If you are fascinated by the splendid civilization of South Asia, it is a good idea to combine India and Nepal for your South Asia trip. The unbelievable Taj Mahal, the colorful 'Pink City' of Jaipur, the sacred Ganges River, the mysterious Kathmandu from the Middle Ages, and the breathtaking view of Mount Everest - all of them will offer you a memorable South Asia trip.
- Admire India's largest mosque and take a rickshaw ride through the narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi's bustling bazaar.
- Visit the Taj Mahal, the world-famous mausoleum that was built with perfect proportions and exquisite craftsmanship.
- Explore Jaipur, which is the most gorgeous and colorful city in Rajasthan, to discover the life of the maharajas.
- Witness the incredible Ganga Aarti ceremony in the holy city of Varanasi.
- Travel back in time to the Middle Ages in the temples and palaces hidden in the Kathmandu Valley.
- Overlook the roof of the world, Mount Everest, when the sun rises in Nagarkot.
Itinerary in Detail
This sample itinerary provides inspiration, yet your preferences design the real journey. Following our Tailor-made Guidelines to create a wonderful India holiday in your own way.
Welcome to Delhi. Your guide and driver will meet you in the arrivals hall and take you to your hotel. Enjoy your free time for the rest of the day.
The sacred Jama Masjid, which is the biggest mosque in India, will be your first stop of the tour. Islamic and Indian cultures combine in this great architectural structure. Imagine how magnificent and solemn it is when 20,000 Muslims pray there. Then, take a rickshaw ride through the bustling Chandni Chowk market, which is a great way to discover the local people's lifestyle in Old Delhi.
In the afternoon, go and see Qutub Minar and Humayun's tomb. Understand the history of India through these great architectural structures. Listen to stories about the great figures and their splendid dynasties.
Fly from Delhi to the holiest city, Varanasi, to see the legendary Ganges River. You might have heard a lot about the Indian people's mother river. You might have imagined a thousand times what happens right next to the river. You will still be shocked when you go and see it with your own eyes. Take a boat ride on the Ganges River in the late afternoon to see pilgrims washing their bodies, praying, and performing ancient rituals. Then visit Kashi Vishwanath Temple to experience the highly choreographed Ganga Aarti ceremony.
The ceremony starts with the blowing of a conch shell to remove all the negative energy in the area. You will then see people waving incense in the air and walking in circles around large lamps, all while chanting and playing music. You will be fascinated by the sacred and mysterious atmosphere.
Another highlight of a trip to Varanasi is enjoying a boat ride at sunrise when the temples along the river are bathed in the soft morning light. This sight is different from the one on the previous evening. People are washing their clothes, performing yoga, and praying with flowers.
After the boat ride, your guide will show you around the old city of Varanasi. The ultimate destination for all Hindu pilgrims, Varanasi is full of temples, shrines, and devotees. Take a tuk tuk to visit the oldest part of the city, bustling with vendors and priests. If you are lucky, you can watch different rituals being performed. The narrow alleyways packed full of small shops and stalls form a maze where the daily life keeps going on, just like the running Ganges River. In the afternoon, you will say goodbye to the holy city of Varanasi and fly to the capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur.
Start your exploration with a photo stop at the landmark of the 'Pink City', the famous Hawa Mahal. Then you will visit the glorious Amber Fort. The corridor with elegant pillars, the lovely colors of the patterns on the walls, the shining mirrors in Sheesh Mahal ' any of them can show you the splendid achievements that the ancient Indians gained in architecture and art.
In the afternoon, continue your trip to Jaipur's City Palace. Explore another luxury residence of the maharajas of Jaipur. You will have a better understanding of the maharajas' lives through the abundant exhibits. The current Jaipur maharaja still lives in a building at the palace. The Jantar Mantar is next to the City Palace. Be impressed by the wisdom of the ancient Indians in astronomy and mathematics.
You will be driven from Jaipur to Agra in the morning. After lunch in a local restaurant in Agra, you will visit Itmad-ud-Daula's Tomb, which is often called the 'Baby Taj' as it is an impressive white marble building decorated with colorful mosaics and stone inlays.
Then you will head for Mehtab Bagh (the Moonlight Garden) to catch the romantic sunset view of the Taj Mahal. The garden is located behind the Taj Mahal and the Yamuna River flows between them peacefully. Watch the Taj Mahal as the sun sets. At this moment, the Taj Mahal is just like a beautiful lady sitting on the riverbank, wearing a sari made of the sunset glow.
Visit the Taj Mahal in the early morning before the other tourists arrive. It is a miracle in the history of architecture, expressing the most beautiful emotions of a human being. The closer you walk to it, the more moved you will be by the spectacular ivory-white marble building and the emotion that sparked its creation.
Agra Fort is a magnificent 16th-century fortress made of red sandstone, which is located on the Yamuna River. Imagine the luxurious lifestyle of the royal family in this fantastic palace. The sunlight in the afternoon makes the red color of the sandstone fort appear to be very bright, just like the glory of the Mughal Empire.
In the afternoon, you will be driven back to Delhi for the next leg of your South Asia trip.
You will fly from Delhi to Kathmandu to find the historical sites from the Middle Ages.
Walk around Kathmandu Durbar Square in the afternoon. You will get excited when the old temples and palaces come into view one by one. Make a wish at the small and exquisite Ashok Binayak. Admire the statues in the magnificent Hanuman Dhoka. Take pictures of Shiva and his wife on the stairs of Shiva-Parvati Temple. Imagine what the living goddess looks like in Kumari Bahal.
In the late afternoon, climb the mountain to visit Swayambhunath Stupa (Monkey Temple). You will find out how well Hinduism and Buddhism combine there. The amazing sculptures, the smell of the burning sandalwood and butter, and the believers who are running the prayer wheel and walking around the pagoda create a mysterious atmosphere. Enjoy the beautiful sunset and the bird's-eye view of Kathmandu.
After breakfast, you will continue your cultural adventure in Kathmandu. Start with the most information and the most sacred Hindu temple in Nepal, Pashupatinath Temple. It might not seem solemn at first glance; however, it is indeed where the spirit of Hinduism lies. It is also a crematory. If you see a funeral at the cremation ghat, it could be a moment that stuns your soul. It might make you think about the meaning of life and make you cherish what you have more.
After experiencing the spiritual strength of Hinduism, you will continue to Boudhanath Stupa to feel the piety of Tibetan Buddhism. The eyes on the golden pagoda seem to have a magical power that catches your eyes. The flying prayer flags and the monks walking around encourage you to pray for good luck, just like the Tibetan merchants did in the past before they rode their yaks to go through the Himalayan passes. In the afternoon, you will visit another city in the Kathmandu Valley, Bhaktapur. Bhaktapur Durbar Square might be less crowded than the other two Durbar squares. The Golden Gate and Nyatapola Temple are the sites you cannot miss. You can also find some workshops for making traditional pottery.
In the morning, you will go to Patan to see the most magnificent Durbar Square in the Kathmandu Valley. When you walk around the square, you will be impressed by the stone carvings in Krishna Mandir, the amazing religious artworks in Patan Museum, and the exquisite pool for the king in Sundari Chowk. Before heading for Nagarkot, you will visit Changu Narayan Temple. It is the oldest temple that people still use in Nepal. It is small but an exquisite World Heritage Site. The wood and stone carvings are the highlights there.
Our Service Includes:
- Private transfers and English-speaking tour guide
- All guided sightseeing as detailed in the itinerary
- Hotel accommodation mentioned in the itinerary
- Breakfasts at hotels and lunches for every guided day
- Governmental taxes
We have selected hotels with different styles and for different budgets. Let us know your preferences and we will help you find the right one.
We recommend to experience palace hotels, heritage hotels, or nice resorts in order to get the high-quality service and to your experience.
Why Travel with Asia Highlights
- Tailor-made experience: All of your ideas/needs will be carefully considered to create your ideal trip.
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