Start in New Delhi and end in Chennai (Madras)! With the overland truck tour Poppodoms & Palm Trees, you have a 39 day tour package taking you through New Delhi, India and 22 other destinations in India. Poppodoms & Palm Trees includes accommodation in a hotel as well as an expert guide, meals, transport and more.
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.Optional activities:Take a walking tour through some of the back streets and narrow alleyways of Old Delhi, discovering the hidden side of the city: INR 1000Explore the Sanjay Colony slum area of Delhi on a guided tour to see the micro-industries, schools and residential life there: INR 1000
In and around BikanerToday 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 - 10- 12?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!).Activities included:Witness the holy rats in the Karni Mata rat temple near Bikaner
In and around JaisalmerToday 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.
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.Activities included:Trek into the Thar Desert on an overnight camel safari with Rajasthani camel drivers
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.Optional activities:Visit the beautiful and ornate 18th-century mansions of Salim Singh-ki Haveli and Patwa-ki Haveli: INR 200Watch the sunset from the stunning Amar Sagar Jain Temple in Jaisalmer: INR 500
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, guesthouses that?have?been set up by local families?for visitors. Depending on the group size sometimes we will be split up between different guesthouses. 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.?Activities included:Explore the blue city of Jodhpur and the mighty Meherangarh fortCommunity guesthouse to experience true Indian hospitalityVisit 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 skillsOptional activities:Visit the Jaswant Thada, a beautiful marble cenotaph next to a picturesque lake built in memorial to Maharaja Jaswant Singh II: INR 100Learn all about Rajasthani cuisine at a cooking class at our guesthouse or homestay in Jodhpur: INR 1000Explore the museum of the Jodhpur Royal Family in the Umaid Bhawan Palace, one of the worlds largest private residences: INR 50Explore the nearby Mandore Gardens and ancient ruined fort: INRGo out on an exhilarating zip-lining excursion over the gardens of the Mehrangarh Fort: INR 2000
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 - 7 - 8 hoursActivities included:2 nights to discover the stunning white city of 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.Optional activities:Take an evening ride on the Udaipur Ropeway, to see the stunning vista of the city after sunset: INR 103Learn all about the folk art, culture, songs and festivals of Rajasthan at the Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal cultural institution: INR 100Visit the Animal Aid Unlimited animal shelter and hospital in Udiapur, and support the incredible work they do there to look after injured street animals in the area: USD 10Visit the iconic Monsoon Palace, perched on a mountain overlooking Udaipur: INR 160Explore the Pichola Lake, and its famous temple islands of Jagniwas and Jagmandir, on a stunning and peaceful boat cruise: INR 430Head out on a half-day horse ride through the beautiful surroundings of the foothills of the Aravalli Mountains around Udaipur: INR 3500Visit the palaces of Udaipur: INR 700
Leaving Udaipur, we will be joined by a local cook who will accompany us during the next few days whilst we are?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 be in a basic camp, perhaps on the edge of a local village. Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.
In and around ElloraToday 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. Estimated Drive Time - 3-5 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 find a basic camp nearby or continue onto Ellora depending on time. Estimated Drive Time - 6 -7?hours. 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 grounds of a hotel tonight.? Estimated Drive Time - 3 -4 hours.Activities included:Visit the tomb of Hoshang Shah, the first Muslim leader of Mandu - the tomb itself is Indias first marble building and one of the most refined examples of Afghan-syle architecture in the countryVisit to the Jahaz Mahal (the Ship Palace) - the most famous building in ManduTake a guided visit around the incredible Buddhist rock caves and paintings of Ajanta, some dating back as far as the 2nd century BCEGuided visit to the Buddhist,?Hindu?and?Jain?rock-cut?temples?and?monasteries of Ellora
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.
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 your 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. 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.Optional activities:Take a guided tour of the backstreets, shops and schools of the Dhavari district, to experience a slice of the real Mumbai: INR 1200Take a Bollywood dance class in one of Mumbais premier dance studios: INR 500Discover the marvellous collection of historical objects and art at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya Museum, one of Indias premier museums: INR 500Explore the labyrinth of cave-temples on Elephanta Island near Mumbai, some of the most impressive rock carvings in all of India: INR 750
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 the trains are often heavily booked in advance and it may not be possible to confirm tickets for all passengers. In the event that we cannot get a train ticket confirmed we will notify you to make alternative arrangements. This will generally mean you will travel by flight the next day and re meet the group in Goa.?Activities included:Experience a local overnight train from Mumbai to Goa
We will start our journey early 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.
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 areas 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?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.
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.Activities included:Discover the lost kingdom of Vijayanagar in the magnificent ruined city of Hampi
In and around MysoreFrom Hampi we will have another full day drive to the city of?Mysore,?one of Indias most attractive towns. Estimated Drive Time - 10-12 hours. On the following day?we will have free time?in Mysore?to independently?explore the citys beautiful gardens, palaces, and the Shri Chamarajendra art gallery. In Mysore we will stay in a comfortable hotel.
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. Enroute we will have the opportunity to visit the Eddakkal caves. A steep hike up allows breathtaking views over the local area and an insight into the carvings thought to date back over 3,000 years.? Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours. We will have a free day in Wayanad where we have many options available. From hiking up Chembra Peak, visiting local waterfalls and tea plantations, or the chance to visit the nearby Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary. Whilst in Wayanad we stay as guests of local families at a guesthouse where they have set up rooms?for visitors in their homes.Activities included:Relax at the Community Guesthouse in the hills of WayanadSee the 7000-year-old Neolithic petroglyphs at the Edakkal caves en routeOptional activities:Take a strenuous day-hike up the 2100m Chembra Peak, the highest peak in the Wayanad area: INR 1500Take a walk through the scenic Wayanad countryside to visit the Meenmutty or Kanthanppara waterfalls: INR 600
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, Indias most spectacular dance drama. In Kochi?we will stay in a comfortable hotel.Activities included:Evening visit to watch the classical Indian dance drama of Kathakali
In and around AlleppeyLeaving 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.
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 - 5 - 7?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.Optional activities:Head out for an evening performance of traditional Keralan Kathakali dancing: INR 300Get a traditional Ayurvedic massage in the Keralan town of Varkala: INR 1200
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.Optional activities:Take the ferry over to Vivekananda Rock and explore the memorial to the Hindu monk Swami Vivekananda: INR 150
This morning we have the option to get up early to watch the sunrise from the southern tip of India with thousands of locals, which 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.Activities included:Visit to the historical Hindu Meenakshi Amman Temple, dedicated to lord Shiva
Today we head to the French-influenced town of?Pondicherry, and will have 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. ?Optional activities:Sit down and relax with a coffee and a croissant at one of the many French Bakeries in town.?: INR 400Visit the spiritual community of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, founded in the early 20th century by the famous Bengali freedom fighter and spiritual leader: INR
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.Activities included:Visit the Chennai Government Museum, and its incredible selection of antiquities including Roman artefacts and coins from all eras of Indias pastVisit to the Shore Temples & Pagodas of MahabalipuramOptional activities:Visit the Fort St. George, the site of the East India Companys first trading station in 1640, and the first British fort in India: INR 100
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 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.Optional activities:Visit the Chennai Government Museum, and its incredible selection of antiquities including Roman artefacts and coins from all eras of Indias past: INR 250