Challenge level: 3 out of 5
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|31 October - 11 November 2024||On Sale|
Trek for mental health charities on our life-changing spiritual journey in the Indian Himalayas, from Dharamsala to Laka Got.
Starting with a free day to discover Delhi, including the 17th Century Red Fort, we take an exciting sleeper train to Pathankot and lace up our hiking boots in Dharamsala, spiritual home of the Dalai Lama.
We'll wake amidst the mountains for yoga and meditation, hike through pine and rhododendron forests and cross suspension bridges over fresh-water steams.
Making friends with the locals as we go, we'll taste freshly brewed Indian Chai Masala, encounter friendly Gaddi Tribe villages and breathe in the tranquillity of life in the mountains.
As if that's not enough to get excited about, we finish with a sleeper train to the Taj Mahal in Agra.
We first meet at the airport in London, where we catch our overnight flight to Delhi. Touching down in India on Day 2, our local challenge guides greet us and we transfer together to a nearby hotel. Once checked in, you’re free to relax or explore the amazing city of Delhi as you wish.
The labyrinth of narrow lanes and mosques that make up Old Delhi makes a stark contrast to the spacious tree-lined avenues and government buildings of the imperial city, New Delhi. Why not take a trip to the 17th Century Red Fort, one of Old Delhi’s must-see tourist sites? You can also check out New Delhi’s India Gate, or wander around the vibrant shopping streets, soaking up the sights, smells and sounds of the city.
To give you more flexibility on this free day, your lunch is not included, so you’ll need to arrange it yourself – the perfect opportunity to try a real Indian curry in one of Delhi’s many restaurants.
We return to the hotel for dinner, before transferring to the bustling railway station, where we board the overnight sleeper train to Pathankot.
After our exciting night spent on a sleeper train, we arrive in Pathankot in the early morning. We then enjoy a scenic bus transfer to Dharamsala, the spiritual home of his Holiness the Dalai Lama. Our buses wind their way through the narrow streets to our hotel in Macloed Ganj (Upper Dharamsala).
Here, you can choose to spend the rest of the day kicking back at the hotel or you can explore the fascinating area. You can browse the many gift shops, haggle with the Tibetan street traders or visit the spiritual sanctuary of the Dalai Lama’s residence.
This evening, we meet as a group for dinner and a briefing from our Challenge Leader.
After breakfast at the hotel, we transfer to Satobari Village (1,750m) and start our challenge!
Our first day of trekking gives us fantastic insight into the local lifestyle, as we venture through a number of Gaddi tribal villages. We pass farmers moving their livestock and children walking to and from their schools.
Our campsite lies in a gorgeous mountain valley next to a river, in a very peaceful place away from the village.
This makes the perfect place for us to settle down after a beautiful day’s trek and breathe in the tranquillity after our time in the chaotic Delhi!
This morning after breakfast, we follow a trail up through tranquil villages, open meadows and pine forests to our picnic stop by a stream.
This afternoon sees us back on our feet to ascend through the mountains, until we finally reach our campsite in the small village of Bal.
Waking to a session of yoga and/or meditation amidst the mountains, we start trekking after breakfast with the best mindset.
Our first climb takes us through forests full of rhododendrons and pines to a local ‘chai’ (tea) shop. We stop here to taste the tea and may spot the Gaddi Tribal people leading their cattle up to the high pastures of Lak and Triund.
After lunch, we continue climbing until we find our camp in a pretty meadow at Triund. Our camp gives us exquisite panoramas of the permanently snow-capped peaks of the Dhauladhur mountain range, the southern branch of the main outer Himalayan chain of mountains. Talk about dinner with a view!
We rise again for meditation and yoga, giving our legs a very well-deserved stretch after yesterday's hike. This sets our minds right for a challenging ascent to Laka Got. The climb may be tough but the vistas of the white-capped peaks are out of this world.
After making the most of the photo opportunity, we trek back down to Triund. This is our last night under a clear night sky, so look out for shooting stars and get your wishes ready.
On our final session of yoga/ meditation this morning, you may well find it easier to zone into the quiet mindset and perform the stretches with more balance and flexibility.
Then, after breakfast, we lace up our boots for one more day of trekking. We hike over a grassy ridge and catch a last, unrestricted view of the snow-capped peaks, before descending steeply to the Bahgsu Nallaha stream. Our guides help us cross the water by hopping over the boulders.
Pushing on, we come to an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Bhagsu Nag, the snake god. Flowing through the temple is a freshwater spring, where pilgrims take a holy dip.
This makes a wonderful last stop before we conquer the last stretch of our challenge, to our finish line in Dharamsala.
Here, we find our hotel and after dinner, have a good night’s sleep.
Today is yours to spend as you wish, exploring the beautiful, mountainous area of McLeod Ganj.
Get your culture fix by visiting the Dalai Lama’s temple, Tsuglagkhang with its stunning Buddhist statues. Other sites you might want to check out include the Namgyal Monastery and the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives. Again, please arrange your own lunch on this free day and try out the local dishes.
This evening, we meet back up to toast our incredible achievement for mental health charities, over a very well-deserved celebratory dinner.
We have a free morning to have an epic lie-in or further explore this magical town. Why not visit the Tibetan market or take a visit to one of the majestic monasteries?
This afternoon, we transfer to Pathankot train station and catch the overnight sleeper train, once again, back to Delhi.
Alighting the train in Delhi early this morning, we transfer by bus to our hotel in the awesome city of Agra. We then end our Indian adventure with a visit to the world-famous Taj Mahal. Built by the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan, in loving memory of his wife, this iconic landmark is a symbol of undying love.
This evening, we enjoy our final group dinner and a decent night’s sleep before our journey home tomorrow.
Our last day sees us transferring back to the airport in Delhi for our flight back to the UK. Upon our arrival in London, we part ways and you make your own way back to Home Sweet Home from the airport.
Pay your registration fee (£349) and airport taxes/fuel surcharge (capped at £475), and fundraise £4,298 or more for your chosen charity.
Minimum sponsorship target
Pay the registration fee (£349) and challenge costs (£2,149) + airport taxes/fuel surcharge (capped at £475).
Pay the balance
This charity challenge in India is not designed for Olympic athletes – it is designed for people looking for an amazing goal to train and get fit for. A number of the people who will take part in this challenge will have a low level of fitness level when they sign up.
This challenge is the perfect motivation to get fit, improve your own mental and physical health and make a difference for the charity that means the most to you.
We strongly recommend you train for the trek as we'll face long days on our feet, encounter steep climbs in the Indian Himalayas and tackle a lot of uneven terrains, and the fitter you are, the more you'll enjoy it.
Once you register for the Dalai Lama Trek India 2024, we'll send you a realistic training plan. This builds up gradually over time so you'll be ready and raring to go by the time we depart for Patagonia. You can also check out our top trekking tips here and our indoor training ideas for the days you don't feel like facing the weather!
Please invest in a pair of quality hiking boots with ankle support to wear during your training and on your trek in the Indian Himalayas, as these are essential for walking on uneven terrain. We also recommend incorporating hills in your training treks.
Please don't be! The majority of people will sign up on their own and our Dream Challenges are renowned for the amazing camaraderie and lifelong friendships made, as our groups take on these incredible feats together.
Once you've signed up for the challenge, we'll send you a link to a private Facebook group for everyone registered for the Dalai Lama Trek India 2024.
Please feel free to use this space to swap questions, advice and updates with your fellow trekkers on your training and fundraising. You may also want to reach out to the other participants in this group to see if there's anyone in your local area you can train and fundraise with.
Everyone who is 18 years old or over by the departure date is more than welcome to join our trekking challenge in the Indian Himalayas. We'll have adults of all ages taking part to achieve something awesome for charity — one of the many things that make our overseas challenges so special!
If you would like someone under the age of 18 to join you on our trek, please contact us to discuss (01590 646410 or firstname.lastname@example.org, Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm).
You will need a pair of quality walking boots with ankle support — these are essential for trekking on uneven terrain. Please also bring a 2-litre water bottle and a three-season sleeping bag.
We'll supply you with a full kit list for your charity trekking challenge well before we leave for India.
This challenge includes a whole mix of accommodation on a twin-sharing basis, from camping in the mountains to traditional Indian hotels and even two exciting nights on a sleeper train.
We organise our accommodation on a twin-sharing basis, which is included in the challenge cost.
However, if you would rather pay for a single supplement and have a room/tent to yourself, please get in touch and we can arrange this for you for an additional price. Please call us on 01590 646410 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm) or email us at email@example.com.
Certainly. Our accommodation is included in your challenge cost on a twin-sharing basis.
However if you would prefer to have a room/tent to yourself and pay for a single supplement, we'll be happy to arrange this for you at an additional cost. Please get in touch by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01590 646410 (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm).
As you can expect from a mountain trek, we'll be trekking uphill for a lot of the challenge and tackle some steep climbs on our way to Laka Got.
We'll follow clear trails through forests, villages and mountain scenery, along with some more rugged terrains as we get higher.
Our route also takes us across streams by hopping over boulders, with help from our pro mountain guides.
You will need a pair of quality walking boots with ankle support — these are essential for trekking on uneven terrain.
Yes of course! If you wish to extend your stay in India, please let us know at least 17 weeks before our challenge starts and we can arrange this for you.
The best way to get in touch is to email us at email@example.com, or you can call us on 01590 646410 during office hours (9am -5pm Monday-Friday).
Your registration fee of £349 per person is used to administer the challenge and secure your seats with the airline.
Your challenge costs of £2,149 (ie. 50% of the fundraising target if you choose the sponsorship option) cover:
*Accommodation is included on a twin-sharing basis. If you would rather pay for a single supplement and have a room/tent to yourself, we can arrange this for you for an additional price.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01590 646410 if you would like to do this at least 17 weeks before the challenge starts.
In addition to paying your registration fee (£349) and either self funding your challenge costs (£2,149) or fundraising the minimum sponsorship target (£4,298) you will need to budget for your:
There will be no more than 40 participants in our group for this challenge. You are sure to make lots of friends.
You will need to take out your own personal travel insurance covering health, accident, loss and repatriation. In your Welcome Pack, you will receive information about an insurance provider that specialises in our type of overseas challenges and also covers you for cancellation due to medically-diagnosed COVID-19.
You can, however, take out your own insurance, providing it covers you for a charity trek in India.
Please ask the insurer about the nature of the cover. It is your responsibility to ensure you have adequate coverage for your challenge.
It is your responsibility to obtain a visa for India. Ensure that you apply and obtain your visa in plenty of time. Further information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/india
The Dream Challenges team are here to help you achieve your trekking challenge for charity and we will support you all the way. We are on hand from the minute you sign up to answer any questions that you may have about your training or the challenge itself.
Once you have registered, we will send you regular email updates with everything you need to know about your trek in India, including the itinerary, an example insurance policy, the structure of an average trekking day, a full kit list, and a realistic training plan. The training programme builds up gradually as the challenge gets closer. We'll also send you important details and seasonal fundraising ideas.
During the trek, we'll have a UK doctor with expedition medicine training accompanying the group at all times, along with a team of outdoor remote first-aid trained challenge guides.
As we're not medically trained, we're afraid we can't offer you advice on this. We recommend you contact your GP or your local travel clinic, who will have the latest travel health advice.
We also recommend you visit the NHS Fit for Travel website here, to keep up to date with current travel health news and advice on staying healthy abroad.
NHS Fit for Travel website: https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/home