Maharajas & Mountains
‘An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind’ – Mahatma Gandhi. The man makes a good point. That's the kind of wisdom this place inspires.
Day 1 - Delhi
Karl Pilkington summed up Delhi quite well: "My eyes have never been so busy. There's always something there going 'look at me!'"
Hotel Rockwell Plaza or similar
- Pre-departure meeting this evening at the hotel, as well as an optional group feast
Day 2 - Tordi Garh
How good is Tordi Garh? Ask anyone who's been and they'll say: "best part of the whole trip". Ask anyone who's never heard of it and they'll probably say: "is that the near Mexican joint near your place? Let's go!"
Hotel Tordi Garh or similar
- Drive through stunning countryside en route to Tordi Garh - a village few travellers venture to
- Meet local families and take a tour of this remote location
- Visit the nearby fortress and ruined temples
- Spend the night in the palace at Tordi, with the palace owner as your host
Day 3-4 - JaipurHead to the bazaars for a colourful Jaipuri quilt (rajais) or some sandals (mochris). Or pop into one of the tailors for some trousers or a made-to-measure suit.
Hotel Mrignayani Palace or similar
- Visit the medieval Amber Fort
- Take a guided tour of the Old Bazaar and The Palace of the Winds
- Set off on your own and explore Jaipur in free time
Day 5 - Agra
It took more than 20,000 people over 20 years to build the Taj. No wonder they make you take your shoes off.
Hotel Royal Residency or similar
- Visit the mighty Taj Mahal
- Optional visit to Agra Fort
- Board an overnight sleeper train bound for Varanasi
Day 6-8 - Varanasi
There's a certain etiquette that applies on overnight trains in India: always share your food, kick your friend if they're snoring too loudly, offer your bottom bunk to any elderly people stuck on the top and don't gloat too much when you win at cards.
Hotel Surya or similar
- Embark on an early morning boat ride on the Ganges
- Guided tour of Varanasi's back lanes and crowded alleyways
Day 9 - Lumbini
Chuck away the razors and embrace your inner hippy on our night in a jungle lodge. Your spiritual side should feel all tingly because Lumbini is the birthplace of Lord Buddha.
Lumbini Budha Garden or similar
- Visit various temple complexes that have been constructed by Buddhists from Japan, China and Myanmar
- Stopby the ancient Ashoka Pillar and Maya Devi Temple.
- Spend the night in a jungle camp
Day 10-11 - Chitwan National Park
Travel by elephant or dugout canoe in search of tigers and rhinos. Spotting a tiger is rare these days but you never know your luck (did you pack your rabbit foot/four-leaf clover/lucky undies?)
Riverview lodge or similar
- Pay a visit to Chitwan National Park
- Ride elephants into the jungle
- Search for the Indian rhinoceros, sloth bear, deer, a multitude of different birds and the rare tigers
- Optional activities include jeep and canoe safaris
Day 12 - Pokhara
There's a bit of driving today, but if you look out the window you'll catch a glimpse of Ganesh, Manaslu and Annapurna ranges. Get up early while the kids are selling trays of pastries, chocolate croissants and cinnamon rolls.
Tulsi Hotel or similar
- Drive along the Trisuli River Valley
- Enjoy views of the Ganesh, Manaslu and Annapurna ranges
- Take some time out to relax or explore the shops in Pokhara
- Hiring a boat to take out on lake Phewa Tal is optional
Day 13-14 - Hyenjakot
If you're feeling homesick, an overnight homestay in Hyenjakot is just what the doctor ordered: home cooked meal, a bit of laughter and a relaxed family atmosphere. The only thing missing is your mum.
- Visit a Tibetan refugee camp
- Take a short, steep trek to gain views over the Annapurna Range
- Stop by a local school
- Stay overnight in huts as the guests of villagers in Hyenjakot
- Experience incredible sunsets (if the weather holds out!)
Tulsi Hotel or similar
- Relax during more free time in Pokhara
- Perhaps visit the Hindu temple and Buddhist monastery, or some of the local museums
Day 15-16 - Kathmandu
Swing by Durbar Square to see the famous Kathmandu Guest House, where The Beatles once stayed. Oh, and Ricky Martin. But not at the same time (that would be too much excitement at once).
Hotel Shakti or similar
- Journey back along the banks of the Trisuli River to Kathmandu, where the trip ends
What to Know
All tours are led by experienced regional tour guides in Nepal and India. All transportation and accommodation as indicated in detailed Trip Notes. The following sightseeing trips are included: Royal Chitwan National Park - park entrance fees and one elephant ride; Agra - one visit to the Taj Mahal including transport, entrance and local site guide fees; Tordi Garh - village walk and jeep safari; Jaipur - one visit to Amber Fort including transport, entrance and local site guide fees.
- 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 21 Dec 2013 - 05 Jan 2014 2 Closed US $1,275 Closed
Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments
At the end of each trip, we ask our travellers to provide feedback. We publish the positive, negative and neutral feedback on this page to give you an overall idea of what to expect on this trip.
Maharajas & Mountains
Tanya - Australia, 2 Mar, 2013
Fantastic trip. Really glad we did India first as Nepal was much quieter and I realised how much I needed the slower pace of Nepal once we got there. The trip offered just enough free time on most days to feel like we could be independent. Catching local transport where possible and the orientation tours were an excellent introduction to each city and gave some of us more confidence to go back out in to the craziness and enjoy it on our own. A good balance between busy sightseeing and flexibility to be independent or rest if needed. Both tour guides (we changed in Nepal) were fantastic ambassadors for their countries, very personable and obviously enjoyed their jobs enormously. Other than that, all of the accommodations exceeded our expectations and were generally well located within the cities.
Maharajas & Mountains
Gael - New Zealand, 19 Jan, 2013
This was an excellent trip, I enjoyed every moment of it, the standard of guides throughout, accommodation, transportation, and sightseeing experiences all exceeded my expectations. Can't wait to do another Gecko's trip!
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