Delhi - half day tour of Old Delhi. 5 day basic yoga course. Guided tour of Dharamsala and Mcleodganj, home of the Dalai Lama. Visit to a tea garden. Half day walk to Triund. Ride on the Kangra valley toy train.
Sketch Itinerary :
New Delhi | Pathankot | Dharamsala | Kanger Valley
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This tour, based in the Kangra region of India, lying in in the Northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, features a 5 day introductory yoga course. The Kangra Valley is a wide, fertile plain, crisscrossed by low hills, and the headquarters of the Kangra District is the small town of Dharamsala, adjacent to which is McLeodganj, the home of His Holiness, The Dalai Lama.
We base ourselves in Dharamsala for the duration of our course. Leaving the bustle of Delhi behind we take a train to Chakki Bank, and drive the short distance to our accommodation in Dharamsala. We spend 6 nights here, with our mornings spent at our yoga course and our afternoons spent on a variety of excursions. Returning by train to Delhi the city seems chaotic and noisy after our time in the Kangra valley. Our yoga course is a basic introductory course suitable for anyone wishing to start to learn about the practice of yoga, or wishing to refresh their basic knowledge after time away from the practice .
Highlights: Once capital of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan; half day tour of bustling Old Delhi
Description: After checking in to our hotel this morning we meet our Tour Leader and discuss the week ahead. In the afternoon we head for the narrow streets of Old Delhi. Once capital of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, Old Delhi is a maelstrom of colour, noise and chaos, and, using a mixture of the old and the new - the metro and a cycle rickshaw ride - we reach the Chandni Chowk Bazaar, at the heart of the Old City. A highlight of Old Delhi is the Jami Masjid mosque. Built of Red-stone, the Jama Masjid, also known as Masjid-e- Jahanuma, is the largest mosque in India. The courtyard of the mosque measures around 1000 square metres and has a capacity of 100,000 people. In the centre of the courtyard is a tank and Hauz. This was built for the purpose of Wazu, compulsory ambulation done before Namaaz. In front of it is a raised platform called the Dikka. The mosque is so big that the Muatllawi (the second cleric), used to stand on the Dikka and repeat the Ayats said by the Imam (the chief cleric) to the devotees who were unable to hear him. The mosque took some 14 years to construct. From the top of the southern minaret there is a view of New Delhi. Nearby is the imposing Red Fort. Built in the 1600s its imposing red sandstone walls stand over 30 metres above the heart of the Old City which swirls around it. We'll take a rickshaw ride through Chadni Chowk and have a wander through the Spice Bazaar. Be sure to have a camera ready to capture all the wonderful sights including the chaotic electrical wiring, monkeys, traders on bikes with massive loads, and the traffic in general which by some kind of sixth sense and tolerance means drivers and pedestrians seem to just miss each other.
Highlights: Drive through the Kangra valley to Dharamsala
Description: After an early breakfast we transfer to the railway station and take the train to Pathankot, travelling 3 Tier AC class. From here we drive through the Kangra valley to our hotel in Dharamsala, where we check in, in the early evening
Highlights: Guided tour of Dharamsala and Mcleodganj, home of the Dalai Lama.
Description: After breakfast on our first day we meet our yoga teacher and have our first yoga session. After lunch we have a guided tour of Dharamsala. The town is perched on the high slopes in the upper reaches of the Kangra Valley and is divided into two distinct and widely separated sections, Upper and Lower Dharamsala, which differ by almost a thousand metres in height. Dharamsala has become synonymous with the Tibetan government in exile and the nearby community of McLeodganj is the home of the Tibetan leader, the Dalai Lama. Even if the Tibetan community dominates the town, it has still retained the colonial lifestyle and British atmosphere. The colourful temple and Gompas, which reflect the culture of Tibet, add to the attraction of the place. We will visit the Tibetan Village at Mcleodganj, passing the residence of his Holiness the Dalai Lama. The Kangra museum is also worth a visit as it gives an overview of the rich past of the region, and there are other institutes that have been established to preserve the Tibetan art, cultures and traditions.
Highlights: Visit to a tea garden
Description: This morning we have our second yoga session. After lunch we head out of town. We are in tea country around Dharamsala, and this afternoon we visit a local tea garden, to see something of the process of growing and harvesting this all-important leaf.
Highlights: Half day walk to village of Triund, which lies at an altitude of about 2875 metres.
Description: Our morning starts with our third yoga session. Then in the afternoon we drive out of town to the start point of our guided walk. We walk for 3 to 4 hours then reach the village of Triund, which lies at an altitude of about 2875 metres. Set in an alpine meadow, high up on a ridge, the village faces the snow-capped peaks of Dhauladhar on one side and the beautiful Kangra Valley on the other. From Triund we return to our hotel.
Highlights: Ride on the Kangra valley toy train.
Description: After breakfast our daily yoga session, our fourth, occupies the morning. Then after lunch we drive to Baijnath Paprola railway station to board the narrow-gauge Toy Train for the three hour ride to Guler, rolling slowly through the Kangra valley, passing through several small villages on the way. We leave the train at Guler station and drive back to Dharamsala.
Highlights: Final morning yoga session
Description: Our last full day in Dharamsala starts with our fifth and final morning yoga session. After lunch we have an afternoon at leisure. Time perhaps for a last wander around Dharamsala, on our final day in the Kangra valley
Highlights: Here we leave the unspoilt world of the Himachali people behind us and take the early afternoon train to Delhi
Description: After breakfast we leave Dharamsala in the late morning and drive back to Pathankot railway station. Here we leave the unspoilt world of the Himachali people behind us and take the early afternoon train to Delhi, travelling in 3 Tier AC class. Arriving back in Delhi in the late evening, we find ourselves in a city which seems vast, busy, noisy, and a world away from the tranquil valley we have left behind us.
Highlights: This morning after breakfast our tour ends.
Description: Return To Onward Destination