Hill Stations Of India | Ultimate Travel Company

ITINERARY INSPIRATION

HILL STATIONS OF INDIA

Head for the hills and discover the legacy of the British in some of India’s most iconic hill stations.
DELHI, INDIA

ABOUT THE ITINERARY

In the cooling hills high above the cities and plains, India’s historic hill stations offer a fascinating window into the past as well as a tranquil and picturesque getaway. This itinerary visits Shimla (the ‘Queen of the Hill Stations’), McLeod Ganj and a working tea estate in the upper reaches of the Kangra Valley, where Indian culture meets British architecture and sublime natural scenery.

Bookended by stays in Delhi, this itinerary also encompasses the holy city of Amritsar, the Buddhist culture in Dharamsala and scenic ‘toy train’ rides on heritage mountain railways.

Shimla | Ultimate Travel Company
ITINERARY INSPIRATION

DESIGNED BY SPECIALISTS

Bear in mind, these are just a starting point as all holidays are customised to the specific requirements of our guests. Whether you prefer a different style of accommodation, a greater focus on a particular interest or to go to a different destination all together, every itinerary is created individually around your preferences.

India Red Fort Delhi | Ultimate Travel Company
Day 1-2

DELHI

Touch down in Delhi where your journey begins. You will be met upon arrival and transferred to the Imperial Hotel (a landmark in the city) for check-in.

The next day you will have the opportunity to delve into the different worlds of Old and New Delhi with your private guide and driver. Kicking off with Old Delhi, you will take in icons such as the Red Fort (an incredible display of Moghul pomp and power) and the Jama Masjid – India’s largest mosque and the final architectural extravagance of Shah Jehan. You’ll visit the site where Gandhi was cremated following his assassination, the beautiful park of Raj Ghat, and stop by the busy, vibrant perfume market of Chandni Chowk.

In Sir Edwin Lutyen’s New Delhi, prepare to be dazzled by Humayun’s Tomb – a forerunner to the ornate Moghul style of architecture later perfected in the Taj Mahal – and the Qutab Minar with its 13th-century, 234-foot-high fluted minaret. Driving along Raj Path, you’ll get a view of the impressive India Gate, the Parliament Building and the President’s residence, Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Stay: Two nights in a Heritage Room at the Imperial – including breakfast

Amritsar | Ultimate Travel Company
Day 3-4

AMRITSAR

This morning you’ll catch the Shatabdi Express to Amritsar, a journey of approximately six hours. Your beautiful heritage hotel lies in the heart of the city and was formerly used as a guesthouse for visiting British officials.

This evening, visit the Golden Temple with a local guide to watch the nightly ceremony unfold. This is when the temple is most picturesque, with strings of twinkling lights illuminating its central promenade and inner sanctum.

Return to the Golden Temple early the following day to see the complex in a different light. Many pilgrims bathe in the sacred waters here, and up to 100,000 people are fed in the temple kitchen daily. Visitors are welcome to help out in the kitchen or sit down to a delicious meal of rice and dhal. Afterwards, as you stroll through the Old Town, stop at Jallianwala Bagh – a memorial to victims of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre of 1919.

In the afternoon, you’ll travel to the border between India and Pakistan Attari-Wagah to witness the lowering of the flag ceremony – a daily theatrical military spectacle characterised by elaborate and rapid dance-like manoeuvres.

Stay: Two nights in a Suite at Ranjit’s Svaasa – including breakfast

Kangra Valley | Ultimate Travel Company
Day 5-7

KANGRA VALLEY

Today you’ll transfer to your next destination, an eco-friendly homestay located on the largest working tea estate in the Kangra Valley – widely hailed as the tea capital of India’s northwest Himalaya. Your first morning will be spent touring the Wah Tea Estate, an opportunity to learn how the tea is plucked and processed – from withering and rolling right through to fermenting, drying and sorting. The tour concludes with a tea-tasting session in the pretty gardens, followed by a jeep safari to the top of a nearby mountain.

The next day you’ll set out for the serenely spiritual hill city of Dharamshala, home of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in exile. Enjoy a visit to the Norbulingka Institute, where you can marvel at the two-storeyed Seat of Happiness Temple, browse the Losel Doll Museum, and participate in a Thangka Painting workshop.

After lunch at a local cafe, stop by the Kangra Arts Museum before spending the rest of the afternoon exploring the former hill station of McLeod Ganj, also known as ‘Little Lhasa’ or ‘Dhasa’ because of its large Tibetan population. During British rule, the town was a hill station where the British spent hot summers. Lord Elgin, the British Viceroy of India (1862-63), liked the area so much that he suggested it be made the summer capital of India.

Stay: Three nights in a Deluxe Room in The Lodge at Wah – including breakfast

Shimla | Ultimate Travel Company
Day 8-10

SHIMLA

Today you embark on the six-hour journey to Shimla. Upon arrival, check in to your landmark colonial-era hotel.

Declared the summer capital of British India in 1864, the cool Himachal Pradesh hill station of Shimla retains a faded elegance, nestled amongst the snow-dusted peaks of the Himalayan foothills. You’ll have three nights here, ample time to explore The Mall, the Viceregal Lodge (the erstwhile viceroy’s residence is today the Institute of Advanced Studies), the Shimla State Museum and the Jakhu Temple.

Enjoy a ride on the famous, Heritage-listed ‘Toy Train’ to Taradevi, weaving through a multitude of tunnels and over hundreds of bridges — a somewhat slow but fascinating journey through the foothills of the Himalayas.

Stay: Three nights in a Premier Valley View Room at The Oberoi Cecil – including breakfast

Haridwar | Ultimate Travel Company
Day 11-12

HARIDWAR

Your next port of call is Haridwar. This evening, you will head down to the Har Ki Pauri Ghat on the banks of the Ganges River to witness the daily evening ritual of the aarti. An aarti is a Hindu religious ritual of worship in which light from wicks soaked in ghee is offered to one or more deities. Afterwards, enjoy a stroll around the local bazaar.

After breakfast on your second day in Haridwar, you’ll make the 40-minute drive into Rishikesh, hopping out of the car to explore the town on foot. Rishikesh (356m) stands at the point where the wooded mountains of Garhwal rise abruptly from the low valley floor, and the Ganges crashes onto the plains. Its many ashrams – some very clearly ascetic, some verging on the opulent – continue to draw devotees and followers of all sorts of gurus. The large Shivananda Ashram, in particular, is renowned as a yoga centre. It has one or two ancient shrines, but its main role has always been a way station for people heading for the high Himalayas.

Enjoy visits to Lakshman Jhula, Ram Jhula, Raghunath Temple and Triveni Ghat during your stay. After lunch, walk along the banks of the river around Laxman Jhula and Ram Jhula. Before you return to your hotel, witness the evening Parmarth Niketan Ganga aarti.

Stay: Two nights in a Premium Ganges View Room at Taj Pilibhit House – including breakfast

Cable Car | Ultimate Travel Company
Day 13

DELHI

Today you’ll transfer to the airport to catch your flight back to Delhi. But first, you’ll pay a morning visit to the Mansa Devi Temple (by cable car) as well as the Pawan Dham and Daksha Temple.

Stay: One night in a Superior Garden View Room at The Trident Gurgaon – including breakfast

Delhi Airport | Ultimate Travel Company
Day 14

DEPART DELHI

Transfer to Delhi airport for your return flight home.

THE PRICE BREAKDOWN
14 days from $6,420 per person

PRICE INCLUDES

  • Domestic flights
  • Private transfers
  • Accommodation and meals as stated in the itinerary
  • Based on two people travelling

PRICE EXCLUDES

  • International flights
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