Start and end in New Delhi! With the discovery tour Cultural Extravaganza - Jeep Safari in Indian Western Himalaya, you have a 23 day tour package taking you through New Delhi, India and 13 other destinations in India. Cultural Extravaganza - Jeep Safari in Indian Western Himalaya includes accommodation in a hotel as well as an expert guide, meals, transport.
In and around New DelhiOn arrival meeting and assistance as our representatives welcome you and escort you to your car. Whilst the room keys and check-in is organized, our representative would introduce the tour to you and hand over the documents to you. Welcome to India, or as we say atithi devo bhava (the guest is an incarnation of God). Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you!Start point Near the exit gate for teh international travelers, Indira Gandhi International Airport, Indira Gandhi International Air Port, New Delhi, Delhi, India
In and around AmritsarTransfer to the domestic airport to board flight to Amritsar. Amritsar, home of the Golden Temple, is one of the most ancient and fascinating cities in India. It is an important seat of Sikh history and culture. Being the gateway for travelers coming to India on the overland route from Central Asia, it soon became the center of various commercial activities. The Golden Temple was founded by the fourth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Ramdas, and completed by his successor Guru Arjan Dev. It is famous for its full golden dome, one of the most sacred pilgrim sites for Sikhs. The Mandir is built on a 67-foot square of marble and is a two-storied structure. Maharaja Ranjit Singh had the upper half of the building built with approximately 400 kg of gold leaf. The Golden Temple is surrounded by a number of other temples, such as the Durgiana Temple. After lunch we visit the Golden Temple of the Sikhs. We will circumambulate the temple, stopping periodically for moments of quiet reflection. The temple complex is like a small community, filled with many different activities. We will visit the kitchen where free meals are prepared by volunteers throughout the day; the temple where the holy book, Aad Guru Sahib, is read aloud from 4 am to 10 pm daily; and observe devotional rituals. On arrival transfer to hotel and then proceed to visit Golden Temple. Later travel to the border town Wagah to see flag ceremony at dusk.
We enter the hills today and gradually gain the elevation of 2000 meters. Drive to Dharamsala is through the farmlands and villages in the Himalayan foothills. On the way stop at Masroor temples, a temple built by cutting one single rock in 8th century. On arrival checkin to your hotel. Evening visit to the Dalai Lama Monastery. Meal Plan : Breakfast / Dinner
First we drive to Bhagsunag andage old Shiva temple. Till a few years aggo this temple was the only building in the area. With time the growth has taken over the area and many high rising structures have encroached the landscape. Tibetan Childrens Village is a schol run by the government of Dalai Lama and is the house of nearly 1500 orphans. Later we go to see St. Johns Church and then to Narbulingka Institute where you can see the Tibetan artists making paintings and sculptures.
In and around ShimlaDrive to Shimla is little long (7 hours) and all on the curvy roads. On arrival at Shimla check into your confortable hotel. This is the last hill station in the foothills on this trip. After this we shall constantly be moving uphill to enter the hidden valleys of the India Western Himalayas. Shimla came into existence after the Gurkha British wars in 1816. From then until 1947 the British used it at a holiday resort and then as their Summer Capital. Completely developed by the British Officers Shimla takes you back to the bygone era as the town is a Victorian and post Victorian architecture. Large number of buildings built by the Imperial government remain scattered and the climate of the town has a clear resemblance to Europe.
Shimla is a Walker's paradise. Many people coming to Shimla regret if they miss it, so we keep here two nights for you so that you can walk through the Heritage Lanes of Shimla with your guide. There are beautiful Churches, A Viceregal Lodge now called Institute of Advanced Study, Army Heritage Museum, Annandale Ground, Gaiety theater and of course The Mall road - a busy street but meant only for the pedestrians. Sumit - your todays Guide is an author of eight books, all about Shimla. His passion for town is the way of his life. Learn a lot from him abbout the past and present of this lovely hill station developed by the British officers.
The drive is through the Apple orchards, lush landscape and over Narkanda - a small but busy town at the elevation of 9000 feet. Early morning breakfast, Sarahan, a beautiful village surrounded by apple orchards and dominated by Shrikhand Mahadev Peak (5155 M/ 16,912 feet) which resembles the "Shivling." We visit the Bhimakali Temple, a wonderful mixture of Buddhist and Hindu architecture. It is very sacred to both communities. The idol of Goddess Bhimakali is approximately 200 years old.
In and around ChitkulChitkul is one place that is not to be missed on this trail. This is the last village in the valley of river Baspa and keeps amazing landscape with its temple of the village at the backdrop. Also known for the forests of pine and pinenuts Chitkul is still keeping the old charm of with its traditional lifesyle. You will see the locals in thier traditional attire an living in the age old wooden houses.The architecture of the houses collectively makes the village unique.
In and around KalpaLets have a little early breakfast and leave tof Kalpa. On tha way we shall visit village Batseri and village Kamru. The fort of Kamrunag is an attraction in itself. We reach Kalpa in 3 hours. After leaving the main road we follows the road to Kalpa but on the way in the crowded bazaar of Recongpeo we need to stop for obtaining the permits for the innerline area.
Kalpa is know for its elevation, toweing cedar trees and is apple orchards. We shall have at the Hotel garden and then proceed for a walk to village Rhogi. The village is located about three km away from Kalpa on old hindustan Tibet road. Village Rhogi is know for its age old temple with amazing woodwork on its walls. The driver meets us there in teh viilage and then we drive to the ancient and exquisite villages of Chini, Kothi, Pangi and Telangi. Make good use of your camera as the landscape and the architecture attracts you repeatedly.
In and around NakoThe village of Nako lies at an altitude of 3625 meters (11,893 feet), high above the last stretch of the Spiti Valley. It was once a very important center of Buddhism in the region. There are different small sized temples belonging to different periods between the 11th and 12th centuries distributed all over the village, including a monastic complex on its western edge. Boasting four temples and a number of additional buildings, this complex preserves the earliest artistic heritage. The austere and un ornamented exteriors of the buildings give little hint of the important artistic and religious legacy that lies within the walls.
In and around TaboToday we enter the Spiti Valley. Geographically and archeologically, Spiti is a living museum. The mountains are devoid of any vegetation due to erosion by wind, sun and snow over thousands of years. Our vehicles climb up to the village of Tabo (3050 M/ 10,006 feet). Built in the year 996 AD, the Chos Khor Monastery at Tabo is the largest monastery in Spiti and one of the few remaining examples of the Golden Period of Buddhist Culture in the Himalayan Region. The wall frescos of the monastery are comparable in their antiquity and quality to those of the Ajanta caves, hence they are called the Ajanta of the Himalayas. It houses more than 100 Lamas, a large number of scriptures and pieces of art, wall paintings, tankhas and stucco. We will reach Tabo for lunch. In the afternoon and evening we will visit the monastery and village.
In and around KazaRise early if you want to join the monks in morning worship at Tabo monastery (5 min walk through the village). After breakfast we drive to Kaza. On the way we shall visit Dhankar, the ancient capital of Spiti. Dankar Gompa (3800 M/ 12,467 feet) was built in the 12th century. This hilltop fort dominates the scene, and once served as a jail. It contains more than 160 scriptures of Lamas and Buddhists in the Bhoti language. A statue of Dhyan Buddha consisting of four complete figures seated back to back is the main attraction of this four to five century-old monastery. Unfortunately, the ancient Gompa, situated on the very edge of the peak, is deteriorating. Entering the interior may be restricted in the very near future. They have shifted the main monastery to a new complex at the entrance of the village. His Holiness the Dalai Lama inaugurated this temple in June 2004. Before we drive to Kaza, a detour to Peen Valley is strongly recommend for a photographer. Peen Valley was the sea bed of the ocean Tythes from where Himalaya rose up. Commonly known as Geologists paradise Peen valley is known for its amazing rock folds and Moonlike landscape. We continue our drive to Kaza. Lunch : Packed Lunch
Morning after breakfast we visit to Kye Monastery. Then drive to Village Kibber and Village Gete from where the view of Spiti Valley is just astounding. Afternoon drive to Langcha, Komic and Hikkim Villages. In all these Hikkim is the highest village (4587 meters) in the world that is connected by road, electricity, water and telephone. Please dont ask the beauty of the landscape here. We shall not be able to explain it in words.
In and around KeylongToday we are going to cross over the first highest pass of this journey Kaunzum La (4000 m). Over the pass we enter Lahaul Valley and drive along river Chandera. The road is rugged and rough with some of its stretch tarred. On the way we shall visit the temple of Raja Ghepan at Sisu. Just after that is Tandi where river Chandera is joined by River Bhaga and further on it become Chenaab. Kaylong is the headquarter of Lahaul Valley. In the evening we shall visit to Khardong Monastery known for making Thangka paintings.
Today we shall drive to Pattan Valley known for growing hops, the only place in India. Visit to Trilokinath temple where Hindus and Buddhists worship together and then to Udaipur. The temple of Mrikula devi in Udaipur is said to have been built by Pandawas. The woodcarving inside the tiny structure is just amazing.
In and around SarchuToday we drive over the second highest pass on the way. The view of snow capped Himalayan peaks from the pass is just. ON the way there is a place called Darcha. This village got buried under a land slip in 1976. The huge boulders are still laying as they fell on the village as they are too big to move. Overnight stay at Camp, tents with attached facilities. Sarchu is the first highest place where we are going to sleep above tree line. Some of you might suffer from lack of oxygen so used the oxygen cylinders that we carry.
In and around LehToday is going to be the longest drive but the most stunning landscape will come our way. Apart from the passes the other attraction today is Morey plain. This 45 kilometer long plateau used to be a lake in the past. The next major attraction of the route is Tanglang La Pass, the second highest motor able pass in the world. A short stopover for a click is must in this area.
To day we spend visiting the monasteries in and around Leh. Visit to Shey Palace, Thiksey Monastery Hemis Monastery and Stok Palace Museum. Hemis is the largest and the richest monastery of Indian Western Himalayas.
Fullday visit to Likir and Alchi Monasteries. Alchi is one of the oldest monasteries in this region and is known for its wood carvings.
Nubra Valley is one of the most beautiful valleys in the area. The major attraction of todays journey is the drive over Khardong La the highest motor able pass in the world (5600 m). Afternoon drive to Hunder to enjoy camel Safari on double humped Mongolian camel.
Drive to Leh that same way. Evening free to stroll in Leh Bazaar.
Morning transfer to the airport to board flight to Delhi. On arrival transfer to the hotel for wash and change. Later transfer to the International airport to catch flight to your next destination.