Kathmandu, Nepal: Explore the ancient buildings and cobbled alleyways. In our free time we can visit the Monkey Temple, Durbur Square and Freak Street, Pashupatinath, and the Patan royal residence and museum.
Bandipur, Nepal: A great chance to observe Nepali daily life, off the tourist track, in picturesque Bandipur. Take hikes around the pastoral hills, or catch glimpses of the towering Annapurna range of the Himalayas.
Seti River Rafting Trip, Nepal: A whitewater descent through verdant mountains from the hilly Himalayan foothills to the lowlands. We camp one night by the side of the river.
Chitwan National Park, Nepal: An area of tropical forests and marshland that is home to Bengal tigers, the one-horned Asian rhino, panthers, crocodiles and a variety of tropical fauna and flora. We have an opportunity to take an elephant ride, a canoe ride and jungle treks to maximize our chances of seeing wildlife.
Varanasi, India: India�s holiest and oldest continuously lived-in city has all the character and mystique you would expect. We explore its alleyways, temples and ghats and have the option to take a morning boat ride to see people coming for their pilgrimage of bathing in the holy Ganges.
Bodhgaya, India: The pilgrimage site and location of the bodhi tree where Buddha was said to have originated after experiencing Nirvana. We can explore the temples provided by every Buddhist country and we can explore the surrounding pastoral countryside. We spend the night with monks in an ornate Bhutanese monastery.
Kolkata, India: There are many things to do in this Indian/Bengali/former British Raj cultural crossroads including volunteering for the Mother Teresa foundation, visiting the bustling, aesthetic flower market, Kali Temple or strolling through colonial architecture. In the evening we have an option to sample delicious Bengali cuisine and see a Bollywood movie.
|Transport||bus, river raft, autorickshaw, train|
|Fully Escorted||By tour leader|
|Accomodation||8 nights hotels, 1 night camping by river, 1 night Bhutanese monastery, 1 night train|
|Meals||only included for river trip; otherwise, allow average of $10/day|
|Entrance Fees||not included|
|Elevations||Lhasa is 3700m (12140ft) while most of our tour across Tibet is 4000-5000m (13120-16400ft). Our night near Everest Base Camp will be 5100m (16730ft).|
|Physical Rating||basic to moderately active|
|Visa||Nepali, Indian visas|
|Temperature||September: 18°C (64°F) to 30°C (86°F)|
|Not Included||entrance fees, airfare to Kathmandu and from Kolkata|
|Day 34 (1)||Kathmandu||Arrive in Kathmandu. We are free to explore the ancient buildings and cobbled alleyways of Kathmandu or visit numerous sights in the region.|
|Day 35 (2)||Bandipur||We take a bus from Kathmandu to Dumre and then a jeep into the hills to the picturesque village of Bandipur.|
|Day 36 (3)||Bandipur||A free day to immerse in the daily life of Bandipur, take hikes around the pastoral hills, or catch glimpses of the towering Annapurna range of the Himalayas.|
|Day 37 (4)||Seti River||Transfer to the Seti river where we make a whitewater descent through verdant mountains. Camp by the side of the river. (L,D)|
|Day 38 (5)||Seti River to Chitwan National Park||We raft a few hours to our take out from where we make our way to the Chitwan National Park, an area of tropical forests and marshland that is home to Bengal tigers, the one-horned Asian rhino, and a variety of tropical fauna and flora. We will have an opportunity to take a late afternoon elephant ride. (B,L)|
|Day 39 (6)||Chitwan National Park||We can go on a canoe ride and hike, or take a longer jungle trek to immerse ourselves in this tropical environment amid the unique indigenous wildlife.|
|Day 40 (7)||Chitwan to Varanasi||Watch the scenery change as we drive from Nepal to India. We drive most of the day and arrive in Varanasi, India’s holiest and most ancient city.|
|Day 41 (8)||Varanasi||This morning we have an optional boat ride along the Ganges where people make their pilgrimage to bathe in the ‘holy water’ at the colorful ghats. The rest of the day is free for roaming Varanasi’s alleyways, temples and ghats|
|Day 42 (9)||Varanasi to Bodhgaya||We board our first Indian train to Gaya where we transfer by autorickshaw to Bodhgaya, the pilgrimage site and location of the bodhi tree where Buddha was said to have originated after experiencing Nirvana. We spend the night with monks in an ornate Bhutanese monastery|
|Day 43 (10)||Bodhgaya||The day is free to visit the captivating Mahabodhi temple and bodhi tree, other temples constructed by each of the Buddhist countries and to stroll off into villages in the countryside to catch a glimpse of local life. Tonight we board our train to Kolkata.|
|Day 44 (11)||Kolkata||Free day to visit the many sights of this Indian/Bengali/former British Raj cultural crossroads. In the evening we have an option to sample delicious Bengali cuisine and see a Bollywood movie.|
|Day 45 (12)||Kolkata||Tour ends|
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