After breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight to Bagdogra, you will be met and driven 4 hours to Gangtok. Gangtok
is the largest town and the capital of the Indian state of Sikkim. The city lies at an altitude of about 1780 meters above sea level. Because of its topography, the city enjoys a mild temperate climate throughout the year. Gangtok integrates different cultures and religion and is a center of Buddhist learning and culture. Overnight Gangtok [BD]
Day 2: Gangtok
Spend the day in Gangtok. Visit Enchey Monastery - a beautiful monastery in an equally beautiful setting, approached along an avenue of hundreds of multi-colored prayer flags. Spend time in the Government Institute of Cottage Industries watching young students practicing the traditional art of thangkha paintings along with weaving, wood carving and carpet making. Also visit the Institute of Tibetology, housed in a beautiful building in traditional Tibetan style, with mural decorated columns and a wonderful smell of beeswax polish from the creaky wooden floor.
After lunch drive through picturesque, terraced rice fields to the headquarter of Dharma Chakra Centers (Rumtek Monastery), the present seat of His Holiness, the Gyalwa Karmapa, head of the Kagyupa sect. Rumtek is said to be the replica of the monastery at Tsurphu, Tibet with its traditional architecture, exquisite paintings, intricate wood work, and treasures of manuscripts and icons. Rumtek is a splendid example of Tibetan monastic art. Return to your hotel for dinner. Overnight Gangtok [BLD]
Day 3: Gangtok – Pemayangtse (Pelling)
After breakfast drive to Pemayangtse (also known as Pelling). Explore the area in the afternoon including Pemayangtse Monastery, Khechipari Lake, Kanchenjunga Falls, Singshore Bridge & Dentam Village. Overnight Pemayangtse [BLD]
Day 4: Pemayangtse (Pelling) – Yuksum
In the morning drive from Pelling to Yuksum, the base town for climbing into the Himalayas. Here you hike traversing terraced foothills and through villages where you will be treated as an honored guest. Overnight Yuksum [BLD]
Day 5: Yuksum – Kalimpong
Drive to Kalimpong, situated at an altitude of 1250 meters on top of a ridge on the east of river Tista. The tranquil hill station is famous for its indigenous handicraft. The artisans here produce Tibetan and Bhutanese handicrafts and jewelry that are much admired in the country and abroad. The town and its surrounding area were ruled by Bhutan for about a century and a half before it was annexed by the British in 1965. The afternoon is free to explore the town. Overnight Kalimpong [BLD]
Day 6: Kalimpong – Darjeeling
After breakfast, start your day at the Zang Dhok Palri Phodang (Lava Monastery). Consecrated in 1976 by the Dalai Lama, this Monastery houses many scriptures brought into India after the invasion of Tibet in 1959. The Monastery is built on top of Durphin Hill, which gives it the advantage of a panoramic view of the town below. Continue to the Tsonga Gumba Monastery, a Bhutanese Monastery believed to have been built around the late 1600s. End the touring at the Lepcha Museum, where you will learn about the native people of Kalimpong, who are no more than a minority today. The Museum exhibits Lepcha treasures, Manuscripts, articles of worship and other tools. Drive to Darjeeling (75 km/1.5 hrs), on arrival check in at hotel.
Darjeeling is a Himalayan city in the Indian state of West Bengal. It is internationally renowned as a tourist destination, along with its tea industry and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is "hill town headquarters" of Darjeeling district which is a partially autonomous status within the state of West Bengal. The town is located in the Mahabharat Range or Lesser Himalaya at an average elevation of 6,710 feet. Overnight Darjeeling [BLD]
Day 7: Darjeeling
Full day sightseeing around Darjeeling including early morning sunrise view from Tiger Hill (2,585 m) and a visit to Ghoom monastery built in 1850 by Lama Sherab Gyatsho, a monk from Mongolia. The main feature of this Gelugpa monastery is the magnificent statue of Maitreya, “the future Buddha” draped in white silk scarves of offering called Khadas. After breakfast, visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and the Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre where you can see Tibetan craftsmen making traditional items like carpet, woolen boots, wood carvings and feather goods. Later, ride on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, lovingly called the "Toy Train". The Toy Train ride is a romantic approach to the Himalayas with spectacular views. The Darjeeling Toy Train is one of the most famous narrow (2 feet) gauge trains. Overnight Darjeeling [BLD]
Day 8: Darjeeling – Bagdogra – Kolkata (Calcutta)
After breakfast drive to Bagdogra airport though tea plantation estates on the way to board the flight for Kolkata. [B]
Day 9: Bagdogra — Calcutta (Kolkata)
Kolkata, formerly Calcutta, is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. It is located in eastern India on the east bank of the River Hooghly. Including suburbs, its population exceeds 15 million, making it India's third-largest metropolitan area as well as the world's 8th largest agglomeration. Kolkata served as the capital of India during the British Raj until 1911. As the former center of modern education, industry, science, culture and politics in India, Kolkata has many leftovers to bear witness to this history. Kolkata also is noted for its revolutionary history, ranging from the Indian struggle for independence to the leftist and trade union movements. It is also known as the cultural capital of India, home to generations of poets, writers and film directors.
Meet your guide at your hotel lobby for a Dalhousie Square walking tour starting on around approximately 15 buildings in the area, including the imposing Writers Building, the newly renovated Town Hall, the St John’s Churchyard and the historic Metcalfe Hall. Later, visit Victoria Memorial Hall/ Garden (Victoria Hall remains closed on Monday), Marble Palace and Mother Theresa’s Tomb. Continue exploring Calcutta – you can discuss your options with your guide. Overnight Calcutta
Day 10: Calcutta - Departure
Continue exploring Calcutta. In the morning, wander in Kolkata’s famous Botanical Garden. Later visit Mother Teresa’s house, Nirmal Hridaya,
and Kalibari’s famous Kali temple. This area is one of the oldest and densely populated places of Kolkata and also famous for Kalighat temple. Allow time to explore the sprawling New Market and the Mullik Ghat Flower Market. Transfer to the airport for your departure flight. [B]