Hill Stations of the Western Himalaya

Suggested Itinerary

14 Days From £3,295

Overview

Starting in Delhi, your journey takes you north to the holy town of Rishikesh, the lap of Hindu philosophy and learning. Here you can explore ashrams and temples, hanging bridges and aarti ceremonies, before driving through spectacular Himalayan mountain scenery to the famous hill station of Shimla. Once the summer capital of the British Raj, and now the capital of Himachal Pradesh, the town is an intriguing mix of old and new. Soak up the beauty of the surrounding forested foothills as you ride ...

Read More

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Explore Shimla’s stunning mountain scenery as you ride the famous Toy Train and enjoy forested trail walks
  • Immerse yourself in the pilgrimage town of Rishikesh as you visit temples and witness the magic of an evening aarti ceremony on the holy Ganges River
  • Discover Dharamsala & McLeod-Ganj – the Dalai Lama’s residence in exile, where you can learn about the fascinating interplay between Tibetan and Himachali cultures and explore ‘little Lhasa’
  • Visit the lesser-known Kangra Valley, home to the Heritage Village of Pragpur where you can travel back in time
  • Admire the architectural splendours of the Golden Temple in Amritsar and learn more about the centre of Sikhism
  • Witness the wonderful Wagah Border ceremony, located on the Indo-Pakistan border, a colourful parade by soldiers from both India and Pakistan

Suggested Itinerary

This is a suggested itinerary. Our experts have all travelled widely in the region and will be happy to tailor any of our itineraries to suit your tastes, or build a trip from scratch.

EXPAND ALL ITINERARY DAYS
COLLAPSE ALL ITINERARY DAYS

DAY 1: ARRIVE DELHI

DAY 1: ARRIVE DELHI

On arrival in Delhi you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day will be free to relax or explore the city independently.

The Claridges

DAY 2: DELHI – HARIDWAR

DAY 2: DELHI – HARIDWAR

This morning you’ll transfer back to Delhi airport for your flight to Dehradun. From here you drive along beautiful mountain roads to Haridwar, where you can check into your hotel and unwind. Just upstream from Haridwar on the banks of the River Ganges is the holy town of Rishikesh. This small town is the point where the holy Ganges crashes down in full glory onto huge boulders and creates long stretches of white sandy beaches. The banks are lined with ashrams, where saints and holy men rest before beginning their arduous pilgrimage up into the snow-covered land of the gods. The town acquired prominence in the west when the Beatles visited to meet Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and begin their quest for spiritual salvation. Even today, foreign travellers visit the ashrams to study Hindu philosophy, yoga and Ayurvedic medicine. This afternoon can be enjoyed at leisure or with a gentle walk along the ghats to watch a bit of daily life in this fascinating region.

Breakfast

DAY 3: RISHIKESH

DAY 3: RISHIKESH

You will spend today exploring Rishikesh, also known as the 'place of sages'. Its many ashrams – some clearly humbly ascetic, with others verging on opulent - continue to draw devotees and followers from around the world. The whole place is considered to be sacred, as it is believed that meditation here leads to attainment of salvation. Visit Laxman Jhula, a hanging bridge on the river Ganga, and Bharat Mandir, the oldest temple in Rishikesh. Take a stroll around the market, where you can end at Parmarth Ashram, before returning to Haridwar in time for an evening aarti ceremony. The Ganga Aarti is an unforgettable spiritual experience, generally beginning at sunset, with sacred chants and a 'Yagna' or fire ceremony. The sounds and smells of this stunning performance, framed by the ripples of the setting sun in the flowing river, make it a real highlight, and a wonderful introduction to your journey.

Breakfast

DAY 4: HARIDWAR – DEHRADUN

DAY 4: HARIDWAR – DEHRADUN

You return north today and head for the tranquil setting of Shaheen Bagh, located just outside of Dehradun. Here you can relax in the gardens, or if there’s time explore a little of the area, but overall this is the perfect stopover on your way to Shimla where you can enjoy a quiet setting and some downtime in between the longer drives.

Breakfast

DAY 5: DEHRADUN – SHIMLA

DAY 5: DEHRADUN – SHIMLA

Today is a long but beautiful journey, as you travel through some stunning Himalayan countryside, to the hill station of Shimla, the former summer capital of the British Raj. Along the way, you will have the chance to stop for a cup of tea and to take photographs in order to break up the journey, which usually takes around 8 hours.

Chapslee House
Breakfast

DAY 6: SHIMLA

DAY 6: SHIMLA

Begin the day by boarding the UNESCO World Heritage Himalayan Queen ‘Toy Train’ which will carry you on a picturesque journey through the forested foothills of the Himalayas. You then will have the rest of the day to explore Shimla. Often described as ‘Epsom in the hills’, the quaint hill station is today a surreal place, with a mall lined by mock Tudor cottages, the Viceroy’s neo-Gothic palace at one end and Christ Church at the other. Halfway along is the Gaiety Theatre, a charming miniature Drury Lane. But today Shimla, like Darjeeling, is a very mixed town, on the one hand buzzing with modern Indian life while on the other echoing that of its colonial past. All in all, a fascinating place to spend a couple of nights.

Chapslee House
Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 7: SHIMLA

DAY 7: SHIMLA

Today you’ll explore the surrounding area on foot as the Britishers of old would have once done, taking in the colonial buildings of the Raj period. The forested foothills around Shimla offer some excellent opportunities for walking and later today there will be the opportunity to stretch your legs and take in some more of the stunning scenery.

Chapslee House
Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 8: SHIMLA - PRAGPUR

DAY 8: SHIMLA - PRAGPUR

Today you have a full day’s drive north to the Heritage Village of Pragpur, located in the beautiful Kangra Valley on the edge of the Himalaya Mountains. On arrival you’ll check in to your hotel where you have a chance to relax before dinner.

The Judge's Court
Breakfast

DAY 9: PRAGPUR

DAY 9: PRAGPUR

Today you can enjoy some rest time or explore the area further. Pragpur offers a fascinating insight into the history of the area, and visitors can enjoy exploring the local market where they will see silversmiths and weavers at work. Kanga Valley is also has a lot to offer, with the fort and rock temples of Masur, as well as multiple walking options and some birdwatching.

The Judge's Court

DAY 10: PRAGPUR – DHARAMSALA & MCLEOD GANJ

DAY 10: PRAGPUR – DHARAMSALA & MCLEOD GANJ

This morning you’ll drive to visit Tashijong Monastery, built by Buddhists who fled from the Kham region of eastern Tibet in the 1950s. You’ll also pay a visit to a tea garden, from where you’ll continue your journey to Dharamsala and McLeod Ganj. Established in the mid-1850s as a British garrison, McLeod Ganj sits 4km from Dharamsala (with which it is intrinsically linked) and is situated at a height of 1,770m. It is now the seat of the Tibetan government in exile and as residence to his Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, it is also a place to view Tibetan culture outside of Tibet, and is considered a ‘little Lhasa’.

Chonor House
Breakfast

DAY 11: DHARAMSALA & MCLEOD GANJ

DAY 11: DHARAMSALA & MCLEOD GANJ

You will have the whole day to enjoy this legendary hill station and take a walk in the surrounding area. You’ll start with a visit to the Tibetan Children’s Village in McLeod Ganj. If the Dalai Lama is in residence there may even be the chance to attend one of his audiences. You will then drive up through the forest to Dharamkot where you’ll reach Naddi Village, visiting a Buddhist stupa and some meditation caves en route where Tibetan Buddhist monks live and meditate for many months during the year. From Naddi village you’ll enjoy beautiful views of the peaks of Dhauladhar before descending back down to the town and wandering through the fascinating bazaar. Those preferring not to walk can easily pass their time soaking up the fascinating interplay between Tibetan and Himachali cultures.

Chonor House
Breakfast

DAY 12: DHARAMSALA – AMRITSAR

DAY 12: DHARAMSALA – AMRITSAR

Descending from the foothills back to the plains you enter the Punjab and travel to the famed city of Amritsar. This evening you will have a look around the most holy of Sikh sites – the Golden Temple, which is at its most evocative at night. The stunning setting of this temple is a spiritual masterpiece, and reflected in the lake, the temple glistens in the sun and is spectacularly lit up at night. Visitors can also witness Palki Sahib, also known as the ‘putting to bed’ ceremony. The temple is home to the Guru Granth Sahib, the principle scripture of Sikhism, which is placed on a pillow and carried to its resting place for the night, accompanied by chanting.

Ranjit's Svaasa
Breakfast

DAY 13: AMRITSAR

DAY 13: AMRITSAR

This morning you can pay another visit to the iconic Golden Temple. From here you’ll visit Jallianwala Barg, the scene of the British massacre in 1919. Time permitting, you can also visit the important landmark of Baba Atal Rai Tower, located just outside of town. Climbing to the top of this nine-storied building gives you a panoramic view of the entire area. In the late afternoon you’ll head out to the famous Wagah border ceremony, which involves a colourful parade by soldiers from both India and Pakistan, culminating in the perfectly coordinated lowering of the two nations' flags!

Ranjit's Svaasa
Breakfast

DAY 14: AMRISTSAR – DELHI

DAY 14: AMRISTSAR – DELHI

You’ll catch the train back south to Delhi today, arriving in time to transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

Breakfast

SUGGESTED ACCOMMODATION

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Accommodation listed here is intended as a guide only, to give you a taste of what we can do. Our experts can tailor any aspect of this itinerary and accommodation to suit your budget and tastes.

GUIDELINE PRICE & WHAT’S INCLUDED

14 days from £3,295

MEALS

As specified in the itinerary, sampling some of the country's finest cuisine.

TRANSPORT

Private air-conditioned vehicles with experienced, dedicated drivers.

ENTRANCE FEES

Tours and admission fees, including tickets specified in the itinerary.

EXPERT TEAM

Licensed English-speaking guides and a support team available 24/7.

ACCOMMODATION

As specified in the itinerary, using some of our favourite local properties.

BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE

Flexible booking conditions regarding transfers and cancellations

ACCOMMODATION

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Book With Confidence

We understand that flexibility is now a key factor when booking a holiday, and we believe our Covid Promise and Covid Viable Test provide that.

We believe these terms and conditions for making a booking are amongst the most generous in the travel industry right now, and we hope they will give you the confidence, when you feel ready, to go ahead and book your next adventure.

This itinerary is aimed to give you an idea of what we can offer. The price shown above is per person, based on two people travelling outside of peak periods. As this itinerary is only a suggestion and can be tailor-made to suit your interests and budget, your final price may differ.

Positive Impact of this Trip

Tree
Ten trees are planted per passenger on this trip
Community
Supports Wild Frontiers Foundation community projects
Wind Turbine
A contribution to renewable energy projects

WHEN TO GO

START PLANNING YOUR TRIP

Our team of experts have a wealth of knowledge and experience to help you plan your adventure of a lifetime.

WHY WILD FRONTIERS?

Meet the expert, Shalmali

Shalmali is our Indian Subcontinent expert, who has travelled extensively in the region.

Speak to Shalmali by calling
+44 (0)20 3944 6258

India rewards the traveller with its rich variety of unforgettable experiences, diversity of culture, stunning wealth of architecture, varied landscapes, delicious cuisines, fine textiles and crafts, colourful festivals, and wild places teeming with wildlife.

OTHER ITINERARIES IN INDIA