India and Kashmir Holiday Tours

INDIA & KASHMIR

India as a tourist destination has expanded out of all recognition in the last few years with new areas being offered almost every day. We want to introduce you to some of these and begin by including that most beautiful part of the subcontinent KASHMIR and which is still not as well visited as it once was years ago. We are concentrating here on India Kashmir as Pakistan Kashmir is more difficult of access at the moment due to the long years of political problems and disputes.

KASHMIR

Srinagar is the capital of this most beautiful mountain state. It is situated in the heart of the Kashmir valley with the lovely lakes of Dal and Nagin enhanced by this backcloth of mountains. It is ideal for that relaxed holiday, staying on the Luxury lake houseboats and trailing through the lakes by shikara with excursions to the Moghul Gardens and the surrounding mountain resorts of Gulmarg and Phalgam. Our Victorian forbears thought so and traditionally developed the idea of Houseboat luxury some 150 years ago. Now we should renew the experience.

The surrounding resorts are also ideal for walking and trekking or pony riding. The Amarnath Trek is a famous religious festival or Yatra that takes place during the months of July and August and is tough walking but most rewarding religiously and physically. Travelling through the mountains and making contact with the devout pilgrims can be an uplifting experience.

Our Revisited tour
A KASHMIR JOURNEY
15 days 12th June and 4th September 2016
Day 1 Sun Arrival at New Delhi airport, being met and transferred to Delhi City to our 4 star hotel. You can relax, rest and then enjoy our introductory dinner. For the more energetic tour members a quiet afternoon excursion in the heart of the Capital before our evening dinner.

Day 2 Mon A full days excursion of the major sites of New Delhi and Old Delhi. Overnight Delhi.

Day 3 Tues After breakfast transfer to the airport for the short (1 hour 20 minutes) flight to Srinagar. We are met on arrival by our hosts at midday and transferred to the Houseboats on Dal Lake. The rest of the day at leisure with drinks before dinner. Overnight on the houseboats.

Day 4 Wed After breakfast, by Shikara (boat), we leisurely sightsee to the Moghul Gardens/Chesme Shahi. These gardens can give plenty of ideas for the keen gardener. Then something a little more strenuous, a walk to the ancient Shankara Charya Temple with its views across the lakes and valley. Then some shopping. Overnight on the houseboats.

Day 5 Thu Drive to Gulmarg. Take the amazing ski lift to the top of Mount Afarwat, 4,200 mts. Take in the fine mountain air with pleasant walks. Overnight at Gulmarg.

Day 6 Fri Drive through to Phalgam on mountain roads passing through many villages. Staying by the river with pleasant walks. Overnight hotel.

Day 7 Sat Leisurely breakfast. Then excursions to the Mountain meadows and surrounding country. The 9 hole Golf course has claims to being the highest in the World. Overnight Hotel.

Day 8 Sun Drive back to Srinagar. Once in Srinagar more shopping for those who are keen. Or boat rides on the lakes. Overnight on the houseboats.

Day 9 Mon Further excursions through the old city. Visiting the Mosques and alleyways of the city. Overnight on the houseboats. Note – Srinagar can be an exciting shopping experience also; shawls, carpets and jewellery. In the city or on the house boats.

Day 10 Tue An early start for a full day but wonderful drive out of the Srinagar Valley and down the mountainous road to Jammu. A visit to the Raghunath Temple. Overnight hotel.

Day 11 Wed  Driving down past Pathankot to Amritsar. Home of the Sikh Golden Temple, Memories of Colonial times and the rail, air and road head for the region. Overnight hotel

Day 12 Thu In Amritsar. A visit to the Golden Temple in the morning. In the afternoon visit the Wagh Border with Pakistan for the daily ceremony of closing the border and lowering the flags. Overnight Amritsar hotel.

Day 13 Fri Morning train departure from Amritsar. Arrival mid afternoon in Delhi. Transfer to the Luxury Colonial style 5 star hotel, The Imperial. Wallowing in luxury we should enjoy the Colonial ambience of the hotel which is situated in the city centre.

Day 14 Sat A free day to enjoy shopping, sight seeing, and the delights of Delhi. Overnight in The Imperial.

Day 15 Sun Transfer to the airport for the return home. Or stay another day or take our 4 day Option Road excursion to Agra, Fatephur Sikri, Jaipur and back to Delhi.

Note. Our Indian colleagues can arrange visits to almost anywhere in India if you have the mind to do so.

Tour Kashmir Journey Costs:
1/2 persons - £1,735 each.
3/4 persons - £1,535 each.
5/6 persons - £1,335 each.
7-9 persons - £1,200 each.
10/11 persons - £1,125 each.

Included in cost – Hotel and Houseboat Accommodation including breakfast and dinner. Delhi hotels, breakfast only, Ground transport, air conditioned only for Delhi. Jammu, Amritsar. Rest of places by non air conditioned. Vehicles depending on size of group. English speaking guide throughout. Entrance fees. Train ticket Amritsar to Delhi – A/C chair class. Trip to Vegetable market and boat ride on Srinagar lakes. Airport group transfers.

Not included in costs –Insurance, drinks, laundry, tips, camera fees, items for personal use. Single room supplement - allow £424

FLIGHT - Delhi to Srinagar between £90 and £145 per person.


TOUR OPTIONAL EXTRAS
1. For those who have the time at the end of our main Kashmir Journey tour and are new to India we have a 4 day optional extra Delhi-Agra-Jaipur-Delhi. The delights of Moghul India by car with driver/ English speaking guide, all hotel accommodation, meals and site entrance fees. The delights of the Taj Mahal and the deserted city of Fatephur Sikri are also included.

Costs
2 persons travellling together on twin room sharing basis for the whole tour £385 per person.
3/4 persons travelling together on twin room sharing basis £345 per person.
5/6 persons travelling together on twin room sharing basis £300 per person.

2. Leh. Before our Kashmir Journey main tour begins. A 5 days option to Leh is possible.
Day 1. A flight from Delhi to Leh, overnight in Leh.
Day 2/3. Excursions in and around Leh city and the Monasterys around.
Day 4. By road to Kargil through exciting country and overnight Kargil.
Day 5. Down the mountains and arrive in Srinagar to join Main tour.

Costs - minimum 2 persons from £575 each plus Delhi-Leh flight £85-£255.


KASHMIR - SRINAGAR HOUSEBOAT STAYS

There are several categories of Houseboat and two main lakes for your stay, Dal Lake and Nagin Lake. Each Houseboat is easily within reach of Srinagar city and all offer a full service of full board, and use of the Shikara to ferry you about to the shore. Most of the De lux boats have three to four bedrooms each with facilities with a separate dining room and lounge room and a verandah overlooking the lake. The Summer months are idyllic but the boats are available throughout the year. Although the months of Nov to Feb are cold. The original concept of these Houseboats was a Victorian one of relaxation and of escaping from the heat of the Plains of India. Today the concept is very similar except that most people wish to escape from the stress of modern living and work, whether it be 2 days or two weeks.

Individual daily houseboat cost.
De-lux - full board per day - double room £90 - single room £80
Half board per double room £80 - single room £75

There are many excursions to be made in and around Srinagar. The Old city, the beautiful Moghul Gardens of Shalimar and Nishat, the Lake backwaters where birds abound. Further afield are the meadows and hill slopes of Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Sonamarg.

7 day special - Houseboats - Pahalgam - Gulmarg
Using the Houseboats as our base (5 nights), including city tour, backwater Shikara excursion, Moghul gardens visit. Full day and overnight Pahalgam (hotel) with meadow visit. Full day at Gulmarg. Transport to each place included and guides - includes full board, guides and airport transfers.

Ground tour cost. £650 per person.

KASHMIR AMARNATH CAVE PILGRIMAGE - 11 DAYS (houseboats and trek)

23rd July 2016


Throughout July and August of every year many thousands of Hindu Pilgrims travel to offer their prayers to Lord Shiva at the Amarnath Cave. Situated at a height of 3,800 metres the Cave is where Lord Shiva is traditionally known to have meditated. The Cave enshrines naturally formed ice lingams which wax and wane with the moon. The 46km trek passes through magnificent scenery but not least you will be in the company of some of India's most esoteric peoples, Saddhus of all shades and many, many friendly, excited and devout pilgrims. We begin from, and end at, the de lux Houseboats on Dal Lake before returning to Delhi with a stay at the Imperial Hotel.

Itinerary
Day 1 Arrival and overnight in New Delhi.

Day 2 Flight to Srinagar. Overnight Houseboats Dal Lake.

Day 3 Full day in Srinagar. Houseboats and lake excursion.

Day 4 By Road to Pahalgam, overnight hotel.

Day 5 Begin Trek Pahalgam to Chandanwari . Camp.

Day 6 Trek, Chandanwari to Sheshnag. Camp.

Day 7 Trek, Sheshnag to Panchtarni. Camp.

Day 8 Trek to Cave, then to Baltal- drive to Srinagar.

Day 9 Full day in Srinagar - Houseboats - City excursion.

Day 10 Fly Srinagar to Delhi - Overnight Raj style at Imperial Hotel.

Day 11/12 Depart from New Delhi. end of tour or Optional extra day in Delhi.


Ground Tour cost - £1,870 per person, for 4/5 persons plus £1,770 per person.

Included in tour cost - Delhi Hotel (day 1 and day 10) twin accommodation and breakfast
Full board de lux Houseboats, all trekking/cooking equipment, tented accommodation, cook, baggage ponies, meals on trek. Trekking guide, city guide, Group airport transfers.
Not included - International and Internal flights, visa, insurance main meals in Delhi, individual airport transfers (allow from £90 to £150 for internal flight Delhi return).


Trip Notes. The actual trek itself is quite tough and anyone with a respiratory or a heart condition should not consider it. The trek route is very well protected by Indian Army units who patrol the surrounding mountains and slopes through which we trek.

Note. To maximise your time in India before or after your Trek, we have many short trips available. Agra, Jaipur and Rajasthan can be added. Even a trip to Nepal and Tibet for 7/8/9 days. After all you are height acclimatised.

Please contact us for further details and prices. Tours can be arranged arround your requirements. Alternative dates may be available, please enquire.

KASHMIR security and conditions of travel.
For many years now Kashmir, particularly the India portion, has been an area of political and physical strife.Hinterland Travel have carefully resumed travelling in the Indian section for the last 8 years, both privately and professionally. Our earlier experiences were having operated in the region constantly before troubles escalated. The last few years have seen an easing of tension and a new freedom to travel there. Srinagar has been taken off of the British Foreign Office advice restrictions list and we (Hinterland Travel) deem the surrounding towns and resorts of Gulmarg and Phalagam etc are safe to visit. This has allowed normal insurance to be effected. However caution is advised in regard to other inner mountain areas for trekking and of course regions close by the often tense International borders.Therefore Hinterland Travel deems anyone who signs our booking forms for a Kashmir tour understands the situation and is taking part at their own risk. Common sense and the moral duty of Hinterland Travel will apply towards its clients care.