Amritsar, Dharamshala and Haridwar's shrines in scenic valleys. The Himalayan foothills trip offers insight into Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism.
15 days / 14 nights
Delhi – Amritsar – Dharamshala – Pragpur – Shimla – Chandigarh – Rishikesh – Haridwar – Delhi
- The iconic Golden Temple
- Dalai Lama's home in Dharamshala
- Contemplation or adventure on the holy Ganges
Day 1 : Delhi
Arrive in Delhi. Visit Baháʼí Lotus Temple and the Sufi complex of Nizamuddin Dargah. It is known for Qawwali devotional music sessions.
Day 2 : Delhi / Amritsar
Morning flight or train to Amritsar in Punjab. Visit Harmandir Sahib, the most sacred Sikh temple. The Golden Temple is a symbol of brotherhood and equality. Evening attend Palki Sahib ceremony.
Day 3 : Amritsar / Wagah Border
Visit Jallianwala Bagh Memorial and the Partition Museum. Afternoon attend the Flag-lowering ceremony at Wagah border between India and Pakistan.
Day 4 : Amritsar / Dharamshala
Your Himalayan foothills trip begins. Drive up to Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh (elevation: 1,460 m / 4,780 ft). Enjoy the views on the Dauladhar mountain range and on the green Kangra Valley. Check in for 3 nights.
Day 5 : McLeod Ganj
Explore vibrant McLeod Ganj, home to the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in exile. Visit Namgyal Monastery and Tsuglagkhang Temple. Shop at Kotwali Bazaar. At sunset, trip to Naddi Village (2,180 m / 7,150 ft).
Day 6 : Kangra Valley
Excursion to Masroor Rock Cut Temple in Kangra. Proceed to Norbulingka Institute in Siddhpur, a community dedicated to the preservation of Tibetan art and culture.
Day 7 : Dharamshala / Pragpur
Drive to the heritage village of Pragpur. Wander in the elegant city, and stay in a 300-year old ancestral cottage.
Day 8 : Pragpur / Shimla
Drive to Shimla, former summer capital of British India. Walk on the Ridge from Christ Church to Scandal Point. Stroll down the Mall along Victorian-era buildings.
Day 9 : Shimla
Visit the Indian Institute Of Advanced Studies in the Viceregal Lodge, the Gaiety Heritage Theatre, and the temple of Kali Bari. Then walk to Jhaku Hill. Afternoon trip to Sankat Mochan Temple.
Day 10 : Shimla / Chandigarh
Drive to Chandigarh in the plains. The modern city was designed by Franco-Swiss architect Le Corbusier to rationalize urban organization. The Capitole houses the city's judicial, legislative and executive administrations. Admire the Open Hand Monument and visit Nek Chand's Rock Garden.
Day 11 : Chandigarh / Haridwar
Drive towards Uttarakhand and the Ganges Valley. Visit the Temple city of Haridwar. Evening attend the Arti ceremony of offering to the Ganges at Har ki Pauri.
Day 12 : Haridwar / Rishikesh
Morning jeep safari at Rajaji National Park. Drive further to Rishikesh, the gateway to the Char Dham Himalayan pilgrimage and to the source of the Ganges. Walk to Lakshman Jhula suspension bridge and observe nearby temples or ashrams.
Day 13 : Rishikesh
Wander on the banks of the Ganges and trek through the dense forests of Shivalik Hills. Option of adventure activities: rafting, zip line, etc. Or take a trip to Kunjapuri Temple for its views on the region.
Day 14 : Rishikesh / Delhi
Morning yoga and meditation session. Afternoon board an express train back to Delhi. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 15 : Delhi / Departure
Fly to your next destination.
Average travel time:
- 5 to 6-hour drive between halts.
When to go:
- Best time: March-April and October-November.
- Dharamshala may be cut from the itinerary in winter (December to February)
- Hot temperatures in the plains (Amritsar, Rishikesh) in May-June
- Avoid during monsoon (July to September).
Spice up your trip:
- Stay in heritage hotels dating back to colonial era.
- Extend the trip to Bodhgaya in Bihar to explore the origins of Buddhism.
- Ride the holy Ganges : white water rafting and zip line.
- Trek for a day or more.
- Rejuvenate with yoga classes or Ayurvedic treatments.
Monument closing days:
- Amritsar's Partition Museum on Mondays
- Shimla's Indian Institute of Advanced Studies on Mondays