Further off-the-beaten-track by small vehicle on a unique itinerary revealing the Kullu valley, holy sites of Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism, hill stations & small heritage hotels
Flight - 1 night
Delhi - 1 night
Haridwar - 2 nights
Mussoorie - 2 nights
Chandigargh - 1 night
Shimla - 2 nights
Kullu Valley - 3 nights
Palampur - 1 nights
Dharamsala - 2 nights
Pragpur - 1 night
Anandpur Sahib - 1 night
Amritsar - 2 nights
Every region of India has its own special character and unique aspects but only one has the world’s greatest mountain range in its name – Himachal Pradesh! This new tour explores by small vehicle further into the region, reaching the lands of the snow topping the mountains of the wonderful Kullu Valley. Held back by a shortage of good hotels, the valley now boasts a small hotel of quality, which a recent inspection confirmed and also identified a series of small and unique hotels to enhance this journey to hill stations, holy sites and Himalayan mountain splendour.
Start in the foothills of the Himalayas at one of the Hindu’s holiest sites, the point where the sacred River Ganga descends from the mountains to the plains below – Haridwar means ‘Gates of God’ in Hindi and pilgrims flock here all year to bathe in the sacred river and to fill the crystal clear, icy waters with flamed offerings daily at dusk. This fascinating ceremony draws crowds of devotees to Ganga – the life giving Goddess. The surrounding temples, the religious goods on sale at the colourful Bara Bazaar and the numerous ashrams all reflect the spiritual importance of the area – even the ‘Beatles’ were drawn to nearby Rishikesh.
India’s religious heritage is further revealed in Dharamsala, home of the Dalai Lama, and the two main sites of Sikhism, Amritsar and the internationally lesser-known Anandpur. Mussoorie and Shimla are contrasting hill stations, the latter much visited and wellpreserved, the former more forgotten but with equally fine views and once home to Sir George Everest.
Cultural & Countryside
Jules Verne Sightseeing
2 UNESCO Heritage Sites
2 Lunches and 9 Dinners
Local Expert Guide
Small Group Size: 2 – 12
Day 1 Fly overnight direct from London Heathrow to Delhi.
Day 2 Visit Agrasen ki Baoli stepwell and the Red Fort. Overnight at the heritage Maidens.
Day 3 Early morning train to Haridwar (5 hrs). Two nights at the heritage Haveli Hari Ganga. Evening Aarti ceremony. (B, D)
Day 4 Morning safari in Rajaji National Park (closed Jun-Nov). At Rishikesh, visit Shantikunj ashram and Laxman and Ram Jhula bridges. Aarti ceremony. (B)
Day 5 Travel to Mussoorie (4 hrs). Two nights at the heritage WelcomHotel The Savoy. (B)
Day 6 Visit the Landour market and bazaar and take a walk to Lal Tibba, the highest point in Mussoorie. Stop for lunch on the Mall. Afternoon free. (B, L)
Day 7 Drive to Chandigarh (8 hrs) and visit Le Corbusier’s Capitol Complex. Overnight at the 5-star Taj Chandigarh. (B)
Day 8 Visit the Rose Garden. Continue by road to Kandaghat (3 hrs), then by ‘Toy Train’ to Shimla. Two nights at the heritage Clarke’s Hotel on the Mall. (B)
Day 9 Visit the Shimla Museum, Vice Regal Lodge, church and stroll along the Mall. Afternoon free. (B)
Day 10 Travel to Mandi (4 hrs) and visit the Gymkhana Club Mandi, experience a temple walk and see Victoria Bridge. Lunch at the Raj Mahal Palace. Continue to the Kullu Valley near Manali (4 hrs) for three nights at the boutique Shivadya Resort & Spa. (B, L)
Day 11 Morning walk in Soel village to a Himalayan stream. Continue through the forest to Dashal village with orchards, traditional houses and an 11th-century Shiva temple. Visit Nagar village and its Roerich Art Gallery, then walk to Naggar Castle, former residence of Rajas and Kullu. (B, D)
Day 12 Village walk. Afternoon free to relax or perhaps walk to Sajla waterfall. Later, visit Vashisht village and temple and hot sulphur springs. Visit Old Manali with traditional houses and Hadimba Devi Temple. (B, D)
Day 13 Travel to Paprola (6 hrs) and board the ‘Toy Train’ to Palampur. Overnight at the 4-star RS Sarovar Portico, whose revolving rooftop bar and restaurant reveal fine mountain views. (B, D)
Day 14 Continue to Dharamsala to visit the Norbulinka Tibetan Art Centre. Two nights at the unpretentious but scenically located, Cloud’s End Villa. (B, D)
Day 15 Visit the Tibetan monastery and museum. Village walk with fine views. Afternoon free. (B, D)
Day 16 Visit Kangra Fort and Museum. Travel to Pragpur village. Evening village walk. Overnight at the heritage hotel Judge’s Court, a country manor built for Justice Sir Jai Lal. (B, D)
Day 17 Travel to Anandpur Sahib (3 hrs). Visit Virasat e Khalsa and the town, ending with high tea at Mr Sodhi’s Haveli. Overnight at the Anand at The Satluj eco-farm. (B, D)
Day 18 Visit Anandpur Sahib Gurudwara. Continue to Amritsar (4 hrs) for two nights at the boutique hotel Ranjit Vilas. Evening Palki ceremony at the Golden Temple. (B)
Day 19 Visit the Golden Temple, volunteer kitchens and Jallianwala Bagh. Afternoon free. Wagah Border ceremony. (B, D)
Day 20 Return flight to London via Delhi. (B)
This is a full itinerary with some visits on foot with uneven surfaces and inclines.
Travel beyond the main tourist routes in smaller vehicles (3 guests per car all with a window seat).
Travel is not 'off road' but these vehicles allow for greater contact with local people and easier access whilst still travelling with a small Jules Verne group through dramatic mountain scenery.
Heritage properties are full of charm and interest but rarely have lifts and rooms can vary in size and décor.
Established in 1903 as one of the first hotels of Delhi and recognized as a Heritage Hotel in 1994. Its architecture is the most glorious illustration of old-world European charm with its colonial impressions. Restaurants, bar, pool, gym and WiFi (free). 55 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, mini-bar, safe, TV and tea/coffee making facilities.
A heritage hotel located right on the banks of the holy River Ganges steeped in rich history and traditions. Restaurant, rooftop cafe, spa and WiFi (free). Air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, safe, tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV.
A heritage hotel built in Gothic architecture located in the beautiful Gharwal Hills and at the Liberty end of Mall Road. Restaurant, bar and WiFi (free). 50 air-conditioned mountain view rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, safe, mini-bar, TV and tea/coffee making facilities.
A 5-star hotel with sophisticated architecture and interiors. Restaurants, bar, gym, spa, pool and WiFi (free). 149 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, safe, mini-bar, satellite TV and tea/coffee making facilities.
Located on the Shimla Mall Road, Clarkes Hotel is an oasis of calm on the bustling promenade. This Heritage hotel is one of the oldest hotels in Shimla. Clarkes is known for its architecture dating from the colonial era. The hotel is within walking distance of many Shimla attractions. Restaurant, bar, WiFi (free) and 32 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, safe, mini-bar, satellite TV and tea/coffee making facilities.
This boutique hotel has a unique location with the Himalayas as its backdrop in Karjan village. Restaurant, spa and WiFi (free). 15 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, safe, mini-bar, TV and tea/coffee making facilities.
Located in the hill station of Palampur in the Kangra Valley with views over the Dhauladhar mountain ranges. Revolving bar and restaurant, terrace restaurant and WiFi (free). 42 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, safe, mini-bar, satellite TV and tea/coffee making facilities.
Sprawled across a 9 acre property with its own step field, gardens and forests the Clouds End Villa is the residence of the Maharaja of Kangra and consists of 16 rooms with private facilities, fan, satellite TV and tea/coffee making facilities. WiFi (free).
A heritage hotel located in the medieval hamlet of Pragpur, on the edge of the Himalayan mountains. Restaurant, bar, plunge pool and WiFi (free). 10 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, safe, mini-fridge, TV and tea/coffee making facilities.
This eco-farm is located on the outskirts of Anandpur Sahib and on the banks of the Satluj River. Restaurant and lounge. Tented cottages with private facilities, air-conditioning, safe and tea/coffee making facilities.
A boutique family-run hotel with strong Punjab influences. Restaurant and WiFi (free) with 22 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities and TV.
per person in a twin/double room
Jet Airways from Heathrow
Supplements per person
Double for sole use £695
Jet Airways Première Class
Return from £1395
Jet Airways Première Class
One way from £795
Arrival transfer add £22
Departure transfer add £22
Air travel and taxes, transfers, 18 nights’ accommodation, breakfast daily, 2 lunches and 9 dinners, itinerary as described, services of guides and local representatives. If our specially negotiated airfares are unavailable at the time of booking, a supplement may apply.
Travel insurance, visa procurement, optional excursions, overseas airport taxes, tipping, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.
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