India Vegan Tour

12 Day Vegan Tour for Christmas & New Year

VegNews Magazine and Vegan Travel Asia invites you to join our friends for the ultimate holiday getaway to the fascinating country of India. Celebrate Christmas and New Year’s with lavish Indian feasts, stay in royal palaces, see spectacular sites, and take in the wonders of this captivating nation on our VegNews Christmas in India with VegVoyages adventure!

What's included?

Vegan Meals

33 Vegan meals
(11 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 11 dinners)

Accommodation

11 Nights Accommodations
(a combination of heritage hotels, a Maharajah’s palace, a charming lakeside bed & breakfast, and a Raja’s remote desert palace)

Tour Transport

  • Private Air-Conditioned Mini-Vans
  • Local Cars & Rickshaws

Also Included

  • Daily Local Cultural Lessons
  • Daily Hindi Language Lessons
  • Vegan Cooking Class
  • Traditional Yoga Lessons
  • Live Traditional Music and Folk Dances
  • Exploring Local Bazaars and Markets
  • All Local Guide Fees
  • All Site Entry Fees
  • Vegan Meals with Local Families
  • Guests of Local Grassroots Educational Program
  • Guests of Local Villages and Communities
  • Taj Mahal Entry Fee
  • Keoladeo Ghana National Park Entry Fee
  • Keoladeo Ghana National Park Private Naturalist Guide
  • Fatehpur Sikri Entry Fee
  • Udaipur City Palace Entry Fee
  • Boat trip in Udaipur
  • Safari in the Keoladeo Ghana National Park Bird Sanctuary
  • Visit Local Temples
  • As Guests of the Local Temple, Participate in an ancient aarti (Hindu ritual) ceremony
  • Introduction to Hinduism Program
  • Introduction to India’s favorite past time – Cricket
  • Other Palace, Forts, and Museum Entry Fees
  • Heritage Walk in old Udaipur
  • Visit the Epic Chand Baoli step-well, the largest step-well in India
  • Visit the awe-inspiring “marble-marvel” Ranakpur Jain Temple

Even More Included

  • Donations to Local Community & Educational Programs
  • Visit Local Animal Rescue and Sanctuary
  • Festive Christmas Dinner Party
  • Festive New Year’s Eve Party
  • Complimentary Refill Water bottle and Unlimited Drinking Water
  • Complimentary Juices, Hard Drinks, and Beers on “Dinner & Drinks” nights
  • Vegan Welcome Package and Tote Bag
  • Airport Pick Up*
  • …and all other activities, entertainment, and entry fees as per the itinerary.


* Airport Pick up is provided if you are arriving a day or two days prior to the tour date and staying at the group’s hotel. If you will be arriving at a much earlier date, please arrange your own transfer and meet us at our hotel on Day 1.

What’s NOT included?

International airfare, personal travel insurance, visa fee to India, gratuities/tips, laundry, camera fees at national park and monuments (where applicable), and other items of a personal nature.

Tour Dates & Pricing

India – Christmas Vegan Tour 2024-25

$3,595 (USD)

All Vegan Travel Asia by VegVoyages Adventures runs on a twin-share basis. If you are a single traveler, we will pair you up with another single traveler of the same gender. If you would like to have your room throughout the trip, upon making a booking, please select “yes” for Single Supplement and the cost shown below will be added to your total adventure cost.

 $690 for 12 days: Christmas in India Tour

Join us on a journey of a lifetime on our VegNews Christmas in India with VegVoyages adventure where we’ll explore the magical state of Rajasthan, India. This ancient land of old princely kingdoms has occupied the minds of mystics, romantics, conquerors, poets, and authors for centuries. Rajasthan, as illustrated through paintings, pictures, and travelogues, is known for its desert kingdoms, scenic villages, vast arid lands, majestic palaces, impregnable fortresses, extravagant gardens, vibrant dances, charming folk music, intricately carved temples and murals, tasty cuisines, and brightly attired people whose clothes stand out in an otherwise stark landscape. And though this is all true, and you’ll be witnessing much of this while there, to us, Rajasthan is home to so much more than that.

The state of Rajasthan takes its name from the Rajput community (Rajasthan is derived from the words “Land of Kings” – kings in this sense being referred to as the Rajput princes/rulers; Rajput comes from the word Rajputra, which means “sons of kings”), but Rajasthan, like other states in India, and indeed India as a whole, is a conglomeration of many ethnic groups who have settled and called the region their home not just for generations, but for centuries and in many cases, for thousands of years all contributing to what we know as India today.

So, we invite you to come join us on our VegNews Christmas in India with VegVoyages vegan adventure and celebrate the holidays with our friends and family in centuries-old palaces as we explore epic palaces, fantastic forts, ancient Hindu and Jain temples, rural back road villages, and medieval desert oases towns as we journey well off the beaten track to experience an India of a thousand years, from then until now, while enjoying a plethora of tasty local cuisines specially veganized just for us!

Feel like royalty as we stay in royal palaces, capture the spiritual essence of some of the world’s oldest religions – Hinduism and Jainism – and feast on sumptuous local vegan delicacies all along the way. In addition to plenty of mouthwatering vegan food and lots of local interaction as personal guests of our family and friends, the adventure also includes hiking, safaris, daily yoga lessons, daily language, and cultural lessons, heritage walks, guests of local animal rescue, live traditional music and dances, a vegan cooking class, and much more!

Itinerary

Get day to day insight of the tour.

DAY 1 DELHI/GURUGRAM

Namaste! Welcome to Gurugram (the city formerly known as Gurgaon), a bustling tech suburb just outside the capital of India – New Delhi, your first stop on your VegNews Christmas in India with VegVoyages vegan adventure! There are no activities planned for today until our Orientation Meeting at 4:00 pm. After checking in, you may want to relax and catch up on some rest before we meet in the late afternoon for our Orientation Meeting where you’ll have a chance to get to know your fellow travelers and adventure leaders better while we discuss the adventure ahead. After our Orientation Meeting, we’ll set out into the streets of Gurugram for a delicious feast and your first official taste of India at our friend’s (who also happens to be one of the best vegan chefs in the city) vegan café – one of only a few all-vegan restaurants in Delhi’s greater metropolitan area. So tonight – please make sure you bring your appetite and be ready to eat!  

Highlights of the Day:

  • Detailed Orientation Meeting where you will get to know your fellow travelers and adventure leaders better, discuss the adventure ahead, and have our Introduction to Rajasthan’s History, Cultures, and Diversity Presentation.
  • First Hindi Language Lesson.
  • First Taste of India – vegan dinner at our friend’s all-vegan café – which also happens to serve up some of the best vegan food in all of Delhi’s greater metro area in our opinion.


Vegan Meals
Included Today:  Dinner

DAY 2 & 3 ROOPANGARH

In the morning after enjoying a tasty vegan breakfast, we will set out on the highway and travel well off the beaten track as we head into the hinterlands of Rajasthan to the rustic yet charming village of Roopangarh. Here, we’ll be staying at an epic fort palace which lies at the center of the town overlooking the desert horizon. Located in the heart of the princely states of Rajputana (as the area was referred to before independence), Roopangarh Fort was built by Maharaja Roop Singh in 1648 and is a captivating example of Rajput defensive architecture with underground passages, armories, spiked gates, and thick walls – evidence of its chivalrous past.  Before arriving at our home for the next two days, we’ll be guests of a very special animal rescue that has been helping locally abused and neglected animals as well as standing up for our four-legged friends without a voice, for over three decades. We’ll also be introduced to Indian-Chinese Cuisine, also known as Indo-Chinese Cuisine, for lunch which is a unique fusion where Chinese spices and cooking methods are adapted to fit the Indian palate. Arriving in Roopangarh in the late afternoon, we’ll settle into our fort palace where over the next 2 days we’ll learn about life in rural Rajasthan as we explore the colorful bazaars, narrow lanes, colorful centuries-old streets and temples of this ancient princely state. And did we mention a special Christmas vegan party and feast? Yes, so please make sure to bring your appetite, thirst, and holiday party shirt! 

Highlights of the Days:

  • Visit an incredible animal rescue that is at the forefront of animal protection in and around Jaipur.
  • Cultural Culinary Experience, introduction to Indian-Chinese Cuisine, also known as Indo-Chinese Cuisine. A unique fusion where Chinese spices and cooking methods are adapted to fit the Indian palate, its origins trace back to the Chinese who settled in Calcutta between the late 1700s-1900s.
  • Morning traditional yoga sessions at the palace (based on the early practice forms of yoga from its birthplace in India).
  • Explore Roopangarh village where we’ll learn about the local way of life and the history of the different communities living here.
  • Papads & Beer Tasting where we’ll sample the many yummy varieties of papads found in Rajasthan and the refreshing vegan-friendly beers of India.
  • A special evening of sunset drinks, snacks, and roti-themed dinner. Enjoy a mouthwatering variety of Indian roti including vegan naan, vegan garlic naan, methi roti, and piping hot chapattis!
  • Colorful Christmas Party complete with holiday cheer drinks, savory snacks and a fabulous fusion feast of local Rajput favorites specially veganized just for us! So tonight – a hearty thirst and appetite are a must!


Vegan Meals
Included: Breakfasts (x2), Lunches (x2), and Dinner &Drinks (x2)

DAY 4 & 5 GHANERAO RAWLA VILLAGE

Saying farewell to Roopangarh, we’ll continue our journey off the beaten track as we head further into the hinterlands of Rajasthan to the enchanting village of Ghanerao. Nestled near the foothills of the epic Aravalli Mountains, we’ll be staying as the personal guests of the royal family at their ancestral home, the delightful and stunning Ghanerao Castle dating back to the 1600’s. This historical, picturesque town will be our home for the next two days as we focus on learning about local village life, culture, and customs in the Rajasthan countryside including the vital importance agriculture plays in the local life of the people and their fight, which is be being led by our hosts, to keep traditional local organic farming – the livelihood of many communities here, alive and out of the reach of global companies. The history of Ghanerao dates back centuries and the residence of the old royal family here, built in marble and red stone is a lovely testament to the region’s rich history. We’ll also explore and learn about the dozens of unique step-wells that are scattered throughout the village and the surrounding countryside – which are a brilliant glimpse into the extraordinary and vital stepwell water system of the often harsh and unforgiving arid terrain of the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat. And of course, we cannot forget about the food – in a land where organic farming is being promoted by the community as the way forward – we’ll enjoy delicious meals made from farm-fresh veggies of the vegan versions of local Mertiya Rathore recipes. In this ancient village that is full of diversity – from Jains to Hindus to Muslims, we’ll have the opportunity to experience India well off the beaten track learning about the various ethnic groups and cultures that call this part of Rajasthan their home.

Highlights of the Days:

  • Morning traditional yoga sessions at the palace (based on the early practice forms of yoga from its birthplace in India).
  • Guests of the Royal Family of Ghanerao at their castle for 2 days where they will share with us their history, culture, way of life, and delicious family recipes – all specially made vegan for us.
  • Explore the old town Ghanerao where we’ll learn about the local way of life and history of the different communities living here.
  • Learn from a member of the Royal Family of Ghanerao the vital importance agriculture plays in local life and their fight to keep traditional local organic farming, the livelihood of many communities here, alive, local, and out of the reach of global companies.
  • Introduction to the unique architectural concept of “stepwells” in India that date back to the 2nd and 3rd millennium BC Indus Valley Civilizations.
  • Guests of a member of the Royal Family of Ghanerao for drinks and snacks followed by a delicious dinner of the veganized versions of local Mertiya Rathore recipes.
  • Explore the surrounding countryside learning about the various ethnic groups and cultures that call this part of Rajasthan their home and the different agricultural products being farmed here.
  • Join kids from the community for a challenging game of sitolia (a classic cross between cricket and dodgeball).


Vegan Meals
Included: Breakfasts (x2), Lunches (x2), and Dinner & Drinks (x2)

DAY 6 & 7 UDAIPUR

From the arid desert plains of Rajasthan, we ascend into the Aravalli Mountains – the oldest mountain range in India and one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world (which is just the opposite of its cousin to the north, the Himalayas – one of the youngest mountain ranges in the world)! Stretching roughly 692 kilometers from northeastern Gujarat, through Rajasthan, and to Delhi, this impressive ancient mountain range means “line of peaks”. As we make our way up into the enchanting rolling hills and mountains of the Aravallis, be prepared for some lovely scenery as we travel on one of the most scenic roads in the area. Our first stop today will be at the auspicious Ranakpur Jain Temple – one of the five holiest sites in the Jain religion! A faith devoted to strict vegetarianism and compassion for all living beings, Jainism is based on the principle that all living creatures should be treated with mutual respect and no one life is greater than the other. The word “Jain” has its roots in the Sanskrit word “Jina” meaning “conqueror”.  Jainism inspired many of Gandhi’s beliefs and non-violence practices. After visiting the temple, we’ll continue our journey into the scenic rolling hills of the Aravalli Mountains as we make our way to the enchanting oasis city of Udaipur. Called the Venice of the East, Udaipur, with its almost 500-year-old history, is one of the most romantic cities in India. Arriving in the late afternoon, we’ll settle into our home for the coming two days – a delightful heritage hotel near the picturesque Pichola Lake. Surrounded by lakes, and rolling hills and rich in history, Udaipur, with its lakeside palaces, ancient temples, vibrant bazaars, and narrow-winding streets, is the perfect place to relax and take in the alluring princely charm of Rajasthan! As guests of our family and friends, we’ll take in the legacy of the Mewar people and enjoy some of the best Rajasthani cuisine found in the city. From local home kitchens to longtime veg hotspots – you’ll enjoy traditional Mewar dishes, all specially veganized just for us. Speaking of taste, Indian vegan fare is truly a unique blend of fragrant spices, fresh veggies, flavorsome herbs, and delectable bread and rice dishes. This being said, while here we’ll meet up with local home chefs who will teach us how to prepare a delicious full-course Rajasthani vegan feast. We’ll also visit the old royal palace and explore the backstreets, bazaars, and ancient homes of this almost half-millennium-old city. There is plenty to experience in what is billed as “the most romantic city in India”!

Highlights of the Days:

  • Morning traditional yoga sessions at the palace (based on the early practice forms of yoga from its birthplace in India).
  • Visit a bustling local bazaar veggie and fruit market.
  • Join longtime residents of the City of Lakes as we explore the kingdom’s historical back streets, narrow lanes, and one of the most impressive of India’s palaces, the Royal Palace of the Maharanas of Mewar.
  • Cultural culinary experience – a mouth-watering vegan Mewar feast where we’ll enjoy delicious local dishes all specially veganized for us.
  • Boat trip on the peaceful shores of Lake Pichola – seeing the City of Lakes from the boat offers a different perspective of this medieval city with its old palaces and temples cradling the water’s edge.
  • Cultural culinary cooking class experience where we’ll learn to cook up a vegan Rajasthani feast.
  • A festive traditional dinner party where we’ll join our family on the picturesque rooftop terrace of their home, complete with striking views of the city and royal palace. Enjoy traditional folk music and dance, local snacks, cold beverages, and a delicious Mewar feast for dinner!

Vegan Meals Included: Breakfasts (x2), Lunches (x2), and Dinner & Drinks (x2)

DAY 8 & 9 KISHANGARH

Today we will head once again well off the beaten track as we head back out into the hinterland of Rajasthan and traverse the desert roads before arriving at our home for the next two days – the romantic Phool Mahal Palace located in the heart of the old Kingdom of Kishangarh! Built-in 1870 just outside the walls of the massive Kishangarh Fort, Phool Mahal was the Royal Family’s monsoon palace. So, during our stay at this lovely lakeside palace, be on the lookout for kites, peacocks, herons, and wild ducks that call the nearby fields and monsoon-fed Gundalao Lake their home. You’ll also notice in Kishangarh that the defensive fortifications are pretty intimidating! But even though the formidable fort walls and elephant-spiked gates distinctly highlight the kingdom’s chivalrous past, the Maharajas here were also known as patrons of the arts, and the area’s paintings, including those that adorn the palace walls, are well known throughout India. So here, in addition to learning about life in old Kishangarh, we will also have an introduction to the traditional Rajasthani art of painting including learning about its symbolism, history, and artistic techniques that have been passed down for generations. We’ll also explore the colorful bazaars, narrow lanes, colorful centuries-old streets, and temples of this ancient princely state founded in 1611 AD and enjoy plenty of its delicious local cuisines all specially veganized just for us. And of course, there is New Year’s Eve – where we will have a New Year’s Eve Party at the palace – complete with live local folk music and dance, a plethora of vegan snacks, drinks, and a vegan feast for dinner.

Highlights of the Days:

  • Morning traditional yoga sessions at the palace (based on the early practice forms of yoga from its birthplace in India).
  • Guests of the local aarti ceremony (Hindu ritual), are an important part of everyday life in India.
  • Stay for 2 nights in palatial rooms that ring of a bygone era at the lakeside Monsoon Palace of the local Royal Family.
  • Explore the old town of Kishangarh where we’ll learn about the local way of life and history of the different communities living here.
  • Introduction and lesson to India’s most famous sport and favorite national past time – cricket, where we’ll also join in with locals to play this most beloved of India’s games.
  • Explore the formidable Kishangarh Fort learning about the kingdom’s rich history.
  • Cultural Q&A Program – in the royal hall of the palace, over drinks and snacks, we’ll have our “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about India but Were Afraid to Ask” Cultural Question and Answer Session.
  • Learn about Rajasthan’s legendary paintings in the old kingdom that gave birth to the critically acclaimed Kishangarh style of art that became famous throughout the continent and is also home to its most famous work, Bani Thani, which is heralded by critics as the Mona Lisa of India.
  • Festive New Year’s Party at the palace where we’ll enjoy traditional folk music and dance, local snacks, cold beverages and a delicious vegan feast for dinner!


Vegan Meals
Included: Breakfasts (x2), Lunches (x2), and Dinner & Drinks (x2)

DAY 10 & 11 BHARATPUR & THE TAJ MAHAL

Bidding adieu to Kishnagarh, we’ll make our way to Bharatpur – home of the UNESCO-protected World Heritage Site: The Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary National Park. After checking in to our hotel and freshening up, we’ll head into the national park.  A haven of wetlands and forests, the sanctuary is home to over 400 species of birds and a wide variety of other wildlife. We’ll explore the park in the late afternoon and early evening by bicycle traversing the back trails of the sanctuary with our naturalist guide. The next morning, we’ll have a hearty vegan breakfast and then without delay make our way into the neighboring state of Uttar Pradesh to the city of Agra where we will visit India’s most famous landmark – the stunning Taj Mahal. The Taj of course needs no introduction and it is a remarkable mausoleum built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a tribute to his favorite wife, Mumtaj Mahal. After visiting the Taj, we will enjoy some delightful dosas at Agra’s best South Indian eatery. Then our Christmas in India Vegan Tour will take us to the ghost city of Fatehpur Sikri. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Fatehpur Sikri was built in the 16th century by Emperor Akbar. These well-preserved ruins were the capital of the Mughal Empire between 1571 and 1585 AD before being deserted. From Fatehpur Sikri, we’ll return to Bharatpur where you’ll have time to freshen up before we meet for our farewell dinner party on our last night in India together.

Highlights of the Day:

  • We’ll go on safari (by bicycle or peddle tri-shaw if you like) with the national park’s best naturalist where we’ll explore the wetlands and learn about the abundant wildlife that call the World Heritage Site protected Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary their home. A haven of wetlands and forests, the sanctuary is home to between 366 to over 400 species of birds, including a selection of herons believed to be among the best in the world, and a wide variety of wildlife including over 27 species of mammals.
  • Take in the majestic and marvelous Taj Mahal! India’s most famous landmark, it earned the prestigious title of being one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. The Taj Mahal was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 to help preserve what is recognized as the best example of Islamic art in the country.
  • Explore the richly historical ghost city and ancient Mughal capital of Fatehpur Sikri. Fatehpur Sikri’s architecture is a combination of Islamic and Hindu elements, as Emperor Akbar was known as one of the most open-minded of the Mughal Emperors. Today it is listed as a World Heritage Site.
  • Special Farewell Dinner Party with drinks, snacks, and a vegan feast of our favorite Rajasthani dishes for dinner.


Vegan Meals
Included Today: Breakfasts (x2), Lunches (x2), and Dinner & Drinks (x2)

DAY 12 BACK TO DELHI/GURUGRAM

After a hearty breakfast, we’ll pack up our vehicles and head back to Delhi/Gurugram where your adventure ends upon arrival back at our hotel after our last vegan lunch together. If you need any onward assistance, please talk with your adventure leaders who will be more than happy to help. Thank you very much again for spending the holidays with us – Bahut, bahut dhanyavaad (thank you very much). Have a safe trip back home!

Vegan Meals Included Today: Breakfast and Lunch

Pack up your bags, and be ready for an adventure of a lifetime!