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ABTA and ATOL Protected
Escorted Tours

Spiritual India


Route:
  • UK
  • Delhi
  • Chandigarh
  • Amritsar
  • Dharamshala
  • Shimla
  • Rishikesh
  • Haridwar
  • Delhi
  • UK
Tour Pace:

16 DAYS from £1669pp

Tour Highlights
  • Visit Amritsar, holy city of the Sikhs, and its famed Golden Temple
  • Take scenic drives between cities, through mountain ranges and countryside
  • Explore the city of Shimla, nestled in the Himalayan foothills
  • Witness the riverside prayer ritual of Ganga Aarti
  • Full-day tour of Delhi's delights
  • Namgyal Monastery, the personal monastery of the Dalai Lama in Dharamshala
  • Ride the UNESCO-listed Toy Train

or call us on 0800 781 4893

Spiritual India

The holy cities of the Sikhs, sacred waters of the Ganges and spiritual retreats of Buddhist ashrams have given rise to the hauntingly beautiful religious ceremonies and ornate temples and shrines of India.

Tour Itinerary

1
UK to Delhi

Depart London Heathrow on your scheduled, overnight flight to Delhi.

2
Delhi

On arrival in Delhi, you'll be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure, exploring the sprawling metropolis of India's capital. Why not admire the sacred pool and gilded dome of the large Sikh complex of Gurdwara Bangla Sahib, see what lies beyond the marbled walls of the blossom-shaped Lotus Temple, or stroll the streets and take in the lively bustle and wafting smells of spicy food stalls before tonight's welcome dinner.

  • Lunch & Dinner
3
Delhi to Chandigarh

Depart Delhi this morning for the neat roads of Chandigarh, India's first planned city. Nestled at the foot of the Shivalik Hills, the French architect who planned this space replaced the haphazard layout of other Indian cities with the orderly, self-contained sectors which make up this city, the capital of Punjab and Haryana. Explore these distinct regions on a guided tour of this peaceful, green city.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
4
Chandigarh to Amritsar

Today's journey takes you to Amritsar, home to the Golden Temple which gives it its spiritual significance. Explore this sacred city of the Sikhs and its atmospheric surroundings at your leisure this afternoon. Enjoy the fascinating Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum - the summer palace of the Maharaja who founded the Sikh empire, seek out one of the city's many temples or sip on a cold glass of the city's famed lassi, all at your own pace.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
5
Amritsar

Amritsar's Golden Temple is your first stop on today's half-day tour. Witness the marble sculptures, gleaming golden turrets, and jewel-studded interior of this holy shrine of the Sikhs, and the cleansing rituals of pilgrims who bathe in the waters that surround it. Visit the commemorative gardens of Jallianwala Bagh where a memorial serves as a poignant reminder of the 1919 massacre of civilians by occupying forces. After lunch, enjoy an afternoon to explore at your own pace or join an optional excursion to the India-Pakistan border to experience the fascinating flag-lowering ceremony, a daily ritual where each country's soldiers compete to march, salute and shout better than the other (at a fee).

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
6
Amritsar to Dharamshala

After breakfast, embark on a scenic drive where your car will wind through the soaring snow-capped peaks of the Dhauladhar Range to Dharamshala, best known as the home of the Dalai Lama. Established by the British in 1815, today the city has a decidedly Tibetan flavour seen in the Tibetan handicrafts, restaurants and museums which abound in this area.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
7
Dharamshala

Explore Dharamshala and the upper Dharamshala area of McLeodganj, a region steeped in the religious rituals and structures of Buddhism. Visit the imposing hilltop location of Namgyal Monastery, the personal monastery of the Dalai Lama, then travel onward to the vivid murals of the Kalachakra Temple and the fascinating Norbulingka Institute, a key centre for Buddhist teaching opened to safeguard the survival of Tibetan Buddhism's cultural heritage.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
8
Dharamshala to Shimla

Journey to the Himalayan foothills and the city of Shimla nestled at its base. Set against the backdrop of the craggy peaks of the Himalayas, the colonial architecture, churches, temples and natural beauty of the city draw local and international visitors. On arrival, enjoy your evening at leisure in this mountainside retreat.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
9
Shimla

Use your day at leisure to unwind or immerse yourself in Shimla's spiritual landmarks and the tranquillity of the city centre, where traffic is banned. Follow the long, winding main street 'The Mall' to the numerous north Indian restaurants and shops of the area, or take in the exquisite, stained glass windows and moving Raj-era memorials of Christ Church, Shimla's most prominent landmark.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
10
Shimla

This morning, you'll travel in style with a ride on the UNESCO recognised 'Toy Train' - built for the British Viceroy and his delegates, the train is hauled along by a tiny diesel locomotive which rattles at a leisurely pace through breath-taking scenery to its final destination of Kalka. This afternoon, enjoy a Heritage Walk in Shimla, experiencing the city's most beloved monuments and historic landmarks, learning about its colonial architecture and fascinating history.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
11
Shimla to Rishikesh

Located on the banks of the sacred Ganges River, Rishikesh is a famous Hindu religious destination, popular amongst devotees, yogis and adventurers. The city is known as the world capital of yoga and meditation, and India's sages have meditated here since ancient times. After your arrival, acquaint yourself with this spiritual stronghold of northern India as you enjoy some time for sightseeing. In the evening, experience a Ganga Aarti, soaking in this religious ceremony as the sun sets over Rishikesh.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
12
Rishikesh

Enjoy a day at leisure, with time to explore this city of the sages at your own pace. Why not explore the Tera Manzil Temple, a 13-storey shrine overlooking the Ganges, or visit the famed ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, visited by the Beatles in the 1960s. After writing over 40 songs during their ashram stint, including a number of hit singles, their spiritual retreat inspired millions and sparked Western interest in Indian spirituality.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
13
Rishikesh to Haridwar

Take in India's enchanting landscapes as you make your way to Haridwar. On arrival, take a walking tour of a local market, where the smells of spiced pastries mix with the noise and bustle of vendors selling their wares. Walk to the shores of the Ganges, where chants and prayers fill the air and fire-lit offerings float along the river during the Ganga Aarti ceremony, a daily evening ritual dedicated to the gods and goddesses of the Ganges River. Every day hundreds of devotees participate in this ceremony, with numbers swelling to thousands on full moons or the eve of festivals. Witness this spell-binding ceremony before returning to your hotel for the night.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
14
Haridwar to Delhi

A drive to Delhi takes you to the final stop on your Indian escape. Enjoy your afternoon at leisure in Delhi, with time to relax before tomorrow's full-day tour of Delhi's delights or explore the area further. Why not visit the 16th-Century Jama Masjid mosque, Shah Jahan's pre-Taj Mahal architectural feat, which offers fantastic views of Old Delhi from its minarets.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
15
Delhi

Admire the transition from Old Delhi's historic charms to New Delhi's detailed colonial town planning on today's rickshaw tour through the city. Travel past the imposing red sandstone exterior of the magnificent Red Fort and through Delhi's bustling streets to Humayun's Tomb, an elaborate mausoleum set in beautifully landscaped gardens. Journey onwards to the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial which is draped in floral tributes, and the towering minaret and ruins of the ancient Qutab Minar complex.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
16
Delhi to UK

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your scheduled flight back to the UK.

  • Breakfast

Important Information

Visas

A visa is required for entry into India. British Citizen Passport Holders will need to obtain an e-Tourist Visa (eTV) for travel to India. We work closely with The Travel Visa Company who will be able to arrange your visa on your behalf. Please call them on 01270 250 590 and quote "Mercury Holidays". The cost of the visa is approximately £114 per person. The Travel Visa Company can only apply for this 120 days before your proposed travel date and takes around 10 working days to issue. It is only valid for a 60-day single entry stay from the date of arrival. When calling the Travel Visa Company, they will advise you of any changes to the fees or the procedure, they will also advise you of all information they will require in order to apply for the visa. Alternatively, you can visit The Indian Visa Application Centre in London: 142-148 Goswell Road, London, EC1B 7DU.

Insurance

We strongly recommend that you and all members of your party are suitably insured as soon as you book your holiday. It is a condition of booking that you must have suitable travel insurance. It is important that you purchase travel insurance that suitably covers your participation in whatever activities you may undertake at the time that you make your booking. To assist you with this, we have arranged travel insurance in partnership with Holiday Extras. To arrange your travel insurance with Holiday Extras, please call 0800 781 4237 and quote 'WK830' for preferential rates. Please ensure you provide us with the name of your insurer, policy number and their 24-hour emergency contact number as soon as possible. Mercury Holidays will not be liable for any costs incurred by you due to your failure to take out suitable travel insurance from the date of booking.

Payment

If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £49pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.

Flight Information

Flights are operated with Emirates, departing London Heathrow via Dubai. Each passenger is entitled to 30KG of hold luggage plus 1 item of hand luggage not exceeding (Max 10kg - 55cm/38cm/ 20cm) in size. Weight restrictions will be finalized on E-ticket receipt. Should you wish to take additional luggage you will need to pay extra at check- in. Check-In should be at least 3 hours before departure.
IMPORTANT: Please note that final flight details will be confirmed on your e-ticket and final documentation which will be sent to you approximately 10 days before departure.
If you wish to arrange Airport car parking or accommodation at preferential rates, we recommend you book this in advance with Holiday Extras on 0871 360 2000, quoting HX313.

Health and Vaccinations

It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in sufficient time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, www.travelhealthpro.org.uk, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic. It is not advisable to drink the tap water.

Physical Accessibility

This tour is accessible to most people with a good level of fitness and able mobility. It involves climbing steep stairs and getting on and off coaches and boats.

Group Size

The minimum number of travellers in your group will be 10. If in the unlikely event there are less than 10 people booked on your tour date, we will endeavour to reduce any disruption to your holiday and try to operate your tour with lower passenger numbers. If we are not able to operate your departure date then you may be asked to change to a different date and a full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.

Tour Guide

This is a fully escorted tour, meaning that you will be met on arrival by your national guide who will remain with you for the duration of your trip. You will also be joined by a local guide in each of the cities which you visit, ensuring that you have first-hand knowledge at all times.

Currency Information

The currency in India is the Rupee or Rs. The Rupee is a closed currency and officially you are not allowed to take any cash out of India. US Dollars and GBP are also widely accepted in India should you wish to keep an alternative currency on you. There are restrictions on taking Indian rupees into India. Visitors, including tourists, are not permitted to take any amount of Indian currency into the country. You can take cash or travellers' cheques (in pounds sterling or another foreign currency) and/ or a bank card with you and exchange or withdraw rupees once in India.

Personal Expenses

You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any personal purchases, such as souvenirs, laundry and extra drinks and snacks. Approximately £500 per person will be sufficient for the duration of the tour. Tipping is not compulsory and is at your discretion. Should you wish to tip, this will be collected by your guide at the end of your tour for your convenience. It is asked that if you do not tip in the local currency, please do not give coins as these are difficult to exchange.

Tour Dates & Prices

Depart UKArrive UKPriceBook Now
2020 Dates
14 Jan 202029 Jan 2020SOLD OUTSOLD OUT
04 Feb 202019 Feb 2020SOLD OUTSOLD OUT
18 Feb 202004 Mar 2020£1899.00Book Now
10 Mar 202025 Mar 2020£1899.00Book Now
24 Mar 202008 Apr 2020£1899.00Book Now
14 Apr 202029 Apr 2020£1849.00Book Now
05 May 202020 May 2020£1789.00Book Now
01 Sep 202016 Sep 2020£1769.00Book Now
22 Sep 202007 Oct 2020£1669.00Book Now
13 Oct 202028 Oct 2020£2049.00Book Now
10 Nov 202025 Nov 2020£1949.00Book Now
2021 Dates
12 Jan 202127 Jan 2021£1799.00Book Now
26 Jan 202110 Feb 2021£1799.00Book Now
02 Feb 202117 Feb 2021£1949.00Book Now
09 Feb 202124 Feb 2021£1969.00Book Now
09 Mar 202124 Mar 2021£1999.00Book Now
23 Mar 202107 Apr 2021£1999.00Book Now
13 Apr 202128 Apr 2021£1949.00Book Now
04 May 202119 May 2021£1949.00Book Now
08 Jun 202123 Jun 2021£1899.00Book Now
31 Aug 202115 Sep 2021£1749.00Book Now
21 Sep 202106 Oct 2021£1699.00Book Now
12 Oct 202127 Oct 2021£2099.00Book Now
09 Nov 202124 Nov 2021£1999.00Book Now

Included in the Price

  • Local English-speaking Guides
  • Scheduled Flights from the UK.
  • All internal travel including air-conditioned/heated transportation.
  • Accommodation, meals as specified and entry fees to all sights.
  • All airport taxes and security charges.

Additional Expenses

  • Visas
  • Insurance
  • Tips
  • Any meals not specified in your itinerary
Itinerary changes

The order of events and sightseeing may vary according to local conditions or for operational purposes. Your local guide will inform you of any schedule changes as they are informed of them. Some road construction and/or weather conditions may lengthen the driving times. Our intention is to adhere to the day-to-day itinerary as printed; however, the order of events and sightseeing may vary according to local conditions.

What to expect

Fact File
Min/Max temperature

11 °C / 41 °C

When to go

Please familiarise yourself with the climate charts below.

Delhi

Chandigarh

Amritsar

Shimla

Haridwar

Rishikesh

What to pack
  • Insect repellent
  • Suncream
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Waterproof lightweight jacket
  • Sunglasses and Hat
  • Rucksack
  • Binoculars
  • Camera
  • Loo paper for public WCs
  • Long sleeve shirt and trousers
  • Swimwear
  • Personal toiletries
  • Anti-bacterial hand sanitiser
  • A multi plug travel adapter
  • First aid kit
Customer Rating:
10/10
Barry Richards
14th Nov 2019

Having travelled with Mercury before, we felt the hotels were of a lesser standard. The food and service was excellent but the hotels felt a little dated.
The Ramada in Delhi really needs a refurbish.
The tour guide Kaleem from Earthen Experiences was excellent.
Very knowledgeable, helpful and attentive to everyone on the tour. He deserves a special mention for always ensuring we were looked after on the excursions and in the hotel.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Julie Wood
21st Oct 2019

Was not keen on the hotel in Chandigargh or in Haridwar.
- I realise these were 'stop off hotels to break the journey, but they weren't to the same standard as the rest of the hotels we stayed in.
The other hotels were excellent.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Garry & Joan Marsh & Clarke-marsh
24th Jun 2019

Some lovely hotels, most with Swimming Pools.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Claudia Davis
24th May 2019

Good Hotel

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Pat Janiec
7th Mar 2019

Dinesh was the best guide I had ever had. I hope he gets the recognition he deserves. He worked so hard to ensure we had a great holiday

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
8.8/10
Denise Ward
21st Feb 2019

The pace of the tour was at times quite full on with consistently early starts & long days travelling which afforded only limited free time at any of the destinations. I appreciate that with these types of tours it can be a difficult balance to achieve but we did always seem to be rushing in order to fit everything in & by the end of the 2 weeks it was beginning to impact on my enjoyment of the holiday. There were at least 2 occasions where we arrived back at the hotel so late in the evening I was too tired to do anything other than go straight to bed & forgo my evening meal. I have been on many touring holidays before but found this one more challenging than I had expected. Maybe some thought should therefore be given to either how the tour is described ( to manage expectations) or to whether the content of future tours should be tweaked. That said, I did enjoy the holiday overall and considered it good value for money.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
R Harrington
8th Feb 2019

No comments

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
M Dunham
6th Dec 2018

No comments

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
8.8/10
Elizabeth Bradder
5th Dec 2018

Overall the trip was well organised and managed, well done Mercury.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
7.5/10
Susan Loud
1st Nov 2018

Quality hotels which provided good amenities

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
7.5/10
Balasundaram Rajasundram
18th Oct 2018

Delhi & Shimla hotels were excellent .

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Tour Map
Spiritual India Route Map
Tour Dossiers
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Here to help
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Hotels & Accommodation

Extensions

Dubai Extension
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With incredible beaches of powdery white sand and an azure sea which is crystal clear and warm, an extension to Dubai and the Emirates is the perfect place to relax and soak in the Arabian sun. Famed for its luxury shopping and ultra modern architecture, Dubai offers a kaleidoscope of attractions for you to experience. Choose a hotel from our handpicked options or speak to our reservations team about our entire range of hotels available.

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Visit the Tigers of Ranthambore
Tour Route
  • UK
  • Delhi
  • Chandigarh
  • Amritsar
  • Dharamshala
  • Shimla
  • Haridwar
  • Rishikesh
  • Delhi
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  • UK

Once a famous hunting ground for the gallant rulers of Jaipur, Ranthambore National Park is spread over 1,344km2 and is one of the biggest national parks in India. Choose this extension to experience a variety of wildlife including tigers, leopards, deer and much more.

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Extend your tour with a Kerala Beach Stay
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  • UK
  • Delhi
  • Chandigarh
  • Amritsar
  • Dharamshala
  • Shimla
  • Haridwar
  • Rishikesh
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Extend your tour with a relaxing beach stay in the Indian State of Kerala. Relax in the popular resort of Kovalam, known locally as the paradise of the south, amongst the coconut groves for which the town is famous.

4 nights
from £359pp
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