Get off the beaten path and discover the charming and visually stunning region of Himachal Pradesh. The mighty Himalayas are home to some of India’s most spectacular hidden gems, including the natural wonder of the Great Himalayan National Park. Experience its beauty with a unique home stay in the Tirthan Valley where you can hike and marvel at the beautiful waterfalls, stunning forests and spectacular mountain views. Travel through heritage villages and across high passes before visiting to Shimla, known as the ‘queen of hill stations’. The picturesque capital of Himachal Pradesh offers stunning mountain and valley views as well as fascinating British era architecture.

As with all Ekno experiences, we select our hotels and locations with an eye on combining luxury and comfort into one fabulous experience. Discover India and relax safe in the knowledge that your security is foremost in our minds.

 

TOUR DATES

May-October 2020

TOUR COST

A$1790 per person twin share

A$650 per person single supplement

DURATION

09 Days, 08 Nights

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Explore the riverside temples and ghats in Mandi
  • Enjoy a unique home stay in the picturesque Tirthan Valley
  • Discover the beauty of the Great Himalayan National Park with a day hike
  • Experience Himalayan village life
  • Take in the sights of the stunning Kinnaur region, including the Jalori Pass
  • Visit the historical hill station of Shimla
  • Marvel at the scenery as you travel on the world-famous ‘toy train’

TOUR ROUTE

Delhi  – Chandigarh –  Mandi – Tirthan Valley – Great Himalayan National Park – Rampur – Shimla – Kalka – Chandigarh – Delhi
Day 1

Arrive Delhi

Welcome to incredible India! An Ekno representative will meet you and escort you to your hotel upon your arrival at the airport in Delhi. After checking into the hotel, spend the rest of the day at your leisure exploring the local area and soaking up the vibrant atmosphere. Our friendly guide will be on hand should you need any assistance.

Overnight: Hotel, Delhi

Day 2

Delhi-Chandigarh-Mandi

After breakfast, take an early morning flight to Chandigarh. Upon arrival in Chandigarh you will be met by a driver and driven to Mandi. Arrive in Mandi in the afternoon and settle into your hotel. In the early evening take a walking tour of Mandi bazaar and explore some of the ancient temples and ghats along the Beas River.

Mandi, formerly known as Mandav Nagar, is a major town in Mandi District in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Famed for its many temples dotted along the banks of the Beas River, it’s also known as ‘little Kashi’ after the holy Indian city of Varanasi.

Overnight: Hotel, Mandi

Day 3

Mandi-Tirthan Valley

After breakfast you will be driven to the picturesque Tirthan Valley. This unspoilt valley is home to traditional Himalayan villages, charming homestays, great walks and spectacular valley and mountain scenery. Your accommodation for the next two days is an inviting Himalayan home stay right in the lap of nature. Spend the rest of the day in the village experiencing and observing the traditional way of life.

Overnight: Home stay, Tirthan Valley

Day 4

Great Himalayan National Park

Today you will take an easy trek that explores the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP). The trek will follow the river along a steep sided and thickly forested trail. Walk to the scenic waterfalls and enjoy a picnic lunch before heading back to your home stay.

In the afternoon you can try your hand at trout fishing in the Tirthan River or head to the local market at Banjar village, known for traditional handmade woolens.

Overnight: Home stay, Tirthan Valley

Day 5

Tirthan Valley - Rampur via the Jalori Pass (3223m)

After breakfast you will be driven to Rampur, a bustling bazaar town and former winter capital of the Kinnaur district. This is a scenic drive that crosses the Jalori Pass and winds through Himalayan cider pine and conifer forests. At the high pass you will be able to stop and rest as you take in the wonderful views of the Himalayan mountain ranges. If the weather is good you will also be able to watch the Himalayan griffon vultures, the largest birds in the Indian Himalaya.

After checking into your hotel in the afternoon you will be able to visit the famous Bhimakali temple, dedicated to the goddess of Himalaya and built in the distinctive Kinnauri style. The rest of the evening is at your leisure.

Overnight: Government Tourist Bungalow, Rampur

Day 6

Rampur-Shimla

After breakfast you will be driven to Shimla. The drive starts off following the Sutluj River, one of the major rivers in Himachal Pradesh. Along the way you will stop for lunch in Narkanda, the main apple growing region of the Himalayas. After lunch take a drive through the scenic apple orchids before continuing to Shimla. Arrive in Shimla by late afternoon and check into your hotel.

Shimla is one of the most popular hill stations in India – and with its stunning views, wide boulevards and mist covered mountains it’s not hard to see why. The town is situated at an altitude of 2276 meters and was initially chosen as a sanatorium for invalid European officers, but soon developed into a big hill town and became the summer capital of the country during the British Raj. In the evening take a stroll along the Mall, a 7km traffic free stretch and the beating heart of the hill station. Enjoy the atmosphere and choose from the many restaurants along this strip for dinner or a nightcap.

Overnight: Hotel, Shimla

Day 7

Shimla

This morning you will be taken on a heritage walk that explores some of the many sights of Shimla. Wander along the Ridge Maidan and the Mall, pick up some crafts at Lakkar Bazaar, visit the historical Gaiety Theatre and marvel at the impressive neo-Gothic Christ Church.

The afternoon is free for you to explore the local area. You can take the steep hike up the Jakhu temple, thronging with monkeys; visit the bazaars for souvenir shopping or take it easy strolling along the Mall.

Overnight: Hotel, Shimla

Day 8

Shimla - Kalka - Chandigarh - Delhi

After breakfast you will take a trip on the World Heritage listed Kalka-Shimla Railway. Known as the ‘toy train’, this route travels along a mountainous track known for its dramatic views of the hills and surrounding villages. This railway was built in 1898 to connect Shimla with the rest of the Indian rail system. At the time of construction 107 tunnels and 864 bridges were built throughout the course of the track. Sit back and enjoy the journey from Shimla to Kalka which will take around 5 hours.

When you reach Kalka you will be transferred to Chandigarh for your ongoing flight to Delhi. Upon arrival in Delhi transfer to your hotel and spend the rest of the evening at your leisure.

Overnight: Hotel, Delhi

Day 9

Depart Delhi

After breakfast the tour ends. You will be transferred to the airport for your ongoing flight.

We look forward to seeing you on another Ekno Travels experience soon.

INCLUDES
6 nights’ accommodation with complimentary breakfast

2 nights’ homestay accommodation with all meals

Domestic Flights: Delhi to Chandigarh, Chandigarh to Delhi

Toy Train from Shimla to Kalka (or car if train is not available)

All transfers and transportation in AC Toyota Innova/Tempo Traveler or similar throughout the tour

Entrance fees to all museums and monuments

Local English-speaking guide for the duration of the tour

Met on arrival at Delhi airport

EXCLUDES
Return airfares to India

Cost of Indian tourist visa (on arrival)

Compulsory insurance of any kind

Lunch and dinner (unless otherwise specified)

Extra activities, optional items and transport not stipulated in the itinerary

Personal expenditure such as drinks (including bottled water), laundry service and souvenirs

Tipping

Donations

Great-Himalayan-National-Park2