Grand Tour of India and Bhutan | Yampu Tours

Custom Travel Experiences Since 1998

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Grand Tour of India and Bhutan

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PRIVATE TOUR - 18 DAY SAMPLE ITINERARY

FROM £$ 8531

Private Tour Highlights

  • Drive over lofty, winding mountain passes
  • Journey to the hidden Himalayan country of Bhutan
  • See Paro’s impressive Dzongs and Buddhist sites
  • Get immersed in India’s impressive and rich history
  • Uncover the Himalayan country of Bhutan
  • Enjoy amazing views of the jagged mountains as well as green valleys
  • View ancient Dzongkha and Tibetan texts held within the National Library
  • See the religious paintings and carvings in some spectacular stupas
  • Delve into the Buddhist faith at its epicenter
  • Hike through the Gangtey Valley and look down at the lush, green surroundings
  • Gaze into the translucent Burning Lake to see relics of the past
Interested in this tour?   Let us build you a customized quote based on your budget.

Tour Overview

This tour showcases India’s finest cultural sites throughout New Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, including the Red Fort, the Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri and the Amber Fort. After experiencing these national treasures, uncover the hidden Himalayan country of Bhutan. In this pristine region enjoy visits to extraordinary monasteries, drive over lofty mountain passes, explore remote and pristine valleys, mingle with the locals and immerse yourself in their traditional heritage.

From Jaipur, you will fly to Bhutan, the Land of the Thunder Dragon. Arriving in Paro, you will have wonderful views of the tall rugged mountains jutting out of its lush green valley floor. See the city’s impressive dzongs and Buddhist sites, including the famous Taksang Monastery, or Tiger’s Nest. Transferring to Thimphu, you will then find yourself in the only world capital without a traffic light. While here, you will be taken to many significant cultural sites including temples, chortens, museums, the National Library, the Painting school and much more.

Driving further into central Bhutan, you will cross over a lofty mountain pass with surreal views, en route to the remote Gangtey Valley, a rural scenic outpost that is famous for its dominating monastery, the migratory black necked cranes (that reside here in winter months), and the great views and friendly villages. Also experience the center of Bhutan’s historic legacy in the Bumthang district, visiting several more significant dzongs, monasteries and palaces.

Inclusions
Price Includes:
One way domestic airfare from Jaipur to New Delhi, round trip regional airfare from New Delhi to Paro, all accommodations with continental or buffet breakfast, service of chauffeured air-conditioned vehicle, one time entrance fees at all monuments, all specified activities, services of English speaking local guide for excursions, all currently applicable taxes including service tax

Notes:
* The Red Fort in Delhi remains closed on every Monday

* The Taj Mahal in Agra remains closed on every Friday

* Additional supplements may apply between 1 – 20 November, 20 December – 10 January and 1 – 28 February. Please ask a Yampu Travel Consultant for more details.
Best Time to Travel
JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Best Good Consult

Pricing Details
  3-Star 4-Star 5-Star Luxury
Double £$8030 £$8531 £$9026 £$22098
Single £$9024 £$10067 £$11026 £$39142

Prices shown above are per person. Hotel categories do not adhere strictly to international ratings; Yampu has evaluated the hotels according to destination and availability. Prices include local airfare (where applicable), hotel accommodation including daily breakfast; all transfers with baggage handling, all guided tours in English and all entrance fees.

Please note that prices are subject to change based on availability and seasonality, especially during the holiday season from December 20th through January 5th each year. Please contact a Yampu Travel Specialist for more information on best times to travel.

Trip Type:

All our trips are operated on a private basis unless specified otherwise. This is only a sample itinerary; your Yampu Tour Consultant will personalize this trip for you according to your available dates, interests and type of hotels. This is your trip and we will work on making it perfect!

Tour Itinerary

Day
1

International Flight to New Delhi

Overnight international flight to New Delhi.

Overnight international flight to New Delhi.

Day
2

Arrival in New Delhi

Upon arrival and airport reception, transfer to the hotel. Depending on arrival time, spend the rest of the day at leisure.

Upon arrival and airport reception, transfer to the hotel. Depending on arrival time, spend the rest of the day at leisure.

Street-Cow-New-Delhi-tour-india
Day
3

Tour of New Delhi

Begin the morning tour of Old Delhi with a cycle rickshaw ride through the streets. Make a panoramic visit to the Red Fort, which was the most affluent fort and palace of the once reigning Mughal Empire. Then it’s on to Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque. The final stop in Old Delhi will lead to Chandni Chowk (closed on Sunday), a lively and colorful market that was once the commercial center of the city.
Then drive to New Delhi, which will provide a stark contrast between the old and the new; a recurring theme throughout India. In New Delhi visit the India Gate monument, followed by the grounds of the Parliament House and other extravagant government buildings. Then continue to Humayun’s Tomb, built in honor of India’s second Mughal emperor. Later visit the world’s tallest brick minaret, Qutub Minar.

Note: Yampu recommends an optional tour (price not included) to enjoy a fine dinner at the Veda Restaurant, a lavishly designed nouvelle cuisine curry house that offers a fusion of traditional Indian food with a modern spin. A second option is a visit to Akshardham, a unique, yet stunning monument that boasts 234 elaborately carved pillars, 9 decorative domes, 20 quadrangled shikhars (towers of Hindu architecture), stone elephant sculptures, and 20,000 murtis (Hindu images portraying Divine spirits). Please inquire with a Yampu travel consultant for more information.
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red-fort-india
Day
4

New Delhi – Agra

Begin with a drive to Agra that will take approximately 4 hours. Upon arrival, check into the hotel. Then proceed for a sightseeing tour of the stunning Taj Mahal, India’s most picture perfect work of architecture and one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.
Driving through the city to the Agra Fort, there will be fantastic photo ops of the local scene and bazaars and the everyday buzz of India. Once at the Agra Fort, stroll through its regal chambers that were once called home to some of India’s most powerful Mughal emperors.

Note: Yampu recommends an optional tour (cost not included) to a showing of Mohhabbat The Taj, a live show with a touch of Bollywood is recommended. This 80 minute presentation is a charming way to top off the day at the Kalakriti Auditorium. Please inquire with a Yampu travel consultant for more details.
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India_Taj_Mahal_Blue_Sky
Day
5

Agra – Jaipur

Drive approximately 4-5 hours to Jaipur. En route, stop to enjoy an excursion to the abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri, the once imperial city of the Mughal dynasty that was mysteriously deserted years after its inception. This ornate city was built with such grandeur that words do not do justice to the glorious atmosphere created by its buildings. Upon arrival, check in and have some time to relax before a sound and light show at the city’s Amber Fort.

Drive approximately 4-5 hours to Jaipur. En route, stop to enjoy an excursion to the abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri, the once imperial city of the Mughal dynasty that was mysteriously deserted years after its inception. This ornate city was built with such grandeur that words do not do justice to the glorious atmosphere created by its buildings. Upon arrival, check in and have some time to relax before a sound and light show at the city’s Amber Fort.

Fatehpur-Sikri-India-tour
Day
6

Tour of the Amber Fort

This morning return to the Amber Fort for a half day excursion. Strolling through the magnificent rooms and chambers, observe the various intricate ivory, mirror and glass work. In the afternoon, enjoy a city tour that will begin at the City Palace Museum, followed by a visit to Jantar Mantar (an accurate observatory built in 1726) and great photographic opportunities at the Hawa Mahal, or Palace of Winds – a spectacular five storied, honeycomb styled building exemplifying superb Rajput artistry.

Note: Yampu recommends an optional tour (price not included) of an evening elephant safari. After a chance to feed these gentle creatures, ride upon their backs through a private jungle area, passing many villages, fields and a medieval fortress as the sun sets. Please inquire with a Yampu travel consultant for more information.
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jaipur-amber-fort-India
Day
7

Jaipur – Paro

Take an afternoon flight to Paro. In clear weather, the flight into Paro is a befitting introduction to Bhutan, as there are spectacular aerial views of the highest mountain peaks in the world that rise out of the lush green Paro Valley. Upon arrival, airport reception and transfer to Thimphu (55 kms, approx. hours).

Take an afternoon flight to Paro. In clear weather, the flight into Paro is a befitting introduction to Bhutan, as there are spectacular aerial views of the highest mountain peaks in the world that rise out of the lush green Paro Valley. Upon arrival, airport reception and transfer to Thimphu (55 kms, approx. hours).

Paro's-Dzong-bhutan
Day
8

Tour of Thimpu

Morning read more...

Morning at leisure. In the afternoon, set out for some sightseeing, beginning with the National Memorial Chorten. Erected in 1974 to honor His Late Majesty King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, this large Tibetan styled chorten (or stupa) exhibits many religious paintings and tantric statues that reflect several aspects of Buddhist Deities.

Carry on to Changangkha Lhakhang, an old fortress styled temple. Also the site of a monastic school, this temple offers excellent views of Thimphu as it is perched on a ridge above the city. From here, a brief trip to the mini zoo (essentially a large fenced in area) is in order, where one can see the Takin – the national animal of Bhutan.

Then, go to Thimphu’s telecommunication tower, which is situated on a hillside (2865m) offering great photographic scenes of Thimphu Valley. Covered in prayer flags, the complex houses the Bhutan TV studio and although it cannot be photographed, the views of the valley are definitely worth the trip. With the remaining time in the day, enjoy a visit to the Paper Factory, where traditional Bhutanese paper is produced from the Daphne plant.
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Day
9

Visit to the National Library & Zorig Chusum

Today, begin with a visit to the National Library, which was founded in 1967 and preserves many ancient Dzongkha and Tibetan texts. On the upper floor, one can see traditional Tibetan styled books that are written on long strips of handmade paper, stacked between pieces of wood and wrapped in silken cloth. Also see several wooden blocks that are used for printing books and prayer flags as well as a collection of more contemporary books.

Next, visit the National Institute for Zorig Chusum, Thimpu’s popular painting school that offers a six year course with teachings of traditional Bhutanese arts. Beginning with drawing, the students follow a curriculum that progresses to painting, woodcarving, embroidery and statue making.
Also on the list for the day is the National Institute for Traditional Medicine, which is an impressively large lab that dispenses herbal and other medicines. Follow this with a leisurely visit to the National Textile Museum to learn about the national art of weaving. The Folk Heritage Museum is also worth a visit, as it is a unique three story mud and timber building that acts as a living museum to give visitors insight into the ancient Bhutanese lifestyles.

Lastly, visit the Tashi Chhoe Dzong. Buil in 1216, this dzong houses the Throne Room and offices of the Bhutanese King and Ministers. The northern portion of the building is the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot) and the Central Monk Body. Tourists are allowed to visit only after 5 pm and may only enter the courtyard. In the evening, visit the Handicrafts Emporium where Bhutanese souvenirs can be purchased.
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text-tibetan-bhutan
Day
10

Thimpu – Gangtey Valley

Disembark for a journey east to the Gangtey Valley (130 kms, 5-6 hours). Traveling on windy mountain roads, this will be a spectacular alpine journey, with great views of the Northern Himalayan Range as the Dochu La pass is ascended (3199 m/10170 ft). Along the pass, take a brief stop to visit the 108 Druk Wangyal Chortens.

Disembark for a journey east to the Gangtey Valley (130 kms, 5-6 hours). Traveling on windy mountain roads, this will be a spectacular alpine journey, with great views of the Northern Himalayan Range as the Dochu La pass is ascended (3199 m/10170 ft). Along the pass, take a brief stop to visit the 108 Druk Wangyal Chortens.

prayer-flags-bhutan-valley
Day
11

Tour of the Gangtey Valley

The Gangtey Valley overlooks the lush green expanse of the much larger Phobjikha Valley, which has many alpine wetlands along its Black Mountain range. A prime habitat for black necked cranes, this is a pristine conservation area for these majestic birds that winter in the area, before returning to Tibet. The best chance to see these birds are between November and February. After some exploration of the valley, visit the Gangtey Monastery, a significant place for the Nyingmapa school of Buddhism. Established in 1613, the prayer hall of the monastery is constructed in a Tibetan style and is one of the largest in Bhutan. Within its walls is a Buddhist college, as well as a retreat and mediation center for monks. ...read less

Nyingmapa-school-of-Buddhism
Day
12

Cultural immersion in the Gangtey Valley

Spend the entire day exploring the valley, the natural setting and the scenic views. Also take some time to visit local farmhouses and villages to get immersed in the culture for a wholesome experience.

Spend the entire day exploring the valley, the natural setting and the scenic views. Also take some time to visit local farmhouses and villages to get immersed in the culture for a wholesome experience.

stream-bhutan-countryside
Day
13

Gangtey Valley – Bumthang

The drive today will take about 5 – 6 hours. The drive crosses over the Pele La Pass at 3,420 meters. Before reaching Trongsa stop to view the Chendebji Chorten – a large white structure beside a stream at 2,430m. The chorten is patterned after a Nepali style stupa from the 19th century by Lama Shida from Tibet to cover the remains of an evil spirit that was killed on this spot. Stop to view the impressive Trongsa Dzong, the ancestral home of the ruling dynasty. In olden days the dzong commanded the passage between East and West Bhutan. Also visit the Ta dzong, an ancient watchtower, above the main dzong, which has an interesting display of Mongol armor and most of the rare pieces of antiques in Bhutanese history.

Then proceed to Bumthang, crossing the Yotong La Pass at 3,440 m. The Bumthang region encompasses four major valleys: Choekor, Tang, Ura and Chhume. The valley is considered as one of the most beautiful landscaped valley of the Kingdom holding roots to many Buddhists holy sites and holy shrines. It has also be described as the Switzerland of Asia.
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Punakha-Valley-bhutan
Day
14

Tour of Bumthang

Enjoy a tour of Bumthang, including the Jakar Dzong, Jambey Lhakang, Kurjey Lhakhang, Membartsho and the Ugyen Chholing Palace. The picturesque Jakar Dzong – known as the Castle of the White Bird, was built in 1667 and is believed to be the largest Dzong in the Kingdom. Located on a small hill top overlooking the Choekor valley., the dzong houses the office of the local governor, some administrative offices, a small court and the monk’s quarters. The Jambey Lhakhang is a monastery that is believed to have been built in the year 659 CE by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo. After a brief visit here, move onto the Kurjey Lhakhang, which is named after the body print of Guru Rinpoche that remains preserved in a cave inside the oldest of the three buildings that make up the temple complex. The first temple in the complex was built in 1652 by a local governor (Penlop); the second temple was built in 1900 by the first King of Bhutan and the third by the present Queen Mother in 1984.
Membartsho – The Burning Lake is a 5 minute walk from the road side in the Tang valley. This lake occupies a wide place in the Tang Chhu (River). Terton Pema Lingpa – a renowned treasure hunter in the 15th century, found several of Guru Rinpoche’s treasures in this lake. A wooden bridge crosses the river and is a good vantage point to look down into the lake. Perhaps the temple that is said to exist in the lake’s depths can be spotted. The importance of the site is indicated by the extensive array of prayer flags and the small clay offering. The Ugyen Chholing Palace is located in the Tang valley – this is a 16th century palace that was built by a Temporary ruler (deb). The present structures including a temple, servants’ quarters and a massive residential building, are more recent, having been rebuilt after their collapse in the 1897 earthquake. The family that owns this Palace turned the complex into a museum to preserve its legacy and provide a place for religious studies, research and solitude. Permanent exhibits in the main building are captioned with extensive, informative descriptions of the lifestyle and artworks of a Bhutanese noble family.
Other visits in the Bumthang valley will include visits to the Woodcarving Factory, the Sheep Breeding Center and the Beekeeping Project.
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farm-bhutan
Day
15

Bumthang – Punakha

Return drive to Punakha via the same route. The drive will take 7-8 hours to cover the distance of approximately 210 kilometers. Once arrived, spend the rest of the evening at leisure.

Return drive to Punakha via the same route. The drive will take 7-8 hours to cover the distance of approximately 210 kilometers. Once arrived, spend the rest of the evening at leisure.

Day
16

Punakha – Thimpu – Paro

Return to Paro via Thimphu. On arrival in Paro, visit the Ta Dzong - an unusual round building said to be in a shape of a conch shell which houses the National Museum of the Kingdom. The museum displays a spectacular collection of Thangkhas, extensive philatelic collection, ancient bronze and stone objects, statues, ancient weapons and shields. In the afternoon, visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the two oldest lhakhangs in the country built in 659 CE by the Tibetan King Songsten Gyampo. It is one of the 108 temples built by the Tibetan King and is said to hold down the left foot of a demoness. In the evening explore the Paro town. ...read less

bhutan-paro
Day
17

Tour of the Taktsang Monastery

Morning read more...

Morning hike to the famous Taktsang monastery (Alt.3100m). Taktsang literally means - Tiger's nest. This monastery was built in the 1600s and clings to a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900m above the valley. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche, in the form of Dorji Drolo arrived at this site on the back of a flying tigress believed to be his consort, to subdue the eight evil spirits who were preventing the propagation on Buddhism in the area. A fire destroyed the monastery in 1998, the cause of which is still unknown, but it has recently been rebuilt in its original form. It’s a 1 hour and 30 minute walk up hill to the cafeteria, where lunch will be served.
After lunch walk back to the base and drive a short distance further north to visit the Drukgyel Dzong built in 1649 by Shabdrung Nawang Namgyal to commemorate Bhutan's numerous victories over the Tibetan invaders. The Dzong was destroyed by an accidental fire and is now left in ruin. On a clear day, the 24, 000 ft (7314m) white doomed sacred Mount Jomolhari can be seen.
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Taktsang-Monastery
Day
18

International flight home to New Delhi

Transfer to the airport for a connection to New Delhi and flight home or continue with an optional Yampu Tours add-on.

Transfer to the airport for a connection to New Delhi and flight home or continue with an optional Yampu Tours add-on.

Delhi, India

Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India

Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

Paro, Bhutan

Thimphu, Bhutan

Gangtey Monastery, Wangdue Phodrang, Bhutan

Bumthang, Bhutan

Punakha, Bhutan

Places You'll See

  • Jama-Masjid-India

    Delhi

    Home to India’s largest mosque, the Red Fort, Delhi is abundant in historical artifacts and cultural events. Visit the Baha’i Lotus Temple, a beautiful building in the shape of a lotus bud, or the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art. To get a real taste of area, take a food tour to experience the local cuisine. Or take a peaceful morning walk in the Lodhi Garden.

  • for-agra-India

    Agra

    Visit the famous Taj Mahal, one of the New 7 Wonders of the world, in Agra. Take a guided tour through the immense, white marble mausoleum, built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his late wife, a true monument of love. While in Agra, also visit the Agra Fort, mainly constructed from sandstone, it’s more of a palace than a defense structure.

  • Amber-Fort-Jaipur-India

    Jaipur

    Nicknames the Pink City, Jaipur is home to several enticing attractions. Visit the Amber Fort, once the royal palace for the Kachwahas, and see the impressive evening light show. Explore the massive City Palace inside the old city. Take a peaceful stroll through one of the many gardens, or purchase some unique souvenirs at the city center bazaar.

  • paro-valley-bhutan

    Paro

    Visit the many historical sites scattered throughout the small, yet exquisite town of Paro. Hike up to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery, precariously perched on the edge of a cliff, or see the display of Bhutan’s historical artifacts at the National Museum of Bhutan. Walk along the streets lined with traditional architecture and beautifully decorated buildings housing shops and restaurants.

  • monk-bhutan

    Bumthang

    Meaning “beautiful field”, Bumthang is the most historic district of Bhutan. Visit Kurjey Lhakhang, one of Bhutan’s most sacred monasteries, or Mebar Tsho (Burning Lake), where Guru Rinpoche’s scriptural treasures were discovered. Take a trek to the Duer Hot Springs or the weaving houses of Chhumey.

Hotel Options

3 Star Properties

Delhi : Justa Greater Kailash

Agra : Hotel Amar

Jaipur : Alsisar Haveli

4 Star Properties

Delhi : The Royal Plaza

Agra : Agra Trident Oberoi

Jaipur : Jaipur Trident Oberoi

Paro : Olathang Hotel

Thimphu : Hotel Druk

Thimphu : Hotel Galingkha

Thimphu : Phuntsho Pelri

Gangtey : Duwachen Hotel

Bumthang : Peling Hotel

Bumthang : Yugharling Hotel

Punakha : Meri Puensum Resort

5 Star Properties

Delhi : The Claridges

Agra : ITC Mughal Agra

Jaipur : Jaimahal Palace

Luxury Properties

Delhi : The Oberoi

Agra : Amarvilas

Jaipur : Oberoi Rajvilas,

Jaipur : Taj Rambagh Palace

Jaipur : Sujan Rajmahal Palace

Paro : Amankora Paro

Thimphu : Amankora Thimphu

Gangtey : Amankora Gangtey

Bumthang : Amankora Bumthang

Punakha : Amankora Punakha

Testimonials

Joan A.

Traveled April, 2013

As usual, everything went like clockwork

Recently I went to Bhutan with Yampu Tours. With multiple flights and visas, this is not the easiest of tours but, as usual, everything went like clockwork. I say, as usual, because this is the third trip with Yampu and I have nothing but praise for their handling of everything. The professionalism, attention to detail, economical prices, keeps me returning to their services when I want to travel. I highly recommend them.

Traveled To

Don

Traveled December, 2012

Everything was great and I have no complaints

Everything was great and I have no complaints. I’ve been the Delhi before but never Varanasi. Truly the toilet bowl of the world. Dirtier than my own mouth, if you can believe it. However, at the same time it was an amazing experience.

Traveled To

Karen Z

Traveled February, 2013

I had an absolutely wonderful trip!

I had an absolutely wonderful trip! Thank you so much for all of your help and planning. The packet of information that you sent me was extremely helpful and gave me some great tips for the area I was visiting. My flights were perfect- thank you for the window seats and the brief layovers! My guide, Tika, was waiting for me at the airport when I arrived and she got me settled in my hotel and briefed me about our plan for the next day. The hotel was amazing too, it was very comfortable and relaxing. The itinerary that was set for my trek was detailed and accurate. The tea houses that we stayed at were nice, and everyone was very friendly. My guide was always attentive and made sure that I was taken care of, and that we were prepared for each day. We had a lot of interaction with other guides and trekkers along the way, which made this trip even better. All who involved with my trek to Everest Base Camp and Kala Pattar, did an amazing job. I always felt safe and taken care of, and that everything was going according to plan. And when our flight to Lukla was delayed that first day due to weather, arrangements were immediately made for me for another night at the hotel. I am so glad that Yampu Tours helped planned my trip. I had a wonderful time, and would love to use your travel assistance again in the future.

Traveled To

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