This 15 day holiday is an essential trip for those looking for a complete Himalayas experience. The tour starts off in Delhi, India’s bustling capital city and takes you up north into the Himalayan ranges, firstly to the famed hill station of Shimla, which was the summer capital of the British empire in India. We then slowly move higher into the ranges with stops in even prettier hill station towns of Kullu and Manali, and then to Dharamshala which is the unofficial capital to the Tibetians and where the Dalai Lama has made his home. We then move the Dalhousie and then finally conclude the tour by descending into Amritsar which is the holy city of the Sikhs and home to the Golden Temple.
Late evening: On arrival in Delhi by your international flight, meet and greet at the airport and transfer to hotel for immediate occupancy.
After a relaxed breakfast, proceed for a full day guided city tour of New Delhi and Old Delhi covering largest Mosque in Asia, an unforgettable cycle rickshaw ride through the narrow lanes of Old Delhi, Mughal architecture, soul-stirring temples and the 72 pts tall minaret. Evening you the option of dining at one of the many Indian specialty restaurants.
Early morning you will be transferred to train station to board Shatabdi Express, tourist train to Kalka. On arrival in Kalka, switch over to the “toy train” – a UNESCO world heritage mountain train, which passes through 102 tunnels in its 96 km of the picturesque journey in almost 6 hrs to Shimla, the fascinating former summer capital of the British Raj. On arrival in Shimla, you will be transferred to the hotel. Rest of the day at leisure.
Today you will visit the sites of Shimla including visiting the Jhaku Hill – the highest peak which offers a panoramic view of the town, the historical shrine of Hanuman, the Himachal Pradesh State Museum known for its miniature paintings and Viceroy Lodge – built between 1884 and 1888 as residence of Viceroy of India when Shimla was the summer capital of India. Rest of the day is free to explore the town on own.
A full day is at leisure to explore the town or to indulge in some shopping/spa.
Today after an early breakfast drive to (6 hrs) en-route stop at the Shiva Temple in Baijnath. On arrival in Manali, check in at the hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure.
Situated at the northern end of Kullu Valley, Manali has spectacular views of snow-capped peaks and wooded slopes. The Beas rushes along its rocky course amid grassy meadows carpeted with wildflowers which wagtails hop along from stone to stone along the stream’s edge. Today on your guided tour you will visit Hadimba Temple, Rohtang Pass (5000m), Vashist sulfur springs and Jagatsukh 6 km away in the midst of a picturesque village.
After breakfast drive to Kullu (01½ hrs) and on arrival check in at the hotel. Afternoon: Guided tour of Kullu. Waving wheat, rice fields and orchards of cherry, plum and apple line the valley floor while scented pine forests climb up the higher slopes of the valley to the snow line. The cheerful Kullu people are dressed in colorful garments of hand-woven wool. Apple-cheeked children run about the quaint villages, where rustic houses have carved wooden balconies and slate roofs. Visit Naggar – the little town high above the valley. It was once the capital of Kullu. The old castle at Naggar, a marvelous medieval building, is built of rough stone around a courtyard with a tiny temple at its center.
After an early breakfast drive to Dharamshala, the seat of the Tibetan Government in exile and as residence to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Rest of the day at leisure to explore this spiritual town.
Today you will have the whole day to enjoy this legendary hill station and have the opportunity for a day walk in the surrounding area. Dharamshala is beautifully located on a ridge of the Dhauladhar range. The town rises in levels up the hill from a height of 1250 m to 2000 m. The snow line, not far away and the dramatic Dhauladhar Peaks rise above the town – far below are the misty plains. The Dalai Lama resides at Macleodganj, Upper Dharamshala, and in the colorful Tibetan township are the newly built Gelugpa monastery and a school of Tibetan culture with an excellent library. Lord Elgin was buried in the gardens adjoining St. John’s Church. The Institute of Buddhist learning and the Dal Lake and other nearby interesting spots.
After breakfast drive towards the famous Hill station Dalhousie (04 hrs) and on arrival check in at the hotel. Afternoon goes on an excursion to Chamba and Khhajjiar and sightseeing of State museum and famous ground the CHAUGAN.
Full day at leisure or to enjoy many of the soft treks/walks.
After an early breakfast drive Amritsar (4 hrs) and on arrival check in at the hotel. Evening visits the Indo-Pak border for the border closing ceremony. The closing ceremony at Wagah Border, also known as ‘lowering of the flags’ ceremony, is a daily martial custom that the security forces of India (Border Security Force) and Pakistan (Pakistan Rangers) have mutually followed since 1959. This interesting ceremony takes place every evening before sunset.
Full day to experience the Golden Temple and other sites in Amritsar. The Golden temple is famous for its full golden dome; it is one of the most sacred pilgrim spots for Sikhs. The Mandir (temple) is built on a 67-ft square of marble and is a two-storied structure. Maharaja Ranjit Singh had the upper half of the building built with approximately 400 kg of gold leaf. The Golden Temple is surrounded by a number of other famous temples like the Durgiana Temple.
In time you will be transferred to the airport to board your flight to Delhi. On arrival in Delhi, assistance and transfer to an airport hotel for wash and change and later transfer to the airport in time to connect onward flight home…
Little gifts from Travel East: