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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 Heathrow on your scheduled, overnight flight to Kathmandu.
Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Patan, one of three royal cities in Kathmandu Valley. After an introductory meeting at the hotel with your guide, the afternoon will be at leisure to allow you to relax and take in your new surroundings. The group will reconvene in the evening to enjoy a welcome dinner together.
Following breakfast, your group will commence its first foray into Nepal's capital city. Kathmandu is not only the country's core in terms of trading and religion but is also known for the sleepy, all-seeing Buddha eyes which keep watch from the stupas and temples dotted amongst the chaotic jumble of buildings that spread across the valley. Begin with Boudhanath, the largest and holiest Buddhist stupa (a hemispherical shaped monument containing Buddhist relics) outside of Tibet. Continue on to the ancient religious complex of Swayambhunath, also known as Monkey Temple due to the families of macaques that live and roam around the grounds. After lunch your tour returns to Patan, a sprawling city which has almost merged with Kathmandu, separated only by the murky waters of the Bagmati River. Explore the enchanting melange of temples and former royal palaces of Durbar Square before concluding your day with a shopping trip in Thamel where you can barter for souvenirs or take a break to enjoy a sweet pastry from one of the local bakeries.
In the morning you will begin your drive to the hilltop settlement of Bandipur, arriving in time for lunch. With winding lanes, traditional Newari-style buildings and a community of farmers and traders, this beautiful town is seemingly untouched by modern life. Following a local lunch, venture into the heart of Bandipur to discover Bandipur Bazaar, an area of old shops, houses, temples and meeting places where you can appreciate the extraordinary view of the snow-clad Himalayan skyline.
Enjoy a morning at leisure in Bandipur before journeying to Pokhara, the gateway to the peaks and valleys of the Annapurna mountain range. This sleepy lakeside city enjoys a tranquil and relaxing atmosphere and is the perfect base for day walks or hikes into the spectacular surrounding mountains. Arriving at your hotel in the late afternoon there will be some time to unwind before your evening meal.
After breakfast at your hotel, a tour to the stunning Devi's Falls follows where the group will follow a series of underground streams and small walkways before reaching the cascading waterfall that bursts through a tunnel and falls into a cave deep below. Next visit Mahendra Cave to appreciate the stalagmites and stalactites before making a stop at the Tibetan refugee camp to browse for handmade jewellery, pashminas, trinkets and local carvings. Finally your group will take a peaceful boat trip on the serene waters of the lake before enjoying a riverside lunch. Returning to your lodge in the afternoon the rest of the day is at leisure.
Today you will depart Pokhara after breakfast for Chitwan National Park, one of the largest havens for the endangered Bengal tiger and home to a rare population of one-horned Indian Rhinoceros. A stop will be made en route at Manakamana to take a cable car ride to the summit of a spectacular viewpoint. Arrive at the hillside temple and a mountain shrine which dates back to the 17th century and is believed to be a place where the goddess Bhagwati has the power to grant wishes to those who are able to make a suitable sacrifice. Following lunch, your journey will continue into the sub-tropical lowlands of the national park where, in the evening you will experience the traditional dances of the Tharu Cultural Show.
Your full day tour of Chitwan National Park begins in the morning with a canoe ride up the Rapti River where you may encounter the rare gharial, a fish-eating crocodile whose population is estimated at less than 235 individuals. Next visit the elephant breeding centre where you will have the chance to watch mother and baby elephants interact whilst grazing in the jungle and warding off pesky mosquitos by covering themselves in dust. After lunch the group will proceed further into the jungle for a guided safari upon the backs of the majestic elephants, led by the local mahouts (elephant riders) who will be keen to help you spot deer, rhinoceros, antelope and perhaps even a glance of the 'King of the Jungle', the Bengal tiger.
Leaving Chitwan after breakfast, you will be driven back to Kathmandu, stopping for lunch along the way and arriving back in the city in the late afternoon. Enjoy some free time to venture out into the bustling streets to pick out any last minute gifts before enjoying your final dinner with the rest of your group. The sounds of bicycle bells and chanting monks and the intoxicating aromas of Nepalese delicacies will leave you with a memory to cherish for years to come. N
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.
You must obtain suitable travel insurance prior to departure. Mercury Holidays is partnered with Holiday Extras which offer insurance at the following prices:
|Age in Years||Up to 64||65 - 74||75 - 85|
|Up to 17 days cover||£42||£79||£135|
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 is to Nepal is with Jet Airways (9W), departing from London Heathrow Terminal 4. Each passenger is entitled to 23kg of hold luggage & hand luggage of 5kg not exceeding 55cm x 35cm x 25cm in size, in addition to one small personal item on-board the aircraft. Weight restrictions will be finalized on 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.
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 an average 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 and boats. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.
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|
|05 Mar 2018||20 Mar 2018||£709pp||£1709pp||£2418pp|
|02 Apr 2018||17 Apr 2018||£629pp||£1769pp||£2398pp|
|30 Apr 2018||15 May 2018||£629pp||£1589pp||£2218pp|
|28 May 2018||12 Jun 2018||£629pp||£1495pp||£2124pp|
|25 Jun 2018||10 Jul 2018||£599pp||£1395pp||£1994pp|
|03 Sep 2018||18 Sep 2018||£629pp||£1729pp||£2358pp|
|24 Sep 2018||09 Oct 2018||£719pp||£1739pp||£2458pp|
|22 Oct 2018||06 Nov 2018||£719pp||£1809pp||£2528pp|
|12 Nov 2018||27 Nov 2018||£719pp||£1819pp||£2538pp|
|03 Dec 2018||18 Dec 2018||£719pp||£1689pp||£2408pp|
If the group departure dates are not suitable for you and you would prefer a more personal and flexible experience then you can choose to book a private guide for your tour at a reasonable supplement.
Weather can vary quite considerably throughout the year, so please familiarise yourself with the climate charts below.
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