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India and Nepal Historic Way (trip code:OTID-15D

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Price Includes:
Price Includes: Includes all transportation and 3 star hotel accommodation or equivalent.
All accommodation includes daily breakfast.
Use of guide services.      

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trip protocol

Day 1 Delhi

Welcome to India. This adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 1pm on Day 1. Look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can"t arrange a flight that will arrive in time, maybe arrive a day early so you"re able to attend. If you"re going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. At the meeting have your insurance details and next of kin information ready for collection. In Delhi, watch one of the world"s greatest shows unfold as people, traffic, cows and kids all work together in a kind of organised chaos around historical sites from different eras, museums and galleries, shops and endless bazaars. This afternoon join your group leader on an excursion into the sights and sounds of Old Delhi. Set off on the city"s modern metro system, then get a taste of India"s famed public transport with an optional cycle rickshaw ride through chaotic streets, such as the famous Chandni Chowk. Make a visit to the Jama Masjid, Delhi"s oldest mosque and one of its most impressive buildings, then visit the Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple) to learn about the Sikh religion. This evening, maybe grab a chai, put your feet up and let it all soak in.
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Day 2 Agra

Agra might not be the prettiest city in the world, but the minute you see its iconic sites that won’t matter one bit. After arriving into the city today by one of India"s faster air-conditioned trains (approximately 3 hours) you’ll head straight to the most recognisable sight in India. It doesn’t matter who you are, the Taj Mahal will exceed all your expectations with the morning light shimmering off its white marble surface. Best known as a monument to love and loss, the 17th century Taj is a beautiful example of Mughal architecture, surrounded by trimmed English gardens. The highlights keep coming as you take a motorised rickshaw tour, a truly fun and Intrepid way to see the monuments of Agra. Later, you"ll also visit Akbar"s Mausoleum – a beautiful sandstone and marble tomb built for the greatest of the Mughal emperors.
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Day 3 Agra-Orchha

Agra is also home to one of the finest looking forts in India. This morning you’ll enter the dark red sandstone stronghold of Agra Fort - part fortress, part palace and part prison - and search through throne rooms and tiny but incredibly decorated mosques. Later, travel by air-conditioned train from Agra to Jhansi (approximately 3 hrs). Upon arrival in Jhansi, travel by auto rickshaw through traditional rural Indian landscapes to reach the beautiful town of Orchha on the banks of the Betwa River (approximately 45 minutes). Here you’ll have the opportunity to uncover a very different side of India. Initially a hunting area, Orchha has changed very little over the centuries. Despite its small size it is filled with many beautiful temples and palaces, build here in the 16th century by the ruling Bundelas clan. When you arrive, take an orientation walk in rural areas untouched by modern life and meet the very friendly locals. This evening witness the Ram Raja Temple puja (prayer) ceremony at the shrine at the heart of the city.
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Day 4 Orchha

Today you"ll visit the stunning Orchha Palace, built by Bir Sing Deo for his friend Jehangir, the great Mughal ruler. Take note of the grand Iwans (domes) that were built large enough to allow the movement of war elephants. You’ll also make a stop at Taragram, one of our Responsible Tourism projects. Taragram is a paper making factory that enables local tribal women to work outside the realm usually afforded to them. The paper is crafted from wood pulp and recycled clothing.
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Day 5 Orchha Train Sleepers

Today you"ll get to soak up the unique atmosphere of Orchha, and excitingly you"ll get to soak up the local flavours too. Learn about the local cuisine, it"s ingredients and how it"s prepared, in a cooking demonstration with our local friends. Taste the unforgettable results. This evening you’ll return to Jhansi and board an overnight train to Allahabad (approximately 9 hours), the starting point for your Ganges boat trip.
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Day 6 Allahabad - Ganges

Arrive in Allahabad and visit Anand Bhavan - the ancestral home of the Nehru family - which witnessed several history-making events during the Indian freedom struggle. You"ll then experience the sacred River Ganges, lifeblood of millions of Indian people, with a boat cruise through the heart of rural India. Transfer to the Ganges (approximately 2 hours) by small riverboats for the sailing trip. A support crew will be on hand as you sail down this iconic waterway, passing village communities and viewing river life as it goes on around you. The boats are equipped with life jackets, the deck has mattresses and cushions to relax on, and it’s all covered with a cloth roof for sun protection. Arrive at your campsite and relax riverside, read a book or play some cricket. Watch the sun go down and eat a delicious vegetarian meal prepared by the boatmen.
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Day 7 Varanasi

Leaving your boats at Chunar, transfer by private vehicle to Varanasi (approximately 2 hours). This is one of holiest cities around, the ultimate destination for Hindu pilgrims who travel from far and wide to experience this spiritual city. Overflowing with temples, shrines and devotees, Varanasi might not be one of the world"s cleanest cities but there’s no doubt it’s one of the most amazing. Set off on a walking tour of the oldest part of the city, bustling with tourists and priests, and see different rituals being performed. Wander through the Old City with its maze of narrow alleyways packed full of small shops and stalls, and lumbering cows. See pilgrims bathing and performing rituals and ceremonies unchanged for hundreds of years; temples full of bell chimes and the smell of incense; the dhobi wallahs and the burning ghats. This evening soak up the unique magical atmosphere of a candle flower ceremony as the sun sets.
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Day 8 Varanasi

Today starts early with a sunrise boat ride on the Ganges, where you can watch the light gradually illuminate the many ghats and temples along the river as you pass. The rest of the day is free for you to use as you like. There’s an option to take a trip to nearby Sarnath, one of the four main Buddhist pilgrimage destinations. The site is where Buddha preached his message of the path to enlightenment and features a number of stupas and museums to explore. Or perhaps visit Ram Nagar Fort, a crumbling 17th century fort and palace on the eastern bank of the Ganges, that’s the ancestral home of the Maharaja of Banaras. Alternatively the day can be spent exploring the laneways and alleys behind the ghats, picking up some examples of the excellent local silk industry, or perfecting yoga in this most chakra-balancing of places.
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Day 9 Lumbini

Today it’s wave goodbye and say Namaste, as you leave India and cross the border into Neapl. Travel from Varanasi to the Nepalese border, via Gorakhpur. Though there’s always something to look at out the windows, it’s a good idea to have some other entertainment on hand for the long day of travelling ahead (approximately 8-10 hours including stops). For groups of less than 5 you will travel by car and for bigger groups by bus. On entering Nepal, take a private bus to your hotel in Lumbini (approximately 1 hour). This is no ordinary border town, but the birthplace of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, and one of his four holy places of pilgrimage. It"s said in the Parinibbana Sutta that Buddha identified the sites as those of his birth, enlightenment, first discourse and death. You’ll visit the beautiful Ashoka Pillars and hop on cycle rickshaws to the Maya Devi Temple, the actual site where Lord Buddha is thought to have been born.
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Day 10 Chitwan National Park

Continue your journey by private vehicle through the Terai to Chitwan National Park (approx 5 hours), which sits at the base of the Himalayas. UNESCO declared the area a World Heritage site in 1984, and it offers some of the best wildlife viewing in Asia, with rhino, deer, monkeys and a wide array of birdlife including the infamous Nepalese wild chickens all here. Arrive and settle in to your accommodation before jumping on a bike to explore a local village. In the evening, prepare for tomorrow’s exploration of the park with a presentation on the park"s history, flora and fauna.
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Day 11 Chitwan National Park

Today after breakfast, take a walk to the Rapti river from where you’ll be taken by boat to Ghagtai village (approximately 3.5 hours). On foot, enjoy exploring the village full of friendly locals, and some brilliantly-coloured-bird watching along the Rapti river, which shelters about a quarter of the world"s remaining gharial population. This fish-eating crocodile has long been hunted for the supposed aphrodisiac qualities of its snout. Learn more about them when you drop by the crocodile breeding centre. Spend the night in a lodge with a view of the river in Ghagtai tonight.
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Day 12 Chitwan National Park

Today you’ll return to your base in Chitwan National Park via Twenty Thousand Lakes (Bis Hajaar Tal). Nepal’s second largest natural wetland, this beautiful reserve area is a maze of small lakes that teems with wildlife. Home to numerous crocodiles, this is one of the park’s best areas for birdwatching, with hundreds of species using it as a migratory route stop. If you’re lucky you might catch some more sights of the Indian Rhino. You’ll return to your accommodation in the afternoon, when there’ll be time to relax, or to take part in a number of optional activities – including biking, bird watching, cultural performances, canoe rides, or village tours.
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Day 13 Kathmandu

Today you"ll journey by bus from Chitwan to Nepal"s capital, Kathmandu (approximately 6 hrs). This is a ride that takes in all the sights that define Nepal: iridescent rice terraces, deep gorges, fast-flowing rivers and looming mountains. Kathmandu is a mixture of ancient architecture and modern development and, with its rich artistic and cultural heritage, it remains the legendary destination it has been for decades. Crowded markets and bazaars are the centre of Nepali life and the narrow streets are home to holy men, monks, bicycles, incense, goats and sacred cows. Perhaps head out into Durbar Square, in front of the old royal palace and home to numerous beautiful temples, and browse the stalls of merchant"s wares.
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Day 14 Kathmandu

Today you’ll head out to the ancient Swayambhunath stupa, known to tourists as the Monkey Temple and Kathmandu"s most important Buddhist shrine. The sleepy, all-seeing Buddha eyes that stare out from the top have become the quintessential symbol of Nepal. You’ll also join the pilgrims at Bodhnath Stupa – the largest stupa in Nepal and the holiest Tibetan Buddhist temple outside Tibet. It"s the centre of Tibetan culture in Kathmandu, rich in Buddhist symbolism, and you can observe Buddhist monks in prayer in the monasteries surrounding the stupa. You will also visit Pashupatinath, the most famous Hindu temple in the country, located on the banks of the holy Bagmati River. Here you will see Hindu holy men (sadhus) meditating, pilgrims bathing, and occasionally funeral pyres burning on the ghats. There are also a number of optional activities to take advantage of if you have the time. Perhaps explore Patan"s Durbar Square. The square and its surroundings – including the Royal Palace of Patan and a series of temples – are good specimens of ancient Newari architecture. Bhaktapur, located about 20 km east of Kathmandu, is known as the "City of Devotees" and is Nepal"s cultural gem. It’s filled with monuments, palaces and temples of elaborate carvings, gilded roofs and open courtyards. Maybe take-off on a flight from Kathmandu airport to see some spectacular mountain scenery. Those who don"t have the opportunity to go trekking can get panoramic views of the Himalayas in just an hour.
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Day 15 Kathmandu

Your adventure through Nepal and India ends today and you"re free to leave the accommodation at any time.
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Visa Notice

Visas& Documentation:
It is the traveller’s responsibility to ensure that they are in possession of a valid visa to enter a foreign country. All participants of our UK tours must be in possession of a valid passport, visa and or any other photo identification such as driving licence or student ID card.

Others

Travel Insurance:
Omega Tours highly recommends that all travellers should purchase travel insurance
to cover issues such as cancellations, medical attention, hospital fees and theft, loss of possessions.

Tour Members Who Are Lost During the Tour
Should certain people get lost or get seperated during the tour, please call the tour leader mobile phone for help. Please also make sure you have a copy of accommodation addresses during the tour so that you can rejoin the group at the next accommodation.

India and Nepal Historic Way

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India and Nepal Historic Way

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