This exciting 8-day trekking and camping itinerary will take you through the southernmost Himalayas in India known as the Dharamsala range. You'll have a few hours free in Delhi before you take an overnight transfer and begin your adventure in McLeod Gang where you'll tour the Dalai Lama's Temple Complex and learn about the city's Tibetan residents. Then, you'll set off on a guided 5-day hike through unspoiled and friendly mountain villages where you'll be treated to magnificent views of the Dhauladhar range at every turn.

Highlights

  • Take a walking tour through Tibetan sites in McLeod Gang
  • Meet members of India's unique Gaddi tribe
  • Hike through flowering rhododendron forests
  • Experience an unforgettable sunrise at your Triund campsite

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Delhi - Transfer to McLeod Ganj  
Day 2 Walking Tour of McLeod Ganj McLeod Ganj
Day 3 Trek to Kareri Kareri
Day 4 Trek to Barlai Barlai
Day 5 Trek to Dharamkot Dharamkot
Day 6 Trek to Triund Triund
Day 7 Trek to McLeod Ganj - Transfer to Delhi  
Day 8 Departure via Delhi  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Delhi - Transfer to McLeod Ganj

View of Delhi skyline
View of Delhi skyline

Welcome to India! When you land at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL), a driver will be waiting to take you into town.

You'll have some time to explore the city before you board a private transfer for your overnight ride to McLeod Ganj. You will arrive in McLeod Ganj early in the morning as you wake up. 

Day 2: Walking Tour of McLeod Ganj

McLeod Ganj's lofty setting
McLeod Ganj's lofty setting

Upon arrival in McLeod Ganj, you'll check into your hotel and have the morning free to settle in.

You'll spend the day exploring the main Tibetan settlement of McLeod Ganj. The town has a large population of Tibetans due to the fact that the Dalai Lama settled here in 1960 after fleeing Tibet. Since then, a government in exile has been created along with the addition of Tibetan schools, craft workshops, and monasteries in and around town.

In the afternoon, you will begin your guided walking tour with a visit to the Tibetan Children's Village School, which is home to over 2,000 refugee children. Later, you will continue on through the town and make stops at sites like the Dalai Lama Temple Complex (known locally as the Tsuglagkhang), the Library of Tibetan Works & Archives, and the church known as St. John in the Wilderness.

After your tour ends, you'll have the evening free to explore the local bazaar of this beautiful town and buy some traditional Tibetan handicrafts.

Day 3: Trek to Kareri

View of the mountain path to Kareri Village
View of the mountain path to Kareri Village

After breakfast this morning, you will meet your mountain guide and begin your 8-mile (13 km) trek to your campsite outside of Kareri.

You will have an easy 4-hour hike to the village, and the path will gently rise through traditional Gaddi shepherd villages and terraced fields of rice and barley.

At the end of the day, you will arrive at your beautiful riverside campsite and set up your camp. You will have some free time to explore the nearby village before the day's end.

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Day 4: Trek to Barlai

A stunning view on the trail through the Himalayas
A stunning view on the trail through the Himalayas

After breakfast, you will tear down your camp and begin your gentle 5-mile (8 km) hike to another small village known as Barlai.

You will gradually ascend and pass through more farm fields and flowering rhododendron forests. These forests are home to pheasants, bears, and leopards, although these animals are unlikely to be sighted on the trail.

Around midday, you will stop for a relaxed lunch before completing your walk to your overnight campsite in Barlai. You will have the evening free to explore the village and relax.

Day 5: Trek to Dharamkot

View of the Dhauladhar mountain range
View of the Dhauladhar mountain range

You'll have a slightly longer 6-mile (10 km) hike to Dharmakot today, but you'll be rewarded with spectacular views as you pass through a woodland reserve that overlooks the beautiful Kangra Valley.

Dharmakot is inhabited by a tribe of people known as the Gaddis, and its location offers even more sensational views of the Dhauladhar range of mountains. Dharamkot's scenery and location lured the English artist Alfred Hallett to retire here,  and you can see his paintings in exhibits in Dharamsala.

When you arrive, you will set up your camp outside the village and have the evening free to explore.

Day 6: Trek to Triund

View of the Triund campsite
View of the Triund campsite

After breakfast, you'll pack up your camp and continue your trek towards the highest point of your trip at Triund—9,350 feet (2,850m).

The 4-mile (7 km) path from Dharamkot will take you steadily uphill for around 3 hours through deodar and rhododendron forests until you reach a ridge with another superb viewpoint of the snow-covered mountains of Dhauladhar. The panorama extends out across the Kangra Valley and down to your starting point of McLeod Ganj.

You will set up and camp overnight on the ridge, and you'll be treated to a stunning sunrise.

Day 7: Trek to McLeod Ganj - Transfer to Delhi

Souvenirs at a market in McLeod Ganj
Souvenirs at a market in McLeod Ganj

You will depart for your final 6-mile (10 km) hike back to McLeod Ganj. This walk takes around 3-4 hours as it's mostly downhill. 

When you arrive back in McLeod Ganj, you'll have the afternoon free to stroll through the local market and purchase some final souvenirs. In the evening, you will board the private transfer for your overnight ride back to Delhi.

Day 8: Departure via Delhi

Inside the Delhi airport
Inside the Delhi airport

It's time to say goodbye to India! When you arrive in Delhi in the morning, you will meet up with another representative who will transfer you to the international airport for your flight home.