The Sikh and the Monk
4-Day Tour - Amritsar & Dharamsala
Gaze at the glistening Golden Temple, watch a bizarre border ceremony and listen to monks chant in the Himalayan foothills, filled with fluttering prayer flags. This spiritual trip will take you from eye-opening Amritsar into India’s ‘Little Tibet’, a Buddhist nook between forested peaks that the Dalai Lama calls home. First, you’ll visit the Golden Temple, the holy centre of the Sikh religion. You’ll also swing by the surreal and flamboyant border ceremony between India and Pakistan, before heading into the Himalayas for some fresh air and hilltop meditation.
- Accommodation – price based on 2 people sharing
- Transport by train and private car
- Wagah Border Ceremony (Amritsar)
- Yoga Class (Dharamsala) – subject to availability
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Your day-by-day itinerary
Arrival in Amritsar
Early this morning, you’ll be transferred to the train station. From the comfortable express train, you can watch the green countryside speed past the window. When you arrive in Amritsar you’ll be transferred to your hotel. Amritsar is the centre of the Sikh culture and home to the magnificent Golden Temple complex, which rivals even the Taj Mahal. In the evenings, the Temple is illuminated with dozens of tiny lights reflecting in the Pool of Nectar, giving it an air of fairytale romance.
Wagah Border Ceremony
About 20 miles west of Amritsar lies the India-Pakistan border where the ‘Wagah Border Ceremony’ is held every day at sunset. Our driver will take you there this afternoon, and you’ll see big crowds of Indians and Pakistanis waiting for the show. There are soldiers wearing colourful uniforms, marching around and simultaneously lowering their countries flags. Then, before shutting the gates for the night, the soldiers from either side give each other a brusque handshake.
Amritsar to Dharamsala
After breakfast, you’ll drive into the foothills of the Himalayas to Dharamsala (MacLeod Ganj), also known as ‘Little Tibet’. Home to the exiled Dalai Lama, there’s a huge community of Tibetan refugees here, and the monks define the gentle atmosphere of the town. Surrounded by evergreen forests and fresh green tea plantations, it’s an excellent place to unwind and recharge. Take a walk past the temple and wander amongst stupas and prayer flags in the pine forests.
Yoga Class, Free Time & Departure
We’ll arrange a yoga class for you (Apr-Oct), asides from that your time is your own. Listen to the monks chanting prayers in the monastery or watch their lively debates at the temple. Wander up to the beautiful waterfall in the hills above the town, or visit the Norbulingka Institute, an art academy for young Tibetans set amongst beautiful gardens. This trip draws to a close the next day and you’ll get ready to hit the road for your next destination.
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From 23 days / 22 nights (flexible)
India, Delhi - Jaipur - Agra - Varanasi - Lumbini - Chitwan - Pokhara - Kathmandu - Thimphu - Punakha - Chimi Lhakhang - Phobijkha Valley - Paro - Neydo Monastery