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Delhi to Chennai
SAVE UP TO $785 on this tour

Asia is the continent where overlanding all started, and Dragoman has been the leading operator there since our first trucks went through in the 1980s - take advantage of our years of experience and come with us as we include all the must-see attractions as well as heading into the wilds, well away from the usual tourist trail. Starting in the bustling Indian capital of Delhi we enter the magnificent land of Rajasthan, visiting the white lakeside city of Udaipur, the blue city of Jodhpur, and the golden city of Jaisalmer. We'll also head out on a camel safari in the Thar Desert and discover the awe-inspiring ancient caves of Ajanta and Ellora, before arriving at the bright lights of Mumbai. From cosmopolitan Mumbai and the relaxing beaches of Goa, we head south via the wonderful historic cities of Hampi and Mysore, the tea plantations of Wayanad and the lush backwaters of Kerala. Once we get the the southern tip of India at Kanyakumari, we journey north through the colourful temples of Madurai and the ancient Shore Temples of Mahabalipuram to arrive in the bustling city of Chennai. A phenomenal Indian experience sure to leave you with many wonderful memories!

  • Duration: 39 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of: Boating
  • Physical rating: Light
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: WLH1/158078
  • Starts: Delhi, India
  • Finishes: Chennai, India
You will Visit
  • Delhi
  • Bikaner
  • Jaisalmer
  • Jodhpur
  • Sambhali Trust
  • Udaipur
  • Mandu
  • Ajanta
  • Ellora
  • Mumbai
  • Goa
  • Old Goa
  • Hampi
  • Mysore
  • Wayanad
  • Cochin
  • Alleppey
  • Varkala
  • Kanyakumari
  • Madurai
  • Pondicherry
  • Mahabalipuram
  • Chennai

Itinerary

01

Day 1: 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.

In Delhi we will stay in a local hotel.

02

Day 2: 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.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-9 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

03

Day 3: 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. 

In Jaisalmer we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-7 hours.

04

Day 4: Jaisalmer

Today we will have a free morning in order to freely 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 in the desert, sleeping under the stars.

05

Day 5: 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.

Tonight we will return to our hotel in Jaisalmer.

06

Day 6-7: 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 homestays.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-7 hours.

On the following day we will be in and around Jodhpur. In the morning we will have an included visit to the Mehrangarh Fort and Palace, and the afternoon is free to explore the city independently. 

07

Day 8: 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.

In Udaipur we will stay in a comfortable hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

08

Day 9-10: 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.

09

Day 11: Mandu

Leaving Udaipur, we will be joined by a local cook who will accompany us during the next few days whilst we are wild camping.

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 wild camp, perhaps on the edge of a local village.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

10

Day 12-14: Ajanta

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 wild camp spot near Kharwand Dam, en route towards Ajanta.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

The next day 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 wild camp nearby.

The following day 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 same campsite tonight.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

11

Day 15: Mumbai

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

In Mumbai we will stay in a comfortable hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.

12

Day 16: 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. 

In Mumbai we will stay in a good quality hotel.

13

Day 17: Mumbai

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

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Mumbai 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 Mumbai.

14

Day 18-19: 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. 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.

In northern Goa we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities close to the beach.

Estimated Journey Time (on train) - 11-12 hours.

15

Day 20-21: 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.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

We will stay for 2 nights in beautiful beach huts on the stunning beach of Agonda, which is a perfect place to sit back and watch the fishing boats landing their catch, sample the delicious local cuisine, or visit the nearby beach of Palolem with its many bars and restaurants.

16

Day 22-23: 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. 

Estimated Drive Time - 9-11 hours.

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

In Hampi we will stay in a comfortable local guesthouse.

17

Day 24-25: Mysore

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

Estimated Drive Time - 10-12 hours.

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

In Mysore we will stay in a comfortable hotel.

18

Day 26-27: 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.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

Over the 2 days that we have in Wayanad we will have the chance to hike up Chembra Peak, visit local waterfalls and tea plantations, visit the petroglyphs at the Edakkal Caves, and to visit the nearby Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary.

Whilst in Wayanad we stay as guests of local families at a homestay, where they have set up rooms for visitors in their homes.

19

Day 28-29: Kochi

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

Estimated Drive Time - 7-10 hours.

On the following day 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.

In Kochi we will stay in a comfortable hotel.

20

Day 30: 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. 

21

Day 31-33: Varkala

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

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

We will have 3 nights here with free time to explore the surrounding areas and relax on the beautiful beaches. Varkala is well known for its beaches, and there are also lots of great local restaurants where you can sample the justifiably-famous Keralan cuisine.

In Varkala we will stay at a beach resort.

22

Day 34: 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 independently explore the Vivekananda Rock and the surrounding sites.

In Kanyakumari we will stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

23

Day 35: 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.

In Madurai we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

24

Day 36-37: Pondicherry

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

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

We will have 2 nights here with plenty of time to relax and soak up the atmosphere and spend time exploring the town and its beautiful colonial architecture. 

In Pondicherry we will stay in a local guesthouse.

 

25

Day 38: Mahabalipuram

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.

In Chennai we will stay in a comfortable hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 5 - 6 hours.

26

Day 39: 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 the Dragoman Sales team 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.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • 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
    • Explore the blue city of Jodhpur and the mighty Meherangarh fort
    • Community homestay to experience true Indian hospitality
    • 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
    • 2 nights to discover the stunning white city of Udaipur
    • 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 (or 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
    • Discover the lost kingdom of Vijayanagar in the magnificent ruined city of Hampi
    • Explore the amazing Maharaja's Palace of Mysore
    • See the 7000-year-old Neolithic petroglyphs at the Edakkal caves en route
    • Relax at the community Homestay in the hills of Wayanad
    • Evening visit to watch the classical Indian dance drama of Kathakali
    • Travel overnight by local boat through the Backwaters and experience the villages of Kerala
    • Visit to the historical Hindu Meenakshi Amman Temple, dedicated to lord Shiva
    • Visit to the Shore Temples & Pagodas of Mahabalipuram
    Tour Staff
    • 2 Crew, local guide where necessary
    Accomodation
    • 10% Camping - 90% Hotels
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Tour Highlights:
  • History & Culture
  • Boating