Grand Tour of India & Nepal
Experience the majesty of India and Nepal by train on this 19 day holiday that will take you to the Taj Mahal, Kathmandu, and into the Himalayas.
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 and Inclusions
- All rail and coach travel throughout
- Scheduled return flights from London to Amritsar via Delhi, Varanasi to Kathmandu and Kathmandu to London via Delhi
- 17 nights' hotel accommodation
- 38 meals, including 17 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 17 dinners
- Guided tours of Amritsar, Delhi, Varanasi, Sarnath, Kathmandu, Patan and Pokhara
- Visits to the Agra Fort, the Taj Mahal, La Martiniere Boys' School, the Imambara Complex, the British Residency in Lucknow and the Pashupatinath Temple
- Witness a range of exciting ceremonies, including the Wagah border flag ceremony, the Golden Temple Palki Ceremony and the Aarti fire ceremony
- Chitwan National Park on an enchanting safari by Jeep
- Enjoy an early-morning boat ride on the Ganges
- Visit the Gharial Breeding Centre and take a jungle walk through Chitwan National Park
- The services of a professional UK Tour Manager from start to finish
Days 1 & 2 - London to Amritsar
We depart London on our flight to the Indian city of Amritsar. On arrival in the late-morning of Day 2, we transfer to the Radisson Blu Hotel. After settling in, you have free time to explore Amritsar. Tonight we head to the stunning Golden Temple, a Sikh holy shrine and one of India's most breathtaking sights. At night the temple is beautifully illuminated, with the rich golden glow of its remarkable façades reflecting in the surrounding waters. Here we witness the Palki Ceremony, an atmospheric tradition where the Sikh Holy Book is paraded triumphantly through a crowd of worshippers and 'put to bed'.
Days 3-5 - Amritsar to Delhi
This morning we enjoy a guided tour of Amritsar, including another visit to the Golden Temple. We also visit the Jallianwala Bagh Gardens, an important memorial site. This evening, we visit the Wagah Border, which separates Pakistan and India, to witness the flag lowering ceremony. On Day 4 you have a day at leisure, or the chance to join an optional heritage tour of Amritsar (payable locally). This afternoon we travel by train to Delhi for two nights.
On Day 5 we explore Delhi with a tour of the historic streets and colourful markets of Old Delhi and a rickshaw ride through the lively bazaar. We move on to New Delhi where we visit Qutab Minar, Humayun's Tomb, India Gate, and the President's Palace.
Day 6 - Agra & The Taj Mahal
Today we board the early train to Agra, where we transfer to the Hilton Agra. We visit the vast Agra Fort before crossing the city later this afternoon for a sunset visit to the Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the modern World. Our sunset visit ensures we experience the magical aura as the setting sun highlights the incredible pink and red hues of the mausoleum's stunning white marble.
Days 7 & 8 - Agra to Lucknow
This morning we travel by coach to the city of Lucknow. Lucknow is now almost forgotten to the British, but, as a key city of the British Raj, wonderful colonial architecture still exists in abundance. We transfer to the Vivanta by Taj Hotel, where we enjoy dinner together this evening. On Day 8 we visit the famous La Martiniere Boys' School, founded by an endowment from Major-General Claude Martin. We also see the magnificent Imambara. Set in wonderful gardens, its centrepiece is the mosque which houses India's largest hall. We proceed to the moving British Residency, site of the tragic siege of 1857.
Days 9 & 10 - Varanasi & Sunrise on the Ganges
Our final train journey of the tour takes us to Varanasi, the Hindu's sacred city which attracts thousands of pilgrims a year, and is one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities. We check in to the Taj Gateway Hotel Ganges, where we spend the night. Tonight we watch the spectacular Aarti fire ceremony at the Ghats on the banks of the Ganges. On Day 10 we experience sunrise during a boat ride on the Ganges. Hindus flock to the river at sunrise to cleanse themselves of their sins, creating one of the most spectacular sights in India. We then explore the Old City on foot, including the Bharat Mata Temple. Later we take an excursion to Sarnath, where Buddha gave his first sermon, and now considered the place where Buddhism took root. This evening we fly to Delhi for our overnight stay.
Days 11 & 12 - Delhi to Kathmandu
Today we fly to Kathmandu in Nepal. As we arrive, the differences in the characteristics of both the races and architecture are immediately apparent - particularly the Pagoda-style buildings and monks in traditional Buddhist robes. This afternoon we visit the Boudhanath Stupa, the largest Buddhist Stupa in the world, adorned with Nepalese prayer flags. Our hotel here is the Gokarna Forest Resort, set in the peaceful forests just outside Kathmandu. On Day 12 we visit the Durbar Square of both Kathmandu and Patan, the social, religious and urban hubs of the cities and the ancient seats of power in the mountain kingdoms of Nepal. This evening we enjoy dinner at Rum Doodle Restaurant. Though it has since moved locations, the original restaurant was known as a former hotspot for famous mountaineers including Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing. Before our meal we meet a Sherpa who has climbed Everest and have the opportunity to talk with him about his experiences.
Days 13 & 14 - Kathmandu to Chitwan
This morning we see Pashupatinath Temple, one of the most significant Shiva temples in the world which only Hindus are allowed to enter. We also see Kathmandu's ghats before leaving the city and driving west to Chitwan National Park, stopping for lunch together. Chitwan is home to a fabulous variety of wildlife, including rhinos, sloth bears, leopards, crocodiles and the elusive Royal Bengal tiger. We stay at the Safari Narayani Lodge, which offers basic but comfortable accommodation. On Day 14 we enjoy a wonderful Jeep safari through the jungles and grasslands of Chitwan National Park. We are likely to see rhino, and if very lucky, the elusive tiger. After lunch in the hotel, we take a canoe ride on the river, which provides an opportunity to see two types of crocodile and lots of species of birds.
Days 15-17 - Into the Himalayas
This morning we drive back towards the Himalaya, a journey past turquoise glacial rapids and jungle-covered peaks to Pokhara. Set on the shores of beautiful Lake Phewa and with staggering views of Fishtail Peak (at 22,900 ft), Pokhara is undoubtedly one of the world's most scenic places. We stay for three nights at the unforgettable Fishtail Lodge, set on a peaceful island in Lake Phewa, accessible only by boat. Day 16 is at leisure in Pokhara. On Day 17 we drive up to Sarangkot, a mountain viewpoint which offers a once-in-alifetime experience - witnessing sunrise over the Himalayas. After breakfast we explore Pokhara, visiting Devi's Waterfall and the Gurkha Museum, where we have the chance to chat with an ex-British Army Gurkha. We then enjoy an early evening cruise on Lake Phewa to watch the sun set on Fishtail Peak.
Days 18 & 19 - To Kathmandu & London
This morning we drive back to Kathmandu and check in to our hotel. After a free afternoon, we enjoy a farewell dinner this evening at our hotel. On Day 19 we return to Kathmandu Airport for our flight to London via Delhi.
Rail Your Way
Own your holiday, make it bespoke, especially designed for you. This could be as simple as a variation to one of our existing tours by choosing where and when you want to begin and end your journey. Or something totally unique with your chosen destinations and hotels for the time you want. Rail Your Way allows you to tailor make your holiday so you can have the experience you want.
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Train and Hotel Accommodations
The Shatabdi Express trains are some of the fastest in India and are the pride of Indian Railways. Fully air conditioned and of a far superior standard to most Indian trains, the Shatabdi Express apparently always arrives at the best platform a station has! The average speed on most lines is 68mph (110km/h) although the service between Agra and Delhi can reach speeds of 80mph (130km/h). During our journeys on the Shatabdi Express we travel in air conditioned Chair Class. Complimentary snacks, meals and beverages are generally provided during the journey
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Agra, Agra
Our base in Agra is the 4-Star DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Agra. This hotel is a short drive away from both the iconic Taj Mahal and the beautiful Agra Fort. The hotel offers wonderful amenities, including a 24 hour fitness centre, an outdoor swimming pool, and a spa. The modern rooms are decorated in airy colours, and come well equipped with a television, an en-suite bathroom, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Taj Palace, New Delhi
The opulent 5-Star Taj Palace Hotel is perfectly located in the heart of New Delhi. The hotel has a selection of restaurants offering Indian, Vietnamese, Italian and French cuisine, a choice of bars and a tea lounge. The hotel boasts a Fitness Centre with a fully equipped gym, steam room, jacuzzi and an outdoor swimming pool, as well as a shopping arcade, beauty salon and a spa offering a range of therapies and treatments (payable locally). The luxurious bedrooms are air conditioned and come with a telephone, LCD television, DVD player, wireless internet connectivity, tea and coffee making facilities, minibar, safe, 2 bottles of mineral water, complimentary newspapers and a hairdryer.
Gokarna Forest Resort, Kathmandu
Situated within the beautiful Gokarna Forest, just a short distance from the centre of Kathmandu, the Gokarna Forest Resort comprises a collection of period lodges including a century-old hunting lodge, and buildings constructed in Malla period architecture. The Resort has two restaurants and a bar, a golf course and a spa offering a range of treatments and therapies (payable locally). The well-appointed rooms are comfortably furnished and come with a telephone and television.
Vivanta by Taj Hotel, Lucknow
The 5-Star Vivanta by Taj Lucknow is situated in the heart of the entertainment areas in the capital of Uttar Pradesh. A variety of dining options are provided by the Latitude and Oudhyana restaurants, and the open-air balcony restaurant between November and February. Rooms feature LCD television and internet access, and are designed with classic comfort in mind.
Fish Tail Lodge, Pokhara
Fish Tail Lodge enjoys a spectacular location on the shores of Fewa Lake, set against a backdrop of beautiful mountain scenery. After being transported to the hotel by boat or shuffle float, guests can take advantage of the hotel's amenities, including a lake-view restaurant serving a selection of Nepali, Chinese, Indian and International cuisine, a bar and an outdoor swimming pool. The well-appointed rooms come with a telephone, television and a garden terrace.
Gateway Hotel Ganges, Varanasi
Located in the sacred city of Varanasi, the 5-Star Gateway Hotel Ganges is well placed to explore this fascinating and stunning region. Two restaurants serve an array of international and local cuisine, and a bar offers opportunity to relax for some casual dining. Rooms are furnished with satellite television, safe, mini-bar, tea and coffee making facilities, and wireless internet access.
Safari Narayani Hotel, Chitwan
The Safari Narayani Hotel is situated in the heart of the Chitwan Valley on a bluff overlooking the Rapti River and the Chitwan National Park. This 'jungle' hotel comprises accommodation in a series of rustic-style country cottages, and has a restaurant and a bar.
Dates & Prices
Select from the packages below to view prices for this tour.
|5th October 2019||Sold Out|
|19th October 2019||£3,545||Book Now|
|2nd November 2019||£3,145||Book Now|
|9th November 2019||£3,045||Book Now|
|14th December 2019||£3,695||Book Now|
|8th February 2020||£3,295||Book Now|
|15th February 2020||£3,195||Book Now|
|14th March 2020||£3,195||Book Now|
|4th April 2020||£2,895||Book Now|
|26th September 2020||£3,095||Book Now|
|3rd October 2020||£3,395||Book Now|
|17th October 2020||£3,495||Book Now|
|7th November 2020||£3,195||Book Now|
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: Departs 5th October 2019 (Sold Out) 19th October 2019 (£3,545), 2nd November 2019 (£3,145), 9th November 2019 (£3,045), 14th December 2019 (£3,695), 8th February 2020 (£3,295), 15th February 2020 (£3,195), 14th March 2020 (£3,195), 4th April 2020 (£2,895), 26th September 2020 (£3,095), 3rd October 2020 (£3,395), 17th October 2020 (£3,495), 7th November 2020 (£3,195)
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Prices are per person based on double occupancy. Prices are correct at the time of this web page going live; however are subject to confirmation at time of booking. Itinerary and accommodations may vary for 2020 departures, please speak with a rail specialist for details.
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