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Himalayan Holidays Shimla Amritsar Jim Corbett Safari Elephants India

Amritsar Golden Temple + Dharamshala + Shimla


IPQ10D
9 NIGHTS
FROM £1,895
Per person sharing
International flights quoted separately
See the highlights of the Punjab and the Himalayas in this private tour of northwest India - including the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the daily Wagah flag-lowering ceremony, the Dalai Lama Monastery in Dharamshala and the beautiful colonial hill station at Shimla - formerly the summer capital of British India. English speaking city guides, private driver & sightseeing included.
Amritsar Golden Temple Wagah Ceremony Shimla Dalai Lama Monastery
• 
Old Delhi
• 
New Delhi
• 
Amritsar
• 
Wagah Ceremony
• 
Golden Temple
• 
Dharamshala
• 
Dalai Lama Monastery
• 
Norburlinka Institute
• 
Shimla
• 
Chandigarh Rock Gardens
• 
Old Delhi
• 
New Delhi
• 
Amritsar
• 
Wagah Ceremony
• 
Golden Temple
• 
Dharamshala
• 
Dalai Lama Monastery
• 
Norburlinka Institute
• 
Shimla
• 
Chandigarh Rock Gardens
Day 1
You will be met at Delhi Airport by your driver and transferred to your hotel in this ancient capital of kingdoms and empires that is now a sprawling metropolis.
 
Delhi's strategic location was one of the main reasons why successive dynasties chose it as their seat of power and today it is a conglomerate of seven cities. The division between the old walled city and New Delhi marks a division in lifestyles, with the old city retaining its past traditions whilst New Delhi strives to match the pace of the 21st century.
Day 2
Rise early this morning and transfer to New Delhi Station to board the express train (air conditioned chair class) departing 07.20 for Amritsar in the Punjab.
 
Enjoy wonderful views of the countryside as you travel through northwest India, arriving in Amritsar around 13.35. Here you will be met and transferred to your hotel in this pilgrimage city that is spiritual centre of the Sikh religion. This city is also known for its magnificent carpets and fabrics, farm produce, handicrafts, rich cuisine and culture.
 
Note: Because of the very short (2-minute) stops at each station, train travel in India is not recommended for the elderly or those travelling with children, when it is better to fly. Likewise during December & January when heavy fog can causes long delays.
Day 3
This morning we visit the magnificent Golden Temple. Shining in the morning light, with its large dome surrounded by elegant minarets and splendidly gilded interior panelling, this temple is a magnificent place of worship for devotees of the Sikh faith worldwide. Near the temple we visit the Sarovar, a sacred holy water pool, and Langar - one of the largest community kitchens in the world.
 
Afterwards we visit Jallianwala Bagh where on 13 April 1919 British Indian Army troops under the command of Colonel Reginald Dyer, fired into a crowd of hundreds of protesting men, women and children. This Amritsar massacre site is now a memorial garden.
 
In the afternoon we drive 2-hours to the Wagha Border, the only crossing point between India and Pakistan. Here the changing of the guards and flag-lowering ceremony is performed daily with blustering pomp and perfect drill by both side - described by Michael Palin as "carefully choreographed contempt". A jawan (infantryman) stands at attention on each side and as the sun sets, the iron gates at the border are opened and the two flags are lowered simultaneously. The ceremony ends with a retreat that involves a brusque handshake between soldiers from either side, followed by the closing of the gates again.
Day 4
At leisure to explore more of Amritsar with your guide (pay any entrance fees locally).
Day 5
This morning we visit Tsuglagkhang - the Dalai Lama Monastery complex at McLeod Ganj in the upper reaches of the Kangra Valley. Here you can learn more about the Buddhist faith and see traditional Tibetan prayer wheels.
 
We hike to see the beautiful Bhagsunag Falls and visit the old Bhagsunag Temple. We also visit the Anglican church of St. John in the Wilderness, in whose churchyard the former British Viceroy of India and Governor General of Canada, Lord Elgin, is buried. The church has lovely Belgian stained glass windows donated by Lady Elgin.
 
Then visit Kangra Art Museum and the War Memorial that honours those Gurka soldiers - "the bravest of the brave" - who died in two world wars and fighting for the independence of India.
 
We continue to the Norburlinka Institute, dedicated to preserving Tibetan culture by handing down its traditions in art and literature and providing training, education and employment for the exiled people of Tibet. This includes high quality thangka painting, traditionally crafted statues, screen-printing, applique, woodcarving, wood painting, papermaking and metal craft.
 
Note: The Norburlinka Institute is closed on Sunday.
Day 6
Depart early for a full day on the road today, as we travel 7-hours through stunning Himalayan scenery to the hill station at Shimla.
 
Referred to as the "Queen of Hills", Shimla was the summer capital of British India and is steeped in colonial history. On arrival check into your hotel and relax in the fresh mountain air.
Day 7
Today enjoy a half day tour of Shimla.
 
We start with a visit to the splendid Rashtrapati Niwas (Viceregal Lodge) that was built in 1888 by Lord Dufferin in Scottish baronial style, to house the British Viceroy and his staff for the six months they were based in the town. It is now a museum with beautifully laid out Botanical Gardens and a touching collection of hotographs from the late Victorian era and the last years of the Raj. It also houses the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies.
 
Afterwards we walk along the pedestrianised Mall from Scandal Point and Christ Church, past the Post Office, Gaiety Theatre and Town Hall. Here commerce rubs shoulders with stately colonial buildings, churches and other landmarks and at the end you will find the colourful local market - the Lakkar Bazaar. Shimla is particularly well known for the quality of its local pashmina shawls.
 
The afternoon is free to relax at your hotel or visit the hot springs that are believed to have medicinal value. You can also visit the ancient Jakhoo Hindu temple, situated at the highest point in the town (pay for guide & entrance fees locally).
Day 8
At leisure to relax at Shimla in the foothills of the mighty Himalayas.
 
Your driver will provide any transfers you may need (pay any entrance fees locally).
Day 9
Today transfer 3-hours to Kalka Railway Station stopping along the way for lunch (own account). Arrive in good time to board the 17.45 express train travelling 4-hours to Delhi (air conditioned chair class).
 
You will be met at Delhi Railway Station and transferred to your hotel situated near the airport.
Day 10
Transfer to Delhi Airport for your flight home.
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