CAMELS & CANINES & COWS – OH MY!
11 – Day North India Volunteerism Adventure
11 – Day North India Volunteerism Adventure
|GROUP SIZE||Maximum 18 people|
|GROUP MINIMUM||1 person (all our trips are guaranteed departures)|
|START DAY||Tuesday @ 4:30 PM|
|END DAY||Friday @ 3:30 PM|
Did you ever scratch a donkey under his chin? Have you ever bottle-fed a baby goat? Ever helped a dog that lost her leg learns to walk again? On this Camels & Canines & Cows – Oh My! you’ll have the chance to do this and much more.
Join VegVoyages as we immerse ourselves into the rich heritage and culture that is Rajasthan, India. During this adventure you’ll not only see, but experience local traditions, customs, ways of life, language and of course – food while also making a hands-on difference to the lives of of injured animals as you assist locals at the very special grassroots animal refuge, Animal Aid.
Animal Aid grew from a feeling of sadness into an idea of hope and into a hospital of miracles as Erika Abrams and Jim Myers along with their daughter Claire began the dream that is now a reliable and loving refuge for animals. With the help of local friends, Animal Aid has grown into a life-saving force for thousands of animals every year. The sanctuary runs both a busy animal hospital and refuge, where homeless street animals are rescued, healed and loved. With roughly 150 animals treated everyday, the Animal Aid story continues to blossom in a thousand different ways, and each “way” has either fur or feathers, hooves or tails, bills or muzzles.
10 nights accommodations (hotels, charming Maharajah’s palace, Remote Desert palace, Lakeside Royal Mansion)
28 meals (10 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 9 dinners)
VegVoyages Adventure Leaders & Local Guides
* Airport pick up is provided only if you arrive a day or two earlier than the tour date. If you would be arriving three days or more early, please arrange for your own airport pick up.
International airfare, airport departure transfer, visa for India, personal travel insurance, gratuities and items of a personal nature.
|START DATE||August 21|
|END DATE||August 31|
Namaste! Welcome to India! On arrival, we’ll pick you up at the airport. In the evening, we’ll have our group orientation meeting where you’ll have a chance to meet your fellow travelers and enjoy tasty local snacks and dinner while we discuss the adventure ahead. The first part of our adventure focuses on introducing you to the culture, language and customs of India so tonight we’ll have our first lesson where you’ll be introduced to Hindi – a language spoken by over a half billion people! (Snacks & Dinner)
After breakfast, we’ll set out for India’s most famous landmark – the stunning Taj Mahal! A remarkable mausoleum built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a tribute to his favorite wife – Mumtaj Mahal, the Taj is one of the new Seven Wonders of the World and when one sees it in person the feeling is best summed up in the words of Tagore who described the tomb as “one tear drop…upon the cheek of time”. After taking in the Taj, we’ll cross the border to Rajasthan and the Keoladeo Ghana National Park. Arriving in the evening, we’ll settle down for today’s language and cultural lesson and of course – a tasty vegan dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
“Having recently returned from the “Camels, Canines & Cows” India tour with VegVoyages I want to express my thanks to their team for making it such a wonderful experience! We visited some amazing places (both famous and off the beaten path), the food and accommodations were great, and I felt so inspired by our time volunteering at Animal Aid; after 15 days India became a very difficult place to leave.”
Sean Wrobel (Alberta, Canada)
Bharatpur is home to the UNESCO World Heritage Keoladeo Ghana National Park – a haven of wetlands and forests and home to over 400 species of birds and other wildlife. In the morning, we’ll explore the park by bicycle or peddle rickshaw with our naturalist guide. After freshening up, we’ll set out for the village of Roopangarh. Founded in 1648 by my Maharaja Roop Singh, Roopangarh was a hub of activity as it was located on one of the main routes of the Mughals. Here, we’ll be staying at Roopangarh Fort Palace, a captivating example of Rajput architecture. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Rajasthan is famous for its marble – you’ll see it in temples, homes and palaces and today, you’ll get a chance to find out how it comes to be – from the quarry to the final product. Then, it’s off for lunch at the Kishangarh Moonsoon Palace. As the sun sets, we’ll meet on the royal terrace for local folk music, cold drinks and a tasty dinner! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Saying goodbye to Roopangarh, we hit the road for Udaipur – the City of Lakes! On the way, we’ll visit the 15th century Ranakpur Temple – one of the five holiest sites in the Jain religion. A faith devoted to compassion for all living creatures, Jainism is based on the principals that all living beings should be treated with mutual respect. This awe-inspiring temple sprawls over 48,000 square feet, has 29 halls, 20 domes and 1,444 pillars. In the evening, we’ll meet on rooftop to watch the colors of the city change to night and dinner with the founders of Animal Aid. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
“I would just like to take a moment to tell you that I am now home from touring India with Veg Voyages through their Camels, Canines, and Cows Oh My (tour). I know that you may think I am exaggerating but I am not when I say, this was THE BEST trip of my life. From the airport pick up till the drop off at the train ride, every single detail was planned out to perfection. Singhji, the tour guide, was one of the most amazing and special men that I have ever met. He made sure to always make sure we got the full and REAL India experience. I feel like I really saw India and all of its layers. I am also so in awe that I was allowed the privilege to volunteer at Animal Aid. I could go on and on and on but I will say this trip was excellent in every way. I would go back in a second and I am already planning to go on another trip through Veg Voyages!”
Lindsay Thompson (Maryland, USA)
The highlight of our adventure begins today as we set out to the base of Animal Aid. A very special animal rescue organization, Animal Aid not only offers a hospital, but a refuge and home for abused and neglected animals. Whether they have fur or feathers, hooves or tails, bills or muzzles – they all have a safe place to recover & a home at Animal Aid. We’ll be helping wherever we can, includes helping the wounded animals recover by giving them personal attention, feeding, brushing, grooming, and treating our animals friends. In the evening, we’ll join a local family at their house for a tasty home cooked dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Starting the morning with breakfast, we’ll head off for our day’s work at Animal Aid. Everyday we’ll have a special home-cooked vegan lunch prepared and delivered to the refuge. After our day with the animals, we’ll return to our haveli to freshen up before we board our boat for a sunset cruise around Pichola Lake. Seeing the “city of lakes” from the boat offers a totally different perspective of this medieval city with its old palaces and ancient temples cradling the water’s edge. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
As we always say, a great way to get an idea about a country’s culture and heritage is through its food! There is no doubt that India offers vegetarians some of the tastiest food found anywhere in the world. With its unique combination of spices and herbs, Indian food is an exciting culinary treat! Deeply rooted in Hindu culture, vegetarian food has been cultivated and refined throughout India for thousands of years. This said, in the afternoon, we’ll meet up with our friends and be their guests as they teach us how to prepare a delicious traditional Indian vegan meal – or should we say feast. Be prepared to roll up your sleeves! Our first stop: the wet market – a treasure trove of spices and flavors where essential ingredients such as chilly, ginger, mint, cilantro and tamarind are found amongst a colorful selection of spices and fresh veggies. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
“The tour was absolutely incredible. It exceeded all expectations I had beforehand – I can’t believe we packed so many things into just 2 little weeks! A big part of what made it so wonderful was Singhji (VegVoyages leader) – he is an incredibly friendly and knowledgeable host and very generous with his time and in opening his home to us. The highlight of the trip for me was Animal Aid and I am so glad I had the opportunity to be involved in volunteering for them. Erika and Claire are so inspiring and down to earth. The animals won our hearts over. I see myself going on more VegVoyages trips in the future that’s for sure!”
Maria Velardo (NSW, Australia)
After spending the day at the center, you’ll have free time to explore the city at your own pace in the evening. Catch up with souvenirs list, or simply relaxing in your room. Surrounded by lakes, rolling hills and rich in history, Udaipur, with its lakeside palaces, ancient temples, vibrant bazaars and narrow-winding streets, is the perfect place to take in the alluring princely charm of Rajasthan. (Breakfast, Lunch)
“I just cannot say enough about how wonderful and life changing that I think the ENTIRE tour was. I am so overwhelmed by the experience and am seriously looking forward to future Veg Voyages tours. I just cannot imagine things being any better. I would like to say that Singhji (VegVoyages leader) is truly a blessing and truly an amazing man. I have told so many people when they ask me how the guide was that “if he walked up to me right now and told me to jump off a bridge I would do it in a second.” That is how much I trust, respect, and admire him. I just cannot say enough. I am still trying to process the entire trip. I would not change one day, one trip, or one experience. Thank you so much for this trip. Thank you for letting us volunteer at Animal Aid and actually feeling like we can give something back. This was truly a life changing trip and I am so glad that I was able to do it. Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
Amber Evans (Maryland, USA)
On our last full day at the refuge, we’ll spend our time helping out wherever we can. In the evening, it’s time for our farewell party. Hopping aboard auto rickshaws, we’ll set out down the narrow alleys of this ancient city to a local family’s home in the heart of the old town. Here, we’ll join the family and our friends from Animal Aid for our last night in the City of Lakes. From the home’s rooftop terrace – with striking views of the city and royal palace, we’ll watch the colors change to night while enjoying traditional folk music and dance, local snacks and some of the tastiest cuisine the oasis town has to offer! Make sure you have a good appetite – don’t forget your party shirt and dancing shoes! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
You’ll have time in the morning to catch up with last minutes souvenir shopping before we meet up for our flight back to Delhi. Our adventure ends upon arrival at the airport in Delhi. Bahut, bahut dhanyavaad (thank you very very much)! (Breakfast)