Combine the best of India and Nepal in one comfortable trip. Enjoy an in-depth exploration of the history of this region and experience the rich local culture.
Oct. to Mar.
We have just returned from an amazing trip to Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Our travel adviser Albee Ning prepared a wonderful itinerary taking us to great locations with creative activities highlighting local culture.
We traveled with Asia Highlights (Lissie was our agent) several years ago when we went to Saigon, and the experience was so positive, we automatically went to Asia Highlights again for an extensive trip to Southeast Asia.
Upon your arrival, greet your personal guide in the airport and jump into a comfortable private car to drive to the hotel for check-in. You will have the rest of the day to adjust to jet lag or take a leisurely stroll.
Start the first day of your tour with a delicious breakfast and head to Jama Masjid, an ancient mosque and an impressive monument with two minarets and white Islamic domes. On Fridays and festivals, special ceremonies are conducted in this religious site. You will feel the religious solemnity of this place when people gather silently to pray. On exiting the mosque, jump into a rickshaw, and head to Chandni Chowk market to experience the busy streets. it is a pleasure to witness the diverse local people and their interesting lifestyles.
Keep learning more about this ancient culture by visiting the tall brick minaret, Qutub Minar, and the World Heritage Site, the Mughal masterpiece, Humayun's Tomb. Admire its magnificent architecture, imagine what life would have been like during its ancient past, and return to the hotel for a good rest.
Bid farewell to Delhi in the morning and take a flight to Varanasi, India's famous historic city and holy center. Varanasi lies on the banks of the Ganges River and has more than 1,500 temples and shrines. Countless devotees and ascetics come to bathe in the river or wait to be cremated in this holy place to purify their souls. Sit on a boat floating on the river, quietly listen to various stories by Hindu pilgrims, and wash away sin and sickness with the waters of the holy Ganges. Step into a temple to join the Ganga Aarti Ceremony. Witness the use of the sacred fire, conch, and flowers to honor the Ganges. You will be deeply touched.
Start early with a boat ride on the Ganges River. When the sun rises, you will see its light shine on the temples on both sides of the river. It is a totally refreshing feeling, different from the previous day's boat trip.
Take a small local van tour to see the old city sights after the boating experience. You will see narrow lanes packed with shops and endless temples. Soak up the local culture and history for a while. Watch the devout take ritual baths in the Ganges. After touring this sacred city, fly to Jaipur.
After a flavorful breakfast in the hotel, head to Hawa Mahal and get your first glimpse of the Pink City by visiting this iconic landmark of Jaipur. It is also called the “Palace of the Winds” because it has so many windows that the wind could blow in from anywhere. You can even look out through the little window at the bustling market, just as the royal ladies did in old times. To continue your tour of Jaipur, visit Amer Fort. Since this ancient fort located on top of a small hill looks like amber from a distance, it is also called Amber Fort. Appreciate its elegant architectural features and admire the artistic talent of India.
Enjoy a lunch full of India dishes and then step into City Palace, where the nobility used to live. The clothes, carpets, weapons, and works of art left by the lords and nobles are displayed in the museum. Witness the luxurious lifestyle and long history of the royalty in India. Next, have a look at Jantar Mantar just next to City Palace. Learn how these structures were used to track the stars and you will marvel at the amazing wisdom of the ancient Indians.
Say goodbye to this fantastic city in the morning and set off for Agra by private car. Upon arrival, take some time to relax and enjoy the local food for lunch after 5 hours of driving.
Start your Agra trip by paying a visit to Itmad-ud-Daulah's Tomb. It is called the Little Taj Mahal because of its similar architectural style. Take a walk along the Yamuna River, and you will reach Mehtab Bagh, where you can get excellent views of the Taj Mahal. Savor the beauty of sunset and then drive back to the hotel for a good rest.
The big highlight of your Agra tour will be the Taj Mahal, which is the pride of India for being one of the seven wonders of the modern world. About this beautiful example of Mughal architecture, the famous poet Tagore said: the Taj Mahal is a teardrop on the cheek of eternity. This white marble structure also tells a touching love story. Slow down your pace and enjoy all the details.
Agra is also home to the finest forts in India. Pass through the dark red sandstone walls of Agra Fort and explore the exquisite stone carvings and mosaics on the walls. You will feel like you are surrounded by history itself.
Later in the afternoon, your driver and guide will escort you back to Delhi to get ready for your next destination.
Take a flight from Delhi to Kathmandu. On arrival, meet your guide and the driver in the airport.
Be amazed by your first glimpse of Kathmandu Durbar Square. Forests of historic buildings, exquisite sculptures, mysterious temples, crowded streets, and busy markets — it is a mix of culture and history. Enter and climb up Swayambhunath Stupa. It is said that the Buddha visited this place, which is why it is considered a holy site. Every year, on the birthday of the Buddha, large crowds gather here to offer worship. Listen to the details mentioned by your guide and look carefully at each Buddha statue. Finally, take in the panoramic city views before heading back to the hotel.
Meet your guide in the lobby in the morning and continue your exploration of Nepal. Stop at Pashupatinath Temple, the most famous and important Hindu temple in country. Stand on the bridge or sit on the riverside to watch the holy cremation ceremony. For a moment, you will feel that everything is small compared to the vastness of life.
Walk out of the Hindu cremation temple and step into the Tibetan Boudhanath Stupa, which is the center of Tibetan culture in Kathmandu and is rich in Buddhist symbolism. Observe monks praying and join them to wish good fortune for all.
Drive to Bhaktapur city after lunch and pay a visit to the expansive Durbar Square. It is a good choice to avoid big crowds, see countless temples, and understand the rich life of the local people.
You will get a closer look at another Dubar Square this morning. It is located in Patan. Although it is the smallest one, the Patan Durbar Square is denser and features superb architecture — so much so that it has been compared to an open-air museum. Stroll around and explore this ancient culture freely.
Continue your temple adventure by entering the ancient Changu Narayan Temple. Your guide will show you the meaning of the metal handmade decorations and stone and wood carvings. Head to Nagarkot and for an overnight stay.
The highlight of this morning is to enjoy the sunrise with Mount Everest. It is amazing and joyous to see rolling mountains with white snow as far as one's eyes can reach.
Your adventure exploring Nepal will come to an end here. Leave with unforgettable memories and take off on a flight to Delhi.
Price from: $2,483 (Tour code: gh-ah-in-85)
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