Copyright @ABChapri Retreats.
This unique journey connects four historically important areas of Northern India in one comprehensive arc that beautifully displays different faces of the sub-continent by focussing on the variegated spiritual riches of each area.
Physically, the terrain varies dramatically from the cosmopolitan city of Delhi, old and new, to the open plains of the Punjab and the tea plantations of the hills, from the breath-taking roads and forests of Himachal Pradesh to the legendary beauty of the Kashmir valley, a lush and well-watered terrain ringed by the snow-covered peaks of the Western Himalayas.
Spiritually, the area has been nourished by religious influences that have shaped the country over the centuries: Hinduism, Islam, Tibetan Buddhism and Sikhism. We shall visit sites specifically chosen for their powerful atmosphere: ancient Hindu Goddess shrines that laud the eternal Feminine in all her forms; sober mosques that celebrate the transcendent power and beauty of Allah using pure proportion and classical geometrical forms etched with the Divine Names in elegant calligraphy; the extraordinary baroque and vibrant art that swarms over the walls and ceilings of polychrome Tibetan temples and monasteries, where a living community of exiles lives, works and prays around their hereditary spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama; the unique Golden Temple, the spiritual centre of global Sikhism, that sits amidst its sacred lake, while the whole site is continually charged with the atmospheric chanting of the scriptures.
All these artistic and atmospheric riches are set against a varied backdrop of glorious scenery, with plenty of opportunity for tranquil country walks, village and market visits and living interaction with local life.
All our accommodation will be in hotels carefully chosen to conform to our criteria of:
• being built in local style
• combining charm, comfort and soul
• operating sustainable policies that give employment to local people.
Day 1: Arrive Delhi.
Day 2: We shall explore the fascinating city of Old Delhi.
Day 3: Fly onwards to Dharamsala for 3 nights.
Day 4/5: Time for guided walks, visits to local monasteries and shrines.
Day 6: We transfer to Kangra and stay in Log at Wah, set in acres of tea gardens that offer stunning views and walks in the area. We shall visit an important Goddess temple and the Nobulinga Tibetan Centre.
Day 7: Log at wah: a local walking tour.
Day 8: Transfer to Amritsar for 2 nights.
Day 9: Today we visit the unique Golden Temple and surrounding sites.
Day 10: Fly up to Shrinagar, capital of Kashmir, and transfer for 2 nights to Sukoon Houseboat.
Day 11: A day of relaxation, including an exploration of Dal Lake by the shikara traditional boat.
Day 12: Short transfer to the forest retreat of Qayaam gah for 3 nights.
Day 13: A full day spent trekking in the hills, or just relaxing by the heated infinity pool and enjoying the local bird life.
Day 14: A guided walk through the bazaars and monuments of the old city of Shrinagar.
Day 15: A visit to the famous Mughal gardens overlooking Dal Lake, where the royal court relaxed in days gone by. This evening we shall have Sufi music and dinner at Qayaam gah to celebrate the inner journey.
Day 16: We fly back to Delhi and connect to our international destinations.
Guides at each location are chosen for their local knowledge and spiritual orientation.