Highway to Himalayas - 18 Days

FROM USD $3,949

Combining an intoxicating mix of culture, incredible wildlife, exceptional sights and unsurpassed scenery. A road less travelled, the Highway to Himalayas is our definitive group tour of the North of India and Nepal.

Day 1: Delhi
Saturday. Upon arrival into Delhi, you'll be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel. The remainder of the day is free for you to relax or independently explore this bustling capital. Overnight - Delhi
Day 2: Old Delhi
This morning, our welcome meeting takes place. An orientation tour of India’s capital includes bustling Old Delhi and more streamlined New Delhi. Highlights of our tour include India Gate, Jama Masjid - India's oldest and largest mosque, Qutab Minar and Raj Ghat - site of Mahatma Gandhi’s cremation. Tonight, we enjoy a Namaste Dinner at an Indian restaurant. Overnight - Delhi (B, D)
Highway to Himalayas - 18 Days Go Guide : :Check out the go guide for details of the tour, info on visas, climate, money, what to bring and more!
Days 3 - 4: Jaipur
Delhi - Jaipur. On day 3 we travel by road to Jaipur also known as the Pink City. We enjoy a tour of the City Palace and Jantar Mantar - an old, yet cleverly designed space observatory. On Day 4, early-risers can opt for a morning hot air balloon ride over Jaipur, and sail over hilltop forts, regal palaces, sleepy villages, and stone carved temples. After we enjoy a stately elephant ride and visit the stunning 16th century Amber Fort. After we stop at a cotton weaving house to see a demonstration of fabric dyeing and block printing before returning to Jaipur, evening at leisure. Tonight, if you would like to head out, keep your eyes peeled for colourful papier mache puppets and traditional jootis - the Rajasthani shoe of choice.

We’ll also visit a cotton trading/tailor shop which specialises in tablecloths and other articles block-printed with traditional Rajasthani designs and a very capable tailoring service where bolts of European-style fabric can be crafted into shirts and other garments meeting your specification. Prices are excellent and your new garb will be delivered to your hotel before we leave Overnight - Jaipur (B:2)
A lady sits by a magnificent view on a balcony at the City Palace in Jaipur
Jaipur - Bharatpur via Abhaneri. Departing Jaipur we stop in the village of Abhaneri to see Chand Baori, which is the largest and deepest step well in the world. This incredible well has a staggering 3500 steps and is 13 stories deep. Next, we discover local life, traditions and visit the village school (if open) where we operate our ‘Change for Children’ programme. After hotel check in at Bharatpur and time to freshen up we visit Keoladeo Ghana National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where we’ll enjoy a leisurely bicycle rickshaw ride through the park. Overnight - Bharatpur (B, D)
An icon that truly needs no introduction - the magnificent Taj Mahal
Bharatpur - Agra. En route to Agra, we explore Fatehpur Sikri, former imperial capital of the great Mughal emperor Akbar. Built between 1569 and 1585, it has been deserted for more than four centuries, by all accounts abandoned in 1600 due to a meagre supply of water. In Agra, we visit the impressive Agra Fort before touring the legendary Taj Mahal and witnessing a glorious golden sunset. Built by Emperor Shah Jahan in loving memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz, who tragically died in childbirth in 1631, the Taj Mahal in Agra is described as the most extravagant monument ever built for love and remains one of India’s most enduring symbols. Overnight - Agra (B)
Day 7: Orchha
Agra - Orchha. Striking south, we journey by express train to Jhansi and onwards by road to Orchha. Situated on the banks of the River Betwa, Orchha is dotted with temples and palaces built by Bundela rulers, which we’ll explore. Overnight - Orchha (B)
Some intricate temples at Khajuraho in North India
Orchha - Khajuraho. Travelling south-east we arrive in Khajuraho which is renowned for its magnificent Hindu and Jain temples which were built during the Chandela dynasty from 950-1050 AD. The intricate stone carved temples are famous for their erotic sculptures, although why they were built still remains a mystery. In fact the Chandelas appear to have forgotten about the temples soon after they were completed and it wasn't until they were rediscovered by the British that these exquisite masterpieces were fully appreciated in India. Overnight - Khajuraho (B)
Khajuraho - Varanasi. Early this morning we offer a jeep safari in Panna NP, please see our wildlife safari Panna NP bolt on for details. This afternoon we bid farewell to Khajuraho and fly east to Varanasi. Perhaps the holiest city in India, Varanasi, also known as Benares or the city of Shiva, is also one of the oldest cities on earth. Sitting on the banks of the holy River Ganges, Varanasi has been a centre of learning for more than 2000 years and it's an important Hindu pilgrimage site. Overnight - Varanasi (B)
This morning, we enjoy a sunrise boat ride on the holy Ganges river where we’ll view the ancient religious tradition of ritual cleansing that takes place on the many riverbank ghats (riverside steps). Later, we embark on a tour of the city. At sunset consider re-visiting the ghats for the evening pilgrimage, which is different to the dawn ritual. Overnight - Varanasi (B)
A Nepalese Sadhu (Holy man)
Day 11: Lumbini - birthplace of Buddha
Varanasi - Lumbini. Bright and early we drive north and cross the border into neighbouring Nepal. Our destination is Lumbini, where we can visit the birthplace of Lord Buddha in 623BC. The Lumbini Garden is famous for the Ashokan Pillar, which offers epigraphic evidence of Lord Buddha’s birth. Overnight - Lumbini (B)
Days 12 - 13: Chitwan N. P.
Lumbini - Royal Chitwan NP. Leaving Lumbini, we drive to Royal Chitwan National Park. Widely acknowledged as one of the finest national parks in Asia, Chitwan supports a population of a variety of species including Indian one horned rhino, bison, sloth bear, wild boar, deer, leopard and of course the magnificent, if elusive, Bengal tiger. On day 13 we enjoy morning and evening game drives. Overnight - Chitwan N. P. (B:2, L:2, D:2)
Days 14 - 15: Pokhara
Chitwan NP - Pokhara. Today we drive to Pokhara. Perhaps the most stunning of Pokhara’s sights is the spectacular backdrop of the Annapurna range and the striking fish-tailed summit of Mount Machhapuchhre (6977m) spectacularly rising behind Lake Phewa. We enjoy a sightseeing tour on day 15 and an evening sail boat trip. The rest of our time in Pokhara is free - hike, bike, shop or relax - the choice is yours! Overnight - Pokhara (B:2)
Temples and buildings of Durbar Square in Kathmandu
Days 16 - 17: Kathmandu
Pokhara - Kathmandu. Driving north we arrive in Kathmandu, Nepal's capital. Kathmandu is Nepal’s biggest and most cosmopolitan city, the meeting place of a dozen ethnic groups and once one of the most important points on the caravan routes between Tibet and India. Our sightseeing will include an overview of the city taking in Pashupatinath Temple which stands on the banks of the River Bhaginiti, Swayambhunath Pagoda and colossal Bodhnath. We’ll also explore Durbar square in the heart of Kathmandu, which is home to more than 50 stunning temples and shrines.

After our tour there's free time to relax, explore and shop on your own. For a unique experience, opt to take a Himalayan scenic flight to see Mt Everest. The hour long flight (offered by a number of local companies) offers views of a seeming endless chain of snow capped peaks, as you fly above the clouds, over glaciers and lakes, rivers, gorges and see the world’s highest and most enigmatic mountain - Mt Everest. Overnight - Kathmandu (B:2)
Day 18: Kathmandu
Tuesday. Our holiday concludes after breakfast today, with a departure transfer to Kathmandu Airport. (B)

Discover Golden Amritsar

Discover beautiful Amritsar on our 3 day/ 2 night Golden Amritsar bolt-on. Home to the world famous Golden Temple and the seat of the Sikh religion. Built in 1803 and made of marble, copper and pure leaf gold, the temple is an amazing architectural feat. During your stay, we watch the sunset spectacle at the Wagah Border - the only road crossing between India and Pakistan where the fascinating changing of the guards and ceremonial lowering of the flags take place with great pomp to a cheering crowd of thousands.

Holi - Festival of Colour

Join the festivities of Holi on a special tour in India

Combine your with the exuberant festivities of Holi - India’s most dazzling and colourful celebration of local culture through its people, with folk dancers, melodious music, and exciting traditional competitions.

 

 

If travelling on our Highway to the Himalayas tour departing Monday 02 March 2015 and ending Thursday 19 March 2015, we will be taking part in Holi - the festival of colour celebrations in the rural village of Bharatpur. A small supplement has been added to our tour price for this departure. For more information on the events and our touring itinerary please see the Go Guide.

 

 

Tour Details
  • Starts in: Delhi / Ends in: Kathmandu
  • Departs: Every second Saturday - September through to April
  • No local payment required
  • Breakfast:17, Lunch: 2, Dinner: 4
  • Hotel Rating: 3 - 4 star & heritage hotels
  • Tour Guide: Yes (for groups of 6 or more)
The On The Go Theatre
See a bit of Incredible India on film! Highlights of our India group tours