Amritsar, The Dalai Lama & Hill Station Paragliding [Pioneer Exclusive] - Awesome Experiences

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Amritsar, The Dalai Lama & Hill Station Paragliding [Pioneer Exclusive]India

From £1,270 per person for 6 nights (based on 2 adults sharing)*
Adventure through the other-worldly villages and landscapes of the Himalayan foothills, taking in mountain-hugging colonial towns, empty pine forests, and ‘Little Lhasa’, the home of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Perfect for:

Must-do Outdoor Experiences Pioneers ClubYoga & Spiritual Extraordinary & Secret Places
Summary

India

Gain an exclusive insight into the life and landscapes of northern India on this exploration of the remote Himalaya region. Discover the glittering splendour of Amritsar’s Golden Temple, hobnob with the descendants of local royalty near the old hill station of Shimla, and soar above the stunning mountain scenery on an adrenaline-pumping paraglide. 

AWESOME ELEMENTS INCLUDED IN THE TOUR PRICE:

  • Paraglide through stunning Himalayan scenery
  • Explore Amritsar’s Golden Temple, Sikhism’s holiest shrine
  • Witness the famous Beating Retreat ceremony at the India-Pakistan border
  • Visit the home of the Dalai Lama in ‘Little Lhasa’
  • Dine with descendants of a local royal family near the old colonial capital of Shimla
  • Observe life in northern India through the windows of Shimla’s charmingly eccentric ‘toy train’

Touch down in Amritsar to a traditional welcome of marigold garlands and private guided tour of the stunning Golden Temple, the holiest shrine in the Sikh faith. From Amritsar you’ll head up to Dharamshala, perched in the foothills of the Himalayas. Soak up the atmosphere as you wander amongst red-robed monks, craft stalls and temples housing relics rescued from the Cultural Revolution. While you're here, we can even assist with an application for a private audience with the Dalai Lama (appointments cannot be guaranteed).

Your next destination is the Billing Valley, offering spiritual elevation of a different kind. Here you’ll launch off from the second highest paragliding spot in the world, swooping down through the stunning Himalayan landscape on an unforgettable tandem ride with an expert instructor. After coming back down to earth, your final stop is Shimla, where you’ll explore the charming, traffic-free old town and sit down to a very special dinner with the descendants of the royal family of Balsan. There’s one more treat in store before you fly home, with a ride on the famous ‘toy train’ to Kalka, one of the most scenic and evocative railway journeys in the world. 

amritsar summary


Please click the Full Itinerary tab for the full daily itinerary, details of what's included and information about children and solo travellers. 


BOOK ONLINE below now, or CALL 0208 432 0885 9am - 5pm Mon - Fri for assistance with booking

Please use your unique Pioneers Club code (sent by email) at checkout to confirm your 20% discount.

Please have your passport and Debit/Credit card to hand. International flights are not included.


GETTING THERE

Typical return Economy flights from London cost around £600 per person and take approximately 11 hours outbound, 8.5 hours inbound depending on exact flight configurations and layover times. Please check the current prices and availability using the ‘Search for Flights’ link below and ensure that your flight arrival and departure times and dates align with the start and end dates and airport locations shown on the Experience itinerary. Please do not book flights until your Experience booking is confirmed.

For this particular experience the best option is normally to book a multi-stop flight from London - Amritsar - New Delhi - London.

Experience start point: Amritsar (ATQ). Suggested arrival by 2pm.

End point: Delhi (DEL). The tour finishes late on day seven, and we suggest staying an extra night in Delhi (we can arrange this for a supplement). Please note: departure flight shouldn't be booked to depart Delhi until after 2am on Day Eight. 

Search for flights to Amritsar

Map
Full Itinerary

See below for your hotel options

You will get a choice of hotel options for the duration of your experience:

Classic ★★★

Classic hotels provide mid-range accommodation (minimum three-star rated), with comfortable rooms and private facilities. We’ve selected these hotels based on positive client feedback.

Premium ★★★★

Premium hotels are typically upper mid range (usually four star), with more amenities than our classic choices. They all have comfortable rooms with private facilities and have received good client feedback.

Deluxe ★★★★★

Deluxe hotels are luxury hotels with excellent facilities and service, usually categorised as 4.5 or 5 star. Clients rate them extremely highly.

When booking an experience, please remember that the hotel category you select is for the whole tour. The table below displays the hotels listed for each category. Please note that the actual hotel selection will be driven by availability at time of booking.


Click on the accommodation names to find out more from the hotel websites:

Classic: Premium: Deluxe:
Holiday Inn Hyatt Taj Swarna
Grace Hotel Fortune Moksha Chonor House  /  Divine Hima
Judges Court Judges Court Judges Court
Sunnymead The Oberoi Cecil The Oberoi Wildflower Premier Valley View Rooms

Itinerary

Day One

Welcome to India

A traditional greeting of marigold garlands welcomes you at the airport, followed by a private transfer to your hotel in Amritsar, one of the oldest cities in India. After checking in, you’ll be collected at 3.30pm for the journey to the village of Wagah, 17 miles away. At the only border crossing between India and Pakistan, you’ll witness the loud, lively Beating Retreat ceremony, a ritualistic display between soldiers from both countries. After this unique experience, you’ll return to Amritsar to take an evening stroll with your private guide to the Golden Temple, which glitters in its own man-made pool.

Overnight in Amritsar

Meals included: None

Golden Temple


Day Two

Head for the Himalayas

After breakfast, a private car will take you the 145 miles to Dharamshala, a hill station on the spur of the Dhauladhar mountain range. On the journey, you’ll see the terrain slowly change from the fertile river beds of Punjab to the rocky foothills of the Himalayan mountains. After check in at your hotel, it’s time to explore beautiful Dharamshala, a town surrounded by oak and conifer trees, with snow-capped mountains hugging three of its sides and the Kangra valley stretching in front. Once a quiet, remote outpost, Upper Dharamshala became famous as ‘Little Lhasa in India’ when His Holiness the Dalai Lama, along with thousands of Tibetan refugees, fled to nearby McLeod Ganj during the Tibetan uprising of 1959.

Overnight in Dharamshala

Meals included: Breakfast

Mcleod Ganj


Day Three

Visit the Home of the Dalai Lama

A little outside Dharamsala, clinging to a hillside, the suburb of McLeod Ganj is home to the Dalai Lama and many Buddhist monks and nuns. You will have plenty of time to soak up the spiritual atmosphere of this laid-back village, where Tibetan craft stalls line narrow streets, and red-robed monks wander between burnished temples. If you would like an audience with the Dalai Lama, Awesome Experiences can assist you in applying for your own pre-arranged, private visit. *  Afterwards, walk through pine forest to Dharamsala’s evocative War Memorial. An early evening excursion will take you a little out of town to the Chamunda Devi Temple. Built more than 700 years ago, this temple sits 1,000m above sea level by the banks of the Ban Ganga river, with spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. 

*Please note we will require visitor’s private audience request details well in advance. Meeting the Dalai Lama is solely controlled and managed by the Office of his Holiness the Dalai Lama. Please be advised, we will propose the visit and, should it be confirmed by the authority, we will let you know the additional cost. Please note that the last right of cancellation remains with them.

Overnight in Dharamshala

Meals included: Breakfast

Monks


Day Four

Soaring and Sightseeing

An early start will take you out to Billing Valley, where the Paragliding World Cup was held in 2015. Here, the stunning mountains and consistent thermals provide the perfect place to take to the sky – as you descend through a jaw-dropping landscape from the second highest paragliding spot in the world. You’ll embark on your 20-minute tandem ride with an experienced, fully-trained instructor. All the control and direction are handled by the pilot, who has a thorough knowledge of air speed, altitude, cloud, wind, temperature and the route required for safe flight. After an adrenaline fuelled morning, relax over lunch in the nearby hill station of Palampur, surrounded by tea gardens, before making the six-hour journey to Pragpur. You’ll break the travel with a stop in Chinor village, famous for its traditional watermills used to grind corn. Next is Dada Siba, once the centre of a small state ruled by Raja Ram Singh two hundred years ago. The ornate Radha-Krsna temple he built here is brightly painted with beautiful murals and surrounded by woodland. Finally, continue to your home for the night, the carefully preserved heritage village of Pragpur, with its cobbled streets and mud houses. 

Overnight in Pragpur

Meals included: Breakfast

Billing Valley


Day Five

Scenic Shimla

Travel from Pragpur to Shimla, on a 120-mile journey through the vibrant fields and remote villages of the lush Kangra Valley. Its cool climate and fantastic position across seven wooded hills led the British to name Shimla the summer capital of India. You’ll spend two nights exploring it. Today, there’s free time to wander its undulating roads and alleys (the colonial days are still in evidence, from the English street names and iron lamp posts). You’ll find a huge selection of shops and restaurants on the winding thoroughfare of The Mall, or walk to Scandal Point (supposedly named for the former Maharaja of Patiala's escapades), to view the distant snow-clad peaks of the Himalayas.

Overnight in Shimla

Meals included: Breakfast

Shimla Valley


Day Six

Work Up an Appetite

With its climbing, pedestrianised streets, Shimla is best explored on foot. Our local partner will take you on a stroll through the heritage zone of the old town, to visit some of its grand colonial buildings, including Christ Church, the second oldest church in North India. The walk finishes at just before lunch, with the afternoon free – but don’t devote it to a long, lazy meal because, at 6.30pm, you’re invited to a slap-up dinner with descendants of the royal family of the state of Balsan, in their mansion in the hills north of Shimla.  Your host provides drinks from his personal bar, while his wife cooks a feast of local dishes for you to discover. Dinner is included in the price but drinks must be paid for locally by guests.

Overnight in Shimla

Meals included: Breakfast; dinner

Shimla at Night


Day Seven

Making Tracks for Home

After a last breakfast at the hotel, you’ll be taken to Shimla railway station to board the 10:30am ‘toy train’ (so called because of its small engine and tracks). This train chugs for 60 scenic miles to Kalka, past sweetly-scented pine forests and apricot orchards, stopping at stations busy with samosa sellers. Arrive at Kalka Station at 4:30pm, to transfer to the  superfast train to Delhi, which leaves at 5:45pm. Dinner will be served on board at no extra cost. You’ll arrive in New Delhi at 10:45pm, where you will be met and transferred to the airport, or hotel, where the experience ends. Please note: departure flight shouldn't be booked to depart Delhi until after 2am on Day Eight. We offer an option to stay at a Delhi airport hotel for a supplement.

Meals included: Breakfast; dinner

Toy Train


Overall meals included: 6 Breakfasts; 2 dinners

What's included:

  • Private English-speaking guides unless stated otherwise
  • Private transfers and train tickets unless stated otherwise
  • Meals as listed
  • Mandatory taxes and service fees
  • A paraglide in the stunning Himalayas

What's not included:

  • International flights to/from the start/end point of our experiences
  • Optional extras listed
  • Tips for guides, drivers, hotel and restaurant staff
  • Any visa, customs, airport taxes or similar charges before or after the tour
  • We cannot guarantee the included hotel breakfast for early departures
  • Drinks during meals unless stated otherwise
  • Personal expenses, such as laundry


For Home Office travel advice to this country, read more here

If you intend to travel solo, please click here


BOOK ONLINE below now, or CALL 0208 432 0885 9am - 5pm Mon - Fri for assistance with booking

Please use your unique Pioneers Club code (sent by email) at checkout to confirm your 20% discount.

Please have your passport and Debit/Credit card to hand. International flights are not included.


GETTING THERE

Typical return Economy flights from London cost around £600 per person and take approximately 11 hours outbound, 8.5 hours inbound depending on exact flight configurations and layover times. Please check the current prices and availability using the ‘Search for Flights’ link below and ensure that your flight arrival and departure times and dates align with the start and end dates and airport locations shown on the Experience itinerary. Please do not book flights until your Experience booking is confirmed.

For this particular experience the best option is normally to book a multi-stop flight from London - Amritsar - New Delhi - London.

Experience start point: Amritsar (ATQ). Suggested arrival by 2pm.

End point: Delhi (DEL). The tour finishes late on day seven, and we suggest staying an extra night in Delhi (we can arrange this for a supplement). Please note: departure flight shouldn't be booked to depart Delhi until after 2am on Day Eight. 

Search for flights to Amritsar

Extras

Awesome Experience bonuses

Many of our experiences have optional features available at an added cost. Please see below for available extras for this experience. Please continue to checkout to select any optional extras and to see pricing information.

Optional Extras

To customise your experience, you can select any of theses extras at an additional cost during the basket stage.

Extra night in Delhi Airport Hotel - Holiday Inn Aerocity

Spend an extra night at an airport hotel in Delhi so you can travel feeling rested and refreshed the next day.

Extra night in Delhi Airport Hotel - Pullman Aerocity

Spend an extra night at an airport hotel in Delhi so you can travel feeling rested and refreshed the next day.

Extra night in Delhi Airport Hotel - JW Marriott Aerocity

Spend an extra night at an airport hotel in Delhi so you can travel feeling rested and refreshed the next day.

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