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Namaste! Welcome to New Delhi, the capital city of India and the start of your eye-opening 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.
Our full day guided sightseeing tour of Delhi today covers the colourful chaos of Old Delhi and the modern simplicity of New Delhi. This vibrant city is full of forts, monuments, temples, mosques and more. During the 16th and 17th centuries, Delhi was important centre of the Mughal dynasty and the British made it the capital city in 1911. We take in Red Fort, Jama Masjid and Chandni Chowk, the bustling bazaar, as well as the Raj Ghat and Shanti Vana – the cremation sites of Mahatama Gandhi and Jawahar Lal Nehru. In New Delhi we visit India Gate, Rasthrapati Bhawan, Parliament House and Humayun’s Tomb.
This morning we drive to Jaipur, affectionately known as the Pink City as Maharaja Ram Singh had all of the Old City painted a welcoming pink in 1876 to herald a visit by the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), it is also the bustling capital of the state of Rajasthan. We enjoy a tour of the City Palace and Jantar Mantar, an old and cleverly designed space observatory.
This morning we visit the delicate pink, magnificent fort-palace of Amber - a wonderful example of Rajput architecture just north of Jaipur. Subject to Government regulations, we will arrive in style on an elephant! Rest of the day is free - why not do some shopping the market for colourful papîer mache puppets and traditional jootis - the Rajasthani shoe of choice.
Our first stop today is the stepwell at Chand Baori, dating back to the 9th century. After hotel check in at Bharatpur, we visit Keoladeo Ghana National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where we’ll enjoy a leisurely bicycle rickshaw ride through the park.
En route to Agra, we visit 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, abandoned in 1600 due to a meagre supply of water. In Agra, we visit the impressive Agra Fort and later, we enjoy a buggy ride to the legendary Taj Mahal, the most extravagant monument ever built for love for a guided exploration, and plenty of free time to take in the romantic sunset.
Today, we travel by express train to Jhansi and drive onward to Orchha. Situated on the banks of the River Betwa, Orchha is set amongst a wonderful complex of well-preserved 16th century temples and palaces, which you will have plenty of time to explore at leisure this afternoon.
Travelling south-east, we arrive in Khajuraho - home of the resplendent Hindu temples which were built during the Chandela dynasty over a 100 year burst of creative genius from 950-1050 AD. Famed above all for their delicate sensuality and forthright eroticism, how and why they were built still remains a mystery. The incredible skill of the artisans is evident throughout.
We have the option of a jeep safari in Panna NP this morning. In the afternoon we bid farewell to Khajuraho and fly east to Varanasi. Perhaps the holiest city in India, Varanasi, also known as the city of Shiva, is also one of the oldest cities on earth. Sitting on the banks of the holy River Ganges, it has been a centre of learning and civilisation for more than 2000 years and is a place of Hindu pilgrimage.
This morning, we enjoy a sunrise boat ride on the holy Ganges 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, remarkably different from the dawn ritual.
Today 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.
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. Overnight at the Tiger Land.
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. Overnight at the Tiger Land.
Today we drive to Pokhara. Perhaps the most stunning of Pokhara’s sights is the spectacular backdrop panorama of the Annapurna range. Although the highest among them is Annapurna (8091m), it is the fish tailed summit of Machhapuchhre (6977m) spectacularly rising behind Lake Phewa that completes the vista.
The day is free to hike, bike, shop or relax - the choice is yours.
Driving north, we arrive in Kathmandu. Transfer to your hotel. Resembling a medieval city of temples, shrines and living gods, Kathmandu is Nepal’s biggest and most cosmopolitan city, a meeting place of a dozen ethnic groups and once one of the most important points on the caravan routes between Tibet and India. We'll also explore Durbar which is home to more than 50 stuning Temples and Shrines.
Today is a free day to explore this fantastic city.
Sadly, today marks the end of your incredible journey and we hope it's been more than alright! After breakfast and hotel check out we transfer you to the airport for your onward departure journey and bid you a fond farewell.
A flamboyant showcase of Rajasthani architecture and a firm favourite on tourist itineraries as the third corner of India’s ‘Golden ...