If you are arriving on Day 1 you will be meet and transferred to the group hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure. A group briefing will usually be held on the morning of Day 2.
This morning we have a group briefing before heading out for the day's sightseeing. We start in New Delhi with a visit to Qutub Minar and the India Gate, followed by lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon we continue to Old Delhi, visiting the Red Fort and the Jama Masjid before transferring to the train station for our overnight train to Jaisalmer (departing at approximately 17.30hrs). Before boarding, we have the opportunity to purchased a packed dinner from a nearby restaurant which we can enjoy on the train. Travelling on the railways is one of the great experiences of India our sleeping berths are comfortable and we reserve 2nd class air conditioned sleeper carraiges for our groups (bedding is provided).
Upon arrival in Jaisalmer (at approx 11.00hrs) we are meet by our bus and driver and transferred to the group hotel. After a rest and a chance to freshen up, you are free to wander the bustling bazaar located within the fort. Built in the 12th century, the forts massive entrance gates and narrow, paved stone lanes lead to the outer walls with superb views over the city. Late this afternoon you will be collected from the hotel for our sunset camel safari (one hour and thirty minutes).
We have a full day to explore the ancient walled city of Jaisalmer. We visit Jaisalmer Fort and the Jain temples, which contain many intricate carvings. We also explore the 'Havelis', the mansions of the wealthy merchants who made their fortunes at a time when Jaisalmer was on the old trade route between the Arabian Sea and the markets of Central India.
After our sightseeing we recommend you wander out to the Royal Cenotaphs at Barabagh to enjoy the magnificent sunset.
With an early start we can reach Jodhpur by lunchtime to allow a free afternoon to visit Meherangarh Fort. Situated on a 125-m-high hill, the fort is the most impressive in Rajasthan. It includes a complex of palaces and museums that reflect the rich cultural history of the region. From the upper ramparts of the fort, we will have 360 degree views of the entire city.
The famed 'Pink City' of Jaipur is the capital of the state of Rajasthan. The city was founded by Maharaja Jai Singh in the early 18th century, when he moved from Amber to this new site on the plains. We reach Jaipur in the afternoon. Evening explore the city.
We continue our program of sightseeing in Jaipur, visiting the Hawa Mahal, the City Palace and the Jantar Mantar; the remarkable observatory that reflects Jai Singh's passion for astronomy. There is also the Old City with its bazaars and the Hawa Mahal (the Palace of the Winds), originally built as part of the City Palace complex to allow the ladies of the royal household to watch everyday life in the city without being observed.
Departing from the outskirts of Jaipur we commence the bike section of our trip. Instruction and bike adjustment will take place this morning. We follow the old road that was once a merchant route between the princely state of Alwar and Jaipur. We continue along the Ramgargh road passing small farm settlements and providing endless entertainment to the villagers who are intrigued at the notion of westerners cycling through India. After 17km of cycling we stop at Ramgarh Dam, once the main water source for Jaipur, before continuing to an ancient brick factory, long since abandoned where we stop for a box lunch. After lunch we continue cycling past small towns until late afternoon where stop near Jaisinghpura and travel by vehicle to Sariska Tiger Resort where we will spend two nights. Overnight: Sariska Tiger Resort
Cycling distance: 65km
We continue riding through timeless India, with lush flowering mustard plantations flanked by overhanging willow trees, and ancient ruins standing as witness to the glorious past of this region. Cycle 10 km to beautiful Siliserh Lake and enjoy lunch at a historical property built by Maharaja Vinay Singh in 1845. We continue our ride to Sariska National Park where our cycling ends for today. Sariska National Park was once home to a significant population of tigers, until a few seasons ago, when poaching reduced numbers. However there are many other animals in the park, and the atmosphere and natural surrounds make the visit very much worthwhile. Return to our hotel the Sariska Tiger Resort.
Cycling distance: 41km
Note: Sariska National Park is closed 1 July to 30 September and alternative sightseeing is a visit to Alwar Fort and our overnight accommodation will be in Sariska Tiger Camp Resort.
We ride through a number of small villages to Rajgarh where we stop for a packed lunch. After lunch we continue cycling another 15km before boarding the bus for the journey to Bharatpur via Mahua. Overnight: Kadam Kunj Resort.
Cycling distance: 38km
Today we take a short trek to Nayapul before being transported back to Pokhara for an overnight stay. Remainder of the day is at leisure to explore the Pokhara city. It is important to us that this trek follows few of the commercial tea-house trails. Accordingly the route and campsites may be varied at the discretion of the group leader. Note that the walking hours include rest stops, are a guide only and can vary due to trail or weather conditions
It is a wonderful traverse through the forest and a fine contrast from the previous stages on the trek. We gain views of Annapurna South from Bhaisi Kharka before heading through a series of clearings that define the trail to the substantial Gurung settlement of Ghandruk (1990 meters). We visit the local Gurung museum in the heart of the village and trek downhill through villages and terraced fields to Syauli Bazaar.
Our trail meanders downhill through fields and into forest of rhododendron, magnolia and lichen covered fig. We pass by waterfalls that cascade down narrow gullies that provide the perfect home for many small ferns and delicate plants such as exotic orchids bursting with color. Tadapani is a small village with limited campsites.
High on the opposite side of the river, you can explore the village of Ghandruk. From this point, the trial descends along terraced slopes & forest down to the river. After crossing the river at New Bridge, the trail ascends steeply 500m tod join with the trial from Ghandruk. From here it is a short walk to Chomrong (1960m).Chomrong is a village which offers spectacular views of Annapurna South & Machapuchare.
The views from our campsite are excellent, and morning generally offers the best opportunity to view the huge peaks. As we walk, the peaks of the Annapurnas will be visible through the scattered rhododendron forest, offering a sample of the trek to come. After our longer uphill morning session, this afternoon will be a more gradual. We descend towards the Mardi Khola, trekking through dense forest of rhododendron, oak and birch until we reach the terraced fields of Landruk. We have time to explore the village and visit the nearby waterfall before we set camp.
Today we begin cycling early to Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. Our bikes provide a wonderful mode of transport to move around and explore the park, where swamplands provide habitats for hundreds of bird species. We will then travel with our vehicle to Fatehpur Sikri, to explore Akbar's deserted capital, before continuing on to Agra. Overnight: Man Singh Palace
Cycling distance: 28km
This morning a sightseeing tour takes in the key attractions in and around Kathmandu. We will visit Pashupatinath and Boudhanath, returning to the hotel by 2pm. In the afternoon you may have time to explore Swayambhunath, Durbar Square, Patan or Bhaktapur, and the lesser-known towns that dot the valley on foot, by bicycle or trishaw. The area has an amazing range of fascinating highlights, whatever your interest. Excellent bookshops, extensive markets, and novelty and handicraft shops contrast with fantastic centres of cultural and spiritual significance - Kathmandu has more World Heritage sites than any other city in the world.
Check out from the hotel and transfer to Delhi airport for the flight to Kathmandu. You will be met by a representative of World Expeditions and transferred to the Radisson hotel. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure. A pre-trek briefing will be given around 5pm where arrangements will be made for the distribution of your kit bag, sleeping bag and down jacket. Evening drinks are held in the hotel for all World Expeditions clients arriving today. Drinks and snacks will generally be served from 6:30 pm until 7:15pm, and this is a great opportunity to get acquainted with your fellow group members before heading out to dinner.
In the early morning we have a sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal, Shah Jahan's mausoleum for his wife Mumtaz Mahal.We continue to Agra Fort, a fitting testimony to the Great Moghuls Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan during the era when Agra was the capital of the Moghul empire.From the Red Fort we'll have more views of the Taj Mahal before driving back to Delhi that afternoon.
This morning we transfer to the airport for our spectacular flight to Kathmandu. The mountain flight follows the Himalaya range to Kathmandu where we transfer to our hotel. The remainder of the day is free for last minute shopping and sightseeing.
This morning we take a flight west to Pokhara, Nepal's second largest town (820m). In good weather we are greeted with sights of the entire Annapurna Range. From here we drive for an hour to a pass between two river valleys to the village of Khare, where we commence our trek. There is no need to rush as this is a short day with plenty of time to reach our overnight stop. The trail ascends for the first hour, following a ridge through fields of bamboo clusters to magnificent rhododendron forest. Villagers greet us with "Namaste", the traditional Nepalese greeting, as we pass their homes and continue to the ridge top where at the crest the scale of the mountains astounds us. Machapuchare (6993m), Hiunchuli (6441m) and Annapurna South (7219m) can be seen from our immediate viewpoint. Overnight eco lodge.
After breakfast arrangements cease unless further arrangements have been made. Those people travelling by aircraft to further destinations will be transferred to the airport and assisted with check-in procedures. *It is important to us that this trek follows few of the commercial tea-house trails. Accordingly the route and campsites may be varied at the discretion of the group leader. Note that the walking hours include rest stops, are a guide only and can vary greatly.