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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Once you've arrived in Delhi, you'll be met and transferred to and afternoon flight to Amritsar and hotel check in. Overnight - Amritsar at the RANJIT SVASSA
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 at the RANJIT SVASSA
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 at the CHONOR HOUSE
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 at the JOHNSON HOTEL / BANON RESORT
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 at the DRILBU RETREAT (TANDI) OR TASHI DELEK ( KAYLONG)
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) at the GOLDROP CAMP, ADVENTURE CAMP OR SIMILAR
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 described as the last ‘Shangri-La’, and is one of the last enclaves of Mahayana Buddhism. 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 SPIC N SPAN OR SIMILAR
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 at the ALCHI RESORT OR SIMILAR, (1) Leh SPIC N SPAN
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 at the HANS PLAZA
Sadly today arrangements conclude after breakfast and onward departure transfer to the airport.