Indian Himalayas

The Himalayan foothills can provide welcome relief from the heat of the Indian summer and also the hustle and bustle of the major cities. Here you can walk in the steps of the British Raj, visit the residence of the Dalai Lama, learn about Buddhist beliefs and enjoy spectacular views of the mountains.


The hill station of Shimla was regarded as the summer capital of the British Raj. Surrounded by pine forests, oak trees and rhododendrons it is the perfect place to escape the heat of the lowlands. To get there you can enjoy the excitement of travelling by the narrow gauge Toy Train.

While in Shimla you can admire the colonial architecture including the Christ Church, the second oldest church in Northern India. Also discover the story behind Scandal Point and visit the Himalayan Aviary, a sanctuary for numerous birds.

Dharamshala & McLeodGanj

Dharamshala is a town set in the forested hills of Himachal Pradesh and has a backdrop of snow covered peaks. This area is most famous for the nearby village of McLeodGanj which has been the official residence of the Dalai Lama since 1960. As well as the Dalai Lama temple complex, the village has several Buddhist Monasteries and many Tibetan refugees.

When visiting Dharamshala it is easy to combine with Amritsar to see the famous Golden Temple; and also the hill station and tea gardens of Palampur.


The region of Sikkim is nestled in the Himalayan foothills between Nepal and Bhutan. Ride the Toy Train to Darjeeling then cross into Sikkim to the town of Pelling where you can enjoy panoramic views of the Himalayas including Mt Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world. Visit Pemayangtse Monastery and the holy Khecheopalri Lake.

Continue to Gangtok where you can visit the Tashiding Monastery and the Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary, which is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna including the Red Panda.


Ladakh is a mountainous region in the far north of India that is often referred to as Little Tibet. The capital, Leh, is at an altitude of 3,500 metres and is set in a barren but starkly beautiful landscape. Here you can visit the Shankar Gompa belonging to the Yellow Hat sect of Buddhism, the ruined 17th century Leh Palace and the current royal residence and museum, Stok Palace.

As you explore the surrounding towns you will discover numerous other gompas and monasteries as well as learn about life in this harsh environment. Due to the climate in Ladakh it is only possible to visit from June to September.

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