4 Week India Road Trip- Volunteer and Travel
Fancy visiting 4 distinct states of India in one month? This Eco-tourism travel project could be the ultimate road trip for you. You’ll be taking in the experiences on offer across five very different regions of exotic India! Travel from the base of the Himalayas to the picturesque beaches of Goa taking in magnificent sights from the Taj Mahal, to the hot springs of Shimla. Spending a night in a desert in Rajasthan, travelling to the home of the Dalai Lama, trekking through forests, riding camels, exploring palaces, forts and temples and visiting world heritage sites, you will experience India in the fullest way. From its depth of culture to its sensational cuisine, your experiences will be vast as you travel on this environmentally friendly program.
Included in the Road Trip are a variety of opportunities to participate in volunteer projects where you’ll be working alongside local people to renovate community schools and take part in environmental work.
Your adventure is split into 3 blocks, the first 8 days takes place in Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and Agra, the second 8 days in Rajasthan, Udaipur and Mumbai and the last 10 days in Goa.
Beginning your road trip in New Delhi, the capital city, you will have an introductory meeting where you will meet the people associated with the project and begin to acquaint yourself with Indian life. From New Delhi, you will travel to Shimla to embark on a two-day trek reaching heights of 3100 metres. As part of this adventurous journey, you will also visit Thattapani Hot Springs, Shimla City and Dharamasala. In this home of the Dalai Lama, you will experience Tibetan culture within India and visit a temple and fort.
Returning to Delhi after your trek, you will have a day of sight-seeing and immersing yourself in the culture of this marvellous city. While at the city you can enjoy an array of culturally and historically important sites, as well as taking in the unique and distinct characteristics of the multitude of cultures alive in the city as people from all over India are drawn there to visit the capital city.
Finally, you will visit the Taj Mahal, a unique jewel of India, this testimony to true love standing within a marble mausoleum will leave you with an everlasting impression, confirming its place as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
The second part of your trip begins in Rajasthan with the majority of your time spent in Udaipur, “the city of lakes”. In this magical setting you will witness incredible sunsets from the monsoon palace, enjoy a boat ride on the Pichola lake, take a cooking lesson in Rajasthani cuisine and watch a Bollywood movie. As if those experiences aren’t good enough, the icing on the cake is a camel ride into the desert where you will spend the night under the starlit sky.
Finishing off your visit to India, the third part takes place in Goa – a city dubbed as one of the top tourist destinations in India. Travelling in the warm climate down to the pristine sandy beaches, you will enjoy a sensational cuisine and be welcomed by friendly locals. Formerly a capital of Portuguese India, it is acknowledged as a UNESCO world heritage site as a result of its quantity, and quality of Churches and Cathedrals. As part of your trip you will also visit a spice plantation, a fort and take in the sights at some local markets. With a range of volunteering projects taking place in the vicinity, you will spend time taking part in a project which could involve working in a community school, orphanage, women’s shelter, elderly care centre or on an environmental project.
- Airport transfers as per the policy – Airport Pickup in New Delhi
- Presence of a dedicated program coordinator throughout your travel, at the projects and facilities- Logistical management support in case of emergencies
- Authentic Indian meals and European (breakfast, lunch, dinner) for the duration of the entire program as per the meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
- Accommodation at hotels, home stays, and at our accommodation facility – Shared accommodation.
- Local transportation to all venues
- Entry fees to all places
- Extensive pre-departure information
- Personal expenses such as table drinks, room service items, laundry, telephone calls, tips, portage at hotels or airport, bottles of water during your road travel etc.
- Any additional expenses caused by or liability for disturbance in trip program due to circumstances, weather conditions, sickness, natural disasters, riots etc.
- Liability for or insurance against injury, loss of life, accidents or loss of goods.
- Our program does not cover any liability and does not insure participants.
- Participants must have appropriate insurance before joining the program.
- Any camera fee where applicable.
- Any service not specified above
Aims & Objectives
The aim of this program is to bring you closer to the authentic India. Through different projects and activities, you will get to truly immerse yourself in the culture, customs and lifestyle.
Week 1: Delhi, Shimla & Dharamsala
Day 1: Monday
Travel from Delhi to Shimla: After your arrival to Delhi on Sunday you stay overnight in a guest house to be relaxed for when the program starts on Monday.
On the morning of your first day in India, we take an early morning bus to Shimla. An 10-hour bus journey where you can observe beautiful and ever changing Indian landscape, regular day to day life on the streets, and finally a 2 hours drive into the amazing Himalayan mountain landscape. After reaching Shimla, we check into a guesthouse located with a great view of Shimla.
New Delhi to Shimla – Bus (Air conditioned with recliner seats)
Day 2: Tuesday
The day begins with an early breakfast followed by an orientation session with our local guide/program coordinator. This session also includes briefing on aspects such as culture, safety and health precautionary measures, transportation, money, etc. Then we head off into the misty mountains. The first part of the trek involves hiking through the beautiful pine and rhododendron forest spread out in mountains. As this is primarily a rocky terrain, we suggest you to wear hiking boots or trainers that will protect your feet from the rocks.
Carry an extra set of clothes and drinking water in a light backpack. The coordinator will arrange for you to leave your other bags that you may be travelling with, at a safe place from where you can collect them after the trek. A local family in the mountains will host you for the night.
Trek: Distance (First day 10 Km Trek). Difficulty Level 2 – Uphill and downhill. Altitude: Approximately 900 meters to 3100 meters. Terrain: Rocky, gravel, river crossing and winding tracks. Duration of Trek each day: 4-6 hours
Day 3: Wednesday
Begin very early in the morning with a light breakfast. Today’s hike includes the more challenging element of the trek which culminates at 3100 meters offering a picturesque view of the Himalayan range. You will be allowed to rest here for a while and eat your packed lunch. Please remember to carry sufficient amount of drinking water as none will be available on the climb.
The coordinator will help you get safe drinking water at the start of the trek. Packed lunch will be provided during the trek. The trek through the mountain will be approximately 6 hours long. After lunch you will head back down to the village and catch a bus to Shimla, overnight stay is at a guesthouse at Shimla.
Day 4: Thursday
Shimla city visit. Today we visit the famous monkey temple (Hanuman Temple) which is situated at the top of a hill, it is a 30 minute up-hill walk and brings you to the highest point of Shimla city (2250 mts). After lunch we visit the local market in the city for shopping, you can also take a relaxed evening walk around Mall road taking in the sights and sounds of Shimla. After dinner, travel overnight by bus to Dharamshala.
Shimla to Dharamshala – Bus (non air conditioned with recliner seats)
Day 5: Friday
Dharamshala – Experience Tibetan culture, visit the heritage site Kangra Fort, visit a tea garden, Kangra temple and a traditional Tibetan market.
Arrive in Dharamsala early in the morning and check-into a hotel where you will be allowed to rest. After breakfast, visit McLeodGanj and walk into the beautiful Buddhist monastery and then take a 20 minute walk to a wonderful waterfall located in the mountains. Your walk through the markets will give you an outlook into traditional Buddhist shops selling various interesting ornaments and Tibetan traditional and cultural clothing. The evening will be spent walking around McLeod Ganj and treat yourself for a traditional Tibetan dinner.
Day 6: Saturday
Begins with breakfast and take a Holy walk to the Buddhist monastery. You will also visit St. John’s Church, Kangra Fort and a tea garden. We then have lunch at a scenic restaurant and relax. After dinner, travel overnight via bus back to Delhi. The bus journey will be approximately 12 hours long.
Dharamshala to New Delhi – Bus (Air conditioned with recliner seats)
Day 7: Sunday
Experience Delhi. On arrival in Delhi you will be taken to the guest house where you may rest for a while and have breakfast. This day will consist of a tour around the city of Delhi where you will have the opportunity to see the India Gate, the Indian Parliament House and the President’s House, Lotus temple, Gandhi Museum and the Birla temple. Overnight stay at Delhi
Week 2: Agra & Rajasthan
Day 8: Monday
The highlight of the India Road Trip is on Day 08, where you will take a 4 hour Indian train ride from Delhi to Agra to witness one of the Seven Wonders of the World – The Taj Mahal. Spend the entire day in Agra and then get on an overnight train to Udaipur “the city of lakes” in Rajasthan.
New Delhi to Agra (Non air conditioned Indian Railways)
Agra to Udaipur (Air conditioned Indian Railways)
Day 9: Tuesday
Experience Rajasthan – Udaipur “the city of lakes” and Jaisalmer. While in Udaipur, you will be hosted at our house. Fans of The Jungle Book and James Bond films may recognize Udaipur as the birthplace of Bagheera and the location for the Roger Moore starrer Octopussy. You will spend the next 2 days visiting among other sites in India’s second largest state, visit the beautifully architecture palace, enjoy a boat ride in the lake Pichola, and watch a traditional Rajasthani dance and music concert. Overnight stay in Udaipur.
Day 10: Wednesday
Your day will begin with a relaxed morning. After breakfast, go out shopping for vegetable and fruits at the market, return back with the vegetables and sharpen your Indian cooking skills. After lunch, we then proceed to visit a model desert village setup called Shilpgram where you will witness traditional Rajasthani art and handicraft shops and music. We then proceed to monsoon palace to catch the sunset. A nice spread of Indian dinner awaits you back at our center. Overnight stay in Udaipur.
Day 11: Thursday
Today we go on a temple tour in the morning. You will be taken to visit 8th and 10th century ancient temples on the outskirts of Udaipur. We return back to our center and then in the evening, we taken an overnight bus to Jaisalmer which is approximately 12 hrs for the next highlight of our trip – The Desert experience.
Day 12: Friday
“The experience of a lifetime” Sleeping in the Desert. Once in Jaisalmer, you will have a bit of time to refresh at the guest house. We then go sightseeing of Jaisalmer to a 11th century fort and then take a jeep safari and a camel ride into the Thar desert, where you will stay for the night. Please remember to pack your sleeping bags and water bottles for this part of the trip. Your coordinator will inform you of anything else that may be necessary. Tonight we camp in the desert under the stars.Overnight stay in the desert which will be one of your most memorable moments in life.
Day 13: Saturday
You will return from the desert to the guest house and spend time in the city of Jaisalmer, visiting a beautiful authentic Haveli and a lake which is considered to be the largest in Jaisalmer and other tourist attractions. Later this evening, we take an overnight bus back to Udaipur.
Udaipur to Jaisalmer to Udaipur – (Non air conditioned sleeper bus)
Day 14: Sunday
Arrive at our Udaipur center and relax. There are no activities scheduled for the morning. You will have the entire morning to yourself and in the evening, and watch a Bollywood movie at the center. Overnight stay in Udaipur.
Week 3: Mumbai & Goa
Day 15: Monday
You will spend the entire morning for yourselves and go out for shopping into the city of Udaipur. We will then take an evening bus which is an overnight bus to Mumbai.
Udaipur to Mumbai – Bus (Non air conditioned sleeper bus)
Day 16: Tuesday
After getting to Mumbai early in the morning, you will be taken to the guest house to freshen up and then to the markets of Mumbai. Visit the Gateway of India, Jehangir art gallery, Haji Ali Dargah which is an ancient mosque, and walk on the famous marine drive which the locals regularly do. Overnight stay in Mumbai.
Day 17: Wednesday
After breakfast and after an hour’s boat ride into the Arabian sea, visit the Elephanta caves. A good Indian lunch will be provided at the island and in the evening catch an overnight bus to Goa.
Mumbai to Goa – Bus (Non air conditioned sleeper Bus)
Day 18: Thursday
After reaching Goa early in the morning, we take you to our house where you will be hosted for the remaining days of your travel. Once at our center in the morning, you can relax and freshen up and meet other participants at the house. Our project coordinator will brief you on the activities scheduled for your days in Goa. After a good spread of Goan lunch, we take you to the famous beaches of Anjuna, where you can spend your time at the beach. Overnight stay in Goa.
Day 19: Friday
Today we begin early and visit a beautiful waterfall and then we travel to a spice plantation where you will be shown various spices and how they are grown and processed before they reach your plates. After a sumptuous lunch, we spend sometime at the plantation before driving back to our center. After dinner, you are free to go out for the evening on your own. Overnight stay in Goa.
Day 20: Saturday
Today, you will spend these two days taking in the sights and sounds of Goa including Panjim – the capital city of Goa, Fort Aguada which is a 17th Century Portuguese fort and the village of Anjuna with its beaches and markets. You will spend the entire day in Old Goa visiting its several Churches and Cathedrals. Old Goa, previously a Portuguese colony, formed the capital of Portuguese India. The city is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Overnight stay in Goa.
Goa – Sightseeing and Projects (our jeeps and cars)
Day 21: Sunday
This is a day off and you are free to spend it on the beach or spend time with other participants. Overnight stay in Goa.
Week 4: Community engagement week in Goa
Day 22-26: Monday to Friday
Participate at our construction and renovation project during the first half of the day and the second half of the day spend educative and quality time with migratory children at our outreach program. Overnight stay in Goa.
Day 27: Saturday
On this day you can go out shopping and get ready for your departure. Overnight stay in Goa.
Day 28: Sunday
A Few things to consider while you are with us
- Requested to be back at the centre or guest houses by 22:30 everyday
- Participants will not be entertained to hire any vehicles on their own
- Consumption of alcohol are strictly prohibited at all our Centres
- Respect and adhere to our code of conduct
- Our staff are there to support you and to guide you and make your trip memorable, we request you to kindly follow their instructions at all times.
- You will not be allowed to bring outsiders inside our centres, guest houses or hotels
- Please provide your mobile phone number during the time of booking, as this will be useful for us to contact you at the Delhi Airport as this is quite a crowded airport, and we would not want to lose you!
Mode of transportation could change due to unavoidable circumstances
This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.
Your departure can be planned either on Sunday (28th Day) from Dabolim Airport in Goa. If you choose to travel further in India on your own or have various other plans after completing your trip with us, we request you to kindly check out on Sunday (28th Day)
This route takes you from Delhi to Shimla and then we head north towards Dharamshala. We travel down again to Delhi and Agra and move further to the Western India state of Rajasthan. Then we head down south to Mumbai and finally into Goa.
Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh which translated means ‘The Land of snowy mountains’ is situated 2,205 metres (7,234 ft.) above sea level. The city is adorned with forests of pine, rhododendron and oak and is infamous for the monkeys that frequent it. Blessed with warm flowery summers and snowy winters, it was declared the summer capital of the British Rule in India in 1864. The city is famous for its Tudor and Neo-gothic architecture styles which date from the colonial era. However this does not rob it of its ‘Indianness’ as local markets and street vendors are present everywhere.
Shimla is home to Asia’s only natural ice skating rink. The handicraft of this area in the form of weaving, embroidery and regional jewelry is renowned not only throughout India, but the world over. Due to its pleasant climate, it attracts a favourable blend of Indian and International tourists throughout the year.
Udaipur, commonly called the Venice of the East and nicknamed ‘the city of lakes’ is located in the princely state of Rajasthan. Primarily known for its art and architecture, it has temples dating as far back as 950 AD and palaces dating back to the Rajput era. The Lake Palace (Jag Niwas) located in the middle of Pichola Lake is an architectural and cultural marvel. The grand City Palace on the banks of the lake along with the Monsoon Palace (Sajjan Garh) on the hill above enhances the beauty of this magnificent city. Udaipur is also the centre for performing arts, crafts and its famed miniature paintings.
Goa in south-west India enjoys a warm and humid climate throughout the year. It is known the world over for its pristine beaches, delectable cuisine, laid back lifestyle and it’s warm and friendly people. Consistently ranked among India’s top tourist destinations, it is the ideal place for first time travelers and adventurers alike to acclimatize to a different culture. From caves behind waterfalls to villages hidden in sandy coconut forests, there is always something more waiting to be rediscovered. The mountain ranges and spice plantations enhance the beauty of this glorious state.
Apart from its natural beauty, this former capital of Portuguese India and home to various UNESCO World Heritage sites has a lot to offer in terms of architecture with churches, cathedrals and forts abounding. Put together, it is all of these aspects and more that make Goa the ultimate travel destination.
Accommodation & Food
Along the route you will have overnight stays in hotels/guest houses, busses and trains.The accommodation is standard with 2-6 people per room on a gender basis.
The meals are a mix of Western and Indian food, consisting mainly of vegetarian dishes including rice and vegetables.
Along the route – but not at all times – there are ATMs and small local stores. Please make sure you have enough money with you before starting the trip.
Trip Country Info
Capital: New Delhi
Language: Hindi, English and 22 other officially recognized languages
Currency: Indian Rupee (INR)
Time zone: UTC +5:30
India is known for its pyramid-like temples, its colorful streets and it’s crowded cities. This country represents one of the most vivid and the largest cultures in the world. From the golden triangle of Delhi, Jaipur and Agra to the coast where Ayurveda medicine was born, India offers a 360 degree journey through the most magical of lands. Known for being the second most populated country in the world, India will show you the faces of thousands of Hindu gods in its very vast collection of temples all throughout the country. The land of colors and smiles is ready to take you on your next adventure whether road tripping or helping out in local communities, this sub-continent will amaze your senses. India will shift the way you see the world.
India’s literacy rate is around 60% for women and 80% for men. The principal language is Hindi and English is also commonly used in all major cities. New Delhi, the capital of India, is what many would call the real deal when travelling through the country. It is one of the biggest and most populated cities in the whole world with up to 25 million citizens. New Delhi is known for its amazing cuisine and its new modality of “street food”, which means restaurants with every specialty you can imagine are available to you all throughout the city! Chennai is another of the biggest cities in India, known as the “Detroit of India” for its automobile industry. If you are looking for a quieter spot Kerala is the centre of lifestyle, art, architecture, language and literature in all of the country!
Gap year travel to India is enjoyed in a country with wonderful history that dates back several thousand years. In particular, one of the most incredible historical points of India is how four separate world religions originated here – Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Buddhism. Beyond this, however, India has only truly been independent as a nation since 1947, just a couple years after World War 2 concluded.
In that time, India has grown to be the eleventh largest economy in the world as well as the second most populous nation, second only to China. This isn’t particularly surprising when you consider that India has been an economic powerhouse for trade routes in the past, but it is very impressive to consider that India has almost reached the status of superpower over the course of 66 years.
The geography of India has been a target for nature lovers for many years but is finally becoming an easy place to visit and explore for foreign tourists. With the Himalayas to the north, the desert in the centre and the luxurious beaches to the west, India has a type of climate that suits the desires of just about anyone. Even if you have a soft spot for snow, you can easily embrace that love by visiting some of the northern mountains which are nearly always capped in snow and ice!
With thousands of years of history and an incredibly diverse climate, India is not a place you can simply read about and understand. You have to visit and immerse yourself within the various Indian cultures before you get an idea of just how amazing India really is. So what are you waiting for? Get in touch now to find out more about our amazing gap year holidays in India or browse the latest experiences below;
Participant Criteria & Requirements
No requirements have been provided.
No requirements have been provided.
- 24/7 support in case of emergencies
- Airport Pick up
- English speaking coordinator
What's not included
- Airport drop off
- Travel insurance