Day 01 - Arrive Delhi
Arrive by International flight, our representative would assist you at airport & transfer to hotel for check in. Rest of the day is at your leisure you can rome through the nearby streeets and markets if you have time.
Delhi is a bustling metropolis, which successfully combines in its folds the medieval with modern. Its strategic location at the heart of this region, was the prime reasons why successive dynasties chose it as their seat of power. In fact, some of the mythological cities are believed to be here too, like the city of Indraprastha from the Hindu epic Mahabharata, founded around 5000 BC. Numerous monuments were built over several centuries by different rulers like Qutub-ud-din Aibek, Alauddin Khilji, Tughlaks, Humayun & Shah Jahan, who built the Walled City Shah Jahanabad.
Later in first half of 20th century much of New Delhi was planned by Sir Edwin Lutyens, who laid out a grandiose central administrative area as a testament to British rule in India. The division in walled city & New Delhi also marks the division in life styles.
Overnight stay in hotel.
Day 02 :Delhi – Bagdogara (By Flight), Bagdogara – Darjeeling (110 km - 03 hr)
Take Flight to Bagdogara, after reaching drive to Darjeeling, Queen of India's hill stations. Its setting is one of incomparable beauty. A Victorian town of old world charm 'discovered' by the British. It is surrounded by fragrant tea gardens which seem to flow over the layered slopes like emerald swells on a rough Green Sea.
Overnight stay in Darjeeling
Day 03 : Darjeeling
Today morning we visit Tiger Hill, famous for its magnificent view of Kanchenjunga, Mt. Everest & other eastern Himalayan peaks especially at the time of sunrise. On our way back we first visit Ghoom, as the name suggests it is gloomy & clammy with perpetual fog. A Tibetan village, one can hear the foghorn-like sounds of Buddhist monks blowing their giant Gyeling pipes from the rooftops of the nearby Yiga-Choling ' Yellow Hat' Buddhist Temple. Later we visit the two Buddhist monasteries Chholing & Darli.
Toy Train in Darjeeling
After some rest we take a ride of toy train of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR), now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also visit the Mountaineering Institute, created by the late Tenzing Norgay, the Sherpa who conquered Mt Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary. A display of equipment used on the climb is one of the highlights.. Next we visit the Tibet Handicraft Centre & the beautiful Tea gardens. In the evening visit the Observatory Hill known locally as Makal-Babu-Ko-Thaan. According to legend, a Red Hat Buddhist Monastery called Dorje Ling, or 'place of the Thunderbolt', stood at this very spot. The Nepalese destroyed it in the 19th century, now the Shivas & Buddhists share the temple that stands there today.
Overnight Hotel – Darjeeling
Day 04 : Darjeeling - Gangtok (95 km- 03 hr)
Today we drive to Gangtok, a fairytale capital in the clouds, balances precariously on Steep Mountain slopes, beded by paddy crop terraces, swifts flowing rivers & distant views of snow laden mountains. Gangtok is located in the eastern Himalyan range, at an altitude of 1,650 m (5,410 ft). & was a small hamlet until the construction of the Enchey Monastery in 1840 made it a pilgrimage center. In the early 20th century, Gangtok became a major stopover on the trade route between Lhasa
in Tibet and cities such as Kolkata (then Calcutta) in British Inida. It is also a centre of Tibetan Buddhist culture & learning with numerous monasteries & religious educational.
Later we take a tour of Gangtok, visiting Research Institute of Tibetology, organization dedicated to furthering Tibetan studies, Buddhist philosophy & region. It attracts scholars from all over the world. It houses a rare collection of 30,000 books, Tantric documents, rare manuscripts written in gold on the bark of a poisonous tree, antique thanks & 200 icons, all prized objects of art for the Buddhism historical signifiacnce.
Overnight stay in Gangtok.
Day 05 : Gangtok
Tsongo Lake in Gangtok
Today we take an excursion tour toDo Drul Chorten, are two exquisite Stupas, the Dul-dul-Chorten, was built to commemorate the victory of good over evil. The Jhang Club Chorten was built to perpetuate the memory of a great spiritualist of today. Thrul-Shik Rinpoche an ardent devotee of Buddha & one of his best interpreters died in 1962, the stupa immortalizes Rinpoche in the land of his birth. Next we visit Tsongo Lake, considered extremely sacred by the local people. The place is a paradise for bird lovers with large number of Blue Whistling Thrush, Redstarts & Fork tails around. It hosts a number of migratory birds prominent among which is the Brahminy ducks. The word Tsongo in Bhutia language means source of the lake. Next we visit Rumtek Monastery, meandering roads through emerald green Paddy crop terraces, lays Rumtek, the main monastery of Kagyud or 'Black Hat' sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Built in 1959 by His Holiness the 16th Reincarnated Gyalwa Karmapa, it is a replica of Tsurphu Monastery from the Kham region of Tibet.
Later we visit Government Institute of Cottage Industries (GICI), which produces crafts in authentic Sikkimese designs. Hand woven Tibetan carpets sprout dragons in natural dyes, Sikkimese-style tables called Choktse are expertly carved & colored in red & gold. Next we visit Himalayan Zoological Park also known as Bulbuley. It has paved cement path that passes by fenced open air enclosures housing the Red Pandas, barking deer & bears in a semi natural habitat. Also explore Lal bazaar, melody of colour. Various ethnic groups from different villages gather to haggle, bargain, gossip their wares.
Overnight stay in Gangtok.
Day 06 : Gangtok - Excursion Phodang (30 kms each way)
Today we take an excursion to Phodang,Phodong Monastery
(or Phodang) is a Buddhist monastery in Sikkim, Inida. It is located 28 kilometres fromG . It was built in the early 18th century but an older monastery had pre-existed the current one. 9th Karmapa was invited by the king of Sikkim, where he founded three monasteries : Rumtek, the most important monastery of the Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism, Phodong and Ralang Monastery.It was reconstructed by Sidkeong Tulku Namgyal, who was recognized as the reincarnation of his uncle,Sidkeong Namgyal, the abbot of the monastery.The line was to be continued by Palden Thondup Namgyal. The monastery has a residence of approximately 260 monks and has a numerous collection of some ancient murals.the main annual Puja is performed here on the 28th & 29th days of the tenth month of the lunar calendar with religious dances being the main attraction.
Overnight stay in Gangtok.
Day 07 : Gangtok - Rumtek (24 km – 01 hr)
We drive to Rumtek in the morning, also called the Dharmachakra Centre, It is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery Originally built by the 9th Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje in the year 1740. It served as the main seat of the Karma Kagyu lineage in Sikkim. But when the 16th Karmapa arrived in Sikkim in 1959, after fleeing before the Chinese occupation of Tibet, it was in ruins. Despite being offered other sites, the Karmapa decided to rebuild Rumtek. To him, the site possessed many auspicious qualities & was surrounded by the most favorable attributes. For example Flowing streams, mountains behind, a snow range in front, & a river below.
Overnight stay in Rumtek.
Day 08 : Rumtek - Kalimpong
Today we drive to Kalimpong, an incredible stunning backdrop of towering snow capped peaks. It
is a hill station in the Mahabharat Range (or Lesser Himalyas) in the Indian state of West Bengal. It is located at an average elevation of 1,250 metres (4,101 ft). The town is the headquarters of the Kalimpong subdivision, a part of the district of Dargeeling. The Indian Army's 27 Mountain Division is on the outskirts of the town. This is an exotic town of beautiful people, mystical & enchanting, with a rare ethnic blend. It also houses several Buddhist monasteries which hold a number of rare Tibetan Buddhist scriptures. It was ruled by Bhutan for 155 years & was annexed by the British only in 1865, after which it flourished as a centre of wool trade with Tibet. Here Buddhism rubs shoulders with Hinduism & Christianity. Gumpas, unusual churches, temples & missionaries coexist in a jovial society.
Overnight stay in Kalimpong.
Day 09 : Kalimpong
After breakfast we drive to Thongsa Gompa also known as the Bhutanese Monastery. It is the oldest monastery in Kalimpong & was founded in the year 1692. Though the old structure was destroyed by the Gorkhas, it was rebuilt on the same site. Next visit the Zong Dog Palri Fo-Brang Gompa, which is on the Durpin hill & is famous for the Tibetan wall paintings. It also has a religious debating society along with a school of Tibetan medicine.
Later we visit Tharpa Choeling Monastery founded in 1937 & belongs to the Gelugpa (yellow hat) sect of Tibetan monastery. This Monastery houses many old scriptures & literary works. Next Dr Graham's Home, mission school was founded by Scottish missionary Dr. John Anderson Graham in 1900. The purpose of the school was to educate children of the tea garden workers & poor labourers. We also visit few nurseries around town.
Overnight stay in Kalimpong.
Day 10 : Kalimpong – Bagdogara (75 km - 02 hr), Bagdogara – Delhi (By Flight)
Today we drive to Bagdogara to take a fight to Delhi. This is a wonderful drive & initially you follow the turbulent Teesta.
Upon Arrival in Delhi transfer to International Airport for onward destination.