Himachal Pradesh is a beautiful hill state in northern India nestled in western Himalayas. However the state stands apart from its neighbours in terms of its sheer topographic diversity and breathtaking pristine natural beauty. The state is landlocked with the Tibetan plateau to the east, Jammu and Kashmir to the north, and the Punjab to the west. From vast tracts of high-altitude Trans-Himalayan desert to dense green deodar forests, from apple orchards to cultivated terraces, from snow capped high Himalayan mountain ranges to snow fed lakes and gushing rivers.
Himachal in winters becomes freezing cold with temperatures dropping as low as the freezing point at times. Summers in Himachal Pradesh are cool or hot depending on altitudinal variations. Climate of Himachal Pradesh India varies with varying altitudes in different parts of the state.
Meeting on arrival at Delhi airport and transfer to the hotel.
Morning after an early breakfast transfer to train station to board superfast train for Agra. Meeting on arrival and commence Agra City tour visiting the world famous Taj Mahal (Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays)- built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his second wife, Mumtaz Mahal, whose death in childbirth in 1631 left the Emperor so heartbroken that his hair is said to have turned gray overnight. Construction of the Taj, begun in the same year, was not completed until 1653. In total 20,000 people from India and Central Asia worked on the building. The Taj Mahal is like a silent rhapsody that you will carry in your heart. Also visit Agra Fort, constructed by Emperor Akbar in 1695 on the banks of the Yamuna River. Initially the fort was a military structure, but during Shah Jahan’s reign it had partially become a palace.
Evening transfer to the Railway Station to board Superfast train for Delhi. Meeting on arrival at Nizamuddin Railway Station (in Delhi) and transfer to the hotel for overnight stay.
Morning after an early breakfast proceed by surface from Delhi to Manali. (approximate 12/13 hours). On arrival check in at hotel.
Overnight at hotel.
Manali with its unspoilt scenic grandeur is extremely popular with the tourists, for a lavish display of natural scenery. It is one of the principal show places of the Kullu region. To its North, South and West are an ostentation of pinnacles and ridges which, in fine weather, stand out in bold relief against skyline. At the lower elevation and in every direction there are vivid green patches of grassland and evergreen valleys ascending in irregular formation present probably the best view in the country. Manali is situated at an altitude of 1,926 metres and spreads in 12.5 square km. It is the real starting point of an ancient trade rout.
Manali city tour - Morning after breakfast commence half sightseeing of Manali day city tour visiting Hadimba Devi Temple, Vashisht Village and Tibetan Monastery.
Overnight at hotel.
Hidimba Devi Temple :- ( 1.5 km. ) Built in 1553 A.D. also known as 'Doongri Temple' dedicated to the Goddess Hidimba ( Hirma Devi ), the wife of Bhima, has a four tiered pagoda shaped roof with a doorway carved with figures and symbols. Although carving is simple yet beautiful. This temple was built by Raja Bahadur Singh of Kullu.
Vashisht :- ( 3 km. ) This place is famous for its hot water springs and temples of Vashisht Rishi and Lord Rama. It is located on the bank of Beas, but well above the river. Natural hot sulphur springs with two separate bathing tanks for gents and ladies are always full of tourists. Turkish style showers fitted baths have also been built nearby. Hot water from the nearby spring is provided for bathing.
Jagatsukh :- ( 6 km. ) The original name of this was 'Nast', it remained the ancient capital of Kullu for about 10 generations.
Jagatsukh is famous for its Shiva temple in Shikhara Style and interesting old temple of 'Gayatri Devi' and Devi Sharvali.
Tibetan Monastery :- A new but colorful Buddhist temple. It contains many idols of Buddha. This monastey is famous for its carpet weaving and Tibetan handicraft.
Afternoon free to enjoy the market go for hiking in adjoining hills.
Morning after breakfast at the hotel leave Rohtang Pass Tour(subject to road clearance) :- ( 51 km. ) At an altitude of 3,978 metres on the highway to Keylong, the mass affords a wide-spread panorama of mountain scenery. Here eye meets a range of precipitous cliffs, huge glaciers and piled moraine and deep ravines. To the opposite is the well defined 'Sonepani Glacier' slightly to the left are the twin peaks of the Geyphang snow crowned. The Beas river rises near the crest of Rohtang from a block of Mica-Schist. To its left, 200 metres higher, is the little lake of 'Sarkund' ( Dashahr ) visited by a large number of people every year. The bath in the water of Sarkund lake effects cure of all bodily ailments or imaginary. The pass is open from June to October each year although trekkers can cross it earlier. It is the gateway to Lahaul-Spiti, Pangi and Leh valley.
Rest of the afternoon free to relax or go for hiking in nearby hills again.
Overnight at hotel.
Travel by surface from Kullu to Shimla. On arrival check in at hotel. Rest of the day free for independent activities. Overnight at hotel.
Shimla is the capital town of Himachal Pradesh. The town of Shimla is built over several hills and connecting ridges. The important hills are Jakhu ( 2,455 meters ), Prospect Hill ( 2,328 meters ), Observatory Hill ( 2,350 meters ), Elysigim Hill ( 2,466 meters ) and Summer Hill ( 2,300 meters ). Shimla is situated in the North-West Himalayas and was the Summer Capital of India during the British rulling era. This town is spread over the ridge measuring about 12 km. It is perhaps the biggest hill station in the world, located at an altitude of 2,421 meters above sea level. A place of peace and pleasure, Shimla is a tourist resort in real sense of the world. The best season of the year here is autumn but the early spring runs a close second. Shimla is connected with air, rail, and road traffics. Shimla under snow is a wonderful sight and it offers the unique attraction of an open air ice skating rink. Also the legendary Ridge under snow and snow sports at Kufri make Shimla a wonderful winter holiday resort.
Shimla city tour - Morning tour of Shimla hills visiting Jakhu temple (Hiking), Wild Flower Hall, Christ Church and Museum.
Jakhu Hill :- ( 2,455 meters ) 2 km. from town. This is the highest peak of Shimla and offers panoramic view of the town and the mountains. 'Hanuman Temple of Jakhu' is very famous. According to legend, Hanumanji took some rest here when he was carrying a hill of 'Sanjiwani Booti' ( a herb to save the life of Lakshmana, the younger brother of Lord Rama ).
Wild Flower Hall :- ( 13 km. once the residence of Lord Kitchuer, the Commander-in-Chief of India in the beginning of the 20th century. This is surrounded by dense and beautiful pine forest. About 1 km from Wild Flower Hall is the ‘Retreat’ , the weekend resort of Lord Curzon. Between Wild Flower Hall and Retreat, ‘Hem Kunj’ ( formerly Dane's Folly ) the summer holiday resort of the Punjab Governor is situated. On January 4-5-1993, Wild Flower Hall was reduced to ashes in a major fire.
Afternoon free to stroll in the famous shopping place of Shimla town – The Mall & The Ridge. Overnight at the hotel.
Morning check out from the Hotel to depart for Delhi by surface in around 7 to 8 hours. Arrive and check in at the hotel. Rest of the afternoon at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.
Morning after breakfast combined tour of Old and New Delhi.
Old Delhi visiting Red Fort - The red sand stone walls of Lal Quila, the Red Fort extend for 2 km and vary in height from 18m on the river side to 33m on the city side. Shah Jahan started construction of the massive fort in 1638 and it was completed in 1648. The Red Fort dates from the peak of Mughal power. The Mughal reign from Delhi was a short one. Aurangzeb was the first and the last emperor to rule from here. Jama Masjid- the Great Mosque of Old Delhi was both the largest and the final architectural extravagance of Shah Jahan. Begun in 1644, the mosque was not completed until 1658. It has three gateways, four angle towers and two minarets standing 40m (133ft) high constructed of alternating vertical strips of red sandstone and white marble. The courtyard of the mosque can hold 25,000 people. Take a rickshaw ride to Chandni Chowk - the main street of Old Delhi - the colourful shopping bazaar just opposite the Red Fort and visit Raj Ghat - the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi after his assassination in 1948.
New Delhi visiting Qutab Minar – 234 feet high tower. The Qutab Minar itself is a soaring tower of victory that was started in 1193, immediately after the defeat of the last Hindu kingdom in Delhi. It is nearly 73m(243ft) high and tapers from a 15m(50ft) diameter base to just 2.5m(9ft) at the top. The tower has five distinct storeys, each marked by a projecting balcony. The first three storeys are made of red sandstone, the fourth and the fifth of marble & sandstone. Also visit the Tomb of Mughal Emperor Humayun. Built in the mid-16th century by Haji Begum, the Persian-born senior wife of Humayun, the second Mughal emperor, this is a wonderful early example of Mughal architecture. The elements in its design – a squat building, high arched entrances that let in light, topped by a bulbous dome and surrounded by formal gardens – were to be refined over the years to the magnificence of the Taj Mahal in Agra. Drive past India Gate (War Memorial), President’s House, which was once the Viceroy’s Palace, Parliament House and Secretariat buildings.
Overnight at the hotel.
Transfer to the airport in time to board flight for next destination.