Places Covered: Delhi – Amritsar – Gurdashpur – Dharamshala – Manali – Chandigarh – Haridwar – Rishikesh – Delhi.
In this tour program you will experience the fascinating atmosphere at the Golden Temple of Amritsar at dawn, have dinner with a Sikh family, visit the colorful and spectacular Dussehra Festival in Kullu and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere of the small mountain village Nagar (Manali). A day hike gives us fantastic views of the Dharamsala below us and we get to know country life on a typical Punjabi farm – milking cows and including tractor driving! A monk, an astrologer, farmers and yoga teachers as well as a dedicated cooking classes in Delhi and of course, your tour guide grant you insights into the Indian daily life. A cable car takes to Mansa Devi Temple. We explore the long abandoned and mystical “Beatles Ashram” in Rishikesh, sipping candles light and flower chains during the Aarti (ceremony) on the Ganges and experiencing real outdoor adventures on a rafting trip down the Ganges. We participate in an Indian cooking class, bake chapati breads in the open gas flame and finally immerse ourselves in a colorful musical world in the Kingdom of Dreams in Delhi. Welcome to our cultural tour in the heart of India!
Discover the best bits of Amritsar on this tour. Highlights include visiting Golden Temple, Jalianwala Bagh, local bazaars, and watching the Atari (Wagah) Border Ceremony from a VIP area. Our first visit would be for the most beautiful Golden Temple also known as Harmandir Sahib. The Jalianwala Bagh, it is a garden and spectator of huge bloodbath held in 1919, responsible for the killing of around 1000 innocent, defenseless and unarmed Indians by British Brigadier General Reginald Dyer. Post lunch, enjoy shopping at Hall Bazaar and another local bazaar of Amritsar. You can buy handicrafts, ornaments, books, electronics, garments and many other things. Afternoon around 15:00 hrs: you would proceed towards Wagah Border to enjoy the amazing flag lowering ceremony. Next destaintion is a local farm house, where you will see the actul life of the local, enjoy meal, activities with the family. Dharamshala you will explore the HH Dalai Lama’s monastey, Tibetan Market & Norbulinka Tibetan institute. When proceed to Manali, along side the road you will have a lot of restaurants and Dhabas, Stop by any of them to have a flavor of Desi food or Butter chicken. Also you will get a picturesque view of the Kullu valley and lower Himalayas. At Rishikesh you will visit Temples, Ghat and Ashrama where the Sandhu doing Yoga and Meditaion.
Upon arrival at New Delhi international airport, met and greet by our staff at arrival hall, later transfer to hotel for rest of the night. Overnight hotel The Claridges.
After an early breakfast transfer to New Delhi railway station and board train to Amritsar. On arrival in Amritsar a warm welcome at the railway station, & transfer to your hotel. In the evening we take a first walk to the Golden Temple – the holiest pilgrimage site of the Sikhs, whose impressive atmosphere you can hardly escape. Under observance of some basic rules, the visit of the temple is allowed to people of all nationalities and religions. At the entrance we leave our shoes before cover our heads with cotton towels, which we receive locally. Enjoy the Golden Temple in light. Later back to hotel. Regenta Central Amritsar.
In the morning we visit again the Golden Temple. Not far from there is the park of Jallianwala Bagh. Once so peaceful, this site was once the scene of one of the most cruel massacres of the Indian independence movement and provides insights into India’s volatile history. Next we go for a walk through the old town and visit The Gurdwara Tran Taran Sahib training center of the Sikhs. In the late afternoon we will visit the closing ceremony of the Indian-Pakistani border at the end of the day. Amusing is the theatrical parade and the showmanship of the soldiers of both countries – countless crowd watching every day Flag Ceremony and the noisy slamming of the border gates. Afterwards, we have dinner with a local Sikh family to learn more about the Sikh customs and customs.
We visit the Central Sikh Museum and have a look at the temple kitchen, where every visitor is provided free food. Then we leave Amritsar and make our way to a typical Punjabi farm near Gurdaspur. In the afternoon we have the opportunity to help with the farm work and to get into conversation with the farmers and helpers. Visit a dairy farm and take an easy bike ride to the surrounding villages with visits to locals and a tea break. Back on the farm, who likes, can try tractor driving. For the overnight stay there is also the possibility to sleep on the roof terrace of the farm under the free starry sky. This can be easily and simply decided even on the spot by each participant. With family (Farm House)
Full day leisure for share the activities with the villager’s. Overnight with the family.
Morning enjoy a local breakfast than drive through the Dhauldhar Mountain Range to Dharamsala hill station, which is also home to the Tibetan government-in-exile and the Dalai Lama. We visit the residence of the Dalai Lama and the attached museum. Overnight stay Hotel Norbu House
If you like, you can join a yoga class early in the morning before breakfast. After breakfast, we will do more sightseeing in Dharamsala (Norbulinka Institute, Tibetan Children’s Village and Education Center). In the afternoon, we visit a Buddhist astrologer and can ask questions about his activities and everyday life and let us read from the hand. Then we stroll through the local market.
A short drive takes us to the nearby village of Dharamkot. From here we hike in about 4-5 hours on the Triund Hill (2,875 m) with a wonderful view of the valley below us and Dharamsala. The climb is a bit exhausting and leads over some stony paths. Once at the top, we are looking for a cozy place for our picnic lunch and unpack it. Then we hike in about 3 hours steadily downhill back to Dharamkot, from where we drive back to Dharamsala. If the hike is too long, you can only walk to the Magic View Café (about half of the way) and turn back there. Also from here you have fantastic views.
After breakfast proceed to Manali. On the way we visit the Kangra Fort, which is about 20 km from Dharamsala. We also visit the Bajinath Temple and the Shiva Temple in Mandi before we reach the picturesque hill station Manali. On arrival check in hotel. Overnight stay The Green Mountain Lodge
Today we take a trip to Nagar. The ancient temples of the village and the serene atmosphere invite you to relax and leisure. We will visit the Roehrich Gallery and Nagar Castle before returning to Manali in the afternoon.
A longer drive takes us today to Chandigarh in the joint capital of the two Indian states Punjab and Haryana. We visit the rose garden and the rock garden and take an evening stroll through Chandigarh. Hotel Regenta Almeida
We drive to Haridwar. For the rest of the day, let yourself be mesmerized by the mystic atmosphere of the sacred site and the evening fire ceremony on the banks of the Ganges. Especially at dusk, the mood for the Ganga Aarti ceremony is one of awe-inspiring as devout believers along the riverbank offer candlelit offerings along the river. Every evening, the life-giving goddess Ganga is worshiped in this way. Overnight at The Haveli Hari Ganga.
Our sightseeing program in Haridwar takes us today to the lively Hari Ki Pauri bathing ghats and Shantikunj Ashram. With the cable car we drive up to the Mansa Devi temple and enjoy the view over the city, on foot we make our way back to Haridwar. At the end of the sightseeing we visit the Daksheswar Mahadev temple. A short drive brings us to Rishikesh. The famous pilgrimage site with its numerous ashrams is the destination of sadhus and wandering saints and also the starting point for pilgrimages to Kedernath and Badrinath. In order to capture the special mood of Rishikesh for us, we take a walk in the area together with a local yoga and meditation teacher in the afternoon and gain insights into the locally practiced “walking meditation”. Overnight stay hotel Ganga Kinare.
If you like, you can join a yoga class before breakfast today. The rest of the day is spent sightseeing. We visit the biggest bathing resort of Rishikesh – Triveni Ghat. Continue to the two iron suspension bridges of Lakshman Jhula and Ram Jhula. Then we visit the still active Sivananda Ashram and the Tera Manzil Temple. At the end of the day we make our way to the legendary “Beatles Ashram”. The mood of the abandoned ashrams for many years is unique. The beehive-like meditation caves are partially overgrown with forest, and the walls of the buildings are adorned with ornate street art such as The Beatles graffiti. Along the way, you will often meet one or the other sadhu and visitors who are enchanted by this beautifully situated place. Towards evening we head to the Parmath Niketan Ashram and attend the Ganga Aarti ceremony on the banks of the Ganges.
In recent years, Rishikesh has become a Mecca for outdoor activities in addition to its ashrams and meditation centers. And so we do not miss the opportunity to set off on a 3-hour rafting trip on the Ganges River with fantastic views of the towering mountains, forests and small, yellow shining sandy beaches of India on the banks of the sacred river. At noon we land at one of these sandy beaches and enjoy a delicious picnic under the open sky. From here we head to Haridwar, from where we board the train to Delhi. We reach Delhi later this evening. Overnight hotel Crown Plaza Okhala.
The colorful and bustling streets of Delhi, sounds and exotic smells amaze us. Small market stalls with artfully piled mountains of fragrant fruit invite you to try. A rickshaw ride takes us through the bazaar streets of the old city of Delhi and ends at the Red Fort. Just 500 meters away is the Jami Masjid, the largest mosque in India. Up to 25,000 worshipers find place in the red-and-white magnificent building, which sits enthroned above the lively lanes of the bazaar district. From here we make our way to the cooking at our home nearby International airport, we offers cooking classes in a small, family-like setting. A very special experience is waiting for us, because in addition to an introduction to the diverse world of Indian cuisine, we learn a lot about the Indian social structures and the diversity of different depending on the region of different kitchens and flavors of India. Together, we go shopping for the ingredients and spices needed at a small nearby market and then prepare our own delicious Indian lunch. Well strengthened and with new impressions in the luggage we continue our sightseeing program in Delhi. We stroll through the market of Delli Haat, under the open sky there are around 80 stalls offering crafts, saris, fabrics, jewelery and delicious street food from all parts of India. After a farewell dinner transfer to international airport.