Splendor Tour of North India
India is a vast country with varied cultures evident everywhere. Historically speaking India has been invaded by several intruders from various parts of the world and with their coming they brought their culture with them giving rise to a mixture of cultures and civilizations thereby giving some things to us and taking many things in return.
India being closer to central Asia we have had trade route for undertaking different trades, thereby providing a chance for people to people contact which gave birth to several cultures. This is why India is well known for its diversity and varied culture world over. Not only culture but also we can boast of having secular character in having people from almost every religion living in complete harmony with equal rights enshrined in the constitution.
Village life in India has been an attraction for several writers to depict the characteristics of Indian village life mostly pertaining to the tribes haling from remote areas of India with entirely a different culture. Such being the position thus provides a chance to the incoming people to India to experience the ground situation and in turn they carry an impression as a memory at a Glance.
- Day 01 : Delhi: Arrive Delhi.
Assistance on arrival and transfer to the hotel.
Overnight at the hotel (check in time is 1200 noon)
- Day 02 : Delhi - Leh (By flight):
Early morning transfer to airport to connect flight 9W
609 for Leh.
Dep. Delhi : 0540
Arr. Leh : 0655
Upon arrival check-in at hotel. Rest of the day at leisure to acclimatize. Overnight at the hotel.
- Day 03 : Leh:
Full day visit of :-
Spituk Monastery : 14 kms from Leh. The Spituk Monastery has a collection of 21 gold statues of Goddess Tara and a number of scroll paintings. Also visit the temple of Kali which has an interesting collection of masks.
Sankar : A relatively modern monastery. It is closely associated with the Spituk monastery and serves as the residence of the head priest Kushak Bakula. A number of gold icons are to be found here.
Overnight at the hotel.
- Day 04 : Leh
Full day visit of :-
Shey : Situated on a hillock 15 km upstream from Leh. It was once the residence of the Royal family. According to tradition, it was the seat of power of the pre-Tibetan kings. A 7.5 metre high copper statue of Buddha, plated with gold, and the largest of its kind, is installed here.
Thikshey : 19 Kms from Leh, spectacularly most impressive gompas. There are several temples in the gompa containing images, stupas and wall paintings of Buddha which are exquisite.
Hemis : 40 kms from Leh. It is the wealthiest, best known and biggest gompa of Ladakh Its popularity stems from the major annual festival held here in summer. The festival is also has the largest thanka in Ladakh which is unfirled once in 12 years. On these days hundreds of pilgrims will gather at hemis to pay their tribute and homage. Hemis was built in 1630 during the reign of Sengg Namgyal, an illustrious ruler of Ladakh. It flourished under the Namgyal dynasty for the royalty favored the Drukgpa Sect which managed the monastery. It is divided into tow, the assembly hall on the right and the main temple on the left. The hall, Dukhang, is also used as a green room by the dancers during the festival. The temple is known as Tshogkhang. The verandahs have a surfeit of frescoes, among them the Buddhist "Wheel of Life" and the "Lords of the Four Quarters" besides rows of prayer wheels.
Overnight at the hotel.
- Day 05 : Leh
Full day visit of :
Alchi : 70 Kms from Leh, on the banks of the Indus river, is the Alchi Gompa dating a thousand years back. One of its walls features thousands of miniature- sized pictures of the Buddha. Three large sized images made of clay and painted brightly are its focal attraction. No longer a active religions center, it is looked after by monks from Likir.
Likir : Founded in the 11th century AD and rededicated to a different monastic order in the 15th century AD, its earlier gompa was destroyed in a fire. The present Gompa dates back to the18th century. Skilled craftsmen producing excellent thankas, earthern pots and carved folding wooden stools, liver here in the village. Majestically situated, Likir commands a spectacular view.
Lamayuru Monastery : Situated at the altitude of 3800 meters between Fotu-la and Khalsi. As per the legend, in ancient times a lake covered this site. One day a Hermit predicted that there will be a monastery one day and he throws the grainof rice on the earth which automatically forms the shape of Swastika (Yundrung) from where the name comes (Yundrung Tharpaling Gompa), constructed by Rinchen Zangpo one of his 108 constructions. Monastery noted for the sect drigungpa. In the gallery see 35 Buddha painted on the wall. Chapel of Avlokiteshvara the 2 mtrs high image of him with 11 heads and 1000 heads.
In the principal building the traditional paintings of four Lokpals and wheel of life. The statue of Apchi Ihakhang, the goddess of drigungpa sect, the sculpture of Mahakala (Gonpo), Apuchi and Kubera the god of wealth and the interesting foom of gokhang. Overnight at the hotel.
- Day 06 : Leh
Full day visit of :-
Stock Palace : The last king died in 1974 but his widow continues to live here, their son continues the royal line and ascended the throne in July 1993. The palace is a rumbling building where only a dozen of the 80 rooms are used. The small palace museum is worth visiting. It is a showpiece for the royal Thangkas (many 400 years old), the crown, jewels, dresses, coins, pearls encrusted with turcoise and lapis lazulli as well as religious objects.
Also visit MATHO MONASTERY. Overnight at the hotel.
- Day 07 : Leh - Sarchu ( 253 Kms. / 8 Hrs.
) Leave by road for Sarchu, enroute stop for
photography and admire the natural beauty.Upon arrival
check in to the camp. Overnight in Tents.
- Day 08 : Sarchu - Jispa ( 125 Kms. / 5
Morning depart for Jispa. Overnight in Tent/hotel.
- Day 09 : Jispa - Manali ( 141 Kms. / 6
Hrs.) Leave by road for Manali. Overnight at
- Day 10 : Manali Full day visit of
Manali. Situated at the northern end of Kullu valley,
Manali has spectacular views of snow capped peaks and
wooded slopes. Manali offers marvellous walks through
dappled orchards and fairy tale forests of Deodar. You
will visit the Hidimbha Temple, standing tall among
the stately Deodars. This ancient temple with its
three level roofs looks like a pagoda and its lintel
and door frame are of intricately carved wood. The
market is crowded with interesting shops selling
Tibetan carpets and crafts. The village of Manali is 2
kms away across scented meadows and a quaint bridge
over the sparking stream.
Overnight at hotel.
- Day 11 : Manali - Dharamshala ( 253 Kms. /
8 Hrs. ) Leave by road for Dharamshala.
Arrive and check in to hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
- Day 12 : Dharamshala - Amritsar ( 199 Kms.
/ 6 Hrs. )
Dharamshala : The principal township of Kangra is a fascinating place. It is spread over a height difference of over 450 metres. Here you can see the Mcleod Ganj and Forsythe Ganj which retain the British flavour so peculiar to the towns of Himachal Pradesh. Here is also the residence of H.H. THE DALAI LAMA next to the monastery. The library at the school of Tibetan studies is treasure trove of manuscripts and texts on Tibet and its culture. There are several picuresque picnic spots here. In afternoon, depart for Amritsar. Upon arrival check in to hotel and Overnight.
- Day 13 : Amritsar - Delhi (Train)
Morning visit :- Amritsar : The city was founded by the fourth Sikh Guru Ram Das. While excavating the holy tank called the Pool of Immortality. This city is famous for the GOLDEN TEMPLE. The most sacred shrine of the Sikhs. Guru Arjun Dev built the temple and RanjitSingh, the Sikh ruler, enshrined the shrine and covered the doms with copper, overlaid with gold foil. The exterior walls are inlaid with precious stones and inside contains fine fillgree and gold inlay works. Also visit the Jalianwalan Bagh, Rambagh Gardens, Khalsa College, The Durgiana temple and Kashmir Emporium.
Afternoon visit Golden Temple. Later in the afternoon, transfer to railway station.
Dep Amritsar : 1705 Hrs
Arr Delhi : 2250 Hrs
Meeting upon arrival and transfer to hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
- Day 14 : Delhi
Morning proceed for the tour of : New Delhi : This city designed and built by the British in the 1920's - a city of wide boulevards impressive Government buildings, green parks and gardens. First you will visit two monuments from Delhi's past Humayun's Tomb and Qutub Minar. Then your drive takes you along the ceremonial avenue, Rajpath, past the imposing India Gate and Parliament House.
In the afternoon visit : Old Delhi : An ancient walled city. Here you will see Red Fort, the most opulent Fort and Palace of the Mughal Empire, Raj Ghat, the memorial site of the Mahatma Gandhi; Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India; and Chandni Chowk, the bustling and colourful market of the old city. Overnight at the hotel.
- Day 15 : Leave Delhi Depart by homebound flight