Hop aboard for a different look at this dynamic country’s northern region before turning south and ending up at the ever-popular coastal town of Goa. Explore temples, shrines, and tombs — including the Taj Mahal — while absorbing the rich culture and vibrant daily life of this exciting country. Experience the India-Pakistan Wagah border ceremony and Dalai Lama sights in Dharamsala. The colours of Rajasthan, bustle of Mumbai, and beaches of Goa will stay with you long after you catch that flight home.
Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included through the G Adventures-supported Women on Wheels project.
There are no planned activities until an evening welcome meeting.
Take the morning Shatabdi Express to Amritsar and enjoy breakfast on board. In the afternoon, drive to the India-Pakistan border and witness the border ceremony performed by both nations border guards. Later in the evening visit the grounds surrounding the Golden Temple and take an orientation walk of Amritsar.
Amritsar which literally translates as "his pool of nectar", is a flourishing city and religious centre in the state of Punjab. Important from a religious point of view to the Sikh religion, with many pilgrims coming to have a divine bath in the pool of nectar at the Golden Temple. Also an important political city where in 1947 the separation of India and Pakistan created a long white line known as the Wagah Border between the two neighbours.
In the morning visit and explore the Golden Temple and learn about the community service principles of the Sikh Religion. Later, embark on a scenic drive to Dharamshala and take an orientation walk in the evening.
Travel along Himalayan mountain roads to the famous seat of the home of the Dalai Lama. "Dharamshala" translates to "a spiritual dwelling" or loosely, shelter or rest house for pilgrims and travellers. It is a beautiful former British hill station situated in the snow-capped mountains of Himachal Pradesh, in the foothills of the Dhauladar ranges. The city is divided into lower and upper Dharamshala according to the altitude. A popular pilgrimage site, the town is filled with temples, markets, galleries and gathering places.
Enjoy free time to explore Dharamsala. Visit the Main Temple and current residence of Dalai Lama or take a tour of the Norbulingka institute dedicated to preserving the Tibetan culture. Feeling more adventurous? Choose to embark on a short hike to Bhagsunag.
There are lots of ways to spend free time in this charming place. Visit the Kangra Art Museum in the Kotwali bazaar, or take in a performance of the Tibetan folk opera 'Lhamo' at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts.
Opt to visit Norbulingka. Set amidst beautiful gardens, surrounded by the green fields of the Kangra Valley, the Norbulingka Institute stands against a backdrop of the towering Dhauladhar mountains of the outer Himalayan range.
Explore the town of Mandi. Walk around Rewalsar Lake, a sacred spot for Hindus, Sikhs, and Buddhists. Renowned for its ancient stone temples with fine carvings, Mandi is also known as the "Varanasi of the Hills".
Embark onto the next destination, Shimla, the capital of Himachal province. This was once the British summer capital during the Raj Era. View the colonial era architecture still prominent throughout this city.
Enjoy a CEO-led orientation walk on The Ridge and The Mall (local hangouts) and explore this summer capital of British India. Opt to visit the Viceregal Lodge or admire the neo-Gothic or Tudorbethan architecture of the heritage buildings.
Take the World Heritage-listed toy train from Shimla to Kalka. Switch to the Shatabdi Express for the rest of the journey back to Delhi, with dinner included on board.
Take the World Heritage-listed toy train from Shimla to Kalka. Over the course of 3 hrs, the train winds through tunnels as you head out of the mountains of Shimla.
Enjoy a free day in Delhi.
Take the Shatabdi Express train to Agra, with breakfast served on board. Enjoy a guided tour of the impressive Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. Time permitting, opt to visit the Baby Taj.
Hop on a Shatabdi Express train in the evening to Jaipur.
Take an orientation walk around town. Take a photo of the Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds) and visit the Amber Fort. Walk around the Old City and markets and opt to visit the City Palace. With free time, choose to visit local artisans in a nearby village, wander the Jantar Mantar, or check out a Bollywood film at the spectacular Art Deco film house, the Raj Mandir.
In the morning board a train and soak in the passing scenery en route to Udaipur. Arrive in the evening with free time to explore the city.
Enjoy an orientation walk, including a visit to the Jagdish Temple and the City Palace, one of the largest royal palaces in India. Attend a Rajasthani cultural show on Gangaur Ghat.
Take a train to Bundi to explore the fort and stepwells.
Opt for a sunrise bicycle tour of Udaipur before the train to Bundi this afternoon.
There is no shortage of notable architecture in Bundi. From palaces to baoris, otherwise known as stepwell reservoirs, explore the many man-made marvels of Bundi.
Explore Bundi with some free time before an overnight trip on the Mumbai Rajdhani Express train, with dinner on board.
Arrive in the morning in bustling Mumbai, home to 20 million people. Take a walking tour of the Colaba area and see the Gateway of India.
Catch a morning flight to beautiful Goa. Spend free time relaxing on the beach or exploring the city's monuments.
Opt to visit the many Portuguese-built monuments, wander around the churches of Old Goa (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), or discover Panjim, the capital of the state. Don't forget to indulge in Goan cuisine.
Enjoy a free day in Goa.
With free time in Goa, opt to explore the city and learn about it's ancient Portuguese colony, visit a market, or relax on the beach.
Depart at any time.
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Trip Name: Northern India & Rajasthan to Goa by Rail
Duration: 20 Days
From Price: $1,999
Supplier Tour ID: AHRR/145312
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