Make an ultimate journey into the Himalayas with Himalayan Glacier's travel package encompassing the four Himalayan countries: India, Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet. These four countries cover almost all of the Himalayas and are a traveler's paradise, a heaven on earth. The magnetic surprise comes at our walk through the ancient and medieval streets full with architectural wonders of the East. The package includes such exotic places as the colorful town of Jaipur and the Mecca of Love or the Taj Mahal of Agra, to the pagoda structures in the medieval streets of Thimphu, Kathmandu and Lhasa. Thus, from Taj Mahal to Potala, tour package showcases the diverse Himalayan civilization. This is a journey that takes us up from the lowlands of the Ganges to the dizzying heights of Tibet.
The India, Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet Tour starts from India's capital Delhi. From Delhi, we drive to the historic towns of Jaipur and Agra. Then we fly to Paro, Bhutan. We further drive from Paro to Punakha and retreat back to Paro. From Paro, we fly to Kathmandu. After making two full days of sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley with its many medieval towns, we drive for Tibet along the Friendship Highway. During the rest days of the journey, we discover Tibet's highlands including the Everest Base Camp, the spiritual air, an unearthly mystical land of Buddhist culture and philosophy.
Note: We have to start our tour on Sunday from Delhi in India to accommodate the flight schedules to Paro, Kathmandu and Lhasa.
Our other trans-border Himalanyan adventure tours include: Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet Tour -14 days.
All accommodations are on twin sharing basis included in the trip cost and are chosen based on standard of hygiene, standard of service and food, location, etc. Mostly the buffet style breakfast will be provided in the hotels.
In India you will stay in 4 star hotels - The Royal Plaza or Hotel Maple or Hotel Hans Plaza or similar in New Delhi; Royal Orchid or Hotel Om Tower or similar in Jaipur and Hotel The Retreat or Howard Park Plaza or similar in Agra. You will spend three nights in 4-star hotel, Hotel Shanker or similar in Kathmandu.
Hotels in Bhutan are approved and classified by the government as grade A, B and C. These government approved hotels are equivalent to 3-4 star hotels elsewhere. Based on availability at the time of your booking, we provide grade A hotels and B category hotels in Bhutan Tour-5 days. We use A category hotel in Paro and Thimpu. We use Hotel Tashi Namgay Resort or similar in Paro and Hotel Migmar or similar in Thimpu. We use Meri Puensum Resort or similar (B category) in Punaka.
In Tibet you will be staying at Hotel Snow Land in Nyalam, Snow Leopard Guest House in Lotingri/Dingri, Mansarover Hotel in Sakya, Gesar Hotel in Shigatse and Kyichu Hotel in Lhasa. Due to remote location the facilities in hotels en route to Lhasa (in Nyalam, Lotingri/Dingri and Sakya) will be basic. The hotels in Shigatse and Lhasa are centrally located 3 star hotels. If you would like to upgrade hotel in Lhasa it is possible to upgrade to 4-5 star hotel by bearing additional costs.
Upon arrival at the Delhi airport, a representative from Himalayan Glacier escorts us to the hotel. After refreshment, we stroll through traditional bazaars as well as historic and monumental sites in Delhi. Overnight in Delhi.
Today, we take our morning breakfast and visit Laxmi Narayan Temple and Giant Shiva Statue. Then we drive to Jaipur. On arrival at Jaipur, we will be transferred to the hotel. In the evening, we take a stroll around Jaipur Bazar and Hawa Mahal. Overnight in Jaipur.
After breakfast, we make an excursion to the 16th century Amber Fort. We also enjoy elephant ride at Amber Fort. The fort was built by Akbar's Rajput Commander, Raja Man Singh. We further visit and shop at textile industry. Other attractions of Jaipur are the City Palace of Jaipur, Hawa Mahal or Wind Palace and Jantar Mantar or Observatory which was built by Raja Jai Singh. Overnight in Jaipur.
After breakfast, via Fatehpur Sikri, we drive to Agra. Mughal Dynasty's Fatehpur Sikri with magnificent red sandstone building, built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar to commemorate Saint Salim Chisti, who blessed Akbar with three sons. We visit at graceful buildings of the Jami Masjid, the tomb of Salim Chisti, the Panch Mahal, Diwan I Khas and other palaces. The monuments are examples of the fusion of Islamic architecture with Hindu and Jain decorative art. Overnight in Agra.
After breakfast, we make a sightseeing tour of Agra. We visit the Taj Mahal, a finest amalgam of love and architecture - one of the wonders of the world. We also visit Agra Fort, a large fortified strategic point of Mughal Empire. In the afternoon, we drive to Delhi. On arrival in Delhi, we visit the monuments of Qutab Minar, Lotus Temple. In the evening, we will be escorted to our hotel. Overnight in Delhi.
After breakfast, we make a historic sightseeing tour of Delhi. We visit the majestic Red Fort or Lal Kila, the beautiful marvels covered in red sandstone. We further make our trip to Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India that was built by Emperor Shah Jahan of the Taj Mahal fame. Another important site we visit is Rajghat - a memorial of Mahatma Gandhi. After exploring the Old Delhi monuments, we visit Rashtrapati Bhawan (Presidential Palace), the India Gate - a memorable monument built in the honor of Indian soldiers. Overnight in Delhi.
Crossing over the Himalaya Mountains, the flight to Paro offers spectacular views of the awesome peaks, including the sacred Jumolhari and Jichu Drake peaks in Bhutan. Upon our arrival we will be greeted by the guide at the airport and transferred to the hotel. After lunch, we visit the Ta Dzong, once a fortified lookout tower that is now the National Museum. Then we walk down the trail to visit the Rinpung Dzong meaning "fortress of the heap of jewels". Next we visit to Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country. Our next visit would be the Drugyal Dzong (Bhutan Victory Fort), which was built in 1646 to commemorate Bhutan's victory over Tibetan invaders during the 1600s. On a clear day, we can see Mt. Jumolhari, Bhutan's second-highest mountain at 7,314m. Overnight in Paro.
After breakfast, we hike for Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) Monastery, Bhutan's most famous monastery. Guru Rinpoche (8th century Indian saint) is said to have flown on the back of a tigress to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. It is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900m above Paro Valley. The hike to the monastery makes for a nice half-day excursion. Our lunch will be served in the cafeteria on the way. In the afternoon we drive to Thimphu. In the evening we explore Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, and absorb the lifestyle of the people. We also visit some interesting handicraft shops. Overnight in Thimphu.
After breakfast this morning, we enjoy the scenic drive to Punakha with a stop for tea at Dochu La (3,100m), where on a clear day we can get spectacular views of the Himalayas. From the pass, we drive downhill through the forests of rhododendron, fir and hemlock. We arrive at Punakha after traversing through rice field and along the bank of Punakha River. On the way, we will stop at Metshina Village and take a 20-minute walk through the rice fields to Chimi Lhakhang, which is a fertility temple dedicated to Devine Madman or Lama Drukpa Kuenley. Overhere we receive a special fertility blessing from Lama's wooden phallus if we wish. After lunch we visit Punakha Dzong, stunningly situated in between the male and female rivers like an anchored ship. Overnight in Punakha.
After breakfast, we drive back to Paro via Dochula pass. At this juncture we visit the new Druk Wangyal Monastery, which is the only of its kind in the country, with elaborate paintings depicting the lineage of the present monarchy and their visionary works. We will stop at Thimphu for lunch. After lunch, we continue drive to Paro. In the evening, we can stroll through Paro town. Overnight in Paro.
Today, we bid farewell to the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan and would enter the recently declared republic of Nepal and her friendly people. Druk Air generally departs in the early morning to avoid adverse weather conditions. Therefore after taking breakfast, we fly for Kathmandu. We again enjoy the magnificent views of the Himalayas. Overnight in Kathmandu.
After breakfast , we start a guided tour to four of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu. Kathmandu Durbar Square holds the palaces of the medieval Kings who ruled over the then Kathmandu Kingdom. Pashupatinath houses a sacred lingum, or the phallic symbol of Lord Shiva. The Aryaghat alongside Pashupati and on the banks of the Bagmati River is a famous funeral site for the Hindus. The Buddhists shrine of Boudhanath is one of the largest stupas in the world, and one of the holiest Buddhist pilgrimage and tourist destinations in Kathmandu. The area of Boudhnath is also famous for over 50 Tibetan Gompas or monasteries. Swayambhu meaning the "the self-existent" is popular among the foreigners as the Monkey Temple owing to the large number of monkey population residing in the area. Overnight in Kathmandu.
We start our tour of two more UNESCO World Heritage Site cities' adjacent to Kathmandu: Patan and Bhaktapur. Patan is also known as The City of Fine Arts. Patan Durbar Square is one of the places in the Kathmandu Valley where the medieval arts and architectures still remain intact. The Durbar Square is full of ancient places, temples and shrines, noted for their exquisite carvings, mostly the Hindu and Buddhist monuments. Similarly, the medieval town of Bhaktapur, or the Town of the Devotees, preserves medieval arts, architecture, culture, and lifestyle to this date. We are sure to feel like travelling back into the past while walking along the Bhaktapur thoroughfares, squares and streets. Overnight in Kathmandu.
After breakfast, we start our journey along the Friendship Highway for the Tibetan border. Along the way we pass through some really splendid sights- cascading waterfalls, rivers and hill side villages. At the border we take our lunch and pass through the Nepal side of the customs and immigration. Upon crossing the Friendship Bridge, we will be at Tibet! Then, we take a 30 minutes drive from Kodari to Zhangmu where second immigration formalities have to be completed. From Zhangmu to Nyalam, we drive on a steep winding road and reach Nyalam. Overnight in Nyalam
In the morning, we stroll around Nyalam which would help us to acclimatize with the high altitude. We depart for Lotingri after lunch. On the way we visit Milarapha Cave and Chamda Hot spring for a little fun filled afternoon. On our journey we encounter two spectacular passes: Thong La pass (5050m/16,568ft) and Lalung La pass (5082m/16,668 ft). Along with the two passes, we also get to enjoy fabulous views of the high mountains including, Mt. Everest (8848m/29,028 ft) and Shishapangma (8,013m/26,289 ft). Overnight in Lotingri
After breakfast we drive towards Sakya. The drive from Lotingri to Rongbuk will be adventurous as the roads are raw. In Rongbuk, we visit the Rongbuk monastery which is the highest monastery in Tibet. Then we drive towards Everest Base Camp (5,250m/17,220ft) while enjoying views of high mountains like Cho Oyu (8,201m/26,906 ft), Shishapangma (8,013m (26,289 ft) and of course the mighty Everest also known as Mt. Chomolongma in the Tibetan side hence accomplishing one of the major highlights of this tour.
It will certainly be a great experience to come face to face with the greatest mountain on earth. We make about 16km round trip around the Everest Base Camp. The base camp itself is dry and barren, but the views of Everest are more than compensating. It is a truly awe-inspiring place with the sheer north face of the highest mountain in the world towering above us. Overnight in Sakya
In the morning after breakfast we visit the Sakya Monastery which is the ancestral temple of Sakyapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. We then continue our drive to Shigatse, the second biggest city in Tibet. Here, we visit another popular monastery, the Tashilhunpo Monastery which holds both historical and cultural importance for being founded by Gendun Drup, the First Dalai Lama in 1447. Overnight in Shigatse
After breakfast, we embark on a pleasant drive to Gyantse. In Gyantse, we visit the Khumbum Stupa, Phalkot Monastery and Gyantse Dzong (Fortress) which is one of the best preserved dzongs in Tibet.
From Gyantse, we continue to Lhasa crossing the Karo La (5010m/16,432 ft) and Kamba La (4794m/15,725 ft) passes and Lake Yamdrok Tso (Turquoise Lake), one of the three largest sacred lakes of Tibet, also believed to be the transformation of a Tibetan goddess. Furthermore, we cross the Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahamaputra) river and see Potala Palace for the first time from a distance. Overnight in Lhasa
We begin sightseeing in Lhasa after breakfast. Today is the day we visit the beautiful Potala and Norbulingka palaces. Built in the 17th century, Potala Palace provides amazing views of the entire city and houses private quarters of the Dalai Lama, numerous grand state rooms and chapels. Norbulingka Palace is the summer palace of the Dalai Lama and houses what is considered to be the largest man made garden in Tibet.
We further visit Tibet Museum, the official museum of Tibet which has a permanent collection of around 1000 artifacts related to the cultural history of Tibet. Overnight in Lhasa
After breakfast we visit Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Bazaar. Drepung Monastery which was built in the 14th century is believed to have sheltered around 10, ooo monks in the past but as of now there has been quite a declination resulting in only a few hundreds. Tibetans' respect and belief are immensely knotted with this monastery.
Sera Monastery is a preserved monastery of white-washed walls and golden roofs. Jokhang Temple is another important sacred site which unravels more deep seated mysteries of Tibetan Buddhism. We further stroll through Barkhor Bazaar (market). With its open air stalls, shops and crowd of pilgrims, it is the nerve centre of Lhasa. Overnight in Lhasa
Our adventure tour of the four Himalayan countries comes to an end today! There is nothing to do but trade emails with travel companions and organize the photos. If we have more time we can do some shopping or sightseeing. A representative from Himalayan Glacier Trekking will escort us to the airport for our onward journey. We can either get back to Kathmandu or continue to mainland China on our way to home.