The Road to Kathmandu
Got a sweet tooth? India's got the cure. Take one, soft, fluffy ball of buffalo milk dough. Deep fry until it's the texture of a donut. Drop into sugar syrup flavoured with cardamom powder, rose essence and saffron. Eat. Repeat.
DAY 1 - DELHI
The Indian head wobble is confusing. Does it mean yes? Does it mean no? And why aren’t they saying anything? We still haven’t worked it out, can you?
Pre-departure meeting at 6pm and an optional group meal in the evening
Hotel Rockwell Plaza or similar
DAY 2 - TORDI GARH
You might think it's polite to let the local kids beat you at cricket. Don't bother. They're ruthless, bloodthirsty and out to win. Lick your wounds on a walk to the ruined temple and fortress.
Journey through picturesque countryside by train and jeep to reach Tordi Garh, a remote, rarely visited village (378km, approx 5 hours).
Mingle with the local community and learn about village life.
Visit the markets and the old village temple.
Sleep overnight in the palace at Tordi.
Hotel Tordi Garh or similar
DAY 3-4 - JAIPUR
They're not afraid of a deep fryer in Jaipur.
Leave Tordi behind and head for Jaipur by jeep (120km, approx 2 1/2 hours).
Hit the streets for raj kachori chaat - a big fluffy chaat served with chutney, yoghurt, chilli and potato. Then cool off with a lassi from Lassiwala on MI road, Jaipur's oldest and most famous lassi shop.
Get acquainted with the busy streets and vibrant people of Jaipur.
Visit the stunning medieval Amber Fort.
Take a guided tour of the Old Bazaar and The Palace of the Winds.
Take some free time to explore on your own.
Hotel Mrignayani Palace or similar
DAY 5-6 - AGRA - TAJ MAHAL
On to Agra by local public bus today (236km, approx 5 hours).
They make you cover your shoes in funny little fabric shower caps. And for some reason local families find it more interesting to take photos of you than the actual Taj Mahal. But none of it matters. You'll be too busy standing there with your mouth gaping open to notice.
View the awesome Taj Mahal.
Optional visit to Agra Fort.
Board an overnight train bound for Varanasi tonight (600km, approx 12 hours).
Hotel Royal Residency or similar
DAY 7-8 - VARANASI
You wouldn't swim in it for a million bucks. But my goodness the Ganges is pretty to look at. Even if you're not the spiritual sort, you can't help but get goosebumps as we take a boat ride at sunrise.
Get to know the spiritual heart of India.
Witness life and death rituals on the Ganges.
Embark on a cruise on India's most famous river.
Hotel Surya or similar
DAY 9 - LUMBINI
Cross into Nepal, first taking jeeps to the border and then a bus to Lumbini (total 300km, travel will take most of the day).
Visit the birthplace of the founder of Buddhism.
View temples built by Buddhists from all over the world.
Take a trip to the ancient Ashoka Pillar and Maya Devi Temple.
Sleep overnight in a jungle camp.
Lumbini Budha Garden or similar
DAY 10-11 - CHITWAN NATIONAL PARK
Transfer to Chitwan by private vehicle (200km, approx 5 hours).
Stay in a jungle lodge close to Chitwan National Park.
Take a jeep safari into the jungle.
Be in with a chance of spotting rhinoceros, deer, sloth bear, a variety of birds and perhaps even tigers (if you're really, really lucky).
Perhaps set off on canoe, jeep or walking safaris.
Riverview lodge or similar
DAY 12 - POKHARA
There's a bit of driving today as we head for Pokhara (200km, approx 5 hours), but if you look out the window you'll catch a glimpse of Ganesh, Mansalu and Annapurna ranges.
Relax lakeside and enjoy the lush and tranquil surrounds against the backdrop of mighty mountains.
Hotel Tulshi or similar
DAY 13 - POKHARA - KATHMANDU
On to your final destination of the Nepalese capital Kathmandu (approx 7 hours).
Maybe book in for a massage or a yoga session when you get there to ease those kinks out of your back.
Enjoy free time, perhaps visit the giant Buddhist Stupa at Bodnath, buy last minute souvenirs or chill out with a massage or a drink
Hotel Shakti or similar
DAY 14-15 - KATHMANDU
Our hotel is close to Durbar Square so stock up on last minute presents (Tibetan prayer flags, anyone?) followed by a final bowl of momo (dumplings).
More free time today.
Perhaps enjoy a final group dinner.
The trip ends today after breakfast, but for those who wish to stay on, Kathmandu's got a lot to see.
Hotel Shakti or similar
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