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Welcome to the start of your voyage of discovery through 'Incredible Nepal & India'! You will be met at Kathmandu International Airport by our friendly local team and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure to explore or relax as you like.
Today we enjoy guided sightseeing tour of the Kathmandu Valley. Admire the view from Swayambhunath Stupa, the most ancient of the Valley’s holy shrines. After, we 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.
This morning there is the option to take a stunning scenic flight over the Himalayan mountains and enjoy spectacular views of Everest - the world's highest mountain (book and pay locally). After breakfast we take a short drive to Kirtipur, also known as the City of Glory. The well-preserved old town contrasts developed Kathmandu with its unpaved narrow lanes. Admire the amazing views of the Kathmandu Valley from the top point of Kirtipur. We continue to the historic town of Patan, sometimes referred to as Lalitpur, meaning City of Beauty, and admire the rich collection of temples and monasteries in the area.
This morning we drive through the Himalayan foothills to Chitwan National Park arriving in the afternoon. Chitwan is hailed as one of Asia’s finest game parks and contains many animals including elephants and rhinos, sloth bears and striped hyenas. This afternoon is at your leisure to take a nature walk, a jungle drive, ride on an elephant or journey in a dugout canoe and admire the scenery - if you are lucky you may even see an elusive tiger! Overnight at the Tiger Land Resort.
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 jeep safari's (minimum 4 passengers) on the hunt to sight some of the many species of wildlife in the park. Overnight at the Tiger Land Resort.
This morning enjoy another jeep safari in Chitwan National Park. This afternoon we continue our journey to the plains of India and the town of Lumbini which is the birthplace of Lord Buddha.
This morning we 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. After, we have a long drive to the holy city of Varanasi.
This morning we rise early for a boat ride on the river to see the worship that takes place by the thousands of pilgrims who venture to the city daily. After breakfast our tour today includes a visit to Banaras Hindu University and religious sites, with a visit to the Bharat mata Mandir the only temple dedicated to Mother India. We then visit the New Vishwanath temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. We conclude with a trip to the riverside steps of the River Ganges to witness the pilgrims worship their holy river in a manner different to what you see in the morning.
Today is completely at leisure for you to enjoy Varanasi at your own pace (no guide or driver included).
It's an early morning start today as we transfer you to the railway station for your train to Katni (HWH Mumbai Mail, 0827/1615 hrs, 1st Class AC). Upon your arrival into Katni you will be met and transferred to Bandhavgarh National Park where you will check in to your accommodation.
For today and tomorrow enjoy morning and afternoon game drives in a shared jeep. Bandhavgarh is set amidst the Vindhyan ranges. Claiming to have the highest density population of Bengal tiger in India, coupled with a population of leopard, nilgai, jackal, wild boar, sloth bear, gaur, sambar deer and colourful bird life, game drives are often peppered with sightings.
After a final morning game drive in Bandhavgarh we will drive you 2 hours to Katni where you will board your overnight sleeper train to Manmad Junction (Howrah Mumbai Mail - DEP:-16:20 - ARR:-05:35+1).
Your train arrives into Manmad in the morning to the start of a new day and the gathering hustle and bustle. Our rep will be waiting for us, but make sure you take a moment to try some chai, hot tea from one of the vendors, before transferring 2 hours to your hotel in Aurangabad. Today is at your leisure to relax after the journey.
Enjoy a full day excursion to Ajanta Caves. Nestling in an inner fold of the Sahyadri hills, 100 kms from the city of Aurangabad in the shape of a mammoth horseshoe are the 30 rock-hewn caves of Ajanta, dating from 2nd century B.C. Discovered in 1819, by a group of British Officers, these startling achievements took around 600 years to create. Carved with little more than a hammer and chisel, Ajanta, once the retreat of the Buddhist monastic orders features several ‘Chaityas’ and Viharas. The exquisite paintings and sculptures of Buddha’s life belong to the Mahayana period.
In the morning head out to Ellora Caves. Impressive in their own right are the rock-hewn temples and monasteries of Ellora that lie just 30 kms away from Aurangabad City and are the meeting point of the Buddhists, Jains and Hindus. In all, there are 34 elaborate cave temples. This afternoon enjoy an excursion to Daulatabad Fort, a labyrinthine structure that was once covered in Persian tiles.
This morning early we drive to the airport for your flight to Goa (0745/0835 Via Mumbai 1205/1310). Arriving in Goa, a transfer awaits to take you to your hotel in North Goa.
The next four days are at your leisure to relax or explore as you like.
After a leisurely morning we will transfer you to the airport for your flight to Delhi (SG 254, 1330/1555, Economy). From Delhi Airport, no further services are included apart from the Rashtrapati Bhawan visit on the 8th November - subject to permission approval from secretariat.
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