Mich Immelman

I am a specialist tour operator with Curious Journeys. We operate from South Africa. With the assistance of my partners in India and South East Asia, I offer fully inclusive group tours, private tours, and tailor-made services

My specialist destinations are: India, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar

Whether it is a first visit to a region or a return visit to explore the area in greater depth, I will put together the perfect tour for the traveller

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Sacred Sites of India

12 Nov '20 - 24 Nov '20

12 Nights / 13 Days

INDIA! This land of faith; where temple bells echo along with the muezzin’s call to prayer, where the tall spires of temples and churches radiate spirituality and where pilgrimages are also major tourist hubs; India beckons travelers from across the world to witness these beautiful places of worship.

Join me as we explore sacred sites of the Northern regions of India

Tour highlights

Meditation session in Rishikesh | Yoga session in Rishikesh | Meditate with a Buddhist monk in Dharamshala | Short introduction on Sikhism in Amritsar | Walking tour of Varanasi | Evening aarti on the ghat of Ganga in Varanasi | Morning boat ride in Varanasi | Excursion on Sarnath | Lecture on spiritualism in Varanasi by Hindu philosopher | Akshardham Temple visit in Delhi

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: 12 Nov '20 - Delhi

On arrival at Delhi International airport after clearing immigration formalities, you will meet our representative in the arrival hall. He will further assist you in your vehicle and then hotel check-in formalities. (Standard check-in time is 1200 hours)

 

After breakfast you will proceed for half day city tour of Old Delhi. We start the tour from Old Delhi, Chandni Chowk this part of Delhi will take you into the Old Mughal era. On this walk you can see big wooden carved antique doors, big Havelis (mansion), narrow lanes and busy bustling life. You must taste lip-smacking street food in Old Delhi market area. Then you will visit India’s largest Mosque “Jama Masjid” where at a time 25,000 can be accommodated. 

 

The evening will be at leisure to relax or to pursue independent activities.

 

Overnight stay at the hotel.

The evening will be at leisure to relax or to pursue independent activities.

 

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Jama Masjid - India's largest mosque

Example of old doors to be seen in Chandi Chowk

Day 2: 13 Nov '20 - Delhi – Haridwar by train. Departure 06:45 hrs/11:30 hrs 

Haridwar- Rishikesh (approx.0.5 hours)

Early morning, with a packed breakfast you will be transferred to the railway station to board the train for Haridwar. Meeting and assistance on arrival at Haridwar railway station and transfer to Rishikesh.

 

On arrival at Rishikesh, check-in at the hotel. The rest of the day will be at leisure to relax and enjoy this beautiful place.

 

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 3: 14 Nov '20 - Rishikesh

Lakshman Jhoola Bridge over the River Ganga

Early morning yoga session at the hotel.

 

Later Half-day sightseeing of Rishikesh, which stands for the "Plaits of Sage", is a place of Ashrams where solace-seeker come to spend their time in the serenity of meditation and godliness. Visit the Shivananda Ashram where discourses in English on Hindu religious texts can be heard. Also, visit the Lakshman Jhoola, a suspension bridge spanning the Ganges river. 

Afternoon sightseeing of Haridwar - meaning "Gateway to God". It is essentially a Hindu pilgrim town with temples, hermitages, and Dharamshalas along the banks of the river Ganga. Also, visit the Vashist Yoga Center and Mansa Devi Temple by cable car.

In the evening, attend the evening aarti on the banks of the Ganga aarti at Rishikesh.

 

Overnight stay at the hotel

Rishikesh

Shivananda Ashram, Rishikesh

Day 4: 15 Nov '20 - Rishikesh

Early morning yoga session at the hotel.

 

Breakfast at the hotel. We will arrange a morning lecture on spirituality. The duration will be 01 to 1.5 hours. The rest of the day will be at leisure to relax.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 5: 16 Nov '20 - Rishikesh - Delhi by train. Departure 06:30 / Arrival 11:10hrs

New Delhi, India

Qtab Minar

Early morning, with packed breakfast you will be transferred to Haridwar railway station.

 

Meeting and assistance on arrival at Delhi railway station and transfer hotel. Later proceed on a half-day excursion to New Delhi or Lutyens Delhi, beautifully designed by “Sir Edwin Lutyens”. Drive past India Gate, Rashtrapati Bhavan, and Connaught Place. Later continue the sightseeing visit to Humayun Tomb. The tomb was built in 1570 and was the first garden-tomb made by Humayun’s son Akbar. It is a Unesco world heritage site.

 

Conclude the sightseeing with the visit of “Qutub Minar", the stunning red stone tower is 72.5 m high and 2.75m in diameter. It is also UNESCO site.

 

The evening will be at leisure to relax or to pursue independent activities.

 

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Connaught Place, Delhi

Day 6: 17 Nov '20 - Delhi – Dharamshala by flight AI-9713 Departure 10:55/Arrival 12:40 hrs

Breakfast at the hotel and thereafter, transfer to the airport to board the flight for Dharamshala. Meeting and assistance on arrival and transfer to the hotel in Dharamshala.

 

The rest of the day will be at leisure to relax.

 

Overnight stay at hotel

Day 7: 18 Nov '20 - Dharamshala 

Temple Prayer Wheels

Breakfast at hotel

 

Proceed on a full day sightseeing of Dharamsala. Visit Norbulingka Institute, McLeodganj, Dall Lake, War memorial and Kangra Art Museum.

Norbulinka Institute: Just four km from Dharamsala, Norbulinka was established to preserve and teach the ancient Tibetan arts. The shady paths, wooden bridges, small streams tiny waterfalls make this place look like heaven. Here one can watch the wooden carvings and the tangka paintings, goldsmithing, and embroidery being done. The nunnery close to the institute is a place where women are taught the advanced levels of Buddhist philosophy.

McLeodganj: Originally the home of the semi-nomadic Gaddi tribe, McLeodganj is today the residence of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. This mid-19th-century place was developed as a British Garrison. The place was developed as an important administrative point for the whole Kangra valley. Today the place has developed as headquarters of the exiled Tibetan Government. The impressive monastery has larger than life-size images of Buddha, Padmasambhava, and Avaloketeshwara.

 

Dall Lake: Surrounded by high and green Deodar trees is the lake, which fills a mountain bowl. Situated 11-km away from the town, this lake is easily approachable by road and makes an enchanting and serene picnic spot.

Kangra Art Museum: This treasure trove of the Kangra valley's arts, crafts, and rich past, displays artifacts that date back to the 5th century. The museum also includes a gallery of Kangra's famous miniature paintings and a representative collection of sculptures, pottery, and anthropological items.

War Memorial: Set amidst the pine groves is a war memorial, built on the entry point of the to Dharamsala to commemorate the post-independence war heroes of Himachal Pradesh. A web of narrow paths and landscaped lawns lead towards this monument.

After a sightseeing meditation session with Monk.

Overnight stay at hotel

Mcleodganj

Buddhist monks taking a stroll

Namguyal Monastery in Dharamshala

Day 8: 19 Nov '20 - Dharamshala – Amritsar by surface (approx. 4-5 hours)

Breakfast at the hotel

 

Post breakfast drive to Amritsar. On arrival check-in and then relax for some time at the hotel.

 

Later in the evening visit Golden Temple. At night, the Temple is lit up and makes for a magnificent spectacle.

 

Overnight stay at hotel

Golden Temple, Amritsar

Day 9: 20 Nov '20 - Amritsar

The most sacred of Sikh shrines, the Golden Temple, is a major pilgrimage destination for devotees from around the world, as well as, an ever-increasing popular tourist attraction. Construction of the Amrit Sarovar (pool of nectar) was initiated by Guru Amar Das, the third Guru, in 1570 and was completed by Guru Ram Das, the fourth Guru. His successor, Guru Arjan Dev began work on the building after inviting Mian Mir, the Sufi saint, to lay its foundation stone in 1588. Completed three years later, the Harimandar Sahib, or Darbar Sahib, as it is also known, required substantial restoration following its sacking by the 18th-century Afghan invader, Ahmad Shah Abdali. It was Maharaja Ranjit Singh who oversaw the gilding of the shrine in the early 19th century, earning it its English moniker. In step with Sikhism’s basic tenet of universal brotherhood and all-inclusive ethos, the Golden Temple is accessed from all directions.

Breakfast at the hotel, then we visit the Golden Temple again. Later visit Jaliawala Bagh and visit the local market. 

 

Later in the afternoon proceed for Wagha Border visit. The Wagah Border Ceremony is a military practice carried out by the Indian Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers. The soldiers treat it with absolute seriousness. It begins with a parade by the soldiers from both the sides, ending with a coordinated lowering of the flags of both the nation. As the sun sets, the Iron Gate is opened, with an infantryman standing in attendance at both sides of the gate. The flags of India and Pakistan are lowered simultaneously and then folded. The ceremony ends with a retreat that involves a brusque handshake between soldiers of both sides followed by the closing of the gate. Evening return to the hotel.

 

Overnight stay at hotel

Daily meals served at Golden Temple, Amritsar

Wagha Border between India & Pakistan

Day 10: 21 Nov '20 - Amritsar – Delhi by flight-AI-454 Dep 06:50 / Arr 07:55  //Delhi –Varanasi by flight UK- 631  Dep 10:45 / Arrival 12:10

Early morning with packed breakfast transfer to airport to board the flight for Delhi.

On arrival at Delhi Airport make a connecting flight for Varanasi.

 

Meeting and assistance on arrival and transfer to the hotel. 

 

Varanasi is one of the oldest Hindu city also known as Kashi. People come here from all over India to take a holy dip and wash away their sins. People wish to die here and getting rid of the cycle of life and death. The city is also famous for fine Banarasi Silk, beetle leaf and Banaras Hindu University.

 

The evening has a meditation session at the ghat. Later enjoy a boat ride with Ganga aarti (Hindu ritual).

 

Overnight stay at hotel

Evening Aarti on Ganga at Varanasi

Day 11: 22 Nov '20 - Varanasi

Early morning you will be picked up from your hotel for a boat ride and ghat visit. 

 

5:15 am Boat Ride starts from Assi Ghat to Manikarnika Ghat and finishes at Dashaswemedh Ghat.

After boat ride enjoys 45 minutes walking tour through narrow lanes of Old Kashi popularly known as Banaras or Varanasi. Walk-in a five feet wide alley which used to be the widest road of Varanasi in ancient time is our walk 5. Walking in the oldest markets, narrow and puzzled alleys of Varanasi will take you to an entirely different world. Seeing a 400-year-old saree market, the spice and grains market, a magnificent mosque built by the Mughals along the river and the temple of Lord Kaal Bhairao, known as the Kotwal or the Police Chief of Varanasi will give you a real sense of the old city "Kashi".

 

Later return to the hotel for breakfast. Post breakfast after some rest proceed to visit Sarnath. It is the place where Budha came after achieved enlightenment at Bodhgaya. Later he gave his first famous sermon at Deer Park here. In the 3rd Century, BC Emperor Ashoka constructed magnificent stupa and monasteries here.

 

Evening return to the hotel. The evening will be at leisure to relax or to pursue independent activities.

 

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Sarnath

Day 12: 23 Nov '20 - Varanasi

Breakfast at hotel

 

This day will be at leisure to pursue independent activities in this ancient city or to meditate and relax.

 

The guests are free to explore the city on their own.

 

(No services envisaged on this day)

Day 13: 24 Nov '20 - Varanasi – Delhi by flight 6E-2025 Dep 08:10 / 09:40

Early morning breakfast at the hotel

 

Post breakfast in time transfer to airport to board the flight for Delhi.

 

Meeting and assistance on arrival and transfer to the hotel. Later visit Akshardham Temple.

(Closed on Monday)

 

Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi epitomizes 10,000 years of Indian culture in all its breathtaking grandeur, beauty, wisdom and bliss. It brilliantly showcases the essence of India’s ancient architecture, traditions, and timeless spiritual messages. The Akshardham experience is an enlightening journey through India’s glorious art, values, and contributions for the progress, happiness, and harmony of mankind.


The Swaminarayan Akshardham complex was built in only five years through the blessings of HDH Pramukh Swami Maharaj of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) and the colossal devotional efforts of 11,000 artisans and thousands of BAPS volunteers. Heralded by the Guinness World Record as the World’s Largest Comprehensive Hindu Temple, the complex was inaugurated on 6 November 2005.

 

After visiting the Akshardham temple, guests will be transferred to the airport hotel for dinner and wash and change. (2 room for wash & change room will be provided).

 

Post dinner in time transfer to airport to board the flight for onward destination.

Akshardam Temple, Delhi

End of Tour

Accommodation

Delhi

The Suryaa

https://www.thesuryaa.com/Accommodation

Rishikesh

Divine Resort & Spa

https://www.divineresort.com/

Delhi

The Suryaa

https://www.thesuryaa.com/Accommodation

Dharamshala

Grace Cottages

http://welcomheritagegracehotel.com

Amritsar

Golden Sarovar Portico

https://www.sarovarhotels.com/golden-sarovar-portico-amritsar/

Varanasi

 Rivatas By Ideal

www.rivatas.com

Cost of Tour

Rate per person sharing:

USD2,438

Supplements:

Single: USD746

Half board (08 dinners): USD135

Payment Terms:

  • 50% of cost upon booking

  • 50% 45 days prior to arrival in India

Cancellation Terms:

  • 45 days prior to arrival in India: Nil, after deducting charges

  • 30 days prior to arrival in India: 50% of total billing

  • 20 days or less prior to arrival in India: No refund

Inclusions and Exclusions

Special Notes

Inclusions:

  • Accommodation for 12 nights based on the above-mentioned hotels on DOUBLE/TWIN sharing basis.

  • Meals: On breakfast basis except at Rishikesh & Dharamshala meal plan would be on half board basis (Breakfast & dinner on a buffet basis at respective hotel’s coffee shop). 

  • We have separately quoted your dinner supplement.

  • The train journey from Delhi-Haridwar & Haridwar Delhi by Chair Car (class of journey)

  • All transportation i.e. airport transfers, sightseeing, and interstate drives will done using the following vehicles: 04-06 pax-using tempo traveller (minivan), 7- 12 pax Mini coach.

  • Internal airfares: Delhi-Dharamshala / Amritsar-Delhi / Delhi-Varanasi / Varanasi-Delhi (4 traveling sectors)

  • Porter fee is included while boarding of trains. 

  • We have envisaged the cost of English speaking local guide for sightseeing.

  • We have included 01-time entrance fee as per the itinerary.

  • Bottled water and wet tissue throughout the vehicle  

  • All currently applicable taxes. (5% Goods & Service Tax)

Exclusions:

  • International airfare 

  • Domestic airfare or Internal flights

  • Visa charges

  • Any room service, telephone charges, mini bar, gratuities, tips.

  • Any expenses of personal nature & Insurance of any kind.

  • Any meals not specified in the itinerary. 

  • Any item not specified under ‘cost includes’

Special Notes