Epic India to Nepal

Trip Code: HHYKC

Why we love it

Get wet and wild on a whitewater rafting adventure on the Trisuli River (the most popular river in Nepal for rafting), where you’ll zoom downstream next to giant boulders and gorges and between bright green hills. , See the majestic Taj Mahal – one of the famed Seven Wonders of the World. This may be one of the most recognisable buildings on Earth, but do you know its poetic history? Don’t worry, a local expert will fill you in. , Stretch your legs on an awesome three-night, low-altitude trek through rural villages and rhododendron forests, taking in some pretty amazing sights of the Annapurna Ranges. , Fall asleep to the calls of the jungle in Chitwan National Park, then embark on a safari in search of rhinos, deer, monkeys, tigers and a wide array of bird life. , Ditch your alarm in this spiritual capital – there’s only one way to wake up here and that’s with a sunrise sail along the Ganges. Maybe indulge in some yoga or meditation after and keep the good vibes going.  

Is this trip right for me?

This trip involves travel on public transport, covering large distances meaning some long travel days. Long-distance and overnight trains can often be delayed and occasionally cancelled due to heavy fog between December and February. Some patience will go a long way towards your enjoyment here. Sit back, relax and watch the scenery go by (a book or podcast won't hurt either). 

Weather in India and Nepal can be very hot in summer and surprisingly cold in winter, so please pack accordingly so you aren't caught out! Check seasonal weather guides and pick a travel time that suits your comfort level. 

As there is an included rafting activity, please speak to your leader in advance if you are not a confident swimmer. There is also the option to sit out this activity and instead spend time at the campsite. You’ll be camping at Trisuli River- this is at a permanent campsite where tents, mats and blankets are provided, and toilet facilities are basic.  

Outside of the main towns, Nepal can be a quiet place, with few tourist attractions and options for organised activities or meal choices. There is plenty of time for your own exploration or relaxation. Don't expect each day to be action-packed, but be ready to seek out your own, more simple cultural experiences.

Important information

1. An excellent level of fitness is required for this trip as there are long trekking days in difficult terrain.
2. Altitude does not exceed 1950 metres/6400 feet on this trip.
3. Rafting on the Trisuli River is grade 3+.
4. Please ensure you bring a passport size photo for our Annapurna trek permit application.
5. A sleeping bag is required for this trip. Please bring your own or hire one in Kathmandu.
6. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Days 16, 17 and 18 (Tea House) and Day 6 (Overnight sleeper train) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
7. Hot air balloon flights are operated by Sky Waltz in Jaipur. Flights operate from September 1st to April 30th and last approximately 60 mins. Return transfers, tea and coffee plus light refreshments and a certificate of flight are included in the cost. You can register your interest and pay your tour leader at your joining meeting on day 1 of your trip. Payment must be made by cash in either INR/AUD/USD/GBP only and is USD$260pp (subject to change). Flights are subject to availability and weather conditions (tickets are fully refundable in case of bad weather).
8. This trip is a combination of HNYK and HNYU our most popular itineraries. As such the make up of your group and your leader may change on day 13.
9. Please be aware that in the event of an emergency evacuation, Intrepid does not have control over which helicopter service may be used. Some helicopters are not in regular use with Intrepid and have not passed our internal safety auditing.
10. Please provide your full name exactly as it appears on your passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport. Fees may apply for adding or amending details within 45 days of departure, and in some cases, you will be required to cover the cost of issuing a new ticket.

What to bring/pack

Below is a list of equipment and documentation that we suggest you take with you. Please use this checklist as a guide when packing for your holiday.

- Travel documents: passport, visa (if required), travel insurance, air tickets or e-ticket receipts, trip notes
- Photocopy of main passport pages, visa (if required), travel insurance and air tickets
- Spare passport photos
- Money: cash/credit card/EFTPOS card
- Money belt
- Small padlocks
- Personal first-aid kit
- Watch/alarm clock and torch/flashlight (and spare batteries)
- Electrical adapter plug
- Toiletries/roll of toilet paper/travel wipes
- Insect repellent
- Earplugs and eye mask (for light sleepers)
- Extra pair of prescription glasses (if required)
- 2 strong plastic garbage bags (for laundry and in case of rain)
- Camera/phone (with charger)

Informal clothing is all that is required. Remember to dress in a modest fashion. Light clothing is usually all that will be required for most of the year. During the winter months, December to February, it will be chilly and possibly foggy in the early mornings, with temperatures dropping down to a minimum of around 0ºC on some days. A warm, windproof jacket will be required.

RAFTING & CAMPING:
When rafting and camping, please bring along the following:
- Sports shoes eg. trainers (x2, you will need a spare, dry pair) or rubber soled sandals that attach securely to your feet
- Sunglasses
- Swimming costume
- Sun screen
- Flashlight
- Towel

You will also need t-shirts and shorts (for rafting), and light-weight trousers, long sleeved shirts and a warm jacket for camping.

TREKKING
What you need to bring will vary according to when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances. As well as your underwear, toothbrush and other items you always need to pack for travel, below are some items that you specifically need for this trip.

Intrepid provide an individual duffel bag to carry your trekking gear. The weight limit per person is 10kg each. Porters carry two bags each as well as a their own backpack. Porters weight limit is 25kg each.

Please keep the weight and bulk of your trek bag to a minimum by bringing clothes made from lightweight material. Don't pack too much clothing; one or two changes will be all you need. However, as the weather conditions are often unpredictable, be prepared for all eventualities, be it rain, unseasonable cold or heat. For the trek all of your gear should be packed into plastic bags to protect it from the weather - dry clothes are essential for your comfort.

Your trek leader will assist you in packing your kitbag and can advise what to bring and what can be left behind at your hotel.

Day pack - Your day pack must have the capacity for the items you will be carrying on a day's walk: rain jacket, warm clothing, water bottle, camera equipment, and other personal effects. A hip/waist strap provides additional comfort when trekking.

SLEEPING BAG & INNER SHEET
Sleeping bags, are readily available to buy or hire in both Kathmandu at very reasonable rates. Your group leader can assist you in hiring gear after your welcome meeting. If you plan to hire a sleeping bag we recommend that you bring an inner sleep sheet. If you bring your own sleeping bag, please think about the time of year of your trek. 

WATER BOTTLES
It is essential to bring a water bottle to refill along the way. Boiled or safe drinking water is available to purchase. However, you should also carry a water purification method.
Options include:
- purification tablets available from camping stores or pharmacies eg. Micropur.
- 2% tincture of iodine, available from pharmacies, used at 4 drops per litre of water and left for at least 20 minutes - longer in very cold weather.

TREKKING EQUIPMENT
Trekking boots (broken in)
Waterproof 3/4 season jacket and trousers (can be hired/purchased in Kathmandu if required)
Camp footwear (ie sneakers, thongs or booties)
High quality hiking socks
T-Shirts - highly recommended are synthetic t-shirt styles that wick away moisture
Down jacket (can be hired/purchased in Kathmandu if required)
Warm mid layers (fleece/micro fibre)
Trousers - lightweight, loose fitting, trekking trousers (can be purchased in Kathmandu)
Shorts or skirt for summer
Tracksuit or fleece pants for even
Sleeveless fleece and extra layers for winter departures (Dec-Feb)
Warm hat & sun hat 
Scarf/neck warmer
Gloves and mitts - waterproof and warm.
Sunglasses with UV protection
Head torch (w spare batteries)
Sunscreen and lip balm
Light weight towel or sarong
Biodegradable wet wipes/toilet paper
Hand sanitizer gel
Trail mix/nuts/muesli bars (bring zip lock bags from home)
Walking poles (optional)

OTHER GUIDES & FURTHER TRAVEL:
For other guides to packing for treks: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/packing-guide-for-trekking-in-nepal/

If you are spending further time in the region, please see some ideas for regular travelling gear to pack.
https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list

Physical rating

3

A reasonable level of fitness is required for this holiday and you should be in good health. You can expect to walk for up to six hours per day whilst on trek in the Annapurnas, at times on steep paths with ups and downs. You will also be asked to help paddle your raft – so any physical preparation will be a definite advantage.

River Rafting - It is a requirement that you are able to swim in order to participate in the whitewater rafting section of this tour.
Note: In the unlikely event that water levels are considered too dangerous for rafting it may be necessary to arrange an alternative program.

Joining your group

Hotel Perfect, 16A/2 WEA Near Karol Bagh Metro Station, Karol Bagh, Delhi, 110005, INDIA, Phone: +91 1142502295

Located in the intriguing Karol Bagh market area, surrounded by a mix of local stalls, shops and restaurants, as well as some western shops. It is only a 25 minutes ride by auto rickshaw (INR70-80 with bargaining) to get to the heart of Delhi, Connaught Place. The hotel features a restaurant and room service, and rooms are equipped with AC, TV & phone. Luggage storage and safe deposit facilities are also available at the hotel.
www.hotelperfect.co.in

Alternate Joining Point

For trips departing on the following dates
use this joining point.
17 Mar 2024 (HHYKC240317)
23 Mar 2024 (HHYKC240323)
Pablas International
12-a/22
Wea
Saraswati Marg
Karol Bagh
Karol Bagh
Delhi
110005
INDIA

Joining instructions

Delhi's Indira Gandhi's International Airport is approximately 25km from Karol Bagh. One of the biggest airports in the world, it can be quite chaotic and can take some time to process your visa and collect your luggage.

Intrepid offer a pre-arranged transfer service option. Enquire with your agent and advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your trip departure. If you have purchased an arrival transfer you will be met in the arrivals hall after clearing customs, your representative with sign board will be standing near the Costa Coffee next to gate no 5. Please ask them to confirm your name.

Please do not exit the gates, Costa coffee is just before the exit gate no.5.
If you have any problems and cannot locate our representative, or if your flight is delayed please call the following 24 hour number:

+91-9911 97 2636

If you do not have a mobile phone, there are public phones next to Costa Coffee. Calls cost 1 rupee per minute

Failing the above please take a taxi to the hotel (using the instructions below) and advise your group leader. When you walk out of the exit door, you will easily be able to spot popular metered taxi counters such as Meru Cabs/Mega Cabs or Easy Cabs, show them your drop location and pay them as per the meter once you get to your hotel.

Taxi's from the airport to our starting point hotel take approx 1 hour and costs between INR 500 - 600 (prepaid traffic police booths).

IMPORTANT: Please avoid taxi touts who tell you that they have a metered taxi parked outside the airport. Previous passengers have complained that they have been charged a hefty amount for the transfers.

The Delhi metro is another option from the airport. Trains depart between approx 5am and 11:30pm, the trip takes approx. 45 mins and costs around INR100. Please refer to the metro map for lines, changes and directions to Karol Bagh where most of our hotels are located. http://delhimetrorail.info/delhi-metro-map

Check in time at hotel is 12 midday.

Finishing your trip

Mandala Heritage Inn, Mandala Street, Thamel, Kathmandu, 44600, NEPAL, Phone: +977 15919611

Alternate Finish Point


A taxi to the airport will cost about NPR 800 from 06.00-20.00 and NRP 1000 from 20.00-06.00. Hotel reception or your leader can help you organise a taxi.

Normal check out time is 12 noon. If you are departing later in the day or evening, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel.

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 1

Lunches included: 2

Dinners included: 2

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

FOOD IN INDIA:
Food is a way of life in India. You can snack for a bargain or dine in the finest Indian restaurants. Generally, you can eat very cheaply in India. There is a huge choice of restaurants and street stalls serving traditional and local Indian food. In bigger restaurants in areas frequented by more tourists, there is a choice between Indian, Chinese and Western-style food. Here are some ideas of what to try: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/best-food-in-india/
https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/foodies-guide-south-india/

Please note that service in restaurants (especially with a group) can be quite slow so patience is a must.

India caters very well towards vegetarians and vegans with almost all restaurants having a veg and pure veg section of the menu. If in doubt please check with your group leader or local representative. See our guide to eating vegan in India here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/india-vegan-food-guide/

Your group leader or local representative will be able to direct you towards restaurants that are known to have better hygiene, especially in tourist areas where they are travelling with our groups regularly. For some more advice on avoiding "Delhi belly", see our article here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/how-to-avoid-delhi-belly-in-india/

FOOD IN NEPAL:
In Kathmandu and Pokhara there are plenty of restaurants and cafes for all tastes and budgets. For a glimpse at what traditional Nepali cuisine entails, check out our guide here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/guide-to-nepali-cuisine/

Nepal caters very well towards vegetarians and vegans with almost all restaurants having a veg section of the menu. Your group leader or local representative will be able to direct you towards restaurants that are known to have better hygiene, especially in tourist areas where they are travelling with our groups regularly.

Climate & seasonal information

WEATHER IN INDIA
Due to India's size and topography, there's a huge amount of variation in its climate. We recommend you consider both the season and the part of India you intend to visit, so that you can best pack for your adventure.

One of the most beneficial times to visit India is from September to March when temperatures are at their best, with warm days and cool nights.

During winter (December to January), temperatures can get quite cold in Delhi and the north, especially at night. Hotels in some regions may not have adequate heating. In these months you may like to bring thermals for sleeping and a warm jacket for mornings and evenings. Fog can delay trains travelling throughout this region.

Monsoon is from May to October and offers hot and humid conditions. It is not unusual for trains to be delayed, and for activities in towns near rivers and lakes (ie Varanasi) to require amendment at this time of year. Your group leader or local representative will be able to advise you locally on any changes.

SEASONAL INFORMATION:
Nepal's climate varies greatly depending on the season:

JUN - SEP: the monsoon rains (mostly at night) bring landslides in regional areas. Cloud cover often obscures mountain views with rain, mud, and leeches deterring most trekkers at this time of year. Treks running in September can be hot and very humid at lower altitudes. See what it's like to trek during monsoon here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/nepal-during-monsoon-season/

MAR-APR: Spring brings warm weather and spectacular rhododendron blooms. A popular time to visit and one of the peak times to trek.

OCT - NOV: Clear skies and warm days make autumn the peak season.

DEC - FEB: Winter brings cold temperatures and snow to the mountains. Good trekking, but remember to rug up.

Some towns, including Kathmandu, experience very high levels of seasonal smog which can lead to decreased scenic visibility.

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader or local representative may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the group leader or local representative to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the numbers below:

Available for phone call or WhatsApp call on +91 999 900 5019

Available for phone call or WhatsApp call on +977 980 112 3617

Accommodations

ACCOMMODATION:
Some of the accommodation along the way is basic or simple, staying in local guesthouses and homestays. Some may have shared bathroom facilities with cold water only. We use a mixture of air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned rooms. Some areas of India experience daily load shedding. This is where the power may be turned off at certain times of the day and usually occurs for a few hours in the early afternoon. Most hotel properties have a restaurant or cafe serving local meals. Many restaurants and hotels do not serve alcohol for religious reasons or due to local laws. 

SHOWERS:
Showers at some hotels only have hot water at peak times (usually morning and evening). Outside of these times, you may need to speak to reception to obtain hot water.

ROOM ISSUES:
If you have any issues with your room, please speak to the hotel and your tour leader right away rather than your travel agent so that the problem can be addressed without delay.

OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS
Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on a different Intrepid trip than your own.

CHECK-IN TIME
Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (subject to availability), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

SLEEPER TRAINS IN INDIA:
Sleeper trains are clean and air-conditioned (fan-cooled at times), a great way to travel long distances and still get maximum time in each place. Depending on the route, we travel 2AC or 3AC class as not all classes are available on all routes. Due to the complexity of the ticket purchasing system and high demand for tickets, we are unable to offer upgrades to other classes.

Second Class or 2 Tier AC (2AC) carriages have 4 berths in the compartment section and 2 berths in the aisle bay and individual reading lights. Third Class or 3 Tier AC (3AC) has 6 berths in the compartment and 2 in the aisle bay. Both have curtains for privacy. There are no sinks or charging points in these classes. During the day, bunks are folded away and serve as seats. Toilet facilities are located at either end of the carriage. There is usually an Indian style squat toilet at one end and a western-style toilet at the other. You will need your own toilet paper or tissues and cleanliness will depend on the number of people using them. 

Beds are padded bunks, with sheets, pillow and blanket provided. Some people prefer to bring and use their own sleeping sheet. Your luggage travels with you on the train, so packing light will make your journey more comfortable.

Many trains have a dining carriage or a food/snack cart that is brought through the carriages. There are also plenty of vendors selling tea, coffee, water and snacks during the journey, although the hygiene may not be up to standards you are used to at home.

Please note you may be sharing with other members of your group or locals on a mixed gender basis. Tickets are booked on a real-name basis using your passport details. We book for all members of the group at the same time, but unfortunately, this is no guarantee that we will be accommodated all together on the train. Your leader will do their best to swap with other travellers to allow people who booked together to travel together, but please be aware that this is not always possible. We may at times ask male travellers to swap with solo female travellers for safety considerations.

Transportation

TRANSPORT IN INDIA:
Main roads in India are usually very busy with an assortment of vehicles from the biggest trucks (who always have right of way) down to bikes (and animals!). Overtaking on blind corners at speed is common as is the total use of the horn as a form of communication. Our leaders have complete authority to remove groups from local transport if the driver is not driving safely. Drivers of our private vehicles are experienced and well trained. if you are uncomfortable with your driver, please always let your tour leader know immediately. Please ensure you wear your seat belt at all times.

TRAVEL TIMES:
Distances in India do not reflect the driving time and to cover 100km may take much longer than you would expect at home, even if much of the route is on a highway.

TRAINS:
India has a massive network of trains and millions of people travel by rail every day. Trains often travel the length of the country over several days. Trains are a great way to see the countryside and get you away from the busy road system. Delays and cancellations are common on trains. Your tour leader will check the train status to see if there are delays and will do their best to keep you informed of any changes.

From December to February, delays are more common, especially in the north of the country due to fog. It’s not uncommon for trains to be delayed for up to 12 hours. On occasion, your trip will may to be rerouted to allow for these delays. Your tour leader in conjunction with our local office will advise any changes to the itinerary.

The Indian Railway system is one of the largest railway networks in the world and quite complex. Seat allocation is completely computerized on a centralized reservation system and we do not have control over seat allocations. Despite booking tickets months in advance of a departure your group's seats, or sleeping berths on overnight trains, maybe spread out within one carriage or multiple carriages of the same class. There’s a chance you’ll be sharing a compartment with local travelers of either gender.

For a detailed look into the experience of travelling by overnight trains read more here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/india-trains-guide/

AUTO RICKSHAWS:
On this trip, we travel on the local style of transport called an auto-rickshaw. These small, motorised three-wheeled vehicles are a common form of transport in India and do not have seatbelts.

FLIGHTS:
Airlines in India are of excellent quality. Airports are becoming more modern (especially in the major and tourist cities). To enter the airport, you must have a copy of your flight ticket and passport. Schedule changes and delays do occur, especially when weather conditions make visibility poor.