17 Day Epic Journey to India (Special Departure) (2017)



Stopover Programs

3 Day/2 Night Post-Trip Beijing Stopover Program ($200 per person, Beijing) - Post Tour
Extension tour in Beijing

Take advantage of China's new 72-hour visa-free transit program and visit imperial Beijing!

Our Beijing stopover program features two-night hotel accommodations, including breakfast and roundtrip airport transfers. We also recommend our optional full-day Beijing tour of the Great Wall and Forbidden City, which includes a sumptuous Peking Duck dinner.

This tour is only available to Air China travelers.
Day 2: Full day excursion to the Great Wall and Forbidden City with Peking Duck dinner ($130 per person, Beijing)
Optional tour in Beijing

After a hearty breakfast, we take a scenic drive through the countryside and mountains to visit China's most renowned monument-the Great Wall. The wall was begun in the 5th century BC to keep out foreign invaders. Construction continued for centuries, eventually linking up the walls of the former independent kingdoms. The Great Wall meanders through China's northern mountain ranges from the Yellow Sea to the Gobi Desert—a distance of more than 3,500 miles! Chairman Mao once said, "You haven't walked on the Wall, you haven't been a good Chinese." Today, you will have time to walk on the wall and experience its splendor.

In the afternoon, we continue to visit the royal Forbidden City, the symbolic center of the Chinese universe and a lasting monument of dynastic China, from which 24 emperors of the Ming and the Qing Dynasties ruled the Middle Kingdom for nearly 500 years (1420-1911). Completed in 1420, the Forbidden City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the world's largest palace complex and China's most magnificent imperial architecture, consisting of many buildings with 9,999 rooms on a 250-acre compound, protected by a 171 feet wide moat and 20 feet deep. Now known as the Palace Museum, the Forbidden City was the exclusive domain of the imperial court and dignitaries where outside visitors were forbidden for five centuries. Here you will explore the imperial treasures in the grand palaces and pavilions, exquisite courtyards and gardens in what was once the residence of China's rulers.

Tonight, we enjoy a dinner of specially prepared Beijing Duck, cooked to crispy perfection.

Please note: The Forbidden City is closed on Mondays. On these days, we will visit the Summer Palace instead. The sprawling grounds of the Summer Palace served the Qing Dynasty as an imperial retreat from the stifling summer confines of the Forbidden City.



4 Day/3 Night Amritsar Extension Tour ($599 per person, Amritsar) - Post Tour
Extension tour in Amritsar

Amritsar is the spiritual and cultural home of the Sikh religion's famed Golden Temple.

Set in the western state of Punjab, the site of the religion's holiest shrine is one of India's most popular attractions, drawing more than 100,000 visitors each day - which is more than the Taj Mahal!

Visiting this special site offers the opportunity to experience the devout spirituality of the Sikhs who come here to pay homage to the Guru Granth Sahib, Sikhism's holy book.
6 Day/5 Night Nepal Extension ($849 per person, Nepal) - Post Tour
Extension tour in Nepal

Nepal remains the cultural powerhouse of the Himalaya and still offers incomparable adventures.

Surrounded by the high mountain peaks, the Kathmandu Valley includes three fabled cities: Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. Each one formerly the capital of a small kingdom and home to an exposition of graceful temples, beautiful countryside, brick-paved courtyards, and quaint streets. Several UNESCO World Heritage sites grace the valley region.

On this extended trip, we get the opportunity to see and learn about Newari people and their culture, ancient temples and impressive Buddhist stupas, smiling people and beautiful villages. We also have an opportunity to take a flight and get up close to the most majestic peaks of Everest - also referred by many as the "rooftop of the world."
Day 5: Day excursion to Nagarkot and hike through villages including lunch ($55 per person, Kathmandu)
Optional tour in Kathmandu

After breakfast, we drive to Changunarayan and start our day hike to Telkot. Said to have been built in 323 AD by King Hari Datta Varma, Changunarayan is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the oldest temple of Nepal, richly decorated with sculptures and carvings. The entire 3-hour easy-leveled hike is a cultural experience and offers spectacular views through villages, fields and forest.

We drive to Nagarkot for lunch, the best place to view the spectacular Himalayas. Situated about 32 km east of Kathmandu, this city is a popular hill station for the sunrise and sunset, commanding one of the broadest views of the Himalaya (subject to weather conditions) in all directions. After spending some time we drive back to Kathmandu.
Day 6: Mt. Everest flight (USD $200 per person, to be paid directly in Nepal) ($0 per person, Kathmandu)
Optional tour in Kathmandu

If the weather is clear, join an early morning flight above the mighty Himalayan peaks for a close up view of Mount Everest, the world‘s highest peak. The small aircraft, with guaranteed window seats, offers the opportunity for unsurpassed views of Everest and the surrounding mountains - a far easier way to experience the landscape than an arduous multi-day trek. This excursion is booked directly with a local tour company in Nepal, and will be approximately USD $200 per person.


Optional Tours

Day 7: Early morning hot air balloon adventure ($190 per person, Jaipur)
Optional tour in Jaipur

Enjoy the day at leisure or give yourself the treat of exploring the pink city through a different perspective. Take an early morning hot air balloon flight, covering the exotic landscape of Jaipur through a bird’s eye view. Match the beat of the rising sun as you cruise Jaipur’s airspace, passing over awe-inspiring palaces, glistening lakes and rustic rural hamlets. Each frame of the city from above makes for a memorable sight.
Day 7: Jaipur Culture tour & Heritage walk - including dinner ($38 per person, Jaipur)
Optional tour in Jaipur

Enjoy the afternoon, and in the evening, engage yourself with an interesting heritage trail across Jaipur. Walking through Jaipur's narrow lanes, you get to experience a sense of order among the chaos. The original walled city was planned around nine blocks that were interconnected by wide paved lanes. Each block was dedicated to a certain trade or craft, a system that is still followed. The busy lanes of Jaipur have streets dedicated to jewels, utensils and textiles. Interweaving these are ancient temples and stunningly intricate old mansions. This tour is designed to give you a concentrated taste of Jaipur, past and present. Enjoy a rickshaw ride, zipping past the busy lanes with a renewed outlook of the scenes before you. Observe devotees during their evening prayer ceremony at Birla Temple. We conclude this intriguing day with dinner at a Jaipur restaurant serving Indian food with traditional Rajasthani delicacies. Enjoy a puppet show and folk dance performance by local artists (weather permitting).