This interesting, off-the-beaten track group tour of North West India invites you to the impressive Golden Temple, situated in a shimmering man-made lake in the frontier town of Amritsar.Driving into neighbouring Himachal Pradesh towards Buddhist country, take in the picturesque scenery of Dharamsala as you visit McLeod Ganj, the residence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Travel onward to the Kangra Valley that houses delightful villages, more Hindu and Buddhist temples and a quaint mountain railway. Spend the last few nights in Shimla, the summer capital of the British Raj.
Day 1 Amritsar
You will be met on arrival in Amritsar and transferred to your hotel, The Holiday Inn or similar for two nights. The rest of the day is free for relaxation with a welcome dinner this evening.
Day 2 Amritsar
A full day of sightseeing starts with a morning walk through the bustling lanes of the old city followed by a visit to the poignant site of Jallianwala Bagh. Visit the majestic Golden Temple complex, one of the holiest shrines of the Sikh faith. Take part in the communal lunch (langar) where thousands are fed for free every day. In the afternoon drive to the Wagah border to see the indulgent joint ‘retreat’ ceremony of the Indian and Pakistani guard.
Day 3 Amritsar, Dharamsala
Heading north, leave the plains of the Punjab and reach the town of Dharamsala (4-5 hours), the current residence of His Holiness The Dalai Lama, in the foothills of the Himalaya. Stay for two nights at Clouds End Villa or similar with spectacular views of the Dhauladhar mountain range. In the afternoon, enjoy a visit to the nearby Norbulingka Institute, built in the style of the Dalai Lama’s former summer residence in Lhasa (Tibet).
Day 4 Dharamsala
A morning sightseeing tour through the Tibetan Buddhist enclave of Mcleod Ganj with visits to the Namgyal Monastery, the Kalachakra Temple and the Bhagsunath temple. In the afternoon, relax in one of the many inviting cafes or explore some of the smaller local monasteries.
Day 5 Dharamsala, Pragpur
Drive down to the heritage village of Pragpur (2½ hours) with the option of a ride on the Kangra heritage railway line. Two nights are spent at the Judges Court Residence.
Day 6 Pragpur
Enjoy a walk through Pragpur’s intriguing medieval narrow stone-cobbled streets. A picnic lunch is followed by a visit to a tea plantation in the afternoon.
Day 7 Pragpur, Shimla
Leaving Pragpur, drive through picturesque countryside ending with a steep and spectacular climb through the Shivalik Hills to the hill station of Shimla (4-5 hours). Stay at the legendary Clarke’s Hotel for three nights.
Day 8 Shimla
The morning’s sightseeing tour of Shimla includes a visit to the Vice Regal Lodge, Mock Tudor Library and, Jakhu Temple as well as a walk down the busy Mall Road to see the Gaiety Theatre and Christ Church. In the afternoon take a ride on the affectionately named ‘toy train’ to Kandaghat.
Day 9 Shimla
Day at leisure, with a option to play golf at the picturesque 18 hole, Naldehra Golf Course.
Day 10 Shimla, Delhi
Drive down to Kalka (2 ½ hours) for the express train back to Delhi, staying overnight at The Park hotel or similar.
Day 11 Delhi
Transfer to the airport.
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