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Trans Himalayas Safari Tour

Spiti to Dharamsala and the Sikh Golden Temple of Amritsar

 

 

 

 

Journey from Shimla to remote Sarahan and Sangla, Kinner Kailash to Kaza, Tabo and Ki Gompa,

Manali to Dalai Lama's residence,

then down to plains of Punjab 

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"This is one journey that must be undertaken at least once in a lifetime by any discerning traveler" words of many widely traveled people who have experienced these awe - inspiring parts of the Indian Himalayas. Closed to all till 1994 Kinnaur and Spiti still are the most guarded secret of the Indian Himalayas. The land of Gods and Demons, legends and mythology, peace and harmony, where every village has a Hindu Temple and a Buddhist Gompa, where every temple has its own unique deity and all sects of Buddhism are represented through its many monasteries, where prayers in these ageless temples are being performed uninterrupted by any outside invasion or disturbance for over a thousand years. There is no better place like the Himalayas for Meditation and Yoga and it is here in the Greater and the Trans Himalayas that where one can surely experience the supernatural powers and proximity to the almighty. We end this tour with a visit to the Golden Temple at Amritsar.

 

Delhi / Chandigarh / Shimla.
This day you will be woken up early and transferred to the New Delhi Railway Station. Board a super fast train to Chandigarh. Shatabdi Express Departure at 0730 AM Arrival at 1030 AM You will be met on arrival by the Chauffeur and Escort. Drive to Shimla. Check into your Hotel. Walk on the Mall in the afternoon.
Overnight at Hotel. Hotel Combermere Superior - Hotel Oberoi Clarks - Deluxe or Hotel Oberoi Cecil - Luxury.

SHIMLA.

ShimlaThe Summer Capital of the British, Shimla is the mother of all Hill Stations and is a very popular destination for Honeymooners and family holidays, particularly during the Summer Vaccations in May and June, when people abandon the plains to cool off in the mountains.

 

Shimla - Sarahan (1920 Mts. / 174 Km / 6 Hrs)
From Shimla drive to Sarahan a beautiful village surrounded by apple orchards and dominated by Shrikhand Mahadev Peak (5155 M) which resembles the "SHIVLING" and famous for the Bhimakali Temple a mixture of Buddhist and Hindu architecture.
Lunch will be arranged at Cafe Satluj Rampur the commercial capital of the ancient Silk Route situated on the Hindustan Tibet Road, after lunch visit the Drug - pa Monastery and the Maharaja's Palace. Overnight at Hotel Srikhand Sarahan.

BHIMAKALI TEMPLE - SARAHAN

Bhimkali TempleOne of the finest examples of tower architecture in this region, Bhimakali has been the family deity of the Bushahar rulers. The temple is very sacred to both the Hindus and Buddhists. The Bhimakali goddess idol is around 200 years old. In olden days human sacrifice was prevalent here, but now only goats are sacrificed. The temple has a small but beautiful museum. From Sarahan one can view the Shrikhand Mahadev Peak, known as the parental abode of Lakshmi the Goddess of prosperity.

Sarahan - Sangla (3435 Mts. / 122 Km / 6 Hrs.)
After breakfast at the Hotel commence drive.
After lunch at camp drive to Village Kamru and its fort which dominates the Sangla Valley landscape. Return to Camp for dinner and overnight.

SANGLA VALLEY

Sangla ValleyThe breathtaking gorges of the Greater Himalayas in the Baspa Valley also known as the Sangla valley, the most beautiful valley of Himachal Pradesh, full of wooded slopes surrounded by green fields and high mountain peaks, stretch as as far as Chitkul, the last inhabited village in this valley. Chitkul is like a fairyland. The quaint little houses, temples, gompas and the people of Baspa Valley conjure up a perfect image of a Shangri- La. The bewitching scenery and the eternal snow view from here is an unforgettable sight.


Sangla - Chitkul - Kalpa (2960 Mts. / 80 Km).
Breakfast at the Camp. Visit Return to camp for lunch. After lunch drive to Kalpa. Looming in front of Kalpa is an impressive Kinner Kailash (6050M). This mountain changes colors several times a day with change of weather conditions. After tea we take a short walk on the Old Hindustan Tibet Road to the ancient village Roghi.

KINNER KAILASH

Kinner Kailash is the most famous peak in Himachal Pradesh. It is held in very high esteem by the people of Kinnaur. Devout people do a Parikrama, circuit pilgrimage of this peak. One can get breathtaking views of this range from Hotel KINNER KAILASH in Kalpa.


Kalpa
Full day to visit the ancient villages of Pangi, Telangi, Kothi, Roghi & Recong - Peo situated on the Old Hindustan Tibet Road. Overnight at Hotel KINNER VILLA - KALPA.

 

Kalpa - Nako (3959Mt / 122 Km / 6 Hrs)
Drive to Kanam, which is 14 km from the Jangi check-post towards Nako. Kanum is an important monastery of Kinnaur, having as many as seven big and small temples scattered in and around, besides numerous quadrangular reliquaries. Kanum should have remained a prosperous village in the 11th century and it continues to be so even today. Lotsaba Ren-chen-bZang-po must have considered this village a most propitious place for building a centre for the scholastic study on Kangyur and not merely a place of worship. Today you experience Timberline, a line beyond which forests do not grow, the barren and rugged brown Mountains start from Jangi which get rugged and barren after Puh (2837Mt), you continue along the Sutlej till you reach Khab (2831Mt) the confluence of rivers Sutlej and Spiti.

A direct climb up takes you to Nako. A walk through the village takes you to the Lotsaba-lha-khang, monasteries and Dungyur temples. Temples founded by Rin-chen-bZang-po. There is a rock bearing footprints of Padmasambhava the second incarnation of Lord Buddha. Overnight Camp.

 

Nako - Tabo (84 Km / 6 Hrs).
Today you will enter Spiti Valley. Geologically and archaeologically, Spiti is a living museum. The mountains are devoid of any vegetation due to erosion by wind, sun and snow over thousands of years has laid bare the rocks. The rugged and rocky mountain slopes sweeps down to the riverbeds giving the landscape a moon like appearance.

Climb up to Tabo (3050 Mt.) Built around the year 996 AD the Chos khor monastery at Tabo is the largest monastery in Spiti. It is one of the few remaining examples of golden period of Buddhist Culture in the Himalayan region and it celebrated 1000 years in 1996. This is the only monastic complex with structural and cave types at one place. Overnight Camp.

 
CHOS KHOR MONASTRY TABO

The wall frescos of the monastery are comparable in their antiquity and quality to those of the Ajanta caves hence is called the Ajanta of the Himalayas. It houses more than 100 Lamas, large number of scriptures, pieces of art, wall paintings, and tankhas.

 

Tabo - Lhalung- Dhankar - Schiling (3520 Mt / 47 Km / 6 Hrs).
Drive to Lhalung which is 14 km from the main road in Lingthi valley. It is a magnificent village of 45 houses. In this village there is a second most interesting monastery of Spiti. The compound consists of five buildings. At some spots fragmentary remains of a wall encircling all the buildings are to be found. The local tradition that the monastic site of Lhalung once consisted of nine temples, together with the unusally rich interior of Lhalung's main chapel and the fact that the building of the temples is also attributed to Rinchen Zangpo, may suggest that the temple site of Lhalung, like Tabo, was designed as a Choshor site,a place for learning and debate as opposed to a simple chapel for worship by the local people.

Drive to Dhankar the traditional "Capital of Spiti" it is a big village and erstwhile capital of Spiti King. Overnight Camp on the banks of river Spiti at Schiling.

DANKAR

Dankar Gompa (3890 M) was built in the 12th century. This hill top fort still dominates the Spiti Landscape. It houses more than 160 Lamas. Buddhist scriptures in Bhoti language and a statue of Dhyan Buddha consisting of four complete figures seated back to back is the main attraction of this striking monastery.

 

Schiling - Pin - Ki - Kibber - Kaza (3600 Mt / 45 Km / 2 Hrs).
Drive to the worlds highest wildlife reserve the pin valley national park the land of Ibex, Snow Leopard and the Golden Eagles upto the Kungri village and Gompa it is amongsthe main monasteries of the Nyingmapa sect and is considered to be one of the oldest. Drive onward to KAZA the capital of Spiti a commercial center of the ancient silk route. Visit the famous Ki and Kibber Gompas, which are one among the highest inhabited villages in the world. Return to KAZA overnight camp.

 
KI MONASTRY

The Ki monastery is said to be have been founded by Dromton, the founder of Ge-lug-pa sect in the 11th century, it has a fabulous collection of ancient tankhas. A description of this monastery by a visiting scholar " the airiness of these highest roofs, the isolation from the hugger-mugger village below, the black yak's tail and the bronze statues and the extravagant prayer flags, all these makes one feel that God cannot be far away".

 

Kaza - Chhatru (3560 Mt. / 160 Km / 6 Hrs) Drive to Chhatru over the famous Kunzum pass (4551 Mt.).
Overnight Camp.

 
KUNZUM PASS

A rugged road over the Kunzum Pass (4559 m). From here the road leads to Keylong - Headquarters of Lahaul Valley. A trek route to Chandratal The Lake of the Moon can be undertaken from Kunzum.

 

Chhatru - Manali (2050 Mt / 84 Km / 4 Hrs)
Drive over the famous Rohtang Pass (3980 Mt. ) to Manali. Overnight at Hotel in Manali. Hotel Manali Heights or The Holiday Inn.

 

Manali
Full day to visit the Hidamba Temple, Old Manali. Evening drive to Naggar. Return to Manali. Overnight at Hotel Manali Heights.

 
MANALI

A major hill station resort of the country set on the foot of the mighty Rohtang Pass. There are lovely walks and interesting spots nearby. The Superb Naggar castle once the seat of the Kullu Royal Family , now hosts an art gallery and a small Temple.

 

Manali - Palampur (1219m)
180 Km Drive through Kullu to Kangra "Valley of Temples". Visit the most ancient and oldest existing Shiva temples at Baijnath.
Visit also Bir & Billing monasteries. Just below the village, a road to the west leads, in several hundred meters, to a tiny Tibetan settlement with a fine gompa, which belongs to the Nyingmapa order of Tibetan Buddhism. It is a beautiful and peaceful location, the monks who are unused to visitors, are very friendly. Fourteen km north of Bir is Billing, known for the international hang-gliding competition which is held here annually. Overnight at the Taragarh Palace.

 

Palampur - Dharamsala (1387m)
40 Km Drive to the Tashijong Gompa, which is only 3 km. to the north of the hotel. The gompa is the focus of a small Tibetan community who hails from Kham province in Tibet. Enroute visit the institute of Tibetan Arts and Handicrafts 'Norbulinka' and the temple of Chamunda Devi, shrine of goddess Durga. Evening free to stroll in the Tibetan Market. Overnight Hotel Glennmore Cottages.

 

Dharamsala
Visit the Dalai Lama's residence and Monastery, the headquarters of Tibet in Exile, the present home of the Dalai Lama, Museum of Tibetan Arts and Crafts, the center of Tibetan Medicines and Astrology, the Church of St. John in Wilderness. Late afternoon and evening at leisure. Overnight at Hotel Clouds End Villa.

 
DHARMASHALA

A giant prayer wheel ornaments the main street and monastery, a serene statue of Lord Buddha presides over the gentle chanting of the monks. His Holiness the Dalai Lama resides in Mcleodganj, which is now a major center for the Tibetan Government-in-Exile and Tibetan Culture.

 

Dharamsala - Paragpur (1010m)
60 Km drive further into the lush green Kangra valley to Himachal's first Heritage Village Paragpur. Enroute visiting Jwalamukhi which is one amongst the 51 sacred 'shaktipeeths', the most powerful shrines of Parvati the consort of Lord Shiva. The goddess is manifested as tiny flawless blue flames that are burning for ages through fissures in the old rocks. Arrive for lunch at the Judge's Court. In the evening stroll through the cobbled path ways of Paragpur village to its ornamental pond and bazaar famous for block paintings and silversmiths. Overnight at The Judge's Court.

 

Paragpur - Amritsar 175 Km
travel to the Himalayan foothills the Shivaliks reaching Amritsar for lunch.
After lunch we will visit the famous temple of sikh "The Golden Temple". Overnight at Hotel Ritz.

GOLDEN TEMPLE - AMRITSAR

Golden TempleThe Golden Temple, stands on the Amrit Sarovar or the Pool of Nectar. Known also as the Harmandir Sahib, it is said that Lord Buddha passed by this place and found it an appropriate place for meditation. Several hundred years later the Sikh Guru, Nanak had predicted a great temple and a flourishing city around it, which today is Amritsar.

 

Amritsar- Delhi.
Connect the Amritsar Shatabdi Express to Delhi. Dep. 0530 Arr. 1050. Day free for sightseeing. After dinner transfer to the Airport to connect international flight.

 

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