Foothills Of The Himalaya – Suggested Itinerary
This Himalayan holiday is part-spiritual adventure and part-celebration of the world’s highest mountain range. Start in the holy city of Amritsar, before heading for the hills where you can learn about Tibetan culture in Dharamshala and see the British influence in charming Shimla.
Suggested route & duration
9 nights Amritsar to Delhi
• Amritsar: 2 nights
• Dharamshala: 2 nights
• Pragpur: 1 night
• Shimla: 3 nights
• Delhi: 1 night
About this independent tour
Why you'll love this itinerary
• Visit the Golden Temple in Amritsar, one of India’s holiest monuments
• Take a guided tour of Dharamshala, a pocket of Tibetan culture in the foothills
• Wander through a village frozen in time in Pragpur
• See Shimla’s Viceregal Lodge, once the summer home of the leader of the British Raj
• Ride the Shimla Toy Train, one of India’s famous mountain railway
Suggested itinerary details
Day 1: Amritsar Famously known as the home of the Golden Temple, this is one of the world’s most important Sikh cities and an important pilgrimage site. It also acts as a gateway to the foothills of the western Himalaya. Explore the city on a guided tour. Stay 2 nights at Taj Swarna.
Day 3: Dharamshala This hill station is the home of the Dalai Lama and the seat of the exiled Tibetan government. As well as enjoying the panoramic views of the Dhauladhar Range, you can discover the town’s strong Buddhist faith and Tibetan culture. Stay 2 nights at Fortune Park Moksha.
Day 5: Pragpur This village in the hills is like a snapshot in time. Wander round the narrow streets and the well-preserved heritage buildings and dip into arts and crafts shops. Stay 1 night at The Judges Court Country Hotel.
Day 4: Shimla This beautiful, world-famous hill station stretches along a seven-mile hilltop ridge. See the relics of the British rule and the far-reaching Himalayan vistas. Stay 3 nights at The Oberoi Cecil.
Day 4: Delhi Transfer to Delhi by road and train. Stay 1 night at the Taj Palace.
Amritsar’s Golden Temple
Amritsar’s famous Sikh temple shines in the sun and reflects beautifully in the man-made lake.
Hillside Dharamshala, home of the 14th Dalai Lama, is a spiritual site for Tibetan Buddhists.
Heritage hill village
Stay in the Pragpur’s most impressive building, The Judge’s Court.
Shimla train ride
Soak up the scenery as you wind around the mountains on the slow-paced Shimla Toy Train.
Tailor your tour
Make it your own
We’ve crafted this itinerary based on our own experiences and our customers’ feedback. It’s fully flexible, so talk to us and we can create your perfect trip.
Where to stay We’ve recommended some of the Himalaya’s best hotels like the The Oberoi Cecil, a heritage building in the heart of Shimla. You could choose to stay the Cecil’s sister hotel, Wildflower Hall; the level of Oberoi luxury is the same, but you’ll be staying in the former home of Lord Kitchener.
As part of your Himalayan journey, we’ve added a handful of guided sightseeing experiences such as a tour of Amritsar and a ride on the Toy Train in Shimla. Talk to us about adding extra excursions like a visit to the Waagh Border in Amritsar to watch the Beating Retreat ceremony.
We suggest spending just over a week seeing the highlights of this corner of India. Days travelling along the winding mountain roads can be long so you might want to extend your trip to slow the pace a little. Stay a couple more days in Shimla or spend another night in pretty Pragpur.
After this full-on itinerary, it’s understandable if you’re after a little rest and relaxation. If so, we recommend heading to a beachfront resort in Goa which is easily reached by air from Delhi. If it’s culture that you’re after, you could add on a trip around the iconic Golden Triangle.
Good to know
When to go
• The skies in the foothills are clearest in October and November, making this the best time for mountain views
• Early and mid-spring is a popular time to visit with warming temperatures and Himalayan flowers blooming
• Winters can be cold, with snow up in the hills
• The monsoon arrives in July and lasts until mid-September; we suggest you avoid visiting at this time as rains can be disruptive to your plans