Lying in the shadows of the imposing Himalayas there is something mystical, even spiritual, about the northern regions of India.

With its revered Golden Temple and nickname as the ‘Holy Pool of Nectar’, Amritsar is the spiritual capital of Sikhs. On the edge of the Himalayas, Dharamsala is the home of the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader, and is a sacred centre for Buddhists and Hindus alike. This twelve-day tailor-made luxury holiday in India will take you off the beaten path to thrill and enlighten you in the various religions of India. You’ll get a Shimla tour: a colonial town with echoes of the Raj.

No North India holiday is complete without a visit to Delhi and we include three nights to allow time to explore this magnificent city. A rickshaw tour will give you a local’s glimpse of its historic havelis, temples, palaces, shrines and atmospheric bazaars, before concluding at Raj Ghat. A memorial to the great Mahatma Gandhi, it’ll be a precursor for a tour the following day that takes in where Gandhi once lived, a museum dedicated to him and meetings with locals who will tell you more about his life.

Then, a short flight to the north of the country will first have you in the Sikh holy city of Amritsar for two nights, where you’ll learn the ancient Sikh martial art of gatka with a local, followed by Dharamsala for three nights. It’s in these two cities you’ll learn the many facets of the various religions which affect life in India, as well as hiking through pristine Himalaya countryside. From learning the plight of Tibet refugees to viewing elaborate border ceremonies at the crossroads of India and Pakistan, your journey here will educate and thrill in equal measures.

We continue to the charming cobbled village of Pragpur in the picturesque Kangra Valley, where you’ll enjoy its sleepy ambience and the ancient Kangra Fort. We’ve left the best to last: three nights at the renowned Oberoi Cecil hotel in the hilltop town of Shimla. The legacy of British colonial rule can be felt everywhere here, and we have carefully crafted a city tour with the emphasis on Rudyard Kipling, who lived here for several years. With stunning mountain vistas and a peaceful atmosphere, you will see why it became the summer capital of the British.


Experience highlights

  • View Old Delhi in a traditional rickshaw on an in-depth tour of the city. Reaching place where cars cannot, your expert guide will take you to the city’s iconic sites and hidden gems.
  • View the Palki Sahib ceremony at the Golden Temple in Amritsar. This spiritual ceremony is accompanied by reciting of hymns and chanting while the head priest carries the holy book Guru Granth Sahib to its overnight resting place.
  • Under the guidance of an expert local, try your hand at the ancient Sikh martial art of gatka. You’ll understand its historical and cultural importance to Sikhism, as well as practising with the wooden sticks (known as soti) used in gatka to mimic swords.
  • Enjoy the changing of the guard ceremony at the Wagah Border. With elaborate drills and raising their legs as high as possible, the border guards of India and Pakistan conduct their own unmissable show at the border between these two countries.
  • Visit the Tibetan Museum in Dharamsala. This fascinating museum will inspire and educate you about Tibetan storied history and culture.
  • Visit the Dalai Lama’s residence, Namgyal Monastery, a huge white, maroon and yellow complex that overlooks the village of Mcleod Ganj and is intricately decorated with Buddha statues and woven fabrics.
  • Follow in Rudyard Kipling’s footsteps with a tour of Shimla. As a young reporter, he spent several years here writing about the British Empire and the wide range of characters involved. Step into Kipling’s world by learning about his life with a local historian.  
  • Spend three nights at the Oberoi Cecil, one of the finest hotels in India. At an elevation of several thousand feet, this luxurious hotel is nestled in the foothills of the Himalaya and offers exceptional views of the nearby valleys and mountains.
  • Ride on the Himalayan Queen Express, one of India’s historic toy trains.  This UNESCO World Heritage-listed train journey is one of the most scenic in the world, as you travel by narrow-gauge railway through tunnels and over bridges with a front-row view of lush mountainscapes.
Plan your trip to India

Experience highlights

View Old Delhi in a traditional rickshaw on an in-depth tour of the city
You'll also pass many of Old Delhi's other historic monuments, with the vermillion-hued Red Fort among its most impressive
Delhi was a stronghold for the Mughal empire and your private guided tour will take in many of the elegant havelis (townhouses) it left behind
Witness many of the religions living together in Delhi on your tour, soaking up sights such as the Jain Temple
At the end of your Old Delhi tour, you'll pause at Raj Ghat, a memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi
View the Palki Sahib ceremony at the Golden Temple in Amritsar
Learn the Sikh martial art of gatka under the tutelage of a skilled local
Enjoy the changing of the guard ceremony at the Wagah Border. With elaborate drills and the raising of legs as high as possible, the border guards of India and Pakistan conduct their own unmissable version of the change of the guards daily
Pay a visit to the Dalai Lama's residence on a day tour of Dharamsala
Visit the Tibetan Museum in Dharamshala. This fascinating museum will inspire and educate you about Tibetan history and culture
Hike through unspoiled Himalaya countryside to Triund Hill for panoramic views of mist-wrapped mountains
Explore Kangra Fort's impressive stone ramparts, which are thought to be at least a thousand years old
Wind back time with a stroll through Pragpur's cobblestone lanes and mud-plastered houses
Follow in Rudyard Kipling’s footsteps with a tour of the Himachal hilltop capital, Shimla
Climb up to Jakhoo Temple, the highest point in Shimla
Spend three nights at the teal-topped Oberoi Cecil, nestled in the foothills of the Himalaya
Relax in the Oberoi Cecil's huge indoor swimming pool
Enjoy a ride on the UNESCO World Heritage Himalayan Queen Express, one of India's toy train rides
Your rail journey, will take in lush mountain vistas and is often named one of the most scenic in the world
Relax among the serene surroundings of the Trident hotel in Gurgaon, a modern reimagining of a Mughal palace

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    Where you’ll stay


    Imperial Hotel, Delhi

    Immersing you into the era of the Raj with the Victorian-era décor, marble floors and gilded chandeliers, roam the corridors of this renowned hotel with thousands of prints of days gone by or just relax in the landscape gardens with a refreshing glass of Pimms or a G&T.


    Taj Swarna

    This stylish modern hotel embodies the best of Punjab's iconic history, art, and culture. in the heart of Amritsar, Taj Swarna is an ideal stay for exploring the Golden Temple and the cities other sights.


    Hyatt Dharamshala

    Surrounded by 6.5 acres of forest, the Hyatt Dharamshala is a luxurious mountain retreat. This family-friendly hotel has been skilfully designed to incorporate modern amenities but keep in character with its surroundings.


    Judge’s Court

    Full of character and charm, The Judge's Court is a converted country manor and has been classified as a one of India’s first heritage properties. The eco-friendly hotel sources its food and milk from its own gardens and dairy and water is exclusively piped from an ancestral mountain spring.


    Trident Gurgaon, Delhi

    A contemporary take on a Mughal palace with its huge sandstone dome, all of the features in the Trident Gurgaon appear to be slightly larger and more elaborate than normal. There are towering doors, cathedral-like colonnades and brass snakes for handles – just the way a king or queen would like it. The yawning marble hallways, shimmering silks, incense-scented courtyards and luxurious floral displays accentuate the palatial grandeur further in one of Delhi’s earliest resort hotels and where attention to detail is everything.


    Oberoi Cecil

    A legend amongst Indian Hotel’s, this Grand Dame has an enviable position in the foothills of the Himalayas Mountain range. Each guest room has been opulently appointed with soft pastel colours and locally sourced furniture.

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