This tour is a beautiful introduction to some of the most spiritual places in India, from Buddhism in Dharamshala to Hinduism in Haridwar. You'll visit the Himalayan foothills and see a spectacular prayer ceremony on the banks of the Ganges, combining unique cultural experiences with truly stunning natural scenery.

Highlights

  • Take a toy train to Shimla and enjoy spectacular views of the mountains
  • Explore Manali, a famous hill station
  • Hike to the Bhagsu waterfall
  • See the Ganga Aarti Haridwar ceremony

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Delhi Delhi
Day 2 Travel from Delhi to Shimla Shimla
Day 3 Shimla Shimla
Day 4 Shimla to Manali Manali
Day 5 Manali Manali
Day 6 Manali to Dharamshala (Mcleod Ganj) Dharamshala
Day 7 Hike in and around Bhagsu Dharamshala
Day 8 Visit Namgyal Monastery and take the Train to Haridwar Overnight Train
Day 9 Sightseeing in Haridwar Haridwar
Day 10 Train back to Delhi and Departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Delhi

Delhi's Red Fort
Delhi's Red Fort

Once you land in Delhi, your guide will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. You'll have the rest of the day to relax or explore the city.

Delhi is a bustling metropolis that blends the old and the new. It's strategically-located and has served as the seat of power in India for several successive dynasties. 

Day 2: Travel from Delhi to Shimla

Shimla's Ridge Road

After an early breakfast, you'll board the train to Kalka. Once you arrive at the Kalka Train Station, you'll transfer to the "toy train" to Shimla. This train passes through beautiful landscapes and gives you plenty of opportunities to take beautiful photos. 

Once you arrive, your guide will meet you and take you to your hotel. In the evening, you'll have the chance to explore the local market. 

Day 3: Shimla

Shimla
Shimla

In the morning, you can take a stroll down the Mall Road, where you can admire Christ Church on Ridge Road in the center of Shimla, which was built in a typically British style. 

You'll also get a chance to see the old buildings that border the Ridge. Then, you'll head to Jakhoo, a temple dedicated to the Hindu monkey god Hanuman. To get to the temple, you'll go on a pleasant walk through the forest. In the evening, you can relax or explore the local market. 

Day 4: Shimla to Manali

Enjoy the views on the drive to Manali
Enjoy the views on the drive to Manali

In the morning you'll drive to Manali, a famous hill station surrounded by lush green forests. The drive is fairly long (eight to nine hours) but is very scenic. You'll cross the Himalayan foothills until you reach Manali, a picturesque resort town. This spot is equally popular among Indian and foreign tourists, especially hippies looking for a laid-back lifestyle. The town is also known for producing delicious apples and pears. 

Day 5: Manali

The Mall, a main pedestrian street in Manali
The Mall, a main pedestrian street in Manali

Today, you'll visit the beautiful village of Old Manali, as well as the Temple of Sage Manu and Goddess Hadimba.

In the evening, visit the shops on the Mall, Manali's main pedestrian road, before visiting the Buddhist Monastery.

Day 6: Manali to Dharamshala (Mcleod Ganj)

Mcleod Ganj
McLeod Ganj

In the morning, you'll set off on another scenic drive that climbs steadily through sub-tropical terraced fields covered in vegetation and pine-covered mountains until you reach the small town of McLeod Ganj, near Dharamshala. The drive takes approximately eight to nine hours. Once you arrive in McLeod Ganj, you'll check in to your hotel and then have the rest of the evening free to explore the area. 

Day 7: Hike in and around Bhagsu

Bhagsu waterfalls
Bhagsu waterfalls

In the morning, go on an easy near Bhagsu that passes a beautiful waterfall and lots of lush green vegetation. This is one of the most popular short treks in the area, where you can see spectacular views of the snow-covered peaks of Dhauladhar ranges.

Bhagsu Nag is a small village to the east of McLeod Ganj. It's known for its Shiv Temple and spectacular views. It's also the starting point for a short but steep hike up to a nearby waterfall. You'll be accompanied by a local guide. 

After hiking, you'll have the rest of the day free to explore the local market. 

Day 8: Visit Namgyal Monastery and take the Train to Haridwar

A woman spinning prayer wheels in Namgyal Monastery
A woman spinning prayer wheels in Namgyal Monastery

Today, you'll visit the Namgyal Monastery, the personal monastery of the 14th Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader. The monks who reside here in the monastery work for the well-being of Tibet, and the monastery functions as a center for learning and meditation in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. 

After your visit, you can check out the local market, before driving to Pathankot in the later afternoon to catch your overnight train to Haridwar

Day 9: Sightseeing in Haridwar

Haridwar
Haridwar

Once you arrive at the train station early in the morning, your guide will meet you and take you to your hotel. Later in the day, you'll take a cable car to the Chandi Devi Temple and the Mansa Devi Temple. You'll also visit the Daksh Temple, Pawan Dham, Maya Devi Temple, and Shantikunj Ashram

In the evening, you'll see Ganga Aarti Haridwar, a spectacular religious prayer performed on the bank of the Ganges River at Har Ki Pauri Ghat in Haridwar. 

Day 10: Train back to Delhi and Departure

Jama Masjid Mosque
Jama Masjid mosque

Early in the morning, you'll head to the Haridwar Railway Station for your train back to Delhi. Once you arrive, you'll have time to relax in Delhi or go on a tour of the city, including a visit to Old Delhi, with its ancient monuments, narrow streets, and bustling markets. 

The tour of Old Delhi includes stops at Jama Masjid—one of the largest mosques in India—as well as passing by the Red Fort and riding a rickshaw through the Chandni Chowk market. When it's time for your flight, your guide will take you back to Delhi Internationa Airport.