This trip is a fine blend of India’s Eastern and North Eastern culture and nature, starting in Kolkata, West Bengal’s cosmopolitan capital. Once the headquarters of the East India Company and the seat of the British Raj, it is also where Mother Teresa (St. Teresa) devoted her life to the welfare of the destitute. Here, you will experience Bengal’s rich culture with its strong influence of Imperial legacy and learn about its traditional arts and great literature. Then it’s off into the great Himalayan Mountains. First stay in one of India’s most famous hill stations, Darjeeling, with its stunning vistas and lush tea plantations before visiting Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, one of the smallest states of India, then go on to West Bengal to explore the incredible natural beauty of Kalimpong. This mountainous region has strong footprints of Nepali and Buddhist culture. Every inch of the region will fascinate you; from its magnificent monasteries, tantalizing temples and gorgeous gardens to its vibrant villages and stunning scenery.
Following breakfast we set off on a full day guided city tour of Kolkata.
We begin with a walking tour around Dalhousie Square learning about the area’s numerous heritage buildings, including the majestic Writers Building, the Town Hall, the St John’s Churchyard and the historic Metcalfe Hall. We then head off to see Kolkata’s iconic Victoria Memorial (remains closed on Mondays) before visiting Marble Palace, Mother Teresa’s House and the Howrah Bridge, an engineering marvel.
After breakfast you are transferred to the airport for a flight to Bagdogra. On arrival you are met and taken to your hotel in Darjeeling that lies in the lap of the Eastern Himalayas and was once a popular summer hill station retreat during British Raj. Today it is famous for producing the world’s best-known Darjeeling tea and also for offering breathtaking views of Mt. Kanchenjunga. The balance of the day is free to relax. For a unique experience you can spend time in a tea estate bungalow instead of staying in a city hotel.
Accommodation: At your selected hotel – 3 nights
Our early start this morning takes you to Tiger Hill to appreciate the spectacular sunrise and view of Mt Kanchenjunga and to see the beautiful Ghoom Monastery. On our way back to hotel, we stop briefly at Batasia Loop, an engineering marvel of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway and also visit Gorkha War Memorial.
Later in the day, enjoy local sightseeing in Darjeeling visiting Zoological Park, the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI) and Tibetan Refugee Centre.
Early this morning we visit the Tashi View Point followed by stops at Ganesh Tok and Hanuman Tok Temples. After lunch at your hotel, continue exploring the other jewels of Gangtok visiting Choerten Gompa, Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, Cottage Industry, Enchey monastery and White Hall Flower Show with its large collection of wild orchids.
We set off for a full day excursion to Phodang to visit Phodang, Labrang and Phensang monasteries while enjoying the scenic beauty of this area.
Weather permitting, you can go for optional helicopter ride for an aerial view of the city or Mt. Kanchenjunga or famous Tsomgu Lake.
Note: Pre-booking of helicopter is mandatory and order of sightseeing is accordingly re-adjusted depending on weather conditions.
Today travel to Kalimpong (85 km/4 hrs). This drive is one of the most beautiful drives of the region as we pass through some of the local villages on the way.
On arrival, check into the hotel.
In the afternoon explore Kalimpong’s Deolo Hill and then visit Mangal Dham temple, St Theresa Church and the Flower Nurseries.
Overnight at your selected hotel
Today, we transfer you from Kalimpong to the airport in Bagdogra (75 km/3 hrs) for your flight to Kolkata. On arrival in Kolkata, you can either remain in transit to connect your onward flight back home or extend your trip to see more of the region such as Sunderbans National Park, the largest mangrove delta in the world extending into Bangladesh supporting a rich and diverse wildlife including India’s pride Royal Bengal Tiger as well as many avifauna species.
Explore your TRAVEL DESTINATION like never before.