From Rajasthani heritage stays and the iconic Taj Mahal to the beauty of the Himalaya, this trip has it all

From the deserts of Rajasthan to the holiest river around, India will blow you away. Cross into Nepal to where Buddha did his thing, before getting active with some rafting and a bit of a trek around the mighty Himalayas. This jam-packed trip covers a bit of everything. We love it, and we think you will to.

This trip is for 18 to 29-year-olds

Some of our under-30 travellers prefer to get around with people their own age. If that’s you, you’re in the right place!

Over 29? We’ve got over 900 other great adventures to choose from for solo travellers, friends, families, food lovers, hiking enthusiasts, and more.


Start
Delhi, India
Finish
Kathmandu, Nepal
Destinations
India, Nepal
Style
Basix
Theme
18 to 29s
Code
HHYKC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 18, Max 29
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why you'll love this trip

  • It's hard not to fall in love with the tiny Rajasthani village of Tordi. The locals will feed you and you'll sleep in a 16th-century palace. Oh, and there's some ruined temples and a pretty cool fortress nearby by too.

  • The Taj Mahal may be one of the most recognisable buildings in the world, but do you know its poetic history? A local expert will fill you in.

  • Explore Amber Palace and snaps pics in front of a slew of other ornate pink-hued buildings in oh-so-pretty Jaipur.

  • See pilgrims praying and bathing along the ghats of the sacred Ganges River during an unforgettable sunrise cruise in Varanasi, one of India's holiest cities.

  • Lumbini is no ordinary town. Visit the birthplace of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, and tour its temples and the legendary Ashoka Pillars.

  • Spot Rhino's and other exotic wildlife in Chitwan National Park, one of the best places to view wildlife in all of Asia.

  • Stretch your legs on an awesome three-day, low-altitude trek through villages and rhododendron forests, taking in the amazing sights of the Annapurna ranges.

  • Kick back in super-zen Pokhara, where you can take a boat out on the smooth water of Phewa Lake and cruise beneath behemoth mountains.

Is this trip right for you?

  • There are several long travelling days, including Agra to Varanasi (12 hours), Varanasi to Lumbini (10 hours) and Pokhara to Kathmandu (7 hours). 

  • Weather in India can be very hot in summer so ensure that you pack accordingly, and transport can be delayed by fog in January to February.

  • This trip crosses the India-Nepal border on Day 9 at Sanuli.

  • The Nepal section of this trip has a trekking component of up to 6 hours a day at a max of 2200 metres/7200 feet.

  • This trip has an included rafting activity on Days 3 and 4. You will need to be able to swim to take part in this activity.

  • Weather can change rapidly in the mountains, please ensure you have read the packing list for suitable clothing.

Itinerary

This Himalaya adventure kicks off in Delhi. Meet your tour leader and new travel mates at a 6 pm welcome meeting. If you arrive early, there's plenty to do in this wonderfully chaotic city. Wander the streets, sip on your first chai or practice haggling in one of the many markets. If you prefer some structure, there's a variety of Urban Adventure day tours that offer a great first taste of Delhi.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Delhi - Culture Vulture Urban Adventure - INR2500
  • Delhi - City Food Crawl Urban Adventure - INR3500
  • Delhi - Gandhi's Delhi Urban Adventure - INR2700
  • Delhi - Humayun's Tomb - INR500
  • Delhi - Qutub Minar - INR500
  • Delhi - Red Fort - INR500
  • Delhi - Home-Cooked Experience Urban Adventure - INR4000
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive in time for today's welcome meeting, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please have these on hand.
Keep this one quiet. Your next destination takes a bit of work to get to, but that’s because it’s our little secret! Journey through picturesque countryside by train, first to Jaipur, and then onwards by private vehicle to Tordi (approximately 7 hours). This remote and rarely visited village offers a fantastic glimpse of the real Rajasthan. We stumbled across it years ago, and everyone loved it so much we put it on the itinerary. The locals will feed you and you'll sleep in a 16th-century palace with its owner as your host. And there's a ruined temple and fortress nearby. Settle in, then savour delicious local flavours at an included dinner of tonight.
Accommodation
  • Heritage Property (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Kick on to Jaipur (approximately 2.5 hours), India's oh-so-pretty 'Pink City'. You'll have plenty of free time here to haggle to your heart's content at the bazaars and backstreets where vendors sell a variety of textiles, precious and semi-precious gems and stunning blue pottery. Drop by one of India’s finest palaces, the Royal City Palace, where the guards’ moustaches are almost as impressive as the building itself. Foodies will want to hit the streets for raj kachori chaat, a big fluffy chaat served with chutney, yoghurt, chilli and potato. Then cool off with a lassi from Lassiwala on MI road, Jaipur's oldest and most famous lassi shop. Cinema buffs won't want to miss the chance to take in a Bollywood blockbuster at the spectacular Raj Mandir Cinema.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jaipur - Walking tour
Optional Activities
  • Jaipur - City Palace - INR500
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
If you're keen for a different view of the Pink City, an optional early morning hot air balloon ride is a trip highlight for many visitors. For more information please see the 'Important Notes' section of your trip notes. Later in the morning, you’ll drop by Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds), the impressive five-storey facade with pink and honeycombed windows is it the most photographed building in the country after Taj Mahal. Then it’s out to the old capital of Amber and an exploration of the hilltop fort complex known as the Amber Fort. The rest of the day is free for you to use as you like.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jaipur - Amber Fort
  • Jaipur - Hawa Mahal photo stop
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Take advantage of the chance to rub shoulders with the locals on a five-hour public bus ride to Agra today. Agra might not be the prettiest city in the world, but the minute you check out its top-notch site that won’t matter one bit. Of course, we're talking about the Taj Mahal, India's most enduring symbol and an epic monument to love and loss. Get your first glimpse today, then go in for a closer look tomorrow.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Agra - Taj Mahal
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This is a bucket-list day. For some reason local families find it more interesting to take photos of you than the actual Taj Mahal. But none of it matters, you'll be too busy standing there with your mouth gaping open to notice. If you’ve got the energy there’s the option to head out to Agra Fort and stroll the palatial gardens of this red sandstone stronghold with cheeky monkeys in tow. Then it's on to the next stop - Varanasi. Tonight it’s time for a unique slice of Indian life aboard an overnight train (approximately 12 hours).
Accommodation
  • Overnight Sleeper Train (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
One of holiest cities around, Varanasi is the ultimate destination for Hindu pilgrims who travel from far and wide to experience this spiritual city. Overflowing with temples, shrines and devotees, it might not be one of the world's cleanest cities but there’s no doubt it’s one of the most amazing. Maybe take the chance to perfect your yoga in this epic chakra-balancing place. Otherwise, just chill out and soak in the spiritual surrounds as it's an early start tomorrow.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today’s an early start, but it’s completely worth it - a sunrise boat ride along the sacred Ganges is a revelation. Even if you're not the spiritual sort, you can't help but get goosebumps. Pass the many ghats (stairs leading to the water) and temples along the river, and watch thousands of Hindu pilgrims cleanse their sins in the holy water as the sun bathes the surrounds in glorious shades of amber and orange. Afterwards, set off by auto rickshaw to the oldest part of the city, to explore its maze of narrow alleyways packed full of small shops, stalls and lumbering cows. See pilgrims performing rituals  unchanged for hundreds of years and pass chiming temples as wafts of incense fill the air.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Varanasi - Sunrise boat trip
  • Varanasi - Old City tour
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Wave goodbye to India as you travel to the border (Sunauli border crossing) and enter into Nepal, continuing to the town of Lumbini. Make sure to charge up your music and fish out your book as it's a long day of travel (about 8-10 hours including stops). Lumbini is no ordinary border town, but the birthplace of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, and one of his four holy places of pilgrimage. Check out the beautiful Ashoka Pillars and hop on cycle rickshaws to the Maya Devi Temple, the actual site where Lord Buddha is thought to have been born. Later on, bunk down in a jungle camp for the night.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Lumbini - Heritage Park
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Take off you religious hat and pop on your safari one as you drive to Chitwan National Park by private vehicle (approximately 5 hours). UNESCO (who know at thing or two about this kind of stuff) declared it a World Heritage site in 1984, and it offers some of the best wildlife viewing in Asia. Think the Jungle Book come to life with rhinos, deer, monkeys and a wide array of birds, including Nepalese wild chickens, all found here.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning you’ll hop aboard a jeep, meet your local guide and take a safari drive through Chitwan National Park. Maybe you might catch a glimpse of one of the 100-or-so Bengal Tigers that call the park home. There are also a number of optional activities available through your accommodation, including biking, bird watching, cultural performances, canoe rides and village tours.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Chitwan NP - Park entry
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Elephant Performances & Elephant Riding: While we respect each individual’s decisions while travelling, Intrepid does not include elephant rides or unnatural performance activities on any itinerary, and we recommend you bypass these activities should they be offered to you during your stay. Professional wildlife conservation and animal welfare organisations, including the World Animal Protection (formerly the World Society for protection of Animals) advise that contrary to common belief, captive elephants remain wild animals and despite good intentions, unfortunately many venues are unable to provide the appropriate living conditions elephants require and this ultimately impacts their well-being. While there is some merit in the argument that the money that you pay for the activity goes towards keeping the elephants and their mahouts employed, we know that it also fuels demand for elephants to be captured in the wild or captive bred. We thank you for your support in improving the welfa
On to your final destination of the Nepalese patchouli–scented capital, Kathmandu (approximately 7 hours). Maybe book in for a massage or a yoga session when you get there to ease those body kinks. With the rest of your free time, perhaps visit the giant Buddhist Stupa at Bodnath, head out into the narrow streets – home to holy men, monks, bicycles, and sacred cows – and buy souvenirs or chill out with cool drink.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Kathmandu - Early Morning Everest Scenic Flight - USD220
  • Kathmandu - Durbar Square - NPR1000
  • Kathmandu - Swayambhunath Temple - NPR200
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today is a free day to explore Kathmandu. Perhaps get to know the city through an Urban Adventure (or two). As this is a combination trip, the make up of your travel group will likely change today. Some travellers will be leaving, while new travel pals with be joining the adventure here. Your tour leader will also change for the next part of the tour. Meet your new leader and crew at a 6 pm meeting, then gear up for the Annapurna's tomorrow.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Kathmandu - Rickshaw Night Explorer Urban Adventure - USD68
  • Kathmandu - Kathmandu by Bike Urban Adventure - USD100
  • Kathmandu - Everest Scenic Flight - USD200
  • Kathmandu - Kathmandu Living Urban Adventure - USD66
  • Kathmandu - In Focus: Cook in Kathmandu Urban Adventure - USD93
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Enjoy a morning drive over the rim of the Kathmandu Valley and, weather permitting, views of the Ganesh and Lantang ranges. Arrive in Baireni or Galaudi for an exciting whitewater raft on the Trisuli River. Hit the water and enjoy the thrill of the rapids aptly named Ladies Delight, Rock Garden and Snell's Nose. Camp on the beach and enjoy dinner by the river.

Accommodation
  • Camping (basic facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Have more fun on the river including negotiating the Monsoon and Upset. Late morning we end rafting at Kurintar and enjoy a light lunch and drive to Pokhara (4hrs). Arrive Pokhara in the afternoon. Chill out at the lakeside cafes.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Hope you broke in your boots before the trip, cos this is where the trekking bit starts. There’s a dirt track leading to Birethanti and Shyauli villages. There’s a stone staircase up to Kimche, where you’ll stop for lunch. Then a bunch of stone flags lead you through fields of wheat to Ghandruk. That’s some diverse terrain right there. Stay in our first Nepalese Tea House tonight.
Accommodation
  • Tea House (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Look east. That’s Landruk, the next village on the route.  Look down. That’s the Modi Kola River 600 metres below. Look around the corner. That’s Tolkha, your base for the night. What, you can’t look around corners? Ok, you’ll just have to trek there instead.
Accommodation
  • Tea House (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Rhododendron is a tricky word to spell, but super pretty to look at. You’ll see a bunch of these bright pink and purple plants today. Do you know what you won’t see much of? Other people. We’ve picked a pretty remote trail from Dhampus to Hyenjakot, and tonight you get to stay with a local family. Pack your best smile and get an even bigger and better one in return.
Accommodation
  • Home Stay/Tea House (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
It's a short descent to Phedi before catching the public bus to Pokhara in time for lunch. Enjoy free time in the afternoon to do all the things you didn’t do the first time round. We can highly recommend taking a rowboat (doonga) out on Phewa Lake. If there’s blue skies you’ll have mountain views for miles. If it’s cloudy just use your imagination. Maybe kick back in a lakeside cafe with some momos (local dumplings).
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Pokhara - Peace Pagoda - Free
  • Pokhara - Phewa Tal Lake boat trip - NPR600
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
It’s a long bus back to Kathmandu so bring snacks. Once you’ve arrived back into Kathmandu (approx 3 pm) there’s time to sip a banana lassi and wish you didn’t have to go home. No accommodation is included tonight and you are free to depart any time after our arrival back in Kathmandu.

Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Donating to porters: Usually donations of used jackets and trousers/pants from westerners do not fit Nepali porters who tend to be smaller. However donations of other clothing items such as socks, boots, sunglasses, warm gloves and sleeping bags are always welcome. Your leader can ensure that your donation is passed on.

Meals

1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 2 dinners

Transport

Overnight sleeper train, Private vehicle, 4x4 Safari Vehicle/Jeep, Auto rickshaw, Cycle rickshaw, Shuttle bus, Train, Canoe, Bike

Accommodation

Hotel (11 nights), Jungle Lodge (2 nights), Heritage Property (1 nights), Overnight sleeper train (1 night), Tea House/Trekking Lodge (2 nts), Homestay (1 night), Camping (1 night)

Included activities

  • Jaipur - Walking tour
  • Jaipur - Amber Fort
  • Jaipur - Hawa Mahal photo stop
  • Agra - Taj Mahal
  • Varanasi - Sunrise boat trip
  • Varanasi - Old City tour
  • Lumbini - Heritage Park
  • Chitwan NP - Park entry

Dates & availability

Trip search is unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Epic India to Nepal trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

Prices may change, so secure your trip today!
Jump to a departure month

Important notes

1. An excellent level of fitness is required for this trip as there are long trekking days in difficult terrain.
2. Altitude does not exceed 1950 metres/6400 feet on this trip.
3. Rafting on the Trisuli River is grade 3+.
4. Please ensure you bring a passport size photo for our Annapurna trek permit application.
5. A sleeping bag is required for this trip. Please bring your own or hire one in Kathmandu.
6. A single supplement is available to purchase on this trip excluding the nights spent in tea houses and overnight trains.
7. Hot air balloon flights are operated by Sky Waltz in Jaipur. Flights operate mornings from September to June and morning and evening from September to March. Morning flights depart around sunrise and evening flights late afternoon and last 60 minutes. Return transfers, tea and coffee plus light refreshments and a certificate of flight are included in the cost. You can register your interest and pay your tour leader at your joining meeting on day 1 of your trip. Payment must be made in cash - INR/USD/AUD/GBP only please. Flights are subject to availability and weather conditions (tickets are fully refundable in case of bad weather).
8. As this is a combination trip your leader and group composition may change on Day 13.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.