Day 1: Depart from the United States.
Day 2: Arrive at Delhi (most flights arrive either in the evening or at night). You are greeted at the airport by our travel facilitator or Tour Director, and then ushered to a chauffeur driven vehicle. You are then driven to your hotel where you are assisted with your check in. The next day’s plans are briefly reviewed and the travel facilitator or Tour Director hands over travel documents such as your air tickets and hotel vouchers to you.
Day 3: Delhi. Start your exploration of India with a city tour of Old Delhi that includes visits to the Jama Masjid (1650 AD) which is the largest mosque in India, and the amazing Red Fort (1639-48) which was the seat of the Moghul Empire for more than 250 years. Enjoy a rickshaw ride along the alleys of the ancient bazaar at Chandni Chowk. You also visit the memorial & cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi (Raj Ghat).
There is a break for lunch.
Afternoon – enjoy a city tour of New Delhi that begins with a drive past Safdarjang’s Tomb (1753 AD) while driving to the Qutab Minar (1193 A.D.) which is a striking medieval tower of victory of Persian architectural style and is 73 m high. Within the Qutab complex, amidst the ruins of Quwat-ul-Islam mosque, stands the Iron pillar which has stood the vagaries of weather and has not rusted over 1500 years. Later, visit the Tomb Moghul Emperor Humayun and then drive through Lutyens New Delhi which includes the Embassy area (Diplomatic enclave), Government buildings, India Gate, a golden domed Sikh Temple (Bangla Sahib Gurudwara), Birla Temple and Connaught Place, which is New Delhi’s main shopping area.
Day 4: Delhi - Kathmandu. Board the mid-morning flight to Kathmandu. Arrive at Kathmandu and you are greeted at the Kathmandu airport by an Easy Tours Facilitator and your driver. Transfer to your hotel & check-in with our assistance. Our office will get your final Tibetan permit stamps processed this afternoon.
Afternoon – Start your exploration of Nepal with a visit to the Swayambhunath temple, Katmandu’s oldest and best known religious monument. With a history that goes back at least 1500 years for the location, this ancient Stupa is world renown and is visible from miles (from all over the Kathmandu Valley). Also tour Boudhanath Stupa (a World Heritage Site) and Pashupatinath temple, which is one of the most sacred Hindu shrines in the world.
Day 5: Kathmandu. You have the optional of experiencing the Everest flight this morning. Take a tour of Kathmandu city. Visit `Kumari` the Living Goddess, Kasthamandap, the Big Bell, Kal Bharab etc.
Visit the Swayambhunath temple, Katmandu’s oldest and best known religious monument. With a history that goes back about 2500 years, this ancient Stupa is world renown and is visible from miles (from all over the Kathmandu Valley).
Afternoon - Take a tour of `Patan City`, one of the three queen cities of the valley. Patan is the city of fine arts, and we visit Durbar Square, Krishna Mandir, and Mahavihar, the Golden Temple of Lord Buddha, built in the 12th century. Also visit the Tibetan centre
Day 6: Kathmandu - Lhasa. Check out of your hotel and board the morning flight to Lhasa. The spectacular flight crosses the main Himalayan range and the mountain views are magnificent. After arriving at Gonggar Airport in Tibet, it's a 2-hour drive to Lhasa where you will check in to your Hotel.
You are at leisure for the balance of the afternoon - due to Lhasa's high altitude, it's advisable to rest and get acclimatized for the remainder of the day.
Day 7: Lhasa. Begin your explorations of Tibet with escorted tours of several of Lhasa's major monasteries. Among these is the Sera Monastery, one of the best-preserved Buddhist monasteries in Tibet. Several hundred monks live and study within its whitewashed walls and golden roofs.
After lunch you will visit the Norbulingka, the summer palace of the Dalai Lama, as well as the Jokhang Temple. This temple is one of the most sacred shrines in Tibet and there is always a procession of devout Tibetans paying their homage in the complex.
Your next stop is nearby and actually surrounds the Jokhang - this is Barkhor - the central market of Lhasa, situated in a maze of narrow cobblestone streets that are fascinating to traverse as you absorb the local culture.
Day 8: Lhasa. This morning you will visit the iconic Potala Palace. The Imperial palace towers above the city of Lhasa and contains numerous impressive state rooms and also many important Buddhist chapels. There has been a palace on this site since the 5th or 6th centuries - the present palace was constructed in the 17th century.
Finish your day with a visit to the awe inspiring Drepung Monastery. Founded in the 14th century, this monastery was once the largest in the world, housing around 10,000 monks. There are now well below a 1000 monks here. The monastery is one of the best remaining examples of its kind as it was left relatively unscathed during the Cultural Revolution.
Day 9: Lhasa – Gyantse. Check out of your hotel and proceed on the drive to Gyantse and Shigatse. As you travel on the Friendship Highway, you will stop at the spectacular Khamba La pass (4,794 meters – 15,728 feet) from where you get stunning views (across serenely beautiful Yamdrok-Tso Lake) of the magnificent Himalayas, including Nazin-Kang-Sa (7,252 meters – 23,793 feet).
Your next stop is at Karo La, another mountain pass (5,045 meters – 16,552 feet). Here you are sure to be awed by a very close up view of a spectacular glacier.
Continue on with your drive, passing through many beautiful valleys and colorful Tibetan villages, until you arrive in the town of Gyantse. Check in to your hotel on arrival.
Day 10: Gyantse – Shigatse – Lhasa. Start your day with visits to the Gyantse Dzong and Gyantse Kumbum. The Dzong is a 14th century Fort and provides amazing views of the town of Gyantse itself as well as the surrounding Nyang Chu Valley. The gold-domed Stupa of Kumbum is one of the largest of its kind and it has many small chapels that contain an impressive selection of Tibetan Buddhist murals.
After exploring Gyantse, drive about 90 km’s to Tibet’s second largest city, Shigatse. Explore the fascinating local market and then proceed for a tour of the Tashilhunpo Monastery. This monastery is one of the largest functioning monasteries in Tibet and this tour is a fascinating peek at the activities that make up the everyday life of the monks.
Drive back to Lhasa in the afternoon. Check in at your hotel on arrival.
Day 11: Lhasa – Kathmandu - Chitwan. Board the morning flight to Kathmandu. Arrive at Kathmandu & proceed by on the drive (4 to 5 hours) to Royal Chitwan National Park. This wildlife reserve is one of the best managed and preserved in Asia and is home to many species of rare wildlife, including the rare one horned rhino, the Bengal tiger, up to four species of deer, sloth bear, leopard, and many more. More than 400 species of birds can be seen in the Park, including many that are only found here. During the two nights stay here you will enjoy jungle safaris, elephant rides, nature walks, canoe rides etc. You are invited to witness the local Tharu stick dance on at least one of the evenings.
On reaching the resort, our guest relations officer will brief you on the Park and available activities.
1:00 p.m.: Lunch.
3:30 p.m.: Elephant Safari / Jungle Walk / Nature walk with Boat ride.
8:00 p.m.: Dinner.
Day 12: Chitwan. 5:30 a.m.: Wakeup call followed by tea/coffee.
6:00 a.m.: Bird watching / Elephant Safari / Jungle walk.
8:00 a.m.: Breakfast.
9:30 a.m.: Crocodile walk. A 45 minutes walk through grassland and forest upstream
of the Narayani River. Board boats to observe crocodiles along the banks while floating back to the camp.
1:00 p.m.: Lunch.
3:30 p.m.: Elephant Safari /Jungle Walk / Visit Observation Tower / Nature Walk with Boat Ride.
8:00 p.m.: Dinner.
Day 13: Chitwan – Kathmandu. 5:30 a.m.: Wakeup call followed by tea/coffee.
6:00 a.m.: Bird watching / Elephant Safari / Jungle walk.
8:00 a.m.: Breakfast.
9:30 a.m.: Check out of your Lodge and proceed on the drive back to Kathmandu.
Arrive at Kathmandu and check in to your hotel.
Day 14: Kathmandu – Varanasi. Board the mid-morning flight to Varanasi. Check in to your hotel upon arrival.
Afternoon - A city tour of Varanasi that includes visits to the numerous temples that dot the banks of the holy river. You will be able to walk through the narrow lanes and stop by at the bazaars to have a look at, among other things, the world famous Banaras silks.
Sunset cruise on the Ganga – cruise on the Ganga at sunset and have a grandstand view to witness to the ancient prayer and oil lamp ceremony, as hundreds of lamps are sent floating on the holy river as the sun sets.
Day 15: Varanasi - Khajuraho. Early morning boat cruise on the river Ganges - duration about two hours – The best time to visit the Ghats is dawn when pilgrims take their morning dip. The most famous Ghat is the Dasadwamedh Ghat from where we begin this tour. Enjoy the boat ride while looking out for the people on the Ghats – the women bathing discreetly in their sarees, the young men displaying prowess in yogic postures & the Brahmin priests offering prayers. Return to the hotel to check out.
Afternoon - fly to Khajuraho. Arrive at Khajuraho and transfer to your hotel. Start your tour of the temples. These magnificent examples of Hindu religious art were constructed over 1000 years ago. The detailed artistry of the sculptures and their incredible volume are both beyond explanation.
Day 16: Khajuraho - Agra. Return to the temples in the morning and finish your tour if you were unable to do that on the previous afternoon.
Mid morning – Check out of your hotel and drive to Orcha. Have a late lunch here and explore the ruins at Orcha on your own (local guides may be available for you to hire). Drive to nearby Jhansi and board the express train to Agra (5:56 pm - 8:25 pm). Arrive at Agra and check in at your hotel.
Agra is famous for its marble manufacturing.
Day 17: Agra. Start your day with a sunrise visit of the Taj Mahal, the best time to experience it. The world’s greatest monument dedicated to love was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1653 as a memorial to his queen Mumtaz Mahal. This beautiful mausoleum in pure white marble took 22 years and 22000 craftsmen to build. Return to the hotel for breakfast.
Afternoon tour of Agra City & Sikandra –The tour includes a visit to the Agra Fort, the original red sandstone fort built by Moghul Emperor Akbar in 1565, whose maze of courtyards, a marble mosque and private chambers reflect the grandeur of the Mughal Empire. The tomb of Emperor Akbar and Itmad Ud Daula are also a part of this tour.
Optional - sunset visit of the Taj Mahal.
Day 18: Agra – Ranthambore. You have the option (no charge) of a sunrise visit to Mehtab Bagh, which is a 500 year old Mughal garden located across from the Taj Mahal on the other side of the Yamuna River. If you do that, you will return to your hotel to freshen up after the visit.
Check out of your hotel and proceed for the drive to Bharatpur. Stop at Fatehpur Sikri for a tour. This deserted, red sandstone city, built by Emperor Akbar, between 1570 and 1585, is a haunting reminder of its brief and glorious past. Visit the towering Bulund Darwaza (The Gate of Victory), which is set in the south wall. In the northern part of the courtyard is the superb white marble tomb of Shaik Salim Chishti, built in 1570.
Lunch is included this afternoon at Bharatpur.
After lunch - board the Express train for Ranthambore – a two and a half hour journey to Ranthambore.
Arrive at Ranthambore in the evening and check in at your resort.
Day 19: Ranthambore. Covering an area of 410 sq. km, Ranthambore runs along the eastern spur of the Aravalli mountain range till they meet with the Vindhya ranges. Ranthambore used to be the private hunting ground for the Royal family of Jaipur. In 1972 it was declared a Sanctuary and was brought under the Project Tiger Conservation platform.
Dry deciduous forest covers open valleys with lush vegetation around the lakes in this park, and there are open grasslands on the higher slopes. This varied flora supports a large number of animals including a variety of deer, the sloth bear, the shy caracal, leopards and of course, the tiger.
Enjoy wildlife safaris’ into the park in the morning and evening.
In between safaris’ you can visit the jungle fort at Ranthambore. This is one of the finest examples of the ancient Hindu concept of “vana-durg”, or a fort protected by a jungle. The history of this Fort (first built in AD 944) is a chronicle full of tales of blood and valor. Occupied by the Muslims, Rajputs and Mughals, the insides of the fort today lie in ruins, but there are superb views of the park to be had from the ramparts.
Day 20: Ranthambore – Jaipur. Enjoy your last safari into Ranthambore in the morning.
Check out of your hotel and drive to Jaipur. Arrive at Jaipur and check into your hotel.
Afternoon - Proceed for a half day city tour of the walled city of Jaipur, including the magnificent City Palace. Visit the unique Jantar Mantar magnificent stone observatory built by Raja Jai Singh in 1728. View the ‘Hawa Mahal’ (Palace of the Wind), the intriguing facade built in 1799 to allow royal ladies to view the city and bazaar from the windows. Continue the tour to visit the City Palace, the former royal residence (a part of it is still occupied by the Royal family and is not accessible to the public), built in a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architectural styles. This immense complex also houses a number of museums that offer a large and impressive collection of miniature paintings, costumes, and armory.
Jaipur is famous for its carpets, jewelry, & handicrafts.
Day 21: Jaipur. Start your day with an excursion to Amber Fort & Palace, located 12 kilometers from the center of the City. Arrive at the complex well before 9 a.m. so as to be able to partake in the elephant back ascent. The Fort was originally built by Raja Mansingh and is one of the finest examples of Rajput architecture. Enjoy the ascent to the palace on the back of a brightly caparisoned elephant. Visit the chambers and hallways of the Palace which are famous for their design and decorations.
From here you will proceed on a drive to Samode for sightseeing and a camel back (or camel cart) safari through local villages. Please bear in mind that there are no sand dunes in this area.
Enjoy a Rajasthani lunch (included) at the Samode Palace.
A guided tour of Samode Palace and the other monuments in the area is included. Drive back to Jaipur in the late afternoon.
Evening – Watch the show at your hotel and then drive to have dinner with an Indian family at their home. Or drive to a cultural show and dinner.
Day 22: Jaipur - Udaipur. Fly to Udaipur in the morning. Arrive at Udaipur and proceed for a city tour, including a tour of the City Palace. At this Palace complex, explore the gorgeous rooms with mirrored walls and ivory doors, windows with colored glass, inlaid marble balconies and the peacock courtyard. The amazing display of crystal at the Palace is unmatched in this world. You also visit the lovely Sahelion-ki-bari gardens and the local Museum.
Check in to your hotel.
There is a break for lunch.
Late afternoon - cruise on Lake Pichola and visit Jag Mandir.
Udaipur is famous for its artists and paintings, including exquisite miniatures.
Day 23: Udaipur. Start the day with a drive to Ranakpur. Tour the famous 15th Century Jain Temples, located 90 km's north of Udaipur. The temples 29 halls are supported by 1444 intricately carved pillars, and no two are of the same design. There is an abundance of exquisite sculptures and friezes.
Lunch is included this afternoon.
Return to Udaipur in the afternoon.
Late Afternoon – You are at leisure to explore the beautiful city of Udaipur on your own.
Day 24: Udaipur – Mumbai. Board the morning flight to Mumbai. Arrive at Mumbai and proceed for a Mumbai City tour. The tour begins at the “Prince of Wales Museum“, built to commemorate King George V first visit to India in 1905. Designed in the Indo-Saracenic style, the museum has sections of art, paintings, archeological exhibits, and natural history. Across the road is the Modern Art Gallery which is a must for any connoisseur of art, we make a brief stop here. Continue the tour to visit “The Gateway of India”, Mumbai’s foremost landmark overlooking the harbor. This structure was conceived following the visit of King George V in 1911 and officially opened in 1924. A drive up to the Malabar Hill, to the hanging gardens, gives a panoramic view the city and the "Queens Necklace", a road called Marine Drive. You then drive through the Flora Fountain and Fort area, where you can view the Gothic and Victorian style buildings. Visit the Victoria Terminus (now known as Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus) India’s finest Gothic building and a bustling Railway Station. Continue on your drive around Horniman Circle and visit the Town Hall, right besides the docks of Mumbai.
Check in to your hotel in the late afternoon.
Day 25: Mumbai – Aurangabad. Board the early morning flight to Aurangabad. Arrive at Aurangabad and proceed for half day guided excursion to Ellora. Explore the magnificently sculptured caves of Ellora. These caves illustrate a resurgence of Hinduism, reflected by the creation of these 17 caves with Hindu themes, sculpture, and art; including Cave 16, the awe-inspiring "Kailash Temple". Like all of the other Cave temples, this one was created out of one rock. However, the significance of that fact changes when you put it in perspective of this enormous structure.
Check into your Hotel after the tour of Ellora.
Day 26: Aurangabad. Full day guided excursion to Ajanta. Buddhist monks and other craftsmen began excavating, sculpting, and painting at Ajanta in the 2nd century BC. The incredible variety of paintings and sculpture were created in hard rock by using elaborate and ingenious lighting, tools, and materials. These 28 caves are a testimony to the devotion of the Buddhists, as well as the talents of their skilled craftsmen. Ajanta's incredible paintings are even more amazing considering that the color and texture you're admiring today was created by artists about two thousand years ago.
Day 27: Aurangabad – Cochin (Kochi). Board the morning flight to Mumbai. Connect with the flight to Cochin. Arrive at Cochin and check in to your hotel.
Afternoon - The tour begins from the St. Francis Church, established by the Portuguese Franciscan friars in 1503. Vasco Da Gama was buried in the courtyard of this European church, one of the first built in India. Visit the Chinese fishing nets. More than a century old and still in use, they form one of the highlights of this tour.
Evening - Drive to watch a Kathakali dance (the art of storytelling through dance) performance. After the show, you are driven to dinner with a famous Keralan chef and her family at their home. Cooking tips and recipes are included.
Day 28: Cochin – Backwaters cruise. Check out from hotel and visit the Jewish Synagogue (closed on Fridays & Saturdays) built in 1568.
After the tour, drive to Alleppey in the morning & board your houseboat. Relax and have a great time till the next morning as you cruise the amazing backwaters. The cook and other staff make sure that all your needs are taken care of, while serving you with delicious Kerala cuisine.
Day 29: Kumarakom – Cochin: Disembark from your boat at Kumarakom. You are at leisure at Kumarakom till after lunch. Enjoy the beautiful, lush lakeside environment and have a nice lunch at one of the resorts if you are so inclined.
Afternoon – Drive back to Cochin and check in to your hotel.
Day 30: Cochin – Delhi - International Flight. Check out of your hotel and proceed to the airport. Board the morning flight to Delhi.
Arrive at Delhi and you are greeted at the airport by your personal driver. If you are doing this visit as part of a small group, you are provided with personal vehicles for each single traveler / couple / family traveling together. Do any last minute shopping and sightseeing that you feel you may have left for the end.
Your vehicle and driver stay with you till your (usually late evening) assisted check in at the airport.
Our services end at Delhi airport.
Day 31: Arrive in the United States.