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Travelling from Delhi to Agra then Jaipur, this 6 night extension tour of the Golden Triangle takes you through India's most famous sights. Ride a rickshaw around Old Delhi, marvel at the Taj Mahal and discover the Pink City of Jaipur.
Depart London on your scheduled, overnight flight to Delhi.
On arrival into Delhi you will be met by a local guide and transferred to your hotel. This afternoon, enjoy a sightseeing tour of the dramatic Red Fort, a Mughal stronghold famed for grand sandstone monuments. Pass vibrant spice bazaars en route to British-built New Delhi, admire the distinct Islamic architecture of Humayun's Tomb amongst landscaped gardens and the domineering pastel shikharas of Birla Mandir.
Following breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Bagdogra, from here continue to the town of Darjeeling where you will spend the next three nights. Spaced across a mountainous ridge overlooking emerald tea plantations, this town proudly displays colonial architecture alongside Buddhist monasteries with a dramatic Himalayan backdrop.
Today enjoy a trip along the UNESCO recognised Himalayan Railway line. This dramatic alpine course boasts unfolding panoramic scenery dominated by the world's third highest mountain, Kangchenjunga. En route visit the Tibetan Refugee Centre to observe mesmerising woollen work spun before your eyes, then continue to the Mountaineering Museum for a fascinating insight into the first perilous British expeditions of Everest. Discover Himalayan bears, red pandas, Tibetan wolves and a growing population of endangered snow leopards at the Himalayan Zoological Park - considered one of India's best zoos.
From your vantage point of Tiger Hill, witness the breath-taking spectacle of daybreak illuminating the snow-coated Himalayan horizon. Following this unforgettable scene, enjoy a tour through the aromatic Happy Valley Tea Estate to observe the withering, rolling, fermenting and drying process of tea leaves. After lunch, enjoy an afternoon in Darjeeling relaxing or taking in a unique shopping experience along Mall Road.
This morning, fly to the charming town of Paro in Bhutan and onto the capital city of Thimphu. Sprawled along Thimphu Valley, the city's recent construction boom has created a juxtaposition of commercial zest alongside Buddhist monuments peppered with crimson-robed monks. Check-in to your hotel for the next three nights and enjoy an evening at leisure.
After breakfast, a full day city tour of Thumphu awaits. Witness visitors whirling large prayer wheels at the National Memorial Chorte in memory of Bhutan's third king, proceeded by a stroll through flurrying pilgrims and along changangkha temple's kora to admire views of the surrounding mountainscape. Later today inspect the intricate crafting process of traditional artistic pieces within 'the painting school', before gazing at one of the largest Buddhist statues in the world - the ginormous 50 metre Buddha Dordenma sat upon a three-story throne.
Today visit the charming town of Paro to experience one of Bhutan's highlights, a horseback ride up to the famed Tiger's Nest Monastery which clings to a granite peak 3,000 metres above sea level. Local lore alleges that it is here that Guru Padmasambaya arrived on the back of a tigress in the 8th century and then proceeded to meditate for three months. Return to Thumphu for your final night in Bhutan.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu, from here travel to the hilltop settlement of Bandipur - a network of winding lanes, traditional Newari architecture and a welcoming community of farmers and traders. Spend your afternoon on a guided tour exploring the town's charming bazaar flanked by pagoda-style temples.
Enjoy a much needed rest this morning, before embarking on a leisurely hike around Bandipur, exploring secret caves along the hill trails and quaint villages untouched by modern civilisation.
Depart Bandipur this morning and head to Bhaktapur in Nepal. Having settled in, enjoy an afternoon tour of this UNESCO recognised city to spot Durbar Square's distinct Golden Gate, a portal boasting exquisite gilding of the Garuda fending off mythological serpents. Climb a stairway guarded by legendary stone guardians to peer at Nepal's tallest temple before returning to Bhaktapur for your evening meal.
Following breakfast head to Kathmandu, a metropolis of people-packed alleys, vibrant Newari craft markets and an ancient rhythm of worship enduring within the city's striking medieval temple.
A full day tour of Kathmandu commences after breakfast where you will visit the iconic Boudhanath to admire Asia's largest stupa beneath a canopy of coloured prayer flags. Continue to the UNESCO recognised Swayambhunath, an ancient complex displaying a fascinating jumble of Hindu and Buddhist iconography amongst an intoxicating aroma of incense. Take some time to explore Pashupatinath, Nepal's most important Hindu temple used to bless pilgrims and kings alike.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your scheduled flight back to the UK.
Departing Kathmandu after breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Delhi. On arrival you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel. After settling in, a short tour of the beautifully planned city of New Delhi will follow. Offering you a taste of its imperial glory, you'll drive past the India Gate, President's House, Parliament Building and visit the Birla Temple, made purely out of 2,000 tons of Rajastani white marble.
A full day tour of Delhi commences after breakfast, beginning with the historic Old Delhi in the morning. Lying side by side, Old Delhi dates back to the Mughal period, whilst New Delhi was built just over a hundred years ago. Travelling through the arrow and crowded streets on a rickshaw will transport you back in time, whilst a visit to the regal Red Fort gives you a sense of the lavish life once led by the former rulers. After lunch your tour will continue on to New Delhi to see the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial and the 12th century Qutab Minar, the tallest stone tower in India.
After breakfast you will be driven to Agra, arriving at your hotel in time for lunch. Despite being a small city, Agra was once the capital of the might Mughal dynasty whose strength manifested itself in the huge forts and buildings built to maintain its power. During the afternoon you will visit the vast red sandstone Agra Fort, which was built in 1565 and boasts grand palaces, gigantic pavilions and spectacular courtyards.
This magical day starts after breakfast with a tour of one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal. Words do not do this remarkable palace justice; it really must be seen to be appreciate its stupendous beauty. Taking 17 years to build, the heartbroken Mughal Emperor, Shahjahan, dedicated this monument of love to his deceased wife to enshrine her mortal remains. Following a break for lunch, you will then continue on to visit Fatehpur Sikri, a magnificent fortified ghost city, en-route to the Pink City of Jaipur where you will arrive in the early evening.
Begin your first day in Jaipur with a visit to the spectacular Amber Fort, the ancient capital of the royal family until 1728 located just 11km from Jaipur. Spanning over four huge courtyards, you will travel to the centre of the fort by either elephant or jeep, passing snake charmers, harems of the Maharajah and the Palace of Mirrors along the way which all make for a truly unforgettable morning. An afternoon city tour of Jaipur takes in the major sights including the home of the royal family of Jaipur - The City Palace and the Jantar Mantar, an astronomical observatory. Lastly, marvel at the hundreds of tiny windows on the facade of the Hawa Mahal, known to many as the Palace of Winds, where it is said that the women of the royal family could once watch the streets below without being seen.
The morning is left free so that after breakfast you can visit some of the local bazaars and stalls for some last minute shopping. Try the M1 Road and Chameliwala market for jewellery, handicrafts, textiles and more, or wander the streets and sample the delicious and unique Rajasthani street food that Jaipur has to offer. You will then begin your return journey to Delhi, stopping for lunch on the way. A final farewell dinner in Delhi will bring your trip to a close, celebrated by a cultural dance show to round off this unforgettable tour.
Transfer to the airport for your flight back to London.
A visa is required for entry into India. British Citizen Passport Holders will need to obtain an e-Tourist Visa (eTV) for travel to India. We work closely with The Travel Visa Company who will be able to arrange your visa on your behalf. Please call them on 01270 250 590 and quote 'Mercury Holidays'. The cost of the visa is approximately £72 per person. The Travel Visa Company can only apply for this 30 days before your proposed travel date and takes around 10 working days to issue. It is only valid for a 30 day single entry stay from the date of arrival. When calling the Travel Visa Company they will advise you of any changes to the fees or the procedure, they will also advise you of all information they will require in order to apply for the visa.
If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £250pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.
Your flight to Delhi International Airport is with Jet Airways(9W), departing from London Heathrow Terminal 4. Please note that all flight times and numbers listed above are provided for guidance only and are subject to change. Final flight details will be confirmed on your e-ticket and final documentation which will be sent to you approximately 10 days before departure.
Each passenger is entitled to 23kg of hold luggage, however weight restrictions will be finalised on your e-ticket receipt. Should you wish to take additional luggage you will need to pay extra at check-in. Check-in should be at least 3 hours before departure. Checked baggage allowance may vary. Please refer to the bottom right of your E-ticket receipt for the correct baggage allowance. For example, if it shows '20k' this means your allowance is 20kg; or '1PC' means One Piece not exceeding 23kg. For handling purposes the maximum weight of any single piece of baggage must not exceed 32kg. Hand Luggage: One piece of hand luggage with maximum total dimensions not exceeding a total of 115cm in size and 7kg in weight. Please refer to the Airline's website for further details and the most up-to-date information.
If you wish to arrange Airport car parking or accommodation at preferential rates, we recommend you book this in advance with Holiday Extras on 0871 360 2000, quoting HX313.
On your arrival at Delhi Airport, please collect your luggage and proceed to the exit in the Customs Hall. You will be met by a representative of Champawati Tours who will be holding a sign displaying: 'Mercury Holidays'.
It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in good time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.
This tour is accessible to most people with a good level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves full days of sightseeing, often on foot, and includes some climbing of stairs and getting on and off coaches. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.
The tour also includes a full day hike to the Tiger's Nest Monastery in Paro, Bhutan. Whilst a horse ride to the top is included, they can only take you so far and towards the end of the trek, to get to the very top of the Monastery, there are around 800 steps that must be walked on foot. You will also need to descend the entire way from the monastery as horses cannot take passengers down as the path is steep and uneven. It is important that you make us aware of any health issues before you travel. Please note that it may not be recommended for you to participate in the Tiger's Nest Monastery excursion if you are not in good physical health.
There is no minimum number of travellers for this extension however the main tour passenger numbers will apply for the main part of the tour. If in the unlikely event there are less than the required number of people booked on your main tour date then you may be asked to change to a different date. A full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.
This is a fully escorted tour, meaning that you will be met on arrival by your national guide who will remain with you for the duration of your trip ensuring that you have first-hand knowledge at all times.
The currency in Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee or NPR, divided into 100 paisa. US dollars and UK sterling are both also often accepted should you wish to keep an alternative currency on you. The currency in India is the Rupee or Rs. The Rupee is a closed currency and officially you are not allowed to take any cash out of India. US Dollars and GBP are also widely accepted in India should you wish to keep an alternative currency on you.
You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any personal purchases, such as souvenirs, Laundry and extra drinks and snacks. Approximately £100 - £200 will be sufficient for the duration of the tour, depending on how much of a bargain-hunter you are!
|Depart UK||Arrive UK||Extension Price||Tour Price||Total Price|
|04 Oct 2018||23 Oct 2018||£739pp||£2619pp||£3358pp|
Weather can vary quite considerably throughout the year, so please familiarise yourself with the climate charts below.
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