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

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

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Route & dates

1
Varanasi, India
— 2 nights
2
Kathmandu, Nepal
— 4 nights
3
Agra, India
— 1 night
4
Jaipur, India
— 1 night

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.
On the 18th (Wed), stop by The Bed Silk & Pashmina, take in the exciting artwork at 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 explore the world behind art at Archaeological Museum. Keep things going the next day: take in the spiritual surroundings of Tibetan Temple and then explore the galleries of Kriti Gallery.

To see more things to do, photos, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Varanasi holiday maker.

Johannesburg, South Africa to Varanasi is an approximately 19.5-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from South Africa Standard Time to India Standard Time is 3.5 hours. Expect little chillier temperatures when traveling from Johannesburg in December; daily highs in Varanasi reach 26°C and lows reach 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 19th (Thu) to allow time for travel to Kathmandu.

Things to do in Varanasi

Museums · Shopping · Historic Sites
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Sankat Mochan Temple ©
Sankat Mochan Temple
Archaeological Museum ©
Archaeological Museum
The Bed Silk & Pashmina ©
The Bed Silk & Pashmina

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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Changu Narayan and Golden Temple (Hiranya Varna Mahavihar). Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Thrangu Tashi Monastery and Boudhanath Stupa. Go for a jaunt from Kathmandu to Bhaktapur to see Nyatapola Temple about 46 minutes away. And it doesn't end there: explore the world behind art at Patan Museum, look for gifts at S.K. Handicrafts Export, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Swayambhunath Temple, and take a stroll through Thamel.

For maps, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Kathmandu journey builder tool.

Traveling by flight from Varanasi to Kathmandu takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and car. The time zone difference moving from India Standard Time (IST) to Nepal Time (NPT) is 0.2 hours. Traveling from Varanasi in December, expect Kathmandu to be little chillier, temps between 22°C and 5°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon) to allow time to travel to Agra.

Things to do in Kathmandu

Historic Sites · Spas · Museums

Side Trips

Patan (Lalitpur), Bhaktapur, Thrangu Tashi Monastery
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Changu Narayan ©
Changu Narayan
Thrangu Tashi Monastery ©
Thrangu Tashi Monastery
Nyatapola Temple ©
Nyatapola Temple

1
night
Agra, India

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

To find where to stay, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Agra travel route builder app.

Getting from Kathmandu to Agra by combination of flight and train takes about 7.5 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of bus and train. The time zone difference moving from Nepal Time to India Standard Time is minus 0.2 hours. Expect a bit warmer temperatures when traveling from Kathmandu in December; daily highs in Agra reach 27°C and lows reach 9°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Jaipur.

Things to do in Agra

Historic Sites · Museums · Shopping
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 24:
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.
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Wed): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Moti Dungari Temple, take an in-depth tour of City Palace of Jaipur, and then step into the grandiose world of Amber Palace. Here are some ideas for day two: stop by Jaipur Blue Pottery Art Centre, then 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 reviews, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Jaipur trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by flight from Agra to Jaipur takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. In December, daytime highs in Jaipur are 30°C, while nighttime lows are 11°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Thu) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Jaipur

Museums · Neighborhoods · Historic Sites
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Moti Dungari Temple ©
Moti Dungari Temple
Amber Palace
Amber Palace
Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing ©
Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing

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