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India. South India Karnataka and Kerala Adventure

Extend Your Stay

Contact our India Program Director for extension options to Rajasthan or other destinations in India and Asia.

Taj Mahal and Delhi

The Taj Mahal’s fame is justifiable with its gleaming marble walls inlaid with gems which reflect off the evening and morning light.  Delhi is easily reached from anywhere in India or South Asia. Explore Delhi where you can experience history and modern life side-by-side.  You will journey to Agra to visit the Taj Mahal as well as the Red Fort, Fatehpur Sikri and the Jami Masjid. Ask our India Program Director how you can extend your trip to include Delhi and Agra.

Day 1:  Arrive Delhi 

Drive or fly from the final destination of your main trip to Delhi. You will be met at the arrivals hall and driven to your hotel. Once the capital of the Moghul Empire, today Delhi is a sprawling metropolis - a fascinating blend of past and the present- which is an apt introduction to the composite culture of the entire sub-continent. 

 

Day 2:  Explore Old and New Delhi

Your expert guide weaves you in and out of Old and New Delhi. Catch a rickshaw into the old walled city and walk through the bustling and crowded market of Chandi Chowk. Nearby you walk to the Friday Mosque, Jama Masjid - the largest mosque in India; from the minuet here you can view the Red Fort. Visit Raj Ghat, a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi on the banks of the Yamuna River.  Drive along the ceremonial avenue, Rajpath, past the imposing India Gate, Parliament House, and the President's Residence.   Visit the famous Tomb of Humayun, the second Moghul Emperor. End the day near Connaught Place at Laxmi Narayan Temple (Birla Mandir), built in Orissan style with a tall curved tower.  You can return to the hotel or stay in Connaught Place where you are free to spend the evening walking around the bustling shops and restaurants[BL]

 

Day 3: Delhi – Agra

 Transfer to the station to board your early express train to Agra. Enjoy watching the country pass by on your ride. Upon arrival, you will be met at your train and taken on a tour of Agra.  Drive ½-hour outside of the city to Fatehpur Sikri, an ancient city built by Emperor Akbar the Great, Shah Jehan’s grandfather, the consolidator of the Mughal Empire and most farseeing and tolerant of all the Mughals. The entire city was deserted a few years after construction due to a dearth of water – posterity’s gain, as the entire city has thus been preserved.


Return to Agra to relax at your hotel before visiting the Taj Mahal in the late afternoon.  The Taj Mahal is an architectural wonder inspired by love - a white marble memorial to Mumtaz Mahal, wife of the great Shah Jahan, fifth Moghul Emperor and architect extraordinaire. Designed and planned by Persian architect Ustad Isa, it took 22 years to complete and features stunning balance and symmetry, elegant domes, intricately carved screens and some of the best inlay work ever produced. [BL]


Delhi:  Oberoi Maidens Hotel 

Agra:  ITC Mughal 

Nepal Wildlife and Cultural Adventure

Journey north to Nepal to enjoy both the local, Hindu culture and the unique wildlife-viewing opportunities of Chitwan National Park.  View the impressive Himalayas close-up in Pokhara or from an optional Mt Everest flight.  Start and end in bustling Kathmandu, where you explore its temples with their unique architectural-style and the endless markets.  Continue to Chitwan where you ride elephants in search of rhinoceroses and other animals who hide in the tall grasses of the park. In Pokhara, you soak in the stunning mountain scenery while hiking and sightseeing in the valley.


Prices start from $2195 per person, double-occupancy.

DAY 1: Arrival in Kathmandu Upon arrival in Kathmandu you will be met and escorted to you hotel, with the balance of your afternoon free. 

DAY 2: Kathmandu Spend the morning exploring Kathmandu with your private guide. See Durbar Square and Swayambhunath StupaThis afternoon fly to Chitwan and transfer to your lodge, situated near Royal Chitwan National Park, a 932 square Kilometer (360 square miles) area of tall grassland and magnificent forest – one of the Asia’s richest and most spectacular wildlife sanctuaries. Royal Chitwan National Park is the home of the great one horned rhinoceros, sloth bear, wild boar, guar (bison), 4 species of deer, 2 species of monkeys, 2 species of crocodiles, the elusive Royal Bengal Tiger, over 450 species of birds and various other reptiles. You may take a safari this evening.  [BD]

DAY 3: Royal Chitwan National Park Take 2-3 hours safari on elephant-back through dense grasslands to view wildlife in their natural habitat. It is the favorite habitat for rhinoceros and other mammals. Later, a senior naturalist briefs about the interesting and unbelievable habits of elephant.  Following lunch at the camp choose to relax around the camp or take a boat ride down the Narayani River. The river ride provides opportunity of viewing the Gharials, Mugger crocodiles, fresh water dolphins, otters and varieties of water birds. [BLD]

DAY 4: Chitwan to Pokhara In the morning enjoy another elephant safari before returning to the resort for breakfast. Choose to take either elephants or land rovers and boats to a vehicle which waits to take you to Pokhara.  Pokhara is one of the most beautiful places in the worked, noted for its tranquil atmosphere and the beauty of the surrounding countryside. [B]

DAY 5: Pokhara Valley Early this morning visit Sarangkot for spectacular views of the surrounding valley & mountains. Then explore Pokhara Valley including Davis Fall, Mahendra Cave, Gupteswor Cave, Seti River Gorge & Old Market followed by private boat-ride on Phewa Tal (Lake). [B]

DAY 6: Pokhara to Kathmandu In the morning leave Pokhara for a return flight to Kathmandu. In Kathmandu, visit the historic shrine of Pashupatinath and Boudhnath Stupa. Hundreds of prayer wheels and the 108 images of the Buddha set into the niches around this huge structure make it even more mesmerizing. Enjoy dinner at t local Nepali restaurant and watch a cultural dance show. Overnight in Kathmandu at the Hotel Soaltee Crowne Plaza. [BD]


DAY 7: Departure
The day is free until you transfer to the International airport to connect with your outbound flights. [B]

Hotel Soaltee Crowne Plaza in Kathmandu.

Green Jungle  Lodge in Chitwan.

Fish Tail Lodge in Pokhara.

Kathmandu Cultural Adventure

Explore Kathmandu in depth from its stunning palaces to vibrant markets.  Immerse yourself in the culture: witness prayers at the Hindu and Buddhist temples, watch Nepali dance show and learn from local artisans.  Take in the stunning sunrise and sunset views of the majestic Himalayas from your hotel in the relaxing hill station of Nagarkot.


Pricing starts at $1050 per person, double occupancy.

Day 1: Arrival Kathmandu Upon arrival in Kathmandu you’ll be met and escorted to your hotel.


Day 2: Kathmandu
Spend the morning exploring Kathmandu with your private guide. See Durbar Square, the seat of royalty until the last century. Kathmandu Durbar Square is a wondrous cluster of ancient temples, palaces, courtyards and streets.Take a walking tour of the old bazaar.Also visit the Swayambhunath Stupa,and Garden of Dreams


Day 3: Kathmandu - Bhaktapur - Nagarkot
Start the day with a tour of the ancient city of Patan, a World Heritage site. Drive to nearbyNagarkot, famous for its sunset and sunrise views of the Himalayas.


Day 4: Nagarkot - Kathmandu
Wake early for sunrise view of the Himalayas. Enjoy the morning in Nagarkot before returning to Kathmandu to visit Pashupatinath and Boudhnath.One of the most sacred Hindu shrines in the world. This evening have dinner at t local Nepali restaurant and watch a cultural dance show.


Day 5: Departure
The morning at leisure (hotel check-out is noon). Transfer to the International airport for your outbound flights.


Hotel Tibet International or Dwarikas in Kathmandu
Club Himalaya in Nagarkot.

Sikkim, Darjeeling, and Calcutta

Extend your adventure in India high into the Himalayas.  The Northeast of India is a world apart with Buddhist monasteries, hills covered with tea plants and alpine lakes.  Hike at the start of the Himalayas into villages where you will be welcomed as a special guest.  In Darjeeling and Kolkata (Calcutta), explore the remnants of the Raj with afternoon tea, a ride on the historic toy train and visits to old churches, hotels and museums built in the British heyday.   Wander in the markets of Kolkata, India’s third largest city and a seat for learning and the arts. Ask our India Program Director how you can extend your trip to include Northeast India.

Day 1:  Delhi – Bagdogra - Gangtok 
After breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight to Bagdogra, you will be met and driven 4 hours to Gangtok. Gangtok is the largest town and the capital of the Indian state of Sikkim. The city lies at an altitude of about 1780 meters above sea level. Because of its topography, the city enjoys a mild temperate climate throughout the year. Gangtok integrates different cultures and religion and is a center of Buddhist learning and culture.  Overnight Gangtok [BD]  


Day 2:  Gangtok

Spend the day in Gangtok.  Visit Enchey Monastery - a beautiful monastery in an equally beautiful setting, approached along an avenue of hundreds of multi-colored prayer flags. Spend time in the Government Institute of Cottage Industries watching young students practicing the traditional art of thangkha paintings along with weaving, wood carving and carpet making. Also visit the Institute of Tibetology, housed in a beautiful building in traditional Tibetan style, with mural decorated columns and a wonderful smell of beeswax polish from the creaky wooden floor.   After lunch drive through picturesque, terraced rice fields to the headquarter of Dharma Chakra Centers (Rumtek Monastery), the present seat of His Holiness, the Gyalwa Karmapa, head of the Kagyupa sect. Rumtek is said to be the replica of the monastery at Tsurphu, Tibet with its traditional architecture, exquisite paintings, intricate wood work, and treasures of manuscripts and icons. Rumtek is a splendid example of Tibetan monastic art. Return to your hotel for dinner.  Overnight Gangtok [BLD]


Day 3:  Gangtok – Pemayangtse (Pelling)

After breakfast drive to Pemayangtse (also known as Pelling). Explore the area in the afternoon including Pemayangtse Monastery, Khechipari Lake, Kanchenjunga Falls, Singshore Bridge & Dentam Village. Overnight Pemayangtse [BLD]

 

Day 4:  Pemayangtse (Pelling) – Yuksum

In the morning drive from Pelling to Yuksum, the base town for climbing into the Himalayas.  Here you hike traversing terraced foothills and through villages where you will be treated as an honored guest. Overnight Yuksum [BLD] 


Day 5:  Yuksum – Kalimpong

Drive to Kalimpong, situated at an altitude of 1250 meters on top of a ridge on the east of river Tista.  The tranquil hill station is famous for its indigenous handicraft. The artisans here produce Tibetan and Bhutanese handicrafts and jewelry that are much admired in the country and abroad. The town and its surrounding area were ruled by Bhutan for about a century and a half before it was annexed by the British in 1965. The afternoon is free to explore the town.  Overnight Kalimpong [BLD]

 

Day 6:  Kalimpong – Darjeeling 

After breakfast, start your day at the Zang Dhok Palri Phodang (Lava Monastery).  Consecrated in 1976 by the Dalai Lama, this Monastery houses many scriptures brought into India after the invasion of Tibet in 1959.  The Monastery is built on top of Durphin Hill, which gives it the advantage of a panoramic view of the town below.  Continue to the Tsonga Gumba Monastery, a Bhutanese Monastery believed to have been built around the late 1600s. End the touring at the Lepcha Museum, where you will learn about the native people of Kalimpong, who are no more than a minority today.  The Museum exhibits Lepcha treasures, Manuscripts, articles of worship and other tools.  Drive to Darjeeling (75 km/1.5 hrs), on arrival check in at hotel.


Darjeeling is a Himalayan city in the Indian state of West Bengal. It is internationally renowned as a tourist destination, along with its tea industry and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is "hill town headquarters" of Darjeeling district which is a partially autonomous status within the state of West Bengal. The town is located in the Mahabharat Range or Lesser Himalaya at an average elevation of 6,710 feet.  Overnight Darjeeling [BLD]

 

Day 7:  Darjeeling 

Full day sightseeing around Darjeeling including early morning sunrise view from Tiger Hill (2,585 m) and a visit to Ghoom monastery built in 1850 by Lama Sherab Gyatsho, a monk from Mongolia. The main feature of this Gelugpa monastery is the magnificent statue of Maitreya, “the future Buddha” draped in white silk scarves of offering called Khadas. After breakfast, visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and the Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre where you can see Tibetan craftsmen making traditional items like carpet, woolen boots, wood carvings and feather goods. Later, ride on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, lovingly called the "Toy Train". The Toy Train ride is a romantic approach to the Himalayas with spectacular views. The Darjeeling Toy Train is one of the most famous narrow (2 feet) gauge trains. Overnight Darjeeling [BLD]

 

Day 8:  Darjeeling – Bagdogra – Kolkata (Calcutta)

After breakfast drive to Bagdogra airport though tea plantation estates on the way to board the flight for Kolkata. [B]

 

Day 9:  Bagdogra — Calcutta (Kolkata)

Kolkata, formerly Calcutta, is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. It is located in eastern India on the east bank of the River Hooghly.  Including suburbs, its population exceeds 15 million, making it India's third-largest metropolitan area as well as the world's 8th largest agglomeration. Kolkata served as the capital of India during the British Raj until 1911. As the former center of modern education, industry, science, culture and politics in India, Kolkata has many leftovers to bear witness to this history.  Kolkata also is noted for its revolutionary history, ranging from the Indian struggle for independence to the leftist and trade union movements. It is also known as the cultural capital of India, home to generations of poets, writers and film directors.

Meet your guide at your hotel lobby for a Dalhousie Square walking tour starting on around approximately 15 buildings in the area, including the imposing Writers Building, the newly renovated Town Hall, the St John’s Churchyard and the historic Metcalfe Hall. Later, visit Victoria Memorial Hall/ Garden (Victoria Hall remains closed on Monday), Marble Palace and Mother Theresa’s Tomb. Continue exploring Calcutta – you can discuss your options with your guide. Overnight Calcutta
[BL]


Day 10:  Calcutta - Departure

Continue exploring Calcutta.  In the morning, wander in Kolkata’s famous Botanical Garden. Later visit Mother Teresa’s house, Nirmal Hridaya, and Kalibari’s famous Kali temple. This area is one of the oldest and densely populated places of Kolkata and also famous for Kalighat temple. Allow time to explore the sprawling New Market and the Mullik Ghat Flower Market.  Transfer to the airport for your departure flight. [B]

 

Elgin hotels in Sikkim

Windamere in Darjeeling

Oberoi Grand in Kolkata or similar

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