Journey through the Himalayan Foothills

Resort: Journey through the Himalayan Foothills
Operator: Cox and Kings
Destination: India
Price From: £2295.00

Overview

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.

Itinerary

Day 1: Fly to Amritsar via Delhi

Overnight flight from London (regional connections available) to Amritsar via Delhi with British Airways. (N)

Day 2: Amritsar

On arrival, transfer to the Hyatt Amritsar 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). The temple is profusely lit up and the lights are beautifully reflected in large water tanks surrounding the sanctum. (N)

Day 3: Amritsar Wagah

Morning visit to the Golden Temple and the community kitchen called Langar. 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)

Day 4: McLeod Ganj

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 Lamas monastery, Tsuglag Khang. Continue with a tour of McLeod Ganj, visiting the handicrafts centre. The evening is free to explore McLeod Ganj market. 2 nights at the Pride Surya Resort. (B)

Day 5: Dharamsala

After breakfast, visit the Norbulingka Institute, dedicated to the preservation of Tibetan culture and the Thosamling Nunnery. Visit a local family to see the regional Gaddi dress. Later, take a gentle walk through traditional Gaddi settlements to Naddi village, enjoying spectacular views of the Dhauladhar mountain range as the sun sets. (B)

Day 6: Masroor Palampur

Drive to Palampur for an overnight stay at Taragarh Palace. En route, visit the rock-cut temples at Masroor. These monolithic temples date back to the eighth century and have the moniker ‘The Himalayan Pyramid’. (B, D)

Day 7: Pragpur via Kangra Mountain Railway

Today drive to Baijnath to board the Kangra Mountain Railway for the 1.5-hour scenic ride to Nagrota. Afterwards drive to Kangra to visit the impressive fort and on to Pragpur. Stay 2 nights at The Judges Court, a delightful old manor house, converted into a hotel. (B, D)

Day 8: Pragpur

At leisure, with opportunities for leisurely walks in the surrounding villages, or visit the temples at Jwalamukhi and Chintpurni. (B, L, D)

Day 9: Shimla

Full-day drive through the Himalayan foothills to the former British hill station of Shimla. On arrival, check in for 2 nights at the Oberoi Cecil or upgrade to the Oberoi Wildflower Hall (Deluxe Garden View room) from £235pp. (B)

Day 10: Shimla

Full-day tour of Shimla, including 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)

Day 11: Chandigarh via toy train

Take the Himalayan Queen toy train from Shimla to Kandaghat (2 hours 15 minutes) to enjoy the beautiful Himalayan scenery. 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. Evening visit to a local market. (B)

Day 12: Delhi

This morning visit the surreal Rock Garden before boarding the train to Delhi (4 hours). Overnight at the Oberoi Maidens. (B)

Day 13: Fly to London

Transfer to the airport for your flight home with British Airways. (B)

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