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Northern India & Nepal (BBC Earth Journey)

17 days with Tauck   Rating: Deluxe

Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices Day 1 Arrive New Delhi
Tour begins: The Imperial, New Delhi. A transfer is included from Indira Gandhi International Airport to The Imperial, New Delhi. Most international flights arrive between 11:00 PM and 3:00 AM local time, 10 1/2 hours ahead of the U.S. (EST). To ease the effects of jet lag, consider traveling to India a day early; ask at booking. You'll enjoy a Heritage Room at your landmark hotel, an iconic 5-star property occupying the most distinguished address in the heart of the capital. Your trip begins this afternoon with a welcome briefing by your Tauck Director, followed by a guided orientation tour of New Delhi including a drive through of Vijay Chowk, with views of the Secretariat buildings, Parliament House, the Presidential Palace and the India Gate, commemorating Indian and British soldiers. Next, stop at the Gandhi Smriti Museum, paying tribute to the inspiring leader, Mahatma Gandhi, who forced change through non-violent protest, leading to an independent India in the late 1940s. Join us this evening for a welcome cocktail reception and dinner. (D)

Day 2 Old Delhi, past & present
Discover not one, but two UNESCO World Heritage Sites today as you explore the centuries-old history and culture of Old Delhi and environs. Following a morning orientation tour of Old Delhi, visit Humayun's Tomb, constructed for the Mughal Emperor Humayan and other members of his family in the 1570s, and set within beautiful gardens. The first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent and the first large structure of its kind built of red sandstone, this Mughal creation popularized Persian-influenced architecture in India, and was an inspiration for the Taj Mahal in Agra. After lunch at a local restaurant, sightseeing continues as you marvel at the Qutb Minar Victory Tower, India's tallest minaret, five stories high. A red sandstone tower built in 1193 and covered with intricate carvings and verses from the Quran, it is part of one of the earliest surviving mosque complexes in India. Return to your New Delhi hotel in late afternoon and spend the rest of the day and evening as you please. (B, L)

Day 3 Yoga & a flight to Kathmandu
If you like, enjoy a yoga class, then let your imagination take flight as you board a plane bound for Kathmandu in Nepal. Touch down for a three-night stay that celebrates the natural beauty and spiritual tapestry of this small mountainous country. Your family-run hotel has a rich tradition of hospitality. This evening, visit a renowned golden-roofed temple with silver doors that sits on the banks of the sacred Bagmati River. Dine at one of the hotel's restaurants tonight. (B, D)

Day 4 Himalayas Flightseeing & a sherpa
Set off early this morning for spectacular flightseeing* above the Himalayan landscapes of Mount Everest - an unforgettable experience. Back on the ground in the Kathmandu Valley, explore Patan Durbar Square, where ancient temples and pagodas - both Buddhist and Hindu - are clustered around the old royal palace. Climb aboard for a rickshaw ride, if you like. Lunch is served in a local restaurant. Before dinner tonight at your hotel, a Sherpa who's climbed Mount Everest gives a talk followed by a Question & Answer session. (B, L, D)

Day 5 Kopan Monastery, Boudhanath & Bhaktapur
At nearby Kopan Monastery the monks start their day in prayer and meditation; join them during a morning visit before heading to the colossal stupa of Boudhanath, encircled by images of Buddha and hundreds of prayer wheels. After lunch explore the medieval town of Bhaktapur, where you'll find opulent palaces, temples and squares in a maze of cobblestone streets free of traffic. Craftsmen, potters, woodcarvers and weavers produce their wares here as they have for centuries; you'll have an opportunity to view their handiwork. (B, L)

Day 6 Fly to Chitwan National Park
This morning fly to Chitwan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the foothills of the Himalayas. The flora and fauna are particularly rich here. One of the few remaining populations of single-horned Asiatic rhinoceros lives in the park, and it's also one of the last refuges of the Bengal tiger. After lunch at your lodge, go on a river safari by boat and enjoy a sundowner. (B, L, D)

Day 7 Morning safari & bathing elephants
In an open-topped vehicle, head into Chitwan National Park for a safari and picnic breakfast. Later, watch the elephants take a bath in the river - and interact with them! After lunch enjoy a free afternoon or join us on a visit to a local village. (B, L, D)

Day 8 A mountain resort in Dhulikhel
t's possible to go on an early morning game drive before departing for your flight back to Kathmandu. When you land, head for your resort in the town of Dhulikhel, where the views of the mountains might just leave you speechless. Enjoy a singing bowl demonstration and a cooking presentation before dinner at your resort this evening. (B, L, D)

Day 9 Fly to Delhi & on to Agra
A morning flight takes you back to Delhi for our drive to Agra, home to one of the world's most famous edifices - and monuments to love - the Taj Mahal, built by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, as a memorial to his wife. A perfectly symmetrical building, the monument's marble relief work is inlaid with precious stones. Your stay at The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra will take you back to a grand era of emperors. Dinner is at your choice of two of the hotel's fine restaurants tonight. (B, D)

Day 10 The Taj Mahal & the Red Fort in Agra
This morning, explore the Taj Mahal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a jewel of Muslim architecture renowned as one of the "wonders of the world," on a sunrise visit or after you have breakfast - or both! Next up is a visit to the city of Agra and the 16th-century red sandstone Agra Fort, an enormous complex of fairy tale palaces and mosques once surrounded by a deep moat. This evening's Maharajah dinner will mean special preparations, with ladies being shown how to wear their choice of a traditional sari (with a delicate touch of henna painting), and the gentlemen putting on traditional turbans. (B, L, D)

Day 11 The Temples of Khajuraho
Fly to Khajuraho for an overnight stay. This small town is the site of a famous group of temples built between the 9th and 10th centuries by the Chandella Dynasty, praised by UNESCO for striking a perfect balance between architecture and sculpture; visit them today. (B, L, D)

Day 12 Bandhavgarh National Park
Drive to Bandhavgarh National Park, a wildlife reserve where leopards, deer, jungle cats, wild dogs, and tigers live - although it is very rare to spot the elusive tiger, a master of camouflage. After lunch embark on a jungle safari in an open-topped Jeep for a chance to catch sight of the wildlife. You'll stay three nights in this remarkable park. (B, L, D)

Day 13 A jungle safari & a village visit
At daybreak, drive with expert trackers into the heart of the Bandhavgarh Forest, one of India's most scenic areas. Keep your camera handy - the wildlife at home here include tigers, leopards, sloth bears, wild boar, jackals and a variety of birds. After lunch back at the lodge, you can spend the afternoon on another jungle safari or visiting a local village. (B, L, D)

Day 14 Safari Drives & Help Village Efforts
Enjoy a morning's jungle safari drive in Bandhavgarh National Park; in the afternoon, you can choose between further exploration on another jungle excursion, or lending a hand with one of several ongoing community projects alongside village residents. Attend an interactive cooking demonstration prior to dinner at your hotel. (B, L, D)

Day 15 Fly to Mumbai (Bombay)
Depart Bandhavgarh National Park this morning for a flight to Mumbai on the Arabian Sea. Formerly known as Bombay, Mumbai today is India's richest city: hip, multicultural, cosmopolitan, home to Bollywood and a thriving financial center. Arrive in Mumbai mid-afternoon, then take a brief guided orientation tour of landmark city sights en route to your oceanfront luxury hotel. Dinner is at leisure in the hotel tonight. (B, D)

Day 16 Mumbai's grand gateway & heritage sites
Begin today's discovery of Mumbai, India's economic powerhouse, with a visit to the famed Gateway of India, a regal arch built to commemorate the 1911 visit of King George V and Queen Mary during the British Raj; this colossal waterfront monument is sometimes called "the Taj Mahal of Mumbai." Explore the city's Heritage area, including a stop at the Baroque-style train station known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus) and Central Railway Headquarters building - Mumbai's only UNESCO World Heritage Site - resplendent with vaulted roofs, arches, Gothic spires, flying buttresses, gables crowned by neoclassical sculptures, stone carvings, and friezes. After an afternoon spent as you please in marvelous Mumbai, join us for a farewell cocktail reception at your hotel this evening. (B, L)

Day 17 Journey Home
Tour ends: Mumbai. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from The Oberoi, Mumbai to Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. Most international flights depart between 2:00 - 3:00 AM; you should allow a minimum of 3 hours for flight check-in. (B)
Map
All This Included
From the Arabian Sea to the Himalayas, from the ultramodern architecture of New Dehli to the forests of Bandhavgarh National Park in India and Chitwan National Park in Nepal, our unique experiences show you the incomparable cultural diversity, compelling history, and spectacular natural beauty of the Indian subcontinent. Set off on game-viewing safaris in search of the elusive tiger... fly over the landscapes of Mt. Everest on a flightseeing tour… visit a Buddhist monastery in Kathmandhu… discover the architecture of Bhaktapur, along the ancient trading route from Nepal to Tibet… feel the spiritual passion of the Taj Mahal, poetry in marble… explore the Heritage section of Mumbai… wander awestruck among the eye-opening Hindu temples of Khajuraho… and enjoy an unusual opportunity to join in hands-on community projects as a volunteer in places where there is need, working with local villagers to improve their lives, forging friendships across cultures.

  • TAUCK EXCLUSIVE – On-tour film vignettes custom-made for Tauck by BBC Earth natural history experts plus select other BBC Earth touches
  • Private flightseeing charter over the Himalayas, for magnificent panoramic mountain views including Mount Everest
  • On-Tour Air included (6 flights)
  • Small group adventure averaging 20 guests per departure
  • Stays at luxurious Oberoi hotels in Delhi, Agra and Mumbai
  •   A morning visit to the Taj Mahal
  • A three-night stay in Bandhavgarh National Park, one of India’s most important tiger reserves, with daily safaris
Highlights
  • Earth Journey - created with BBC Earth
  • New Delhi
  • Kathmandu
  • Himalayas & Mount Everest flightseeing
  • Agra & the Taj Mahal
  • Khajuraho temples
  • Safaris in Bandhavgarh & Chitwan national parks
  • Q&A with Sherpa climber
  • Village volunteer opportunity
  • Exploring Mumbai's Heritage area
Accommodations
New Delhi: The Imperial
Kathmandu: Dwarika's Hotel
Chitwan National Park: Meghauli Serai
Dhulikhel: Dwarika's Resort Dhulikhel
Agra: The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra
Khajuraho: The LaLiT Temple View Khajuraho
Bandhavgarh National Park: Mahua Kothi
Mumbai: The Oberoi, Mumbai
Notes
  • Group size averages 20! All departures are small groups averaging 20 guests, ensuring a more intimate travel experience.
  • Flying time to Delhi averages about 18 hours from gateway cities in the U.S., and may include a stop-over in Europe; most international flights arrive between 11:00 PM and 3:00 AM local time, 10½ hours ahead of U.S. (EST). To ease the effects of jet lag, consider traveling to India a day early, rather than arriving late at night on Day 1. Tauck can arrange an extra night at The Imperial, New Delhi.  Ask for details upon booking.
  • Activities marked with an asterisk (*) are at your own risk; a signed liability waiver will be required.
  • In order to access Bandhavgarh National Park, we will be traveling by coach on two-lane roads which may be very bumpy and uneven. Driving in India is unlike driving at home, and you may be unaccustomed – or even surprised by – local rules of the road. This trip is designed for guests who have a spirit of adventure and are comfortable traveling in vehicles for longer periods of time; it will not be suitable for anyone who has back problems.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Tauck 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.