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Holidays and Tours

Nepal & India Journey

From €1870pp
Depart From
Start Kathmandu, Finish Delhi
Departure Date
Regular departures throughout the year
Duration
16 Nights
Destination
India, Nepal
Price
From €1870pp
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Experience the beauty and contrasts of two enchanting lands on this incredible journey through Nepal and India.

Take a journey through Nepal and India on a 16-day tour that avoids the tourist crowds in favour of slices of authentic daily life. Look for Bengal tigers in the jungle during two safari excursions in Nepal’s Bardia National Park.

Explore the palatial hallway’s and gardens of Lucknow’s Mighal-era buildings and watch a fire ceremony along the holy Ganges River in the spiritual city of Rishikesh, all before exploring the iconic cities that make up India’s famous Golden Triangle – Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, where you’ll experience the history of massive forts, the opulence and splendour of Rajasthan's palaces, the bustle and buzz of markets and bazaars, and the traditions of a heritage stay. Travel through two contrasting lands on an adventure jam-packed with unforgettable highlights.

Why you'll love this trip

  • Look for Bengal tigers, one horned rhinos and other wildlife on two safari excursions in Bardia National Park, where recent Nepalese efforts have resulted in tiger populations doubling since 2009.
  • Explore the faded beauty and mural-lined corridors of Chaurasi Kutia, more commonly known today as 'The Beatles Ashram' in Rishikesh! Check out the now deserted ashram where they composed some of their hit songs in the 60s
  • Watch the nightly Ganga Aarti ceremony unfold along the Ganges River in Rishikesh, gathering with the local community to watch this captivating ritual involving fire and music.
  • Discover the delights of under-touristed, hip, and foodie city of Lucknow. From the palatial grounds of the Bara Imambara religious complex to the rich, spice-heavy Awadhi food the city is famous for.
  • Float among the clouds over Jaipur and watch an Indian sunrise from the basket of a hot air balloon on an optional balloon safari.
  • Visit the monumental Amber Fort – overlooking the picturesque scene of Moata Lake, this is one sight that will forever be under India’s protection.
  • Experience authentic Rajasthani luxury with a heritage stay in Karauli, a delightful town packed with rural ambience and traditional temples.
  • You must have an Indian visa in your passport prior to starting this trip. This trip crosses the Nepal—India border on day 7. Indian E-visas are not valid for entering the country at land borders.
  • Just as a heads up before you book: the first 10 days of this trip is new to our range in 2020. While we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.
  • Travelling across India wouldn’t be complete without a journey on a sleeper train. With padded bunks and vendors selling chai and samosas, they’re a quintessential Indian experience and perfect for catching up on sleep and getting more daylight hours to explore each destination.
  • Long distance and overnight trains in India are often delayed and occasionally cancelled due to heavy fog between December and February. Some patience and preparation (like a nice long podcast you downloaded earlier) will go a long way if this occurs.
  • Nepal and north India can get surprisingly cold in winter and (unsurprisingly) hot in summer. Please make sure you check seasonal weather guides, pick a travel time that suits your comfort level and pack accordingly.
  • We visit a number of temples on this trip, which requires a certain level of modesty. Please bring clothes that cover the arms and pants/skirts that go past the knees so we can be respectful and comfortable during our sightseeing.

Day 1: Kathmandu

Welcome to Kathmandu! Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting. If you arrive with time to spare, you can get under the city’s skin quickly with an Urban Adventure like Cook in Kathmandu, a traditional cooking class full of fun and flavour. If you’d prefer to explore on your own, perhaps head out into the narrow streets – home to holy men, monks, bicycles, and sacred cows – and buy souvenirs or chill out with cool drink. Just remember you’ll have tour the city’s primary sights tomorrow with your leader.

Accommodation - Hotel (1 night)

Meals Included - There are no meals included on this day.

Special Information

It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.

Find out more about Urban Adventures in Kathmandu at urbanadventures.com/destination/kathmandu-tours.

Day 2: Kathmandu

Hit the streets on a walking tour with your leader. Visit the remarkable temple complex of Pashupatinath, the oldest Hindu temple in Kathmandu. The complex sits on the Bagmati River and it’s possible that while you are here you will encounter local people cremating their loved ones. This can be confronting for some travellers, but it’s undeniably a moving experience and your leader will be on hand to illuminate the practise for you. You will also see the Boddhanath Stupa, a massive stupa (one of the largest in the world) decorated with streams of prayer flags. Explore Swayambhunath (AKA the Monkey Temple), another temple complex that is filled with monkeys considered holy by Buddhist devotees.

Accommodation - Hotel (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Kathmandu - Swayambhunath Temple
  • Kathmandu - Bodhnath Stupa
  • Kathmandu - Pashupatinath Temple

Optional Activities

  • Kathmandu - Early Morning Everest Scenic Flight - USD220

Meals Included - There are no meals included on this day.

Day 3: Bardia National Park

Take a morning flight to Nepalgunj. If the weather is playing nicely, this is a great chance to check out the Himalayas from a unique vantage point. From Nepalgunj make the 1-hour drive to Bardia National Park. Settle into your riverside lodge and relax until this evening’s safari excursion. Once night falls (when the wildlife is most active) head out on a safari in search of rhinos, deer, monkeys, a wide array of bird life and (drumroll please) Bengal tigers. The World Wildlife Foundation recently announced that Nepal has almost doubled its population of wild tigers since 2010, making this the perfect time to try and spot them among the subtropical forest and grasslands.

Accommodation - Jungle Lodge (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Bardia National Park - Evening Safari

Meals Included - Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Bardia National Park

Rise and shine for another safari, this time in the morning light. Look for elephants and gharial crocodiles on the shore of the river and let your guide point out the incredible array of birdlife and other creatures. After your safari, spend the rest of your day exploring or relaxing at your lodge. Bardia has become an example of how sustainable tourism can benefit both the environment and the people that live there.

Accommodation - Jungle Lodge (1 night)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Lucknow

Depart Bardia National Park and drive 1 hour to the Nepal—India border. Cross the border and continue to the delightfully named Lucknow (6 hours). On arrival set out with your leader on an orientation tour and get your first glimpses of its parks, mosques, palaces and other monuments – completed in a mixture of architectural styles. The rest of the afternoon and evening is free for you to explore at your own pace. Lucknow is more than just it’s Mughal and colonial-era buildings. Perhaps head out tonight to try some of the famous rich Awadhi food the city is famous for.

Accommodation - Hotel (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Lucknow - Orientation Walk

Meals Included - Breakfast

Day 6: Lucknow - Overnight Train

Head to the Bara Imambara, a religious complex for Twelver Shia Muslims that embodies the opulent design of the Moghul era. Spend some time exploring the vast halls, gardens and rooms of the complex. Continue to Sheroes Hangout, a social enterprise café operated by an inspiring female team of acid attack survivors. Sample some included tea and snacks and learn a little more about their stories and perseverance, plus the work they do through the cafe. Then choose whether to join an optional excursion to the Chota Imambara, another Shia Muslim complex with elaborate buildings and intricate design (though less grand than the one visited this morning). In the evening, board an overnight train to Rishikesh, a journey which will take about 13 hours.

Accommodation - Overnight train (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Lucknow - Bada Imambara

Meals Included - There are no meals included on this day.

Special Information

Travelling across India wouldn’t be complete without a journey on a sleeper train. With padded bunks and vendors selling chai and samosas, they’re a quintessential Indian experience and perfect for catching up on sleep while on the move.

Day 7: Rishikesh

Arrive in Rishikesh in the morning and set out on an orientation walk with your leader. Hugging the snaking Ganges River, Rishikesh is a Hindu pilgrimage town known as the 'Yoga Capital of the World'. With colourful ashrams and temples lining the river, Rishikesh is also a very picturesque place to wander, even if you’re not seeking enlightenment. In the evening, head to the riverside to watch the nightly Ganga Aarti fire ritual unfold. Temple bells will begin to ring to signify the beginning of the captivating ceremony, which is both a form of worship and a chance for community congregation.

Accommodation - Hotel (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Rishikesh - City walk
  • Rishikesh - Ganga Aarti Ceremonry

Meals Included - There are no meals included on this day.

Special Information

As Rishikesh is a sacred town, consumption of alcohol and meat is prohibited.

Day 8: Rishikesh

Pay a visit to the faded but mural-lined walls of Chaurasi Kutia, the ashram made internationally famous (long with Rishikesh by association) when the Beatles visited in the 1960s. Explore the crumbling beauty of the former ashram, now covered in graffiti related to the band and counterculture. Then choose whether to hit the waters of the Ganges on an optional whitewater rafting excursion. Unlike elsewhere in India, in Rishikesh the waters of the holy river are clear, clean and safe to swim in. Spend the afternoon and evening doing whatever you please in the city that wears its spirit on its sleeve.

Accommodation - Hotel (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Rishikesh - Chaurasi Kutia 'The Beatles Ashram'

Optional Activities

  • Rishikesh - White Water Rafting - INR1500

Meals Included - There are no meals included on this day.

Day 9: Delhi

Spend a day doing whatever you feel like in Rishikesh. It’s an awesome place to look for souvenirs or take a sitar lesson. If the vibe of the town has got you craving something a little more (inner) peaceful, perhaps choose from one of the many, many yoga or meditation classes on offer. Ask your leader if you want help sorting the fakes from the true devotees. In the evening, board your train to Delhi (approximately 5 hours). Depending on what time you arrive in Delhi, you may have the opportunity to welcome any new travellers joining you on the next stage of your adventure through India.

Accommodation - Hotel (1 night)

Optional Activities

  • Delhi - Humayun's Tomb - INR500
  • Delhi - Red Fort - INR500
  • Delhi - Gandhi's Delhi Urban Adventure - INR2700
  • Delhi - City Food Crawl Urban Adventure - INR3500

Meals Included - There are no meals included on this day.

Special Information

As this is a combination trip, the travellers in your group and your group leader are likely to change today.

Day 10: Delhi

Join your group leader on an excursion through Old Delhi. Ride the city’s metro system, and then hop in a rickshaw to the once water-filled square of Chandni Chowk. Discover the Jama Masjid, Delhi’s oldest mosque, before learning about the history of the Sikh religion at the Sheeshganj Gurudwara.

Accommodation - Hotel (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Delhi - Old Delhi walking & rickshaw tour
  • Delhi - Jama Masjid
  • Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)

Meals Included - There are no meals included on this day.

Day 11: Jaipur

Travel by private vehicle into Rajasthan and on to its capital, Jaipur (approximately 5 - 6 hours). A friendly, busy city crammed with palaces and bazaars full of jewellery, textiles and folk arts, Jaipur is a favourite for many travellers. Our suggestions are to stop by the Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds), then head over to Jaipur's Royal City Palace and explore its extravagant rooms and apartments. Later, discover one of the five astronomical observatories built by Maharaja Jai Singh, the founder of Jaipur.

Accommodation - Hotel (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Jaipur - Walking & market tour

Optional Activities

  • Jaipur - Bollywood Movie at Raj Mandir Cinema - INR400
  • Jaipur - Jantar Mantar Observatory - INR200
  • Jaipur - City Palace - INR600

Meals Included - There are no meals included on this day.

Day 12: Jaipur

Choose to take an early morning hot air balloon experience, often a highlight of visiting Jaipur. Ballooning can be done over Jaipur on the morning of day four between September and June. Mid afternoon visit the Amber Fort. Set on a hilltop overlooking Maota Lake, the fort is an authentic example of Rajput architecture and the Sheesh Mahal (Hall of Mirrors) is one of its more spectacular buildings.

Accommodation - Hotel (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Jaipur - Amber Fort

Optional Activities

  • Jaipur - Balloon Safari - USD260

Meals Included - There are no meals included on this day.

Day 13: Karauli

Leave the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur behind and drive to Karauli (approximately 5-6 hours). This delightful town was founded in 1348 and is packed with rural ambience and traditional temples. Take a guided walk around the Old Quarter, interacting with friendly locals and learning about rural Indian life off the tourist trail. Be sure to visit the eclectic market stalls along the way and sample some seasonal local sweets made from Indian ingredients, including petha (pumpkin), jaggery (organic sugar), peanut brittle and gazak (sesame seeds). Stay in a restored heritage property tonight where dinner is included.

Accommodation - Heritage Property (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Karauli - Village walk

Meals Included - Dinner

Special Information

Due to the popularity of this trip we have added extra departures: February 8th, 2019 and March 15th, 2019. Please note that these departures will not be visiting Karauli. Instead they will stay in the ancient walled town of Suroth and stay in the Suroth Mahal, a stunning 800 year old Rajput palace.

Day 14: Fatehpur Sikri - Agra

On the journey to Agra, stop en route at the one-time capital of the Mughal empire, Fatehpur Sikri (approximately 4 hours). Its stunning mosque displays both Persian and Hindu design and is secured by a 54-metre high entrance. Once in Agra, there’s the option of visiting the marble tomb that was saved for the greatest of the Mughal Emperors, Akbar's Mausoleum. The day then culminates in a visit to the Taj Mahal, built in the 1640s as a memorial to the wife of Emperor Shah Jahan.

Accommodation - Hotel (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Fatehpur Sikri - Guided tour
  • Agra - Taj Mahal

Optional Activities

  • Agra - Additional entries to Taj Mahal - INR1300

Meals Included - Breakfast

Day 15: Delhi

In the morning, take a guided tour along the banks of the Yamuna River to the iconic Agra Fort. Originally designed by Emperor Akbar in 1565 to be a military structure, it was converted into a palace during Emperor Shah Jahan's reign and later became his prison. Perhaps stop for lunch at Sheroes Hangout, a vegetarian & vegan cafe. This beautiful cafe is a one of kind social enterprise providing employment and opportunities for women who were the victims of acid attacks. In the early afternoon, take the 3-4 hour journey back to Delhi by private bus. Arrive back at the hotel with enough time to freshen up and decide where to enjoy one final dinner with the group.

Accommodation - Hotel (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Agra - Agra Fort

Meals Included - There are no meals included on this day.

Day 16: Delhi

There are no activities planned for the final day and you're able to depart the accommodation at any time. Check out time from the hotel is 12 noon. If you are departing later, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel. If you decide to stay an extra couple of days, there are plenty of activities in and around the city to enjoy.

Optional Activities

  • Delhi - Home-Cooked Experience Urban Adventure - INR4000
  • Delhi - Culture Vulture Urban Adventure - INR2500

Meals Included - There are no meals included on this day.

Price is based on 2 adults sharing and includes:

Meals

  • 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners

Transport

  • Plane, Private vehicle, 4x4 Safari Vehicle/Jeep, Overnight sleeper train, Train, Shuttle Bus, Cycle rickshaw, Auto rickshaw, Metro

Accommodation

  • Heritage Property (1 night), Jungle Lodge (2 nights), Hotel (12 nights)

Included activities

  • Kathmandu - Swayambhunath Temple
  • Kathmandu - Bodhnath Stupa
  • Kathmandu - Pashupatinath Temple
  • Bardia National Park - Evening Safari
  • Lucknow - Orientation Walk
  • Lucknow - Bada Imambara
  • Rishikesh - City walk
  • Rishikesh - Ganga Aarti Ceremonry
  • Rishikesh - Chaurasi Kutia 'The Beatles Ashram'
  • Delhi - Old Delhi walking & rickshaw tour
  • Delhi - Jama Masjid
  • Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)
  • Jaipur - Walking & market tour
  • Jaipur - Amber Fort
  • Karauli - Village walk
  • Fatehpur Sikri - Guided tour
  • Agra - Taj Mahal
  • Agra - Agra Fort

Please ask us about adding great value:

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
Subject to availability. Terms & conditions apply. 

For more information please call us on 021 427 7094 or 0818 300 204, email info@shandontravel.ie, request a call back using the red button or submit an enquiry through the form below.

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