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Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

Travel from India to Nepal on an insightful overland trip from Delhi to Kathmandu. From reminders of the Mughal dynasty in northern India to the snow-capped Himalayas of Nepal, this trip will truly inspire. Witness the colour and contrast between the bazaars of Delhi, the jungle in Orchha, and the sacred Ganges. Be awed by the Taj Mahal and see the sunrise over the holy city of Varanasi. Come face-to-face with pilgrims, villagers, holy men, and generations of shopkeepers. For those wanting to travel by land between these two very different neighbours, this is the perfect journey.

  1. Day 1
    Delhi
    Welcome to India! This adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 1 pm today. In Delhi, watch one of the world's greatest shows unfold as people, traffic, cows, and kids all work together in a kind of organised chaos around historical sites from different eras, museums and galleries, shops, and endless bazaars. This afternoon, join your group leader on an excursion into the sights and sounds of Old Delhi. Set off on the city's modern metro system, then get a taste of India's renowned old-school public transport with an optional cycle rickshaw ride through chaotic streets. Make a visit to the Jama Masjid, Delhi's oldest mosque, and one of its most impressive buildings, then visit the Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple) to learn about the Sikh religion. This evening, maybe grab a chai, put your feet up and let it all soak in.
  2. Day 2
    Agra
    After arriving into the Agra today by one of India's express air-conditioned trains (approximately 3 hours), you’ll head straight to the most recognisable sight in India. It doesn’t matter who you are, the Taj Mahal will leave you awe-struck with the morning light shimmering off its white marble surface. Best known as a monument to love and loss, the 17th century Taj is a beautiful example of Mughal architecture, surrounded by trimmed English gardens. The highlights keep coming as you take a motorised rickshaw tour, a truly fun and Intrepid way to see the monuments of Agra. Later, you'll also visit Akbar's Mausoleum – a beautiful sandstone and marble tomb built for the greatest of the Mughal emperors.
  3. Day 3
    Agra – Orchha
    Agra is also home to one of the finest looking forts in India. This morning you’ll enter the dark red sandstone stronghold of Agra Fort – part fortress, part palace and part prison – and search through throne rooms and tiny but incredibly decorated mosques. Later, travel by air-conditioned train from Agra to Jhansi (approximately 3 hours). Upon arrival in Jhansi, travel through traditional rural Indian landscapes to reach the beautiful town of Orchha on the banks of the Betwa River (approximately 45 minutes). Here you’ll have the opportunity to uncover a very different side of India. Initially a hunting area, Orchha has changed very little over the centuries. Despite its small size, it is filled with many beautiful temples and palaces built here in the 16th century by the ruling Bundelas clan. This evening, witness the Ram Raja Temple puja (prayer) ceremony at the shrine at the heart of the city. Stay in a restored heritage property tonight.
  4. Day 4
    Orchha
    Today you'll visit the stunning Orchha Palace, built by Bir Sing Deo for his friend Jehangir, the great Mughal ruler. Take note of the grand Iwans (domes) that were built large enough to allow the movement of war elephants. You’ll also make a stop at Taragram - 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.
  5. Day 5
    Orchha - Overnight train
    Today you'll get to soak up more of the unique atmosphere of Orchha, and excitingly you'll get to soak up the local flavours too. Learn about the local cuisine, its ingredients, and how it's prepared, in a cooking demonstration with our local friends. In not too long, you’ll get to taste the unforgettable results. This evening you’ll return to Jhansi and board an overnight train to Allahabad (approximately 15 hours) – the starting point for your Ganges boat journey.
    Meals: Dinner
  6. Day 6
    River Ganges
    Arrive in Allahabad and transfer to the Ganges (approximately 2 hours) by small riverboats for the sailing trip. You'll experience the sacred River Ganges, the lifeblood of millions of Indian people, with a boat cruise through the heart of rural India. A support crew will be on hand as you sail down this iconic waterway, passing village communities and viewing river life as it goes on around you. The boats are equipped with life jackets, the deck has mattresses and cushions to relax on, and it’s all covered with a cloth roof for sun protection. Arrive at your campsite and relax riverside, read a book or play some cricket. Watch the sun go down and eat a delicious vegetarian meal prepared by the boatmen.
    Meals: Dinner
  7. Day 7
    Varanasi
    Leaving your boats at Chunar, transfer by private vehicle to Varanasi (approximately 2 hours). This is one of holiest cities around; the ultimate destination for Hindu pilgrims who travel from far and wide to experience this spiritual city. Overflowing with temples, shrines and devotees, there’s no doubt it’s one of the most amazing cities. Set off on a walking tour of the oldest part of the city, bustling with tourists and priests, and see different rituals being performed. Wander through the Old City with its maze of narrow alleyways packed full of small shops and stalls, and lumbering cows. This evening, soak up the unique magical atmosphere of a candle flower ceremony as the sun sets.
    Meals: Breakfast
  8. Day 8
    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. The rest of the day is free for you to use as you like. There’s 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. Or perhaps visit Ram Nagar Fort – a crumbling 17th-century fort and palace on the eastern bank of the Ganges, that’s the ancestral home of the Maharaja of Banaras. Alternatively, the day can be spent exploring the laneways and alleys behind the ghats, picking up some examples of the excellent local silk industry, or perfecting yoga in this most chakra-balancing of places.
  9. Day 9
    India/Nepal border crossing – Lumbini
    Today, wave goodbye to India and say namaste to Nepal, as you cross the border at Gorakhpur. Though there’s always something to look at out the windows, it’s a good idea to have some other entertainment on hand for the long day of travelling ahead (approximately 8-10 hours including stops). For groups of less than five, you will travel by car and for bigger groups by bus. On entering Nepal, take a private bus to your hotel in Lumbini (approximately 1 hour). This is no ordinary border town, but the birthplace of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, and one of his four holy places of pilgrimage. It's said in the Parinibbana Sutta that Buddha identified the sites as those of his birth, enlightenment, first discourse, and death. You’ll visit the beautiful Ashoka Pillars and hop on cycle rickshaws to the Maya Devi Temple, the actual site where Lord Buddha is thought to have been born.
  10. Day 10
    Chitwan National Park - Madi Valley
    Continue your journey by private vehicle through the Terai to Intrepid Foundation’s project, the Madi Valley Homestay (4.5 hours). This project provides sustainable incomes and encourages the communities living on the fringes of Chitwan National Park to conserve the wilderness and wildlife around them. On our arrival, the local men and women, dressed proudly in their traditional Magar attire, will be there to greet you and welcome you into their homes. In the evening enjoy a cultural performance by the locals where they demonstrate one of the oldest ethnic dance forms of the Magar community; the Maruni Naach.
    Meals: Dinner
  11. Day 11
    Chitwan National Park
    In the morning you will be given a guided village tour. After, try your luck fishing in one of the ponds around the village. Depending on weather and road conditions, you will also have the option to take a short drive to Baikunthe Tal where you can trek to a beautiful waterfall, sacred to the local people. After saying your goodbyes to your Madi Valley hosts, you’ll head to your lodge in Chitwan National Park via Twenty Thousand Lakes (Bis Hajaar Tal) by private vehicle (2 hours). Nepal’s second-largest natural wetland, this beautiful reserve area is a maze of small lakes that teems with wildlife. Home to numerous crocodiles, this is one of the park’s best areas for birdwatching, with hundreds of species using it as a migratory route stop. If you’re lucky you might spot an Indian rhino. Chitwan National Park sits at the base of the Himalayas. UNESCO declared the area a World Heritage site in 1984, and it offers some of the best wildlife viewing in Asia, with rhino, deer, monkeys and a wide array of birdlife. Arrive and settle in to your accommodation before jumping on a bike to explore a local village. In the evening, prepare for tomorrow’s exploration of the park with a presentation on the park's history, flora, and fauna.MONSOON ALTERNATE ITINERARYToday after breakfast, take a walk to the Rapti river from where you’ll be taken by boat to Ghagtai village (approximately 3.5 hours). Enjoy some brilliantly-coloured-bird watching along the Rapti river and a picnic lunch. Keep your eyes peeled for gharials - this fish-eating crocodile has long been hunted for the supposed aphrodisiac qualities of its snout. Learn more about them when you drop by the crocodile breeding centre. Spend the night in a guesthouse with a view of the river and plenty of jungle ambience in Ghagtai tonight. Toilet and bathroom facilities are shared here.
    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  12. Day 12
    Chitwan National Park
    After breakfast, take a walk to the Rapti river from where you’ll be taken on a boat/jeep safari through the national park. Enjoy some brilliantly-coloured-bird watching along the Rapti river and a picnic lunch. Keep your eyes peeled for gharials - this fish-eating crocodile has long been hunted for the supposed aphrodisiac qualities of its snout. Learn more about them when you drop by the crocodile breeding centre. Once back at your accommodation there’ll be time to relax, or to take part in a number of optional activities offered by the park.MONSOON ALTERNATE ITINERARYToday you’ll return to your lodge in Chitwan National Park via Twenty Thousand Lakes (Bis Hajaar Tal). Nepal’s second-largest natural wetland, this beautiful reserve area is a maze of small lakes that teems with wildlife. Home to numerous crocodiles, this is one of the park’s best areas for birdwatching, with hundreds of species using it as a migratory route stop. If you’re lucky you might catch some sight of the Indian rhino. Once back at your accommodation there’ll be time to relax, or to take part in a number of optional activities offered by the park.
  13. Day 13
    Kathmandu
    Today you'll journey by bus from Chitwan to Nepal's capital, Kathmandu (approximately 6 hours). This is a ride that takes in all the sights that define Nepal – iridescent rice terraces, deep gorges, fast-flowing rivers, and looming mountains. Kathmandu is a mixture of ancient architecture and modern development and, with its rich artistic and cultural heritage, it remains the legendary destination it has been for decades. Crowded markets and bazaars are the centre of Nepali life and the narrow streets are home to holy men, monks, bicycles, incense, goats, and sacred cows. Perhaps head out into Durbar Square, in front of the old royal palace and home to numerous beautiful temples and browse the stalls of merchant's wares.
    Meals: Breakfast
  14. Day 14
    Kathmandu
    Today you’ll head out to the ancient Swayambhunath Temple, known to tourists as the Monkey Temple and Kathmandu's most important Buddhist shrine. The sleepy, all-seeing Buddha eyes that stare out from the top have become the quintessential symbol of Nepal. You’ll also join the pilgrims at Bodhnath Stupa – the largest stupa in Nepal and the holiest Tibetan Buddhist temple outside Tibet. It's the centre of Tibetan culture in Kathmandu, rich in Buddhist symbolism, and 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 and pilgrims bathing. There are also a number of optional activities to take advantage of if you have the time, including our Urban Adventures. Maybe take-off on a flight from Kathmandu airport to see some spectacular mountain scenery. Those who don't have the opportunity to go trekking can get panoramic views of the Himalayas in just an hour.
  15. Day 15
    Kathmandu
    Your adventure through Nepal and India ends today and you're free to leave the accommodation at any time.

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Inclusions

  • Delhi - Leader-led Old Delhi walking & rickshaw tour
  • Delhi - Jama Masjid
  • Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)
  • Agra - Taj Mahal
  • Agra - Akbar's Mausoleum
  • Orchha - Leader-led walking tour
  • Orchha - Ram Raja Temple ceremony
  • Agra - Agra Fort
  • Orchha - Orchha Palace
  • Orchha - Taragram visit
  • Orchha - Cooking demonstration
  • River Ganges - Boat trip & camping
  • Varanasi - Sunset candle flower ceremony
  • Varanasi - Leader-led Old City walking tour
  • Varanasi - Sunrise Ganges boat trip
  • Lumbini - Heritage Park
  • Madi Valley - Magar Cultural Performance
  • Chitwan - Village Bike Tour
  • Chitwan NP - Park entry
  • Chitwan - Canoe trip
  • Chitwan - Canoe safari, Bird Watching walk or Jeep safari
  • Kathmandu - Swayambhunath Temple
  • Kathmandu - Bodhnath Stupa
  • Kathmandu - Pashupatinath Temple

Meals
3 Breakfast(s) Included
3 Lunch(es) Included
3 Dinner(s) Included

Style: Original

Health and Safety Protocols for Intrepid Tours

Protection against COVID-19 as well as other transmissible diseases requires enhanced protocols in hygiene and sanitation. We will put in place additional measures, in line with government health advice and with global health authorities (including the WHO and CDC) to ensure that we maintain the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene.

Hand Hygiene
Handwashing is one of the most important safety measures to prevent the spread of disease. Intrepid will actively reinforce its importance by:

  • Implementing a handwashing policy that dictates when, how often and for how long all staff, leaders and crew must wash their hands on-trip.
  • Promote the importance of hand hygiene to customers through signage and online customer material.
  • Contract suppliers that have hand hygiene protocols in place
  • Contract suppliers that provide hand sanitizer in public places (where applicable)
  • Educate staff, leaders, crew and suppliers on the importance of hand hygiene via training.

Respiratory Hygiene
Practicing good respiratory hygiene prevents the spread of disease by reducing the number of droplets in the air when you sneeze or cough. Intrepid will:

  • Actively reinforce its importance to customers through signage and online customer material.
  • Educate staff, leaders, crew and suppliers on the importance of respiratory hygiene via training.
  • Contract suppliers who have respiratory hygiene protocols in place.

Masks
In addition, in areas with high community transmission and/or places that are difficult to maintain physical distancing, we recommend the the following at-risk people also wear them. Intrepid follows the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO) that masks should only be used as part of a comprehensive prevention strategy and that the use of a mask alone is not sufficient to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Physical distancing, hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene must also form part of the strategy.

Medical/Surgical Masks
On our trips, regardless of destination, the following people must wear medical/surgical masks:

  • Anyone who develops symptoms of COVID-19 regardless of whether or not they have been tested yet.
  • People caring for people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases (outside of hospitals/clinics).

In addition, in areas with high community transmission and/or places that are difficult to maintain physical distancing, we recommend the the following at-risk people also wear them.

  • People over 60
  • People with underlying health conditions
Intrepid will:
  • Provide medical/surgical masks as part of the First Aid Kits carried by leaders.
  • Educate leaders, crew, staff and customers on the correct method to wear, handle and dispose of a mask.
  • Require all customers, leaders and staff to comply with any local regulations or requirements that require the use of a mask in public or in certain places

Fabric Masks
Intrepid follows the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO) that it is not necessary for the public to wear fabric masks generally.

However in certain circumstances, in places where community transmission of COVID-19 is high and/or physical distancing is not possible (e.g. on public transport, in shops or in other confined environments) then a fabric mask can be a useful barrier to prevent the spread of virus.

Fabric masks be purchased commercially or handmade, and are generally not standardised like medical masks. Fabric masks should:

  • Cover the nose, mouth, and chin
  • Be secured with elastic loops or ties
  • Include multiple layers
  • Be washable and reusable.

Sanitation
Protection against COVID-19 as well as other transmissible diseases requires enhanced sanitation processes. Intrepid will take the following measures:

  • Require all suppliers to detail their cleaning and sanitation protocols
  • Audit/monitor all suppliers on their cleanliness and sanitation.
  • All cleaning and disinfecting products must be approved by health authorities (e.g. WHO).
Accomodation
  • All rooms must be thoroughly cleaned between guests with all high touch surfaces in shared areas regularly cleaned and disinfected.
  • Hand sanitizer should be available in public areas.
  • There must be a process in place for customers to escalate any concerns regarding hygiene or sanitation.
  • Staff must be trained and able to answer questions regarding safety protocols in place.
Camping
  • All tents must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between use.
  • If staying at a campground, ensure all bathrooms are well stocked with hand soap and paper towels. If the area is remote, with limited facilities and/or minimal staffing, then customers should be informed to bring their own hygiene equipment.
Transport
  • All mini buses, transfers, charters, overland trucks must be thoroughly cleaned between guests with all high touch surfaces in shared areas regularly cleaned and disinfected.
  • Hand sanitizer should be made available
  • Close top bins with bin liners should be available on board and disposed of at every stop
Restaurants
  • Must be thoroughly cleaned at the end of each day
  • Tables and chairs must be disinfected after each guest use
  • Avoid buffets where possible. If buffets are used, prevent customers from handling food and operating machines (e.g. self-serve coffee stations)
  • Either disinfect shared use objects (e.g. table salt) between guest use. Where possible, Intrepid will try to source safe alternatives to single serve packaging.
  • Staff must be trained and able to answer questions regarding safety protocols in place.
  • Preferred: Provide hand sanitizer to guests at the door before entry
Activities
  • All equipment must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between guest us
  • Staff must be trained and able to answer questions regarding safety protocols in place.
Contactless/low touch
Limiting the number of surfaces touched by large numbers of people helps prevent the spread of disease. Therefore, it is important to proactively move towards contactless or low touch solutions for travel. Intrepid will:
  • Prioritise contactless/low touch as a key feature when sourcing new tech or solutions.
Brand Material
  • Remove any paperwork required on the ground (e.g. signing forms, feedback cards)
  • If details must be entered using a shared device (e.g. insurance details), then it must be disinfected between each customer. Preference is to move entirely to digital solutions.
Contracting
  • Accommodation should provide online check in (no paperwork)
  • Contactless keys (e.g. QR codes)
  • Contactless tech (e.g. lights)
  • Online ticketing for attractions and transport
  • Online payment

Physical Distancing
Physical distancing is important in the preventing the spread of COVID-19 as it can be transmitted via droplets sprayed when coughing, sneezing, singing, yelling etc…
Intrepid will take the following measures:

  • Require all suppliers to detail their physical distancing protocols
  • Follow local regulation and advice on the need for physical distancing.
Accommodation Intrepid operates product that is based on twin share accommodation and allows single travellers the chance to share accommodation with a stranger.
We will continue to offer this as an option. Single supplements are available for single travellers who do not wish to share a room. We will work closely with accommodation suppliers to ensure increased availability of single rooms.

Camping
  • Consider whether it is appropriate to offer single tents for solo travellers as customers will be much closer together then in a traditional room.
  • Consider whether staggering meal times may reduce the number of people sharing a dining tent.
Transport
Intrepid will consider the following factors when designing or amending transport options on trips.
  • Local laws or requirements regarding physical distancing on transport
  • Hygiene protocols of the transport provider
  • Level of active community transmission in the destination
Possible risks include:
  • Using designated seating on transport. Customers have assigned seats throughout the trip.
  • If trip is longer than 15 minutes and air conditioning is available, it must be set to external airflow rather than to recirculation or windows should be opened for the duration of the trip.
  • Designing or amending itineraries to reduce the duration of travel.
  • Increasing the size of the vehicle, using multiple vehicles.
In Public
  • Educate all leaders, crew, staff and customers to maintain a 1.5m distance wherever practical in public (e.g. queueing at a museum).
  • Proactively design product to avoid crowds by visiting attractions at off-peak times.
  • Proactively design product to avoid crowds on public transport or at airports where practical.
Restaurants
  • Follow local regulations on table spacing and guest seating in restaurants. Wherever possible, try to ensure groups are sitting at their own table without strangers in restaurants.
  • Proactively design product that focuses on experiences that assist with physical distancing (e.g. picnics over crowded marketplaces) if relevant for that destination.
Health Screening & Tracking
Screening for COVID-19 helps isolate anyone with COVID-19 symptoms and stops the spread of disease. It is likely to become more common for future travellers.

Pre-Departure (Brand Material)
Customers should be informed as part of ‘Essential Trip Information (ETIs) or other similar trip notes if their trip is likely to include any of the following:
  • Testing for COVID-19 before being able to pass through immigration and/or board planes.
  • Negative test results to be uploaded for visa purposes.
  • Thermal temperature checks in airports, train or bus stations, major hotels or attractions.
Pre-Departure (Customers)
Pre-departure, all customers are required to fill out an online questionnaire (“self- declaration/assessment” form) to identify any high-risk customers before travel.

Extra qualifiers will be included to address customers with symptoms that can be contributed to pre-existing conditions (e.g. breathlessness to asthma).

Customers answering YES to any question should be removed from the departure and appropriate arrangements made.

COVID-19 Testing
Intrepid will not require a negative COVID-19 test as proof of health from customers or leaders at this stage unless it is required by local law or regulations.

This is partially due to the lack of availability of testing for people with no symptoms in many parts of the world and may change in due course.

On Trip
  • Ask customers, leaders, crew and staff to monitor their own health
  • Display appropriate signage on COVID-19 symptoms
  • Educate leaders, crew and staff on how to identify COVID-19 symptoms
  • Describe COVID-19 symptoms in group meetings
Removal of customers, leaders, crew
If customers, leaders or crew show symptoms of COVID-19 and are either unable to or unwilling to be tested, Intrepid reserves the right to remove them from our trips to prevent any risk to others.

Flexible Booking Conditions
Customers will be supported by flexible booking conditions to stay home if unwell or displaying symptoms

Flexible Work Conditions
Intrepid will support leaders and crew to stay home rather than lead a trip if they are unwell or displaying symptoms. Schedules will need to be created with back up availability of leaders/crew.

Data Collection & Health Tracking
Intrepid will assist government health departments in tracking and tracing any customers, staff, leaders, crew or suppliers at risk of contracting COVID-19 via exposure to a known case and/or outbreak by providing relevant details in line with privacy laws and regulations.

COVID Tracking apps
Intrepid strongly recommends that customers and staff download COVID tracking apps (e.g. COVIDSafe in Australia, StayHomeSafe in Hong Kong) to assist in reducing the spread of disease within their communities.

OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620

Accommodations

Hotel (7 nights), Lodge/Guesthouse (3 nights), Heritage Property (2 nights), Overnight sleeper train (1 night), Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)

OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620

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.

Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
3.8
Accommodations
2.3
Itinerary
4.3
Professional Staff
4.3
Repeat with Operator
4.3
Value for Money
3.7

Ratings based off 3 reviews - currently showing 1 reviews with comments only

This tour definitely delivered on the level and number of activities, sights to see, and the facilities/accommodations. There were a lot of local experiences which allowed the traveler to experience the cities, the rural areas, and the historic places. The guides were very knowledgeable about the background and the information about the various sites. The tour leader was very helpful and made sure that all the travelers' needs were being taken cared of.

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