Journey through the himalayan foothills

Small Group Tour

Introduction

Travel to the holy city of Amritsar and McLeod Ganj, home to the Tibetan government-inexile. Continue through the foothills of the Himalaya to Shimla. Along the way, appreciate the cultural diversity of the region through its temples, monasteries and museums.

11 Nights from £2,295pp

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Highlights

  • Heritage walk through Amritsar
  • Ride on the Kangra Mountain Railway and the toy train to Solan
  • Visit a local family in Dharamsala
  • Explore Chandigarh’s local market & Rock Garden
  • Day at leisure in Pragpur

What's included?

  • 3- & 4-star accommodation
    International flights with British Airways
  • Internal flights in India
  • 11 breakfasts, 1 lunch & 3 dinners
  • Transfers in air-conditioned vehicles
  • Travel outside Delhi by Toyota Crysta & Tempo Traveller
  • Express train travel in air-conditioned executive class
  • Experienced local tour manager
  • Guided sightseeing & entrance fees
  • Small group size – average 12 people (max 18)
  • Porterage at airports & stations

Itinerary

Overnight flight from London (regional connections available) to Amritsar, via Delhi, with British Airways. (N)

On arrival, transfer to the Hyatt Amritsar for a 2-night stay. Evening visit to the Golden Temple for the auspicious Palki Sahib night ceremony to witness the evening kirtan (devotional prayers). The temple is profusely lit up and the lights are beautifully reflected in large water tanks surrounding the sanctum. (N)

Morning visit to the Golden Temple and the community kitchen called Langar. Take a guided heritage walk passing the Gurudwara Saragarhi, dedicated to the heroism of the 21 soldiers of the 36th Sikhs Battalion who lost their lives in 1897 as they defended their posts against Afghan soldiers. Weave your way through Qila Ahluwalia, a fort replete with colonial architectural features, before arriving at the Jalebiwala Chowk with its jalebi shop selling delicious sticky sweets. Late afternoon visit to Wagah, situated on the border with Pakistan, for the unmissable Changing of the Guard ceremony. (B)

Travel by road to McLeod Ganj in Dharamsala. McLeod Ganj is home to the Dalai Lama and is the centre of Little Tibet. This afternoon, visit His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s monastery, Tsuglag Khang. Continue with a tour of McLeod Ganj, visiting the handicrafts centre and local markets. Stay 2 nights at the Fortune Park Moksha. (B)

After breakfast, visit the Norbulingka Institute, dedicated to the preservation of Tibetan culture and the Thosamling Nunnery. Visit a local family to see the regional Gaddi dress. Later, take a gentle walk through traditional Gaddi settlements to Naddi village, enjoying spectacular views of the Dhauladhar mountain range as the sun sets. (B)

Drive to Kangra to visit its impressive fort and the Bajreshwari Temple. Continue to Palampur for an overnight stay at Taragarh Palace. Afternoon visit to Tashijong monastery. (B, D)

Today drive to Baijnath to board the Kangra Mountain Railway for the 1.5-hour scenic ride to Nagrota. Afterwards visit the rock-cut temples at Masroor. These monolithic temples date back to the eighth century and have the moniker ‘The Himalayan Pyramid’. Travel to Pragpur for a 2-night stay at The Judge’s Court, a delightful old manor house, converted into a hotel. (B, D)

At leisure, with opportunities for leisurely walks in the surrounding villages, or visit the temples at Jwalamukhi and Chintpurni. (B, L, D)

Full-day drive through the Himalayan foothills to the former British hill station of Shimla. On arrival, check in for 3 nights at the Oberoi Cecil or upgrade to the Oberoi Wildflower Hall (Deluxe Garden View room) from £235pp. (B)

Full-day tour of Shimla, including the Viceregal Lodge, Himachal State Museum and the Gaiety Theatre. Later in the day, enjoy some time at leisure to stroll along the Mall and the Ridge. (B)

Travel on a first-class carriage on the Himalayan Queen ‘toy train’ from Shimla to Kandaghat (2 hours 15 minutes) to enjoy the beautiful Himalayan scenery. This narrow-gauge railway is considered one of the finest engineering feats in India. Afternoon at leisure. (B)

Travel by road to Chandigarh (3 hours) to take the midday train to Delhi. Overnight at the Oberoi Maidens. (B)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home with British Airways. (B)

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