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Departure: New Delhi
Duration: 15 Days
Trip Grade: Moderate

Taking you from Amritsar's Golden Temple, through the lower reaches of the Himalayas to the Taj Mahal in Agra, this is a true heritage tour. With a high level of accommodation throughout, the majority of nights are spent in charming historic properties well away from the big cities, which together with our trusty Royal Enfields make this a real luxury cruise. The easy-going nature of this tour makes it ideal for less-experienced riders, although there are some twisty roads around Dharamsala and Mussoorie.

DETAILED ITINERARY

Day 01: Arrive in Delhi, train to Amritsar
You'll be met at the airport and taken to a hotel for a chance to rest before boarding the Shatabdi Express, an airconditioned, "superfast" train (remember this is India!), at 16.30. Arriving in Amritsar at 22.10, you'll be immediately transferred to a comfortable hotel.

Day 02: Day in Amritsar
You'll be introduced to your 500cc Enfield Bullet after breakfast, and will spend the rest of the morning getting acquainted! After a briefing and a short excursion in the vicinity of the hotel, your first "real" ride will take you the 28km to Wagah, the only open border between India and Pakistan. The gates between the two countries are closed shortly before sunset every night, and the border guards from each side take great pride in vying to outdo each other in the elaborateness of their closing ceremony, quite a spectacle! From there we'll ride back to the comfort of our hotel in Amritsar.

Day 03: Amritsar to Dharamsala (200km)
Amritsar's main attraction, and one of India's most impressive sights, is the Golden Temple, the spiritual centre of the Sikh religion. Impressive at any time of day, the temple is absolutely stunning at dawn, so we'll have to rouse ourselves early to make sure we get there! We'll head back to the hotel for breakfast and then hit the road, arriving in Dharamsala some 200 km later.

Day 04: Dharamsala
Dharamsala is best known for being home to the Dalai Lama, and today we'll have the chance to visit his Tibetan Government in Exile, and to learn about the plight of the Tibetans since the Chinese occupation of their country in 1959. High in the foothills of the Himalayas and surrounded by dense pine forest, Dharamsala is a great place to simply wander around, taking in the intriguing mixture of Indian and Tibetan cultures.

Day 05: Dharamsala to Taragarh (50km)
Set amongst tea gardens at a height of 1000m, the location of Talagarh Palace, our hotel for the night, is exceptional .The snow-capped peaks of the Dauladhar Mountains can be seen in the distance over the lush green valley, making this royal palace the perfect place to unwind.

Day 06: Taragarh to Pragpur (100km)
A beautiful day's ride through the little-explored Kangra Valley takes us to Pragpur and the Judge's Court, an elegant 300 year-old manor surrounded by orchards.

Day 07: Pragpur to Nalagarh (200km)
A great ride along uncrowded, rural roads sees us arrive at Nalagarh Fort, another charming, historic property for us to enjoy! Built in 1421, the hotel is run by the current Raja of Nalagarh, who extends the following welcome, “We want bygone days to linger in the minds of our guests and provide peace of mind by the square foot in this quaint fortress”.

Day 08: Nalagarh to Simla (175km)
The area around Simla offers some of the best riding in India – today's ride takes us along well-surfaced roads which twist and turn through an endless chain of hills; riding heaven! Simla was the summer capital of India under the British, and retains plenty of colonial charm.

Day 09: Simla to Mussoorie (230km)
The ride up to Mussorie is another treat; a seemingly endless ascent takes us to a height of 2000m and another charming “hill station”. Less bustly than Simla, Mussoorie is a great place to unwind as the bikes cool down after their arduous climb!

Day 10: Mussoorie to Shivpuri via Rishikesh (80km)
Tonight we camp in luxurious tents on the banks of the mighty River Ganges, having come through Rishikesh, “Yoga capital of the world”, en route.

Day 11: Shivpuri
You can be as active as you like today. For the daring amongst you there's the chance to raft the thundering rapids of the Ganges, others may wish to take an elephant ride through the nearby forests or to spend their day practising yoga at one of Rishikesh's famous schools.

Day 12: Shivpuri to Kuchesar (250km)
A long but mainly flat ride gives you a last chance to savour the laid-back beat of both your Enfield Bullet and the villages you'll be riding it through. We end the day in an 18 th century mud fort, built by the Jats as a defence against the British, complete with moat and elegant gardens.

Day 13: Kuchesar to Agra by bus
It would be a shame to come all this way only to go home without having seen the magnificent Taj Mahal. So today we leave the bikes behind and instead take a comfortable, air-conditioned bus to Agra, thereby avoiding what would otherwise be an unpleasant ride through traffic-choked roads.

Day 14: Agra to Delhi
There'll be a last chance to see the Taj Mahal at sunrise before boarding the bus back to Delhi. Once there we'll have time for some last minute sightseeing/shopping.

Day 15: Delhi
Flights home, bon voyage!

 

 

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