From the Taj Mahal to Kathmandu

Nepal - Taj Mahal - Benares - Your tailor-made trip

Day 1

New Delhi - discovery of the main religious buildings
Welcome to India and the start of your India and Nepal trip! Your driver greets you at the airport and brings you to your hotel in New Delhi where you drop off your belongings. Driven by curiosity, you set out to discover the great diversity of the Indian capital. While strolling through the old city, you visit the Jama Masjid mosque, the largest mosque of India and Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, the temple of the ancient Sikh Indian religion, made entirely of white marble, topped with a golden dome and decorated with a large basin for ablutions of the faithful. South of the city, admire the sublime modern architecture at the Lotus Temple. Night at the hotel.
 
Day 2

Mughal Architecture
After breakfast, you leave the fervour of Delhi and take the road to Agra, a city that is a perfect example of Mughal architecture and an essential part of your trip to India. Take a tour on the other bank of the Yamuna River where the Mughal mausoleum of Itimad-ud-Daulah is located. This tomb represents the transition of Mughal architecture from red sandstone to its second phase with white marble and is often considered the draft of the Taj Mahal. Then, visit the must-see Red Fort of Agra. From the ramparts of this impressive UNESCO-protected red sandstone citadel, you will be greeted by a breath-taking view of the surrounding landscape and the splendid Taj Mahal. Enjoy your evening and night at the hotel.
 
Day 3

Sunrise on the Taj Mahal
Wake up at dawn to witness the magic of the Taj Mahal unfold little by little under the first light of the rising sun. The marble, inlaid with precious stones, is shaded with golden tones at this time, revealing such a mirage, worthy of its title as one of the Seven Wonders of the World – definitely one of the unforgettable moments of your trip! Your driver then takes you to Gwalior, a rural and traditional town where you visit the stunning fort and have lunch. Then, explore a forgotten palace set amidst the beautiful scenery of the lake and greenery of Datia before continuing to Orchha, a peaceful village nestled on the banks of the Betwa River. Night at the hotel.
 
Day 4

In the footsteps of the Rajput princes
This morning, you wake up in the state of Madhya Pradesh, which means “central province" in Hindi and start your day by visiting the 16th century Raja Mahal royal palaces and the Jahangir Mahal, built in the 17th century. Next, continue your cultural tour by visiting the citadel, which has a history associated with the Rajput chivalry of the Middle Ages, and the Man Mandir Palace, famous for the colourful earthenware tiles in various shades of blue, green and ochre that decorate its walls. You will then return to Khajuraho, observing Indian life through the window between multi-coloured Tata trucks, small houses made of stone or decorated with pastel shutters and women in colourful saris. Night at the hotel.
 
Day 5

In the footsteps of the Rajput princes
This morning, you wake up in the state of Madhya Pradesh, which means “central province" in Hindi and start your day by visiting the 16th century Raja Mahal royal palaces and the Jahangir Mahal, built in the 17th century. Next, continue your cultural tour by visiting the citadel, which has a history associated with the Rajput chivalry of the Middle Ages, and the Man Mandir Palace, famous for the colourful earthenware tiles in various shades of blue, green and ochre that decorate its walls. You will then return to Khajuraho, observing Indian life through the window between multi-coloured Tata trucks, small houses made of stone or decorated with pastel shutters and women in colourful saris. Night at the hotel.
 
Day 6

The spiritual capital of India
You arrive at Varanasi train station in the morning, where your new driver will be waiting to welcome you to one of the most sacred cities in India. Crowds of Indians, more than 60,000 a day, come from all over the country to perform their ablutions or to cremate loved ones on the sacred eternal fire, which has been burning for some 3000 years, or so the legend goes. In the evening, find a place on the ghats (a series of steps leading to the holy Ganges River) to attend the daily religious Aarti ceremony, on the banks of the river. You will be captivated by the fervour of these centuries-old rites which give off such a special atmosphere. Night at the hotel.
 
Day 7

First steps on Nepalese soil
At sunrise, you embark along the path of the Ganges. Along the way, you will certainly see more than one Sadhu. Recognizable by their painted faces, Sadhus are people who broke all social ties in order to devote their lives to the spiritual quest. After this mind-opening and spiritual experience, you leave for Varanasi airport to catch your flight to Kathmandu, the Nepalese capital. During your flight, watch the scenery through your window. On a clear day, the view of the Himalayan Range is breath-taking. Upon arrival, you will be picked up and transferred to your hotel. If not too tired, why not stroll through the streets of the capital and get acquainted with this new, gentler Nepalese atmosphere. Night at the hotel.
 
Day 8

Visit the must-see religious sites of Nepal
Today, start with a visit to Boudhanath Stupa, the largest stupa in Nepal and the most important Buddhist site outside Tibet. Go around the dome, decorated by many colourful prayer flags and painted with the all-seeing eyes of the Buddha. Then, visit the Swayambhunath Temple, or the "Monkey Temple", which sits on a hill in the Kathmandu Valley. Admire the beautiful colourful statues and discover the prayer wheels that spread the prayers of the faithful into the air. Enjoy a beautiful view of the capital before heading back to your hotel.
 
Day 9

The historic district of Thamel
This morning, you explore Pashupatinath, a sacred Hindu temple complex, located on the banks of the Bagmati River that feeds the Ganges. This visit is likely to remind you of your day at Varanasi, since here, cremations and rituals of ablutions are also performed. Keep an eye out for the many small Hindu temples and statues of Nandi the bull, Shiva's vehicle. Then, head back to Kathmandu and stroll through the craft streets of the charming district of Thamel. Enjoy a relaxing evening on the rooftop terraces of this area with a good book and a traditional masala tea. In the evening, treat yourself to some delicious momos, Nepali stuffed dumplings. Night at the hotel.
 
Day 10

International flight
Depending on the time of your return flight, why not treat yourself to a relaxing Nepali massage with heated sesame oil? As your departure time approaches, your driver will pick you up from the hotel and bring you to the international airport. On the way, your feelings mingle as you reflect on the beautiful and emotional journey that you have just experienced. According to your wishes, it is also possible to continue your discovery of Nepal. Ask your Travel Expert who will be happy to advise you and guide you. Our Shanti Travel team looks forward to seeing you again soon.
 

Travel conditions

  • Transfers and land transport by private vehicle with an English-speaking driver.
  • Accommodation: double room in a standard category hotel.
  • Meals: breakfasts only.
  • The boat ride on the Ganges to Varanasi.
  • The train Stana - Varanasi in 2nd class.
  • The flight Varanasi - Kathmandu in economy class (price subject to change at the time of booking depending on availability).
  • International flights.
  • International airport taxes.
  • All lunches and dinners.
  • The entrance fees to temples, monuments or historical sites mentioned in the program.
  • Visa fees - valid for 90 days: 80 USD.
  • Assistance-repatriation insurance.
  • Drinks and personal expenses.
  • Tips.
  • Anything that is not listed in the "price includes" section.
Garance
Garance Travel Expert Nepal - Taj Mahal - Benares This combined India and Nepal trip takes you to the heart of these two countries, both marked by an undeniably remarkable spirituality. A trip that offers great cultural richness with many impressive Hindu and Buddhist temples, ancient architecture, as well as wild nature and beautiful landscapes. This trip is perfect for first-timers to this region as well as culture and religion enthusiasts.
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10 days
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