India is the perfect destination if you’re looking to do some long-term travelling that will stay in your memory (and heart!) for years. This 33-day trip allows you to travel like a native by taking the train from northeast to southwest, spotting innumerable beautiful sights along the way. From experiencing remote villages of Darjeeling and touring the Taj Mahal to absorbing the colours of Rajasthan and visiting the ruins of Karnataka, this train trip hits some of India’s highlights with plenty of time to disembark and get to know your surroundings.
Day 1 Kolkata
Arrive at any time.
Day 2 Kolkata/Jalpāiguri
Visit the Victoria Memorial and explore Mother Teresa’s House. Enjoy free time later and opt to explore the Indian Museum. In the evening, board an overnight New Jalpaiguri Kamrup Express train to New Jalpaiguri.
Day 3 Jalpāiguri/Darjeeling
Arrive at New Jalpaiguri and continue onwards by van to Darjeeling. Take an orientation tour of the town before enjoying free time with the rest of the evening.
Day 4 Darjeeling
Watch the sunrise at Tiger Hill, visit a tea estate and explore the Mahakal Temple. Later, travel the World Heritage-listed Darjeeling Himalayan Railway on a vintage steam engine train. Continue with a visit to the Peace Pagoda.
Day 5 Darjeeling/Gangtok
Continue by private van to Gangtok and take an orientation tour of the town. Take in the stunning scenery of the Himalayas surrounding this quaint town.
Day 6 Gangtok
Start the day with an orientation walk, then enjoy a free day to explore this scenic town.
Day 7 Gangtok/Kalimpong
Continue by private vehicle to Kalimpong. Stop along the way at Rumtek Monastery. Embark on an orientation walk of the town of Kalimpong then enjoy the rest of the day to explore at leisure.
Day 8 Darjeeling to Varanasi
Drive to New Jalpaiguri Station with a stop en route at Deolo Hills to take in views of the mountainous scenery. Catch the overnight train to Varanasi.
Day 9 Mughal Sarāi/Varanasi
Arrive to Mughal Sarai in the morning and continue by van to Varanasi. Enjoy an evening visit to the ghats and watch the prayer sessions.
Day 10 Varanasi
Take a sunrise boat trip on the Ganges. Enjoy a free afternoon to explore Sarnath and the city of Varanasi.
Day 11 Varanasi/Lucknow
Take a morning Varanasi-Lucknow Intercity train. In the afternoon, visit the Bara Imambara.
Day 12 Lucknow/Delhi (1D)
Spend most of the day exploring Lucknow. Opt to explore The Residency and be immersed in colonial era history. In the afternoon, board the Swarna Shatabdi Express train to Delhi, with dinner provided on board. Enjoy the night in the bustle of Delhi.
Day 13 Delhi
Enjoy a free day in Delhi.
Day 14 Delhi/Āgra (1B)
Take the Shatabdi Express train to Agra, with breakfast served on board. Enjoy a guided tour of the impressive Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. Time permitting, opt to visit the Baby Taj.
Day 15 Āgra/Jaipur
Hop on a Shatabdi Express train in the evening to Jaipur.
Day 16 Jaipur
Take an orientation walk around town. Take a photo of the Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds) and visit the Amber Fort. Walk around the Old City and markets and opt to visit the City Palace. With free time, choose to visit local artisans in a nearby village, wander the Jantar Mantar, or check out a Bollywood film at the spectacular Art Deco film house, the Raj Mandir.
Day 17 Jaipur/Udaipur
In the morning board a train and soak in the passing scenery en route to Udaipur. Arrive in the evening with free time to explore the city.
Day 18 Udaipur
Enjoy an orientation walk, including a visit to the Jagdish Temple and the City Palace, one of the largest royal palaces in India. Attend a Rajasthani cultural show on Gangaur Ghat.
Day 19 Udaipur/Būndi
Take a train to Bundi to explore the fort and stepwells.
Day 20 Būndi/Mumbai (1D)
Explore Bundi with some free time before an overnight trip on the Mumbai Rajdhani Express train, with dinner on board.
Day 21 Mumbai
Arrive in the morning in bustling Mumbai, home to 20 million people. Take a walking tour of the Colaba area and see the Gateway of India.
Day 22 Mumbai/Goa
Catch a morning flight to beautiful Goa. Spend free time relaxing on the beach or exploring the city’s monuments.
Day 23 Goa
Enjoy a free day in Goa.
Day 24 Goa
Enjoy a free day in Goa.
Day 25 Goa
Spend a free day relaxing on the beach or opt to visit the many Portuguese-built monuments, wander around the churches of Old Goa (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), or discover Panjim, the capital. Don’t forget to indulge in Goan cuisine.
Day 26 Goa/Hampi
Travel by Visakhapatnam Howrah Express train and then by van to reach Hampi, in the heart of Karnataka.
Day 27 Hampi/Mysore
Enjoy a walking tour and explore the spectacular ruins of Hampi Palaces, Vittala Temple complex, Virupaksh Temple, Hazararama Temple, and the boulders on the river. In the evening, take an overnight Hampi Express train to Mysore.
Day 28 Mysore
Arrive to Mysore and explore the Mysore Palace and Chamundi Hill.
Day 29 Mysore/Madikeri
Drive to Bylakuppe and explore the Namdroling Monastery - home to nearly 5,000 Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns. Later drive to Madikeri for the evening.
Day 30 Madikeri
Explore Madikeri (the coffee hub of India) and enjoy a tour of a coffee plantation. Later, enjoy an orientation walk around the town and then enjoy free time to explore in the afternoon.
Day 31 Madikeri/Kochi
Take a morning drive to the coastal town of Kannur. Catch the Ernakulam Express to Kochi in the afternoon.
Day 32 Kochi
Explore the Fort Kochi area and see the Chinese fishing nets at work. If time permits, visit the Jewish area and synagogue, the Dutch Palace, and Spice Market.
Day 33 Kochi
Depart at any time.
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