Mountains, Temples & Hill Stations

15 days
from
£1,429
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Traveller ratings
4 / 5 from 27 reviews >
Leisurely
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Trip code: 
AIQ
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Culture
Group size:
5–16
Min age:
16

Journey from Amritsar's Golden Temple to the British Raj hill station of Shimla

India boasts enormous cultural and geographical diversity, particularly in the north where the plains meet the Himalaya. Here India's history is perhaps at its most complex, manifested in the profusion of religions and landscapes. We visit Amritsar's Golden Temple, the most revered of all Sikh temples, as well as Pragpur, a heritage village, and McLeod Ganj, home to Buddhist spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.  There is also an optional trip to Agra to see the stunning Taj Mahal. 

Highlights

  • Golden Temple and heritage walk in Amritsar
  • Immerse yourself in Tibetan culture
  • Explore British Raj hill stations
  • Visit heritage and artist villages

Key information

  • 13 nights hotels, 1 night homestay 
  • Group normally 5 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16yrs
  • Travel by air-conditioned private bus and train

What's included

  • All breakfasts and 2 lunches
  • All accommodation
  • Transfer for group flights

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas and vaccinations
  • Single supplement
Call for general departures:
+91 80 4213 6106
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Amritsar
to
Delhi
  • Day 1

    Start Amritsar; evening visit to the Golden Temple.

    We start in Amritsar and transfer to our hotel. The afternoon is at leisure to explore or just recover from the flight. Those on Land Only arrangements will meet us at the hotel during the day.  This evening we will experience an impressive ceremony at the Golden Temple.  In Amritsar we stay in Mrs Bhandari's Guesthouse, with its fascinating Art Deco interior. Mrs Bhandari was born in 1906 into a wealthy Parsi family. She married out of caste to a Hindu and was virtually disowned by the family. After her husband died she was left to bring up their children on her own and started taking in guests to make ends meet. Mrs Bhandari lived to over 100 years and the guesthouse is now presided over by one of her daughters, Ratan. It is often said that there are two reasons to visit Amritsar, one is to see the Golden Temple and the other is to stay at Mrs Bhandari’s. The well preserved late-Raj family residence takes pride in the fact that ’nothing much has changed apart from a few new-fangled additions such as air conditioning’.
    Standard Hotel

  • Day 2

    Visit the Golden Temple; heritage walk in Amritsar

    This morning we head for the fabled Golden Temple that stands in the heart of this ancient city. The temple was built in the late sixteenth century and is as sacred to Sikhs as Mecca is to Muslims. Heavily gilded and beautifully decorated, the famous Hari Mandir is surrounded by a sacred pool and reached by a white marble causeway. After the temple we have a heritage walk through the surrounding streets, admiring the old buildings and narrow streets filled with shops selling local ware, from Sikh weapons, instruments and local garments. We also pay a visit to Jallianwalla Bhag, the site of the infamous massacre in 1919 which became the focus of the independence struggle. 
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Drive to the Heritage Village of Pragpur in the Kangra Valley

    After breakfast we then set off by road towards the twin Heritage Villages of Pragpur and Garli. The villages are set on the southern edge of the Kangra Valley in the shadow of the Dhauladhar range of mountains.  It is a wonderful area to explore local rural life. We stay in a Heritage Hotel in either Pragpur itself, or in the nearby Heritage Village of Garli. 
    The drive will take approx. 5-6 hrs.

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Explore the heritage villages of Pragpur and Garli

    A full day to explore the remarkable villages of Pragpur and Garli, with their elegant havelis, mansions, Italianate buildings and traditional mud and slate houses along cobbled streets. Founded three centuries ago the villages have held onto the essence of an earlier era. Many of the inhabitants still produce traditional handicrafts and we will see weavers and silversmiths. Later in the day we can go down to the river to a remarkable Hindu temple to watch the sunset.
    Comfortable Hotel

     

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    To Dharamsala and McLeod Ganj; afternoon orientation tour.

    This morning we set out by road, climbing steadily through sub-tropical vegetation and terraced fields, towards pine covered mountains and the small town of McLeod Ganj. On the way we will stop to view the Pong Dam wetland wild bird sanctuary and picnic at the ancient rock temple of Masroor. Just before reaching McLeod Ganj, we drop in at the historic church of St John in the Wilderness. We will then have a quick orientation walk, leaving time to explore this lively market village in the evening. The total driving time today is approx. 3.5 hrs.

    Standard hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 6

    Sightseeing in and around McLeod Ganj.

    We spend the morning exploring the main Tibetan settlement of McLeod Ganj. The Dalai Lama settled here in 1960 after fleeing Tibet. Since then a Government in Exile has been created and schools, craft workshops and many monasteries have been built in and around the town. For those who wish, in the afternoon we can take a walk up out of the village, taking in the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts on the way, through the forest, enjoying stunning views of the mountain range, to the Tibetan Children's Village School, which is home to over 2,000 refugee children.
    Standard hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Explore the Norbulingka Institute of Tibetan Culture.

    In the morning we drop in at the Tibetan Administrative area with its interesting museums and temple before driving down to and spending the night by the Norbulingka Institute of Tibetan Culture, a registered trust dedicated to preserving Tibetan literary and artistic culture. There we can see thangka painting, statue making and wood carving taking place in the Institute's workshops which are set in a beautiful garden. In the afternoon we take a short walk up the hill to visit Dolma Ling Nunnery in its tranquil rural setting.
    Standard hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Explore Norbulingka; village walk

    A leisurely day enjoying this wonderful, serene part of the world. We can take a village walk meeting locals along the way and learning more about Tibetan culture. This is a chance to really soak up the atmosphere of this picturesque countryside. 
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Drive to Andretta, a craft and pottery village

    Leaving Norbulingka this morning we head east following the mountain range, through the tea gardens to Andretta, a small village tucked away in the folds of the hills, far from the tourist trail. The drive is approx. 1.5 hrs. Andretta is a tranquil place famous as a settlement of artists and craftspeople. Here we will visit the pottery set up by Sadar Gurcharan Singh, the first studio potter in India and you can try your hand on the wheel. Following a leisurely lunch we will take a stroll around the village. 
    Homestay. The Mirage (or similar)


    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 10

    To Mandi an old trading town

    Travelling by road, we head out through picturesque countryside and drive for 4 hrs towards the little visited town of Mandi. Situated on the Beas River at the foot of the beautiful Kulu Valley, this unusual town was once a halting point on the salt route to Tibet. Overlooked by most visitors, Mandi is a fascinating place with over 80 temples and shrines including some impressive sixteenth century Nagari style temples. After a short walk through the town and lunch at the Raja's palace we drive up above the town to visit Rewalsar, where we walk round a charming hilltop lake is revered by Sikhs, Hindus and Buddhists, who have each built their temples on its banks. We return to Mandi for the night.
    Standard hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    To Shimla; afternoon visiting main areas

    We continue our journey to Shimla, India's largest and most famous hill station. Set deep in the foothills of the Himalaya, the route climbs steadily past steep river valleys, pine forests, terraced fields and orchards. At an altitude of 2159m, the Shimla ridge is a cool airy place offering an impressive vista across the countryside to the snowy peaks of the Great Himalaya. We spend the afternoon exploring the main areas of the Ridge and the Mall, including Christ Church, the Gaiety Theatre and Scandal Point on foot.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Explore Shimla; visit former Viceregal Lodge

    A full day to enjoy this historic town, the summer capital of British India. We start the day by walking the length of the Mall to Shimla's most impressive monument, the former Viceregal Lodge. This walk is 4km. This one time seat of imperial power was also the location for crucial talks prior to Independence. From its location on Observatory Hill, we have fine views across the region. Next, we visit the excellent State Museum nearby, housed in a colonial mansion. The museum has a varied and well-displayed collection of contemporary and ancient art. Of prime interest are the Pahari (or Hill) miniatures, fine examples of the last Hindu art form to flourish in North India. There are also examples of local wood carvings, ancient sculptures, deity masks from Kulu and temple bronzes. After lunch, we are free to explore the warren of bazaars that cling to the hillside, where Shimla is at its most vibrant.
    Standard hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    Viceroy's 'Toy Train' to Kalka; evening train to Delhi.

    A long, but interesting day today. We leave Shimla by a different route - the Viceroy's Toy Train. Completed in 1897 under the instruction of Lord Curzon, this 96km line with 103 tunnels and 24 bridges was a massive undertaking created to ease the previously arduous journey. The journey is truly memorable as the train steadily rattles its way through the stunning scenery.  It is a slow (5.5 hours) trip but a very memorable experience. The train leaves Shimla at 10.30am and arrives in Kalka at about 4.15pm and at 5.45pm we board the faster train to Delhi, which arrives into Delhi at 10pm. On arrival in Delhi we transfer to our hotel.
    Standard hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    Free day Delhi; optional trip to Agra and the Taj Mahal

    Today is free for you to choose what you would like to do. There is plenty to see in Delhi including Humayuns Tomb, the India Gate and the Jama Masjid. You may want to wander round the older parts of Delhi and see the colourful bazaars. Your leader will provide suggestions for how to plan your time. For those who have not seen the magnificent Taj Mahal there is the option to do a day trip to Agra. You will take an early morning train and have the whole day to see theTaj Mahal and the Red Fort, probably one of the most impressive forts in India. You will return to Delhi by train later in the day. Your leader can provide information on this option and make arrangements for those who would like to go. 
    Standard hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 15

    End Delhi.

    Those on the flight inclusive package will depart for London this morning for the daytime flight back to London; Land Only arrangements will finish after check-out from the hotel.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

India

Visas are required if you are British and for most other nationalities. For UK residents full details of the visa process can be found here. Other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies.

If your trip visits Ladakh, in the very north of India, or Sikkim in the northeast, do not mention this on your Indian visa application. This can sometimes slow down or even cause the embassy to reject your visa.

When you reach immigration, you are required to pick up an immigration form. If you have an e-visa, ensure you stand in the correct queue - please follow the signs to the e-visa booth (in Delhi this is at the back of the immigration hall). You will need to fill out an additional form at the booth - please make sure that you have the details of your start hotel ready (these details can be found on your Final Joining Instructions).

 

Vaccinations

India

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. The risk of malaria is slight but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. Some of our India trips spend time at altitude. In regions over approx. 2000m, there is low to no risk of mosquito-borne diseases. For trips going to altitudes of over 3000m there is a risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness. Our itineraries are designed to enable everyone to acclimatise to these altitudes, but you should be aware that it is still possible for you to be affected. Please see the TRIP NOTES for further information.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts and 2 lunches included.

You should allow at least £12 (US$16) per day for lunch and dinner. You can eat out very cheaply in India, but if you go to the more expensive restaurants you will spend more than the suggested amount. In a lot of towns there is a choice of restaurants and a choice between Indian and Western style food however please note that this is not always the case. If you are a vegetarian, India is probably one of the best destinations to travel to. Tea and soft drinks are very cheap. A (large!) bottle of beer is approximately £3 (US$5). Mineral water is widely available.

Weather

Is this trip for you?

Activity Level: 1 (Leisurely). The tour is not overly demanding, but the bustle of Delhi and Amritsar can be a little overwhelming at first. This trip provides an excellent introduction to the north of the country and includes a great range of experiences and sights, from walking in the Himalayan foothills to visiting heritage and craft villages and hill stations of the British Raj. You must also be prepared to do a lot of walking on this tour, which can sometimes be strenuous in the Himalayan foothills.

The route we take involves both train and road travel and although we attempt to minimise journey times, you must be prepared for some long drives. The roads are generally pretty good throughout, but road conditions can vary and are obviously very different from those in the west. Local traffic and/or road damage after the monsoon can sometimes slow us down. We travel mainly on comparatively quiet roads (which can be narrow and winding) for at least half of the journey. 

 Please note that you must take your shoes off in temples (you can only visit the Golden Temple in bare feet).

This trip takes you some of the more ‘off the beaten track’ places in Himachal Pradesh and that some of the hotel facilities tend to be simpler than other regions in India, but the hotels we use meet 2-3-star (local rating) standards. We have chosen many of the properties for their character however things like plumbing and electricity can be erratic at times. 

The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) are responsible for the conservation of many monuments in India (including the Taj Mahal) and very occasionally this may mean that work is taking place at sites visited on this trip.  As the ASI’s schedule is never published it is not possible to forewarn our customers of when work will be taking place.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
+91 80 4213 6106
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels

You will spend 13 nights in hotels and 1 night in a homestay. The hotels we stay in are classed as standard hotels, where properties are chosen for their location and value. Please note that our accommodation in Andretta (The Mirage) is a heritage homestay. Single rooms are therefore limited here and not guaranteed.

Facilities in Himachal Pradesh are generally simpler than other parts of India, and meet 2/3-star standards (local rating). Ensuite facilities are not available at each place.

 

Call for general departures:
+91 80 4213 6106
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
+91 80 4213 6106
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Here at Exodus we are incredibly passionate about wildlife and the conservation efforts to save it.

Embracing a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge, but if you’re going to keep it up there’s got to be more to it than

  • Reviewed April 2019
    Carole Barlow

    Exceeded our expectations.

    A brilliant trip, combining quieter , less well known areas with the big cities of Amritsar, Delhi and Agra.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Taj Mahal at dawn has to be the highlight of the trip but we have so many wonderful memories.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I would recommend this holiday to anyone but try to get a couple of nights in Agra as there is so much to see.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Exodus had obviously acted promptly in response to some negative reviews from a previous trip and had changed a couple of the hotels. They also responded magnificently when Jet Airways cancelled our return flight with less than 24 hours notice. They booked us new flights within the hour and we arrived home just a couple of hours later than scheduled.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Jules McKittrick

    Awesome trip

    This trip packed in a lot in the confines of a two-week itinerary! I really liked the variety of the trip - the first half takes you to less touristy places, such as Garli, Mandi. Even at the Golden Temple I felt like we were the only non-Indian visitors, and that made it very special. A stop in the home town of the Dalai Lama was made even more special by actually seeing him at his home - this was due to a well timed visit to the temple. Agra and Delhi are crazy busy places and not for the faint-hearted! But again a great experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the incredible logistical exercise of feeding the masses at the Golden Temple - even joined in with a bit of chapati making!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    There was a great joint-effort between our guide, Sonham, and our two drivers. Anil, one of the drivers, went completely out of his way to look after us. His driving skills were quite something - especially the navigation around Delhi and some of the mountain roads. I have no idea how he did it but kept us safe.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A great trip if you want to get a bit away from the big attractions of northern India (but a nice bonus at the end of the trip with the Taj Majal).
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Lesley Wilkinson

    Misrepresented

    An extremely disappointing trip. Several places we should have visited were closed on the days we were there because of change to itinerary (why was this not checked out?) Distances travelled on some days were much longer than stated in trip notes. Not sure whether it was due to drivers getting lost or road, we weren't told. Drove for hours without being given any information on areas we were travelling through. Did not see anything of Mandi as we did not arrive there until after 6 pm. Hotel there was filthy. Some of the other hotels were not much better; SIlverine in Shimla was unheated and extremely cold, even public areas and restaurant. Sat in jackets etc for breakfast and dinner.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Evening visit to the Golden Temple. Visit to Dalai Lama's temple.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Asif was pleasant enough but lacked both enthusiasm and knowledge of places visited.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book a different tour.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We have been on previous trips with both Exodus and other companies, which were excellent. Some of these have been to remote areas of developing countries, so we were not expecting 5 star treatment. Considering the cost of the trip this has to be the worst experience with any company we have travelled with.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Lesley, Sue, Tony and Rob for their reviews, although we are very sorry that they were so disappointed with the trip on which they travelled together.  We regret that this departure did not live up to our normal high standards and we have taken their feedback on board with immediate effect; their leader will no longer guide for us and the availability of activities has been reviewed.  The standard of accommodation on this tour is not to the same level as is found in other areas of India given that the trip travels to less touristic locations where there are fewer accommodation options available, but the hotels have also been reviewed to ensure that we are using the best properties available to us.

     

    Kashka Lantis - Product Manager for India

  • Reviewed March 2019
    Sue Dean

    Exodus needs to do better

    Overall this was such a disappointing trip. Highlights - Golden temple in Amritsar; Wagah border ceremony; optional excursion to Taj Mahal; Viceroy toy train from Shimla to Kalka. Hotels - four out of the seven we stayed in were below an acceptable standard and were barely acceptable. In particular the Hotel Raj Mahal in Shimla was filthy and cockroach infested. Others were very cold, damp and smelled of drains. The other three hotels and the homestay were satisfactory. I felt that as a single traveller sharing a room I was often given the worst rooms in hotels and asked for room changes on three occasions. Itinerary - uninteresting for the most part although it sounded very interesting on paper. We were unable to visit several places as they were always closed on those particular days. Travel time between hotels was grossly inaccurate and we spent many more hours travelling than was scheduled.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Golden temple at night

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Asif was polite and helpful however his diction was sometimes difficult to understand and he did not demonstrate a real passion for the role and his culture.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't book this trip

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I did not come to this holiday as a naive Westerner who was expecting Western standards. I have previously travelled in India so knew what to expect. The tour did not offer value for money and is grossly overpriced. The standard of hotels was overall completely unacceptable for the price of the holiday and were more akin to backpacking hostels.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Lesley, Sue, Tony and Rob for their reviews, although we are very sorry that they were so disappointed with the trip on which they travelled together.  We regret that this departure did not live up to our normal high standards and we have taken their feedback on board with immediate effect; their leader will no longer guide for us and the availability of activities has been reviewed.  The standard of accommodation on this tour is not to the same level as is found in other areas of India given that the trip travels to less touristic locations where there are fewer accommodation options available, but the hotels have also been reviewed to ensure that we are using the best properties available to us.

     

    Kashka Lantis - Product Manager for India

  • Reviewed March 2019
    Tony White

    Disappointing

    This tour has all the makings of something special, but fails to deliver. Amritsar and Golden Temple fantastic, Partition Museum shut and if you want to visit the Wagah Border ceremony, then it will need arranging and cost extra ( why is it not included?). Rushed visit to Mcleodganj, staying in Citrus Hotel which needs a thorough deep clean ( dirty, unchanged sheets and filthy pillows). Andretta homestay pleasant although very wet and cold, pottery shut. So what is there to do there? Long day travel to Mandi; didn't see anything of the town and it's "80 temples". Group ate in Raj Mahal Palace; 50% I'll following day. Rooms dirty and bathrooms filthy. Drop this hotel from the itinerary! Shimla is highlight of the mountains and was as good as expected, although the weather was very cold and wet. Unfortunately Silverine Hotel is not heated, so wet clothes need drying out in front of 2 bar electric fire supplied on request. Shimla Toy Train a great experience. Overall, the poor hotels and some long uncomfortable days on the road dragged down the overall ambience of the tour. Finally, the constant noise, dirt, poverty and litter take over one's senses. India will sink under its own litter problem, which is piled everywhere. I have done extensive tours around the world, most of them a wonderful cultural experience. This, alas, is not one of them.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Golden Temple, Dalai Lama Temple, Himalayan views, Shimla.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Not the inspirational leader that other tours have had. Arranged transport and meals ok, but limited information and descriptions in many locations.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This tour is overpriced for the standard of hotels offered and content. Entry fees to the 50% of museums that weren't shut are cheap in India. This is mid-priced tour that provides some very sub-standard accomodation. Advice; try another tour.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Lesley, Sue, Tony and Rob for their reviews, although we are very sorry that they were so disappointed with the trip on which they travelled together. We regret that this departure did not live up to our normal high standards and we have taken their feedback on board with immediate effect; their leader will no longer guide for us and the availability of activities has been reviewed. The standard of accommodation on this tour is not to the same level as is found in other areas of India given that the trip travels to less touristic locations where there are fewer accommodation options available, but the hotels have also been reviewed to ensure that we are using the best properties available to us.

     

    Kashka Lantis - Product Manager for India

  • Reviewed March 2019
    Rob Gilbert

    Mountains temples and hill stations

    The highlight of this trip was the golden temple Amritsar and Taj Mahal, of which i had to pay 140 euro extra to do this...hotels in most places were below standards with filthy bed linen, mould, no heat, hanging wall sockets galore..as i was single supplement, it seems i got the raw deal in most places we stayed....mandi hotel, maharaja palace, should be dropped from this tour....worst place ever!! Asif was pleasant tour guide who did his best to keep things going but with programme changes and making alternatives, proved difficult. All in all, a very disappointing trip

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting golden temple and Taj Mahal, which i had already seen before

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Asif was a good guy who tried his best to please a lot of grumpy tourists who felt they were not getting what they signed up for.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yea like the previous lady said on her review early 2019....dont do this trip

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Lesley, Sue, Tony and Rob for their reviews, although we are very sorry that they were so disappointed with the trip on which they travelled together.  We regret that this departure did not live up to our normal high standards and we have taken their feedback on board with immediate effect; their leader will no longer guide for us and the availability of activities has been reviewed.  The standard of accommodation on this tour is not to the same level as is found in other areas of India given that the trip travels to less touristic locations where there are fewer accommodation options available, but the hotels have also been reviewed to ensure that we are using the best properties available to us.

     

    Kashka Lantis - Product Manager for India

  • Reviewed January 2019
    Sue Butcher

    Disappointing

    Sadly I can not recommend this trip. The guides we had were not up to Exodus standard and often no local knowledge. I came home with little new knowledge of Indian history, culture or customs. The transport was dangerous and uncomfortable The hotels were of a poor standard and at times filthy dirty The trip notes do not give a realistic impression of the amount of travelling undertaken, often for little reward. Eg “drive through a tea plantation” which we did with no explanation, stopping or photo opportunity! And frequently arriving at our destination late There was often no choice over where we could eat our evening meals due to the isolation of the hotels a fixed dinner was often only available at a fixed price

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The friendliness of the rural mountain women The of beauty of the golden temple ar Amritsar

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Not enough knowledge or experience. Anxious

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t go on this trip
  • Reviewed November 2018
    sue hodgson

    Northern India

    A wonderful trip exploring Northern India.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting the orphanage in McCleod Ganj. Golden Temple, Amritsar

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sonam was a very organised group leader.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The local guides, supporting Sonam, were not of the usual Exodus standard.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Dave Butterworth

    A pleasurable assault on one's senses....

    A crazy, exciting and fascinating trip to Northern India. The trip was amazing, full of surprises, and took us into lesser known areas and small villages.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many highlights and so many experiences, ranging from Kulfa ice-cream brought to our hotel one day, to advice on the best place to purchase a singing prayer bowl, to a visit to see His Holiness the Dalailama.....and loads more too! Much of the trip was off the beaten track and I felt we were honoured to be able to meet some truly lovely people at various places en-route, including at a Tibetan children's orphanage and a village with it's own health centre, recycling project, and support for women.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide, Phillippa, has, along with her family, lived in India for many years and consequently has acquired a wealth of knowledge and contacts, which assured us of a very full experience

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trip is described as leisurely...it is however "full-on", with some very early starts on occasions. Overall, a fantastic, rewarding experience not to be missed! Dave

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go there! You won't regret it!
  • Reviewed April 2017
    Roslyn Hayles

    Mountains,Temples and Mystics

    A fantastic trip which covered so many religions, landscapes and local rituals. An off the beaten yrack tour with a lot to offer.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Definitely The Golden Temple in Amritsar closely followed by the Delai Lamas temple in McCleod Ganj.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Phillippa was fantastic. Her knowledge of the area was outstanding. She was always helpful and organised.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do this trip. You won't regret it.6

Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

 

Private Adventures 

Not found the date you’re looking for? We can organise this itinerary as a Private Adventure – just click on the tab above the list of dates and prices, let us know your preferred dates of travel and how many people are travelling, and we’ll do the rest!

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