Best of India & Nepal

Book this package
  • $3999Tour + Flights
  • 18days
per person, double occupancy* based on Feb. 6, 2018 departure
$500 Early Bird Discount. Expires Nov. 16, 2017.*   All prices reflect savings.

Overview

Featuring Delhi, Jaipur, Agra & the Taj Mahal, Khajuraho & Varanasi; then 5 days in Kathmandu & Pokhara, Nepal
Style Small Group TourTravel with a small, intimate group of 15-24 likeminded travelers escorted by an English speaking guide and/or tour manager for some or all of your journey. More of these packages
24 travelers max, dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
Departures Scheduled Dates; select from 3 open departures, February – April 2018
Price Includes
  • Flights
  • Train
  • Coach
  • Transfers
  • Hotel
  • Meals
  • Guides
  • Round-trip airfare from New York JFK including fuel surcharges and taxes and fees
  • Intra-India ground transportation
  • Accommodations in superior & deluxe hotels with private bath
  • 19 Meals: full American buffet breakfast daily plus 4 dinners
  • Comprehensive guided touring program including all entrance fees to places visited
  • Exclusive evening high tea with a local family
  • Experienced, English-speaking tour director
Optional
  • Optional morning flight over Mt. Everest
  • Amritsar optional pre-tour extension
  • Chitwan optional post-tour extension
Highlights
  • Ride by bicycle rickshaw in Delhi
  • Cruise on the historic river Ganges
  • Breathtaking sunrise tour of the Taj Mahal
  • Enjoy dinner with a local family in Jaipur
  • Visit the ancient capital of Amber
  • Enjoy high tea with a local family in Agra
  • Experience friendly Nepalese culture in Kathmandu
  • Take a relaxing cruise on Phewa Lake in Pokhara
Departs New York Kennedy (JFK) (flight schedule)
Themes History & CulturePremiumNature & Wildlife
What to Expect This fast-paced, escorted tour includes a reasonable amount of walking or hiking, and reaches high altitudes requiring that you be in good physical condition to fully enjoy the trip. This tour also includes long scenic drives between destinations and may have limited rest stops.
As Seen in
Budget TravelFrommer’sWashington Post

Prepare for your trip Already booked? Find everything you need to know before you go, including information about passport & visa requirements, flights, luggage, and more.


Best of India & Nepal itinerary

We've revamped our classic Best of India & Nepal tour package and added two more nights in the beautiful lake region of Pokhara, Nepal and an optional post-tour extension to Nepal's Chitwan National Park, a jungle region of southern Nepal. Our new and improved tour package will amaze you with its abundance of fascinating, stunning, and exotic sights and sounds. You'll visit many of India's most important and significant cities, including New Delhi, the nation's capital and third-largest city; Jaipur, known as the "Pink City" for its unusual rose-colored sandstone architecture; Agra, site of the Taj Mahal, the world's most famous monument to love; Khajuraho, with its exquisitely carved sculptures; and Varanasi, the holiest site in India, where thousands of Hindu pilgrims tour its temples and bathe in the Ganges River to gain religious merit. You'll also visit Nepal, at the foot of Mt. Everest, which few countries on Earth can match for its combination of spectacular scenery, exotic culture and hospitable people. All of this for prices that represent exceptional value for money.

Dates, Prices & Options

Departure Dates & Prices

Early Bird Discount: Save up to $500 per person if you book by Nov. 16, 2017!
Departures & Prices
per person, double occupancy*
2017 DEPARTURES
Depart / Return Regular Price Early
Bird
Early Bird
Good Thru
Current
Price
Departs: Tue, Sep. 26, 2017
Returns: Fri, Oct. 13, 2017
Sep 26 – Oct 13 $3999 Departed
Departs: Tue, Oct. 17, 2017
Returns: Fri, Nov. 3, 2017
Oct 17 – Nov 3 $3999 Departed
Departs: Tue, Nov. 14, 2017
Returns: Fri, Dec. 1, 2017
Nov 14 – Dec 1 $3999 Closed
Departs: Tue, Nov. 28, 2017
Returns: Fri, Dec. 15, 2017
Nov 28 – Dec 15 $4499 Closed
2018 DEPARTURES
Depart / Return Regular Price Early
Bird
Early Bird
Good Thru
Current
Price
Departs: Tue, Jan. 9, 2018
Returns: Fri, Jan. 26, 2018
Jan 9 – Jan 26 $4499 Closed
Departs: Tue, Feb. 6, 2018
Returns: Fri, Feb. 23, 2018
Book by Thu, Nov. 16, 2017 (midnight ET) to get the current early bird discount!
Feb 6 – Feb 23 $4499 –$500 Nov 16 $3999 Select
Departs: Tue, Mar. 6, 2018
Returns: Fri, Mar. 23, 2018
Book by Thu, Nov. 16, 2017 (midnight ET) to get the current early bird discount!
Mar 6 – Mar 23 $4499 –$500 Nov 16 $3999 Select
Departs: Tue, Apr. 3, 2018
Returns: Fri, Apr. 20, 2018
Book by Thu, Nov. 16, 2017 (midnight ET) to get the current early bird discount!
Apr 3 – Apr 20 $4499 –$500 Nov 16 $3999 Select

Want to stay longer? We may be able to arrange for you to stay later than the scheduled dates. Contact us about prices and availability. (details)

Options & Fees

Best of India & Nepal
Rooming Selection
Double Occupancy included
Single Room Supplement +$999
Separately Paid Taxes & Fees
Delhi Airport UDF1 (paid separately) +$15
India Visa & Processing Fee2 (paid separately) +$80
Nepal Visa Fee3 (paid separately) +$30

1. Fee is imposed by Delhi airport authorities and is paid in Delhi in local currency. Rate is approximate and may vary as currency fluctutations occur.

2. Visas for India must be obtained prior to travel. Comprehensive visa instructions will be included in your confirmation packet.

3. Obtained upon arrival in Nepal.

Amritsar Optional Pre-Tour Extension1
Amritsar Pre-Tour Extension unavailable
Rooming Selection
Double Occupancy included
Single Room Supplement +$199

1. The Amritsar extension requires that your flights be confirmed separately by the airlines. Please note that it typically takes 3 to 5 business days to confirm your extension flights with the airline, and that we will notify you immediately upon confirmation of the flights. This extension also requires a minimum of 2 passengers to operate.

Chitwan Optional Post-Tour Extension1
Chitwan Post-Tour Extension +$599
Rooming Selection Chitwan
Double Occupancy included
Single Room Supplement +$199

1. The Chitwan extension requires that your flights be confirmed separately by the airlines. Please note that it typically takes 3 to 5 business days to confirm your extension flights with the airline, and that we will notify you immediately upon confirmation of the flights. This extension also requires a minimum of 2 passengers to operate.

Flights & Departure Cities

Departure Airports
New York Kennedy (JFK)1 included

1. Other U.S. Gateways on Emirates: Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), Orlando (MCO), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA), and Washington D.C. Dulles (IAD).

This package includes round-trip flights from the cities listed above. Please review the flight schedule, especially if you're booking connecting flights.

Coming from somewhere else? Unfortunately, we don't offer departures from cities that are not listed, but you can book your own connecting flights separately.

How to Make a Reservation

To make a reservation, simply select an available departure date and reserve online using our secure booking system. Or call one of our travel specialists at 800-555-5765. But first, check out our Before You Book section.

We only require a per-person deposit payment, which you can pay with your credit card or PayPal account. This deposit will be applied towards the cost of your package, and is generally non-refundable (details). The balance is due 75 days prior to departure (or within 72 hours, if you're booking less than 75 days prior to departure), and can be paid by credit card, PayPal, check or money order.

Deposit
Deposit $1800

Itinerary

Day 1: Depart USA

  • Your exotic journey to India & Nepal begins today as you depart from the USA

Day 2: Arrive Delhi

Accommodations: 2 nights Shangri-La Eros Hotel, Delhi.

  • Arrive in Delhi, India's capital. Following customs and immigration formalities, meet our representatives and transfer to your hotel

Day 3: Old & New Delhi

Included meals: Breakfast & dinner.

  • Full day sightseeing tour of Old and New Delhi
  • Ride by bicycle rickshaw to Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque

Rajasthani Maiden, IndiaFull Day Itinerary: After buffet breakfast at the hotel, board your coach to explore Old and New Delhi, a city truly full of fascinating contrasts, where by day, temples are packed with the devout, and by night, hotel discos are packed with the affluent. Begin at the modern Laxmi Narayan Temple which enshrines Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the Hindu Trinity. Popularly known as the Birla Temple for the noted industrialist family which built it, Laxmi Naryan Temple was one of the first major Hindu places of worship that allowed the lower caste Harijans (untouchables) inside after Mahatma Gandhi made entry of Harijans one of the conditions for inaugurating the temple.

Continue to Raj Ghat, the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, built at the site of his cremation on the banks of the Yamuna River. Drive past the Red Fort and continue by bicycle rickshaw to the Jama Masjid, site of an exquisite mosque in red sandstone and marble. Completed in 1656 after six years of work by 5,000 laborers, it is considered one of the loveliest houses of worship in the world.

Qutub Minar, DelhiThis afternoon you will visit New Delhi, which reflects the legacy the British left behind. Whereas the walled old city is all tradition in all its facets, New Delhi is a city trying to live up to the best of 21st century standards. Your tour to New Delhi begins with a visit to the Qutub Minar, the 234 foot high tower made of sandstone, known as the seventh wonder of Hindustan and the tallest stone tower in India and a wonderful example of Indo-Islamic architecture, complete with terra-cotta frills. At its foot lies the Quwwat-ul-Islam Masjid, the first Muslim mosque in India erected in the 12th century on the site of a Hindu temple, from materials salvaged from 27 demolished Hindu and Jain shrines. Continue to the India Gate, a monument built by Edwin Lutyens to commemorate the Indian soldiers who died in the World War I and the Afghan Wars, and then proceed to the Parliament building and the Rastrapathi Bhawan, the President's residence. This evening join your fellow travelers for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant where you will enjoy sumptuous Indian food.

Day 4: Delhi & Jaipur

Accommodations: 2 nights Trident Jaipur. Included meals: Breakfast.

  • After breakfast at the hotel, drive to Jaipur
  • Upon arrival, check into your centrally located hotel
  • The afternoon is at leisure for independent activities

City Palace, JaipurFull Day Itinerary: After breakfast, board your touring coach for Jaipur, popularly known as the Pink City because it was built of pink stucco in imitation of sandstone. This capital of the state of Rajasthan is a land of beauty, color and paradox. Here you find invincible forts and magnificent palaces and gardens, waves of sand dunes and serene lakes. Except for the busy traffic of bicycles, cars and buses, little seems to have changed. Your hotel is centrally located for strolling, sightseeing and shopping. After check-in, enjoy a stroll through the colorful streets and bazaars, where you can enjoy the colorful display of women's dresses and turbans of men, adding to the sense of timeless charm and wonder of this lovely and fascinating city.

Day 5: Jaipur

Included meals: Breakfast & dinner.

  • Visit the ancient capital of Amber, en route stop at the Palace of Winds
  • Afternoon city tour of Jaipur
  • This evening, join a private dinner with a local family in Jaipur

Amber Fort Full Day Itinerary: This morning visit the ancient capital of Amber to see the fabulous Amber Fort. En route, stop at the Palace of Winds, the Hawa Mahal. Famous for its beehive like structure, the Mahal is an interplay of red and pink sand stone, carefully and painstakingly outlined with white borders and motifs, which served as an elaborate latticed facade behind which the cloistered ladies of the court used to watch the daily goings on in the street below.

Continue to the Amber Fort, begun in the 17th century by Maharaja Mansingh, Mughal Emperor Akbar's most successful General. The fort is surrounded by fortified battlements and overlooks the Moat Lake. Ruins and remains are spread over the Aravalli hills and sprawling crenellated walls lattice the surrounding area. Before the City Palace was constructed in Jaipur, Amber was the seat of power. Ascend to the fortress by jeep to view the sprawling complex of courtyards and halls, many of them hung with magnificent wall paintings and some inlaid with precious stones and mirrors. In the Sheesh Mahal ("Hall of Mirrors"), a single lamplight is reflected in the many mirrors lighting up the entire room.

Jaipur Palace guardsThis afternoon, return to the city of Jaipur. Highlights of this afternoon's touring include the City Palace, an overwhelming complex of exquisite palaces, gardens and courtyards, decorative art and carved doorways. The City Palace Museum houses collections of rare manuscripts, armor, costumes, carpets and miniature paintings.

Walk to the adjacent Jantar Mantar (Astronomical Observatory), a collection of architectural astronomical instruments, built by Maharaja Jai Singh II at his then new capital of Jaipur between 1727 and 1733. The observatory instruments are in most cases huge structures, built on such scale so that accuracy of readings can be obtained. The samrat yantra, for instance, which is a sundial, can be used to tell the time to an accuracy of about a minute. This evening, join your fellow travelers for a private dinner with a local family in Jaipur held exclusively for Friendly Planet.

Day 6: Jaipur, Abhaneri Village & Agra

Accommodations: 2 nights Trident Agra or similar. Included meals: Breakfast & lunch.

  • Visit Abhaneri Village and see the Chand Baori stepwell
  • Learn the art of tying colorful turbans and odhanis/chunnis (long scarf that a woman wears around her head or shoulders)
  • Continue to Agra and proceed to your deluxe, centrally located hotel for check-in

Chand Baori stepwellFull Day Itinerary: After breakfast, depart for Abhaneri Village, a popular stop along the Agra-Jaipur road for the impressive Chand Baori stepwell and the Harshat Mata Temple. The Chand Baori is perhaps the region’s most visited stepwell and is one of the largest and deepest in all of India. These stepwells were created to harvest rain water and also provided the locals a place to cool off during the hottest summer months as the temperature is a few degrees cooler at the bottom of the well than at its surface. After some exploration, continue to a local restaurant for an included lunch. Afterwards, learn the art of tying colorful turbans and odhanis/chunnis, and receive insights regarding their importance.

After some exploration, continue to Agra, site of the world's most famous monument to love, the Taj Mahal. There are many wonderful monuments in Agra, such as the massive but elegant Agra Fort and the Itimad-ud-daulah's tomb, but the greatest of all is the Taj Mahal, considered a masterpiece of Mughal architecture. Arrive in Agra and proceed to your deluxe, centrally located hotel for check-in.

Day 7: Agra

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Sunrise tour of the Taj Mahal
  • Visit to the Agra Fort
  • Afternoon excursions in the local marble and leather markets
  • Evening high tea with a local family

Taj Mahal, AgraFull Day Itinerary: This morning you'll rise early to enjoy an awesome view of the Taj Mahal at sunrise. This incredible place is everything that has been said about it and more. Taking 22 years and 20,000 men to build, the white marble was quarried 200 miles away and was transported to the site by a fleet of 1000 elephants. Built in the mid-17th Century by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as an expression of his love for his wife Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj Mahal is truly one of the wonders of the world. Though the Taj appears to be amazingly perfect from almost any angle, it is the close-up marble inlay work which is really astounding. You will have ample time to view and be mesmerized by this outstanding piece of architecture. Return to your hotel after the sunrise tour for buffet breakfast.

After breakfast, visit the Agra Fort, the seat and the stronghold of the Mughal Empire under successive generations and yet another example of impressive Mughal architecture. The present structure owes its origins to Akbar who erected the walls and gates and the first buildings on the eastern banks of Yamuna River. Shah Jehan added the impressive quarters and the mosque while Aurangzeb added the outer ramparts. You will also visit the Hall of Public Audience and Royal Pavilions.

Agra Fort This afternoon, lose yourself in the local marble and leather markets where you should do your best to bargain for the marble products and high quality leather wallets, shoes and belts. Be sure to visit the "Petra Dura Workshop" where you'll find beautiful marble inlay that is among the most renowned of India's handicrafts. During your visit enjoy an opportunity to watch as artisans create fine quality marble inlay pieces.

This evening, you are a guest for High Tea. This special treat, arranged exclusively for Friendly Planet's Best of India travelers, provides an opportunity to meet and interact with an Indian family and get to know something about life in India.

Day 8: Agra, Jhansi, Orchha & Khajuraho

Accommodations: 1 night Hotel Chandela or Radisson Khajuraho, or similar. Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Transfer to Agra Railway Station to board the Shatabdi Express for Jhansi
  • Enjoy a visit to Orchha, picturesquely located on a bend along the Betwa River
  • Continue by touring coach to Khajuraho

Orchha Palace at sunset Full Day Itinerary: After an early breakfast, transfer to Agra Railway Station to board the Shatabdi Express (air-conditioned cars) for Jhansi. Upon arrival, board your touring coach and drive the short distance to Orchha, picturesquely located on a bend along the Betwa River. This gorgeous medieval city, whose stone palaces and temples were built by its Bundela rulers in the 16th and 17th centuries, retain much of their pristine perfection despite the passage of hundreds of years. Among the abandoned structures in the temple complex, the beauty of the Jehangir Mahal, built to commemorate the visit of Emperor Jehangir in 17th, stands in sharp contrast to another structure in the same complex, the Raj Mahal, an earlier building adorned by colorful murals. A trail through the maze of intricate stairways leading to numerous turrets is an experience in itself.

After your visit at Orchha, continue by touring coach to Khajuraho, the great temple complex discovered in 1838 that was built between 950 and 1050 A.D. by the Chandela dynasty, who claim descent from the Moon God and a mortal, Hemavati, with whom the god fell in love. Most of the temples of the north were destroyed by invaders, but Khajuraho escaped and stands today as an island of beauty. Check into your deluxe, centrally located hotel and enjoy the balance of the day to explore at your leisure.

Day 9: Khajuraho & Varanasi

Accommodations: 2 nights Radisson Varanasi for Oct. 17 & Nov. 14, 2017 departures, The Gateway Hotel or similar for all other departures, Varanasi. Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Morning tour of Khajuraho
  • Transfer to the airport for short flight to Varanasi

Khajuraho templesFull Day Itinerary: Your morning tour of Khajuraho focuses on the famous erotic temples, which represent some of the finest examples of temple architecture in Northern India. The remote location of Khajuraho meant that the temples were unharmed by Muslim invaders and as a result, the intricately fine carvings are in very good condition and are said to represent life in heaven. The majority of the temples were constructed in a sudden burst of creative and religious energy, between the mid-10th and 11th centuries. After ruling for about 500 years the Chandela dynasty fell to the might of Islam and consequently the religious centre of Khajuraho was abandoned. The temples remain as a reminder of a society that believed in the full enjoyment of life, with all the senses being a path to nirvana. Of the 85 original temples only 22 remain, but many are in very good condition and remarkably beautiful in design and architecture, including the Kandariya Mahadeva, the Chatrabhuj, Parswanath and Ghantai Temples which you will visit during your tour.

VaranasiNext, transfer to the airport for your short flight to Varanasi, the religious heart of Hindu India. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel. The city gets its inherent charm from its location on west side of the Holy Ganges, where bathing ghats are always bustling with life at any given time of the day. Written records of the Skanda Purana and the Mahabharata mention Varanasi's existence as long as 3000 years ago. It is probably the oldest inhabited city in India, and one of the world's most ancient. As a place of devotion and worship, Varanasi attracts thousands of pilgrims every year, and many Hindus in the latter part of their lives wish to spend their retirement here. This evening, enjoy an aarti ceremony at the Assi Ghat. This ceremony celebrates the religious significance and history of Varanasi; replete with tales of plunder and destruction by conquerors and religious zealots.

Day 10: Varanasi

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Early morning cruise on the river Ganges
  • City tour of Varanasi
  • Afternoon visit to Sarnath, a place of pilgrimage for Buddhists

Full Day Itinerary: This morning at dawn, have a cup of tea or coffee in the lobby before you depart for an unforgettable experience on a cruise on the river Ganges, stopping at the most important of the bathing ghats. From your boat, you will witness the rituals of Hindu pilgrims, which follow centuries' old tradition and belief that those who die in Varanasi or whose mortal remains are immersed in the holy Ganges, will be incarnated to human life in the next birth. The riverfront, in the early morning, is a spiritually uplifting sight that you will long remember as a highlight of your India tour.

Bathing in VaranasiAfter your early morning tour of the bathing ghats, return to your hotel for a buffet breakfast. Later, board your touring coach for a visit to the city of Varanasi, including a visit to Vishwanath Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva and the most sacred shrine in Varanasi. Continue to Banares Hindu University, considered to be the largest residential university in Asia. Within the university campus, Vishwanath Temple and Bharat Kala Kendra (Museum) are well worth a visit. Later in the afternoon, drive to Sarnath, located nearby north of Varanasi, which is a place of pilgrimage for Buddhists. During the 6th century C, Siddarth Gautama, who became known as Buddha, the "Awakened One" gave his first sermon. Return to Varanasi.

Day 11: Varanasi & Delhi

Accommodations: 1 night Novotel New Delhi Aerocity or similar, Delhi. Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Transfer to the airport for your flight back to Delhi
  • Check into your hotel and get some rest before the next leg of your journey

Day 12: Delhi & Kathmandu, Nepal

Accommodations: 2 nights Hyatt Regency Kathmandu. Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Transfer to the airport to take a short flight to Kathmandu, Nepal
  • You will be met upon arrival and transferred to your hotel
  • Welcome drink will be served on arrival at your hotel
  • Later, visit Boudhanath, one of the world’s largest stupas

Kathmandu at sunsetFull Day Itinerary: Transfer to the airport for your flight to Kathmandu. Having cleared immigration, collect your luggage and pass through customs. Upon exiting the terminal you will be met and transferred to your hotel and a welcome drink will be served upon arrival. After check-in, take a walk with your guide to Boudhanath which is possibly the world's largest Buddhist stupa. Around the stupa a number of monasteries have sprung up including one that houses an enormous seated statue of Maitreya Buddha splendidly adorned.

Day 13: Kathmandu, Patan City & Swoyambhunath

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Optional morning flight over Mt. Everest
  • After breakfast, travel to Patan City south of Kathmandu
  • In the afternoon, visit the National Museum and Swoyambhunath, the ‘monkey temple’

SwoyambhunathFull Day Itinerary: This morning you will have an opportunity to experience an optional early morning scenic flight over Mt. Everest and the breathtaking Himalayas. After breakfast, visit Patan City located just south of Kathmandu in the Kathmandu Valley. The official name of the city is Lalitpur, meaning city of fine art. Walk from Kumaripati through the narrow streets, curios shops and bazaars. On the way, visit the Golden Temple and then go to Patan Durbar Square where you will see the sky piercing temple of Taleju.

In the afternoon, drive to Swoyambhunath. En route, make a stop at the National Museum to see a splendid collection of weapons and artifacts from ancient, medieval and modern Nepal. Continue to Swoyambhunath, also known as the "Monkey Temple" which is said to be over 2,000 years old and one of the world's most fabulous Buddhist temples. Situated on top of a high hill where legendary Manjushri discovered the lotus growing in the ancient Kathmandu Valley Lake, Swoyambhunath commands a superb view of the valley below.

Mt. EverestOptional Excursion: Mt. Everest Flyover, $199 (purchased locally). Early this morning you will have an opportunity to experience an optional Mt. Everest scenic flight over the breathtaking Himalayas, weather permitting. This optional excursion must be purchased locally.

Day 14: Kathmandu & Pokhara

Accommodations: 2 nights Pokhara Grande Hotel. Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Today, fly to Pokhara, a beautiful region west of the Kathmandu Valley
  • Visit Bindabasini Temple, the Old Bazaar and Devi's Falls

Machhapuchchhre, Pokhara photo by MepanasFull Day Itinerary: Today, fly to Pokhara, a beautiful region west of the Kathmandu Valley. The enchanting town has several beautiful lakes and offers stunning panoramic views of Himalayan peaks. The serenity of lakes and the magnificence of the Himalayas rising behind them create an ambience of peace and magic. This afternoon, visit Bindabasini Temple, regarded as a Hindu spiritual center of Pokhara and the area's oldest place of worship. The temple offers sensational views of the Annapurna mountain range. Next, visit the Old Bazaar which served as a significant commercial hub between the 18th and 20th centuries during the golden era of intercontinental trade. Afterwards, proceed to Devi's Falls, a unique waterfall that disappears into an underground cavern. Later, return to the hotel for overnight.

Day 15: Pokhara

Included meals: Breakfast & dinner.

  • In the morning, visit the World Peace Pagoda
  • This afternoon, return to Pokhara valley and enjoy a boat ride on Phewa Lake
  • Join your fellow travelers for group dinner at the Moondance Restaurant

World Peace Pagoda, PokharaFull Day Itinerary: After breakfast this morning, visit World Peace Pagoda. This exclusive destination offers breathtaking views of Annapurna Mountain range, Phewa Lake and the entire Pokhara valley. The history behind the construction of World Peace Pagoda dates back to the Second World War and a special sect of Japanese Buddhism which is known as Nipponzan-Myohoji-Daisanga, who were responsible for the construction of hundreds of stupas around the world.

Later, drive back to the Pokhara Valley for a relaxing boat ride on Phewa Lake. The central attraction in Pokhara is the Phewa Lake, the largest and most enchanting of the three lakes in the valley. It is also the second largest lake in the Kingdom of Nepal. After the boat ride, enjoy some free time to explore the lake side area. In the evening, join your fellow travelers for a group dinner at the Moondance Restaurant.

Day 16: Pokhara & Kathmandu

Accommodations: 1 night Hyatt Regency Kathmandu. Included meals: Breakfast & dinner.

  • This morning transfer to the airport and return to Kathmandu or continue on our optional post-tour extension to Chitwan National Park
  • Continue to Bhaktapur Durbar Square for sightseeing
  • This afternoon visit Kathmandu Durbar Square at the heart of the old city
  • In the evening, enjoy a Nepalese farewell dinner and performance

Saddhus, Kathmandu Durbar SquareFull Day Itinerary: In the morning, transfer to the airport and return to Kathmandu. Upon arrival, drive to Bhaktapur Durbar Square, located in the center of Bhaktapur. The square is one of the most charming architectural showpieces of the valley and is home to some of the finest medieval arts of Nepal. Here you’ll see the Lion Gate, the Golden Gate, Nyatapola Temple and statues of the kings of Nepal.

In the afternoon, drive back to Kathmandu and visit Kathmandu Durbar Square, located in the heart of the old city. Visit Kumari temple, Taleju temple, Shiv Parvati temple, and Kal Bhairav. On a walk through a local bazaar, you will discover the true heart of Kathmandu in the sights, sounds and smells. This evening, join your fellow travelers for Nepalese farewell dinner and dance performance.

Day 17: Depart Kathmandu

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and some free time to shop and explore independently
  • Later today, transfer to the airport for your return flight home

Day 18: Arrive USA

  • Your adventure ends as you arrive in the USA this morning

Note: Due to the earthquake in April 2015, many of Nepal's stupas and other sites are under ongoing renovations.

Amritsar Pre-Tour Extension

Take advantage of your already included airfare and add a fascinating optional pre-tour extension to Amritsar, home of the breathtaking Golden Temple. The Amritsar Extension includes 1 night in Delhi, round trip flights from Delhi to Amritsar, 2 nights in Amritsar with a full touring program, transfers, and breakfast daily plus one dinner. Passengers taking the Amritsar Extension will depart from the U.S. 3 days earlier than the departure dates shown.

Day 1: Depart USA

  • Your exotic journey to India & Nepal begins this evening as you depart from the USA

Day 2: Arrive Delhi

Accommodations: 1 night Radisson Blu New Delhi Dwarka or similar, Delhi.

  • Arrive in Delhi, India's capital. Following customs and immigration formalities, meet our representatives and transfer to your hotel

Day 3: Delhi & Amritsar

Accommodations: 2 nights Hyatt Amritsar. Included meals: Breakfast & dinner.

  • Transfer to the airport to take a short flight to Amritsar
  • Upon arrival in Amritsar, transfer to your hotel for check-in
  • Enjoy some free time to rest or explore before dinner
  • After dinner at a local restaurant, see the Palki Sahib Ceremony at the Golden Temple

Pool of Nectar, AmritsarFull Day Itinerary: After breakfast, check out of the hotel and transfer to the airport for your short flight to mystical Amritsar, just 20 miles from the Pakistan border. Amritsar, literally meaning "holy pool of nectar", is home to the Golden Temple, the spiritual and cultural center of the Sikh religion. This important Sikh shrine attracts visitors and pilgrims from around the world and the vast number of visitors it receives rivals that of the Taj Mahal in Agra. Upon arrival in Amritsar this afternoon, you will transfer to your hotel for check-in. Enjoy some free time to rest or explore the surrounding area. Later this evening, go to a local restaurant for dinner. After your meal, transfer to the Golden Temple to witness the fascinating Palki Sahib Ceremony where devotees and visitors pass along the Sikh holy book, the Granth Sahib, person to person from the main shrine to the sanctum, where it is kept overnight until the following morning.

Day 4: The Golden Temple & Wagah Border

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Morning tour of the Golden Temple, the Harmandir Sahib
  • Afternoon visit to the Wagah Border to watch a Border Retreat Ceremony

Golden Temple. AmritsarFull Day Itinerary: This morning, you will visit the Golden Temple, the Harmandir Sahib. The construction of the temple began in the 16th century under the reign of Guru Ram Das, the fourth Sikh Guru, and was completed by his successor, Guru Arjan. In the early 19th century, Maharaja Ranjit Singh covered the upper floors of the temple with gold, which gives it its distinctive appearance and its English name, "Golden Temple". The temple’s architecture is a blend of both Hindu and Muslim styles and over the years, additional golden gilding and precious stones were added giving the temple a truly dazzling appearance. The sacred lake that surrounds the temple is fed by an underground stream and at night the lake provides a breathtaking reflection of the shimmering Golden Temple. However, Amritsar also holds a dark past as it was the site of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre. On April 13, 1919, British Indian Army soldiers opened fire on an unarmed gathering of men, women and children in the Jallianwala Bagh Garden Park and to this day, bullet holes still mark the walls on the park’s premises.

Wagah Border photo by Kamran AliThis afternoon you will visit the Wagah Border to watch a Border Retreat Ceremony. Wagha is the only open land border between Pakistan and India. The ceremony takes place every evening before sunset and consists of a brief parade of Indian and Pakistani forces opening the iron gates, while simultaneously lowering each nation’s flag. Both sides quickly shake hands then proceed to close the gates again. Each evening, this strange spectacle attracts many visitors on both sides.

Day 5: Amritsar & Delhi

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Morning city tour to visit the Golden and Silver Temples
  • Return to Delhi and continue on the main tour itinerary Day 2

Durgiana Temple, Amritsar photo by Guilhem VellutFull Day Itinerary: This morning you will explore the city and visit the Golden Temple once again. Then continue to the Durgiana Temple, sometimes referred to as the Silver Temple for its carved silver doors. Its resemblance to the Golden Temple in its structural design is remarkable, and because it draws fewer crowds, you will have the opportunity to explore and inspect its architecture and sculptures more carefully. You’ll see intricately carved images of the goddess Durga in her various incarnations and though various other deities found their place in the interior of the temple, it is clear that goddess Durga is the prevalent deity of the shrine.

Transfer to the airport in Amritsar for a short flight back to Delhi. Upon arrival, you’ll transfer to your hotel for check-in and continue on the main tour itinerary Day 2.

Chitwan Extension

Take advantage of your already included airfare and add a fascinating optional post-tour extension to Nepal's Chitwan National Park, a jungle region of southern Nepal. The Chitwan Extension includes round trip transportation from Pokhara to Chitwan, 2 nights in Chitwan with a full touring program and breakfast daily. Passengers taking the Chitwan Extension will return to the U.S. 2 days later than the return dates shown.

Day 16: Pokhara & Chitwan National Park

Accommodations: 2 nights Barahi Jungle Lodge or similar. Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • After breakfast in Pokhara, board your touring coach bound for Chitwan
  • Enjoy lunch at the lodge upon arrival and some free time to rest
  • This afternoon a boat safari will take you down the Rapti River

Gharials, Chitwan National ParkFull Day Itinerary: After breakfast in Pokhara, board your touring coach bound for Chitwan National Park. Upon arrival at your jungle lodge, a naturalist guide will brief you about the resort, services, and activities during your stay. Next, you'll enjoy lunch at the lodge's restaurant and afterwards you'll have a few hours to relax. In the late afternoon, you will start your first jungle activity - a canoe ride. Your boat safari will take you down the Rapti River to view aquatic birds, crocodiles, gharials and other animals along the river. The excursion ends on a river bank where some tables and chairs will be arranged and where you will enjoy a drink and watch the sunset. Later, drive back to the lodge and freshen up for a presentation by one of the lodge's jungle experts. Afterwards, dinner will be served at the main restaurant.

Day 17: Chitwan National Park

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • After an early breakfast, experience an exciting Jeep safari deep inside the jungle
  • Take a short walk through a local village
  • This evening enjoy a local Tharu Stick Dance performance and dinner afterwards

Bengal tiger, Chitwan National ParkFull Day Itinerary: After an early breakfast, you'll experience the most exciting activity in Chitwan, a Jeep safari. With an experienced driver at the wheel and an expert naturalist guide, you'll travel deep into the forest exploring the exploring the mystery and magic of the jungle. Be on the lookout for several types of deer, monkeys, wild boar, sloth bear, hyena, leopard, and if lucky, the royal Bengal tiger. Apart from the wild animals, your naturalist guide will also brief you about the various types of trees and plant life. During the safari, you'll stop for tea and coffee in a special place overlooking the Narayani River. In the afternoon following lunch, take a short walk through a local village where the Tharu people live. The Tharu are among the oldest tribes in this region with more than 100 years of recorded history. Return to lodge this evening for a special performance by local villagers of the Tharu Stick Dance. Afterwards, dinner will be served at the main restaurant.

Day 18: Chitwan, Pokhara & Kathmandu

Accommodations: 1 night Hyatt Regency Kathmandu. Included meals: Breakfast & dinner.

  • This morning transfer to the Pokhara airport and return to Kathmandu
  • Continue to Bhaktapur Durbar Square for sightseeing
  • This afternoon visit Kathmandu Durbar Square at the heart of the old city
  • In the evening, enjoy a Nepalese farewell dinner and performance

Saddhus, Kathmandu Durbar SquareFull Day Itinerary: In the morning, transfer to the airport and return to Kathmandu. Upon arrival, drive to Bhaktapur Durbar Square, located in the center of Bhaktapur. The square is one of the most charming architectural showpieces of the valley and is home to some of the finest medieval arts of Nepal. Here you’ll see the Lion Gate, the Golden Gate, Nyatapola Temple and statues of the kings of Nepal.

In the afternoon, drive back to Kathmandu and visit Kathmandu Durbar Square, located in the heart of the old city. Visit Kumari temple, Taleju temple, Shiv Parvati temple, and Kal Bhairav. On a walk through a local bazaar, you will discover the true heart of Kathmandu in the sights, sounds and smells. This evening, join your fellow travelers for Nepalese farewell dinner and dance performance.

Day 19: Depart Kathmandu

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and some free time to shop and explore independently
  • Later today, transfer to the airport for your return flight home

Day 20: Arrive USA

  • Your adventure ends as you arrive in the USA this morning

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My husband and I just returned from our amazing tour of India and Nepal. We have taken many tours, but what made this trip even more special was our fantastic tour director, Shanker Bhattacharya. He was always so organized and a great problem solver when needed. Plus, he was lots of fun. Shanker is a genuine good person and an asset to your company. Thank you!

Kathy and Pat Fitzgerald, Battle Ground, WA

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