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Epic India to Nepal

Epic India to Nepal

From $ 1,650 AUD

Description

If India and Nepal are calling your name, this is your sign. On this 20-day adventure, you’ll eat your weight in delicious street food, witness the majesty of one of the Seven Wonders of the World (the Taj Mahal of course) and cruise down the holy Ganges in Varanasi. Hang in Buddha’s hometown (Lumbini), search for sloth bears and rhinos at Chitwan National Park and traverse colourful Kathmandu. Pull on your adventure boots and dive into a rafting experience in Pokhara, camp on the beach and enjoy dinner beneath the stars by the Trisuli River, then trek the Annapurna Circuit. Enjoy the chance to stay with local families along the way, including in a remote village in Hemjakot where you might choose to tuck into a home-cooked dinner with your newfound crew. End it all back in Nepal’s capital and take your newfound spirituality, cooking skills, adventurous spirit or all three back home!

Trip Name
Epic India to Nepal
Last Updated
2024-04-19
Days
20
Capacity
16
Highlights
  • Get wet and wild on a whitewater rafting adventure on the Trisuli River (the most popular river in Nepal for rafting), where you’ll zoom downstream next to giant boulders and gorges and between bright green hills. 
  • See the majestic Taj Mahal – one of the famed Seven Wonders of the World. This may be one of the most recognisable buildings on Earth, but do you know its poetic history? Don’t worry, a local expert will fill you in. 
  • Stretch your legs on an awesome three-night, low-altitude trek through rural villages and rhododendron forests, taking in some pretty amazing sights of the Annapurna Ranges. 
  • Fall asleep to the calls of the jungle in Chitwan National Park, then embark on a safari in search of rhinos, deer, monkeys, tigers and a wide array of bird life. 
  • Ditch your alarm in this spiritual capital – there’s only one way to wake up here and that’s with a sunrise sail along the Ganges. Maybe indulge in some yoga or meditation after and keep the good vibes going.  

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
Namaste! Welcome to India. This Himalayan adventure kicks off in Delhi – the capital territory of India’s north. Meet your trip leader and new travel buddies at a 6 pm welcome meeting tonight. If you arrive early, there's plenty to do in this wonderfully chaotic city. Maybe wander the streets, sip on your first chai or practice haggling in one of the many markets. Tonight, ask your leader for the best nightlife spots and perhaps grab a drink with your group.
Day 2 - Tordi
Your next destination takes a bit of work to get to, but that’s because it’s a secret, tucked away haven away from the prying eyes of the everyday tourist. You’ll journey through picturesque countryside by train to a unique stay in Tordi – this remote and rarely visited village offers a fantastic glimpse into the real Rajasthan. Tonight, sleep in an 18th-century palace with its owner as your host. There's a ruined temple and fortress nearby that you can explore, and then you can settle in and savour the delicious local flavours with a home-cooked dinner.
Day 3 - Jaipur
Kick on to Jaipur – India's super pretty Pink City. You'll have plenty of free time here to haggle to your heart's content at the bazaars and backstreets, where vendors sell a variety of textiles, precious and semi-precious gems and stunning blue pottery. Drop by one of India’s finest palaces – the Royal City Palace – where the guards’ moustaches are almost as impressive as the building itself. Foodies will want to hit the streets for raj kachori chaat (a big fluffy chaat served with chutney, yoghurt, chilli and potato). Then, maybe cool off with a lassi from Lassiwala on MI road – Jaipur's oldest and most famous lassi shop. Tonight, cinema buffs won’t want to miss a Bollywood blockbuster at the spectacular Raj Mandir Cinema.
Day 4 - Jaipur
If you're keen on a different view of the Pink City, an optional early morning hot air balloon ride is a trip highlight for many visitors. Later in the morning, you’ll drop by Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds) – the impressive five-storey facade with pink and honeycombed windows is the most photographed building in the country after the Taj Mahal. After, it’s out to the old capital of Amber where you’ll explore the hilltop fort complex known as the Amber Fort. The rest of the day is free for you to use as you like – maybe ask your leader for the best spot for dinner and pick up a biryani or a tasty plate of chicken tikka masala.
Day 5 - Agra
Take advantage of the chance to rub shoulders with the locals today on a five-hour public bus ride to Agra – this might not be the prettiest city in the world, but the minute you see the Taj Mahal, all other worries will fade away. You’ve made it to one of the Seven Wonders of the World – India's most enduring symbol and an epic monument to love and loss. For some reason, local families find it more interesting to take photos of you than the actual Taj Mahal! But you'll be too busy standing there with your mouth gaping open to notice. Take your time taking in the delight of this gorgeous monument and make sure you grab an epic Instagram – you won’t want to forget this!
Day 6 - Agra - Overnight train
Today is free to explore at your leisure. Agra Fort is a spectacular option where you can stroll the palatial gardens of this red sandstone stronghold and get some great views of the Taj Mahal from afar. For a meal that makes a difference while in Agra, consider visiting Sheroes Hangout, a remarkable social enterprise that supports survivors of acid attacks. Then, it's on to the next stop – Varanasi. Tonight, it’s time for a unique slice of Indian life aboard an overnight train.
Day 7 - Varanasi
Arrive in one of the holiest cities in the country this morning. Varanasi is the ultimate destination for Hindu pilgrims who travel far and wide to experience the spirituality of this city. Overflowing with temples, shrines and devotees, this is a super interesting place to explore. Maybe take the chance to perfect your yoga in one of the epic chakra-balancing spots. Or just chill out and soak in the meditative surroundings, ready for your early start tomorrow.
Day 8 - Varanasi
Today’s an early start, but it’s completely worth it – you’ll take a sunrise boat ride along the sacred Ganges, a true revelation. Even if you're not spiritual, you can't help but get goosebumps during this experience. Pass the many ghats (stairs leading to the water) and temples along the river and watch thousands of Hindu pilgrims cleanse their sins in the holy water as the sun bathes the surrounds in glorious shades of amber and orange. After, maybe hop on an auto rickshaw to the oldest part of the city to explore its maze of narrow alleyways packed full of small shops, stalls and lumbering cows. See pilgrims performing rituals unchanged for hundreds of years and pass chiming temples as wafts of incense fill the air.
Day 9 - India/Nepal border crossing - Lumbini
Wave goodbye to India as you travel to the border (Sunauli border crossing) and enter Nepal. Make sure to charge up your music and fish out your book, as it's a long day of travel today. Arrive in Lumbini. No ordinary border town, this is the birthplace of Gautama Buddha – the founder of Buddhism and one of his four holy places of pilgrimage. Check out the beautiful Ashoka Pillars and hop on cycle rickshaws to the Maya Devi Temple – the actual site where Buddha is thought to have been born.
Day 10 - Chitwan National Park
Put on your safari hat this morning, as you’ll drive to Chitwan National Park – UNESCO declared this park a World Heritage Site in 1984 and it offers some of the best wildlife viewing in Asia. Think the Jungle Book coming to life with rhinos, deer, monkeys and a wide array of birds, including Nepalese wild chickens. Tonight, you’ll stay in a lodge near the park, listening out for the roars of tigers as you fall asleep to the sounds of nature
Day 11 - Chitwan National Park
This morning you’ll hop aboard a jeep, meet your local guide and take a fun safari drive through Chitwan National Park. Look out for elephants and rhinos and if you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of one of the 100-or-so Bengal Tigers that call the park home. There are also a number of optional activities available through your accommodation this afternoon, including biking, bird watching, cultural performances, canoe rides and village tours. Whatever you choose, whether it’s an active cycle through the park or a leisurely float along the river, you’re sure to have a gorgeous afternoon.
Day 12 - Kathmandu
Today, you’ll travel to your final destination – the Nepalese patchouli–scented capital of Kathmandu. Maybe book in for a massage or a yoga session when you arrive to ease those body kinks and settle into a meditative state. With the rest of your free time, you can visit the giant Buddhist Stupa at Bodnath or head out into the narrow streets – home to holy men, monks, bicycles and sacred cows. Got a sweet tooth? Take one soft, fluffy ball of buffalo milk dough, deep fried until it's the texture of a doughnut, dropped into sugar syrup flavoured with cardamom powder, rose essence and saffron and eat! Your leader will know where to grab these delicacies. If you like, just chill out with a cool drink or grab some dinner with your group tonight. Kathmandu has some great spots for nightlife too, so you might want to say cheers to an epic trip and celebrate your last night together.
Day 13 - Kathmandu
Today is a free day in Kathmandu – maybe visit the most important Buddhist shrine, Swayambhunath Stupa and the nearby ‘City of Devotees’ Bhaktapur. If you want to delve deeper into ancient architecture and rich cultural heritage, there are some Urban Adventures day tours that can help you out (just see www.urbanadventures.com). You’ll have another meeting tonight at 6 pm to meet your new group members. After, why not go out for dinner or hit up one of the nearby bars? Your leader will have a tonne of recommendations for a great place for a cocktail (or two). 
Day 14 - Trisuli River
Take a morning drive over the rim of the Kathmandu Valley and soak up the views of the Ganesh and Lantang ranges. Then hit the waters for some whitewater rafting on the Trisuli River – this is the most popular river for rafting in all of Nepal. Soak up the thrill of the rapids, aptly named Ladies Delight, Rock Garden and Snell's Nose, among the beauty of the nearby gorges. Explore the magnificent scenery from the rapids, and then tonight, camp on the beach and enjoy a local meal under the stars.
Day 15 - Trisuli River - Pokhara
This morning is for some more fun on the river, including negotiating the Monsoon and Upset rapids. In Kurintar, refuel your energy with a light lunch with your group and then drive to Pokhara. When you arrive, take an afternoon walk around the city with your leader, who will point out some of the best sights and sounds in the area including the gorgeous Phewa Lake. This evening is free for you to chill out at one of the many lakeside restaurants or bars. Maybe get yourself a plate of momos (dumplings) or a nourishing bowl of dal bhat (thick lentil or bean soup) for dinner tonight.
Day 16 - Ghandruk (1950m / 6397ft)
Today, you’ll make the drive from Pokhara to Shyauli Bazaar – this is where the trekking adventure begins! Your hike is mostly uphill today on some pretty diverse terrain. There’s a dirt track leading to Birethanti and Shyauli villages, then you’ll reach a stone staircase up to Kimche, where you’ll stop for lunch. There are gorgeous views of snowcapped mountains and expansive fields below, so make sure you’ve got your camera. From here, you’ll follow the stone flags that lead you through fields of wheat to Ghandruk. Tonight, you'll stay in your first Nepalese teahouse.
Day 17 - Tolkha (1700m / 5577ft)
Look east this morning – that’s Landruk, the next village on your route. Look down – that’s the Modi Kola River 600 m below. Your breakfast this morning will be a refreshing start, with a mountain view so you can take it all in. When you’ve refuelled, start the trek towards Tolkha – where you’ll be staying for the night. Along the way, take in the diverse scenery of the river below, the mountain above and the wild landscape on every side. The Annapurna range makes for a pretty great photo subject (and she’s not shy, either).
Day 18 - Hemjakot (1530m / 5019ft)
This morning after some breakfast, you’ll continue your trek from Tolkha to Hemjakot – the best spot to connect with some locals. As you start today’s walk, you’ll notice you’re surrounded by pink and purple rhododendrons. Do you know what you won’t see much of? Other people – this trail from Dhampus to Hemjakot is pretty remote, giving you the chance to really switch off and enjoy the scenery. Tonight, you’ll stay with a local family. The homes in Hemjakot reflect the traditional style of this part of the Himalayas and are made from natural stones from this region. This displays a domestic style of architecture that has largely been overshadowed in Nepal's big cities. When you arrive, you’ll experience the rural way of life in the mountains, gaining insight into the local culture of the Gurung population, who migrated here from Tibet.
Day 19 - Pokhara
Say goodbye to your new friends in Hemjakot and head out again – this morning’s trek is a short descent to Phedi. When you arrive, you’ll take a transfer to Pokhara and arrive in time for lunch. Enjoy some free time in the afternoon to do all the things you didn’t do the first time around in Pokhara – a popular choice is taking a rowboat (doonga) out on Phewa Lake. If there are blue skies today, you’ll have mountain views for miles! After, maybe check out the Tal Barahi Temple and the Shree Bindhyabasini Temple, which are both free to explore.
Day 20 - Kathmandu
It’s a long bus ride back to Kathmandu (so bring some snacks, road trip games and a good book). When you arrive, maybe grab a banana lassi to soak away the bus ride and say goodbye to your fellow travellers – with no further activities planned, your trip comes to an end this afternoon. If you’d like to stay longer and explore Kathmandu’s nightlife further (what better way to celebrate a good trek?), just speak to your booking agent.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
01-09-202420-09-2024AUD $ 1,705-
08-09-202427-09-2024AUD $ 1,660-
22-09-202411-10-2024AUD $ 1,660-
29-09-202418-10-2024AUD $ 1,660-
06-10-202425-10-2024AUD $ 1,740-
20-10-202408-11-2024AUD $ 1,775-
09-11-202428-11-2024AUD $ 1,725-
24-11-202413-12-2024AUD $ 1,660-
08-12-202427-12-2024AUD $ 1,725-
22-12-202410-01-2025AUD $ 1,650-
12-01-202531-01-2025AUD $ 1,825-
02-02-202521-02-2025AUD $ 1,825-
16-02-202507-03-2025AUD $ 1,895-
23-02-202514-03-2025AUD $ 1,895-
09-03-202528-03-2025AUD $ 1,895-
23-03-202511-04-2025AUD $ 1,895-
20-04-202509-05-2025AUD $ 1,825-
07-09-202526-09-2025AUD $ 1,825-
21-09-202510-10-2025AUD $ 1,825-
28-09-202517-10-2025AUD $ 1,895-
05-10-202524-10-2025AUD $ 1,895-
19-10-202507-11-2025AUD $ 1,965-
26-10-202514-11-2025AUD $ 1,965-
02-11-202521-11-2025AUD $ 1,965-
16-11-202505-12-2025AUD $ 1,965-
30-11-202519-12-2025AUD $ 1,965-
14-12-202502-01-2026AUD $ 1,965-

Accommodation

Hotel (11 nights),Jungle Lodge (2 nights),Heritage Property (1 night),Overnight sleeper train (1 night),Tea House/Trekking Lodge (2 nights),Homestay (1 night),Camping (1 night)

Transport

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

Map