India Real Food Adventure

Trip Code: HHZM

Why we love it

Get a true taste of some of India's finest culinary traditions – Mughal, Rajasthani, and the Portuguese-tinged flavours of Goa – while feasting in local restaurants, rural homes and heritage buildings., Some of India’s best food is found at a street side stall. Get in touch with an amazing array of authentic food on eye-opening and adventurous cuisine crawls around Delhi, Udaipur and Mumbai., Bask in the ivory glow of the iconic Taj Mahal in Agra, followed by a Mughlai cooking demonstration and lunch in a local home with your small group., Take a day to visit local farming communities in Rajasthan’s Mewar region, visiting working vegetable and spice farms to learning about these coveted building blocks of Indian cuisine., See the rich tapestry of India’s culture and history on display, passing by the Hindu and Jain influences in Udaipur, chai wallahs in local markets, and staying at a heritage property in Bijaipur.

Is this trip right for me?

India is a great food destination for vegetarians. With wonderful fresh produce and many delicious local dishes, you'll have a great time on this trip. For vegans we recommend reviewing the itinerary and inclusions to ensure that you will be able to fully participate and enjoy this trip. We also have many other trips to India which can accommodate a range of dietary requirements.

India is a big country and there are some long travel days on this departure. Use these as an opportunity to relax, witness everyday life from the window of your vehicle and get to know your fellow travellers.

This trip travels by overnight train from Udaipur to Mumbai. While the overnight train can seem a little daunting, it is a very efficient way to travel long distances and maximising time in each place. Long distance and overnight trains can often be delayed and occasionally cancelled due to heavy fog between December and February.

This trip stays in a mix of accommodation to experience a variety of Indian life. Standards can vary though – there will be hot water in most but not all hotels.

The climate in India can vary in the different states – be prepared for hot sticky days and cooler evenings. Layered clothing is the best way to tackle this disparity in weather.

Old Delhi can be very busy and crowded. While it’s an exciting place to see local life moving around you, be aware that on the walking tour you’ll need to navigate through people, tight spaces and walkways.

Important information

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Day 10 (Overnight Train) where you will be in shared accommodation, and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. While we endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements, some meals and food activities are set in advance and may be difficult to adjust. Please advise us of any dietary requirements at the time of booking so that we can ensure you’ll enjoy this trip.
3. Please provide your full name exactly as it appears on your passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport) for transport tickets. Ticketing fees may apply for amendments to details within 45 days of departure, and in some cases, you will be required to cover the cost of issuing a new ticket if an amendment occurs.
4. This trip includes domestic flights. The luggage allowance is 15kg for check in luggage and 7kg for carry on.

What to bring/pack

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances or up or down a flight of stairs. Our travellers usually find the smaller their luggage is, the more they enjoy the trip not having to worry about carrying heavy bags! Aim to keep your main luggage under 15kg.

Many travellers carry their luggage in a compact smaller suitcase or backpack with wheels. We recommend your bag has carry straps or handles so it is easy to lift and carry for the times you are unable to wheel it (ie. on rough surfaces or up steps).

If you are taking overnight trains, or primarily using public transport then the smaller your luggage the easier it will be to store under or above bunks. Large suitcases may not be able to be taken on board. A lockable bag or small padlock for your bag will be useful especially when travelling on public transportation as well.

You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water, camera, and jacket etc. when you’re exploring during the day.

Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:, https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list, TRAVELLING ON LOCAL TRANSPORT
It's important that your bags can be locked, as on local transport it may be necessary that your luggage gets stowed separately (and unattended). The smaller your bag the better for you and other passengers, for when it comes to travelling on local buses and trains it's often only the smaller bags that will fit into the storage areas inside the bus or your cabin. To ensure maximum comfort, try to pack small and light.

LUGGAGE STORAGE
Where Intrepid covers the cost of luggage storage during included day trips, we allow for one bag/backpack only, so it's advisable that you travel lightly and keep luggage to a limit of one item (plus your day pack). Extra luggage storage will be at your own expense., IMAGES FROM HOME
During our trip, there will be many opportunities for you to meet and talk with locals. One way to start any conversation is with pictures. We recommend that you bring some photos/postcards of your family, home, city or country where you live, animals peculiar to your country, etc., PASSPORT COPY:
Please bring a photocopy of your passport main page and airline ticket if you will require airline reconfirmation at the end of your trip., SLEEPING BAG:
While a sleeping bag is not compulsory for this tour, many travellers have found one useful for camping, overnight trains and poorly heated hotels, particularly during the winter months of Dec/Jan when temperatures are low., LUGGAGE LIMITS
Please note, there is a strict luggage limit of 15kgs checked in plus 7kgs carry on for the flights on this trip. No exceptions can be made.

Physical rating

 
2

Joining your group

Hotel Surya International, 4/33, Saraswati Marg, W.E.A., Karol Bagh, Delhi, 110005, INDIA, Phone: +91 9999663111

Located in the heart of the city in Karol Bagh just minutes away from the Metro station. The rooms are equipped with a mini bar, cable TV, tea/coffee maker, air conditioning, 24 hour room service, safe and Wi-Fi.

Joining instructions

Delhi's Indira Gandhi's International Airport is approximately 25km from Karol Bagh. One of the biggest airports in the world, it can be quite chaotic and can take some time to process your visa and collect your luggage.

Intrepid offer a pre-arranged transfer service option. Enquire with your agent and advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your trip departure. If you have purchased an arrival transfer you will be met in the arrivals hall after clearing customs, your representative with sign board will be standing near the Costa Coffee next to gate no 5. Please ask them to confirm your name.

Please do not exit the gates, Costa coffee is just before the exit gate no.5.
If you have any problems and cannot locate our representative, or if your flight is delayed please call the following 24 hour number:

+91 9911972636

If you do not have a mobile phone, there are public phones next to Costa Coffee. Calls cost 1 rupee per minute

Failing the above please take a taxi to the hotel (using the instructions below) and advise your group leader. When you walk out of the exit door, you will easily be able to spot popular metered taxi counters such as Meru Cabs/Mega Cabs or Easy Cabs, show them your drop location and pay them as per the meter once you get to your hotel.

Taxi's from the airport to our starting point hotel take approx 1 hour and costs between INR 500 - 600 (prepaid traffic police booths).

IMPORTANT: Please avoid taxi touts who tell you that they have a metered taxi parked outside the airport. Previous passengers have complained that they have been charged hefty amount for the transfers.

The Delhi metro is another option from the airport. Trains depart between approx 5am and 11:30pm, the trip takes approx. 45 mins and costs around INR100. Please refer to the metro map for lines, changes and directions to Karol Bagh where most of our hotels are located. http://delhimetrorail.info/delhi-metro-map

Check in time at hotel is 12 midday.

Finishing your trip

Lemon Tree Candolim, Pinto Waddo, Candolim, Bardez, Goa, 403515, Candolim, Goa, INDIA

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 13

Lunches included: 9

Dinners included: 4

While we will endeavour to cater to dietary requirements where possible, please note that many meals and food activities on Real Food Adventures are set in advance in order to deliver a well-rounded experience of a country’s cuisine. In many countries, dietary restrictions are uncommon and not well understood. If you have dietary requirements and are concerned about whether this may impact on your ability to participate fully in all food-related activities on this trip, please speak with your booking agent so it can be determined whether your dietary requirements can be met.

Meals & Beverages:
Please refer to the inclusions section for the included meals and food activities. Beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) are not included with meals unless specified or part of a beverage tasting activity. 

FOOD IN INDIA:
Food is a way of life in India. You can snack for a bargain or dine in the finest Indian restaurants. Generally, you can eat very cheaply in India. There is a huge choice of restaurants and street stalls serving traditional and local Indian food. In bigger restaurants in areas frequented by more tourists, there is a choice between Indian, Chinese and Western-style food. Here are some ideas of what to try: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/best-food-in-india/
https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/foodies-guide-south-india/

Please note that service in restaurants (especially with a group) can be quite slow so patience is a must.

India caters very well towards vegetarians and vegans with almost all restaurants having a veg and pure veg section of the menu. If in doubt please check with your tour leader. See our guide to eating vegan in India here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/india-vegan-food-guide/

Your tour leader will be able to direct you towards restaurants that are known to have better hygiene, especially in tourist areas where they are travelling with our groups regularly. For some more advice on avoiding "Delhi belly", see our article here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/how-to-avoid-delhi-belly-in-india/

Climate & seasonal information

WEATHER IN INDIA
Due to India's size and topography, there's a huge amount of variation in its climate. We recommend you consider both the season and the part of India you intend to visit, so that you can best pack for your adventure.

One of the most beneficial times to visit India is from September to March when temperatures are at their best, with warm days and cool nights.

During winter (December to January), temperatures can get quite cold in Delhi and the north, especially at night. Hotels in some regions may not have adequate heating. In these months you may like to bring thermals for sleeping and a warm jacket for mornings and evenings. Fog can delay trains travelling throughout this region.

Monsoon is from May to October and offers hot and humid conditions. It is not unusual for trains to be delayed, and for activities in towns near rivers and lakes (ie Varanasi) to require amendment at this time of year. Your leader will be able to advise you locally on any changes.

FESTIVALS & HOLIDAYS
As a country of many cultures and religions, India has many festivals and public holidays. Here are some of the key dates and events:

HOLI (Festival of Colours)
2021 28-29 March
2022 17-18 March

DIWALI (Festival of Light)
2021 4 November
2022 24 October

RAMADAN (Muslim Holy Month)
2021 12 April-11 May
2022 01 April-02 May

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below.

Intrepid's Local Operator: +91 9999005019

Accommodations

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation.

Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.

ACCOMMODATION:
Some of the accommodation along the way is basic or simple, staying in local guesthouses and homestays. Some may have shared bathroom facilities with cold water only. We use a mixture of air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned rooms. Some areas of India experience daily load shedding. This is where the power may be turned off at certain times of the day and usually occurs for a few hours in the early afternoon. Most hotel properties have a restaurant or cafe serving local meals. Many restaurants and hotels do not serve alcohol for religious reasons or due to local laws. 

SHOWERS:
Showers at some hotels only have hot water at peak times (usually morning and evening). Outside of these times, you may need to speak to reception to obtain hot water.

ROOM ISSUES:
If you have any issues with your room, please speak to the hotel and your tour leader right away rather than your travel agent so that the problem can be addressed without delay.

Transportation

TRANSPORT IN INDIA:
Main roads in India are usually very busy with an assortment of vehicles from the biggest trucks (who always have right of way) down to bikes (and animals!). Overtaking on blind corners at speed is common as is the total use of the horn as a form of communication. Our leaders have complete authority to remove groups from local transport if the driver is not driving safely. Drivers of our private vehicles are experienced and well trained. if you are uncomfortable with your driver, please always let your tour leader know immediately. Please ensure you wear your seat belt at all times.

TRAVEL TIMES:
Distances in India do not reflect the driving time and to cover 100km may take much longer than you would expect at home, even if much of the route is on a highway.

TRAINS:
India has a massive network of trains and millions of people travel by rail every day. Trains often travel the length of the country over several days. Trains are a great way to see the countryside and get you away from the busy road system. Delays and cancellations are common on trains. Your tour leader will check the train status to see if there are delays and will do their best to keep you informed of any changes.

From December to February, delays are more common, especially in the north of the country due to fog. It’s not uncommon for trains to be delayed for up to 12 hours. On occasion, your trip will may to be rerouted to allow for these delays. Your tour leader in conjunction with our local office will advise any changes to the itinerary.

The Indian Railway system is one of the largest railway networks in the world and quite complex. Seat allocation is completely computerized on a centralized reservation system and we do not have control over seat allocations. Despite booking tickets months in advance of a departure your group's seats, or sleeping berths on overnight trains, maybe spread out within one carriage or multiple carriages of the same class. There’s a chance you’ll be sharing a compartment with local travelers of either gender.

For a detailed look into the experience of travelling by overnight trains read more here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/india-trains-guide/

AUTO RICKSHAWS:
On this trip, we travel on the local style of transport called an auto-rickshaw. These small, motorised three-wheeled vehicles are a common form of transport in India and do not have seatbelts.

FLIGHTS:
Airlines in India are of excellent quality. Airports are becoming more modern (especially in the major and tourist cities). To enter the airport, you must have a copy of your flight ticket and passport. Schedule changes and delays do occur, especially when weather conditions make visibility poor.

OVERNIGHT TRAINS
Your sleeper train is clean and air-conditioned, and is a great way to travel long distances and still get maximum time in each place. Beds are padded berths with sheets, pillow and blanket provided, but some people prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet. Please note you may be sharing with locals in a same gender/mixed gender situation and they are typically four to six berth compartments (dependant on seasonality and the journey). All long distance trains have a Pantry Car where travellers can purchase snacks and food throughout the journey. Tea, coffee and bottled drinks are also available onboard.
LONG TRAVEL DAYS
There are some long travel days and some of the transport can be quite cramped and without air-conditioning.


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