Day 1 : Arrive Delhi
Late night arrival. Meeting and assistance upon arrival as our representatives welcome you and escort you to your car.
Whilst the room keys and check-in is organized, our representative would introduce the tour to you and hand over the documents to you.
Welcome to India, or as we say atithi devo bhava (the guest is an incarnation of God). Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you!Overnight delhi hotel.
Day 2 : Delhi Cultural Tours
This morning, we proceed on a guided tour of New Delhi, Visiting such sightsas Bahai Temple, Humayuns Tomb (1586), the Qutab Minar 72 metershigh and one of the most perfect towers in the Persian world. The IronPillar which has survived the vagaries of weather for over 1500 years. Continue with a drive through Embassy area, the Government buildings(1921-1930) and Connaught Place, the heart and main shopping district ofthe capital.
Afternoon, we cross over to the Old Delhi. The capitalof Muslim India between the 17th and 19th centuries, Old Delhi see mssome what anachronistic as compared to New Delhi. It draws one through congested roads and lanes, interesting mosques, monuments and fortsrelating to its chequered history. Our tour includes visit to the JammaMosque (1650) and drive through the fabled area of Chandni Chowk (aptlytranslates to Moonlight Square) where the throngs of shoppers andvendors meet in the oldest area of Delhi, on to the Red Fort (1639-1648built by Shah Jehan the builder of the Taj Mahal in Agra) to view theinlaid and carved Royal Chambers, on to Raj Ghat and nearby ghats wherethe founder of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi and thereafter Indira Gandhiand Rajiv Gandhi were cremated.
The highlight of this tour would bea ride on cycle rickshaws. Now these are 3-wheel cycles with a sofa seatat the back. The Rickshawalla (Rickshaw driver) sits on a small cushionin the front and two passengers on the sofa seat behind. This is aremarkable way to explore and picture the hustle and bustle as well asthe colour of the narrow winding streets bursting with people andpavement shops selling wares of all description - including a laughingset of dentures. The ride would be accompanied by peals of laughter bothfrom the passengers as well as the onlookers.
Overnight at hotel.
Day 3 : Delhi - Haridwar (Dehradun Shatabadi - 0655 / 1122 Hrs)
Early morning transfer to the train station to board your train to Haridwar.
Meetin gand assistance upon arrival check in to the Hotel Haveli Hari - abeautiful heritage Haveli (mansion) situated on the banks ofthe Holy Ganga, a mere 500 meters walk through the Bazaar from thesacred " Har ki Pauri" at Haridwar. It stands at the gateway tothe Devbhumi - the abode of the Gods and the "Char Dham Yatra".The Haveli is an architectural marvel, where the ancient structure hasbeen restored to recreate the old - world charm with modern dayhospitality. The interiors of The Haveli are interestingly reminiscentof old Indian Mythological times where there are balanced tones oftranquility & comfort.
This evening we suggest you walk acrossover the bridge to witness the fascinating Ganga Aarti(invocation). The golden reflection of floral diyas in the river Gangesis the most enchanting sight in the twilight during the Ganga aarti ceremony at the ghat. The synchronised chanting of prayers that takesplace during the Aarti is a very uplifting experience.
Overnightat Haveli Hari Ganga - (Deluxe Room)
Day 4 : Haridwar
Today we explore the unending list of attractions in Haridwar is endless. Har-Ki-Pauri, the sacred ghat was constructed by King Vikramaditya in the memory of his brother Bhartrihari. Haridwar abounds with several Hindu temples and Ashrams(Hermitages). More than the architectural designs, it is the spiritual ambience of the place that is so striking. The Daksh Mahadev Temple isan ancient shrine situated to the south of Kankhal town. This temple wasconstructed by Queen Dhankaur in AD 1810. Kankhal has several other temples and ashrams too. The Sapt Rishi Ashram is situated along the Haridwar-Rishikesh road. The Ganges flows in seven streams in front ofthis Ashram, hence this place is also called Sapt Sarovar. The Kanva Rishi Ashram is situated around 42 km from Haridwar. The ashram is onthe banks of the Malini River along the forest road to Kotdwar. Other important places to visit are the Bharat Mata Temple, Maya Devi Temple, Bhimgoda, and Shanti Kunj.
Overnight at Haveli Hari Ganga - (Deluxe Room).
Day 5 : Haridwar - Rishikesh - Haridwar (25 Kms - One Way)
Followinga leisurely breakfast we proceed on a day return trip to Rishikesh.
Mostof the pilgrims who pass through Rishikesh on their way to the Himalayan shrines of the Char Dham pause for a holy dip and puja at Triveni Ghat,There are a number of ashrams in and around Rishikesh, where rishis(saints) stay. Some of the ashrams are situated on the eastern bank ofthe river Ganges and the entire cluster is known as Swarg ashram. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's Ashram is famous the world over for which the credit goes to the rock band Beatles. Several ashrams offer yoga courses and many pilgrims from in and around the country come here to learnyoga. Along with the ashrams, there are a few temples having some mythological importance.
Later we drive back to our hotel Haveli Hari Ganga in Haridwar.
Overnight at Haveli Hari Ganga - (DeluxeRoom).
Day 6 : Haridwar - Delhi
Delhi - Pathankot (Jammu Mail - 2115 / 0720* Hrs)
After a leisurely breakfast you will be transferred to Delhi train station to board your train to Pathankot.
Overnight: First Class Air Conditioned Sleeper Accommodation.
Day 7 : Arrival - Pathankot
Meeting and assistance at Pathankot trainstation and drive to Dharamshala a very scenic and peaceful hill stationwhich has the added attraction of its strong Tibetan influence. It washere that the Dalai Lama and his followers had fled after the Chineseinvasion of Tibet.
We would have opportunities to stop on the way tointeract with the locals as well as to enjoy the incredible naturalbeauty of the region.
Upon arrival, check into Hotel Surya.
Afternoonis at leisure. We suggest you enjoy a walk along the mall road whereTibetan refugees display and sell their crafts.
Overnight at Hotel.
Day 8 : Dharamshala
Following breakfast, proceed on a tour of Dharamshala.
We visit the Norblinga Institute for Tibetan Buddhism which is perhaps one of its best in the world. The Institute has its owntemple, museum, hospital and meditation hall. We would meet with monkshere to learn more about Buddhism. Of special mention here are the magnificent miniature paintings done by students here. It is great tosee the students sketch a design and then paint it on canvas.. We wouldvisit the Dalai Lamas Palace and temple in the afternoon and meetwith the spiritual leaders to know more about the plight of Tibetans,their future, the problems they face in India etc. If the Dalai Lama istheir in Dharamshala at the same time as we are, every effort would bemade to have a personal audience with him, the Tibetan Buddhismsdeity of Universal Compassion. It is special meeting him, not because ofhis title or the high degree of reverence that the people of Tibet holdhim in; but more because how it feels in his company. Several strongimpressions remain about the meeting, including the way in which hegives his whole attention to questions. There is wisdom in his thinking which comes through clearly in his words, filled as they are with commonsense and realism. His firm hand shake, his sense of compassion, hissense of humour, his highly infectious and kind laughter are some of theeverlasting images of the Dalai Lama.
Overnight at Hotel.
Day 9 : Dharamshala
This morning we would visit a residential school run by Tibetan refugees. Itis heart rendering to see how these helpless people over the years have struggled to be self-sufficient. The love and compassion that exists between inmates is only to be seen to be believed. We would also visitthe Tibetan crafts village where Tibetan refugees are imparted training for making various handicrafts, carpets as well as tailoring.
Day 10 : Dharamshala - Amritsar (225 Kms)
After breakfast we will drive to Amritsar
Upon arrival and transfer to your Hotel RitzPlaza. Established in 1963 by the scion of a pioneering family, Hotel Ritz Plaza has undergone recent transformation (1999). This hotel hasmany firsts to its credit - being the first centrally air-conditionedhotel in Punjab. In its own history it has hosted a galaxy of who's who, including a visit by the Queen of England. The hotels refurbishmentaimed at modernizing and adding comfort to a home steeped in history.The most holy Sikh shrine, The Golden Temple is just 10 minutes drivefrom this Hotel & it is 21 Kms from the Wagha Border check post with Pakistan. The hotel is a perfect base for these as well as for sojourns to the Himachal and Kashmir Hills.
Evening we will journey 40 Kms to Wagha, the border between India & Pakistan. Each evening a very impressive lowering of guards ceremony is performed along with a march past by soldiers of both countries in synchronization to the accompaniment of bugles. The soldiers of both countries wear ceremonial dresses. It is quite a spectacular sight to see the same thing happening on both sides of the border.
Overnight at Ritz Plaza (Superior Room).
Day 11 : Amritsar
After breakfast we visit the Golden Temple, which is the Mecca of Sikh religion .The temple with a shinny pure gold dome, is beautifully situated in the center of a lake (The Holy Tank). And is approached by a causeway .All around the lake are marble walkways and various othertemple buildings. The community kitchen, which feeds over a thousand people continuously, is spectacular. The huge utensils to prepare thefood and the chapattis (breads) - 20 to 25 at a time - are amind-boggling sight. However, besides the physical beauty of the place,the strong and tranquil spiritual atmosphere of the place is soulstirring without being overwhelming. The constant recitation of the holybook brings a certain sense of peace to the individual. We walk throughthe temple complex and try soak in the atmosphere. We would also have an opportunity to meet some Sikh religious leaders who would talk to usabout the basic tenets of Sikhism.
Just outside the Golden Templeare various shops that sell Sikh religious artifacts like swords(decorative), bracelets, combs, small daggers etc.
During the day,we would also visit the Jalianwala Bagh, the martyrs memorial where thousands of innocent Indians were cordoned off by the British andfired. The well where several Indians jumped to escape the bullets as well as bullet marks and a museum of pictures can be still seen here.
Afternoon is at leisure for independent activities. We suggest you visit the Gandhi Gate parts of the old city. It would be fascinating to witnessthe traditional homes and bazaars continuing over generations. We would also suggest that you find your way back to the Golden Temple to exploreand appreciate the spirituality of the place at your own pace. Ofspecial mention would be the community kitchen which feeds over 5000people at a time throughout the day. The pots and pans would surpriseyou!! It would be fascinating to view 5 women make breads on a flat pan.
Wewould also be visiting the Golden Temple after dinner. There happens aspectacular ceremony, where the Sikhs put their holy book (Guru GranthSahib) to sleep. The priests carry the books over their head to placethem in a golden palanquin. The book is then carried to an inner chamber in the Palanquin to the accompaniment of bugles and drums and thechanting of the name of the Lord. The palanquin itself is carried bydevotees in turns. It is quite a special sight. The book is again placedin the main sanctum similarly in the morning.
Overnight at Ritz Plaza (Superior Room).
Day 12 : Amritsar - Delhi (Amritsar Shatabadi - 0510 / 1105 Hrs)
Early morning transfer to train station to board your train to Delhi.
Meeting and assistance upon arrival and transfer to hotel The Qutab.
Rest ofthe day is at leisure for your independent activities.
HomeVisit & A Farewell Dinner with an Indian Family : - This evening, we would visit an Indian family for an Indian home experience. The evening is designed to give you a feel and insight into Indian family life as well as experience typical Indian hospitality and home made Indian food.
Overnight at hotel.
Day 13: Delhi - Departure
Transfer to the International airport to board your onward flight.