Treasures of Nepal & India w/Kaziranga

Indian one - horned rhino Kaziranga

specialTreasures come in many different forms. Regarding travel, this may refer to a language, an art or trade or may even mean the people’s tribe itself which has been preserved. Palaces and temples, beautifully hand carved houses and buildings which are restored instead of ignored even rationalized for destruction to build and newer ones. Ecotourism becomes a priority so that wildlife forced back into the forests and jungles due to commercialization of the area have a well thought out plan for preservation. This journey is an exploration of people, places and wildlife in two remote places in the world, Nepal and India. Treasures of Nepal & India w/Kaziranga is not just a sojourn of discovery but a lesson in appreciation for what we still have.

Day 1 – Depart USA

Day 2 – En route

Day 3 – Kathmandu
Arrive in Kathmandu where you will be met on arrival and transferred to the Dwarikas Hotel. The Dwarikas Hotel is unique in that it houses extensive collection of rare artifacts from the 13th century onwards. Its buildings and courtyards are a superb example of Nepal’s finest craftmenship. Kathmandu is the largest city in the valley and home to the Newars, who are the original inhabitants known for their fine artisan work such as woodcarving and metal sculpting. This afternoon walk the medieval streets of Old Kathmandu and see the ancient temples of the Newars such as the temples at Durbar Square, the Kumar’s Palace and shopping area of Thamel. Enjoy a welcome dinner with traditional cuisine.

Accommodation: Dwarika’s Hotel
Meals: Dinner

Day 4 – Kathmandu Valley
After breakfast, you will visit Bhaktapur, one of the three Royal Cities in the Kathmandu Valley (the other two are Kathmandu itself and Patan). Bhaktapur is filled with monuments, most terra-cotta with carved wood columns, palaces and temples with elaborate carvings, gilded roofs and open courtyards. The city is dotted with pagodas and religious shrines. Lying along the ancient trade route between India and Tibet, Bhaktapur is surrounded by mountains and provides a magnificent view of the Himalayas. You get a chance to see potters at their trade and Tibetan Thangka painters. In the afternoon explore Patan and its temples and Patan Museum. Dinner includes traditional Newari music and dancers.

Accommodation: Dwarika’s Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5 – Kathmandu Valley
Early morning you will be transferred to the airport for your sunrise flight over Mt. Everest with a Sherpa guide (summiteer) followed by breakfast. Sherpas are local men from the mountainous region of Nepal known for their expert mountaineering skills throughout the region. Afterwards you will be taken on a tour of Tibetan Refugee Center and its carpet weaving center. Kathmandu is home to many Tibetan refugees as they fled to Nepal from Tibet in the late 1950’s. The Tibetans settled in Boudhanath, 7 miles from the city center, which was declared a UNESCO Hertitage site in 1979. In the late afternoon visit one the largest Tibetan stupas outside of Tibet, Boudhanath Stupa for a mass butter candle lighting ceremony performed by Tibetan monks.

Accommodation: Dwarika’s Hotel
Meals: Breakfast

Day 6 – Kathmandu/Kolkata
After breakfast you are transferred to the airport for your flight to Kolkata where you will be met and driven to your lovely accommodations. Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta, is the capital of West Bengal. The city is known for its struggle for independency rights. Kolkata is also known for its many devotees to Kali, a wrathful consort of their Hindu god, Shiva. Explore Kolkata visiting the sites which include Kalighat, the most sacred Hindu temple devoted to Kali, Victoria Monument and the Indian National Museum. Enjoy a welcome dinner with traditional cuisine.

Accommodation: Oberoi Grand
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7 – Kolkata/Guwahati or Jorhat/Kaziranga National Park
After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Guwahati or Jorhat (Assam) where you will be met and driven four hours (Guwahati) or two hours (Jorhat) to Kaziranga National Park. The drive through the rural Indian plains of Assam is beautiful with stunning views of the Himalayan foothills and snowcapped peaks. Many tribal villages dot the landscape amid forests of sal, teak and magnolia.

Accommodation: IORA Resort
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8 – Kaziranga National Park
Kaziranga National Park, along the south banks of the Brahmaputra River in Assam, was established as a non-hunting area in 1908, when the rhino population had dwindled down to a dozen. The Park’s vast tracks of marshlands and tall thickets of elephant grass make it the ideal habitat for the Indian One-Horned Rhino, which are now estimated to number over 1800. The Park also boasts wild elephants, black bear, water buffalo, gaur, and the highest density of tiger, making this the only game park to be populated by all the Asian big game. Take a safari in the park at sunrise and dusk to see wildlife.

Accommodation: IORA Resort
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9 – Kaziranga National Park
This morning see Kaziranga by riding an elephant. Kaziranga has the best elephant riding in India! Take a safari in the park at dusk to see more wildlife.

Accommodation: IORA Resort
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10 – Kaziranga National Park
You will be driven on a safari in the park at sunrise and dusk to see more wildlife.

Accommodation: IORA Resort
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 11 – Kohima (Nagaland)
Today you’ll drive to the Kohima in Nagaland, located on the border of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Myanmar. Nagaland home to many ethnic tribes, belonging to the Indo-Mongoloid family, of which 15 are officially recognized. Visit tribal villages such as the Nagas and Kukis who inhabit and coexist in the region and have been successful protecting their unique culture and identity. A December departure date could include the “Hornbill Festival”.The Festival is named after the hornbill, the globally respected bird and which is displayed in folklore in most of the state’s tribes. The aim of the festival is to revive and protect the rich culture of Nagaland and display its extravaganza and traditions. The festival is also held to encourage inter-tribal interaction and to promote cultural heritage of Nagaland. The Government of Nagaland organizes the Hornbill Festival every year in the first week of December.

Accommodation: Cimorb Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 12 – Kohima
Explore hillside more tribal villages in Kohima and see their wonderful weavings of baskets and shawls. Enjoy the terrain spectacularly dotted with rhododendrons and multihued orchids

Accommodation: Cimorb Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 13 – Kohima/Dibrugarh/Guwahati/Kolkata or Delhi
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight onward approximately at 1:20PM. You will be met and transferred from the airport to a restaurant to enjoy a farewell dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 14 – Depart Kolkata or Delhi
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight homebound or overnight in Delhi to continue on to Agra for a two night extension to see the Taj Mahal.

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