The Hippy Trail
A Journey through Spiritual North India
Embark on an expedition to Spiritual India north on this 25-day quest for enlightenment in a region that will inspire and captivate you at every turn. Stroll along the holy river Ganges and try a yoga lesson in Rishikesh, marvel at the splendour of the Golden Temple in Amritsar and volunteer in one of the world’s largest kitchens to help feed the hungry. Explore ‘Little Lhasa’, the home of Tibetan Buddhism in India in Dharamshala and visit India’s highest and most boutique tea producing region for a walk through the gardens and a cheeky cuppa. Feast your eyes on the technicolor carpet of the ‘Valley of Flowers’ on an optional 3-day trek and try to spot India’s most majestic inhabitant, the Bengal Tiger, in the deep, dark jungle.
- Stay in a working Ashram in Rishikesh with enough free time to have a go at some of the Ashram’s activities, as well as wander through the abandoned ashram of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi visited by the Beatles in the 60’s
- Explore the Golden Temple of Amritsar and see one of the world’s largest kitchens which feeds thousands free-of-charge daily and take the opportunity to volunteer in the temple for half a day
- Pop in on the Dalai Lama in Dharamshala and visit the many Buddhist temples and spiritual centres, as well as enjoy a brew at a tea plantation in India’s smallest tea producing region
- Ride the rails through the countryside on some of India’s most iconic train journeys, including the Himalayan Queen and the Kanga Toy Train
- Go on safari in search of majestic Bengal tigers in Corbett National Park, and take a night-time walk in the jungle among India’s nocturnal creatures
- For the more adventurous, trek to the UNESCO World Heritage listed ‘Valley of Flowers’. If trekking isn’t for you, stay in Joshimath in a mountain lodge and investigate temples and sights closer to town. The choice is yours!
Trip style: Unique
Max group size: 15
Duration: 25 Days
Trip style: Unique
Group size: Minimum 6 / Maximum 15
Trip code: HTDD
Cost: $9955.00 AUD twin share
Single supplement: $2250.00 AUD
- 24-nights accommodation in lodges, homestays, havelis, Ashram, eco-hotels and hotels
- Tickets for Kanga Toy Train – Dharamshala – Palampur / Himalayan Queen – Shimla to Kalka and other transport as specified in itinerary
- Meals as specified in itinerary (B = Breakfast / L = Lunch / D = Dinner)
- Services of your Inverted Atlas trip leader and local guides
- All entrance fees as per itinerary
- Valley of Flowers National Park Trek OR Joshimath Sightseeing (option must be selected prior to travel).
- Tips for local providers
Optional experiences (not included):
- Amritsar: Village Tour
- Dharamshala: Bhagsu Waterfalls
- Dharamshala: Forrest Trek
- Rishikesh: Ganges River Rafting
* Please note some optional experiences must be booked prior to travel. You will be given the option to add these experiences at check out
Trip price does not include
- International airfares or domestic airfares
- Airport transfers on arrival and departure
- Visa for India
- Any expenses associated with COVID-19
- Meals not included as per trip itinerary including drinks and mini bar
- Additional accommodation before or after the tour
- Items of a personal nature including but not limited to laundry, souvenirs, porterage etc.
- Travel insurance – please note comprehensive travel insurance is a condition of travel with Inverted Atlas
Journey Rating – Quest
This trip travels through India, a wonderful colourful country but one where things might not always go to plan and should you definitely pack your sense of adventure and more importantly your sense of humour. There are a few very long travel days where we will be getting up early and arriving into our accommodation quite late, but never fear – all the accommodation is of a comfortable standard with no sharing or camping. We will mostly travel by coach on this trip, however there are a few train trips included where practical so you can rub shoulders with the locals.
In India there is a highly recommended dress code for women so as not to cause offense culturally – arms and legs should be covered by either a full-length dress or pants with knee length kaftan or shirt. Men are strongly advised to wear trousers. The quality of amenities such as hospitals and pharmacies will be limited to large cities. Be prepared for eastern-style squat toilets in public places (not hotels). The weather is likely to alternate between humid heat and cool when at altitude.
A note about fitness
This trip is a bit of an adventure and as such requires a good level of physical fitness. You should be able to walk up to 2.5km during scheduled sightseeing, climb up to 200 stairs unassisted, use an eastern style squat toilet (beware if you have knee issues) and confidently walk over uneven surfaces. You will need to be able to carry your own luggage to and from the coach/bus, as well as on and off the train. (Due to OH&S regulations our trip leaders are not able to assist with luggage.)
In addition, you should be in good health, with no major chronic conditions requiring frequent medical attention. This trip often travels through remote locations where the availability of a hospital or even phone reception to call an ambulance is limited. While all our trip leaders are required to have a valid first aid certificate, they are far from doctors and any assistance they are able to provide will be limited to basic first aid. For more information please see our booking conditions.
Traveling by yourself? No problem, we love single travelers and don’t believe in penalising them by charging half the trip price again for our single supplement. With us you are only paying the actual cost to have a room all to yourself. If you’re up for making a new friend, you can elect to share with another single traveler of the same sex and only pay the twin-share price. The choice is yours!
Trip leader description
Accompanying you along your journey will be your Inverted Atlas trip leader. Your trip leader is a logistics extraordinaire, keeps the trip running smoothly and ensures you have the best time possible on your trip. It is important to know that while your trip leader has the best job in the world, they aren’t actually on holidays, but rather they are there to make sure you have the best time while you are on your holiday! Your trip leader may at times need some time out so that they can complete back of house tasks that ensure everyone continues to enjoy the trip. It is also your trip leaders’ job to handle any issues (heaven forbid!) that come up while you’re on your trip like:
- If you lose your passport or other travel documents
- If there is a problem with your room at the booked accommodation – seriously please tell your trip leader don’t wait until you leave
- If you become unwell and need to find a pharmacy
- Assisting with restaurant recommendations or additional sightseeing during free time
- Questions regarding the itinerary
Your trip leader will have some good local knowledge about the destination in which you are traveling, however they are not a ‘local guide’. You’re welcome to ask your trip leader anything about the trip and if they don’t know they will find out and get back to you. Other people you will meet along the way are ‘local guides’ who are generally available to the group in specific towns or at specific sites like national parks, temples or archaeological sites. These people are the local experts and will be able to answer any questions you may have about the history and culture of a specific site.
This itinerary is correct at the time of upload to our website and we have composed it in good faith. From time to time we may elect to make changes before departure, if we are making a big change we will of course notify you, however if it is a small change this will be reflected in the final trip notes. So, make sure you download these prior to departure. Small changes prior to departure are usually made with the groups best interests in mind and come about due to liaising with our best resources – our past travelers and of course our trip leaders! The ability to change and evolve depending on what our travelers enjoy is what makes us such a great trip operator.
While we strive to operate our trips exactly to the letter of the itinerary, sometimes we may need to make changes on the ground while the group is on the road. This is all part of the adventure of traveling and we would ask that you come on your trip with an open mind and a good sense of humour because as much as we want it to, everything doesn’t always go to plan. In fact, these impromptu situations often make the best stories that you can have a laugh with your friends about later.
Minimum Age: 16 years
We do not recommend bringing young children on this trip due to the remoteness of some of the destinations visited.
There is no upper age limit for this trip but you should consider the above fitness requirements prior to booking. If you are 65 years or over you will be asked to complete our Health Check Form and have your medical practitioner sign it to confirm you are good health and able to participate safely on this trip.
Please note that comprehensive travel insurance is a condition of travel with Inverted Atlas. Insurance must include provision for medical situations, emergency medical repatriation to your home country and personal liability at a minimum. Proof of valid travel insurance will be requested by your trip leader on arrival at the pre-departure meeting. Please have this paperwork available for them. If you are unable to provide proof of comprehensive travel insurance, you may not be allowed to join the trip and no refund will be payable.