The Road to Kathmandu
Head from bustling Delhi to remote Tordi Garh, get down and dirty with the best street food in Jaipur, gape at the Taj, cruise down the holy Ganges in Varanasi, hang in Buddha’s hometown (Lumbini), see a few sloths and rhinos at Chitwan, swing through Pokhara and finish up in Kathmandu.
Got a sweet tooth? India's got the cure. Take one soft, fluffy ball of buffalo milk dough. Deep fry until it's the texture of a donut. Drop into sugar syrup flavoured with cardamom powder, rose essence and saffron. Eat. Repeat.
RETURNING TO NEPAL:
Thank you for choosing to visit Nepal. It is a decision you can be proud of because by visiting you are helping Nepal get back on its feet after the devastating earthquake of April this year. The following trip notes reflect our itineraries before the earthquake occurred. As Nepal rebuilds, there are likely to be changes. We may not be able to visit some destinations and sights, some accommodation may be closed and some activities may not be available. We are working closely with our operations team in Nepal to finalise as much as we can.
WE will be able to let you know about some of these changes in advance before you travel. Others may need to be communicated to you by your tour leader once you are already in the country. We ask all our travellers to be flexible, patient and understanding both as you prepare for your travels and while on your trip in Nepal.
Click here to view updates about the Nepal earthquake.
Day 1 - Delhi
The Indian head wobble is confusing. Does it mean yes? Does it mean no? And why aren’t they saying anything? We still haven’t worked it out, can you?
Pre-departure meeting at 6pm and an optional group meal in the eveningHotel Rockwell Plaza or similar
Day 2 - Tordi Garh
You might think it's polite to let the local kids beat you at cricket. Don't bother. They're ruthless, bloodthirsty and out to win. Lick your wounds on a walk to the ruined temple and fortress.
Hotel Tordi Garh or similar
- Journey through picturesque countryside by train and jeep to reach Tordi Garh, a remote, rarely visited village (378km, approx 5 hours).
- Mingle with the local community and learn about village life.
- Visit the markets and the old village temple.
- Sleep overnight in the palace at Tordi.
Day 3-4 - Jaipur
They're not afraid of a deep fryer in Jaipur.
Leave Tordi behind and head for Jaipur by jeep (120km, approx 2 1/2 hours).
Hit the streets for raj kachori chaat - a big fluffy chaat served with chutney, yoghurt, chilli and potato. Then cool off with a lassi from Lassiwala on MI road, Jaipur's oldest and most famous lassi shop.
Hotel Mrignayani Palace or similar
- Get acquainted with the busy streets and vibrant people of Jaipur.
- Visit the stunning medieval Amber Fort.
- Take a guided tour of the Old Bazaar and The Palace of the Winds.
- Take some free time to explore on your own.
- For many travellers a hot air balloon experience is one of the highlights of Jaipur. Ballooning can be done over Jaipur on the morning of day 4 between Sep & Jun. For additional information please see the important notes section of your trip notes.
Day 5-6 - Agra - Taj Mahal
On to Agra by local public bus today (236km, approx 5 hours).
They make you cover your shoes in funny little fabric shower caps. And for some reason local families find it more interesting to take photos of you than the actual Taj Mahal. But none of it matters. You'll be too busy standing there with your mouth gaping open to notice.
Hotel Royal Residency or similar
- View the awesome Taj Mahal.
- Optional visit to Agra Fort.
- Board an overnight train bound for Varanasi tonight (600km, approx 12 hours).
Day 7-8 - Varanasi
You wouldn't swim in it for a million bucks. But my goodness the Ganges is pretty to look at. Even if you're not the spiritual sort, you can't help but get goosebumps as we take a boat ride at sunrise.
Hotel Surya or similar
- Get to know the spiritual heart of India.
- Witness life and death rituals on the Ganges.
- Embark on a cruise on India's most famous river.
Day 9 - Lumbini
Cross into Nepal, first taking jeeps to the border and then a bus to Lumbini (total 300km, travel will take most of the day).
Lumbini Budha Garden or similar
- Visit the birthplace of the founder of Buddhism.
- View temples built by Buddhists from all over the world.
- Take a trip to the ancient Ashoka Pillar and Maya Devi Temple.
- Sleep overnight in a jungle camp.
Day 10-11 - Chitwan National Park
Transfer to Chitwan by private vehicle (200km, approx 5 hours).
Stay in a jungle lodge close to Chitwan National Park.
Riverview lodge or similar
- Take a jeep safari into the jungle.
- Be in with a chance of spotting rhinoceros, deer, sloth bear, a variety of birds and perhaps even tigers (if you're really, really lucky).
- Perhaps set off on canoe, jeep or walking safaris.
Day 12 - Pokhara
There's a bit of driving today as we head for Pokhara (200km, approx 5 hours), but if you look out the window you'll catch a glimpse of Ganesh, Mansalu and Annapurna ranges.
Relax lakeside and enjoy the lush and tranquil surrounds against the backdrop of mighty mountains.Hotel Tulshi or similar
Day 13 - Pokhara - Kathmandu
On to your final destination of the Nepalese capital Kathmandu (approx 7 hours).
Maybe book in for a massage or a yoga session when you get there to ease those kinks out of your back.
Enjoy free time, perhaps visit the giant Buddhist Stupa at Bodnath, buy last minute souvenirs or chill out with a massage or a drinkHotel Shakti or similar
Day 14-15 - Kathmandu
Our hotel is close to Durbar Square so stock up on last minute presents (Tibetan prayer flags, anyone?) followed by a final bowl of momo (dumplings).
More free time today.
Perhaps enjoy a final group dinner.
The trip ends today after breakfast, but for those who wish to stay on, Kathmandu's got a lot to see.Hotel Shakti or similar
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; 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; Delhi - an orientation walk around Chandi Chowk and Janpath including transport.
Pick-pocketing and bag-snatching are common, particularly in airports and on buses. Take care when walking around at night. Avoid walking on your own and don’t carry large sums of cash. Keep valuables in a hotel safe if possible. Bars and restaurants now close at midnight as part of a government crackdown on illegal activities. Foreigners remaining in bars and clubs after hours have been detained by the police.
With the exception of medical and emergency evacuations, due to the safety risks involved we are unable to use helicopters as a substitute for cancelled or postponed internal flights or for any other itinerary alterations.
Travelling in India and Nepal whilst the Holi festival is on (a lunar festival but generally held in March every year), can at times be dangerous - a lot of locals participate in consumption of intoxicating substances. The day has been associated with physical violence and danger. Your leader will be advising you and your group on what places to avoid on this day and it may even be necessary for us to alter your itinerary for the day to avoid putting you or our group leader in high risk situation.
Traffic and Roads:
Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!
Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.
Safety for Women Travellers:
Women should exercise caution when travelling in India. Reported cases of sexual assault against women are increasing; recent sexual attacks against female visitors in tourist areas and cities show that foreign women are also at risk. While the risk of an incident occurring on your trip is very low, below are some things you can do for your safety and peace of mind when travelling:
- Respect local dress codes and customs, perhaps dressing more conservatively than you do at home
- Avoid isolated areas, including beaches, unlit city streets and village lanes when alone at any time of day
- Avoid travelling alone on public transport, or in taxis or auto-rickshaws, especially at night
- If you have to use a taxi get them from hotel taxi ranks and use pre-paid taxis at airports. Try to avoid hailing taxis on the street. Some cities (including Delhi and Chennai) have special taxi services for women with women drivers
- If you’re being collected at the airport by a driver make sure they have properly identified themselves before you set off. When leaving your compartment on overnight trains (ie. going to the bathroom), ask a male travel companion to accompany you where possible
For further information and advice, visit:
Trip Dates and Prices
Start Date – End Date Trip Status Price 10 Oct 2015 - 24 Oct 2015 Fully Booked US $1,265 Sale: US $1,012 Closed 17 Oct 2015 - 31 Oct 2015 Fully Booked US $1,220 Sale: US $976 Closed 31 Oct 2015 - 14 Nov 2015 Available US $1,360 Book Now 07 Nov 2015 - 21 Nov 2015 Available smokin' deal Sale: US $1,126 Book Now 21 Nov 2015 - 05 Dec 2015 Available US $1,275 Book Now 05 Dec 2015 - 19 Dec 2015 Available US $1,265 Book Now 19 Dec 2015 - 02 Jan 2016 Available US $1,265 Book Now 02 Jan 2016 - 16 Jan 2016 Available US $1,180 Book Now 16 Jan 2016 - 30 Jan 2016 Available US $1,180 Book Now 30 Jan 2016 - 13 Feb 2016 Available US $1,180 Book Now 06 Feb 2016 - 20 Feb 2016 Available US $1,140 Book Now 13 Feb 2016 - 27 Feb 2016 Available US $1,140 Book Now 27 Feb 2016 - 12 Mar 2016 Available US $1,140 Book Now 05 Mar 2016 - 19 Mar 2016 Available US $1,095 Book Now 12 Mar 2016 - 26 Mar 2016 Available US $1,095 Book Now 26 Mar 2016 - 09 Apr 2016 Available US $1,095 Book Now 23 Apr 2016 - 07 May 2016 Available US $1,095 Book Now 14 May 2016 - 28 May 2016 Available US $1,095 Book Now 04 Jun 2016 - 18 Jun 2016 Available US $1,095 Book Now 17 Sep 2016 - 01 Oct 2016 Available US $1,140 Book Now 15 Oct 2016 - 29 Oct 2016 Available US $1,140 Book Now 29 Oct 2016 - 12 Nov 2016 Available US $1,140 Book Now 12 Nov 2016 - 26 Nov 2016 Available US $1,180 Book Now 19 Nov 2016 - 03 Dec 2016 Available US $1,180 Book Now 03 Dec 2016 - 17 Dec 2016 Available US $1,180 Book Now 17 Dec 2016 - 31 Dec 2016 Available US $1,180 Book Now
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.
The Road to Kathmandu
James - Australia, 7 Apr, 2014
I thoroughly enjoyed the trip. The value for money was excellent, I doubt that we would've been able to pay for the accommodation, transport and activities for less than the cost of the trip, even if we were to organise the trip ourselves. I felt safe at all times.
The Road to Kathmandu
Gillian - New Zealand, 22 Jan, 2014
The trip was all that I expected and more. The professionalism of the two guides - Pradeep and Binod - was amazing. They were so organised, informed and helpful, and went over and above their duties to ensure that we were looked after at all times - this even extended to getting medications when anyone fell ill. There were 2 members of our tour who elected from the onset to be 'Independent" of the group, making things very difficult for both tour leaders, as well as the rest of the group. The way that Pradeep and Binod handled this was a real credit to them both. They ensured that the rest of the group were in no way compromised by the actions of these 2 ladies. I would really like to thank both of them for making this trip so fantastic. A lifetime experience that I will dwell on for many a year. I would not hesitate to use Gecko Tours again if all their guides are as good as the two we had!
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