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Hill Stations Of The Himalayas

The hill state of Himachal Pradesh, sandwiched between Punjab and Tibet, encompasses the verdant Himalayan foothills, with orchards, forests, deep gorges, and roaring rivers.

From£2,899

  • India

  • 15, 17 nights
  • Pioneer

    Sightseeing

  • Apr

    Oct

Moderate

What does this mean?

Tour codes: 47450

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Our holiday walking grades

Moderate

Grade 4 Sightseeing

Full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain. Half day walks will probably involve about 3 hours of walking, with full day walks having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to 600m. Some days of this holiday will be dedicated solely to sightseeing (or include an element of sightseeing). To enhance your experience, a knowledgeable local guide will accompany your small group for part (or the majority) of the holiday.

Overview

Holiday Highlights

  • See the Golden Temple at Amritsar, the holiest of Sikh temples.
  • Visit Dharamshala, home to the Dalai Lama.
  • Ride the train from Shimla to Khandaghat with panoramic views.
  • Walk in the Kullu Valley with the backdrop of the snow peaked Himalayas.
  • Journey back in time to the days of the Raj.
  • Local guides throughout and incredible Indian cuisine.

The hill state of Himachal Pradesh, sandwiched between Punjab and Tibet, encapsulates the verdant Himalayan foothills. Walking trails meander through orchard valleys and subtropical forests, leading us to deep gorges, pretty villages, roaring rivers and pine forests.

The mountain air is crisp and cool and the panoramic vistas of this once inaccessible area overlook a favourite summer retreat from the days of the Raj, whose legacy of colonial mansions, churches and remarkable railways sits comfortably alongside monasteries and temples.

From Delhi, we take the train into the state of Punjab, to Amritsar. We visit the Golden Temple, the holiest Sikh shrine, with the chance to experience first light prayers. The ceremonial sunset Retreat at Wagha Border, one of the very few land crossing points on the 2,000 mile border between Pakistan and India, is a fascinating ritual.

We move on, using 4x4 vehicles, to Dharamshala, home of the Dalai Lama and the exiled Tibetan Government for over three decades. The Tibetan influence here is strong. Dharamshala is the starting point for our foray into the Himalayan foothills. It is also the beginning of tea country. We will stop at a tea plantation and see how things are done.

From both Manali (2,050m), located at the head of the Kullu Valley, and the hill station of Shimla (2,000m), once the summer capital of the British Colonial Raj, we’ll walk in the surrounding hill country and experience Himachal Pradesh at its most idyllic, with its panoramic landscapes, snow capped peaks, tranquil villages, raging rivers, fruit orchards and terraced fields. From Manali we intend to drive up to the Rohtang Pass. At nearly 4,000m this will be the highest point we reach on this holiday.

An exhilarating train ride on the narrow gauge railway from Shimla to Kalka offers an old world charm as it gently snakes through the countryside. From Kalka we return to Delhi by train for a final visit before we depart for home.

  • Return flights from Heathrow to Delhi (British Airways)
  • Airport transfers
  • Half board en suite accommodation
  • All entrance fees
  • Twelve lunches
  • Knowledgeable English speaking local guides
  • All local transport costs.
  • Entrance fees (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Travel Insurance (you can add this when you book)

Holiday Information

Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.

NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen

View Holiday Information Sheet

Itinerary & Travel

Itinerary Details

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

Your Itinerary

Day 1

Delhi

Meals

In-Flight

Accommodation

We depart the UK for our flight to Delhi. The flight lands in Delhi in the early hours of day 2.

Transfer Time = 45m

Day 2

Delhi

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

On arrival we will be met by our guide and transferred to our hotel close by the airport. We will try and get everybody to bed as soon as possible. After a late breakfast we will start our explorations of Delhi, India’s bustling capital. It can be a challenging place to get around due to city traffic, but our aim is to take in the sites of New Delhi. Gurudwara Bangladesh Sahib, one of the most important Sikh temples in Delhi, Parliament House and Indian Gate and Humayun’s tomb. We will also visit Lutyens city and walk around Connaught Place. At the end of the ay we will stop off at a restaurant for dinner before retiring to the hotel for some well-earned rest.

Day 3

Amritsar

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

Today we transfer by train to Amritsar. Indians trains are a fascinating experience but can be intimidating for the uninitiated. Fortunately, our local guides will show us to our comfortable prebooked seats making everything hassle free. We have an early start so should arrive in Amritsar early afternoon. The journey takes about 6hrs to cover 450km. After some time to relax at the hotel we will have a walking cultural tour of the city. Dinner will be in the hotel tonight.

Day 4

Amritsar

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

We will spend the morning exploring the Golden Temple. The most holy place in the Sikh region. Depending on the timings we might have some extra time in Amritsar before heading out to the Wagah border. This is one of the few legal land crossing point between India and Pakistan. We can enjoy the ceremony held two hours before sunset each day. Finally, we will visit Fort Gobindgarh for a quick visit before return to the hotel for dinner.

Day 5

Dharamshala

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

Today we drive to Dharamshala. The journey is 160 miles and takes 7 hours. We will stop for coffee in the morning with a chance to stretch our legs a little. Lunch is included and will be taken enroute. We will not drive for longer than 2 hrs without a stop. In the afternoon we will stop to explore Masroor Fort, famous for its rock carvings and Kangra Fort. Kangra Fort is perhaps the largest fort in the Himalayas, the oldest in India and well worth walking up to for the views in enjoys over the two valleys below. Our strolls around both forts make a pleasant and informative break in the journey. From Kangra Fort it is a short distance on to our hotel. We will have dinner in the hotel tonight.

Day 6

Dharamshala

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    3 hours

  • Distance

    4 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    200m

Dharamshala has been the home of the Dalai Lama since his exile from Tibet. It is strongly influenced by Buddhist culture. Our sightseeing will take in some important Buddhist sites and hopefully learn something of the culture. After breakfast, we drive to Tushita Meditation center for a quick visit. From here we walk to the Tibetan Prayer Flag temple to experience peace tranquility of this hidden secret gem. After lunch in a local restaurant we will walk in the local tea gardens before returning to our hotel.

Day 7

Dharamshala

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

Today is a sightseeing day in and around Dharamshala. We explore the Upper Town of Dharamshala, McLeod Ganj, where the residence of the Dalai Lama is located. We'll see the Dalai Lama residence and take a Kora holy walk around the temple set in pristine wilderness. The entire route has small chortens and rocks painted with Tibetan scripts. We also hope to visit Tse Chokling Monastery, St John in the Wilderness Church, a village school, Tibetan Medical Centre, and the Norbulingka Institute (a learning centre for traditional Tibetan art and craft), as time allows.

Day 8

Dharamshala

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    5 hours

  • Distance

    6 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    400m

Today is a walking day. We walk from Naddi to the Guna Devi Temple via the tribal village of Bahl, located in the foothills of the Dhauladhar mountains, and enjoy a short visit of the village. The trail will lead to Bhated River. and the picturesque Bahl Gaon village, with lovely views of the Kangra Valley. We continue to Guna Devi Temple that offers a magnificent view of the Ghasturi Pass and Chamba Valley. We continue through various villages until reach Galu where our walk ends. The walk is generally on good trail although these are rocky and steep in places.

Day 9

Manali

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We travel deeper into the Himalayan foothills today to Manali, located at the head of the Kullu Valley. The drive takes us through breathtaking scenery of snow-capped peaks, pine forests and fruit orchards. We’ll make refreshment stops en route and stop for a restaurant lunch. Enroute we plan visit Palampur tea factory to see how tea is processed, from picking to tea leaves, and Baijnath temple. The Hindu temple was built around 1200 and dedicated to Shiva. We stay in Manali for 4 nights.

Day 10

Manali

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    5 hours

  • Distance

    9 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    50/550m

From Manali we start with a short drive to the village of Solang and walk back to Manali through the Salong Valley passing traditional villages along the way. The route ends at Manali Club House in old Manali. After a quick look at the Manu Maharishi Temple, dedicated to sage Manu we take transport back to the hotel.

Day 11

Manali

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    2 hours

  • Distance

    3 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    100m

Driving out a short distance from Manali we start todays walk from the nearby village of Vashisht, with its hot springs. We walk to the sacred Jogini waterfall and continue to Nehru Kund where our vehicles will take us to the snowline towards Rohtang Pass, which offers sweeping valley and snow-capped mountain views. At nearly 4,000m, the pass is the highest point we plan to reach on this holiday. We will likely find snow at the pass and it can be very cold. We will stop briefly to enjoy to outstanding views but do not walk at this altitude.

Day 12

Manali

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    2 hours

  • Distance

    4 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    450/50m

A 2hr drive from Manali, brings us to the Chansari Village, the starting point of Bijli Mahadev Temple walk. From Chansari, there is a well-defined trail. Located on top of Mathan hills, is the legendary Bijli (Electric) Mahadev temple. After over 45 minutes of hiking, the villages and apple orchards are left behind, and one can see the beginning of grasslands and catch a partial glimpse of the temple top. Another climb of 300 feet and one enters the meadows of Bijli Mahadev. Walk back to board the vehicles and we drive to Naggar

We visit the Naggar Castle, and Roerich Gallery which houses paintings by Russian artist Nicholas Roerich. Time permitting; we may include a short walk this afternoon. 


Day 13

Shimla

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

Our journey today takes us 160 miles to the hill station of Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh. Refreshment stops will be made enroute, including lunch at a local restaurant. The whole journey will take about 7hrs. We stay in Shimla for 3 nights.

Day 14

Shimla

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

Today, we’ll take the Heritage Walk of Shimla visiting the Vice Regal Lodge, once the residence of Lord Mountbatten and now the Institute of Advanced Studies, following the Mall where we’ll see the Cecil Hotel, Kennedy House and Lakar Bazar. Lunch is included at a local restaurant today and there will be some free time to enjoy this atmospheric town

Day 15

Shimla

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    3.5 hours

  • Distance

    6 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    50m

We drive to Mashobara where we’ll start our walk through a pine forest to Seepur village, sometimes steeply on tracks and reasonable paths. We follow the contours going through several hamlets to Kanda village. Towards the end the path goes a little off-piste on a steep track but then the path is nicely graded down to the village. Here we will meet our transport and return to the Woodville Palace Hotel for a chance to enjoy tea on the lawn. A packed lunch is included today.

Day 16

Delhi

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

A highlight for some, today we take the ‘Toy Train’ journey today offers some spectacular views of the valleys as it twists its way down gradually from Shimla to Khandaghat (approx. 2 hours). The narrow-gauge railway was built by the British around 1900 to connect Shimla, the summer capital of the British Raj, to the rest of India. From Khandaghat we take a short drive to Dharampur, where we’ll have lunch before boarding our train to Delhi at Kalka (journey to Delhi approx. 3.5 hours). On arrival we transfer to our hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 17

Delhi

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Today we continue our exploration of Delhi. We start with a rickshaw ride through Old Delhi followed by a walking tour. We will visit one of the largest spice markets in Asia. We may have the opportunity to walk in Lodi Gardens. We spend the evening in Delhi with dinner. Depending on flight times we will return to the airport for a flight departing in the small hours of the next morning. We have access to two hotel rooms this evening so clients who prefer can shower and change before flying.

Day 18

Travel

We take our flight to London, arriving the same day.

From (GBP)£2,899

Departure dates for your selected tour

20th Oct 2020 - 6th Nov 2020 (17 Nights)

Travel Details

  • Return flights from Heathrow to Delhi (British Airways)
  • Arrival transfer by road c.45mins
  • Upgrades are available on most flights. For scheduled flights; Premium Economy, Business or First Class. Please ask us for details and a competitive quote
  • If direct regional flights are not available, we can often offer add-on flights to a London airport at a competitive rate. Please ask us for details and a competitive quote.
  • Visa is required

Your Itinerary

Day 1

Delhi

Meals

In-Flight

Accommodation

We depart the UK for our flight to Delhi. The flight lands in Delhi in the early hours of day 2.

Transfer Time = 45m

Day 2

Delhi

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

On arrival we will be met by our guide and transferred to our hotel close by the airport. We will try and get everybody to bed as soon as possible. After a late breakfast we will start our explorations of Delhi, India’s bustling capital. It can be a challenging place to get around due to city traffic, but our aim is to take in the sites of New Delhi. Gurudwara Bangladesh Sahib, one of the most important Sikh temples in Delhi, Parliament House and Indian Gate and Humayun’s tomb. We will also visit Lutyen's city and walk around Connaught Place. If you fancy a shoe shine this is the place. At the end of the day we will stop off at a restaurant for dinner before retiring to the hotel for some well-earned rest.

Day 3

Amritsar

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

Today we transfer by train to Amritsar. Indians trains are a fascinating experience but can be intimidating for the uninitiated. Fortunately, our local guides will show us to our comfortable prebooked seats making everything hassle free. We have an early start catching a train around 07.30 so should arrive in Amritsar early afternoon. Breakfast will be boxed to be eaten on the train. The journey takes about 6hrs to cover 270 miles. After some time to relax at the hotel we will have a walking cultural tour of the city. Like all cities in India Amritsar is a lively place. Dinner will be in the hotel tonight.

Day 4

Amritsar

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We will spend the morning exploring the Golden Temple. The most holy place in the Sikh religion and its 26 million adherents worldwide. Depending on the timings we might have some extra time in Amritsar before heading out to the Wagah border. This is one of the few legal land crossing points between India and Pakistan. We can enjoy the ceremony held two hours before sunset each day. The ceremony has been happening daily since 1959. Finally, we return to the hotel for dinner.

Day 5

Dharamshala

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

Today we drive to Dharamshala. The journey is 160 miles and takes 7 hours. We will stop for coffee in the morning with a chance to stretch our legs a little. Lunch is included and will be taken en route. We will not drive for longer than 2 hrs without a stop. In the afternoon we will stop to explore Masrur Rock Monolithic Temple, famous for its rock carvings and Kangra Fort. Kangra Fort is perhaps the largest fort in the Himalayas, the oldest in India and well worth walking up to for the views it enjoys over the two valleys below. Our strolls around both forts make a pleasant and informative break in the journey. From Kangra Fort it is a short distance on to our hotel. We will have dinner in the hotel tonight.

Day 6

Dharamshala

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    4 hours

  • Distance

    5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    300/125m

Today, we’ll walk from Naddi to the Guna Devi Temple via the tribal village of Bahl, located in the foothills of the Dhauladhar mountains, and enjoy a short visit of the village. The trail takes us across the Bhated River and on to Bahl Gaon village, with great views of the Kangra Valley. We continue up to the Guna Devi Temple with more magnificent views of the Ghasturi Pass and Chamba Valley. Guna Devi Temple is dedicated to goddess Durga, the temple has a meditation space. The walk will take most of the morning. This afternoon we visit McLeod Ganj, the home of the Dalai Lama who came here in 1959 after the Chinese invasion of Tibet. Experience Tibetan monasteries, alternative Tibetan medicine practitioners, refugees welfare associations selling duvet covers, singing bowls, incense sticks, prayer beads & wheels, etc amidst the flea market selling local Tibetan food, wine and steamed momos! 

Day 7

Dharamshala

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    1 hours

  • Distance

    2 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    50m

Today is a sightseeing day in and around Dharamshala. We explore the Upper Town of Dharamshala, McLeod Ganj, where the residence of the Dalai Lama is located. We'll see the Dalai Lama residence and take the Kora holy walk around the temple set in pristine wilderness. The entire route has small chortens and rocks painted with Tibetan scripts. We also see Tse Chokling Monastery, St John in the Wilderness Church, a village school, Tibetan Medical Centre, and the Norbulingka Institute (a learning centre for traditional Tibetan art and craft), as time allows. We should also have free time to explore further or relax as preferred. 

Day 8

Manali

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We travel deeper into the Himalayan foothills today to Manali, located at the head of the Kullu Valley. The drive takes us through breathtaking scenery of snow-capped peaks, pine forests and fruit orchards. We’ll make refreshment stops en route and stop for a restaurant lunch. En route we plan to visit Palampur to see Baijnath temple. The Hindu temple was built around 1200 and dedicated to Shiva. Manali is a  beautifully situated mountain resort attracting skiers, mountain adventure enthusiasts, white water rafters, walkers and those who are happy to just enjoy the view. We stay in Manali for 3 nights giving us plenty of time to enjoy the area.

Day 9

Manali

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    2 hours

  • Distance

    3 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    200/100m

Driving out a short distance from Manali we start today's walk from the nearby village of Vashisht, famous for its hot springs. We walk to the sacred Jogini waterfall and continue on foot to Nehru Kund where our vehicles will take us to the snowline towards Rohtang Pass, which offers sweeping valley and snow-capped mountain views. We expect to reach an altitude of around 3,000m, the highest point we plan to reach on this holiday. We will likely find snow at this altitude and it can be very cold. We will stop briefly to enjoy outstanding views but do not walk at this altitude.

Day 10

Manali

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    3 hours

  • Distance

    5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    125/150m

After breakfast we drive out to Prini, surrounded by magical mountain scenery. We will walk down to the river where clear white water from the waterfalls makes it look like there is a shower of milk pouring downwards. You can hear the sound of waterfall from some distance away. We continue to Jagatsukh temple surrounded by picturesque valleys and lofty snow-clad mountains. After our walk we drive to Naggar Castle. We have lunch here, then walk around Naggar and visited Nicolas Roerich's home and gallery. Finally, we return to Manali for dinner and overnight in the hotel.


Day 11

Shimla

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

Our journey today takes us 160 miles to the hill station of Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh. From 1864 Shimla was the summer capital of the British Raj. It maintains a strong colonial feel. Refreshment stops will be made en route, including lunch at a local restaurant. The whole journey will take about 7hrs. We stay in Shimla for 3 nights.

Day 12

Shimla

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

Today, we’ll take the Heritage Walk of Shimla starting at Christ Church, the most prominent landmark in town. From here the walk extends west towards the Viceregal Lodge, once the residence of Lord Mountbatten and now the Institute of Advanced Studies. We’ll see the Cecil Hotel, Kennedy House and Lakar Bazar. Our expert guide will explain everything on the way. Lunch is included at a local restaurant today and there will be some free time to enjoy this atmospheric town.

Day 13

Shimla

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    3.5 hours

  • Distance

    6 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    250m

We drive to Mashobara where we’ll start our walk through a forest of pine to Seepur village, sometimes steeply on tracks and reasonable paths. We follow the contours going through several hamlets to Kanda village. Towards the end the path goes a little off-piste on a steep track but then the path is nicely graded down to the village. Here we will meet our transport and return to the Woodville Palace Hotel for a chance to enjoy tea on the lawn. A clasic Raj institution. A packed lunch is included today.

Day 14

Delhi

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

A highlight for some, as we take the ‘Toy Train’ journey. The narrow gauge railway was built by the British around 1900 to connect Shimla, the summer capital of the British Raj, to the rest of India. Today it offers some spectacular views of the valleys as it twists its way down gradually from Shimla to Khandaghat (approx. 2 hours). Trains are occasionally steam hauled but you will most likely have a diesel locomotive pulling you down to Khandaghat. From Khandaghat we take a short drive to Barog, where we’ll have lunch before boarding our train to Delhi at Kalka (journey to Delhi approx. 3.5 hours). On arrival we transfer to our hotel for dinner (probably quite late in the evening) and overnight.

Day 15

Delhi

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Today we continue our exploration of Delhi. We start with a rickshaw ride through Old Delhi followed by a walking tour. We will visit one of the largest spice markets in Asia. We may have the opportunity to walk in Lodi Gardens. We spend the evening in Delhi with dinner. Depending on flight times we will return to the airport for a flight departing in the small hours of the next morning. We have access to two hotel rooms this evening so clients who prefer can shower and change before flying.

Day 16

Travel

We take our flight to London, arriving the same day.

From (GBP)£3,049

Departure dates for your selected tour

3rd Apr 2021 - 18th Apr 2021 (15 Nights)

16th Oct 2021 - 31st Oct 2021 (15 Nights)

Travel Details

  • Return flights from Heathrow to Delhi (British Airways)
  • Arrival transfer by road c.45mins
  • Upgrades are available on most flights. For scheduled flights; Premium Economy, Business or First Class. Please ask us for details and a competitive quote
  • If direct regional flights are not available, we can often offer add-on flights to a London airport at a competitive rate. Please ask us for details and a competitive quote.
  • Visa is required

Accommodation

Accommodation information

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.

The Pride Plaza Hotel

The Pride Plaza Hotel , a comfortable modern 5 star hotel is ideally located close by the airport so we can get to bed as soon as possible after our late arrival on the first day of the holiday. The hotel has all the facilities you might expect from an upmarket hotel. You will be very comfortable here.

Ranjit Villas

Located just outside Amritsar the Ranjit Villas has a traditional feel. It is a well appointed 4 star hotel. Facilities include free Wi-Fi, flat screen TV, fridge and air conditioning. The hotel offers an outdoor seasonal swimming pool and lawn. It is about 6 miles form Amritsar centre.



Asia Health Resort

In the foothills of the Dhauladar mountains, the Asia Health Resort is a short distance from Dal Lake, Bhagsunag Falls and the home of the Dalai Lama. Comfortable rooms offer Wi-Fi, TV, minibars, and tea & coffee making facilities. Some have balconies or terraces. Amenities include a restaurant, a bar, and a rooftop terrace with mountain views. There’s also a library, fitness centre, spa and an outdoor pool.

Urvashi Retreat

Urvashi's Retreat in Manali is beautifully situated under the Himalayas. All rooms offer views of the mountains. The hotel offers a 24-hour front desk and free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property. It has a spring water brook running through the grounds which forms an ecological pool open to guests at all times. The in-house spa and wellness centre comprises of massage therapy rooms, sauna, steam, spa baths and a state of the art gymnasium.

Shimla Havens Resort

Offering peace and tranquillity, Shimla Havens Resort is situated at an altitude of 6,400 feet above sea level. The resort is spread across 6 acres of land and surrounded by pine and cedar forests. Rooms feature teak flooring and modern furnishings with flat screen TV, minibar and tea & coffee making facilities. A spacious marble bathroom with a separate shower cubicle are a standard across all rooms. Rooms offer views of the cedar forests, mountain ranges or the gardens.

Trip Information

All the details you need

Holiday Grade

This Grade 4 moderate holiday includes full and half day walks at a moderate pace over varied terrain and includes an element of sightseeing as well. Our walks are on generally good tracks through villages and pasture with outstanding views one might expect walking through the world's highest mountain range. Please see the day to day itinerary for a more detailed description of the walks.

Walks & Excursions

The walking programme of this holiday will be made from Dharamshala, Manali and Shimla, mostly following undulating forest trails or dirt tracks. The walking times range from 3-6 hours, spread over the day, mostly with easy, gradual ascents and only the odd steep descent. Some walks may be at the bottom of the grade and will not be too strenuous, while others may be on stony, uneven ground, muddy or dusty according to the weather, with occasional steepish sections, rough paths, over uneven steps and be closer to the top of the grade. 

Our walks will take us from an altitude of 2,000-2,500 meters, but walking will be at a relaxed pace so that everyone can enjoy the stunning scenery and countryside. There will be days where the sightseeing element will fill most of the day and our excursions can vary from half a day to a full day.

Please note: This itinerary has been planned to be busy and full-packed so that you make the most of your time in India and experience as much as possible. There will be some free time during the tour, for you to explore on your own or relax, and details outlined in this information will be confirmed locally by your leader.

Local Transport Costs

All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.

Optional Excursions

A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.

Spending Money

Holiday Budgeting

When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.

Currency in India

The currency in India is the Rupee (Rs). It is not usually possible to buy or sell Indian currency outside India.  All prices in India will be listed in Rupees. It is possible  to exchange small amounts of cash (take some cash with you - US Dollars and Sterling being the easiest ) and the larger towns have banks with ATMs where you can withdraw Rupees (ensure your debit card is linked with Visa or Mastercard). If in doubt, check with your bank prior to travel that you will able to withdraw cash in India.

Tipping

Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high.  In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff & to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.

Tour Leaders & Local Guides

Tour Leaders

Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.

Leader's Evening Briefing

Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.

Local Guides

To enhance your experience, as well as your tour leader, each holiday will be accompanied by a well qualified and knowledgeable English-speaking local guide.

Your Travel Details

We travel from London Heathrow to Delhi and return with British Airways.  On arrival into Delhi the transfer from the airport to our hotel will take approximately 45 minutes by road, dependent on traffic conditions. 

Travel between Delhi-Amritsar, Shimla-Khandaghat and Kalka-Delhi is by train. 

These journeys are included in the holiday cost and are arranged by us. Once rail ticket sales open, approximately 60-90 days before the holiday start date, we are required to give passenger names and passport details in order to secure the seats. If you book on this holiday after we have provided the name list, we cannot guarantee that you will be allocated a seat in the same carriage as the rest of the group, although we will do our best.

Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements?

If you wish to organise your own flights from a non-UK or provincial airport or travel by rail or car to your holiday destination, 'land only' reductions are often available. Please contact us for details.

Before finalising any independent travel arrangements, please check with us first - especially if doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended date of travel. If you do intend to join your holiday locally please do tell us at least 14 weeks in advance.

If you are joining and leaving your holiday overseas we assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at your hotel.

Although airport transfers are not included for those making their own independent travel arrangements, if you wish to join the group at the overseas airport, depending on your flight arrival time, you may be able to be included on the group's transfer. Please contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details. 

Please note that your flight must arrive within 30 minutes of the group flight to be able to join the group transfer. We also need your flight number, arrival time and departure point so that the group leader is able to meet up with you.

Luggage Allowance & Travel Documents

For all those booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure.

Personal Details Check

To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.

Passports and Visas

General Passport Advice

It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport. Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country.

Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements.

General travel and destination advice for UK nationals is available from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at www.fco.gov.uk/travel and at www.gov.uk/travelaware.

Holiday/Country Passport Advice

A passport is required to visit India and it must be valid for a minimum of six months from your intended return to the UK. It is necessary to have at least two blank pages in your passport to allow for a visa to be inserted. 

A visa is required for entry into India. The visa is not included in the holiday charge and must be obtained by you before departure. 

You can apply for an e-visa for India between 30 days and 4 days prior to the date of arrival in India. The visa is double entry and will be valid for 30 days from date of arrival. The visa cost as of Aug 2019 is USD$25. However this price changes regularly without warning.

You will need to complete the online form and it is necessary to upload a copy of the photo page from your passport, with all information showing clearly, plus a recent front facing photograph. Specific requirements for the photograph can be found on the application website.

You should print off a copy of the confirmed e-visa to take with you. Biometric data will be taken on arrival and this is mandatory.

Information on the e-visa, cost, photograph specifications and your application form can be found at: www.indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa 

Please note it is very important to use the correct site as there are many websites that charge huge sums and offer the same service.

As the visa is valid from DATE OF ISSUE, not date of travel, please do not apply for your visa too far in advance of your travel dates. Please ensure that your visa will be valid for your entire stay in India.

Notes to assist you with completing your visa application:
You are required to supply details of a referee in the UK in India. You may wish to use the referees as listed below.


In the UK:

RWH Travel Ltd.

Lemsford Mill

Welwyn Garden City

Hertfordshire

AL8 7TR

Tel: 01707 331133


In India:

Holiday Moods

Kanchan House

Milan Cinema Rd

New Delhi

India

Tel: +91 84484 45051

Meals

Many Brits are familiar with the ubiquitous Indian restaurant on every high street in the UK. Whilst in India you will have a chance to experience a far greater variety of food than anything you would find in your local take away. The food is prepared in the local style in the varied locations we visit. Spicy food is available but easily avoided. Dishes with meat or vegetables are always available. The food served in the mountains is very different from that served on the plains. Regardless of your dietary requirements or lifestyle choices you will be able to enjoy plenty of excellent food. Breakfasts are taken in the hotel and will commonly be buffet style. Lunches where included will be a boxed lunch or taken in local restaurants. Evening meals vary between huge buffets in hotels to restaurant meals which may be buffet or consist of items ordered form a menu.

Hotel Changes

The hotel(s) listed within this document are examples of standard only. Whilst we strive to deliver the hotel(s) listed within this Holiday Information Sheet, there will be times throughout the year when they change. If this occurs, we will advise you as such. From time to time hotels will change near to departure and you will not be advised until after arriving into the destination. We always aim to provide a replacement of similar standard and location, although we cannot guarantee similar facilities such as pool or bar.

Footwear & Kit List

Footwear

Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks. 

General Kit List

Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.

If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:

  • Waterproof jacket (Goretex or similar) and trousers
  • Lightweight quick-drying trousers
  • Walking T-shirt/shirts
  • Walking socks
  • Fleece or jumper
  • Sun hat, sunglasses, lip salve and sun block
  • Warm hat and gloves (if appropriate)
  • Swimwear (if appropriate)
  • Day sack (this should be able to carry all you would need for the day's activity)
  • Day sack liner
  • Water bottle - at least 1 litre capacity (more than 1 bottle may be required)
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Lunchbox
  • Walking poles (should you find them useful)
  • Sit mat

This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.

India Modest Dress

As in most Asian countries, modesty of dress is sensible.  Very short shorts are considered improper in some areas and women should exercise caution when exposing the upper arms or shoulders as this can cause offence. A lightweight shawl can be a useful item for women.  Men should also dress modestly, long trousers and a loose shirt are often more acceptable than shorts and a T-shirt.

Travel Documents Checklist

Documents and Information to take with you:

  • Passport (make sure it's yours and valid)
  • Your travel tickets or e-ticket itinerary
  • Any visa or electronic travel authorisation (if required)
  • Holiday money
  • Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
  • Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
  • Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
  • Your holiday Booking Confirmation document
  • Your travel insurance details
  • Alternative form of identification (such as a driving licence)
  • Photocopy of the personal details pages of your passport
  • A valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if relevant
  • Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about

Electricity in India

In India: Electricity is supplied at 220 Volts at 50Hz. If you wish to use electrical equipment you will need a two or three pin style adaptor with round pins. More information can be found at  https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/

Water To Go

An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.

We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.

Maps, Guidebooks & Other Information

Maps, Guidebooks & More

Suggested Reading:

  • India (Lonely Planet Country Guides) – Sarina Singh - Lonely Planet Publications
  • The Rough Guide to India – David Abram – Rough Guides
  • Freedom in Exile: Autobiography of His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet – Abacus
  • Raj – Lawrence James – Abacus
  • Where Men and Mountains Meet: Explorers of the Western Himalayas 1820-1895 – John Keay

You may also wish to visit the following website:

http://www.incredibleindia.org/


The Map Shop

Maps and guidebooks relating to the areas you will be walking in may be bought before your holiday from The Map Shop at www.themapshop.co.uk

Weather

Visit the following websites for an idea of the climate in your destination:

Staying Healthy On Holiday

Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.

Health Advice for India

No compulsory immunisations are required for visits to India, although you should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended in the UK. 

Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Diphtheria and Typhoid immunisations are recommended, and you might also like to consider immunisations against Rabies, Cholera, Japanese Encephalitis and Hepatitis B. 

Malaria is present throughout the year in India; please seek advice from your doctor or travel clinic. 

Dengue fever, Zika virus and Chikungunya virus exist in India; please take normal precautions against mosquito bites. 

Seek pre-travel Zika virus advice from your health care provider 6-8 weeks in advance of travel, particularly important if you are pregnant or planning pregnancy.

Air Pollution

Cities may at times experience periods of poor air quality. If you suffer from a respiratory condition you may wish to seek advice from your doctor prior to travel.

Diarrhoea & Boiled Water

Don’t forget to exercise caution with what you eat to avoid upset stomachs and stay away from unpeeled fruit and vegetables, salad and do not have ice in your drinks. Hot, fresh cooked food, where possible, is best. 

Hand washing facilities may be poor or unavailable when travelling, we therefore strongly advise you to carry antibacterial sanitizing gel and / or hand wipes at all times and use to them regularly.

Drinking or cleaning teeth in un-boiled water is not recommended.  Bottled pure water is inexpensive and widely available in shops, at hotels, and on the coach. Make sure you only buy sealed bottles.

Further Travel Advice

For further advice please visit:

You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.

Travel Insurance

You must be adequately insured to join our holidays. We do not insist that you insure with us but we require that you are adequately insured for the nature of your holiday. You will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance.

Please ensure that as a minimum your travel insurance policy covers you for travel to your holiday destinations (country and geographical region) and for medical expenses, mountain rescue (including helicopter rescue) and emergency repatriation to your home country in the event of illness or injury. Your policy should also provide adequate cover for the activities, included and optional, you are likely to participate in during your holiday.

See our brochure or website for further advice regarding holiday insurance.

Whoever you insure with, please ensure that you take full details, and ideally the policy itself, with you on holiday and provide our tour leader with your insurer's name, the policy number and emergency assistance contact numbers.

Please note that it is very difficult to obtain travel insurance once your holiday arrangements have started.

Personal Safety

The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.

Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.

Cultural Awareness

Responsible Travel

We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.

The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust

Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.

Heart and Sole

We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.

Staying In Touch

Mobile Phones

Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements. 

Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.  

As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.

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Useful Information

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India

  • Capital

    New Delhi

  • Currency

    Indian Rupee

  • Language

    Hindi; English

  • Time Difference

    UTC +05:30

  • Flight duration

    9.5hrs from UK

Visas and Passports

Visa Required

Average weather

  • January

    17°C

    Avg. Rain: 14mm

  • February

    19°C

    Avg. Rain: 17mm

  • March

    24°C

    Avg. Rain: 22mm

  • April

    27°C

    Avg. Rain: 40mm

  • May

    30°C

    Avg. Rain: 76mm

  • June

    29°C

    Avg. Rain: 197mm

  • July

    27°C

    Avg. Rain: 308mm

  • August

    27°C

    Avg. Rain: 274mm

  • September

    26°C

    Avg. Rain: 182mm

  • October

    25°C

    Avg. Rain: 83mm

  • November

    21°C

    Avg. Rain: 34mm

  • December

    18°C

    Avg. Rain: 15mm

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