Ain't no Mountain High Enough
To punish himself for falling asleep while meditating, Buddha cut off his eyelids. These eyelids then grew into the tea plant, because drinking tea will keep you from falling asleep. We love a good Buddha legend.
(Was Nepal & India)
Day 1-2 - Kathmandu
When it comes to whizzing around Kathmandu, auto rickshaws are the only way to go. See the giant Buddhist Stupa at Bodhnath and the city's most sacred Hindu site, Pashupatinath.
- If arriving early, perhaps wander down to Durbar Square, the spiritual heart of Kathmandu
- Pre-departure meeting in the evening, and an optional group dinner
Hotel Shakti or similar
- Visit Bodhnath Stupa, one of the biggest Buddhist shrines in the world
- Stop by the most famous Hindu temple in the country, Pashupatinath
- Plenty of free time to explore Kathmandu under your own steam
Day 3-4 - Chitwan National Park
Cross the Rapti River to reach our lodge in the village of Sauraha. Take a jungle safari on elephant-back and hopefully spot rhino, tigers and leopards (oh my).
Riverview lodge or similar
- Catch a morning bus up the rim of the Kathmandu Valley
- Ride elephants into the jungle
- Go wildlife spotting for rhinoceros, sloth bear, deer, a range of different bird and perhaps even tigers
- Optional jeep, canoe and walking safaris
Day 5 - Lumbini
Lumbini was the site of Buddha's birthplace way back in 563BC. See some temples and the Ashoka Pillar.
Lumbini Budha Garden or similar
- Visit the birthplace of the founder of Buddhism
- Explore temple complexes constructed by Buddhists from Japan, China and Myanmar
- Get acquainted with the ancient Ashoka Pillar and Maya Devi Temple
- Sleep overnight in a jungle camp
Day 6-8 - Varanasi
One river, thousands of uses: bathing, praying, cremating the dead, laundromat, notorious hangout for The Beatles. You name it, and someone's done it in the Ganges.
Hotel Surya or similar
- Witness life and death rituals during an early morning Ganges boat cruise
- Take a guided walk through the city's lanes and bustling alleyways
- Board an overnight sleeper train bound for Agra
Day 9 - Agra - Taj Mahal
Flowers, chocolates, diamonds, mini-breaks - all these gestures will seem lame once she's been to the Taj. You're going to need to think bigger.
Hotel Royal Residency or similar
- Visit the mighty Taj Mahal
- Optional trip to Agra Fort
Day 10 - Tordi Garh
This is a little gem of a village. Explore nearby temples and forts and sleep in a 16th century castle. Warning: your hand will get tired from all the waving and your mouth will ache from all the smiling. The locals here are extremely friendly.
Hotel Tordi Garh or similar
- Drive through beautiful countryside to Tordi Garh, a village rarely visited by travellers
- Meet local families and experience local life
- Visit the markets and the village temple
- Journey to a fortress and ruined temples outside of Tordi
- Spend the night in the palace back at the village
Day 11-12 - Jaipur
The Maharajah's harem was not allowed to be seen, so The Palace of the Winds was built so they could see what was going on outside. It's a big honeycomb-shaped structure, with about 1000 tiny latticed windows for peeking through.
- Travel to the crowded and colourful streets Jaipur
Hotel Mrignayani Palace or similar
- Take a trip to the medieval Amber Fort
- Visit the Old Bazaar and The Palace of the Winds
- Free time to do as you please in Jaipur
Day 13 - Nimaj Bagh
This place has barely changed in centuries and it doesn't get many travellers. It's a real "off the beaten track" experience (slightly off topic, but has anyone actually seen this beaten track?)
Nimaj Hotel Rawla Bagh or similar
- Stay in an orchard run by the nobles of Nimaj
- Visit surrounding villages and meet Gujjars (cattle breeders) and other communities
Day 14 - Jodhpur
Drive to the Blue City of Jodhpur, on the edge of the Thar Desert. Sadar Market is the place for fisherman's pants (handy in India, daggy at home), carpets, incense and tea.
Hotel Indrashan or similar
- Visit the Meherangarh Fort and the Sadar Market
Day 15-17 - Udaipur
Udaipur is often referred to as the Venice of the East. Why? Well here's a hint - it's not because of all the roads. Then it's an overnight train to Delhi. Snorers, you will be named and shamed.
- Travel to Udaipur, watching southern Rajasthan's scenery unfold
- Visit different caste villages around Jodhpur
- Take a local bus to Udaipur
Hotel Mahendra Prakash or similar
- Explore the Jagdish Temple and the City Palace
- Head to Delhi on an overnight sleeper train
Day 18-19 - Delhi
By now you've had long enough to accept that in India, cows are more important than you. It's just one of the many weird and wonderful things you'll tell your friends when you get home.
- Explore Chandni Chowk, the old city's market area, as well as Connaught Place
- Free time to relax or do some sightseeing of your own
- Perhaps visit the Jama Masjid, the Red Fort and the Raj Ghat - where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated
Hotel Perfect or similar
- The trip ends this morning after breakfast, but Delhi's got plenty more to offer those that wish to stick around
What to Know
• Gecko’s expert English-speaking local tour guides throughout the tour, and local site guides at some sites.
• Sightseeing (including entrance fees where applicable): Kathmandu including Bodhnath Stupa and Pashupatinath; Lumbini including temple complexes, Ashoka Pillar and Maya Devi Temple; Varanasi's back lanes and crowded alleyways; Agra including the Taj Mahal; Jaipur including Amber Fort, Old Bazaar and The Palace of the Winds; Jodhpur including Meharangarh Fort and Sardar Market; Udaipur including City Palace and Jagdish Temple; and Delhi including Chandni Chowk and Connaught Place.
• Morning boat ride on the Ganges to witness the rituals on the ghats.
• Royal Chitwan National Park – elephant ride with wildlife guide, lodge accommodation and entrance fees.
• Off-the-beaten-track experience in Tordi Garh – village walk, visit to ruined temples and a fortress, and a jeep safari.
• Overnight accommodation in 16th Century Tordi Palace.
• Stay at Nimaj Bagh and a village walk to meet the locals.
• Free time to explore Kathmandu, Chitwan National Park, Agra, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur and Delhi.
• Overnight train from Varanasi to Agra and Udaipur to Delhi. Accommodation in air-conditioned sleeper class with three-tier sleeping berths (two sheets, a blanket and a pillow provided per person).
- International flights, arrival and departure transfers, airport/departure taxes, visas, pre or post tour accommodation, meals, optional tours sightseeing or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature, laundry and flights unless specified. Some places that we visit charge additional fees if you are entering with a camera or camcorder - your city guide will advise on these and they can be paid for locally.
Trip Dates and Prices
Start Date – End Date Trip Status Price 25 May 2013 - 12 Jun 2013 0 Request US $1,495 Contact Us 08 Jun 2013 - 26 Jun 2013 1 Request US $1,320 Book Now 22 Jun 2013 - 10 Jul 2013 0 Request US $1,320 Contact Us 06 Jul 2013 - 24 Jul 2013 0 Request US $1,320 Contact Us 20 Jul 2013 - 07 Aug 2013 7+ Available US $1,495 Book Now 17 Aug 2013 - 04 Sep 2013 7+ Request US $1,495 On Sale Sale: US $1,122 Book Now 31 Aug 2013 - 18 Sep 2013 7+ Available US $1,495 Book Now 14 Sep 2013 - 02 Oct 2013 7 Available US $1,495 Book Now 28 Sep 2013 - 16 Oct 2013 7+ Available US $1,495 Book Now 12 Oct 2013 - 30 Oct 2013 7 Available US $1,495 Book Now 26 Oct 2013 - 13 Nov 2013 0 Request US $1,495 Contact Us 09 Nov 2013 - 27 Nov 2013 7+ Available US $1,495 Book Now 23 Nov 2013 - 11 Dec 2013 7+ Available US $1,495 Book Now 07 Dec 2013 - 25 Dec 2013 7+ Available US $1,495 Book Now 21 Dec 2013 - 08 Jan 2014 7+ Available US $1,495 Book Now 04 Jan 2014 - 22 Jan 2014 7+ Available US $1,495 Book Now 18 Jan 2014 - 05 Feb 2014 7+ Available US $1,495 Book Now 01 Feb 2014 - 19 Feb 2014 7+ Available US $1,495 Book Now 15 Feb 2014 - 05 Mar 2014 7+ Available US $1,495 Book Now 01 Mar 2014 - 19 Mar 2014 7+ Available US $1,495 Book Now 15 Mar 2014 - 02 Apr 2014 7+ Available US $1,495 Book Now 29 Mar 2014 - 16 Apr 2014 7+ Available US $1,495 Book Now 12 Apr 2014 - 30 Apr 2014 7+ Available US $1,495 Book Now 26 Apr 2014 - 14 May 2014 7+ Available US $1,495 Book Now 10 May 2014 - 28 May 2014 7+ Available US $1,495 Book Now 24 May 2014 - 11 Jun 2014 7+ Available US $1,495 Book Now 07 Jun 2014 - 25 Jun 2014 7+ Available US $1,320 Book Now 21 Jun 2014 - 09 Jul 2014 7+ Available US $1,320 Book Now
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