Road Trip - 21 Day India | Goa - Backwaters - Munnar - Sikkim

Experience the best of India from the beautiful beaches of Goa down through Mysore, the yoga capital of India then into the sleepy backwaters of Kerala staying on a houseboat then up through picturesque tea plantations of Munnar, ancient temples of Tamil Nadu and then fly and settle in Sikkim in North India in the Himalayas to teach in Buddhist monasteries!

we need Volunteers In India

  • India is one of the poorest countires in the world, with 2 thirds living in poverty.
  • 68.8% of the population in India live on less than $2 a day.
  • Over 800 million people in India are poor, with higher rates of poverty in rural areas.
  • According to UNICEF, about 25% of children in India have no access to education, with higher rates of girls not attending school.
  • 43% of childen under five years are underweight and around 61 million children are stunted due to malnutrition.
  • Even though there is a law about no child labour under age 14, it's estimated by aid agencies, that there could be up to 65 million children aged 6-14 working.

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does 21 Day India Road Trip Involve?

  • Travel and volunteer on this all-round adventure trip!
  • Explore some of India's best sights, like the beautiful backwaters
  • Meet your fellow volunteers and make friends
  • Spend time volunteering at a Buddhist monastery in Sikkim!
walking to village

Why Involvement Volunteers International?

  • Non Profit Organisation & Charity
  • Over 30 Years Expertise Globally
  • Low Program Fees - From US$295
  • Excellent Safety Record, In-Country 24/7 Support & Emergency Assistance
  • 1 Application Fee - Multiple Countries
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  PROJECT NAME: 21 DAY INDIA ROAD TRIP

LOCATION: GOA, BACKWATERS, MUNNAR & SIKKIM

  START DATES: 1ST MONDAY OF EACH MONTH 

  ACCOMMODATION: VOLUNTEER HOUSE (SHARED ROOMS) 

  MIN DURATION: 21 DAYS

  MIN AGE: 16+

  SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: N/A

  PROJECT COSTS: From US$1450 + APPLICATION FEE

Overview

This volunteer travel tour takes you to Goa which boasts of pristine beaches and Indo-Portuguese culture and into the ancient temple kingdom of Hampi to marvel at its stone architecture and ancient cultures. From here we go down South to the backwaters of Kerala and hike in the tea plantations of the blue mountains as it is called. Travel to the Southwestern part of Madurai in the state of Tamil Nadu to visit magnificent ancient Hindu Temples and also learn ancient form of dancing. Your tour then takes you to North of India to the foothills of Himalayas in Sikkim where you can help the local Himalayan communities by teaching at local schools.

Local food, Market visits, temple visits, nature experience and volunteering will be the norm for these 21 days. See dropdown section further down for full schedule.

Location

Goa, Kerala
The beach goers destination with the right mix of infrastructure and order coupled with that crazy un-ordered Indian charm. Goa is a really fun destination, with plenty of party goers and a relaxed funky vibe great for the free spirited types who want a more ‘westernized’ taste of India!

Sikkim, Bihar
Sikkim is a small state in northwest India, bordered by Bhutan, Tibet and Nepal. Spectacular scenery coupled with buddhist monasteries are the highlight of this fascinating region. Here you’ll be interacting with monks on a regular basis, learning about their way of life and exchanging ideas and intercultural learnings. 

Project Tasks

  • Volunteer on local projects
  • Interact with the community and other volunteers
  • Explore some of India’s best sights

Food & Accommodation

All accommodation is included during your stay. All accommodation is simple, yet clean and comfortable with running water/showers and adequate western style bathroom and toilet facilities. You’ll be sharing a room with other volunteers of the same gender, normally a maximum of 4 per room.

The Goa & Sikkim Volunteer Centres consist of spacious houses normally with 2 levels ground and first floor, living areas, dining areas, kitchen and normally 4 bedrooms with attached toilets. Each room can accommodate up to 8 people. Other amenities available at the centers include TV, DVD player, Wifi, computer, toaster, fridge.

In Hampi, enjoy local village cottages in the local rice fields.
In Alleppey, stay on a houseboat!
In Munnar, you’ll stay in a guesthouse with hill views.
In Madurai, a temple view guesthouse.

3 good meals are also provided every day of the program. We provide Indian and western food in the center, mainly vegetarian food like rice, pulses, vegetables and rotis with some chicken dishes 2 times in a week.

Testimonials...

FAQ...

If you want the ultimate adventure, whilst giving back at the same time, this would be a great option. This experience allows you to meet new people, interact with the community and to travel India, for an all round adventure!

  • Accommodation
  • 3 meals p/day weekdays / 2 meals p/day weekends
  • Arrival airport transfer (Sat/Sun arrivals)
  • Filtered drinking water, coffee & tea
  • 1 day orientation
  • Daily transportation to project
  • In country 24/7 support & emergency assistance
  • Fundraising support
  • University course credits (where applicable)
  • Certificate of Completion
  • Airfares
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tours, Souvenirs & spending money

Airport pick-up is included in the volunteering cost unless specified.This may involve either a local pick-up by your volunteer host or a public transport ticket where necessary. These details will be finalised with you upon making a booking as this will depend on your arrival information.

Sunday – Arrive at Dabolim Airport in Goa. Upon arrival, you’ll be picked up and transferred to the volunteer center to settle in (approx 45 min drive).

Day 1 – Goa

Orientation, meet and greet with volunteer staff and coordinators and fellow volunteers from all over the world. The orientation session which will take you through Indian culture, do’s and don’ts as a traveler in India, and safety precautions during your travel. Enjoy a few local excursions to interesting Goan markets and then check out the sunset over the beach.

Day 2 – Goa

An excursion to old Goa, previously a Portuguese colony will give you an appreciation for the history and culture of this popular destination. You’ll see some hidden gems off the beaten tourist track including mountainous spice plantations with picnic lunch. Later in the evening, enjoy a Bollywood movie.

Day 3 – Goa

Today you will learn cooking Goan food and visit the beach or a few hours before taking an evening bus to Hampi on a journey back in time, ruins of an ancient Hindu kingdom and an world UNESCO heritage site.

Day 4 – Hampi

Check into a lovely guest house in the middle of rice fields. Take part in a bicycle tour of the ancient kingdom with carved temples and incredible views of the kingdom. At sunset, overlooking the mountains, enjoy a yoga class.

Day 5 – Hampi – Mysore

After some more Yoga and medication at sunrise check out the coracle ride in the river Tunga and witness this kingdom through a new perspective. This evening, we depart to the town of Mysore which was the capital of South India centuries ago and a well renowned for Yoga. Check into the riverside guest house and visit the famous Mysore Palace and a temple situated on a hill overlooking the city.

Day 6 – Mysore

Visit a silk factory where you can witness the making of silk saree and learn wearing a saree the Indian way. Enjoy some free time.

Day 7 – Mysore – Alleppey

Visit the famous Mysore Devaraj Urs market and taste a spread of south Indian food. This evening we take a bus to the backwaters of Kerala.

Day 8 – Alleppey Boat house

Arrive in the morning to check into a boathouse. Here you will cruise the whole day in the backwaters to get an Ayurvedic massage and dinner on the boat and an overnight stay in the boathouse. You will also get a chance to visit markets along the backwaters. This is a really unique experience and something you’ll never forget.

Day 9 – Alleppey – Munnar

Later in the morning, we depart to Munnar also called the blue hills of tea plantations, one of the biggest in south of India. Munnar is a hill station in the Western Ghats located in the state of Kerala. Munnar, a hill station and former resort for the British Raj elite, is set within rolling hills dotted with tea plantations established in the 19th century. This is an incredible place! Highly recommended. Here we walk through a nature trail through the tea plantations and witness traditional art of kalari payathu and kathakali dance at Punarjani traditional village and stay overnight at a beautiful guest house situated in the mountains overlooking the plantations.

Day 10- Munnar – Madurai

As the third largest city of Tamil Nadu, Madurai is a city known for its historical and cultural significance. An ancient city with a rich cultural and architectural heritage, the city is constructed in the form of a lotus around the Meenakshi Amman temple. It is called the ‘Athens of the east’; but Madurai, arguably, has as much as history as Athens itself.   You’ll receive a City tour and overnight stay at Madurai

Day 11 – Madurai

Sightseeing in Madurai where you will visit 3 iconic temples, learn a bit of Carnatic music and take in a temple concert in this ancient city.  Enjoy some more free time

Day 12 – Madurai – Chennai – Bagdodra (Sikkim)

Today we depart to Chennai and take a flight to Bagdodra and by road to Gangtok the capital of Sikkim.

Sikkim is a small state in northwest India, bordered by Bhutan, Tibet and Nepal. Part of the Himalayas, the area has a dramatic landscape including India’s highest mountain, 8,586m Kanchenjunga. Sikkim is also home to glaciers, alpine meadows and thousands of varieties of wildflowers. Steep paths lead to hilltop Buddhist monasteries such as Pemayangtse, which dates to the early 1700s.

Day 13 – Sikkim

Free time

Day 14 – Sikkim

Free time

Day 16 – Sikkim

Volunteer at the Buddhist monastery of Sikkim, interacting with monks and sharing in intercultural learning. Volunteers are encouraged to take initiative in building and renovating the monasteries and public schools and community centers where sadly economic issues and local customs have resulted in dilapidated infrastructure and buildings.

Volunteer Projects needs are many in this very poor region and may include:

  • General cleaning of old paint, walls and scrapping, classrooms etc
  • Paining (including general building painting and artistic painting…  Your imagination is welcome!)
  • English teaching and teaching assistance
  • Gardening & rainwater harvesting projects for remote villages with poor access to infrastructure
  • Renovations (depending on skill levels incl carpentry, electrician, plumbing, building etc)
  • Clean drinking water tanks and basica public toilets in underprivileged communities
  • Solar panels for slum projects
  • Cooking stoves and kitchen facilities for slums, schools and community centers

Departure: Make sure to book your return tickets back home on Saturday. Departures on Sundays or any extra stay will attract accommodation fees of US$55 p/night incl meals.

Weekends are always free for relaxing or sightseeing of your choice. Our ground operators will help you organise additional trips with special (non tourist) rates which can be paid directly in local currency. As a volunteer you will gain access to local knowledge, opportunities and value you simply would not find if staying as a standard tourist.

No extra requirements for this program. 

India is an eclectic and intoxicating cultural experience like no other! Home of the famous Taj Mahal, the Himalayas, the sacred Ganges river, and over 1 billion people of varying languages, cultures and beleifs, India is sure to push you to the boundaries of your comfort zone.

IVI is focused on establishing sustainable employment and education through volunteering efforts in India. Children in some of the regions we service have not had basic nutritional background. Over 950,000 newborns per year in India die from infections. Education about health for families provides a strong foundation for self-care in the communities we service in India.

India’s climte ranges from tropical down south to alpine up in the northern mountain regions. 

From April until the start of October is summer, and in most places in India, is very hot. In June the monsoon rains start in Kerala down south, and move inland. Further north and in the rural areas of Rajasthan, it can get pretty cold from December to January- sometimes as low at minus 5 degrees!

Be prepared for some hot temperatures but if in the Sikkim region, bring along some warmer clothing as it can get cold in the mountains. 

India is a country FULL of culture! From the beautiful colours, different religions, ancient traditions and the smells of spices- India is a country like no other.  It’s the the second most populous nation after China, with over 1.2 billion people. 

The most prominant religions are Hinduism and Buddhism and around 13% of the popualrtion are Muslim. Because there are so many religions, India celebrates a large number of festivals throughout the year. Some of these include Diwali, Holi, Eid and Good Friday. 

In India, the cow is considered to be a Holy animal and you will see cars either driving around, or simply waiting if a cow is in the road holding up traffic! In some parts of India it is forbidden to eat meat or drink alcohol. 

You will see many temples in India, as well as colourful clothing, particually the sari’s that the local women wear, and many cultural dance shows and activities. 

30 Years Non Profit Experience

IVI is an Australian charity & non profit organisation founded in 1989 and is one of the pioneers of overseas volunteering successfully placing over 20,000 volunteers globally.

Affordable Volunteer Travel

We’re not motivated by shareholder profits.   Our fees are fully transparent to ensure maximum benefit where it is most needed. 

Safe & Responsible Projects

All projects include a dedicated 24/7 in-country management team, operational & risk assessment & overseas support contact.   All projects are personally inspected to ensure very high quality.
 

Work Experience & University Credits

We place thousands of Uni students and can assist you with course credits and in-field experience points.   Many of our project coordinators are qualified practitioners in their respective fields allowing unique in-field supervision and Uni accreditation options

Weekends & Extra Tours

Ready to Volunteer in India?

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APPLY NOW

Ready to Volunteer abroad? Complete your application in about 5 min

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NEED MORE INFO?

Not sure which program is right for you? Contact us for more info

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SCHEDULE A CALL

Let's talk about it! Schedule your preferred time and date.

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