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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 Kathmandu in Nepal.
On arrival in Kathmandu, you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel.
Following breakfast fly to Paro in Bhutan where your guide will welcome you into the fresh Himalayan air. After lunch, commence a short tour of the nearby Rimpung Dzong to learn about the painting of the great Saint Milarepa. Tracing the Pachu River, your group will arrive in the city of Thimphu in the early evening.
Once a rustic village sitting in a low lying broad, Thimphu is the nation's bustling capital and the only city in the world that does not use traffic lights. Today enjoy a full day tour, beginning with the Memorial Chorten where locals gather to spin their prayer wheels and murmur Buddhist mantras. Next visit the 12th century Changangkha temple and Drubthob Nunnery before continuing to the National library to see some of the most ancient Buddhist texts. After lunch a trip to the Painting School reveals where students undergo a six year training course in Bhutan's traditional arts. Before dinner, make a short drive to the large golden Buddha known as Kuensel Phodrang, situated on a hill with views over the capital.
After an early breakfast take a scenic drive to Punakha across the Dochula pass, which on a clear day affords stunning vistas of the snow-capped Himalayan peaks. On arrival in Punakha visit the Punakha Dzong, also known as the Palace of Happiness, the winter headquarters for hundreds of monks who migrate from Thimphu to enjoy its warmer climate.
This morning drive to Yabesa village to begin a gentle yet beautiful hike to Khamsum Vuelley Namgyal Chorten, a monument perched high on a hill of the Punakha Valley built to bring peace, stability and harmony to the world. Later visit Chimi Lhakhang, the temple of the Drukpa Kuenly who famously revolted against orthodox Buddhism in the 14th century.
Departing Punakha after breakfast begin the journey to Paro, stopping en route to visit Simtokha Dzong, the oldest in all the Kingdom. Arriving into Paro, you will have some time to look around the local handicraft shops in the town before dinner.
Today includes one of the highlights of any trip to Bhutan: a horseback ride up to the famed Tiger's Nest Monastery clinging to a granite cliff more than 3,000m above sea level. Local lore claims 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.
After a morning flight to Kathmandu begin your foray into Nepal's capital city visiting Boudhanath and the ancient religious complex of Swayambhunath. Finally return to Patan to explore the enchanting melange of temples and former ro
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 10 days cover||£37||£72||£104|
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 Kathmandu International Airport with Jet Airways (9W), departing from London Heathrow Terminal 4 and flying via Delhi. Each passenger is entitled to 23kg of hold luggage and hand luggage of 7kg not exceeding 55 cm x 35 cm x 25 cm in size. 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. Your return flight from Kathmandu to Paro will either be with Bhutan Airlines or Druk Air. Each passenger is entitled to 20kg of hold luggage and hand luggage of 7kg not exceeding 55cm x 40 cm x 20 cm and a maximum weight of 7kg.
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 and boats. 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.
The minimum number of travellers in your group will be 10, and the maximum will be 40. If in the unlikely event there are less than 10 people booked on your 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||Book Now|
|01 May 2017||16 May 2017||£559pp||£2445pp||£3004pp||Please call for availability|
|28 Aug 2017||12 Sep 2017||£559pp||£2445pp||£3004pp||Please call for availability|
|25 Sep 2017||10 Oct 2017||£639pp||£2465pp||£3104pp||Please call for availability|
|13 Nov 2017||28 Nov 2017||£639pp||£2435pp||£3074pp||Please call for availability|
We have a limited number of single places with no supplement on this tour. Once these have been sold, a single supplement will apply for single travellers on this tour. However, if you are happy to share with another passenger of the same gender, then let us know at the time of booking and we will endeavour to find you a travelling partner.
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