12 days in Varanasi, Kathmandu & Golden Triangle (India) Itinerary

12 days in Varanasi, Kathmandu & Golden Triangle (India) Itinerary

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12 days in Varanasi, Kathmandu & Golden Triangle (India) Itinerary

Start: Johannesburg, South Africa
Fly:  19​h
1
Varanasi, India
— 2 nights
Fly:  8​h
2
Kathmandu, Nepal
— 4 nights
+2
Fly + subway + train:  5​h
3
Agra, India
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 30​min
4
Jaipur, India
— 1 night
Fly:  15​h 30​min
End: Johannesburg, South Africa

2
nights
Varanasi, India

Varanasi ©
A sacred city for Hindus and thought by many to be the place where Buddhism formed as a religion, Varanasi leaves an imprint on the hearts and minds of visitors regardless of their creed, race, or religion.
Start off your visit on the 18th (Wed): look for gifts at The Bed Silk & Pashmina, browse the exhibits of Ruchika Art Gallery, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sankat Mochan Temple, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nepali Temple (Kathwala Temple), and finally admire the masterpieces at Archaeological Museum. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 19th (Thu): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Tibetan Temple and then take in the exciting artwork at Kriti Gallery.

For where to stay and tourist information, use the Varanasi visit planner.

Johannesburg, South Africa to Varanasi is an approximately 19-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of flight and bus. You'll lose 3 hours traveling from Johannesburg to Varanasi due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Johannesburg in December, expect Varanasi to be slightly colder, temps between 26°C and 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 19th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Kathmandu.

Things to do in Varanasi

Museums Historic Sites Shopping
Highlights from your plan
Ruchika Art Gallery ©
Ruchika Art Gallery
Sankat Mochan Temple ©
Sankat Mochan Temple
Archaeological Museum ©
Archaeological Museum

4
nights
Kathmandu, Nepal

Kathmandu ©
Once synonymous with the mysterious and inaccessible Shangri-La, today Kathmandu draws an ever-increasing number of tourists, catering to independent travelers of various budgets.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Changu Narayan and Thrangu Tashi Monastery. Visit Nyatapola Temple and Boudhanath Stupa for their historical value. And it doesn't end there: boost your wellbeing at a local thermal spa, stop by S.K. Handicrafts Export, wander the streets of Thamel, and browse the exhibits of Universal Art Gallery.

For other places to visit, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Kathmandu day trip planner .

You can drive from Varanasi to Kathmandu in 8 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train, car, and flight; or do a combination of flight, train, and car. Expect a bit cooler temperatures when traveling from Varanasi in December; daily highs in Kathmandu reach 22°C and lows reach 5°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Mon) so you can travel to Agra.

Things to do in Kathmandu

Historic Sites Spas Museums

Side Trips

Patan (Lalitpur), Bhaktapur, Thrangu Tashi Monastery
Highlights from your plan
Nyatapola Temple ©
Nyatapola Temple
Thrangu Tashi Monastery ©
Thrangu Tashi Monastery
Changu Narayan ©
Changu Narayan

1
night
Agra, India

Agra
Tourism in Agra revolves around two words: Taj Mahal.
Kick off your visit on the 24th (Tue): view the masterpieces at U.P Handicrafts Development Center, view the masterpieces at Taj Gallery, then admire the landmark architecture of Taj Mahal, and finally admire the landmark architecture of Agra Fort.

To find traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, read Agra online day trip planner .

Do a combination of flight and train from Kathmandu to Agra in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and car. Traveling from Kathmandu in December, things will get a bit warmer in Agra: highs are around 27°C and lows about 9°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Jaipur.

Things to do in Agra

Historic Sites Museums Shopping
Highlights from your plan
Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal
Agra Fort
Agra Fort
Taj Gallery ©
Taj Gallery

1
night
Jaipur, India

Jaipur ©
Known as the "Pink City" because of the color of the stone used for many of its notable structures, Jaipur draws visitors with its chaotic street life and a slew of colorful bazaars selling everything from handmade pottery to tie-dye scarves.
Start off your visit on the 25th (Wed): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Moti Dungari Temple, then take an in-depth tour of City Palace of Jaipur, and then explore the historical opulence of Amber Palace. Here are some ideas for day two: stop by Jaipur Blue Pottery Art Centre, examine the collection at Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing, then look and learn at Jantar Mantar - Jaipur, and finally take a stroll through Rusirani Village.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Jaipur trip builder website .

Getting from Agra to Jaipur by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 30°C in December, and nighttime lows around 11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Thu) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Jaipur

Museums Neighborhoods Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Moti Dungari Temple ©
Moti Dungari Temple
Amber Palace ©
Amber Palace
City Palace of Jaipur ©
City Palace of Jaipur

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