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16 Days An Epic Journey through India, Nepal & Tibet

Tour Route: Delhi - Jaipur - Agra - Varanasi - Kathmandu - Shegar - Everest Base Camp - Shigatse - Lhasa

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Trip Overview:

This is a unique and exciting south Asian Adventure trip that we specially designed for those travelers who want to explore India, Nepal and Tibet at once.

This adventure begins from Delhi, India where you will see Agra (Taj Mahal) and Varanasi (Ganges). Then to Kathmandu Valley and Nagarkot in Nepal where you will then take a high-road overland trip to Lhasa (Tibet) driving on one of the world's most beautiful, picturesque highways. This will save you time and money as well as fulfill the dream to visit these 3 beautiful countries in one go! You will also have the option to ride the highest train in the world from Lhasa to Beijing or Shanghai. This tour is reasonably priced and run by a professional team that you will always give it a personal touch.

  • Tour Code:
    TTO-NT-INT16
  • Max Altitude:
    5,200 m
  • Tour Type:
    Private tour with private guide and vehicle
  • Phisycal Demand:

    Phisycal Demand Level Guide:
    1. Easy (1 point) - suitable for all level of fitness, family with kids and senior groups.
    2. Moderate (2-3 Points) - suitable for those having average level for fitness, family with kids bigger than 12 years.
    3. Moderate to Strenous (4 Points) - suitable for those physically fit and have experiences of high altitude trekking.
    4. Strenuous (5 Points) - suitable for adventures and individual with physically fit and healthy.

  • Season:
    springSpringSummerSummerautumnAutumn

Hightlights:

  • Start your trip by an India highlights tour.
  • Kathmandu to Lhasa overland tour from India.
  • Discover Lhasa city with all its best, including the Potala Palace, the Jokhang Temple and the Barkhor Street.
  • Extend to Shigatse to explore a different culture and religion in the Central Tibet.
  • Reach to the Everest Base Camp to enjoy the marvelous view of the top of the world.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Delhi

The prelude of your exciting China tour starts when you meet our professional local guide at Kathmandu International Airport after reclaiming your luggage and clearing the customs.

The guide will accompany you in a comfortable vehicle to the hotel and help you with the check-in procedure. The rest of the day is left for you to have a good rest or to become familiar with the capital city of India by yourself. 

Day 2: Full day in Delhi

We start our discoveries this morning in Delhi by visiting Old Delhi. Even when Bombay and Madras were mere trading posts and Calcutta a village of mud huts, Delhi had been the seat of an empire for 500 years. Through the centuries, eight cities have been built on this site, by Hindu, Mughal and British rulers—with each adding their own flavor.In the old part of Delhi, we visit Raj Ghat, a beautifully serene monument. This is where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated, and we will see an impressive shrine to India's best-known statesman.

Next, after visiting the Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India, we take a short ride by rickshaw through the crowded lanes of the Chandni Chowk bazaar.

After lunch we head out to see the highlights of New Delhi. The British laid out the broad, tree-lined avenues and neat street grid of New Delhi (in contrast to the narrow alleyways of the old part of the city). Today the former "Imperial City" continues as the center of government for the world's largest democracy, and we see the buildings of India's Parliament and (from the outside) the residence of India's President, a palatial building called Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Nearby we see the India Gate, where a popular park surrounds a memorial to Indian soldiers who served Great Britain in World War I and Britain's 19th-century war in Afghanistan. We also visit Qutab Minar, a spectacular example of Indo-Islamic architecture topped by a 234-foot-high tower. Begun in the twelfth century, this is now a UNESCO World Heritage site and the symbol of New Delhi.

Day 3: Drive Delhi to Jaipur

After breakfast leave Delhi, drive about 5 hours to Jaipur, a nice Old Indian city also known as the "Pink City" for the rosy hue of its sandstone buildings. We'll explore Jaipur's Amber (pronounced "am-er," with a silent "b") Fort-Palace. The Fort is a stunning and well-preserved 16th-century structure, built on four levels. Among its many splendors is the Sheesh Mahal, a small room whose ceiling, covered with tiny mirrors, looks like a sky filled with brilliant stars. Here, in Rajput times, a dancing girl held candles during a dance of love for her Maharaja.

In the afternoon of turn to Jaipur visit the Jantar Mantar, a remarkable astronomical and astrological observatory built in the 18th century. The giant sundials here are still accurate to two-tenths of a second. Then we go on to the City Palace Museum filled with an array of textiles, arms, carpets, paintings and manuscripts. You'll complete your tour with an optional visit to a fabric block-printing center to learn more about the textiles that are so representative of this area.

Day 4: Drive Jaipur to Agra

We begin today's discoveries with a view of the exterior of Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds). This is actually not a palace, but rather a façade of 956 delicate, honeycombed sandstone windows used by the ladies of the palace to watch the outside world without being seen.

Then we continue our journey, experience the vast rural countryside of India as we ride toward Agra. We break up today's long drive with a stop at Abhaneri to view an ancient baolis, essentially a step-well or waterway built to provide a constant water supply to local inhabitants.

Upon arrival, you could join an optional tour to take in the view of the Taj Mahal from the Mehtab Bagh (“Moonlight Garden”) across the Yamuna River.

Day 5: Agra Sightseeing 

Today we rise early to view a sight unlike any other in the entire world: sunrise at the Taj Mahal. Taj Mahal of India - "the epitome of love", "a monument of immeasurable beauty". The beauty of this magnificent monument is such that it is beyond the scope of words.The thoughts that come into the mind while watching the Taj Mahal of Agra is not just its phenomenal beauty, but the immense love which was the reason behind its construction.

Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan got this monument constructed in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, with whom he fell in love at the first sight. Ironically, the very first sight of the Taj Mahal, the epitome of love and romance, also leaves visitors mesmerized and perpetually enthralled. The purity of the white marble, the exquisite ornamentation, precious gemstones used and its picturesque location, all make a visit to the Taj Mahal gain a place amongst the most sought-after tours in the world.

Then we visit the sprawling Agra Fort on the bank of the Yamuna River. This immense fort and palace were the seat of power for four generations of Mughal emperors; they ruled all of northern India from the early 16th century until the consolidation by British colonial rule in the early 1800s. Agra Fort's architecture is an almost perfect fusion between military might and lavish beauty.

Day 6: from Agra to Varanasi by plane or train

Varanasi: the Holy city of Vishwnatha, City of Shiva, City of Saints. Benares: the corrupted English form of the original Pali - Varanasi--the city of sannyasins and sages or Kashi, the city of light and liberation.

Day 7: from Varanasi to Kathmandu by air  

Early morning Boat ride on the holy Ganges, see people taking bath at river with the sound of bells and oil lamps. See the Ghats where Hindu death body is cremated. We return to the hotel and we have breakfast and fly to Kathmandu, be picked up and transfer to the hotel.

Then we will visit the Durbar square, where there are multitude of temples and monuments, as the old Real Palace, guarded by the king monkey Hanuman, The Kumari Bhal or the virgin goddess Kumari´s house (Living goddess), the Kasthamandap (wood´s house) made with the trunk of a single tree...

Day 8: Kathmandu Sightseeing then drive to Nagarkot

Today we go to Patan and we visit the fantastic Durbar Square and we travel their streets full with art and history.

In the afternoon we go to Pashupatinath, one of the four Hinduist Temples more important of the subcontinent. To the banks of the river Bagmati can contemplate the incinerations in the Ghats. We visit the immense stupa of Boudhanath and then visit to Bodanath.

After sightseeing, drive up to Nagarkot, a beautiful hill station, which provides magnificent Mountain panorama, from Everest in the east to Annapurna in the west, eight of the world's tallest Mountain in a peaceful rural settings.

Day 9: Drive back to Kathmandu

Drive back to Kathmandu 

Day 10: Drive Kathmandu to Nyalam

Drive to the Kodari Border after breakfast, your Tibetan guide will meet you at the Border in Tibet side. Then transfer to Zhangmu, a small town built on the side of a hill. There were a lot of little shops to look at.

It would have been nice to see the view from up there. Climbing ever higher the tropical landscape disappeared fast. The landscape in these parts is very harsh with lots of bare rock. Have a short stop in Zhangmu then continue to Nyalam, have a good acclimation for next days’ ascent.

Day 11: Snake up to Rongbuk

An early start today, continue drive to Rongbuk Monastery. Stop at one of Milarepa's caves on the way. It was on the side of a mountain looking down a fertile valley toward snow-capped mountains. A river runs through the valley. Have a good rest in Nyalam today.

Day 12: Rongbuk Monastery to Shigatse

Get up early for sunrise. You could take the local bus to arrive at Everest Base camp for half an hour, or you also can have a hike to Base Camp around 1.5-2 hours one way. It's interesting and much warmer, but hard to breath. The morning is frigid and as the wind howl your fingers must be frozen trying to take pictures of the iconic mountain but it is worth the pain to view such an amazing site.

Then in the afternoon drive further to Shigatse (3880m), the second largest city with 40,000 inhabitants in Tibet and the traditional capital of the Tsang. On the road the drive is full of magnificent scenery and cross some extremely high passes including Gyatsola (5248m). If it is in clear weather, you can have a glimpse of 4 mountains which is 8000m high or more, such as: Mt. Lhotse (8516m),Mt. Everest (8848m), Mt. Qowowuyag (8201m),Mt Mayalu (8463m).

Day 13: Drive to Lhasa

This morning you’ll have an opportunity to explore the Tashilumpo Monastery, the holy seat of the Panchen Lama, which is essentially a walled town with cobbled and twisting lanes that revolve around a magnificent monastery.

Then continue drive to Gyantse, visit Pelkor Monastery as well as the splendid Kumbum Stupa (100-Thousand-Buddha Pagoda) nearby, both of them built in the15th century and situated in the northwestern edge of Gyantse.

Afterwards pass by the 5,010 m high Karo-la and the Simi La to Lhasa. You will have a chance to get lost in the endless Tibetan landscape while you take a short hike along the turquoise waters of Lake Yamdrok, one of the three holy lakes in Tibet. This dazzling lake is normally first seen from the summit of the Kamba-la (4700m). The lake lies several hundred metres below the road, and it is shaped like a coiling scorpion. Far in the distance is the huge massif of Mt. Nojin Kangstsang (7191m).

Day 14: Lhasa highlights escorted tour

After breakfast, we go to the Potala Palace, a golden feather upon the roof of the world, which Tibetans proudly claim to be the prime miracle since the creation of this world. It is visible from any distance, with the golden roof shinning in the sun, spend one hour wondering around the inside of this magnificent building exploring the rooms previously used by the Dalai Lama and the many Buddhist icons within.

In the afternoon we go inside of the Jokhang. The Jokhang, like most of the larger temple structures have numerous individual temples within it dedicated to specific enlightened beings, protectors, high lamas, or saints. Images, both sculpted and painted, are everywhere. Every inch of wall and ceiling is brightly painted with images of clouds, beings, mandalas, or decorative patterns. Colorful silk banners, three stories high, hang in various places. Color, pattern, and images crowd in around you. The central image inside the building is a 30-foot high gilded image of Maitreya Buddha. Then stroll around the back alleys of the Barkhor area of Old Lhasa. The streets smelled of yak butter and incense while hordes of pilgrims shuffled along the main Kora (circumambulations) around Jokhang Temple. If someone just walked at a normal pace, one kora would take about 15-20 minutes.

Day 15: Drepung and Sera Monastery

In the morning have a tour for Drepung, the ever largest monastery with more than 10 thousand monks, Buddhist debates often occur there. Seen from afar, its grand, white construction gives the monastery the appearance of a heap of rice. As such, it was given its name which, in the Tibetan language, means Monastery of Collecting-Rice. Learn about the lives of Tibetan monks there.

The afternoon is spent touring Sera Monastery, have a little hike for the beautiful valley scenery nearby and picnic there, in the afternoon, visit Sera monastery, which was created in 1419 and has always been an important Buddhist seminary. As rose are planted everywhere in the monastery, it is also called “the court of wild rose”. Today still 200 lamas live in there. Catch the famous debate session of the monks before returning back to Lhasa.

Day 16: Finish this unforgettable tour

Free time at your disposal this morning, explore the bustling markets of the Barkhor to buy some souvenirs for your families and friends.

After lunch, departure transfer to see off, tour services end and Tibet welcome you back forever.

What’s included?

1.Tibet Entry Permit

2. Comfortable, clean and safe vehicle depending on your group size with reliable local driver;

3. Admission fees of tourist sites listed in the itinerary;

4. Professional English speaking tour guide;

5. Accommodations depend on your preference. Please tell us your preferred accommodation class when submitting the enquiry, and we will arrange the best-value hotels for you.

6.All measl listed in the itinerary;

7.Tourist Accident/Casualty Insurance

What’s not included?

1. International flight to and out of China;

2. Chinese Visa

3. Domestic flight / train not listed in the itinerary (If you need ticket booking service, please leave your requirements in the Online Inruiry form.)

4.Meals not specified in the itinerary;

5.Tips to driver and tour guide, Tip as you wish

6.Personal expenses, such as laundry, phone call, optional tour activities and so on.

Trip Notes:

1. Tibet Travel Permit

Tibet Travel Permit is a must for Tibet tour. Its cost is included in the tour quotation. Send your passport and China visa copies to us 20 days in advance, and we will apply for the permit after you book a Tibetan tour with us. Shortly after we get your permit from Tibet Tourism Bureau, we will inform you and mail it to your hotel in China via express.

In some extreme cases, our staff will hand it over to you at the airport or railway station. In our experience, we can virtually guarantee to get your permit during times when Tibet is open to foreign travelers.

2. Accommodation

Tibet is never known for its 5-star luxury resorts, though you can find some like Intercontinental Lhasa Paradise, St.Regis Lhasa Resort, Sheraton hotel, etc in Lhasa. Overall, the accommodation facilities and services are not as good as those in coastal and central parts of China. However, from cheap and clean youth hotel, to distinct Tibetan style 3-star and international 5-star luxury hotel, you will find one that suits your interest and pocket in Lhasa.

We’ve handpicked cozy and safe hotels in the central area of Lhasa, where you will find Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Street are just steps away from you. You can easily experience more of the local life and culture. Normally, as you travel to remote areas in some parts of Shigatse like Tingri, or EBC, Ngari, Nagqu, etc. the accommodation would be much poorer. Some may have air-conditioning in the hotel;others may only have electric blanket in the guesthouses. And the food is also very basic.

3.Guiding and Tipping

Our English-speaking guides are natives of Tibet with good knowledge of Tibetan culture, history, and Buddhism. Most are trained to offer Western-standard service. Throughout your stay in Tibet, we will minor your health and provide prompt help to you. If you run into any trouble, please do not hesitate to reach them or our customer service manager.

Travelers’s tipping to Tibetan guide and driver is taken as an extra gratitude to their good service, just like what you do in the west. Normally, a tipping of 7 USD/day is acceptable. The basic rule is good service for good pay.

4. Toilet

Admittedly, to many western tourists, using toilets in Tibet is the most dreadful experience. So, please down play your expectation. If you take Tibet train to Lhasa, both western toilet and squat toilet are available in the train. If you stay in hotel above 3-star hotels in Lhasa, Shigatse, etc. you will have no complaining using standard western flash toilet.

However, if you visit some of the attractions like Yamdrok or Namtso, EBC outdoor, mostly you will see the smelly and filthy pit toilet.It's better to carry enough toilet paper.

5. Tibet Weather

One of the biggest features of weather on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is the dramatic temperature change between day and night. The annual temperature in Lhasa is -2℃-- 12℃(spring), 9℃-- 22℃(summer), 7℃-- 19℃(fall), -7℃-- 9℃(winter). Do wear clothes properly such as thermal tops, fleece jacket, breathable underwear, down jacket, jeans, beanie, etc.

Of course, sun screen, lip balm, sun glasses are essential to shield you from powerful blinding sunlight on the plateau. Do drink more water and eat more vegetable as you travel in Tibet. It can prevent you from dehydration.

6. Acclimatization to the High Altitude

For the first timer to Tibet, either by flight or train, a good rest is a must for quick acclimation to the high altitude in Lhasa. Never rush to tour the street or attractions on your own. Walk slower and do not exert yourself like running or jumping. Spending at least two days in Lhasa is a good way to get acclimatized before heading to Shigatse or Namtso. If you have any discomfort, do tell it to your guide,and he will help you out.

7. Other Dos and Don'ts

Normally, taking photos is forbidden in the monastery. If you want to take photos of Tibetan pilgrims, a gentle ask of permission would be appreciated or you can do it from a long distance. Swimming and fishing are not allowed in holy lakes in Tibet; Do not talk about sensitive topics like politics; International tourists are not allowed to travel alone in Tibet according to the policy; Walk clockwise around Barkhor Street; Never venture into the unknown trails; do as much as you can to protect the fragile eco-system in Tibet, etc.

As Tibetan Buddhism is deeply-rooted in every facet of Tibetans' life, always follow and respect the unique customs in Tibet. If you are uncertain about something, it’s advisable to ask your guide before you do it at will.

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