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Namaste! Welcome to New Delhi, the capital city of India and the start of your eye-opening epic adventure! Our friendly team will be waiting in the arrivals hall to transfer you to your hotel where you can relax for the rest of the day. Tonight or tomorrow why not opt for our dinner of dreams experience in Delhi quite an interesting start to the holiday.
Today we will enjoy sightseeing of Delhi both new and old with visits to the battlemented Red Fort - built by Shah Jahan in the 16th century, Jama Masjid - India’s oldest and largest mosque, Raj Ghat - a marble memorial marking the spot where the great leader- Mahatma Gandhi was cremated after his assassination. We also visit Humayun’s Tomb and India's largest mosque, Qutab Minar and conclude the day with wandering around Chandi Chowk Bazaar and tasting some of the street foods, affording you a fascinating insight into local life.
Departing Delhi early, we journey 3.5 hrs to Agra by train, a must do experience for any visitor, trains are very social affairs, you will find the locals busting to talk with you so sit back and enjoy the journey. Arriving here, meet our guide who will take you to visit the Agra fort, which boasts some of India’s finest Mughal buildings behind it’s fortified walls. During its history it has been a palace, a fort and a prison! After, we head over to explore the magnificent Taj Mahal before catching the train back to Delhi.
This morning we explore the fantastically well preserved former Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri. This magnificent fortified city was the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1571 until 1585, when it was abandoned dramatically due to a lack of water. Explore the various temples, places of worships, pavilions, public areas and examples of everyday living. We then enjoy lunch and a wander around the small town of Bharatphur, giving you a nice little insight into rural Indian life. Upon conclusion, we drive back to Delhi.
This morning we set off to the airport for your flight to your first HImalayan destination; The Kingdom of Bhutan! Welcome to the Kingdom of Bhutan. Airport arrival transfer from Paro airport to Thimphu, the modern capital town of Bhutan. Driving through the Paro valley, en route to Thimphu gaze out upon silvery Pa Chu (Paro River) meandering its way through the thick forested ravine, the Paro Dzong (fortress) and Ta Dzong (watch tower).
Today’s full day of sightseeing in Thimphu valley includes the National Library which has a vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts, manuscripts, modern academic books. We continue onto the Traditional Medicine Institute is where the rich herbal medicines abundant in Kingdom are prepared here. Lastly, we explore the incredible Trashichhodzong, the beautiful fortress/monastery which houses Secretariate building, King’s Throne room and other government’s offices, is also the summer residence of Chief Abbot.
This morning drive to Punakha, an old winter capital of Bhutan. En-route stop at the lofty Dochu La Pass, 10,000ft/3,048m to view the rugged eastern Himalayas, including Bhutan's highest mountain, Gangkar Punsum, 24,770ft/7,550m. The road then drops down through varied–ever changing forest, finally emerging into the highly cultivated Punakha valley. This afternoon visit the impressive Punakha Dzong "Palace of Great Happiness," which was in 1637 and is located on the confluence of two rivers (Phochu and Mochu). Later hike to the Chimi lhakhang – the temple of Divine Madman which was built by lama Drukpa Kunley in 1499.
Punakha & Wangdue are two separate districts in the same valley, just 20kms apart. Located at a lower elevation, the valley has mild winters, allowing cactuses, oranges, bananas and sub-tropical plants to flourish. Punakha was once the winter capital of Bhutan, the tradition that is still held by the Central Monks and Jekhenpo, who reside here in Punakha Dzong during the winters and return to Thimphu, which is their summer capital. In Wangdue, there is a small town on the ridge and large Wangdue Phodrang Dzong. Enjoy an excursion to Wangdue today and explore the town.
Travel back to Paro today via the scenic Doch La Pass, where on a clear day you can enjoy spectacular views of the towering Bhutan Himalaya peaks. Enjoy a sightseeing tour of the Paro Valley. Visit Kichu Lhakang - one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, built in the 7th century, Dungtse Lhakang, an incredible 3-storey Chorten-style building which was constructed in 1433 and the impressive and iconic Paro Rinpung Dzong.
Today we enjoy an excursion to Taktshang Pelphung monastery or Tiger's Nest as it often referred to. Take a scenic hike to view this spectacular and unmissable sight! The monastery is only accessible on foot or you can ride a pony part of the way (this must be arranged). At any point on this walk, you can always return if you find it too difficult. Once inside the monastery, there are several shrines or temples to see with few monks in residence. After exploring the monastery walk back to the cafeteria for lunch, before retracing your steps back to the road to journey back to Paro.
This morning we set off to Kathmandu Airport in time for your flight to Kathmandu. Arriving here, you will see out trusty Nepalese team waiting to bring you to your hotel.
Today you will process your Tibet Visas easily done. Enjoy guided sightseeing tour of the Kathmandu Valley. Admire the view from Swayambhunath Stupa, the most ancient of the Valley’s holy shrines. Visit the large and beautiful Buddhist stupa of Bodhnath, adorned with thousands of candles made with butter. Then explore magical Durbar Square - a complex of royal palaces and temples, and the social, religious and urban focal point of the city. Conclude the day with a visit to the Pashputinath Temple complex which is one of the most significant Hindu temples in the world.
This morning you are off to the airport for flight to roof top of world and the country of Tibet. Arrive at Lhasa Gongkar Airport where you will be receive a warm Tibetan welcome by our representative at the airport. We then take a scenic journey through some of the most incredible vistas on earth to the town of Tsedang.
This morning we explore Yumbulagang is considered to the first building or palace in Tibet. It is a medieval-European-castle-like structure. It was built in the 7th century and has three buildings with different style (Tibetan Hans and India). After, we explore Trandruk monastery, which is one of the earliest Buddhist monasteries in Tibet which attracts many pilgrims and visitors. After we drive back to Lhasa.
Today enjoy a guided tour of the autonomous region's capital. Sightseeing includes a visit to the beautiful Potala Palace - the dominant landmark of Lhasa, towering 117 meters above the city below. Sightseeing also includes the Sera Monastery and Norbulinka monastery - the Dalai Lama's summer palace which was completed in 1783 under the Eighth Dalai Lama. We conclude our day with exploring the amazing Barkor Markets affording you a great insight into the locals shopping and eating.
Another full day of sightseeing in the fabled city of Lhasa, visiting the 15th century Drepung Monastery, formerly one of the largest monasteries in Tibet, once housing 10,000 monks and bustling Barkhor Street. The highlight of the day is a visit to Jokhang Temple, the most sacred and important temple in Tibet and also the most captivating. There is an electric atmosphere as crowds of pilgrims travel around the chapels, praying and prostrating themselves.
Today drive to the elevated view point of Kampa La, to soak up the incredible views of the spectacular scorpion shaped Yamdrok Lake. Yamdrok is one of Tibet's three sacred lakes and according to local mythology, it is the transformation of a goddess. At over 72kms in length, with electric blue water and surrounded by snow capped mountains, it's an incredible sight to behold. Returning to the city in the afternoon, spend some time exploring at your leisure.
After breakfast transfer to Gongkar Airport in Lhasa for your flight to Katmandu. Arriving here, you will connect onto a domestic flight to Pokhara.
An early start as you are driven to Sarangkot enjoying the views of the landscapes and mountains and observing local people, villages and farms. After breakfast visit the thundering waterfall known as Devi’s falls where the Pardi River, which drains Phewa Lake, enters a grottoed channel and sinks underground in a sudden rush of foam and fury. We then visit Tashi Ling Tibetan Village and Tibetan refugee camp, and a local school and monastery, and have the chance to pick up some souvenirs from small stalls and a carpet-weaving hall, before returning to our hotel.
Today we drive to Chitwan, which is hailed as one of Asia’s finest game parks and contains many animals including elephants and rhinos, sloth bears and striped hyenas. The remains of today is spent enjoying included game viewing activities at the hotel.
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. This morning and evening we enjoy elephant back safari on the hunt to sight some of the many species of wildlife in the park.
This morning we hit the road and drive back to Kathmandu. Here, if there is time the driver will take you for lunch/dinner then take you onto the airport for your flight home.
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