The itinerary we propose follows the historic Grand Trunk Road; an ancient road which has crossed India, and linked it with Central Asia, for more than 2000 years. The historians say this road has been there even before the Buddha was born. In the words of Rudyard Kipling: “the Grand Trunk Road is a wonderful spectacle. It runs straight, bearing without crowding India’s traffic for fifteen hundred miles – such a river of life as nowhere else exists in the world”.
In his journey through India, the Grand Trunk Road – which links the modern country of Bangladesh to the Khyber Pass in Afghanistan – runs through the plains of the rivers Ganges and Yamuna, touches the Himalayan slopes in the Punjab and crosses some of the most important Indian metropolis, such as Kolkata (Calcutta), Lucknow and Delhi, and some of the holiest cities of India, like Mathura, Allahabad and Varanasi.
Travelling along the Grand Trunk Road, today, feels like a journey to a distant past, where the history of India and the world is present in every kilometre of this magnificent road, between the ruins of caravanserais and Mughal tombs, in the pilgrimages of the Buddha and Guru Nanak, the Taj Mahal and crowded Sufi shrines, among thousands of Hindu temples which compose the sacred geography of India like an intricate mandala of Gods, mythological cities and celestial rivers.
But a journey on the Grand Trunk Road is also a journey in the modern era of India; a continent which is growing abnormally and too fast, a country where the future of the urban world is well represented in all those roadside shelters of plastic and sheet metal, where hundreds of millions of people live in such conditions to exalt, at the very least, the adaptability of human beings.
So, among other things, our itinerary revolves around the Grand Trunk Road. It’s a fascinating journey and a test for every traveller. It’s a path we walked so many times, in all his different versions, and today we want to offer it to our travel companions in the shape – we believe – which offers the best of it. We have chosen some unknown destinations or out of the tourist circuits, places where we ended up by chance or we found while following the tracks of a story we heard in the streets or read in a book; and we have chosen more popular but very charming destinations, which we’ll try to make you live in the least trite and banal way, helped in this by our studies and previous experiences.
The itinerary we propose will be slightly changed every time, in order to include different destinations in it, which we cannot visit on a single trip, and to allow our travel companions to participate to some of the most spectacular festivals of Northern India, most of whom happen on the Grand Trunk Road or just nearby. We will select such festivals among the most intense and significant of every season: some will be huge and very popular festivals, like Holi and the Kumbh Mela, while others will be smaller and more intimate ones, like the fairs of minstrels in the villages of West Bengal or the snake charmers festival of Varanasi.
In the future, from next year on, other itineraries will be proposed too. For customized itineraries, instead, you can visit the dedicated section.
Discover some of the cities incuded in our itinerary:
Practical information about our itinerary:
- Usually our tours last about 15 days.
- Our tours start in Kolkata, where we will spend the first four days, then we’ll have three days in Varanasi, two days in Mathura and Vrindavan, three more days in Pushkar and Ajmer, and finally three days in Delhi. Anyway, the itinerary of our tours is not fixed, but it will change every time, accordingly to climate, festivals and other variables, and some tours will also pass through Agra, to visit the Taj Mahal, and other cities like Allahabad, Lucknow, Chitrakoot and many others.
- All travels beetween cities will be done by night train, while within the cities we will use every other mean of transport, including buses, metro, rickshaws, ferries, boats, etc.
- At the arrival in India, travellers will be picked-up by us or by a driver (this service is included in the price).