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Little Tibet

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days 16 US$ 2,210 US$ 2,099
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highlights
  • Leh - Explore Hemis, Tikse and Tak Tak monasteries
  • Alchi - Stay in a picturesque village near mighty Indus river with day walks to local villages and monasteries
  • Manali - Colourful town situated in a beautiful valley
  • Dharamsala - Visit the home of Tibet's exiled religious leader, the Dalai Lama
The Little Tibet tour starts in Amritsar and ends in New Delhi. It is a cultural, religious and historic sites tour that takes 16 days taking you through Leh Ladakh, Manali, Khardang Monastery and 9 other destinations in India. Little Tibet is a guided small group tour that includes accommodation, transport, meals and others.

Starting from golden Amritsar we travel through scenic mountain landscapes of Northern India to reach the Buddhist enclave of Ladakh. On route we travel through high mountain passes, discover ancient Tibetan-Buddhist monasteries and on some departures take in special festivals.

Amritsar - Soak up the incredible atmosphere at the Sikh's holiest shrine, the Golden Temple
Leh and Dharamsala - Learn all about Tibetan Buddhism as we visit several monasteries as well as visiting the home of the Dalai Lama
Western Himalayas- Journey through some of the highest mountain passes in the world such as Tanglang La
 
customer reviews about Explore
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“Trip was well planned and delivered by tour leader. Ran extremely smoothly. I had a fantastic time and would definitely book again!”
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Our tour begins today in Amritsar, the Sikh's holiest city. After time to freshen up we visit the stunning Golden Temple. Shoes must be removed, feet washed and heads covered before we can enter (please bring a headscarf with you or buy one outside). The Golden Temple itself is a surprisingly small building surrounded almost entirely by tanks of holy water in which the Sikh pilgrims bathe. The atmosphere is one of incredible calm with devotees taking their turn to pass through the main shrine where there is a continuous and melodic recital (known as the Akhand Path) from the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book. We also visit the nearby Jalianwala Gardens, site of the notorious massacre under General Dyer in 1919 which led to 379 Sikhs being shot from point blank range by British troops.
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
Today we drive out of Amritsar and cross the plains of the Punjab before making our way up to the old British hill station of Dharamsala. Until 1959 this was a quiet unassuming town, but that all changed when the Dalai Lama settled here after fleeing Tibet at the time of the Chinese invasion in October of that year. McLeodganj is the upper part of the town situated 500m above Lower Dharamsala and is the area with the greatest Tibetan influence. It is also where we base ourselves for our visit to the area. On arrival an orientation walk is organised which will include the Church of St John in the Wilderness, the Buddhist Namgyal Monastery known locally as Little Lhasa, and the Kalachakra Temple.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
We spend this morning in McLeodganj. If the Dalai Lama is giving one of his occasional public audiences we may be lucky enough to be granted permission to attend. This afternoon is left free for further personal exploration in the town. Alternatively you may wish to walk out to one of the temples in the surrounding hills, the closest being the Bhagsunath Temple with its small pool, attractive waterfall and spectacular views.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
Leaving Dharamsala we continue on to Mandi, once an important town on the salt route to Tibet, now a small temple town held sacred by both Hindus and Buddhists. On arrival we walk to see some of the 81 temples in the town, many of which are huddled on the banks of the Beas River.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
Today we follow the Beas River north through the lovely Kulu Valley. A slight detour takes us up to the quirky Naggar Castle which overlooks the valley. Our destination is the picturesque town of Manali, surrounded by forests and mountains.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
The day is free to explore the town and the many picturesque villages nearby. Your tour leader will organise an optional half day walk to some of the traditional villages to the north of Manali. Alternatively you can also visit the Hadimba Devi Temple or Vashisht village on the other side of the Beas River. Later perhaps you may bargain for colourful souvenirs in the local bazaar.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
Our full day's drive today takes us over the Rohtang Pass (3977m) today to the small settlement of Keylong, the administrative centre of the Lahaul and Spiti district. Along the way we are treated to impressive views of the Himalaya and we can watch the scenery change as we increase in altitude and the reduced oxygen level impacts the flora and fauna that inhabit the area. We will visit the Khardang Monastery which follows the Drukpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It is set on the slopes facing back towards Keylong and is one of the largest in the area.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
Today we have a very short drive to the town of Jespa where we'll have some free time to relax and enjoy the mountainous landscape.
Meals
  • Breakfast & Dinner
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
We climb higher today as we head for Sarchu. We climb to the top of the Baralacha La Pass (4891m) and then descend to our campsite for the night. The large pre-erected tents are set up each summer when the Leh to Manali highway is open and are fully equipped with beds and bedding with ensuite toilet facilities.
Meals
  • Breakfast & Dinner
Accommodation
  • Simple camping
We set off for the long drive to Leh. We wind our way up through the Gata loops, an amazing series of 21 hair-pin bends before crossing the Tanglang La Pass at 5328m - the highest point of our journey. Leh was once a staging post on the Silk Road from China and is a small, picturesque town of about 8,000 people. Sited at 3500m, the summer days are dry and sunny but nights can be cold. The people of this harsh land are Tibetan and have maintained their strong sense of tradition. On arrival in Leh we take it easy and have a short orientation walk through the town.
Meals
  • Breakfast & Dinner
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
The predominant faith of the local residents here is the Lamaistic form of Buddhism of Tibet. This is seen clearly in the monastery (gompa) architecture and by the extraordinary number of gods and demons that order the daily life of the community. Today we plan a full day of sightseeing to visit the gompas of Thiksey, Taktak and Hemis. Hemis Gompa, situated some 48km outside Leh, is the largest and most important monastery in Ladakh, a treasure house of golden statues, gem-studded stupas, rare books and fine paintings of the Buddha.
Meals
  • Breakfast & Dinner
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
This morning we have the opportunity to do some white water rafting (optional) on the Indus River, if water levels permit before driving on to Alchi village. Whilst lifejackets are provided we recommend you are able to swim a minimum of 25 metres unaided. In the afternoon we visit historic Alchi Gompa. Alchi is renowned for its magnificent Kashmiri Buddhist artwork which dates from an earlier period and is quite different from the other frescos in Ladakh.
Meals
  • Breakfast & Dinner
Accommodation
  • Simple guesthouse
Today we have a number of optional walks planned. The first takes us back across the river to Saspol, then up to the nearby Saspol caves with glorious views across the Indus Valley. This afternoon we can take a slightly longer and very scenic walk back down to the Indus Valley after a visit to Rizong Gompa and nearby nunnery where we may see the nuns sorting and toasting barley (depending on the season).
Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation
  • Simple guesthouse
This spectacular walk is the last of the optional walks in this area and takes us up to Likir Gompa which contains some beautiful murals and is seemingly guarded by a 10 metre golden Buddha (please note: some may find this walk strenuous). There is also a small museum of religious artefacts here. This afternoon we drive back to Leh, with the remainder of the afternoon left free. You may opt to walk to the Shankar Gompa, a small but interesting monastery housing an impressive Dukar figure (Avalokiteshvara), complete with 1000 arms all holding weapons, and 11 heads. There may also be time to visit the ruined 17th century Old Palace, which hangs tier by tier on the hillside above the town.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
Today we take an early morning flight to Delhi and transfer to our hotel. After checking in we begin a city tour of some of the main sights of New and Old Delhi. The Indian capital has long been a phoenix rising again and again out of its own ruins. New Delhi was the creation of the British Raj of the 30's and our tour includes viewing the President's Palace, Lok Sabha (Parliament), India Gate and the Rajpath. We then continue to Old Delhi with its hub at Chandni Chowk Bazaar, a jamboree of deafening barter. A short cycle rickshaw takes us to the Jama Masjid Mosque and we pass by the Red Fort en route.

Please note that hand luggage is not permitted on the flight from Leh to Delhi, so you will be required to pack all of your belongings in to your hold luggage.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
Our tour ends this morning after breakfast in Delhi.
Meals
  • Breakfast
what’s included
Meals
  • 15 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 6 Dinner
Accommodation
  • 12 nights standard hotel
  • 1 night simple camping
  • 2 nights simple guesthouse
Transport
  • Bus, 4WD, Flight
Guide
  • Explore Tour Leader, Driver(s), Local Guide(s)
what’s excluded
  • International Flights
  • Any international flights to Amritsar and from New Delhi are not included in this price. We always recommend that you arrive 1 day prior to your tour starting date.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Travel insurance is not included in this Little Tibet tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy. We recommend purchasing it from World Nomads.
Get a PDF file with detailed trip information: Download Trip Notes for Little Tibet
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Payment

A deposit of 210 USD is required to confirm this tour. The remaining balance will be charged 59 days before departure. For any departures within 21 October 2019 full payment is required.

Travel Insurance

The Little Tibet tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.

Visa

For this Little Tibet tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

CancellationNo additional cancellation fees apply for this Little Tibet tour. You can cancel the tour up to 60 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 59 days of departure.
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