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12 Nights Call of the Mountains Adventure 12 Nights Call of the Mountains Adventure

12 Nights Call of the Mountains Adventure

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From £1479
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Call of the Mountains - India
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Start your tour at the Nation’s capital city Delhi, an incredible combination of the ancient and the contemporary. This city is sure to take you by surprise! Your journey will now take a spiritual turn as you visit Amritsar the holy city of Sikhs, followed by Dharamsala the present home of His Holiness Dalai Lama. As you travel through the Himalayan foothills you will witness the region’s rich heritage and culture. Enjoy breath-taking views of the snow-capped Himalayas and the lush forests of cedar and pine as you make your way to Shimla – The summer capital of India During the British Raj.

Descend from the Himalayan foothills to Chandigarh also known to be the most well planned city in India.

Start your tour at the Nation’s capital city Delhi, an incredible combination of the ancient and the contemporary. This city is sure to take you by surprise! Your journey will now take a spiritual turn as you visit Amritsar the holy city of Sikhs, followed by Dharamsala the present home of His Holiness Dalai Lama. As you travel through the Himalayan foothills you will witness the region’s rich heritage and culture. Enjoy breath-taking views of the snow-capped Himalayas and the lush forests of cedar and pine as you make your way to Shimla – The summer capital of India During the British Raj.

Descend from the Himalayan foothills to Chandigarh also known to be the most well planned city in India.

  • Valid for double/twin occupancy only
  • Departure points, dates and hours are subject to availability and cannot always be guaranteed
  • City Tax not included: payable directly on site
  • Hotel Check in 14:00, Check out 10:00
  • There is no charge for payments made with Debit Cards.

DAY 01: ARRIVE DELHI

Arrive in Delhi International airport by your international flight. After immigration, you will be met and transfer to your hotel for overnight stay. (Hotel check in time is 1400 hours).

DELHI is India’s capital and a major gateway to the country. Perhaps there is no other capital city in the world so steeped in history and legend as the Indian capital Delhi. It was the magnet, which drew the Mongols, Turks, Persians, Afghans, Mughals and the British, all of whom contributed to its glorious but turbulent past. The fascination with Delhi was such that even though it was abandoned many times, its rulers returned to it again and again rebuilding it at least seven times. Today, the twin cities of Old and New Delhi still intrigue Indians and tourists alike as the cultural and political capital of the largest democracy in the world.

CULTURAL ENRICHMENTS: – PRIVATE EVENING TOUR OF AKSHARDHAM TEMPLE WITH MUSICAL FOUNTAIN SHOW

This tour takes you on a journey through the marvelous Akshardham Temple, where you’ll witness the enormity and beauty of this exceptional monument under the guidance and knowledge of an private expert guide. Visit the temple, appreciate its splendor, and watch the exceptional musical fountain show to experience Indian faith at its best.

DAY 02: DELHI - AMRITSAR

Early morning, transfer to Delhi railway station to board the train to Amritsar.

Indian Railways is one of the largest train networks in the World and is the quickest way to travel on certain route. This short train journey will offer opportunity to see the life around the country side. Please note, on this train seat will be on air conditioned Chair car coach (economy class).

Arrive Amritsar and transfer to the hotel. On arrival, check in for your stay.

Amritsar was founded by the 4th Sikh guru in 1579 and is home to Sikhism’s holiest shrine, the Golden Temple. The sacred lake surrounding the temple dates from this period but the current form of the temple is 18th-cent., and the gilt early 19th-cent. Jallianwala Bagh was the scene of the massacre of demonstrators against British rule in 1919 and now is a moving memorial garden.

In the afternoon attend one of the world’s oddest spectator activities involving a pompous display of military bravado at the Flag Ceremony at the Wagah Border.  The “Retreat,” a high-kicking, tow-stepping, quick-marching ceremony wherein the Indian and Pakistani flags are lowered on either side of the only border that remains open between the two hostile countries provides a rare look at relations between the two countries.

DAY 03: AMRITSAR

Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning visit Golden Temple where the Holy Book of the Sikhs, the Granth Sahib, was installed in 1604. Standing in the middle of a sacred pool, this is the most sacred of the Sikh temples, and a symbol of strength and magnificence.  After a quick tour of the temple, an expert will give you a talk on Sikhism followed by a visit to the kitchen.

This is a unique experience as you will get to see volunteers from the community cook and serve more than 1,00,000 meals every day. You will get an opportunity to volunteer in the community kitchen. Prepare and serve a meal for people from all walks.  Volunteering in the cooking, serving and cleaning process is a form of an active spiritual practice for devotees, but the service provided asks no religious affiliation of its recipients. This spirit of inclusion and equality is reinforced by the kitchen's adherence to vegetarianism, not because Sikhs are vegetarian, but because others who visit may be, and by serving no meat, they exclude nobody.

Later visit Jalianwala bagh, the site of a massacre in 1919 when the British opened fire on a peaceful gathering of protestors. Mahatma Gandhi subsequently called for a nationwide strike and formed the Non-Cooperation Movement, which became a key event in India’s struggle for independence. The area is now a park with a memorial to the men, women, and children who died.

CULTURAL ENRICHMENTS: WALK IN THE NARROW LANES OF OLD AMRITSAR

This is an interesting walk (1 hr/30 mins) in the narrow lanes of Old Amritsar  en-route to the Golden Temple. See the only Gurudwara built by the British in the honour of 21 Sikh soldiers who fought for them against the Afghans. We walk through interesting markets; learn about the Sikh religion and life in the streets.

DAY 04: AMRITSAR - DHARAMSHALA (199 KMS/ 05 Hrs)

Later you will be transferred to Dharamshala in your private car.

At the heart of the Tibetan culture, Dharamshala, also known as 'Little Lhasa' is beautifully set on the Dhaula Dhar Range, overlooking the Kangra Valley. The Kangra Art Museum holds an interesting collection of art, traditional dress and wood carvings from remote mountain cultures, many of whom can still be seen at the Kotwali Bazaar. Nearby is McLeodganj, which the Dalai Lama made his home after fleeing Tibet in 1959, and the Tsuglagkhang complex, including the Namgyal Monastery and the holy stature of the Central Chapel

Upon arrival in Dharamshala check-in at the hotel.

DAY 05: DHARAMSHALA

Breakfast at the hotel

Explore Dharamshala and Mcleodganj. Visit the following places during the sightseeing tour. The Tsuglagkhang Temple, it is the most renowned Buddhist monument in McLeodganj. There are 03 magnificent images of Buddha, including a statue of Shakyamuni, statues of Avalokitesvara and Padmasambhava. This monastery serves the Dalai Lamas exclusively.

Norbulingka Institute

It was established to preserve and teach the ancient Tibetan arts. The shady paths, wooden bridges, small streams and tiny water falls make this palace look like heaven. You can also watch the wooden carvings, Thangka paintings and embroidery being done. The nunnery close to the institute is a place where women are taught the advanced levels of Buddhist philosophy.

Bhagsunag Temple

About 02kms from McLeod is a holy pilgrim site for Hindus. Bhagsu is known for an ancient Shiv temple.

Gyuto Monastery

Sidhbari is the Karmapa’s (Ogyen Trinley Dorje) temporary residence, at Gyuto Monastery. Karmapa means "the one who carries out Buddha-activity" or "the embodiment of all the activities of the Buddhas". In the Tibetan tradition, great enlightened teachers are said to be able to consciously arrange to be reborn as a teacher who can carry on the teachings of a predecessor in a prior life.

St. John’s Church

One of the most poignant memories of the British Raj is the church of St. John, situated in the wilderness. This charmingly dressed stone church is located just 8kms from Dharamsala on the way to McLeodganj.

DAY 06: DHARAMSHALA - PARAGPUR (80 kms / approx. 02 Hrs)

In the morning drive to Paragpur.

Paragpur – The Kangra Valley, where Heritage Village Pragpur is located, is panoramic and replete with history. It is the home of the famous Kangra School of painting and probably the worlds, most certainly India's, oldest ruling lineage comes from here. This area was part of the Principality of Jaswan whose chief, in the late 16th or early 17th century charged a band of learned men, led by a Kuthiala Sood, to find a suitable place to commemorate Princess 'Prag' of his royal lineage.

Afternoon explore the Heritage Village of Paragpur. 

Founded about 3 centuries ago Pragpur has held onto the essence of an earlier era - unchanged shops, cobbled streets, ornamental village tank, mud plastered and slate roofed houses.

Heritage Village Pragpur is ideal for Village land nature Tourism and is being promoted as an example of community involvement in tourism. The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage jointly with the government of Himachal Pradesh is developing and preserving Heritage Village Pragpur.

DAY 07: PARAGPUR – SHIMLA (200 Kms/ approx. 07 Hrs)

fter breakfast drive to Shimla (2,000m), en-route you will have an opportunity to make a photo-stop at Garli village a notified heritage village with medieval ambience and interesting heritage buildings.

On arrival in Shimla check in at the hotel.

Shimla, the capital city of Himachal Pradesh, It lies about 343 km from Delhi at an altitude of 2,213 metres above sea level. Before the British discovered it in 1819, Shimla was a small village that was part of the Nepalese kingdom. In 1830, the local Raja was persuaded to part with the land by the British and the settlement became the subcontinent’s most fashionable summer resort. Shimla was declared the summer capital of India in 1864. After India’s independence, Shimla became the capital of Punjab till 1966, when it came under Himachal Pradesh.

DAY 08: SHIMLA

Spend the day exploring what Shimla has to offer.

Start the day by visiting the Vice-regal Lodge, this also happens to be the place where the partition of India into two parts India and Pakistan was planned on the world map.

The British architecture here is amazing; the wooden work inside the building is still kept alive as it was during the British rule. The building is now used by Indian scholars and is called Institute for Advanced Studies. After the tour of this impressive building visit a Hindu temple containing shrines to the many and various Hindi gods.

After lunch, enjoy a leisurely stroll back along the Mall to Scandal Point. En route, it may be possible to have a quick look inside the Gaiety Theatre or Christ Church. Alternatively find a spot for refreshments whilst viewing snow-capped Himalayan peaks (if weather is clear).

DAY 09: SHIMLA

ay is at leisure or enjoy optional excursion to Kufri & Mashobra.

DAY 10: SHIMLA - CHANDIGARH

Today morning you will be transfer to Shimla Railway station to board the toy train for Solan.

Visiting Shimla is equal parts journey and destination. For optimal snow-clad Himalayan views, chug back in time on the narrow-gauge Kalka Shimla Railway (above), one of three Indian lines on the World Heritage List. It passes through 102 tunnels, across 864 bridges, and up 4,659 feet (1,420 meters) to the Shimla Hill station in northern Himachal Pradesh. Colonialists built the engineering marvel in the late 19th century to service the Shimla Highlands, an escape for the British from the summer heat. Toy train offers a grand view of pine covered hill tops, flora and fauna, and the typical picture which makes the hills, queen of hills.

Upon arrival at Solan you will be transferred by surface to Chandigarh (approx. 02 hrs drive)

The most striking thing about the city is the expanse of resplendent blue sky with the mountains in the backdrop. When you are approaching the city, you would see the jagged skyline of the Shivalik Hills looming large over the city and the faint image of an old temple dedicated to Goddess Chandi, from which the city got its name.

Political position of Chandigarh is quite ambiguous for anybody not knowing the city well. It is the capital to two northern Indian states Punjab and Haryana besides being a union territory in itself. The birth of this modern, happening city was an act of anguish and drama that took place at the time of partition of India and Pakistan. Lahore, the earlier capital of Punjab merged with Pakistan and Chandigarh was conceived to be a symbol of India’s freedom. The task of designing the city fell on the shoulders of renowned French architect Edouard ’Le Corbusier’ Jeanneret who created Chandigarh as a city of ”Sun, Space and Verdure” to take care of the  basic functions of working, living, and care of body and spirit. Today, the city is home to more than half a million people living in harmonious conditions that are considered to be the best in the country.

DAY 11: CHANDIGARH - DELHI

Morning transfer to Chandigarh railway station board the train Shatabadi Express for Delhi.

Upon arrival at Delhi you will be met by our representative who will assist you at the railway station and transfer you to your hotel.

Afternoon visit the Crafts Museum which takes you through the rural surroundings that have been painstakingly created to imitate typical Indian villages, with craftsmen sitting outside the museum and displaying their skills. Also known as the National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum, the Crafts Museum Delhi, is a huge complex that houses a wide range of traditional and creative crafts that ranges from terracotta horses to handmade jewellery from different tribes in the country.

CULUTURAL ENRICHMENTS: VISIT TO KINGDOM OF DREAMS

In the evening visit Kingdom of Dreams. This is the ultimate entertainment and leisure destination, sprawling across acres of land. This fabulous Kingdom brings to life a blend of India's art, culture, heritage, craft, cuisine and performing art...all with the technological wizardry of today. Nautanki Mahal showcases an extravagant cinematic and theatrical musical. Culture Gully is an elaborate culture, arts, crafts and food boulevard. Showshaa Theatre is a fabulous, colorful drama marquee spotlighting Indian mythology productions, a mock wedding show and the great Indian talent circus. Iifa Buzz is a glamorous Bollywood themed cafe. This is a destination in itself that is capturing the imagination of the world. Get ready for this century's most novel tourist destination, Kingdom of Dreams.

Later return back to the hotel. 

DAY 12: DELHI

CULUTURAL ENRICHMENTS: SPECIAL CYCLE RICKSHAW RIDE IN OLD DELHI

You will be transported 400 years back and will ride on a rickshaw through the narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk known as The Moonlit Square of India.  Witness the architectural marvels, the multicolored facades, beautifully decorated shops, ethnically dressed men and women and get bombarded by the cries of hawkers and fragrances emanating from the potpourri of eateries that line these historical alleys.

Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (1592-1666) built the walled city of Delhi on the banks of holy River Yamuna.  It had a magnificent palace known as Red Fort, impressive mansions, enchanting bazaars, elegant shrines, royal gardens and fountains at every corner to romance ones' senses.  Emperor’s beloved daughter Jahanara designed a major street called Chandni Chowk in front of Red Fort, with a canal running down the center and pools at major intersections reflecting the moonlight. 

During the British regime, the street underwent major changes and since then this area has witnessed some of the most important events in Indian history. Today these splendid ruins and tales of valor are a testimony of the evolution of the times.  Chandni Chowk truly reflects the national unity, secularism and diversity of India.

The total duration of the tour will be 3 hours – 3 hours 30 minutes. It is an extensive tour that covers 20 main sites which includes palaces, mansions, elegant shrines and colorful bazaars. This is a detailed tour with several stops and includes complimentary snacks.  The tour ends at an Old Haveli (mansion) built in1860, which has a photo gallery depicting the lifestyle of Mughals and a small lounge to relax. 

Afternoon drive takes you along the ceremonial avenue, Rajpath, past the imposing India Gate, Parliament House and the Presidential residence. Later visit the Qutab Minar - the five-storied tower with a 14.4 metre base that tapers up to two and a half metres at the top is visible for a long distance around. Pulling down 27 Hindu and Jain temples and using their columns erected the attached Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque also built by him.

CULUTURAL ENRICHMENTS: NIZAMUDDIN BASTI WALK

Late afternoon, walk through Nizzamuddin basti (colony), a medieval settlement where the tomb of the famous 13th century Muslim Sufi Saint Nizzamuddin Auliya is located. An underprivileged young adult trained by a local NGO will conduct this tour.

DAY 13: DELHI- DEPARTURE

Today you will be assisted & transferred in your private car to Delhi International Airport to connect flight for onward destination.

Delhi|Night-01|Hotel-Maidens|Room Type-Heritage Room|Board Basis-BB

Amritsar |Nights-02| Hotel-Ranjit Svassa| Room Type-Luxury Room| Board Basis-BB

Dharamshala| Nights-02| Hotel-Chonor House| Room Type-Superior Room| Board Basis-BB

Paragpur| Night-1| Hotel-Judges Court| Room Type-Deluxe Room| Board Basis-BB

Shimla| Nights-03| Hotel-Clarkes Hotel| Room Types-Superior Room| Board Basis-BB

Chandigarh| Night-01| Hotel-Taj| Room Type-Superior Charm| Board Basis|BB

Delhi|Nights-02| Hotel-Maidens| Room Type-Heritage Room| Board Basis-BB

 

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