Eastern Himalayan Trail with City of Joy Tour - 14 Days

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Destination: India Trip Cost: $2390 USD
Group size: 2-12 people Max-Altitude:
Arrival on: Kolkata Departure from: Bagdora Airport
Meals: Breakfast and lunch.

Trip Introduction

This trip covers the beautiful hill stations of north eastern India namely Darjeeling, Sikkim and Kalimpong with a tour of Kolkata also known as the City of Joy. We begin our 14-day trip by touring prominent landmarks of Kolkata that showcase Kolkata’s rich history and culture.  Next, hop on a plane to Bagdora and drive to Darjeeling. Here we admire sunrise views amidst the Himalayas and tour the city’s many landmarks including Ghoom Monastery, Himalayan Mountain Institute, Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park and others. Our next stop will be Sikkim, a beautiful hill station with a very rich culture. Apart from visiting many cultural and historical landmarks, we also enjoy nature with a trip to Tsgmo Lake. Our trip ends in Kalimpong with a tour of the town’s major landmarks including Durpin Gumba, Dello View Point and Dr Graham's Home.

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival in Kolkata
Upon our arrival at Kolkata International Airport, a representative from Himalayan Glacier will pick us up from the airport and take us to our hotel. In the evening, we get to stroll the quaint streets of local bazaars. Overnight in Kolkata.
Day 02: Sightseeing in Kolkata
We tour prominent landmarks of Kolkata including Victoria Memorial Hall, Fort William, Mother House (Mother Teresa's House), Kalighat Temple, Rabindranath Tagore's house, the Marble Palace parks and Belur Math shrine. The landmarks will shed  light on Kolkata’s innate culture and the impressions made by colonial India. We also tour Kumar Tule, which is a place popular for Kolkata’s statue-making traditions. In the evening we stroll the streets of Kolkata’s oldest market, 36 Chowrengee Lane. Overnight in Kolkata.
Day 03: Fly to Bagdora Airport, drive to Darjeeling
We take the earliest possible flight to Bagdora Airport then drive to Darjeeling, a beautiful hill station located in the West Bengal region of India. The wonderfully cool climate, clear brisk air and the breathtaking views of the Himalayas drew the British here to escape the stifling heat of Kolkata. Overnight in Darjeeling.
Day 04: Sightseeing in Darjeeling
We get up early in the morning to enjoy the exquisite sunrise view from Tiger Hill. Next, tour Ghoom Monastery followed by a visit to the Himalayan Mountain Institute. Ghoom Monastery was built in 1850 by Lama Sherub Gyatsho, a monk from Mongolia. We also tour Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park and Himalayan Mountain Institute. The park is home to rare Himalayan fauna like the Siberian tiger, Himalayan black bear, red panda, snow leopard and others. The Himalayan institute was established to encourage mountaineering as an organized sport in India. In the evening, we may also visit the Tibetan Refugee Selfhelp Centre, which produces and sells a wide range of Tibetan artifacts and curiosities. Darjeeling is the land of flavored ‘Darjeeling Tea’ revered by connoisseurs across the globe. There are over seventy tea gardens in the region with the nearest being Happy Valley Tea Estate about 1km away, which is open to tourists, for us to enjoy during our stay in Darjeeling. Overnight in Darjeeling.
Day 05: Darjeeling: British Heritage walk and toy train ride
Before breakfast we embark on the British Heritage walk and understand a bit of what the British Colonists have left behind. We return back to our hotel for breakfast. Next, enjoy a toy train ride at the Darjeeling Rail Station. The ride will take us to Ghoom station and back to Darjeeling. We can spend the rest of the evening in leisure. Overnight in Darjeeling.
Day 06: Darjeeling to Pelling, Sikkim
After breakfast we drive to Pelling on a road with views of beautiful tea gardens. After reaching a valley, our journey will be alongside Rangeet River which is one of Sikkim’s primary rivers. We continue our drive and stop at Hotel spring where Sikkim’s 3rd King, Chakdor Namgyal, was killed by his step sister. Upon reaching Pelling, we check-in our hotel and freshen up. We can spend the evening taking a walk around the town. Overnight in Pelling.
Day 07: Sightseeing in Pelling

Sikkim was a religious kingdom from 1642 to1975 and was ruled by the Namgyal dynasty. The dynasty along with most of their subjects practiced the Nyingmapa order of Buddhism (The Red Hat Sects). After breakfast, we visit two monasteries namely Sangacholling Monastery and Pemayangtse Monastry and get acquainted with the local culture. Next, we visit the Rabdentse Palace ruins and end today’s tour with a trip to Dentam where we visit an only factory in Sikkim. After the tour of the factory, we head back to Pelling to spend the night.

Day 08: Day trip to Yuksom
After breakfast, we drive to Yuksom Village which is the first capital of Sikkim. Here, Sikkim’s first King was crowned. On the way to Yuksom, we visit the tranquil Khechopalri Lake (1780m) surrounded by prayer flags and verdant hills. The name Khechopalri means “Lake of Birds in Pleasant Mountains”. However, the locals refer to it as Tsho-Sho, which means “Great Lake” and believe that the Lake is the Footprint of Goddess Tara. Then we visit Kanchendzonga waterfalls and relax before reaching Yuksom where we visit the throne of the first King of Sikkim. We drive back to Pelling after the tour. Overnight in Pelling.
Day 09:  Pelling to Gangtok via Namchi
After breakfast we begin our drive to Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim via Namchi. In Namchi we visit Sanduptse Monastery and Char Dham Temple. The monastery houses 165 statues of Guru Padmasamvaba and Char Dham houses 165 statues of Lord Shiva. After lunch we continue our drive to Gangtok and tour Temi tea garden on the way. Overnight in Gangtok.
Day 10: Tsomgo Lake (3,780m): 5 hours
After breakfast we drive to Tsomgo Lake located near the India-China Border. The lake is surrounded by steep mountains which are covered with snow during winter. During summer the snow cover melts and forms the source for the lake. Tsomgo Lake also holds religious importance for the locals. While here, we can admire the lake’s beauty on a yak’s back. We drive back to Gangtok and enjoy a stroll in the city’s local market. Overnight in Gangtok.
Day 11: Sightseeing in Gangtok
We begin today’s tour with a heritage walk, tracing the history about the last king of Sikkim and his family. Later we visit the beautiful Enchey and Rumtek monasteries. We also tour Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, which is constructed in the traditional Tibetan style with murals and decorated pillars. Next, we tour Ridge Park & Flower Exhibition Center as well as Do Durl Chorten and the Institute of Cottage Industries. At the industry, we can watch young students being taught the traditional art of thangkha painting, weaving, wood carving and carpet making. Later we tour the Institute of Tibetology, which is constructed in the traditional Tibetan style with murals and decorated pillars. Later in the afternoon we drive to the basti (settlement) where we enjoy local delicacies along with a cultural show. Overnight in Gangtok.
Day 12: Gangtok to Kalimpong: 80 km, 3-4 hours
After breakfast we leave Gangtok for Kalimpong, a small town established for trade between India, Bhutan and Tibet. The town is a Hindu majority area with Nepalese as the major ethnic community. If possible on the way to our hotel, we can visit Mangal Dham Temple which is a Hindu temple constructed by the Hindu sect of Shri Krishna Pranami. Upon reaching Kalimpong, we can spend our evening strolling on the streets of this beautiful town and exploring its bustling bazaar. Overnight in Kalimpong.
Day 13: Sightseeing in Kalimpong
Today, we visit Kalimpong's popular landmarks including Durpin Gumba and Dello View Point, Durpin Gumba is Kalimpong's largest monastery. Dello View Point (1704 m) is the highest point of Kalimpong and provides a panoramic 360-degree view of Kalimpong, its neighbouring hills and the snow-clad mountains of West Sikkim. Dr Graham's Home is an educational institution famous for its elaborate architecture. In Kalimpong we also tour a mission compound, Haat Bazaar and a cactus farm. We end today’s tour with a walk in the local market which is located in an old silk route to Tibet. Overnight in Kalimpong.
Day 14: Final departure
After breakfast you will drive to Bagdora Airport. The flights from Bagdora will take you to Delhi or Kolkata for boarding international flights.

Important Note

Your safety is of paramount concern while 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, since this adventure entails travelling in remote mountainous regions, we cannot guarantee that we will not deviate from it. Weather conditions, health condition of a group 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.

Trip Cost

USD 2220 per person minimum 2 pax

Included in the Cost

  • Welcome drink on arrival.
  • Accommodation in Heritage  and 4 star category hotels on twin Sharing basis
  • Breakfast in Kolkata
  • Breakfast and dinner in Eastern Himalayan region
  • Transportation by comfortable private chauffeur driven vehicles
  • For trip to Tsomgo Lake on Day 10 we will be using Jeep as we need good ground clearance vehicle
  • English speaking, trained and experienced local guides and staff
  • Services of porters at airport and hotels
  • Monuments fees & Entry Fees during sightseeing
  • All government and local taxes

Not Included in the Cost

  • Indian visa fee
  • Air/train fares
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Lunch and dinner in Kolkata
  • Lunch in Eastern Himalayan region
  • Travel and medical insurance,
  • Expenses of personal nature such as snacks and beverages, laundry, tips for guides and porters, alcohols, tips etc
  • Toy Train ride in Darjeeling USD 20 per person (Tickets have to be booked 3months in advance due to high demand and limited seat)
  • Busty (Village) Entry Fee USD 4 per person
  • Tours or extra activities other than what is provided in the itinerary

Travel Insurance

It is a condition upon joining any of Himalayan Glacier's trips that all clients be insured for comprehensive expenses that might incur due to medical issues or accidents (this includes air ambulance, helicopter rescue, and treatment costs). Please note that we don't arrange or sell insurance.

Accommodations

All accommodations are in heritage and four star hotels on twin sharing included in the trip cost and are chosen based on standard of hygiene, service and food; and location. We will be staying in The Peerless Inn or similar in Kolkata, Hotel New Elgin or similar in Darjeeling, Hotel Norbu Gang Retreat or similar in Pelling, Hotel Denzong Regency Resort or similar in Gangtok and Himalayan Resort Heritage Hotel in Kalimpong. Since the tour is designed on twin-shared basis, we share room with our fellow travelers. Single supplement will be available on request and will cost additional.

Please note: As Pelling and Kalimpong are in remote areas so we may not have Wi-Fi instead we can enjoy the beautiful nature here.

Meals

In Kolkata breakfast will be served and in the Eastern Himalayan region breakfast and dinner will be provided.

Additional Information

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 by email. If you want to talk to us directly feel free to call us at: 00977-98510-55684

Source:www.himalayanglacier.com