India, Nepal… We’re comin’ for ya! Kick off in Kathmandu, hang with the animals in Chitwan, check out Buddha’s birthplace (Lumbini), visit beautiful Varanasi, see the Taj (and take one million photos), meet local families in Tordi Garh, play in Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Dehli… Bazinga!
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.
Accommodation: Hotel Shakti or similar, Kathmandu
When it comes to whizzing around Kathmandu, rickshaws are the way to go.
See the giant Buddhist Stupa at Bodhnath and the city's most sacred Hindu site, Pashupatinath.
Accommodation: Royal Park Hotel or similar, Chitwan National Park
Drive by the small town of Tadi to reach our lodge in the village of Sauraha. Take a jungle safari and hopefully spot rhino, tigers and leopards (oh my).
Accommodation: Lumbini Budha Garden or similar, Lumbini
Lumbini was the site of Buddha's birthplace way back in 563BC. See some temples and the Ashoka Pillar.
Accommodation: Hotel Surya or similar, 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.
Accommodation: Hotel Royal Residency or similar, Agra
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.
Accommodation: Hotel Tordi Garh or similar, 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.
Accommodation: Hotel Mrignayani Palace or similar, 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.
Accommodation: Nimaj Hotel Rawla Bagh or similar, Nimaj
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?)
Accommodation: Hotel Indrashan or similar, 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.
Accommodation: Hotel Mahendra Prakash or similar, 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.
Accommodation: Hotel Perfect or similar, 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.
• 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 – 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.
We have chosen a selection of some great optional activities to enhance your travel experience. You will need to cover any additional costs yourself. The below list is not exhaustive and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination.
Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed below have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
Internal flights: EU clients please see our safety page for important information regarding internal flights in Nepal.
Local Emergency Contacts In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency Gecko’s India office (the operator of this trip) can be reached on +91 1145 006 400 during business hours (9.30am to 6pm) or after hours on +91 9999 916 229.
The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please ensure that you have the most up-to-date information for your trip. We recommend that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!
13 October 2014