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ABTA and ATOL Protected

Escorted Tours

India and Nepal by Rail including

Mystical Bhutan

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

4 NIGHTS from £999pp

Tour Highlights
  • Explore the capital Thimphu
  • See the Tiger's Nest Monastery
  • Witness the grandeur of the Taj Mahal
  • Visit Amritsar's dazzling Golden Temple
  • See Varanasi on a 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

Extension from £999pp

Tour + Extension from £3294pp

or call us on 0800 781 4893

Mystical Bhutan

Become one of the privileged few to say they have experienced this beautiful kingdom in this relatively untouched corner of the Himalayas.

Tour Itinerary

UK to Amritsar

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


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
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

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
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
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

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
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
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
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

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
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

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
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

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
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
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
Kathmandu and Paro

Depart Kathmandu in the morning for your flight to Paro in Bhutan, offering incredible views of the entire Himalayan region. Your guide will meet you on arrival and accompany you to Thimphu, stopping en-route to admire the joining of the Thimphu and Paro Rivers at Chuzom before arriving at your hotel with some time to relax. In the afternoon visit the impressive fortress of Trashichoedzong, then 'Buddha Point' where locals chant prayers to the largest Buddha statue in Bhutan. In the evening explore Thimphu's main market area and browse through paintings, hand-woven textiles and jewellery.

  • Breakfast & Dinner
Thimpu and Paro

Explore the Thimphu valley with a trip to the National Library and the King's Memorial Chorten - a monument constructed to represent world peace and prosperity. Taking the scenic highway back to Paro appreciate the dramatic river valleys before arriving at your hotel late morning. Next visit Ta Dzong, originally built as a watchtower during the 1864 Duar War and now home to the National Museum focussing on royal memorabilia and Buddhist art.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Visit the breath-taking Taktshang Monastery perched on the side of a cliff, a place of worship recognised as one of Bhutan's most famous monasteries. In the afternoon drive to the ruins of Drukgyel built back in 1649 as a control point along the route to Tibet.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Paro and Kathmandu

Depart Paro after breakfast for your return flight to Kathmandu, with the rest of the day at leisure.

  • Breakfast
Kathmandu to the UK

Transfer to Kathmandu airport for your flight to the UK.

  • Breakfast

Important Information


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


You must obtain suitable travel insurance prior to departure. Mercury Direct is partnered with Holiday Extras which offer insurance at the following prices:

Age in YearsUp to 6465 - 7475 - 85
Up to 17 days cover£39£75£129
For all persons 86 years and over, please contact us for insurance prices. Please ensure you provide us with the name of your insurer, policy number and their 24 hour emergency contact number as soon as possible. Mercury Direct will not be liable for any costs incurred by you due to your failure to take out suitable travel insurance from the date of booking.


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.

Flight Information

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.

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;,,, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.

Physical Accessibility

This tour is accessible to most people with a good level of fitness & normal mobility. It involves climbing steep stairs and getting on and off coaches and boats. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.

Group Size

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.

Tour Guide

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.

Currency Information

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 Bhutan is Bhutanese Ngultrum and is officially pegged to the Indian Rupee. Also Indian Rupee is acceptable all over Bhutan. There are ATMs in Bhutan but currently they only operate with their respective Bhutanese banks. Since these ATMs currently do not function with outside banks, so ATM facility can't be used by visitors. Traveller's checks / cash are the best option so please ensure you have enough currency with you when you travel.

Personal Expenses

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!

Tour Dates & Prices

Depart UKArrive UKExtension PriceTour PriceTotal PriceBook Now
2018 Dates
04 Oct 201824 Oct 2018£1129£2499£3628Book Now
01 Nov 201821 Nov 2018£1089£2549£3638Book Now
2019 Dates
17 Jan 201906 Feb 2019£999£2449£3448Book Now
07 Feb 201927 Feb 2019£1059£2499£3558Book Now
14 Mar 201903 Apr 2019£1129£2449£3578Book Now
09 May 201929 May 2019£1129£2295£3424Book Now
06 Jun 201926 Jun 2019£1059£2399£3458Book Now
03 Oct 201923 Oct 2019£1129£2499£3628Book Now
31 Oct 201920 Nov 2019£1129£2549£3678Book Now

Included in the Price

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

Additional Expenses

  • Visas
  • Insurance
  • Tips
  • Any meals not specified in your itinerary
Travelling alone?

We have secured a few places on this tour for single travellers with no single supplements. Once these are all sold, if you are a single traveller, you will need to pay a small supplement. 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. Alternatively, please ask about our single supplement prices in order to book your own twin room

Private Tours:

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.

What to expect

Fact File
Min/Max temperature

10 °C / 34 °C

What to pack
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Sun hat
  • Waterproof lightweight jacket
  • Flip flops/sandals that are easy to remove when entering religious buildings
  • Long, lightweight skirts, trousers and tops (to keep your legs and arms covered when going into religious buildings)
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Warm clothing and thermals in winter
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Mosquito/Insect Repellent
  • Personal toiletries
  • First aid kit
  • Anti-bacterial hand gel.
  • Electric plug converter
  • Loo paper for public WCs
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  • Bandipur
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