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16 Day Golden Triangle of India with Varanasi and Nepal 2020-2021

16 days with Gate 1 Travel   Rating: First Class

Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices

DAY 1, Tuesday - Depart for India
Depart for India.

DAY 2, Wednesday - Arrive in New Delhi
Welcome to India! Arrive in the energetic capital city of New Delhi. Time to rest and relax after your journey and acclimate to the new time zone.

DAY 3, Thursday - Old & New Delhi City Tour
Begin in the walled city of Old Delhi, founded by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Travel along the winding streets to Jama Masjid, the largest and best-known mosque in India. On a cycle rickshaw, continue along the lanes of Chandi Chowk, once the imperial avenue of Mughal royalty. After lunch, on to New Delhi, a city of airy boulevards, lush parks and gardens. Visit the Sikh Temple and drive past the imposing India Gate War Memorial to Indian and British soldiers, Parliament House and the Presidential Palace. Visit Gandhi Smriti, the official residence of Mahatma Gandhi, where he spent the last 144 days of his life, that is now a museum. The tour continues with a visit to Humayun's Tomb set in stunning gardens, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This evening, meet with your fellow travelers and Tour Manager for an orientation meeting on the incredible journey in India that awaits you, followed by a Welcome Dinner at the hotel. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 4, Friday - Travel to Jaipur
Depart New Delhi to Jaipur, gateway to the desert state of Rajasthan. En route, stop for some photos at the graceful sandstone Qutub Minar Victory Tower, the world's tallest brick minaret, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Arrive in glorious Jaipur, with its stucco buildings lining the wide streets and you'll understand why it is nicknamed the "Pink City." The city was painted its unique color in 1876 to celebrate the visit of the Prince of Wales. Drive past stunning hilltop forts and glorious palaces on the way to Silver and Art Palace: renowned for its quality and design. Silver and Art Palace, offers a spectacular array of gems, available loose, or uniquely set in gold, plus traditional gold enamel Mughal Jewelry, and an extensive collection of artwork. Then, visit a bargain-filled bazaar before dinner at the hotel. (Breakfast, Dinner)

DAY 5, Saturday - Amber Fort, Jaipur
Excursion to the spectacular Amber Fort, a stunning fusion of Mughal and Hindu styles with its gorgeous Palace of Mirrors. Ascend the hill to the ramparts by jeep. From here, see the panoramic views of Jaipur's original city walls and the lake below. Stop for refreshments before shopping the vast collection of local handicrafts at Jaipur Handicrafts, offering premium quality handmade carpets, textiles, pashminas, pottery and paintings. Fabrics in all colors and textures are available for loose purchase as well as custom design work. Spend the afternoon at leisure strolling through the city or, join the optional tour to view the well-preserved 18th century Jantar Mantar Observatory and drive past Hawa Mahal, the "Palace of Winds" with its lacy ornamental façade. Later, the tour continues to the opulent City Palace, former royal residence, now a grand museum with an extraordinary collection of miniature paintings, costumes and armory. Tonight's optional evening is highlighted by the exotic flavors of Indian cuisine at a local restaurant, while you're entertained by performers in traditional attire as they execute various dance moves to the rhythm of the accompanying musical instruments. (Breakfast)

Optional: Half Day Jaipur Tour (PM)
Optional: Dinner at Local Jaipur Restaurant with Cultural Performance

DAY 6, Sunday - Travel to Agra via Abhaneri
Depart Jaipur to the small ancient village of Abhaneri in northern Rajasthan. Begin at Chand Baori, one of the largest step wells in India, fortified on all sides. This unique idea was conceived by the early natives to work as a water reservoir, located adjacent to the temple dedicated to Harshat Mata, goddess of joy and happiness - an architectural jewel. Then after lunch, continue on to Agra, with its celebrated past, rich heritage and architectural delights. Relax and freshen up before dinner at the hotel. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 7, Monday - Taj Mahal
A memorable day as you visit the astonishing Taj Mahal, built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his beloved Queen. Perhaps, this is the most perfect architectural monument in the world, built of white marble and precious stones over a 22 year period - considered the finest example of Mughal architecture. Afterwards, stop at Kalakriti Marble. The Taj Mahal inspired the Kalakriti family to become the manufacturer of fine inlaid marble work. Marvel at the museum quality workmanship as you watch a demonstration of the timely process of marble carvings, filigree and stone inlay. In the afternoon, participate in the not to be missed optional tour to the red sandstone Agra Fort, with its incredible maze of walled courtyards, mosques and lavish private chambers reflecting the grandeur of the Mughal Empire; this monument has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Next, to the Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah built of the finest Indian marble embellished with mosaics and inlay of semiprecious stones. Enjoy the evening at leisure. (Breakfast)

Optional: Half Day Agra Tour (PM)

DAY 8, Tuesday – Return to New Delhi
Depart Agra this morning and return to New Delhi. Upon arrival, time to freshen up before tonight's festivities. Tonight, dinner is at your hotel. (Breakfast, Dinner)

DAY 9, Wednesday – Flight to Varanasi
Spend a leisurely morning before heading to the airport for your flight to Varanasi, built on the banks of the sacred River Ganges. For centuries, pilgrims have come here for blessings and purification in the holy waters. In the evening, participate in the optional Sacred Prayer Ceremony at Dasaswamedh Ghat on the Ganges River, lit with oil lamps and candles illuminating the river. Here, you can witness the unique "Aarti" ceremony. The atmosphere is lively and bright - this is truly a not to be missed experience. (Breakfast)

Optional: Evening Sacred Prayer Ceremony at the Ganges River (PM) 

DAY 10, Thursday - Ganges Boat Ride, Hindu Temples, Sarnath Sightseeing
Rise before dawn for a boat ride on the Ganges to observe the solemn sunrise ceremonies. Witness the riverbanks humming with activity as Hindu devotees perform their rituals on the "ghats" steps and offer prayers to the rising sun. Then, on to Bharat Mata Temple with its marble relief map of an undivided India, Durga Temple, and Benaras Hindu University. After the early morning tour, return to the hotel for breakfast. A stay in Varanasi would not be complete without a stop at leading silk weavers, Mehta Silk. Browse beautiful silk brocades, scarves, sarees and decorative household items, all crafted by highly skilled weavers. Leisure time for shopping in the bustling bazaars. After lunch at a local restaurant, drive to Sarnath, the holy city where Buddha preached his first sermon after attaining enlightenment. The major events of Buddha's life are depicted in colorful wall paintings. Visit the Deer Park, Museum and Buddhist Temple. Tonight, dinner is at your hotel. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 11, Friday - Flight to New Delhi
Spend your morning at leisure in Varanasi. Later in the afternoon, head to the airport for your flight to New Delhi. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel. Tonight, gather together for dinner at the hotel. (Breakfast, Dinner)

DAY 12, Saturday - Flight to Kathmandu, Pashupatinath
This morning, depart India for Kathmandu, Nepal, "The Roof of the World". Upon arrival, you'll be welcomed with a traditional flower garland and embark upon a spiritual journey to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pashupatinath. One of the most sacred Hindu shrines in the world, attracting thousands of pilgrims each year. The Temple, on the banks of the holy Bagmati River, a tributary of the Ganges, is renowned for its beautiful architecture. Home to Kathmandu's funeral ghats, a series of cremation platforms are spread along the river. You'll experience throngs of devotees, meditating and praying on the steps throughout the temple. Tonight, do not miss out on the opportunity to partake in the optional dinner of traditional Nepalese cuisine. (Breakfast)

Optional: Traditional Nepalese Dinner

DAY 13, Sunday - Dhulikhel, Temple Complex in Bhaktapur
The day starts with a visit to Dhulikhel, a Newari town, known for having spectacular views of the Himalayas. Afterward, depart for the medieval city of Bhaktapur, known as the "City of Devotees", named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Walk along the maze of winding streets lined with homes and temples dating back to the 13th century. Marvel at the intricately carved deities of the richly molded Golden Gate and the Palace of Fifty-Five Windows, with its exquisite wood carvings. View the Golden Sprout, the Taleju Temple complex, and Nyatapola, the five storied temple in Taumadhi Square. Next, visit Boudhanath, the largest Stupa of its kind in the world. The unique aspect of this extraordinary Buddhist monument, is the hundreds of prayer wheels and 108 images of Buddha set into the niches around this mesmerizing structure from the 5th century. (Breakfast)

DAY 14, Monday - Kathmandu City Tour
Join the optional Mt Everest Flightseeing and enjoy an hour of spectacular scenery over Mt Everest, during an early morning flight. Begin the day with a tour of Kathmandu City, capital of Nepal. Visit Durbar Square, an amazing cluster of ancient temples and palaces epitomizing the religious and cultural life of the people. Stop at sprawling Hanuman Dhoka, ancient palace of Nepalese royalty and the Temple of Kumari, home to Nepal's most important living goddess. See the stone carved statue of ferocious Kal Bhairav, a colorful memorial to the Hindu God of destruction, followed by a view of the magnificent Temple of the Goddess Taleju. Later, continue to Swayambhunath, a 2,000 year old Buddhist Stupa, celebrated as the oldest Buddhist shrine in the world, with its lofty copper spires adorned with fluttering prayer flags. This majestic ancient structure crowns the hilltop overlooking the Kathmandu Valley - the four sides painted with the compassionate eyes of Buddha. Swayambhunath is one of the most recognizable symbols in Nepal, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Afterward, return to your hotel. Balance of the day is at leisure or join the optional Half Day Patan City Tour. Known as Latipur or the "City of Beauty", Patan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is filled with Hindu temples and Buddhist monuments exhibiting skillful carvings. (Breakfast)

Optional: Mount Everest Flightseeing (AM)
Optional: Half Day Patan City Tour (PM)

DAY 15, Tuesday - Fly to New Delhi
This morning, transfer to the airport for your flight to New Delhi. Upon arrival, check in to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to explore on your own. This afternoon join the optional Qutub Minar & Mehrauli Archaeological Park Tour. Explore Qutub Minar, one of Delhi’s most visited tourist attractions and later take a short walking tour at the nearby Mehrauli Archaeological Park, the site of Delhi's first city. Conclude with a visit to a nearby restaurant for light snacks with wine. This evening, enjoy a Farewell Dinner at the hotel with your Tour Manager and newfound friends. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Optional: Qutub Minar & Mehrauli Archaeological Park Tour

DAY 16, Wednesday - Depart India
Your vacation ends today after breakfast. (Breakfast)


Map
All This Included
  • All intra-flights: New Delhi-Varanasi, Varanasi-New Delhi, New Delhi-Kathmandu, & Kathmandu-New Delhi
  • 14 nights First Class accommodations
  • Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
  • Hotel porterage
  • 24 meals: 14 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 7 dinners
  • Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned motor coach
  • Services of English-speaking tour manager throughout
  • Entrance fees per itinerary
  • Comfortable wireless earphones for enhanced touring

Highlights
  • Raj Ghat, memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, Father of the Nation and site of his cremation
  • Rickshaw ride along the lanes of Chandni Chowk, once the imperial avenue of Mughal royalty
  • Amber Fort with its gorgeous Palace of Mirrors
  • Visit the Taj Mahal, the most perfect architectural monument in the world
  • Boat ride at dawn on the Ganges to witness the solemn sunrise ceremonies
  • Durbar Square, clustered with over 50 ancient temples, pagodas and palaces

†Transfers are available for purchase for land only or on alternative flight dates

Accommodations
Delhi: The Park
Jaipur: Four Points by Sheraton Jaipur, City Square
Agra: Trident Agra Hotel
Delhi: Novotel New Delhi Aerocity
Varanasi: Radisson Hotel Varanasi
Kathmandu: Radisson Hotel Kathmandu

Notes
  • Land only price does not include arrival/departure transfers, but does include flights New Delhi-Varanasi, Varanasi-New Delhi, New Delhi-Kathmandu, & Kathmandu-New Delhi.
  • This program is a comprehensive fast-paced tour featuring the highlights of India in a brief visit. Several days require long driving distances between cities, six to eight hours driving. Some tours will require walking for extended periods of time, walking on uneven surfaces, and travel in 4x4 vehicles over rough terrain. For more leisurely options, please check our longer-stay tours. Air pollution is a problem in many of India's major cities. Please see the CDC website and/or consult with your healthcare provider for specific recommendations. The use of a bandana or light scarf may help screen out some of the pollutants in the air. This is a Classic program. 
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Gate 1 Travel terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.