India & Nepal: A Spiritual Journey12 days & 11 nights, Private Journey
Handcrafted itineraries for one or more travelers with on-the-ground support, a private guide, and a private vehicle. Private Journeys represent the best of the custom programs we've designed over the years. Our insider knowledge and destination expertise make these innovative journeys truly unique experiences.Private Journey
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Day 1Arrive Delhi
Upon arrival in India, you will be welcomed by your Cox & Kings local representative and escorted to your hotel.The Lodhi - 2 Nights
Immerse yourself in the grandeur of the past as you explore Old Delhi's Red Fort, an opulent bastion of the Mughal Empire. Also visit Shah Jahan's incredible Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in the world. Following lunch, continue to the red sandstone tower of Qutab Minar, built to celebrate the onset of Muslim rule. Conclude your day at the garden tomb of Emperor Humayun.The Lodhi (B, L)
Day 3Delhi to Bodhgaya
This morning, fly to Bodhgaya, the holiest place on earth for Buddhists. Upon arrival, check in to your hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.Hotel Lotus Nikko - 2 Nights (B)
Visit the magnificent Mahabodhi temple and the Bodhi tree under which Gautama attained supreme knowledge to become Buddha. The temple is an architectural amalgamation of many centuries, cultures and heritage, and includes inscriptions describing visits of pilgrims and scholars from Sri Lanka, Myanmar and China between the 7th and 10th centuries. You will also have an opportunity to visit the archaeological museum, which houses sacred Buddhist bronze and stone sculptures.Hotel Lotus Nikko (B)
Day 5To Varanasi
After a morning at leisure to continue your explorations on your own, you will be escorted to the airport for your flight to Varanasi. This evening, witness the magical evening aarti ceremony on the sacred waters of the Ganges.The Gateway Hotel Ganges - 2 Nights (B)
Early this morning, immerse yourself in ancient Indian spirituality as you enjoy a sunrise boat ride. Later proceed to Sarnath, the spot where Buddha preached his first sermon. Emperor Ashoka erected a magnificent stupa here to commemorate the occasion. Forgotten for centuries, Sarnath was excavated by British archaeologists in 1836 and is now a major pilgrimage site.The Gateway Hotel Ganges (B)
Day 7To Kathmandu
After breakfast in Varanasi, fly to Kathmandu. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed and escorted to your hotel.Dwarika's Hotel - 2 Nights (B)
Enjoy a spectacular early morning mountain flight to see Mt. Everest. Following breakfast, visit the sprawling temple complex of Boudhanath, which is home to some 10,000 Tibetan refugees. Wander through the nearby settlements and browse the galleries of Tibetan art. Continue to the beautiful temple complex of Swayambhunath.Dwarika's Hotel (B)
Day 9To Lumbini
Fly to Bhairawa. On arrival, drive to Lumbini, the birthplace place of Lord Buddha, also known as the Tathagata (one who has found the truth) was born. Lumbini is one of the holiest places of one of the world's great religions, and its remains contain important evidence about the nature of Buddhist pilgrimage centers from as early as the 3rd century BC. Upon arrival, check in to your hotel and enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure to begin your explorations of the area.Buddha Maya / Lumbini Hokke - 2 Nights (B)
This morning, take a tour of Lumbini, which includes a visit to the Mayadevi Mandir featuring a second-century relief depicting Buddha's birth. The tour also takes in the Ashokan pillar, Nepal's oldest monument dating back to 249 BC; excavated and restored ruins of stupas and monasteries; and new monasteries recently added to the Lumbini garden by various countries.Buddha Maya / Lumbini Hokke (B)
Day 11To Kathmandu
This morning return to Kathmandu. Following check in, visit Pashupatinath Temple, one of the holiest Hindu Temples dedicated to Lord Shiva.Dwarika's Hotel (B)
Day 12Depart Kathmandu
Bid farewell to Nepal this morning after breakfast as you are escorted to the airport for your onward flight.(B)
In the Indian Subcontinent, there are completely different customs when it comes to road use and road craft, and all manner of vehicles, people and animals can be found moving about, even on the main roads. To most visitors, road journeys in the Indian Subcontinent can seem quite startling at first; however, all Cox & Kings drivers are very experienced and in tune with other road users, allowing you to relax and absorb the extraordinary sights and sounds en route.
For Escorted Groups, Cox & Kings uses air-conditioned buses of an appropriate size for the number of people traveling, while on Private Journeys, Cox & Kings uses mid-size cars with an option to upgrade to luxury segment vehicles, available on request. They all feature air-conditioning and our drivers are experienced. Please refer to page 51 for further details.
Important Note: Road conditions in the Indian Subcontinent change throughout the year, due to monsoon rains and extreme weather patterns and journey times can vary enormously at all times of the year which is beyond the control of Cox & Kings.
Air travel in the Indian Subcontinent is more affordable now. There are full service brands that operate domestic and international flights and then there are low cost airlines that have gained popularity due to low cost airfares being offered.
Flight Delays & Insurance: Due to increase in air traffic, government restrictions and changing weather conditions, flight delays have become more commonplace. Domestic flights in India can incur last minute schedule changes, delays, over flying, and / or cancellation without prior notice. November through January, fog can also create delays in Northern India airports, causing flight postponement or cancellation.
Flight delays can cause problems with onward connections, hotel and holiday arrangements. Although the airline will sometimes make arrangements to get you to your next destination at no extra cost, costs may be involved for you, in the form of additional accommodation, transfers and onward tickets. Unfortunately, since most services are paid for in advance, any services missed due to delays are non-refundable. Please note many international flight tickets are restricted and nonrefundable. Therefore, Cox & Kings requires that you are insured against such eventualities, and recommends traveling with a comprehensive Travel Insurance Policy from your point of origin.
Early Starts: A number of flights within the Indian Subcontinent arrive / depart early in the morning and, while we will endeavor to schedule your tour with a flight which arrives / departs at a reasonable time, sometimes there is little or no alternative and early check-in / check-out times may be required.
Special Requests: Cox & Kings will endeavor to request any specific meals or services, on the condition that we are told at the time of booking. Specific seat requests with most major airlines can now only be requested if traveling in one of the premium classes. We are able to request general seating preferences for Economy Class passengers. However, all special requests are at the discretion of the airline and cannot be guaranteed.
Travel within the Indian Subcontinent is an adventure at every moment. We will endeavor to keep all clients apprised of any changes and or alterations to the program due to flight arrival or departure re-scheduling or other situations that may occur throughout your travel.
Important Note: Airlines and train schedules and fares are subject to last minute change. In the event that any amendment or cancellation arises or increase in fare, Cox & Kings cannot be held liable for the same.
The Indian Subcontinent has made an indelible mark in the area of hospitality. The distinctive features of these hotels are high standard and quality accommodation and service along with contemporary facilities at par with world standards. The availability of hotels in the Subcontinent ranges from Deluxe, Luxury, First Class and Budget to Heritage and Boutique.
Accommodation standards vary dramatically throughout the Subcontinent and in general cannot be compared to the West. In larger cities such as Delhi and Mumbai, the hotels we use are fully modernized with excellent facilities, while in other cities and towns the hotels are smaller but still offer good facilities. In the desert cities of Rajasthan, areas of Southern India and small hill towns, many hotels we use are small, privately owned properties or converted palaces, retaining much of their original ambience, but the room size, shape and design can vary enormously (even in the same price bracket). On certain circuits in Rajasthan, enjoy the experience of staying at one of the marvelous Heritage hotels – once the residence of Maharajas. Although palace hotels often have simple facilities and service can be slow, we ask for your patience as this is more than compensated for by their atmosphere and charm.
Check-in & Check-out Times: Most hotels work on a check-in of 1400 hours and check-out of 1200 hours. If a flight arrives in the morning, you may be taken for breakfast or sightseeing before check-in. We will endeavor to get your room as early as possible in these instances.
Game Parks & Remote Areas: Even when you travel off the beaten track with Cox & Kings,you can be sure that your accommodation in game lodges, smaller hotels and tented camps is the best available. Sometimes the best hotel may be the only hotel, which may be very modest. In these cases we feel that the simplicity of such accommodation is outweighed by the experience. Game park accommodation cannot be compared to that available in parts of Africa and is often reached down narrow and makeshift roads.
Meals: Meals included in the tour program are indicated in the itineraries at the end of each day with codes: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L) and Dinner (D).
Maps: Type of travel is indicated in the maps at the beginning of each itinerary with symbols:
Road Travel (), Train Travel (),Air Travel (), Day Excursion ( ).
Cox & Kings is happy to arrange for you to extend your stay in the Indian Subcontinent. We have suggested possible extension options for the tours in this brochure, however we would also be delighted to design a custom extension, either pre or post tour, to fit in with your particular interests. Please note that tour extensions are operated on the same basis as Private Journeys.
Many of the sites in the Indian Subcontinent necessitate a reasonable amount of walking, either to the site or around it. Whilst the walking is normally easy going, a full-day’s sightseeing can be quite tiring and sometimes strenuous. In addition, at ancient monuments there are many steep sections and uneven surfaces. A reasonable amount of fitness is required.
Capital: New Delhi
Population: 1.21 billion
Currency: Indian Rupee
Official Language(s): Hindi
The kaleidoscope that is India must be seen to be believed. From the opulence of the palaces of the Maharajas and the Mughal monuments like the Taj Mahal to the stunning natural beauty of its forests, mountains and seas, India entices the traveler with a blend of the ancient and the modern.
What To See
Watch the changing light on the white marble mausoleum of the Taj Mahal. Experience the romance of Rajasthan in the royal city of Jaipur and the Blue City of Jodhpur, perched on the edge of the Thar Desert. Track the elusive tiger in Ranthambore National Park. Visit the verdant hill stations and tea plantations of the foothills of the Himalayas and the Western Ghats. Marvel at the sacred Ganges in Varanasi. Kick back on the meandering backwaters of Kerala. And don’t forget to leave some time for browsing the bustling markets and bazaars, visiting the holy Hindu, Buddhist and Jain temples, relaxing at the golden beaches and sampling a variety of India’s sumptuous cuisine.
Population: 23 million
Currency: Nepalese Rupee
Official Language(s): Nepali
Culturally rich and naturally beautiful – Nepal offers a variety of spectacular sights. Wherever one travels here it is nearly always against a backdrop of towering peaks. Eight of the ten highest mountains in the world can be found here in this colorful, friendly land. Experience the rugged mountain scenery of the Himalayas, explore ancient cities and search for the mythical yeti on your journey through Nepal.
What To See
Travel to Everest Base Camp to experience the thrill of the highest peak in the world. Stroll through Durbar Square in Kathmandu the home of Nepal’s living goddess. See the temple of Boudhnath, home to 10,000 Tibetan refugees. Visit the medieval town of Bhaktapur. And be sure to spend some time in the air on a fixed-wing or helicopter sightseeing flight, viewing the glorious mountains from a different perspective.
India & Nepal: A Spiritual Journey
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