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Spiritual Bhutan & India

New Delhi, Agra, Ranthambore National Park, Jaipur, Delwara, New Delhi, Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey, Bumthang, Paro

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This example itinerary

from £11,200 $13,800 pp

21 days

HOME > DESTINATIONS > INDIA > BHUTAN  Spiritual Bhutan & India

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Whether it’s supporting conservation programs, sustainable hotels or expert local guides, you will have a positive impact on the people and places you visit.

Highlights

  • Visit monasteries, shrines, fortresses and spiritual sites across Bhutan and India for a unique insight into their ancient cultures
  • Visit one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, the iconic Taj Mahal
  • Get the chance to see wild tigers and young cubs in Ranthambore National Park
  • Meditate with monks in a traditional Bhutanese dzong
  • Retreat into the Himalayas for spa treatments and relaxation after a day of hiking

What’s Included

  • 10 nights Bed & Breakfast in India
  • 10 nights Full Board in Bhutan
  • Daily private guiding
  • All temple, fort and cultural visits highlighted
  • Meditation session
  • Twice daily game drives on safari
  • International Economy class flights
  • All domestic flights and private transfers

Example Itinerary

Day 1-2

NEW DELHI, India

  • Enjoy a private mediation session outside in the peaceful gardens
  • Dine under the stars on the outside jetty amongst the pool

A city of organised chaos, New Delhi provides constant stimulation for the senses, as well as incredible street food.

Fly into New Delhi, where you’ll spend one night at The Oberoi Gurgaon before discovering the depths of India. Situated minutes from Indira Gandhi International Airport, this luxury hotel is the perfect place to rest your head before your spiritual adventure. From private meditation sessions in the gardens to a twenty-four hour spa service, let your brief stay at the Oberoi gently ease you into your trip. Wake in the morning to a refreshing swim in the olympic sized swimming pool before taking the train to Agra.

Day 2-3

AGRA, India

  • See one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, the incredible Taj Mahal
  • Tour the fiery red Agra Fort, one of the last Indian strongholds before British rule

The Taj Mahal is truly a wonder of the world, for us it’s a must-see on any India itinerary.

Travel south to Agra where you’ll spend one night at Oberoi Amarvilas. The only hotel with unobstructed views of the Taj Mahal, request a room with a balcony for optimal views and from your bed watch the enchanting son et lumière as the sun sets over the Taj. At sunrise, explore the world’s most exquisite testimony to undying love with the palace (almost) to yourself. In advance, the staff will purchase your entry tickets, book you a hand-picked guide and drive you to the gates of the ivory-white marble mausoleum in a golf buggy.

Day 3-5

RANTHAMBORE NATIONAL PARK, India

  • Spot a majestic but currently endangered Bengal tiger freely roaming in the park
  • Visit the neighboroughing villages to gain a new perspective on Indian life

Stay in a wildlife reserve (which was previously the former royal hunting ground) that tigers, leopards and marsh crocodiles call home.

Continue south to Ranthambore National Park where you’ll spend two nights at the legendary luxury tented Aman-i-Khas resort. Twice-daily jeep safaris guarantee great tiger sightings amongst an abundance of leopards, monkeys, jackals and sambar deer. You may even spot Arrow Head, a young tigress who’s recently given birth to two young cubs. Return to camp for a candle-lit, pool-side dinner before sharing stories around the glowing fire pit under the enchanting starlit sky. With over 300 bird species, bird lovers can also go trekking along the Banas riverbed. Upgrade to a hot air balloon trip for a bird’s eye view of leopards and ancient forts.

Day 5-7

JAIPUR, India

  • Stroll the streets of the Old Bazaar to discover traditional embroidered goods created with gold and silver thread
  • Learn to block print on textiles in the famous village of Bagru

The capital of Rajasthan for good reason, Jaipur’s picturesque pink hue evokes memories of the royal family who once ruled the state and the regal imprint left on the city.

Travel north to the Pink City for two nights at Samode Haveli, situated in the heart of the historic walled city. A true urban palace, the interior of Haveli drips in incredibly regal Indian architecture. Pull yourself away from the beautiful ceiling to wander around the equally stunning Jaipur. Visit the opulent City Palace before strolling the streets of the Old Bazaar to see where the palace’s intricate carvings, silverwork and textiles were originally made. With a guide, spend an evening in Mandawa attending prayers in their private temple before learning to cook Rajasthani dishes, or embark on a street tour of Jaipur.

Day 7-9

DELWARA, India

  • Enjoy a heritage walk around the town to both support a local NGO and learn about Delwara’s history
  • Spend some time at Palera Talab’s peaceful pavilions, looking out at the peaceful lake

Known as the Town of the Gods due to its high concentration of temples, Delwara showcases the physical and social changes undergone in Rajasthan throughout history.

Head to Delwara where you’ll spend two nights at the RAAS Devigarh, standing tall within the Aravalli Hills just outside Udaipur. The palace boasts incredible valley scenery whilst within visiting distance of the City of Lakes. Follow your guide around Delwara to learn about the town’s important place within Indian history whilst also exploring rural Rajasthan. Spend some time in an NGO’s workshop to understand how textile making brings women together in the town, before trying your hand at stitching yourself. With your guide, drive into Udaipur to discover the lavish royal residences of the old city.

Day 9-11

NEW DELHI, India

  • Fill your stomach on a street food tour with delicious chaat papdi and golgappas
  • Climb the Jama Masjid’s minaret for epic views over Delhi’s rooftops

A city filled with impressive buildings and brimming with culture, New Delhi might be India’s government capital, but it is also the capital of food and markets.

Loop back to New Delhi where you’ll spend two nights at The Imperial, an oasis of calm amongst one of the world’s busiest cities, before flying to Bhutan. On a guided art tour, explore the city’s history showcased on the hotel walls through famous artworks, or enjoy high tea with an Indian twist. Outside the hotel walls, go on a street food tour or explore the stunning historical architecture of Delhi with a private driver, with stops at Jama Masjid mosque or the Akshardham Hindu temple.

Day 11-12

THIMPHU, Bhutan

  • Land in Bhutan’s capital and explore the abundance of monasteries and shrines
  • Wander around the maze of the weekend market for Bhutanese souvenirs

Bhutan’s capital city is also the heart of the country and home to Thimphu Valley, the giant Buddha and an abundance of monasteries.

Begin the Bhutanese leg of your trip in Thimpu, where you’ll spend one night at Six Senses Thimpu, a luxury hotel framed by the lush mountainous forests of the Himalayas. Spend your days in the sunshine walking around the resort’s gardens to see the three Buddha statues that represent past, present and future, as well as panoramic views of Thimpu Valley. Sit down after dinner to learn from talks about Bhutanese culture, with topics ranging from Gross National Happiness to education.

Day 12-14

PUNAKHA, Bhutan

  • Snap pictures of the Punakha Dzong, the most picturesque of all dzong fortresses in Bhutan
  • Try making your own rice alcohol with a local farmer

A town nestled amongst the Himalayas, Punakha is famous for its imposing temples and its ideal riverside location.

From Thimphu, travel to Punakha over the Dochula Pass, meandering through exceptional views of the snow-capped Himalayas. Once here, spend two nights at Six Senses Punakha, where you only need to take a dip in the infinity pool to admire the view of the mountains. Take a trip to a local farm to learn how to make the much-loved Bhutanese rice alcohol, ara, in traditional wood fermentation containers. In the evening, wander leisurely across Khuruthang bridge to enjoy a pomegranate martini beside the river with the best view of Punakha Dzhong and the sunset.

Day 14-17

GANGTEY, Bhutan

  • Ask the gods for good luck by hoisting a prayer flag, like those found outside most houses
  • Be spiritually cleansed and blessed by monks in a monastery

The secluded nature of Gangtey offers endless adventurous hikes in beautiful mountainous scenery.

Continue to one of the most secluded spots in Bhutan, Gangtey, where you’ll spend three nights at Gangtey Lodge. The lodge is hidden up in the mountains, with incredible views over the peaceful valley and plantations below. Visit a traditional farmhouse to experience everyday life and learn about Bhutanese culture over a typical meal with the local community. Eat a private breakfast with the monks, before being cleansed of bad spirits and blessed by the local deity. For ultimate good luck, hoist your own prayer flag behind the lodge to ask for happiness, long life, prosperity, and merit.

Day 114-17

BUMTHANG, Bhutan

  • In the summer, join the locals to pick wild strawberries and raspberries to then turn into jam
  • Join local monks in their evening prayers, rarely experienced by non-Buddhists

The most historic city in terms of ancient temple concentration, Bumthang occupies a prime position amongst the mountain valleys.

Take a scenic drive through dramatic landscapes of farmland and gorges to reach Bumthang, where you’ll spend two nights at Amankora. Framed by snowy Himalayan peaks, Bumthang is considered the spiritual heart of the country. Join the local monks for evening prayers and be hypnotised by Buddhist chanting; or visit the village’s monk, turned revered astrologer, to have your fortune told. Indulge in a zen massage, Bumthang Lodge’s signature treatment, to be transported to your peaceful place after a day of exploring the countryside.

Day 19-21

PARO, Bhutan

  • Hike through Neyphug Valley alone to feel a connection with the landscape
  • Pick up some piping hot momos from a street vendor as you explore Paro

Set in Western Bhutan, the valley town of Paro is ideal for exploring its surroundings on foot as well as offering an immersive spiritual and wellness retreat.

Finish your once-in-a-lifetime trip in Paro with two nights at Bhutan Spirit Sanctuary. Set in the sylvan Neyphug Valley and along a secluded dirt track, lose yourself in the breathtaking beauty of the area, dotted with dzongs and monasteries. Explore the valley on a hike to feel truly connected to rural Bhutan, stopping with a picnic to admire the valley views. Practice your skills by playing a game of kuru – Bhutanese darts – or the traditional sport of archery up in the mountains. Or hike the pilgrimage trail to the famous Tiger Nest Monastery, built precariously on the cliff face, to end your trip with Bhutan’s most spectacular spiritual site.

Georgina

We want to thank you both so much for making our holiday one of the most memorable experiences of our lives. We will be ambassadors for this magical country forever. We have already persuaded several friends to go to Bhutan!

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