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Best of North India & Nepal
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Best of North India & Nepal

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 15 day(s)
Group Size: 4 - 15 people
Destination(s): India   Nepal  
Specialty Categories: Cultural Journey  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 4595 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 5495 US Dollar (USD)

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Mumbai. Arrive in Mumbai. Upon arrival, you will be greeted and assisted by our representative and transferred to your hotel.

Day 2: Mumbai - Udaipur. After breakfast, enjoy the half day sightseeingof Mumbai. The tour incudes the 26 meters high British-built Arch “Gateway of India”, Mumbai’s landmark built to honor the visit of George V and Queen Mary in 1911. Marine Drive dubbed as the Queen’s Necklace, is Mumbai’s most popular promenade and a favorite sunset watching spot. The Kamla Nhru Park from where you have a picturesque view of the city, Hanging Gardens are so named since they are located on top of a series of tanks that supply water to Mumbai. Pass by the "towers of silence", the crematorium of the Parsis. Later, transfer to the airport and fly to Udaipur. Upon arrival, you will be greeted and transferred to your hotel. Dinner at hotel. Includes: (B), (D).

Day 3: Udaipur. After breakfast, enjoy the visits to the following. One of the largest royal complexes in Rajasthan, the City Palace stands majestically on a promontory on the picturesque Lake Pichola. The complex boasts 11 constituent Mahals (palaces), whith balconies, towers and cupolas, offering a breathtaking view of the lake and its surroundings. The Durbar Hall, which was used as a venue for formal occasions like state banquets and meetings, has most luxurious interiors highlighted by some of the largest chandeliers in the world. The Palace also houses a museum displaying a number of interesting artifacts. Folklore Museum (Lok Kala Mandal): Bhartiya Lok Kala Mandal was founded by Padma Shri Devi Lal Samar in 1952. The main objective of the Institute is to conduct studies on the folk art, songs and festivals of regions like Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh etc. and to revive a vanishing folk culture.

The institute has a puppet unit that trains children, teachers and other artists in the art of puppetry, as this is a very powerful non-conventional educative medium. The Sahelion-Ki-Bari Garden was built in early 18th century AD as a retreat for ladies of the royal household to spend their time in leisure. The enchantingly beautiful garden is famous for its lotus pool, fountains (in the shape of birds), lush green lawns, flowerbeds, and marble pavilions, offering a breathtaking view to visitors. Built in 1651 AD by Maharana Jagat Singh, Jagdish Temple is the largest and the most beautiful temple in Udaipur. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the temple is famous for its beautiful sculpted images and towering shikhara. The temple represents a fine example of Indo-Aryan architectural style. In the afternoon, enjoy boat ride on the Pichola Lake. Fed by a big stream from the western mountains, the lake is 2.5 miles long and 1.5 miles wide surrounded by palaces and temples. Lake Pichola is a divine sight in the early hours of dawn when the sunrays literally paint the lake golden in color. Dinner and overnight at the hotel. Includes: (B), (D).

Day 4: Udaipur - Jaipur. After breakfast, you will be transferred to airport and fly to Jaipur. Maharaja Jai Singh II built Jaipur in the 18th century. It is a planned city built with ancient Hindu rules as the colonial capital of a richly colorful state. The whole city was painted pink to welcome the visit of Prince Albert in 1852. On arrival in Jaipur, you will be greeted and transferred to hotel. Later enjoy the Rikshaw ride (Paddy Cab) in the streets of Jaipur. This will be done through the old city (30 – 35 minutes). Ride through the narrow by-lanes of Jaipur, through the hustle and bustle of the old bazaars. Includes: (B), (D).

Day 5: Jaipur. After breakfast, enjoy the full day visit of Jaipur including the following. Amber Fort The Amber fort was built in 1592 by Raja Man Singh and is one of the finest examples of Rajput architecture. It gives extensive views over a deep narrow valley and the wider plains. The Fort was completed in the early 18th century. It was once the capital of the Mina tribes, believed to be the original inhabitants of this region. The fort, sprawled along the Maotha Lake, boasts of a massive complex gateways, courts, stairways and pillared pavilions, and palaces that recall the glory and wealth. Visit the palace of wind (Hawa Mahal) with 953 windows and niches which were made so that ladies of royal family could see the procession and events in the city without being visible to the people.

City Palace occupies the center of Jaipur. It now houses the Royal residence and museums with collections of textiles and costumes, armory, manuscripts, paintings, etc. Janta Mantar (Royal Observatory) it was built (1728-34) by king astrologer Jari Singh II. The instruments are built of stone with marble facing on the important plains for measuring the harmony of the heavens. Each instrument serves a particular function and each gives an accurate reading. Dinner and overnight at the hotel. Includes: (B), (D).

Day 6: Jaipur - Fatehpur Sikri - Agra. After breakfast, drive to Agra. En route, visit Fetehpur Sikri, the beautiful and deserted medieval city built by Akbar the Great in the 16th century to serve as the capital of his vast empire. The complex consists of religious, residential and administrative buildings. Later continue your drive to Agra. On arrival, check in to your hotel. Balance of the day is at leisure. Dinner and overnight. Includes: (B), (D).

Day 7: Agra. After breakfast, visit the Taj Mahal – a poem in white marble, built by the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan in the memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaj Mahal. Today India’s most fascinating and beautiful masterpiece, this perfectly symmetrical edifice is set amidst landscaped gardens on the banks of the Yamuna River. Its marble exterior reflects rose and golden tints at sunrise and sunset, while it is dazzling white during the day and glows pearl-like in the moonlight and during the monsoon. Includes: (B).

Note: Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays.

Later, visit Agra Fort. Designed and built by Akbar in 1565 AD, the fort is surrounded by a 70 feet high wall. It houses the beautiful Pearl Mosque and numerous palaces. The Agra fort happens to be on the same bank of the river Yamuna as the Taj Mahal, which is visible in all its beauty from one side of the fort. Emperor Shahjahan, a prisoner of his son Aurangzeb in his old age was put in a cell from where he could gaze at the Taj Mahal at a distance from his cell in the Agra Fort. It is an imposing structure with walls of red sandstone almost three kilometers long. Dinner and overnight in the hotel. Includes: (B), (D).

Day 8: Agra – Jhansi – Khajurajo. After breakfast, transfer to railway station to board the train to Jhansi. On arrival in Jhansi, drive to Khajuraho (172 km. 4 hours), home to the most famous erotic temples built in the 10th and 11th century by the Chandella Rulers. Upon arrival, check in to your hotel. Dinner and overnight. Includes: (B), (D).

Day 9: Khajuraho – Varanasi. In the morning, visit Eastern Group of temples mainly dedicated to the Jain teachers – tirthankaras – the Parsvanatha Temple, the Adinatha Temple and the Santinatha Temple. The temples are ornately carved on the outside with beautiful figures of Hindu gods and goddesses. Also visit the Western Group of temples, which consist of a group of artistic temples built in sandstone. The sculptures of Hindu deities, dancers and musicians appear to be so natural as if they would come alive any time. In the afternoon, transfer to the airport and fly to Varanasi. It derives its name from the two streams – Varuna in the north and Assi in the south.

On arrival in Varanasi, transfer to your hotel. Later, drive out for an excursion to Sarnath. Located 13 km northeast of Varanasi, Sarnath is the auspicious place where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon in the deer park after attaining enlightenment at Bodhgaya. Set amidst well-maintained gardens, Sarnath’s ruins are a pleasant place for a stroll or for medication. Dinner and overnight at the hotel. Includes: (B), (D).

Day 10: Varanasi - Kathmandu. Today early morning, you experience the life of this ancient city. See the beauty of the rising sun on the Ganges with Boat Ride. Experience the early morning rituals of the Hindus being performed, thousands of people taking bath in the holy river believing they will be free from the circle of rebirth. It is interesting to see the pilgrims offering sweets, flowers and holy water to the Sun God. Later return to hotel. After breakfast, transfer to airport and fly to Kathmandu. Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you will be greeted and transferred to your hotel. Dinner and overnight at the hotel. Includes: (B), (D).

Day 11: Kathmandu. After breakfast, enjoy a city tour of Kathmandu known as Kantipur, the kingdom of Nepal. Here you will visit the temple of the living Goddess, who acknowledges the greetings of her devotees form balcony of her temple residence, Kathmandap – the source of the name Kathmandu. It was allegedly made from the timber of a single tree. Next, on to the Durbar Square area with its array of temples overlooked by the Hanuman Dhoka Palace, the ancient palace of the Nepalese Royalty. Visit Swayambhunath located approximately 3 km from the center of Kathmandu. This Buddhist stupa is said to be 2000 years old. The stupa which forms the main structure is composed of a solid hemisphere of brick and earth which supports a lofty conical spire capped by a pinnacle of gilt copper.

Also enjoy the excursion to Patan. Patan, also known as Lalitpur, is a city of fine arts, enclosed within 4 stupas, which are said to have been built in the 3rd century AD by Emperor Ashoka. You will see Durba Square, the Patan Durbar (palace) which houses a bronze collection, the Krishna temple built by King Siddi Narsinh Malla, Hiranya Varna Mahavihar, and Mahaboudha Temple. Dinner and overnight at the hotel. Includes: (B), (D).

Day 12: Kathmandu. After breakfast, enjoy the excursion to Bhaktapur. Also known as Bhadgaon meaning the city of devotees, this place is the home of medieval art and architecture. Lying 14km east of Kathmandu, this place was founded in the 9th century and is shaped like a conch shell. In Bhaktapur, you will visit the Durbar Square with its array of temples overlooked by the palace of 55 Windows built by King Bupatindra Malla. Visit Pashunpatinath which is one of the holiest Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. Situated amidst a lush green natural setting on the bank of the sacred Bagmati river, the temple has a gilded roof and beautifully carved silver doors. Next, visit Boudanath stupa which is one of the biggest in the world of its kind. It stands with four pairs of eyes in the four cardinal directions, keeping a lookout for righteous behavior and human prosperity. This Buddhist stupa was built by King Man Deva at the advice of the Goddess Mani Logini. Dinner and overnight at hotel. Includes: (B), (D).

Day 13: Kathmandu – Delhi. After leisurely breakfast, transfer to the airport and fly to Delhi. On arrival, you will be greeted and transferred to your hotel. Balance of the day is at leisure. Includes: (B).

Day 14: Delhi. After breakfast, enjoy a full day tour of Old and New Delhi including Red Fort, the 17th century fortress built in red sandstone; Jama Masjid made of red sandstone and white marble. It is India’s largest mosque where more than 20,000 people can kneel in prayer at one time; Raj Ghat on the banks of the river Yamuna. This is Mahatma Gandhi’s Memorial where he was cremated following his assassination in January 1948; India Gate and Government Buildings by driving through Lutyens Delhi. See India Gate commemorating the 70,000 Indian soldiers who died in the 1st World War; and Rashtrapati Bhawan, the official residence of the President of India. See Humayun’s Tomb built by his wife Haji Begum in the 16th century, an early example of Mughal architecture considered the predecessor of the Taj Mahal. Finally, Qutub Minar, the landmark of Delhi, a huge tower of victory started in 1199 and completed in 1368. The minar is 72.5 m high with a diameter at the base of 14.4 m and 2.7 m at the top. The tower has 379 steps to the top. Includes: (B).

Day 15: Delhi – Home. Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to airport for departure. Includes: (B).

Notes:
- Included meal indicators: B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner
- Group discount available a party of 7 or more
- Discounts for triple occupancy and children are available.
- Children requesting extra bed will receive the standard adult triple occupancy
- Infant under 2 years of age is free
- When listed hotels are not available, hotels of the same standard will be used.

Notes:
Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Prices:
- Valid till December 20, 2011:
* 4-star: 4595 USD, single supplement: 1070 USD
* 5-star: 5495 USD, single supplement: 1475 USD
- January 10 till April 30, 2012:
* 4-star: 4695 USD, single supplement: 1140 USD
* 5-star: 5595 USD, single supplement: 1545 USD.

Price Includes:
- Local airfares: Mumbai - Udaipur - Jaipur; Khojuraho - Varanasi - Kathmandu - Delhi
- Accommodations at listed hotels sharing double occupancy
- Meals as indicated in the itinerary
- Sightseeing as shown in the itinerary
- Entrance fees
- Professional English-speaking guide
- Air-conditioned touring vehicle for all services
- Airport transfers upon arrival and departure in each city
- Local taxes and service charges for meals, accommodations and transportation.

Price Excludes:
- Airfare
- Passport and visa fees
- Travel insurance
- Tips to guide and driver
- Gratuities for hotel attendants
- Telephone calls
- Laundry
- Things not mentioned as included.

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