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Escorted Tours

India and Nepal by Rail

  • Route:
  • UK
  • Amritsar
  • Delhi
  • Agra
  • Lucknow
  • Varanasi
  • Delhi
  • Kathmandu
  • Chitwan
  • Bandipur
  • Kathmandu
  • UK
TOUR PACE:
17 DAYS from £2295pp

Tour Highlights

  • Witness the grandeur of the Taj Mahal
  • Visit Amritsar's dazzling Golden Temple
  • See Varanasi on a sunrise boat ride on the Ganges River
  • Enjoy scenic train rides through India's colourful landscapes
  • Search for rhinos and tigers on a full-day safari through Chitwan National Park
  • Explore the UNESCO-recognised temples and stupas of Kathmandu
Book Now

or call us on 0800 781 4893

India and Nepal by Rail

Journeying through the interior of India and mountains of Nepal, take in the temple artistry of Hindu legends, bustling bazaars draped in colourful textiles and unforgettable scenery of the world's mightiest peaks. Encounter India's web of colonial-era railways as you travel from Amritsar's gleaming Golden Temple and the marbled splendour of the Taj Mahal to artistic Lucknow and the spiritual centre of Varanasi, then fly to Nepal where wildlife encounters and sacred stupas round off this 17-day tour.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: UK to Amritsar

Depart London on your scheduled, overnight flight to Amritsar, via Delhi.

    Day 2: Amritsar

    On arrival in Amritsar, you will be met and transferred to your hotel, with time to rest before your evening excursion to the Wagah Border ceremony on the India-Pakistan border. Experience this riveting flag lowering ceremony, a daily ritual where each country's soldiers compete to march, salute and shout louder, faster and better than the other's.

    • Lunch & Dinner

    Day 3: Amritsar to Delhi

    Explore Sikhism's spiritual centre on this morning's tour of Amritsar. Feast your eyes on the marble sculptures, gleaming golden turrets, and jewel studded interior of the famed Golden Temple, joining the throngs of pilgrims that visit this holy shrine daily. Continue onward to the commemorative gardens of Jallianwala Bagh where a memorial serves as a poignant reminder of the 1919 massacre of civilians by occupying forces. After lunch, travel to the train station where you'll board your first train. Experience India's incredible train network, made up of 71,000 physical miles of track and 7,172 stations, as you travel to the capital city of Delhi.

    • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 4: Delhi

    Witness the contrast between Old Delhi's historic charms and New Delhi's detailed colonial town planning on today's rickshaw tour through the city. Travel past the imposing red sandstone exterior of the magnificent Red Fort and through Delhi's bustling streets to Humayun's Tomb, an elaborate mausoleum set in beautifully landscaped gardens. Journey onwards to the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial, draped in floral tributes, and the towering minaret and ruins of the ancient Qutab Minar complex.

    • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 5: Delhi to Agra

    Board your early morning train and journey from Delhi to Agra. On arrival, make your way to one of India's most iconic landmarks and the jewel of Agra - the Taj Mahal. Taking over 22 years to build and boasting inlays glittering with precious stones, this architectural gem is a highlight of the trip. Marvel at the distinctive minarets, gleaming dome and beautifully manicured gardens of this magnificent ivory-white mausoleum, commissioned by Emperor Shah Jahan to hold the remains of his beloved third wife. Continue on to the colossal complex of the Agra Fort and explore this vast red sandstone complex of striking pavilions, palaces and courtyards.

    • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 6: Agra to Lucknow

    Today's scenic train ride takes you from Agra to Lucknow, India's former artistic and cultural hub. On arrival, check into the hotel and spend the afternoon at leisure, free to relax or explore your new surroundings.

    • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 7: Lucknow

    After breakfast, a full-day city tour of Lucknow visits the city's most impressive highlights. Wander through the recently restored Hazratganj Market and visit the 1857 Memorial Museum, where the collection of old photographs, documents and objects on display offers insight into the major historical events that have shaped Lucknow. Continue on to the historic Juma Masjid mosque, the fortified royal villa and gardens of Sikander Bagh and the gilded dome and intricate inlays of Chota Imambara. Pass through the imposing 18th-century gateway of Rumi Darwaza, travelling past the stark red walls of Taluqdar Hall, the towering peak of Husainabad Clock Tower and the crumbling splendour of Kaiserbagh Palace. Enjoy the greenery of Begum Hazrat Mahal Park, the throngs of the buzzing Aminabad bazaar and the regal facade of Chattar Manzil before returning to your hotel after this comprehensive day of sightseeing.

    • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 8: Lucknow to Varanasi

    Enjoy rolling landscapes as your train carries you from Lucknow to Varanasi, India's spiritual centre. After check-in at your hotel in Varanasi, an evening tour leads to the banks of the sacred Ganges River, lined with vast stone steps, or 'ghats', used daily by thousands of pilgrims in their cleansing rituals. If time permits, witness the captivating Ganga Aarti ceremony as fire-lit offerings are floated down the river accompanied by chants and prayers.

    • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 9: Varanasi to Delhi

    Watch the sunrise over Varanasi with an early morning boat trip on the Ganges, allowing a different perspective of this colourful waterfront city. Disembark for a walking tour through the narrow alleys to the historic landmarks of the old town. Transfer to the airport for your flight to Delhi, arriving in time for lunch at a local restaurant and an afternoon at leisure to explore this lively city.

    • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 10: Delhi to Kathmandu

    After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Kathmandu, Nepal, whose ancient Buddhist temples and stupas have earned it more UNESCO recognised sites than any other city in the world. On arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel where you can enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure for exploration or relaxation.

    • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 11: Kathmandu

    Experience Nepal's temple-studded capital on a full day of sightseeing. Join troops of monkeys as you take in the intricate carvings of the Buddhist stupa of Swayanbhunath under the watchful painted eyes that adorn its sides. Travel to the other famed sights of the Kathmandu Valley, including Patan, one of the oldest known Buddhist cities, where you can wander among its 136 monasteries and temples, visiting ancient Krishna Temple, the sunken bath, the soaring temple of Taleju and the detailed decorative carvings of its monuments. Return to Kathmandu for your overnight stay.

    • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 12: Kathmandu to Chitwan

    Today starts with a visit to Pashupatinath temple, a sacred Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and place of worship for the fascinating painted holy men of Nepal. Depart Kathmandu and drive to Chitwan, arriving in time for an afternoon visit to Tharu village, where you'll learn more about the culture of this indigenous Nepalese group, famous for their resistance to malaria. Return to your hotel for dinner and an entertaining Tharu dance program, usually performed during traditional festivals.

    • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 13: Chitwan

    The city of Chitwan (meaning 'Heart of the Jungle') is aptly named, with the wildlife haven of Chitwan National Park lying within its borders. Enjoy a full day of animal encounters, starting with a canoe ride up the Rapti River where you may spot the rare gharial, a fish-eating crocodile which was once on the brink of extinction. Next, visit the local elephant breeding centre to watch mother and baby elephants at play and, if the timing is right, enjoy a feeding as they graze on 'kuchilis', elephant sweets made from molasses, salt and rice, wrapped in grass. Drive to Suaraha and watch elephants bathing in the river, with the chance (at a fee) for a personal shower as you sit on one of the elephants. After lunch, the group will make its way further into the jungle for a guided safari upon the backs of these majestic animals, led by the local mahouts (elephant riders) who will help you to spot one-horned rhinoceros, deer, boars and perhaps even the elusive Bengal tiger.

    • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 14: Chitwan to Bandipur

    Depart Chitwan on a scenic journey through rural villages and rolling countryside to Bandipur, stopping en route for lunch. On arrival, check into your hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

    • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 15: Bandipur

    A full-day tour of the hilltop settlement of Bandipur explores its network of winding lanes, traditional Newari architecture and buzzing bazaar, flanked by pagoda-style temples. From your lofty vantage point, take in the sunset and sunrise over the Manaslu mountain range and enjoy spectacular mountain views.

    • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 16: Bandipur to Kathmandu

    Following breakfast, travel back into the Himalayan foothills as you make your way to Kathmandu for your overnight stay.

    • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 17: Kathmandu to the UK

    After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flights to London, via Delhi, or continue on to your chosen extension.

    • Breakfast
    Your Meals
    • Included Breakfast will always be served at your accommodation each morning during the tour.
    • Included Lunch and Dinner, where included, will be served in local restaurants or at your accommodation.

    Included in the Price

    • Included Fully Escorted Tour with local English Speaking Guides throughout
    • Included Scheduled Flights from the UK.
    • Included All internal travel including air-conditioned/heated transportation.
    • Included Accommodation, meals as specified and entry fees to all sights.
    • Included All airport taxes and security charges.

    Important Information

    Visas

    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 £96 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. British Passport Holders do not need to obtain a visa for Nepal prior to departure, a Nepalese visa can be purchased on arrival in Kathmandu. This will cost around USD $25, so please have this ready in USD cash together with three passport size photos. We recommend that you check the following website before travelling for all the most up to date advice and requirements for entry into Nepal http://www.nepembassy.org.uk/visa.php

    Payment

    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.

    Health and Vaccinations

    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.

    Tour Guide

    Fully escorted with local English-speaking guides throughout

    Personal Expenses

    It is customary to tip your guide and driver. This is at your discretion but we recommend you allow approximately £3 in local currency per person per day. Optional excursions are at an additional cost.

    Tour Dates & Prices

    Depart UKArrive UKPriceBook Now
    2018 Dates
    07 Jun 201823 Jun 2018£2399ppBook
    04 Oct 201820 Oct 2018£2499ppBook
    01 Nov 201817 Nov 2018£2549ppBook
    2019 Dates
    17 Jan 201902 Feb 2019£2449ppBook
    07 Feb 201923 Feb 2019£2499ppBook
    14 Mar 201930 Mar 2019£2449ppBook
    09 May 201925 May 2019£2295ppBook
    06 Jun 201922 Jun 2019£2399ppBook
    03 Oct 201919 Oct 2019£2499ppBook
    31 Oct 201916 Nov 2019£2549ppBook

    Tour Map

    India and Nepal by Rail Route Map

    Extensions

    • Goa
      Goa Beach Stay4 nights from £459pp View
    • India
      Visit the Tigers of Ranthambore4 nights from £529pp View

    Here to help

    • Get in touch with one of our experts on India
    • 0800 781 4893 (free)
    • 0333 321 3144(mobile friendly)
    • Request a call back

    Hotels and Accommodation

    Holiday Inn

    Holiday Inn

    Radisson Blu Dwarka

    Radisson Blu Dwarka

    Ramada Plaza

    Ramada Plaza

    La Place Sarovar Portico

    La Place Sarovar Portico

    Madin Hotel

    Madin Hotel

    Hotel Shanker

    Hotel Shanker

    Chitwan Resort Kanha

    Chitwan Resort Kanha

    Gaun Ghar Resort

    Gaun Ghar Resort

    Extensions

    Goa Beach Stay

    Goa

    Tour route

    • UK
    • Amritsar
    • Delhi
    • Agra
    • Lucknow
    • Varanasi
    • Delhi
    • Kathmandu
    • Chitwan
    • Bandipur
    • Kathmandu
    • Goa
    • UK

    Extend your trip in with a 4 night stay on the beautiful beaches of Goa, India's most popular and laid back resort destination.

    This add-on tour must be taken at the end of the main tour.

    View

    Visit the Tigers of Ranthambore

    India

    Tour route

    • UK
    • Amritsar
    • Delhi
    • Agra
    • Lucknow
    • Varanasi
    • Delhi
    • Kathmandu
    • Chitwan
    • Bandipur
    • Kathmandu
    • Delhi
    • Ranthambore
    • Delhi
    • UK

    Once a famous hunting ground for the gallant rulers of Jaipur, Ranthambore National Park is spread over 1,344km2 and is one of the biggest national parks in India. Choose this extension to experience a variety of wildlife including tigers, leopards, deer and much more.

    View

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