Highlights of Himachal

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Highlights of Himachal

Trip Highlights :- Delhi | Amritsar | Dharamshala | Pragpur | Mandi | Manali | Shimla | Delhi |

Tour duration : 11 Nights / 12 Days

Bhutan and Sikkim Tours, East India Tour Packages, East India Tourism, India Tourism

Cities visited :-

Delhi : On the path of rapid growth and progress today, Delhi has evolved from the fabled "seven cities" established between the 13th and 17th centuries. The haunting Landmarks of yesteryears co-exist with the modern marvels of today. Ancient Forts, Mughal Architecture is juxtaposed with the state of the art architecture, modern residential projects, sky scrapers and commercial hubs of today. City boasts of some of the finest museums and centers of art and excellence. The shopping centers here offer rich heritage of traditional Indian craft as well as rich, fashionable and contemporary ensemble of products

Amritsar : Amritsar, literally a Pool of Nectar, derives its name from Amrit Sarovar, the holy tank that surrounds the fabulous Golden Temple. First time visitors to Amritsar could be forgiven for the impression that Amritsar is like any other small town in northern India. But Amritsar stands head and shoulders above any other city, its status elevated and sanctified by the presence of the venerable Golden Temple. Located in the heart of Amritsar, the temple complex is surrounded by a maze of narrow lanes, or Katras, that house one of the busiest markets in India. But the Golden Temple is a serene presence, radiating a calm that makes people bow their heads in reverence. The gurudwara, as Sikh temples are called, is the holiest of Sikh shrines. It is not just Sikhs who travel to the Golden Temple to pay homage, the sacred shrine is equally revered by Hindus and people of other faiths who, too, make the pilgrimage to offer prayers at the temple. There more to Amritsar than that - Amongst other sights is Jallianwala Bagh, site of the gruesome massacre of unarmed Indians by British troops. A major tourist attraction these days is the Indo-Pakistan border crossing at Wagah, just a short distance from Amritsar, with its elaborate change-of-guards drill with a lot of strutting and intimidatory showing off by both sides.

Dharamshala : Set against the backdrop of the dramatic Dhauladhar mountains, Dharamshala is perched on the high slopes in the upper reaches of Kangra Valley. The town is divided into two distinct and widely separated sections, Upper and Lower Dharamshala, which differ almost a thousand metres in height. Lower part is a busy commercial centre while Upper part, with the suburbs of Mcleodganj and Forsytheganj still retains the British flavour and colonial lifestyle. Today, Dharamsala has become the synonymous to the Tibetan government in exile and the home of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Dharamshala has risen to international fame as "The Little Lhasa in India". Even if the Tibetan community dominates the town, still it has retained the colonial lifestyle. Dharamshala overlooks the plains and is surrounded by dense pine trees and Deodar forests. A nearby snowline with numerous streams and cool healthy atmosphere makes the surroundings very attractive. Dharamshala is a busy bazaar town and has established itself as the travellers base camp, who come to explore the nearby mountains. The Kotwali Bazaar provides the entire colour and characteristic of a small town, which is mixed with the simple life style. The colourful temple and Gompas, which reflect the culture of Tibet, adds attraction for the visitor. The Kangra museum gives an overview of the rich past of the region and on the other hand there are institutes that have been established to preserve the Tibetan art, cultures and traditions.

Pragpur : Pragpur is a heritage village located in the state of Himachal Pradesh, this village is located in the Kangra region, and you can easily explore the valley through visiting Pragpur. The village of Pragpur is a place of high historical, cultural and religious importance. There are many places that you can visit in the village of Pragpur, and the Taal is the most popular tourist hotspot. It is a pond located in the centre of the village. The entire village has been constructed around the lake. There are many other heritage structures around the Taal, and these are the Radha Krishna Mandir, Naun and Nehar Bhawan. You can also visit Butail Niwas, which is a very unique building located in the village of Pragpur. This building, which is more than 100 years old, is an important place to visit. The village is preserved to a large extent due to the foresight and efforts of the descendants of Kuthiala Sood, who have also converted their family manor into a nostalgic homestay.

Mandi : The historic town of Mandi (800 mt) is built along the banks of the river Beas. The town has both mythological and historical significance and boasts of unique temple architecture, Sage Mandva is said to have meditated here. This one time capital of the princely state of Mandi is a fast developing town that still retains much of its original charm and character. Today, it is a district headquarters. It is renowned for its 81 old stone temples and their enormous range of fine carving. The town has remains of old Palaces and notable examples of 'Colonial' architecture. The temples of Bhutnath, Trilokinath, Panchvaktra and Shyamakali are among the more famous ones. The week long international Shivratri Fair in Mandi is the major attraction of the area every year. In the fair the activities like cultural programmes in the evenings, exhibitions, sports etc. attracts the tourists as well as locals.

Manali : Manali is located at an altitude of about 6500 ft. above sea level and is one of the main tourist towns of Kullu valley. It is a place inhabited by innocent village folks who continue with their traditional rites and rituals in spite of the sweeping waves of modernization. To the modern day visitors, Manali conjures up images of evergreen pine groves, snow capped mountains, whispering forests, cascading waterfalls and the swift flowing waters of perennial Beas. According to the Puranas there existed seven Manus and the first of them being Swayambhuva was self- born. The other six others that followed the foremost Adi Manu were known as: Svarocica, Auttmi, Tamasa, Raivata, Caksusa and Vaivasvata. The creation of the world is attributed to the Adi Manu who after having created all moving and stationery beings, ruled over them; likewise each of the succeeding Manus held sway over their respective eras. It is popularly believed that in order to overcome the Pralaya, Vaivasvata Manu accompanied by the Sapta Rishis set sail in a boat. Guided by the divine light, they landed on the sacred soil of the Himalayas. This place is believed to be Manali, hence the name which is a distortion of Manualaya, the home of Manu. Rightfully therefore the one and only standing temple dedicated to Vaivasvata Manu is at Manali. There are a number of soul-stirring Holy Places in and around Manali; Hadimba Temple, Manu Temple at old Manali, Vashishtha Rishi Temple, Shiv Temple, Tibetan Monasteries and a Gurudwara in Manali, are just a few of the places that calm the unquiet spirit. The sulphur hot water springs at Vashisht and Kalath are endowed with great healing powers. Tourists visiting Manali can hike, trek and drive to the famous 13500 ft. Rohtang Pass which remains covered with Snow even during summers. Another tourist attraction and picnic point, situated amidst billowing meadows encircled by silver oak and spruce trees, is Solang Nallah. It is famous for its skiing slopes and offers opportunity for horse riding, paragliding and joy rides on snow scooters. Manali is an epitome of what nature can offer to mankind. It has everything to offer to its visitors in commensurate with their tastes, temperaments and needs. It is a trekker's paradise; here in the presence of pristine nature honeymooners experience an unparalleled bonding with each other; the unspoilt environment and the salubrious weather suits each and every one.

Banjar Valley : Banjar is one of the primary Manali tourists attractions that is chiefly popular among the people who love to engage in fishing. The water of the River Tirthan, which flows in the region, provides an excellent opportunity for the tourists to engage in trout fishing. The crystal clear water of the river and the greenery around also attracts tourists who visit the region. Banjar in Manali lies at a distance of 58 kilometers to the south of Kullu region. The region is placed at an altitude of 1524 mt. The region also falls on the trekking route that traverses from Shimla, Narkanda, Luhari, Anni, Khanag, Soja and Banjar. The small hamlet at Banjar near Manali is a regular stop for the trekking tourists who end their trekking expedition in the city of Manali. There are several other tourist destinations in the spectacular valley of Banjar. The flora and fauna in the valley is attractive, the regions of Sojha and Bahu are reputed for the ancient temples that are placed in the region. Other than temples, one may also visit the Buddhist places of worship and monasteries that lie in the valley of Banjar. The small hamlets of the region reflect the typical lifestyle of the mountain people. Although a small tourist spot, the region of Banjar has gained popularity as a tourist destination of Manali in the recent years. The riverine region is a popular picnic spot among the local people of Manali.

Shimla : This lovely hill station was 'discovered' by the British who immediately fell in love with this place. Infact, they went to the extent of declaring Shimla as their summer capital. During the latter half of the 19th century when the soldiers of the British army, merchants and civil servants moved up here to get relief from the scorching heat of the plains.One of the most popular tourist destinations of India, Shimla is also the state capital of Himachal Pradesh. This hill station derives its name from "Goddess Shyamla", an avatar of Goddess Kali. Shimla retains its colonial heritage, with grand old buildings, charming iron lampposts and Anglo-Saxon names. Besides the old Tudor and Georgian cottage-pattern houses erected by the British, new edifices have also been constructed here. Shimla is famous for its flowers like Lily, Rhododendron and many undiscovered and anonymous beauties. Shimla is one tourist destination that can be visited any time during the year. Summers are warm with cool and pleasant evenings while the winter temperatures can fall below zero and provide the perfect ambience for snuggling in front of a roaring fireplace. The place is known for its natural beauty, architectural buildings, wooden crafts and apples.

Day 01: Arrive Delhi

Arrival at New Delhi International Airport, meeting assistance by our representative who will welcome you and will provide transfer to the hotel. Upon reaching your hotel, you will be handed over the travel documents with a complete briefing of your tour by the representative. Check-in and proceed to your room. Overnight stay at Hotel.

Day 02: In Delhi

Breakfast at hotel. This morning explore India's capital city by touring its magnificent monuments, start your tour by visiting - Old Delhi: an ancient walled city earlier known as Shahjahanabad. Take a photo stop at Red Fort: the most opulent red sandstone fort and palace of the Moghul Empire (1639-1648 built by Shah Jahan the 5th Mughal Emperor of India and the builder of the Taj Mahal in Agra), visit Jama - Masjid: Largest mosque in India, the foundation of the historic Jama Masjid was laid on a hillock in Shahjahanabad by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1650 AD, this mosque was the result of the efforts of over 6,000 workers, over a period of six years (1650-1656 AD). The cost of the construction in those times was 1 million rupees. This Mosque has three great gates, four towers and two 40 m-high minarets constructed of strips of red sandstone and white marble. About 25,000 people can pray here at a time. The mosque has a vast paved rectangular courtyard, which is nearly 75 m by 66 m. The whole of the western chamber is a big hall standing on 260 pillars all carved from Hindu and Jain traditions. Visit Chandni Chowk, the bustling and colorful market of the old city, designed by Emperor Shah Jahan's daughter Jahanara Begum. Jahanara laid the foundation of Chandni Chowk, which is the largest trading center of Delhi as well as India. At present the street is a busy thoroughfare and is really congested. This area is renowned for 'Kuchas and Katras' also known as Alleys. These alleys house traditional Havelis, innumerable places of worship, popular specialised markets and century-old eating joints. Enjoy a cycle-rickshaw ride. Visit the Raj Ghat, the memorial site of Mahatma Gandhi - Father of Nation. Later visit New Delhi designed and built by the British in the 1920's it's a city of wide boulevards impressive Government buildings, green parks and gardens. First drive past Connaught Place, the heart and main shopping district of the capital, then drive to Rajpath (King's Way), India Gate - the 42mt high stone "Arch of Triumph", erected in the memory of Indian soldiers who died in First World War. Drive past Rashtrapati Bhawan (President Palace) and Parliament House. Later visit the Qutab Minar 12th century minaret built by Qutub-ud-din Aibek of the Slave Dynasty - this building complex dates back to the onset of Muslim rule in India and is fine example of Afghan architecture which is graceful and well sculptured and stands 75 meters. Also visit the Baha'i Temple (Lotus Temple) Lotus being a symbol of peace and prosperity all around the world, the shape of the temple personifies the purpose for which the foundation of this marvelous man-made architectural was laid. Lotus temple is made of pristine marble blocks, cement, dolomite and sand and the entire ascetic value is coddled by the group of nine pools filled with crystal clear water. In accord with the mores of Baha'i religion, the temple is open to everyone from anywhere in the world who is looking for inner peace & tranquility and wants to break the shackles of trepidation. Overnight stay at Hotel.

Day 03: Delhi / Amritsar

Check-out from hotel in the morning and transfer to New Delhi railway station to board train for Amritsar. (Train # 12029 Swarna Shatabdi, departure at 0720 hrs / arrival at 1335 hrs). Tea / Coffee & breakfast will be served on board. Upon arrival in Amritsar, transfer assistance from railway station to your hotel. In the afternoon, take the short excursion to the border at Wagah located 29 Kms away from the city, where both Indian and Pakistani troops take part in a daily flag lowering ceremony at dusk. This martial custom that the security forces of India (Border Security Force) and Pakistan (Pakistan Rangers) have mutually followed since 1959. Return to Amritsar for overnight stay at hotel.

Day 04: Amritsar / Dharamshala (193 Kms / 04½ hrs)

Breakfast at hotel. This morning you will visit the spectacular Golden Temple- the most sacred site in the Sikh religion. On the way visit infamous Jallianwala bagh, the memorial to commemorate the 2000 Indians who were killed and wounded, shot indiscriminately by the British under the command of Gen Michael O'Dyer on April13, 1919 while participating in a peaceful public meeting. Sri Harmandir Sahib, also known as Sri Darbar Sahib or Golden Temple, (on account of its scenic beauty and golden coating), is named after Hari (God) the temple of God. The Sikhs all over the world, daily wish to pay visit to Amritsar and to pay obeisance at Sri Harmandir Sahib in their Ardas. The Harmandir Sahib was envisioned by Guru Arjan Dev. It was conceived by him to reflect the resoluteness, clarity and simplicity of the Sikh religion. Akal Takht faces the Golden Temple was built by the 6th Guru Hargobind (1606-44) in 1609. All commandments affecting the community as a whole were and are issued from here. A number of weapons used by Guru Hargobind, Guru Gobind Singh and other Sikh heroes are preserved at Akal Takht. You can also visit the Guru-ka-Langar, a dining hall where around 35,000 people a day are fed for free by temple volunteers. Later visit Durgiana Mandir, temple dedicated to the Goddess Durga. After the city tour, drive to Dharamshala and nearby McLeod Ganj, famous as the seat of the Tibetan Government in Exile, and home to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Arrive and check-in at hotel. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 05 & 06 In Dharamshala.

Two full days to explore the area around Dharamshala and McLeod Ganj. Visit the Bhagsu waterfall, visit the monastery and home compound of the Dalai Lama at Tsuglagkhang, and wander around the town with its friendly Tibetan population. Besides the Tibetan presence, few remaining Raj edifices testify McLeodganj's colonial history. Amongst them is the Church of St. John located amidst Deodar trees, built in 1860. Worth a visit for its beautiful stained glass windows, the church was severely damaged in a major earthquake that rocked the region in 1905. Rebuilt subsequently, the church has old bells that had been cast in London and installed in 1915. It's a memorial site to Lord Elgin, one of the Viceroy of India who died in Dharamshala. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 07: Dharamshala / Pragpur (66 Kms / 02 hrs)

Breakfast and check-out. Drive down the hills to the Kangra Valley, visiting the majestic fort and Bajdeshwari Devi temple en route. Arrive in Pragpur mid-afternoon and check into the Judge's Court, a heritage hotel overlooking the village. In the late afternoon, walk through the gardens of Judge's Court into the unique heritage village of Pragpur- this is a rare example in India of an entire community having survived the relentless advance of modernity with its old buildings and neighbourhood atmosphere intact. The village is centred on a large ornamental pond and its cobbled lanes and serene ambience are a delight. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 08: Pragpur / Mandi (136 Kms / 03½ hrs)

After breakfast, depart for Mandi with a stop en route at a Tibetan Buddhist community near Taragarh. On arrival in Mandi, check in your hotel and in the afternoon explore the town of Mandi with its many temples and interesting 'sunken garden' central square. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 09: Mandi / Manali (103 Kms / 03 hrs)

After breakfast, drive to Manali arrive and check in at hotel. Explore Manali in the afternoon, it is a lovely town which benefits greatly from its main street being closed to vehicle traffic, making it perfect for leisurely walking. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 10: In Manali

There is plenty to see around Manali and on the opposite side of the valley along with spectacular views you can take in Naggar castle, the estate and museum of Russian ex-pat painter Nikolai Roerich and hot springs at Vashisht. If the road is open (normally it closes from mid October to April), you can take a half day drive to the Rohtang Pass on the road to Ladakh, through stunning scenery, high mountains and snow falls. Return to Manali for overnight stay at hotel.

Day 11: Manali / Shimla

Breakfast at hotel and checkout. Drive from Manali to Shimla and check-in at hotel. Remaining day at leisure. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 12: Shimla

Breakfast at hotel. The only slightly faded Raj-era charm of Shimla and year round pleasant climate makes it a popular destination for honeymooners and weekend travellers. The Mall road which is lined up with shops is where tourists walk around. Visit the Vice regal lodge, built for British viceroys for their stay during summer months. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 13: Shimla / Kalka / Delhi

Breakfast and check-out. OPTIONAL - A full day adventure by train to Kalka on the Himalayan Queen, a famous 'toy train' which recaptures the romantic past of rail travel. Otherwise drive to Kalka and proceed to railway station and take connecting train for Delhi. Train # 12012 Kalka SHATABDI KALKA Departure at 17:45 / NEW DELHI Arrival at 21:55 hrs On arrival in New Delhi railway station, you'll be met and transferred to international airport to board flight for return journey.


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PACKAGE INCLUSIONS: -

Accommodation in Double room in 05 Star or 04 Star category hotels on CP Basis (Room + Breakfast Basis) inclusive of all presently applicable taxes.

Welcome Garlanding upon arrival in India at New Delhi airport.

All Arrival / Departure transfers from hotel to railways station / airport and vice - versa

Monument entrance fees to places of visit as per the itinerary.

Cycle rickshaw ride in Old Delhi.

Accompanying English speaking Guide.

Tickets in AC express train for sectors NEW DELHI / AMRITSAR and KALKA / NEW DELHI.

All Transfers, City sightseeing/excursions and long drives as per itinerary using chauffeur driven air-conditioned Car / Mini Van / Coach.

01 bottle packaged drinking water per person per day

All presently applicable interstate & toll taxes

PACKAGE EXCLUSIONS: -

Return international air tickets from the city of origin.

Travel Insurance and Indian Visa.

Toy Train ride from SHIMLA to KALKA which is mentioned in the programme as OPTIONAL.

Personal expenses such as: Any Meals other than specified above / Drinks / Laundry bill & Telephone calls at hotel. Tips for Guides & Driver / Camera Fees at the monuments or any other expenses not included in the clause "inclusions".

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