Under the Foothills of Mt. Kanchendzonga: Overland Tour-10 days
Sikkim, an untouched timeless land with extraordinary beautiful soaring mountains, plunging rivers and lush tropical forests greets with a profusion of vivid flowers, birds and butterflies and decorated with verdant terraced hillsides, simple stilted villages and colorful temples and monasteries. An amazing land of hidden valleys, mystical monasteries, snow fed lakes and a mountain setting covered with flowers and forests. Darjeeling provides the perfect ambiance of a hill resort with its mild climate, verdant hills and valleys interspersed with vast stretches of lush green tea gardens. Darjeeling is hemmed in by Sikkim in the north, Nepal in the west and Bhutan in the east with Kalimpong and Kurseong as the major urban centers. Heavily influenced by British India, Darjeeling still carries imprints reminiscent of its colonial past. The toy train is one of the most striking examples of Darjeeling's British Raj influence. Further, Sikkim is a region influenced by Buddhism, with a number of Buddhists temples, monasteries and learning centers that depict the culture and value of the Sikkimese version of Buddhism.
The tour begins with our arrival at Darjeeling, and which way we lamd to Darjeeling depends on from where we are travelling. Himalyan Glacier's local representative greets us at Bhadrapur Airport (Nepal Border), if we are coming via Nepal or at Phuentsholing (Bhutan Border) if we are coming via Bhutan or at Bagdogra Airport, if we are flying from Delhi or Calcutta. In case we are taking a train to the nearest Railway Station, either at New Jalpaiguri or Siliguri, Himalya Glacier's local representative will meet us at the respective stations. From Darjeeling, we head toward Pelling and then to Yuksom, the old capital of Sikkim. Then we move on to Gangtok, the present state capital of Sikkim. While returning back to Darjeeling, we stay at Kalimpong.
Important Note and Optional Activities
Your safety is of paramount concern whilst traveling with Himalayan Glacier. Please note that your leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary; however, as this is adventure travel in remote mountain region, we cannot guarantee it! Weather conditions, health condition of a member, unexpected natural disasters, etc., can all contribute to changes in the itinerary. The leader will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but please be prepared to be flexible if required.
Day to Day Itinerary
Arrival in Darjeeling
Upon arrival, our esteemed Sikkim and Darjeeling tour begins today. At the dawn, we meet the local representative at Phuntsholing (Bhutan Border) or Bhadrapur Airport (Nepal Border) or Bagdogra Airport (flights connects from Delhi and Kolkata). Our guide escorts us to Darjeeling. We check in at Hotel at Darjeeling. Leisure overnight.
Today early in the morning, we pay our visit to Tiger Hill to see the view of sun rise over Mt Kanchendzonga. While returning, we make our visit to Yiga-Choling (Ghoom) Monastery as well. Upon the completion of strolling around the monsatery we return to the Hotel for Darjeeling Tea Breakfast. After breakfast, we will be escorted for sightseeing around Darjeeling.
Some of the places we visit include Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park inhabited by rare representatives of Himayalyan funa and those are Siberian tiger, Himalayan black bear, red panda, snow leopard and many other animal and bird species. Our next visit will be at Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Tibetan Refugee Self-Help Center, Tea Garden and Tea Factory, Peace Pegoda. Then in the evening we come back to the hotel. Leisure overnight.
Transfer from Darjeeling to Pelling: 130 km, 5-6 hrs
Upon our breakfast, we drive for Pelling, a small town in western Sikkim. There are a few interesting places for visiting on our way. First place is Pemayangtse Monastery, the premier monastery of Sikkim. It lies near about 118 km from Gangtok at the altitude 2085 m. It is the second oldest monastery of Sikkim and belongs to Nyingmapa Buddhist School. The Monastery was founded by Chahdor Namgyal in 1705. It contains numerous antique idols and objects of worship. Annual Chaam dance is held on the 28th and 29th day of the 12th month of the Tibetan lunar calendar. Dressed in costumes of rare magnificence the lamas represent Mahakala and Guru Drag-mar.
Transfer from Peling to Yuksom Village: 25 km, 2 hrs
Today's our point of destination is Yuksom Village. On the way, we pay our visit to Khechopalri Lake, one of a few sacred lakes of Sikkim. The name Khechopalri means Lake of birds in pleasant mountains, but Sikkimese call it Tsho-Sho aslo which means Great Lake. The water is placid and crystal clear. Not a single leaf can be seen floating upon the lake. The ancient belief is that if a leaf drops on the surface of the water it is picked by a bird. Khechopalri lake lies in a depression (1780m) surrounded by prayer flags and forested hills. The tranquillity of the lake is mood elevating. Check in at Hotel at Yuksom for overnight.
Upon today's juncture, we are going to spend in Yuksom, former capital of Sikkim. Yuksom was the first capital of Sikkim established in 1642 AD by Phuntsog Namgyal who was the first Chogyal, the then temporal and religious king of Sikkim. Yuksom means the meeting point of the three Lamas. The town lies at the head of the Khangchendzonga National Park and is also the base camp for trekking to Mt. Khangchendzonga. Upon the completion of breakfast, our strolling starts with a walk to Dubdi Monastery. After sightseeing we will come back to our hotel for lunch. After lunch, we engage on sightseeing of the Throne of the first King of Sikkim. Then village walk around Yuksom in the evening.
Transfer to Gangtok: 130 km, 6 hrs
Today after breakfast, we will be escorted to Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. The drive to Gangtok passes lush green fields of the famous large Sikkimese Cardamoms as well as Golden Rice. On the way to Gangtok, we offer our visit to Tashiding Monastery and Bon Buddhist Monastery. At evening, we check in at Hotel and have leisure overnight.
Today early in the morning, we make our excursion at Tashi View point, near about 8km from Gangtok. Astounding view of Khangchendzonga and the Siniolchu greet us at this point. Some distant north, Sikkim monasteries along the North Sikkim highway are also visible from this point. Our next visit will be at Directorate of Handicrafts and Handloom, Research Institute of Tibetology world-renowned for Tibetan Buddhism founded by Dalai Lama, Rumtek Monastery. Overnight at hotel.
Transfer to Kalimpong: 80 km, 3-4 hrs
Today upon our breakfast, we drive 80 km from Gangtok to Kalimpong, a small town established for the Trade with Bhutan and Tibet by India. Check in at Hotel at Kalimpong. Leisure overnight.
Our excursion within Kalimpong will be at Shri Diwakar Vahara Institute of Kalimpong and some other sightseeing places like Dello View point and Hat Bazar. Overnight at Kalimpong. There are a few Tibetan Buddhist Gompas in Kalimpong as well. Among them are Tharpa Choling Gompa belonging to the Yellow Hat Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, Thongsa Gompa, of Bhutanese Monastery, Zong Dog Palri Fo-Brang Gompa, five km south of the town centre at the end of the ridge, consecrated by the Dalai Lama.
In the evening, the 47km drive takes us back to Darjeeling. Overnight at Darjeeling.
The Trip comes at an end today. Hence upon our breakfast, we will be escorted to Phuntsholing (Bhutan Border) or Bhadrapur Airport (Nepal Border) or Bagdogra Airport (flights connects from Delhi and Kolkata) for our flight for onward tour.
- All airport/hotel transfers
- Welcome drinks
- Accommodation in 3 star hotel on twin sharing basis
- All meals
- Transportation by Tavera AC Vehicle and Sightseeing in Gangtok with Maruti Van (as Government rule) on the basis 3-4pax in one vehicle.
- Services of English speaking escorts/guide all throughout the tour
- Monuments fees & Entry Fees during sightseeing
- Services of porters at Airport and hotels
- Toy Train Ride as for the ticket available
- All government and local taxes
What's Not Include
- Indian visa fee
- Air or train fare to and from Sikkim
- Vehicle will be used only for 8hours or 180km in a Day
- Meals apart from the itinerary above
- Excess baggage charges
- Expenses of personal nature such as laundry, alcohols, tips etc
- Travel and rescue insurance
- Any extra activities & optional tours, apart from the Itinerary
- Tips for guides and porters
- Any other expenses incurred in the tour apart from those mention in the cost include part
All accommodations will be at three star hotels on twin sharing and single sharing basis included in the trip cost and are chosen based on standard of hygiene, standard of service and food, and location. Himalayan Glacier employs New Elgin Hotel or similar in Darjeeling; Norkhill Hotel or similar in Gangtok and Tashi Gang Resort in Yuksom. There will be five nights of camping as well.
Since the tour is designed on twin sharing basis, we share room with our fellow traveler. In case of our preference for single rooms or in case of odd number of group members Himalayan Glacier will provide single supplement service upon the cost of USD 648.
All our meals are included during our stay in the tour. A variety of available meals will be served in most hotels and the most popular dishes are Indian, Chinese, continental and local food.
Visa and Travel Procedures
We as an international visitor requires visa for India. Entry permit does not require for citizens of neighboring countries Nepal and Bhutan. We have to obtain visa for India from the Indian Embassy in our home country before traveling towards India.
At dawn, Himalayan Glacier's guide will knock on our door and will offer us a nice cup of warm tea. After freshening up, we will be escorted by our jeep to some high view point. After approximately 2-3 hours of morning walking, we will take a breakfast in the hotel and continue day with main sightseeing program. After a relaxing lunch, we will typically visit around 3-4 more spots for sightseeing and acquaintance with local culture. Finally, it will be off to bed for a well earned night`s rest before starting all over again the next day.
Trip Start Dates
We will organize this trip on the dates requested by you. Please contact us for your customized departure date.
Best time to visit this region is from September till June. We keep July and August as Monsoon.
Our website contains as much information as possible about this trip. However, if you wish to discuss any aspect of this trip or your suitability for it please contact us.