DELHI – SHIMLA
ARRIVE TO THE CAPITAL OF INDIA: NEW DELHI - A PERFECT BLEND OF TRADITION AND MODERNITY
ENCAPSULATE THE ESSENCE OF DELHI IN YOUR HEART: THE WONDERS OF MUGHAL ERA
JOURNEY TO THE SUMMER CAPITAL OF BRITISH RAJ
SHIMLA - THE QUEEN OF MOUNTAINS
AGRA – DELHI
TRANSFER AMRITSAR TO AGRA
LET THE SUN RISE TO UNRAVEL A POEM WRITTEN IN MARBLE: TAJ MAHAL
DELHI AGAIN - TO RELAX, AND UNWIND
FLY TO LEH - THE LIGHT OF HIMALAYAS
LEH - ENCHANTING, MOUNTAIN-FRAMED AND HASSLE-FREE
ENCAPSULATING THE LIGHT OF LEH IN YOUR HEART
SHIMLA – DHARAMSALA
DHARAMSALA – AMRITSAR
AMRITSAR – DELHI – AGRA
DHARAMSHALA: WHERE TIBET STAYS IN EXILE
YOGA AND SPIRITUALITY: TO THE GOLDEN TEMPLE, THE CENTER POINT OF SIKH FAITH
TRAVELING ON THE MOUNTAIN TERRAIN: AN ODE TO GREEN SOBRIETY
SPECTACULAR INDIAN SUMMERS AT THE HIMALAYAN TERRAIN
Stay in Delhi for two days to enjoy the amazing contrast between modernity and traditionalism. Nip your bud into the capital of the Mughals before you’re transported to Agra in a private vehicle. On the third day, arrive in Shimla – the queen of hills! The nip in air is enough to get you all mushy, and spectacular hills and vista await your attention. Stay in Shimla for a day and then journey towards the Tibetan town of Dharamshala – where the Dalai Lama stays in exile. Watch the amazing place, and take another step towards enlightenment. Next leg of your journey is Amritsar – the holiest place of pilgrimage for Sikh religion that hosts the marvelous Golden temple. After soaking in some much famed religiosity – we travel to Agra, to see the poem written in Marble – “Taj Mahal!’. Enjoy the spectacular monument and then travel to the lost lands of Leh – where the climate, stupendous scenic beauty and environment is going to bowl you over.
ITINERARY IN DETAIL
Day 1 Arrive Delhi
Arrive at the New Delhi Airport, and here’s where the first leg of your journey start. The capital city of India is an exact mix of tradition and modernity. You will understand and soak in the culture, architecture and human diversity, deep in history, monuments, museums, galleries and gardens.
Our India representative will receive you at the airport and take you to your hotel.
Day 2 Delhi
Have an escorted full day tour to Old and New Delhi. We will begin the day traveling by rickshaw past colorful bazaars, sacred temples, and colonial monuments through the winding streets of Old Delhi, the capital of Muslim India from the 12th through the 19th centuries. You will get to see the sumptuous Red Fort palaces, the symbol of Indian nationhood. Also visit India’s largest mosque, the white marble Jama Masjid.
Other highlights include Humayun's Tomb, which was built by the wife of Mughal Emperor Humayun, Haji Begum in the mid-16th century. This red sandstone structure is considered to be the predecessor of Taj Mahal. The structure is one of the best examples of Mughal architecture. Humayun's wife is also buried in the tomb, which is built of red and white sandstone and black -yellow marble.
End the day with a visit to the Gandhi Museum that showcases the life and principles of Mahatma Gandhi, Father of our Nation.
DAY 03 Delhi – Shimla
Today morning take an Express train to Chandigarh and upon arrival board the van and drive to Shimla. Learn about the colonial history of the British Empire during your visit to Shimla, the summer capital of British India. Stroll through the town and see how life in Shimla revolves around the busy mall road in the center of town.
DAY 04 Shimla
You are in Shimla – known as the “Queen of Mountains”, and the summer capital of the erstwhile British Raj. This beautiful town is as picturesque as it can go, and you’re going to fall in love with the colorful people and the culture. Today you will see the highlights of the town during your visit to the Christ Church, Gaiety Theatre and the Vice Regal Lodge.
Afternoon is free to explore the town on your own.
DAY 05 Shimla – Dharamsala
Visit a local market before departing for Dharamsala. Enjoy the scenic beauty of the region as you cross mountain passes along the way.
Relax and enjoy free time this evening after your mountain travels.
DAY 06 Dharamsala
Dharamshala is where the Dalai Lama came and settled after his exile from Tibet. Loaded with ancient Tibetan wisdom as well as British architectures, this is a hamlet of blissfulness. Enjoy the opportunity to interact with the children of the TCV (Tibetan Children’s Village) during a special moment.
Visit the workshop at the Norbulingka, Tibetan Cultural Center.
Later in the evening you will do a Kora walk starting from His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Temple and learn about the practice of Tibetan Buddhism in this region.
Late in the evening explore the markets of Mcleodganj.
DAY 07 Dharamsala – Amritsar
Begin the day with a spiritually refreshing yoga session at your hotel.
Yoga is perhaps the world's first system that recognizes the interconnection and Interaction between body and mind. The main purpose of yoga is to isolate the mind of all thoughts, worries and fears, and to increase the strength and flexibility of the body. The regular practice of yoga can help keep stress and tension at bay and facilitate the mind to a state of well-being and peace.
Depart the mountains of Himachal Pradesh for the Punjab. Wear comfortable clothing for the drive through the mountains to Amritsar, located on the historic Grand Trunk Road.
This evening engage yourself in community service at the Langar of the Harmandir Sahib or “Golden Temple,” the spiritual and cultural centre of the Sikh religion.
We suggest bringing a head covering garment for your time in the temple facilities.
DAY 08 Amritsar – Delhi – Agra
Today, depart for Agra via Delhi. Board your flight to Delhi upon landing, drive to Agra.
DAY 09 Agra
Weather permitting, rise early for a special sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World! Explore the majestic complex of gardens and buildings culminating in Shah Jahan’s iconic monument to love, the Taj Mahal. This protected UNESCO World Heritage site blends perfect symmetry with stunning inlay work and marble detailing. Gain insight into the historic process of marble inlay work used to decorate the Taj Mahal during a demonstration by local artisans. This ancient craft is considered a dying art and only practiced by a small number of families in Agra.
In the afternoon you will visit the Agra Fort. The Agra Fort is a great monument of red sandstone that dominates a bend in the Yamuna River and was constructed by the Mughals during 1565-1571. It was Emperor Akbar who laid the foundation of this majestic citadel in 1565. The fort was ready by 1571 during the period of Shah Jehan, Akbar's grandson. The fort is crescent shaped, flattened on the east with a long, nearly straight wall facing the river. The Fort's colossal double walls rise 69 ft in height and measure 2.5 km in circumference encircled by a moat and contain a maze of buildings which form a small city within a city. The fort contains splendid mosques and palaces in red sandstone and white marble built by two generations of creative builders during the time of Akbar and later Jehangir and Shah Jehan.
This evening enjoy the Bollywood style show Mohabbat-e-Taj, based on the story of Eternal Love – The Taj Mahal.
DAY 10 Agra – Delhi
Morning is free to relax.
Afternoon drive to Delhi, transfer to your hotel, and have the remainder of the day free to enjoy this spectacular city.
DAY 11 Fly Delhi – Leh
Today drive to Delhi airport to connect your flight to Leh. On your arrival spend a relaxed day in the hotel.
DAY 12 Leh
Leh is in the Indus Valley, at the crossroads of the old trading routes from Tibet and Kashmir, a small town of simple houses, garden terraces, agriculture and a jumping-off place (not literally) for trekking in Ladakh, of which it is the capital. This morning, explore the region, which is a mixture of Buddhist and Muslim influences, stopping at the lovely and serene Hemis and Thiksey monasteries.
In the afternoon, see the 16th century Leh Palace, which towers over the old town and is an example of true medieval Tibetan architecture. Of more recent vintage is the Shanti Stupak built by a sect of Japanese Buddhists in 1983. Mornings, this is a favorite place for yogis. A special treat is in store today, when you visit the home of a local family.
DAY 13 Leh
A morning excursion to Sham Valley includes visits to the Likir and Alchi monasteries, with the afternoon free for exploration on your own: shopping or perhaps a short trek with hopes of spotting some of the wild birds and animals for which Ladakh is known: among them 225 species of birds including black-necked cranes; ibex, bharal, or blue sheep, the shapu or urial goat. Or dream about a snow leopard, of which there are about 200, but rarely seen. Tonight, sleep well; this is holy ground.
DAY 14 Departure
Enjoy a day of independent activities before transferring this evening to the airport and your flight home.