For many adventurers, the allure of travel is in the land itself.
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- Types of Holiday
Popular Cultural Holiday
This is a small group guided holiday. The group is usually between 4 and 16 in size, with an average of 12 like-minded clients booking individually, in a couple or as friends together.
Download the detailed trip notes for everything you could possibly want to know about this trip, including detailed itinerary and full kit list.
This was a great trip which involved a lot of travelling ( by bus, train, jeep and boat) but with the reward of visiting some beautiful and historical places and having some wonderful experiences. The travelling times for our group were often longer than suggested in the trip notes but this was because at the time of our travel there was some major road construction occurring. However the long bus trips did give one an opportunity to observe the countryside, the Indian and Nepalese cultures and ways of life as one passed through towns and villages. There was also the opportunity for the odd nap as there were quite a few early morning starts. Also this gave an opportunity to read up on, or reflect on the places visited as the trip moves quickly across India and into Nepal.
For me the inspirational moments of the trip were visiting the Taj Mahal, getting close to the Indian one horned rhino in Chitwan national park and the flight to Everest . The Taj Mahal is such an iconic building and to have experienced its beauty and atmosphere at sunrise was inspiring. Our group were so lucky at Chitwan ...we saw about 10 rhino with 7 being distant viewings but 3 were really close to the jeeps. Being a keen photographer of animals this really made my trip !!! Am still wondering how Gaj our " all things can be sorted" guide managed to arrange that !!! Seeing Everest and the Himalayas above the clouds..... not to be missed.
Gaj was our fantastic leader who looked out for our safety but also ensured that we had a good time. He frequently asked us if our tummies were in order... "because if your tummy isn't in the right place your head isn't going to be in the right place". For the majority, tummies were in the right place for the whole trip and I am sure that this was partly owing to the fact that Gaj knew where to take us to eat. A guide is always worth his money for giving good advice to avoid unhappy occurrences and then if they occur being able to sort things out . Gaj always gave us good tips on things to do or not to do and always knew where we could change money, find a chemist, procure a chain and lock for your suitcase or get passport photos done . Besides all the practical stuff Gaj told us lots about the history and culture of his country and answered all our questions enthusiastically.
Be prepared for the long drives.. its what you have to do to visit places where some roads are not great.
The Nepalese immigration insist on pristine US dollar notes ( no markings and flat) for your visa.
Its not a rest .. its an experience.....but a great one !!!
A fantastic adventure from start to finish. India was hot, dirty, crowded and chaotic. It was a riot of colour, noise and amazing photo opportunities! Nepal was slightly less chaotic and provided a wonderful contrast to the madness.
Both morning and evening trips on the Ganges were incredible. Not for the faint-hearted, we watched cremations on the banks of the river.
We loved Chitwan even though we didn't see the elusive tiger.
We went paragliding in Pokhara which was great fun.
Ronit was a great leader. We were a very small group, just four of us and Ronit. We got on extremely well and Ronit just made everything easy. He was knowledgable, informative and fun. He made navigating the chaos easy, getting us on to the train for our overnight trip, getting us tuktuks and rickshaws and adding his own experiences that he thought we would enjoy such as taking us to the Sikh temple in Delhi where we made roti, stopping at the brick factory, walking over a suspension bridge on the way to Pokhara and taking us to eat street food at a stall in Agra.
This is not a relaxing holiday. It is an adventure. Be prepared for long journeys on terrible roads. There is always something to see but you will spent a lot of time on the road. There are also some early starts. The standard of driving, generally, is not great. It was particularly dusty in Kathmandu. Some of the hotels are quite basic. Be prepared for sights you would not see in the UK. Embrace the chaos and you will have an amazing time!
I would highly recommend this trip. It was well organised from start to finish. Excellent!
For me it was trip of a lifetime. As a single traveller I enjoyed fabulous company and appreciated the fact that gajraj ensured our comfort and safety at all times.
First sight of Taj Mahal and the spirituality and sense of peace of Ganges at sunrise and sunset.
His knowledge of India enabled me to better uderstand as well as question what we were seeing. I felt he really shared a friendship with all of us. Organising and predicting ways to enhance our experiences. Every thing from beautiful garden restaurants to organising passport photos for someone's visa.
Don't forget to pack chain and lock for bags on overnight train journey. Only dull clothes for jeep safari.
Relax sit back and enjoy all of it.
My personal favourite is the Pashupatinath temple, to the north east of Kathmandu city centre. You know those photos you’ve seen of the sadhus or holy men, with the long dreadlocks and ash covered bodies? Well this is where most of them hang out!
Regarded as one of the holiest temples of Lord Shiva, it’s so old that nobody is certain when it was founded. Like Varanasi in India, cremation pyres line the banks of the Bagmati river and it’s one of the most fascinating places in the Kathmandu valley to people watch.
Joanna Zubr - Customer Operations
The overnight trains in India are nothing if not an experience! You will normally be booked in 2-Tier sleeper A/C, although this can vary depending on how busy they are. All seats are pre-allocated at the time the tickets are issued, meaning that we are not able to guarantee the whole group are together on the train but your leader will manage this as best as possible and will always check on you during the journey. You could end up sitting beside a Mumbai businessman or a sadhu on pilgrimage, it can be pot luck. There is usually a stream of friendly hawkers, chai boys and fascinating faces passing through at all hours, which makes for a memorable experience and one you won't forget!
Brendan Phelan - Customer Operations
The hotels you stay at will all be good quality, with en suite facilities. As such, towels are usually provided but it's always a good idea to pack a small emergency one in the end of your bag as well, just in case. You may have an odd night where the standard is slightly lower but this will usually be due to where you are and, as such, limited by what is available.
Charlotte Taylor - Customer Operations
Fancy a night out in India just like the locals? Head to a Bollywood movie and join the local in an evening packed with entertainment. The Bollywood masala movies are a mixture of dance, drama and musical with a break in between as most of these are lengthy 3 hours movies. This gives you the option to leave the theatre should you want to do that! The songs and dances make it like a 60’s musical where you could have the whole locals singing and dancing to the tune. Some movies become hits only because of these. Movie theatres that you may want to visit are; Raj Mandir in Jaipur, Odeon in Canaught Place, New Delhi, Filmistan, Karol Bagh in New Delhi - but all cities have theatres. A word of warning- try to avoid the rush when entering and exiting the theatre and the crowded area and keep valuables with close to you zipped at all times and enjoy the show.
Niraj Chand Shrestha - Customer Operations
Where do you start?! Half the joy of shopping in India is the sheer scale of what's on offer, from upscale boutiques in New Delhi, Mumbai and Calcutta to the crowded and sweaty markets of pretty much any town or village you come to. Handicrafts, art, leather goods, spices, hand carved statues, silk, the list goes on - all the way to cheap knock offs of western brands!
Remember, outside of the proper shops, haggling is the key but don't waste your time trying to split the difference over a few pence - the best result is when everyone comes away happy!
Charlotte Taylor - India Operations
Any time I go out, I normally just take sterling cash which, as long as you excercise the normal degree of common sense you would at home, is safe and easy. The India rupee is a closed currency, meaning you can only get it upon arrival in the country. There are exchange facilities at all arrival airports, and ATMs are available pretty much everywhere as well in case you need to top up along the way.
Brendan Phelan - Customer Operations
There is a real mix available and you won't be disappointed! The local cuisine is predominantly vegetarian, with lots of rice. You can enjoy everything from traditional spicy curries to stalls selling tasty sweets and deserts and even right the way to western style grub, if it all gets a bit too much. Vegetarians and 'non-spicy' food people are easily catered for, and the leader will make sure a wide range of dishes are ordered for each meal.
Charlotte Taylor - Customer Operations
Unfortunately we are not qualified to answer all your questions in regards to travel health, so we strongly recommend you contact your GP or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information.
Nomad Travel Clinics are experts in preparing people for travel, providing advice on vaccinations, anti-malarial and staying healthy whilst overseas. We have arranged a special 10% discount for Exodus passengers on any vaccinations that you may require! Take along your Nomad discount card, sent with your confirmation pack, or call Exodus for your special discount code.
Visit www.nomadtravel.co.uk/exodus for further information.
For additional information please visit: www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk
Charlotte Taylor - India Operations
A definite place to visit when you have an extra day in Delhi is a trip to the new Akshardham Temple. Situated on the outskirts of New Delhi in the embankment of River Yamuna, this sprawling Swaminarayan Akshardham spreads over 100 acres of land and is renowned for its carved pillars, water fountains and 20,000 statues. Made from white marble and pink stone this new temple was only completed in 2005 which makes it less well known by Western tourists or the guide books. A visit to the temple is the perfect way to explore the amazing world of Indian culture and get a unique view of the Hindu religion.
Other ‘must see’ places are the Red Fort, Humayum’s Tomb (a forerunner to the Taj Mahal), Qutab Minar, Tuqulaquabad, Purana Quila.
The National Museum is very interesting as is the Gandhi Smriti, a museum dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi.
- Customer Operations
India has delicious food to cater for all preferences but, like anywhere in the world, hygiene is important. Keeping your hands well washed before eating, staying as hydrated as possible and sticking to bottled water is the best protection against an upset tum. Otherwise, mashed potato is apparently a good cure!
Brendan Phelan - Customer Operations
No. Indian visas must be pre-arranged in advance. Check the Indian embassy website for details.
Will Shoubridge - Agency Sales
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|Sun 08 Oct 17 - Sun 22 Oct 17|
Recommended SOLO departure
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|Sun 15 Oct 17 - Sun 29 Oct 17|
Diwali Festival (see Trip Notes)
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|Sun 25 Feb 18 - Sun 11 Mar 18|
Holi Festival (see Trip Notes)
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