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Wonders of the Himalayan Foothills


 Wonders of the Himalayan Foothills

 A wonderful tour on the Himalayan foothills to get the insight of Punjab-Himachal and Uttranchhal, this trip offers an incredible landscape of Himalaya and lower hills, rich culture of different Ethnic, diverse religion and pilgrimage sites.

Take a train from Delhi to Amritsar to visit Golden temple and centre of the Sikh religion, by road to Kangra valley the home of ancients Hindu temples and Tibetan Govt in Exile at Dharamsala. Traverse the tinny hamlets to Mandi an important commercial centre of valley, take excursion to Rewalsar to visit an important pilgrimage site for Buddhist, Hindu and Sikh communities.
Drive to the north to explore the valley of Kullu also known as the valley of Gods, Kullu -Manali has rich culture and heritage.

Descend to Shimla a romantic hill resort once summer capital of the British era. Take a joy ride in heritage toy train for short Span to feel the past in present to descend to Chandigarh, a modern city designed by le Corbusier's features a Rock Garden created by Nek Chand.

Take a traverse through urban and rural area to Rishikesh the city of Temples, Ashram of Yoga and meditation, at last visit Haridwar -literally means "the gate way to the God” is a grand centre of pilgrimage visited by thousands of Hindu to take a holy dip in sacred Gange to cleanse their sins.


Detailed Itinerary


Day 01: Arrival in Delhi.
On arrival at IGIA you will be met and greeted by our representative and will escort you to your hotel, easiest you to check in at hotel for overnight stay.


Day 02: Delhi to Amritsar.
As per the train time transfer to railway station to board train to Amritsar; which is around 6 hrs. journey, on arrival pick up and transfer to hotel, check in at hotel after wash and change visit the city, overnight stay at hotel in Amritsar.
Amritsar translates(pool of nectar) the name of the sacred pool surrounding the Golden Temple. A causeway connects to the temple in the middle of the pool. A Sikh high priest reads the holy book, sitting on the east side of the temple. The temple attracts pilgrims from all over the world.
Wagha Borderis the Indo-Pakistan border which is 30 kms drive, where the retreat ceremony on the road to Lahore is an interesting experience at Sunset.


Day 03: Amritsar to Dharamshala, 190 kms, 6 hours’ drive.
Drive to Dharamshala, on the way stop for lunch, on arrival at Dharamshala check in at hotel and in the evening visit the market, overnight stay at hotel in Dharamshala.


Day 04: Visit Dharamshala (1830 m).
A former colonial retreat, Mcleodganj rose to prominence after the large scale exodus of Tibetans from their homeland in 1959. It is the residence (Ocean of Tranquillity) of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. In the backdrop are the majestic Dhauladhar Mountains. The Tibetan Government in exile has been based here for over three and a half decades. With traditional architectural designs drawn from Tibet, the impressive Namgyal monastery is surrounded by a row of prayer wheels, and houses larger-than-life images of the Buddha: Padmasambhava and Avalokteshwara, if time permits visit the Tibetan Handicraft centre, overnight stay at hotel in Dharamshala.


Day 05: Dharamshala to Palampur (via Kangra), Brijeshwari Temple and Musroor rock temple.
On the way to Palampur visit the thousand-year old Brijeshwari Temple, built in Shikhara style and dedicated to the goddess Vrajreshwari. 10-minutes’ walk leading to the temple premises is decorated with colourful shops selling articles that devotees need for religious rituals to pay homage to the goddess.
Masroor has 15 temples carved into the rock in Indo-Aryan style and linked with the famous Ellora temple in Maharashtra.
Palampur is situated in the foothills of the Dhauladhar range. It has a mild climate, tea gardens and irrigation channels. The main street of Palampur is always crowded with a variety of people, including gaddis (shepherds) and their gaily attired women can be seen strolling around, evening visit Tea garden overnight stay at hotel in Palampur.


Day 06: Palampur to Mandi, via Baijnath - Rewalsar, 137 km.
Visit Shiva temple at Baijnath which bears an inscription dated A.D 804 and dedicated to Vaidhyanath. The temples are built in the Shikhera style and are remarkable for their proportion and architectural beauty.
Drive further to Rewalsar (Pool of Ancient Wisdom), which is like a Dark jewel on a wooded hillside. This sacred lake is identified as the sahar of yore. Legend identifies this place as the one from where Padma Sambhava left for Tibet to spread the word of the Buddha in the 8th century A.D.
Mandi is an important town of Himachal Pradesh and gateway to Kullu Valley. It is known for its aesthetically carved shikhara style temples of Bhootnath, Triloknath, Panchvakra and Shyamakali at Tarna hill, overnight stay at hotel in Mandi.


Day 07: Mandi to Kullu-Manali (2000 m), 90 kms.
Leave for Manali enroute we will visit Shiva temple at Bajaura. On arrival at Manali check in at hotel
Kullu-Manali is situated in the inner range of the Himalaya and is famous for apple orchards, pine trees and cheerful people. The valley has hundreds of temples and deities. The Aryans named this valley as Kulantpitha, meaning "the end of the habitable world". Visit the temple of Manu at old Manali, the hot spring at Vashisht and rest of the time will be at leisure, overnight stay at hotel in Manali.


Manu Temple:is believed to be the only temple of Manu in India, who is considered as the creator of the human race on earth.

Vashisht: Around 3 km from Manali, across the Beas River is Vashist, a small village with natural sulphur springs. Vaishisht also boasts a pair of old stone temples, opposite each other above the main square, dedicated to the local patron saint Vashista.


Day 08: Explore Manali.
Today proceed for the sightseeing of Handima Devi Temple, Jagatsukh Temple, Naggar Castle and Roerich Art gallery, rest of the day will be at leisure, overnight stay at hotel in Manali.    


Hadimba Temple:It is an ancient cave temple dedicated to Hidimbi Devi, who was a character in the Indian epic, Mahābhārata. The temple is surrounded by a beautiful cedar forest; the structure was built in the year 1553.

Jagatsukh Temple:is one of the biggest villages in Kullu valley; it was the first capital of the erstwhile state of Kullu. Jagatsukh is famous for two ancient worth visiting temples- the Gaurishankar shrine and the temple of Goddess Sandhya Devi. Both temples are built in shikhara style. It is believed that these temples were constructed in the beginning of the 8th century.

Naggar Castle:Situated on the left bank of river Beas at an altitude of 1851m, Naggar - an ancient town commands extensive views, especially to the North West of the valley. Naggar was the former capital of Kullu. It was founded by Raja Visudhpal and continued as a headquarters of the State until the capital was transferred to Sultanpur (Kullu) by Jagat Singh in 1460 A.D. Today this ancient and beautiful Palace is a popular tourist spot. The Castle was converted into a rest house hundred years back and in 1978 this ancient building was handed over to HPTDC to run as a heritage hotel.

Roerich Art Gallery:Prof. Late Nicholas Roerich, a reputed artist had chosen Naggar as his residence when he came to India in 1929. The house has now been converted in an art gallery which houses numbers of rare paintings and other specimen of art. The gallery is open for visitors.


Day 09: Manali to Shimla, 250 kms/ 7 hrs. Drive).
The road passes through several villages, lunch in a local restaurant on the way. One can see the magnificent views of the Himalayan foothills. Shimla was the ancient summer capital of the British Raj, also known as queen of the hills. On arrival check in at hotel and rest of the day will be at leisure to visit around, overnight stay at hotel in Shimla.


Day 10: Day in Shimla.
In the morning visit the temple of Monkey God Jakhu hill. (Beware of monkeys) Visit the museum and the Vice-regal Lodge which now houses the Indian Institute of Advance Studies, overnight stay at hotel in Shimla.

Jakhu Hill:Jakhu Hill is 2 km from the Ridge, at a height of 2500 M; Jakhu Hill is the highest peak in Shimla and offers a beautiful view of the town and of the Himalayas. At the top of the Jakhu Hill, is an old temple of Hanuman, which is also the home of countless playful monkeys.

Institute of Advance Studies: Also known as Rashtrapati Niwas, it was formerly the residence of the British Viceroy Lord Dufferin, The Viceregal Estate passed into the hands of the President of India after Independence in 1947. The spectacular building was renamed 'Rashtrapati Nivas' (Presidential Residence).


Day 11: Shimla to Chandigarh, 150 kms / 7 hrs.
We will take the toy train for a two-hour ride to experience a legacy of colonial times. The train has been declared as a world heritage train by UNESCO and is a prime tourist attraction.
Take the zig zag road down to Chandigarh, A city designed by the famous Swiss architect Le Corbusier. Visit the Rock Garden which is an epitome of creativity and innovation. It is a unique garden that consists of various art objects. But the best part about the rock garden is that each of its artwork has been made by using industrial & urban waste and is one of the most visited sites after Taj Mahal.
Visit rose Garden which is one of the largest in Asia with about 1,600 varieties of roses, evening dinner and stroll in the city centre, Night in hotel...


Day 12: Chandigarh to Rishikesh (230 m), 5 hours.
Departure toRishikesh-the sanctuary of saints and sadhus, situated on the banks of the river Ganges, known from medieval times as a great pilgrimage centre, attracting large numbers of pilgrims, saints and sages (sadhus). It is known for its centre for yoga and meditation. We will visit ashrams and temples and witness the evening ritual ceremony at Triveni Ghat, when hundreds of people float little flower bowls with oil lamps on the river, overnight stay at hotel.


Day 13: Rishikesh to Haridwar, 23 kms.
Leave for Haridwar check into hotel. Visit Mansa Devi temple dedicated to Shakti, the goddess of power. Also visit Daksha Mahadevi temple and bathing ghats. In the evening, join the grand Arti, overnight stay at hotel in Haridwar.
Haridwar literally means gateway to God. It has been a sacred place from time immemorial and is one of the most important pilgrimage places on the Ganges. Based on Hindu mythology, millions of Hindus take a holy dip in the sacred river Ganges to seek emancipation. There is meditation and worship at Har ki Pauri (Bathing Ghat) which is one of the most fascinating religious rituals in the world.


Day 14: Haridwar to Delhi by train, 240 kms.
Train to Delhi; visit Qutub Minar, Jama Masjid and Red Fort. Enjoy rickshaw ride between Jama Masjid and Red Fort. After dinner transfer to IGIA to board flight for onward destination, no hotel in Delhi.

Jama Masjid: built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan it is the largest Mosque in India, with a courtyard capable of holding 25000 devotees at a time. It took six years to build this grand Mosque construction was started in 1650 AD and was completed in 1656 AD.

Red Fort:Built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, construction begun in 1639 and was completed after 9 years. The Red Fort was built as the fortified palace of Shahjahanabad, capital of the fifth Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan.


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