11 Days, 10 Nights
5-15 Oct 2024

The mighty Himalayas are home to some of India’s most spectacular hidden gems. Get off the beaten path with our insider guide, and discover this charming and visually stunning region. With over 20 years experience as a tour guide, Our Ekno guide invites you to share in the wonder and beauty of his home state. This tour has it all – quaint hill stations, serene tea plantations, heritage villages, Buddhist temples, breathtaking mountain views and a journey into the plains of the Punjab.

You will have the chance to experience two of India’s most diverse stations – Shimla and Dharamsala. Shimla is the picturesque capital of this North Indian state, and offers stunning mountain and valley views as well as fascinating British era architecture. In contrast, Dharamsala  is known as ‘Little Lhasa’ as it is the home of the Dalai Lama as well as the Tibetan Government in Exile. Finish the tour with a visit to Amritsar, home of the Golden Temple, Sikhism holiest shrine.

With an expert Ekno guide, who lives and breathes Himachal Pradesh, you are in safe and capable hands for the duration of the tour. As with all Ekno experiences, we select our hotels and locations with an eye on combining luxury and comfort into one fabulous experience. You will not only discover hidden experiences unique to India, but you can also relax safe in the knowledge that your security is foremost in our minds.


5-15 Oct 2024,

15-25 Apr 2025,

20-30 May 2025,

17-27 Jun 2025,

3-13 Oct 2025


A$3750 per person twin share
Single Supplement A$1650
* Fixed departure – price based on minimum 6 people
Independent Travels – Price on Application


11 days, 10 nights


  • Sights and wonders of Delhi
  • Travel to the hill station of Shimla on the world famous ‘toy train’
  • Tour and stay at a family-owned tea estate in Palampur
  • Heritage village of Pragpur, stay in a palatial country manor
  • Dharamsala, home of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in Exile
  • Visit the Golden Temple, Sikhism’s holiest shrine, in Amritsar







Day 1

Arrive Delhi

HiddenGems-003Welcome to incredible India and to the start of your holiday! Our representative will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. 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 guide will be on hand at the hotel if you need any assistance or recommendations.
Overnight: Hotel, Delhi
Day 2

Delhi to Shimla

Today we’ll rise and shine early for a quintessential Indian experience – travelling on the world-famous Indian Railways. Our driver will collect us from our hotel at 4am and we’ll set off for a day of eye-opening travel. We’ll take a train from North Delhi to Kalka before transferring to the narrow-gauge Kalka to Shimla Railway, known affectionately as the ‘toy train’. This route travels along a mountainous track with dramatic views of the hills and surrounding villages. The railway was built in 1898 to connect Shimla with the rest of the Indian rail system, and boasts a staggering 107 tunnels and 864 bridges. Sit back and enjoy the views and listen as our guide shares his knowledge of this beautiful part of the world. We’ll arrive in Shimla in the early evening in time for us to check into our hotel and go out for dinner.

Overnight: Hotel, Shimla

Day 3


HiddenGems-005This morning we’ll go on a heritage walk taking in the many sights of Shimla. Wander along the Ridge Maidan and Mall Road, pick up some crafts at Lakkar Bazaar, visit the Gaiety Theatre and marvel at the impressive neo-Gothic Christ Church. Shimla is one of the most popular hill stations in India, and with its stunning views, wide boulevards and mist covered mountains it’s easy to see why. The town is situated at an altitude of 2276 metres and was initially chosen as a sanatorium for invalid European officers, but soon developed into a large hill town and became the summer capital of the country during the British Raj. In the evening enjoy the jovial atmosphere of the town in one of the many Indian or international restaurants.

Overnight: Hotel, Shimla 

Day 4

Shimla to Palampur

HiddenGems-008After breakfast we will leave Shimla and travel by car Palampur (approximately 7 hours). Sit back and enjoy the beautiful views as we wind our way through the valleys and foothills of the mighty Himalayas. In the afternoon arrive at our unique eco accommodation in a local tea estate. After settling in you can relax at the lodge or take a walk through the estate, which has been run by the same family since the 1950s.

Overnight: Tea Estate, Palampur

Day 5

Palampur to Dharamsala

This morning we’ll take a bespoke tour of the tea estate, which was established in 1857 by the British. We’ll learn about the journey from shrub to teacup, try our hands at tea plucking and learn to taste like a tea sommelier.
In the afternoon we’ll travel by car to Dharamsala, known the world over as home to the Dalai Lama. We’ll drive through the scenic lower hills of Himachal Pradesh before reaching our accommodation at McLeodGanj, the home of Dalai Lama. We’ll spend the afternoon exploring McLeod Ganj, the hill station above Dharamshala, starting with a visit to the temple of His Holiness The Dalai Lama, the Namgyal Monastery. We’ll also visit the Tibet Museum and the Tibetan Houses of Parliament.

Overnight: Hotel, McLeodGanj

Day 6


 HiddenGems-013After breakfast, we’ll visit Naddi, a scenic local village, and home to our guide Vikas. Naddi offers a chance to meet with members of the Gaddi community and to experience quiet village life, with the added bonus of magnificent views of the Himalayas. After Naddi we’ll visit the Tibetan Children’s Village, a thriving educational community for Tibetan children living in exile. We’ll return to Norbulingka for lunch, and in the afternoon we’ll visit Norbulingka’s arts centre which preserves the work of Tibetan artisans.

Overnight: Hotel, McLeodGanj

Day 7

Optional - Day hike to Balh/Kareri Village or Leisure day

Today is a rest day. Explore the local area, revisit the Namgyal Monastery, or shop for souvenirs in McLeod Ganj. We can also arrange local bespoke experiences as optional extras.

Overnight: Hotel, McLeodGanj

Day 8

Dharamsala to Paragpur

After breakfast, we will travel by car to the heritage village of Pragpur (approximately 2 and a half hours drive). Upon arrival we’ll check into the palatial Judges Court Hotel. Spend the afternoon wandering the grounds and soaking up the atmosphere of this country manor.

Overnight: The Judges Court, Pragpur

Day 9

Paragpur to Amritsar

HiddenGems-016After breakfast we’ll drive down to the fertile plains of the Punjab. After checking into our hotel, we’ll visit Wagah for the closing of the border ceremony between India and Pakistan. This ceremony takes place every evening and involves a display of pomp and grandeur by the Indian and Pakistani border guards. Once it’s finished, we’ll head back to Amritsar where the rest of the evening is at your leisure. Enjoy a tasty dinner in one of the many Punjabi restaurants or take an evening stroll around the holy Sikh Golden Temple, which is open 24 hours a day.

Overnight: Hotel, Amritsar

Day 10

Amritsar to Delhi

This morning we will visit the Golden Temple to enjoy a quiet stroll through the inner corridors as the priests chant from the Sikh holy book. We will visit the langar hall, a massive free community dining room run entirely by volunteers. The Golden Temple langar can serve hot meals to up to 100,000 people a day.
In the early afternoon we will fly back to Delhi. The rest of the afternoon in Delhi is at your leisure to relax or shop for last minute souvenirs.

Overnight: Hotel, Delhi

Day 11

Tour End

Our tour concludes after breakfast. We will transfer you to the airport for your onward international or domestic flight.

We look forward to seeing you on another Ekno experience soon. Why not add on one of our extension tours so that you can see another exciting part of India, such as a trip to Udaipur and the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel or to the holy city of Varanasi?


Met on arrival at the airport by an Ekno representative

Services of an English-speaking guide for the duration of the tour

Local guides in Delhi, Shimla and Amritsar

11 nights’ accommodation with breakfast

All transfers and sightseeing by private AC vehicle as per the itinerary

Train (2nd class AC or AC chair class) from Delhi to Shimla

Domestic flight from Amritsar to Delhi

Entrance fees to all sites and monuments as per the itinerary

Himalayan tea tour and tea tasting in Palampur

Welcome and farewell dinners


Return airfares to India

Cost of Indian tourist visa (on arrival)

Lunches and dinners unless otherwise specified in the itinerary

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


Camera and video entry charges at local sights and monuments

Occasional optional items not identified in the itinerary description

Compulsory insurance of any kind

Village in Dhauladhar Valley
Prayer Wheels in Dharamsala, India