Day 08: Gangtok / Bagdogra Bagdogra / Delhi (9W 602 - 1445 / 1650 Hours)Today, we bid farewell to the Himalayas and drive to Bagdogra airport to connect our flight to Delhi.
Meeting and assistance upon arrival and transfer to hotel Taj Palace.
Home Visit & A Dinner with an Indian Family : This evening, we would visit an Indian family for an Indian home experience. The evening is designed to give you a 'feel' and insight into Indian family life as well as experience typical Indian hospitality and home made Indian food.
Day 09: Delhi / Departure Transfer to the International airport to board your flight back home.
Day 04: Darjeeling / Pemayangtse After breakfast we drive to Pemayangtse with packed lunches. One reaches Pemayangtse only through one of the most incredibly beautiful journies in the world. The views afforded by the journey itself is worth the effort. We would have opportunities to stop a few times, walk through the countryside, enjoy the enchanting beauty of the place and interact with the natives through our guide.
Day 05: PemayangtseThe views of snow capped Himalayan range is unbelievable. One has to just draw the curtains of one's bedroom and lo behold! You could almost touch the range. Even the shadows of the great peaks are clearly visible. Sunrise here is soul stirring! The reflections of the rising Sun on the snow capped peaks is magical and cannot be duplicated in words. We also visit the Pemayangtse monastery, which is the second oldest monastery in Sikkim and belongs to the Tantric -Nyingma-Pa sect established by an Indian teacher. The sects monasteries are characterised by a prominent image of the teacher along with two female consorts, and this monastery is the head of all others in Sikkim. The sect followers wear red caps. We would also visit the peaceful and tranquil Khechipalri Lake
Day 06: Pemayangtse / Gangtok The capital of the Sikkim State, Gangtok occupies the West Side of a long ridge flanking the Ranipool River. The scenery is spectacular and there are excellent views of the entire Kanchanjunga range from many points in the vicinity. We first visit the Tsuk- la -Khang chapel. It is the Buddhist principal place of worship and assembly and the repository of a large collection of scriptures. It is a beautiful and impressive building, its interior covered with murals. Lavishly decorated altars hold images of the Buddha, bodhisattavas, and tantric deities. There are also several interesting wooden carvings. The Namgyalk Institute of Tibetology. Established in the 1958 this unique monastery built in a traditional style promotes research on the language and traditions of Tibet, as well as on Mahayana Buddhism. Next week we visit the Orchid Sanctuary close to the Institute. Enclosed by a peaceful forest, the orchid sanctuary has a majority of 454 species of orchids found in Sikkim a kilometre away is a huge white chorten with a golden apex. Next to it is a monastery for young lamas with a shrine containing a huge image of an Indian teacher of Buddhism in Tibet. The Institute of Cottage Industries specialises in producing hand-woven carpets, blankets, shawls, Leapcha weaves, patterned decorative paper and Choktse tables, exquisitely carved in relief.
Day 07: Gangtok / Rumtek / GangtokMorning we will drive to the world famous Rumtek The original monastery was built by a ruler of Sikkim. However, a new monastery replicating the former one was built in the 16th century. Thus, though the monastery is new, it enshrines all that is best in traditional Tibetan monastic architecture. When seen in the clear light of Sikkim, this magnificent building with its red pillars,
Day 01: Arrival/Delhi.Late night arrival. Meeting and assistance upon arrival as our representatives welcome you and escort you to your car.
Whilst the room keys and check-in is organized, our representative would introduce the tour to you and hand over the documents to you.
Welcome to India, or as we say 'atithi devo bhava' (the guest is an incarnation of God). Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you!
Day 02: Delhi / Bagdogra (9W 601 - 1015 / 1215 Hours) Bagdogra / DarjeelingTransfer to the airport to board your flight to Bagdogra
Meeting & assistance upon arrival and drive to Darjeeling
Upon arrival check in to Hotel Windamere
Rest of the day is at leisure. Darjeeling offers plenty of options for walking. Of special mention is the circular walk around the Observatory Hill for breathtaking scenes of natural beauty of the Himalayas and the city below. The shopping options of Darjeeling are revealed once you visit some of the curio shops along Nehru Road. All things Himalayan are sold here-'thankas' (paintings), brass statues, religious objects, jewellery, woodcarvings, woven fabrics, carpets etc. However, bargaining is the order of the day, so be prepare to jostle with the shopkeepers.
Day 03: DarjeelingAn early morning drive to Hill for a breathtaking dawn view over Kanchanjunga and other eastern Himalayan peaks is a fantastic experience. On your way back you may visit the Ghoom monastery, which is the oldest and the most famous monastery in Darjeeling. It enshrines an image of the Maitreya Buddha (the coming Buddha).
We would have an opportunity to ride on the exquisite Toy train from Ghoom to Darjeeling - a truly fascinating experience as the train clinges on to the hills
We return to our hotel; for breakfast following which we tour the city. Darjeeling has some very fascinating places of interest. The Botanical Gardens that contain a representative collection of Himalayan plants, flower and orchids. The hot houses are very interesting. The Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre established in 1959 to help rehabilitate Tibetan refugees who fled from Tibet produces superb carpets, woolens, wood carvings and leather work. You could walk through the workshops and observe the work in progress. The weaving and dyeing shops and the woodcarving shop are particularly interesting and the workers, very friendly - the women have very beautiful and expressive features. The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute set up to train mountaineers, also has a museum containing an interesting collection of historic mountaineering equipment, specimens of Himalayan flora and fauna and relief model of the Himalayas. Another must in Darjeeling is a visit to the Happy Valley Tea garden. Here tea is still produced by the 'orthodox' method as opposed to the 'curling, tearing and crushing' (CTC) method adopted in the plains. The process is a fascinating one to observe with possibilities of lots of good pictures