Varanasi Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF INDIA 2834

If you like the itinerary below please quote REF INDIA 2834 when enquiring for further details.

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The grand entrance into Delhi's famous Red Fort

Day 1: Delhi

Welcome to India and the start of your exclusive odyssey! You will be met upon arrival into Delhi Airport by our friendly local team and drive onto your hotel. OVERNIGHT - Lemon Tree Premier, Delhi Airport

The lofty Red Fort in Delhi

Day 2: Delhi - Kathmandu

This morning a transfer to the airport and onward flight brings you to your next Himalayan port of call, Enchanting Kathmandu! Here, meet with our Nepalese team who await to drive you onto your hotel.

Day 3: Kathmandu

Today enjoy guided sightseeing tour of the Kathmandu Valley. Admire the view from Swayambhunath Stupa, the most ancient of the Valley’s holy shrines, also known as Monkey Temple because of the many holy monkeys residing here. Visit the large and beautiful Buddhist stupa of Bodhnath, adorned with thousands of candles made with butter. Conclude the day with a visit to the Pashputinath Temple complex which is one of the most significant Hindu temples in the world and exploring the royal town of Bhaktapur with its magical Durbar Square - a complex of royal palaces and temples, and the social, religious and urban focal point of the city.

Day 4: Kathmandu

We continue our exploration today with a visit 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. After, spend some time in a Tibetan refugee camp to get a taste and understanding for everything Tibetan.

Day 5: Kathmandu - Paro

This morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Bhutan. Upon arrival at Bhutan/Paro airport you will be met by our local team and transferred to your hotel. Spend the afternoon exploring the cities wonders such as Ta Dzong (watch tower) which was built between 1656-1667 and now houses the National Museum. The Museum is considered one of the best of its kind in Asia. It boasts an exhaustive collection of Bhutanese Textiles, Armoury, Earth & Stone Wares, Buddhist Scriptures and Manuscripts. Last stop before returning to your hotel will be the fascinating Paro market for an insight to more local life. (HOTEL ZHIWALING)

Ready for battle! Photo courtesy of Tourism Council of Bhutan

Day 6: Paro

Taktshang Pelphung monastery or Tiger's Nest as it often referred to, is one of the most venerated and famous of Bhutan's monasteries. It is located on the face of a sheer 900m cliff above the floor of Paro valley. Today with our expert local guide take a scenic hike to view this spectacular and unmissable sight! (HOTEL ZHIWALING)

A local fruit and vegetable market in Thimpu - photo courtesy of Tourism Council of Bhutan

Day 7: Paro - Punakha

This morning we drive to Punakha. In the afternoon hike to Chimi Lhakhang, the divine mad monk’s temple. It is a beautiful walk through a lovely village. The temple can be visited and there is a tree outside which is supposed to have sprouted up after Drukpa Kunley sent a thunderbolt from an adjoining valley to kill some evil spirits who had gathered at the site. We also visit the courtyard of Punakha Dzong before resting at the hotel. (HOTEL DHENSA RESORT)

Chorten Kora near to Punakha photo courtesy of Tourist Council of Bhutan

Day 8: Punakha

Today you explore Khamsum Yulley Namgyal stands majestically on a strategic ridge above the Punakha valley. Built over a period of 9 years, Bhutanese craftsmen including carpenters, painters, and sculptors consulted holy scriptures rather than engineering manuals, to construct this 4-storey temple. (HOTEL DHENSA RESORT)

A Bhutanese Archer in Paro - photo courtesy of Tourism Council of Bhutan	[

Day 9: Punakha - Thimphu

Today we drive on to Thimpu. Stop for lunch at Docho la, where if the weather permits you’ll be treated to an incredible panoramic view of the Bhutanese Himalayas. We also stop to explore Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress of the Kingdom which now houses the School for religious and cultural studies. (HOTEL TERMALINCA)

Day 10: Thimphu

This morning enjoy a walk around Thimphu city with it's breathtaking scenery and buildings and then a visit to the Memorial Chorten built in memory of Late His Majesty, the 3rd King of Bhutan. Also visit a handmade paper unit. Bhutan boasts of some of the best handmade papers in the world. The Handicrafts Emporium is yet another interesting place to visit, where you will fine an excellent variety of well woven Bhutanese textiles. (HOTEL TERMALINCA)

A colourful and lively masked dancer in Paro - photo courtesy of Tourism Council of Bhutan

Day 11: Thimphu - Kalimpong

This morning take in views of the incredible Himalayas on your journey to Phuntsholing on the India-Bhutan border. After passing customs you will meet our Indian driver who will take you onto Kalimpong.

Day 12: Kalimpong - Darjeeling

This morning take some free time to explore Kalimpong’s attractions, which include three monasteries including Tharpa Choeling, Tongsa and Zong Dog Palri Fo-Brang, a handful of ancient churches and a colourful bazaar area known as Tenth Mile bulging with Tibetan and Buddhist curios and handicrafts. Kalimpong is also renowned for its horticulture, with some 50 nurseries devoted to orchids and many other flower varieties. Later, you will be driven to your next hill station Darjeeling.

The toy train

Day 13: Darjeeling

Early we make our way to Tiger Hill to witness sunrise over the snowy peaks of Kanchenjunga; followed by a visit to Ghoom Gompa (monastery) on the Toy Train.

Darjeeling tea plantation

Day 14: Darjeeling

Today is free for you to explore Darjeeling your way. See some Buddhist monasteries or visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, a training school for mountain climbers. Its museum features memorabilia from the first ascent of Everest. It is also worthwhile taking a stroll through town. Owing to Darjeeling’s proximity to Tibet, the town also has a Tibetan Refugee Centre comprising care for the young and old and craft workshops that produce carpets, leather work and other Tibetan curios, hunt for a bargain or simply go trekking!

Day 15: Darjeeling - Varanasi

Later this afternoon, the journey continues to New Jalpaiguri, from where you board the North East Express sleeper train to Varanasi. Sleeper trains in India are a must-do experience for any visitor young or old! The friendly locals will be vying for a chat with you.

Varanasi Ghats

Day 16: Varanasi

Your train arrives into Varanasi in the morning to the start of a new day and the gathering hustle and bustle. Our rep will be waiting for you, but make sure you take a moment to try some chai, hot tea from one of the vendors, before transferring to your hotel for breakfast. After a free afternoon to relax, this evening we witness the Aarti ceremony that takes place on the river banks.

Varanasi boats

Day 17: Varanasi

Early this morning we enjoy a boat ride on the River Ganges to view the sunrise and the ancient religious tradition of ritual cleansing that takes place on the ghats (riverside steps). Abundant with temples and a labyrinth of streets, Varanasi is exciting, enticing and a city not to be missed. This afternoon enjoy a tour of the city, with its numerous temples and wonderful historic feel.

Bathers in the morning

Day 18: Varanasi - Khajuraho

Close behind the Taj Mahal and up there with Varanasi, are the amazing temples of Khajuraho, which is where you fly to in the early afternoon.

Sunrise on the Holy Ganges in Varanasi

Day 19: Khajuraho - Delhi

Immortalised in stone is a wealth of sensuous and erotic sculptures which you will explore this morning with our expert guide. Later you return to the airport for your flight to Delhi. Meet back up with our Delhi team on arrival who will take you to your hotel. OVERNIGHT - Lemon Tree Premier, Delhi Airport

Raj Ghat

Day 20: Delhi

Sadly your epic journey has come to an end, we will be sure to drive you to the airport in timer for your onward journey home.

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last updated - 25 Jul 2014 12:12 PM

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