Day 1, Arrival in Delhi.
Reception at the airport and transfer to hotel. O/N in hotel.
Day 2, Delhi to Amritsar.
Leave by train for a 6-hour journey to Amritsar. Check into hotel. Visit the city. O/N in hotel.
Amritsar translates as ‘pool of nectar’, the name of the sacred pool surrounding the Sikh Golden Temple. A causeway connects to the temple in the middle of the pool. A Sikh high priest reads the holy book, sitting on the east side of the temple. The temple attracts pilgrims from all over the world.
Wagha Border is the Indo-Pakistan border 30 kms drive away, where the retreat ceremony on the road to Lahore is an interesting experience at Sunset.
Day 3, Amritsar to Dharamsala, 190 kms, 6 hours drive.
Lunch stop on the way. Afternoon check into hotel. Evening stroll with the Indo—Tibetan crowd on the street of Mecleodganj. Night in hotel.
Day 4, Visit Dharamsala (1830 m).
A former colonial retreat, Mcleodganj rose to prominence after the large scale exodus of Tibetans from their homeland in 1959. It is the residence (Ocean of Tranquility) of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. In the backdrop are the majestic Dhauladhar mountains. The Tibetan Government in exile has been based here for over three and a half decades. With traditional architectural designs drawn from Tibet, the impressive Namgyal monastery is surrounded by a row of prayer wheels, and houses larger-than-life images of the Buddha: Padmasambhava and Avalokteshwara. Time permitting, the Tibetan handicraft centre can also be visited. Night in hotel.
Day 5, Dharamsala to Palampur (via Kangra), Brijeshwari Temple and Musroor rock temple.
Visit the thousand-year old Brijeshwari Temple, built in Shikhara style and dedicated to the goddess Vrajreshwari. The 10-minute walk leading to the temple premises is decorated with colorful shops selling articles that devotees need for religious rituals to pay homage to the goddess.
Masroor has 15 temples carved into the rock in Indo-Aryan style and linked with the famous Ellora temple in Maharashtra.
Palampur is situated in the foothills of the Dhauladhar range. It has a mild climate, tea gardens and irrigation channels. The main street of Palampur is always crowded with a variety of people, including gaddis (shepherds) and their gaily attired women can be seen strolling around. Evening visit to a tea garden. Night in hotel.
Day 6, Palampur to Mandi, via Baijnath-Rewalsar, 137 km.
Visit Shiva temple at Baijnath which bears an inscription dated A.D 804 and dedicated to Vaidhyanath. The temples are built in the Shikhera style and are remarkable for their proportion and architectural beauty.
Drive further to Rewalsar (Pool of Ancient Wisdom), which is like a Dark jewel on a wooded hillside. This sacred lake is identified as the sahar of yore. Legend identifies this place the one from where Padma Sambhava left for Tibet to spread the word of the Budha in the 8th century A.D.
Mandi is an important town of Himachal Pradesh and gateway to Kullu Valley. It is known for its aesthetically carved shikhara style temples of Bhootnath, Triloknath, Panchvakra and Shyamakali at Tarna hill.O/N hotel.
Day 7, Mandi to Kullu-Manali (2000 m), 90 kms.
Leave for Manali. Enroute, we will visit Shiva temple at Bajaura. Afternoon check into hotel.
Kullu—Manali is situated in the inner range of the Himalaya and is famous for apple orchards, pine trees and cheerful people. The valley has hundreds of temples and deities. The Aryans named this valley as Kulantpitha, meaning “the end of the habitable world”. Visit the temple of Manu at old Manali, the hot spring at Vashisht and keep the evening free. Night in hotel .
Day 8, Explore Manali.
The Hadimba Devi temple is famous for its association with the Mahabharata. Jagatsukh was the capital of Kullu in olden times and has the temple of Gaytri Devi. Nagar is 20 kms away and has a castle, the temple of Goddess Tripurasundry, a Shiva temple, and the well-known Roherich Art Gallery. Evening back to Manali for night in hotel.
Day 9, Manali to Simla, 250 kms.
The road passes through several villages. Lunch in a local restaurant on the way. Magnificent views of the Himalayan foothills. Simla-the ancient summer capital of the British Raj, also known as queen of the hills. An evening stroll on the mall to mingle with the natives. Night in hotel.
Day 10, Day in Simla.
Morning visit to the temple of Monkey God on Jhaku hill. (Beware of monkeys) Visit the museum and the Vice-regal Lodge which now houses the Indian Institute of Advance Studies. Night in hotel.
Day 11, Simla to Chandigarh, 150 kms.
We will take the toy train for a two-hour ride to experience a legacy of colonial times. The train has been declared as a world heritage train by UNESCO and is a prime tourist attraction.
Take the zigzag road down to Chandigarh, a city designed by the famous Swiss architect Le Corbusier. Visit the Rock Garden which is an epitome of creativity and innovation. It is a unique garden that consists of various art objects. But the best part about the rock garden is that each of its artwork has been made by using industrial & urban waste and is one of the most visited sites after Taj Mahal.
Visit rose Garden which is one of the largest in Asia with about 1,600 varieties of roses, evening dinner and stroll in the city centre, Night in hotel.
Day 12, Chandigarh to Rishikesh (230 m), 5 hours.
Departure to Rishikesh- the sanctuary of saints and Sadhus.
Situated on the banks of the river Ganges, known from medieval times as a great pilgrimage centre, attracting large numbers of pilgrims, saints and sages (sadhus). It is known for its centre for yoga and meditation. We will visit ashrams and temples and witness the evening ritual ceremony at Triveni Ghat, when hundreds of people float little flower bowls with oil lamps on the river. Back to hotel for night stay.
Day 13, Rishikesh to Haridwar, 23 kms.
Leave for Haridwar. Check into hotel. Visit Mansa Devi temple dedicated to Shakti, the goddess of power. Also visit Daksha Mahadevi temple and bathing ghats. In the evening, join the grand Arti. Night in hotel.
Haridwar literally means gateway to God. It has been a sacred place from time immemorial and is one of the most important pilgrimage places on the Ganges. Based on Hindu mythology, millions of Hindus take a holy dip in the sacred river Ganges to seek emancipation. There is meditation and worship at Har ki Pauri (Bathing Ghat ) which is one of the most fascinating religious ritual in the world. Night in hotel.
Day 14, Haridwar to Delhi by train, 240 kms. Evening departure.
Train to Delhi, visit the Kutub Minar, Jama Masjid and Red Fort. Enjoy a rickshaw ride between Jama Masjid and Red Fort. Evening after dinner transfer to airport for yours onward destination. No hotels in Delhi.