Highlights of the Subcontinent

India | Nepal | Bhutan

Culture

Discover iconic sights of India, Nepal & Bhutan

22 days £6,045 pp This is the price per person for a private tour (based on 2 people travelling) excluding international flights. Contact us for pricing for other group sizes including individuals.
Intro, Dates & Prices

Intro

Make the most of your trip to this part of the world, taking in the iconic sights of India, Nepal & Bhutan. In India, visit the majestic Taj Mahal in Agra, marvel at the striking forts of Jaipur and take a heritage walking tour in Delhi. Take the flight to Nepal and enjoy spectacular views of the Himalayas. Walk the historic streets of Kathmandu and admire its ornate architecture and sacred temples. Search for one horned rhino and other wildlife in Chitwan National Park. Finally, travel on to the mountain kingdom of Bhutan, visiting its distinctive Buddhist temples. Trek up to the scenic Tiger's Nest monastery in Paro and learn about Bhutanese culture and customs in Thimphu's impressive museums. Stroll around the magnificent dzong and the Temple of Fertility in Punakha. This will be a trip to remember.

Note: arrival and departure international flights are not included. These can be quoted on request.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Explore the historic sites of Old Delhi
  • Visit the magnificent Taj Mahal
  • Impressive forts and palaces of Jaipur
  • Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal
  • Swoyambhunath Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • The scenic Pokhara city in Nepal
  • Royal Chitwan National Park
  • Sacred sites in Paro valley
  • Bhutanese art & culture in museums of Thimphu
  • Hike up to the iconic Tiger's Nest monastery

Places Visited

Delhi - Agra - Jaipur - Kathmandu - Patan - Pokhara - Chitwan - Nagarkot - Thimphu - Paro - Punakha

What's Included

Arrival & departure transfers
Ground transport with driver
Inter-regional flights
(Jaipur-Delhi-Kathmandu, Chitwan-Kathmandu, Kathmandu-Paro)
Accommodation
Meals (all breakfasts and some meals in India/Nepal)
Full board meals in Bhutan
English-speaking guides
Entrance fees to sites & parks

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Itinerary & Map
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Day 1 : Arrival

Arrive in Delhi where you will be met by a Travel The Unknown representative and transferred to the hotel. The rest of the day is free at your leisure. Overnight in Delhi. 

Meal plan: n/a

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Day 2 : Delhi

In the morning, enjoy a guided sightseeing tour of Delhi. Pass through Old Delhi and visit Raj Ghat, Gandhi's resting place, and Humayun's Tomb. Later, visit Qutub Minar. The rest of the evening is free to relax or explore. Overnight in Delhi. 

Meal plan: Breakfast

The walled city of Old Delhi, which includes the Lal Qila or Red Fort of Delhi, was established in 1650 AD by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. The Spice Bazaar, or Khari Baoli, is a street in Old Delhi known for its wholesale grocery and is one of Asia’s largest wholesale spice markets selling all kinds of spices, nuts and herbs. Operating since the 17th century, the market is situated close to the historic Delhi Red Fort. Learn about the spices on sale and smell their aromas. One of Delhi's most interesting buildings is the Jama Masjid (mosque), which is surrounded by traditional businesses that showcase centuries’ old arts and crafts. There is also a marvellous old-fashioned shop where you can test Indian perfume from cut-glass bottles. You will saunter through the main bridal street of Old Delhi, Kinari Bazaar, with its dazzling display of embroidered silk wedding saris.
 


The Qutub Minar Complex has an array of monuments and buildings dating from the early Christian Era to the establishment of the Sultanate period and also boasts the majestic buildings of the mighty Mughal. The Iron Pillar is one of the world’s foremost metallurgical curiosities. Over 70 metres high and weighing more than 6 tonnes, it was erected by Chandragupta II Vikramaditya (375–414 CE). The complex also housed 27 ancient Jain temples which were destroyed and their material used in the construction of the Qutub complex by Qutb-ud-din Aibak. Added to over the following by subsequent rulers, including Iltutmish and Alaud-din Khilji, and even the British, the most famous monument in the complex is the Qutub Minar (World Heritage Site), which is regarded as one of the finest examples of Indo-Islamic architecture.

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Day 3 : Delhi - Agra

Drive to Agra. In the afternoon, visit Agra Fort and Itmad-Ud-Daula. Continue to Mehtab Bagh in the evening to watch the sunset over the Taj Mahal. Overnight in Agra.

Meal plan: Breakfast

​The Taj Mahal is an immense mausoleum of white marble, built for Mumtaz Mahal, the wife of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. The construction of the tomb began in 1632 and employed more than 20,000 workers. Situated on the right bank of the Yamuna in a vast Mogul garden, this funerary monument, bounded by four isolated minarets, reigns with its octagonal structure capped by a bulbous dome through the criss-cross of open perspectives offered by alleys or basins of water. The materials were brought in from all over India and central Asia and white Makrana marble from Jodhpur. Precious stones for the inlay came from Baghdad, Punjab, Egypt, Russia, Golconda, China, Afghanistan, Ceylon, Indian Ocean and Persia. The unique Mughal style combines elements and styles of Persian, Central Asian and Islamic architecture.

Situated on the bank of the river Yamuna, the UNESCO World Heritage Agra Fort is an enormous, grand structure. The special feature of this fort is the 2.5km long and 21 metre-high circuitous wall of solid red sand stone in which each of the stones are closely bound by iron rings. The fort is surrounded by a deep moat. Some of the important buildings inside the fort are the Jahangiri Mahal, the Moti Masjid and Mena Bazaars.

Built in the early 16th century and formerly the capital of the mighty Mughals, Agra is famous for its beautiful medieval monuments. The city was pampered by the Mughals for more than two centuries, adorned with their beautiful artworks and striking architectural styles.The crowning jewel of Mughal architecture, the Taj Mahal (World Heritage Site) is one of the world’s most beautiful and beloved structures. 

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Day 4 : Agra - Jaipur

In the morning, drive to Jaipur. On arrival, the rest of the day is free to wander around the local bazaar. Overnight in Jaipur. 

Meal plan: Breakfast

The capital and largest city in Rajasthan, Jaipur was planned and named by the Great warrior astronomer Maharaja Jai Singh II (1699–1744 AD). The buildings are constructed in pink sandstone after the whole city was painted pink to welcome the Prince of Wales and Queen Victoria in 1876 during their tour of India, with pink symbolising hospitality. Many of the avenues remain pink, giving Jaipur its popular name of the “Pink City”.

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Day 5 : Jaipur

After breakfast, enjoy a full day tour of Jaipur's palaces. Visit the Wind Palace, the Water Palace, and the City Palace. Climb up to the Amber Fort on elephant back [subject to availability/alternatively by jeep]. In the afternoon, visit Jantar Mantar (the old observatory) - one of the five astronomical wonders constructed by Sawai Jai Singh. Overnight in Jaipur.

Meal plan: Breakfast

Set in rugged, picturesque hills, the Amber Fort is a fascinating piece of Rajputana architecture. Constructed by Raja Man and completed by Sawai Jai Singh I, the fort is made from red sandstone and white marble. The rugged, forbidding exterior encloses an inner sanctuary with some spectacular art and architectural styles. The interior wall of the palace depicts expressive painting scenes with carvings, precious stones and mirror settings.

Hawa Mahal, or the Palace of Winds, is one of the landmarks of the city. The palace is composed of five storeys and 953 tiny windows carved out of intricate lattice work.

Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is one of the five astronomical observatories built by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur in the 18th century. These observatories incorporate many unique building styles, each with a specialised function for astronomical measurement. These structures, with their striking combinations of large scale geometric forms, have captivated the attention of architects, artists, and art historians worldwide.

City Palace has been home to the rulers of Jaipur since the first half of the 18th century. The sprawling complex is a superb blend of Rajput and Mughal architecture with open, airy Mughal-style public buildings leading to private apartments. Today, part of the complex is open to the public as the City Palace Museum houses numerous medieval treasures including miniature paintings.

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Day 6 : Jaipur

Today is free to explore Jaipur at your leisure. Go shopping or wander around the Pink City. In the evening, there is an optional sunset visit to Galta and watch the monkeys feeding at the Monkey Temple. Overnight in Jaipur.

Meal plan: Breakfast

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Day 7 : Jaipur - Delhi - Kathmandu

Drive to Delhi and board your flight to Kathmandu. On arrival, transfer to the hotel where the rest of the day is free to relax. Overnight in Kathmandu. 

Meal plan: Breakfast

Kathmandu is the capital of the ancient mountain kingdom of Nepal, which was only opened up to foreign visitors in the 1950s. It has the air of a medieval city with its labyrinth of narrow streets, wooden temples and beautifully decorated palaces. In the background, you can often hear the gentle sound of cymbals and smell the rich aromas of the markets. 

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Day 8 : Kathmandu

In the morning, enjoy a mountain flight, where you will see the closest possible aerial views of Mount Everest and the Tibetan Plateau. Later, continue to Patan and visit the UNESCO-listed Patan Durbar Square. Optional extra activities in Patan include wood carving, sculpturing and visiting the industrial area. Proceed to Swoyambhunath Temple where you can light butter lamps and get blessed by a monk. There is also an optional dinner with the Sherpa, a Himalayan ethnic group. The rest of the evening is free at your leisure. Overnight in Kathmandu. 

Meal plan: Breakfast

Located above the city of Patan is Patan Mahal, a delightful palace representing traditional Rajasthani architecture. The city dates back to the 12th century and has been home to one of the erstwhile ruling families of Delhi. Historically, Patan has been an important out-post for the capital, having played the backdrop for numerous wars featuring many ancient Northern rulers.

Swoyambhunath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is also known as the Monkey Temple because of the holy monkeys living in its northwest parts. When translated, Swoyambhunath means 'Self-Existent One'. It is believed to have been built more than 2,500 years ago under the order of King Manadeva. By the 13th century, Swoyambhunath had developed into an important Buddhist learning site and can now  be considered the most sacred temple among Buddhist Pilgrimage sites.

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Day 9 : Kathmandu

After breakfast, visit the UNESCO sites of Boudhanath stupa, where you can light a butter lamp and interact with the monks, and Kathmandu Durbar Square. The rest of the day is free to relax or explore. Overnight in Kathmandu.

Meal plan: Breakfast

Kathmandu Durbar Square is located in the heart of old city Kathmandu. There are around 50 temples in the vicinity. Visit the 17th Century Durbar complex, Hanuman Dhoka, Paravati temple, great Bell and Drum, Bhairav and Taleju Temple. All around the splendour of historical monuments is the hustle & bustle of the market place. Vegetable vendors, trees of flutes, salesmen with their wares displayed on their person, souvenir hawkers, and street shop selling imported goods and tucked away in a quiet corner the glittering bead market for custom made bead necklaces.

Boudhanath (UNESCO World Heritage Site) is the centre of Tibetan culture in Nepal. The 36-meter-high Stupa of Boudhanath is one of the largest Stupas in South Asia and was renovated by Licchavi rulers in 8th century. The mandala design in Boudhanath is a copy of the one in Gyangtse in Tibet. The stupa is said to entomb the remains of a Kasyap sage venerable both to Buddhists and Hindus. Smaller stupas are located at the base. Today, Boudhanath bustles with Tibetan population, busy with carpet manufacture, trade, and prayers at the several monasteries belonging to different sects of Tibetan Buddhism. 

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Day 10 : Kathmandu - Pokhara

Drive to Pokhara and check in to the hotel on arrival. Proceed on a sightseeing tour around Pokhara, including a visit to the beautiful Devi's Fall and Gupteswar Mahadev Cave, one of the largest caves in Pokhara. Also stop at Seti Gorge and Old Peace Stupa. In the evening, go on a boat ride around Phewa Lake. Overnight in Pokhara.

Meal plan: Breakfast

Pokhara is a remarkably beautiful city situated 900m above sea level and 200km west of Kathmandu valley. It has several beautiful lakes and offers stunning panoramic views of Himalayan peaks. The lakes and magnificent Himalayan peaks rising behind them create an ambience of peace and magic. 

The central attraction in Pokhara is Phewa Lake - the second largest lake in the country. Here, one can sail or row a hired boat across to the water or visit the island temple in the middle.

Devi's fall (also known as Devin's and David's) is a lovely waterfall lying on the Siddhartha Highway. Legend has it that a trekker (named Devin or David) was washed away by the Pardi Khola river and mysteriously disappeared down into an underground passage beneath the fall.

The entrance to Gupteshwar Cave is right across from Devi's Fall. The cave is almost 3 kms in length, with individual chambers varying from big hall-sized rooms to small passages where you must crawl on all four. This cave holds special value to Hindus since a phallic symbol of Lord Shiva is preserved here in the condition that it was discovered.

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Day 11 : Pokhara

In the early morning, transfer to Sarangkot to watch the sunrise over the Annapurna range (weather dependent). Return to the hotel for breakfast before continuing on a full day sightseeing tour around Pokhara. Visit the pagoda-styled Bindabashini Temple and Gurkha Memorial Museum. Later, explore the International Mountain Museum, observing the records of past and present momentous mountaineering activities around the world. Overnight in Pokhara.

Meal plan: Breakfast

The white pagoda-style Bindabasini Temple is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Durga and located near the busy Old Bazaar of Pokhara. People flock here daily and offer animal sacrifices. It is a very popular spot for Hindu wedding ceremonies.

Gurkha Soldiers joined the British Army in 1815 and later into the Indian Army after its independence in 1947. The Gurkha Memorial Museum displays a collection of uniforms, medals (including the Victoria Cross) and pictures of the Gurkha infantry regiments, Gurkha engineers, signals and transport regiments and Gurkha Contingent of the Singapore Police Force.

Sarangkot (1592m) is the most popular tourist destination where the tourist can enjoy the great view of the Pokhara Valley and the magnificent view of the mountains. From Sarangkot, enjoy panoramic views of Annapurna (8091m/ 26,545ft), Manasalu (8165m/ 26,781ft), Ganesh Himal (7446m/ 24,422ft), Dhaulagiri (8167m/ 26,795ft), Machhapuchre (the sacred mountain) and 25 other mountains over 6000 meters (19,680ft) high. Sarangkot can be reached easily by car (30 minutes from Pokhara) and then a 45 minute hike to the main view point.

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Day 12 : Pokhara - Chitwan

Drive to Chitwan and check in to the resort. Enjoy a village tour of the Tharu, an ethnic group indigenous to the Terai. In the evening, attend either a traditional Tharu dance or listen to a slide show presentation by one of our jungle experts, learning about the history of the Royal Chitwan National Park. Overnight in Chitwan. 

Meal plan: Breakfast

The Royal Chitwan National Park, opened in 1973, is Nepal's first national park created specifically to preserve their unique ecosystem. The park covers a pristine area of 932 sq. km and is situated in the subtropical inner Terai lowlands. There are more than 43 species of mammals in the park, most notably the endangered one-horned rhinoceros, gharial crocodiles, wild elephants, four-horned antelopes, striped hyenas, pangolins, gangetic dolphins and sloths.

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Day 13 : Chitwan

Enjoy an elephant safari, exploring the grasslands and looking for one horned rhinos and the famed Royal Bengal Tiger. Learn more about elephants during a visit to the elephant stables and attend an elephant bathing (Note: Elephant bathing is done during summer season as elephants love to bathe in the river willingly. They are not forced to take a bath during the cold season/day). Later, drive to Rapti River and enjoy canoeing in a traditional dug-out canoe while viewing the aquatic birds, crocodiles and animals of the river banks. Proceed to the elephant breeding centre to watch the elephant cows with their calves and learn about the efforts to increase their population. Drive back to the resort where the rest of the day is free at your leisure. Overnight in Chitwan. 

Meal plan: Breakfast

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Day 14 : Chitwan - Nagarkot

In the morning, drive to Nagarkot. The rest of the day is free at your leisure. Overnight in Nagarkot.

Meal plan: Breakfast

Situated at a height of 7,200 ft, the small farming village of Nagarkot offers stunning views over the Himalayan mountains. The villagers have adapted to their environment by using special farming techniques to deal with the steep terrain.

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Day 15 : Nagarkot - Kathmandu

Transfer to Kathmandu. The rest of the day is free at your leisure. Overnight in Kathmandu. 

Meal plan: Breakfast

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Day 16 : Kathmandu - Paro - Thimphu

Transfer to the airport to catch your flight to Paro. Transfer to Thimphu and check in to the hotel on arrival. The rest of the day is free to relax. Overnight in Thimphu. 

Meal plan: Breakfast & dinner

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Day 17 : Thimphu

Enjoy a full day of sightseeing in Thimphu. In the morning, visit the National Library before proceeding to the Institute of Zorig Chusum. Stop off at the Textile Museum and 'Simply Bhutan', an eye-opening living museum that showcases traditional life in Bhutan. Later, Explore the Takin Preserve, Changangkha Lhakhang and finish the tour at the King's Memorial Chorten. The rest of the evening is free at your leisure. Overnight in Thimphu.

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Thimphu is the capital of Bhutan and its governmental, religious and commercial centre.  It is nestled in the Wang Chuu river valley and is abundant in natural splendour, wildlife and culture.  Thimphu is a very unique city with an unusual mixture of modern developments alongside ancient traditions. With a population of about 100,000 people, it is perhaps the world’s only capital city without traffic lights. In fact, there are no traffic lights in the whole of the country. Here, policemen stand in decorated pavilions in the main intersections and direct traffic using hand gestures in a conscious effort to save their culture from modern influences. Every building is still decorated with Dzong-style features and Buddhism influences every part of daily life. There is a variety of cafes, bars, nightclubs and restaurants, and Thimphu is one of the few places in Bhutan to have ATM machines. Altitude: 2,320m.

The National Library houses the largest published book in the world. Called 'Bhutan: A Visual Odyssey Across the Last Himalayan Kingdom', it weights over 60kg and is 1.52m high and 2.13m wide. Its pages are turned only once per month. The library itself was opened in 1967 to collect and preserve ancient Dzongha and Tibetan texts. Some of the most significant document are well-labeled in English and there is even a coulourful shrine inside the building.

The Institute for Zorig Chusum, commonly known as the Painting School, offers 4- and 6- year courses where students can learn the 13 traditional Bhutanese arts and crafts. Students start with woodwork, stonework and carving, then progress onto painting, sculpting, casting, wood-turning, blacksmith-y, ornament-making, bamboo work, paper-making, tailoring and weaving. Depending on the time you visit, you may even see some of the students selling their work outside and be astounded by their skills.

The Takin Preserve is home to the Takin, Bhutan's national animal, which looks like a cross between a cow and a goat. It is only found in and around Bhutan. According to legend, the animal was created by the great Buddhist yogi, Drupa Kunley. Also known as the gnu goat, taxidermists place the Takin in a category of its own, as it is not similar enough to animals in the already established categories. 

Changangkha Lhakhang is a fortress-like temple and monastic school that is perched on a ridge above the city of Thimphu. The temple was established in the 12th century on a site chosen by the Tibetan Lama Phajo Drugom Shigpo. The main statue of interest is of Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion (disciple of Buddha), who is shown to have 11 heads. The temple courtyard has a spectacular view of the Thimphu Valley.

The King's Memorial Chorten is commonly called the 'most visible religious landmark in Bhutan'. It is continuously circled by people in clockwise direction who murmur mantras and spin large red prayer wheels, as is custom in all Bhutanese religious structures. This landmark was constructed in honor of Bhutan's third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk ('the father of modern Bhutan'). Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, the monument is dedicated to world peace and prosperity, as well as a memorial to the king. 

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Day 18 : Thimphu - Punakha

After breakfast, set off for Punakha across the picturesque Dochula Pass, stopping briefly to take in the view of the surrounding peaks and admire the chorten, mani wall and prayer flags which decorate the highest point on the road. In the afternoon, visit Punakha Dzong, the most spectacular dzong in Bhutan. Later, take a scenic excursion to Chimi Lhakhang. Continue to the hotel and check in. The rest of the evening is free. Overnight in Punakha.

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Dochula Pass is located on the way from Thimphu to Punakha. The pass is a popular location as it offers a stunning 360 degree panoramic view of the Himalayan mountain range. The view is especially scenic on clear, winter days, with snowcapped mountains forming a majestic backdrop to the tranquility of the 108 chortens gracing the mountain pass. Known as the Druk Wangyal Chortens - the construction of these 108 chortens was commissioned by the eldest Queen Mother, Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk. The pass is also popular spiritual destination for both locals and tourists because an important temple is located at the crest of Dochula pass. 

The Chimi Lhakhang temple is commonly known as the Temple of Fertility. It sits on a hillock in the centre of the valley, a site that was blessed by the 'Divine Madman'. This is the maverick saint Drukpa Kuenleyis that was famously obsessed with his 'magic thunderbolt of wisdom'. Therefore it is not unusual to see phalluses (symbol of fertility) painted on the outside of houses! It is widely believed that if couples who do not have children pray at this temple, they are blessed with a child very soon. Besides its fertility blessings, the temple also works to fulfill other religious needs. The trail to the temple leads across rice fields through the tiny settlement of Pana, which means ‘field’. A walk through this village will give you a rare glimpse into the daily life of the Bhutanese.


The Punakha valley has a pleasant climate with warm winters and hot summers. Owing to the favourable climatic conditions, rice grows very well in this region and is the main cash crop cultivated here. Altitude: 1,300m.

The majestic Punakha Dzong, known as the Palace of Great Happiness, used to serve as Bhutan's religious and administrative centre until the 1950s. The inside courtyards and religious statuary hint at a deep historical and spiritual tradition. It is quite large, 
measuring over 180m long by 70m wide and has a six-story, gold-domed tower. The dzong sits at the junction of the Pho chhu and Mo chhu rivers and was built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, a Tibetan Buddhist lama. Arguably the most beautiful dzong in Bhutan, it was the second to be ever built in the country. Bhutan's most treasured possession, the Rangjung ('Self-Created') Kharsapani image of Chenresig is kept here, but is closed to the public.  


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Day 19 : Punakha

Spend the day exploring the Dodena, Talo and Nogang villages in the scenic Punakha valley. Overnight in Punakha.

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

The Talo village is one of the most picturesque in Bhutan, due to its location along the ridge above the Punakha Valley. Among the nearby villages, it is known for its good hygiene, tidy appearance and beautiful women. The villagers live in farmhouses with their own flower, corn and sweet pea gardens. The Talo village is a part of the Talo Temple, which is used as a summer retreat by members of the Zhabdrung family, who are connected to the current Royal Family. Altitude: 2,800m.

The Dodena village is located near the boundary of Jigme Dorji National Park, which is the second-largest national park in the country.

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Day 20 : Punakha - Paro

Drive to Paro, where the rest of the day is free to relax or explore at your leisure. Overnight in Paro. 

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Paro is the second largest town in Bhutan although small in size and population. Its main street is lined with buildings richly decorated in traditional architecture that house a scattering of shops and restaurants. Paro is an ideal base for exploring the surrounding attractions, such as Taktsang Monastery (Tiger's Nest). After Bumthang, the valley is amongst the most beautiful in Bhutan. Altitude: 2,280m.

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Day 21 : Paro

In the early morning, leave for the spectacular Taktshang Monastery (Tiger's Nest), which is a strenuous 2 - 2.5 hour walk uphill (you can ride a donkey up to the halfway point). Spend up to an hour visiting the monastery, then walk back down. Later, visit Ta Dzong and walk down the trail to Rinpung Dzong. In the evening, explore the main street and market area of Paro at your leisure. Overnight in Paro.

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Also known as the Tiger’s Nest, the Taktshang Monastery is perhaps the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries and is perched precariously on the side of a cliff, 900m above the Paro Valley. It is said that Guru Rinpoche, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism and the Buddha of our time, came here on the back of a tigress to meditate, hence the name. This site has been recognised as a most sacred place and was even visited by the Tibetan Buddhist Lama, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, in 1646. All Bhutanese people visit this monastery at least once in their lifetime. On 19 April 1998, a fire severely damaged the main structure of building, but it has now been restored to its original splendour. 

The hike to the monastery is a 2-2.5 hour strenuous walk uphill. This can be broken down into three stages and a donkey can be used to ride up to two-thirds of the way. The first stage is trekking to the 
rocky outcrop across a ravine from the monastery, which takes approximately 45 to 60 minutes. Lunch will be served here later today.  The second stage is walking from the cafeteria to the lookout opposite the monastery, which takes close to one hour. The third stage is climbing down 475 steps in the cliff face to the bottom of the ravine, crossing over a stream and waterfall and climbing up another 300 steps to the entrance of the monastery. You will spend up to an hour here and view the cave where Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal meditated. 

Cameras are not allowed inside the monastery. 


The Ta Dzong was originally built to be a watchtower, but it now houses the National Museum. Its extensive collection includes antique thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons, armour, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts.

The Rinpung Dzong, which means 'Fortress of the Heap of Jewels', has a long and fascinating history. Fine wall paintings line the wooden galleries of the inner courtyard, illustrating Buddhist traditions and knowledge.

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Day 22 : Departure

Transfer to Paro airport for your flight to onward destination.

Meal plan: Breakfast

Extensions

Beaches (1-7 days)

After exploring the busy cities, there's no better place to relax than one of India's paradisiacal beaches

Hill Stations & Mountains

Escape the city and unwind among some of the most breathtaking mountain and hill scapes the world has to offer.

City Extensions (1-4 days)

Visit the must-see sights and the hidden depths of India's most vibrant cities.

Kolkata & Sunderbans (6 days)

Discover colonial Kolkata and the Sunderbans Tiger Reserve

Treks & Walks (1-12 days)

Himalayan treks, village walks and more

Himalayan Extension: Ladakh to Kashmir (5 days)

Travel across the spectacular Himalayan Highway

Kolkata & Darjeeling Snapshot (7 days)

Ideal extension to Bhutan

The Golden Triangle (5 days)

Marvel at India's most incredible forts and palaces

Indian Odyssey (29 days)

Experience the best of North and South India

Wildlife of Madagascar, India & Borneo (29 days)

Spot lemurs, tigers & orangutans

Highlights of the Subcontinent (22 days)

Discover iconic sights of India, Nepal & Bhutan

Wildlife of India & Borneo (21 days)

Get under the skin of Asia's two best wildlife spots.

Journey through the Indian Himalayas (20 days)

Travel through the Himalayan foothills via Shimla & Amritsar to Ladakh

Monks, Tribes & Rhinos (20 days)

Himalayan mountains, unseen tribes & amazing wildlife

Classic Bhutan & Assam Cruise (18 days)

Experience Bhutan's rich culture, colonial Kolkata and rural life in Assam

Essential India & China (17 days)

Visit the two most populous countries on Earth.

UNESCO Sites of South India (17 days)

Discover South India's ancient archaeological wonders

Textiles & Artisans of Gujarat & Rajasthan (16 days)

Nomadic tribes, traditional textiles, crafts & Mewar Festival

Essential India & Sri Lanka (16 days)

India's Golden Triangle & the best of Sri Lanka.

Glimpse of India & Nepal (16 days)

Golden Triangle and the Himalayas

Taste of South India (15 days)

Experience the flavours and exotic spices of South India

Assam & Nagaland Hornbill Festival (15 days)

Wildlife, tribes & rural life in Assam, Nagaland and Manipur

Nagaland: Festival of the Headhunters (15 days)

Aoling Festival, wildlife in Assam & natural beauty of Manipur

Big Six of India (15 days)

Spot tigers, lions, leopards, buffalo, rhino & elephants

Rajasthan Explorer & Pushkar Camel Fair (15 days)

Fort cities, rural villages & camel fair

Kerala Calling (15 days)

Tropical mountains, tea & spice plantations, and backwaters

Tribes of Rural India (14 days)

Visit remote tribal villages of Orissa & Chhattisgarh

Spirit of South India (14 days)

Temple towns of Tamil Nadu to backwaters of Kerala

Kerala & Karnataka Explorer (14 days)

Idyllic backwaters, tropical forests & ancient temple towns

Taj, Tigers & Temples (14 days)

Perfect mix of classic sights and off-beat places for first-timers to India

Hampi and Beyond (14 days)

Discover Karnataka's stone temples, wildlife and coffee farms

Tribes of North East India (14 days)

Remote tribal cultures in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam & Nagaland

Sacred India (14 days)

Uncover the religious diversity of India

Delicacies of North India (14 days)

Discover the huge diversity of North India's cuisine

Big Cats of India (14 days)

Experience the thrill of the Indian jungle ...

Wildlife of North East India (14 days)

Diverse wildlife in Assam and the Sunderbans

Heart of India (14 days)

Lucknow, Varanasi & the wonders of Madhya Pradesh

Best of Bengal & Sikkim (14 days)

Colonial Kolkata, Darjeeling toy train & Buddhism

Kashmir, Ladakh & The Hemis Festival (14 days)

Experience dramatic Himalayan scenery, Islamic & Buddhist cultures

Kerala - Trekking the Western Ghats (13 days)

Explore this UNESCO biodiversity hotspot on foot

Glimpse of India (12 days)

Golden Triangle, tigers & exotic Kerala

Treasures of Gujarat (12 days)

Villages, temples, salt flats & the world's last Asiatic lions

Markha Valley Trek (12 days)

Set foot in Ladakh's hidden Himalayan valleys

Classic Kerala (10 days)

Tea, spices, backwaters & beaches

Essential Rajasthan (10 days)

Discover the forts, palaces, villages and desert of Rajasthan

Living Bridges of Meghalaya (7 days)

Waterfalls, hills and living bridges in North East India

Reviews

A really well planned trip. We experienced life in Northeast India in just the way we wanted to. We loved the game reserves and saw a rock python which thrilled our guides as it is even rarer than the tiger! We visited villages and were able to interact with local people and loved the busy markets in Delhi and Calcutta. A special highlight was the Hornbill Festival in Nagaland; shown to us by our very own Naga guide Kezo. Kezo accompanied us for 15 days of our trip and ensured that we had many very special experiences - even taking us to the home of one of his Aunts where we spent a couple of hours sitting by the bonfire chatting.

Ann Holgate , Tailormade India

Thank you for organising our holiday in Kerala. I certainly wouldn`t have had the time or the knowledge to put together such a trip. Munnar was my favourite and the accommodation throughout was excellent.

Vik , Kerala Calling, India

What an excellent service! Rahul adapted, extended and improved our trip so many times without a qualm and we ended up with the trip of a lifetime. The destinations are unusual and interesting but everything has been checked out by the team and works brilliantly. I can`t wait to do another trip.

Penelope Smith , Assam & Nagaland Hornbill Festival, India

The tour was an amazing experience for our first visit to India. The country, its people and its cuisine were friendly,delightful, colourful and exceeded all our expectations. Travel the Unknown have put together a superb unique package that we have no hesitation in recommending to anyone with an interest in food and culture.

Elaine & Neil Smith , Delicacies of North India, India

I`m sure I could not have found a better operator for the type of complicated Indian tour I wanted to undertake on a limited budget. India is an intimidating country to visit, and I suspect that some operators look down on the first time visitor, or disparage their requirements. Travel the Unknown, by contrast, helped me all the way, and their local guides were superb.

Andrew Martin , Tailormade North East India

This was a very varied and interesting trip to a forgotten part of India. If you like off the beaten track travel it is definitely worth the effort but go with an open mind and keep a smile on your face.

Richard Williams , Monks, Tribes & Rhinos, India

This was my first experience of using Travel the Unknown having enjoyed small group adventure holidays for many years. I was attracted to the company because it seeks out the more unusual and lesser known areas of a country and I was not disappointed by my visit to Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. There is a clear contrast between the people and the scenery of these two regions and we saw very few western tourists particularly in Arunachal Pradesh. The tour was well organised with plenty to see and do.

Keith Lewis , Monks, Tribes & Rhinos, India

A fantastic trip to Arunachal Pradesh. Very well organised exactly to our requirements. Superb local guide. Would recommend this trip. Hazel and James.

Hazel Frost , Tailormade North East India

Another great trip from Travel the Unknown. I would recommend this company to anyone who wants to move outside the boundaries of the usual tourist itinerary.

Catherine Crawford , Kashmir & Ladakh Explorer, India

This trip was very well put together and ticked all the boxes that we had requested. The accommodation throughout the tour was of a high standard and our experiences in the national parks was wonderful spotting many different animals including tigers, leopards, sloth bears, lions, jungle cat plus countless number of birds. Thank you Rahul for tailoring this trip to our requirements.

Nigel & Margaret Turner , Tailormade India Wildlife & Birding tour

We went on the Spirit of South India Tour and had a great time on our honeymoon. There was a good variety of places visited and the hotels, drivers and guides were all very good. We would definitely recommend this tour.

Rachel , Spirit of South India, India

I would highly recommend Travel the Unknown to anyone visiting India. The service we received both prior to, during and following our travels was always timely and excellent. We were able to customize our trip to our liking and to enjoy a wide variety of activities. The guides in every location were outstanding! Honestly. Having travelled through much of the world I can truly say that we have never been more impressed with the quality of the guides arranged for us in each location, as well as the service we received. Similarly, the hotels were excellent and allowed us to live very comfortably while, at the same time, enjoy an authentic Indian experience. If you haven`t already booked your trip with Travel the Unknown, then either do so now....or at least give them a chance to show you what they can offer.

Tracey & Gary , Tailormade India
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