PMGY Real India Experience - 28 Nights Volunteer/Community

kerala and south india

Start in Delhi and end in Kochi (Cochin)! With the volunteer/community tour PMGY Real India Experience, you have a 28 day tour package taking you through Delhi, India and 5 other destinations in India. PMGY Real India Experience includes accommodation as well as an expert guide, meals, transport and more.

Itinerary

  • Arrival

    You will be met at Indira Gandhi International Airport by a member of our local team who will be holding a name sign. They will take you straight to our Volunteer House, which is about 40 miles away. This can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours to get to depending on the traffic. The rest of the day is relatively informal, as we may have volunteers arriving throughout the day. This is the perfect opportunity to get some much-needed rest, to get to know the rest of your group and get familiar with your accommodation. After dinner on the Sunday there is then the opportunity for volunteers to explore the local market if they wish to do so. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & DinnerStart point Indira Gandhi International Airport, Indira Gandhi International Airport, Airport Rd., New Delhi, Delhi, India 00:00 - 00:00

  • Orientation

    After a good nights sleep and a hearty breakfast, we will begin the orientation day. We will start with the theoretical part covering all the essential information you need to know for your time in India. This will include what you can expect from the tour as well as issues of health & safety, language, money matters, cultural differences, rules & regulations etc. This is also a great chance for the group to really get to know each other and ask our local team any questions you may have. We will then go for a tour of the local area so that you can use the ATM/exchange money, buy a SIM card and any other essential amenities. After that we will visit some of the communities and slum areas where you will work during your time in Delhi. That evening its time to get crafty as we will be heading to a local pottery centre for a pottery class where you will get to make your very own pots as an early memento on your time on the Real Experience. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

  • First Day of Volunteering

    Tuesday is your first day of volunteering, one of our local coordinators will travel with you to the project to introduce you to the staff and discuss your work schedule. Depending on which project is your preference, you will volunteer in the morning or afternoon ? in some cases both! You can expect to volunteer for around 3 to 4 hours per day. Typically volunteers will have the option of supporting on our childcare project, teaching or medical programmes. In general the volunteer programme in Delhi is all centred around community work in the slum areas of Faridabad. Volunteers will talk through the options available to them with the local team when in India and placements will thus be confirmed accordingly when in-country. If the project you are working on isn?t in walking distance from the Volunteer House then our local team will take you to and from the project each day. You?ll be in personal contact with our local coordinators every day so if you need anything we are there for you 24/7. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

  • Volunteering Continues

    After all your initial introductions, it?s time to settle into the India volunteer program. For the next two days, you will continue your volunteer placement during the day. The evenings are free for you to explore the local area.

  • Exploring Jaipur, Indias Pink City

    Jaipur is affectionately known as the Pink City because of the pink walls and buildings of the old city. The state capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur lies on the edge of the Thar Desert, surrounded by the Aravali hills. It was also one of the first planned cities in India. Jaipur?s remarkably well-preserved heritage, which includes hilltop forts, bustling old markets, and lovely palaces, will keep the group well entertained for the next two days! Over the course of the two days we?ll explore some of Jaipur?s best sites. We?ll visit the epic Amber Fort. Amber Fort, which sits on a hilltop and faces out over the Maota Lake. It?s a truly beautiful sight to behold. The Fort?s architecture is a magnificent blend of Hindu and Mughal influences. Made out of red sandstone and white marble, it consists of a series of courtyards, palaces, halls, and gardens. Perhaps, the most beautiful part of it is the Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Palace) with its intricately carved, glittering walls and ceilings. The group will then travel on to the Albert Hall Museum, Hawa Mahal and Jal Mahal (a palace located in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake in Jaipur city). We?ll also have the chance to explore some of Jaipur?s bustling markets. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

  • The Magnificient Taj Mahal & Agra Fort

    We will make our way to the Taj Mahal for sunrise ? epic photo opportunities guaranteed. An English-speaking guide will teach you all about the story, which inspired the building of the Taj Mahal, and the tragedy involved in creating it. We will then spend the rest of the day before our journey home exploring Agra Fort. The Agra Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, not to be missed. It is more informally described as ?the walled city?. After a full morning at the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort, we?ll get something to eat, go round one of the local markets and then head back to the accommodation. We will return to the accommodation in the evening time so you can resume your project work on Monday morning.

  • Volunteering Continues

    After your busy weekend away, it will be time to return to your volunteering. During the day, you will spend your time on your project. Evenings are again free for you to explore the local area and Delhi.? The local team can help you arrange different activities too! From Bollywood Movies to cooking lessons or even yoga, you just need to speak to the team and they will be able to outline your options.

  • Heading South

    Today, the group will fly from Delhi to Kochi. Our local team will drop you off at the airport in time for your flight. The flight from Delhi to Kochi is included in your Programme Fee. We will send you full information on the details of the flight nearer the trip start date. It will be a direct flight and so will take 2-3 hours. You will have up to 15kg of checked luggage as well as a carry on-luggage allowance.? On-arrival into Cochin International Airport you will be collected from the airport by a member of our local team or an appointed driver who will take you to your homestay in Fort Kochi. On the journey from the airport to the homestay, there is the opportunity to stop at a nearby supermarket. This will allow you to purchase food items for lunch during the week. If you need to exchange money prior to this supermarket visit, you can request this from the team member. Once the group have settled into their rooms at the homestay, our local team will give you an introduction to the PMGY Kerala programme. We will also go out for dinner together and have a walking tour of Fort Kochi. Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner

  • Orientation

    Today is your orientation day in Fort Kochi. We will tell you all about life in Kerala and go through all the essential information you need to know, such as safety, transport, money matters etc. We?ll go through your itinerary for the next two weeks and answer any questions you may have. There will also be the opportunity to exchange money. After lunch, we will explore the parts of Fort Kochi that we didn?t manage to see the evening before. Fort Kochi is such a beautiful and laid-back place it?s really enjoyable just having a leisurely stroll around the city. Life in Kerala is a world away from the hustle and bustle of Delhi! Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner

  • Start New Project

    Monday is the beginning of your volunteering phase in Kerala. Our local team will travel with you to your volunteer project to introduce you to the local staff and the children. We will go through your work schedule and discuss how you can get involved in the project. We will also explain how to get from your homestay to the project and back. Your project transport is provided and included in your Programme Fee. You will be travelling to the projects with other members of the group, so you will never be alone. The journey should be up to around 45 minutes each way to and from the project. In the mornings you will teach English in a local school. The children are typically aged between 8-10 years. Prior to project, the local team will outline to you the aims of the teaching project. However, it will be the responsibility of the group to plan and run their own lessons. This will require levels of high proactiveness and engagement from the group to ensure that the classes as productive and fun as possible. Please note that PMGY staff will not be directly present on the school site, rather volunteers are expected to work alongside the local school teachers. In the afternoons, you may be able to help out at a childcare project. You can therefore expect to volunteer for around 4 to 6 hours per day. Your evening is free to plan the remainder of your lessons and relax with your peers. Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner

  • Project Work

    You will spend the day volunteering. That evening we will take you to a Martial Arts show, followed by a Kathakali performance. The first show will last 1 hour, whilst the second lasts around 2 hours. Together, these provide a fascinating insight into Keralan history. Kathakali (story play) is the classical dance drama of Kerala, which dates from the 17th century and is rooted in Hindu mythology. Kathakali has a unique combination of literature, music, painting, acting and dance, and draws heavily from drama and is danced with elaborate masks and costumes. Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner

  • Project Work

    Volunteering during the day. In the evening, We have arranged a cooking class for the group, so tonight you?ll be preparing your own dinner! One of the best parts of travelling is the food and Kerala is world-renowned for it?s amazing cuisine. Bringing back a food story, a new ingredient or a recipe, is a great thing to take away from your time with PMGY in Fort Kochi. Who will be the Master Chef of the group?! Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner

  • Project Work

    Volunteering during the day. That evening we will have a Bollywood night in town. It?s time to experience Bollywood Kerala style! Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner

  • (Friday) Project Work

    Today is your last day at the project. Time to say goodbye to the children and staff you?ve supported over the week. Your evening is free to chill out before we set off on an adventure the following day! Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner

  • The Backwaters

    Today we are heading to Kerala?s legendary ?Backwaters?. The backwaters are a maze of winding rivers, canals and lakes stretching nearly 50 miles from Quilon (Kollam) in the south to Kochi in the north. Traditionally used as one of the main transportation alleys, today the backwaters offer a picturesque and tranquil experience for visitors. You will trail the backwaters on a boat (known as a Kettu Vallam). The scenery along the way is spectacular. The views are lined with dense tropical greenery and rural Keralan communities that are completely hidden from the road. You can choose to have a day-trip on the backwaters or opt for an overnight (2 day/1 night) trip where you would stay overnight on a houseboat. After breakfast we will take the bus to either Allepey or Kumarakom, before boarding the houseboat and starting our cruise of the backwaters. It will be the choice of the group whether you spend the day on a canoe, or the night on a houseboat. Should the group choose the latter, we will spend the night on the boat under a star lit sky. A group of friends cruising on their own boat surrounded by the spectacular Keralan countryside - it really doesn?t get much better than this!. We will take breakfast on the boat and then make our way back by bus to Fort Kochi, arriving back in the afternoon. The rest of the day is free. You can chill out by a pool at a nearby hotel (this costs around ?5 per person) or even take an Ayurveda Massage. Ayurveda is one of the world?s oldest holistic (whole-body) healing systems. It was developed thousands of years ago in India. It is based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. The primary focus of Ayurveda medicine is to promote good health, rather than fight disease. It costs around ?12 to ?15 for a one hour massage. These can be easily arranged and there are some great places located in walking distance from the groups? accommodation. Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner

  • Munnar

    In and around MunnarIt?s time to see a completely different side of India, the spectacular hill station of Munnar. Where the sounds echo, the mountains play with the clouds, the rivers caress the land, and the tea plantations kiss the earth ? Munnar is that piece of God?s Own Country! Munnar, 80 miles east of Kochi, is the centre of Kerala?s principal tea-growing region and South India?s prime hill retreat. It?s also a hot spot for adventure travel. There are some amazing trekking opportunities in Munnar and the views are just spectacular. After breakfast on Monday, we?ll travel to Munnar by private car. We will visit a tea plantation, a spice plantation and a number of beautiful waterfalls. That night we?ll check into our homestay. We will spend out night within Green Magic Home. The views in this homestay couldn?t be more spectacular, overlooking lush, green tea-plantations, up high in the mountains. The following morning its time to put your walking shoes on as we begin our hike! We?ll trek for the whole day, stopping off regularly throughout the day. We?ll trek through tea plantations and forest taking in the beautiful scenery around us. If we?re lucky we may also spot some wildlife over the course of the day, including wild elephants! On Wednesday morning we will continue our trek. The trek will finish around mid-afternoon. We will head back to our homestay in Munnar and put our feet up for the rest of the day! On the Thursday morning we will take a private car back to Fort Kochi. The rest of the day is free. If you?ve got some energy left you could always do some yoga. Yoga is really big in Fort Kochi. A one hour class can be arranged for ?3 to ?5. Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner

  • Free Day/Farewell Party

    It?s your last full day of the PMGY India Intro Experience. It?s time to buy any last minute souvenirs and just enjoy the last day together. There are some great places in Fort Kochi to buy gifts and souvenirs ? our local team will show you where to go! In the evening we will have a farewell dinner at Jasmine Villa, with all PMGY Kerala staff and the group. Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner

  • Fly Home

    It?s time to go our separate ways! Saturday is your final day on the Real India Experience. You should book your return/onward flight to depart out of Cochin International Airport (airport code COK). Your return airport transfer is not included in the Programme Fee. Our local team can help you arrange a taxi back to the airport with one of our appointed drivers. ?The cost is around ?15 but its most likely you can split this with another volunteer who is heading back at the same time as you. The journey takes around 1.5 hours. It?s been an incredible journey everyone?see you on another PMGY Real Experience next year? Meals Included: NoneEnd point Cochin International Airport, Cochin International Airport (COK), Nedumbassery, Alwaye, Kerala, India 00:00 - 00:00

Inclusion

  • GST on total package
  • Accomodation in a well appointed room
  • Meals as per hotel plan and ones mentioned in itinerary
  • All transfers and sightseeing as per the itinerary in an air-conditioned vehicle (except in the hills when the air-conditioner will be switched off)
  • All toll taxes, parking fees and driver allowances
  • All applicable hotel taxes

Exclusion

  • Anything not mentioned under ‘Package Inclusions??:tm:
  • All personal expenses, optional tours and extra meals
  • Camera fees, alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages
  • Vehicle service on leisure days for sightseeing not included in the itinerary
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Tips, laundry and phone calls

Location

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