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Duration: 13 days Visiting: India
Journey into a wonderland of the exotic and enigmatic, full of strange fascination - from the erotic temples of Khajuraho and the splendid Taj Mahal, to the ashy presence of Hindu holy men and the world's only official living goddess. These two countries move in their own mysterious ways, often inundating the senses, so its comforting to know you are in the expert care of Insight's Luxury Gold Travelling Concierge and enjoying a superior level of quality, comfort and service.
• Embark on a rickshaw ride through the bustling Chandni Chowk bazaar
• Like the nymphs and deities who inspired them, the 10th century temples of Khajuraho are utterly captivating
• Against a backdrop of ringing bells and chanting music participate in the sunset Aarti ceremony in the Ganges
Delhi, a Rich Melting Pot of Old and New
Welcome to India! On arrival at Indira Gandhi International Airport, you will be greeted with a traditional floral garland and transferred to your hotel. In the evening, join your Travelling Concierge for a Welcome Reception with a delicious meal.
(Relaxed Start) Ride by rickshaw through the lanes of Chandni Chowk bazaar in Old Delhi. See the Red Fort, visit the Gandhi memorial at Raj Ghat and the Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque. See the Qutub Minar and drive along the Rajpath past the India Gate and Parliament House to visit the Tomb of Humayun.
Kathmandu, Legendary Gateway to Mountains, Monasteries and Temples
Transfer to the airport after breakfast for your flight to Nepal - a mystical country nestled in the folds of the Himalayas. Relax at your exquisite, centrally located hotel. This afternoon, with a Local Expert, take an intimate look at the Narayanhiti Royal Palace and the rooms where the royal family ate, slept, worked, held ceremonies, and entertained guests, along with the wonderfully eclectic decor.
Durbar Square and Holy Shrines
(Relaxed Start) In the morning, explore Durbar Square and the ancient Royal Palace complex, laced with a myriad of temples, courtyards, statues and home to the Kumari (the Living Goddess). On the outskirts of town see Swayambhunath. Continue to Patan to visit the sky piercing temple of Teleju, Statue of Yogendra Malla and Tibetan Handicraft Centre. In the evening, dine at a Local Restaurant.
Magnificent Temples and Splendid Stupas
(Relaxed Start) View Pashupatinath Temple on the banks of the Bagmati, one of the holiest Hindu shrines. Continue to Bodhnath, a colossal stupa, and Nepal's most important Buddhist site. Round off your sightseeing with a visit to the ancient capital of Bhadgaon, the main square containing innumerable temples and architectural showpieces.
Varanasi, the oldest Living City in the World
(Relaxed Start) This morning, relax and take advantage of the facilities in your hotel before being transferred to the airport for your flight to India's holy city of Varanasi. In the evening, take in a special, spiritual experience as you witness the holy Hindu Aarti ceremony at the riverside steps of the Ganges.
Ganges and City Sightseeing
As the sun rises, enjoy tea or coffee at the hotel before embarking on a boat cruise to witness the scenes of devotion on Ganges River. Return to the hotel for breakfast followed by a city tour visiting some famous temples. Your adventure continues at nearby Sarnath, the deer park where the Buddha preached his first sermon. Visit the museum which rates among the most important in India.
The Spectacular Carvings and Erotic Sculptures of Khajuraho
There's an early morning yoga session at the Ganges Ghats (if possible) where the air is filled with spirituality. Later board a short flight to Khajuraho, where you enjoy a tour of one of India's ‘seven wonders' - the medieval Hindu and Jain temples, celebrated worldwide for their intricate and erotic carvings. Tonight, why not witness the Sound & Light Show?
Orchha - Agra
En-route to Jhansi, visit the citadel at Orchha, containing grand 16th century palaces and temples. After a delicious vegetarian lunch in a magnificent resort, transfer to the train station in Jhansi and board the Shatabdi Express to Agra.
Agra & the Taj Mahal
(Relaxed Start) Agra's fine heritage is revealed. Appreciate the flawless marble symmetry of the exquisite Taj Mahal, built by an emperor in memory of his beloved wife. Move on to the impressive Agra Fort to explore the palatial Royal Pavilions and gardens. Walk through a village in the shadow of the Taj Mahal with one of the villagers to discover the way of life as agriculturists next to India's most famous monument. Enjoy tea and pakoras on a rooftop with exceptional views.
Jaipur, the 'Pink City'
Set off this morning for historic Bharatpur, where you will stop for lunch before driving to the ‘Pink City' of Jaipur, where there is time to freshen up. Later, join the Meena tribe and learn about their way of life and farming rituals before continuing on past village hamlets and ﬁelds to Dera Amer where dinner is served.
(Relaxed Start) Ascend by jeep to the Amber Fort, its royal halls decorated with intricate ivory, mirrors, glass and exquisite paintings. Back in Jaipur, see the ‘Hawa Mahal' (The Palace of Winds) and visit the city Palace Museum and royal observatory. Later, at the evening Celebration Dinner, enjoy drinks and authentic cuisine.
Experience a typical morning for most Hindus with a puja at one of the most important Krishna Temples in the country, Govind Dev Ji temple. Then, visit the vegetable market and try your hand at bargaining with the stall holders. Departure transfers arrive at Delhi Airport at 17:00. Please do not schedule flights before 21:00. For those taking an early morning ﬂight home the following day, and needing to stay overnight at a hotel close to the airport, post-tour accommodation is available. The transfer will continue on to your chosen extra night hotel.
New Delhi (Central) - India
Le Meridien, Jaipur, five star deluxe hotel, located just 3.5 miles from Amber Fort, Le Méridien Jaipur promises a memorable stay characterized by an unrivalled assortment of services
Kathmandu (Central) - Nepal
Soaltee Crowne Plaza, Luxurious accommodation in Kathmandu is provided at Crowne Plaza Hotel Kathmandu-Soaltee, spread over 12 acres of peaceful gardens. An outdoor pool, spa treatments and a fitness centre are available. Crowne Plaza Kathmandu-Soaltee is in peaceful Tahachal, 4km from the palaces and temples of Durbar Square in the city centre. 12 acres of landscaped grounds echo the mountainous beauty of the Kathmandu Valley, with vibrant gardens surrounding our open veranda.
Varanasi (Central) - India
The Gateway Hotel, Ganges Varanasi, The hotel is set amidst 40 acres of lush green gardens, The Gateway Hotel, Ganges is the veritable haven of peace and tranquility in this crowded and ancient temple city. The hotel is 6 kms away from the city Centre or the commercial hub of Varanasi also commonly known as The Chowk. The hotel is constructed in the holy Swastik shape (The Swastika is an ancient symbol which re-presents good fortune and blessing).
Khajuraho (Central) - India
Khajuraho: Radisson, a 5-star hotel is located just four kilometres from the airport, railway station, marketplace and world heritage temple complex. Take a dip in the outdoor pool, stroll through the lush gardens and beautiful landscapes that surround the hotel or indulge at the multi-cuisine restaurant and full bar located on the property.
Agra (Central) - India
ITC Mughal, Agra
Jaipur (Scenic) - India
Fairmont Jaipur is an ode to the pink city through awe inspiring architecture and decor, inspired by the Mughal dynasty and Royal Rajputs of yore. This luxury Jaipur hotel is nestled amongst the majestic Aravalli hills, all 199 rooms and suites are elegantly appointed, to reflect a perfect blend of traditional Rajasthani décor and modern amenities.
5 out of 5
2/7/2017 Dale Fiu, Greenlane, Auckland, New Zealand
My husband and I have just returned from Insight Vacations Classical India with Nepal Trip. It was the greatest tour we have ever been on. The hotels were magnificent, our tour guides and car drivers were absolutely wonderful. Thank you Insight Vacations. We had a wonderful time. Highly recommend this trip.
4 out of 5
3/7/2015 Mary Morgan, South Bunbury, Australia
insight persons were wonderful especially meeting from plane, transfers, booking into hotels and back to airports. very efficient, punctual, polite and explain very well whats going to happen. the tour guide was also tremendous, organised, patient, had a great sense of humour and fully understood any problems that may arise, and always had a plan b and c. always kept us informed, was very considerate and thoughtful of all his group. this made the experience well worth doing, learned a huge amount about India and enjoyed it despite things being not to what we have at home many thanks
5 out of 5
3/2/2014 Judy Esman, Portage, United States
I just got back from my trip to India and Nepal and I couldn't have had better weather. The flight over Mt. Everest is a must. It was so clear we could see the mountain. It was the same for the whole trip. When I look back at the trip though my most wonderful experience was the people the sounds and the smells. Walking down the streets with the 3 wheel vehicles, buses, cars, horses, carts, elephants, camels, goats, pigs, camels, cows etc. I felt like I was in a different dimension and loved every bit of it. I haven't been to Africa but I think India exceeded my expectations and has been my favorite trip. We had 19 in our group and we all bonded immediately. To have a good trip though you need a good Tour Director and we got the best. His name is Ravi and I hope when you do this trip you will have him, too. He is so intellgent and told us so much about India and Nepal, its people, history and culture. He was the most caring individual and knew our needs before we did. I had trouble with the food, but I knew I would. I don't like spicy food, but Ravi made sure I got something good to eat and even had a wonderful birthday party for me. When I think of this trip he is the first thing I think of. This is a trip that you must take. It's a wonderful country and so different. You will love it. Judy
Clothing, gear, and accessories you need for your next premium or Luxury Gold escorted journey
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