Offers

Dalhousie - Dharamsala with Golden Temple and Vaishnodevi(8 Nights)

Amritsar, Dharamsala, Dalhousie, Katra, Jammu

for Family Traveller

Holiday Overview

Snow peak views from Katra
Vaishnodevi (Photo Courtesy: Raju hardoi)
Vaishnodevi Entrance (Photo Courtesy: Abhishek Chandra)
St Johns Church Entrance
View of Dalhousie
Chamera Lake
Views from Dalhousie Bus Stand
Dalhousie Town Centre (Nivalink Trip Dated - 27 March 2006)
Mountain Views around Dharamsala (Nivalink Trip Dated - 27 March 2006)
Golden Temple
Golden Temple

Dalhousie - Dharamsala with Golden Temple and Vaishnodevi is a recommended summer itinerary for guests looking to opt for an itinerary around a Vaishnodevi temple visit. It includes major hill stations (Dalhousie, Dharamsala / Palampur) and Amritsar (Golden Temple).

Route

Amritsar(1) - Dharamsala(2) - Dalhousie(3) - Katra(2)

Summarised Itinerary
  • Day-1 Arrive at Amritsar. Visit Golden Temple, Jalianwalabagh and Wagah Border
  • Day-2 Amritsar - Dharamshala. Visit Norbulingka Institute.
  • Day-3 Mcleodgunj Visit and options visits around Dharamsala
  • Day-4 Dharamsala - Dalhousie. Visits around Dalhousie
  • Day-5 Khajjiar, Chamba, Chamera Lake excursion
  • Day-6 Kalatop Excursion / Walk
  • Day-7 Dalhousie - Katra
  • Day-8 Vaishnodevi Darshan
  • Day-9 Departure
Sightseeing Summary

Amritsar - Golden Temple (2.00 kms), Jallianwala Bagh (5.00 kms), Wagah Border (36.00 kms)

Dalhousie - Churches in Dalhousie (3.00 kms), Satdhara (3.00 kms), Barkota Hills (5.00 kms), Kalatop Trek and Paragliding (10.00 kms), Khajjiar Meadows (25.00 kms), Chamera Lake (30.00 kms), Chamba Pilgrimage (50.00 kms)

Dharamsala - War Memorial (1.00 kms), Walk to Kunal Pathri - Rock Temple (3.00 kms), Norbulingka Institute (4.00 kms), Naam Art Gallery (7.00 kms), St Johns Church (8.00 kms), Chinmaya Tapovan (10.00 kms), Dalai Lama Monastery (10.00 kms), Bhagshunath Temple (11.00 kms)

Katra - Ardhkuwari Temple (7.00 kms), Vaishnodevi Temple (13.00 kms), Baba Bhaironath Temple (14.00 kms)

Preferred Arrival /Departure Destination
Arrival - Amritsar Departure - Jammu
Best Season to Travel
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Popular Extensions to the Itinerary

Given an additional day guests can visit Kangra Valley Devi temples such as Jwalamukhi, Chintpurni etc.

Distances
  • Amritsar to Dharamsala -189 kms (4 hrs)
  • Dharamsala to Dalhousie -120 kms (4 hrs)
  • Dalhousie to Katra -230 kms (6.5 hrs)
  • Katra to Jammu -50 kms (1.5 hrs)
Route

Amritsar(1) - Dharamsala(2) - Dalhousie(3) - Katra(2) - Jammu

Detailed Itinerary

Day-1 Arrive at Amritsar. Visit Golden Temple, Jalianwalabagh and Wagah Border Arrive at Amritsar. Visit Golden Temple, the most revered pilgrim centre for Sikhs, one of the five Takhts and a renowed tourist attraction. Also visit Jalianwala Bagh and evening beating retreat ceremony at Wagah Border (36 kms).

Day-2 Amritsar - Dharamshala. Visit Norbulingka Institute. Proceed to Dharamsala (3500+ ft asl, 190 kms - 5 hrs). Visit Norbulingka Institute, a must visit for any visitor to Dharamsala for a Tibetan cultural heritage experience and St Johns Church. Time permitting, visit war memorial at Dharamsala, that commemorates martyrs of the area.

Day-3 Mcleodgunj Visit and options visits around Dharamsala Morning visit to Mcleodgunj (6500+ ft asl, 10 kms), visit Dalai Lama Monastery and Bhagshunath Temple (3 kms from Mcleodgunj). Visit local street market for tibetan artefacts. Naddi Area near Cantonment (8 kms from Mcleodgunj) has one of the best Himalayan views of the area. In the evening time permitting, Pilgrimage oriented travellers may head for Chinmaya Tapovan, an ashram complex established by the late Swami Chinmayananda (10 kms from Dharamsala). Guests who can do a bit of walking can head for Kunal Pathri Temple, a 3 km walk from Dharamsala is a rock temple dedicated to Goddess Kapaleshwari. Guests also have an option to head for Naam Art Gallery, a renowned art gallery.

Day-4 Dharamsala - Dalhousie. Visits around Dalhousie Proceed to Dalhousie (7000+ ft asl - 120 kms - 3.5 hours). Time permitting visit local markets and local places to visit such as Churches in Dalhousie, Panchpula / Sat Dhara (confluence of 7 streams said to have medicinal effect).

Day-5 Khajjiar, Chamba, Chamera Lake excursion Full Day excursion to Khajjiar Meadows (22 kms), Chamba (riverside pilgrim centre at 44 kms from Dalhousie can be visited with Khajjiar) and Chamera Lake (large lake with watersports centre). Enroute visit Barkota hills. Back by late evening.

Day-6 Kalatop Excursion / Walk Explore Kalatope Wildlife Sanctuary (The sanctuary is home to a variety of species including black bears and barking deer, abundant variety of bird life), Dainkund peak etc. Kalatope is an 8 km moderately uphill walk through pine forests. The hilltop offers excellent views of the area around and snow peaks. Paragliding is offered here in Summer. Guests looking to relax and not do walking may just enjoy snow peak views of Dalhousie and relax.

Day-7 Dalhousie - Katra Proceed to Katra (230 kms - 6.5 hrs). Enroute visit Raghunath Temple at Jammu, time permitting.

Day-8 Vaishnodevi Darshan Early morning start for Vaishnodevi climb (Total 13 kms walk to the temple that takes about 4-5 hours). Enroute stops at Adhkwari Temple and darshan at Baba Bhaironath Temple is recommended). During Summer and peak travel season it may be advisable to start the climb previous evening. Once queue tickets are purchased the wait period could be half an hour to 3 hours depending on the rush. During season Yatra Parchi (entry tickets required to beging the uphill walk), it is recommended to purchase in advance to avoid delays. Guests looking for Helidarshan (Helicopter ride, darshan and back), morning flights are recommeded for best weather and least uncertainity. Return by late evening.

Day-9 Departure Depart for onward journey.

Detailed Sightseeing

Amritsar :

  • Golden Temple - Golden Temple (also known as the Sri Harmandir Sahib) was designed by the fifth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Arjan Sahib and was built in 1601 AD. Akal takht here is one of the Five Takhts of Sikhism and therefore the most important from the Sikh pilgrimage perspective. Golden temple remains the prime reason why tourists make a visit to Amritsar. Golden temple is also perhaps the most visited Sikh Pilgrimage destination in the world and visited by devotees from all religions.

  • Jallianwala Bagh - Jalianwalla Bagh (5 kms) is a garden where a thousand innocent citizens were shot dead in 1919 by British Gen Dyer's troops. The bullet marks can still be seen and therefore visited by tourists to pay tribute to those who died in 1919.

  • Wagah Border - Wagarh border is a famous India - Pakistan border at about 36 kms from Amritsar and is known for its evening Parade.

Dalhousie :

  • Churches in Dalhousie - Dalhousie is gome to four churches i.e. St. Andrews Church, St. Patricks Church, St. Francis Church and St. Johns Church.

  • Satdhara - Satdhara is a confluence of 7 springs which is said to have therapeutic value as they contain mica.

  • Barkota Hills - Bakrota Hills are situated at about 6000 ft asl in the Bakrota hills and is recommended for walks. The area offers excellent snow views.

  • Kalatop Trek and Paragliding - Kalatop is a soft trek ex-Dalhousie, off Khajjiar Route. The is a half day trek is via thick forest and there are excellent Himalayan views on offer on a clear day. Paragliding is on offer during summer at Kalatop.

  • Khajjiar Meadows - Khajjiar is home to natural meadows and a popular excursion and summer hangout place for tourists to Dalhousie. Horse riding is available in summer for kids.

  • Chamera Lake - Chamera lake was formed after building of the Chamera dam and is one of the popular excursions for tourists from Dalhousie. Boating, Speedboating etc. are on offer here.

  • Chamba Pilgrimage - Chamba is a riverside ancient temple town with Laxmi Narayan Temple Complex (10th century) being the main attraction. Chamba is base point for the Manimahesh Yatra (undertaken during month of August/September). Pilgrimage significance of the lake is only next to Kailash Mansoravar yatra.

Dharamsala :

  • War Memorial - At there start of town, landscaped lawns and a web of narrow paths fill a pine grove where a monument has been raised to commemorate the post independence war heroes of Himachal Pradesh

  • Walk to Kunal Pathri - Rock Temple - Kunal Pathri Temple 3 km walk from Dharamsala is a rock temple dedicated to Goddess Kapaleshwari

  • Norbulingka Institute - The Norbulingka Institute was founded in 1988 by the present 14th Dalai Lama at Sidhpur, near Dharamshala. The institute is dedicated to the preservation of the Tibetan language and cultural heritage. The institute is named after Norbulingka, the traditional summer residence of the Dalai Lamas, in Lhasa, Tibet. The main building is a replica of the Norbulingka palace in Lhasa. The Centre for Arts, offers training in Tibetan statue making, thangka painting, printing, applique and tailoring, wood carving, wood and metal craft. The Academy also offers long term courses in Tibetan Buddhism. The institute also has the two-storeyed Seat of Happiness Temple (Deden Tsuglakhang) built in 1985 and set amidst the Japanese inspired Norbulingka gardens. It is known for its 1,173 murals of Buddha, frescoes of all the Dalai Lamas and drawings chronicling the life of the 14th Dalai Lama. In the main hall stands the 4 mt high gilded copper Budddha, one of the largest outside Tibet. Around the temple are workshops of artisans and apprentices, which produce various handicrafts, also sold at the Norbulingka Gift Shop and Showroom, for the benefit of Tibetan refugees. A short distance from the institute lies the Dolma Ling Buddhist nunnery, and the Gyato Monastery, temporary residence of the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje. Norbulingka institute is a must visit for any visitor to Dharamsala for a Tibetan cultural heritage experience.

  • Naam Art Gallery - Naam Art Gallery exhibits paintings by Elsbeth Buschmann - watercolours and acrylics - and oil paintings by Alfred W. Hallett. Both artists have lived here and created some of their best works which are displayed in the gallery. The Gallery is popular with inbound travellers.

  • St Johns Church - Between Forsythganj and Mcleodganj is the charming church of St. John. The area is under the shade of deodar branches, a memorial has been erected over the body of the British Viceroy, Lord Elgin who died at Dharamsala in 1863.

  • Chinmaya Tapovan - 10 km from Dharamsala on the banks of the rivulet Bindusaras, is an ashram complex established by the late Swami Chinmayananda, a noted exponent of the Gita. Courses for learning Gita are conducted here. The complex includes a 9 meter high image of Lord Hanuman, a magnificent Rama Temple, a meditation hall, a school, and a health and recreation centre.

  • Dalai Lama Monastery - Most prominent site in Mcleodgunj is Dalai Lama Temple or Dalai Lama Monastery. It has a large statue of Padmasambhavna

  • Bhagshunath Temple - 3 kms from Mcleodgunj town centre is lands end, where road ends. This is where Bhagshu temple is situated. The temple is popular with North Indians and there are a number of hotels situated here. Guests can walk upto a perennial waterfall adjoining to the temple at a short walk away.

Katra :

  • Ardhkuwari Temple - Ardhkuwari Temple is located halfway enroute Katra - Vaishnodevi yatra. It is believed that Yatra is incomplete without a Darshan of Ardhkuwari Temple.

  • Vaishnodevi Temple - Vaishnodevi is one of the most visited temples in India. Its accessible via a 13 kms arduous climb or on a palanquin or via a helicopter ride. Enroute to Vaishnodevi temple following temples are also visited by Devotees * Banganga - 01 Km * Charan Paduka - 2.5 Kms * Adhkuwari - 6 Kms * Himkoti - 8.5 kms * Sanjichhat - 9.5 Km * Bhawan - 13.0 Kms * Bhairon Ghati (Via Bhawan) - 14.5 Kms

  • Baba Bhaironath Temple - Baba Bhaironnath Temple is a temple that is visited after Vaishnodevi Darshan. It is believed that the yatra is not complete without the darshan.

Destination Overview

Jammu - Jammu is a point of access for visiting Vaishnodevi Temple, which is 13 km walk from Katra (50 km from Jammu) and home to Raghunath Temple.

Amritsar - Amritsar is a major destination in India where guests arrive to visit the "Golden Temple", a Sikh pilgrimage center and a major tourist attraction from visitors all over India and those arriving into India.

Dharamsala - Dharamsala (3500 ft asl or Lower Dharamsala), is a laidback town at the base of Dhauladhar, 12 kms Short of Mcleodgunj.

Dalhousie - Dalhousie (6700 ft) is a British-era hill Station and a weekend getaway destination. Dalhousie is known for its very good Himalayan views and still retains a quaint, idyllic, offbeat character.

Katra - Katra, is base town to visit Vaishno Devi temple which is 13 kms walk (or a helicopter ride) away from here.

Access
Prefered Arrival : No ImageAmritsarNo ImageAmritsar
Prefered Departure : No ImageJammuNo ImageJammu
Distances
  • Amritsar to Dharamsala -189 kms (4 hrs)
  • Dharamsala to Dalhousie -120 kms (4 hrs)
  • Dalhousie to Katra -230 kms (6.5 hrs)
  • Katra to Jammu -50 kms (1.5 hrs)

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Travel Ideas incorporated in the itinerary

Vaishnodevi Darshan

Katra (50 kms from Jammu) is visited for Vaishnodevi temple and the town is base camp for visiting more

Lines indicate the best available driving routes.
Arrows indicate connectivity other than Road (e.g. Waterways or Air).
Please click on the markers for more detailed Information.

Distances
  • Amritsar to Dharamsala -189 kms (4 hrs)
  • Dharamsala to Dalhousie -120 kms (4 hrs)
  • Dalhousie to Katra -230 kms (6.5 hrs)
  • Katra to Jammu -50 kms (1.5 hrs)

Expert Speak

Typically Guests look to combine Vaishnodevi with Kashmir, however ideally a more logical itinerary geographically speaking vis a vis ease of travel.

Expert Connect

Nivalink has taken over 300 trips across India and select destinations overseas over last 10 years to verify hotels, evaluate destinations and understand its suitability with different profiles of customers across different seasons.

At Nivalink you are able to connect directly with experts who have travelled to these destinations and are able to offer novel ideas, honest perspectives and help you narrow down choices.

Email to expert@nivalink.co.in to connect with sector expert for specific ideas and recommendations.

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