Darjeeling, the enchanting town also known as the “Queen of Hills” lies nestled in the grandeur of the snow-capped mountains and lush green tea gardens. A holiday resort during the British rule still attracts lots of visitors. Darjeeling is at an altitude of 7000 ft and shares it’s border with Sikkim, Nepal and Bhutan. Darjeeling is known world wide for its tea and the toy train. It is one of the few remaining steam powered trains in the world. It gives enough opportunity to enjoy nature and see beautiful waterfalls and streams as it passes through deep green valleys, mountain passes, tea gardens and tunnels.
Discover a mystical wonderland of spectacular natural beauty. The panoramic perfection of the snow-capped Himalayas, the heady scent of flower-bedecked meadows, the vibrant culture and joyous festivals, the infinite variety of its flora and fauna makes it a holiday that is fascinating and challenging.The crowning glory of Sikkim is Mt. Khangchendzonga, the third highest mountain in the world. With magnificent snow and ice scenery it is often regarded as the undisputed monarch among the peaks of the world. But for the Sikkimese Khangchendzonga is much more than a mountain and is revered as the abode of their guardian deity Dzo-nga.
Mystical Wonderland - Darjeeling Sikkim & Kalimpong
Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you will be met by our Himalayan Hikers representative and transferred you to the hotel. The drive from the airport to the hotel is around 20 minutes.After your check in the group leader will set a time for your trek briefing to discuss in regards to the trek. The evening is free but your trek leader will organise a welcome dinner at a fine local restaurant.
Today, you will visit Bodhnath Stupa, one of the biggest Buddhist shrines in the world and Pashupatinath ,the main temple for the Hindus. Here you will see Hindu holy men (sadhus) meditating, pilgrims bathing, and occasionally funeral pyres burning on the “ghats”. The rest of your afternoon is free. In the late afternoon you will be handed over with your trek pack. Departure information for the next morning will also be given. Overnight Hotel Shangrila or similar. Meals included: B
The next part of your journey is a short flight to Bhadrapur, in the south-east of Nepal. From here it is a short journey to the Indian border at Kakarvitta, where you will need to complete immigration formalities.Your journey continues with a drive through the Indian plains for an hour before the road starts to climb through the jungles, tea gardens, small towns, and village settlements that line the route to Darjeeling. On the way you may see the famous Darjeeling Toy Train, winding its way up the hill.Darjeeling was once the summer capital of Bengal during the British Raj and is one of the most beautiful of India’s hill stations. Commonly called the Queen of the Hills, her crown is the mighty peak of Kanchenjunga, the world’s third highest peak, which overlooks the town in a most spectacular manner. Overnight Darjeeling. Meals included: B
Today brings with it a full day of sightseeing including an exploration of the Botanical Gardens, famous for its unique collection of Himalayan plants, flowers, and orchids.You will also visit the Tibetan Refugee Centre, established in 1959 for Tibetans fleeing the Chinese invasion. The handicraft centre here has a selection of hand-woven carpets and other items for sale.The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute is well worth a visit, as it has an interesting museum dedicated to Himalayan climbing fraternity.Next, you will have the opportunity to discover Tibetan monasteries, there is also free time to stroll around the town and mingle with the locals. Overnight Darjeeling. Meals included: B
You will rise early today for an excursion to Tiger Hill for sunrise. From here there are magnificent views of Kanchenjunga and Everest, as well as hundreds of other Himalayan giants.On the way back to the hotel you will also view Ghoom Monastery (built in 1875) and stop at Batasia Loop where you will take a short ride on the early morning Toy Train.After breakfast, you will head off for the drive to Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. Upon arrival, you will have the remainder of the day to spend at your leisure.The following morning you will visit Rumtek Monastery, the largest in Sikkim with an original building that dates back to 1717.In the afternoon, enjoy further sightseeing in Gangtok where you’ll visit the Drodul Chorten, which was built to commemorate the victory of good over evil. Surrounding the chorten are 108 prayer wheels. The Research Institute of Tibetology is renowned worldwide for studies in the Buddhist philosophy and religion. A number of priceless religious paintings (thangkas), statues, and other religious artworks are housed here. You will also visit Enchay Monastery and the orchid sanctuary, which contains over 200 exotic species. Overnight Gangtok. Meals included: 2 B
After breakfast you will take a scenic drive to Kalimpong, once a famous centre of the eastern and central Tibetan wool trade. The town is situated below the saddle connecting the Deolo and Rinkingpong (Durbin) Hills.Kalimpong has a temperate climate throughout the year and experiences only a light monsoon, which is ideal for the many flower nurseries in the town. Kalimpong was once the headquarters of the Bhutanese Governor, the word kalim means minister, and pong means stronghold. Overnight Kalimpong. Meals included: B
Today you will visit the Tibetan Buddhist Gompas (monasteries). Among them are, the Tharpa Choling Gompa, Durbin Monastry and other sightseeing places like Dello – View point and Haat Bazaar – this was the Bazar in old days when they use to have trade with Tibet using the horses as their means of transportation. The Silk route to Tibet started from here. The evening is free to wander around . Overnight Kalimpong. Meals included: B
Today after breakfast, we will be escorted to Bhadrapur airport for our flight back to Kathmandu. The afternoon is free for you to do your last minute souvenir shopping or just take it easy and relax. Overnight Hotel Shangrila or similar. Meals included: B
Your trip comes to an end today after breakfast. Your leader will be on hand to advise and assist with your onward travel arrangements.