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Regions: Chandigarh, Shimla, Manali, Dharamsala, Dalhousie, Chandigarh
Season: April to December
Duration: 09 Days
Morning meet and greet with our driver and drive to Shimla. Check into hotel. Afternoon visit Jakhu temple, Advance study, The Mall – All visitors to Shimla inevitably walk down the Mall, the main promenade that runs along the top of the Ridge – a busy shopping area with old colonial buildings, souvenir shops and restaurants. At the top end of the Mall is Scandal point, a large open square with a view of the town – a favourite rendezvous for visitors and the local people. Overlooking it is the Christ Church with its fine stained glass windows. The labyrinth of Shimla’s bazaars spill over the edge of the mall. Overnight stay at hotel.
SHIMLA:- Shimla (2205 mts) has its border with the state of Uttaranchal and the districts of Sirmour, Mandi, and Kullu & Kinnaur. Shimla, the state capital, which had been once summer capital of British rulers, previously known as Mahasu Distt. It offers to the visitors, the mall, Jakhu Hill, with Hanuman Temple, old historical buildings of colonial Raj,. The Distt is famous for its Lavi fair, which is celebrated in the month of November in Rampur (A town on the way to Sarahan). Apples of Kotgarh, in Shimla Distt are World famous.
Certain places of interest
The Mall – All visitors to Shimla inevitably walk down the Mall, the main promenade that runs along the top of the Ridge – a busy shopping area with old colonial buildings, souvenir shops and restaurants. At the top end of the Mall is Scandal point, a large open square with a view of the town- a favorite rendezvous for visitors and the local people. Overlooking it is the Christ Church with its fine stained glass windows. The labyrinth of Shimla’s bazaars spill over the edge of the mall.
Viceregal Lodge – Housed in the Gothic splendor of the Vice regal Lodge is the Indian Institute of advanced Studies, India’s premier academy for higher research. set in spacious lawns, is the museum. It has collections of Pahari miniatures, stone sculpture, local handicrafts, textiles and embroidery.
Himachal State Museum – Very close to the institute, in colonial building
At Naggar there is an old Castle, which once belonged to the ruling dynasty of Kullu, but now has been renovated and converted into a heritage hotel. One can also visit some ancient hallowed temples that are located all around the village and possess a definite mystical quality. There is also an art gallery which houses beautiful oil and vegetable color paintings of the famous Russian painter, writer and philosopher, Sir Nicholas Roerich.
The area offers some of the most magnificent views in the region as here the upper Kullu valley is at its widest and one can see the whole mountain panorama from Rohtang to the southern edge of the valley, as well as the long serpentine Beas River making its way down. This area also offers some interesting walks and day picnics through old villages and coniferous forests and vast paddy fields, which are a delight to the eye and drive to Manali. Overnight hotel
Solang Valley, one of the most beautiful places to visit in Western Himalaya. Affording views of lush green valley dotted by the traditional villages in between, towering snow clad mountains. Solang Valley, the famous destination for the lovers of adventure sports such as Paragliding, Zorbing, Skiing and Mountain Climbing.
Himachal’s main tourist resort, Manali stands at the head of the Kullu Valley. Majestic Mountain scenery and the areas seemingly limitless supply of inexpensive charm makes the place very popular among the tourists. Though it has gone a very fast change last 10 years but still the old charm does remain in Old Manali and nearby villages.
Resting on the stone platform in a dense stand of Old Deodar, Hadimba Temple is Manali’s oldest shrine (built in 1553) . It is a fine example of Pagoda architecture.
Old Manali, the village from which the modern Town takes its name, lies 3 Km. from the main mall. Unlike its offspring, the settlement retains an unhurried and traditional feel. There is a Temple of Sage Manu here out of which the name Manali has originated.
Kangra Valley is one of the Himachal’s beautiful valleys. It rolls down the Southern edge of magnificent Dhauladhar Range in gentle slopes covered with forests of Pine, green tea gardens terraces fields. The Dhauladhar – The “White Range” rises up to 14000 ft. providing a dramatic backdrop to the hill resort of Dharamsala. This is a principal township of Kangra, covering a wide area in the form of town settlement. Lower Dharamsala (1380 Mts.) is a busy commercial center while Upper Dharamsala (1700Mts.) with the suburb of Mcleodganj and Forsythganj, retains the British flavor, more or less colonial lifestyle. The charming stone church of St. Johan in the wilderness, with its beautiful stained glass windows is situated here and this churchyard is the final resting place of Lord Elgin, British Viceroy of India, who was buried here in 1863, as he chose to live in the town he loved. Up in Mcleodganj is a charming Tibetan settlement with bustling Bazaars that sell carpets, handicrafts, and delicious Tibetan food. A giant prayer wheel ornaments main streets and in the Monastery, a statue of Lord Buddha presides over the gentle chanting of the monks. His Holiness, the Dalai Lama resides here in Mcleodganj, which is now a major center for Tibetan Government in exile and Tibetan culture. It has a school for Tibetan studies with rare manuscripts and ancients texts, Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts and a handicraft center Dharamsala has everything for a perfect holiday. Winter in Kangra Valley is enchanting. The snow line remains close enough at all times and during winter month, the Northern part is swaddled in a blanket of freshly fallen snow allowing the magic of Kangra to take on yet another hue. Numerous ancient temples like Jwalamukhi, Bajreshwari, Chamunda and Baijnath (Vaidyanath) lie on the plains below Dhauladhar.
Dharamsala (1987 mts).
To the north, the Kangra valley is flanked by the snow clad Dhauladhar ranges of the Himalayas, to the side which Dharamshala and Mcleodganj (also called Upper Dharmshala) Founded in 1855, Dharmshala is the principal township of Kangra commanding splendid view of the surrounding country. Surrounded by deodar forests, it is set against a back drop of massive peaks on three sides.
If you think about Lahsa (Tibet), the only other name comes in mind is, Mcleodganj. The name has almost become synonymous to Lahsa. This is where His Holiness Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of the Tibetan’s, resides and also this is where the headquarters of the Tibetan Government in exile are located. Here one gets amazed to see that how the Tibetan peoples in exile, have kept their culture resonant and going. Here there are many gompas to visit and some of them house treasures of ancient and priceless thankas and scrolls. Tibetan Institute of performing Arts (TIPA) preserves a number of musical dance and theatrical traditions of Tibet. O/n in Hotel
Norbulingka Institute is a registered Trust functioning under the chairmanship of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Established in Dharamshala, India it is committed to the preservation of Tibetan culture, which is threatened with destruction in its homeland. It is build according to traditional Tibetan style, following a ground plan based on the proportions of Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of compassion. Set amidst beautiful gardens, surrounded by the green fields of the Kangra Valley. The Institute promotes Tibet’s traditional arts and literary studies and comprises the following sections; the center for arts; the academy of Tibetan culture, the culture and literary research center, Publications and the Library. It also houses a wonderful doll museum showing the culture and tradition of Tibet. Thanka painting. Visit the Astronomical Medical Center about 8 km from Norbulingka Institute. The Tibetan medicine is made from herbs gathered from the high altitude of the Himalayas. This herbal medicine can cure many different diseases and are famous all over the world. Later visit the Gangchen Kyishong monastery. Evening free to discover the local market.
The Kangra Town known to the ancients, as Nagar Kot is the seat of Shri Bajreshwari Devi. Though the main Temple was ravaged by foreign invaders and flattened by the 1905 earthquake, it has since been restored to its pristine glory. The market of the Temple provides a very good ambiance
O/n in a Hotel
Khajjiar (1,851 Mts.)
An emerald, saucer shaped meadow at Khajjiar, surrounded by dense deodar forests, has a lake at its centre with a floating island, a forest rest house, a little temple with a golden spire and a golf course. Khajjiar is also named as the Switzerland of India for its beauty.
At the foot of the main spurs of the Dhaula Dhar whose dark, pine –covered mountainside reaches towards the upper peaks that soar into the region of eternal show is a scenic British built ‘hill station’ of Dalhousie. Nestling amidst thickly wooded hills, clothed in deodar, pine and ban Oak Dalhousie has marvelous forest trails and picnic spots with splendid vistas over the Chamba Valley. A touch of the “Raj” still lingers in the little unspoilt town. Skirting the hills are a number of good roads of which the Upper Bakrota Mall is the finest. On a clear day, one can see the rivers –Chenab, Beas and Ravi, meandering down the rose –grey vista on the valley hills while the snow –capped ranges of Dhaula Dhar rise to awe –inspiring height of 5,490 meters (18-20,000 ft.) to 6,405 meters (21,000ft).
After breakfast, drive from Dalhousie to Chandigarh 325 Km 5-6 hrs. Check in at hotel evening free for shopping at market and relaxation. O/N Hotel
End of the tour.
What to bring for the tour
Good Warm internal clothing (woolen and fleece, thermals), water proof and wind proof clothing, Comfortable hiking boots with good resistance against the snow and water with a good grip, haversack, sandals, walking sticks, gaiters, woolen/tennis socks (quite a few pairs) and stocking, gloves, cap, sunglasses (very important), Sunscreen lotion, day sack, camera and binocular (OPTIONAL), water bottle, torch and batteries
Day temperature in the sun is pleasant but windy but nights are cold. The temp at night in rain and snow can really go down; sometimes below zero so you have to be well prepared.
It is also possible that a route change may become necessary due to weather, inaccessibility through the mountain passes due to heavy snow, condition of the trail and physical fitness of the clients.