Take a classic journey from India's plains to the mountains of Nepal
To travel between Delhi and Kathmandu, from the bustling cities of the Indian plains to the peace and tranquillity of the highest mountains on Earth, is one of the most beautiful and fascinating journeys in Asia . For culture, the Taj Mahal, 'the Pink City' of Jaipur and the holy city of Varanasi are the highlights. We also follow the footsteps of Buddha, visiting the sacred Buddhist sites of Sarnath and Lumbini. For nature, spotting rhino in Nepal's Chitwan National Park or the first view of the mighty Himalayas will provide lasting memories.  taxonomy/term/156
All breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 dinners included. You should allow £15 (approx. US$24) per day for other meals. You can eat out very cheaply in India and Nepal, but if you go to more expensive restaurants most of the time, you will spend more than the suggested amount. In most of the towns there is a good choice between Indian, Chinese and Western style food. If you are a vegetarian India and Nepal are probably two of the best destinations you can visit. Tea and soft drinks are very cheap. A (large!) bottle of beer is approximately £3 (approx. US$4.80). Drinking water will be provided in large containers in our vehicle, so please bring a water bottle with you to refill. Where meals are not included the leader will encourage people to try certain restaurants and street food vendors. They can make recommendations which will help boost small businesses and celebrate local specialties. In India, we can even see how the food is made, for example, masala chai (tea), samosa (mashed potato snacks), jalebe (Indian doughnuts), lassi (yoghurt drink).
Flights usually depart London in the evening. **
The group flight will arrive into Delhi in the morning and we will transfer to our hotel. Those who have made their own flight arrangements will join us at the hotel during the day. You are free today to explore Delhi and rest after your flight; rooms may not be available until noon but it is often earlier than this. *Comfortable Hotel*
After breakfast we will have a tour of the capital. In Old Delhi we visit Jama Masjid (India's largest mosque). We then drive past the fine colonial buildings in New Delhi. Built by the British Raj in the early years of last century and set in spacious tree-lined boulevards, these now house various Indian governmental departments. We then visit Humayun's Tomb, one of the earlier Moghul Emperors. In the afternoon we drive to the 'Pink City' of Jaipur. This drive will take approximately 5 to 7 hours, depending on local traffic. *Comfortable Hotel*
* *A full day to explore Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan and one of the most attractive and colourful cities in India. Built in the late 18th century, it is a planned city of broad avenues built of sandstone and painted pink at a later stage. First we visit the City Palace. Formerly the residence of the Maharaja it is now a fine museum containing rare manuscripts, paintings, royal garments and weapons. Close to the palace is one of the most intriguing sites of India, the observatory of Jai Singh. This is an assembly of immense astronomical instruments made of marble and brass set in a pleasant garden. We will also see Jaipur's impressive landmark, the Hawa Mahal, or Palace of the Winds. A few miles from the main city is the splendid Amber Palace, rising above a lake. The imposing hilltop fort contains large courtyards and interiors with fine decorations including inlaid alabaster panels and a Chamber of Mirrors. We can walk up the hill through the massive gateway to the courtyard. Jaipur is a centre of many handicrafts, such as durries (woven rugs), carpets, printed cloth, semi-precious stones, leatherwear etc. *Comfortable Hotel*
We begin the day by driving to Agra via the deserted ancient city of Fatehpur Sikri. Formally the capital of the Mughal Empire, this wonderfully preserved 'ghost town' was constructed by Emperor Akbar between 1570 and 1585 and reflects his ideals in art, religion and architecture. This impressive and well-preserved citadel became his capital in 1571, after the blessing of a local Moslem holy man correctly predicted the birth of a longed-for son, his successor the Emperor Jehangir. The mosque, designed to hold ten thousand worshippers, the palaces, residences and halls of audience are all of decorative red sandstone. But this magnificence only lasted 14 years, as in 1584 Akbar left Fatehpur Sikri to secure his outlying territories, leaving this city much as we see it today. The site is one of the most atmospheric in northern India and its position on a ridge overlooking the modern village below, and its wonderful state of preservation give us with a taste of this city's majestic past. *Comfortable Hotel* * *
A very early start to see the incredible spectacle of the sunrise over the Taj. The Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1631, built the beautiful white marble Taj Mahal. The Taj is serenely beautiful and never fails to amaze a first time visitor; the white marble exterior changes colour according to the position of the sun and is matched by the rich interior detail. Within striking distance is the imposing Red Fort of Akbar, whose mighty sandstone walls enclose the beautiful white marble Pearl Mosque and the palaces, halls, courtyards and fountains of his sons and successors, Jehangir and Shah Jahan. It is here that the latter spent his last years, imprisoned by his own son Aurangzeb. Agra also offers a wide variety of handicrafts including jewellery, inlaid and carved marble, carpets and clothes and there should be time for some shopping. In the evening we make our way to Agra Fort train station to catch our overnight train to Varanasi. *Sleeper Train* * * * *
On arrival in Varanasi we transfer to our hotel. Please note rooms may not be available until noon but efforts are made to make it earlier if possible. In the afternoon we vist the nearby Sarnath Temple. Sarnath is as sacred to Buddhists as Varanasi is to Hindus. The main monument at Saranath is the Dhamekh Stupa which is the very spot where Buddha is believed to have given his first sermon. Evening free. * Comfortable Hotel*
* *Varanasi, situated on the River Ganges, is one of the most holy cities in India and stands at the centre of the Hindu universe. As such, the city lives and breathes Hinduism: there are thousands of pilgrims, wandering holy men (Sadhus), religious leaders and casual visitors. Immerse yourself by exploring its maze of narrow lanes, many temples and watch the Hindu ceremonies that take place around the clock. Just before dawn, we take a boat out on the Ganges to witness the extraordinary spectacles on the ghats; the steps leading down to the river. Every day thousands of Hindu pilgrims come to these three miles of riverbank to submerge themselves in the waters of the holy Ganges. In the evening you can witness the aarti ceremony from the banks of the river. Comfortable Hotel
* *We board our private bus and make an early departure for Nepal. We drive across the northern plains, passing through a few towns and lots of Indian villages. At the Indian border we leave our bus and walk across through customs and immigration to Nepal (approx. 500 metres). Once in Nepal, we enter the Terai, the narrow plain running along the southern breadth of the country. We have a short drive (approx. 1 hour) to Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha, where we spend the night. Total driving time approx. 12 hrs. *Standard Hotel*
Early this morning there is a short, optional rickshaw ride around the Lumbini gardens. Buddha was born here and the area is being developed into a place of pilgrimage for Buddhists from all over the world. Travelling east and parallel to the mountains, we reach Chitwan (approx. 4 hour drive), where we spend two nights. The park, with its jungle and thick forest, was the former royal hunting ground and was made a conservation area in 1973. During your stay you can enjoy an optional ox cart ride in Tharu village or an evening dance performance; both providing a glimpse into the fascinating lives of the local tribe. *Standard hotel*
Chitwan National Park and the surrounding forest covers an area of 923 square kilometres of the terai (low land region in southern Nepal) and affords excellent wildlife viewing opportunities. Amongst the larger animals, you have an excellent chance of seeing the Indian one horned rhino, Sambar and Chital deer, guar, langur and Rhesus monkeys, mongoose, jackal, otter and crocodile. The more elusive animals include tiger, leopard, leopard cat, Sloth bear and Indian bison. Over 500 species of birds have been recorded in this area. Wildlife activities are managed and escorted by experienced naturalists and shikharis and included in your stay is a jeep safari and a dug out canoe excursion. Birdwatching outings can also be organised. *Standard Hotel* * *
* *Today, our journey to Pokhara is only 140km but will take 4-5 hours. We follow the gorge of the Narayani River and soon we are in the foothills of the Himalaya. The scenery changes dramatically from the forests and farmlands of the terai to steep terraced hills, and as we get closer to Pokhara we begin to see the formidable Annapurna Range. Set at only 1,000m amongst semi-tropical plants and with a delightfully warm climate, it is actually much closer to the main Himalayan peaks than Kathmandu. Machhapuchhare, the 'Fishtail Peak', dominates the skyline especially on a clear morning. We stay in a simple hotel near to Lake Phewa, with a wide choice of restaurants and other facilities close by. *Standard Hotel*
* *We can either relax by or on the beautiful lake in Pokhara, or the more energetic can hike into the surrounding hills for even better views of the peaks. There are many wonderful day walks in and around the Pokhara valley, one of the best being to drive up to the remains of a fort at Sarankot, the hill directly overlooking the lake and then walk back to Pokhara. An early morning start is required to guarantee the clearest view, but once there, the whole Annapurna range can be seen with virtually no intervening hills. This is one of the best of all viewpoints for Machhapuchhare, most people's favourite mountain in the region. For many though, Pokhara is a place to relax by either renting a rowboat or bicycle for a few hours and exploring the lake and its shoreline at a leisurely pace. *Standard Hotel*
* *We leave early for the long drive to Kathmandu, along the Chinese-built road running parallel to the main Himalayan range. The distance is only 200km but it is a slow climb through the mountains and the journey will take most of the day (7 - 8 hours). The views, however, are stunning as we follow the Marsyangdi and Trisuli rivers, passing numerous villages and terraces stretching thousands of feet up the hillside. We arrive in Kathmandu in the late afternoon and check into our centrally located hotel. *Comfortable Hotel*
We have today to explore Kathmandu and the valley. In the early morning there is the opportunity to take a scenic flight to see Mount Everest (this can be booked and paid for on arrival in Kathmandu; see 'Extra Expenses and Spending Money' section below regarding costs). Today there will be a half-day sightseeing tour visiting Pashupatinath, the most important Hindu temple in the valley, and Bodnath, one of the largest Buddhist stupas in the world. The rest of the time is free for individual exploration of Kathmandu. You may like to visit Durbar Square of Kathmandu with its old Royal Palace and intricately carved temples, or Swayambhunath, the 'monkey temple', set on a hill overlooking the city. Kathmandu also offers the most wonderful and varied opportunities for souvenir shopping: clothes, trinkets, Tibetan and Nepalese handicrafts and superb bookshops. It also has a wide variety of restaurants serving some of the best food from the sub-continent and you can also find wonderful pizzas and apple pie. *Comfortable Hotel*
Those on the flight inclusive package will depart for the airport this morning for the daytime flight back to London; Land Only arrangements will finish after check-out from the hotel.
* All breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 dinners included * All accommodation * Transfer for group flights
A brilliant trip capturing all the chaos, filth, colour and magic of India & Nepal . The memories are too many to detail but will last a lifetime. Personally I loved every day- I stayed healthy throughout sticking to a vegetarian diet and using loads of anti bacterial hand gel. The food was delicious & i am sure I’ve put on a few pounds. The group was also great - a perfect mix of solo travellers and couples and we all got on very well. The organisation behind the scenes by exodus was excellent - our guide in india and first part of Nepal, Jatin was always calm, reassuring & charming. The travel involved some changes due to road closures and a train cancellation but jatin always did his best to rearrange schedules & keep us informed. We covered long distances so there are some long days being jolted around in the bus so be prepared, but the good humour of the group, amazing scenery and a few snacks helped pass the time. I found it helpful to download some music or I player podcasts to listen to en route. Also a blow up pillow and big scarf or blanket for when the air con made it chilly.
An amazing and enlightening journey with a great group of people. We saw both city and countrywide and visited many incredible landmarks along the way. We learnt lots about India it's religion and culture. Lead by the most caring and considerate guide.
After a fair amount of research into which trip/company to select, I opted for this one. I opted for this trip for a few reasons - I'd previously done another excellent trip with Exodus, only 1 overnight train (just enough!), the itinerary sounded fascinating with some different places included to other similar tours. I was extremely pleased with my choice - an adventure from start to finish, amazing places, loads learned, a fabulous group and a brilliant tour leader.
This was a great trip which involved a lot of travelling ( by bus, train, jeep and boat) but with the reward of visiting some beautiful and historical places and having some wonderful experiences. The travelling times for our group were often longer than suggested in the trip notes but this was because at the time of our travel there was some major road construction occurring. However the long bus trips did give one an opportunity to observe the countryside, the Indian and Nepalese cultures and ways of life as one passed through towns and villages. There was also the opportunity for the odd nap as there were quite a few early morning starts. Also this gave an opportunity to read up on, or reflect on the places visited as the trip moves quickly across India and into Nepal.
A fantastic adventure from start to finish. India was hot, dirty, crowded and chaotic. It was a riot of colour, noise and amazing photo opportunities! Nepal was slightly less chaotic and provided a wonderful contrast to the madness.
Very enjoyable experiences.
a trip that far exceeded expectations.
The trip started early on the first day in India and continued at pace throughout: the scenery was breathtaking. In spite of repeated early morning starts at 4.30 - 5am we were amazed by the sheer numbers of people everywhere at all times of day and night. The journeys between cities were long even though the distances were relatively short - the roads are dreadful! However, we didn't witness any aggression or accidents even though the views of the chaotic traffic were scary at times! The accommodation was really good and far better than we either expected or that we have had on previous trips. Food was plentiful, tasty and excellent. We deliberately ate veggie and completely avoided any tummy upsets. The overnight 'sleeper' train was quite an experience - we boarded 1.5 hours late around 12.30 am and arrived in Varanassi 6 hours later than planned at 2pm - interesting and actually quite fun even though we didn't sleep much! Our guide Gajendra (G) was experienced, friendly, knowledgeable and super efficient - a great guy!
What and interesting an amazing trip and one I will never forget. The sheer madness of India and then the peacefulness of Nepal. Both countries where special and great in their own way and I loved every minute.
I have been lucky enough to travel to many places over the years, India and Nepal are now at the top of my list of places I must go back to. Every day brought amazing views, experiences and food! The group were all like-minded and brilliant to travel with.
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
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|05-Feb-2022 for 15 Nights||Flight inclusive adult Flight Included||
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|05-Nov-2022 for 15 Nights||Flight inclusive adult Flight Included||
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