Buddhist Circuits on The Himalayan Foothills
THE TOUR AT THE GLANCE
Buddhism is a world religion, which arose in and around the ancient Kingdom of Magadha (now in Bihar, India) and is based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautam who was deemed a "Buddha”. Buddhism spread outside of Magadha starting in the Buddha's lifetime. With the reign of the Buddhist Mauryan Emperor Ashoka, the Buddhist community split into two branches – first is Mahasamghika and the second is Sthaviravada, each of which spread throughout India and split into numerous sub-sects. In modern times two major branches of Buddhism exist – the Theravada in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia and the Mahayana throughout the Himalayas and East Asia.
This wonderful itinerary guide you through the highlights of northern India, taking in the Punjabi capital of spiritual Amritsar, the heights of Shimla and some of Northern India's most famous cities. Over the 12 fantastic nights you’ll also get the chance to explore the colonial city of Delhi and slightly off the beaten track this is a fantastic itinerary allows you to explore both the highlights and hidden secrets Buddhist circuits of the Himalayan Foothills.Exploration the Buddhist sectors of the Himalayan foothills. Dharamshala, home to the Dalai Lama and a community of exiled Tibetans, both rank high on a trip through the Indian Himalaya, next it’s off to the old British Summer Capital of Shimla, where hill treks and colonial architecture awaits. The last leg of the journey is Rishikesh, the world capital of yoga, where you can enjoy the outdoors and practice inner contemplation. The tour continues to the city of Agra: home to the iconic TajMahal; then to Jaipur: the “Pink City” of India with rich royal and cultural heritage evident through the city’s magnificent forts, palaces and other monuments; the tour ends at Delhi.
EXPERIENCES AND VISITS IN THIS TOUR JOURNEY
- In the holy city of Amritsar, learn about the city’s legendary tales, pay a visit to the iconic Golden Temple with the golden dome, watch the beating retreat ceremony at Wagah Border.
- Take a guided tour of Dharamshala, a pocket of Tibetan culture in the foothills
- Meet with monks chanting and interact with them.
- Explore the beautiful section of the Palampur area.
- Visit major monasteries of this area.
- Escape from the hustle-bustle of routine life and rejuvenate at the foothills of Himalaya in Shimla amidst dense forest, snow-capped mountains and spectacular scenery.
- See Shimla’s Viceregal Lodge, once the summer home of the leader of the British Raj
- Possibility to take the famous Shimla toy train up to Kalka; the line is a UNESCO world heritage site.
- Discover Mughal Empire’s history at the stunning architectural ruins of Agra: the city of the world-famous monument of love - TajMahal.
- Spend time exploring the spectacular monuments of Jaipur displaying fine and ornate work of art and architecture seen nowhere else such as Amer Fort, HawaMahal and City Palace.
- Explore renowned World Heritage Sites worth visiting for its splendid architecture and history in Delhi
VIEW FULL ITINERARY
Upon arrival in Delhi, you will be welcomed by our representative and escorted to your hotel.
Take the morning Shatabdi Express to Amritsar with breakfast on board.
Amritsar which literally translates as "his pool of nectar" is a flourishing city and religious centre in the state of Punjab. The city is considered to be most sacred for the Sikh religion and many pilgrims come to have a divine bath in the pool of nectar at the Golden Temple. Also an important political city where in 1947 the separation of India and Pakistan created a long white line known as the Wagah Border between the two neighbors.
Later in the evening visit the grounds surrounding the Golden Temple and take an orientation walk of Amritsar.
OR explore the Old City Bazaar in Amritsar-visiting the market area for a great experience.
Early morning - witness the religious ceremony at Golden Temple where the holy book - Granth Sahib - is read and worshipped each day.Return to hotel for breakfast.
Later, visit JallianwalaBagh - a memorial that holds utmost national and historical importance since itcommemorates those who passed away in the terrifying massacre that took place in 1919. Visit the Rambagh Gardens surrounding the summer palace of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and now a museum.
Afternoon proceed to the Wagah Border- Wagah Boarder to watching flag closing ceremony at Indo – Pak Boarder at Wagah Boarder, where you will see live show of evening flag closing ceremony by the both country as India and Pakistan.
Optional: SaddaPind Village- it showcases the lifestyle in a pre-Independence Punjabi village. Just like in a PIND (Village), each house features the life of a rural artisan within authentic rustic interiors and celebrates their work.
Today, travel along Himalayan mountain roads to the famous seat of the home of the Dalai Lama. "Dharamshala" translates to "a spiritual dwelling" for pilgrims and travelers. It is a beautiful former British hill station situated in the snow-capped mountains of Himachal Pradesh, in the foothills of the Dhauladar ranges. A popular pilgrimage site, the town is filled with temples, markets, galleries and gathering places.
Today, you will visit the Main Monastery and current residence of Dalai Lama and take a tour of the Norbulingka institute dedicated to preserving the Tibetan culture. Also visit the Kangra Art Museum and take a short hike to Bhagsunag. The Dalai Lama Temple Complex (also known as Tsuglakhang Temple) is a beautiful and peaceful place located in upper Dharamshala. Decorated with colorful prayer flags, prayer wheels and art works, it is perfect for long serene walks, reflection or meditation with chanting monks.
Afternoon you will visitMcLeodganj is not just the place for Budhhist temples and monasteries. It also offers meditiationcentres, yoga centres and adventure sports that you can indulge in. Here are some of the most popular things to do. Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts- The Dalai Lama. This is one of the leading cultural institutes where traditional Tibetan dance, music, culture , art and folk opera takes place. Travelers from across the world enjoy cultural shows at TIPA. Visit a Neo-Gothic Church Complex- Built in 1852, the Church of Saint John in the Wilderness boasts neo-gothic architecture set against an alpine forest backdrop Standing amidst a grove of old Deodars not far from the hustle and bustle of McLeod Ganj’s Main Square, the stone structure offers visitors a tranquil glimpse at neo-gothic architecture from the mid-nineteenth century. Dharamkot village-Dharamkot village offers visitors a true sense of peace of mind. A short walk of ride from McLeod Ganj, Dharamkot is a beautiful village set amidst a towering deodar forest and backed by the breathtaking Dhauladhar range.
Evening Meditate at Gyuto Monastery is located approximately 9 kilometers south east of Dharamsala on the Palampur-Dharamsala road. It’s a very important monastery in Buddhist heritage as it is a premium tantric college. This is a beautiful place to visit in order to relax and meditate. The sheer beauty along with the peace and quiet of this monastery is sure to calm anyone. It’s a place one must visit to experience it and is a sure qualifier for things to do in Dharamsala. You can meet with monks chanting and interact with them.
Optional:Try Thukpa and Momos in Dharamshala
Today, travel to Mandi, enroute visiting
Palampur: is a beautiful hill station and, we are gonna list things to do in Palampur to make it memorable for you. At the foot of the picturesque Dhauladhar mountain range,Visit Tashi Jong monastery-This monastery, a place of residence for Tibetan refugees, is a beautiful structure. The monastery is a serene and peaceful place and from here you can enjoy the breathtaking view of the Kangra valley.Baijnath temple-it is one of the most beautiful temples. It has a unique architectural design reminiscent of that of the Jagannath temple in Puri.
BirBilling: list of Buddhist monasteries in Bir which can help you explore the less adventurous but more peaceful side of this small town. Visit Choukling Monastery-also known as Pema Ewan ChokgyurGyurme Ling, was established in Bir under the supervision of the third NetenChokling Rinpoche in 1960s. The monastery complex is home to many stupas, temples, and hostels for monks. Nyingyang Monastery-PalpungSherabling Monastery was established in 1977 to serve as an institute of higher Buddhist studies. If time will permit you can visit other 5 monasteries in Bir Billing area.
Again drive to Rewalsar- On arrival at one of the beautify full Buddhist destination of Himachal you will visit Drikung Kagyu Gompa- Painted red and purple, this Tibetan-style Buddhist monastic academy for Buddhist monks has a central temple that features a large, central Sakyamuni statue, with Padmasambhava to the left. It's on the lake's southeastern corner.ZigarDrukpaKargyud Institute- A short detour uphill from the lake en route to the giant statue, this three-storey complex is a Buddhist study centre with outsized statues of Tantric protectors in its temple. Continue drive to Mandi, arrive and check in at Hotel.
Today, Travel by road to Shimla, arrive and check in at Hotel.
Enjoy a visit to the former residence of the British Viceroy of India and learn about the reign of the British Raj in India. The Vice regal Lodge houses a collection of articles and photographs dating back to the time of British rule.
Visit the Jakhu Hanuman Statue -A 108ft (33m) vermillion-pink statue of monkey-god Hanuman pokes his head above the treetops on Shimla’s highest hilltop.
Evening visit The Ridge and the Mall (downtown area) as also learn about the everyday life of the local in the area.
In the morning transfer to take the Heritage-listed toy train from Shimla to Kalka.
Upon arrival meet and connect train to Delhi. Arrive Delhi and transfer to Hotel.
Today, Travel by road to Agra to witness the architectural wonder of the golden age of Mughals. Upon arrival, check in at hotel.
In the afternoon you will visit the mythical red fort of Agra (UNESCO), symbol of the power and artistic influence of the Mughal dynasty standing on the banks of the Yamuna, a tributary of the Ganges.
Visit the incredible TajMahal by sunset (UNESCO), a white marble mausoleum built by the Mughal emperor ShâhJahân in memory of his favorite wife, MumtazMahal, whose construction contains a thousand and one extraordinary stories.
OptionalEvening - witness the musical show MohabbatTheTajdepicting the story of love between the emperor ShâhJahân and his wife MumtazMahal who motivated the construction of the TajMahal.
Today, travel by road to Jaipur, en route visit FatehpurSikri (UNESCO), a remarkably preserved red sandstone fortress, which was the ephemeral capital of Emperor Akbar. Visit the Great Mosque, with the tomb of Sheikh SalimChishti, the Jewel House also called Diwan-i-Khas (audience hall) containing the pillar of Akbar and the giant chessboard. Abhaneri – Visit of Chand Baori is one of Rajasthan's most spectacular baori (step-wells). It is believed to have been built by King Chand, a local Rajput ruler, in the 10th-century.Arrive Jaipur and check in at hotel
Optional: Cooking demonstration followed by dinner with an Indian family
Today, visit Amber Fort, the ancient capital of the state founded by the Minas, then abandoned a few centuries later when his Maharaja Jai Singh moved to Jaipur. Located at the entrance to a rocky gorge, overlooking a beautiful lake, the strategic location of this fortress is highlighted by the beauty of its architecture. Include a photo stop of the fascinating - HawaMahal–the famous and magnificent Palace of the Winds.
Afternoon you will visit the City Palace of Jaipur, always occupied by maharaja and his family since the 18th century. Visit the palace museum with the collections of miniatures, manuscripts, Mughal rugs, musical instruments, royal costumes, allowing you to discover the historical and artistic past of Jaipur. At the end of the day, you will take rickshaw ride in the old town of Jaipur.
Today, travel by road to Delhi, arrive and check in at Hotel.
Afternoon combined visit of Old Delhi and New Delhi -You will see, the Jama Masjid, the largest and most well-known mosque in India. Enjoy a rickshaw ride in ChandniChowk followed by the orientation walk in Asia’s Largest Spice Market. Old Delhi street food is best enjoyed in its original setting, in the noisy labyrinthine by-lanes of Chawri Bazaar and ChandniChowk; drive pass by the Redd Fort - this mighty fort was built with red sandstones under the rule of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in 1638. Drive past Rajpath, the grand avenue that connects the official buildings to the monumental Gate of India; the parliament, you will see the India Gate: this triumphal arch bears the names of the 85,000 soldiers of the Indian army who died during World War I. then visit QutubMinar Complex (UNESCO World Heritage Site), the location of the highest sandstone minaret in India.
Later in time transfer to international airport to board flight back home.
WHAT YOU WILL RECEIVE IN YOUR TOUR COST
- Accommodation for total 13 nights sharing twin/double room on Bed & Breakfast basis.
- Transfers, sightseeing and excursions as per the program by air-conditioned vehicle.
- All entrance fees to the monuments as mentioned in the program
- English speaking Local guide as per program,
- Try Thukpa and Momos in Dharamshala
- Extra Lunch at local restaurant or In Hotel in Mandi
- Visit Tea Plantation and Tea Factory in Palanpur
- Heritage train ride from Shimla to Kalka
- Cycle rickshaw ride in the local bazaar in Delhi & Jaipur.
- Elephant ride at Amber Fort, Jaipur.
- Train journey from Delhi to Amritsar & Kalka to Delhi by Tourist class.
- Company representative for assistance on all arrival and departure transfers.
- All presently applicable taxes including the GST charges levied recently by the Government.
- Two bottles of mineral water each day during sightseeing.
TOUR COST WILL NOT INCLUDE FOLLOWING EXPENSES
- International / Domestic Airfare
- Any new admission fees / taxes / fuel surcharges/ Visa fees
- Meals not mentioned
- All personal expenses such as beverages, laundry, trip cancellation and personal insurance, gratuities, excess baggage fees
- Early check-in/late check-out (except as noted)
- Camera/video fees at monuments
- Communication costs
- Any additional expenses due to unforeseen problems like natural disaster, war or strikes, cancellation or misconnection of flights or last-minute change of timings etc.
- Any other service, which has not been specified as "included".
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- Plot no 36, Mohit Nagar, Sector 15 (Near NSIT) Dwarka, New Delhi -110078