Arrive Kolkata. Met upon arrival and transfer to hotel for overnight stay.
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to airport to board flight for Bagdogra. Arrive Bagdogra and drive to Darjeeling (7100 Ft), through wooded hills and beautiful tea plantation. Darjeeling – the “Queen of the hill stations”, its name derived from “Dorje-Line” which means the place of “Dorje”, the mystic thunderbolt. Covering a distance of 88 km over a drive of 3.5 hrs along winding roads, its an experience of unforgettable beauty. Check in at the hotel.
Start the day at 4 am with an early morning trip to Tiger Hill (7800 Ft) to catch the sunrise from behind the majestic Kanchenjunga range. Back to hotel for breakfast. After breakfast proceed for a half day sightseeing of the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Zoo, Tenzing Rock, Labong Race Course, Tea Garden. Back to the hotel for lunch. Afternoon free to explore the market and nearby. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. Later enjoy a short Toy Train ride to the Ghoom. Sightseeing of Ghoom Monastery.
Later proceed to Pelling (6800 Ft), a 72 km drive taking 4 hours via Jorethang to the Land of the Pristine and unspoilt natural beauty – Sikkim, with alpine landscapes and thick luxuriant forests, rivers in a torrent and peaceful lakes. Arrive at Pelling & check-in at Norbu Gang Resort. This is one of the closest points to the Kanchenjunga range & one can see it upfront touching the sky from Pelling.
Afternoon visits The Pemayangtse Monastery (7021 Ft), 2.5 km from Pelling. Built during the late 17th century, it is one of the oldest & most important monasteries of the Nyingmapa order of
Buddhism in Sikkim. Even today, it is only the monks of this monastery who enjoy the title of ‘Tasang’ or pure monks. The monastery follows the Mindroling tradition & has 108 monks. The main attraction of the monastery is the wooden replica of Zangdog Palri, the celestial abode of Guru Padmasambhava, built by Sverdrup L Dorje Rinpoche in 1971. Back to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Breakfast at the hotel. Leave early for the Khecheopalri Lake, also called the “Wish Fulfilling Lake”. It lies in a depression surrounded by prayer flags & forested hills. Then to Yuksom (5800 Ft) . This is the first capital of the Kingdom of Sikkim & the coronation site of the first Chogyal. Evidence of the enthronement ceremony can still be seen in the form of stone seats and the footprint of the Head Lama on a stone. The stone throne constructed for the great event stands today at Norbugang which has been declared a Heritage site.
Here we can plan a trek up to the Dubdi Monastery at Yuksom. This is a 30-35 mins trek into the forest negotiating steep slopes. It was built in 1701 after the consecration ceremony of the first Chogyal. It is an ideal place for Lamas seeking meditation and recluse. Dubdi means “the Hermit’s cell”. On the return stop to see the Khangchendzonga waterfalls. Back to the Resort by evening.
Darjeeling: The Queen of Hill StationsBreakfast at the hotel. Later drive to Gangtok (5500 Ft) for a 4-hour journey (112 km) via Ravangla (6800 Ft), a small township & transit point to various destinations in South & West Sikkim, situated at the base of Meenam Hill (10300 Ft). A visit to the Tibetan Refugee Settlement Camp just above the town which houses the Kheunpheling carpet centre where one can buy fine Tibetan style woollen carpets. Lunch at Ravangla & then a fleeting visit to the Bon Monastery at Kewzing, 5 km from Ravangla which is one of its kind in Sikkim, a symbol of the determination of the community to preserve their religious traditions.
Enroute visit the Rumtek Monastery, 24 km from Gangtok was built in 1960 by His Holiness the Late 16th Gyalwa Karmapa & this is a replica of the original Kagyurpa Monastery in Tibet, a must see for every visitor, the seat of the “Kagyu Order” . Behind the Monastery is the lavishly decorated Karmae Nalanda Institute of Buddhist Studies which attracts students from the world over. Here one can find the most unique religious scriptures & art objects of the world. Arrive at Gangtok (5500 Ft) Check in to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Breakfast at the hotel. Later proceed to Tsomgo Lake (12,210 Ft), a 40 km drive which takes 2.5 hrs. This lake is located very close to Nathula Pass which is the entry point to China termed as the “Silk Route & remains frozen for most parts of the year. Legend has it that the Lamas use to forecast the future by studying the colour of the lakes waters. Enjoy the surroundings, majestic snowy peaks which feed the lake and the clean fresh air. Back to Gangtok by 3 pm for a late lunch. Evening free for leisure or go shopping for Sikkimese traditional handicrafts. Evening back to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Kalimpong, SikkimBreakfast at the hotel. Later half day sightseeing trip to The Handicraft & Handloom Showroom, which promotes traditional arts & crafts, a veritable storehouse of exquisite carpets, blankets, shawls in “Lepcha ” weaves ; The Flower Show which contains over 200 species of orchids set amidst a beautiful landscape; Enchey Monastery- built in 1910 on the site blessed by the great tantric master Lama Drutob Karpo, known for his flying powers, this monastery houses the monks of the Nyingmapa Order of Tibetan Buddhism ; Nam Nang VP/Ropeway ; Do-Drul Chorten (Stupa) which is one of the most important stupas of Sikkim, built by the head of the Nyingma order- Trullshi Rimpoche in 1945. It contains rare details of Dorji Phupa, Holy Books, Mantras and is encircled by 108 prayer wheels ; The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology built in 1958 in traditional style, a renowned worldwide centre for the study of the Mahayana Buddhist philosophy & religion, a treasure house of rare “Thankas”, statues, over 200 Buddhist icons and prized objects of art Back to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Breakfast at the hotel. Later drive to Kalimpong. (We can organise RAFTING in between on the Teesta River if wish to). Kalimpong (4000 Ft) also called the garden of flowers. This town has almost everything- scenic beauty, flowers, greenery, waters, mists, clouds etc.. Check into the hotel for lunch. Later sightseeing of Durpin Hill (which has the famous Zong Dog Palri Fo- Brang Monastery which belongs to the same Buddhist sect as the present Dalai Lama) , Jelapla View Point, Pine View Point, Chitra Bhanu & Kalim Temple, Dr Graham’s Homes complex with its historic church & well maintained grounds founded in 1900 by Rev. Dr. J A Graham, a Scottish missionary, Delo Hill (5556 ft) appears to be the roof- of- the- world, is the highest point in Kalimpong. Delo also has the town’s picturesque water reservoir. Then on to Mangal Dham Temple constructed in memory of the late Guru Shree (108) Mangal Dasji and dedicated to Lord Krishna, Kalimpong Arts & Crafts Centre, Nature Interpretation Centre (Forest Museum). Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Bagdogra to board flight for Kolkata. Arrive Kolkata and check into the hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Breakfast at the hotel. Later full day sightseeing of Kolkata. Lunch at a local restaurant. After dinner transfer to airport to board flight for onward destination.