Kumbh Mela North India Tour
9 NIGHTS – 10 DAYS
Delhi – Haridwar – Chandigarh – Dharamshala – Amritsar
Day : Delhi
Welcome at the airport and transfer to hotel.
Start visit of Delhi which is the capital city of India and has served as the capital city to many ruling dynasties of India. The city shows a perfect amalgamation of past and present. Delhi is symbolized as chaotic embroidery of primitive establishments, Mughal tombs, dusty bazaars and colonial architecture. Today, we shall visit Old Delhi to witness the grandeur of the Mughal Empire, the majestic Red Fort which served as the capital and center of operations for the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan for two centuries. This majestic monument is now used as a platform by the Prime minister of India to address the people of the republic on the eve of Independence Day. Later enjoy a rickshaw ride through the intricate alleys of Chandni Chowk. After a joyful ride, we stop at Jama Masjid which is the oldest and one of Asia’s largest mosques. It was built by Shah Jahan in the year 1656. Then we visit Humayun’s Tomb. It was the first garden-tomb of Indian subcontinent. The tomb of Humayun was built by his widow, Biga Begum (Hajji Begum) in 1569-70, 14 years after his death, at the cost of 1.5 million rupees. It has inspired several major architectural innovations, culminating in construction of Taj Mahal. Return to hotel for overnight stay.
Day : Delhi – Haridwar (240 KM, 6 HOURS)
In the morning drive to Haridwar and upon arrival check in at Camp accommodation. Blessed by the presence of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar, the three major Hindu Gods, the temple town of Haridwar is considered as one of the most sacred Hindu sites in India.
The backdrop of beautiful Himalayan mountains, lush green forests and a fast-moving river certainly adds a charm to this holy city. Haridwar is a pilgrimage destination for millions of Hindu people who come from across India and even outside India to take a dip into the holy water of the river Ganges.
It is widely believed that all sins of a person are washed away when they take a dip in the river’s holy water. It is here that the greatest spiritual event on earth known as Kumbh Mela takes place. The festival is once-in-a-lifetime experience for every visitor who is curious about Hindu religion and philosophy. Devotees belonging to certain religious sects are dressed in amusing costumes, while others are half or fully naked as per their religious values.
The bustling noise from the sounding bells, chanting of Vedic hymns and mantras create a vibrant atmosphere during the Kumbh Mela. Processions are carried out by various religious sects on camel-back and elephant-back, while others travel in their gold and silver chariots being pulled by devotees. Later part of day is free for you to explore and immerse yourself in the spiritual atmosphere of Kumbh Mela. Overnight stay in Camp.
Days : Haridwar
For next two days, you will witness the Kumbh Mela in full fervour. This great Indian Festival attracts the largest gathering of people on the planet for spiritual fulfillment. A large number of Sadhus (sages) with their disciples make Haridwar their home during Kumbh Mela. To live among the Sadhus, who have dedicated their entire lives to meditation and spiritual deeds is indeed a unique experience of life. There are many Ashrams set up for this special occasion where the Sadhus along with disciples stay and have discourses about religion and Hindu philosophy. You may also join them and take advantage of their preaching to learn about the divine path to ‘Moksha’. There may also be an opportunity to interact with them and take pictures of them with their permission.
If you go by the Hindu mythologies, then this is the only time and place in the world where you can unburden your sins and achieve ‘Nirvana’ from the vicious cycle of birth and re-birth. Take dips in the holy water of Ganges that is said to wash away all the sins of a person. Light a Diya, attend Yoga sessions and make a wish, they do come true! After full day of hustle and bustle, return to Camp for nice meal and relax in your Luxury Camp. Overnight stay.
Day : Haridwar – Chandigarh (210 km, 5 hours)
After breakfast, you shall leave for Chandigarh which is the ‘first planned city of India’, a dream envisaged by India’s first Prime Minister and executed to perfection by world renowned architect, Le Corbusier.
Arrival and check in at hotel. Later start city tour of Chandigarh visiting the buildings designed by Le Corbusier include the Capitol Complex comprising of High Court, Secretariat and State Assembly. Besides the complex, The nearby Rock Garden designed by Nek Chand, is a unique creation and dream world of magnificent sculptures of palaces, temples, soldiers, animals made of stones, recycled ceramics and broken chinaware. Overnight stay.
Day : Chandigarh – Dharamshala (250 km, 6 hours)
In the morning, we will leave for Dharamshala which is a hill station situated in Kangra valley overlooking the beautiful snow-capped Dhauladhar Mountain Range of Himalayas. This hill station is the seat of The Dalai Lama, religious leader of Tibetan Buddhist people, who escaped from Tibet when the Chinese took control in 1959 and found refuge in India. There are over 10,000 Tibetans residing in Dharamshala, which is home to numerous Tibetan monasteries, organisations, schools and nunneries.
After checking into the hotel, we will leave for afternoon visit to the Tibetan Refugee Camp. At the refugee camp you can engage with the local Tibetan community and learn more about the Tibetan lifestyle and the political issues that have engulfed their country. The camp hosts volunteers from all countries who offer language classes and computer training to Tibetan children. You can also become a volunteer if you send an advance request at the camp.
Later visit Dal lake and Naddi sunset point which provides beautiful panoramic views of the valley and snow-clad Himalayan mountains. Overnight Stay.
Day : Dharamshala
After breakfast at the hotel, we will visit the Dalai Lama temple which serves as the official residence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The temple has an extremely peaceful and meditative atmosphere and is decorated with beautiful statues of Lord Buddha, Avaloktwshwara and others. At the temple, you can engage in meditation at the massive meditation hall and perform Buddhist rituals such as turning the prayer wheels to collect merit and purify your ‘karma’. You can also visit the library to see preserved ancient sacred texts and know more about the Buddhist philosophy.
Next we visit the Bhaksu Nag temple which is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The sacred shrine has two pools of water that have Sulphur which is believed to have heeling properties. An annual fair organised in the month of September attracts lots of tourists from around the globe.
Near the temple is the Bhaksu Nag waterfall which is a scenic waterbody surrounded by thick deodar and cedar trees offering amazing views.Overnight stay.
Day : Dharamshala – Amritsar (210 km, 5 hours)
Morning breakfast at the hotel and then departure for Amritsar the city of Golden Temple. On arrival checking at the hotel. The city was founded by Guru Ram Das in sixteenth century and it is known world over for being home to Golden Temple, the holiest shrine for Sikhs. Upon arrival at Amritsar, check in at the hotel.
In the afternoon, we will visit Wagah border, the “Berlin Wall of Asia”, a ceremonial border between India and Pakistan. Each evening, there is a retreat ceremony called ‘lowering of the flags’. The whole atmosphere is filled with frenzy as crowds chant slogans to salute the soldiers.
The visitors are also encouraged to participate with Indian Flags and dance to the tunes of patriotic songs. Soldiers from both sides, India and Pakistan, compete with each other on parade skills to bring glory to their respective nations. After attending the glorious exhibit, return to hotel for overnight stay.
Day : Amritsar
After breakfast at the hotel, we will visit Golden Temple. The Gurudwara (Sikh temple) is known by multiple names – Golden Temple, Harmander Sahib, Darbar Sahib etc. Built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the founder of the Sikh Empire, the Golden Temple gets it name because the upper domes of the temple are covered with 750 kilograms of pure gold.
The walkway from the entry gates to the main temple entrance is surrounded by pools filled with holy water in which Sikh gentlemen and ladies take bath as the water is considered to be purifying. It is interesting to know that all pilgrims to Golden Temple are offered free meal at the temple which is catered by one of the largest kitchens in the world that serves 100,000 meals a day. With continuous hymn singing and music in the background, the atmosphere inside the temple is replete with devotion and peace. Also visit Akal Takht, the immortal throne which was established in 17th century by sixth Sikh Guru – Guru Hargobind Ji.
Later we visit ‘Jallianwala Bagh’ which is witness to the most brutal and gruesome act by the British rulers in India. In 1919, General Dyer of the British army with a troop of 90 soldiers opened fire at a peaceful group of 1500 people who were celebrating the Indian festival of ‘Baisakhi’. The gory site still fills the minds of the people with lot of anguish and horror. After paying your respects to the dead at Jallianwala Bagh, return to hotel for overnight stay.
Day : Amritsar – Delhi (by flight)
Transfer to airport to catch flight for Delhi. Upon arrival, we shall provide you car and driver at your disposal for last minute shopping or visiting Delhi and later transfer to Delhi airport to catch your flight to onwards destination.