22 days

Essence of India & Nepal

Essence of India & Nepal

Alwar

Pokhara's lake and panoramic views

The cultural and physical diversity of Nepal's Annapurna region

The wildlife of Chitwan National Park

UNESCO World Heritage-listed Taj Mahal

Mt. Everest Scenic Flight

Kathmandu’s hidden old town

Bhaktapur Durbar Square

Bodhnath Stupa of Kathmandu - one of the biggest Buddhist shrines in the world

Delhi

Jaipur’s Amber Fort

Trip rating
  • "Nepal, without exaggeration, is one of those countries that will imprint itself on a traveller long after the journey. The settlement of Bandipur is definitely on the road less travelled. Unspoilt by mass market tourism, it is a living history of Newari Culture and architecture. Observe real Nepalese village life and customs as they once were in this beautifully preserved treasure." Ken Ismail - Group Operations and Communications Manager.

    Why we love it

    • A captivating journey through the essence of these two magnificent countries.
    • The 20-day adventure encompasses everything from Delhi, the Taj Mahal and the legendary Rajasthan villages, to meeting the proud people of local towns.
    • Exploring the exotic Nepalese capital of Kathmandu, and discovering Pokhara, beneath awe-inspiring snow-capped peaks.
    • Uncovering the rural beauty around the lesser known Nepalese villages and immersing yourself in the wilderness of Chitwan National Park.
    • No visit to the Himalayas would be complete without meeting Sagarmatha - Mt Everest; taking a spectacular mountain flight to see this timeless beauty is an unfogettable experience.

    Itinerary

    Day 1-2 - Delhi

    • Upon arrival you will be collected at the airport by one of our transfer representatives. Your Indian adventure will begin with an important meeting at 6pm. You will find details of the meeting venue at the hotel reception.
    • Keep in mind that you will need your next of kin and insurance details with you at this meeting.
    • If you arrive early, you will have the opportunity to explore India’s capital - a bustling, exciting and often chaotic hub, filled with fascinating historical sites, galleries, museums and incredible bazaars.
    • There are a number of sites worth seeing in your free time. The 1570 Mughal masterpiece of Humayun’s Tomb is a World Heritage-listed site. It was the first garden tomb in India.
    • The tall brick minaret of Qutub Minar was crafted in the 1100s; it is a fascinating site to explore. You may also like to visit the mighty Red Fort of Delhi. This part-palace, part-fort has hosted a variety of guests ranging from British soldiers to royal families.
    • Your group leader will take you on an organised sightseeing trip through Old Delhi via the city’s modern metro, you will then have the chance to test India’s iconic cycle rickshaw with an adventure through the chaotic streets, including Chandni Chowk.
    • You may also see the oldest mosque in Delhi, Jama Masjid, an impressive structure, before visiting the Sikh Temple, Sheeshganj Gurudwara.
    Hotel Taj Princess or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 3-4 - Delhi - Jaipur

    • You will travel by express train back into Rajasthan and on to its capital, Jaipur today. Jaipur is the colourful capital of the state of Rajasthan, and a vibrant and exciting town.
    • Here, traditionally dressed Rajput men wearing colourful turbans and sporting magnificent moustaches will make their way through crowded streets packed with cars, camel carts, rickshaws, trucks, and bicycles. You will also find bustling, brightly coloured bazaars filled with handcrafted textiles, folk art, and semi-precious stones, the local specialty. You will walk amidst the wonderful madness and discover the city for yourself. Jaipur is a favourite among travellers.
    • You will then travel 11 kilometres out to the stunning medieval Amber Fort. This fort was built in 1592 by Maharajah Man Singh and is a superb example of Rajput architecture.
    • You will also stop at the Hawa, or Palace of The Winds, which is the most photographed structure in India after the Taj Mahal.
    • Next you will have the opportunity to explore the various rooms and apartments of Jaipur's Royal City Palace – one of the finest palaces in India.
    • You will also see one of five astronomical observatories built by the founder of Jaipur, Maharaja Jai Singh.
    • Continue to indulge in the wonders of Indian culture by watching a Bollywood blockbuster - a vivid combination of action romance, drama and music, at the spectacular Raj Mandir Cinema.
    Hotel Rani Mahal or similar
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 5 - Agra

    • Today you will journey across the plains of Rajasthan by private vehicle to reach Agra (approximately 6 hours). Agra is home to one of the world's most recognisable monuments, the Taj Mahal.
    • You will be taken on a cycle rickshaw tour of the city, a wonderful way to uncover the best of Agra. (Please note that in the case of an unreasonably hot, or cold, foggy day, the cycle rickshaw tour will be replaced with a battery-powered rickshaw tour.)
    • Next you will visit the spectacular Taj Mahal - a masterpiece of glistening marble set amid picturesque, formal gardens. This amazing 17th century marble mausoleum was built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a tomb for his second wife, who died giving birth.
    • Started in 1631, the project was completed in 1648 and employed a workforce of over 20,000 people. Construction materials were brought from all over India with the marble from Rajasthan transported by over 1000 elephants. The Taj has been described as a 'teardrop on the face of eternity' (by writer Rabindranath Tagore).
    • You will also visit the nearby Agra Fort - a huge complex built originally as a military structure of red sandstone by Akbar in 1565, and partially converted into a palace during the time of Shah Jahan.
    Raj Mahal Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 6-7 - Orchha

    • From the majestic Taj, you will travel by express train to Madhya Pradesh (approximately 3.5 hours). Upon arrival in Jhansi, you will be collected by automatic rickshaws and carried through traditional rural Indian landscapes to reach the beautiful town of Orchha. Here you will have the opportunity to uncover a very different side of India (approximately 45 minutes).
    • You will make a stop at Taragram on the way to Orchha, one of our Responsible Tourism Projects. Taragram is a paper making factory that enables local tribal women to work outside the realm usually afforded to them. The paper is crafted from wood pulp and recycled clothing.
    • Orchha is lovely town on the banks of the Betwa River. Initially a hunting area, Orchha has changed very little over the centuries. As the capital of Bundela, it was bestowed with a myriad of beautiful temples and palaces that belie its insignificant size.
    • You will visit the Orchha Palace that was built by Bir Sing Deo for his friend Jehangir, who was a great Mughal ruler.
    • Lastly, you will have the opportunity to be immersed in the flavours of the district’s culture with a cooking demonstration by the town’s local people
    Bundelkhand Riverside or similar
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 8 - Khajuraho

    • Today you will explore Khajuraho, a place famed for its incredible 1000-year-old temples, untouched by foreign invaders for centuries thanks to Khajuraho’s remote location, far from any major historical or modern centres.
    • The temples are especially reputed for their explicit carvings that illustrate the entire Kama Sutra.
    • Built during the Chandela Dynasty 1,000 years ago, over a 100 to 150 year period, these temples have become a source of great perplexity for Indians and foreigners alike. The British only rediscovered the temples in the late 19th century.
    • The reason behind their existence and more interestingly, the inspiration for the intricate, erotic carvings is open to wide interpretation. Some argue that the carvings, all located on the exterior of the temples, signified the act of leaving sexual desires behind upon entering the holy temples, while others think them descriptive learning tools for young boys in the area about life beyond religion.
    • You will go on a tour of the western temple complex.
    • You will also have the opportunity to see a performance at the famous classical dance festival that occurs here.
    • Before leaving the town you will visit the home of a local Hindu family, where you will enjoy a home-cooked meal and be immersed in the life of middle-class Indians.
    Usha Bundela or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch

    Day 9-10 - Varanasi

    • From the wondrous temples of Khajuraho, you will take a short flight to the spiritual centre of Varanasi. At certain times of year this flight could be delayed due to heavy fog.
    • Varanasi is awash with shrines and temples, it is the ultimate destination for Hindu pilgrims; devotees travel from far and wide to experience this spiritual centre. Varanasi is not known for its cleanliness, but it is recognised as one of India’s most inspiring cities. You will be overwhelmed with sensory wonder. From the labyrinth of narrow laneways packed with stalls and shops, and the dhobi wallahs and burning ghats, to the endless temples that echo with bells and chimes and the pungent aroma of incense. You will also bare witness to pilgrims performing ancient bathing rituals and ceremonies.
    • The day will start early with a sunrise boat ride on the Ganges, where you will pass a multitude of temples and ghats.
    • In the evening you will witness the majestic atmosphere of a candle flower ceremony, while you cruise the Ganges at sunset. Traditional musicians will serenade you; this is a truly unforgettable experience.
    Hotel Hindustan International or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 11 - Delhi

    • You will have a free morning to explore Varanasi. You may like to wander through the ghats, or do some last minute shopping in the incredible bazaars.
    • You will then fly to Delhi (approximately 1.5 hours) where you will spend the night.
    Hotel Taj Princess or similar
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 12 - Kathmandu

    • After you check out of the hotel, you will say goodbye to your Indian tour leader at the airport and take a short flight to Kathmandu, Nepal.
    • Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel. You will meet your Nepalese Tour Leader and have a briefing scheduled for the late afternoon. The evening is free, but your tour leader will usually organise an evening meal (optional) at one of Kathmandu’s fine Nepali restaurants.
    Shangri La Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 13 - Kathmandu

    • In the early morning you will make an attempt at the Scenic Mt. Everest flight. This amazing experience will take you through the Sagamartha's National Park, through a crescendo of the highest peaks in the World, climaxing with Mt. Everest.
    • Late in the morning you will explore Kathmandu on an organized sightseeing tour. You will visit Bodhnath Stupa, one of the biggest Buddhist shrines in the world, where you can observe Buddhist monks in prayer in the monasteries surrounding the stupa.
    • You will also visit Pashupatinath, the most famous Hindu temple in the country, located on the banks of the holy Bagmati River. Here you will see Hindu holy men (sadhus) meditating, pilgrims bathing, and occasionally funeral pyres burning on the ghats. The rest of your afternoon in Kathmandu is free for further sightseeing and exploration.
    • You will attend a wonderful Nepalese banquet with traditional dancing in the evening.
    Shangri La Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 14-15 - Pokhara

    • Today you will have an early departure from the hotel for your transfer to the domestic terminal at Kathmandu's Tribhuvan Airport. From here you will fly to Pokhara, with a flight time of about 30 minutes. There are often spectacular views of the main Himalayan chain to the north on this flight.
    • On arrival you will take a boat ride across the lake (Phewa Tal), which is the second largest in Nepal. You will visit the Peace Pagoda, where you will enjoy excellent views of the mountains including the Annapurnas and the famous fishtail peak, Machhapuchhare, along with views back across to Pokhara.
    • You will also visit the fascinating International Mountain Museum, where you will learn some amazing tales, and hear about the exploits of the various climbing expeditions in the past – some ending in triumph and some in tragedy.
    • You will also have a free day for further exploration in the peaceful surroundings of Pokhara. Your leader can advise you of sightseeing opportunities.
    • It is worth taking a boat for a row out on the lake. The lakeside area has great shopping opportunities and Internet cafés.
    • Pokhara has an interesting old area as well as an elaborate Hindu temple and a Buddhist monastery. (Flight time: approximately 1 hour)
    Barahi Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 16-17 - Bandipur

    • In the morning you will drive to Bandipur. This traditional Nepalese settlement is a natural treasure and one of the hidden gems of Nepal.
    • As tourism in Nepal developed along the main roads and airports, for over 30 years there simply was no road linking Bandipur to the main infrastructure, leaving it almost untouched by touristic influence.
    • The village is saddled on a high ridge above Dumre, 700 meters beyond the Marsyangdi River Valley. It is gifted with an exceptional view of the Himalayan panorama. The surrounding hills are ideal for hiking along trails that will take you through tribal villages, verdant forests, 'power places', and hilltop shrines which once doubled as fortresses.
    • You will fully explore this incredible settlement and take in the many opportunities to immerse in the culture of Nepal as it once was, enjoy the spectacular views, the incredibly maintained architecture, and amazing trails.
    The Old Inn or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 18 - Chitwan National Park

    • After breakfast you will be picked up and driven to Chitwan National Park. After arriving and settling in, you will be introduced to the camp staff and resident naturalists who will discuss the program at Royal Park Wildlife Resort.
    • There is some flexibility and activities may vary depending on the time of the year, and known wildlife movements and locations.
    • You may visit the elephant camp to see how their handlers, known as phanits, care for these beautiful creatures.
    • A late afternoon safari atop elephants will take you through forests and across grasslands to observe the varied and exciting wildlife in the park.
    • In the early evening the local Tharu dance troupe may perform a cultural program. You will then enjoy dinner and afterwards you will be free to relax in the bar and discuss the day’s sightings or listen to the exotic sounds of the jungle at night. (Driving time: approximately 4 hours)
    Royal Park or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 19 - Chitwan

    • An early morning excursion will include either another elephant safari to different parts of the park in search of the great Indian rhino, deer and exotic bird life, or joining one of several other activities such as a visit to the elephant breeding centre.
    • Tiger sightings are rare these days, but these magnificent animals do inhabit the park.
    • After breakfast you will leave the lodge for a trip by dugout canoe on the Rapti River. This is an exciting trip with chances to view marsh mugger crocodiles and various birds that inhabit the riverbanks.
    • A program will be organised for the rest of the day that will either include further excursions by jeep, or a visit to one of the nearby villages.
    Royal Park or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 20 - Chitwan - Bhaktapur

    • For wildlife enthusiasts there is an optional early morning bird watching safari this morning. After breakfast you will drive on to Bhaktapur. Enjoy an evening of exploration on your own, soak up the incredible atmosphere in one of the cafes, or just relax in your hotel.
    Royal Park or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 21 - Bhaktapur - Kathmandu

    • Bhaktapur was once the Capital of Nepal and the Great Malla Kingdom during the 15th century. It’s rich heritage, inspiring temples and artisanal history played a big part in Bhaktapur being named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
    • You will spend the day exploring it’s famous temples, starting at Bhaktapur Durbar Square, you will discover the majestic Lion Gate, the Golden Gate, reputed to be the most beautiful piece of art In Nepal, and the Pashupati Temple, a replica of the Bagmati River in Kathmandu.
    • It will be an enlightening morning of discovery and enrichment as you truly delve into all Bhaktapur has to offer.
    • In the afternoon you will drive to Kathmandu, the evening will be free but the group leader will usually organise an evening meal (optional) at one of Kathmandu’s fine Nepali restaurants.
    • (Driving time: approximately 2 hours)
    Bhadgaon Guest House or Similar
    Breakfast

    Day 22 - Kathmandu

    • Your trip will end today after breakfast. Your leader will be on hand to advise and assist with your onward travel arrangements. A departure transfer to the airport is not included and Kathmandu has so much to offer, we recommend that you consider booking pre-tour or post-tour accommodation and a departure transfer before you commence your travels.
    Shangri La Hotel or similar
    Breakfast
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • Peregrine tour leader
    • Specialist local guides
    • Arrival transfer
    • Sightseeing
    • Flight to Kathmandu
    • Entrance fees

    Not Included

    • International flights (excluding Delhi to Kathmandu)
    • Airport departure taxes
    • Airport departure transfer
    • Visas
    • Insurance
    • Other meals including all lunches and dinners
    • Any optional tours and activities during free time
    • Excess baggage charges
    • Tips
    • Items of a personal nature
    • Camera fees (some places that we visit charge additional fees if you are entering with a camera or camcorder - your guide will advise on these and they can be paid for locally)
  • Map Itinerary

  • Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PIRN
Group size 5 - 16
Start City: Delhi, Delhi, India
End City: Kathmandu

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