Himalayan Foothills Amritsar to Shimla

At a Glance


Our Himalayan Foothills Tour features The Golden Temple, Dharamsala and Shimla, travels via Amritsar to Dharamsala, through the Kangra Valley to Shimla. If you’re looking for a travel experience that has all the quintessential Indian elements plus a whole lot of surprises, this north Indian circuit is for you. Think spirituality and shopping, bustle and solitude, leisure and adventure.

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We start at historic New Delhi, India’s capital city that has retained its colonial and Mughal influence while embracing modernity. Marvel at the turn-of-the-century buildings and even older monuments (Red Fort, India Gate, Qutb Minar, Jama Masjid). Or else, follow the wafting aroma of kebabs and parathas in the bylanes of the old city. Or still, else, shop at hip boutiques or go bar hopping. A city with many worlds.

The Golden Temple is Amritsar’s chief attraction. It is the holiest place of worship in the Sikh faith and a monument that, just like the Taj Mahal, has to be seen to be believed. The Ram Bagh garden inside the Summer Palace is a sight to behold. For a more sombre experience, pay a visit to the Jallianwalan Bagh memorial. Of course, no tour of Amritsar is complete without indulging in some hearty Punjabi food served with oodles of love (and butter).

From the plains of Punjab, it’s on to the lofty peaks of Himachal Pradesh. The first stop is Pragpur, India’s only heritage village. Its cobblestone streets, slanting roof houses and, of course, views of the lush Kangra valley make Pragpur as pretty as a picture, which is just as well, because this place is also home to the Kangra School of Painting.

You then head 65km north of Pragpur to Dharamsala, the seat of the Dalai Lama in India. Depending on the mood you’re in, visit the monastery or the market. Or both. Or neither: Many trekking expeditions also begin from Dharamsala.

Sweating it out isn’t your cup of tea? Have a leisurely drink in any case at the next stop Palampur. Dotted with tea estates and gardens, Palampur is presided over by the magnificent Dhauladhar (literally, white ranges) mountains. Nearby attractions include Bir-Billing, which is the hang gliding capital of India, and Andretta, an artists’ village famous for its blue glazed pottery.
The winding roads then take you to Himachal Pradesh’s capital Shimla, which was also the summer capital of the British. The Raj influence is still apparent in many of its monuments. Enjoy the buzz of the town, or take quiet little walks through the pines.

Then it’s back to where it began, Delhi, with a lot of memories and a little piece of India in your heart.


Starting from £2912.00

International flights & VIP meet at aircraft door included - more Special Value inclusions listed below



Tel: 0207 931 8273


MOBILE: 07823 777 948



Depart you chosen airport today bound for Delhi, arriving tomorrow.

DAY 02 – ARRIVE DELHI – Colonel’s Retreat
Arrive in Delhi today. VIP meet at the aircraft door, assistant through baggage control, then outside the airport to meet our local representatives, where you will be met at the arrivals door then transferred to your hotel.  Rest of the day is at leisure to relax after your flight.

DAY 03 – DELHI TO AMRITSAR (B) – Ranjit’s Svaasa
Fly to Amritsar (or you have the option of taking a train if preferred). On arrival check-in at the hotel. Evening visit Golden Temple for Palki ceremony. The palki sahib ceremony takes place twice daily, at night and in the morning. The Palki sahib ceremony is when the holy book Guru Granth Sahib is carried to a locked room for night stay. This is a symbolic gesture and to keep the holy book safe each night.

Visit Jalianwala Bagh and afternoon witness the flag closing ceremony at Wagah Border. Later you travel back to Amritsar, then at leisure.

An optional experience this evening is what can only be described as mobile dinner*. This was mentioned in the TV Food series A Cook Abroad – ‘Tony Singh’s India’ – your driver and guide will take you around the street food locations of Amritsar by car. Let us know if you would like this to be included in your tour.

DAY 05 – AMRITSAR TO PRAGPUR (B) – Judges Court Country Hotel
Drive to Pragpur (4 Hrs) On arrival check-in at the hotel.

Explore the local village today.

Drive to Dharamshala (1.5 Hrs) On arrival, check-in at the hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure

Full day private guided tour visiting Dalai Lama Temple, Bhagsu Nag Temple, Norbulingka Institute and Kangra State Museum. Evening free walk in Mcleodganj market.

Drive to Palampur (1 Hr). On arrival, check-in at the hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure to relax, take a walk around the local area.

DAY 10 – PALAMPUR TO SHIMLA (B) – Clarkes Heritage Hotel
Drive to Shimla (5 Hrs). On arrival, check-in at the hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure

Today we will take a guided tour of Shimla, taking in the Viceregal Lodge. After the tour of this impressive building visit a Hindu Temple containing shrines to the many and various Hindi gods.

After lunch, we will enjoy a leisurely stroll back along the Mall to Scandal Point. En-route, it may be possible to have a quick look inside the Gaiety Theatre, or find a spot for refreshments while viewing snow-capped Himalayan peaks (if the weather is clear).

Today is at leisure to relax and explore on your own. Your driver is at your disposal for local drives. Optional Extra: A full day trip to Kufri and Chail with Packed Lunch

DAY 13 – SHIMLA TO DELHI (B) – Pride Plaza Aerocity
Enjoy the Toy Train ride down to Kalka where you will join your train back to Delhi. Arrive Delhi late night and transferred to the hotel, then at leisure.

Today India bids you farewell with your transfer to the international terminal

Golden Temple, Himalayan Foothills Dharamsala and Shimla


Special Value

  • When you book this tour we will give you a gift a DVD film called ‘Mystic India.’
  • International flights included
  • VIP meet at aircraft door on arrival
  • Useful gift is given to you on arrival
  • Private arrival and departure transfers
  • Private car & driver for all road transfers
  • Snack Hamper, with juice and water in your private car
  • Mobile phone to use while in India to keep in contact with our local office and your driver
  • Meals as per itinerary (BB = breakfast) (FB = breakfast, lunch & dinner)
  • Private guide for sightseeing in all major cities
  • Entrances to all monument and places of interest included
  • Visit the Golden Temple
  • See the charity kitchens at the Golden Temple complex
  • Dine with devotees at the Golden Temple complex
  • Evening Palki ceremony at the Golden Temple
  • Visit Jalianwala Bagh in Amritsar
  • Flag closing ceremony at India-Pakistan Wagah Border
  • Full day Mcleodganj visit in Dharamshala
  • See the Norbulingka Institute keeping Tibetan crafts alive
  • Visit Viceregal Lodge in Shimla
  • Enjoy the Mall and Scandal Point Shimla
  • See the Gaiety Theatre in Shimla
  • Optional trip to Kufri and Chail
  • Enjoy the Toy Train from Shimla to Kalka

Our Tour features the following locations

DELHI: The largest mosque, the biggest temple, honky auto-rickshaws; it’s easy to distinguish Delhi. The city has been at the centre of the Indian civilisation for centuries and a major seat of power ever since the Mughals built their capital here. Modern Delhi presents a mix of colonial-era architecture, Mughal forts, and mausoleums, ancient bazaars, glitzy malls and world class restaurants. It often feels overwhelming, but given a chance, it always grows onto you. Be sure to visit Humayun’s Tomb, a 16th-century Mughal wonder inspired by the iconic Taj Mahal and Lodi Gardens, the best spot for sunsets in Delhi. There’s also the Hauz Khas Village, a throbbing hub that gained popularity with its Open Nights when those narrow alleys are transformed into cultural wonders, adorned with lights and decorated with streamers. There really is no better place to discover Delhi’s rich culture and mingle with its locals.

AMRITSAR: The cultural centre of the Sikhs, Amritsar burst onto the international scene with the Golden Temple, a gilded wonder that has become a modern-day symbol of equality and brotherhood. The city is literally split into two – a beautiful old town with fascinating bazaars and medieval gates and a chaotic new city full of colonial boulevards, glittery hotels, and posh restaurants. Amritsar is also home to the humbling Jallian Wala Bagh massacre site.

WAGAH BORDER: Wagah, an army outpost on India-Pakistan border – between Amritsar and Lahore, is an elaborate complex of buildings, roads and barriers on both sides. The daily highlight is the evening “Beating the Retreat” ceremony where you see Indian and Pakistani forces participating in a daily flag lowering ceremony, an experience worth savouring.

PRAGPUR: The Kangra Valley, where Heritage Village Pragpur is located, is panoramic and replete with history. It is the home of the famous Kangra school of painting and probably the world’s – most certainly India’s – oldest ruling lineage comes from here.

DHARAMSALA: The perfect place to rediscover spirituality, Dharamsala hosts the monastery of Dalai Lama and the largest Tibetan temple outside Tibet. Lower Dharamsala, the spot where your bus rolls in, is a tiny, dusty market town, and it isn’t until you reach McLeod Ganj and Upper Dharamsala, that you realise how beautiful this place really is. It attracts thousands of pilgrims each year, countless volunteers and idle tourists who are looking for meditation retreats, yoga enclaves or simple mountainside experiences. The best thing to do here is to lose yourself in those market squares, interacting with maroon-robed monks, travellers and nuns. For something more adventurous, climb the hill to Triund or take a stroll to the Bhagsu Waterfall.

PALAMPUR: Palampur is the tea capital of north-west India. Set on the rising slopes of Kangra Valley before they merge with the Dauladhar ranges. But tea is just one aspect that makes Palampur a special resort. Taragarh Palace located just 12km from the town. An abundance of water and proximity to the mountains has endowed it with a mild climate. The town has derived its name from the local word “pulum’, meaning lots of water. Palampur was a part of the local Sikh kingdom and later on came under the British rule.

SHIMLA: The capital of Himachal Pradesh is everything you’d expect from a bustling Himalayan town. It has a penchant for presenting some of the best weather in the country and awe-inspiring scenery which attracts visitors from far and wide. The Mall Road, Shimla’s main street, is home to a bustling bazaar, incredible car-free experiences and maze-like alleys that are full of colonial-era relics. For a unique adventure, head over to Jakhoo Hill, the highest point of Shimla. The place really does have some of the most stunning views of the surrounding peaks and pastures. Sunrise and sunset views of Scandal Point are equally amazing. Adventure lovers cannot miss out on Kufri and Chadwick Falls either.

What our clients say

Thank you for arranging such a memorable tour for us both. We enjoyed each hotel you recommended and the cities we visited on your Himalayan Foothills tour. Some long drive but you did warn us about that and thank you for the suggestion of Chai stops. You were right the locals are very surprised to see foreign tourist drinking at roadside chai stalls.

Graham & Pauline – Cambridge


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