Highlights of India & Nepal


India sparkles with life, evidenced by its bustling bazaars and ancient ruins. Complementing this is the mystical mountain nation of Nepal, nestled in the Himalaya.

Places Visited

New Zealand - Delhi (2N) - Jaipur (2N) - Jodhpur (2N) - Udaipur (2N) - Bundi (1N) - Ranthambore (2N) - Agra (1N) - Khajuraho (1N) - Varanasi (2N) - Delhi (1N) -Kathmandu (3N) - Dhulikhel (1N) - Kathmandu (1N) - New Zealand

Day 1-2: New Zealand to Delhi
Fly to Delhi for a two night stay. Depending on airlines schedules, you may depart and/or arrive on Day 2
Day 1-2: New Zealand to Delhi
Day 3: Delhi
Delhi is split into two areas; Old Delhi and New Delhi. Explore Old Delhi; drive past the Red Fort, walk through Chandni Chowk Bazaar to Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque. Discover New Delhi, visiting the Lakshmi Narayan Hindu Temple. After lunch, view India Gate before visiting Gandhi Smriti and Qutub Minar, the 12thcentury, hand-carved, 73 metre tall iron pillar.
Day 3: Delhi
Day 4 : Delhi to Jaipur
Drive to Jaipur. On arrival, visit the Maharaja’s City Palace, still home of the city’s royal family today, and Jantar Mantar Observatory, a fascinating collection of wonderful instruments designed to measure the heavens.
Day 4 : Delhi to Jaipur
Day 5: Jaipur
Start with a photo stop this morning at Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds) before visiting the majestic Amber Fort, a colossal 16thcentury yellow and pink sandstone fort. Later this afternoon, visit a craft centre to learn about traditional artistries such as block printing and carpet weaving before browsing the local bazaar at Choti Choper.
Day 5: Jaipur
Day 6: Jaipur to Jodhpur
Drive to Jodhpur. Have the afternoon at leisure before taking a walking tour to explore the local vegetable and spice market in the evening.
Day 6: Jaipur to Jodhpur
Day 7: Jodhpur
This morning visit Mehrangarh Fort, Jaswant Thada and the museum located in the Umaid Bhawan Palace. Take an auto rickshaw to a local restaurant for lunch before enjoying the afternoon at leisure.
Day 7: Jodhpur
Day 8: Jodhpur to Udaipur
Drive to Udaipur, stopping en route at Chittor Fort. One of the largest forts in India, Chittor sprawls across a hilltop overlooking the town of Chittorgarh. Continue to Udaipur, a city of lakes, palaces and temples. Relax on a cruise along Lake Pichola, admiring the city’s palaces from the water.
Day 8: Jodhpur to Udaipur
Day 9: Udaipur
Today, explore the city, starting with a drive around Fateh Sagar Lake. Stop at the Folk Museum, Mewar Art Gallery and Sahelion Ki Bari Gardens. Later, visit the magnificent City Palace, which is still home to Maharana Udai Singh’s descendants who remain rulers of this independent state.
Day 9: Udaipur
Days 10: Udaipur - Bundi
Drive to Bundi and take a stroll through the town, discovering the unique stepwells.
Days 10: Udaipur - Bundi
Day 11-12: Ranthambore National Park
Today, travel to Ranthambore National Park. On arrival, enjoy an afternoon at leisure. The following day you will enjoy morning and afternoon canter (jeep-like vehicle) safaris for the chance to spot the local wildlife.
Day 11-12: Ranthambore National Park
Day 13: Ranthambore - Agra
Depart for Agra and visit Agra Fort, a hulking mass of red sandstone sat on the banks of the Yamuna River. The Fort was established in the 16th-century but has been much added to over time, making it an eclectic mix of architectural styles.
Day 13: Ranthambore - Agra
Day 14: Agra to Khajuraho
Rise early to see the sun rise over India’s most iconic sight. At dawn, when the crowds are at their thinnest, the Taj Mahal is swathed in mist and tinged pink by the rising sun – a magical experience. Later, take a train to Jhansi station stopping in Orchha en route. Travel onwards to Khajuraho.
Day 14: Agra to Khajuraho
Day 15: Khajuraho to Varanasi
Today, tour the Eastern and Western groups of Khajuraho’s impressive temples. This afternoon fly to Varanasi and take a rickshaw to the ghats of the River Ganges to witness the Puja ceremony of Ganga Aarti.
Day 15: Khajuraho to Varanasi
Day 16: Varanasi
You will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Kathmandu, Nepal. The remainder of the day is free for you to acclimatise to the higher altitude. The small Kingdom of Nepal sits atop the Himalayas between India, Tibet and China. It is renowned for its incredible natural landscapes and is home to 10 of the world’s 14 tallest mountains.
Day 16: Varanasi
Day 17: Varanasi to Delhi
Fly to Delhi where the rest of the day will be at leisure.
Day 17: Varanasi to Delhi
Day 18: Delhi to Kathmandu
Fly to Kathmandu. Upon arrival transfer to your hotel to settle in – the rest of the day is free to help you acclimatise to the higher altitude.
Day 18: Delhi to Kathmandu
Day 19: Kathmandu to Patan
Visit Dakshinkali Temple before continuing to Patan. Explore the 14th Century UNESCO World Heritage Royal Palace and Patans Durbar Square.
Day 19: Kathmandu to Patan
Day 20: Kathmandu
Sightseeing includes a visit to Kathmandus Durbar Square and Kumari Temple. Youll also visit the Monkey Temple of Swayambhunath and Bodnath Stupa, which is the largest in Nepal. Enjoy a stroll through Thamel Market. We will also visit the Pashupatinath Temple, a Hindu Temple of Lord Shiva.
Day 20:  Kathmandu
Day 21: Kathmandu to Dhulikhel
Travel to Dhulikhel stopping at Changu Narayan Temple en route. In Dhulikhel, explore the Newari Houses and visit local markets.
Day 21: Kathmandu to Dhulikhel
Day 22: Dhulikhel - Kathmandu
Travel to the 9th Century town of Bhaktapur to visit the Golden Gate at the Palace of 55 Windows before returning to Kathmandu to watch a traditional Nepalese dancing show.
Day 22: Dhulikhel - Kathmandu
Day 23: Depart Kathmandu
Today any time before your flight will be at leisure. You will then be transferred to the airport according to the departure time of your flight to New Zealand, arriving home the same or following day.
Day 23:  Depart Kathmandu

Also Available

Tailor Your Tour

If you like most of the itinerary which we have suggested but you'd like to change the route and the accommodation, speak to our specialist Tailormade team, who can build your perfect itinerary based around where you would like to go, what you would like to see and how much you'd like to spend. Just call us on 0800 936 3998 and we'll help plan your dream holiday.

Tour prices are per person, twin share departing Auckland. Regional departures available on request. Additional charges: Tipping is payable on arrival in destination (see Additional Price Information below).

Additional Price Information:


Single Hotel Room Option from $1,620
Land Only (Delhi to Kathmandu), 21 days from $7,080 per person twin share
Additional charges: Tipping - US$130 per person (subject to change) payable on arrival.
08 Mar 19, 21 Feb & 06 Mar 20 departures coincides with Holi Festival celbrations and sightseeing may be affected.
Tour availability is updated each Monday. While every effort is made to ensure availability status is current, it is advisable to contact our reservations department on 0800 936 3998. Limited seats denotes 4 seats or less available.

A visa is required by all nationalities. A single entry visa should be arranged in advance of travel.
Unlike many other tour operators, we include your entry visas in the price of our tour. We handle the entire visa process – all you need to do is fill out the form and send your passport to us. We are always on hand to help you with any questions or queries you might have when completing the form. 

Phone Calls
International and domestic calls can be made from your hotel room. It’s a good idea to check call costs with hotel staff or your local guide before making calls, as this can be expensive. A service charge may also be involved. To call New Zealand – the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 64, then the local area code (omitting the first 0), then the number.
 
Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are quite popular in India and you will find high quality coverage. India has active roaming agreements with most of the service providers. Please make sure you are aware of associated costs and have activated your international roaming prior to departure.
 
Internet & Email
Internet cafes can be found in all major cities and even in some small towns. This is often the easiest and cheapest way to stay in touch. Most hotels have a business centre with internet access, but at a slightly higher rate. Some hotels may have wifi which usually comes at an additional cost and may only be available in hotel lobbies. 

Tipping is an expected element in the tourism industry today and India is no exception. Many passengers are often uncertain of how much to tip so we have established a tipping system whereby every passenger gives a set amount to the National Escort who will distribute the amount appropriately. On multi-country tips, this amount will be paid in stages on arrival in each country. If there is no National Escort, you will need to give your money to your Local Guides and tipping amounts for each city will be shown in your final itinerary. The amount for the kitty is calculated for each tour depending on the length, group size, and services used during the trip.
 
We will indicate the tipping amounts in your final documents for guidance.

Shopping can be fun and entertaining, especially in local markets all over India where souvenirs can be purchased for next to nothing. However all passengers must realise that the authenticity and value of goods is always questionable.
If the price seems too good to be true, then it probably is! Some shopping is made up of copied brand items and reproduced antiques.
 
In keeping with most people’s interest whilst on holiday, your tour will include a reasonable number of opportunities in local shops and government factories. This may vary depending on local conditions, and should never interfere with your itinerary’s included sightseeing.
 
Each region has its own specialty; a traditional handicraft perfected by the locals over centuries, a climate that encourages rich spices to grow, or a type of wood, stone or precious jewel in abundance nearby. Textiles are a popular souvenir, including silk brocades from Varanasi in the north or Kanchipuram in the south, tie-dyed cottons from all over Rajasthan, saris, hand woven Tibetan carpets from Darjeeling or Dharamshala, or the woollen shawls pashminas of Kashmir and Ladakh.
 
There is also the heavy and elaborate silverwork of Rajasthan, “spring picked” tea from the hill stations, and the spices, wooden carvings or facemasks of Kerala.
 
If you prefer set prices, head to the government-run shops, usually called “cottage industries” or “emporium” which sells quality but reasonably priced goods. The more up market tourist shops will also have fixed prices. Markets, street stalls, and local shops can be noisy, crowded, and confronting, but this remains one of the most rewarding experiences of travelling in India. If your itinerary includes some free time and you would like to go shopping, ask either your National Escort/Guide or the hotel staff for advice on how to best get there. They should be able to tell you if you need a taxi or a rickshaw, how much you should pay for the journey and provide you verbal or written directions to give to the driver. Remember to take a hotel business card with you to find your way back!

The cost of all meals is included in your group tour cost. Breakfast is served in the hotel and includes a combination of western and local dishes. As traditional in this region, lunch and dinner are served in a banquet style, so you can try the variety of specialty dishes. The amount of food served is more than ample for the whole group.
 
We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people so dishes are not too spicy or unusual in their taste. One of the great myths about India is that the food is of poor quality and always hot and spicy. This is definitely not the case! In fact, North Indian dishes whilst often very rich and indeed spicy don’t contain as much chilli as South Indian dishes. Indian cuisine is predominately vegetarian; however more meat (chicken and lamb) dishes are available in the North. On our group tours, we use a variety of local and hotel restaurants, which provide variety in both the dishes and methods of cooking. If you like Indian food from home, you will have no problems with the real Indian food as it is similar, only more flavoursome. You’ll love it; though don’t expect to lose weight on your holiday, Indians love to eat and eat big. In tourist centres, some restaurants and hotels may also serve western dishes to provide variety. You may also prefer to bring comforts like cereal, biscuits, muesli bars and tea/coffee from home.
 
Drinks will be at each tour member’s own expense. Beer is widely available and cheap. Wine lovers should remember that western style wine is very expensive to import into India, so is not stocked except by upmarket restaurants. Bottled drinking water, soft drinks, and fruit juices are also widely available – remember that you should only have ice, fruit juices, or lassies (yoghurt based sweet or salty drinks) from a trusted restaurant; where they will use boiled or bottled water to prepare ice and drinks.
 
Tea is very popular and Indians simply love visiting the many street stalls which brew chai (also known as masala), a sweet, spiced tea brewed with boiling milk. Hotels will usually serve tea and instant coffee at breakfast or other meals – you can usually request the chai or masala style tea as well.
Packed meals: On some days, your National Escort/Guide may arrange for a simple, packed meal for your group. It may be a matter of schedule (on long driving days), hygiene (on train journeys), or your location (in remote areas) and we ask you to bear this in mind. Although this is not a full meal, most of our passengers seem to enjoy this change from the large portions and more elaborate banquets enjoyed most days.


Why Book This Tour?

This tour is suitable for those with a reasonable amount of time who wish to see the main sights and scenic areas of India and Nepal. This tour incorporates road and train travel to give you the experience of different modes of transport in India and the chance to see the diverse Indian countryside.

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