Kashmir is described as being Heaven on Earth. It is a picturesque region in northwest India but it is not India as we know it. Laying in the valley of the majestic Himalayas it is a piece of paradise. Its natural beauty is a great attraction, giving it the name of “The Last Shangri-La”, but so are its people who are keen to meet us. Combine this with one of the most spectacular sights we have ever seen in the impressive Community Kitchen and you will have an unforgettable journey to this land of Sikh and Muslim peoples.
Parallel 50. This is Life. This is Travel
- Boat Rides at Sunset on Peaceful Waterways
Welcome to Incredible India! Take our domestic flight to Srinagar. After arriving at our gorgeous houseboat on the picturesque lake we will take a late evening Shikara (water taxi) Ride. Lay back on the cushions and glide silently through the waters as we watch the sunset cast its colours over the mountains.
You won’t be able to resist exploring the Market as Kashmiris are well known as artisans. Enjoy! Walk among the Mughal monument ruins, Sufi shrine and experience life around the Grand mosque. Explore the Mughal gardens and relax with a sunset viewing.
Early morning Shikara ride to the vegetable market and explore life on the lake. Have you ever seen a cow travel in a canoe?!!! Life is fully intertwined with the water. Paddle quietly through the overhanging trees past houses built over the water. Travel the waterways to pass under famous bridges of Srinagar and get to see the building heritage on the banks into the old city where we will take a stroll of discovery through the laneways.
Drive to Pampore, famous for its saffron fields, one of the few places in the world this expensive spice grows. You may like to visit the artisans and their workshops. Tour the old town and visit Jama Masjid (Kashmir’s biggest mosque), Shah-E-Hamdan and Pather Sahib. On top of the hill is the temple Shankaracharya.
Drive to a charming rural mountain village and delight in meeting the children. It is a beautiful valley with surrounding peaks and the drive will see us stopping for many photos. Opportunity to photograph tribal culture of Kashmir. Busy market of Kangan town will give you plenty to see with some lovely shawls and rugs also. A highlight will be our overnight homestay.
Transfer to Leh airport to board the flight to Delhi.
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On arrival at Delhi international airport, drive straight to Agra. Check in at the hotel upon arrival. Remaining day is proposed at leisure as we have an early start in the morning.
A sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal will be one of the most majestic experiences you can have. The changing morning light seemingly transforms this most famous ivory-white marble mausoleum. Learn the story of love and extravagance as you try to take in this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Later, take a tour to the historical Agra Fort. If desired, you may visit a nearby bird sanctuary (a world heritage nature site) in the later half.
If you are keen for another early start we can have another chance to see the Taj again. Maybe even from a different viewpoint. Make our way back to Delhi.
Take a flight or you may like to experience train travel to our first destination at Amritsar. Take a stroll to take in your surroundings.
Today is dedicated to the reason we are here. The Golden Temple Complex with its amazing community kitchen. I am reluctant to give too much away but I will tell you it has to be one of the most extraordinary sights I have ever seen with a wonderful story to go with it. The Sri Harmandir Sahib is impressive and a very spiritual place being the most important pilgrimage site of Sikhism. The Harmandir Sahib is an open house of worship for all men and women from all walks of life and faith. Under the roof all visitors can share a meal and know no boundaries.
But a most spectacular experience for us is to actually go behind an astounding 100,000 people visit the temple per day for worship. And how impressive is it that the complex is run by volunteers and funded by donation. One day will not do this place justice. Enjoy. Later we will take a drive to Wagah Border to witness the highly interesting evening ceremony of the closing of the border gates. It is highly entertaining!
Return to the Temple tonight where the Sikh’s Holy Book, ‘Guru Granth Sahib’, is carried overhead and shifted to a chamber for overnight.
The bazaars around the Temple are a hive of activity and there is much to explore as we walk the streets. Amritsar is famous for its fish, lassi and Naan so a visit to a traditional restaurant is a must for dinner.
Farewell Incredible India.