For something a little more off the beaten path, take the train right to the heart of India’s colourful culture for a different look at this dynamic country’s northern region. Experiences like the India-Pakistan Wagah border ceremony and Dalai Lama sights in Dharamsala get you in touch with the spiritual side of India, while the toy trains in Shimla are always a delight. Riding the rails back to Delhi gives you the chance to see many of India’s well-known highlights, and we even include a G Adventures-supported walking tour led by former at-risk youth. You’ve never experienced India quite like this.
Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included through the G Adventures-supported Women on Wheels project.
There are no planned activities until an evening welcome meeting.
Take the morning Shatabdi Express to Amritsar and enjoy breakfast on board. In the afternoon, drive to the India-Pakistan border and witness the border ceremony performed by both nations border guards. Later in the evening visit the grounds surrounding the Golden Temple and take an orientation walk of Amritsar.
Amritsar which literally translates as "his pool of nectar", is a flourishing city and religious centre in the state of Punjab. Important from a religious point of view to the Sikh religion, with many pilgrims coming to have a divine bath in the pool of nectar at the Golden Temple. Also an important political city where in 1947 the separation of India and Pakistan created a long white line known as the Wagah Border between the two neighbours.
In the morning visit and explore the Golden Temple and learn about the community service principles of the Sikh Religion. Later, embark on a scenic drive to Dharamshala and take an orientation walk in the evening.
Travel along Himalayan mountain roads to the famous seat of the home of the Dalai Lama. "Dharamshala" translates to "a spiritual dwelling" or loosely, shelter or rest house for pilgrims and travellers. It is a beautiful former British hill station situated in the snow-capped mountains of Himachal Pradesh, in the foothills of the Dhauladar ranges. The city is divided into lower and upper Dharamshala according to the altitude. A popular pilgrimage site, the town is filled with temples, markets, galleries and gathering places.
Enjoy free time to explore Dharamsala. Visit the Main Temple and current residence of Dalai Lama or take a tour of the Norbulingka institute dedicated to preserving the Tibetan culture. Feeling more adventurous? Choose to embark on a short hike to Bhagsunag.
There are lots of ways to spend free time in this charming place. Visit the Kangra Art Museum in the Kotwali bazaar, or take in a performance of the Tibetan folk opera 'Lhamo' at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts.
Opt to visit Norbulingka. Set amidst beautiful gardens, surrounded by the green fields of the Kangra Valley, the Norbulingka Institute stands against a backdrop of the towering Dhauladhar mountains of the outer Himalayan range.
Explore the town of Mandi. Walk around Rewalsar Lake, a sacred spot for Hindus, Sikhs, and Buddhists. Renowned for its ancient stone temples with fine carvings, Mandi is also known as the "Varanasi of the Hills".
Embark onto the next destination, Shimla, the capital of Himachal province. This was once the British summer capital during the Raj Era. View the colonial era architecture still prominent throughout this city.
Enjoy a CEO-led orientation walk on The Ridge and The Mall (local hangouts) and explore this summer capital of British India. Opt to visit the Viceregal Lodge or admire the neo-Gothic or Tudorbethan architecture of the heritage buildings.
Take the World Heritage-listed toy train from Shimla to Kalka. Switch to the Shatabdi Express for the rest of the journey back to Delhi, with dinner included on board.
Take the World Heritage-listed toy train from Shimla to Kalka. Over the course of 3 hrs, the train winds through tunnels as you head out of the mountains of Shimla.
Depart at any time.
With extra time, you can book our 'Agra Extension,' including accommodation, transport, and a guided visit to India's most famous sight, the Taj Mahal.
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Trip Name: Northern India by Rail
Duration: 9 Days
From Price: $943
Supplier Tour ID: AHNR/145311
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