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Welcome to Nepal and the start of your holiday! You’ll be met and transferred to your hotel where you will receive a welcome drink and a briefing about your trip.
Today we enjoy guided sightseeing of the top spots of Kathmandu. First we admire the view from Swayambhu stupa, the most ancient of the Valley’s holy shrines. Continuing we enter magical Durbar Square - a complex of Royal palaces and temples. In the afternoon we visit World heritage site Pashupatinath Temple and then proceed to the big and beautiful Buddhist stupa of Boudhanath.
Early we take the scenic flight to view Mt Everest. After breakfast we take a short drive to Kirtipur, also known as the City of Glory. 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.
Today we drive to spectacular Pokhara, gateway to the magnificent Annapurna Range, which consists of five mountains over 7200m including the Machhapuchare, which although falling short of 7000m, is one of the most extraordinary mountains due to its unique ‘fishtail’ peak. The local people believe it is sacred to the god Shiva and therefore is off limits to climbing.
An early start as we drive to Sarangkot enjoying the views of the landscapes and mountains onward we visit the thundering waterfall known as Devi’s falls. We then visit a 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.
There is some free time today to participate in bookable and payable locally optional activities such as paragliding, mountain biking, cycling, boating and horse riding, or if you prefer why not unwind down by the lake.
Today we head to Chitwan NP 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 next two days allow free time for you to choose from the various optional activities available in stunning Chitwan National Park. 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!
Today we drive south to the border area of neighbouring India. 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.
Today we cross the border into India for the long drive to Varanasi. At sunset your guide will take you to the ghats for the evening pilgramage, remarkably different from the dawn ritual.
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 this vibrant and deeply spiritual city. Evening free time to relax.
Today we will take you on a guided sightseeing tour to visit the famous Buddhist holy sight of Sarnath. Sarnath is located at 10 Kms from Varanasi where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon to the five holy men; preaching the middleway to final 'NIRVANA’. Tonight you travel by express train to Agra.
Arriving into Agra CANTT at 05:45 AM we will transfer you to your hotel. Later a visit Agra fort, built under the Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1565. It contains numerous palaces and a white marble mosque, with Itmad-ud-Daulah’s tomb a marble forerunner to the Taj. This evening we visit the wonderful Taj Mahal for a guided tour and a romantic sun set.
Early today you can enjoy sun rise at the Taj if you want. We then transfer by road 4 hrs to Delhi. Afternoon enjoy a brief tour of the impressive Red Fort and Jama Masjid - India’s oldest and largest mosque.
Morning at leisure to explore. Later we transfer you to the airport for your flight to Kochi. Arriving in Kochi our local team will meet you and transfer you to your hotel. Enjoy a visit tom see the Chinese fishing nets and a boat ride in Kochi Harbour.
This morning enjoy a sightseeing tour of the town including the beautiful Parsi Synagogue built in 1568, the Dutch Palace built by the Portuguese in 1555 and St Francis’ Church. A walking tour of Fort Cochin takes you through streets still graced with traces of Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial architecture. Afternoon/evening free.
A short drive south to Periyar, South India’s most popular wildlife sanctuary and home to bison, antelopes, sambar, wild boar, birds and even the odd tiger! Kumli, close to the sanctuary and where you’ll stay, is a pretty little town dotted with small spice and handicraft shops.
There is plenty to do in and around Periyar, so we leave the choice to you. Enjoy an included boat ride on Lake Periyar to spot herds of wild elephants or visit the lush nearby tea estates.
This morning board a simply furnished private rice-boat for a journey through the backwaters in and around Alleppey. Crewed by a poler to push the rice boat through the water, a distance of some 20 kms will be covered, during which time the boat will glide past colourful local villages. As for dining, the on-board cook will prepare meals using fresh local produce.
After we disembark our boat and drive to airport in time for your flight home.
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