Welcome to India. On arrival, you are received and transferred to your hotel. The hotel check-in time is 12 noon. Delhi, the capital of modern India, stands legacy to the many dynasties and rulers that have flourished on its soil over the last 3000 years. The day is free you to relax. Overnight in Delhi.
Visit the Bahai's House of Worship (closed on Mondays) which is seventh in a chain of Houses of Worship now girdling the globe. This temple is designed in the form of a lotus which is considered as a universal religious symbol. Also visit the Birla temple and the Bangla Sahib Sikh Temple. In the afternoon, visit the Akshardham Temple (closed on Mondays), considered as one of the Wonders of the Modern World. Built entirely of sandstone and marble, it consists of 234 ornately carved pillars, 9 ornate domes, 20 quadrangle shikhars, a spectacular Gajendra Pith (plinth of stone elephants) and 20,000 statues of India's great sadhus, devotees and divine personalities. The monument was built after over 300 million man hours of services rendered by 11,000 volunteers, sadhus and artisans. Overnight in Delhi.
Transfer to Jhansi Railway Station for train to Haridwar (Shatabdi Express - depart 0650- arrive 1125). On arrival, transfer to hotel in Haridwar. The town of Haridwar, meaning Gateway to God, stands on the right banks of the river Ganges, at the foot of the Shivalik mountains. Known as Mayapuri in the ancient days, it has been a sacred place of pilgrimage from time immemorial. Haridwar is one of the four pilgrim center?s where Kumbh is held every twelfth year and is also home to numerous Ashrams and Dharamshalas. The most sacred bathing ghat Har-ki-Pauri or Brahma Kund, is supposed to be at the precise spot where the Ganges leaves the mountains and enters the plains. In the evening, witness aarti on the banks of river Ganges. Overnight in Haridwar.
Visit Rishikesh, one of the most sacred cities of India. Visit the numerous ashrams that dot the banks of the Ganga. Later, take a walk to Ram Jhoola and Laxman Jhoola and through the town to soak in the local life and atmosphere. At the banks of the river in the evening, you may even be able to witness the prayers at the temples. Transfer to Railway Station for train to Amritsar (Dehradun Amritsar Express depart 2120- arrive 0730 next day). Overnight on the train.
On arrival at Amritsar, you are transferred to your hotel. Normal check in at the hotel is 1200 noon. Amritsar, the holiest city for the Sikhs, is home to the famed Golden Temple which is surrounded by a vast tank of holy water called The Pool of Immortality. Your sightseeing tour of Amritsar begins from the Golden Temple, well known for its gold inlay works. Later proceed to the Jallianwala Bagh, now a National Museum, and pay homage at the Flame of Liberty, a red sandstone pillar which commemorates the massacre of hundreds of unarmed civilians ordered by the British General Dyer on 13 April 1919. The walls of this park still bear the bullet marks as a witness of this tragedy. Later set off on an excursion to the India Pakistan border to witness the change of guard ceremony in the evening. Overnight in Amritsar.
Drive from Amritsar to Dharmshala (200 kms-6 hours), home to Dalai Lama since May 1960. Pass Kangra Fort en route, perched atop a cliff above the Banganga and Majhi rivers. Upon arrival, check in to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight in Dharamshala.
Full day sightseeing of Dharamsala include the Tsuglanghang complex, Kalachakra temple, Namgyal Gompa, Dip Tse-Chonk Gompa, Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts, Tibetan Cultural Museum, Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute, Chinmaya Ashram, TCV School, Tushita retreat center, Tapovan Chinmaya Samadhi and Temple. Visit Mcleod Ganj, located 1750m above sea level, which exhibits a delightful mixture of eastern and western cultures, reflected in the people, and in the shrines of worship. Hippy-clad westerners jostle for space in the bazaar alongside Hindus and Tibetan monks. Overnight in Dharamshala.
Drive from Dharmshala to Chandigarh Railway Station (225 kms-5 hours) to board train to Delhi (Kalka Shatabdi: depart 1825 - arrive 2155). Upon arrival at Delhi, transfer airport in time to board flight for onward destination.