Delhi to Kathmandu

16 days
from
£2,759
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Leisurely
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Trip code: 
AIN
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Cultural Wonders
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–16

Explore sacred cities and temples

To travel between Delhi and Kathmandu, from the bustling cities of the Indian plains to the peace and tranquillity of the highest mountains on Earth, is one of the most beautiful and fascinating journeys in Asia. For culture, the Taj Mahal, 'the Pink City' of Jaipur, the holy city of Varanasi or the Buddhist Stupas of Kathmandu may be the highlights. For nature, spotting rhino in Chitwan National Park or the first view of the mighty Himalayas will provide lasting memories.

Highlights

  • See the magnificent Taj Mahal
  • Meander along the Ganges at Varanasi
  • Visit the 'Pink City of Jaipur'
  • Marvel at Buddhist stupas in Kathmandu

Key information

  • 11 nights hotels, 2 nights jungle lodge, all en suite, 1 night sleeper train
  • Group normally 4 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Travel by private air-conditioned bus

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 dinners included
  • All accommodation
  • Transfer for group flights

 

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas and vaccinations
  • Single supplement
Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

London
to
London
  • Day 1

    Depart London.

    Flights usually depart London in the evening.

  • Day 2

    Arrive Delhi; afternoon free.

    The group flight will arrive into Delhi in the morning and we will transfer to our hotel. Those who have made their own flight arrangements will join us at the hotel during the day. You are free today to explore Delhi and rest after your flight; rooms may not be available until noon but it is often earlier than this.
    Comfortable Hotel

  • Day 3

    Visit Humayun's Tomb and New Delhi; afternoon drive to Jaipur.

    After breakfast we will have a tour of the capital. In Old Delhi we visit Jama Masjid (India's largest mosque) and in New Delhi we see the fine colonial buildings. Built by the British Raj in the early years of this century and set in spacious tree-lined boulevards these now house various Indian governmental departments. We then visit the tomb of Humayun, one of the earlier Moghul Emperors. In the afternoon we drive to the Pink City of Jaipur: this drive will take approximately 5 to 6 hours.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Full day sightseeing including City Palace and Amber Fort; evening free.

    Today we have a full day to explore Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan and one of the most attractive and colourful cities in India. Built in the late 18th century, it is a planned city of broad avenues built of sandstone and painted pink at a later stage. First we visit the City Palace. Formerly the residence of the Maharaja it is now a fine museum containing rare manuscripts, paintings, royal garments and weapons. Close to the palace is one of the most intriguing sights of India, the observatory of Jai Singh. This is an assembly of immense astronomical instruments made of marble and brass set in a pleasant garden. We will also see Jaipur's impressive landmark, the Hawa Mahal, or Palace of the Winds. A few miles from the main city is the splendid Amber Palace, rising above a lake. The imposing hilltop fort contains large courtyards and interiors with fine decorations including inlaid alabaster panels and a Chamber of Mirrors. We can walk up the hill through the massive gateway to the courtyard. Jaipur is a centre of many handicrafts, such as durries (woven rugs), carpets, printed cloth, semi-precious stones, leatherwear etc.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Drive to Agra via Fatehpur Sikri.

    We begin the day by driving to Agra via the deserted ancient city of Fatehpur Sikri. Formally the capital of the Mughal Empire, this wonderfully preserved 'ghost town' was constructed by Emperor Akbar between 1570 and 1585 and reflects his ideals in art, religion and architecture. This impressive and well-preserved citadel became his capital in 1571, after the blessing of a local Moslem holy man correctly predicted the birth of a longed-for son, his successor the Emperor Jehangir. The mosque, designed to hold ten thousand worshippers, the palaces, residences and halls of audience are all of decorative red sandstone. But this magnificence only lasted 14 years, as in 1584 Akbar left Fatehpur Sikri to secure his outlying territories, leaving this city much as we see it today. The site is one of the most atmospheric in northern India and its position on a ridge overlooking the modern village below, and its wonderful state of preservation provide us with a taste of this city's majestic past.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Sunrise visit to Taj Mahal and later visit the Red Fort; overnight train to Varanasi.

    A very early start to see the incredible spectacle of the sunrise over the Taj. The Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1631, built the beautiful white marble Taj Mahal. The Taj is serenely beautiful and never fails to amaze a first time visitor; the white marble exterior changes colour according to the position of the sun during the day and is matched by the rich interior detail. Within striking distance is the imposing Red Fort of Akbar, third of the Moghul Emperors, whose mighty sandstone walls enclose the beautiful white marble Pearl Mosque and the palaces, halls, courtyards and fountains of his sons and successors, Jehangir and Shah Jahan. It is here that the latter spent his last years, imprisoned by his own son Aurangzeb. Agra also offers a wide variety of handicrafts including jewellery, inlaid and carved marble, carpets and clothes and there should be time for some shopping. In the late afternoon we transfer to Tundla, 35km from Agra, where we board the overnight train to Varanasi.
    Overnight Train

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Arrive Varanasi; afternoon free or optional visit to Sarnath, site of Buddha's first sermon.

    We arrive in Varanasi in the morning and transfer to the hotel (rooms may not be available until noon however efforts are made to make it earlier than this). The afternoon is then free to explore this incredible city and its winding streets, ghats and mystical temples or visit the nearby Sarnath Temple, where the Buddha gave his first sermon (optional).
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Dawn boat ride on Ganges visiting bathing ghats; free afternoon; evening witness the aarti ceremony.

    Varanasi, situated on the River Ganges, is one of the most holy cities in India and stands at the centre of the Hindu Universe. As such, the city lives and breathes Hinduism: there are thousands of pilgrims, wandering holy men (Sadhus), religious leaders and casual visitors. It is a city to get immersed in by exploring its maze of narrow lanes, the many temples and watch the Hindu ceremonies that occur around the clock. Just before dawn, we take a boat out on the Ganges to witness the extraordinary spectacle on the ghats, the steps leading down to the river. Every day thousands of Hindu pilgrims come to these three miles of riverbank to immerse themselves in the waters of the holy Ganges. In the evening you can witness the aarti ceremony from the banks of the river.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Cross border to Nepal; to World Heritage Site of Lumbini.

    We board our private bus and make an early departure for Nepal. It's a spectacular drive across the northern plains, passing through a few towns and lots of pretty Indian villages. At the Indian border we leave our bus and walk across through customs and immigration to Nepal (approx. 500 metres). Once in Nepal, we enter the Terai, the narrow plain running along the southern breadth of the country. We have a short drive (approx. 1 hour) to Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha, where we spend the night. Total driving time approx. 12 hrs.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Days 10-11

    To Chitwan National Park.

    Early this morning there is a short, optional rickshaw ride around the Lumbini gardens. Buddha was born here and the area is being developed into a place of pilgrimage for Buddhists from all over the world. Travelling east and parallel to the mountains, we reach Chitwan (approx. 4 hour drive), where we spend two nights. The park, with its jungle and thick forest, was the former royal hunting ground and was set-aside as a conservation area in 1973.

    The park and the surrounding forest covers an area of 923 square kilometres of the terai and affords excellent wildlife viewing opportunities. Among the larger animals, you have an excellent chance of seeing the Indian one horned rhino, Sambar and Chital deer, guar, langur and Rhesus monkeys, mongoose, jackal, otter and crocodile. The more elusive animals include tiger, leopard, leopard cat, Sloth bear and Indian bison. Over 500 species of birds have been recorded in this area.

    Wildlife activities are managed and escorted by experienced naturalists and shikharis; included in your stay is a jeep safari and a dug out canoe excursion. Other trips such as a village tour and birdwatching outings can be organised depending on individual interests.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 12

    To Pokhara with views of the Annapurnas.

    Today, our journey to Pokhara is only 140km but will take 4-5 hours. We follow the gorge of the Narayani River and soon we are in the foothills of the Himalaya. The scenery changes dramatically from the forests and farmlands of the Terai to steep terraced hills, and as we get closer to Pokhara we begin to see the formidable Annapurna Range. Set at only 1,000m amongst semi-tropical plants and with a delightfully warm climate, it is actually much closer to the main Himalayan peaks than Kathmandu. Machhapuchhare, the 'Fishtail Peak', dominates the skyline especially in the clear morning air. We stay in a simple hotel near to Lake Phewa, with a wide choice of restaurants and other facilities close by.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    Sunrise over mountains; free day to explore or day walk to Sarankot.

    We can either relax by or on the beautiful lake in Pokhara, or the more energetic can hike into the surrounding hills for even better views of the peaks. There are many wonderful day walks in and around the Pokhara valley, one of the best being to drive up to the remains of a fort at Sarankot, the hill directly overlooking the lake and then walk back to Pokhara. An early morning start is required to guarantee the clearest view, but once there, the whole Annapurna range can be seen with virtually no intervening hills. This is one of the best of all viewpoints for Machhapuchhare, most people's favourite mountain in the region. For many though, Pokhara is a place to relax by either renting a rowboat or bicycle for a few hours and exploring the lake and its shoreline at a leisurely pace.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    Follow Marsyangdi and Trisuli rivers to Kathmandu.

    We leave early for the long drive to Kathmandu, along the Chinese-built road running parallel to the main Himalayan range. The distance is only 200km but it is a slow climb through the mountains and the journey will take most of the day (7 - 8 hours). The views, however, are stunning as we follow the Marsyangdi and Trisuli rivers, passing numerous villages and terraces stretching thousands of feet up the hillside. We arrive in Kathmandu in the late afternoon and check into our centrally located hotel.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 15

    Optional Everest flight; visit Pashupatinath and Bodnath; rest of the day free to explore.

    We have today to explore Kathmandu and the valley. In the early morning there is the opportunity to take a scenic flight to see Mount Everest (this can be booked and paid for on arrival in Kathmandu; see 'Extra Expenses and Spending Money' section below regarding costs). Today there will be a half-day sightseeing tour visiting Pashupatinath, the most important Hindu temple in the valley, and Bodnath, one of the largest Buddhist stupas in the world. The rest of the time is free for individual exploration of Kathmandu. You may like to visit the Durbar Square of Kathmandu with its old Royal Palace and intricately carved temples, or Swayambhunath, the 'monkey temple', set on a hill overlooking the city.

    Kathmandu also offers the most wonderful and varied opportunities for souvenir shopping: clothes, trinkets, Tibetan and Nepalese handicrafts and superb bookshops. It also has a wide variety of restaurants serving some of the best food from the sub-continent and you can also find wonderful pizzas and apple pies.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 16

    Fly to London.

    Those on the flight inclusive package will depart for the airport this morning for the daytime flight back to London; Land Only arrangements will finish after check-out from the hotel.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Nepal

Most nationalities require a visa for Nepal, which can be obtained in advance or on entry. If you wish to apply before departure the current visa cost is £20 for a 15 day visa and £35 for a 30 day visa for UK passport holders. The current cost of a visa on arrival is US$25 for 15 days, US$40 for 30 days or if extending your stay $100 for 90 days. All are multiple entry. The visa on arrival fee can be paid for in cash in US Dollars, Pounds Sterling or Euros. You will also need a passport photo. Application forms are available in the immigration hall (or for electronic passports there are visa registration machines which, after inserting your passport, automatically fill out a form for you). You must firstly join the queue to pay the visa fee, and then go to the relevant immigration desk to obtain your 15, 30 or 90 day visa stamp. There can be long queues for visas on arrival.

Non UK nationals should check requirements with their nearest embassy (a few nationalities are not permitted visas on arrival).

Vaccinations

India

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. The risk of malaria is slight but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Some of our India trips spend time at altitude. In regions over approx. 2000m, there is low to no risk of mosquito-borne diseases. For trips going to altitudes of over 3000m there is a risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness. Our itineraries are designed to enable everyone to acclimatise to these altitudes, but you should be aware that it is still possible for you to be affected. Please see the TRIP NOTES for further information.

Nepal

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

There is low to no risk of malaria throughout Nepal and antimalarial tablets are not usually advised although may be considered for certain higher risk groups; you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. The risk is highest in the low lying southern ‘terai’ districts bordering India.

A yellow fever certificate is only required if travelling from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission or for travellers having transited for more than 12 hours through a country with risk of transmission.

Dengue fever is a known risk in Nepal. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Most of our trips to Nepal go to high altitudes where there is a risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness. Our itineraries are designed to enable everyone to acclimatise to these altitudes, but you should be aware that it is still possible for you to be affected. Please refer to the Altitude Warning within the Trip Notes for further advice on AMS.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 dinners included.

You should allow £15 (approx. US$24) per day for other meals. You can eat out very cheaply in India and Nepal, but if you go to the most expensive restaurants most of the time, you will spend more than the suggested amount. In most of the towns there is a good choice between Indian, Chinese and Western style food. If you are a vegetarian India and Nepal are probably two of the best destinations you can visit. Tea and soft drinks are very cheap. A (large!) bottle of beer is approximately £3 (approx. US$4.80). Bottled water is widely available. Where meals are not supplied, our group leaders always encourage people to try local restaurants and street food vendors. They can make recommendations which will help boost small businesses and celebrate local specialties. In India, we can even see how the food is made, for example, masala chai (tea), samosa (mashed potato snacks), jalebe (Indian doughnuts), lassi (yoghurt drink).

Weather

Is this trip for you?

Activity Level: 1 (Leisurely). This is not a demanding tour physically, but some days can be particularly long, such as the drives between Delhi and Jaipur (approx. 5-6 hours), Jaipur and Agra (approx. 5-6 hours), Varanasi and Lumbini (approx. 12 hours), and Pokhara to Kathmandu (approx. 7-8 hours). The stunning scenery, however, makes the drives enjoyable. Like the people of Nepal and India, we will have some early starts to take advantage of the daylight. Most of the roads are in fairly good condition but you should be prepared for a few rougher sections. The trains are a fun way to travel and meet Indian people, although delays are always possible.

Please note that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) are responsible for the conservation of many monuments in India, including the Taj Mahal, and very occasionally this may mean that work is taking place at sites visited on this trip. The ASI’s schedule is never published so it is not possible to forewarn our clients of when work will be taking place.

Holi and Diwali Festivals

Some departures will be in India during the festivals of Holi and Diwali. They are great festivals to witness and some very minor itinerary alterations may be made locally in order to make the most of these occasions. Holi celebrations typically involve people throwing coloured water at each other and smearing powder on each other's faces. This is accompanied by dancing, music and traditional Holi sweets such as Ghujiya and Bhanng. It's a riot of colours as the powder bursts into the sky. During Diwali, the festival of lights, people typically light up their houses, shops and streets, and celebrate on the streets with fireworks.

Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels and Lodges

We have 11 nights hotels, 2 nights lodge, all en suite, as well as 1 night on a sleeper train. The hotels we use are of a mixture of standard and comfortable hotels. In Jaipur and Varanasi we stay in heritage hotels. In Kathmandu we stay in a hotel close to the centre In Chitwan we stay in a comfortable jungle lodge in twin-bedded huts. All rooms have en suite bathrooms.

Single accommodation available on request from GBP450 (excludes sleeper train).

 

Overnight Train Journeys

The overnight train from Agra to Gaya will be booked in 2-tier (or 3-tier if 2-tier is not available) sleeper A/C. There are many excellent trains in India but the standard of seating and sleeping is not in line with European standards. All seats are pre-allocated at the time the tickets are issued, meaning that we cannot guarantee the whole group are together on the train: your leader will manage this as best as possible and will always check on you during the journey. Indian trains are safe to travel on but we recommend that you keep valuables with you at all times. Snacks are often offered on board (at an additional cost) but you may wish to purchase your own food prior to the journey. Whilst some trains have western-style facilities, the majority of services are equipped with squat toilets. Please note trains are sometimes delayed for reasons beyond our control, but we endeavour to minimise the impact of these delays on the overall itinerary.

Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

The mountains will always draw us back to this majestic country: and now, with the return of a very special trip, the

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Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: sales@exodus.co.uk

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