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We invite you to call Sarah or Gwen at 1-800-762-4216 to request the full brochure. The brochure will include Important Traveler Information (and answers to most questions) and a Reservation Form. We can send the brochure through the Postal Service or as a PDF attachment. If you would like to receive a PDF, probably the best way to keep the message from going into a SPAM filter is to send a message to sarah@serioustraveler.com. If you are already on our mailing list, no need to complete the entire brochure request form.

During the Dalai Lama's Birthday in Dharamsala

Delhi • Dharamsala • Mc Leodganj • Amritsar • Srinagar • Gulmarg • Dal Lake • Kargil • Alchi
Leh • Hemis • Khardung-la pass • Nubra Valley • Hunder • Diskit

July 4 - 18, 2018 • 15 Days
$5870 based on double occupancy from Delhi, India
plus India e-visa $60
Airfare additional
Single supplement $1850

Based on 5 participants, escorted throughout India by English-speaking guide
With 10 participants the tour will be escorted from the U.S. and throughout India
Maximum 14 participants

Accepting Deposits Now


Day by Day Itinerary


• Arrive Delhi by your international flight.
• On our arrival in Delhi, we will be met at the international airport by our representative and transferred to the hotel. Rooms at the hotel will be reserved for you.

Delhi: The city has a great history of centuries that encompass the bravery and valor of the legendary Pandavas and the might and wisdom of the Mauryans Kings. A briefing of Delhi’s history would remain incomplete if there is no rendering about the great rule of Prithviraj Chauhan. As the last ruler of Hindu empire, this man helped mold Delhi to a vibrant and sprawling city. After him, his kingdom was the strong hold of various dynasties like the Slaves and the Tughlaques. Later the Mughals colored it with their great love and affection for art and literature. After the first war of Indian Independence, this historic city began to play a major role in the hands of the enduring British people. It was in 1911, Delhi had been officially recognized as the capital city of British India. This sprawling city has witnessed the rise and fall of so many strong holds of power. Starting from the days of the epic period to the 21st century, Delhi played a significant role in the entire history of the nation.

Overnight in Delhi at NOVOTEL*****


• Breakfast will be served at the hotel.
• Post breakfast, we will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight to Dharamsala
• Board AI 9813 at 10:00 AM (flight times are subject to change)
• Arrive Dharamsala at 11:40 AM
• We will be met and assisted on our arrival at the airport, then enjoy lunch at a local restaurant
• Later visit Kangra Fort
• After the visit, proceed for check in at the hotel in the suburb of Macleodganj
• Evening, take a stroll around and shop souvenirs, artifacts, and Tibetan jewelry
• Dinner will be served at the hotel

Dharamsala: Lying in the Dhauladhar range of Himalayas, the colorful Tibetan flags, stupas, meandering paths, dense pine and deodar forest makes Dharamsala a serene land of Buddhist culture. In order to seek spiritual salvation and serenity, people from all over the world visit Dharamsala. Formerly known as Bhagsu, it is home to the Dalai Lama from where his preachings are followed by monks and local people.

Overnight in Macleodganj at CHONOR HOUSE****


• Breakfast will be served at the hotel
• Start the day with a visit to Theckchen Choeling temple -”Dalai Lama Temple” to be part of the birthday celebration of The Dalai Lama
• Lunch will be served at the hotel or a local restaurant
• Post lunch we will visit Bhagsunath temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva
• Visit Bhagsu Falls
• After the visits we will return to the hotel
• Dinner will be served at the hotel

Mc Leodganj: Home to the holiness of Dalai Lama, Mc Leodganj falls in the upper part of Dharamsala and is an abode to the Tibetans. Also known as Little Lhasa, Mc Leodganj is a place where religious, artistic and intellectual traditions are preserved. Dedicated to Buddha, the entire region has beautiful monasteries where Tibetan culture and architectural designs are followed by the monks.

Tsuglaghang Temple: This is a temple in Mc Leodganj also known as the Dalai Lama temple, where one can even find Namgyal monastery where the Dalai Lama’s followers can be found. The temple has colorful rotating wheels where thousands of prayers are inscribed in them. When these wheels are rotated it signifies that some mantra or prayer is being enchanted.

Bhagsunath Temple: Dedicated to Lord Shiva this temple was built by King Bhagsu. The temple has various pools around, which are considered to be sacred and have healing power.

Overnight in Macleodganj at CHONOR HOUSE****


• An early breakfast will be served at the hotel
• Check out and drive to Dharamsala. Visit the Gyuto Monastery in Dharamsala
• Later, we will be driven to Amritsar [128 miles/ 6 hrs]
• Enroute visit Masroor Rock Cut Temple
• Lunch at a local restaurant
• See the Guru Ganath Sahib
• Visit the kitchens of the Golden Temple for Langar (communal meal)
• Dinner will be served at the hotel
• After dinner, visit the Golden Temple to attend the ‘Palki Sahib’ or Night Ceremony at the temple

One of the most famous monasteries in Tibet, the Gyuto Monastery is known for its study of Tantric meditation, Tantric ritual arts and Buddhist philosophy. It was founded in Tibet in 1474 by the main disciple of the first Dalai Lama, Jetsun Kunga Dhondup. After the communist Chinese invasion in 1959, the monastery was re-established in India. The main chamber of the monastery has a majestic statue of the Buddha and with the backdrop of the snow-clad mountains, this is an extremely serene and peaceful place to spend an afternoon.

The Masroor Rock Cut Temples popularly dubbed as the “Himalayan Pyramid”, is a complex of monolithic rock cut temples located in Masroor in the Kangra Valley. It is built in shikhara (raising tower) of classical Indian architectural style, dated by art historians to 6–8th centuries. There is a lake or pond called Masroor Lake in front of this edifice which shows partial reflection of the temples. A legend attributes its construction to the Pandavas of Mahabharata fame who resided here during their “incognito” exile (Ajnatavasa) from their kingdom.

The complex form a group of 15 monolithic rock cut temples in the Indo Aryan style and are the only rock shrines in the northern part of India. The main shrine contains three stone images of Ram, Laxman and Sita, but the presence of the figure of Shiva in the center of the lintel affords a strong presumption that the temple was originally dedicated to Lord Shiva ( Mahadeva).

Amritsar: The city of was founded in 1579. The word Amritsar literally means a “Pool of Nectar”. It is constructed at a sacred site gifted by the Mughal Emperor Akbar to Guru Ram Das in the 16th century. It is the most holy place of worship for the Sikhs all over the world.

It is well known that the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikhs, was bestowed the title of the eternal Guru. Guru Gobind Singh himself, giving it the same aura and celestial light that shone on the original Sikh masters. The Palki ceremony symbolizes retiring of the master to take rest and arrival in morning among the disciples. The holy singing is stopped, some of particular hymns are read by the priest and then book is closed and is placed in a golden palanquin which is carried by all the devotees who are lined up to take seva. A trumpet is blown by single man, which is very spectacular and spiritual. In the morning, the same ceremony is held when the Guru Granth sahib is taken back to the temple. The book is opened randomly and right page is read, which is ‘Hukamnama’ the order of day.

First Guru Nanak Dev insisted that true profit is to do selfless service. In doing so, he established the basic principal of langar. Langar is the communal meal shared by Sikhs and all visitors to the gurdwara. Since the founding of the Sikh community, langar has come to be an important part of Sikh religious life. For Sikhs, eating together in this way is expressive of the equality and oneness of all humankind. Meals in the langar are vegetarian, and are simple, nourishing and nutritious. They usually consist of rotis (bread), rice, daal (lentils), a vegetable dish, and kheer (dessert). The langar at the Golden Temple serves a massive number – 50,000 people a day. On holidays/religious occasions, the number often goes up to 100,000. The kitchen has two dining halls, which have a combined capacity of 5000 people.

Overnight in Amritsar at HYATT*****


• Breakfast will be served at the hotel
• Drive to the Golden Temple for a visit. There will be an interactive session with a Granthi (priest at the Golden Temple) to understand Sikhism better
• Visit Jalianwalan Bagh adjacent to the temple
• Return to the hotel for lunch
• Late afternoon, drive to Wagah border to see the changing of guard ceremony of India and Pakistan
• After the ceremony, drive back to the hotel
• Dinner will be served at the hotel

Golden Temple: It is also known as Har Mandir Sahib or Darbar Sahib and is built in the center of the pool and is one of the most interesting temples of the world. The holy book of the Sikhs, the Granth Sahib is venerated in the sanctum sanctorum. The Temple has four entrances, one in each of the cardinal direction, symbolizing that it is open to all people regardless of sex, caste, religion or creed. The walls of the Temple are inlaid with semi-precious stones in floral patterns, frescoes and glass work. Inside the Temple one can see and hear musicians continuously singing the holy songs from the Granth Sahib. The Temple is in constant use, and one can observe people in quiet devotion at any time of the day. It is the desire of every Sikh to visit the Temple at least once in a lifetime.

Next to the Temple is the Akal Takht or the Immortal Throne, which was established by Guru Hargobind, the sixth Guru, in the early 17th century. This is the supreme seat of Sikh Authority. It is also the repository of weapons used by the Gurus. These weapons are displayed every evening. A museum near the Temple houses paintings on Sikh history, beside ancient manuscripts, coins and weapons.

Overnight in Amritsar at HYATT*****


• Breakfast will be served at the hotel
• Later in the day, we will be transferred to the airport for our onward flight to Srinagar
• Board SG 438 at 1:10 PM (flight times are subject to change)
• Arrive Srinagar at 2:00 PM
• Refreshments will be provided on the flight
• We will be met and assisted on our arrival at the Srinagar airport and transferred to the houseboat
• In the evening, proceed to visit the The Bund. Continue and take a walk to reach the Chai Jaai – a tea shop. The shop overlooks the Jhelum river and is a perfect setting to enjoy an evening cup of Kashmiri Tea. You can also visit the adjacent ‘Suffering Moses’ to have a closer insight of ‘Papier-Mache’ art of Kashmir
• Return to the houseboat
• The rest of the day will be kept free to relax and rejuvenate in the property
• Dinner will be served at the houseboat

Gurkha Houseboat, a traditional houseboat is an attractive choice for accommodation on Nagin Lake. Beauty, calmness and lavish comfort will sooth you and make your journey memorable.

Kashmir was a favorite of the Mughal emperors who visited it as often as they could. Cool and refreshing after the plains of North India where the business of governance kept them, they planted gardens with stepped terraces and flowing watercourses. The Nishat Garden built by Empress Nur Jahan’s brother Asaf Khan is the largest, with several terraces, a central watercourse and a majestic site between the Dal and the Zabarwan hills. The Shalimar Garden was planned by Jahangir, the Mughal emperor in 1619 while he was planning the city of Srinagar. Shaded by magnificent ‘Chinar’ trees, Shalimar has a series of stone pavilions and flowing water with flower beds.

Overnight in Srinagar at Gurkha Houseboat


• Early morning: Experience a “Shikara” Ride on the pristine waters of the Dal Lake and visit the floating market
• Return to the houseboat for breakfast
• Post breakfast, we will check out of the houseboat and proceed to Gulmarg
• Visit the church and Hari Singh Palace
• Lunch will be served at a local restaurant in Gulmarg
• En route back to Srinagar after the visits in Gulmarg, visit the Baba Reshi Shrine at Tanmarg.
• Upon arrival in Srinagar, check in at the hotel.
• Dinner will be served at the hotel

A Shikara ride is one of the most soothing & relaxing aspects of a holiday in Kashmir. Shikaras are long wooden rowing boats similar to the Venetian gondolas and are a cultural symbol of Kashmir.

Gulmarg literally means meadow of flowers. Nestled with stunning peaks in the Himalayan ranges, Gulmarg is a spectacular picnic spot attracted by all kinds of tourists with its lush green backdrop, beautiful landscapes, flowering gardens, serene lakes and pleasant climate during the summers and falls. Elevation is 8694 feet.

Dal Lake: It is famous for its beauty and vibrancy. It sustains within its periphery, a life that is unique anywhere in the world. The Shikara communities have lived for centuries on the Dal, and so complete is their infrastructure on the lake, that they never have to step on land! Doctors, tailors, and bakers - we’ll see them all in tiny wooden shops on the lake, near picturesque vegetable gardens and acres of lotus gardens.

Overnight in Srinagar at THE LALIT*****


• Early breakfast at the hotel
• Enjoy a walking tour of old Srinagar
• Return to hotel for lunch
• Later in the afternoon, visit the Gardens – Shalimar and Nishat Garden. Also visit the Shankaracharya Temple
• In the evening, enjoy the beautiful sunset from the lawns of Pari Mahal
• Return to hotel after the visits
• Dinner will be served at the hotel

Old Srinagar: We visit Hamadan Shrine that showcases exquisite wood carving and walk the vibrant bazaar witnessing colorful sights of spice merchants, copper smiths and silk shops used vastly for shawl embroidery and carpet making. Our walk will end at the tomb of Zein-ud-Din, who was one of the best rulers Kashmir ever had.

Nishat: It was built by Empress Nur Jahan’s brother Asaf Khan. The largest of the gardens, Nishat has seven terraces. These terraces rise dramatically off the mountains from the eastern part of the lake, and these together with the flower-beds, a riot of brilliant colors, present an unforgettable sight.

Shalimar: The Garden of Love, was built by Emperor Jahangir, whose love for Kashmir was legendary. Shaded by magnificent chinar trees, the Shalimar is a series of stones of pavilions and flowerbeds.

Shankaracharya Temple: It is a beautiful Shiva temple situated on a picturesque location on the Gopadari Hill towards South East of Srinagar. The name of the Temple is after the great philosopher Shankaracharya who visited the valley about ten centuries ago.

Overnight in Srinagar at THE LALIT*****


• An early breakfast will be served at the hotel
• Later we will leave Srinagar and drive to Kargil
• Enroute stop at Sonmarg for visits
• Arrive Kargil and check in at the camp
• Lunch at the camp
• The rest of the day will be kept free to relax and rejuvenate at the camp
• Dinner will be served at the camp



• Breakfast will be served at the camp
• Post breakfast, we will be leaving for Leh visiting Lamayuru Monastery and Alchi enroute
• On our arrival in Alchi, we will be visiting the monastery & a Ladakhi village
• Lunch will be served in Alchi in a local restaurant
• In Alchi visit a local school and interact with the teachers and children to understand the educational system throughout Leh
• Lunch will be served in Alchi in a local restaurant
• Arrive in Leh and check in at the hotel
• Dinner would be served at the hotel

Lamayuru: The oldest and spectacularly set holy site of Lamayuru monastery is about 78 miles west of Leh. It was founded in the 10th century. Lamayuru was once a lake. It was blessed by a lama after which, as legend goes, the water of the lake receded up to the mountains leaving place for the monastery to be built. Lamayuru has fascinating caves carved out of the mountainside. Also known as Yung Drung (Swastika) it is sited on a high promontory overlooking the village and valley.

Alchi: Alchi is unusual in that it is on lowland, not perched on a hilltop like other Ladakhi gompas. Built in the 11th century it is noted for its massive statues of Buddha and its lavish woodcarvings and artwork. The paintings are in the Kashmiri tradition, which was still very influential at this time.

Leh: It is the capital of the former Himalayan kingdom of Ladakh. It is famous for its rich cultural heritage and is popularly known as the land of monks and monasteries. Located 11,562 feet (3524 meters) above sea level, Leh is characterized as a high altitude cold desert. The town is still dominated by the now ruined Leh Palace, the former mansion of the royal family of Ladakh, built in the same style and about the same time as the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet.

Thiksey: It is one of the largest and architecturally most impressive of all gompas. There are several temples in this gompa containing exquisite images, stupas and wall paintings of the Buddha.

Overnight in Leh at Grand Dragon****


• Breakfast will be served at the hotel
• Post breakfast we will visit the monasteries in Leh, Shey, Thiksey and Hemis
• Lunch will be served at a local restaurant in Hemis
• Return to the hotel
• Later have the opportunity to shop for many interesting things from the local Leh market!
• Dinner will be served at the hotel

Hemis: It is the best-known and biggest gompa of Ladakh. It is situated on the banks of the river Indus. The monastery, which houses five hundred monks, has beautiful paintings and thangkas. Hemis was built in 1630 during the reign of Sengge Namgyal, an illustrious ruler of Ladakh. It is divided into two, the Assembly Hall on the right and the main temple on the left. The temple is known as Tshogkhang. The verandahs have a surfeit of frescoes, among them the Buddhist “wheel of life” (Kalachakra) and the “Lords of the Four Quarters” besides rows of prayer wheels.

Overnight in Leh at Grand Dragon ****


• Breakfast will be served at the hotel
• Drive to Nubra Valley through Khardongla pass (5359 meters)
• On our way, we will also visit the Khardung Village
• Lunch will be served at Nubra
• The rest of the day is kept free to relax and rejuvenate at the hotel
• In the evening, we will witness a Ladakhi dance performance
• Dinner will be served at the hotel

Khardongla pass: It is situated at an altitude of 18,380 feet. The view from the top of the pass is amazing. Khardongla is historically important as it lies on the major caravan route from Leh to Kashgar in Central Asia. About 10,000 horses and camels used to take the route annually, and a small population of Bactrian camels can still be seen at Hunder.

Nubra Valley: A full circle of peaks surrounds the flat sea of the central plain dotted with villages. Here lies a valley cut off from the world -- a hidden secret land of Nubra. Mountains rise on both sides abruptly from the valley in great masses, forming walls of solid rock broken only by narrow side gorges that strike directly into the heart of the range, dividing the facing wall into enormous sections. The region comprises of several villages like Diskit, Hunder, Tirit, Sumoor and Panamik.

Overnight in Nubra at LCHANG NANG RETREAT


• Breakfast will be served at the camp
• Drive to Hunder Village and experience a Bactrian camel ride through the dunes and visit the Diskit monastery.
• Later, we visit a local home where lunch will be arranged with a Ladakhi family
• Post lunch we will be visiting the Diskit Monastery
• Drive back to Leh by evening
• Arrive and check in at the hotel
• Dinner will be served at the hotel

Beautiful but remote, Hunder village sits like an oasis in the middle of the cold desert in Nubra Valley of Jammu and Kashmir. Four miles from Diskit, which is known for its Buddhist monastery, it has acquired fame for its sand dunes, the cold desert that surrounds it, Bactrian camels and its breath-taking natural beauty. Situated close to the Siachen glacier and Pakistan border, entry beyond Hunder village is barred as the area ahead is controlled by the Indian Army. The high altitude desert, with rolling expanse of sand dunes and barren landscapes is one of the main attractions of Hunder village. The cold desert and sand dunes seem like an enigma to the travelers who come to witness the spectacle.

Bactrian camels are another attraction as well. Native to the steppes of central Asia, the Bactrian camel has two humps, in contrast to the single-humped camels found in Rajasthan and other parts of India. The Bactrian camels were the main mode of transport when Ladakh was an important stopover on the ancient trade routes with Central Asia.

Hunder is also the place where we can find forests of sea-buckthorn, a medicinal plant rich in bio-molecules, vitamins and nutritive properties and popularly known as ‘Leh Berry’.

Diskit Monastery: It is the oldest and largest Buddhist monastery (gompa) in the Nubra Valley of Ladakh, northern India. It belongs to the Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It was founded by Changzem Tserab Zangpo, a disciple of Tsong Khapa, founder of Gelugpa, in the 14th century. The monastery has a statue of Maitreya Buddha in the prayer hall, a huge drum and several images of fierce guardian deities. An elevated cupola of the monastery depicts a fresco of the Tashilhunpo Monastery of Tibet. The Monastery administration runs a school, with support from a Non-Government Organization (NGO) known as the “Tibet Support Group”.

Overnight in Leh at GRAND DRAGON****


• Breakfast will be served at the hotel
• Drive to Phyang Monastery for an interactive session with the Lamas to understand the Tibetan Buddhism
• After the session, we can choose to walk around the valley
• Later we will proceed to Nimo for a spectacular lunch at the confluence of the Indus and Zanskar river
• Drive back to Leh and visit the Leh Palace and the Shanti Stupa
• Evening is free for our own activities
• Dinner will be served at the hotel

Leh Palace: It overlooks the Ladakhi Himalayan town of Leh, modeled after the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. The palace was built by King Sengge Namgyal in the 17th century, but was later abandoned when Dogra forces took control of Ladakh in the mid-19th century. The royal family moved to Stok Palace. Leh Palace is nine stories high; the upper floors accommodated the royal family, the stables and store rooms were in the lower floors.

A magnificent white-domed structure, the Shanti Stupa of Leh Ladakh offers spectacular views of the sunrise and sunset. The stupa looks best at night, when it is beautifully illuminated with glittering lights.

Overnight in Leh at GRAND DRAGON ****


• Breakfast will be served at the hotel
• Transfer to the airport for our onward flight to Delhi
• Board UK 766 at 9:20 AM (flight times are subject to change)
• Arrive Delhi at 11:00 AM
• We will be met and assisted on arrival in Delhi and transfered to a hotel closer to the airport
• Room for wash and change will be available on immediate occupancy
• After lunch at the hotel, we will enjoy an entertaining show
• Evening is free for our own activities
• Dinner will be served at the hotel
• Later, depending on your international flight time, you will be transferred to the airport

Note: Flight schedules always subject to change.



Novotel New Delhi is ideally located in Aerocity in close proximity to the airport and within driving distance to New Delhi.

Chonor House, a branch of Norbulingka, was designed and built by British architect David Porter in a style intended to blend with the natural environment of the hills overlooking the Kangra Valley.

Located in the heart of the city, the Amritsar Hyatt is just 2.5 miles away from the Golden Temple and Jallianwala Bagh and is the only 5-star Deluxe hotel of the city.

Houseboats in Srinagar are docked on the lake side. They are traditionally made with wooden architecture and offer neat and clean rooms with attached toilet. Usually, each houseboat has one/ two or three bedrooms. So we will book 3 to 4 house boats depending on the group size. The toilets are Western style, however there is no shower.

Encircled by the Himalayan ranges and overlooking picturesque Dal Lake, the Lalit Grand Palace Srinagar is the former palace residence of the Maharajahs, and has been carefully and meticulously restored. Designed and built by Maharaja Pratap Singh in 1910, the hotel stands witness to key events in India’s history.

The Highland Mountain Resort & Spa is the only star category Luxury Resort Hotel in Kargil. The hotel is located at a distance of 1.5 miles from town.

The Grand Dragon Ladakh is one of the first luxury hotels in Ladakh. It is decorated magnificently with handmade paintings by Gulam Mustafa (first modern Artist of Ladakh) around every corner, and fixtures that are reminiscent of royalty.

Lchang Nang, the House of Trees - a piece of heaven - is surrounded by the most spectacular Himalayan landscape. Just as its name suggests, Lchang Nang is set amidst an orchard of elm, apricot, and apple trees, further blessed by the continuous flow of the Siachen river rushing past its western boundary.


We invite you to call Sarah or Gwen at 1-800-762-4216 to request the full brochure. The brochure will include Important Traveler Information (and answers to most questions) and a Reservation Form. We can send the brochure through the Postal Service or as a PDF attachment. If you would like to receive a PDF, probably the best way to keep the message from going into a SPAM filter is to send a message to sarah@serioustraveler.com. If you are already on our mailing list, no need to complete the entire brochure request form.


© 2019 Travel Concepts International, Inc. CST 2005743-40

Travel Concepts International, Inc.
Cultural Tours to Better Understand the World and Its People

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