Please see Holiday Information Sheet for this holidays individual departures itinerary (located under View Departures & Book tab)
Depart London Heathrow for Delhi. Arrival is just before midnight and we transfer directly to our hotel.
With a relaxed start in Delhi to get a feel of the city. Planning a day around Delhi is never easy, it's a busy place, but we hope to include Gurudwara Bangla Sahib Sikh Temple to get an insight into the Sikh religion. We will also visit Dilli Haat open-air food plaza and craft bazaar. We will have dinner here. We should have time to finish off anything we miss at the end of the holiday.
We’ll take the train today to the Sikh holy city of Amritsar in Punjab (approx 6 hour journey). We have booked seats on the train and the local guide will take us to these seats. Indian railways can be intimidating without helpful guidance. On arrival we have time for a cultural heritage walk through the streets of Amritsar before dinner. We stay in Amritsar for 2 nights.
Following breakfast we’ll see the Golden Temple, the holiest of Sikh temples. Next we travel into the Punjab countryside to walk through a traditional village and see something of the traditional way of life. We’ll make a sunset visit to see the ceremonial Retreat at the Wagah Border, the only land crossing border between India and Pakistan.
Making the journey overland to Dharamshala, we’ll travel approximately 125 miles, making stops en route for a restaurant lunch and hopefully (if time allows) visit Kangra Fort. We’ll stay in Dharamshala for 4 nights. From today, until we reach Chandigarh, we will be travelling in SUV vehicles which offer a more comfortable ride on the mountain roads.
We will start out about 09.00 to visit Tushita Buddhist stupa (place of meditation). Those who would like can join in a meditation session. Later we continue to walk arriving at Mcleod Ganj for lunch (included) at a local restaurant. McLeod Ganj is home to the Dalai Lama. We can return to the hotel after lunch before enjoying a walk through the local Tea Gardens later in the day. Here you will have a chance to see the tea making process and hopefully enjoy a cup. Dharamshala Tea is known worldwide for its quality and flavour.
We’ll have a true Tibetan experience today as we explore the Upper Town of Dharamshala, McLeod Ganj, where the residence of the Dalai Lama is located. We’ll see Tse Chokling Monastery, St John in the Wilderness Church, village school, Tibetan Medical Centre, and Norbulingka (a learning centre for traditional Tibetan art and craft). We’ll also see the Dalai Lama residence and plan to take a Kora holy walk, where you may see Buddhist monks and nuns chanting holy hymns.
Today, we’ll walk from Naddi to the tribal village of Bahl, located in the foothills of the Dhauladhar mountains, and enjoy a short visit of the village. A steep climb takes us on to Galu Village, where we can enjoy a packed lunch.
Walking time: Approx. 5 hours
Elevation: Starting at 2000m, reaching 2500m and finishing at 2000m
Terrain: A forest trail with some stony parts and a short, steep climb on rocky terrain.
We travel deeper into the Himalayan foothills today to Manali, located at the head of the Kullu Valley. The approximate 150 miles drive takes us through breath-taking scenery of snow capped peaks, pine forests and fruit orchards. We’ll make refreshment stops en route and also stop for a restaurant lunch. There have been extensive road works on the road recently which will hopefully have improved the journey by the time we travel. We stay in Manali for 4 nights.
We’ll start with a short drive to the village of Salong and make our way back to Manali with a leisurely walk through the Salong Valley passing traditional villages along the way. The route ends at the Manali Club House in old Manali. We’ll return to our hotel by vehicle. A packed lunch will be included today.
Walking time: Approx. 5 hours
Elevation: Starting at 2500m, finishing at 2050m.
Terrain: Following well trodden village tracks.
From the nearby village of Vashishat, with its hot springs, we’ll walk to the sacred Jogini waterfall. From here, we’ll 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.
Walking time: Approx. 2.5 hours
Elevation: Starting at 2100m, reaching 2150m and finishing at 2100m (3000m by vehicle)
Terrain: An easy start with a gradual ascent for 30-40 minutes to the falls, following a dirt track, followed by a 30 minute, steep (but short) descent to Nehru Kund.
From Chansari village, a 2hr drive from Manali, we’ll walk the Bijli Mahadev Temple Walk with great views of the Kullu Valley. Later we continue to Naggar village, located on the banks of the Beas River, to visit Naggar Castle and Roerich Gallery which houses paintings by Russian artist Nicholas Roerich. Time permitting, we may include a short walk this afternoon.
Walking time: Approx. 3 hours
Elevation: Starting at 2000m, reaching 2450m. The walk is a steady ascent throughout.
Our journey today takes us 160 miles to the hill station of Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh. Refreshment stops will be made en route, including lunch at a local restaurant. We stay in Shimla for 3 nights.
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.
We’ll 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.
Walking time: Approx. 3-3.5 hours
Elevation: Starting at 2200m and finishing at 2200m
Terrain: A level walking day at an even altitude following a forest trail.
Our 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). We’ll then 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). We stay in Delhi for 2 nights.
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 take our flight to London, arriving the same day.