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Heart of the Himalayas

A fascinating journey into the world’s most famous and highest mountain chain
 Delhi - Rishikesh - Shimla - Kasol - Kirigangah - Manali - Dharamshala -  Amritsar
11 nights  12 days
 
General information:
 Appropriate trip season: April to October
 Shabat in Chabad Hous Kasol

Highlights:
  • Rickshaw ride in Delhi
  • Rafting in Rishikesh
  • Extreme trekking and tents lodging in Kirigangah village
  • Skiing/snowmobile/Paragliding/Jeep tours in Manali
  • Change of guard at Wagah border in Amritsar
Day 01: Delhi
Traditional welcome by our executive on your arrival at Delhi airport followed by transfer to the hotel.                                      
After check-in proceed to visit the synagogue “Judah chaim” - Jews have lived in Delhi since ancient times, and their communities are even mentioned in the Talmud. Later we will explore India’s bustling capital city the New Delhi visiting the Vijay Chowk, “Victory Square”, stopover at the Presidential Palace with its intriguing combination of classical and Indian design elements and the India Gate memorializing Indian soldiers who died in World War I.
Enjoy the Rickshaw ride at busy central street of Old Delhi, the Chawri Bazar Road and the Chandni Chowk. A poignant visit to Rajghat, the site of Mahatma Gandhi’s cremation and a memorial to this humble man who so changed the world.
 Overnight at hotel in Delhi

Read more about Delhi
Day 02: Delhi – Haridwar - Rishikesh  (Surface: 225 kms/05 hrs)
Early morning transfer to train station to board your train to Haridwar. Arrive Haridwar railway station and straight drive to Rishikesh,also known as "The Gateway to the Himalayas".  On arrival check-in at the hotel.
 Later proceed to visit quieter picturesque area of Lakshman Jhula and Ram Jhula where you will find the best views. Also visit the Swiss cottage area that is slightly more isolated from the rest of the region.
Overnight at hotel in Rishikesh
 
  • Rishikesh: which is located in the state of  Uttaranchal in northern India, is a tourist center and one of the most important Pilgrimage sites in India. Rishikesh is situated on the both banks of the Ganges, when the only transition from one side to the other is done by crossing a narrow bridge aimed for pedestrians, motorcycles, rickshaws, cows, dogs and monkeys. (taking a picture on the bridge is not an easy task, and makes an attraction in itself : impatient cows goring who ever stops, Indians who want to be photographed with you try to squeeze into the picture, and this unique traffic never stops). Up the mountain you can see the sources of the Ganges River - The meeting point of  streams flowing from the Himalayas. Rishikesh is a special combination of religion and nature, ashrams scattered everywhere and a lot of green and large mountains. The powerful Ganges river and an impressive amount of babas wearing an orange cloth, complete the picture to a memorable experience.
Read more about Rishikesh
Day 03: Rishikesh – Shimla (Surface: 270 Kms/ 05 hours)
In morning we will go out to experience the extreme rafting in Ganges river. The site offers a few routes of different lengths (0 kms – one hour, 16 kilometers – 2 hours). After rafting and a short rest, we will proceed our drive towards Shimla. On arrival n Shimla, check-in at hotel.
 We will visit the residence castle of the vicerory of India in which the Shimla agreement was signed regulating the partition of India. Then we will visit the huge golf courses used by the british during their rule in the region, and also in the resort site Narkanda featuring divers and special ski facilities at the height of 2708 meters
Overnight at hotel in Shimla
 
  • Shimla:  the capital of the state Himachal Pradesh and formerly the summer capital of British India. Previously, Shimla was much loved by the British rulers and they choose the city to be the summer capital of India. The city was built by the British in European style, and is now a popular resort town due to its mild climate during summer. The city is surrounded by pine and oak forests, and located close to the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas.
Read more about Shimla
Day 04: Shimla – Kasol (Surface: 200 Kms/ 04 hours)
Today we will drive to the magical town of Himalayas, Kasol – small  beautiful and peaceful town, situated on the banks of river Parvati in northern India. In the evening we will tour the town Manikaran, located in the Parvati Valley between the rivers Beas and Parvati. Besides being panoramically surrounded by the Harinder Mountains, the prime attraction of the town is its hot springs that are located in and around the place. These natural springs are a rare phenomenon and the region surrounding the town is also beautiful. It is possible to have a dip in these hot springs. All witness to lifestyle of local rural people to go back in time.
Overnight at hotel in Kasol
 
  • Kasol:  is a small village embraced by many tourist. We can also find lots of tourist friendly cafes, internet and many western-style restaurants. Kasol is also the home for many Israelis and almost al sign boards are in local language and Hebrew.
Read more about Kasol
Day 05: Kasol - Kiriganga (04-05 hours walking)
In morning drive towards the village Varashani and from there continue your walking tour to the village Kiriganga. The walking trail passes through the stunning sceneary, high corn fields, fruit trees and straw huts.
 In evening enjoy special dinner in nature at Kiriganga village – “A Kosher Barbeque”
Overnight at hotel in Kiriganga
  • Kiriganga village is located at the foothills of Parvati valley. The village is known for the stunning mountain scenery which also implies the peace and serenity that can be experienced in this place. The village also has natural hot springs.

 Day 06/07: Kiriganga – Kasol (04-05 hours walking)
After breakfast we will hike back to Kasol enroute visiting remote local villages. Return back to hotel and get ready for Shabbat.
 Shabbat prayers dinners at Chabad House of Kasol.
 Overnight at hotel in Kasol
  • A Shabbat in Kasol is a special experience. About 200 Israelis are gathered at the Chabad House and play together the “Yedid Nefesh” and “Iceha Dodi” and then enjoy Shabbat meals. 

 Day 08: Kasol – Manali (Surface: 85 Kms/03 hours)
Today we leave to Kulu Valley that's in the state of Himachal Pradesh. In the enchanted Valley we'll find raging rivers, beautiful mountain villages, orchards, green pine forests and snow-capped ridges. We keep going and reach Manali, a smiling little town located at the northern end of the Kulu valley , at an altitude of about 2000 meters. The town hides among virgin forests, plantations and greening agricultural terraces. Most of the townspeople are engaged in tourism and agriculture, mainly citrus and vegetable crops. We will tour the old city and local markets.
Overnight at hotel in Manali
  • For centuries Kulu  valley constituted a main trade Junction between Central Asia and India, the population of the valley has grown tremendously in the fifties and the sixties thanks to many Tibetan refugees that moved to live there. Despite the changes of the roads, the migration and the growing tourism in the recent years, the valley life still run the same way it was decades ago and the residents still live in rural and small stone houses. Valley's women wrap themselves in colorful scarves and men have small caps.

Day 9: Manali
We will dedicate this day to the many attractions that are located in Manali. We'll start the day in a jeep ride  to the villages around Manali, visit ancient castles, and visit rushing waterfalls. Later we we'll go to "sulng Nola"- a ski resort in a picturesque environment located 13 km from Manali. Over there there is a variety of attractions, good ski slopes, snowmobile, horseback riding, rafting, Hang Gliding, and hiking trails, which attracts hordes of tourists in all ages. - Manali never disappoints anyone ...
Overnight at hotel in Manali

Read more about Manali
Day 10: Manali – Dharamshala (Surface: 230 Kms/06 hours)
In the morning we leave towards Dharamsala.  The road trip to Dharamsala is an experience by  itself, and it presents to the travelers breathtaking landscapes and diverse options for hiking.The highlights are the Himalayas and their snow-capped peaks, and alongside them green valleys. As we arrive we will visit the village of McLeod Ganj - the place of residence of the exiled Tibetan. In the place there are museums that teach the history of the exiled people, and this is the residence of the Tibetan Prime Minister The Dalai lama.
Overnight at hotel in Dharamshala
  • In Kanegra valley at the bottom of the mountain ridge "Daolardar" is the town of Dharamsala. Up the hill, still in the jurisdiction of Dharamsala is the village of McLeod Ganj, which is the residence of the exiled Tibetan government, headed by the Delhi Lama. McLeod Ganj is at the altitude of 2000 meters and is surrounded by snow-capped peaks and spectacular views. Above McLeod Ganj is the Bhagsu and Daramkot villages that offer a lot of beauty spots and spectacular hiking trails.
 Read more about Dharamsala
Day 11: Dharamshala – Amritsar (Surface: 220 Kms/04 hrs)
In the morning we start going down towards  Delhi. On the way we will stop  in  Amritsar, tour the local markets and other key sites. Towards evening we will watch  the shift change ceremony at the India Pakistan border.
Overnight at hotel in Amritsar
 
  • Every day close to sunset time in the Wagah border (which is a part of the India-Pakistan border, about 30 km from Amritsar) there is  the  Guard Changing Ceremony,  with the participation of soldiers  and civilians in both sides. soldiers from both armies wear special hats on their heads in honor of the occasion. Their ridiculous look, together with the dozens of Indian and Pakistani fans cheering  each to his own army, or alternatively  harassing the other group by showing  their thumbs down, make the ritual to a scene of bustling activity and beyond all, a  hilarious surreal episode! Interesting to see how such a national status becomes no more than a neighborhood football game. The ritual Spectators are heard to the announcer's instructions calling them to encourage, shout, sing and drum, while the two armies struck the flag to half mast.
 
Day 12: Amritsar – Delhi (Train)
Early in the morning we'll take the fast train from Amritsar to Delhi. Arrive at Delhi railway station and transfer to International airport in time to connect flight back home.
 

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