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Grand Tour of India & Nepal

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Explore the highlights of India and Nepal by train

You are viewing the 2021 itinerary. Select your departure year
20202021
19 days From £3,195 per person

2021 Tour code: KTJ21

About the tour

Explore the highlights of India and Nepal on this grand tour which includes some of the world's
most beautiful temples, sights and scenery. We witness colourful ceremonies, a game drive, and experience breathtaking views of the Himalaya from Pokhara on this adventurous tour.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Days 1-4 - London, Amritsar, and Delhi

We depart London Heathrow and travel to the Indian city of Amritsar, via Doha. Arriving early on Day 2, we transfer to the Hyatt Regency Hotel and have some time at leisure to settle in. In the afternoon, we visit the Wagah Border, which separates Pakistan and India, to witness the Beating Retreat Ceremony, a ceremonial military concert and lowering of flags at sunset. On the morning of Day 3 we enjoy a guided tour of Amritsar, seeing the Golden Temple, a resplendent building with gilded façade and ornate carvings decking its inner walls. We also visit the poignant Jallianwala Bagh Gardens and memorial site. Afterwards, we board our train to Delhi, arriving later this evening.

On Day 4, we embark on a full-day sightseeing tour of Delhi, seeing the colourful markets of Old Delhi and taking a rickshaw ride through the lively bazaar. We continue to New Delhi, home to Qutab Minar, Humayun's Tomb, and India Gate.

The Golden Temple at Amritsar
Days 5-7 - Agra, the Taj Mahal, and Lucknow

We board the early train to Agra today where, on arrival, we visit the vast Agra Fort before crossing the city for a sunset visit to the iconic Taj Mahal, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.

On Day 6 we travel by coach to Lucknow, a historic city that played an important role both during the Mughal and colonial periods.

On Day 7, we visit the famous La Martiniere Boys' School, founded by an endowment from Major-General Claude Martin. We also see the magnificent Bada Imambara that houses a mosque and a labyrinth said to have a 1000 passageways. We then see the British Residency, the site of a siege during the rebellion of 1857 against British rule.

Taj Mahal
Days 8-9 - Varanasi and sunrise on the Ganges

Our final long-distance train journey of the holiday takes us to Varanasi, the sacred city of the Hindus that attracts thousands of pilgrims every year and is one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities. After checking into our hotel, this evening we watch the spectacular Aarti ceremony, an elaborate Hindu ritual. Priests carry tiered metal lamps, moving rhythmically to the sounds of sacred Hindu songs, and the flames sway in unison creating an entrancing ambience.

Early in the morning of Day 9, we cruise the holy river Ganges, admiring the sun as it spreads its first orange hues on the slate-coloured water. We then take an excursion to Sarnath, where Buddha is said to have given his first sermon and which now, understandably, holds great significance for Buddhists. This afternoon, we transfer to the airport for our flight to Kolkata.

Varanasi
Days 10-12 - Kolkata and Kathmandu

We embark on a sightseeing tour of Kolkata today, exploring the vibrant and bustling flower market, Mother Teresa's house, and Victoria Memorial - a beautiful white marble structure boasting sprawling gardens. Later, we visit the railway museum - a huge open field in the heart of the city offering panoramic views of the Kolkata skyline - and the Potter's Colony, where generations of potters engage in the art of making Hindu deities for festive occasions. Travelling aboard the Circular Train, a local commuter service, we then make our way to the banks of Hooghly River to see the memorial of James Prinsep, an English scholar and numismatist.

On Day 11, we transfer to the airport for our flight to Kathmandu in Nepal. We begin Day 12 with a sightseeing tour of the neighbouring city of Patan. Here, we listen to a master create music with singing bowls, an experience that has deep spiritual connotations in Buddhist culture. Later, we return to Kathmandu for a sightseeing tour, exploring its Durbar Square, the erstwhile royal square, the ancient religious architecture of Swayambhunath Stupa, and taking a rickshaw ride to Thamel, a lively part of the city. Tonight we dine at the well-known Rum Doodle restaurant, once a hang out for brave mountaineers. Here we chat to a local Sherpa who relives their experiences of climbing Mount Everest.

Durbar Square, Patan
Days 13-14 - Kathmandu to Chitwan

This morning we visit Boudhanath Stupa, before travelling to Chitwan National Park. After checking into our hotel, we head to an elephant stable to meet some of these gentle giants and enjoy a chat with a local naturalist. Afterwards, we travel by traditional ox cart to a nearby village populated by the Tharu People. Here we learn about their unique way of life and culture.

We visit a gharial, or Indian crocodile breeding centre, on Day 14. Here this endangered species is bred and monitored to prevent extinction. After lunch, we take a wonderful Jeep safari through the jungles and grasslands of Chitwan National Park. Famous for its biodiversity, here we may spot the Indian Rhino stalking its way through the wetlands and grassy plains. The park is also home to Bengal tigers, leopards, hyenas, and sloth bears and we may even be lucky enough to see elephants bathing in the Rapti River.

Chitwan National Park
Days 15-17 - Into the Himalayas

We drive into the Himalayas today, passing glacial turquoise rapids and junglecovered mountains on our way to Pokhara. With staggering views of Fishtail Peak, this is one of the world's most scenic destinations. Day 16 is at leisure here.

On Day 17, we drive up to Sarangkot, a mountain viewpoint which offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience - witnessing sunrise over snow-clad Annapurna, one of the highest peaks in the world. After breakfast we explore Pokhara, visiting the Gorkha Museum, the Old Bazaar, and a Tibetan settlement where we experience authentic Tibetan culture. In the afternoon, we enjoy a cruise across the tranquil waters of Lake Phewa, admiring the lofty mountains that border it.

Pokhara, Nepal
Days 18-19 - Kathmandu and London

We take the coach back to Kathmandu, where we stay for one final night, stopping for lunch along the way. On Day 19, we transfer to the airport for our flight to London Heathrow, via Doha.

Kathmandu

Additional information

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Visa requirements
Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Taj Palace, New Delhi

Taj Palace, New Delhi

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Taj Bengal Hotel, Kolkata

Taj Bengal Hotel, Kolkata

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Vivanta by Taj Hotel, Lucknow

Vivanta by Taj Hotel, Lucknow

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Fish Tail Lodge, Pokhara

Fish Tail Lodge, Pokhara

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Taj Ganges Hotel, Varanasi

Taj Ganges Hotel, Varanasi

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Hyatt Regency Hotel, Amritsar

Hyatt Regency Hotel, Amritsar

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Vivanta Hotel, Kathmandu

Vivanta Hotel, Kathmandu

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Train

Shatabdi Express

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

Flight upgrades
London Hotels
UK rail connections

Extend your holiday

Goa
Kerala
Mumbai
Shimla

Reviews

93% of travellers would recommend this tour

Based on 27 verified reviews

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Anonymous

Submitted 14/12/2019

Great experience but very tiring. We could have flown direct to |Amritsar and then taken a train back to New Delhi. We could in each city have stayed somewhere close to the sights so that we would not have needed to spend hours extra stuck in traffic jams as we tried to cross the cities.

Anonymous

Submitted 14/12/2019

Excellent itinerary and choice of hotels

Anonymous

Submitted 12/05/2019

The flights with Jet Airways were not comfortable and the food was not great. This is separate from the issues with the airlines impending insolvency, it was to do with the lack of comfortable seating and legroom on the plane- and I’m a short person.

Mr D Wakeling

Submitted 24/04/2019

It was a superb trip - India is a fabulous country could never disappoint, Nepal is also a great place to visit. However, a crammed itinerary with long coach journeys, long train journeys and many internal flights - not much time to catch your breath! I think the Itinerary needs to cut down on coach time in Nepal - an internal flight would help. Also, the long dirty train journey into Varanasi was unnecessary when there's a high speed alternative! Travellers to Kathmandu need to be aware how dusty the city is and the need for nose and mouth masks. Loved the extension to Kerala for a much needed rest! All in all a brilliant trip.

Anonymous

Submitted 22/04/2019

The trip was well organised with everything running smoothly. The whole trip gave a good overall view of the diversity of Indian and Nepalese culture and life. The hotels were excellent with great food. The tour manager and guides were knowledgeable and accessible.

Mrs E Bettridge

Submitted 18/04/2019

Excellent, full on itinerary, saw wonderful sights, high quality hotels, friendly and knowledgeable Indian and Nepalese guides, well organised and interesting tours

Worldwide Holidays by Rail 2020/21

Worldwide Holidays by Rail 2020/21

Long haul rail holidays to North America, South America, Asia, Africa and Australasia.

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Grand Tour of India & Nepal

Explore the highlights of India and Nepal by train

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Lynne Broadley
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