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Experience the spiritual essence and grand heritage of the holiest sites of the Sikh religion during the Hola Mohalla Festival. Add to your visit the landscapes of Himalayan hill stations and a visit to Rishikesh, the world capital of yoga.
Assistance on arrival at Amritsar airport followed by transfer to the hotel. Upon arrival, check in at the hotel.
In the evening you shall be met by your tour escort. Later you will be transferred to a nice local restaurant for welcome dinner (drinks not included).
Early morning visit to the Golden Temple, is the most sacred shrine for the Sikh religion. Originally built in the XVIIth century it has been rebuilt and remodeled several times, including its gilded work in gold which dates from 1830. It draws thousands of pilgrims everyday who come to bathe in the waters of its holy tank and witness the holy scriptures which are housed inside the temple. Once we finish our visit, we will return to the hotel to have breakfast.
After breakfast we will start our half-day city tour of Amritsar walking around the lanes, markets and houses of the old city. Our fist stop will be the Jallianwala Bagh, a public garden in Amritsar which features a memorial of national importance. We will continue our tour in the Tran Taran Sahib, one of the most important gurdwaras in the city.
In the afternoon we will drive to the Wagah Border and see the military ceremony of "lowering of the flags" that is performed every day. Finally, we will cap it off with an unforgettable dinner with an authentic Sikh family, where we will learn about their culture and daily life.
In the morning we will make a second visit to the Golden Temple participating in community work at the temple's kitchen. The Langar or free kitchen was started by the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak. It is designed to uphold the principle of equality between all people regardless of religion, caste, colour, creed, age, gender or social status. For centuries this has become an institution where hundreds of people sit on the floor together to eat the same simple food, creating the largest banquet on Earth.
We will then start our drive to Farm Stay Punjabiyat. Experience the life of farmers in this peaceful place set amidst vast blooming green fields and crisscrossed by long canals. There is a wide range of activities you can take part in, such as helping the farmers with their crops, visiting a dairy farm, cycling the countryside or riding tractors and ox-pulled carts.
|Amritsar → Punjabiyat||2h|
Today we will drive across the Dhauldar Range to the legendary hill station of Dharamshala. One of the most colorful Buddhist cities in India, Dharamshala is the residence of the Dalai Lama and the head of the Tibetan Government in Exile.
In the afternoon we will enjoy of a short walk of Dharashala, visiting the home of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. We will also have a private meeting with one Buddhist monk, where we will learn about the impact of Buddhist in the region.
In the evening we will have free time to explore its picturesque lanes and hunt for some treasures in its excellent shops and markets: thangka paintings, singing bowls, bronze-cast sculptures, wood-carved masks and much more.
|Punjabiyat → Dharamshala||4h|
We will start our day with a meditation and yoga session. This session features active and sitting-down meditations that are based on simple techniques drawn from the rich spiritual traditions found in Buddhism, Hinduism, Tantra, Sufism, Gurdjeff's fourth school and Osho's school. These meditations will be presided over by experts and are specially designed to rejuvenate your inner self and encounter peace. Once we finish we will enjoy breakfast at the hotel.
We will then start our full-day city tour of Dharamshala. Our first stop on the route will be the Norbulingka Institute, which provides training, education and employment for Tibetans, supporting an environment in which Tibetan community and family values can flourish. We will continue to the Tibetan Children Village, a renown educational community for destitute Tibetan children in exile, as well as for hundreds of those escaping from Tibet every year. Next stop is the Men Tsee Khang, also known as the Tibetan Medical and Astro Institute, where we will meet a Buddhist doctor-astrologer.
Once again we will spend our evening walking around and taking advantage of the great shopping possibilities at the local market.
After breakfast at the hotel, we will drive to Dharamkot Village the starting point for our day trek to Triund. It is a steep ascent of around 4-5 hours to reach Triund. Those who prefer a more gentle hike can walk only up to Magic View Cafe and then walk back. From Triund we will have a close view of the peaks of Dhauladhar on one side and the Kangra Valley on the other. We will take a packed lunch and enjoy it at the top of the valley as we enjoy the awe-inspiring views.
We will walk back on the same trail to Dharamkot which takes about 3-4 hours. At the bottom of the hill, your transportation will be waiting for you to drive you back to the hotel in Dharamshala.
We will leave Dharamshala behind and drive to Anandpur Sahib., one of the five holiest cities of Sikhism and where its last two great gurus lived.
En route we will make a visit to the Kangra Fort, the largest fort in the Himalayas and probably the oldest fort in all India, with mentions in the war records of Alexander the Great. Then we will head for the Gurudwara Kesh Garh Sahib, a stunning Sikh temple set on a hill. It was here where Sikhism first incorporated baptism to their tradition, a fundamental difference with the other religions in the sub-continent. Our last stop will be the Kila Gobind Garh, another small fort built up on the hill which also houses an important Gurudwara.
|Dharamshala → Anandpur Sahib||3h 30min|
Today we will drive to Keeratpur Sahib to continue our visit of Sikism's holy sites. We will start with the Gurudwara Charnkaval, where master Guru Nanak visited and meditated. Next on the list is the Gurdwara Patal Puri, where the sixth master was cremated.
We will come back to Anandpur Sahib and take part in the festival of Holi. The Festival of Colors is India's most famous festival and celebrates the triumph of good over evil and the arrival of spring. Thousands of persons take on the streets to joyfully throw powdered paint and water at each other, ending up completely dyed in swirls of color. The Hola Mohalla is the Sikh adaptation of this festival, it is celebrated over three days and retains the character of fun and enjoyment that Holi has always embodied. In addition to that, it is also a community festival that brings people together in an atmosphere of sharing and caring.
After breakfast, we will commence our drive to Anandpur Sahib to see the majestic Hola Mohalla in full swing. The Nihags, a legendary Sikh warrior clan, organizes a procession where they dress up with their traditional attire displaying their most treasured weapons, massive turbans and decorated horses. The street procession travels around the city reaching Charn Ganga stadium, where Nihags show their skills in mock fights and horse riding competitions. Soon you will notice a beautifully decorated horse that nobody dares riding: it is believed to be the horse of the spirit of the tenth master. After a full day soaking the colors and atmosphere of Hola Mohalla, we will go back to our hotel for a deserved rest.
We will leave Anandpur Sahib and commence the drive to Chandigarh, one of the most important cities in the state of Haryana. Here we will visit Zakir Hussain Rose Garden, which features 1600 different species of roses and is Asia's largest rose garden. Our next stop will be the Rock Garden, a unique venue designed by the celebrated artist Nek Chand which features stunning modern sculptures and installations built from waste material.
Once we arrive at Chandigarh, in the afternoon, we will make a short walk around Sector 17, the city's most lively market and shopping bazaar.
|Anandpur Sahib → Chandigarh||3h|
We will leave the state of Punjab behind and drive to the city of Haridwar in Himachal Pradesh. Haridwar is considered one of the four holiest cities in hinduism as it is considered the start of the great Ganges River.
After exploring the colorful lanes of the old city, we will walk to the ghats of the Ganges River to witness the Ganga Aarti ceremony. The Ganga Aarti is celebrated at 7pm every night and is a spectacular event performed simultaneously in all the temples of the city. It is one of the most beautiful rituals in India and its devotion in Haridwar is matched by few cities, offering glimpses of faithful hindus making offerings and bathing in the river waters, with views of a seemingly inifinte string of ghats with sunset as the backdrop.
|Chandigarh → Haridwar||6h|
This day starts with a half-day city tour of Haridwar. Our first stop will be Hari Ki Pauri, the city's holiest ghat where hindu devotees go to bathe in the waters of the Ganga River. This will give us a completely different experience from the night before as we will have time to witness the comings and goings of flocks of pilgrims that visit the ghat during the day. Then we will visit the Mansa Devi Temple, which is accessed via a cable car, and the Dakshewar Mahadev Temple in the neighboring town of Khankal.
After exploring the Shantikunj Ashram in Haridwar, we will drive north to the holy city of Rishikesh. This city is known as the world capital of yoga and it was also where The Beatles were stationed in many of their Indian travels. Here we will go for a short meditation hike. In this activity you will be able to walk amidst beautiful mountain landscapes, as you breathe the clean air and practice meditation techniques with an experienced teacher, concluding with a yoga class on top of the hill.
|Haridwar → Rishikesh||45min|
We will start the day with a yoga and meditation session in Rishikesh.
After breakfast, we will enjoy of a full-day city tour of Rishikesh starting in Triveni ghat, the largest bathing ghat in the city. We will then explore the area around the Lakshmanjhula Bridge, lined with restaurants and shops that offer a wide range of indian handicrafts, jewellery and gems. Next is the neighborhood of Swarg Ahsram, which is famous for the Ramjhula Bridge and home to the city's most famous ashram, Parmarth Niketan, where the International Yoga Festival is held every year. After a brief visit to Sivananda Ashram, we will head back to the Lakshmanjhla area making a stop at the 13-storey Tera Manzil Temple.
After breakfast, we will enjoy rafting adventure tour (3h duration). Today you will have chance to take a dip in holy waters of Ganges River on a white water rafting excursion. You will be provided raft and equipment and a safety briefing. Ride the river rapids as you delight on stunning views of the mountains covered with trees and white-sand river banks. We will crown this adventure with a tasty lunch right on one of the beaches along the river.
In the afternoon we will drive back to Haridwar's railway station to board the train to Delhi. Arrival and transfer to the hotel for the night.
|Rishikesh → Haridwar||45min|
|Haridwar → Delhi||5h|
Enjoy a full-day tour of Old Delhi. Our discovery of India's capital starts with a visit to the 350-year old Jama Masjid Mosque. From there, we will ride a rickshaw around the narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk one of the most colorful markets bustling with crowds. The ride ends at the Red Fort for a quick photo stop from outside.
Then we will experience a Cooking Class at Tastesutra cooking studio. Tastesutra is a hands-on cooking studio offering cultural cooking classes. They believe that anyone can cook and look forward to offering you the opportunity to cook, create, crave and cherish food in a way like never before. This experience will also give you a chance to understand Indian society and how diverse Indian culture is. This experience will show you the basic ingredients of Indian cuisine and how to source them in a local market, along with a hands-on cooking Indian session and a tasty lunch of the recipes you created in class.
In the afternoon we will make a visit to Dilli Haat, an open-air food plaza and crafts bazaar offering jewellery, paintings, fabrics, saris, pottery, furniture, and food from across the country. We will close the day volunteering at the largest community kitchen in the world located inside Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, the city's most important Sikh temple. The food is freshly prepared and comprises of Parshaada (roti), Cooked Vegetables, Daal, Kheer, Karaha Prashad.
After breakfast and check out from the hotel, you will be transferred to the airport to connect with your onward flight.
|Prices per person||4 pax|
|1 Mar 2019 - 31 Mar 2019||$2695||$2325|
We had a great trip, thank you all for the attention to detail. We had a small group that you took great care to assure our experience was 5* and first rate. The entire journey was a vibrant assault to the senses throughout. We will definitely recommend your services to our friends and fellow travelers.
Everything has been excellent. It is one of our best trips. If we come back we will be with you.
Everything was excellent. The staff was professional. It was an amazing experience. The level of details was exceptional. I will ""with pleasure"" be a reference. Thank you for creating a memorable experience. I will be back.
It was a first class experience, truly exceptional service, always great. The tour briefing was thorough and very helpful. Staff was very professional, efficient and courteous. Thanks for arranging Glutton free meals for us.