Depart London Heathrow on our overnight flight to Delhi.
On arrival in Delhi, India’s amazing capital city we are met by our local guides and we transfer by coach to a nearby hotel where we can freshen up before spending a couple of hours independently exploring the city.
You may wish to take a taxi to visit the 17th Century Red Fort, one of Old Delhi’s must see tourist sites, New Delhi’s India Gate or you might just wish to experience the vibrancy of some of the local shopping streets. We return to the hotel for dinner before transferring to the bustling railway station where we board the overnight sleeper train to Pathankot.
We arrive in Pathankot early next morning and board our buses for the transfer to Dharamsala – the spiritual home of his Holiness the Dalai Lama. Our buses wind their way through the narrow streets to our hotel in Macloed Ganj (Upper Dharamsala). On arrival there will be some free time to explore this fascinating town. You can explore the many gift shops or haggle with the Tibetan street traders or visit the spiritual sanctuary of the Dalai Lama’s residence. We meet later in the evening for dinner and a briefing for the start of our challenge.
After breakfast we have a short transfer to Satobari Village before starting the trek. Today we trek through several Ghadi tribal villages where we gain an insight into the agricultural lifestyle of the local population. We will pass farmers moving their livestock and children walking to and from their schools. Our campsite lies in a picturesque valley next to a river in a very peaceful place away from the village.
We continue ascending today on a trail that leads us through more charming villages and across beautiful open meadows and pine forests on the way. At lunchtime we make a short descent to have our picnic by a mountain stream. After lunch we continue climbing until we reach our overnight camp at Bal.
We continue our trek by crossing over a suspension bridge before ascending through rhododendron and pine forests. As we continue to ascend we soon come across the local ‘chai’ (tea) shop where we can take a rest and enjoy the spectacular mountain scenery. All around us are the Gaddi Tribal people taking their cattle up to the high pastures of Lak and Triund. Continuing our ascent after lunch, we finally reach our camp on an alpine meadow at Triund which in winter is above the snow line and faces the breath-taking permanently snow-capped peaks of the Dhauladhur mountain range.
The Dhauladhar range is a southern branch of the main Outer Himalayan chain of mountains. It rises spectacularly from the Indian plains to the north of Kangra. The highest peak in the range is the Hanuman ji Ka Tiba, or ‘White Mountain’, referred to as the ‘Dhauladhar Matterhorn about 5,639m.
Our trek today is a challenging ascent to see the fascinating Laka Got, situated at the tip of a glacier. There will be an opportunity for us to trek on the glacier in order to reach Lahes Cave – an overnight shelter used by the shepherds when travelling over the mountains with their sheep. We return to our camp at Triund for our last night under the spectacularly clear night sky where you may see shooting stars.
Following our last breakfast in the campsite, we begin trekking over a grassy ridge which offers a final unrestricted view of the snow-capped peaks that surround us.Our trek continues with a steep descent to the Bahgsu Nallaha stream which we cross by hopping over the boulders with help from our guides. We push on towards Bhagsu Nag, an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Bhagsu Nag, the snake god, and to Lord Shiva. A freshwater spring, in which pilgrims take a holy dip flows through the temple. We continue to our finish line at Dharamsala.
Free day to explore Macloed Ganj and surrounding area. This evening we enjoy our celebratory dinner and the chance to reflect on our achievements.
We have a free morning to further explore this magical town – why not visit the Tibetan market or take a visit to one of the majestic monasteries? In the afternoon, we transfer back to Pathankot train station to catch the overnight sleeper train back to Delhi.
We arrive in Delhi and jump straight onto our waiting buses which take us to Agra where on arrival we check into our overnight Hotel. Later we visit the incomparable Taj Mahal – no visit to India would be the same without seeing it! Built by the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan in loving memory of his wife and will always be a symbol of undying love for anyone who sees it.
We have a very early transfer back to Delhi from where we catch our flight back to the UK.
This is a complex itinerary and is subject to change