Choice of standard, first class, deluxe & luxury hotels with private bath/shower.
American breakfast daily.
Assistance by an ACTC representative at airport and hotels.
Local English Speaking Guide for each sightseeing tour.
Baggage handling and porterage.
Day to Day Program:
DAY 1 – AMRITSAR
Arrive in Amritsar, holiest city for the Sikhs. You will be greeted with a traditional Indian welcome and escorted to the hotel.
DAY 2 – AMRITSAR
Tour the Golden Temple. Initially a mud-house, constructed by Guru Amar Das, who issaid to have discovered a magical herb at the edge of the pool, which cured his master, Guru Angad’s skin ailment. The Amrit Sarovar remained a village tank until the fourth Guru Ram Das began to carry out his mentor’s plans for a permanent structure. Continue to Jalianwallah Bagh where a peaceful procession was led in 1919 and mercilessly attacked by the British Colonial forces. Tour the Wagah Border to witness the changing of the guards.
DAY 3 – AMRITSAR / DHARAMSHALA
Travel overland to Dharamshala, once home to the British soldiers. Today, the exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness The Dalai Lama resides
DAY 4 – AMRITSAR
Tour Mcleodganj (named after David McLeod, Lieutenant Governor of Punjab duringthe British Raj) established in the mid 1850’s, where the nomadic Gaddi tribe resided, tracing their ancestry to Alexander the Great. Visit the Dharamshala Monastery and walk around the small town. Tour the residence of the Dalai Lama, Museum and the library.
DAY 5 – AMRITSAR / KULU
Travel overland to Kulu. “Surely the Gods live here; this is no place for men”, wrote Rudyard Kipling of Kulu, India’s valley of the gods. Located in the charming Kulu Valley and set amongst the lower reaches of the mighty Himalayas, famous for its temples, apple orchards and the annual Dussehra festival.
DAY 6 – MANALI EXCURSION
Manali is located in northern Kulu Valley with numerous brooks, with the River Beasrunning through it. Proceed to Hadimba Temple. Goddess Hadimban plays a major part in Kulu’s annual festival. Tour the Tibetan Handicraft Center, Vashist Hot Springs, Rohtang Pass and the Manikaran Hot Water Springs.
DAY 7 – KULU / SHIMLA
Travel overland to Shimla, referred to by the British, the Queen of Hills, summer capital of India before independence. Placed in the lower ranges of the Himalayan Mountains, it is surrounded by pine, deodar, oak and rhododendron forests. Within the town are a host of splendid colonial edifices, quaint cottages and charming walks.
DAY 8 – SHIMLA
View the Victorian Gothic spire of Christ Church with its frescoes stained glass windowand murals with excellent views of the mountain ranges. Lakkar Bazaar is popular for its wood crafts and souvenirs. St. Michael’s Cathedral with fine stained glass has a cruciform design. State Museum houses a collection of Himachal Pradesh’s rich heritage. Exhibits include archaeological artifacts, carvings, paintings and sculptures. Indian Institute of Advanced Study, this English renaissance structure was the former Vice Regal Lodge.
DAY 9 – SHIMLA
Visit Kufri Skiing Resort and the Wild Flower Hall made famous by the India and Pakistan summit.
DAY 10 – SHIMLA / CHANDIGARH
Travel by train (British viceroy’s train) to Kalka. A journey made by the elite as well as royalty passing through the mountains. The rail has the grace and memories of an age when people traveled in leisure. Continue to Chandigarh by road, a beautiful city with its architectural marvels designed by the famous French architect Le Corbusier.
DAY 11 – CHANDIGARH
Visit Nek Chand’s Rock Garden and Rose Garden. Enjoy a boat ride on Sukhana Lake.Visit the Pinjore Gardens, private garden of Maharaja of Patiala.
DAY 12 – CHANDIGARH/DELHI
Depart by train to Delhi, reflecting the British legacy left behind. It is a division between New and Old Delhi, division between the British and Mughal capitals.
DAY 13 – DELHI
Visit the Red Fort with its Pearl Mosque and audience halls, marble domes, Jama Masjid, Mahatma Gandhi Memorial at Raj Ghat, Ashoka Pillar and the famous Chandni Chowk bazaar, once the shopping arcades of Mughal royalty.
Drive along Rajpath to photograph the Parliament House, President’s Palace and India Gate, a memorial to India’s soldiers.
See the Birla Mandir, Qutab Minar and ruins of the Hindu temples destroyed during the Qutabshahi era.
DAY 14 – DELHI / FLIGHT BACK HOME
Arrive home filled with wonderful memories of famous cities of British Raj.