Kashmir - Hill Stations and Houseboats
India, Discovery, 13 days - from £1,295 (land only) - from €1,815 (land only) - from $2,100 (land only)
Day 1: Rendezvous at our central group hotel in Delhi in the morning. Complimentary Delhi Airport transfers are provided. There will be a guided city tour in the late afternoon. KE land only package services begin with lunch.
Day 2: After an early breakfast at the hotel, we transfer to the railway station and board the train to Kalka. Arriving around midday, we change trains, this time taking the 'toy train' to the former hill-station of Shimla. Arriving at the end of the afternoon, we check in at our hotel.
Day 3: We have a full day of sightseeing in Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh. We visit the Jakhu Temple, the State Museum and Library, the Viceregal Lodge and Christ's Church. A stroll around the 'Mall' is also not to be missed.
Day 4: Today, we enjoy a pleasant and very scenic drive to Dharamsala, another early nineteenth century British Raj hill-station. Arriving in the late afternoon, we check in at our hotel.
Day 5: Our tour of Dharamsala includes the Norbulinka Institute, dedicated to the preservation of Tibetan culture. We will also visit to Kangra Fort and Temple Complex, built on a precipitous cliff that dominates the Kangra Valley.
Day 6: In the morning, we drive to Paragpur, where we stay in the delightful heritage hotel, The Judges Court. In the afternoon, we will explore what is India's first 'heritage village'.
Day 7: After breakfast, we drive west to Amritsar and, after checking in at our hotel, we make an evening visit to the Golden Temple, the most sacred manifestation of the Sikh Religion. Overnight in Amritsar.
Day 8: We make a second, early morning, visit to the Golden Temple, before returning to the hotel for breakfast. Mid morning, we go to the airport and catch the flight to Srinagar, where we are met and taken to our houseboat accommodation on Dal Lake.
Day 9: After a leisurely breakfast, we will travel by small boat (shikara) to visit the famous Shalimar and Nishat gardens. We will also visit the Piri Mahal, before returning to the houseboat for lunch. Afternoon free to relax .
Day 10: Today, we will drive to Astaan Marg and enjoy a short walk in the Zabarwan Hills, with fine views of the valley and the lake. In the afternoon, we will visit the Mughal Gardens, then return to the houseboat.
Day 11: Today, we will visit the old town of Srinagar, driving through narrow lanes to visit the Jama Masjid, and colourful local market. In the afternoon, we visit the Shankaracharya Temple, returning to the houseboat in the late afternoon.
Day 12: An early start, as we visit the vegetable market on the lake and enjoy the traditional barter system. Returning to the houseboat for breakfast, we will then go to the airport and take the flight southwards to Delhi. Overnight at a comfortable hotel close to the airport.
Day 13: KE Land Only package services end after breakfast at the hotel. Complimentary airport transfers are provided on this day.