Plains Of Punjab And Himachal Pradesh

A wonderful thirteen day trip through the southernmost Himalayas combines with time in the delightful hill station of Dharamsala and adjacent McLeod Gang – home to the Dalai Lama and a large community of Tibetans. Our carefully planned itinerary passes through the holy city of Haridwar and Rishikesh. Both the city offers spectacular view of jungle-clad hills and emerging as most popular destination for yoga and meditation.



After relaxing for a day in capital city, we head towards Haridwar where the Ganges emerges from the Himalaya. Both the town Rishikesh and Haridwar come alive with flickering flames as floating offerings are released onto the Ganges during the evening prayer ceremony. Leaving the holy city behind, we arrive in Chandigarh, located in foothills of Shivalik range. Continuing with the visit, we arrive Amritsar - home to the magnificent Golden Temple, Sikhism's holiest shrine and one of India’s most serene and humbling sights. From here, we move on to Dharamshala/Mcleodganj - it is the residence of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and home to a large Tibetan population, including many monks and nuns. Following the path of circuit, we will explore the historical as well as heritage village such as Andretta, Palampur and Pragpur. Last destination of our trip would be Shimla before getting back to Delhi. Visiting the local market and walk along the mall Road would be an ideal way to explore the ‘queen of hill station’. Train ride between Shimla and Kalka offers hairpin bends and many tunnels worth capturing in camera. After a night’s halt in Delhi, our trips come to end.
### HIGHLIGHTS

  • Haridwar - The holiest Hindu City
  • Rishikesh - Yoga capital of world and Gateway to the Gange
  • Chandigarh – India’s first planned city post-independence
  • Golden Temple – highest seat of Sikhism in the world
  • Mcleodganj - Residence of his holiness 14th Dalai Lama
  • Pragpur – a heritage village – and exotic Manali

Day 1Traditional Welcome on arrival

  • Arrive at the International airport of Delhi. After the traditional welcome, transfer to hotel for overnight stay.

6h - 220km

Day 2Gateway to religious and spiritual destination - Haridwar

Delhi - Haridwar

  • After delicious breakfast, we leave for Haridwar. On arrival in Haridwar, check into the hotel.

  • We will leave for a sightseeing tour of Haridwar. Sightseeing tour begins with the visit of ashram and temples. Following are the temples to be visited : Mansa Devi temple, Chandi Devi temple, Maya Devi temple, Daksha Mahadev temple, Sapta Rishi temple and Ramanand ashram. In the evening, we will walk down to Har ki pauri to attend the famous Ganga Aarti. Thousand of indian come to attend this ceremony every day.

40m - 20km

Day 3Haridwar - Rishikesh and sightseeing of holy town

Haridwar - Rishikesh

  • Today, we head to Rishikesh situated in the laps of lower Himalayas, and offers scenic beauty of the hills on three sides along with Holy Ganga flowing through it. This place is also known as capital of Yoga and Meditation. On arrival, transfer to the hotel.

  • Thereafter, we set for the sightseeing tour of holy town. We visit Lakshman Jhula, Ram Jhula- it is an iron suspension bridge over Holy river Gange, Gita Bhawan. In the evening visit Triveni Ghat to view the holy Ganges Aarti. This sacred ghats is used for bath by most of the pilgrims.

Day 4Route to the modern town of Chandigarh

Rishikesh - Chandigarh

  • After the breakfast, we drive to Chandigarh, a town designed by Le Corbusier. He was appointed Architectural Advisor to the city in 1950 after independence. Upon arrival, check in at the hotel. We visit the famous Rock Garden which includes over 1,400 sculpted figures. We will also explore the Garden of Roses, garden with 1600 varieties of roses and we will visit the Museum and the Art gallery.

Accommodation: Aloft Chandigarh
4h 10m - 235km

Day 5Way to city of Golden Temple

Chandigarh - Amritsar

  • After delicious breakfast, we leave for Amritsar. Sacred city, religious capital of the Sikhs, founded in 1577. On arrival, transfer to hotel. Late afternoon, visit to the temple of Gold complex, jewel of the Sikh religion and nerve center of the old city. Today it is a high place of pilgrimage.

Breakfast: Aloft Chandigarh
Accommodation: Hotel Ritz Plaza

Day 6Full day exploration

  • Today, we will visit the Golden Temple where we see immense flow of devotees and stroll around the sacred basin and discover huge common kitchens devoted to pilgrims of all religions. Thereafter, we head towards Jaliawalan Bagh - it is the site where marks of bullets on wall still reminds the struggle of independance during British Raj. Continuing with sightseeing of the palace of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Evening, we drive to Waga Border to witness Flag Retreat Ceremony. This ceremony is alternatively a symbol of the two countries' rivalry, as well as brotherhood and cooperation between the two nations. Later, we drive back and transfer to the hotel.

4h 20m - 210km

Day 7Amritsar - Mcleodganj via Dharamshala

Amritsar - Mcleod Ganj

  • Today we drive into the foothills of the Himalaya towards Dharamshala and the Tibetan Buddhist settlement of McLeod Ganj. Upon arrival in Dharamsala, transfer to McLeod Ganj and check into our hotel. Evening is free to explore the local bazaar of this beautiful town.

Day 8Full day exploration

  • Complete day to understand Tibetan Buddhism and the situation of exiled Tibetans: the residence and monastery of the Dalai Lama (now Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama), Tsuglagkhang which is the most important Buddhist monument of Mac Leod Ganj and has an interesting collection of sacred texts based on the teachings of Buddha, the center of medicine and astrology, which includes a museum, library, research unit and college, Tibetan astrology. The monastery of Namgyal, surrounded by a row of prayer wheels houses large statues of the Buddha. Visit of the Norbulingka Institute and its museum. This museum of Tibetan art, which is quite exciting, seeks to promote the study and representation of the Tibetan performing arts in order to preserve it. We will have the opportunity to meet the monks.

1h 40m - 50km

Day 9Mcleodganj - Andretta Village

Mcleod Ganj - Andretta

  • Today, we drive to Andretta. This small Kangra village, with its perfect climate and beautiful Himalayan setting, is widely known as an artistic enclave for its pottery. It’s quiet and meditative environment is also bursting with inspiration from all sides, from the snow-white mountains surrounding it to the vast plains that lie beyond. Here we visit a Studio to see the potters working and selling their wares. We stay overnight at a restored private house.

2h 30m - 80km

Day 10Drive to World Heritage Village enroute visiting Palampur

Andretta - Pragpur

  • Today we drive down to the town of Palampur, which is surrounded by tea gardens - making it the tea capital of northwest India. Upon arrival, we visit the tea gardens and see the processes involved in its production followed by lunch in Palampur. This hill station is not only known for its numerous tea gardens and paddy fields but also for its colonial architecture and temples. In the afternoon, we continue by road to Pragpur, a World Heritage Village, where we check into our accommodation in the ‘Judges Court’. This lovingly restored 300-year-old manor house and associated cottage is set in its own gardens and has an ambiance reminiscent of the days of the Raj.

6h - 200km

Day 11Summer capital of India during British Raj

Pragpur - Shimla

  • Today, we will leave for Shimla. Pass through beautiful landscapes on orchards and snow-capped peaks. Late afternoon, we arrive in Shimal and check-in hotel. In the evening, we explore the local market.

Day 12Full day exploration

  • In the morning stroll on the mall road where we can admire the Christ Church on the Ridge in a very British style. We also observe the old buildings that border the Ridge. 'At the Temple of Jakhu dedicated to the monkey god: Hanuman. The path to the temple is a pleasant walk through the forest. Evening is free to explore the local market.

6h - 96km
Kalka
5h - 303km

Day 13Enjoy the Toy train

Shimla - Kalka

  • Today, we will be transferred to the Railway station to board the 'Toy Train'. This train passes by beautiful landscape and offers you sceneries to capture in Camera.

Kalka - Delhi

  • On arrival at Kalka Railway station, we would board the next train departing to Delhi. On arrival, we would be received by representative and transfer to the Hotel.

Day 14Departure

  • Check-out from the hotel and transfer to the international airport or any point of convenience for onward journey to respective countries.

duration 14 days. International flight not included.

from 1110$ (per person)

Difficulty:3/5
Comfort:4/5
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