Itinerary (1)


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Amritsar, Dharamshala, Leh and Varanasi Itinerary

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Itinerary (1)

  1. 1. A photographic journey through North India
  2. 2. John Isaac Amritsar, Leh & Varanasi Group August / September 2010
  3. 3. John Isaac Amritsar, Leh & Varanasi Group August / September 2010 Wednesday, 25th August ARRIVE DELHI Upon arrival in Delhi today (Note: You must have a valid Indian visa in your passport before entering the country) you will be met by a representative from Eastbound Tours holding a signboard with your name at the arrival lounge. From here you will be driven to hotel and assisted in checking in. Le Meridien Le Meridien New Delhi is situated two kilometers from Rashtrapati Bhawan – the home of the President of India, the Presidential Palace, Parliament House, and Connaught Place. Our city center hotel is set amidst the most alluring shopping and entertainment districts in New Delhi. The rest evening is free at leisure Delhi is India’s capital and political hub is an ancient city that has something for everyone. Settled seven times over the centuries, this city has grown in a way that reflects its past, while retaining its cosmopolitan flavor. Delhi is India’s showcase, be it architecture, religion, shopping, culture – everything is available here – waiting to be discovered Overnight at le Meridien Thursday, 26th August DELHI/ AMRITSAR An early morning visit to flower market can be arranged. The day is free at leisure and late afternoon you will be transferred to New Delhi railway station to board your train to Amritsar Depart Delhi by Shatabdi Express at 1630 hrs Arrive Amritsar at 2235 hrs Upon arrival at Amritsar Railway station you will be transferred to your hotel for check in. Ista Amritsar
  4. 4. John Isaac Amritsar, Leh & Varanasi Group August / September 2010 is set in the heart of Amritsar just 5 km from the renowned Golden Temple and the historic Jallianwala Bagh, 5 Kms from the Railway Station and a 30 minute drive from the Amritsar International Airport. Ista Amritsar is a flawless convergence of comfort, taste and chic with stylish rooms. Vast spaces, beautifully landscaped areas and strategically located water bodies define the property, giving it its own personal character. The hotel offers a selection of world-class dining facilities: Collage - all day dining offering world cuisine, with an interactive Teppanyaki and Tempura station and an open wood fired oven. The Lounge Bar offers an all day ‘lounge’ experience and the specialty restaurant Thai Chi offers the best of authentic Chinese and Thai cuisine. Overnight at Ista Amritsar
  5. 5. John Isaac Amritsar, Leh & Varanasi Group August / September 2010 Friday, 27th August AMRITSAR Today morning you will be escorted to Golden Temple to witness this beautiful Temple at the sunrise; this temple is one of the most beautiful buildings in India. Golden Temple is located in the heart of the city and is the most visited tourist attraction of Amritsar. Characterized by its four entrance doors (called deoris) in all four directions and the tastefully decorated shrines, in terms of art and architecture, the Golden Temple welcomes everyone regardless of the religion or faith one follows. The stunning sanctum, shimmering in the water of the holy tank, flanked by spotlessly clean marble walkways and pavements makes it breathtakingly beautiful. After the visit, return to hotel for a brief relax and breakfast; the rest of the day is free to explore the city. Visit the famous Jallianwala Bagh. This place is noted for the massacre during the British rule in India. Jallianwala Bagh is located 400 meters north of the Golden Temple. On 13 April 1919, pilgrims gathered there to celebrate the Baisakhi festival, and protest against the British rule. General Dyer was the Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab in 1919, who ordered the British forces to open fire on the people. 379 people died and more than 1200 people were injured in this massacre. Today after lunch you will be driven to Wagha Border (28 km) to witness the flag-off ceremony. This is quite a sight with all army splendor and the famous rivalry and competition between Indian and Pakistani forces. Return to hotel to relax. Overnight at Ista Amritsar Saturday, 28th August 220 KMS 06 HRS AMRITSAR - DHARAMSALA After breakfast, at the hotel start your drive to Dharamshala; upon your arrival you will be assisted in checking in at the hotel. Chonor House Chonor House is conveniently located near the Thekchen Chöling Temple adjacent to HH the Dalai Lama’s residence. Each of our eleven well-appointed rooms is beautifully decorated according to a unique Tibetan theme. Set amidst tall cedars, Chonor House is peacefully removed from the hustle and bustle of the town. Chonor House was designed and built by British architect David Porter in a style intended to blend with the natural environment of the hills overlooking the Kangra valley. OR Surya Resort Originally built as a summer palace, Surya Resort has recently been transformed to its former glory whose sole purpose is the pursuit of leisure. Set amid awe-inspiring
  6. 6. John Isaac Amritsar, Leh & Varanasi Group August / September 2010 fairytale gardens, this palace may be the most romantic hotel in the world. As a testimony to courtly love, the palace brims with princely details including marble pillars, ornate glasswork, intricate paintings, and much, much more. Guests can experience opulent luxury in any of our 56 rooms. Each Room Overlooks A Lily Pond Or The Terrace And Is Elegantly Appointed After lunch, start your sightseeing of Mcleodganj - the residence of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. Originally home of the semi-nomadic Gaddi tribe, this mid 19th century place was developed as a British Garrison. The place was developed as an important administrative point for the whole Kangra valley. Today the place has developed as headquarters of the exiled Tibetan Government. The impressive monastery has larger than life size images of Buddha, Padmasambhava and Avaloketeshwara. Also visit Norbulinka Institute that is just four kms from Dharamsala. Norbulinka was established to preserve and teach the ancient Tibetan arts. The shady paths, wooden bridges, small streams tiny water falls make this place look like heaven. Here one can watch the wooden carvings and the tangka paintings, golsithing and embroidery being done. The nunnery close to the institute is a place where women are taught the advanced levels of Buddhist philosophy. Return to hotel for the night. Overnight at Chonor House or The Surya resort Sunday, 29th August 235 KMS 08-09 HRS DHARAMSALA - MANALI Today morning after breakfast, start your drive to Manali, enroute enjoying the most beautiful & picturesque part of the Himachal Pradesh which takes you through some exhilarating scenery. Snow crests Manor Snow crests Manor is highest located hotel with a spectacular snow view of the majestic Himalayas and the old quiet Manali township. The centrally heated 32 room hotel in Manali is situated beyond the log huts overlooking the Manalsu river. The sheer beauty of the landscape is enough to take the breath away. In the evening on arrival in Manali, the evening is free at leisure. Overnight at Snow Crest Monday, 30th August MANALI After breakfast get ready for a city tour of Manali . Start with Hadimba Devi Temple that was built around a natural cave. The temple has a finely wrought four- tiered pagoda roof, dating back to 1553. It enshrines the footprints of Goddess Hadimba. Hadimba was the wife of Bhima, one of the five great Pandava brothers of the Mahabharata, and later became the patron goddess of the Kullu royal family. Also visit the Tibetan Monastery called the Gadhan Thekchokling Gompa. It is a colorful, pleasant monastery built by Tibetan refugees in the late 1960's. Continue your visit old Manali that is the hamlet out of which, grew the large tourist town that Manali is today. It is also the site of Manu temple dedicated to Sage Manu. Overnight at Manali Heights
  7. 7. John Isaac Amritsar, Leh & Varanasi Group August / September 2010 Tuesday, 31st August 129 KMS 03 ½ HRS MANALI - KEYLONG Morning start your drive to Keylong crossing the 13,050 ft high Rohtang Pass, you enter the valley of Lahaul. The drive is along the River Chandra with views of towering mountains and glaciers. In the afternoon we will arrive at Keylong a small town and will check in at hotel Deykid. Located at Keylong with an excellent view of the mountain which houses the Khardong monastery, Rooms are simple with attached bathrooms with geysers. All rooms offer an excellent view of the surrounding hills The rest of the evening is free at leisure. Overnight at Deykid Hotel or Similar Wednesday, 01st September 129 KMS 03 ½ HRS KEYLONG - SARCHU Today morning start your drive to Sarchu. You get to see some of the most breath taking landscapes that the Western Himalayas can offer. The scenery gets more stark and barren as we climb up to the 16,500-foot high Baralacha La the second mountain pass on our journey. From the pass beautiful views of meadows and snow-capped mountains can be seen. On arrival check-in at the Adventure camp Ladakh is a silent, blissful place of thin air and magical geological shapes, its landscape marked by soft, burned colors and purple shadows. Curiously, it boasts an intimacy that belies the rugged 4,000 to 6,500 mt peaks that surround the former kingdom. Even the mighty Indus River, which cuts across the high valleys and through the mountain gorges, can look almost like a stream when viewed from the hilltop monasteries. The brochures call Ladakh "Little Tibet". Overnight at Deluxe Camps Thursday, 02nd September 251 KMS 09 HRS SARCHU - LEH Today early morning start your drive through Lachungla Pass 5065 meters, rugged in the middle of mountains. At lunch time we stop at Pang. From here there are chances to see tiny colonies of Marmots on the Morea plains a stretch of 45 Kms. Finally we reach the second highest road Tanglangla Pass 5350 meters, and reach Leh in the evening. On arrival check into your hotel Lharimo hotel Lharimo hotel is centrally located; around 5 minutes walk from the Market surrounded by green lush fields and trees. Restaurant serves Indian, Chinese, and continental cuisine, other service are laundry, parking and travel desk Overnight at Lharimo or Similar
  8. 8. John Isaac Amritsar, Leh & Varanasi Group August / September 2010 Friday, 03rd September LEH Today we will visit some monasteries. Start with Shey Palace and Gompa that is situated on a hillock 15 Kms upstream from Leh. It was once the residence of the royal family. According to tradition, it was the seat of power of the pre-Tibetan kinds. A 7.5 mts high copper statue of Buddha, plated with gold and the largest of its kind, is installed here. Continue with Thiksey Gompa that is 19 Kms from Leh. Spectacularly sited, Thiksey is one of the largest and architecturally most impressive Gompas. There are several temples in this Gompas, containing images, stupas and wall paintings of Buddha, which are exquisite. Also visit the Hemis Gompa that lies 40 kms from Leh. Best known and biggest Gompa of Ladakh, Its popularity stems from the major annual festival held here in summer. The festival is in honor of Guru Padma Sambhava’s birth anniversary. It also has the largest Thanka in Ladakh which is unfurled once in 12 years (nest in 2004). Return to hotel for overnight. Overnight at Lharimo or Similar Saturday, 04th September LEH This full day is reserved for visiting Alchi and Likir monasteries, carrying picnic lunch along. Visit the Klu- kkhyil Gompa in Likir which was founded in the 14th century. It has an interesting small museum and beautiful paintings. It has an interesting small museum and beautiful paintings. There are about 150 monks of the Gelukpa order living here. The head lama is the younger brother of the Dalai Lama. Overnight at Lharimo or Similar Sunday, 05th September LEH – PANGONG LAKE- LEH Leave early morning at 5AM to Pangong Lake through Changla pass 5486 Mtrs. While ascending Changla pass 5486 Mtrs. Enjoy the beautiful panoramic view of the villages below the pass. After crossing the pass halt for picnic lunch at Tsoltak, the summer pastureland of the yaks. Arrive Durbuk and from there a short drive takes you to the western shore of the lake. Enjoy the landscape in the back drop of the Lake. This famous blue brackish Lake of Pangong is 5/6 Kms wide and over 144 Kms long with half of its running the other side of the "INDO CHINA BORDER". One rarely feels so close to nature and environment and the scenery is unforgettable. In the late afternoon drive back to Leh. Overnight at Lharimo or Similar Monday, 06th September LEH Today is a day to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the Leh town. You may want to walk down to the local bazaar to buy souvenirs which will remind you of your small rendezvous with Ladakh. In the evening take a short sunset trip to Shanti Stupa SHANTI STUPA (Japanese Peace Pagoda): Shanti Stupa/Japanese peace pagoda is build by a Japanese religious organization headed by Head monk Nakamura with the help from the organization and local people. It is situated at a hill top in Cahngspa village providing a bird eye view of the Leh town and the surrounding Mountain peaks. Architecturally it has the Japanese touch with small clean rooms on the side for meditators and the main Japanese shrine at the entrance Overnight at Lharimo or Similar
  9. 9. John Isaac Amritsar, Leh & Varanasi Group August / September 2010 Tuesday, 07th September LEH / DELHI / VARANASI Leave on time for Leh airport to board your flight to Delhi. Depart Leh by Jet airways flight 9W 1610 at 0825 hrs Arrive Delhi at 0940 hrs You will be met upon arrival and transfer to the departure terminal for your flight to Varanasi Depart Delhi by Spice Jet flight SG 114 at 1420 hrs Arrive Varanasi at 1545 hrs Upon arrival in Varanasi, an eastbound representative, holding a sign with your name, will meet you and will escort you to your hotel. The Radisson Hotel Varanasi is a five-star hotel conveniently located in the heart of the city's main business district. The hotel's modern architecture, warm hospitality and top-notch services are sure to please business and leisure travelers. The Radisson features spacious, comfortable rooms and suites, an on-site spa, multiple dining outlets and well-equipped meeting facilities. Varanasi, also known as Kashi and Benares is situated on the north bank of Ganga in the state of Uttar Pradesh in North India. It is one of the oldest living cities of the world with its history dating back to about 3500 hundred years. For the pious Hindus, the city has always had a special place since long. In the evening proceed to the river Ganges to witness Evening Aarti (prayer) ceremony. You are taken on a boat on the river from where you can watch masses come to the Ghats to offer prayers and float tiny oil lamps on the river. Overnight at Radisson Wednesday, 08th September VARANASI In the morning at Dawn, proceed to Ghats to enjoy the boat ride at River Ganges. At the time of Sunrise the river is centre of many activities. Enjoy the unique experience from your boat. It is said that Sunrise on the river in Varanasi is one of the most magical experiences. Return to hotel for breakfast. In the afternoon excursion to Sarnath (closed on Monday) the Buddha proclaimed the law of faith. It was here that he taught the keys aspects of Buddhism: the four noble truths, the eightfold path and the middle way philosophy. The Buddha encouraged followers to avoid extremes of austerity or pleasure. The remains of monasteries dating from the third century B.C.E. to the first century C.E. indicate a thriving monastic community.
  10. 10. John Isaac Amritsar, Leh & Varanasi Group August / September 2010 In the evening proceed to the river Ganges to witness Evening Aarti (prayer) ceremony. You are taken on a boat on the river from where you can watch masses come to the Ghats to offer prayers and float tiny oil lamps on the river. Overnight at Radisson Thursday, 09th September VARANASI / DELHI After breakfast at the hotel check out and start a city tour of Varanasi which includes a visit to some important temples like the Bharat Mata Mandir and the Durga Temple. Take a walk down Vishwanath ji Ki Galli – the ancient alley which is home to some beautiful temples. Here you will find shops that sell every conceivable thing required in a temple. Also visit the Chudi Wali Galli (The Street of Bangles) where bangles of every hue, shape and size are sold. Early afternoon you are transferred to the airport for your flight to Delhi. Depart Varanasi by Kingfisher airlines flight IT 310 at 1140 hrs Arrive Delhi at 1310 hrs Upon your arrival in Delhi, an eastbound representative, holding a sign with your name, will meet you and will escort you to your hotel. In the afternoon enjoy a city tour visiting Humayun’s Tomb drive past the India Gate (World War I Memorial), The President's Palace, Parliament House and the Secretariat buildings – that make up ‘Lutyens Delhi’. Overnight at le Meridien Friday, 10th September DELHI After breakfast at the hotel enjoy a sightseeing of Delhi taking you to Jama Masjid, - the largest mosque in India. Drive past the magnificent Red Fort, - a marvel in red sandstone, built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan. Then, visit Raj Ghat (Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial). Rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight at le Meridien Saturday, 11th September DEPARTURE INDIA In the morning you are transferred to the International airport for your flight to your next destination. End of the Tour Check in at 1400 hrs Check out at 1200 hrs