Day 1: Delhi to Pathankot
Pick up from Delhi and in the evening we drive to Delhi Railway Station to board the overnight sleeper train to Pathankot.
Day 2: Pathankot to Dharamsala
Reaching Pathankot early in the morning we are met by our vehicle to drive us to the hill resort of Dharamsala. Arriving there before lunch, check into your hotel. In the afternoon we visit Tsuklakhang Monastery (Residence of His Holiness Dalai Lama), Dal Lake, St John’s Church in the Wilderness and return to your hotel for the evening.
Day 3: Dharamsala Siteseeing
In the morning stroll through the pine forest to Bhagsunag Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva and Bhagsu waterfall. We then drive to Norbulingka Tibetan Art and Craft Institute and wander around the workshops and enjoy lunch at Norling Café. After lunch we visit Gyuto Tantric Monastery, home of His Holiness Karmapa, Aghanjar Mahadev Shiva Temple and Tea Garden. Return to hotel for the evening.
Day 4: Dharamsala to Shimla
Drive to Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh and arrive there by evening. Check into your hotel for 2 nights.
Day 5: Shimla Siteseeing
Full day of site seeing around Shimla. We visit Jhakoo Temple which is dedicated to Hindu deity Hanuman, stroll along the Mall – a great place to for souvenirs, visit the quaint village of Mashobra, the golf course at Naldehra, the skiing slopes of Kufri and feel like a royalty walking around the Palace Hotel in Chail.
Day 6: Shimla to Sarahan
Drive north to the picturesque village of Sarahan perched high up the River Sutlej on a mountain ridge. Check into your hotel for the night. In the afternoon we visit the famous Bhimkali Temple which sits at an altitude of 2165m. It’s built with timber and stone with a mix of Hindu and Buddhist architecture consisting of two stately towers. Bhim Kali has been the Bushahr royalty's deity ever since the dynasty was established.
Day 7: Sarahan to Kalpa
Leave early on a full day's drive to the heritage village of Kalpa (2960m) in Kinnaur district. Check you into your hotel. After lunch take a stroll through this quiet village offering fantastic views of the Kinner Kailash ranges. Facing across the river visit the 1100 AD Hubu Iankar Gompa with its unusual statuettes and beautiful paintings. The Narayan Nagini Temple is exquisitely built and showcasing the fine skills of the local craftsmen.
Day 8: Kalpa to Kaza
Drive to the 1000 year old Tabo Monastery (3050m) in Spiti which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site containing some of the most exquisite wall paintings, clay and stucco images in the Indian western Himalayas. Most of them are still well-preserved. Often referred to as the Ajanta of the Himalayas, this large complex has 7 small and large temples, 23 Chortens and a mummified body of a Lama enclosed in a glass case discovered in the upper reaches of Spiti some years ago. Check into your hotel for the night.
Day 9: Kaza Siteseeing
Explore the Tabo Gompa. The use of a flash is forbidden inside the main temple that contains the delicate paintings and stucco images. After lunch drive to the main town of Spiti - Kaza visiting the ancient Dhankar Monastery high up on a rocky hillside. It was once a fort and a prison and also the residence of the Nono (Ruler) of Spiti. View a number of thangkas (paintings on cloth) and an image of Padmapani, one of the deities of Tibetan Buddhism. On reaching Kaza, check into your hotel.
Day 10: Kaza to Kibber
Drive to Spiti Valley high above the wide Spiti River basin before visiting the 14th century built Ki Monastery (4116m). Each of the five temples built on three levels has an image of the Buddha. A store room holds priceless thangkas, old musical instruments and 108 volumes of ancient scripture. The resident monks study the scriptures and learn to play musical instruments. Drive further north to Kibber Village (4205m) the highest permanently inhabited village in the world where temperatures drop to 35C in winter. Return to Kibber and check into your hotel for the night.
Day 11: Kibber to Manali
Drive to the popular hill resort of Manali. Crossing the Kunzum La Pass (4950m) descend into the Lahaul region along the Chandra River until we take a winding road to the 13,050 foot high Rohtang Pass. Once you cross and begin the descent into the upper Kullu Valley, the change in landscape is like a breath of fresh air as you drive past extensive meadows and lush forests beside glistening streams and waterfalls. On reaching Manali by evening, check you into your hotel for 2 nights.
Day 12: Manali Siteseeing
Visit the 500 year old Hadimba Devi Temple built within a thick grove of gigantic deodar. Explore the Utopia complex, a mini museum displaying local utensils, dresses and other local paraphernalia. Later cross the River Beas towards the ancient village of Vashisht with its curative hot sulphur springs. Visit the temple and then return to the market and the old Tibetan Monastery built in the early 1960s. Have lunch at one of the restaurants in town and then head south, crossing the river to the ancient capital of the Kullu Kings - the village of Naggar. Here a castle is being run as a heritage hotel by the Tourism department. Drive up to the charming cottage of the late Nicolas and Svetoslav Roerich, who were both Russian painters. Nicolas Roerichs' home is now an art museum displaying haunting landscapes of the higher Himalayas as well as lifelike portraits of famous Indians.
Day 13: Manali to Delhi
We leave for Delhi in the morning and the journey takes about 12 hours. On reaching Delhi, check into your hotel for the night.