Classic India & Nepal
From the plains of India to the soaring heights of the Nepal Himalaya a journey to enliven the senses and touch the soul.
An incredible journey leads from the thriving commercial hub of Mumbai to the desert landscape of Rajasthan - land of magnificent palaces and powerful fortress; camel fairs and colorful bazaars. The serene evocative Taj Mahal contrasts and compliments the vibrancy of Varanasi.
Take an elephant safari in search of the royal Bengal tiger, enjoy the magnificent views from lakeside Pokhara, watch a spectacular Himalayan dawn and explore the backstreets, teeming bazaars and fascinating temples of Kathmandu.
Where are you going?
Day 1: To arrive into India's most charismatic city is to be mesmerized by the diversity Mumbai has to offer. It's the home of Bollywood, the Indian business elite, buzzing nightspots and excellent seafood. Visit the Prince of Wales Museum, the Gateway of India and the bustling Crawford Market. Top it off with a late evening buggy ride along Marine Drive overlooking the Arabian Sea.
Day 2: Ahmedabad has it all, mosques and bazaars, museums and markets as well as sumptuous Gujarati fare. Visit the Sabarmati Ashram where in 1917 Mahatma Gandhi started his historic salt march. The peace, quiet and simple style of the Ashram is a perfect setting for the records of Gandhi's life.
Days 3-4: Rolling hills, white marble palaces and lakes all combine to give Udaipur a very special appeal, living up to its reputation as India's most romantic city. It is a center for artisans and tribal jewelry with miniature paintings a specialty. Take a boat to the famous Lake Palace, stroll the city and relax at one of the many rooftop cafes.
Day 5: Busy and chaotic, Jodhpur is home to the impressive Meherangarh Fort, symbol of the glorious history of the Maharajas of Marwar. You also visit the nearby pure white marble cenotaph of the Maharajas of Jodhpur and within the city's winding streets there are some excellent antique shops.
Day 6: With India's only Brahma temple and a holy lake, Pushkar is a major destination for pilgrims and Saddhus from all over India. The atmosphere is friendly and mellow, there is hardly any traffic and the town is small enough to walk around. Spend time exploring the many bazaars - some great shopping to be done here – and circle the lake with its ghats and temples
Days 7 & 8: Jaipur, the 'Pink City', is a fascinating place with bazaars filled with jewelry, textiles and folk crafts. It is home to the famous Palace of the Winds, India's most photographed building after the Taj Mahal. Nearby, the palace complex of the old capital of Amber sits majestically on a ridge.
Day 9: The first stop today is the Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary. Originally used by the Maharajah of Bharatpur and his guests for duck shooting, it has more than 400 species of local and migratory birds as is renowned as one of the world's finest bird sanctuaries. Deserted Fatehpur Sikri is poignant testimony to the achievements of the Mughal emperor, Akbar. The city, built in red sandstone to commemorate the birth of his son, is a fine example of Mughal Architecture and is usually crowded with pilgrims. The Taj Mahal is a spectacular monument; built by Emperor Shahjahan in pure white marble in memory of his beloved Mumtaz. Akbar's magnificent Red Fort dominates central Agra.
Days 10 - 11: Rise early in Varanasi to drive to the Ganges to watch the fascinating early morning rituals being performed by Hindu devotees along the riverbank, which includes the cremation Ghats. Walk through narrow lanes along the river to the Golden Temple. Drive to Sarnath, the tranquil Deer Park, where Lord Buddha preached his first sermon. Nearby are the magnificent stupas built by the Emperor Ashoka.
Day 12: Lumbini, birthplace of the Buddha is marked by a pillar built by the Emperor Ashoka in 249BC and a number of other monuments. Many countries have built shrines and monasteries here reflecting the architectural traditions of their respective cultures.
Days 13 & 14: Royal Chitwan National Park is home to the royal Bengal tiger, one-horned rhino, sloth bear, langur monkeys, wild boar, numerous species of deer, leopard and other jungle cats. Elephant back is a fantastic way to explore the jungle and offers the possibility of close-up views of rhinos in their natural habitat as well as many of the park's other inhabitants.
Days 15 & 16: Pokhara is a place of remarkable natural beauty. The enchanting city has several lovely lakes and offers stunning panoramic 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.
Days 17 & 18: Hilltop Dhulikhel with its panoramic views of the Himalaya and surrounding Newari villages is a peaceful and relaxing finale to your journey.
Day 19: Kathmandu is a fascinating mixture of legend and modern development with a rich artistic and cultural heritage. Crowded markets and bazaars are the center of Nepali life, the narrow streets are home to holy men, monks, bicycles, incense, goats and sacred cows, just to name a few. Explore the valley's architectural and religious heritage in Durbar Square, Pashupatinath and Swayambunath.
Day 20: Depart