This Jeep Safari Tour offers you a different landscape, hill architecture and a the way of lifestyle in the hills. We remain in the foothills where a stunning valleys, towering pines and dominating snow clad Himalayan peaks keep you busy looking at them. The mountain air in these regions is breath-taking.
Jeep Safari Tour in the Indian Western Himalayas
- Jeep Safari that begins from Shimla – the former Summer Capital of the Imperial Government in India. Gradually you enter the hills and drive over the high motor able roads, over high passes providing a spectacular view of the Himalayan ranges. There are Buddhist Monasteries, a lake, cedar forests, mighty river Satluj and woodcraft and finally descend to the pool of nectar – Amritsar.
We organise the following for you
- Transport by Luxury Jeeps
- All arrangements for accommodation
- A highly professional English speaking Guide cum Escort
- Meals as per the itinerary
- A lifetime Experience
During this trip you will be traveling through some of the most stunning areas of the Indian Western Himalayas. Sometimes there are chances of road block, floods, natural calamities and delay in departure due to some unavoidable reasons.
Number of Participants
Minimum 02 and Maximum 15
18 Days and 17 Nights
There are no fix departures for this trip. This trip can be organised only between 15th June to 30th October, every year.
Overnight Stay : Hotel.
Welcome to India! You are met by our representative in the arrival area of the airport after you clear all immigration and customs formalities. Depart for your Home Stay to check in.
Delhi stands as the capital of Modern India. Here you can see the mingling of the Old and New India, the ancient and the modern. Delhi is made up of seven ancient cities, spanning the period from the 11th to 20th centuries. Delhi has seen the rise and fall of many emperors, which has left behind a plethora of monuments that commemorate the grandeur and glory of bygone ages. Very few cities in the world can express such a profusion of architectural styles.
Delhi – Shimla
Overnight Stay : Hotel.
Transfer to New Delhi Railway Station to board Shatabadi Express (Leaves at 0740 am and arrives Kalka at 12:00 noon). Here you are assisted to the Toy Train to enjoy the Fairy Tale Journey. (Leaves at 12:20 PM and arrives Shimla at 17:20 PM). On arrival transferred to your hotel.
Shimla came into existence after the Gurkha British wars in 1816. From then till 1947 the British used it at a holiday resort and then as their Summer Capital. Completely developed by the British Officers Shimla takes you back to the bygone era as the town is a Victorian and post Victorian architecture. Large number of buildings built by the Imperial government remain scattered and the climate of the town has a clear resemblance to Europe.
Shimla is a Walker’s paradise. Many people coming to Shimla regret if they miss it, so we keep here two nights for you so that you can walk through the Heritage Lanes of Shimla with your guide. There are beautiful Churches, A Viceregal Lodge now called Institute of Advanced Study, Army Heritage Museum, Annandale Ground, Gaiety theater and of course The Mall road – a busy street but meant only for the pedestrians.
Shimla – Sarhan
Distance: 175 Kms / Driving Time : Five Hours Overnight Stay : Hotel / Guest House
The drive is through the Apple orchards, lush landscape and over Narkanda – a small but busy town at the elevation of 9000 feet.
Early morning breakfast, Sarahan, a beautiful village surrounded by apple orchards and dominated by Shrikhand Mahadev Peak (5155 M/ 16,912 feet) which resembles the “Shivling.” We visit the Bhimakali Temple, a wonderful mixture of Buddhist and Hindu architecture. It is very sacred to both communities. The idol of Goddess Bhimakali is approximately 200 years old.
Sarhan – Chitkul
Distance: 75 Kms / Driving Time : 3 Hours Overnight Stay : Fixed Camp / Guest House
Chitkul is one place that is not to be missed on this trail. This is the last village in the valley of river Baspa and keeps amazing landscape with its temple of the village at the backdrop.
Chitkul – Kalpa
Distance: 45 Kms / Driving Time : 2 Hours Overnight Stay : Hotel
Morning drive to Kalpa. On tha way we shall visit village Batseri and village Kamru. Looming above Kalpa village is the impressive Mt. Kinner Kailash (6050 M/ 19,850 feet). Arrive in time for lunch.
Afternoon : Also we need to appear before the State Divisional Magistrate to obtain Permits for the Inner line area.
After breakfast walk around the villages in and around Kalpa. These are the ancient and exquisite villages of Chini, Kothi, Pangi and Telangi. Make good use of your camera as the landscape and the architecture attracts you repeatedly.
Kalpa – Nako
Distance: 105 Kms / Driving Time : 5 Hours Overnight Stay : Fixed Camp
The village of Nako lies at an altitude of 3625 meters (11,893 feet), high above the last stretch of the Spiti Valley. It was once a very important center of Buddhism in the region. There are different small sized temples belonging to different periods between the 11th and 12th centuries distributed all over the village, including a monastic complex on its western edge. Boasting four temples and a number of additional buildings, this complex preserves the earliest artistic heritage. The austere and un ornamented exteriors of the buildings give little hint of the important artistic and religious legacy that lies within the walls.
Nako – Tabo
Distance: 70 Kms / Driving Time : 4 Hours
Today we enter the Spiti Valley. Geographically and archeologically, Spiti is a living museum. The mountains are devoid of any vegetation due to erosion by wind, sun and snow over thousands of years. Our vehicles climb up to the village of Tabo (3050 M/ 10,006 feet). Built in the year 996 AD, the Chos Khor Monastery at Tabo is the largest monastery in Spiti and one of the few remaining examples of the Golden Period of Buddhist Culture in the Himalayan Region. The wall frescos of the monastery are comparable in their antiquity and quality to those of the Ajanta caves, hence they are called the Ajanta of the Himalayas. It houses more than 100 Lamas, a large number of scriptures and pieces of art, wall paintings, tankhas and stucco. We will reach Tabo for lunch. In the afternoon and evening we will visit the monastery and village.
Tabo – Kaza
Distance: 50 Kms / Driving Time : 3 Hours
Rise early if you want to join the monks in morning worship at Tabo monastery (5 min walk through the village).
After breakfast we drive to Kaza. On the way we shall visit Dhankar, the ancient capital of Spiti. Dankar Gompa (3800 M/ 12,467 feet) was built in the 12th century. This hilltop fort dominates the scene, and once served as a jail. It contains more than 160 scriptures of Lamas and Buddhists in the Bhoti language. A statue of Dhyan Buddha consisting of four complete figures seated back to back is the main attraction of this four to five century-old monastery. Unfortunately, the ancient Gompa, situated on the very edge of the peak, is deteriorating. Entering the interior may be restricted in the very near future. They have shifted the main monastery to a new complex at the entrance of the village. His Holiness the Dalai Lama inaugurated this temple in June 2004.
Before we drive to Kaza, a detour to Peen Valley is strongly recommend for a photographer. Peen Valley was the sea bed of the ocean Tythes from where Himalaya rose up. Commonly known as Geologist’s paradise Peen valley is known for its amazing rock folds and Moonlike landscape.
We continue our drive to Kaza.
Morning after breakfast we visit to Kye Monastery. Then drive to Village Kibber and Village Gete from where the view of Spiti Valley is just astounding.
Afternoon drive to Langcha, Komic and Hikkim Villages. In all these Hikkim is the highest village (4587 meters) in the world that is connected by road, electricity, water and telephone.
Please don’t ask the beauty of the landscape here. We shall not be able to explain it in words.
Kaza – Manali
Distance: 50 Kms / Driving Time : 3 Hours
This is our longest day. Drive over the famous Kunzum Pass, enroute visit Lahaul Valley, between Kunzum and Rohtang. The drive offers magnificent views. Drive to Manali over Rohtang La (3980 M/ 13,058 feet). At Rohtang Pass we will relax and enjoy the breath-taking beauty.
Visit to Chandertal Lake with a detour of 12 kilometre is optional. (Subject to the condition of the road). Chandertal is a high altitude lake at the elevation of 14500 feet. The total circumference of the lake is about two kilometres but its crystal clear water makes it look like a pearl in a desert.
Morning we drive to Dhungri Templ in the Cedar forest. And then drive to Naggar to visit Naggar Castle and Reorich Art Galley.
Afternoon an easy strolling at the Mall. Free for shopping.
Manali – Dharamsala
Distance: 225 Kms / Driving Time : 8 Hours
Drive to Dharamsala and on the way stop at the tea \estates of Palampur. Evening visit to Dalai Lama Monastery.
Today we shall visit to Bhagsunag, Tibetan Children’s Village, St. John’s Church and Narbulingka Institute where you can see the Tibetan artists making paintings and sculptures.
Dharamsala – Pragpur
Distance: 100 Kms / Driving Time : 3 Hours
Today we drive to the Heritage Village Pragpur. Later walk around the village to click the old houses of Sood community known for their architectural beauty.
Pragpur – Amritsar
Distance: 110 Kms / Driving Time : 5 Hours
After breakfast, we drive to Amritsar, in the state of Punjab, in the Himalayan foothills called the Shivaliks. Amritsar, home of the Golden Temple, is one of the most ancient and fascinating cities in India. It is an important seat of Sikh history and culture. Being the gateway for travelers coming to India on the overland route from Central Asia, it soon became the center of various commercial activities. The Golden Temple was founded by the fourth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Ramdas, and completed by his successor Guru Arjan Dev. It is famous for its full golden dome, one of the most sacred pilgrim sites for Sikhs. The Mandir is built on a 67-foot square of marble and is a two-storied structure. Maharaja Ranjit Singh had the upper half of the building built with approximately 400 kg of gold leaf. The Golden Temple is surrounded by a number of other temples, such as the Durgiana Temple. After lunch we visit the Golden Temple of the Sikhs. We will circumambulate the temple, stopping periodically for moments of quiet reflection. The temple complex is like a small community, filled with many different activities. We will visit the kitchen where free meals are prepared by volunteers throughout the day; the temple where the holy book, Aad Guru Sahib, is read aloud from 4 am to 10 pm daily; and observe devotional rituals.
Travel to the border town Wagah to see flag ceremony at dusk.
Amritsar – Delhi
Morning independent. Transfer to railway station to board Shatabadi Express to Delhi. Transfer to hotel shared rooms for wash, change.
Dinner and late night transfer to airport for flight home.
In addition to this tour if you wish your visit to Taj Mahal or The Golden Triangle can be arranged on request.
- This tour is for those who enjoy traveling in the unknown; traveling without the knowledge of what is there around and at the next corner. In this tour you see altogether different landscape, a different form of hill architecture and a different way of lifestyle in the hills. Although we run these Jeep Tours on fixed itineraries but still we keep the trips as flexible as possible for the convenience and comforts of our clients. In these trips we offer the opportunity to travel to some remote areas where every one wishes to go at least once in his or her life but due to certain reasons, such as health, or time sometimes can’t go there.
This Jeep Tour is for one
- One who enjoys in the unknown.
- One who is ready for the ups and downs of exploratory travel.
- One who does not expect silky comforts during the trips.
- One who is prepared to pitch in and help when required.
- One who does not care what is there around and after the next curve.
- Before you travel to India it is advised that you should consult your doctor for up to date information and prescriptions for vaccinations, anti-malarial requirements and any reasonably foreseeable illnesses.
- Although a First Aid Box is always a part of our Kit still we recommend that you carry any personal medical requirements if you have.
- Please stick to sealed bottled water. It is cheap and easily available throughout. In car we are going to keep enough water for you.
- You should be in a reasonably fit state of health for this holiday. The drives are not very hectic except on the day 12. Most of the drive are 3 – 7 hours drive. No early morning get up except on the day you travel from Delhi to Chandigarh by train or on the day you want to visit Tabo Monastery.
Safety and Security
- Check with the embassy in your country and follow their advice for their latest travel information.
- It is recommended that you use a neck wallet or money belt while traveling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travelers’ cheques, cash, credit cards, debit cards, ATM cards and other valuable items.
- Leave your valuable jewellery at home as you won’t need it while traveling.
- Keep your baggage under lock and key.
- The participant to this Walking Tour should have a certain level of fitness. You may be expected to walk for 5-6 hours a day with your own day pack. The luggage is left in the vehicle so no porters or mules are required to carry it.
- We shall be walking on the trails through the green area. The trails at a number of places are narrow, bumpy or dusty. At some places we might be crossing the streams or water flow. So due to these conditions we are likely to walk slowly and might become irritating for you. But only those shall enjoy this Walking Tour who know how to enjoy the Natural beauty and the landscape around.
- We are dead sure that the Geographical Carvings and the Landscape on this Walk is so stunning that it does not give you any opportunity to get irritated and leave your camera.
- Since we remain under the Tree line so the effects of altitude cannot be a problem, but sometimes if the gradient is steep for you then it is suggested to slow down and go gradually.
- Travel documents: passport, visa, travel insurance, air tickets.
- Health requirements arranged. 1 photocopy of above documents, Money: cash/credit card/ travellers’ cheques, Money pouch.
- Your personal First-Aid kit including rehydration salts, Sunscreen, lip balm and sunglasses due to harsh sunlight and exposure to high altitudes.
- Wide brim hat or umbrella
- Antibacterial hand gel, when water is scarce.
- Walking Boots – light weighted.
- Boot Protector.
- Thin Liner socks : 3 pairs
- Day pack to carry your personal needs during the day.
- Heavier outer socks.
- Tights, for Women. At least one pair.
- T – Shirts. Take several.
- Light weighted.
- Walking pants.
- Rain Pants.
- Warm socks.
- Alarm clock and torch/flashlight.
- Lightweight travel towel.
- Refillable water bottle, for filling from thermos.
- Ear plugs can be useful if avoid someone snoring in the group.
- Your own sleeping bag.
- Warm clothes. It is recommended to bring thermal under wear, and either a down or a fleece jacket.
- A wind proof jacket.
- A pair of gloves.
- A scarf or face mask for dust, Sarong for covering up when washing / showering.
- Underwear. Three pairs are enough.
- Bras. For Women, a couple.
- Tampons or Sanitary Napkins. They are easily available in the open market.
- Toilet Kit.
- Insect Repellent.
- Bug Powder.
- A candle, large and small rubber bands, plastic bags, tape extra pens etc.
Season for this trip
- We do not have any fix departure tours for this itinerary. You may ask the dates by sending us an e mail or on telephone. In winter you might find snowy conditions or very cold anywhere in Himalayas in India above 8000 feet in elevation. Snow melts from spring onwards but also conditions vary from place to place.
- By the end of October onwards any place in the Western Himalayas can be very cold.
- From second half of July till third week of September is the Monsoon period in India so if you opt to go for this Walking Tour in these months you might have long rainy days.
- Remember that Himalayan climate is particularly dependant on two conditions, the elevation and the time of the year. So be prepared. A drop of 2 degree centigrade every 1000 feet gained in elevation is common.
- July to September are the monsoon months in India and there could be some unforeseen problems like road blockages due to land slides or roads damages. So a change or delay in itinerary could be there or we reach the destination from some other route, however it is quite unlikely.
- Check out at www.accuweather.com for the latest news on the weather forecast in India.
- It is very important that when you are traveling to India, you kindly dress up keeping in mind the respect for the locale culture, especially Ladies. In some area you might have some people gathering around you, touching you and looking at you for a long time, as you are a foreigner.
- As a general guideline full shirts and full length skirts or knee covered skirts are recommended. At some places or the religious buildings shorts are not allowed as it will restrict your entry into buildings.
- At religious places you shall be required to cover your head. The cloth is provided by the temple. So kindly follow the tradition otherwise the authorities might not allow you to enter the premises.
- In India before entering all religious places you are required to remove your shoes. You can also bring a pair of floaters footwear those are easily available in the markets in India too, these footwear are easy to remove and wear.
- Women are sometimes not allowed to enter some of the religious places in the hills.
Photography and Interaction with Local
- During our Painting Tours there will be many opportunities for you to meet and talk with locals. You are allowed to take pictures but it is also suggested that you take permission before clicking their houses, lifestyle and them. One way to start any conversation is with pictures.
- Children in the villages might ask you to click their picture. If you have a digital camera you are click and show them on screen.
- Also if possible for you to bring some photos/postcards of your family, home, city or country where you live, animals peculiar to your country to show them.
- People in the hills are very simple and hospitable. They might ask you to come to their house and have a cup of tea as tea is a very common and untimely drink in India. They shall be very happy if you accept their invitation.
- India is a country which may be very different from something that you may have experienced before. And Specially when you in the interiors of the Himalayan Foothills it might be very different from other areas you have traveled to. In most of the villages here simplicity and poverty can result in initial culture shock. Some villages are still under the poverty line but they follow their traditions and culture strictly. So all this should be seen as an exciting new challenge.
- You’ll be escorted by our guides who are having a very good English speaking skills and with excellent knowledge of the area and it’s history.
- Our Guide will meet you at International airport in Delhi on your arrival in India and will escort you till the end of the trip.
- This tour begins from Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. We meet you there and drive to your Hotel in Delhi.
- We have to purchase the train ticket from New Delhi to Chandigarh and Shimla to New Delhi, two months in advance.
- All your luggage shall be put on the top of the car or in the dickey. Ask your driver to help you.
- Travel in Delhi and Travel from Chandigarh till Shimla Railway Station shall be by Toyota Innova Cars.
- In case you want to join us at Chandigarh then kindly let us know well in advance. The amount for the Delhi section then will be deducted from your total cost.
Accommodation and Meals
- The hotels / Fixed Camps / Guest Houses used for this trip are decided after a thorough inspection. In some areas there are only basic category Guest Houses are available. For Meals you do nt have to worry as these accommodation units provide very hygienic food.
- The electricity supply is 220-240V AC @ 50 Hz. You will require an adaptor of the 2 round pin variety.
- Alcohol is available at all the three units we are using so you may order separately for it.
- Except Delhi the entire tour is on Full Board basis. Packed lunches are included on our walking days. At Delhi you have to pay for your lunches and dinners.
- During the Jeep Tour you will be traveling most of the time so pack as lightly as possible (stay under 10 kg/22lb). Most travellers carry their luggage in a back pack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice. Avoid Suitcases.
- The mountains can be cold. Night time temperatures can be as low as 5 degrees, so bring a set of warmer clothes; thermal underclothes, being small and light, can be very useful. A warm jumper/jacket, cap, gloves and sunglasses no matter what time of the year, as we travel at altitudes above 3500m.
Why to take this Jeep Tour in Himalayan Villages?
- This is rather a different world depicting the lifestyle of the hills.
- If Shimla gives you the feel of the Raj then Spiti keeps you away from the civilizations.
- Here the traditional lifestyle will attract you and the Apple orchards, the hills houses, the legendary temples and the stunning landscape will keep your eyes wide open.
- Be inspired by the tranquillity of the Moonlike landscape.
- The hotels chosen are simple yet providing a great level of comfort as outside your window you might see the clouds dipping in valleys or a bird singing from the tree top.
- The extraordinary landscape of Kinnaur and Spiti will never allow you to move your eyes away from it.