Golden Temple and Himalayan Foothills Group Tour

11 Day – Group tour with air-conditioned vehicle and guide
Price Guide: £1445 per person
ABTA and ATOL protected holidays

This fantastic Golden Temple and Foothills of the Himalayas Tour Package begins in the fascinating border city of Amritsar with its iconic Golden Temple, a holy Sikh pilgrimage site, and its famous poignant ceremonies. You also visit Wagah for the famous evening ‘retreat’ ceremony on the border with Pakistan. The tour continues across the plains of Punjab to the foothills of The Himalayas starting in Dharamsala, India’s ‘Little Tibet’, home to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. After visiting the heritage village of Pragpur, a picturesque drive takes you to Shimla, the summer capital of the British Raj which still maintains the charm of the bygone era. The tour concludes with a journey down to Delhi. The varied accommodation is a mix of modern hotels, period properties and a heritage manor house. Travel is mostly by road with a short train ride towards the end.

Highlights of the Golden Temple and Foothills of the Himalayas Tour Package

Himalaya Mountain Panoramas, Dharamshala
  • Golden Temple in Amritsar and Palki Ceremony
  • Sightseeing tour of Amritsar
  • Witness the Wagah Border flag retreat
  • Visits to various monasteries including the Namgyal Monastery, where the Dalai Lama has his residence
  • Scenic train journey through the Kangra Valley (optional)
  • Heritage village of Pragpur
  • The dramatic views from the Shimla ‘toy train’
  • Sightseeing tour of Shimla

Golden Temple and Himalayan Foothills Itinerary

Golden Temple and Himalayan Foothills Group Tour

On arrival in Amritsar, you will be taken to the Hyatt Amritsar for a two night stay. This evening, visit the beautiful Golden Temple to witness the ‘Palki ceremony’, a ritual where priests carry the original holy book from the main temple complex to Akal Takht (‘throne of the immortal’) while chanting sacred hymns. It is a humble and surreal experience not to be missed.

Accommodation: Hyatt Amritsar, Amritsar
Meals Included: Breakfast

Today’s half day sightseeing tour of Amritsar is an excellent introduction to this amazing city.  Amritsar was founded in 1577 by the fourth Sikh guru, Ram Das. It was built on a site donated by the Mughal Emperor Akbar and is today the spiritual centre for Sikhs. Located in the heart of the city is the iconic Golden Temple which is surrounded by a water tank, the Amrit Sarovar, from which Amritsar gets its name. Believed to have healing powers, you can see pilgrims who have often travelled many miles bathing in the lake.

The city is known for its rich cuisine and culture, and for the tragic incident of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in 1919. During the tour, you can also visit the Durgiana Temple and have a haggle in Katra market, where you’ll find everything from fabric and beaded dresses to shoes and street food.

Late in the afternoon, you will be taken to the Atari (Wagah) Border, to witness the Flag Retreat ceremony. Since 1959, the security forces of India and Pakistan have lowered flags accompanied by elaborate and rapid dance-like manoeuvres. The ritual signifies both rivalry and cooperation between the two nations.

Accommodation: Hyatt Amritsar*, Amritsar
Meals Included: Breakfast

After breakfast, a 4 – 5 hour drive takes you through scenic mountainous territory to Dharamshala. Here you can enjoy the magnificent views of the snow covered Dhauladhar peaks. The hill station is surrounded with oak and conifer woodlands and snow-capped mountains on three sides, while the lush valley stretches out in front.

Upper Dharamshala and significantly the area of McLeod Ganj is known as the home of the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader. Since 1960, when it became a temporary headquarters of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Dharamshala has risen to international fame as “The Little Lhasa in India”. The area is home to Tibetan performing arts and crafts, monasteries and temples with their eye catching red and gold prayer wheels and fluttering prayer flags from the rooftops.

Approximate travel time and distance: 4 hours 30 mins, 200 kms
Accommodation: Hyatt Dharamshala*, Dharamshala
Meals Included: Breakfast

Today’s activities include an early morning walk to McLeod Ganj to see the pilgrims and worshippers engrossed in their morning prayer. After breakfast your guide will take you to the most significant Buddhist sites including the Namgyal Monastery, where the Dalai Lama has his residence and administrative offices.

Your tour will also include visits to the Bhagsu Nag Hindu Temples, Dal Lake and the Norbulinka Institute which is dedicated to the preservation of the Tibetan culture.

Accommodation: Hyatt Dharamshala*
Meals Included: Breakfast

This morning we take the drive to Kangra with the opportunity to see Kangra Fort, a magnificent building that dates back to the 4th century.

From Kangra there is an option to enjoy a scenic train journey.

Whichever way you choose to travel simply sit back and enjoy the beautiful sub-Himalayan terrain, known for its natural beauty and ancient Hindu shrines. On arrival at the wonderfully quaint village of Pragpur there will be time to exploreToday there is very little travelling and it’s a great opportunity to enjoy the elegant, relaxing environment of your charming country hotel which reflects the best of a bygone era. Today there is very little travelling and it’s a great opportunity to enjoy the elegant, relaxing environment of your charming country hotel which reflects the best of a bygone era.  its cobbled streets and slate roofed houses.

Accommodation: Judges Court*, Pragpur
Meals Included: Breakfast

Today is a day of leisure and it’s a great opportunity to enjoy the elegant, relaxing environment of your charming country hotel which reflects the best of a bygone era.

Or explore the heritage village and maybe pick up a mentento or two.

Accommodation: Judges Court*, Pragpur
Meals Included: Breakfast

After breakfast it’s a long but beautiful 6 hour scenic drive ascending to Shimla, which straddles a high ridge in the foothills of the Himalayas. This popular tourist destination was made famous as the summer retreat for the British in India, escaping the high temperatures of the Indian plateaus.

Approximate travel time and distance: 5 hours 30 mins, 200 kms
Accommodation: Oberoi Cecil Hotel*, Shimla
Meals Included: Breakfast

The next couple of days are at leisure in Shimla to enjoy walks and the life, which revolves around the busy mall in the town centre. The highlight of your stay in Shimla is a ride on narrow gauge Shimla-Kalka train, a World Heritage Site. There is a lot to see in Shimla itself including the mock Tudor Library, Christ Church, the Gaiety Theatre and the Rashtrapati Nilayam (President’s Residence) or drive to Naldera for a round of golf on a course considered to be the most challenging in India.

Accommodation: Oberoi Cecil Hotel* Shimla
Meals Included: Breakfast

 

Drive to Kalka today for a Shatabdi Express train to Delhi. On arrival in Delhi, you will be taken to your hotel.

Accommodation: Pride Plaza Aerocity*, Delhi
Meals Included: Breakfast

Fly back to the UK

Suggested extension:

Taj Mahal (1 day)

On day 10, arrive Delhi and transfer to The Claridges for a two-night stay. Enjoy a day trip to Agra on day 11 to see Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. Fly back home on day 12.

Golden Temple and Himalayan Foothills Image Gallery

Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar, Punjab
Golden Temple, Amritsar
Golden Temple at Night, Amritsar
Amritsar Heritage Centre, Amritsar
Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsha, Himachal Pradeshla
Himalaya Mountain Panoramas, Dharamshala
Kangra Fort, Kangra Valley
Heritage Village, Pragpur
Judges Court, Pragpur
Toy Train, Shimla
Viceregal Lodge, Shimla
Christ Church, Shimla

Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar, Punjab

Golden Temple, Amritsar, Punjab

Golden Temple, Amritsar, Punjab

Amritsar Heritage Centre, Amritsar

Namgyalma Stupa - Mani Prayer Wheels, Dharamsala, Himachal Pradeshla

Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsha, Himachal Pradeshla

Himalaya Mountains, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradeshla

Kangra Fort, Kangra Valley

Heritage Village, Pragpur

Judges Court, Pragpur

Foothills of Himalayas, Shimla

The Queen of Hills, Shimla

Toy Train, Shimla

Viceregal Lodge, Shimla

Jakhoo Temple, Shimla

Skyline of Shimla

Christ Church, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

Places on the Golden Temple and Himalayan Foothills Group Tour

Golden Temple and Himalayan Foothills Group Tour

Below are the hotels we plan to use on the tour but they are subject to availability. If they are not available, hotels of a similar standard will be chosen.

Dates, Pricing and Inclusions

This Golden Temple and Himalayan Foothills tour is available from Amritsar on the following dates (prices per person):

Tour starts Tour ends Price Single Room Supplement
23 October 2022 Sun Amritsar 2 November 2022 Wed Delhi £1,525 £495
13 November 2022 Sun Amritsar 23 November 2022 Wed Delhi £1,495 £495
5 February 2023 Sun Amritsar 15 February 2023 Wed Delhi £1,495 £495
3 March 2023 Fri Amritsar 13 March 2023 Mon Delhi £1,525 £495
2 April 2023 Sun Amritsar 12 April 2023 Wed Delhi £1,445 £495
Private Travel Supplement: £175 per person (minimum 2 persons traveling together)

 

Suggested Extensions Per person twin-share Single Room Supplement
Agra Extension £245 £45

 

Special Remarks

Tour starting 23 October 2022 – Diwali Special – Diwali in Amritsar with special dinner

Tour starting 3 March 2023 – Holi Special – Holi in Pragpur with special lunch

Meal Plan: Bed & Breakfast

Best Season: September – November, February – April.

Clothes: Light to heavy woollens.

* Alternative accommodation of a similar standard may be offered to the hotels listed.

Included in the price:

  • Accommodation for 10 nights
  • All internal road travel by an air-conditioned vehicle, driver and guide
  • All scheduled sightseeing with an English speaking guide
  • Entrance fees at the monuments
  • Train ticket on narrow gauge train (Shimla to Kandaghat)
  • Kalka – Delhi train ticket in best available class

Not included in price:

  • International flights
  • India visa
  • Travel Insurance
  • Meals not included in the meal plan
  • Expenses of personal nature (like room service, laundry, drinks, phone calls etc)
  • Camera fees at the monuments

This tour can also be taken privately with your own driver and air conditioned car on a date of your choice. Please contact us for more details.

For more information please email info@aitholidays.com or call our India specialists on 01792 315499.

Authentic India Tours is a member of ABTA and ATOL. All the holidays on this website are ABTA protected. If you would like us to arrange your holiday including flights we will be happy to provide a quote and your holiday will also be ATOL protected.