17 Days • Kolkata - Visakhapatnam (Vizag)
Explore rural India, connect with community projects and make a REAL positive difference! Converge on India’s cultural capital Kolkata; weave through bustling markets and join an NGO handcraft souvenirs. Explore the seaside temple town of Puri, meet traditional artisians and cruise Asia’s largest saltwater lagoon, Chilika Lake. Participate in local agricultural projects and learn from local farmers about indigenous sustainability solutions. Trek to a remote village nestled in the rolling hills of the Eastern Ghats. Teach tribal kids the a-b-c and learn the secret behind their dazzling smiles. Drop into an indigenous weekly market. Camp among tribal villages and learn their ancient wisdom. Travel has never been so much fun and so immensely rewarding. A rare opportunity to encourage indigenous sustainable development projects and have the time of your life doing so!
Days 1 - 3 Kolkata
The intellectual and cultural capital of India; vibrant and quirky Kolkata bursts with life; explore the cities proud colonial heritage by tram, drop into esteemed art galleries, wander through traditional Bengali markets and take in the breathtaking view from Kolkata’s famous Hoogly Bridge. Join hands to handcraft souvenirs and help build confidence of a marginalised community.
Days 4 - 5 Puri
Explore medieval bylanes of Puri’s old city, stroll through the evening beach markets and saunter along the sand. Marvel at magnificent temple architecture and sculptural detail at UNESCO World Heritage site at Konark. Conceived as a giant solar chariot, this is one of India’s most sublime monuments. Step into a heritage village devoted to miniature painting and watch ancestral artisans at work.
Day 6 Chilika Lake
Cruise the tranquil waters of Asia’s largest saltwater lagoon and Ramsar Wetland of international Importance, Chilika Lake. Spot rare birds and playful dolphins. Feast on succulent seafood!
Make a REAL Difference
Grass Routes collaborates with 3 different grassroots development organisations. Each distinct in their own field of work, we have the opportunity to help extraordinary local people make a positive difference in their communities. Step up and contribute in tangible ways to the rural and tribal livelihoods of one of India's poorest regions. Significantly 50% of the cost of this journey goes directly to our affiliated development organizations.
Days 7 - 10 Rural NGO Project Visit
Take part in the daily activities of a rural development organization. Join in agricultural workshops and get your hands dirty farming organic vegetables. Help spread education to rural areas; participate in vocation training for women and teach at an English Medium school for tribal students.
Days 11 - 15 Tribal NGO Project Visit
Delve deeper into remote jungle and enter the heart of tribal territory! Meet a grassroots development organization working to ‘help people help themselves’. Trek to a remote tribal village. Teach tribal kids, join in traditional songs and dance and learn from their holistic approach to education. Camp among tribal villages and ease into the natural rhythm of tribal life. Walk their fields, discover native medicinal herbs and cook local delicacies. Experience indigenous sustainability solutions and feel the gentle pride of tribal self-reliance.
Days 16 - 17 Visakhapatnam (Vizag)
Traverse the forested hills and lush valleys of the Eastern Ghats to the picturesque port city of Visakhapatnam. Friendly smiles, fiery curries and hilarious filmy placards dot the city. Explore India’s 2nd largest ship graveyard, rub shoulders with pilgrims at the 11th century Simachalam temple and sip coconut juice on the beach.
Accommodation: Hotel/guesthouse ( 6 nights), NGO Guest Quarters (6 nights), Tent Camp (2 nights).
Meals: All inclusive expect for meals in Kolkata, Puri & Visakhapatnam where independent options are available. Please allow approx. €10 per day for these additional meals.
Transport: Private transport, train, cycle rickshaws, local ferry, pole boat, bullock cart and foot.
Activities: Kolkata Sightseeing, NGO Handicraft Workshop, Puri Old City Orientation, UNESCO World Heritage Konark Sun Temple Entry, Heritage Painting Village Visit (Raghurajpur), Chilika Lake boat cruise, NGO Agricultural, Organic Farming & Vocational Training Activities, Teaching English, Tribal Weekly Market visit, NGO Teaching Activities, Trekking and Camping.
Support: Passionate Local Leader throughout
Arrival/Departure: Kolkata has an International Airpport and Visakhapatnam (Vizag) is well connected to the rest of India by domestic airlines. Both are cities accessible by the Indian Railway network. See the Travel Essentials for more information.
Grass Routes | Orissa Tour | Tribal Tour | Puri | Responsible Travel | Volunteer Orissa