25 September 2016
You will get to see a beautiful and fascinating side of India on this superb nine day Hills of the Himalayas tour. Beginning and ending in the capital city Delhi and travelling by rail and road, you will visit the former summer capital of British India set amid snow-capped mountains and get a real feel for how life was in the days of the Raj. As well as lots of visits to places on interest you will also have time to relax along the way and have free time to explore on your own.
On arrival in India's capital Delhi you will be met at the airport by one of our tour representatives and driven to your hotel in the city. Relax after the journey then go out and see some of the many sites either on your own or on an organised tour, visiting the Red Fort, the bustling markets in the old part of the city and seeing the grand colonial architecture of New Delhi. In the evening either dine at your hotel or one of the many nearby restaurants.
After breakfast today your tour adventure begins when you are taken to the railway station to board the Kalka Shatabadi Express to Kalka. There you will transfer to the Himalayan Queen train and head up to Shimla where you will be met and taken to your hotel. Shimla is the former summer capital of British India and is in a beautiful setting in the Shivalik Mountains where you have stunning views of the mighty Himalayas.
Enjoy a full-day guided tour of Shimla. Visit the six-storey Vice-Regal Lodge or Rashtrapati Niwas, formerly the residence of Lord Dufferin, the British Viceroy. The style of architecture is English Renaissance, the masonry comprises light blue limestone and the wrought stonework is finished in sandstone. Also visit the Christ Church and St Michael's Cathedral, known for its stained glass windows and the Jhaku temple, dedicated to Hanumanji, the attendant of Lord Rama.
Today you leave Shimla for the seven hour drive to Manali travelling through beautiful countryside and snow-capped mountains. On arrival in Manali check in to your hotel and the rest of the day and evening is at leisure for you to explore on your own. Manali is situated at the northern end of the Kullu Valley in Himachal Pradesh and is a hill station at a height of 6,398 ft in the Himalayas. It is a great centre for all sorts of adventure activities from heli-skiing to hiking depending on the time of year you visit.
Another day to enjoy Manali. Situated on the Beas river and near its source, the town is a popular tourist spot for Indians in summer and a magical, snow-covered place in winter. It is a staging point for a number of treks to the Beas Kund, Chandrakhani Pass and offers extreme sports such as white-water rafting, Manali is also on the road to Ladakh via the valley of Lahaul and Spiti and Rohtang pass which is the main attraction nearby
Today you have a full-day guided tour of Manali. Visit the Hidimba or Dhungri Temple, dedicated to Hidimba, wife of the Pandava prince, Bheema. The temple is noted for its four-storey pagoda and exquisite wooden carvings. Visit the Manu Maharishi Temple, dedicated to sage Manu and then visit the Vashisht Kund, to see a pair of old stone temples. Later you are taken to the Tibetan Market, where you can buy shawls, woollen clothes, handicrafts, imported goods and souvenirs.
Leave Manali today and drive the six hours to Chandigarh where on arrival you check in to your hotel. Then enjoy a half-day tour of Chandigarh visiting among other places the famous Rock Garden. Spread over 12 acres of wooded land, it features urban waste turned into art objects. Also visit the Rose Garden, a beautiful garden which features nearly 1,600 varieties of roses, and the Government Museum and Art Gallery.
After breakfast at your hotel you leave Chandigarh and the mountains and hills behind and begin the drive back to Delhi. The distance is around 200 miles and it will take around five hours before you arrive and check in to your hotel in the city. The rest of the day and evening is free for you to go out and explore on your own and see more of the sights of this remarkable and historic city.
Today your wonderful Hills of the Himalayas tour comes to an end. Perhaps time for some more sightseeing or shopping in Delhi before you are picked up at your hotel and taken to the airport to catch an onward flight or begin your journey back home. This memorable tour makes a great add on to any longer stay in India or a great holiday in its own right.
Standard fr £786pp
Superior fr £1003pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated