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Driving in The Trans Himalaya (Sangla Valley, Spiti Valley & Dhauladhar Mountain Range)

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Product Code : AGORA666

Planning for a driving tour in The Trans Himalaya passing through the Sangla Valley, Spiti Valley & Dhauladhar Mountain Range. Here is the suggested itinerary to help you in planning your trip. This trip is possible from June to October only. The exact dates of opening of this route mostly depends on road condition at Kunzum La pass. Please discuss your tour plan to finalize itinerary, duration and price of your package.

 

 

Day 1: Arrive Delhi

On arrival at Delhi airport assistance & transfer to hotel (Standard hotel check in time 12pm, early check in subject to room availability). Later city tour of Delhi. In Old Delhi visit the majestic Red Fort (closed on Monday) the residence of the Mughal emperor for nearly 200 years until 1857. Jama Masjid one of the largest mosques in the world built by Shah Jahan. Cycle Rickshaw ride in Chandni chowk & Khari Baoli Spice Market a busy shopping area with markets full of spices, dried fruit, silver jewelry and vivid saris, while the narrow side streets are crowded with tiny shops selling essential oils, stationery and traditional Indian sweets. Raj Gath the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi where he was cremated after his assassination. 

In New Delhi visit Humayun Tomb the first garden-tomb in Indian subcontinent and an early example of Mughal architecture commissioned by Humayun`s first wife Empress Bega Begum in 1569-70. Qutab Minar a 73-metres tall minaret that forms part of the Qutb complex a fine examples of Afghan architecture. Lotus Temple a Bahai House of Worship notable for its flowerlike shape.

Also drive pass President House, Parliament & India Gate etc. Overnight at hotel.

 

Day 2: Delhi - Shimla (364km)

Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Shimla initially normal followed by the curvy mountain road. We provide necessary stoppage for lunch and tea on route. 

Arrive Shimla check in at hotel and Rest time free to relax. Overnight at hotel.

 

Day 3: Shimla

Breakfast at hotel. City tour of Shimla, once the summer capital of British India. Visit Jakhoo Temple, an ancient site dedicated to monkey god Hanuman. Set amidst the lush green background of the Shivalik hill ranges on Jakhoo Hill, the highest point in Shimla, Temple has the world`s largest Hanuman statue, which is visible from most parts of Shimla. The Christ Church the second oldest church in entire northern India. The church, which took 11 long years to complete, stands as a reminder of the British colonisation in India. Viceregal Lodge, built in 1888, this six story building constructed in Scottish Baronial style once served as the residence of Lord Dufferin, the British Viceroy of India, is a perfect place for history lovers. Today, this lodge houses several articles and pictures that will remind you of the British rule. 

Also visit The Ridge a wide open street located on the side of Shimla Mall Road. Best known for shopping it is often the most photographed part of the hill station covered with pine, firs, Himalayan Oak and Rhododendron trees. The Scandal Point, located on the Mall Road. It owes its interesting name to the fact that the King of Patiala abducted the daughter of the Viceroy, because he fell in love with her, from this very place. The Mall an ideal spot for shopping, besides a number of good eating joints. Overnight at hotel.

 

Day 4: Shimla - Sarahan (165km)

Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Sarahan, a beautiful hamlet known as the "Gateway to Kinnaur", located near the Sutlej River Valley on the Indo Tibetan road, at an altitude of 2165 m. Famous for the never-ending apple orchards, dense emerald pine and deodar forests, gushing streams, wildflower fields rustic settings, terraced farms and slate-roofed houses, the village is a sight to behold. The unparalleled beauty of the landscape, with mountains flanked by cliffs on one side and lush ravines on the other, Srikhand Mahadev Peak make Sarahan a memorable place. At the very heart of the place is the fabulous two-towered temple of Devi Bhimakali. It is built in traditional Kinnauri manner with a touch of unique Tibetan architecture. Overnight at camp/guesthouse.

 

Day 5: Sarahan - Sangla (85km)

Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Sangla, one of the most charming valleys in Kinnaur, bounded by strapping mountain slopes, sprawling evergreen forests and snow covered peaks, set by its red apples orchard and luscious cherry trees. Baspa River also makes its way through the place, meandering and gurgling, famous for trout fishing.

Visit Bering Nag temple, Kamru Fort, Chitkul Village, Batseri Village, Tibetan Wood Carving Center, Buddhist Monastery & Rakcham village. Overnight at camp/guesthouse.

 

Day 6: Sangla - Kalpa (50kms)

Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Kalpa, the main village of Kinnaur, in the Sutlej River Valley. Known for its many beautiful temples and monasteries, this town is also famed for its apple orchards. The majestic Kinnaur-Kailash range peeking from across the Sutlej River makes for a blissful break.

Visit Sapni Fort, a paradise for art and architecture lovers. Situated near the Sapni Village, this fort is seven stories high and exemplifies the relics of bygone era. A temple dedicated to Goddess kali is there on the fifth floor. This fort also displays some impressive woodwork and carvings on window frames and door.

Also visit few villages. Overnight at camp/guesthouse.

 

Day 7: Kalpa - Nako (110km)

Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Nako, a mesmerising and picturesque village located at the height of 3, 600 metres above the sea level. This beautiful village is rightly known as the 'Land of the Fairytales' as it is surrounded by the greenery of nature and is home to many rare species.

Visit Nako Lake & Buddhist Temples. Near the lake, one can also find the footprints of the saint Padmasambhava, who is believed to have meditated at the spot for many years. 

Also visit Rakham village, located in the enchanting Baspa Valley. The valley is famous for recreational and adventure activities. The hamlet is also famous for the apple produced and the saffron farms. One of the best features of the valley is the beautiful sunrise. Overnight at camp/guesthouse.

 

Day 8: Nako - Tabo (65kms)

Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Tabo, enroute visit Gyu a small village, situated at a height of around 10, 000 feet in the Spiti valley. It is famous for its Gyu Monastery that houses a 500 years old mummy of a Buddhist monk named Sangha Tenzin. In the local folklores the monk Sangha Tenzin is said to have rescued the Gyu village from a devastating plague by self mummifying while still being alive. He so did this by reaching the highest level of enlightenment through ascetic and renunciatory practices. It remained oblivious for many centuries, until a devastating earthquake in the year of 1975, revealed his tomb. Inside the tomb, the mummy was found in a sitting position with a rosary in one hand, and with intact body hairs, teeth and other parts of the body. A ‘Gomthak’ belt was also found, tied around his body. ‘Gomthak’ is a belt that are used by the monks who would tie it around their neck to their knee while meditating.

Continue drive to Tabo check in at hotel. Later visit Tabo Monastery, the largest royal complex in the Spiti Valley. It sprawls over an approximate area of 6300 sq m, which is environed by a mud brick boundary wall. Constructed in 996 AD, this monastery houses 9 temples and 23 chortens along with a monks’ chamber and a nuns' residence. The monastery is popularly known as the Tabo-Chos-Khor, which stands for the doctrinal circle. An architectural marvel, this monastery is famous for its magnificent sculptures, stucco images and wall paintings similar to those of the Ajanta and Ellora caves. It is because of this that Tabo has been given the title of Himalayan Ajanta. Amongst the prominent temples of the ancient monastery in Tabo, the Temple of the Enlightened Gods, the Golden Temple and the Mystic Mandala Temple are worth to visit. Overnight at camp/guesthouse.

 

Day 9: Tabo - Kaza (50km)

Drive to Kaza enroute visit Dhankar Monastery, located at an altitude of 12, 774 feet, the monastery is perched unbelievably on the edge of a cliff and offers a panoramic view of Spiti valley. Built one thousand years ago on a 1000 feet high mountain and overlooking the heart-stirring sight of the confluence of Spiti and Pin rivers, Dhankar Monastery is listed as one of the world's 100 most endangered monuments. Besides enchanting views, the Dhankar Hompa has the statue of Dhayan Buddha and a small museum which stores scriptures and murals. Below the monastery is the village of Shichilling where you will find a new monastery which houses about 150 monks belonging to the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. A 2 km hike from the monastery leads to pristine Dhankar lake.

Arrive Kaza check in & overnight at hotel/guesthouse.

 

Day 10: Kaza

Breakfast at hotel. Excursion to visit Kye Monastery, the largest monastery in Spiti Valley founded in 11th Century. The magnificent monastery is religious training centre for the Lamas, and about 300 lamas receive their education from here. It has a long and quite fascinating history, that involves numerous attacks that the place had to face. Nevertheless, Kye Monastery survived and celebrated the completion of its thousand years in the year 2000 in the presence of Dalai Lama.

Further drive to visit Kibber, a small village located in the Spiti Valley at an altitude of 4270 metres in Himachal Pradesh. Surrounded by picturesque mountains and barren landscapes, Kibber boasts of being the highest village with a motorable road. A feature of this village is the similar-looking houses. Around 40 houses had been built in Tibetan architecture and Tibetan Buddhism is the predominant religion. The apartments are all built with stone and similar patterns and barring the conventional building materials and bricks. Due to the lack of transportation material, the raw materials are taken from the neighbouring villages. The similarity of houses enhances the beauty and outlook of the town. Overnight at hotel/guesthouse.

 

Day 11: Kaza - Manali (210kms)

Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Manali via Losar, a heaven like place, situated near the confluence of Losar and Peeno streams. Losar village in Spiti Valley is located adjacent to the Indo Chinese border at an altitude of 4, 085 meters above sea level. It is located in the extreme end of the Spiti Valley, which is much similar to Ladakh in appearance. There are magnificent mountains, stunning rivers, and breathtaking vistas in Losar that can spellbind any tourist with its unparalleled beauty, the last village of Spiti Valley towards Lahaul.
Continue drive and stop to visit Rohtang Pass a high mountain pass at an elevation 3, 980 m on the eastern Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas. The pass provides a natural divide between the Kullu Valley with a primarily Hindu culture (in the south), and the arid high-altitude Lahaul and Spiti valleys with a Buddhist culture (in the north). The pass lies on the watershed between the Chenab and Beas basins. On the southern side of this pass, the Beas River emerges from underground and flows southward and on its northern side, the Chandra River (flows from the eastern Himalayas), a source stream of the river Chenab, flows westward. 

Continue drive to Manali. Check in & Overnight at hotel.

 

Day 12: Manali

Breakfast at hotel. City tour of Manali a high-altitude Himalayan resort town. Visit Hidimba Devi Temple, an ancient temple dedicated to wife of Bhima, a figure in the Indian epic Mahabharat. Vashisht Village the premises enclose a pyramid-shaped stone temple dedicated to Sage Vashisht, and the water spring, which believed to possess medicinal values and people take a dip in the holy water to get rid of skin diseases and infections. Tibetan monastery which include Himalayan Nyingmapa Gompa and Gadhan Thekchhokling Gompa. These monasteries serve not only as a place of worship but also as guardians of the rich culture and history of the Tibetan people settled in Kullu and Manali. You can shop for beautiful handicrafts that are made by Tibetan people at these monasteries. Manu Temple a historical Hindu temple, dedicated to Sage Manu, a must-visit place, not only because of its religious significance but also because of its ancient, beautiful architecture and wooden carving. 

Also visit Old Manali a charming, laid-back district known for its wooded mountain trails, apple orchards, and scenic spots by the Manaslu River. It`s dotted with quaint backpacker lodgings and bohemian cafes serving global fare, grilled trout, and pancake breakfasts, while souvenir shops sell hand-knitted woolens and dream catchers. Overnight at hotel.

 

Day 13: Manali - Dharamshala (230kms)

Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Dharamshala, enroute stop to visit Palampur. Nestled between the majestic Dhauladhar Ranges, Palampur is known for its tea gardens encircling the town, numerous streams, and pine & deodar forests. Palampur was first noticed by the Englishmen and soon turned into a bustling town as the centre of trade and commerce. Their presence in this town is beautifully reflected in the Victorian style mansions and castles. Visit Tashi Jong Monastery, Baijnath Temple and the tea gardens.

Further drive and stop to visit Jwala Devi Temple, one of the most popular Hindu temples dedicated to the Goddess of Light. There is no idol of any kind the flame is considered as a manifestation of the goddess. An eternally burning and shining blue flame emanates from the rock sanctum and is fed by the priests with the offerings of devotees. The temple is count as one of the 51 Shakti-Pitha temples in India. Besides, there are Gorakh Dibbi, Chaturbhuj temple and many small shrines situated in the vicinity of Jwalji temple. 

Continue drive to Dharamshala the hill town bestowed by the natural serene beauty and the holistic presence of Buddhist culture. On arrival check in & Overnight at hotel.

 

Day 14: Dharamshala

Breakfast at hotel. Visit McLeodganj, home to most of the Tibetan exiles. At McLeodganj, the Tibetans have established many monasteries, schools and temples. The main Buddhist temple is five-minute walk from the main bazaar. The temple is surrounded by red and gold prayer wheels that are set in motion by devotees to scatter prayers in the air. Bhagsunag Temple one of the oldest temple surrounded by lovely pools and lush greenery. The two pools around the temple are believed to be sacred and are considered to contain miraculous powers of healing. Bhagsu Waterfalls a peaceful, serene place recommended by Lonely Planet for nice feel of nature throughout. Dal Lake, surrounded by Deodar trees, with temple of Durgeshwara Mahadev by the lakeside. Church of St. John in the Wilderness, a neo-gothic architecture built in 1852. Overnight at hotel.

 

Day 15: Dharamshala - Amritsar (210kms)

Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Amritsar check in at hotel. 

Later excursion to Wagah border to attend beating retreat ceremony. Every evening, just before the sunset, the soldiers from the Indian and Pakistan military meet at this border post to engage in a 30-minute display of military camaraderie and showmanship. During the build-up to the ceremony, the crowd engages in chanting the Indian national anthem, rounds of applause and Bollywood-style dancing on Hindi songs. Overnight at hotel.

 

Day 16: Amritsar - Departure

Breakfast at hotel. City tour of Amritsar. Visit Golden Temple one of the most sacred pilgrim spots for Sikhs famous for its full golden dome. The central Sikh Museum is atop the Clock Tower. The Guru Ka Langar offer free food to around 20, 000 people every day. The number shoot up to 1, 00, 000 on special occasions. The Durgiana Temple though a Hindu temple, its architecture is similar to the Golden Temple. Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum famous for its rare and priceless collections, particularly Paintings, Weapons, Armours, Manuscripts & Coins. Gobindgarh Fort originally built by in the 18th century, it was conquered and enhanced in the early 19th century by Maharaja Ranjit Singh who renamed it after the 10th Sikh guru, Guru Gobind Singh. The fort had five cannons which included the famous two Zamzama cannons. Rickshaw ride and walking tour of old market in Amritsar. 

Later, as per flight schedule transfer to airport to board flight for onward destination. (Standard hotel check out time 11 AM).

Assistance on arrival at airport.

15 Nights' accommodation in selected price category hotels.

Daily breakfast at hotels. Any other meal (lunch/ dinner) if clearly mentioned in the itinerary).

Private air-conditioned deluxe car for airport transfer, sightseeing and excursion as per program.

English speaking tour guide on sightseeing days (local guide in each city), as per program.

Monument entrances and activities charges mentioned in the itinerary.

Bottled drinking water in car.

Government taxes.

 

Hotels used or similar for 15 nights accommodation

Delhi x 1 nights
3* - Madhuban Hotel/ Emarald Hotel
4* - The Royal Plaza/ Country Inn & Suite Saket
5* - Le Meridien/ The Claridges

Shimla x 2 nights
3* - Toshali Royal View/ British Resort 
4* - Clarks Hotel/ Radisson Jass Hotel
5* - The Oberoi Cecil/ Radission Blu

Sarahan x 1 night
Guesthouse/ Home stay

Sangla x 1 night
Guesthouse/ Home stay

Kalpa x 1 night
Guesthouse/ Home stay

Nako x 1 night
Guesthouse/ Home stay

Tabo x 1 night
Guesthouse/ Home stay

Kaza x 2 nights
Guesthouse/ Home stay

Manali x 2 nights
3* - De Vivendi Rresort/ Snowcrest Manor
4* - White Meados/ Orchard House by Aamod
5* - The Himalaya/ Apple Country Resort/ Manuallaya -The Resort Spa

Dharamsala x 2 nights
3* - Hotel Udechee Huts/ Kamal Residency
4* - Grace Hotel/ Shiva Sanctuary - An Amritara Private Hideaway
5* - Fortune Park Moksha/ The Divine Hima

Amritsar x 1 night
3* - Surya Beacon/ Hotel City Park
4* - Ramada Amritsar/ The Fern Residency
5* - Hyatt Hotel/ Holiday Inn Amritsar Ranjit Avenue

Any flight fare.

Camera charges at monuments.

Meals other than mentioned in day plan.

Expenses of personal nature like liquor, laundry, tips, telephone, fax, internet etc. 

Gratuities & optional activities.

Anything not mentioned in inclusions.