Day 1 – Australia to Delhi
Fly with Singapore Airlines to Delhi airport where you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Stay two nights at The Claridges.
Day 2 – Delhi
On a full day tour visit Old & New Delhi. See Raj Ghat, the simple memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. Drive past the Red Fort continuing by bicycle rickshaw to the very large Jama Masjid mosque. Then visit Humayun’s tomb, built by the widow of the second Mughal Emperor. It is an outstanding monument in the Indo-Persian style, a precursor of the Taj Mahal. The tour also includes a drive past the imposing India Gate, the Parliament building and Rastrapathi Bhawan, the President’s residence. (B,D)
Day 3 – Delhi – Shimla
Travel by train to Shimla, with the afternoon part of the journey on a “toy train” meandering through breathtaking landscapes to reach Shimla, the favoured summer retreat of colonial India.
Stay two nights at the Oberoi Cecil Hotel. (B,D)
Day 4 – Shimla
Tour Shimla today with visits to Christ Church, Scandal Corner, Jakhu Temple with its resident monkeys, and the Vice Regal Lodge with views to the Himalayas. (B,D)
Day 5 – Shimla – Pragpur
You will be driven to Pragpur to check in to your hotel. Enjoy time at leisure in this hillside country manor surrounded by orchards of exotic fruit and spices.
Stay one night at Judge’s Court. (B,D)
Day 6 – Pragpur – Palampur
Take the short drive to Palampur, a town set on a plateau amongst pine forests and tea plantations. Visit charming pottery village of Andretta, once the home of famous painter Sardar Shobdar Singh and playwright Norah Richards. Next stop is the Baijnath Temple, dedicated to Shiva Vaidyanatha, with an inner sanctuary featuring one of India’s 12 most important shrines to Shiva.
Stay one night at Taragarh Palace Hotel. (B,D)
Day 7 – Palampur – Dharamsala
After a leisurely breakfast drive on to Dharamsala. Magnificently set against a backdrop of forests and mountain streams, Dharamsala is the principal township of the Kangra Valley region and, since 1959, the seat of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of the Tibetans.
Stay two nights at the Surya Resort. (B,D)
Day 8 – Dharamsala
Take a tour of this distinctly Tibetan area, visiting Buddhist centres and other places of interest. Visit the Tsuglagkhang Complex in McLeod Ganj containing the official residence of the Dalai Lama. See Namgyalma Stupa, the church of St John’s in the Wilderness, Dal Lake, the scenic villages of Bhagsunag, Dharamkot and Triund, and Norbulingka where traditional Tibetan arts and crafts are taught. (B,D)
Day 9 – Dharamsala – Amritsar
Travel by road to Amritsar, an important seat of Sikh history and culture. After dinner witness the Palki Sahib Ceremony at the Golden Temple.
Stay one night at the Ranjit Svassa Hotel. (B,D)
Day 10 – Amritsar – Delhi
Tour the most famous of Amritsar’s attractions, the Golden Temple which was founded by the fourth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Ramdas, and completed by his successor Guru Arjan Dev. The two storey temple stands in a sacred pool and is said to be gilded with 750kgs of gold. Nearby visit Jallianwala Bagh, the memorial garden site where hundreds of unarmed protestors were killed by British troops on April 13, 1919. Late this afternoon transfer to the rail station for the evening train to Delhi.
Stay one night at The Claridges. (B,L)
Day 11 – Depart Delhi
Time at leisure for shopping and further exploration before an evening transfer to the airport for your flight home. (B)
Day 12 – Arrive Australia