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Delhi to Kathmandu

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Delhi to Kathmandu

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Description

Travel from India to Nepal on an insightful overland trip from Delhi to Kathmandu. From reminders of the Mughal dynasty in northern India to the snow-capped Himalayas of Nepal, this trip will truly inspire. Witness the colour and contrast between the bazaars of Delhi, the jungle in Orchha, and the sacred Ganges. Be awed by the Taj Mahal and see the sunrise over the holy city of Varanasi. Come face-to-face with pilgrims, villagers, holy men, and generations of shopkeepers. For those wanting to travel by land between these two very different neighbours, this is the perfect journey.

Trip Name
Delhi to Kathmandu
Last Updated
2024-04-20
Days
15
Capacity
12
Highlights
  • Bigger and more beautiful than any photo can capture, the Taj Mahal is a triumph of Mughal architecture that promises to inspire even the most seasoned travellers.
  • Learn to whip up some central Indian staples during a cooking demonstration at home with friends in Orchha; the perfect opportunity to experience an authentic slice of Indian family life.
  • See pilgrims praying and bathing along the ghats of the sacred Ganges River during an unforgettable sunrise cruise in Varanasi – one of India's holiest cities.
  • Stay in a lodge and wake to the calls of the jungle in Chitwan National Park, then embark on a safari in search of rhino, deer, monkeys, and a wide array of birdlife.
  • Spend a memorable night at a Madi Valley Homestay – an Intrepid project that provides sustainable incomes and encourages local communities to conserve the wilderness and wildlife around them.
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, Positive Change for Marine Life. Donations help them to nurture ocean health with community-led conservation initiatives that inspire coastal restoration, sustainable fishing practices and waste-management.

Itinerary

ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It's important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, political unrest or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. Your group leader or local representative will keep you up to date with any such changes once your trip is underway. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance fees only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your group leader or local representative know you are interested at the Welcome Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and group leader or local representative are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

Day 1 - Delhi
Welcome to India! This adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 1 pm today. In Delhi, watch one of the world's greatest shows unfold as people, traffic, cows, and kids all work together in a kind of organised chaos around historical sites from different eras, museums and galleries, shops, and endless bazaars. This afternoon, join your group leader on an excursion into the sights and sounds of Old Delhi. Set off on the city's modern metro system, then get a taste of India's renowned old-school public transport with an optional cycle rickshaw ride through chaotic streets. Make a visit to the Jama Masjid, Delhi's oldest mosque, and one of its most impressive buildings, then visit the Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple) to learn about the Sikh religion. This evening, maybe grab a chai, put your feet up and let it all soak in.
Day 2 - Agra
After arriving into the Agra today by one of India's express air-conditioned trains (approximately 3 hours), you’ll head straight to the most recognisable sight in India. It doesn’t matter who you are, the Taj Mahal will leave you awe-struck with the morning light shimmering off its white marble surface. Best known as a monument to love and loss, the 17th century Taj is a beautiful example of Mughal architecture, surrounded by trimmed English gardens. The highlights keep coming as you take a motorised rickshaw tour, a truly fun and Intrepid way to see the monuments of Agra. Later, you'll also visit Akbar's Mausoleum – a beautiful sandstone and marble tomb built for the greatest of the Mughal emperors.
Day 3 - Agra – Orchha
Agra is also home to one of the finest looking forts in India. This morning you’ll enter the dark red sandstone stronghold of Agra Fort – part fortress, part palace and part prison – and search through throne rooms and tiny but incredibly decorated mosques. Later, travel by air-conditioned train from Agra to Jhansi (approximately 3 hours). Upon arrival in Jhansi, travel through traditional rural Indian landscapes to reach the beautiful town of Orchha on the banks of the Betwa River (approximately 45 minutes). Here you’ll have the opportunity to uncover a very different side of India. Initially a hunting area, Orchha has changed very little over the centuries. Despite its small size, it is filled with many beautiful temples and palaces built here in the 16th century by the ruling Bundelas clan. This evening, witness the Ram Raja Temple puja (prayer) ceremony at the shrine at the heart of the city. Stay in a restored heritage property tonight.
Day 4 - Orchha
Today you'll visit the stunning Orchha Palace, built by Bir Sing Deo for his friend Jehangir, the great Mughal ruler. Take note of the grand Iwans (domes) that were built large enough to allow the movement of war elephants. You’ll also make a stop at Taragram - a paper making factory that enables local tribal women to work outside the realm usually afforded to them. The paper is crafted from wood pulp and recycled clothing.
Day 5 - Orchha - Overnight train
Today you'll get to soak up more of the unique atmosphere of Orchha, and excitingly you'll get to soak up the local flavours too. Learn about the local cuisine, its ingredients, and how it's prepared, in a cooking demonstration with our local friends. In not too long, you’ll get to taste the unforgettable results. This evening you’ll return to Jhansi and board an overnight train to Prayagraj (Allahabad) (approximately 10 hours) – the starting point for your Ganges boat journey.
Day 6 - River Ganges
Arrive in Allahabad and transfer to the Ganges (approximately 2 hours) by small riverboats for a cruise down the river. You'll experience the sacred River Ganges, the lifeblood of millions of Indian people, with a boat cruise through the heart of rural India. A support crew will be on hand as you cruise down this iconic waterway, passing village communities and viewing river life as it goes on around you. The boats are equipped with life jackets, the deck has mattresses and cushions to relax on, and it’s all covered with a cloth roof for sun protection. Arrive at your campsite and relax riverside, read a book or play some cricket. Watch the sun go down and eat a delicious vegetarian meal prepared by the boatmen.
Day 7 - Varanasi
Leaving your boats at Chunar, transfer by private vehicle to Varanasi (approximately 2 hours). This is one of holiest cities around; the ultimate destination for Hindu pilgrims who travel from far and wide to experience this spiritual city. Overflowing with temples, shrines and devotees, there’s no doubt it’s one of the most amazing cities. Set off on a walking tour of the oldest part of the city, bustling with tourists and priests, and see different rituals being performed. Wander through the Old City with its maze of narrow alleyways packed full of small shops and stalls, and lumbering cows. This evening, soak up the unique magical atmosphere of a candle flower ceremony as the sun sets.
Day 8 - Varanasi
Today starts early with a sunrise boat ride on the Ganges, where you can watch the light gradually illuminate the many ghats and temples along the river as you pass. The rest of the day is free for you to use as you like. There’s an option to take a trip to nearby Sarnath – one of the four main Buddhist pilgrimage destinations. The site is where Buddha preached his message of the path to enlightenment and features a number of stupas and museums to explore. Or perhaps visit Ram Nagar Fort – a crumbling 17th-century fort and palace on the eastern bank of the Ganges, that’s the ancestral home of the Maharaja of Banaras. Alternatively, the day can be spent exploring the laneways and alleys behind the ghats, picking up some examples of the excellent local silk industry, or perfecting yoga in this most chakra-balancing of places.
Day 9 - India/Nepal border crossing – Lumbini
Today, wave goodbye to India and say namaste to Nepal, as you cross the border at Gorakhpur. Though there’s always something to look at out the windows, it’s a good idea to have some other entertainment on hand for the long day of travelling ahead (approximately 8-10 hours including stops). For groups of less than five, you will travel by car and for bigger groups by bus. On entering Nepal, take a private bus to your hotel in Lumbini (approximately 1 hour). This is no ordinary border town, but the birthplace of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, and one of his four holy places of pilgrimage. It's said in the Parinibbana Sutta that Buddha identified the sites as those of his birth, enlightenment, first discourse, and death. You’ll visit the beautiful Ashoka Pillars and hop on cycle rickshaws to the Maya Devi Temple, the actual site where Lord Buddha is thought to have been born.
Day 10 - Amaltari Community
Continue your journey by private vehicle through the Terai to the Amaltari Madhyavarti village homestay – your home for the night. A well-known Indigenous group in Nepal, the Tharu community who live here are known for their distinctive culture and lifestyle. When you arrive, have lunch in the community with your group, get to know some of the locals and then enjoy some free time to freshen up. After, you’ll head out on a 4WD drive to the lake to enjoy some afternoon tea. Learn about village life in the community over dinner tonight and relish in a homecooked, traditional meal made by the locals.
Day 11 - Chitwan National Park
This morning, go on a village walk, guided by a member of the Tharu community around the village. See the architecture and structure of the Indigenous homes around the village by daylight, as well as the local farms, where locals cultivate their crops to sustain their community’s livelihood and economy. Connect with the daily way of life here through cultural immersion and storytelling and learn about their customs and values from the locals themselves. After, say goodbye to your hosts, and head for your lodge in Chitwan National Park via Twenty Thousand Lakes (Bis Hajaar Tal) via private vehicle (2 hours). Nepal’s second-largest natural wetland, this beautiful reserve area is a maze of small lakes that teems with wildlife. Home to numerous crocodiles, this is one of the park’s best areas for birdwatching, with hundreds of species using it as a migratory route stop. If you’re lucky, you might spot an Indian rhino.
Day 12 - Chitwan National Park
After breakfast, take a walk to the Rapti River from where you’ll be taken on a boat/jeep safari through the national park. Enjoy some brilliantly-coloured-bird watching along the Rapti River and a picnic lunch. Keep your eyes peeled for gharials – this fish-eating crocodile has long been hunted for the supposed aphrodisiac qualities of its snout. Learn more about them when you drop by the crocodile breeding centre. Once back at your accommodation, there’ll be time to relax or to take part in a number of optional activities offered by the park. Tonight, you’ll be treated to a cultural performance by the locals.
Day 13 - Kathmandu
Today you'll journey by bus from Chitwan to Nepal's capital, Kathmandu (approximately 6 hours). This is a ride that takes in all the sights that define Nepal – iridescent rice terraces, deep gorges, fast-flowing rivers, and looming mountains. Kathmandu is a mixture of ancient architecture and modern development and, with its rich artistic and cultural heritage, it remains the legendary destination it has been for decades. Crowded markets and bazaars are the centre of Nepali life and the narrow streets are home to holy men, monks, bicycles, incense, goats, and sacred cows. Perhaps head out into Durbar Square, in front of the old royal palace and home to numerous beautiful temples and browse the stalls of merchant's wares.
Day 14 - Kathmandu
Today you’ll head out to the ancient Swayambhunath Temple, known to tourists as the Monkey Temple and Kathmandu's most important Buddhist shrine. The sleepy, all-seeing Buddha eyes that stare out from the top have become the quintessential symbol of Nepal. You’ll also join the pilgrims at Bodhnath Stupa – the largest stupa in Nepal and the holiest Tibetan Buddhist temple outside Tibet. It's the centre of Tibetan culture in Kathmandu, rich in Buddhist symbolism, and you can observe Buddhist monks in prayer in the monasteries surrounding the stupa. You will also visit Pashupatinath – the most famous Hindu temple in the country – located on the banks of the holy Bagmati River. Here you will see Hindu holy men (sadhus) meditating and pilgrims bathing. There are also a number of optional activities to take advantage of if you have the time, including our Urban Adventures. Maybe take-off on a flight from Kathmandu airport to see some spectacular mountain scenery. Those who don't have the opportunity to go trekking can get panoramic views of the Himalayas in just an hour.
Day 15 - Kathmandu
Your adventure through Nepal and India ends today and you're free to leave the accommodation at any time.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
17-05-202431-05-2024AUD $ 2,344-
07-06-202421-06-2024AUD $ 1,954-
12-07-202426-07-2024AUD $ 2,605-
22-07-202405-08-2024AUD $ 2,605-
26-07-202409-08-2024AUD $ 2,605-
05-08-202419-08-2024AUD $ 2,605-
12-08-202426-08-2024AUD $ 2,475-
26-08-202409-09-2024AUD $ 2,579-
02-09-202416-09-2024AUD $ 2,715-
09-09-202423-09-2024AUD $ 2,715-
16-09-202430-09-2024AUD $ 2,740-
23-09-202407-10-2024AUD $ 2,795-
30-09-202414-10-2024AUD $ 2,715-
04-10-202418-10-2024AUD $ 2,740-
07-10-202421-10-2024AUD $ 2,815-
11-10-202425-10-2024AUD $ 2,870-
14-10-202428-10-2024AUD $ 2,815-
16-10-202430-10-2024AUD $ 2,815-
18-10-202401-11-2024AUD $ 2,815-
21-10-202404-11-2024AUD $ 2,815-
25-10-202408-11-2024AUD $ 2,815-
29-10-202412-11-2024AUD $ 2,815-
01-11-202415-11-2024AUD $ 2,870-
04-11-202418-11-2024AUD $ 2,815-
11-11-202425-11-2024AUD $ 2,870-
15-11-202429-11-2024AUD $ 2,815-
18-11-202402-12-2024AUD $ 2,815-
25-11-202409-12-2024AUD $ 2,815-
29-11-202413-12-2024AUD $ 2,815-
02-12-202416-12-2024AUD $ 2,840-
09-12-202423-12-2024AUD $ 2,815-
16-12-202430-12-2024AUD $ 2,815-
21-12-202404-01-2025AUD $ 2,815-
23-12-202406-01-2025AUD $ 2,715-
28-12-202411-01-2025AUD $ 2,715-
30-12-202413-01-2025AUD $ 2,715-
03-01-202517-01-2025AUD $ 2,735-
10-01-202524-01-2025AUD $ 2,735-
17-01-202531-01-2025AUD $ 2,735-
31-01-202514-02-2025AUD $ 2,735-
07-02-202521-02-2025AUD $ 2,850-
14-02-202528-02-2025AUD $ 2,850-
21-02-202507-03-2025AUD $ 2,850-
28-02-202514-03-2025AUD $ 2,850-
07-03-202521-03-2025AUD $ 2,955-
10-03-202524-03-2025AUD $ 2,955-
14-03-202528-03-2025AUD $ 2,955-
21-03-202504-04-2025AUD $ 2,850-
28-03-202511-04-2025AUD $ 2,850-
04-04-202518-04-2025AUD $ 2,850-
11-04-202525-04-2025AUD $ 2,735-
25-04-202509-05-2025AUD $ 2,735-
09-05-202523-05-2025AUD $ 2,735-
30-05-202513-06-2025AUD $ 2,735-
20-06-202504-07-2025AUD $ 2,735-
11-07-202525-07-2025AUD $ 2,735-
25-07-202508-08-2025AUD $ 2,735-
01-08-202515-08-2025AUD $ 2,735-
15-08-202529-08-2025AUD $ 2,735-
22-08-202505-09-2025AUD $ 2,735-
05-09-202519-09-2025AUD $ 2,735-
12-09-202526-09-2025AUD $ 2,735-
15-09-202529-09-2025AUD $ 2,735-
19-09-202503-10-2025AUD $ 2,735-
22-09-202506-10-2025AUD $ 2,735-
26-09-202510-10-2025AUD $ 2,850-
03-10-202517-10-2025AUD $ 2,850-
06-10-202520-10-2025AUD $ 2,850-
10-10-202524-10-2025AUD $ 2,850-
13-10-202527-10-2025AUD $ 2,850-
17-10-202531-10-2025AUD $ 2,850-
20-10-202503-11-2025AUD $ 2,955-
24-10-202507-11-2025AUD $ 2,955-
27-10-202510-11-2025AUD $ 2,955-
31-10-202514-11-2025AUD $ 2,955-
03-11-202517-11-2025AUD $ 2,955-
07-11-202521-11-2025AUD $ 2,955-
10-11-202524-11-2025AUD $ 2,955-
14-11-202528-11-2025AUD $ 2,955-
17-11-202501-12-2025AUD $ 2,955-
21-11-202505-12-2025AUD $ 2,955-
24-11-202508-12-2025AUD $ 2,955-
28-11-202512-12-2025AUD $ 2,955-
05-12-202519-12-2025AUD $ 2,955-
08-12-202522-12-2025AUD $ 2,955-
15-12-202529-12-2025AUD $ 2,850-
19-12-202502-01-2026AUD $ 2,850-
22-12-202505-01-2026AUD $ 2,850-
26-12-202509-01-2026AUD $ 2,850-
29-12-202512-01-2026AUD $ 2,850-

Accommodation

Hotel (7 nights),Lodge/Guesthouse (3 nights),Heritage Property (2 nights),Overnight sleeper train (1 night),Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)

Transport

Overnight sleeper train,Private vehicle,4x4 Safari Vehicle/Jeep,Auto rickshaw,Cycle rickshaw,Shuttle bus,Train,Canoe,Bike

Map