(Darjeeling, Gangtok, Kalimpong)
Experience the rich culture and beauty of the Eastern Himalayas, with Darjeeling and Sikkim.
Start the tour in Darjeeling, meet with locals and enjoy a dinner with a local family. Watch the sunrise from the Tiger Hill, and experience the UNESCO heritage Toy Train of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. Next visit Gangtok, a cosmopolitan town where old world charm and hospitality exist along with the internet age. A beautiful route with the rolling mountains and tea plantations takes you to Kalimpong, once the headquarters of a Bhutanese Governor. Monasteries of Kalimpong date back to 1836 and tell a rich story not only of history but also of local art and culture. Kalimpong is a blaze of colour throughout the year owing to the richness of its stunning flora. The orchids of this region in particular are famous for their infinite variety as well as their delicate tints.
Meet your driver for a private transfer to Bagdogra Airport. (93 Kms/ 3.5 Hrs)
Enjoy lunch or dinner with a local family.
As the former residence of the Maharaja of Cooch Bihar, The Elgin Hotel is a well-preserved Victorian mansion dating back to 1885. Retaining its original charm, this property is conveniently located in the center of Darjeeling. The hotel offers 30 luxurious rooms that are filled with nostalgia, yet offer modern amenities. The Elgin chefs will win you over with a selection of delicious local, Indian or Continental cuisine with fresh bread, cakes and pastries prepared in-house for breakfast. The Elgin also serves special high tea from the world famous tea gardens of Darjeeling at the lounge.
Early morning after a cup of tea, you will visit Tiger Hill before the break of dawn, to see the sun rise over Mount Everest, the highest mountain peak in the world. Darjeeling owes its grandeur to its natural beauty, its clean fresh mountain air and above all, the smiling resilient people for whom it is a home. Known for its natural splendour, Darjeeling’s best gift to its visitors is the dawn of a new day. The mountains awaken first with a tentative peeking of the sun. A steep ride, five kilometers from Ghoom, or an invigorating walk up a steep incline, leads sun worshippers to Tiger Hill. The air is chilly with darkness and damp. To the east, a dull orange sun emerged painting the sky with brilliant strokes of magenta, gold, orange and fuchsia. The snow capped Everest, Kanchenjunga, and other peaks slowly emerge from slumber to start a new day. On your way back stop at the Ghoom Monastery, the holiest monastery in Darjeeling
After breakfast, you will be driven to the Darjeeling Railway station to board a train. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, nicknamed the "Toy Train", is a 2 ft (610 mm) narrow-gauge railway from Siliguri to Darjeeling in West Bengal, run by the Indian Railways. Since 1999 the train has been a World Heritage Site as listed by UNESCO. Only two railways have this status, the Semmering Railway in Austria being the other. A trip on the train has changed little since that time (1920’s), and continues to delight travellers and rail enthusiasts, so much so that it has its own preservation and support group, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Society.
Sightseeing of the town visiting Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological park (Closed on Thursday), Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (Closed on Thursday), Tenzing - Gombu Rock, Tibetan Refugee Self Help Center (Closed on Sunday). A guide will accompany you on this trip.
Meet your driver for a private transfer to Gangtok via Rumtek Monastery. Visit Rumtek Monastery for few hours before you arrive to Gangtok.
The Elgin Nor-Khill (“the house of jewels") in Gangtok is known for its tradition and ethnic Sikkimese ambiance. The Kanchan garden affords a rich view of the hills with Kanchenjungha in the background, which inspired the Chogyal of Sikkim to paint for hours. The Nor-Khill was built by the King of Sikkim in 1932 and is the oldest heritage hotel in Gangtok, which entertains guests like his holiness The Dalai Lama, the US Ambassador to India His Excellency John Galbraith, movie stars and you and your family. The has a multi-cuisine restaurant named The Shangri La and a bar called The Dragon.
Visit the Enchey Monastery – an important seat of the Nyingmapa order, the Enchey Monastery is built on the site blessed by Lama Druptok Karpo, a tantrik master known for his power of flying. Your visits of the day ends with the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology (closed on Sundays). The most prestigious of its kind in India, this Buddhist institute is a treasure of vast collection of rare Lepcha, Tibetan & Sanskrit manuscripts, statues and rare thanks (tapestries used in Buddhist liturgy). It is over 200 Buddhist icons and other prized objects of art. Today it is a renowned worldwide centre for Buddhist philosophy and religion. Visit the Cottage industry which is a great source of earnings for locals and a fine way to retain the centuries old tradition and flow of life. You will be accompanied on the trip by a private guide.
Meet your driver for a private transfer to Kalimpong.
Enjoy a full day excursion with a private guide. On your tour you will be able to meet the villagers and also visit the local school in the village.
The Silver Oaks hotel symbolizes an era gone by. The British architecture and the old world charm of the place are unique. The Silver Oaks was built in 1930 and was the home of a leading British Business family of Mr. / Mrs. John Mason. They lived in Kalimpong for over 40 years. It took several years for the present management to restore the old structure. Finally The Silver Oaks was acquired by The Elgin Heritage Hotels of the Himalayas. The restoration work took five years to complete. Water colors and lithographs by old masters adorn the walls. Period furniture offer comfort as well as add to the old world opulence of the interiors.
Meet your driver for a private transfer to Airport of Bagdogra (83 Kms/ 3 Hrs)
India & Area
Jim & Gayle Stinson ,
April 21, 2014
"Our individualized, private trip to India was just fabulous! Sunita made the planning almost too easy, the staff who met with us at each arrival/departure ensured all was fine. Our guides, Sunil, Dhilip, Govind, and Vinney, were extremely knowledgeable, friendly and accommodating, but the person who made our trip the most enjoyable was our driver Vikram. It was so nice to have a constant on our trip anticipating our every need, even presenting me with the most beautiful bouquet of flowers on my birthday! We will only return if Vikram will be with us. Thanks to all for a trip of a lifetime!"
India & Area
Sharleen Dickson ,
April 21, 2014
"The driver and guides were excellent!"
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