Day 01 : Arrival in Delhi
Upon arrival in Delhi, a representative of Budget Travels India will meet and transfer to the hotel according to the program. The legend says: no person or ruler who dared to create a new city in the place of Delhi, will not be able to retain its power for a long time. However, the prophecies failed to stop the numerous conquerors of Delhi who came, and again and again renamed the city for centuries. Architectural masterpieces and monuments of the "capital of the seven empires", created by different rulers, are a unique example of the evolution and synthesis of different cultures and influences.
Day 02 : Delhi
After breakfast, a full day excursion to the main sights of the capital of India - Delhi. The tour begins with a visit to the Red Fort , which is one of the most important historical complexes of India, embodying a long period of Indian history, a symbol of the architectural beauty and power of the ruling dynasties of India. It is from the walls of the Red Fort every year on August 15 - the anniversary of independence from Britain, the Prime Minister of India appeals to the Indian people.Then visit the tomb of Safdarjung , which is a unique marble mausoleum of the Mughal prime minister who served at the court of Emperor Muhammad Shah. This building symbolizes the decline of classical Mughal architecture and culture in general. Since it is considered the last tomb, decorated in the traditional Persian style of Char bagh, who prefers the four sectional garden scheme with numerous canals filled with running water. Professionals-orientalists believe that in the art history the Safdarjung's tomb is considered one of the most noteworthy. This mausoleum, surrounded on all sides by formal gardens, was built according to the model and dimensions of the legendary mausoleum of India - the Taj Mahal. However, unlike the luxurious Taj Mahal, when erecting the Safdarjung mausoleum, rare white marble and local red sandstone were used as the main building material. Then the guests will visit the temple of Sri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir - an ancient temple dedicated to the 23rd Tirthankara of Janaism. It is known as the oldest Jain temple in Delhi, which is opposite the famous Red Fort. The temple was built in 1656 from red sandstone, which is why Lal Mandir was named, which means "red temple". The Lal Mandir Temple in Delhi is beautiful and impressive not only from the outside, but also from the inside. On its first floor is the central hall, lush and identically decorated with gilding. Here are kept the shrines of the Great Mahavira, born in the sixth century BC. Further visit to the Gauri Shankar temple , dedicated to the God Shiva and his wife Parvati and then move to the gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib , which was built on the site where the ninth Sikh Guru Tegh Bahadur was executed by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in 1675. After the tour, guests on the subway will travel to the center of Delhi - the Connaught Place, - one of the largest financial, shopping and business centers in Delhi, where they will be given free time for walking and shopping. The tour will continue in New Delhi - the group will pass along the central avenue of the city with state buildings and see Sansad Bhavan (Indian Parliament) and Rashtrapati Bhavan (Presidential Palace), at one time serving as the Royal residence of the British viceroys who ruled India. Then will go to the Gateway of India . This memorial is dedicated to the soldiers of the Indian army who died as a result of hostilities from the first world war until today. At the end of the tour, the guests will visit the Radha-Parthasarathi Temple in Delhi, the temple complex of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). The inauguration of the temple took place in May 1998. Conducted by Prime Minister of India at the time, Sri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The chief architect of the project is the famous Indian master Achyut Kanvinde. The temple project was made to them free of charge, as a service to the Hare Krishnas. The land for the construction of the temple was allocated by the Government of India. Work on it began in 1992. At this time, the Deities were worshiped in the temporary temple next to the building. Return to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 03 : Delhi - Amritsar by train
Early in the morning transfer to the railway station for boarding a train to Amritsar. Upon arrival in Amritsar, transfer to the hotel, check-in. Later, a visit to the village of Attari, where Vagha is the only land crossing point between India and Pakistan, is open to foreigners, where every evening a national flagging and closing ceremony is held , accompanied by a military march of dressed frontier guards of both countries, competing among themselves in drill and bearing. Then visit the main shrine of the Sikh community - the Golden Temple or Harmandir-Sahib, located in the center of the reservoir, whose name is translated from Sanskrit as "the lake of the divine nectar of amrita." The temple is connected to the shore of the lake by a narrow marble bridge, symbolizing the path that the soul must go through after it leaves the mortal body. The central dome is lined with copper plates covered with gilding, and the walls of the temple are decorated with paintings and ornaments, inlays of precious stones. Inside the temple there is the original - Adi - Granth - a sacred book, revered as a living embodiment of the ten gurus of Sikhism. After seeing the temple, shining in the evening light, return to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 04 : Amritsar-Dharamshala Moving (200 km / 4 hours)
After breakfast, visit the Golden Temple , followed by a visit to the Jallianwala Bagh State Park . The park has a memorial dedicated to the peaceful inhabitants of the city, who were the victims of the execution of the colonial troops of the British Empire on April 13, 1919. These events marked the beginning of the non-cooperation movement, which became an important milestone in the struggle for India's independence. After the tour, transfer to Dharamshala . Since the mid-20th century, after the occupation of an independent state of Tibet by communist China, Dharamshala became known to the whole world. The town of Dharamshala and its surroundings were part of the lands generously granted by the Government of India for the residence of Tibetan refugees, and in fact became the capital of the Government of Tibet in exile. A large concentration of Tibetans and the focus of Tibetan culture, Tibetan medicine, Tibetan Buddhism, attract Western tourists, researchers and Buddhists. Upon arrival in Dharamshala, check in at the hotel, overnight at the hotel.
Day 05 : Dharamshala
After breakfast, sightseeing. The tour begins with a visit to the Residence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama XIV and the government of Tibet in exile and the Namgyal monastery, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery founded by the second Dalai Lama in 1575 in the Potala Palace, and moved after 1959 to Dharamshala where he continues his activities today. Also a visit to the Tibetan Cultural Center and the Tibetan Library , which is one of the leading institutes in the world specializing in Buddhology and Tibetology. Visit to the Institute of Tibetan Medicine and Astrology Meng-chi-khang . Founded originally in Lhasa, the institute was rebuilt in Dharamshala on the initiative of the Dalai Lama XIV and is the mainstay of the preservation of Tibetan culture: traditional medicine and astrology, prepares doctors of Tibetan medicine, provides affordable medical care, has a hospital with branches throughout India, pharmaceutical and other departments . In the afternoon (optional), visit the administrative center of the province of Kangra, which is a popular pilgrimage site for Hindus, as well as a visit to Fort Kangra , from the walls which offers a beautiful view of the valley. The fort, which was built above the confluence of the Mandji and Bangang rivers, served as a stronghold for Hindu and Mughal rulers until the great earthquake of 1905, during which it suffered considerable destruction. Then visit the Tibetan market. Return to the hotel, overnight at the hotel.
Day 06 : Dharamshala-Rewalsar Transfer (175 Km / 5 Hours)
After breakfast, check-out from the hotel and transfer to Rewalsar. On the way visit the Norbulingka Institute , which is named after the summer residence of the Dalai Lama Norbulingka in Lhasa, Tibet. Then visit the monastery of Gyuto exile. After the Chinese invasion, the building of the Gyuto Monastery, one of the most famous monasteries in Tibet, specialized in studying tantric meditation, was destroyed, and the monastery itself was moved to India. The new monastery is located in Sidhbari, 12 kilometers from the residence of the Dalai Lama. Here there is a monastic university, in which students study the most important tantric texts. In the monastery there are about 500 monks, and also the Karmapa XVII of Ogyen Trinley Dorje - the supreme lama of the sect Karma Kagyu and the third in rank of lama in Tibetan Buddhism. Further along the way, visit the Baijnath Temple dedicated to the god Shiva and is a center of pilgrimage and tourism. The temple building is a sample of the medieval temple architecture of northern India, in front of the entrance to the main building is a statue of the saber-rider god Shiva - the Nandi bull, and in the main sanctuary the image of the god Shiva in the form of a self-arising masculine. Then on the way visit the town of Mandi , which is concentrated more than 300 temples dedicated to the Gods Shiva and Kali, many of which are located directly on the Bias River, which makes the city also known as Choti Kashi (Mini Varanasi) . Many of the classical temples are of a rare type, recognized as objects of historical significance, and are under the protection of the Archaeological Administration of India. Upon arrival in Rewalsar, check-in at the hotel, overnight at the hotel.
Day 07 : Rewalsar-Manali Transfer (200 Km / 6-7 hours)
After an early breakfast, check-out from the hotel and sightseeing of Rewalsar. Visiting the cave temple of Padmasambhava, located on one of the mountain peaks at an altitude of 1200 meters, where the founder of the Tibetan tantric tradition, which made a significant contribution to the development of the Tibetan form of Buddhism and revered as the Second Buddha of our era, the great Guru Rinpoche spent his time in meditation. You can climb up to it on a steep winding staircase, which starts next to the sacred lake Rewalsar. Related, according to the legends, with the birth of Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche), Lake Rewalsar , around which the city of the same name is built, is considered sacred and is a famous place of pilgrimage for Buddhists. After exploring the lake and the temples located around it, transfer to Manali. On the way visit Manikaran - the sacred pilgrimage center for representatives of two religions: Hinduism and Sikhism. Manikaran is also famous for its hot springs - in some of them the water temperature is such that rice can be cooked in it. Upon arrival in Manali, a major tourist center in the Kullu Valley, check-in at the hotel. Many Indian newlyweds come to Manali primarily because of the cool climate and the opportunity to see snow for the first time in their lives, while Manali attracts European travelers for a wide range of hiking routes, active recreation and beautiful views of the snowy peaks of the Pir Panjal and Dhauladhar ranges. Check in hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 08 : Manali
Excursion for the whole day at the height of about 1768 m, the former capital of Raja Kullu - Naggar village , where the estate is located - the museum of the Russian artist and public figure and father of Russian esoteric Nicholas Roerich. In Naggar, Roerich wrote most of his paintings from the Himalayan series. Visit to the picture gallery of Roerich , which is located on the first floor of the house, where Nikolai Roerich lived from 1928 to 1947, on the second floor the interior of his house was recreated. Near the house, on the territory of the complex, is the ethnographic museum of Urusvati, which presents some interesting culturological finds of Roerich, as well as objects of everyday life of local residents. Visiting the stone-wooden castle Naggar , built by Raj Sid Singh in the 17th century. Its balconies offer a wonderful view of the Kullu valley, and in the courtyard of the castle there is a small sanctuary, richly decorated with wooden carvings, where there is a flat stone, which according to legend brought here through the air bees. The castle, currently used as a hotel, is a striking example of Himalayan architecture - the walls are lined with alternating layers of stone and wood, which protects the building from earthquakes. Near the castle there are ancient Hindu temples of the 11th century - Vishnu Mandir and Gauri-Shankar Mandir - decorated with stone bas-reliefs, and near the Roerich manor there is a wooden temple of the Tripura Sundari Mandir Pagoda. The tour will continue in Old Manali, where the Manu temple is located , dedicated to the legendary ancestor of mankind - Manu. It is to this place, where the temple is now, that Manu, parted by the god Vishnu, moored his boat and rescued all sorts of plants, all kinds of animals and people from the Flood like the Old Testament Noah. He is also credited with the creation of the Laws of Manu, an ancient Indian collection of precepts to a pious Indian in the performance of his social, religious and moral duty. Then visit the Tibetan Quarter and the Gadhan Thekchhokling Gompa Monastery, a modern Buddhist monastery built by Tibetan refugees in 1969. The settlement of Tibetans is concentrated in the monastery area, as well as a large number of Tibetan shops with souvenirs. Return to the hotel, overnight at the hotel.
Day 09 : Manali-Shimla Transfer (250 Km / 6 hours)
After breakfast, eviction from the hotel and a visit to the temple of Hidimba, surrounded by Himalayan cedars - deodars. The temple was erected in the middle of the 16th century and is a four-tiered pagoda, from the outside the wooden carving is complemented with the horns of sacrificial animals hung on the walls. The temple is dedicated to Hidimba - the embodiment of the goddess Kali, and the descendants of the Raja family still regularly sacrifice goats - at the entrance to the temple there is a sacred stone with a small hole in the center, to which blood of animals should flow during sacrifices. After moving to Shimla - the capital of the state Himachal Pradesh and the most popular mountain resort in India. As early as the beginning of the 19th century, British officers attracted by the climate of Shimla, close to the English climate, began to spend summer holidays here, and in 1863, Governor-General John Lawrence decided to move the summer capital of British India to Shimla. Located at an altitude of 2213 meters above sea level, a multi-tiered city with old houses, churches and shops in English style is fascinated by its colonial spirit, which you can walk along the beautiful promenade. Upon arrival, check in at the hotel, rest, free time. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 10 : Shimla
After breakfast, a tour of the main attractions of Shimla. Visit to the Temple of Jakhu , located at an altitude of 2450 m at the top of the mountain of the same name, from where you can enjoy a spectacular view of the whole of Shimla. The temple is dedicated to the God Hanuman, who according to the ancient Indian epic "Ramayana" stopped here during his trip to the Himalayas. In support of this legend, numerous monkeys eagerly await visitors to the temple. Next, a visit to the Viceroy's Residence - an impressive colonial building that served as a summer deployment site for the ruling elite of British India. To date, it houses the Indian Institute of Modern Studies, surrounded on three sides by a well-kept park, where exotic pheasants are bred. Visiting the museum of the state of Himachal , located in a beautiful building in the colonial style, where the collections of Mughal and Rajasthan miniatures, weapons, jewelry, clothing, musical instruments, photographs, ancient sculptures and coins of the state are stored. Walk along the famous promenade - Mall past the house of Charles Kennedy - the very first British mansion built in Shimla, which survived even the fire of 1980, past the former building of the Western Command, past Vidhan Sabha , where the Legislative Assembly of the State is now, past the iron construction of the railway station , which serve as outstanding examples of colonial architecture. And also a visit to the famous town with a spicy name Scandal Point - it is from here, where the two roads Moll and Ridge meet, the Indian Raja escaped with the beloved wife of a British officer. Further free time for rest / shopping. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 11 : Shimla - Chandigarh Transfer (120 Km / 4 hours)
After breakfast, eviction from the hotel and transfer to Chandigarh along the unique narrow-gauge railway that crosses 103 tunnels and over 800 bridges is the most picturesque in India and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city of Chandigarh was built in the middle of the 20th century on the initiative of the first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru, who intended to reflect in this way a new national perspective for the development of the country that has embarked on the path of progress. Chandigarh was the first in India pre-planned city, built on the project of the famous master of architecture Le Corbusier, with the active participation of foreign and Indian architects who worked in the same team. A city divided into sectors with urban architecture, in which the idea of ??globalization is manifested to the highest degree, differs favorably from other large cities of India with its wide green and clean streets and modern lifestyle. Travel past the man-made lake Sukhna Lake and a complex of government buildings that convey the spirit of the city. Then visit the most popular attractions of India after the Taj Mahal - the famous Garden of Stones - Sculpture Park . Initially, the sculptures were created at night secretly mostly from industrial waste and discarded household items by amateur sculptor Nike Chand, however, after the city authorities discovered this illegal structure and provided support, the park became a notable urban (and even national) landmark. In the evening transfer to the railway station of Kalka and boarding a train to Delhi. Upon arrival in Delhi, tour ends.