It doesn't get much more epic than this 2000-mile tour of the Indian subcontinent. From the high passes of the Himalaya; to steaming tiger-haunted jungles; to the beaches of Goa and everything in between, this is a journey of discovery that will open your eyes to things you have never seen before.
- Jungle Safari in the Royal Chitwan National Park
- White Water Rafting on the Trishuli River
- Trek to Everest Base Camp
- Sunset at the Taj Mahal
- Visit the home of the Dalai Lama
- Assist on amazing Tibetan Refugee project
- Relax on pristine white sand beaches of Goa
WHAT TO EXPECT
Week 1: Kathmandu and Royal Chitwan Reserve
The adventure begins in Kathmandu, ancient capital of the mountain kingdom of Nepal. After arrival you'll have the chance to get to know your fellow travellers as you navigate the secret ways of this vibrant city, exploring ancient temples and bustling markets.
Experience the rush of white water rafting to break up the journey to the little-known tropical south of Nepal. Here live an array of incredible animals, including elephants, rhinoceros, sloth bears, leopards and, king of them all, the Bengal tiger. In the Royal Chitwan Reserve, formerly the hunting ground of the ruling class, learn about the unique local culture; visit an elephant training centre; and venture into tiger territory for a thrilling jungle safari by jeep and traditional dugout canoe.
Week 2: Pokhara Community Volunteer Project
From Chitwan the road leads north to Pokhara, an idyllic lakeside town among the foothills of the Annapurna range. Invest your time to undertake vital community work in a school and care centre for underprivileged children. Help with lessons and homework, plan activities and play with children whose intelligence and work ethic despite their background of poverty will amaze you.
Swap town for country and lend a hand on a farm that provides food and essential skills training for the care centre, chilling out after a hard day’s work in beautiful hand-built cabins with views of rice paddies and forested hills.
Week 3-4: Trek to Everest Base Camp challenge
It’s time to step up. Following in the footsteps of famous mountaineers, we chart a course up the sacred Khumbu valley, a place hidden from the world until it was discovered that it led to the highest mountain on Earth. Passing timeless Sherpa villages, beautiful alpine forests and ancient Buddhist monasteries, each day will be different as you push into ever higher, more rugged territory. In the heart of the Himalaya, witness the jaw-dropping spectacle of Chomolungma, the Mother Goddess, better known to you and I as Mount Everest: our planet’s highest point. On the forbidding Khumbu glacier at its foot is our goal: Base Camp, the 5,360 metre launching point for attempts to the summit. Take in the otherworldly atmosphere of this legendary place, and push yourself further still by summiting Kala Patthar (5,600 m), a dizzying viewpoint offering the ultimate views of Everest.
This 12 day journey amid the most dramatic landscape on Earth may at times leave you breathless in more ways than one, but you’ll never forget it.
Week 5: Dharamsala Tibetan Refugee Volunteering
For the next stage of your adventure, you will swap the delights of Nepal with the incredible sights and sounds of India! Your introduction will be the hustle and bustle of New Delhi, the county’s capital and economic powerhouse. From there you will take the long bus journey north to the old colonial station of Dharamsala in the foothills of the Himalayas and now the home-in-exile of the Dalai Lama.
During your time in Dharamsala, you will volunteer on an amazing project teaching English to Buddhist monks in training at the Tibetan Open School. Language lessons are incredibly important to newly arrived Tibetan refugees enabling them to build a new life for themselves in India.
Week 6: Amritsar, Jaipur & The Taj Mahal
Your journey continues with a visit to the city of Amritsar, home to the impressive Golden Temple, the holiest Gurdwara of Sikhism. From there you will take a long journey south to Jaipur where you can enjoy a full day sightseeing places such as Pink City, city Palace, Amer fort Jantar Mantar, Hawa Mahal and Jal Mahal.
This week culminates with a visit to Agra Fort and The infamous Taj Mahal. Marvel at the 20 meter high double walls of the red sandstone Agra Fort before heading over to the Taj Mahal, an incredible marble mausoleum and recently included as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. You will have plenty of time to explore and enjoy the stunning sunset.
Week 7: Rajasthan & Mumbai
Continuing south, you will next head to one of India’s most visited states, Rajasthan, land of the Kings with majestic forts and lavish palaces, jungles and sand dunes. First stop here will be the Blue City of Jodphur with its winding streets and colossal fort. From there, you will head to Udairpur, a firm favourite for Gapforce groups due to its tranquil setting and perfect place to relax. Here you will also find India’s second largest temple and the beautiful Pichola lake.
Next up is the city of Mumbai, Southern India’s economic powerhouse. Admire the Gateway of India Monument, shop in Crawford Market, take a stroll down Marine Drive and do some people-watching at Chowpatty Beach where Fakirs walk on fire, sleep on nails and climb ropes in mid air.
Week 8: Goa
The final leg of your epic journey brings you to the white sand beaches of Goa. For decades, travellers have been drawn to the pristine beaches and warm climate of Goa and it is very easy to see why. This makes it the perfect place to end your adventure relaxing on the sand, swimming in the warm waters and watching the beautiful sunsets over the ocean.
Goa is also a great place to reflect on what will have been an unforgettable eight week journey through two incredible countries.