Virgin Himalayan Paradise - Northeast

Overview

India. a country which will enchant you with her beauty and diversity, delight you with her colorful pageantry, enrich you with her culture, stun you with her modernity, embrace you with her warmth, and overwhelm you with her hospitality.a land where the ancient and the contemporary exist side by side, where thousands of brilliant images fill the soul with wonder and where quaint and startling contradictions juxtapose to lend an extraordinary vitality, texture and poetry to life.

India ~ the ancient land of mystery, palaces and kings, romance and intrigue, nobility and grandeur A land steeped in a tradition of services and privileges to royalty A land which has the largest Tiger population in the world.

Imagine yourself transported back a couple of centuries. Imagine waking up to find yourself in a royal, canopied bed with the soft gauze of sunshine filtering in through exquisitely filigreed windows. Imagine padding across to the windows to find peacocks mincing across the lawns. Imagine being waited upon and served a banquet with fluid grace by an army of turbaned bearers. Imagine being a king for a day. Imagine living in a palace!

This is one fantasy that can be fulfilled.
Journey into the lofty mountains...

Day wise Itinerary:

DAY 01: ARRIVE KOLKATA BY: INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT
You will arrive at Kolkata's International Airport. Following customs, immigration formalities and baggage collection, our office 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.

Once the proud capital of the British Raj, established as the trading post for the East India Company on the banks of the Hooghly River by Job Charnock in 1690, it grew to be the biggest colonial trade center in Asia, earning it the name "Jewel of the East." With its splendid Victorian buildings, ornamental pools, stone-paved footpaths, figured lampposts, and sweeping esplanade, it was entirely European in its architecture and sensibility, and the burgeoning city became the stomping ground of a new breed of sahibs and memsahibs.

Today, much of the city's architectural heritage stands crumbling and in ruins, its monumental colonial structures not nearly as well maintained as those of Mumbai. Moss and grime cover tattered buildings that should be celebrated as the city's finest -- the collapsing masonry, peeling paint, and sun-scorched woodwork testaments to the indifference of time. The first impressions for any visitor traveling in from the airport are of a specious, garden city, tree-lined with a number of beautiful parks.
Overnight at the hotel

DAY 02: KOLKATA - BAGDOGRA BY FLIGHT
BAGDOGRA - KALIMPONG BY: SURFACE
After buffet breakfast at the hotel, you will be met by our office representative who will transfer you to the airport to board flight for Bagdogra.

You will be met upon arrival by our office representative who will transfer you to your hotel in Kalimpong (approx. 80 Kms/3 hrs).
Upon arrival, proceed for check-in at your hotel.
At an altitude of 1250m, Kalimpong's location is ideal for a pleasant, relaxed getaway. Its clement weather has made Kalimpong's orchids and gladiole well renowned.

Up to the early 1700s, the Kalimpong area was part of the Sikkim raja's domain.In the early 18th century, the Bhutan king also took it over. In 1865, after the Anglo-Bhutan War , it was annexed to Darjeeling. Scottish Missionaries came here in the late 1800s. The town thrived as a wool trading center with Tibet till 1950s. Today it's a quiet hill resort and a haven for retired people.

Rest of the day is free.
Overnight at the hotel

DAY 03: KALIMPONG
After breakfast proceed for sight seeing in Kalimpong visiting:

Flower Nurseries: The climate of Kalimpong is ideal for the cultivation of flowers and plants. Kalimpong is famous for its nurseries which export exotice flowers like Amaryllis lilies, Anthuriums, Roses gerberas, Dahilias, Gladiolias as well as Orchids and Cacti.

Zang Dog PalriFo-Brang Monastery - This is a fairly new monastery located in DurpinDara, from here one can get an exclusive panoramic view of the town and surroundings. The prayer room inside the monastery is adorned with wall paintings and there is a rare three-dimensional mandala upstairs.

TharpaCholing Monastery at Tirpai hill on route to Dr.Graham's Home belongs to the Yellow Hat sect of Lamas to which the present Dalai Lama belongs.

ThongsaGumpa: this monastery is of Bhutanese origin and built around 1692. It is the oldest in Kalimpong.The original structure was destroyed in the inter-clan wars before the British arrived

Later excursion to Lava and Rishap.

Lava is a small hamlet situated 34 Kms east of the town of Kalimpong via Algarah in the state of West Bengal, India. Lava is situated at an altitude of 7,016 feet (2,138 m). It is one of the few places in West Bengal to receive snow in winter. The idyllic verdant forests are an ideal spot for picnicking, trekking and bird watching and other peripatetic activities. The road is untouched by modern life and one is treated to rustic hamlets whose inhabitants are still living as they have for centuries.

The region is still virgin and wild animals such as the Himalayan Black Bear, barking deer are found in profusion in these parts. A Buddhist monastery is present on one of the hills of Lava.

After visit continue onto Rishap: Rishap small village on the hill top its main attraction is overwhelming 300 degrees view of snow-capped Himalayas including Kanchenjunga. Rishap is enriched with variety of birds.

Return to hotel after tour.
Overnight at the hotel

DAY 04: KALIMPONG - GANGTOK BY: SURFACE
After breakfast, you will be driven to Gangtok (85Kms / 3 hrs) enroute visiting Rumtek Monastery

Rumtek Monastery:24 Kms. from Gangtok is the awe -inspiring Rumtek Monastery, the world Dharma chakra Centre and the seat of His Holiness, the Gyalwa Karmapa, who is the head of the Kagyupa order of Tibetan Buddhism. Behind the main monastery is the lavishly decorated KarmaeNalanda Institute of Buddhist Studies, which attracts students from the world over. Opposite the entrance to the Institute is a small hall featuring a beautiful jewel studded Chorten the Golden Stupa, which contains the ashes and remains of His Holiness the xvi Gyalwa Karmapa. According to legend, it is believed that after years of meditation, the first Karmapa was said to have been visited by ten thousand fairies who came to congratulate him each of whom offered a strand of her hair as a gift. These were said to have been woven into a black hat, which was passed down and is still at the Rumtek Monastery today. It is said that unless held on to by the wearer (who of course, cannot be anyone else but the Karmapa) or kept in a box, the hat would fly away

After visit continue drive to Gangtok.

At an altitude of 1750m, Gangtok became the state capital in the mid 19th century and has undergone rapid development since then.The downtown area is dominated by huge government buildings decorated with traditional Buddhist symbols. Gangtok is also a resting ground for people traveling to North Sikkim. Surrounded by Monasteries and Orchids, Gangtok is truly a travellers delight.
On arrival proceed for check in hotel.
Rest of the day is free.
Overnight at the hotel

DAY 05: GANGTOK
Buffet breakfast is at the hotel.
Later enjoy sightseeing tour of Gangtok.

The Enchey Monastery: -Perched on a ridge above Gangtok, the Enchey Monastery is nestled within lush woods with a spectacular view of Gangtok town. Built in 1910 on the site of the hermitage of the great tantric saint, Lama DrutobKarpo, who was renowned for his powers of levitation, this monastery houses the monks of the Nyingmapa Order of Tibetan Buddhism.

Namgyal Institute Of Tibetology: -Amidst a serene surrounding of oak, birch and ash lies the unique organization established in1958. Built in traditional style, the namgyalInstitute of Tibetology promotes research in Mahayana Buddhism and the language and tradition of Tibet. It has one of the world's largest collections of rare books and manuscripts on Mahayana Buddhism. The Institute also has a retail outlets where related books and commercially produced religious art and craft of Tibet can be bought.

Adjacent to the institute are two exquisite stupas, the Do DrulChorten, built to commemorate the victory of good over evil and the Jhang Chub Chorten, built in the memory of Thrukshik Rinpoche, an ardent devotee, a great spirtualist and interpreter of Buddhism. Near the Chorten are housed two giant statues of Lord Buddha and Guru Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rimpoche, the patron saint of Sikkim.

Directorate of Handloom and Handicrafts: -This Directorate was set up to promote traditional Sikkimese art and handicrafts. Exquisitely carved wooden friezes, intricate bamboo work, along with beautiful hand woven carpets and handlooms are on exhibit here. Visitors can not only purchase these items here but also see the artisans at work. Among others, a favourite item here is the choktse a wooden table with carved panels that can be folded into a portable pack.

Overnight at the hotel

DAY 06: GANGTOK - PELLING BY: SURFACE
After breakfast, you will be driven to Pelling(130Kms / 4 hrs).
Located at a distance of 120 kms from GangtokPelling is another serene, mountain village which lies in the western districts of Sikkim. This village is situated at an altitude of 2000 mts(approx) and the distance from this village to the mount Kanchandzonga, as a crow flies.is 26 kms approx.

On arrival proceed for check in hotel.
Rest of the day is free to relax.
Overnight at the hotel

DAY 07: PELLING
Buffet breakfast is at the hotel.
Later proceed to visitPemayangtse Monastery

Pemayangtse monastery follows the Mindroling tradition besides holding the lineage of LhatsunChenpo. Mindroling monastery was founded by MinlingTerchenGyurmeDorje whose famous daughter JetsunMigyurPaldon lived near

Pemayangtse and taught there during her exile. Her stone throne is still to be seen in this monastery, which has 108 monks. The main attraction of the monastery is the wooden replica of ZangdogPalri; the celestial abode of Guru Padmasambhava built by SerdupLhundrupDorje Rinpoche in 1971. The annual chaam (monk dance) is held here on the 28th and 29th day of the 12th month of the Tibetan lunar calendar.

Later excursion to the KhecheopalriLakeenroute visiting the SangeyFalls
KhecheopalriLake is a HolyLake for Buddhists in West Sikkim, in Sikkim, the tiny Himalayan former BuddhistKingdom in eastern India, now a part of the democratic republic. Khachoedpaldri is also considered as a wish fulfilling lake and has thousands of non-Buddhist believers who pray here. The real name of the lake is ShoDzoSho, meaning "Oh Lady, Sit Here", but is commonly known as Khachoedpaldri lake because it sits on the lap of Khachoedpaldri, a very sacred hill.

Overnight at the hotel

DAY 08: PELLING - DARJEELING BY: SURFACE
After breakfast, you will be driven to Pelling(120Kms / 4 hrs).

Standing high in the Himalayas at an altitude of 2134m, 'Dorje Ling', or place of the Thunderbolt, offers breathtaking views of snow-capped mountain peaks, with the Kanchendzonga rising higher than all the others. Often referred to as the "Queen of the Hills", it remains just as alluring with its tiny waterfalls, little villages and a narrow gauge railway track. Surrounded by World Famous Tea Gardens and snow capped mountains, Darjeeling remains one of the most exotic destinations. Graeme Westlake in his book ' An introduction to hill stations on India' refers to Darjeeling as having "A view Scarcely Unrivalled on Earth".

Later enjoy sightseeing tour visiting Peace Pagoda.

Peace Pagoda, Darjeeling or Darjeeling Peace Pagoda is one of the Peace Pagodas designed to provide a focus for people of all races and creeds to help unite them in their search for world peace. It is located in the town of Darjeeling in the Indian state of West Bengal. Like most of the other Peace Pagodas, it was built under the guidance of NichidatsuFujii (1885-1985), a Buddhist monk from Japan and founder of the Nipponzan-Myohoji Buddhist Order.

The foundation stone of the pagoda was laid on 3 November 1972 by NichidatsuFujii, and was inaugurated on 1 November 1992. The pagoda was designed by M. Ohka, and it took 36 months for constructing it. The height of the pagoda is 28.5 metres (94 ft) and diameter is 23 metres (75 ft).

Later visit Dhirdham temple.
Overnight at the hotel

DAY 09: DARJEELING
Early morning visit Tiger Hill and Ghoom Monastery.

Tiger Hill: It is 13 Kms from Darjeeling and one can see beautiful sunrise and HimalayanRange like Kanchandzonga, Mount Everest etc. One can see the horizon changing colors just before sunrise and then the entire Himalayan range turn golden. It is truly a majestic sight.

Ghoom Monastery: This is oldest Monastery in the area which was built in 1875 and one can see the image of Mythey Buddha 15ft. height on the way back from Tiger Hill.

After breakfast proceed to the Darjeeling Railway station to enjoy World Heritage Toy Train ride up to Ghoom.

TOY TRAIN
The spectacular landscape unfolds as the 2-foot gauge Darjeeling Himalayan railway, opened in 1881, labours at about 10 mph criss-crossing the road. It has tiny 4-wheel locomotives (some over 100 years old) like living legends. One can experience the sound, smell and romance of a bygone era. DHR is a work of genius and technological achievement of 1881. It has social and cultural importance. It is beautiful and has outstanding universal appeal. Based on its unique features, it is considered to be of lasting significance to mankind. Return to the hotel for lunch and later proceed for city tour.
Himalayan Mountaineering Institute/Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park: Closed on Thursdays)

The HimalayanMountaineering Institute was started in Darjeeling when Tenzing Norgay climbed Everest to give training to learn Mountaineering and other adventure sports related to mountaineering and in that Institute one can see equipment etc.used by Mr. Tenzing Norgay and Everest Museum having complete details on Everest attached to institute one can visit Himalayan Zoological Park where one can see Himalayan animals like Snow Leopard, Tibetan Wolf, Tibetan Yak, Himalayan Black Bear and several varieties of birds.

Tibetan Self- Helf Centre Or Refugee Centre:- (Closed on Sundays) This institute is run by Tibetan Refugees to preserve their handicrafts and one can see making of Tibetan Carpets, Leather work, Paintings and Wooden work etc.

Overnight at the hotel

DAY 10: DARJEELING - BAGDOGRA - KOLKATA
KOLKATA - DEPARTURE
After buffet breakfast at the hotel, you will be met by our office representative who will transfer you to the Bagdograairport (approx90 Kms/4 hrs) to board flight for Kolkata.

Upon arrival in Kolkata, meet by our office representative who will transfer you to International airport to board flight for onward destination.

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