Hills and High Places - 16 days

FROM USD $4,559

From the Golden Sikh Temple in Amritsar, journey north to the home of the Dalai Lama, crossing the majestic snow-clad Himalayas to discover the medieval temples & stupas of the Buddhist kingdom of Ladakh.

Day 1: Delhi
Once you've arrived in Delhi, you'll be met and transferred to and afternoon flight to Amritsar and hotel check in. Overnight - Amritsar
Day 2: Amritsar
Amritsar. This morning enjoy a tour of Amritsar, taking in the beautiful Golden Temple, considered the holiest shrine to Sikhs the world over, yet open to all. Surrounded by a complex of sparkling white marble and a lake for purification the lavishly guilded temple with bulbous golden domes houses the Adi Granth, the book of teachings for the Sikh faith. This evening we drive to the Wagah Border crossing (a land crossing between India/Pakistan) to watch the highly animated ‘Flag Lowering’ ceremony - a must for any visitor to the north of India. Overnight - Amritsar (B)
The snow capped mountains of the Himalaya's and northern India
Days 3 - 4: Dharamsala
Amritsar - Dharamsala. Driving north to Dharamsala offers some dramatic scenery, where rolling foothills rise high toward snow capped peaks. Dharamsala, the British hill station turned Tibetan settlement, home to the Dalai Lama and thousands of Tibetan refugees offers a sense of peace and tranquility to all those who arrive.

Day 4 offers guided sightseeing of the area surrounding the Dalai Lama’s residence, Dharamsala’s main Buddhist Temple - Tsug Lakhang and the Norbulingka Institute - centre for Buddhist learning and handicrafts. Overnight - Dharamsala (B:2)
A tea plantation lit by the early morning sun
Days 5 - 6: Manali
Dharamsala - Palampur - Manali. En route to Manali a stop is made at Palampur - a pretty hill station enclosed by aged British tea plantations. Touring a colonial plantation, set upon the mounting slopes of Kangra Valley, criss crossed by babbling brooks offers a chance to enjoy a fine cuppa. Arriving to Manali, the adventurous can opt to go white water rafting, mountain biking or skiing. Or simply spend the afternoon relaxing. Day 6 allows for a sightseeing tour of the city and an afternoon of leisure. Overnight - Manali (B:2)
Day 7: Keylong
Manali - Rohtang Pass - Keylong. Continuing north and rising to 3980 metres above sea level along the Rhotang Pass we arrive at the village of Keylong - 120 km from the Tibetan border. Overnight - Keylong (B, L, D)
Day 8: Sarchu
Keylong - Sarchu. En route to Sarchu there is time to stop and explore Sahsur Gompa, a beautiful Buddhist Temple built in the 17th century housing priceless 5 metre ‘Tankha’, (wall painting) depicting all 84 sidhas of Buddhism. Overnight - Sarchu (permanent tented camp) (B, L, D)
Tibetan prayer flags
Days 9 - 11: Leh & Ladakh
Keylong - Tanglang La Pass - Leh. Rudyard Kipling said of the region “Surely the Gods live here this is no place for men.” Travelling over the Tanglang La Pass at a dizzying height of 5350 metres confirms our arrival to the remote and sparsely populated region of Ladakh. Cradled by the Karakoram and the Great Himalayan ranges, the vast and often snow covered desert is often discribed as the last ‘Shangri-La’, (land of high mountain passes) and is one of the last enclaves of Mahayana Buddhism, Ladakh’s principle religion for nearly a thousand years, now much suppressed in its native homeland of Tibet. The following 3 days are spent exploring this delightful region. Day 10 - Leh city tour with visits to the Sankar Gompa and Shanti Stupa. Day 11 - guided touring of Hemis Monastery, Shey Monastery - a former royal palace and Tikse Gompa - a 12 story high complex resembling Potala Palace in Lhasa, housing Buddhist art, statues, art and swords. Overnight - Leh & Ladakh (B:3)
A Buddhist monastery in Leh
Days 12 - 13: Alchi
Leh - Alchi. Alchi is set amongst the desolate gorges of the Indus River and spectacular mountains. Here we will visit the Alchi Gompa, a must see Buddhist Temple dating back to 1000 AD. On day 13 we return to Leh. Overnight - (1) Alchi, (1) Leh (B:2, L:2, D:2)
Days 14 - 15: Delhi
Leh - Delhi - breakfast. Morning flight to Delhi and hotel check in upon arrival. The remainder of today and tomorrow offer free time to independently explore. Consider visits to the Red Fort, Qutab Minar and Raj Ghat. Overnight - Delhi (B:2)
Day 16: Delhi
Sadly today arrangements conclude after breakfast and onward departure transfer to the airport. (B)
Tour Details
  • Starts in: Delhi / Ends in: Delhi
  • Departs: Any day of the year
  • No local payment required
  • Breakfast:15, Lunch: 4, Dinner: 4
  • Hotel Rating: Superior
  • Tour Guide: Yes - for all scheduled sightseeing
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