An Indian Sojourn for the soul

An Indian Sojourn for the Soul 16 days | From USD 13 408 | Delhi, Leh, Khima, the Himalaya and Agra

Your journey at a glance

Providing the unrivalled opportunity to reconnect with yourself and nature, whilst discovering the ancient mountain monuments, temples and historic villages of vibrant India, this 16-day sojourn is an absolute must for adventure travellers, wellness and cultural enthusiasts.

Explore the bustling surrounds of Old and New Delhi, view the magnificent palaces, monasteries and shrines of Leh, pass through charming villages as your cross the awe-inspiring Wari La pass, embark on incredible treks in Khima and unwind at an idyllic, world-renowned spa nestled high in the Himalayas. Complete your journey with an exploration of Agra’s formidable Fort and discover the magnificent Taj Mahal.

 

 

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What to expect …

Transfer to Hotel Day 1

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Upon arrival in Delhi, you will be welcomed by an &Beyond representative and chauffeured to the beautiful The Lodhi New Delhi.

Overnight in Delhi Day 1

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The most popular port of entry for visitors to India, Delhi offers a fascinating mixture of old and new. A mixture of bustling international metropolis, medieval chaos and regal splendour, the city is crammed to bursting point with tombs, temples, monuments and ruins, all of which exist side by side with modern suburbs and glass and chrome skyscrapers. In this quintessentially Indian city a surprise lies waiting around every corner – regal British architecture is combined with ancient Mughal ruins, modern suburban developments and even a touch of rural India. Reminders of long-ago empires co-exist with magnificent museums, temples and mosques, bustling bazaars and elegant shopping emporiums. European grandeur combines effortlessly with a strong Mughal legacy, as well as elements of practically every culture present in India.

Just within reach of Delhi’s bustling city centre, Lodhi New Delhi is a luxurious retreat in spacious surroundings, offering guests an ideal base from which to explore the city’s many diverse charms. Amidst the lush order of Lutyen’s’ Delhi, just minutes from the grandeur of Rashtrapati Bhavan, the peaceful Lodhi gardens and many other iconic sites, Lodhi New Delhi provides one of the world’s most colourful and cosmopolitan capital cities with a tranquil retreat.

Spend two nights at The Lodhi, New Delhi. Accommodation will be in a Premier Room with ensuite facilities. Your stay will be on a bed and breakfast basis.

embark on a guided sightseeing tour of Old and New Delhi Day 2

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Experiences includes:

Chandni Chowk – Take a rickshaw ride in Chandni Chowk, which was once the grandest of markets in India.

Jama Masjid – The Jama Masjid of Delhi, is the principal mosque of Old Delhi in India. Commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, builder of the Taj Mahal, and completed in the year 1656 AD, it is the largest and best-known mosque in India. It lies at the origin of a very busy central street of Old Delhi.

After your sightseeing tour of Old Delhi, you will have the opportunity to tuck into a delicious lunch before continuing your adventure in New Delhi which includes:

Qutub Minar – The Qutub Minar is a 72.5 meter tower, which is the world’s tallest brick minaret. Construction commenced in 1193 under the orders of India’s first Muslim ruler Qutub-ud-din Aibak. The Qutub Minar is notable for being one of the earliest and most prominent examples of Indo-Islamic architecture. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Humayun’s Tomb – Humayun’s Tomb is a complex of buildings that were built as the Mughal Emperor Humayun’s tomb; commissioned by Humayun’s wife Hamida Banu Begum in 1562. It was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent, and is located in Nizamuddin East. It was also the first structure to use red sandstone at such a scale. The complex was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.

Flight to Leh Day 3

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Today, you will be collected for you flight to Leh, where you will be greeted by a representative from &Beyond, who will drive you to the lovely Chamba Camp, Thiksey.

Overnight in Leh Day 3

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Embark on a nomadic journey in sublime canvas luxury. Unfurl the centuries-old culture of Ladakh, exploring her fascinating monuments, quaint monasteries enriched with ancient art forms, fairs and festivals. Be part of the region’s unique rituals; enjoy the ancient sport of Polo, brought to Ladakh in the 17th century by the Royals. Try your hand at archery, set amidst a dramatic and breath-taking landscape. Experience Ladakh in all its splendour at the Chamba Camp, Thiksey – brought to you by ‘The Ultimate Travelling Camp’.

There will be no activity planned on the day of your arrival as it is mandatory for guests to acclimatise to the high-altitude of the region. However, your excursion specialist will meet with you to discuss the suggested itinerary for the duration of your stay.
Spend three nights at The Chamba Camp, Thiksey. Accommodation will be in a luxury tent with ensuite facilities.

Embark on a gentle orientation tour of Leh Day 4

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Today, enjoy the morning at your leisure, taking in the magnificent sights and sounds of your surrounds.

After tucking into a delectable lunch you will have the opportunity visit popular landmarks such as the spectacular Leh Palace. Built by King Sengge Namgyal in the 17th century, the palace has nine floors; sections of which are in ruins. Some of the areas display fine traces of Ladakhi architecture. From the palace, continue to the LAMO (Ladakh Arts and Media Organisation) Centre, passing enchanting old houses along the way. The centre is accommodated within one of the most important heritage houses, Munshi (Togoche) House, situated at the foot of the Leh Palace. Following a tour of the house, there will be a short presentation by a Ladakhi scholar on the architectural heritage of the old city. Afterwards, enjoy a view of the old city from the terrace of the Munshi House as you sip on delicious Ladakhi tea. Your cultural exploration then continues through the old city, ending in the bustling surrounds of a bazaar.

You tour then culminates at the Shanti Stupa, perched upon a great vantage point over Leh, with spectacular views of the stone strewn landscape and the setting sun

Embark on a guided tour of monastries Day 5

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Today, it’s an early start as you embark on a journey to the Thiksey Monastery. This beautiful monastery houses a two storey statue of the Maitreya Buddha, seated on a lotus, and boasts a spectacular view of the valley. Here you will have the incredible opportunity to participate in the Morning Prayer ceremony at sunrise.

Afterwards, continue on a guided tour of the monastery, visiting the beautiful prayer room which has many handwritten and painted books as well as a temple dedicated to goddess Tara with her 21 images placed in glass-covered wooden shelves. You will also see small shrines devoted to the guardian divinities, including Cham-Sing – the protector deity of Thiksey.

Following your adventure, you will have the opportunity to return to the camp for a leisurely breakfast. The rest of the morning is free to enjoy at your leisure, allowing you time to relax and take in the pristine beauty around you.

In the afternoon, you will be collected for a memorable tour of the jewel in the crown of the Drukpa lineage, the Hemis Monastery – the oldest monastic institution of Ladakh. Built in a secluded valley, the monastery belongs to the Drukpa School or the Dragon Order of Mahayana Buddhism. Explore the many interesting facets of this institution, established under the patronage of King Senge Namygal in the 13th century, where young lamas (teachers) are taught literature, history, philosophy, yoga and tantra. The monastery halls are adorned with beautiful statues and mural paintings.

Drive to Khima Day 6

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Today, you will be collected for you drive to Khima. This scenic journey will pass by a Sakti village, which is the last village before you cross the Wari La (one of the most picturesque passes that sits at 17 416 feet). Here, you will have the opportunity to stop for exceptional photographic opportunities before descending the pass. The drive will take through the villages of Tangyar and Khimgru before reaching Khima.

Overnight in Khima Day 6

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Spend four nights at Kaafila Luxury Mobile Camp, Khima. Accommodation will be in a luxury mobile tent with ensuite facilities. Your stay will be on full-board basis.

Wake up to a beautiful morning in Khima Day 7

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After a leisurely breakfast you will be taken to the high grazing pastures above the Khima village.

Enjoy a picturesque picnic lunch at one of the region’s most beautiful spots before making your way back to the camp. You will also have the opportunity to explore the Khima village and engage with its friendly inhabitants to learn more about their traditional way of living.

Trek to the Digar village Day 8

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During your hike, take in the breathtaking beauty of the surrounding valley before arriving at the village. Situated within Digar is an ancient monumental Buddhist carving now sheltered within a temple known as Chamba Lhakhang. The large relief is carved on a tall boulder and depicts Maitreya: who wears a three-pointed crown, holds a decorated vase in his left hand and a rosary in his right hand. Faded paint is still visible in the antique headdress. Nearby, you will be taken a 9th century statue, which shows evidence of Kashmir Buddhism travelling to Ladakh. A tall, free standing stela, bearing Bodhisattvas on its three sides. The headdresses, jewellery and garments of the Bodhisattvas are varied. The space between the figures is filled with floral decoration and makaras, unique features for the Buddhist carvings of Ladakh

Hike to the village of Tangyar Day 9

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After topping up your energy levels over a scrumptious breakfast, you will hike to the village of Tangyar – a charming hamlet, set on a mud crag and crowned with a monastery. The houses of the village were built so close to each other that one could jump from the one roof to another. Its central feature is the monastery which was built in 15th century, and subsequent years made it famous by the preservation of the body of a Tibetan yogi called Panchen Nubrapa. The bird’s eye view of the village from the monastery is breathtaking.

Scenic drive along the Shayok River Day 10

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Today, you will be collected for a scenic drive along the Shayok River, stopping to visit the famous Diskit Monastery.

The monastery is also known as Diskit Gompa is the oldest and largest Buddhist monastery in the Nubra Valley of Ladakh. It belongs to the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Following your exploration, you will be driven back to Leh taking the high pass of Khardungla.

Spend one night at Grand Dragon, Leh. Accommodation will be in a deluxe room with ensuite facilities. Your stay will be on bed and breakfast basis.

Flight to Dehradun Airport Day 11

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Today, you will fly into Dehradun Airport where, upon landing, you will be met by a representative from &Beyond and chauffeured to the beautiful Ananda in the Himalayas

Overnight in the Himalayan foothills Day 11 - 15

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India’s only destination spa, Ananda is a glorious hotel, clinging to a ridge in the Himalayan foothills. Undoubtedly one of the best spas in the world as it consistently wins awards and acclaims. The resort boasts unbeatable spa facilities and offers wonderful opportunities to reconnect with nature and oneself.

This idyllic retreat boasts an array of spa experiences, designed from the mystique of the past, to refresh and revitalise your mind, body and soul.

Spend four nights at Ananda in the Himalayas. Accommodation is in a Premier Valley View Room with ensuite facilities. Your stay is on a bed, breakfast and dinner basis, under the ‘Himalayan Bliss’ package.

Spend the next few days, rediscovering yourself through the ancient discipline of yoga Day 12

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Spend the next few days, rediscovering yourself through the ancient discipline of yoga, which encompasses all aspects of life in order to balance the mind, body and spirit; and enjoy a handful of carefully selected treatments from the Himalayan Bliss’ package such as the

  • Wild Rose Salt Scrub
  • Swedish Massage
  • Himalayan Honey and Rose Facial
  • Yoga Nidra

Flight to Delhi Day 15

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Today, you will be collected for your flight to Delhi. Upon your arrival you will be warmly welcomed by an &Beyond representative and chauffeured to The Oberoi, Gurgaon.

Overnight in Delhi Day 15

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The award-winning Oberoi, Gurgaon is conveniently located just fifteen minutes from Delhi’s international and domestic airports, and thirty minutes from Central Delhi, in Gurgaon – the business and commercial centre of Delhi’s National Capital Region. Spread over nine acres, The Oberoi, Gurgaon is an urban sanctuary defined by bespoke design features. Its high ceilings and open spaces, filled with natural light, afford refreshing views of the hotel’s vast, azure reflection pool and verdant green wall. The hotel also offers an art gallery, salon and a luxury retail arcade.

Spend one night at The Oberoi, Gurgaon. Accommodation will be in a Deluxe Room with ensuite facilities. Your stay will be on bed and breakfast basis.

Explore the walled city of the Mughal emperors Day 16

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Today, you will be collected from your hotel for your journey to Agra, where you will check-in at the spectacular Amarvilas.

The city of Agra flourished under the patronage of the emperors Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan and attracted artisans from Persia and central Asia. Agra is where Emperor Shah Jahan engraved his immortal love for his Empress in marble, the Taj Mahal. It is still famous for handicrafts such as intricate inlay work on marble, carpets, jewellery, zari and embroidery work.

After freshening up at the hotel, you will be taken on an exceptional guided tour of the Agra Fort.

The red sandstone Agra Fort was renovated and converted into a palace during Shah Jahan’s time, and reworked extensively with marble and pietra dura inlay. Notable buildings in the fort include the Pearl Mosque, the Diwan-e-Am and Diwan-e-Khas (halls of public and private audience), Jehangir’s Palace, Khaas Mahal, Sheesh Mahal (mirrored palace), and Musamman Burj.

Following your exploration of the Fort, you will embark on an unforgettable sunset tour of the world-renowned Taj Mahal. Said to be one of the most elegant and harmonious buildings in the world, the Taj Mahal is the manifestation of the wealth and luxury of Mughal art as seen in its architecture, garden design, painting, and calligraphy.

Spend one night at Amarvilas, Agra. Accommodation will be in a Premier Room with a balcony. Your stay will be on bed and breakfast basis.

Marvel at the world’s greatest monument to love Day 17

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An Indian icon, the much-photographed and instantly recognisable Taj Mahal is known as the world’s most famous monument to love. The romantic story of this exceptional building is almost as beautiful as the palace itself. Heartbroken at the death of his second wife, Mumtaz Mahal, the renowned leader Shah Jahan designed the Taj as a monument to his lost love. With more than 20 000 workers, including artisans from all over India and central Asia, working on the building, the project took 22 years to complete. Not long after it was finished, Shah Jahan was overthrown by his son and imprisoned in the Agra Fort, on the opposite side of the river. It is said that he continued to gaze out the window at his masterpiece until his death in 1666, when he was buried there alongside Mumtaz.

Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Taj is renowned for its exquisite marble screens and pietra dura, a type of marble inlay work made with thousands of semiprecious stones. Accessed through an outer courtyard, the entrance to the inner compound is through a majestic red sandstone gateway. Beyond the gateway, the Taj Mahal is visible on a beautiful marble platform set in the midst of formally laid out ornamental gardens and pools. When the four fountains are not flowing, the monument forms the famous reflection that can be seen in so many of its photos.

The entire main structure is made of semi-translucent white marble, elaborately carved with flowers and inlaid with thousands of semi-precious stones. Exquisitely symmetrical, each façade of the building features high vaulted arches embellished with pietra dura scrollwork and religious quotations inlaid in jasper. Below the gracious central dome of the building, surrounded by four smaller domes, lies the cenotaph of Mumtaz Mahal, with its delicate marble screen inlaid with semi-precious stones. Back at the side of his beloved, the cenotaph of Shah Jahan is situated alongside hers.

Flight back home Day 17

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Enjoy lunch at the hotel before being collected for your homeward flight

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