40Tailoring your tripThe itineraries shown are designed to give you aflavour of what is possible, and are routes thatwork particularly well. We can use these as abasis to plan your trip or can design a completelydifferent itinerary to suit your tastes and interests.Please call one of our North India specialists tostart planning your itinerary.Telephone: 01993 838 345Getting aroundThe foothills are best reached by train, or byflying from Delhi and Calcutta, which are the twomain hubs with direct international connectionsfrom London or the Middle East. We provide an air-conditioned car and driver for yourconvenience and generally this is the best modeof transport. Trains are exciting and offer a greatexperience, but they are not up to westernstandards so not suitable for everyone. Colonialtoy trains offer great views and are a fun way toarrive or leave either Darjeeling or Shimla. Roadconditions are sometimes poor and transfers doon average take four to five hours depending onthe route and local conditions. In certain parts ofthe region we will use 4x4s which are moresuitable for the sometimes poor road conditions.When to go??The best time to travel.?A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of.~Travel is possible, but this is not the best time of year.?Travel is not recommended.The ideal time to visit India's Himalaya is spring,with warm daytime temperatures and coolerevenings. Autumn, after the monsoon, also offersgood conditions and although travel is possible inthe winter months, visitors have to be preparedfor changeable weather. The best times of yearfor great mountain views are late September toDecember and mid-March to mid-June. Pleasenote that tea picking and processing aroundDarjeeling stops for a few months, generally frommid-November until mid-March. Ladakh has avery different climate and travel is only possiblefrom May though to September.Time difference:GMT+5.5 hoursFlight time from UK:From 8.5 hours plus at least an overnight stop en route.PricesWe offer trips to cater for a wide range ofbudgets. You can find up-to-date guideline pricesfor your trip to the Indian Himalaya on ourwebsite, alternatively please call our specialists todiscuss your plans.JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec~~????????~?????High mountain desert landscape, LadakhLamayuru gompa, LadakhWoman in traditional costume, LadakhMasked Buddhist monks at a festival, LehLadakhThe roof of the world, Ladakh, hosts some of the world's most spectacular mountainscenery. In the high altitude desert you will find the white sand dunes of Nubra andmagnificent glaciers -the effects of theirerosion shown in incredible colours in thehillside. There are some stunning lakes, towhich a great diversity of migratory birds flockfor the summer months. The sacred IndusRiver, coined 'the backbone of Ladakh', runsthrough the region from Tibet and is framedby the Karakorum Range to the west andTibetan Plateau to the east. Ladakh lies in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.The majority of the people in Jammu andKashmir are Muslims, whereas the Ladakhis areprincipally Tibetan Buddhist. The culture hereis quite unique as the women enjoy a higherstatus and relative freedom compared to manyother parts of the country. There is a strongTibetan influence in both the food and theBuddhist monastic architecture.Due to the severe climate, especially duringthe dark winter months, the region is onlyopen to visitors during the summer, from Junethrough to September. The area is easilyreached from Delhi by air or by an epicoverland journey by road from Manali, whichtakes at least two days in a private jeep. Due to the altitude of the area time toacclimatise here is essential. Leh is a greatplace to explore and after a few days you may want to head out into the opencountryside to see the traditional way of lifeand appreciate the breathtaking views this area has to offer.
Suggested itinerariesWestern Himalaya ExploredEnjoy the full diversity of India's western Himalaya,taking in colonial history in Shimla, Tibetan cultureat Dharamsala, the Sikh's Golden Temple inAmritsar and a Hindu ceremony on the Ganges.Day 1Fly overnight to Delhi.Day 2Arrive in Delhi. Explore the Old City.Day 3Travel to Kalka by train and onthrough the mountains by toy train to Shimla.Day 4Take a walk around Shimla includinga visit to Christ Church on The Mall.Day 5Drive to Pragpur. Visit the local town of Garli to see a rural side ofIndian life.Day 6Drive to Dharamsala andMcLeodganj, home to the Dalai Lama.Day 7Visit the Norbulinka Institute whereTibetian skills and ways of life arepreserved. Visit the BuddhistMonastery.Day 8Drive to Amritsar. Take an afternoontrip to Waga Border to watch theborder closing ceremony.Day 9Visit the incredible Sikh GoldenTemple during the day and in theevening to see the putting to bedceremony of the holy book.Day 10Take the train to Haridwar andcontinue to Rishikesh.Day 11Explore the local area and watch the evening Aarti on the banks of the Ganges.Day 12Drive to Haridwar and catch the train back to Delhi, arriving late in the evening.Day 13Travel to the airport for your flight home.Stay longerThis itinerary can be extended with a few days in Rajasthan at the beginning or end of your trip.Alternatively a few days in Corbett National Parkcan be arranged.Adventurous HimalayaFor those wishing to have a more activeexperience of the foothills, this route could includerafting on the Ganges, game drives in CorbettNational Park and the chance to witness village lifein the remote Kumaon region.Day 1Fly overnight to Delhi.Day 2Arrive in Delhi. Explore the Old City. Day 3Take the morning train to Haridwarand in the evening watch the Aarti.Day 4Travel by road to Rishikesh. Raft onthe Ganges or explore rural villages.Day 5Continue by road to CorbettNational Park, enjoy an afternoonjeep safari.Day 6Morning elephant safari andafternoon jeep safari in Corbett.Day 7Continue by road to Almora andtake a walk to a local Kumaon village house.Day 8Walk to the next village house,enjoying the tranquil mountain paths.Day 9A final day walk and evening spent ina village house.Day 10Return to Almora by foot and roadto catch the overnight train fromKathgodam to Delhi.Day 11A final day in Delhi. Explore New Delhi.Day 12Travel to the airport for your flightback to the UK.Stay longerYou could extend this itinerary by spending threenights at 360° Leti to enjoy the stunning mountainviews, or combine it with a Rajasthan itinerary orelsewhere in North India.Tea and BuddhismThe northeastern Himalaya offer an opportunity to experience Nepali, Bhutanese and Tibetancultures, alongside spectacular mountain scenery.This itinerary takes in the highlights of Calcutta andthe foothills, starting with the bustling markets andgrand architecture of Calcutta before flying into thefoothills, exploring the Buddhist monasteries ofSikkim, the village life around Kalimpong andfinishing in Darjeeling.Day 1Fly overnight to Calcutta via Delhi.Day 2Arrive in Calcutta.Day 3Explore Calcutta's hidden gems on awalking tour.Day 4Fly from Calcutta to Bagdogra andtravel by road to Kalimpong.Day 5Take a walk through local villages andenjoy lunch in a local home.Day 6Travel from Kalimpong to Gangtok.Day 7Visit the Rumtek Monastery and theResearch Institute of Tibetology.Day 8Travel to Pelling to visit thePemayangste and Sangachoelingmonasteries.Day 9Drive to Darjeeling to explore theformer colonial hill station.Day 10A short drive to a tea estate to relaxand unwind.Day 11Relax and take walks through thesurrounding hills.Day 12Fly to Delhi from Bagdogra andspend the night in Delhi.Day 13Fly from Delhi to London, arriving the same afternoon.Stay longerThe northeastern Himalaya combines well with a boat trip along the Hooghly or through Assamon the Brahmaputra. It can also be combined with Nepal or Bhutan for a deeper exploration of Buddhism.www.audleytravel.com/himalaya ?01993 838 345 ?Indian Himalaya41Two young monks, DarjeelingCHINAINDIANEPALPAKISTANDharamsalaHaridwarRishikeshAmritsarShimlaPragpurDelhiAlmoraCHINAINDIANEPALHaridwarRishikeshCorbettNational ParkDelhiCalcuttaPellingGangtokKalimpongDarjeelingBagdograINDIANEPALBHUTANINDIA