Places Visited: Kolkata, Kalimpong, Sikkim, Gangtok, Pelling, Darjeeling, Ghoom, Bagdogra
Gaze at the world’s highest mountains from the terrace of an exquisitely decorated Tibetan monastery, or the veranda of a secluded tea-estate bungalow, on this foray deep into the Himalayan foothills of northeast India. Its starting point is Kolkata – a metropolis whose name has become a byword for ‘poverty’, but which in reality is an exceptionally charismatic city full of fascination and old-world ambience. If you’re hoping for a taste of the Raj you won’t be disappointed with the remnants of British rule in the Bengali capital, nor indeed with the hill stations of Gangtok and Darjeeling further north, where Buddhist minority people rub shoulders with Hindu settlers from the plains in fabulously chaotic, cluttered bazaars! On the horizon, giant ice peaks form a dreamy backdrop to hilltop monasteries located in, quite simply, some of the most magical spots you’ll ever visit.