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Experience a taste of India on this outstanding introductory tour.
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Travel to the holy city of Amritsar and McLeod Ganj, home to the Tibetan government-in-exile. 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.
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Overnight flight from London (regional connections available) to Amritsar via Delhi with British Airways. (N)
On arrival, transfer to the Hyatt Amritsar (or similar) 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). Extravagantly lit at night, the glistening temple leaves a mesmerising reflection in the large water tanks which surround the sanctum. Every evening, drums and hymns fill the air for the Palki Sahib ceremony, adding to the allure and grandeur of the temple. (N)
Revisit the Golden Temple this morning and delve deeper inside the complex to discover the community kitchen called Langar. This humbling assembly provides more than 50,000 free meals each day to visitors of the temple who come from all walks of life. Take a guided heritage walk passing the Gurudwara Saragarhi, dedicated to the heroism of the 21 soldiers of the 36 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 a local family house to see the regional Gaddi dress. The evening is free to explore the market. Spend 2 nights at the Pride Surya Resort (or similar). (B)
After breakfast, visit the Norbulingka Institute, dedicated to the preservation of Tibetan culture. Later, take a gentle walk through traditional Gaddi settlements to Naddi village taking in the spectacular views of the Dhauladhar mountain range as the sun sets. (B)
Travel by road to Palampur for an overnight stay at Taragarh Palace. En route, visit the rock-cut temples at Masroor and enjoy a visit to a working tea plantation where you can wander through beautifully manicured tea gardens, interact with the estate workers and see how tea is processed in the small factory before sampling some of their finest infusions. (B, D)
Today board the Kangra Mountain Railway, a wonderful way to experience life in the sub-Himalayan foothills. The 1.5-hour scenic ride from Baijnath to Nagrota passes rural villages, rice fields and many quaint train stations.
Afterwards drive to Kangra to visit the ruins of the impressive fort and on to Pragpur. Stay 2 nights at The Judge's Court, a delightful old manor house that has been converted into a hotel. (B, D)
Pragpur is an idyllic base from which to explore the Kangra Valley and the day is yours to explore at your own pace. Why not take a leisurely walk in the beautiful countryside or explore one of the charming markets. There are also ample opportunities for fishing, bicycle rides or bird watching. Alternatively, visit one of the surrounding villages, like Garli 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, characterised by its evergreen forests and snow-capped peaks. On arrival, check in for 2 nights at the Oberoi Cecil or upgrade to the Oberoi Wildflower Hall (Deluxe Garden View room) from £225. (B)
Today is all about discovering Shimla. Take a full-day tour which includes visits to 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)
Take the Himalayan Queen toy train from Shimla to Kandaghat (2 hours and 15 minutes). Enjoy the sweeping views as you gradually climb between hill stations. This narrow gauge railway is considered one of the finest engineering feats in India. Continue by road to Chandigarh (2 hours) for an overnight stay at the LaLiT Chandigarh. (B)
Morning train to Delhi (4 hours). Spend your last afternoon at leisure and stay overnight at the Oberoi Maidens (or similar). (B)
Transfer to the airport for your flight home. (B)
As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.
This tour is based in 3- and 4-star accommodation.
The order of the visits may change due to national holidays and museum opening times.
This itinerary can be taken privately on a date that suits
you, for which guideline prices are shown.
Alternatively, it can be tailored to your exact
requirements. Please call to speak with a Cox & Kings consultant or
This tour can be booked / reserved online by clicking on one of the coloured links below.
HTT2019: 11 Nights
Amritsar, in northwest India, is a vibrant yet relaxed and friendly city, full of...
The Indian capital, is steeped in a glorious, but turbulent, history. In the pulsating old city...
A century ago the British selected Shimla as their summer capital, using it as a...