ASIA PACKAGES: India & Nepal Tour  
 
 

DAY 01 ARRIVE DELHI

You will be met and assisted on arrival in Delhi and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.

DAY 02 DELHI

After breakfast in the morning proceed for the full day city tour of Old & New Delhi. In Old city visit Red Fort built by Emperor Shah Jahan; Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India; Raj Ghat- the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi and enjoy a walking tour in Chandni Chowk- the silver street of Delhi bustling with activity. In the afternoon visit Qutab Minar, the tallest stone tower in India; Humayun’s Tomb built in the Indo Persian style and a predecessor to The Taj Mahal in Agra; India Gate – A War Memorial Arch. Also drive past the President’s house, Parliament house, Government secretariat buildings and Connaught place – the heart of New Delhi and a busy shopping center.

Overnight is at the hotel

   
DAY 03 DRIVE DELHI – MANDAWA

After breakfast morning leave for MANDAWA.

Today, the world comes to this storybook town to see its colourful frescoes on every subject under the sun, ranging from the religious to the erotic; from copies of popular English prints to witty social satire, rendered in the inimitable style of the local artist.

Arrive and check in at the Hotel

Later, proceed with a Heritage Walk Tour of Mandawa. Mandawa, often referred to as Rajasthan’s open art gallery is a sleepy little typical Rajasthani town, which is deep rooted with culture. The Havelis, mansions of the erstwhile rich Marwari traders were profusely frescoed inside and outside and some of these are still in good shape. Some of the better known Havelis of Mandawa are the Chowkhani Haveli, Goenka Haveli, Saraf Haveli and the Ladia Haveli

In the evening enjoy a special Dinner with live folk dances and music at the hotel

Overnight is at the hotel

DAY 04 TO JAIPUR

Today morning, after breakfast, drive to Jaipur the capital city of Rajasthan, the most colorful state in India. Arrive and check in at the hotel on arrival

The capital of the state of Rajasthan is popularly known as the 'pink city' as the buildings in its old, walled city is all constructed in pink-colored sandstone. Jaipur owes its name, its foundation and its careful planning to the great warrior-astronomer Maharaja Jai Singh II (1699-1744). He laid out the city with its surrounding walls and six rectangular blocks by principles of town planning set out in an ancient Hindu treatise on architecture. In 1728 he constructed the remarkable observatory, which is still one of Jaipur's central attractions. It is worthwhile spending any leisure time wandering through the bazaars. Jaipur is well known for its beautiful carpets, enamelled ornaments, precious and semi-precious stones, brass ornaments and many other arts and crafts.


Rest of the day is free to explore the colorful town independently. Spend time in crowded lanes & by lanes of pink city, haggling and souvenir-hunting.


DAY 05 IN JAIPUR

After breakfast drive to the outskirts of the city to visit AMBER FORT, the ancient capital of the State until 1728. Visit the TEMPLE OF KALI, the HALL OF VICTORY or JAI MAHAL and JAGMANDIR. You can have the unique experience of traveling on elephant back to and from the top of the hill on which the fort is situated.

In the afternoon proceed for a sightseeing tour of the city visiting THE OBSERVATORY, THE PALACE OF WINDS AND THE CITY PALACE & MUSEUM. The museum has an interesting textile section, which contains dresses and costumes of the former Maharajas and Maharanis of Jaipur. Evening is at leisure to explore the local markets. Overnight stay is at your hotel in Jaipur.

DAY 06 TO RANTHAMBORE


After Breakfast at the Hotel, depart for Ranthambore

Ranthambore is particularly well known for its tiger sightings because the undisturbed ambiance and the spreading, shallow lakes provide them the surroundings best suited to their needs, and therefore sightings by day time are quite common. Various conservationists and wildlife photographers have worked at length here to document the life cycle of the tigresses of Ranthambore, even giving them names, so that they are now a part of the regional lore.


Late evening talk to wildlife by senior Naturalist organized by Hotel. Dinner & Overnight at Hotel

DAY 07 IN RANTHAMBORE

Early morning, enjoy a jungle safari to Ranthambore Tiger Reserve.
Ranthambhor is also very picturesque. A number of lakes from the shallow lands where tiger sightings are quite common, and where herds of deer can be seen foraging, while crocodiles bask in the sun. The lofty hills ring the park, and in the distance, the ramparts of Ranthambhor fort create a dramatic silhouette. Once, this was the scene for fierce battles, and for fiery Jauhars, but all that is of the past now, though former hunting lodges such as Jogi Mahal, close to the lakes, is still retains its former grandeur and glory.

Breakfast & Lunch at Hotel Afternoon jungle safari

Dinner & Overnight at Hotel


   
DAY 08 TO FATEHPUR SIKRI & TO AGRA

This morning you will drive towards Agra. We‘ll stop FATEHPUR SIKRI, 38 kms before Agra. This was the capital city of Akbar but was abandoned later due to scarcity of water. This complex in red sandstone is considered to be more beautiful than TAJ MAHAL by many visitors.

Then continue your drive of approximately 45 min. to Agra and check in at the hotel on arrival
   
In the afternoon proceed with a half day city tour of Agra city. Visit the red sandstone Agra Fort, which stands like a crescent on the banks of the Jamuna River enclosed by forbidding 20-meter high walls, with a 12- meter moat between them. Three successive Mughal emperors - Akbar, Jehangir and Shah Jehan - helped create this massive structure which contains Hindu and Muslim architecture. Then proceed for the famous white marble mausoleum, which was built in the middle of the 17th century by the Moghul emperor Shah Jehan for his `wife Mumtaz Mahal. Visit the Taj Mahal surely the greatest monument to love and one of the wonders of the modern world. Completed in 1652, skilled craftsmen from Persia, Turkey, France and Italy and some 20,000 labourers worked for 17 years to build this edifice, constructed by Emperor Shah Jehan as a mausoleum for his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal. Marble was brought from Makrana, near Jodhpur and precious stones of onyx, amethyst, malachite, lapis lazuli, turquoise, jade, crystal and mother of pearl were carried to Agra from Persia, Russia, Afghanistan, Tibet, China and the Indian Ocean.

DAY 09 TO KHAJURAHO

A 3 hour train ride to JHANSI and a 45 minute drive will bring us today to the medieval city of. Its grandeur has been captured in stone, frozen in time, a rich legacy to the ages. In this medieval city, the hand of time has rested lightly and the palaces and temples built by its Bundela rulers in the 16th and 17th centuries retain much of their pristine perfection.

Orchha was founded in the 16th century by the Bundela Rajput chieftain, Rudra Pratap, who chose this stretch of land along the Betwa river as an ideal site for his capital. Of the succeeding rulers, the most notable was Raja Bir Singh Ju Deo who built the exquisite Jehangir Mahal, a tiered palace crowned by graceful chhatris. From here the view of soaring temple spires and cenotaphs is spectacular. Complementing the noble proportions of their exteriors are interiors which represent the finest flowering of the Bundela school of painting. In the Laxminarayan Temple and Raj Mahal, vibrant murals encompassing a variety of religious and secular themes, bring the walls and ceilings to rich life.

Dinner & Overnight at Hotel

Continue your drive to the world famous temples of KHAJURAHO, known for their erotic sculpture on the walls. In the temple architecture of India, the Khajuraho complex remains unique. One thousand years ago, under the generous and artistic patronage of the Chandela Rajput kings of Central India, 85 temples, magnificent in form and richly carved, came up on one site, near the village of Khajuraho. The amazingly short span of 100 years, from 950 AD - 1050 AD, saw the completion of all the temples, in an inspired burst of creativity. Today, of the original 85, only 22 have survived the ravages of time; these remain as a collective paean to life, to joy and to creativity; to the ultimate fusion of man with his creator.

In the afternoon visit the Eastern & Western Group of temples visiting the Adinath Temple: Dedicated to the Jain saint, Adinath, the temple is lavishly embellished with sculpted figures, including yakshis. The three Hindu temples of the group are the Brahma, containing a four faced lingam, the Vamana, which is adorned on its outer walls with carving of apsaras in a variety of sensuous attitudes; and the javari, with a richly-carved gateway and exterior sculptures. The Western group is certainly the best known, because it is to this group that the largest and most typical Khajuraho temple belongs: The Kandariya Mahadev.

Rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight is at the hotel

DAY 10 TO VARANASI

In time, transfer to the airport to board your flight for Varanasi. Meet and assist upon arrival and transfer to the hotel.

Varanasi picturesquely situated on the crescent shaped left bank of the holy Ganga, Varanasi, one of the ancient seats of le1arning in India, is said to be a compound of the names of two streams, the Varuna and the Assi, which still flow in the north and south of the city respectively. Varanasi is probably one of the most ancient living cities in India. From time immemorial it has been a great religious center for Hindus and one of their most sacred places of pilgrimage, being visited by millions of people every year.

Visit to the River Ganges in Varanasi to witness the evening Aarti and pooja.

Overnight is at the hotel

DAY 11 IN VARANASI

Early in the morning, enjoy a boat ride on the River Ganges. The most important facet of this holy city is the river and the ghats lining its southern bank in the city. From dawn to dusk, the ghats are thronged by thousands of devotees, who perform their holy rituals in the hope of attaining salvation, the “Nirvana”

Return to the hotel for a late breakfast

Later proceed with an excursion to Sarnath – where lord Buddha preached his first sermon. A major Buddhist centre, Sarnath lies 10 kilometres north east of Varanasi. It was here that Buddha preached his message of the ’middle way’ to nirvana after achieving enlightenment at Bodhgaya. In around 234 BC, Emperor Ashoka, a great follower of Buddhism, erected a stupa here. Between the 3rd century BC and the 11th century AD, several Buddhist structures were built here in Sarnath. Most of the Sarnath’s monuments are set in large gardens making it quite pleasant for a visitor to spend some time here.

Rest of the day is at leisure.

Overnight is at the hotel



DAY 12 VARANASI / KATHMANDU

In time transfer to the airport to board flight for Kathmandu.

You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Kathmandu abounds in large places, beautiful and delicately produced temples, lofty Buddhist pagodas as well as museums, gardens and also a royal game sanctuary at Gokarnaban, a brief ride away.

The kingdom of Nepal is an ancient country with a rich cultural heritage. Nepal, the independent sovereign Kingdom, integrated by King Prithvi Narayan Shah, the Great, lies in the heart of Asia. Situated on the lap of the mighty central Himalayas, it abounds in varied beautiful scenes of lakes, mountains, waterfalls and green valleys
Rest of the day is at leisure. Explore the city on your own

Overnight is at the hotel

DAY 13 IN KATHMANDU

Today morning proceed with a tour of the city covering HANUMAN DHOKA: this is the historic palace of the ancient kings of Nepal. A complex of many temples and monuments, guarded by a huge statue of the Monkey God, Hanuman, it has evolved to its present state of maturity over a period of centuries with contributions from a number of dynasties, headed by Malla Kings. Most outstanding example of Nepal’s art and architecture here is the towering nine-storeyed edifice known as Kailash. Also visit RESIDENCE OF THE LIVING GODDESS near the Durbar Square, which is the residence of Kumari, the Living Goddess (virgin goddess). Its wooden balconies and windows are profusely carved.

It was built in 1960 by King Jaya Prakash Malla. Also stop at KASTHAMANDAP, the wooden temple built by Laxminarsingh Malla at the beginning of 17th century. It is situated at the main thoroughfare of the city and made of the timber sawed off a single tree. Later visit SWAYAMBUNATH, said to be 2000 years old and one of the world’s oldest Buddhist chaityas. The stupa, which forms the main structure is composed of a solid hemisphere of brick and earth supporting a cornice of copper and gilt. Painted on the four sides based of the spire are the all -seeing eyes of Lord Buddha. Situated on a hillock it is about 250 feet high above the level of the valley.

Later stop at PASHUPATINATH TEMPLE standing on the bank of sacred Bagmati river with two-tier golden roof and silver doors. It is famous all over the world for its superb architecture. Entrance into the temple precincts is restricted to Hindus only. The temple of Pashupatinath is a center of an annual pilgrimage on the day of Shivaratri. Tough only Hindus are allowed to go inside the courtyard of the temple, therein tourists and visitors can clearly see the temple and the activities from the eastern bank of the Bagmati river.

Finally stop at BOUDNATH stupa. This colossal and ancient Stupa is one of the biggest in the world. Four pairs of eyes of Buddha in four cardinal directions are keeping an eternal watch over the people and their doings.

DAY 14 KATHMANDU – POKHARA

Today morning drive to Pokhara (approx. 5 ½ - 6 hrs drive)
Arrive and check in at the hotel Rest of the evening is at leisure.

Overnight at the hotel in Pokhara

DAY 15 IN POKHARA


In the morning visit Sangakot. Excursion to Sarangkot hill that offers great view of Mt. Fish Tail and other Annapurna range of mountains (subject to clear weather). A short hiking is also possible if group wants the same.

In the afternoon proceed for half day sightseeing of Pokhara city with Boating. Sightseeing in Pokhara visiting Davi’s falls, Tibetan camp and local market with boating at Fewa Lake

Overnight at the Lodge in Pokhara


Day 16 POKHARA – KATHMANDU
After an early breakfast drive back to Kathmandu and check in at the hotel on arrival

In the afternoon visit BHADGAON (BHAKTAPUR), the home of medieval art and architecture. The city was probably founded by King Ananda Malla in 889 A.D. and is shaped like a conch shell. Bhaktapur, the city of devotees, lies nine miles east of Kathamndu and its traditional crafts are pottery and weaving. The SIDDHA POKHARI here is a historic reservoir near the city gate and it was built during the reign of King Yakshya Malla. DURBAR SQUARE here contains innumerable temples and other architectural show pieces: THE LION GATE adorned with the splendid stone figures of Hanuman, Bhairab & Narsingha Narayan; THE GOLDEN GATE built by Raja Ranjit Malla, which is the entrance to the main courtyard of the Palace of Fifty-Five Windows.

The door is surmounted by a figure of Goddess Kali and Garuda, the winged carrier ofLord Vishnu, and attended by two sky nymphs; THE PALACE OF FIFTY FIVE WINDOWS was erected during the reign of King Yaksha Malla in 1427 A.D. and was remodeled by King Bhupatindra Malla in the 17th century, among the bricks of the walls, with their gracious setting and sculptural design is a balcony of 55 windows- a master piece of wood carving.


Overnight is at the hotel

DAY 17 KATHMANDU – DELHI

In time, transfer to airport for flight for Delhi. Meet and assist upon arrival in Delhi

Free time for last minute shopping / souvenir hunting

FAREWELL DINNER before being transferred to the International airport to check in for your flight departing on Day 18

DAY 18 FLIGHT DEPARTS FOR ONWARD DESTINATION

Your flight departs for onward destination

End of the tour


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