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Hill Stations of Raj and Kashmir Hill Stations of Raj and Kashmir Hill Stations of Raj and Kashmir Hill Stations of Raj and Kashmir Hill Stations of Raj and Kashmir Hill Stations of Raj and Kashmir

Hill Stations of Raj and Kashmir

$1510
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Route : Delhi - Kalka - Shimla - Dharamshala - Pragpur - Amritsar - Srinagar - Delhi

Western Himalayan foothills are a passage through timeless destinations showcasing the culture and religious miscellany of India. The journey traverses through Himachal Pradesh – the Land of Unmoving Snows, composed of a series of river valleys that straddle the ancient trade route to Central Asia and the Indian peninsula. It passes through Shimla, the erstwhile summer capital of the English during the Raj. The hill-station retains its nostalgic charm harking back to the days when the British officers, their families in tow, sojourned in these hills to escape the summer heat of the plains. The excursion continues through the world of Tibetan Buddhism, with its myriad deities, powerfully atmospheric temples, monasteries, spectacular polychrome art and esoteric rituals.
We shall savour this fascinating world in and around Dharamshala, where the two most prestigious Tibetan spiritual leaders, His Highness the Dalai Lama and the young Karmapa – are currently based. A night spent in Pragpur gives us the opportunity to walk through the only Heritage village in India, with a wonderful stay in the charming Judge’s Court. Our next port of call is Amritsar, the holy land of Sikhs where we visit the Golden Temple, resplendent with the pride of the martial people who built it.
We conclude the trip on a romantic houseboat, moored on the famous Dal Lake in the Vale of Kashmir. Like a sumptuous meal, our penultimate destination will be the piece de resistance of this journey, allowing us to regale our sense with the sublime beauty of Sufi Kashmir with its sparkling lakes, mellow valleys and vibrant paradise gardens laid by the great Mughal.

Special Features :

– Toy Train

– Mountain Villages

– Buddhist Monasteries

– Golden Tempe

– Indigenous Cultures

– Heritage Sites & Pleasure Gardens

– Houseboats on Dal Lake

 

Program: Hill Stations of Raj and Kashmir

Duration: 12 Days

Best Time: April to November

12 Days
06+ Age
  • Destination
  • Arrival
    Delhi
  • Arrival Time
    Midnight or Late night
  • Final Departure
    Delhi
  • Dress Code
    Casual warm and sports wear

Tour Itinerary : - Hill Stations of Raj and Kashmir

1

Day 01: Delhi

Arrive at New Delhi International airport. After completing the immigration and customs, proceed towards the arrival hall. Meeting and assistance upon arrival with a traditional welcome of garlanding and transfer to the hotel (the room being held from 1400 hrs).
Overnight in Delhi
2

Day 02: Delhi – Kalka – Shimla 0740/1150 hrs and 1210/1720 hrs

This morning, transfer to New Delhi railway station to board the train to Kalka railway station – this is the terminus for the main railhead before the start of the mountain rail journey.
On arrival at Kalka station, board the five-hour mountain railway journey, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that connects Indian plains to the Queen of Hills Shimla - spread along the ridge that overlooks terraced hillsides and cultivation, it is magnificently robed in dense forests of oak, pine, fir and rhododendron. Originally a small village with a temple to Shamla Devi as its main attraction, the British developed the settlement for its bracing climate and scenic location to make it the summer capital of India for many years. The toy train journey is one of India’s incredible feet covering through a series of tunnels, bridges and curves.
Meeting on arrival at Shimla station and transfer to the hotel.
Overnight in Shimla
3

Day 03: In Shimla - Explore Colonial Shimla

This morning after a leisurely breakfast we set off to explore this hill town. The visit to the places of interest to include The Mall, Shimla's principal promenade which terminates at Scandal Point, from where the views of the Himalayas are unmatched; the Viceregal Lodge, the erstwhile viceroy's residence is today the Institute of Advanced Studies. The Shimla State Museum houses numerous art objects from around India including a priceless collection of paintings. We also visit Jakhu Temple
Overnight in Shimla
4

Day 04: Shimla to Dharamshala 250 Kms about 07 hrs

This morning, after early breakfast, we proceed to Dharamshala, another hill station.
Dharamsala, the current home of the Dalai Lama. It is also the principal township of the region which is magnificently set amongst pine forests with the backdrop of the Dhauladhar range.
Overnight in Dharamshala
5

Day 05: Dharamshala

This morning after a leisurely breakfast, we set out to explore the hill region, Dharamshala.
The full day trip will include highlights like the visit to Norbulingka Institute, Kangra Fort.
We start with a visit to the Norbulingka Institute, a registered trust organization which operates under the leadership of the spiritual and temporal leader of Tibetan people, HH Dalai Lama. This institute preserves Tibetan culture in the form of literature and arts. Famous places to visit here are Losel Doll Museum and Seat of Happiness Temple.
Later, we will visit the Kangra Fort and Temple Complex, built by Bhuma Chand the founder of the Katoch Dynasty. Located on a very steep cliff, which overhangs Ban Ganga and Manjhi River, the fort still dominates Kangra Valley.
In the afternoon, we visit the Tibetan Children’s village which is located nearby. This boarding school provides Tibetan education, healthcare, clothes, food, etc. to the orphans. We will continue our journey to Mcleod Ganj from here and will stop at Kangra Art Museum on the way. The museum houses a great collection of arts and crafts indigenous to Kangra Valley.
Overnight in Dharamshala
6

Day 06: Dharamshala to Pragpur 75 km about 2 hrs

This morning after breakfast, we drive to Pragpur – the drive is through the Dhaula Dhar range.
Pragpur founded three centuries ago is built around an ornamental pool. With its cobbled streets, colourful mud-brick houses and slate roofs, Pragpur is known as India's first 'heritage village'. It is the center of the Kangra school of painting and a vibrant and interesting place to spend an afternoon. There are great views back north to the snow-capped peaks of the Dhaula Dhar.
Overnight in Pragpur 
7

Day 07: Pragpur to Amritsar 175 km about 4.5 hrs

This morning after an early breakfast drive to Amritsar – the home of Sikh community and their beauteous, most holy shrine: the Golden Temple.
Amritsar was effectively founded by the fourth Guru of Sikhism, Guru Ram Das, who excavated a pool or ‘tank’ in 1577, which subsequently became known as Amritsar (meaning Pool of the Nectar of Immortality). The city grew up around this pool and, in due course, a splendid Sikh edifice (that we now know as the Golden Temple) was constructed in the middle of this pool.
On arrival, after a short rest, we proceed to explore the city of Amritsar = the "Pool of Nectar", named after the sacred pool in the Golden Temple.
The highlight of this city is The Harmandir (Golden Temple) is the spiritual nerve center of the Sikh faith. The Akal Takht is the seat of the Sikh's religious committee. Guru Gobind Singh's shrine is dedicated to the 10th and last guru of the Sikhs. Also, visit Jallianwala Bagh, a memorial noted for the most notorious massacre under British rule. The Jallianwala Bagh is located about a quarter of a mile from the Golden Temple.
Late afternoon drive to Wagah Border to see the Guard of Honor Ceremony or Ceremonial lowering of the flag of the two countries (India and Pakistan). Later drive back to Amritsar during sunset.
Late evening visit Golden Temple under beautiful lights to feel the spiritual solace and also to witness the Bed Chamber Ceremony of the Religious book (Guru Granth Sahib).
Overnight in Amritsar
8

Day 08: Amritsar – Srinagar Flight

This morning during Sunrise, visit the Golden Temple – the start is around 0400 hrs in the morning.
We return to the hotel for breakfast.
Late morning, you will be transferred to the airport to board the flight to the summer capital of Kashmir, Srinagar(1600 m).
Meeting on arrival at Srinagar airport - drive past the crocus fields and fruit orchards to the shores of the Dal Lake for the stay in the eco-luxury houseboat Sukoon.
This is the first opportunity for us to see the beautiful floating gardens that lie amongst the backwaters of the lake. Admiring the sunset from the houseboat is an unforgettable highlight.
In the evening, take a traditional Shikara(a Kashmiri Canoe, which is an integral part of the culture here) ride to enjoy the ride across the wetlands in the heart of the lake to witness the locals farming, cultivating vegetables and flowers on artificial islands.
Onboard the Houseboat - Sukoon
Overnight in Srinagar
9

Day 09: In Srinagar

This morning, we start early morning to take the Shikara to the backwaters and reach the floating vegetable market where you will experience the tranquility and will get to see how the local sellers trade fresh products like flowers, fruits, vegetables, saffron, etc.
Also, it is interesting to see how the old barter system still works here. A warm cup of Kashmiri herbal tea will be offered during the cruise. Inhale the morning air as you tuck into a hearty breakfast on the sundeck of Sukoon, aptly named Fizaa (ambiance).
This afternoon, we head for the gardens tour – the delightful gardens located at various points around the Dal Lake. The gardens were all established during the Mughal period have charming appellations – Pari Mahal (abode of fairies), Chashme Shahi (the royal spring).
In the afternoon gardens tour. The delightful gardens located at various points around the Dal lake were all established during the Mughal period have charming appellations – Pari Mahal (abode of fairies), Chashme Shahi (the royal spring) are just the two less crowded and unique places that we have chosen for today’s sightseeing.
Onboard the Houseboat - Sukoon
Overnight in Srinagar
10

Day 10: In Srinagar

This morning, after leisurely breakfast we will head for a hike - experience Zawarban hike for around 3 to 4 hrs (5500ft). This hill walk is totally guided and offers breath-taking views of Dal Lake and the hills in the surrounding regions. This hike, a day long tour is moderate and can be accomplished by anyone with an average fitness level.
The trail will start from a Sufi shrine adjacent to a small village and will end at a secret cave. It is said that the Sufi saint used to meditate in the cave for years. We will be accompanied by a villager, who will also host our local traditional homemade lunch when we finish the trek. In this area, you may get a chance to meet local shepherds and gypsy Gujjars as well.
Onboard the Houseboat - Sukoon
Overnight in Srinagar
11

Day 11: In Srinagar

This morning, after leisurely breakfast, we start the morning with an attractive walk, passing through the bylanes of the old city, witnessing the local markets, heritage monuments, everyday life and also will get to know how Sufism influences the Kashmiri way of life.
The walk begins at Zaina Kadal (bridge). A museum of Islamic architecture is located on the other side of the bridge. You will see homes which are older than a century.
We take a walk through the old quarters of the city, across the narrow streets, passing the buildings and structures which are impressions of an earlier period and struggling to survive their glory in this rapidly growing modern world which is almost alien to them.  Perambulating through the narrow lanes and by-lanes you come out at the grand mosque of Jami Masjid and later at the Shah Hamadan mosque.
A magnificent work of wooden architecture, Jami Masjid is among the most important mosques of the city. The roof of the mosque is based on more than 300 pillars which are made from the trunk of a single deodar tree. To the south is the main gate and the inner courtyard which is peaceful, green and spacious is surrounded by outer cloister.
Among Srinagar’s oldest mosques is Shah Hamdan. Located behind Jhelum River, this mosque is famous for its iconic papier-mâché work which has been done on its ceilings and walls very intricately. A very interesting fact about this wooden mosque is that it has been building without using any screw or nails. The mosque was built in 1395 which was later damaged in 1479 and was then again in 1731.
Our last stop of the tour will be at Zaina Kadal Market to witness the cultural atmosphere of a typical local market like the bazaar of Ali Baba.
This afternoon, we drive to the Shankaracharya Temple, where you will be taken to the foots of the flight of the stairs in the car which leads to the temple point. From here, you will have to climb. The efforts will reward with panoramic views of the valley from the temple.
Onboard the Houseboat - Sukoon
Overnight in Srinagar
12

Day 12: Srinagar – New Delhi, by flight

This morning you are at leisure.
Today you will be transferred to the airport to board a flight to Delhi.
Meeting and assistance on arrival and transfer to the hotel in Delhi.
Later, tonight you will be transferred to Delhi’s International airport to board flight back home with the mesmerizing memories of your trip Hill Stations of Raj and Kashmir.

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Price, Inclusions and Exclusions

 
Prices per person
01 paying person in a Single Room
USD 2595/-
02 paying persons in a Double Room
USD 1510/-
 

Validity - April till November 2021.

 

Price Inclusions

• Accommodations in one room/tent for 13 days/12 nights
• Meal plan
  ✓ Buffet Breakfast at all cities – Delhi, Shimla, Dharamshala, Amritsar
  ✓ Full board basis at Paragpur, Srinagar - Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
• Transport services using Good Conditioned Small Car as follows
  ✓ Arrival transfer from the airport to the hotel on Day 01
  ✓ Departure transfer the hotel to railway station in Delhi on Day 02
  ✓ Beginning with the pickup at Shimla railway station on Day 02 till drop at Amritsar airport on Day 08
  ✓ Beginning with pickup at Srinagar airport on Day 08 till drop at Srinagar airport on Day 12
  ✓ Arrival transfer from the airport in Delhi to the hotel on Day 12
  ✓ Departure transfer from the hotel to the international airport on Day 12/13
• Meet and greet services in Delhi, Shimla, and Srinagar only
• One time entrance fee to the monuments/gardens as per the program.
• Shikara rides in Dal Lake Srinagar – shared
• Experience Zawarban Hike
• Services of English speaking local cultural guides (different guides in each city) as per the itinerary:
  > Day 03          Full day in Shimla
  > Day 05          Full day in Dharamshala
  > Day 07          Half day in Amritsar
  > Day 09 to 12          Full day in Srinagar
Train travel (ECONOMY CLASS)
  > Delhi to Kalka – air conditioned chair car
  > Kalka to Shimla – non air conditioned class
Domestic air travel (ONLY INDICATIVE)
  > Airfare(economy class)
    ✓ Amritsar to Srinagar
    ✓ Srinagar to Delhi
• All currently applicable taxes
 

Price Exclusions

• International airfare for travel (from your home country to the destination and return)
• Visa charges or fees
• Airport taxes
• Camera fees during the visit to the monuments, temples or National Parks
• Tips to driver/guide/naturalist
• Additional meals
• Drinks or mineral water at the hotels or restaurants
Ayurvedic massages or treatments, laundry etc or any other items of personal nature
• Travel, health and cancellation insurance
• Any other expense/changes due to unforeseen circumstances while in India
• Any other thing not mentioned in program or “Price Inclusions”

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