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Grand India and Nepal Experience

Duration

18 NIGHTS / 19 DAYS

Places Covered

DELHI - JAIPUR - AGRA - ORCHA - KHAJURAHO - VARANASI - LUMBINI - CHITWAN - POKHARA - KATHMANDU

Overview

Grand India and Nepal Experience

As the name suggests, this is a grand tour, bringing you the best of the India & Nepal. The colour soaked cities and dry desert landscapes of Rajasthan, Great monuments, forts & palaces and its incredible architecture, temples, diversity of lifestyles as well as accommodation, natural beauty, great delicious food and sightseeing through the diversity of India and Nepal would leave an indelible mark upon your heart.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 ARRIVE DELHI

Begin your tour.
Arrive into Delhi
Welcome to Vardhman's Grand India & Nepal Experience! On arrival in Delhi, you will be met and transferred by Vardhman's representative to your hotel. Rest of the day free at leisure.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 2 DELHI

This morning after a leisurely breakfast proceed for the sightseeing of Delhi. Combined city tour of New Delhi & Old Delhi
Visit Qutab Minar, Humayun's tomb, Lakshminarayan Temple, a modern Hindu Temple, Parliament House, Government Secretarial Building and Connaught place, the shopping centre of New Delhi. Visit Red Fort, built in 1648 by Mughal Emperor Shahjehan, Jama Masjid, one of the largest Mosque of India, Raj Ghat and Shanti Vana, the cremation sites of Mahatama Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. Also drive past Chandni Chowk, shopping Centre of Old Delhi.
OPTIONAL TOUR: Watch Sound & light show at Red Fort in the evening.
OPTIONAL TOUR: A visit to Akshardham Temple [Closed every Monday].
Overnight<: Hotel

Day 3 DELHI - JAIPUR

This morning after a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, drive to Jaipur.
Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan gets its name from Maharaja Jai Singh who built this city. Many captivating palaces are present here having breathtaking design and architecture. In the 18th century Prince of Wales had visited Jaipur and the entire city was painted in pink color due to which this city is also known as the pink city. The origin of Jaipur goes back to more than 260 years. En-route Jaipur you may visit Neemrana Fort. On arrival check in into your pre-booked hotel.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 4 JAIPUR

Today you have a full day tour of Jaipur and Amer Fort. The morning journey starts from Amer fort also known as Amer Palace, the earlier capital of Jaipur. You will be ascending (one way) the fort on an elephant's back on extra cost and return by jeep.
This magnificent fort was constructed in red sand-stone and marble by Raja Man Singh and is divided into four sections each with a courtyard. The main entrance gate is Suraj pol having a fascinating architecture. Near the Ganesh Gate, there is a temple dedicated to the Goddess Sila Devi. The Diwan-e-Aam - Hall of public audience, Diwan-e-Khas - hall of private audience, Sheesh Mahal - palace of mirrors and Sukh Niwas are quite beautiful. At the he Sukh Niwas, a pleasant climate is created by winds that blow over a water cascade. In Jaipur you will be taken to Maharaja City Palace, a royal palace with seven storey as well as Jantar Mantar, the observatory. This wonderful observatory is attracted by mathematician as well as astronomers of whole world. City palace is perfect blend of all three excellent styles (Mughal, Rajput and European). Another palace, Hawa Mahal is popular all over world for it magnificent architecture. You will be taken through business centers of Jaipur. A tour of Jaipur is not complete without shopping. Jaipur is famous for clothes, carpets, precious and semi-precious stones and jewelry and various handicrafts made of wood, metals, etc. and also for silk paintings and miniatures.
OPTIONAL ACTIVITY: Enjoy rickshaw ride in spice market for 45 minutes.
OPTIONAL TOUR: Elephant Ride at Amber Fort, Jaipur
Overnight: Hotel

Day 5 JAIPUR – FATEH PUR SIKRI - AGRA

This morning after breakfast at the hotel, we drive to Jaipur.
Enroute to Jaipur visit, Fatehpur Sikri, built in the 16th century by Emperor Akbar. Fatehpur Sikri holds exceptional testimony to Mughal civilization and is one of well-known UNESCO World heritage site of India and has various historical monuments. You will visit the Jama Masjid, followed by the Tomb of Salim Chishti, the five storied Panch Mahal and Buland Darwaza a graceful monument and stupendous piece of beautiful architectures. It is central portico with a total of three arched entrances and is locally known as Horseshoe gate. You will visit the other graceful buildings of this place such as Ibadat Khana, Mariam-uz-Zamani’s Palace, Naubat Khana and Birbal’s house. Continue your drive to Agra.
On arrival check in at your hotel in the evening.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 6 AGRA

After Breakfast at the hotel visit Agra. Agra the former capital of Hindustan is a city on the banks of the river Yamuna. Agra is a major tourist destination of India and a part of the Golden Triangle Tour along with Delhi and Jaipur. Agra also known as Akbarabad went through its peak during the time of Mughals and was the capital of under the Mughal rulers Akbar, Jahangir and Shahjehan. Enjoy the visit of Taj Mahal during Sunrise.
One of the wonders of the world. This beautiful building is elegantly built with white marble by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan between the years 1631 to 1648 and it was built in the memory of his favorite beloved Queen Mumtaz Mahal. Standing majestically on banks of Yamuna River, this breathtaking, immensely beautiful monument is a synonymous to romance and love. Your next stop Agra Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and known for its architectural structure and was built in the 16th century during the Mughal Empire. This place comprises of several fairy-tale palaces like Khas Mahal and Jahangir Palace. Over here you will also get a chance to see Diwan-e-Aam and Diwan-e-Khas, which are also known as private audience hall and public audience hall. Agra is famous for inlaid marble work and handicrafts. TAJ MAHAL IS CLOSED ON FRIDAYS.
OPTIONAL TOUR: Mohabbatein Taj show in Kalakriti .
Overnight: Hotel

Day 7 AGRA – JHANSI BY TRAIN : ORCHA - KHAJURAHO

This morning after breakfast, we will transfer you to Railway station to board the train for Jhansi. On arrival at Jhansi Railway station, Vardhman’s representative will meet you and will proceed to Orcha. Visit the City.
On a seasonal island on the bank of the Betwa River, which has been surrounded by a battlement wall, stands a huge palace-fort. The fort consists of several connected buildings erected at different times, the most noteworthy of which is the Raja Mahal. The Jahangir Mahal, built on a rectangular base and is relieved by a circular tower at each corner surmounted by a dome is the marvel even today. The stunning beauty of the city is characterized by delicate chhatris (elevated pavilions) and intricate trellis work. Also get a look at the two-story brick palace of Rai Praveen Mahal, built in remembrance of a 16th-century poet and musician. You may become awestruck upon seeing the prismatic light of sun rays slipping through skilfully carved recesses in the main hall and other chambers. Drive to the Laxminarayan temple, This temple displays a perfect and unique mix of temple and fort architecture. Though the temple is dedicated the Goddess Laxmi.
Visit Chhatris of Orchha. The Chhatris or the cenotaphs in orchha are another of the many historical tourist attractions in Orchha. These are memorials of the rulers of the Bundels and are laid down in a row of 14 along the beautiful banks of the Betwa River. It reflects a wonderful sight though to some it looks uncanny. Continue drive to Khajuraho.
The name Khajuraho, ancient "Kharjuravāhaka", is derived from the Sanskrit wordskharjura date palm and vāhaka = "one who carries". In the 19th century, British engineer T.S. Burt arrived in the area, followed by General Alexander Cunningham. Cunningham put Khajuraho on the world map when he explored the site on behalf of the Archaeological Survey of India and described what he found in glowing terms. The Khajuraho Group of Monuments has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is considered to be one of the "seven wonders" of India. On arrival at Khajuraho retire for rest of the day.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 8 KHAJURAHO TEMPLES

Proceed on a sightseeing tour of Khajuraho temples. Sightseeing begins with visit to World Heritage Site Western Group of Temples. Here you need to take entrance tickets (valid on other group of temples also) and guide. You can take manual guide or audio guide service. Here Kandariya Mahadev temple is the most popular and beautiful massive structure. It is a magnificent peace of artistic sculptural work. Khajuraho temples are more popular for erotic sculptured images but on your visit you will realize that such images are approx. 15% of all images and other images are Hindu gods, goddess, and nymphs. After this we will drive to Eastern group of temples. By afternoon you will complete the temples sightseeing and after lunch you may drive to see Raneh Water-fall, located about 20kms from Khajuraho.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 9 KHAJURAHO – VARANASI FLIGHT

After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to airport to board the flight for Varanasi.
On arrival at Varanasi transfer to your hotel. Later, in the evening proceed to see the Ganga Aarti.
Gange aarti is the magnificent event during evening in the Varanasi that one must not miss to see it. It makes us to experience the great feelings while Gange aarti become in process. This beautiful ritual makes every moment of the evening period special and fills with the spiritual thoughts. It is performed by the brass lamps which accompanied with the mantra chant in the presence of the huge crowd. All the priests who have to perform the aarti, wear same cloth, the dhoti and kurta which is tightly bind with a long towel. First they make preparation of the Gange aarti by making collection of the five elevated planks, a multi-tiered oil lamp, an idol of the Goddess Ganga, flowers, incense sticks, a conch shell, a big and heavy brass lamp having a snake hood at the edge of the River Gange. A group of boats filled with devotees come around the place of aarti at the bank of River. They are very eager to see the event; some of them take live video, photos as well. Ritual of the Gange aarti is performed by the students of the Vedas and Upanishads which is led by the head priest of the Gangotri Seva Samiti. The whole event takes around 45 minutes. Return back to hotel.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 10 VARANASI

Early morning Boat Ride at the dawn. Boating in the Ganges at the sunrise in Varanasi is one of the main attractions and best experience a traveler can ever had. Observe Hindu's way of life on the bank of the river Ganges. There are number of temples on the bank of the Ganges River in Varanasi. It is at the Ganga Ghats [Banaras Ghat] where you can see life and death together. There are numbers of Ghat alongside Ganges River in Varanasi where you can see Hindu cremation as well. Some of the prominent and popular Ghats at Varanasi are the Dasaswamedh Ghat, Manikarnika Ghat, Harischandra Ghat, Assi Ghat, Shivala Ghat, Man Mandir Ghat, Darbhanga Ghat, Ahilyabai Ghat and Kedar Ghat.
Early Mornings at the Ghats are calm, peaceful. Not many people at the shores. You can feel the connection with Ganges and you yourself which will help you reveal the true spirituality of Varanasi. After the boat ride is done, take a small walk in to the old streets of Varanasi, famous for its narrow street.
Visit Kashi Vishwanath Temple area which is also known as the Golden Temple of Varanasi. The entry inside the temple is for Hindus only, but the temple premises, surroundings, neighborhoods, its nearby market place, lanes, alleys are open for general public. Return back to hotel for breakfast. After breakfast, visit Sarnath, approximately 10-12 km from Varanasi City. Sarnath near Varanasi is where the Buddha chose to deliver his first sermon in a Deer Park. It makes Sarnath one of the most venerated Buddhist places. Besides Buddhism, Sarnath is also connected with Jainism. There are many Buddhist monuments and edifices at Sarnath. Also there are Jain temples as well. Many of Jain Teerthankars or Jainism Prophets are believed to be born here. The main attractions of Sarnath are archaeological and excavation Area (Sarnath, Deer park), Chaukhandi Stupa, Dhammek Stupa (DhamekhaStupa), Dharmarajika Stupa , Mulagandhakuti Vihara, Ashoka Pillar (Ashokan Lion Pillar), Ashokan Lion-Capital (the national emblem of India) and the Archeological Museum. You may drive to Banaras Hindu University which is the famous BHU campus, lush green huge area with vast premises filled with historical British era buildings mixed with modern day Indian university style architecture. Other important points to see in city include the Durga Temple (monkey temple), Tulasi Manas Temple, Bharat Mata Temple (Temple of Mother India), Ramnagar Fort, Dhameka stupa, Nepali Mandir etc.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 11 VARANASI - SUNAULI (NEPAL / INDIA BORDER) & DRIVE TO LUMBINI (30 KMS & 1 HOUR DRIVE)

This morning drive to India border with Nepal which is around 300 kms and takes around 8 hours. Here the driver and the car will change. After crossing over the border in Sunauli, Nepal continue drive to Lumbini. On arrival check-in the Hotel
Overnight: Hotel

Day 12 LUMBINI / CHITWAN (135 KMS & 3 HOURS’ DRIVE

Morning sightseeing tour of Lumbini including Maya Devi Temple, Ashok Pillar & Lumbini Garden. Lumbini - the birthplace of Lord Buddha, is situated in western Tarai of Nepal holds a special place in the Buddhist world. It is also mentioned in the MahaparinibbanaSutta that the Buddha advised his followers to visit Lumbini. Emperor Ashoka of erstwhile Magadha Kingdom of India made a pilgrimage here in the 3rd century BC and erected a world famous pillar with inscription stating- ”Here the Buddha was born”. Several sites of religious significance like the holy tree and the pond related to the Buddha's life, and the stupas and shrines that dot the area make it an interesting place to immerse yourself into Buddha's life. Later drive to Chitwan which is approximately 135 km & 3 hours drive from Lumbini. Upon arrival in Chitwan, transfer to hotel. Royal Chitwan National Park (932 sq km) is listed as a world heritage site and is the most popular safari destination in Nepal. It covers a unique ecosystem, containing hills, ox-bow lakes and flood plains. Dominated by sal forests, the park has 50 species of grasses. The 43 species of animals include the endangered one-horned rhino, Royal Bengal tiger, gharial crocodile, gaur, wild elephant, four-horned antelope, striped hyena, pangolin, Gangetic dolphin, monitor lizard, and pythons. Afternoon visit Tharu Village & Sunset point. Optional Activity: Evening enjoy Tharu Cultural show.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 13 LUMBINI / CHITWAN (135 KMS & 3 HOURS’ DRIVE)

Early morning Elephant back safari. Breakfast at hotel
Later canoe ride on Rapti river. Afternoon visit Elephant breeding center & Natural walk.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 14 DRIVE CHITWAN / POKHARA

After breakfast drive to Pokhara which is approximately 165 km & 5 hours’ drive from Chitwan. Upon arrival in Pokhara transfer to Hotel. Pokhara is a place of remarkable natural beauty. The enchanting city has several beautiful lakes and offers stunning panaromic views of Himalayan peaks. The serenity of the lakes and the magnificence of the Himalaya rising behind them create the ambience that has made Pokhara such a popular place to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. Tourism focuses on the districts of Damside and Lakeside (or Pardi and Baidam, in Nepali, respectively). These two areas, packed with hotels and restaurants, are a few kilometers southwest of the main Pokharabazaar. Rest of the day at leisure for relaxation. Overnight: Hotel Queens Park.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 15 POKHARA

Early morning excursion trip to Sarangkot to witness the sunrise over the Himalaya.(Subject to weather condition) Sarangkotis the most popular tourist destination from where the tourist can enjoy the great view of the Pokhara valley and the magnificent view of the mountains. Sarangkot is the highest view point for a sunrise and it is just 1592m high. Return to hotel for breakfast.
Later sightseeing tour of Davi’sFall, Gupteshwor Cave & Bindebasini Temple. Locally known as PataleChango (Hell’s Falls) also known as Devins and Davids is a lovely Waterfall is about 2 km south West of Pokhara airport on the Siddhartha Highway. Legend has it that a trekker by the name of Davy, was washed away by the PadiKhola and mysteriously disappeared down into an underground passage beneath the fall.
Gupteswar Gupha, a sacred cave, lies 2 km from Pokhara airport on the Siddhartha Highway leading southwest from the city. The entrance is right across from Devi's Fall and the cave is almost 3 km long. It has some big hall-size rooms and some passages where you have to crawl on all fours. This cave holds special value for Hindus since a phallic symbol of Lord Shiva is preserved here in the condition it was discovered
Bindebasini Temple: Pokhara's traditional bazaar is colorful and so are its ethnically diverse traders. In its temples and monuments can be seen ties to the old Newar Architecture of the Kathmandu valley, Located about 4 k.m from Lakeside, the market’s original charm is still evident. This area is strewn with shops selling commodities ranging from edibles to and cloth to cosmetics and gold, is a pleasant and shady spot to strollaround. An hour boating on Phewa Lake.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 16 DRIVE POKHARA / KATHMANDU

Morning after breakfast drive to Kathmandu which is approximately 210 km & 6 hours drive from Pokhara.
Upon arrival in Kathmandu, transfer to Hotel Rest of the day at your own pace.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 17 KATHMANDU

Morning after breakfast sightseeing tour of Pashupatinath Temple & BouddhanathStupa. Pashupatinath: This is Nepal’s most sacred Hindu shrine and one of the subcontinent’s great Shiva sites. The supreme holiness of the site stems from the Shiva linga enshrined in its main temple and its location. It expresses the very essence of Hinduism as pilgrims, priests, devotes, temples, ashrams, images, inscriptions and cremation ghats intermingle with the rituals of daily life, all sprawled along the banks of the sacred Bagmati River. The temple’s origins are obscure, an inscription dates from 477, but a shrine may have stood here for 1000 years before that.
Boudhanath: This great stupa is one of Nepal’s most distinctive monuments and one of the most important Buddhist sites in Nepal and, with a diameter of over 100 meters, amongst the largest in the world. There are a number of legends accounting for the stupa’s construction, but it is generally believed to date from the 5th century. All stupas contain holy relics and Boudha is said to contain the remains of the past Buddha Kasyapa. Afternoon sightseeing tour of Kathmandu Durbar Square & Swayambhunath Stupa.
Kathmandu Durbar Square: It is in the heart of old city Kathmandu in Basantapur. The founding of the Royal Palace dates back to Licchavi times. With considerable renovations by malla rulers & later the Ranas, construction was accomplished progressively over many centuries. There are around 50 temples in the vicinity.
In this tour, we visit the 17th Century Durbar complex and Hanuman Dhoka, temple of Kumari (living goddess), Narayan Mandir, MaijuDewal, and Kasthmandap a wooden temple built from a single tree, Shiva Paravati temple, great Bell and Drum, Bhairav and Taleju Temple. Swayambhunath: The most ancient and enigmatic of the Valley’s holy shrines the golden-spired stupa of Swayambhunath tops a wooded hillock. Records of its history date as far as the 5th century, but its origins are believed to be older. It is the Kathmandu Valley’s most sacred Buddhist shrine and whilst its worshippers include the Vajrayana Buddhists of northern Nepal and Tibet, Newari Buddhists are the most fervent devotees.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 18 KATHMANDU

Morning sightseeing tour of Patan Durbar Square. Patan, the ancient city, once a kingdom in itself, is situated across the Bagmati River to the south of Kathmandu. Patan Durbar Square offers the finest display of Newari urban architecture in Nepal. There are temples devoted to Shiva, Krishna, Ganesh and Vishnu all actively visited by residents and visitors.
At the northern end of the square the ancient sunken water tap has been restored and is still in use with young girls filling huge jugs from the carved stone waterspouts. The courtyards of the Royal Palace with their ornamented windows, columned arcades, shrines and sunken royal bath are amongst the loveliest in all Kathmandu. Later in the afternoon proceed to sightseeing tour to Bhaktapur.
Bhaktapur: As you walk in, you cannot but be overcome by a feeling of inner harmony. Such is the art and architecture and the special layout here. The Palace of 55 Windows built during the period of King BhupatindraMalla in 1754 situated to the left as you enter through the city gate, inspires admiration. The National Art Gallery is also housed inside. The palace entrance, the Golden Gate known as Sunko Dhoka in Nepali is a masterpiece in repousse art. In front of the palace building is a medley of temples of various designs. Amongst the three Durbar Squares in the Valley, the Durbar Square in Bhaktapur is the best preserved one.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 19 KATHMANDU - DEPART

This morning after breakfast, we will transfer you to Kathmandu airport to board the flight for your onward destination. Arrive home with wonderful memories of your India Nepal Tour escorted by Vardhman Vacations
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