Mountains & Mystics of India

Start: Delhi Finish: Delhi

Visiting: Delhi, Shimla, Mandi, Dharamsala (McLeod Ganj), Amritsar, Amritsar – Overnight train, Rishikesh, Rishikesh – River Ganges


Duration: 12 Nights

Physical rating: Low

Special diets catered: Vegetarians

Tour Operator: Intrepid Travel

Group size: 1 - 12

Age range: 15-99 years

Tour operated in: English


Prices From: $1465

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Tour Overview

Take a tour of India and be introduced to the Mountains and Mystics of this incredible country. This is a journey of the body, mind, and spirit as you travel through the foothills of the world's highest mountains – the Himalayas. These mystical lands look and feel very different from the rest of India – from the food and clothes to the crisp, clean mountain air and spiritual soul of the locals. Discover it all on a 13-day enlightening adventure, and be enchanted by a land in perfect balance between physical and spiritual worlds.

Highlights

  • iconWitness a unique ‘performance’ of the flag ceremony at India and Pakistan's Wagah border – a daily practice conducted since 1959, drawing crowds for its unconventional and ostentatious practices.
  • iconLearn about Sikhism on an included visit to the one of most sacred monuments of the faith – the luminous Golden Temple in Amritsar.
  • iconBreeze through the self-proclaimed ‘Yoga Capital of the World’ in Rishikesh, walking along the holy Ganges, and explore the crumbling beauty and famous mural-lined walls of the Chaurasi Kutia ashram.
  • iconExplore the home of the Dalai Lama – Dharmasala. This highland haven is the ideal place for an enlightening experience of Tibetan spirituality, culture, and history.
  • iconThe colonial charm and cool mountain air of Shimla Hill Station and a scenic ride on the World Heritage-listed ‘toy-train’ is the perfect way to experience this Himalayan hideout.

Itinerary

Map Image
icon Day 1: Delhi

Location: Delhi

Accommodation: Hotel

Welcome to India’s capital, Delhi! Join your group and guide for a welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you happen to arrive in Delhi early, there are plenty of things to see and do. Perhaps pay a visit to the 12th-century Qutub Minar or the World Heritage-listed Humayun's Tomb. As the former residence of royal families and British soldiers, the Red Fort plays a vital part in Delhi’s history and is a must-see. Sampling spicy street food or trying your hand at haggling in the city’s bazaars are other great introductions to India.

Optional Activities:
-Delhi - Qutub Minar
-Delhi - Humayun's Tomb
-Delhi - Gandhi's Delhi Urban Adventure
-Delhi - Home-Cooked Delhi Urban Adventure
-Delhi - Delhi Food Walk Urban Adventure

icon Day 2: Delhi

Location: Delhi

Accommodation: Hotel

This morning, join the group for a walking tour around Old Delhi, which has been an important city in India for over 2000 years. Climb aboard a traditional cycle rickshaw and be driven through the colour and chaos of Delhi’s traffic. In the afternoon, learn about the Sikh religion at the Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple) and visit the Jama Masjid – Delhi's oldest and India’s largest mosque.

Included Activities:
-Delhi - Leader-led Old Delhi walking & rickshaw tour
-Delhi - Jama Masjid
-Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)

icon Day 3: Shimla

Location: Shimla

Accommodation: Hotel

Depart Delhi by train for the 4-5-hour journey across the state of Punjab to Chandigarh. From Chandigarh, you’ll travel by private vehicle to Shimla. On arrival, get your bearings and explore the town's faded colonial charm on an orientation walk with your group leader.

Included Activities:
-Shimla - Leader-led walking tour

icon Day 4: Shimla

Location: Shimla

Accommodation: Hotel

Wake up early this morning to board the World Heritage-listed 'toy train' for a two-hour scenic journey offering views of quaint villages and gorgeous mountain passes. Afterward, head out and explore Mall Road – Shimla's most popular shopping stretch. A nearby viewpoint also offers fantastic views of the Himalayas. Visit the Viceregal Lodge to witness where the partition agreement that separated India from Pakistan and Bangladesh was drawn up. If you like, join the hordes of monkeys milling about Jakhu Temple or stock up on souvenirs and specialty wooden crafts at Lakkar Bazaar. Set among rolling hills, Shimla also offers an array of nature walks that range from gentle to challenging. In the evening, you might like to enjoy an optional trip to the cinema and bop along to a Bollywood blockbuster.

Included Activities:
-Shimla - Viceregal Lodge

Optional Activities:
-Shimla - Cinema
-Shimla - Jakhu Temple - Free
-Shimla - Lakkhar Bazar - Free

icon Day 5: Mandi

Location: Mandi

Accommodation: Heritage Property

Meals: dinner

Travel by jeep to the small town of Mandi. Situated on the Beas River, Mandi has a rich cultural heritage of both historical and theological significance. Once part of the salt route to Tibet, today it's the gateway to the Kullu Valley. Head into town for a walk and explore a huge sunken shopping centre – the only one like it in India and the focal point of entertainment in Mandi. You can also spend time at the bathing ghats along the river or hike to hilltop temples just outside of town. In the evening, enjoy an included dinner and stay in the simply restored former palace of the Raja of Mandi.

Included Activities:
-Mandi - Leader-led walking tour

icon Day 6: Dharamsala (McLeod Ganj)

Location: Dharamsala (McLeod Ganj)

Accommodation: Hotel

Today’s journey through the mountains today is an adventure in itself. Travel by private vehicle for the 6-hour drive along bumpy, winding roads to Dharamsala, also known as McLeod Ganj. Strung with prayer flags and busy with robed monks strolling between monasteries, this hilltop retreat is home to the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government in exile. Spend the afternoon wandering the peaceful streets, which are set to the backdrop of the Himalayas. There’s a lot to gain here from learning about the many facets of Tibetan Buddhism.

icon Day 7: Dharamsala (McLeod Ganj)

Location: Dharamsala (McLeod Ganj)

Accommodation: Hotel

Today, visit the fascinating Norbulingka Institute, developed to train Tibetan refugees in skills needed to preserve the traditional arts and crafts of Tibet. Its grounds feature a beautiful temple and several workshops where you can see woodcarving, painting, and needlework in action. Then make your way to the Tsuglag Khang complex to see the Dalai Lama’s temple. You may also like to visit the Losel Doll Museum, which is a great way to learn about the daily lives and customs of people all over Tibet.

Included Activities:
-Dharamsala - Norbulingka Institute
-Dharamsala - Dalai Lama Temple

Optional Activities:
-Dharamsala - Cooking Class
-Dharamsala - Losel Doll Museum

icon Day 8: Amritsar

Location: Amritsar

Accommodation: Hotel

Today, travel down the mountains to Amritsar, situated in the heart of the fertile plain known as India's ‘breadbasket’ and the centre of Sikhism in India. Tour the sights and wander through the rambling streets and bazaars of the Old City by foot. Explore the Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib), which sits in the middle of a sacred lake. Listen to the soothing sounds of the devout chanting verses from the Sikh holy book – the Guru Granth Sahib.

Included Activities:
-Amritsar - Golden Temple

icon Day 9: Amritsar – Overnight train

Location: Amritsar – Overnight train

Accommodation: Overnight Sleeper Train

Visit Jallianwala Bagh – the site of the tragic 1919 massacre that played a vital role in India's independence. Then head out to the India–Pakistan border to witness the pomp and circumstance of the daily flag ceremony – a military practice that the security forces of India and Pakistan have followed since 1959. Tonight, take an overnight sleeper train from Amritsar to Haridwar.

Included Activities:
-Amritsar - Jallianwallah Bagh
-Amritsar - Wagah Border ceremony

icon Day 10: Rishikesh

Location: Rishikesh

Accommodation: Hotel

After pulling into Haridwar in the morning, there’s a 1-hour drive to Rishikesh. Check in to your hotel before going on an orientation walk with your leader. Pay a visit to the faded but mural-lined walls of Chaurasi Kutia – the ashram made internationally famous (long with Rishikesh by association) when the Beatles visited in the 1960s. Explore the crumbling beauty of the former ashram, now covered in graffiti related to the band and counterculture. In the evening, take a stroll along the holy Ganges River as temple bells ring and the nightly fire ritual of Ganga Aarti begins.

Included Activities:
-Rishikesh - Leader-led walking tour
-Rishikesh - Chaurasi Kutia 'The Beatles Ashram'

Optional Activities:
-Rishikesh - Yoga Class

icon Day 11: Rishikesh – River Ganges

Location: Rishikesh – River Ganges

Accommodation: Camping (with basic facilities)

Meals: lunch, dinner

The morning is yours to roam around Rishikesh. Perhaps tuck into a masala dosa for breakfast before walking or riding it off on one of the trails along the Ganges. Aptly named the 'Yoga Capital of the World', Rishikesh is a great place to relax and seek a little enlightenment with your own yoga class, if you’d like. For something more adventurous, there is the option to white-water raft down the Ganges. In the afternoon, reunite with your group for a walk through the jungle nearby. Tonight, experience sleeping under the stars just outside of Rishikesh; you’ll be staying in a fixed campsite with twin-shared tents and western-style toilets.

Optional Activities:
-Rishikesh - Bike hire
-Rishikesh - White Water Rafting

icon Day 12: Delhi

Location: Delhi

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: breaksfast

Bid farewell to Rishikesh and take the train back to Delhi (approximately 7-9 hours). The train arrives back into Delhi around 11 pm from where you’ll be transferred to your hotel on arrival.

icon Day 13: Delhi

Location: Delhi

There are no activities planned for today, so you’re free to depart the accommodation at any time. Don't forget to check out the great range of Urban Adventures if you have extra time in Delhi, including Culture Vulture Delhi – visiting the chaotic lanes, historic sites, and streetside food stalls of the capital. Head to urbanadventures.com/destination/delhi-tours for more information. If you would like to spend some more time in Delhi, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).

Optional Activities:
-Delhi - Culture Vulture Delhi Urban Adventure

What's Included

  • icon
    Accommodation

    Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night), Hotel (9 nights), Overnight sleeper train (1 night), Heritage Hotel (1 night)

  • icon
    Meals

    1 breakfasts, 1 lunches, 2 dinners

  • icon
    Mandi - Leader-led walking tour

  • icon
    Dharamsala - Dalai Lama Temple

  • icon
    Rishikesh - Leader-led walking tour

  • icon
    Amritsar - Jallianwallah Bagh

  • icon
    Delhi - Jama Masjid

  • icon
    Delhi - Leader-led Old Delhi walking & rickshaw tour

  • icon
    Shimla - Leader-led walking tour

  • icon
    Amritsar - Golden Temple

  • icon
    Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)

  • icon
    Amritsar - Wagah Border ceremony

  • icon
    Shimla - Viceregal Lodge

  • icon
    Rishikesh - Chaurasi Kutia 'The Beatles Ashram'

  • icon
    Dharamsala - Norbulingka Institute

Transport

  • Overnight sleeper train , Private vehicle , Public bus , Train , Heritage Train , Metro , Cycle rickshaw , Taxi

Included Activities

  • Delhi - Leader-led Old Delhi walking & rickshaw tour
  • Delhi - Jama Masjid
  • Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)
  • Shimla - Leader-led walking tour
  • Shimla - Viceregal Lodge
  • Mandi - Leader-led walking tour
  • Dharamsala - Norbulingka Institute
  • Dharamsala - Dalai Lama Temple
  • Amritsar - Golden Temple
  • Amritsar - Jallianwallah Bagh
  • Amritsar - Wagah Border ceremony
  • Rishikesh - Leader-led walking tour
  • Rishikesh - Chaurasi Kutia 'The Beatles Ashram'

Accommodation

  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night), Hotel (9 nights), Overnight sleeper train (1 night), Heritage Hotel (1 night)

Book with Confidence

  • icon
    Low Deposit

    Intrepid Travel requires a deposit of 200 GBP to secure a place on this tour, and the final balance is not due till 21 days before departure..

  • icon
    Secure payments

    All payments to TourHub are deposited into an externally regulated Trust account.


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Dates & Availability

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Sunday Sep 12, 2021

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$1465.03

Sunday Sep 26, 2021

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