10 Nights / 11 Days
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This is truly the trip of a lifetime. The diversity of India cannot be captured in a single visit, yet this itinerary takes you on a very special spiritual journey. From the silver-clad temple of Akshardham to the Monkey Temple of Hanuman, your time in Delhi will be spent exploring little-known gems. After an unforgettable overnight train journey, you will find yourself in the exiled home and temple of the Dalai Lama, in the foothills of the Himalayas.
An itinerary like no other, we will also whisk you away to the iconic Taj Mahal, to celebrate the culmination of the tour!
However, all of these delights pale into insignificance compared to your trek up into the snowy Himalayas. This is the true awe-inspiring part of your journey! Over five days you will make your way along donkey tracks, past ramshackle villages where friendly children giggle and shy ladies in beautiful saris tend to their goats and cows. You will camp next to clear, babbling springs, under skies full of stars. As you ascend into the mountains, breathtaking vistas will open up before you and you will finally understand the majesty of the Himalayas.
Upon your arrival in Delhi, you will be taken to your hotel, where you can freshen up, and explore your surroundings. The Monkey Temple of Hanuman is just around the corner! Included: Transfer airport to hotel Twin-share hotel Welcome dinner in the evening
One of the highlights of today is a visit to the Akshardam Temple, which exemplifies the honour placed on religion, as everything glitters with silver and gems. It's off the tourist track, but very popular with local worshippers. A delicious late lunch will be enjoyed, before it's time to go to the station for the overnight train. Nothing can prepare you for the experience of the hustle and bustle of the station! Thankfully our local team will be looking after us, and soon you will be on your way. Don't worry - you won't be on the roof, like in the old films! The cabins are air-conditioned and sheets and blankets are provided. Included: All meals Visits and tours Overnight sleeper train, air conditioned
On arrival at Pathankot station, you will be transported to a lovely open air restaurant for breakfast, then onwards to Dharamsala. After checking into your hotel, there is the opportunity to wander down into the village of Mcloud-Gang, where His Holiness Dalai Lama has his residence and temple. Perhaps he will be at home? The village has a gentle, laid-back feel to it, and colourful Tibetan crafts are widely sold in the markets. You will be glad of an early night, after a briefing about tomorrow - the start of the trek! Included: All meals Transfer to Dharamshala Visit to Dalai Lama Temple Twin -share hotel
After greeting the rest of our team, we also greet the donkeys! These beasts will transport our belongings, tents and camp equipment from camp to camp for us. Then with just our day bags, we start to trek. Through forests, along meadows and even crossing a couple of rivers, today is a trekking adventure like no other. Why not take a quick dip in the stream to cool down? Arriving at camp, we will be welcomed with a hot glass of chai by our lovely camp crew. Included: All meals Baggage transfer (10kg) Fully guided and supported trek Twin share tents Communal tent Basic washing and toilet facilities
Once you can tear yourself away from a delicious breakfast (how on earth do they produce such amazing food in a tent?) today's trek gently undulates through rustic villages, where families live and scratch a substance living in a way not seen in many western countries. Some of the pathways can be steep, but you will be meet chattering children in immaculate uniforms, running to school, or a wizened grandmother with her sheep, leaving our group for dust! Included: All meals Baggage transfer (10kg) Fully guided and supported trek Twin share tents Communal tent Basic washing and toilet facilities
Crossing little bridges and passing through a forest of rhododendrons, it's time to take a break at "Magic View" tea shop. As you can guess, it's called Magic View for a reason - the steady height you've gained while trekking means you can now see the whole valley below you - and the snow-capped peaks above. Just beautiful! Included: All meals Baggage transfer (10kg) Fully guided and supported trek Twin share tents Communal tent Basic washing and toilet facilities.
Today's trek will literally take your breath away! Yes, it can be steep and rocky in places, but you will be rewarded - and humbled - by your first sight of the huge peaks that dwarf you. In the eerie silence of the snow-covered ground, it's time to stop and reflect on what has brought you this far. After lunch and an offering at the mountain shrine, you will return to Leta for a bonfire under the stars, with a view of the whole valley. Included: All meals Baggage transfer (10kg) Fully guided and supported trek Twin share tents Communal tent Basic washing and toilet facilities
After the ultimate "breakfast with a view", it's time to start descending. You'll go at your own pace, and will soon arrive back at Dharamsala, for a well-deserved shower and rest. Tonight you will feast, Tibetan-style. Included: All meals Baggage transfer (10kg) Fully guided and supported trek Twin share hotel
You will take the brand-new cablecar from McLoudganj to Dharamshala, then visit a tea plantation and the world-famous cricket stadium. In the evening you will transfer to the railway station at Pathankot to take the overnight train to Delhi. Included: Breakfast and dinner Transfer to Pathankot Overnight sleeper train, air conditioned
No visit to India would be complete without visiting that symbol of love eternal, the Taj Mahal. Simply unique, drenched in history and forever beautiful, this is the icing on the cake. A celebration meal on a nearby rooftop is the perfect way to contemplate your achievements. Included: Celebration dinner Transfer to Agra Visit to Taj Mahal Twin share hotel
After a transfer from Agra, it's time to spend your last afternoon in Delhi. Whether you are shopping in Connaught Place (where you can find EVERYTHING), or taking a last look at one of the beautifully preserved heritage buildings that Delhi is famous for, enjoy your time in India. You'll be back! Included: Breakfast and dinner Transfer to Delhi Dinner at Junkyard - one of Delhi's hottest nightspots Transfer to airport.