal Chitwan National Park. Here we will get the opportunity to see peacocks, wild boars, deer and there is also a slim chance of seeing tigers and rhinos. If we cannot visit 20,000 Lakes today we will make our visit tomorrow.

    Day 3 Chitwan NP

    Today we'll spend the day exploring the National Park by canoe and on foot, and there is the option to take a jeep safari! There will be an opportunity to see a traditional Nepali dance demonstration in the evening.In Chitwan we will stay in a local guest lodge.

    Day 4 Gorakhpur

    Border Information: Exit Nepal at Belhiya, enter India at Sonauli.Today we enter the legendary country of India. India has so much to offer, from the beautiful landscapes of the Himalayas, to the amazing temples and coastlines, rich culture, and of course the food!This morning we have a fairly relaxed start to the day before packing up and driving to the border. We will cross the border to India and continue on a short drive to the town of Gorakhpur

    Day 5 Varanasi

    Today we will continue driving and reach the holy city of Varanasi in the evening.

    Day 6 Varanasi

    Today we will get up very early for an included boat trip down the Ganges. This is a magical time of day to see the famous ghats and watch the morning rituals of the thousands of people who come here to purify themselves in the holy river. We will have auto-rickshaws for the rest of the day to explore the rest of the city - we will have the opportunity to use them to visit a traditional silk workshop and the Mother India temple.

    Day 7 Khajuraho

    Today we will have a full days drive to the town of Khajuraho.On arrival we will set up camp before settling in for the evening.

    Day 8 Khajuraho

    Today we will head out for an included guided visit to the Khajuraho Erotic Temples. In the afternoon we will have some free time to explore the town or relax back at camp.

    Day 9 Khajuraho

    Today is free to explore the area, relax on the banks of the river, or take an optional jeep safari to the nearby Panna National Park in search of wildlife.

    Day 10 Agra

    After breakfast we leave our campsite and head to the city of Agra. Most of today will be spent travelling and we will arrive in the evening.

    Day 11 Agra

    Today we will have an included day tour of the major sites of Agra, starting with sunrise at the world-famous iconic mausoleum of the Taj Mahal, followed by a visit to the Agra Fort.

    Day 12 Jaipur

    We leave Agra today and head overland to the pink city of Jaipur, stopping en route at Fatehpur Sikri (the old capital of the Mughal Empire).

    Day 13 Jaipur

    Today we will have a full day exploring the sites of Jaipur on rickshaws with our local guide. Whilst in Jaipur there will also be the option for an early morning or late afternoon hot air balloon ride over the city.

    Day 14 Delhi

    Today we leave Jaipur and travel to the chaotic Indian capital of Delhi.

    Day 15 Delhi

    Today we will have an included guided tour of Old Delhi, heading to the Mughal Jama Masjid mosque, a local tea-maker, a Sikh temple, and the local spice markets. We will also have some free time to freely explore the sights of Delhi in the afternoon. 

    Day 16 Delhi

    Border Information: If joining the trip in Delhi, you will most likely enter India at Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport (IATA code: DEL).Today is a free day to explore Delhi. There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm - please look for a note from your tour leader when you arrive at the hotel giving more details about this meeting.Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Delhi before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Delhi.

    Day 17 Bikaner

    Today we start our journey with a full day drive to the city of Bikaner.In Bikaner we will either stay in a local hotel or camp at an eco-lodge a short distance outside the city.

    Day 18 Jaisalmer

    Today we continue our journey with a drive to the ancient Rajasthani city of Jaisalmer, stopping at the Karni Mata (Rat Temple) for an included visit en route.

    Day 19 Jaisalmer

    We will have free time this morning to explore the sights of Jaisalmer. In the late afternoon we will head out on an included camel safari into the Thar Desert - exploring the desert with local Rajasthani camel drivers is the most authentic way to experience the area!Tonight we will camp out on the outskirts of the desert, sleeping under the stars.

    Day 20 Jaisalmer

    This morning we will return to Jaisalmer from our camel safari. The rest of the day will be free to relax or explore more of Jaisalmer and the surrounding area.

    Day 21 Jodhpur

    This morning we will drive from Jaisalmer to another famous Rajasthani city, Jodhpur. En route to Jodhpur we will make an included visit to the Sambhali Trust project (a charitable project that works for the empowerment of women and girls in Rajasthan), where we will learn about the efforts of the project and make a group donation from the kitty.After our visit we will make our way to our accommodation, rooms that have been set up by local families in their own homes for visitors. We will be splitting up into 2 or 3 small groups for our community guesthouses.

    Day 22 Jodhpur

    After breakfast we will have an included visit to the Mehrangarh Fort and palace. The afternoon is then free to explore this wonderful city independently.

    Day 23 Udaipur

    After breakfast we set off for our drive to Udaipur, visiting the Jain Temple at Ranakpur en route. We will have 3 nights in Udaipur, giving us plenty of time to discover this amazing, romantic Rajasthani city.

    Day 24 Udaipur

    On these 2 days we will have free time to explore the sites in and around Udaipur, take part in some optional activities, and relax on one of the many roof-top terraces in the city.

    Day 25 Udaipur

    We have a 2nd full day in Udaipur to give us plenty of time to discover this amazing, romantic Rajasthan city and relax on one of the many roof-top terraces

    Day 26 Mandu

    Leaving Udaipur, we will be joined by a local cook who will accompany us during the next few days as we travel through Ajanta and Ellora.Today will mostly be spent travelling to Mandu via the backroads of rural Rajasthan. We will be off the tourist trail here and tonight we will camp or stay in a local hotel.

    Day 27 Mandu

    Today we will visit Mandu, an extensive and largely abandoned hill-top fort from the Mughal era. We will then spend the afternoon driving to our camping spot near Kharwand Dam, en route towards Ajanta.

    Day 28 Ajanta

    Today we complete the drive to Ajanta, arriving in the afternoon. We will visit the complex of 29 ancient Buddhist temples cut into the rock face. We will find a basic camp nearby or continue onto Ellora depending on time.

    Day 29 Ellora

    Today we will drive a short distance to Ellora where we will have an included visit to the ancient Buddhist, Hindu and Jain caves - a set of a small temples in the rock face dating from the 6th to 11th Centuries CE. We will camp in the grounds of a hotel tonight.

    Day 30 Mumbai

    Setting off early today, we will say goodbye to our local cook and drive to the bustling city of Mumbai.

    Day 31 Mumbai

    Border Information: If joining the trip in Mumbai, you will most likely enter India from Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (IATA code: BOM).There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel in Mumbai - please look out at the reception for a note from you tour leader with further details about this meeting. Otherwise, today is free to explore the sights and sounds of Mumbai.

    Day 32 Mumbai

    Today will be a free day to explore this amazing city. This is also an opportunity to take a tour of the Dharavi slum areas of Mumbai.

    Day 33 Goa

    We will start our journey by taking the train along the coast to Goa. We will stay for 2 nights at the relaxed beaches of Vagator in the northern part of Goa. Estimated Journey Time (on train) - 11-12 hours.

    Day 34 Goa

    We will have a 2nd night in North Goa tonight. Most travellers are drawn to Vagator for the stunning sunsets, the laid-back atmosphere and the proximity of some other quieter beaches in the area such as Arambol and Anjuna.

    Day 35 Old Goa

    After our 2 nights on the northern beaches of Goa, we head off in the truck to the southern end of Goa. En route we will stop off at the site of Old Goa to spend some time independently exploring the area's colonial buildings.

    Day 36 Old Goa

    We will stay for a 2nd night on either the stunning beach of Agonda or Palolem, these beaches are the perfect places to sit back and watch the fishing boats landing their catch or sample the delicious local cuisine.

    Day 37 Hampi

    Leaving the beaches of Goa behind us, we set off on a full day drive into the state of Karnataka and to the village of Hampi. The village is located within the ruins of Vijayanagara, the former capital of the ancient Vijayanagara Empire.

    Day 38 Hampi

    Today we will have a guided tour of the historical sites around Hampi by rickshaw and on foot.

    Day 39 Mysore

    From Hampi we will have another full day drive to the city of Mysore, one of India's most attractive towns.

    Day 40 Mysore

    On our 2nd day we will have free time in Mysore to independently explore the city's beautiful gardens, palaces, and the Shir Chamarajendra art gallery.

    Day 41 Wayanad

    Today we travel up into the cool highlands and head to the hill-station of Wayanad, a small settlement surrounded by tea and coffee plantations.Whilst in Wayanad we stay as guests of local families at a local guesthouse.

    Day 42 Wayanad

    There are many optional actvities available in Wayanad which we will have time to do today, from hiking up Chembra Peak, visiting local waterfalls and tea plantations, or the chance to visit the nearby Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary.

    Day 43 Kochi

    Today we will continue our journey with a full day drive to the coastal city of Kochi.

    Day 44 Kochi

    This morning we will take a local boat to Fort Cochin and have free time to explore and visit various sites including the Jewish Quarter, St Francis Church and the iconic Chinese fishing nets. In the evening we will be able to see a performance from the famous Kathakali dancers, India's most spectacular dance drama.

    Day 45 Alleppey

    Leaving the bustle of Kochi behind, today we embark on our included overnight houseboat cruise on the tranquil Keralan backwaters of Alleppey. We will often split into smaller groups to board our traditional 'Kettuvallom' boats which will take us around the scenic rivers and spend the night aboard. 

    Day 46 Varkala

    After our fantastic overnight cruise along the Keralan backwaters, we continue our journey with a short drive to the beach resort of Varkala.

    Day 47 Varkala

    Today we have free time to explore the surrounding areas and relax on the beautiful beaches.

    Day 48 Varkala

    Our final day in Varkala today, spend more time relaxing the beautiful beaches or why not sample the justifyably-famous Keralan cuisine at one of the great local restaurants.

    Day 49 Kanyakumari

    Today we will have a morning drive to Kanyakumari (also known as Cape Comorin), the very southern point of India. Here we will have free time to explore the Vivekananda Rock and the surrounding sites.

    Day 50 Madurai

    This morning we have the option to get up early to watch the sunrise from the southern tip of India with thousands of locals, what can be an incredible experience! From Kanyakumari we then start heading back north again, and drive to the holy city of Madurai. In the afternoon we will have an included visit to the Sri Meenakshi Temple in Madurai.

    Day 51 Pondicherry

    Today we head to the French-influenced town of Pondicherry, and will have a free time on arrival in the afternoon.

    Day 52 Pondicherry

    On our 2nd day why not spend the day relaxing and soak up the atmosphere or explore the town and its beautiful colonial architechture.

    Day 53 Chennai

    Today we have a short drive to the ancient city of Mahabalipuram, once the capital of the Pallava Dynasty in the 7th Century CE. On arrival we will have an included visit to the incredible Shore Temples and other monuments around the town ( time permitted ).In the afternoon we will finish the short drive to the bustling coastal city of Chennai.

    Day 54 Chennai

    Border Information: If you are leaving the trip in Chennai, you will most likely exit India from Chennai International Airport (IATA code: MAA).Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Chennai. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact your sales agent if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.
    Summary

    What’s included?

    Activities

    Witness the fascinating and impressive local tradition of Tharu stick dancing

    At dawn drift down the holy River Ganges in Varanasi

    Guided tour of the famous erotic temples at Khajuraho

    Explore the peaceful grounds of the Itmad Ud Daulah mausoleum, often described as a 'draft' of the Taj Mahal Visit the Agra Red Fort and see some of the most exquisite architecture of the Mughal Period

    Go on a guided tour of the stunning Taj Mahal, one of the most famous buildings in the world

    Discover the perfectly-preserved 16th-century Mughal capital of Fatehpur Sikri and its beautiful temples and monuments

    Visit the ancient citadel of the Amber Palace a fascinating blend of Hindu and Mughal architecture

    Guided tour of Jaipur, the beautiful Pink City

    Explore the fascinating 18th-century astronomical observatory of Jantar Mantar Visit the City Palace, a unique and arresting complex of several palaces, pavilions, gardens and temples that occupies one-seventh of the area of Jaipur

    Take a walking tour through some of the back streets and narrow alleyways of Old Delhi discovering the hidden side of the city

    Witness the holy rats in the Karni Mata rat temple near Bikaner

    Trek into the Thar Desert on an overnight camel safari with Rajasthani camel drivers

    Visit and support the Dragoman-supported Sambhali Trust near Jodhpur and see the excellent work they do to provide local women and girls with education and vocational skills

    Explore the blue city of Jodhpur and the mighty Meherangarh fort

    Visit to Ranakpur Jain marble temple Visit the tomb of Hoshang Shah, the first Muslim leader of Mandu - the tomb itself is India's first marble building and one of the most refined examples of Afghan-syle architecture in the country

    Visit to the Jahaz Mahal (the Ship Palace) - the most famous building in Mandu

    Visit the deserted hilltop ghost city of Mandu

    Take a guided visit around the incredible Buddhist rock caves and paintings of Ajanta some dating back as far as the 2nd century BCE

    Guided visit to the Buddhist Hindu and Jain rock-cut temples and monasteries of Ellora

    Experience a local overnight train from Mumbai to Goa

    Discover the lost kingdom of Vijayanagar in the magnificent ruined city of Hampi

    Explore the amazing Maharajas Palace of Mysore

    See the 7000-year-old Neolithic petroglyphs at the Edakkal caves en route Visit Fort Cochin or watch the Kathakali dancers

    Evening visit to watch the classical Indian dance drama of Kathakali

    Overnight on a houseboat in the Kerala Backwaters, exploring the unique eco-system of this labyrinthine system of lakes, canals and rivers

    Visit to the historical Hindu Meenakshi Amman Temple dedicated to lord Shiva

    Visit to the Shore Temples and Pagodas of Mahabalipuram

    Accommodation

    Comfortable Hotel 9 nights
    Basic Hotel 25 nights
    Camping 5 nights
    Guesthouse 10 nights
    Camping without facilities 2 nights
    Overnight Train 1 night
    Overnight Boat 1 night

    Local transport

    Overland Expedition Vehicle, Private Bus, Tuk Tuk, Boat, Camel, Train

    Meals

    Breakfasts x 48, Lunches x 24, Dinners x 30

    Northern & Southern Explorer

    Price from {{totalPrice}} EUR
    Flight tickets are not included. Our travel experts will gladly help you find the cheapest flights. The price above is based on 2 adults traveling together. The price is a from-price and varies with the date. See the exact price when selecting date.
    What's included?

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