Day 01: Arrival in Delhi, India (236m/777ft)
After your arrival at the Delhi airport, a representative from Himalayan Glacier will pick you up and drop you off at your hotel. Later you may take a rest or stroll in the colorful Delhi Bazaars. Overnight in Delhi.
Day 02: Drive from Delhi to Jaipur (431m/1,414 ft): 265 km, 5 hours
Today we leave Delhi for Jaipur and visit Lord Shiva’s statue on the way. Shiva is one of the primary Hindu gods. After checking-in at our hotel in Jaipur, also nicknamed ‘The Pink City’, we spend a few hours walking in the city’s wide streets. This is meant to get us acquainted with the local lifestyle. We spend the rest of the day exploring City Palace, Hawa Mahal, Amber and Jaigarh forts. If we wish to buy a unique souvenir, we may visit one of the bazaars, where we can pick up a pair of camel-leather slippers, carpets, etc. Overnight in Jaipur.
Day 03: Sightseeing in Jaipur
After breakfast we spend the rest of the day touring Jaipur’s many landmarks and enjoying the city’s wonderful ambiance. Today we visit Nahar Garh Fort, Birla Temple, Jal Mahal and Ram Bagh palaces. Later in the afternoon we enjoy an elephant ride and visit the handicraft bazaar. The handicraft bazaar is famous for showcasing unique crafts authentic to the area. Overnight in Jaipur.
Day 04: Jaipur to Agra (171m/561 ft): 251km, 4 hours
After breakfast we leave for Agra, an Indian city famous for housing the Taj Mahal. The famous testament of love was built by the grieving Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his late wife Mumtaz. While in the city, we also tour Agra marble and carpet handicraft factory. Overnight in Agra.
Day 05: Take a train from Agra to Jhansi, drive to Orchha (552m/1,811 ft): 3 hours on train
After breakfast we drive to Rly Station and board a train to Jhansi. We get off the train at Jhansi, collect our luggage and set forth on our drive to Orchha. While there we tour the city’s many landmarks including Orchha Fort, Raj Mahal, Jahangir Mahal, Rai Praveen Mahal, Laxminarayan Temple and Anand Mahal. Overnight in Orchha.
Day 06: Drive to Khajuraho (282m/928ft): 195km, 4-5 hours
After light breakfast we enjoy preparing local cuisines with a family in Orchha. Next, drive to Khajuraho. While here, tour the renowned exotic temples of the Western and Eastern parts Khajuraho. Besides the eroticism that the temple is famous for, the temples also celebrate womanhood and various aspects of femininity. Overnight in Khajuraho.
Day 07: Fly to Varanasi (90m/295ft): 1 hour
We leave for the Khajuraho aiport and fly to Varanasi, an old city popular for Hindu pilgrimages and learning Hinduism. In the city, we visit Sarnath Temple where the Buddha is believed to have given his first sermon. Indian emperor Ashoka (c 304-232 BC) visited Sarnath around 234 BC, and erected a stupa here. Overnight in Varanasi.
Day 08: Sightseeing in Varanasi
We begin the sightseeing tour of the city’s many cultural wonders after breakfast. We visit Ram Garh Fort, Hindu University, Bishwanath Temple and Bharat Matha Temple. In the evening, we tour ghats(river banks) and watch the candle flower ceremony. Overnight in Varanasi.
Day 09: Varanasi to Lumbini (150m/490 ft): 332km, 7 hours
We drive to Sunauli (Nepal-India border) and switch vehicles that will take us to Lumbini, Nepal. Lumbini is the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautam, the Buddha. It is located on the south-western part of Nepal and only an hour drive from Sunauli. Overnight in Lumbini.
Day 10: Drive to Chitwan (815 m/2,674 ft): 5 hours
The holy site of Lumbini is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and holds immense archaeological and religious importance. It comprises of ruins of ancient monasteries, a sacred Bodhi Tree, an ancient bathing pond, the Ashok Pillar and the Maya Devi temple. The temple is the spiritual heart of Lumbini which marks the spot where Queen Maya Devi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautam.. After touring the Maya Devi Temple we drive to Chitwan. After checking in to the hotel, there will be a briefing on the activities we will be engaged in during our stay in here. We then walk on the banks of the Rapti River to enjoy the sunset in the sub-tropical jungles of Chitwan. In the evening, we enjoy dinner along with a brief cultural program showcasing the tribal dances unique to the Chitwan region of Nepal. Overnight in Chitwan.
Day 11: Chitwan National Park
Early in the morning, we will be mounted on elephants for a jungle safari through dense grasslands to witness wildlife in its natural habitat. After breakfast, we visit the elephant stables and even enjoy bathing the elephants. During the afternoon we can drive through the jungles followed by a canoe ride down the Rapti River. While canoeing, we may get a close look at the Gharial and Mugger crocodiles along with fresh water dolphins, otters and varieties of water birds. Or, we may even go for bird watching or nature walks and come closer to a variety of wild flora and fauna found in the park. Overnight in Chitwan.
Day 12: Chitwan to Pokhara (823m/2,700ft): 134km, 4-5 hours
After breakfast, we begin our drive to Pokhara, also known as The Lake City owing to its large number of lakes. The road first passes through the subtropical jungles and fertile vegetation in Chitwan. As we leave Chitwan, the landscape changes. We see hills, small settlements and terraced farms. Upon our arrival in Pokhara, we are rewarded with magnificent views of the Himalayas including Dhaulagiri (8,167m), Manaslu (8,156m), Machhapuchhre (6,993m), the five peaks of Annapurna and others. We check-in to our hotel and take a rest. We may also stroll in the streets of Pokhara and just enjoy being in one of the most beautiful cities of Nepal. Overnight in Pokhara.
Day 13: Sightseeing in Pokhara
Early in the morning we leave for Sarangkot, a hill that overlooks the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges in the north and Pokhara city in the south. From here, we catch amazing views of the sun as it rises in the mighty Himalayas. We then head back to Pokhara and continue touring the city’s landmarks. Davis Falls is a unique waterfall that flows directly into a narrow and deep canal which has no end. The Shiva Cave is located near Davis Fall and houses a shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva, a primary Hindu God. We also do some boating in Phewa Lake, the largest lake in Pokhara and visit Bindyabasini Temple located at the center of the Lake. We visit the famous International Mountain Museum (IMM) that records, documents and chronicles the past and present development of mountaineering activities in the world and the Himalayas in particular. We also tour the Tibetan refugee camp and witness how the refugees keep themselves busy by producing and trading woolen carpets and other handicraft items. Overnight in Pokhara.
Day 14: Pokhara to Kathmandu (1,300m/4,264ft): 213km, 5-6 hours
After breakfast, we say goodbye to the beautiful northern skyline of Pokhara and drive towards Kathmandu. This will be a journey along river banks with wonderful views of hills and rural Nepalese lifestyle. After reaching Kathmandu, we take rest or do some souvenir shopping. To celebrate the successful completion of our journey, we will have a farewell dinner in the evening. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 15: Fly from Kathmandu to Paro (2,250m/7,382ft), city sightseeing
As our flight nears Bhutan we can enjoy amazing views of the Himalayas including the sacred Chomolhari and Jichu Drake peaks. At the airport, we will be greeted by a representative from Himalayan Glacier who will take us to our hotel. After lunch, we visit Rinpung Dzong, meaning ‘Fortress of the heap of jewels’. Next, visit Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country. From here we will be taken to 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 Mount Chomolhari, Bhutan's second-highest mountain, at 7,314 meters. Overnight in Paro.
Day 16: Paro to Thimphu (2,320m/7,610ft): 54 km, 1 hour drive: Hike to Taktsang Monastery
After breakfast, we hike for around 4-5 hours to Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan's most famous monastery situated at 3,180 meters. Guru Rinpoche (spiritual master) is said to have flown on the back of a tigress to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. Lunch will be served in the Cafeteria Restaurant, located about halfway up on the mountain. The monastery is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Paro Valley. After having explored the monastery, we hike down to the valley floor and leave for Thimphu. Overnight in Thimphu.
Day 17: Sightseeing in Thimphu
In the morning, we visit the Memorial Chorten (built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972), the nunnery temple, and the mini-zoo to see Takin, the national animal of Bhutan. Today, we also visit other landmarks of Thimphu including the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, the Bhutanese traditional painting school, the folk heritage museum, the majestic Tashichho Dzong and the traditional paper factory. However, some of the landmarks are closed on the weekend (Saturday and Sunday). Therefore, if we are in Thimphu during the weekend, we explore the Weekend Market instead. Overnight in Thimphu.
Day 18: Thimphu to Punakha (1,250m/4,100ft): 76 km, 2 - 3 hours
After breakfast, we enjoy the scenic drive to Punakha with a stop for tea at Dochu La Pass (3,100 meters), where on a clear day we get spectacular views of the Himalayas. From the pass, we drive downhill through rhododendron, fir and hemlock forests. We then pass through rice fields along riverbanks and reach Punakha. After lunch, we visit Punakha Dzong. Built between 1637-1638, it is the second oldest and the second largest dzong in Bhutan. Overnight in Punakha.
Day 19: Punaka to Gangtey (2900m/9280ft) and back to Punakha: 85Km, 3-4 hours
In the morning, we explore the beautiful town of Wangduephodrang. This village and its nearby villages are known for their slate and stone carvings. Then we drive through dense oak and rhododendron forests to Gangtey, a beautiful village surrounded by amazing snow-capped mountains. From here, we enjoy views of the picturesque Black Mountain ranges as well as the beautiful Phobjikha valley, the winter habitat of the black-necked cranes. Gangtey Monastery is perched atop a small hill that rises from the valley floor. We explore Phobjikha villages before driving back to Punakha for an overnight stay.
Day 20: Punakha to Paro: 130 km, 4 hours
After breakfast, we drive to Paro. On the way, we will visit Chimi Lhakhang, a fertility temple dedicated to the Divine Madman or Lama Drukpa Kuenley. After the tour of the temple, we continue our drive to Paro. In the evening, we are free to stroll around the markets and streets in Paro and enjoy our last night while in Bhutan. Overnight in Paro.
Day 21: Departure from Bhutan, arrival in Delhi
After early breakfast, we drive to the Paro airport for departure. Druk Air generally departs in the early morning to avoid adverse weather conditions. After arriving at the Delhi airport, a Himalayan Glacier representative will drive you to your hotel. Overnight in Delhi.
Day 22: Final departure
Your 22-day long adventure comes to an end today. A Himalayan Glacier representative will drop you off at the airport. Have a safe flight!