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India – Bhutan – Nepal – The journey of myths, architecture and colors

Tiger's Nest in Paro Bhutan, gebaut im Felsen
Bhutan Bhutan

Trekking Map

Tajmahal mit Minaretten in Agra Indien

A journey that unites three of the most culturally rich and beautiful countries in Asia. Experience the diversity of India, the happy people in Bhutan and enjoy the unique mountain landscapes of Nepal.

In the pulsating metropolis of Delhi you will be introduced to the exciting and multifaceted world of the Indian subcontinent for the first time. A visit to one of the most beautiful buildings on earth, the Taj Mahal in Agra, is just one of the many highlights on this cultural tour. Udaipur the “Venice of the East” will be the next stop. The city in Rajasthan inspires with a contrast of lush palaces and blue lakes, delicate aesthetics, craftsmanship and the beauty of the landscape and people.

From the seventh day onwards, you will experience a completely independent and original Buddhist culture in Bhutan. The royal land, which is bordered by China in the north and India in the south, is shrouded in magic and secrets. Let them sink in at the colorful temple festivals and marvel at the impressive mask dances that are typical of Bhutan. Visit centuries-old monastery castles, as well as the imposing Tiger’s Nest monastery at over 3,000 meters above the abyss. Experience a mystical world that is slowly opening up to western influences, but without forgetting its roots.

To top it off, you fly to the pulsating capital of Nepal, to Kathmandu and visit the most important cultural and religious buildings of this colorful and special architecture, as well as the world cultural heritage of the old royal city of Bhaktapur.

This trip is ideal for lovers of unique and original cultures, colors and myths.

Day 1: Flight to Delhi, arrival
After being picked up from the airport, drive to the Jay Pee Siddharth hotel. Depending on your arrival time in Delhi, you can get your first impressions by visiting the center with a visit to the Indian Gate and past other buildings that are symbolic of colonial architecture. Overnight at Jay Pee Siddharth, (B).

Day 2: Sightseeing in Delhi and drive to Agra
The currently third largest city in the world will welcome you with heavy traffic and vibrant life! We start with the place where the Father of the Nation (Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869–1948)) was cremated, the Raj Ghat. Then we will take you to Jama Masjid (India’s largest mosque, built by Emperor Shah Jahan, who also built the Taj Mahal), Qutub Minar (2nd Valleyest minaret in India), Humayun’s tomb (Humayun’s tomb), Lotus Temple (Bahai House) of Worship, India Gate (All India War Memorial) and Akshardham Temple (Lord Swaminarayan Temple) when time permits. In the afternoon we drive to Agra in a private vehicle. Overnight at Ramada Plaza, (B).

Day 3: Visit Taj Mahal and drive to Jaipur – Free time in the afternoon – approx. 5 to 6 hours drive
Very early in the morning we visit the Taj Mahal, which is particularly beautiful at sunrise. The UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the new seven wonders of the world is the 17th century mausoleum of Mumtaz, which was built by her husband, the then Mughal King Shah Jehan. After the tour we enjoy our breakfast at the hotel and are driven to Jaipur. The metropolis of Jaipur is the capital of the state of Rajasthan and is located around 300 km southwest of the Indian capital Delhi.
Jaipur, the “pink” city, was founded in 1727 by the astrologer and King Sawai Jai Singh and built according to precise urban planning principles. All side streets run exactly at right angles to the main streets and are laid out as dead straight. Overnight in Alsisar Haveli, (B).

Day 4: Jaipur city tour and drive to Udaipur – approx. 4 to 5 hours drive
In the morning we take a trip to the impressive Amber Fort, which towers majestically on the mountain, and from where there is a wonderful view over the city. Around noon we drive to Udaipur. Overnight at Hotel Kankarwa Haveli or similar, (B).

Day 5: In the morning sightseeing in Udaipur and in the afternoon visit the Jain temple in Ranakpur
“Venice of the East”, it is not for nothing that Udaipur is called and described as one of the most romantic cities in Rajasthan with its traditional cityscape, the wonderful location on Lake Pichola, the shimmering white buildings and the Aravalli Mountains in the background. A really worth seeing historical building in Udaipur is the artfully decorated with turrets and balconies and equipped with many inner courtyards. This is the symbol of Udaipur and the undisputed highlight of every visit to the city. With a look out of the windows of the upper balconies you get a wonderful view of the lake from the largest palace in Rajasthan. Inside, the city palace is also interesting, as many objects from the life of the rulers can be seen and the nested corridors and rooms open up completely new perspectives. The picturesque backdrop of the lake and the surrounding hills ensure that Udaipur gets its special and very romantic flair.

In the afternoon we will drive to Ranakpur and visit the enchanting Jain temple complex from the 15th century. It is considered the most beautiful temple in Rajasthan and one of the most important in India. Carved from white marble, with its 29 halls and 1,444 columns, none of which is the same as any other, it is a great example of unconditional devotion to Jainism. Here a priest will explain the peculiarities of this religion to you. Afterwards you drive back to Udaipur. Overnight at Hotel Kankarwa Haveli or similar, (B).

Day 6: Boat trip on Lake Pichola and flight back to Delhi
If the water level allows it, we take a morning boat trip on Lake Pichola (duration approx. 1 hour) and get a completely different perspective of the beautiful city. At noon we drive to the airport and fly back to Delhi. There you have the afternoon at your disposal. Overnight at the Hotel Jaypee Sidhartha, (B).

Day 7: Off to Bhutan – transfer to the airport – flight to Paro, then drive to Thimphu
We fly to Paro early in the morning. If the weather is clear we should have fantastic views (from the left side of the cockpit) of much of the eastern half of the Himalayas, including the 8000m peaks of Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Makalu and Kanchenjunga. After landing and completing the visa formalities in Paro, we drive to Thimphu, the capital of the country at 2,300 meters. There we will check into our hotel and take a break. In the evening we can listen to Bhutanese chants and walk around the stupa monument (Memorial Chorten) there. Overnight in the hotel, (B|L|D).

Day 8: Sightseeing in Thimphu – Astrology School, Mini Zoo, Buddha Point
We are going to the north of Thimphu. The first stop brings us to the astrology school. Then we continue north to Dodena to visit the mini zoo and observe the national animal “Takine”. We return to Thimphu for lunch. Then we undertake an easy hike (about 1.5 hours) through a pine forest to the Wanduetse temple. From here you have a wonderful view of the Thimphu Valley. Another beautiful view awaits you from Buddha-Point / Kuenselphodrang (2,600 m). The 52 meter high Buddha statue has become a landmark of Thimphu city in recent years. Overnight in the hotel, (B|L|D).

Day 9: Thimphu to Punakha (71 km, approx. 3 hours drive) – Dochula Pass and visit to the Mad Man`s Temple
Today we drive to the Punakha Valley (1,240m) after breakfast. Punakha was the capital of Bhutan until 1955 and is now the winter residence of the central monks’ association. On the way we will stop at Do Chula Pass at 3,150 meters to look at the 108 chortens built on three levels. With a little luck and in good weather conditions, we will be able to see the main Himalayan ridge from there, including the Gangkar Puensum (7,570m), the world’s highest unclimbed mountain, should the visibility be good. In Messina we will have lunch. Afterwards, a visit to the Mad Man‘s Temple (Chimi Lhakang) is on the daily program. The temple, built in 1499, stands in the middle of the valley on a small hill. It was dedicated to the Lama Drukpa Kunley (1455-1529), also known as “Divine Madman”, who became famous for his humor, his songs and also for his outrageous behavior. Childless couples who pray at this temple are said to find happiness afterwards.
In Punakha we will first check into our hotel and have the afternoon at leisure. There are various activities such as archery, learning to cook Bhutanese and / or taking a hot stone bath (typical type of steam bath). Overnight at the hotel in Punakha, (B|L|D).

Day 10: Sightseeing Punakha Dzong and drive to Gangtey (Phobjikha Valley); Afternoon hike – 80km, approx. 3 hours)
After breakfast we will drive along the Pho Chu River in Punakha and cross a suspension bridge. After a short and gentle walk we reach the historic monastery fortress “Punakha Dzong” from the 17th century. This inspiring palace was built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1637, houses many sacred relics and was the seat of government. Afterwards we leave the main road and drive up to the Lawala Pass and into the wonderful Gangtey Valley. If possible, we can visit the ruins of Wangdue Dzong along the way. After lunch there will be enough time to explore one of the most beautiful valleys in Bhutan. This U-shaped glacial valley, which is often also called Phobjikha valley, is wide, has hardly any trees and gives the impression of a huge space. The valley is home to some of the most biodiverse wetlands in Bhutan. Keep an eye out for barking deer, sambar deer and wild boar. Himalayan black bears have been spotted in the valley and bird life is abundant. The graceful black-necked cranes from Tibet also come here during the winter season. The cranes usually arrive around the end of October and circle the monastery three times when they arrive! They spend the winter in the valley and in the spring they fly around the monastery three times again before returning to Tibet on a dangerous flight for the summer. We can also visit the Black Crane Information Center and Gangteng Monastery. Today’s trip is about 84 km long and takes 2.5 to 3 hours, although different road conditions can mean that we will be on the road longer. Overnight in the hotel in the Hotel Dewachen, (B|L|D).

Day 11: Gangtey to Paro (130 km, approx. 4 hours drive)
After breakfast we take a stroll through the village and can talk to the believers in the village monastery. If you feel like it, you can put your hand on a traditional bow yourself in order to come into even closer contact with the villagers. In the afternoon we drive back to Paro. Overnight at the hotel in Paro, (B|L|D).

Day 12: Paro to Tiger’s Nest
Today we hike up to the Tiger’s Nest (Tiger’s Nest). The most famous monastery in Bhutan was recently registered as one of the most sacred places in the world. This monastery is also the holiest in Bhutan. It towers 900 meters above the Paro valley and is known as the tiger’s nest because Guru Rimpoche allegedly came to this place on the back of a tigress in the 8th century. On the five-hour intensive but rewarding mountain tour to the monastery, on which more than 900 meters of altitude are conquered, body and soul are to be purified in equal measure and the sight of the monastery up close is also worth the effort. We recommend taking trekking shoes, trekking poles and plenty of water with you. Please note, there is about 100 steps up and down. Overnight in hotel in Paro, (B|L|D). Overnight in hotel in Paro, (B|L|D).

Day 13: Flight to Kathmandu and drive to Bhaktapur
It’s time to say goodbye to Bhutan! Today you say goodbye to your guide and driver and you will be driven to the airport in Paro to fly to Nepal / Kathmandu. You will be picked up from Kathmandu Airport and driven to your hotel in Bhaktapur. In the afternoon we will take a short sightseeing tour of Bhaktapur if time permits. Overnight at the Hotel Heritage House or similar, (B).

Day 14: Visit to Changu Narayan and Bhaktapur
We start the day with a visit to the World Heritage Site of Changu Narayan, which is located in the north of Bhaktapur. “Changu Narayan” is the name of the temple dedicated to the god Vishnu. A stone tile discovered near the temple is dated back to the 5th century and is the oldest of its kind. It helped make the Kathmandu Valley a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After visiting the temple we will be picked up and driven to Bhaktapur for a sightseeing tour. Bhaktapur is an old Newari and royal city in the eastern Kathmandu valley. Because of its rich culture, temples, and wood, metal and stone art, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will visit Layaku, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Nyatapola Temple, Bhairab Nath Temple and Dattatraya Square. In the afternoon we will be driven to Kathmandu and have the rest of the day at leisure. Overnight in Hotel Tibet or similar category, (B).

Day 15: Sightseeing in Kathmandu – afternoon free time
Today we explore the Kathmandu Valley with a local guide. The most popular places are the Buddhist / Hindu temple Swayambhunath, which is also called the monkey temple, is reached by a long staircase and offers great views of Kathmandu. Other significant sights are the Hindu temple complex of Pashupatinath on the banks of the Bagmati River, with cremation sites, and the holy Buddhist Boudhanath Stupa, which is decorated with colorful prayer flags. This stupa has been a magnet for Buddhist pilgrims for many centuries, spinning prayer wheels, praying and mumbling mantras (kora) around the structure. We will return to the hotel in the late afternoon and pack for the tour the next morning. The rest of the day can be used as freetime. Overnight at Hotel Tibet or Hotel Manaslu, (B).

Day 16: Flight back home
Farewell and transfer to Kathmandu Airport. End of the trip, (B).

We reserve the right to change the program due to special events, force majeure or weather conditions.

B = Breakfast | L = Lunch | D = Dinner

German guided tour
English guided tour

Bhutan Festival overview 2022: Download file here

This tour can also be booked for your individual group at an additional cost at dates other than shown here.

Duration: 16 days
Costs:
3.990€ per Person
Group size: min. 3 Persons (all the tour dates are guaranteed with a minimum group size of only three persons)
€ 640 for single room supplement

What’s included:

  • Airport transfers in India, Bhutan and Nepal
  • Flight Udaipur – Delhi and Delhi – Paro and 20kg free luggage
  • Flight from Paro-Kathmandu and 20kg free luggage
  • All relevant surface transfer
  • All hotel accommodation with breakfast in Nepal and India
  • All meals in Bhutan, (B|L|D)
  • Sightseeing with entrance fees, guide and vehicle in India, Bhutan and Nepal
  • Permit, National Park Entrance/Conservation Fees
  • Guide & Driver in India, Bhutan and Nepal
  • Visa Bhutan
  • US$ 250 tourist fee per day and person, in Bhutan
  • Quality service

Not Included:

  • International Flights from home country
  • Additional tours and meals that are not mentioned
  • Beverages
  • Personal bills
  • Visa Nepal (approx. US$ 50) and India (approx. US $ 70)
  • Excess baggage charge (beyond 20 Kg each)
  • Insurance (for cancellation, accident, health, emergency evacuation and loss, theft of or damage to baggage and personal effects)
  • Tips

visa
Visa fees for Bhutan are included in the price. The application for the visa takes place through geoDiscovery Tours.

A visa is generally required to enter India. Visa fees for India are not included in the price. Since November 2014 you can apply for an electronic tourist visa (e-Tourist Visa – e-TV) under certain conditions. Under the link https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html you will find the presentation of the requirements for an electronic tourist visa. You can also apply for the visa there. Please note that the tourist visa must be applied for in good time (at least 28 days before the start of the journey) so that travel complications do not arise. The passport must be valid for at least 6 months at the time of travel and have at least three blank pages. We will be happy to help you should any questions arise.
Visa fees for Nepal are also not included in the price and are paid at Kathmandu Airport (approx. USD 50). Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months at the time of travel and have at least two blank pages.
These visa and passport regulations apply to Germany. Other citizens please inquire at the respective country consulate.

Vaccinations
At the moment no vaccinations are necessary for the trip to Bhutan, Agra, Rajasthan and Nepal. However, you should be vaccinated against diphtheria, polio, tetanus, typhoid and hepatitis A. We recommend that you consult your family doctor about three months before your trip.

Insurance
Travel health insurance (with rescue costs) is essential for your own safety and a prerequisite for booking our trips. In the event of an accident in a country that requires a helicopter, it will not take off until the full cost coverage has been clarified. We strongly recommend that you take out travel cancellation insurance. Flights at bargain prices in particular cannot usually be re-booked or canceled free of charge. Complications with your health could also occur in the travel destination that force you to discontinue your trip.
We have requested ERGO (Reiseversicherung) to create various service packages for you. You can book travel cancellation insurance at www.reiseversicherung.de.

Please note: ERGO insurance can be booked by residents of Germany and Austria. Those living in other countries are requested to book their travel insurance through an insurance provider in their own country.

It should be noted that geoDiscovery Tours advises its customers to book their travel insurance via ERGO as a recommendation only, and accepts no responsibility for the contractual content between the customer and the travel insurance provider. Customers can book their travel insurance via ERGO or another provider at their own discretion.

Standard of hotels and accommodations
In Bhutan, India and Nepal, the hotels we have booked are good and correspond to a good average, western standard. The sanitary facilities are clean and functional; the hotel kitchen is adapted to western eating habits and their dishes are safe to enjoy. However, there may sometimes be power cuts or no hot water available for a while. The hotel staff is generally very friendly and eager for the well-being of each guest.

Flying in India, Bhutan and Nepal
The flights booked by us between India-Bhutan-Nepal are made with Bhutan Air or Druk Air. Domestic flights in India are made with Go Air or Air India.

Tour program
The travel program for all of our recommended tours is carefully planned. It can happen, however, that roads are closed without advance notice or are impassable, that there are waiting times of several hours because of traffic congestion or fuel shortages and that specific tourist attractions are closed for various reasons. Other restrictions such as flight delays or even cancellations due to bad weather, strikes or the health of participants may also make the implementation of the travel program more difficult or at worst make it impossible. However, our local guides are prepared for such situations and will make every effort to achieve every aspect of the program to your satisfaction. As a result the inconvenience can normally be kept to a reasonable level. Nevertheless, it must be pointed out at this juncture that for the above reasons program changes are possible at any time and cannot be influenced by the organizers. The resulting costs are borne by the traveler. We ask for your understanding.

Road Situation
Despite high mountains, steep slopes, and the deepest of valleys Bhutan and Nepal have a relatively well developed network of roads between the cities. It is difficult to find a length of either straight or flat road. In some stretches one can encounter 6 to 7 bends per kilometer! Steep ascents and descents are characteristic of road travel in Bhutan/Nepal and this can make traveling much slower than one may be used to.


Trip Details

  • Duration: 16 days
  • Holiday Type: Hotel accommodation
  • Best trekking period: Oct/Nov/Dec/Feb/Mar/Apr/May
  • Difficulty: Gentle
  • Max Altitude: 3.500m
  • Group size: Min. 3 persons (all the tour dates are guaranteed with a minimum group size of only three persons)
  • Tour guide: English speaking, trained Indian/Nepalese/Bhutanese mountain guide/tour leader
  • Difficulty:
  • Fitness:
  • Price: 3.990,00 
  • Single room supplement: 640,00 €