- Overview Map of the Tethys Sea Bed
This Jeep Safari that begins from the seat of Dalai Lama and ends at 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. Spiti is known for the biggest Tibettan education centres in the world. Its two other valleys on either side of Spiti are Pin valley and Lingati valley. Pin valley was the sea bed of ocean Tethys from which the Himalaya arose and Lingati valley is known for the Himalayan medicinal herbs. Apart from them there are Buddhist Monasteries, a lake, cedar forests, mighty river Satluj and woodcraft.
Number of Participants
Minimum 2 and Maximum 15
17 Days and 16 Nights
Tailor made Tour. Kindly inform us your dates of travel or just fill up the form on this page and we will get back to you with the further details
Customize Your Trip
Glimpse of Tethy’s Sea Bed
Hotel Royal Plaza or Similar
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 – Chandigarh
3.5 hrs by Train
Hotel / Home Stay
Transfer to New Delhi Railway Station to board Shatabadi Express (Leaves at 0740 am and arrives Chandigarh at 11:20 am). Here you are assisted to your hotel. Freshen up and then after lunch visit to Rock Garden.
Chandigarh – Dharamsala
Chonor Guest House (Subject to Availability as it has to be book well in advance
We enter the hills today and gradually gain the elevation of 2000 meters. Drive to Dharamsala is through the farmlands of Punjab and the villages in the Himalayan foothills. On arrival check into your hotel.
Evening visit to the Dalai Lama Monastery.
Chonor Guest House (Subject to Availability as it has to be book well in advance)
Today we shall visit to the Bhagsunag, Tibetan Children’s Village and Narbulinga Institute where you can see the artists working on Thangka paintings.
Narbulinga Institute was established by the Tibetan Government siting in exile in order to help and support the orphan Tibetan children arriving India. Here the education of craftsman ship, embroidery, sculpting, wood carving and Thangka Paintings is provided to the students and the items prepared by them are sold in a small outlet based inside the institute.
Dharamsala – Manali
Hotel / Hotel Banon Resrot / Johnson Lodge or similar
Morning drive to Manali via Palampur, Baijnath, Mandi and Kullu. Palampur is known for its tea estates planted by the British families during the Raj era. We drive through some of the tea estates, depending upon the season you may see the new leaves sprouting or being plucked by the local women.
Baijnath has an ancient temple that was setup by Ravana, the King of Srilanka. The legend says that he managed to please lord Shiva and obtained a Shivlingam from him to be taken to Srilanka. On the way at this place he felt the need to answer the nature’s call so he gave the Sivlingam to a Brahmin. The lingam was too heavy for the Brahmin to hold so he placed it on the ground. And after that Ravana could never lift it. On arrival check into your hotel. Enroute visit to the tea estates of Palampur town.
Hotel / Hotel Banon Resrot / Johnson Lodge or similar
Morning we visit the age old drive to Dhungri Temple in the Cedar forest, dedicated to Goddess Hidimba. She is the strongest Goddess of Kullu valley and rules all the other 384 deities. She was the sister of Demon Hidimb, but when Hidimd was killed by Bhim, one of the most popular charecters of the Hindu epic Mahabharata, she married Bhim and became a goddess.
Later we drive to Naggar to visit Naggar Castle and Reorich Art Galley.
Manali – Chandertal
Camp at Chandertal
We need to leave as early as early as 6 o’clock to avoid the routine traffic jam. Drive over Rohtang Pass (4000 m) and enter Lahaul valley. From here onwards we drive along River Chandra that originates from Lake Chandertal.
Chandartal is also known as Moon Lake as it looks like moon in the desert. We might have to walk some distance to reach the lake as sometime the road near the lake is found damaged.
Chandertal – Kaza
Hotel Sakya Abode or similar
We begin our drive at around 8.30 am and go over the second highest pass on the way. The Kunzum La (4500 m) is crowned by the temple of Goddess Kuzuma. The view of some of the highest peaks in the area from Kunzum La is breath-taking. Descend to Losar where the passports are checked and now we enter 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.
Lunch at Kaza and then free to walk around to explore the area.
Hotel Sakya Abode or similar>
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. Return to the hotel for lunch and then 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 about the beauty of the landscape here. We shall not be able to explain it in words.
Kaza – Tabo
Nearly fullday as we go via Pin valley
Hotel Tiger Den or similar
Drive to Tabo is along river Spiti but before we proceed, from Atargo we shall right to enter Pin Valley. This was the sea bed of the ocean Tethys from which Himalayas aroused. Pin valley is a geologists paradise and the geographical carvings here are worth seeing.
Return to visit to Dhankar Monastery. 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.
Drive to Tabo and overnight stay.
Tabo – Nako
Fixed Campsite with attached facilities
Tabo Monastery was built in the year 996 AD, the Chos Khor Monastery at village 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, thangkas and stucco.
Early morning we shall go to see the traditional pooja in the Monastery. Return for breakfast and then visit the main temple. After lunch drive to Nako. The village of Nako lies at an altitude of 3625 meters, high above the last stretch of the Spiti Valley, at the bank of Lake Nako. It was once a very important centre 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 – Kalpa
Hotel Grand Shangrila
Today we exit Spiti Valley and enter Kinnaur. Kalpa is in the green area and is known for its apple orchards, remote villages and its beautiful landscape.
Afternoon walk to Village Roghi on old Hindustan Tibet road.
Hotel Grand Shangrila
After breakfast walk around the villages in and around Kalpa. These are the ancient and exquisite villages of Chini, Kothi, Pangi and Telangi.
Kalpa – Sarhan
Hotel Srikhand Mahadev (Government Property)
Our today’s drive is along river the mighty Satluj. Some of the hydro projects on the way might irritate you as they have actually spoiled the beauty of the area.
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 Bhimakali goddess idol is approximately 200 years old.
Sarhan – Shimla
Hotel Radisson or similar (Government Property)
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.
Hotel Radisson or similar
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 – Delhi
Rooms for Wash & Change
After a late breakfast we drive to Kalka (96 km – 3 hours) to board Shatabadi Express to Delhi. On arrival you are transfer to hotel shared rooms for wash, change and then late night transfer to the 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 Jeep Safari Tour is for those who enjoy traveling without the knowledge of what is around and the next corner. Although we run these Jeep Tours 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 drive 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 trip is for the
- One who enjoys in the unknown.
- One who is ready for the ups and downs of exploratory travel.
- One who loves the company of royalties.
- 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.
- One who wants to know the history.
- 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 long except on the day 3. Most of the drive are 3 – 4 hours drive. No early morning get up except on the day you travel from Delhi to Chandigarh by train.
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 Jeep Tours 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 driving on the roads from green to brown area. The roads 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 drive slowly and might become irritating for you. But only those shall enjoy this Jeep Safari 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 trip is so stunning that it does not give you any opportunity to get irritated and leave your camera.
- Since we drive above the Tree line so the effects of altitude can be a problem, so it is advised to bring a disposable oxygen cylinder with you.
- 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 fix departure tours for this itinerary. You may contact us at your convenience and ask for the dates, you want to travel. You may also ask for a customizsed tour exclusively for yourself. 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 dependent 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 trips 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 receive you in India at teh International Airport Delhi and will escort you through out your Jeep Safari trip.
- This tour begins from Indira Gandhi International Airport in New 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
- For this particular itinerary we use only the ancestral properties of the Royal Families around Shimla. For details kindly refer to the itinerary given below.
- Since they all are the descendants of the Royal Dukes to the Hospitality is there in their blood. Not to worry about food they are serving.
- 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 itinerary 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.
Will there be anyone to receive us at the International Airport in Delhi?
Yes, you will be met by our representative, holding the placard with your name on it. From here you will be led to your hotel.
What type accommodation we are going to stay in during the trip.
Generally we use Homestays for all our tours. For this particular tour we are using the accommodation as follows :
In Delhi : 4 start Hotel Royal Plaza or Similar.
In Dhami : Here we are going to stay at Dhami House, the ancestral house of Kunwar Dushyant Singh, the son of the last official ruler of Dhami State. Around seventy years ago his father Rana Dilip Singh decided to move out of Darbar and built this house that Kunwar Dushyant inherited from him.
In Ghorna : Jandev Castle was built by the Grand Father of Kunwar Anirudh Singh Jandev, to welcome the Viceroy. Today Jandev Castle is the Summer House of Anirudh Singh and a part of the house has been opened for the visitors to stay.
In Shimla : Chapslee, the summer house of the King of Kapurthala and his son Kunwar Ratanjit Singh lives there now. There is no other house in whole of North India with such a rich collection of antiques.
What about food in Delhi ?
Your Guide knows Delhi very well, so please follow his recommendation.
What about food at other places ?
We always serve Home Cooked healthy food consisting of Veg and Non-Veg meals. It includes soups, bread, rice, curry, salad, dal, vegetables, non-vegetarian items and sweet dish. Good food ends with good tea so that is a part of the course. Except in Delhi at all other places we shall have breakfast and dinner with the family. Lunch, generally would be a packed lunch.
Will there be anyone at Chandigarh Railway Station to meet us?
You will be met by your Tour Guide at Chandigarh Railway Station who will escort you throughout the tour, till your departure at Kalka Railway Station on last day. You will be inform well in advance about his details.
In Delhi you will be received by our another representative who will take you to your hotel and then to the International Airport.
Are there any rooms that can be shared by more than two people?
No. There are rooms only on twin sharing basis or Single rooms.
What about my luggage? Who will take care of it?
All your luggage shall be traveling with you. Your car has enough space to keep your luggage? Please travel light and go through the Check List given with the itinerary on our website.
Will you have enough water during the trip?
We use enough bottled water during the trip.
Is this tour available on other dates apart from the fixed departures?
Yes. You can fill up the form given along the itinerary and send us your requirement. We will see in case it can be arranged for the required dates, and inform you accordingly.