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A flamboyant showcase of Rajasthani architecture and a firm favourite on tourist itineraries as the third corner of India’s ‘Golden ...

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last updated - 26 Jan 2015 3:07 AM

Alchi Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF INDIA 2666

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The grand entrance into Delhi's famous Red Fort

Day 1: Delhi

When you arrive into Delhi, you'll be met and transferred to your hotel where you will have the rest of the evening at leisure to rest up before you flight to Amritsar the next day.

The temple at night

Day 2: Delhi - Amritsar

This morning we will transfer you to the airport for your onward flight to Amritsar. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. 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.

Amritsar smile

Day 3: Amritsar - Dharamsala

This morning enjoy a guided tour of Amritsar including the Golden Temple. 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: Dharamsala

We have guided sightseeing of the area surrounding the Dalai Lama’s residence, Dharamsala’s main Buddhist Temple - Tsug Lakhang, Kangra fort and Temple and the Norbulingka Institute - centre for Buddhist learning and handicrafts.

Day 5: Dharamsala - 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: Manali

Enjoy a half day sightseeing tour of the city that will take in the key panorama points and old buildings. The afternoon is at your leisure.

Day 7: Manali - 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.

Keylong town sitting in the mountains. Photo credit njyo.

Day 8: 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 IN SARCHU)

Day 9: Sarchu - Leh & Ladakh

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 & Ladakh

We have a Leh city tour with visits to the Sankar Gompa and Shanti Stupa.

Day 11: Leh & Ladakh

We have 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.

Day 12: Leh & Ladakh - Alchi

Today we drive to Alchi and the Sham Valley, which is set amongst the desolate gorges of the Indus River and spectacular mountains. Today we explore Gurdwara Pathar sahib, magnetic hill, Likir monastery and Ridzong monastery.

A row of three Tibetan stupas in Alchi. Photo credit Argenberg.

Day 13: Alchi - Leh & Ladakh

This morning here we will visit the Lamayuru monastery and Alchi Gompa, a must see Buddhist Temple dating back to 1000 AD. Upon conclusion we drive back to Leh.

Day 14: Leh & Ladakh - Kargil

Today set out for Kargil, the day will mostly be taken up by driving but the epic sights of the himalayas all around will make the time fly by. This is not your ordinary scenery. En route a stop will be made at Sonmarg - known as the gateway to Tibet - where the views are astounding. At around 2800 metres above sea level the surrounding mountains dwarf the valley as they rise to 5000 metres and beyond, snow capped mountains truly give the sense of high altitude.

Day 15: Kargil - Srinagar

This morning after breakfast onward transfer to Srinagar stopping along the way to explore the Drass and Vijay Samarakupon arrival and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the evening is free for you to enjoy.

Day 16: Srinagar

This morning we board one of the colourful shikara to visit the floating gardens, known as "Rad" in Kashmiri, where mounds of earth make for a fascinating display as they protrude from the water topped with all sorts of growing local produce. Later we visit some of the stunning Mughal Gardens that Srinagar is famous for. We visit the terraced Nishat Bagh or Nishat Garden on the eastern side of the lake, Nishat Bagh translates in Hindustani as "Garden of Joy" which is entirely fitting. We also have a full tour of the old city.

Day 17: Srinagar

This morning after breakfast onward transfer to Srinagar airport and your onward flight to Delhi. Upon arrival in Delhi we will transfer you to the airport for your flight home.