India & Nepal Heritage

India & Nepal Heritage


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Overview

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Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

Experience India's Golden Triangle and Nepal's magnificent mountain peaks on this adventure from New Delhi to Kathmandu. Discover the 'Pink City' of Jaipur, witness the Mughal splendours of Delhi and Agra, safari through Ranthambhore National Park in search of tigers, and soak up the ambience of holy Varanasi. Continue to Kathmandu, where a scenic Everest flight provides an unforgettable introduction to Nepal. Cruise across Fewa Lake, explore the rural beauty around Tansen, find spirituality in Lumbini, and search for big game in Chitwan National Park. Awash with highlights, from lavish palaces and vibrant bazaars to small villages nestled in the foothills of snow-capped peaks, this is an eclectic adventure not to be missed.

Day 1: New Delhi
Welcome to India. On arrival at the airport you’ll be transferred to the hotel. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 15 days prior to travel, to organise the transfer. There will be a Welcome Meeting in the hotel at 6pm on Day 1. Please ask reception to confirm the time and place of your meeting. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. You can use any free time before the meeting to explore this excitingly chaotic capital city. Filled with historical sites from different eras, museums and galleries, shops and endless bazaars, there’s plenty to see.

Day 2: Jaipur
Get your first experience of Indian rail travel with an express train into Rajasthan and on to its capital, Jaipur (approximately 5 hours). Then take a walking tour through the crowded streets packed with cars, camel carts, rickshaws, trucks and bicycles, past traditionally dressed Rajput men wearing colourful turbans and sporting magnificent moustaches. Walk to the city's crowded bazaars filled with handcrafted textiles, folk art, and the local specialty of semi-precious stones, then make a photo stop at India's most photographed building (after the Taj Mahal), the Hawa Mahal or 'Palace of the Winds'. There’s also the option to visit one of India’s finest palaces – Jaipur's Royal City Palace – or the astronomical instrument sculptures of the Observatory. This evening, continue to indulge in the wonders of Indian culture by watching a Bollywood blockbuster.

Day 3: Jaipur
Visit the opulent Amber Fort, the jewel of Jaipur. It is quite a sight, with its soft shades of red sandstone and white marble, and elaborate Hindu style flourishes. Explore the legacy of a fallen empire – ornate rooms of lavish murals, frescoed arches and delicate jali work. After spending some time here, the remainder of the day is free for you to explore parts of Jaipur that you might have missed yesterday.

Day 4: Rural Rajasthan Heritage Stay
Drifting high over the pink city while it’s bathed in early morning sunlight is a highlight for many visitors to Jaipur, so consider a hot air balloon ride this morning. This can be done between Septermber and June. For additional information see the Important Notes section of your trip notes. Today you drive to Kanota (approximately 1 hour). Your accommodation here is the beautiful Castle Kanota feature stay. Set on 8 acres and built in 1972, this heritage hotel is one of Rajasthan's finest.

Day 5: Ranthambhore
Drive from Castle Kanota to Ranthambhore National Park (approximately 5 hours). In the evening enjoy a safari through the park. Ranthambore National Park is one of the original Project Tiger reserves, a place where nature has reclaimed ancient fortresses and temples, and that is teeming with wildlife. In 4WD safari vehicles take game drives to search for animals and the majestic tigers which stalk through the jungle. You may also have the chance to explore the 1000 year old Ranthambore Fort, where two pavilions that have survived the ravages of war and time - Badal Mahal and Hammirs Court - give an idea of its old grandeur.Notes: Ranthambhore National Park is closed between 1 July and 30 September each year. On those trips affected, we'll visit nearby Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary. Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary is located approx. 16 km from Ranthambhore and, due to its hilly terrain, isn't as affected by the monsoon. Tigers inhabit this area also and spottings are more favourable at this time of year as they move away from flooded areas of Ranthambore.

Day 6: Ranthambhore
Awake early for a morning safari, a second chance to spot tigers. Even if the tigers are too stealthy to see, the park is filled with other animals like gazelle, hyenas, sloth bears, crocodiles, jackals, three types of antelope (nilgai, sambar and chital) and leopards to watch out for. Afterwards, enjoy free time at the resort. Later, in the afternoon, spend some time relaxing or take a stroll around town.

Day 7: Agra
Drive to Agra (approximately 5 hours). Here you visit Agra Fort, and India's most famous icon – the spectacular Taj Mahal. Best known as a monument to love and loss, the 17th century Taj was built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a tomb for his second wife and is a beautiful example of Mughal architecture surrounded by trimmed English gardens. Agra is also home to one of the finest looking forts in India. Stop at the nearby Agra Fort, a fortress, palace and prison built of red sandstone by Akbar in 1565 and partially converted into a palace during the time of Shah Jahan.

Day 8: New Delhi
Travel from Agra to Delhi. Explore the bustling city streets on a walking tour. Also travel in the local style, by cycle rickshaw, to get another perspective on this frantic metropolis. Visit the Sisganj Gurudwara, one of the nine historic gurdwaras (Sikh temples) in Delhi, first constructed in 1783. Stop in at the awe-inspiring Red Fort, which is considered to be the peak of Mughal creativity. Also pay a visit to the 73 metre high Qutab Minar and about learn some of its history.

Day 9: Varanasi
Fly from Delhi to Varanasi. Awash with shrines and temples, this is the ultimate destination for Hindu pilgrims who travel from far and wide to experience such a spiritual city. Varanasi is not known for its cleanliness, but it is recognised as one of India’s most inspiring cities. Take a walking tour of the old city, through narrow laneways packed with stalls and shops, past the dhobi wallahs, burning ghats, and the endless temples that echo with bells and the pungent aroma of incense. Witness pilgrims performing ancient bathing rituals and ceremonies as your first day in this sacred city comes to an end.

Day 10: Varanasi
Today starts early with a sunrise boat ride on the Ganges, where you can watch the light gradually illuminate the many ghats and temples along the river as you pass. There is an option to take a trip to nearby Sarnath, one of the four main Buddhist pilgrimage destinations. The site is where Buddha preached his message of the path to enlightenment and features a number of stupas and museums to explore. Alternatively the day can be spent exploring the laneways and alleys behind the ghats, or picking up some examples of the excellent local silk industry. Perhaps finish the day with an optional Ganges river cruise at sunset.

Day 11: New Delhi
This morning will be free for you to soak up the atmosphere of Varanasi during your final time here. Maybe brows through the incredible bazaars or merely wander through the ghats. Then you return to Delhi by plane (approximately 1.5 hours). Enjoy a bit of free time before saying farewell to those in your group who are finishing their trip today. Share an (optional) group dinner organised for those interested.

Day 12: Kathmandu
Return to the airport and fly to Kathmandu today. You will be met at the airport by a Peregrine representative who will transfer you to your hotel. There will be a group briefing with your new tour leader in the late afternoon. Usually the meeting is followed by an optional group dinner at one of Kathmandu's fine Nepali restaurants.

Day 13: Kathmandu
In the early morning you will make an attempt at the Mount Everest scenic flight. This amazing experience will take you over Sagamartha National Park, through a crescendo of the highest peaks in the world, climaxing by getting up close to Mount Everest. Later in the morning you will explore Kathmandu on an organised 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.

Day 14: Nagarkot
Travel to Nagarkot in a private vehicle. On the three hour journey, there's two stops at UNESCO World Heritage Sites along the way, starting with Bhaktapur. Bhaktapur is revered as one of the world’s few well preserved ancient cities, playing host to a wondrous range of exotically designed temples and statues. Then wander to the ancient temple of Changu Narayan, erected in dedication to the Lord Vishnu and site of numerous legends. Upon arrival to Nagarkot, prepare for an overnight stay at Club Himalaya, renowned for its 360 degree unrestricted view of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Changu Narayan and the surrounding areas.

Day 15: Pokhara
Wake up and witness an early morning 180-degree sunrise view before travelling to Kathmandu airport by chartered coach. From here, you will fly to Pokhara with an estimated flight time of 30 minutes – if you’re lucky you might catch a glimpse of the spectacular Himalayan mountain chain to the north. On arrival, take a boat ride across the lake of Phewa Tal, the second largest lake in Nepal. The visit to the Peace Pagoda afterwards grants excellent views of the mountains including the Annapurnas, the famous fishtail peak of Machhapuchhare and a glimpse back across to Pokhara. Next comes a visit to the International Mountain Museum, which is full of fascinating tales and exploits from climbing expeditions of the past – some ending in triumph and others in tragedy. After this, you have the day free to explore peaceful Pohkara and its surrounds.

Day 16: Pokhara
Enjoy a free day for further exploration of the peaceful surroundings of Pokhara. Your group leader can advise you of sightseeing opportunities – maybe take a boat for a row out on the lake, explore the Hindu temple or Buddhist monastery, or simply pick up some souvenirs and email your family from a local internet café.

Day 17: Tansen
Travel by private vehicle to Tansen on a five hour drive. Formerly known as the capital of the Magar kingdom Tanahun, Tansen is now known as the home of the United Mission Hospital, a partnership between 20 Christian organisations and Nepal that sees over 100,000 patients per year. During your stay, visit Tansen town, the palace museum, a dhaka topi (traditional hat) and brass bottle workshop and experience an interaction with the locals.

Day 18: Lumbini
An optional hike to the Rani Mahal is available today. Rani Mahal translates to ‘Queens Palace’, as the site was built as a monument of love to the deceased youngest wife of former general Khadga Samsher Rana, Tej Kumari Devi. Your other option is to travel to Tansen Hill station where panoramic views of Annapurna and Tansen valley can be seen, and Tansen town lies nearby should you wish to continue exploring it. Later this afternoon drive to Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha.

Day 19: Lumbini
This morning head out of Lumbini to Tilaurakot, which houses the ruins of ancient Kapilvastu – the capital of the Sakya kingdom and where Buddha spent his youth as Prince Siddhartha. Also, explore Nighlihawa and Gotihawa, which are closeby to Tilaurakot and have broken Ashoka pillars and other relics. Enjoy lunch and then return to Lumbini in the afternoon. There’s also the option to explore Lumbini’s UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lumbini is known as the holiest place of one of the world’s great religions and the area contains important evidence about the nature of Buddhist pilgrimage centres from as early as third century BC. Discover the serenity of the Maya Devi Temple, the statue of Little Buddha, and the Bodhi Tree, which is very close by your accommodation.

Day 20: Chitwan National Park
After breakfast, prepare to be picked up and driven to Chitwan National Park (approx. drive time 4 hours). After arriving and settling in, meet the camp staff and resident naturalists who will discuss the park’s habitat conservation program. There’s some flexibility with activities in this area, which may vary depending on the time of year and known wildlife movements and locations. A late afternoon safari is an experience like none other, showing the varied and exciting flora and fauna of the park. Enjoy a dinner with your group and relax at your accommodation’s bar while discussing the day’s sightings or listening to the song of the jungle.

Day 21: Chitwan
After breakfast, leave the lodge for an early morning trip to begin a dugout canoe adventure on the Rapti River. This exhilarating ride offers chances to spot marsh mugger crocodiles along with the various birds that inhabit the riverbanks. Tiger sightings are rare these days, but the magnificent creatures inhabit the park so it’s not to be ruled out. Upon your return to dry land, an organised program will help fill the rest of the day and may include further excursions by jeep or a visit to one of the nearby villages.

Day 22: Kathmandu
Drive to Chitwan Airport on an hour drive before flying back to Kathmandu. The afternoon is yours to enjoy, so perhaps engage in some shopping before the tour ends tomorrow. A farewell dinner will be held at the Utsav Restaurant, featuring an authentic night of local cultural food and dance.

Day 23: Kathmandu
Your Nepalese adventure comes to a close after breakfast today. Your leader will be on hand to advise and assist with any onward travel arrangements. Dont forget to check out the great range of Urban Adventures if you have some extra time in Kathmandu.

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Inclusions

  • Jaipur - Walking & market tour
  • Jaipur - Bollywood Movie at Raj Mandir Cinema
  • Jaipur - Amber Fort
  • Ranthambhore National Park - Evening wildlife safari
  • Ranthambhore National Park - Morning Safari
  • Agra - Taj Mahal
  • Agra - Agra Fort
  • Delhi - Jama Masjid
  • Delhi - Old Delhi tour
  • Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)
  • Varanasi - Old City tour
  • Varanasi - Sunset candle ceremony
  • Varanasi - Sunrise boat trip
  • Kathmandu - Everest Scenic Flight
  • Kathmandu - Pashupatinath Temple
  • Kathmandu - Bodhnath Stupa
  • Bhaktapur - Guided walk
  • Bhaktapur - Changu Narayan Temple
  • Lumbini - Heritage Park
  • Chitwan NP - Village tour
  • Chitwan - Canoe safari, bird watching walk or jeep safari

Meals
20 Breakfast(s) Included
4 Dinner(s) Included

Style: Peregrine

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Accommodations

Comfortable Hotel (17 nights), Jungle Lodge Feature Stay (2 nights), Heritage Property (1 night), Resort (2 nights)

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Questions & Answers

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

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