Tailor-made Tour 12 days from £3114 per person
Places Visited: Kolkata, Hooghli River, Kamlimpong, Gangtok, Pelling, Darjeeling
Popular with those having past links with the region and those seeking the solitude of the Himalaya, the tour offers spectacular mountain vistas, lush rainforests, exotic orchids and tea plantations.
Darjeeling and Kolkata evoke fond memories of the Raj, while Sikkim’s unique topography, which includes the world’s third highest mountain peak, cradles a Tibetan-Buddhist culture.
A ride on the World Heritage railway in Darjeeling, seeing arguably the most spectacular sunrise in the world from the Tiger Hill, savouring an authentic Bengali meal in a traditional “thali”, make the experience that much more special. Kaziranga Park, home to the one-horned rhino, is a popular extension.
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Fly with Emirates to Kolkata via Dubai.
Transfer to the centrally located period Oberoi Grand Hotel for a two-night stay. The rest of the day is at leisure to relax after the flight.
A full day is spent exploring Kolkata starting off with an early morning visit to the colourful flower market followed by a boat ride on the Hooghli River. The afternoon's sightseeing includes the Victoria Memorial, St Paul's Cathedral and the Indian Museum.
Our journey into the Indian Himalaya starts today with a short flight to Bagdogra. From here we wind our way up through the first embryonic hills of the world’s highest mountain range to the quiet town of Kalimpong leaving the Indian plains far below. The night is spent at the quaint Himalayan Hotel. There are orchid nurseries, churches and monasteries to explore.
Heading further north we drive through lush valleys and deep gorges to Gangtok, the state capital of Sikkim; staying at either the Denzong Regency or Norkhill Hotels for two nights.
It is today that we'll have our first introduction to the primarily Tibetan Buddhist culture for which Sikkim is known. The area is dotted with numerous monasteries and nunneries, each housing ancient texts revered for their profound philosophical insight. We visit the most important sights of Gangtok which include amongst others the Enchey Monastery and the Namgyal Institute of Tibetanology.
Shortly after departing Gangtok we visit the large Rumtek monastic complex which has traditionally been the foreign seat for the Karmapa, the head Lama of the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism and one of the 'four schools' of this ancient tradition. Continuing westwards we head to the small town of Pelling where we stay at the Mt Pandim hotel for the night. We visit the hilltop Pemayangtse Monastery this afternoon.
With fantastic views of the Eastern Himalaya and in particular the world’s third highest mountain, Kangchendzonga, it is advised to rise early for sunrise this morning. Following breakfast drive to the Himalayan town of Darjeeling, a former summer retreat of the British Raj and now best known for its high-quality tea production. We stay at the delightful Windamere Hotel which oozes old worldly colonial charm.
Witness the spectacular sunrise from Tiger Hill which, on clear days, affords views of Mt Everest. After returning to the hotel for a leisurely breakfast we visit Ghoom Monastery and the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. The afternoon is free to explore the town.
Another free day to relax. There is the chance to take a ride on the famous heritage 'toy train' today also.
In the morning transfer to Bagdogra. From here a short flight brings us back to Kolkata where our final night is spent in the comfort of the Oberoi Grand hotel. The remainder of the day is free for some final shopping or simply relaxing by the hotel's pool.
Return flight via Dubai.
Tailor-made Tour 12 days from £3114 per person
✓ International flights from London
✓ 10 nights accommodation
✓ All internal transportation and transfers
✓ English-speaking guides
✓ Full board (Breakfast only in Kolkata)
✓ Entrance fees to sites and monuments listed in tour itinerary
Places and Experiences in this tour
Kolkata, or ‘Calcutta’ as it was known prior to 2001, is the capital of West Bengal state, and India’s third largest city, with a population of approximately 14.1 million. The trad…
Another spellbinding view of the distant Himalayas is to be had from the monastery of Zong Dog Palri Phodrang, whose gilded finials and Tibetan-style upswept eaves crown Rinkingpon…
It’s not hard to understand why the British chose Darjeeling as the site of an army sanatorium back in the early 19th century. Dense oak and sal forest cloak the high, undulating r…
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