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Mountains, Temples & Hill Stations

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Mountains, Temples & Hill Stations - Exodus Travels
Mountains, Temples & Hill Stations - Exodus Travels
Good
18 reviews
Starts
Amritsar
+10 Destinations
Northern India
Ends
New Delhi
Map

Highlights

  • Ride on train through stunning scenery
  • Visit the Taj Mahal at sunrise
  • Explore Sikh and Buddhist temples
  • Immerse yourself in village culture
Age range
16 to 80 year olds
Accommodation
Hotel
Max Group Size
16
Transportation
Coach / Bus
Start in Amritsar and end in New Delhi! With the discovery tour Mountains, Temples & Hill Stations, you have a 15 day tour package taking you from Amritsar to New Delhi and through Amritsar, India and 10 other destinations in India. Mountains, Temples & Hill Stations is a small group tour that includes accommodation in a hotel as well as an expert guide, meals, transport and more.

18 Reviews

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  • Mountains, Temples & Hill Stations reviewer 1
    Written on January 8, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    An interesting tour to Northern India which takes in some key sites, but feels off the tourist trail. A great chance to see the himalayas, eat fantastic indian food and explore.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?There were a few:the golden temple at Amritsar is stunningbeing asked to pose for photos with the localsthe toy train from Shimla was something I'd always wanted to do, loved the spectacular scenery and getting off at the stops at the stationsseeing the Dalai Lama in Mcleod Ganj - we were incredibly luckythe mini taj and Akbar's tomb in Agra were real surprises, what fabulous buildingsthe India/Pakistan border ceremony - this isn't part of the itinerary (perhaps it should be) but it's quite possible to go the afternoon you arrivetaking the optional hike in Mcleod Ganj, the views were tremendousWhat did you think of your group leader?Phillippa was fantastic, everything you want from a leader - organised, helpful, gracious and fun.  She also likes good food, so she always makes sure you eat somewhere that servces good food without it breaking the bank.If I'm being honest, I was a bit nervous of havng a British guide being used ot having local  guides. But I needn't have worried, she's lived there for many years and is the only guide I've met who can help explain India in way that Brits would understand, she gets why some little things are so strange to us.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?If you go in the winter, believe the trip notes when it says it's cold at night - it is!  Also bear in mind that the hotels and restaurants aren't centrally heated so you need warm clothes for inside too.If you like walking, take the optional hike from Mcleod Ganj.  I'd recommend taking the jeep for the first part as it cuuts out a significant stretch walking through trees (with no views) and you can start straight away on the scenic part.Is there anything else you would like to add?Go for it! We thoroughly enjoyed it, all made even more special by some fab people in our group.

  • Mountains, Temples & Hill Stations reviewer 2
    Written on January 8, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    An interesting tour to Northern India which takes in some key sites, but feels off the tourist trail. A great chance to see the himalayas, eat fantastic indian food and explore.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?There were a few:the golden temple at Amritsar is stunningbeing asked to pose for photos with the localsthe toy train from Shimla was something I'd always wanted to do, loved the spectacular scenery and getting off at the stops at the stationsseeing the Dalai Lama in Mcleod Ganj - we were incredibly luckythe mini taj and Akbar's tomb in Agra were real surprises, what fabulous buildingsthe India/Pakistan border ceremony - this isn't part of the itinerary (perhaps it should be) but it's quite possible to go the afternoon you arrivetaking the optional hike in Mcleod Ganj, the views were tremendousWhat did you think of your group leader?Phillippa was fantastic, everything you want from a leader - organised, helpful, gracious and fun.  She also likes good food, so she always makes sure you eat somewhere that servces good food without it breaking the bank.If I'm being honest, I was a bit nervous of havng a British guide being used ot having local  guides. But I needn't have worried, she's lived there for many years and is the only guide I've met who can help explain India in way that Brits would understand, she gets why some little things are so strange to us.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?If you go in the winter, believe the trip notes when it says it's cold at night - it is!  Also bear in mind that the hotels and restaurants aren't centrally heated so you need warm clothes for inside too.If you like walking, take the optional hike from Mcleod Ganj.  I'd recommend taking the jeep for the first part as it cuuts out a significant stretch walking through trees (with no views) and you can start straight away on the scenic part.Is there anything else you would like to add?Go for it! We thoroughly enjoyed it, all made even more special by some fab people in our group.

  • Mountains, Temples & Hill Stations reviewer 3
    Written on January 4, 2013
    4.0 - Good

    A very varied holiday, full of interesting places and unexpected memorable experiences. The things that don't go quite as you expect them...and the things that do!What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?The Golden Temple at Amritsar was stunning at night, with all the lights and the moon above it. You felt comfortable and welcome to be part of the place. Our guide made sure we saw the ceremony which takes place every night, replacing the garlands of flowers and moving the religious icon. The unexpected tour of the kitchens and eating area next morning, before we went on to see more of the temple, was fascinating.What did you think of your group leader?Philippa was a wonderful tour leader. She was well informed and interesting. She could recommend where to eat and shop. She helped us to buy shalwar kameez and to have them made up to right size to be collected later. I bought metres and metres of silk as she helped me choose colours and to not be afraid of getting the vendor to get more and more off the shelves. I never would have done it on my own. I have beautiful souvenirs of my trip....the items and the memories...thanks to PhilippaDo you have any advice for potential travellers?Believe the brochure when it says you will need thermal underwear! The rooms may vary from the palacial to the spartan but once in the foothills they are all really cold and one small convector heater just doesn't make a difference. You may be warm in bed but a shower in a room the same temperature as your fridge is a challenge....but it makes you smile when you look back on it. Breakfast may be in a cavernous room with the door open so that cleansing incense smoke can blow in on the cold wind.  Wear layers....lots of layers!And take hand cleaning spray...not one of us got Delhi Belly Is there anything else you would like to add?Now we are home we are really missing all the lovely spicey food....and the lovely funny people who were in our group. The "Mountains, Temples, Hill Stations and Beer Tour!

  • Mountains, Temples & Hill Stations reviewer 4
    Written on January 4, 2013
    4.0 - Good

    A very varied holiday, full of interesting places and unexpected memorable experiences. The things that don't go quite as you expect them...and the things that do!What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?The Golden Temple at Amritsar was stunning at night, with all the lights and the moon above it. You felt comfortable and welcome to be part of the place. Our guide made sure we saw the ceremony which takes place every night, replacing the garlands of flowers and moving the religious icon. The unexpected tour of the kitchens and eating area next morning, before we went on to see more of the temple, was fascinating.What did you think of your group leader?Philippa was a wonderful tour leader. She was well informed and interesting. She could recommend where to eat and shop. She helped us to buy shalwar kameez and to have them made up to right size to be collected later. I bought metres and metres of silk as she helped me choose colours and to not be afraid of getting the vendor to get more and more off the shelves. I never would have done it on my own. I have beautiful souvenirs of my trip....the items and the memories...thanks to PhilippaDo you have any advice for potential travellers?Believe the brochure when it says you will need thermal underwear! The rooms may vary from the palacial to the spartan but once in the foothills they are all really cold and one small convector heater just doesn't make a difference. You may be warm in bed but a shower in a room the same temperature as your fridge is a challenge....but it makes you smile when you look back on it. Breakfast may be in a cavernous room with the door open so that cleansing incense smoke can blow in on the cold wind.  Wear layers....lots of layers!And take hand cleaning spray...not one of us got Delhi Belly Is there anything else you would like to add?Now we are home we are really missing all the lovely spicey food....and the lovely funny people who were in our group. The "Mountains, Temples, Hill Stations and Beer Tour!

  • Mountains, Temples & Hill Stations reviewer 5
    Written on April 19, 2012
    4.0 - Good

    Really interesting, our guide, Philippa Russell, was very knowledgable and we felt that made the trip particularly enjoyable and we saw a lot of things that we would not have seen without her experience.  Good to go to a lot of places off the beaten track and we packed in a great deal in 2 weeks.   A fascinating introduction to India and we look forward to visiting other areas of the country.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Well there were 2 really inspirational moments, naturally one had to be The Taj Mahal, you have really got to see it in the flesh, a million times better than photos, and Philippa managed to get us there so we were at the head of the quee when the gates opened at dawn, so we were able to see it with nobody between us and the musoleum, fantastic.The other great moment was meeting Tenzin Paloma, a wonderful English born Buddhist Nun who founded a nunnery and had previously spent 12 years in a cave, she was amazing.The golden temple, the himalayan scenery, the raja at Mandi, the narrow gauge railway, Shimla, so many memorable experiencesWhat did you think of your group leader?Philippa was extremely patient and very knowlegable and had so many conections in the area that she added a special element to the tripDo you have any advice for potential travellers?Yes - when it says "Leisurely" in relation to other Exodus trips I suppose it was, but it is quite a full on trip, with some early starts and long days, but if it hadn't been that way I guess we wouldn't have seen and done so much, so take the worl "Leisurely" with a pinch of salt!!Is there anything else you would like to add?Some accomodation was rather basic, it was a real mixed bag, although in some places, notablly Mcleodganj, I don't think there was much choice.  Don't do as I did and take too big or heavy a bag, those poor porters, although one did manage to carry my bag and another on his head at Dehli station!

  • Mountains, Temples & Hill Stations reviewer 6
    Written on April 19, 2012
    4.0 - Good

    Really interesting, our guide, Philippa Russell, was very knowledgable and we felt that made the trip particularly enjoyable and we saw a lot of things that we would not have seen without her experience.  Good to go to a lot of places off the beaten track and we packed in a great deal in 2 weeks.   A fascinating introduction to India and we look forward to visiting other areas of the country.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Well there were 2 really inspirational moments, naturally one had to be The Taj Mahal, you have really got to see it in the flesh, a million times better than photos, and Philippa managed to get us there so we were at the head of the quee when the gates opened at dawn, so we were able to see it with nobody between us and the musoleum, fantastic.The other great moment was meeting Tenzin Paloma, a wonderful English born Buddhist Nun who founded a nunnery and had previously spent 12 years in a cave, she was amazing.The golden temple, the himalayan scenery, the raja at Mandi, the narrow gauge railway, Shimla, so many memorable experiencesWhat did you think of your group leader?Philippa was extremely patient and very knowlegable and had so many conections in the area that she added a special element to the tripDo you have any advice for potential travellers?Yes - when it says "Leisurely" in relation to other Exodus trips I suppose it was, but it is quite a full on trip, with some early starts and long days, but if it hadn't been that way I guess we wouldn't have seen and done so much, so take the worl "Leisurely" with a pinch of salt!!Is there anything else you would like to add?Some accomodation was rather basic, it was a real mixed bag, although in some places, notablly Mcleodganj, I don't think there was much choice.  Don't do as I did and take too big or heavy a bag, those poor porters, although one did manage to carry my bag and another on his head at Dehli station!

  • Mountains, Temples & Hill Stations reviewer 7
    Written on December 14, 2011
    4.0 - Good

    A really packed holiday full of interest and new experiences.  Made us want to visit other parts of India too.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?There were so many .... visiting the Golden Temple at night and the Taj Mahal at dawn, visiting the clinic where Phillipa, our guide, works, visiting the Tibetan ParliamentWhat did you think of your group leader?Phillipa was amazing - she was enormously knowledgeable, coped well with the disparate personalities in the group, was always good humoured, despite having fallen and hurt herself at the start of the trip.  The organisation was very good and everything ran to time.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?If going in the colder months take warm clothes for the nights, and to sleep in, be prepared for one or two quite long travelling days on less good roads.Is there anything else you would like to add?Our first trip to India and definitely won't be the last. 

  • Mountains, Temples & Hill Stations reviewer 8
    Written on December 14, 2011
    4.0 - Good

    A really packed holiday full of interest and new experiences.  Made us want to visit other parts of India too.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?There were so many .... visiting the Golden Temple at night and the Taj Mahal at dawn, visiting the clinic where Phillipa, our guide, works, visiting the Tibetan ParliamentWhat did you think of your group leader?Phillipa was amazing - she was enormously knowledgeable, coped well with the disparate personalities in the group, was always good humoured, despite having fallen and hurt herself at the start of the trip.  The organisation was very good and everything ran to time.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?If going in the colder months take warm clothes for the nights, and to sleep in, be prepared for one or two quite long travelling days on less good roads.Is there anything else you would like to add?Our first trip to India and definitely won't be the last. 

  • Mountains, Temples & Hill Stations reviewer 9
    Written on December 7, 2011
    2.0 - Rather poor

    Trip spoilt by the group being split into 2 vehicles, a major amount of the time is spent travelling and no intransit info possible due to this. Vehicles were very poor with broken seat backs and no room for day packs in vehicle.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Shimla.But the local people in the whole of India are so friendly & helpful.What did you think of your group leader?Poor.In fairness she was knowledgeable, although it was always given without asking & when eating as a group bill shouldn't just be split. Trip from Dharamsala to McLeod Ganj was in local taxis but only 5 vehicles of Fiat Punto size used for entire group plus their luggage was not sufficient, taxis cost so little, it seemed penny pinching & was uncomfortable & dangerous.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Take a kettle, noodles & chewy bars, that way you can be independant.Some hotels only offer buffet at 500 ruppees where it is possible to get al-la-cart for 250ruppees in cities.Is there anything else you would like to add?All hotels give fixed price buffet which is expensive & caused stomuch upsets, probably sat there warm for a long time.

  • Mountains, Temples & Hill Stations reviewer 10
    Written on December 7, 2011
    2.0 - Rather poor

    Trip spoilt by the group being split into 2 vehicles, a major amount of the time is spent travelling and no intransit info possible due to this. Vehicles were very poor with broken seat backs and no room for day packs in vehicle.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Shimla.But the local people in the whole of India are so friendly & helpful.What did you think of your group leader?Poor.In fairness she was knowledgeable, although it was always given without asking & when eating as a group bill shouldn't just be split. Trip from Dharamsala to McLeod Ganj was in local taxis but only 5 vehicles of Fiat Punto size used for entire group plus their luggage was not sufficient, taxis cost so little, it seemed penny pinching & was uncomfortable & dangerous.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Take a kettle, noodles & chewy bars, that way you can be independant.Some hotels only offer buffet at 500 ruppees where it is possible to get al-la-cart for 250ruppees in cities.Is there anything else you would like to add?All hotels give fixed price buffet which is expensive & caused stomuch upsets, probably sat there warm for a long time.

Itinerary

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  1. Introduction
  2. Expand all
  1. Day 1: Start Amritsar; evening visit to the Golden Temple.
  2. Day 2: Early morning visit to the Golden Temple; drive towards the Heritage Village of Pragpur in the Kangra Valley.
  3. Day 3: A full day to explore the remarkable villages of Pragpur and Garli, with their elegant havelis, mansions, Italianate buildings and traditional mud and slate houses along cobbled streets.
  4. Day 4: By road to Dharamsala and McLeod Ganj; afternoon orientation tour.
  5. Day 5: Sightseeing in and around McLeod Ganj.
  6. Day 6: Explore the Norbulingka Institute of Tibetan Culture.
  7. Day 7: Drive to Andretta, a small village tucked away in the folds of the hills.
  8. Day 8: To Mandi; explore the old trading town and magical lake at Rewalsar
  9. Day 9: To Shimla; afternoon visit to The Ridge, Christ Church and Scandal Point.
  10. Day 10: Explore Shimla, walk along the Mall and visit the former Viceregal Lodge.
  11. Day 11: Take the Viceroy's 'Toy Train' to Kalka; short drive to Pinjore Mughal Gardens where we stay.
  12. Day 12: Early morning train to Delhi; drive to Agra visiting Sikandra on arrival.
  13. Day 13: Explore Fatehpur Sikri and Agra Fort.
  14. Day 14: Visit Taj Mahal at dawn before returning to Delhi; afternoon free.
  15. Day 15: End Delhi.

What's included

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  • Accommodation

  • Guide

  • Meals

  • Transport

  • Additional Services

  • Insurance

  • Additional Services

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About the countries

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Visa

Here is an indication for which countries you might need a visa. Please contact the local embassy for help applying for visas to these places.

Vaccinations

These are only indications, so please visit your doctor before you travel to be 100% sure.
Typhoid
Recommended for India. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
Hepatitis A
Recommended for India. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
Cholera
Recommended for India. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
Tuberculosis
Recommended for India. Ideally 3 months before travel.
Hepatitis B
Recommended for India. Ideally 2 months before travel.
Yellow fever
Certificate of vaccination required if arriving from an area with a risk of yellow fever transmission for India. Ideally 10 days before travel.
Japanese B encephalitis
Recommended for India. Ideally 1 month before travel.

Policies

Location
Amritsar is the starting point and New Delhi is the endpoint.
Hold my space
TourRadar can request Exodus Travels to hold spaces for you for up to 48 hours without any credit card details.
Deposit
TourRadar only requires a deposit of 20% to confirm this Exodus Travels booking. The remaining balance is then payable 60 days prior to the departure date. For any tour departing before 24 April 2018 the full payment of $1,935 is necessary.
Cancellation policy
No additional cancellation fees! You can cancel the tour up to 60 days prior to the departure date and you will not need to pay the full amount of $1935 for Mountains, Temples & Hill Stations, but the deposit of 20% is non-refundable.
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Destinations

Covering a total distance of approx 1,007 km.
  • Amritsar (India)
  • 128 km
  • Pragpur (India)
  • 45 km
  • Dharamsala (India)
  • 3 km
  • McLeod Ganj (India)
  • 83 km
  • Mandi (India)
  • 73 km
  • Shimla (India)
  • 36 km
  • Kalka (India)
  • 5 km
  • Pinjure (India)
  • 242 km
  • New Delhi (India)
  • 179 km
  • Agra (India)
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