Private Tour

North India Himalaya Explorer - 12 days/11 nights

Iconic cultures, religions, and ancient history make India one of the most diverse, intense, and fascinating countries in the world.

Private, Local Guides!

Whether you are a single person, a couple, or a group, you'll have your own guide and driver for all airport pickups, drop offs, and daily excursions.

Choose Your Dates!

This is not a fixed-departure-date tour. Just let us know the dates that work best for you and we will arrange everything.


Need more time? Less time? Want to see or do something that isn't included? The options are unlimited, so talk to us about the different possibilities and our recommendations.

Great Accommodation!

We've scouted the best hotels in the best locations of all categories. We'll recommend accommodation to suit your budget and travel style.
  • Amritsar and the Sikh Golden Temple
  • The pomp and circumstance of the Pakistan Wagah Border Ceremony
  • Dharamsala, the home of the Dalai Lama
  • Rishikesh, the yoga capital of the world, once visited by the Beatles
  • The ghats on the Ganges River at Haridwar
Private Tour

North India Himalaya Explorer - 12 days/11 nights

Highlighting India’s diverse religions, culture and landscape, this adventurous tour takes you north from New Delhi to the Pakistan border at Amritsar, then east to the Dalai Lama’s current refuge in Dharamsala in the Himalaya foothills,and on to the ancient Hindu pilgrimage towns and British hill stations of Shimla, Rishikesh, and Haridwar on the Ganges River.

This tour involves a couple of train rides from and to New Delhi and spends much of the time in the Himalaya foothills, which makes it an excellent option for experiencing India in the summer months from April through September. Accommodation isn’t luxurious, but you can stay in former summer homes of the Indian Royalty and British Raj in these forested hill stations.

  • Day 1Arrive New Delhi

    Arrive in New Delhi where you’ll be welcomed by our airport representative and transferred to your hotel for check in. Overnight in New Delhi.

  • Day 2New Delhi

    Your guide and driver will meet you at your hotel and take you on a tour of the best sites of New Delhi. Start in the southern end of the city with a visit to the Qutab Minar, the tallest stone tower in India, followed by Humayun’s Tomb, a grand example of Indo-Persian style architecture similar to the Taj Mahal. After lunch, take a short walk through the bustling Chandi Chowk shopping area in Old Delhi, and visit the adjacent Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India. Continue to the serene park setting of Raj Ghat, the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi. Finally, visit the Laxmi Narayan Hindu Temple near Connaught Place, the heart of Delhi where you can shop or have dinner. Overnight in New Delhi. (Breakfast)

  • Day 3New Delhi to Amritsar

    After breakfast, transfer to the train station for a 6-hour train ride to Amritsar.  Your guide will help you board the train and find your seat.  Upon arrival, you will be welcomed at the platform and transferred to your hotel for check in.  Late afternoon, drive about 45 minutes to the Pakistan border at Wagah for the “Beating the Retreat” ceremony.  Each day at sunset, soldiers from both countries march in an amazing spectacle of pomp and circumstance while crowds watch and cheer them taking down their respective national flags.  Overnight in Amritsar. (Breakfast)

  • Day 4Amritsar to Dharamsala

    After breakfast, visit the Golden Temple. Originally a small lake in the midst of a quiet forest, the site has been a meditation retreat for wandering mendicants and sages for hundreds of years. Your guide will explain the Sikh Temple as you view the glimmering inner chambers, where the holy texts are kept, and the community kitchen, which provides free meals for more than 40,000 people a day. Afternoon, drive east about 5 hours to Dharamsala. Set against the backdrop of the stunning Dhauladhar Mountains, Dharamsala is sometimes referred to as “Little Tibet” because it is now home to the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government in exile. After checking into your hotel, the evening is free to explore Dharamsala. Overnight in Dharamsala. (Breakfast)

  • Day 5Dharamsala

    Enjoy breakfast and views of the sunrise over the Himalayas at your hotel.  Today visit the Norbulingka Institute, an educational and historical institute dedicated to preserving Tibetan culture and providing employment for Tibetan refugees living in India. See the world’s finest thangka painters, copper sculptors, wood carvers and appliqué artists as they create traditional art work and handicrafts in their workshops. Here you will learn about Tibetan culture and witness the merging of new lifestyles with ancient traditions for many young Tibetans who call India their home. Later visit St. John’s Church and enjoy a nature walk in local tea gardens. Overnight in Dharamsala. (Breakfast)

  • Day 6Dharamsala to Shimla

    After breakfast, drive 6-7 hours to Shimla.  Situated in the northwest Himalayas, Shimla is the Capital of the Himachal Pradesh and was the summer capital of the British Raj. The drive is incredibly scenic through dense forests of oak, pine, fur and rhododendron and offers an opportunity to see the daily life of Indians in Himalayan villages. Check into your hotel and enjoy a free evening in Shimla. We suggest taking a walk through the city’s mall street, which is Shimla’s social and economic hub and comes alive in the evenings. Overnight in Shimla. (Breakfast)

  • Day 7Shimla

    This morning, drive 25 minutes to visit a lookout point in the nearby village of Fagu with 360-degree panoramic views of the Himalayas.  Tour the former capitol building, now the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, the Gaiety Theatre, the Mall, and the Christ Church. Overnight in Shimla. (Breakfast)

  • Day 8Shimla to Rishikesh

    Enjoy breakfast at your hotel, then drive about seven hours through beautiful forested villages to Rishikesh, a pilgrimage city and destination for Hindu and Yoga devotees from all over the world. The evening is free. Overnight in Rishikesh. (Breakfast)

  • Day 9Rishikesh

    Today tour Rishikesh. Visit the Shivananda Ashram, the Nikantha Mahadev Temple, the Shri Tryambakeshwar Temple and the Triveni Ghat. Enjoy a rest in the afternoon and then return to the main ghat at sunset to witness the chanting and prayers at the Aarti Ceremony on the river. Overnight in Rishikesh. (Breakfast)

  • Day 10Rishikesh to Haridwar

    The morning is free to explore the temples and ghats on your own.  In the afternoon, drive 30 minutes to Haridwar. Visit the Ghats in Haridwar this evening at sunset for the Aarti ceremony. Overnight in Haridwar. (Breakfast)

  • Day 11Haridwar

    Today tour Haridwar. Visit the colorful temples for which city is known, then continue to Har Ki Pauri, the main ghat on the Ganges and the religious and social focal point of the city. Spend the afternoon near the river where you can immerse yourself in the culture and energy of this holy city and explore the nearby market. Overnight in Haridwar. (Breakfast)

  • Day 12Haridwar to New Delhi for Departure

    Wake early for your 5-hour train to New Delhi. Upon arrival, you will be met at the platform by our representative.  A car and driver is available for you until you need to be at the airport for your flight home. (Breakfast)

Private Tour

North India Himalaya Explorer - 12 days/11 nights

Our private tours include the things that make it so you don’t have to worry about logistics for your trip.

Our Rates Include

  • Private airport transfers
  • Daily hotel accommodation with breakfast
  • Private vehicle transportation for all excursions per itinerary
  • Meals as listed in the itinerary
  • Services of a local, English-speaking guide for tours and excursions
  • All tours and activities mentioned in the itinerary, including entrance fees
  • Train transportation from
    • New Delhi to Amritsar
    • Haridwar to New Delhi

Rates Do Not Include

  • International airfare
  • India visa application fees
    • Almost everyone needs a visa to visit India and you can apply for a e-Tourist visa online 30 days before arrival, not earlier. You can find out what's needed and start the process by following this link: Apply for an Indian e-Tourist Visa
    • You can find out what's needed and start the process by following this link: Apply for an Indian e-Tourist Visa:
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for driver and guides
  • Expenses of a personal nature

Itinerary Add-Ons to Consider

Taj Mahal Extension

Starting Price : $ / Person

If you have more time in India, please consider adding a day trip by train from New Delhi to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. Contact us for details.

Private Tour

North India Himalaya Explorer - 12 days/11 nights

Here’s an explanation of what to expect and why about the planning and booking process and working with a Red Lantern Journeys travel consultant.

  • Personal Travel Consultant

    Your peronal travel consult to work with you to prepare your itinerary, recommend tours and activities and accommodation and explain the reasoning behind every aspect of your tour.

  • Private Vehicles with Driver and Guides

    You'll have your own private, chauffeur-driven vehicle for all of your airport transfers and daily excursions. These will also include your personal, English-speaking guide who is licensed and will provide the insights to make each of your tours an exceptional experience.

  • Hotel Recommendations

    We've inspected hundreds of hotels and can recommend accommodation that fits your style and budget.

  • Activity Recommendations

    We have access to a wide range of activities to make your trip truly memorable. Activities range from visiting iconic sights to meeting local personalities, adventure sports, and exclusive dining experiences!

Private Tour

North India Himalaya Explorer - 12 days/11 nights

The Best Time to Do This Itinerary

The hilly regions and foothills of the Indian Himalaya are at their best from March to June and September to November. The climate varies according to elevation.

Private Tour

North India Himalaya Explorer - 12 days/11 nights

Customize This Itinerary

Please fill out the form below with as much information as possible about when you want to travel, how many people and anything else you’d like us to know. We’ll get back to you within one business day, if not sooner!

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