Himachal North East

Day wise Itinerary:

DAY 01: ARRIVE DELHI BY: INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT
You will arrive at New Delhi's InternationalAirport. Following customs, immigration formalities and baggage collection, our representative will meet you as you EXIT the ARRIVALS TERMINAL building after which you would be transferred to your hotel.

Upon arrival at the hotel, proceed for check-in at the hotel.

India's capital and a major gateway to the country, contemporary Delhi is a bustling metropolis, which successfully combines in its folds - the ancient with the modern. Amidst the fast spiralling skyscrapers the remnants of a bygone time in the form of its many monuments stand as silent reminders to the region's ancient legacy. The first impressions for any visitor travelling in from the airport are of a specious, garden city, tree-lined with a number of beautiful parks.

Overnight at the hotel

DAY 02: DELHI
After buffet breakfast at the hotel, you will proceed for a full day city tour of Old & New Delhi.

You will first visit Old Delhi. The tour will begin with a visit to Raj Ghat, a simple memorial to Mahatma Gandhi; drive past theRed Fort continuing to the Jama Masjid by bicycle rickshaws, It is the largest mosque in India, accommodating up to 25,000 worshippers at one time. Designed by Shah Jahan, this grand red sandstone and white marble mosque was said to have been built by 5,000 artisans from 1644 to 1656. The broad red sandstone steps lead up to gates to the east, north and south.

After visiting Old Delhi, you will be driven to New Delhi, which reflects the legacy the British left behind. The division between New and Old Delhi is the division between the capitals of the British and the Mughals respectively. The division in the walled city and New Delhi also marks the division in the life-styles. The walled city is all tradition where one will be able to glean a past life-style in all its facets, colours and spells. New Delhi in contrast, is a city trying to live up to the best of 21st century standards.

The tour to Imperial Delhi will include a visit to the Qutub Minar, the tallest stone tower in India. Qutub-ud-din Aibak started it in 1199. Pulling down 27 Hindu and Jain temples and using their columns erected the attached Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque also built by him. Then visit Humayun's tomb, built by the widow of the second Mughal Emperor, Humayun, it is an outstanding monument in the Indo-Persian style, a precursor of the Taj Mahal. The tour also includes a drive past the imposing India Gate, the Parliament building and the Rastrapathi Bhawan, the President's residence.

Return to your hotel after the sightseeing tour.
Overnight at the hotel

DAY 03: DELHI - CHANDIGARH BY : TRAIN
CHANDIGARH - SHIMLA BY: SURFACE
Early morning our representative will transfer you to Railway station to board train for Kalka.
Upon arrival you will be driven from Kalka to Shimla (99 kms / 04 hrs).
Overnight at the hotel.



DAY 04: SHIMLA
After buffet breakfast you will proceed to explore the colonial past of this beautiful hill station.

Walk down on the Mall, from this central area, the town spills downwards, with winding roads linking up settlements and stone steps connecting each layer. The Cart Road encircles the base of the main settlement, and is the highest motorable road of Shimla. The Mall is open only to pedestrians only. The Mall is the main shopping area of Shimla, lined with shops selling woollen garments and shawls, handicrafts, departmental stores, eateries and old colonial timber houses. There is a palpable change of character from the times when the Mall was strictly out of bounds for all natives except royalty, to the noisy and very Indian crowds that walk down it today.

Dominating the eastern end of the Ridge is the ChristChurch, which was consecrated in 1857. It is a prominent yellow painted building with a Victorian-Gothic spire. Inside, some of the finest stained glass windows in India depict faith, hope, charity, fortitude, patience and humility. Next to the church is the mock-Tudor Library, built in 1910. It has a collection of historical books and subscribes to most English language dailies.

On the other extreme of the central square is the Scandal Corner. The place got its curious name after the daughter of a high-ranking British officer eloped with a Patiala princefrom here. The place is now dominated by a statue of the Punjabi freedom fighter Lala Lajpat Rai and groups of local people gather here in the afternoon for some casual chit-a-chat.

Afternoon visit the most impressive colonial edifice of Shimla is the Viceregal Lodge, now known as the Rashtrapati Niwas (President's House). Sitting on the flat top of Observatory Hill, this Elizabethan mansion was built in 1888 for Lord Dufferin. It now houses the Institute of Advanced Studies, and is open only in some parts to the public. The grey building still retains its grandeur, with a lion and unicorn guarding the entrance, immaculate lawns and original brass fire hydrants from Manchester.

The lodge has a chapel and an indoor swimming pool. Inside, the rooms have rich woodcarvings and wooden panelling. The ballroom has now been turned into a library, while the conference room has photographs of Jawaharlal Nehru, Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Mahatma Gandhi in consultation during the run-up to independence. The lodge also has a botanical garden and a café. Towards the rear is a stone terrace with a view of some major Himalayan peaks. There are streams running down from top of the hill, flowing into the Sutlej, Yamuna and Ganga.

Our last stop will be the JakhuTemple, sitting on top of Jakhu hill at 2,455 metres is the highest point on the ridge. This temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman, the monkey god, is quite appropriately beset with hordes of very aggressive monkeys. It is best to steer clear of them and keep all eatables well out of reach.

Return to your hotel after tour.
Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 05: SHIMLA - TARAGARH
After buffet breakfast you will be driven to Taragarh (255 Km / 6 hours), upon arrival check-in at hotel.
Taragarh is a picturesque residential estate nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas. tThe property belongs to the royal family of the erstwhile Princely state of Jammu & Kashmir. Formerly known as Alhilal (land of the crescent moon) ,Taragarh Palace, was built in the early 1930s as a summer resorts. It was bought by the royal family of Jammu & Kashmir in 1951 for the dowager Maharani who lived there for several years. It is now run as a hotel by the present royal family.
Remaining day will be at leisure. You can enjoy the activities (like horse riding, Ayurvedic massages etc..) available at the hotel on direct payment basis.

Overnight at the hotel

DAY 06: TARAGARH
After buffet breakfast you will proceed to visit the Baijnath Temple(5kms), A Shiva temple dedicated to Shiva Vaidyanatha, associated with mythology. It is supposed to be the temple where Ravana Worshipped Shiva to gain immortality. The Baijnath s supposed to be one of the twelve 'Jyotirlingas' and is thronged with pilgrims at the festival of Shivratri.

Afternoon visit the Andretta Potteries (17kms), the charming village, once the home of the famous painter Sardar Shobha Singh and playwright Norah Richards. You could actually see the works of Sardar Shobha Singh. It is now transferred into a center for varied artistic activities. Pottery lessons could be had here at cost.

Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 07: TARAGARH - PRAGPUR
After buffet breakfast you will be driven to Paragpur (80 Kms / 2 hours), upon arrival check-in at Heritage hotel Judge's Court.

The Judge´s Court is a Country Manor located in the medieval hamlet of Pragpur, at an elevation of 2000 ft. in the KangraValley of the NorthIndianState of Himachal Pradesh. The property is classified as "Heritage" and this in a way makes it India's first classified Heritage Country Manor with an ambience reminiscent of the turn of the 20th Century

Rest of the day is at leisure to enjoy & relax in the nature's lap.
Overnight at the hotel

DAY 08: PRAGPUR - DHARAMSHALA
After leisurely breakfast you will be driven to Dharamshala (65 Kms / 1. 5 hours), upon arrival check-in at hotel.

Dharamshala is the principal township of the KangraValley region and is magnificently set to the background of the Dhauldhar mountains. Pine forests cover the hillsides and numerous streams cut a path through them, allowing exciting opportunities for fishing. The town has been the seat of his Holiness, the Dalai Lama, the leader of the Tibetans, since 1960 when the Chinese over-ran and occupied Tibet. So much so that Dharamshala is often referred to as little Lhasa.
Lower Dharamshala is the civil and business area while the upper Dharamshala, some 1,500 metres higher, is where Rajera places like Mcleodganj and Forsythganj are located which have now become distinctly Tibetan. The area is famous for the KangraSchool of miniature paintings.

Rest of the day is at leisure.
Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 09: DHARAMSHALA
After breakfast at the hotel, proceed for half-day city tour of Dharamshala.

Spend the day visiting the Buddhist learning centers and other places of interest at Mcleodganj, home to the Dalai Lama - visiting Tsuglag Khang;Namgyalma Stupa; Church of St.John's in wilderness; DalLake; Bhagsunag.

Evening will be free to stroll around the famous Tibetan Market.
Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 10: DHARAMSHALA - AMRITSAR
After an early breakfast at the hotel, you will be driven to Amritsar (200 Kms / 07 Hours). Upon arrival you will proceed for check-in at your hotel.

Amritsar is one of the most ancient and fascinating cities of India. It is an important seat of Sikh history and culture. Being the gateway for travellers coming to India on the overland route from central Asia it soon became the centre of various commercial activities. Amritsar has various historical and religious sites. The most famous of them all in the Golden Temple which was founded by the fourth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Ramdas and completed by his successor Guru Arjan Dev. Another revered shrine is the DurgianaTemple which is dedicated to goddess Durga.

Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 12: AMRITSAR - DELHI BY: TRAIN
After a leisurely buffet breakfast at the hotel, proceed for sightseeing tour of Amritsarvisiting Golden temple and Jallianwala Bagh.

Shining in the morning light, the gilded splendor of its paneling and big dome and small minarets, this temple is a fairy world palace to the devotees of the Sikh faith. Certainly, the first look brings onto the innocent eye the image of a transcendent fact The 'loving sight' peering into heaven from the legends of the miraculous cures by the touch of the water in the pool of nectar, in which the shrine stands makes for ecstatic awareness. The vision has been received by millions of pilgrims who have come here for centuries from near and far. The actual construction had modest beginnings: A mud-house was constructed by Guru Amar Das, who is said to have found on the edge of the pool the magical herb which cured a skin ailment of his master Guru Angad. The Amrit Sarovar remained a village tank, until the fourth Guru Ram Das began to carry out the plans of his mentor for a more permanent structure in brick.

Chak, Chak-Guru, Guru-ka-chak, Chak-Guru-Ram-Das, Ram-Das-Pura, were the names of Amritsar in those times. The temple on the banks of the pool of nectar was surrounded by the houses of the craftsmen from the towns of Patti, Kasur and Kalanur, who came to build the holy place. The only market was then called Guru-ka-bazar, still known by that name, though more populous Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth. Guru of Sikhs, who came to the spiritual throne in 1581, felt from the growing popularity of the shrine as a pilgrim center the need to have the tank paved on the four sides and the steps of Hari Mandir bricked. The devotees joined to construct the temple, which would be lived in during the everyday life, where the infinite mystery would be revealed to those who may want to see. Already, however, the demand to create a paradise on earth became urgent, from the vision of Arjan Dev, of many simple hearts coming, with dipped eyes over joined hands, to pray and touch the holy water on their foreheads. So this Guru had the structure of the Hari Mandir planned in such a way that the outsight, might afford the insight. The present causeway leading to the Hari Mandir was then designed, with the rectangular shape of the circumambulatory walk ending at the gateway, from which the path to Reality began. And to combine, symbolically, the noblest truth of Islam about One God with the faith in the Hindu God Hari and his many incarnations, the Muslim divine, Mian Mir of Lahore, is said to have been invited by Guru Arjan Dev to lay the foundation stone of the temple in A.D. 1588. The structure of the shrine also mixed the rectangular form of the Hindu temple with the dome and minarets of the Muslims Continue to visit the Jallianwala Bagh - the historic site where hundreds of innocent Indian men, women and children were massacred by British General Michael Dyer on April 13, 1919. A memorial and Garden have been created here as a national monument.

Later in the evening our representative will transfer you to Amritsar railway station to board train for Delhi.
Upon arrival our representative will meet you and transfer you to hotel.
Overnight at the hotel
Morning buffet breakfast at hotel. Later in time our representative will transfer you to airport to board your flight departing for Bagdogra.
Upon arrival at BagdograAirport you will be met and driven to Darjeeling(90 KMS / 02 HRS)
Upon arrival proceed for check-in at hotel.
Overnight at hotel.

DAY 13: DARJEELING
Early morning, 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 (subject to clear weather).

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 it's' 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, Kabru, Kanchenjunga, Jannu and other peaks slowly emerge from slumber to start a new day. The sun worshippers gasp at the magnificent sight. As the fog lifts in the slowly penetrating sun, the town gradually comes alive. Amidst brewing of tea, the sing-song Gorkhali which is the local dialect, rises and falls like music.

On your way back stop at the Ghoom Monastery, the holiest monastery in Darjeeling.
After your visit, you will return to hotel for buffet breakfast.

After buffet breakfast, you will be driven to the Darjeeling Railway station to board toy train - Darjeeling Himalayan Railway that is the first, and still the most spectacular instance of a hill passenger railway. Opened in 1881, it adopted device full engineering solutions to the problem of establishing an effective rail link across a mountainous terrain. It is still fully operational and retains most of its original features. UNESCO World Heritage Committee has inscribed the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway on the list of World Heritage sites. Only two railways have this status, the Semmering Railway in Austria being the other.

Passing through the Darjeeling roads and market area, you will reach the Ghoom railway station in about 45 minutes. Ghoom situated at 7410 Feet above sea level is the second highest railway station to be reached by a steam engine. Your vehicle will pick you up from the Ghoom railway station to take you to the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and the Himalayan Zoo with Red panda as the main attraction of the visit.

Later visit the Tibetan refugee help centre where you would see how this refugee camp supports the homeless understand that no help can substitute self-help.

Rest of the day will be free for independent activities.
Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 14: DARJEELING - PEMAYANGSTE BY: SURFACE
After leisurely buffet breakfast at hotel you will be driven to Pemayangtse (75 Kms / 04 Hrs) through the beautiful countryside, visiting a tea plantation en-route. You will cross the Sikkim border on your journey where your permits will be stamped and checked which may take a short time.

In the early 1840s it was noticed that the climate of Darjeeling was very conducive to the growth of tea. Tea plantations were established and have expanded all over the area today because of growing demand. Huge tracts of

forests were originally cut down and replaced with tea bushes that stretched for miles. The services of Chinese experts were then requisitioned to teach the art of tea making and thousands of Nepalese were hired in the tea plantations. Darjeeling tea, which had a premium value in the international market, began to be called the 'Champagne of the East' and for years formed the mainstay of the economy of this area. To this day, the name 'Darjeeling' continues to be synonymous with tea.

Upon arrival proceed for check in at your Hotel. Afternoon you will proceed for the visit of Pemayangste Monastery.

Most of the visitors come here to see the famous monastery. This second oldest monastery in the state (built in 1705) is the main center of the Nyingamapa sect, a tantrik sect of Buddhism founded in the 8th century AD. The sect is also known as Red Hat because its followers wear red hats rather than the yellow hat worn by the monks in other monasteries. Traditional frescoes depicting tantrik Buddhist themes adorn the walls of this monastery. The depiction of Sangthopalri (or heaven) sculpted intricately on wood is an interesting feature of the Pemyangtse monastery. Traditional austere dwellings of the monks can be found near the monastery.

Overnight stay at hotel.

DAY 15: PEMAYANGSTE- GANGTOK BY: SURFACE
Morning buffet breakfast at hotel; you will be driven to Gangtok (110 kms/ 4.30 Hrs) en-route visiting Rumtek Monastery, the seat of the Karmapa Rinpoche, head of the Karmapa sub-sect of the Kargyudpa order of Tibetan Buddhism. The new four-level gompa was designed as a replica of the Kargyudpa's head monastery of Tolung in Tibet. Rumtek's monks come from all over Sikkim, India, Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet. Thangkas and frescoes decorate the walls of this ancient monastery, renovated in 1960's. It has a school to teach the Tibetan language and the various aspects of Buddhism. Every year on the 10th day of the 5th month of the Tibetan calendar a religious dance festival is held in this monastery. A perfect symbol of the confluence of the past and present is Gangtok - the capital of Sikkim. Built on the flank of a ridge, Gangtok is at 5500 feet above sea level. The town's unique ambience derives from the happy blend of tradition and modernity.

Later you will continue your journey to Gangtok, known as "High Hill" spectacularly located along a ridge overlooking the Kangchenjunga Mountains. Upon arrival, proceed for check-in at your hotel.

Gangtok is Sikkim's largest city. It served as the royal administrative seat of the Kingdom of Sikkim from 1894 to 1975. Now as the state capital it retains a royal character. The Chogyal's durbar (king's palace) crowns the ridge, naturally facing Kanchenjunga, and the yellow roof of the Tsuklakhang or Royal Chapel gleams from far across the valley.

High into temperate forests, oaks give way to laurels, chestnuts, maples, birch, magnolias and rhododendrons. Some 200 species of ferns, mosses, vines and lichens form thick undergrowth. Sikkim is world renowned for its orchids with almost 1000 species in and around Sikkim, Darjeeling and Kalimpong. The best time to see orchids is from the second week of April, extending into late May and June at the higher elevations. Rhododendrons are another of the most celebrated of this amazing pot pourri of flora. During April-May, yellow and lavender shaded hillsides stretch as far as the eye can see, and canopies of rose, crimson and ivory crown the misty forests.

Overnight stay at hotel.

DAY 16: GANGTOK
Buffet breakfast at hotel followed by which you will proceed for the excursion to Tsomgo Lake.
Later proceed to 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.

Evening return to hotel.
Overnight stay at hotel.

DAY 17: GANGTOK - KALIMPONG BY: SURFACE
Today Early this morning you will be driven 6 KMS to Tashi View point, a beautiful place with magnificent panoramic views of MountKangchenjunga and of the numerous monasteries scattered over the mountainside. After your visit, you will be driven back to the hotel for breakfast.

After buffet breakfas at hotel you will be driven to Kalimpong (86 kms / 3.5 Hrs). Upon arrival proceed for check in at your hotel.

Kalimpong, once the headquarter of the Bhutanese Governor. A political hot potato tossed between neighbouring Sikkim, Bhutan, Nepal and India, Kalimpong was for the last century everybody's trophy, but more for its strategic value as a prosperous trade post than for its natural resources and pretty face. The town straddles a north-easterly ride flanked by two rivers. Kalimpong has a temperate climate throughout the year with not so heavy a monsoon. The climatic condition is ideal for the cultivation of horticultural plants and, due to this, there are many flower nurseries here. After checking into your hotel and having lunch, we will visit several flower nurseries.

Afternoon visit the two famous Buddhist Monasteries - Tirpai Choling at Tirpai belonging to the Yellow (Gelug) Hat Sect and the Zang Dog Palrifo Brang on Dubindera Hill at the other end of Kalimpong which is a replica of a celestial borten that was destroyed by the chinese in Lhasa and took the Lamas two years to construct.

Overnight stay at hotel.

DAY 18: KALIMPONG - BAGDOGRA BY: SURFACE
BAGDOGRA - KOLKATA BY: FLIGHT
Today after buffet breakfast at hotel; in time you will be transferred to BagdograAirport (80 Kms / 03 Hrs) to board your flight departing for Kolkata.
Upon arrival at Kolkata Airport; our representative will meet you & transfer you to your hotel. Upon arrival at hotel proceed for check-in.
Overnight stay at hotel.

DAY 19: KOLKATA
Morning city tour of kolkata Your tour starts with the visit to temples like Jain Temple&Kalighat Temple - According to the legend, when Lord Shiva's wife Parvati's body was cut up, one of her fingers fell here. Rebuilt in 1809, this is an important shrine of Hindu Shakti worship. The temple is in the southern part of the city.Drive past HowrahBridge, Dalhousie Square, FortWillams, SecretariatBuilding and Old CourtHouse Street.

Later you will visit Zoological Gardens - The gardens at Alipore has one of the first collections of bird, animals and reptiles in India. The aquarium in front of the zoo contains many rare species of fish. Later continue your tour with the visit to the Victoria Memorial - a splendid monument in white Makrana marble. Built in Italian Renaissance cum Saracenic style, Victoria Memorial was planned by Lord Curzon and opened by the Prince of Wales in 1921. This British attempt at building a second Taj Mahal, is dedicated to Queen Victoria and houses a fantastic collection of rare memorabilia from Colonial days.

Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 20: DEPARTURE KOLKATA BY: FLIGHT
Today in time you will be transferred to International airport to board flight for onward destination

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