Himalayan Leaders presents one of the most desired itineraries. The combination of two fascinating countries in one trip: India & Nepal. As India offers mysterious and overwhelming impressive fortresses from Hindu and Mogul origins, Nepal takes you to the Roof of the world with its highest mountains on earth. This is a classic trip covering the highlights of India and Nepal. You will have the opportu-nity to be acquainted with the history, culture, religion and the architectural treasuries of both countries. You will visit the delights of the Rajasthan Wonders, the desert state of India, the Maharaja’s Palaces & the famous Taj Mahal and the mystical Ghats of Varanasi. In Nepal we selected the overwhelmingly beautiful Himalayan panoramas in Pokhara, city of lakes and caves at the foot of the majestic Annapurna mountain range. Finally you will explore Kathmandu Valley with its thousands of temples, stupas and monasteries of which Pashupatinath (the National Hindu temple) & Boudha Natha (the biggest Buddhist monastery) are the most famous. This cultural tour is especially designed for its completeness and suitable for all ages.
o=overnight, b=breakfast, l=lunch, d=dinner
Arrival at the New Delhi International Airport. Upon arrival meet & greet with traditional garland welcoming with flowers. You are not only our guest but a manifestation of gods; another belief of our culture which ensures that a guest once is a friend forever.
After breakfast we proceed with our personal guide who takes you on a city tour to witness the contrasts between the two cities that combined marks the spirit of the Indian Capital. In New Delhi we start exploring the Safdarjang’s Tomb on the way to Qutab Minar which originates from 1193 AD, the striking medieval tower of victory of Persian World which is 73 m high. Within the complex, amidst the ruins of the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque. Driving through New Delhi we see the Embassy area, Government buildings, the India Gate, the Sikh Temple of Bangla Sahib Gurudwara, the Birla Temple and Connaught Place and see also New Delhi’s main shopping area. We can also visit Humayun’s Tomb, considered to be the fore runner of Taj Mahal. In the evening we host you a welcome dinner in one of the finest typical Indian restaurants in town.
Early Morning transfer to the domestic airport to connect to the flight to Udaipur, upon arrival check in at the hotel where the rest of the day you are free to explore the city where once James Bond met his Octopussy.
After breakfast we proceed to the City Palace to begin with the morning tour of Udaipur including Sahelion Ki Bari, Bhartiya Lok Kala Mandal and the Jagdish Temple. Later in the evening we take a boat ride in Lake Pichola.
After breakfast we depart from the City of Lakes on to Ranakpur, where we take Lunch and visit the famous Ranakpur Jain temples, built in white marble. Its 29 halls spread over 40.000 square feet it has 1.444 pillars, of which not one is alike in its carving. After this visit we continue driving to Jodhpur.
After breakfast, we start our city tour of Jodhpur which is a vibrant, strategically important city on the classic trade routes for opium, sandalwood, dates and cop-per. We see Mehrangarh that became the most majestic fort of Rajasthan. But besides this fortress there is also the wonderful Mehrangarh Fort and Jaswant Thada (the cenotaphs of Maharaja Jaswant Singh). The temples at Khajuraho were built during the Chandela dynasty, between 950 and 1050. Only about 20 temples remain that belong to two different religions – Hinduism and Jainism. They strike a perfect balance between architecture and sculpture. The Temple of Kandhria is decorated with a profusion of sculptures that are among the greatest masterpieces of Indian art. In the afternoon we have a nice alternative of being already overwhelmed by fortresses and temples and we will go for a jeep safari to Bishnoi village to witness the opium ceremony, life of locals, potters house and wildlife.
After breakfast we drive to Jaipur where we take you on a tour of Laxmi Narayan temple, also built in white marble. Here we will treat you on a real heritage trail on a rickshaw ride through the illuminated bazaars of Jaipur.
Jaipur is famous for the splendid Amber Fort, the prime site of the alliance bet-ween the Mughals and the Rajputs. Jaipur was designed according to the princi-pals of the Shilpa-Shastra and the capital shifted here in 1727, the city attracted merchants and crafts-people that over time shaped its irresistible bazaar. The Hawa Mahal, City Palace and Jantar Mantar characterize the old city, while the forts of Nahargarh and Jaigarh, and add to the spectacle of the city.
Our day begins with sightseeing the Amber fort with an Elephant ride! The Ride from the foot of the Fort to the Main Entrance gates is an enchanting memoir of how the Rajput rulers ascended the Fort on the Elephants. In the afternoon we have a sightseeing tour of Jaipur including Maharaja’s Museum City Palace and Jai Singh Jantar Mantar, the unbelievable knowledge containing Astronomical Observatory & Hawa Mahal.
After breakfast we drive to Agra and enroute we visit Fatehpur Sikri, a 16th cen-tury deserted capital of the Mughals. We arrive at Agra in the late afternoon and check in at the Hotel.
Agra is famous for one of the Seven Wonders of the World, built by Emperor Shah Jehan in the memory of his beloved Mumtaz Mahal. This beautiful mausole-um, called Taj Mahal, took 22 years to complete with a work force of 20.000 craftsmen and master builders who came from all over Asia to join in the great work. The marble, India’s finest, was quarried at Makrana near Jodhpur. The day starts early as we offer you to visit the great monument by sun rise. After the visit we return to the hotel for breakfast. Later in the day our guide takes you to the other breath taking sites from the Mughal era, including the Agra fort and Itmad-ud-daulah, commonly known as baby Taj.
After breakfast we board on the early morning luxury train ‘Shatabdi Express’ to Jhansi. Upon reaching Jhansi we shall drive further to Orcha for Lunch. After lunch it takes 4 hours to Khajuraho where in the evening we offer you a dance performance at the Kandharia auditorium where you view the regional dances from across all over the country.
After breakfast we visit the enchanting temples of Khajuraho with sculptures that draw their inspiration from the ancient art of Kamasutra. Your guide unwinds the stream of tantra in Hinduism.
In the afternoon we drive to airport for flight to Varanasi where in the evening we already take you for a rickshaw ride downtown and head to the ghats of the holy river Ganges where we take a boat ride and witness the religious ceremony of Ganga Aarti (a Brahmin priests offer prayers & perform rituals to the holy Gan-ges for bestowing them with life and wisdom).
The venerable and ancient city Varanasi is the religious center for Hindus. It is a magnificent city, with myriad attractions. Thousands of pilgrims visit the city from all parts of the world. Varanasi is a unique city where the past and present, eter-nity and continuity are becoming one. It is considered to be the immortal abode of Lord Shiva. The life and activities in the city revolve around the holy river. Life on the banks of the Ganga begins before dawn when thousands of pilgrims come down to the river to wait for the rising sun and bath.
Our day starts by a sunrise visit at river Ganges followed by a walk through the narrow lanes of the city to feel the life & culture of the holiest city of the country. We then return back to the hotel for breakfast. After lunch in the afternoon we pay a visit to Sarnath. This fabled place bears testimony to its great past where Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon to his disciples expounding the principles of Buddhism.
After these many unforgettable impressions of India it is time to pack and leave after breakfast to the airport. In just one hour and a half we fly to a different world of the Himalayas: Nepal. We arrive in the capital of Kathmandu, where we will get our transfer to the Hotel in Thamel and treat you on a typical welcome Nepali dinner .
Early in the morning, after breakfast in the hotel it’s time to visit Pashupatinath- the most venerated Hindu temple of Nepal and Boudhanth, the biggest Buddhist Stupa architecture of the world. It really will impress you for sure. In the afternoon the trip continues to the famous sightseeing of Bhaktapur and Patan -the former principalities of Kathmandu valley. You will visit old royal palaces, temples, stupas, and monasteries and will see lots of striking intricate wood and sto-ne works. In the late afternoon we return to your hotel in Kathmandu.
Early in the morning we leave for Pokhara , the second largest city in Nepal. We have a choice, if we wish we can do it within a 6 hours’ drive from Kathmandu Pokhara, or just 30 minutes by flight. By overland of course you will experience the beautiful country sides. Pokhara is a city of close to 200.000 inhabitants in central Nepal. In no other place in the world you see so many high mountains rise. In this area, within 30 km, the elevation rises from 1.000 to over 7.500 meters, the outskirts of the city touch the base of the Annapurna mountain range. From the southern fringes of the city you see 3 eight-thousanders: Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and Manaslu. You will never forget the view. After some refreshment we will walk along the big lake side to get acquainted with the beautiful city.
After breakfast we start sightseeing the Pokhara Valley including the Bindavashini Temple, the goddess of long live, the giant Davy Falls and underground caves and visit a Tibetan refugee camp. We also will enjoy boating on Fewa Lake, the second largest lake in Nepal, which is a main attraction for visitors, on the way we visit the Bharai Temple, the Goddess Temple which is situated in the main center of Fewa Lake. After lunch we drive up the mountains to our unique hotel in Sarangkot.
We will be up around 5 a.m. because today we want to see an unforgettable sunrise of the Himalayas from our resort in Sarangkot or climb up the viewpoint. This it provides excellent views of snow-capped mountains of Annapurna Soth, Dhaulagir and Machhapuchare (Fishtail Mountain) and is the most amazing view of the Himalayan mountain ranges. After breakfast we walk down first the en-chanting trail to where our car takes us back to either the airport or the drive back to Kathmandu. In the afternoon we will explore the ancient and historical sites at Durbar square with its stone paved lanes, color-full market, the virgin Goddess and many more small and big temples with different kinds of architecture.
Today is your last day and we just give you some hints for it. You can visit the city core that has most of the remarkable cultural wealth that evolved during the reign of the Malla (Nepal) kings between 15th and 18th century. The city is filled with sculptures, pagodas, stupas and palace buildings of exceptional beauty. There are also 106 monastic courtyards (known as baha or bahi) and famous for their art and piety. The level of skill of the local artisans are the exquisite wood carving, stone carving, metal casting, weaving, pottery and other crafts. The finest wood carvings are seen on the ornate windows of old buildings and on the roof struts of temples. Carving skills of the local articians are seen at every street corner in the form of images of gods and goddesses and sunken water spouts.
In the evening we treat you to a last typical Nepali farewell dinner and will leave as friends forever.