Eastern Himalayas – Sikkim & Darjeeling
Route : Kolkata - Jalpaiguri - Darjeeling - Gangtok - Rumtek Monastery - Kalimpong - Bagdogra - Kolkata
Eastern Himalayas is a strikingly beautiful and unspoilt region with Darjeeling and Sikkim being its two sharing jewels. The Superb journey is one of the most scenically rewarding journey in the entire Himalayas, with views of Kangchenjunga, and several other mountain peaks like Kabru, Ratong, Pandim and Siniolchu. We will get to traverse through the panoramic terraced fields, aromatic tea gardens and fruit orchards, magnolias and rhododendron forests and great ancient monasteries. All this is set against the backdrop of the third highest mountain in the world – Kangchendzonga – that majestically dominates the skyline.
– Explore the incredibly stunning mountain views.
– Visit the colourful sacred Buddhist monasteries and old temples.
– Witness the lifestyle of village of Rumtek and the local people.
– Witness rare Himalayan flora and fauna and other wild species.
– Enjoy an overnight train journey.
See Full Itinerary
Arrival TimeEarly morning
Dress CodeCasual, Warm and Sports Wear
Tour Itinerary : - Eastern Himalayas – Sikkim & Darjeeling
Day 01: Arrive Kolkata
Arrive at Kolkata International airport. After completing the immigration and custom, proceed towards the arrival hall. Meeting and assistance on arrival with a traditional welcome of garlanding and transfer to the hotel (the room being held from the previous day).
A mere village in the 17th century, Kolkata today is one of the largest cities in the world, one of the largest ports in the East and the main outlet for the produce of West Bengal and neighbouring states. The city that lives against all odds with its character.
This morning is at leisure.
After leisurely breakfast, we set off to explore the highlights of the city through “white town heritage zone”, visit
Eden Garden, nicely laid-out in green expanse having pools within, this is an attractive spot in the city. A superb wooden pagoda may be seen here. Dalhousie square or BBD Bagh-is in the heart of the city. Many historical buildings surround the square. On the southern side of the square is the Raj Bhavan, besides that, are the Assembly House and Calcutta High Court (1872). On the western side of the square stands the imposing General Post Office beside which is the tall building of the Reserve Bank of India / Writers building/ Marble Palace (story of Babu Culture)–the ‘Palace’ is in Chor Bagan at 46 Muktaram Babu street and Millennium Park.
Overnight in Kolkata
Day 02: Kolkata
This morning, we visit the Flower market. Walk across the Howrah bridge till the boat jetty. Board a local boat with the daily passengers to experience the daily life of the common people of the city. We disembark at the SHOBHABAZAR GHAT and walk inside the residential potters block of Kumartuli. Visit Kumartuli and interact with the clay modellers engaged in making the religious icons, for all sorts of Hindu festivals. Later drive to the Jain temple.
We will also visit 16 km across the river Ganga, is Belur Math (1938), Unique temple which represents a Church, a Mosque and a Temple and the international headquarter of the Ramakrishna Mission, founded in 1899 by Swami Vivekanand, a disciple of the 19th century Hindu saint Ramakrishna Paramhans.
In the evening, transfer to Howrah (railway station) to board the overnight train to New Jalpaiguri – train journeys in India are always an adventure. We should be prepared for mixed experience.
Overnight onboard the train.
Day 03: Arrive New Jalpaiguri and drive to Darjeeling 100 km about 4hrs
This morning arrive at New Jalpaiguri railway station(closest railhead to the Hill station of Northeast).
Meeting on arrival at the station and drive to Darjeeling - a stunning drive initially through flat rice fields, teak plantations and tea plantations, before the road starts to climb into the foothills of the Himalaya. The British acquired this land covered with thick forest in 1833 and introduced tea cultivation and turned it into a hill station.
Darjeeling (Dorje Ling which means The Place of the Thunderbolt) stands on a ridge which the almost 2200m up in the Himalayas. This exceptionally beautiful town is layered with several levels which are interwoven together by steep stairways, majestic Victorian Gothic architecture and mesmerizing botanical gardens.
Mountain views surround you; Kanchenjunga at 8586m towers on the horizon. There is a large and thriving Buddhist community along with the predominant population of Nepalese descendants, Lepchas and refugee Tibetans.
(Room available only from 1400 hrs). You can use the facilities of the hotel until your room is ready in case you have arrived early.This day is at leisure.
Overnight in Darjeeling
Day 04: Darjeeling.
Early morning we walk up to the Observatory Hill where the Mahakal Temple is located. It is unique as there are Buddhist Monks and Hindu Priests performing the ceremonies sitting side by side within the same enclosure. Mahakal also called Mahakal Baba is regarded as the presiding deity by the locals of Darjeeling. The visit to this small temple is worthwhile and for many people, the vibrant energy of the area in the morning can be quite an experience!!
We return to the hotel for breakfast. After breakfast take the toy train from Darjeeling to Ghoom and visit the Yiga Choling monastery, which is one of the most famous monasteries in Darjeeling, it also enshrines an image of “MAITREYA BUDDHA”.
After the visit of the monastery, the vehicle will drop us at Jorebunglow which is a few kilometers from the monastery. From here we walk back to Darjeeling via Aloobari, which used to be a small road used by ponies in the past but now it is a blacktop road but not much traffic. We will be walking via the Yolmowa Mak Dhog Monastery commonly known as Aloobari monastery – the Buddhist monastery was built by Sangay Lama, a religious leader from North-Eastern Nepal in 1914. That was the time when the first World War had started. The name Mak Dhog which means warding off the war, was given to the monastery to symbolize world peace. The walk back to the hotel takes about an hour and we walk past the houses built on the sides of the road and from some places we can look out onto the hills and mountains. The walk ends at Chowrasta, the famous square of Darjeeling also known as The Mall since the British era.
Afternoon we walk through the local bazaar of Darjeeling.
Overnight in Darjeeling
Day 05: Darjeeling
We will wake up early morning at around 4:30hrs and drive for nearly 30 minutes to witness the dawn over Kanchenjunga (8,548m) and many more peaks of Eastern Himalayan range from Tiger Hill which is the highest peak of this area standing at 2,540m, located around 11km away from the main city. We return to the hotel for breakfast.
After breakfast, walk up to the Observatory Hill- perhaps the oldest built up site in Darjeeling. Darjeeling (red hat Buddhist monastery) was once plundered by Nepalis during the 19th century. The residence of West Bengal Governor is located at Shruberry on the Birch Hill in the north. Himalayan Mountaineering Institute is also located here along with Birch Hill. Late Tenzing Norgay used to head this institute. A museum displays the equipment used on the first successful expedition to the Mount Everest. There is a zoological park nearby which houses some high-altitude wildlife such as pandas, Himalayan black bears, yaks however you can also spot Siberian tigers here. One of the best tea estates in Darjeeling lies below the tea estate of Happy Valley which is open for visiting all days excluding Sundays and Mondays. Planter’s Club which dominates the mall; this is the place where planters come to meet from all over the area especially on Sundays. The owners of Llyod’s Bank donated the land for Llyod Botanical Gardens which were made in 1878. These gardens are known for alpine and Himalayan flora. There is a Tibetan Refugee Self-Help Center nearby which has a hospital, school, temple and a shop which sells jewellery, textiles and carpets.
Mount Kanchenjunga can be seen from Observatory Hill but a much better view of the peak is from Tiger Hill, 10 km south of Darjeeling.
Overnight in Darjeeling
Day 06: Darjeeling to Gangtok 115 km about 4.5 hrs
This morning after leisurely breakfast drive to Gangtok - the capital city of Sikkim, a sprawling urban settlement, sits atop a 1,600 m-high ridge, surrounded by brilliant green mountains snuggled against Khangchendzonga.
This afternoon is at leisure, since you have driven thru the mountainous road.
During the evening, we walk to the M G Marg which is a pedestrian walkway with a marketplace.Overnight in Gangtok
Day 07: Gangtok - Excursion to Rumtek Monastery 30 km about 2 hrs each way
This morning, after leisurely breakfast, drive to Rumtek monastery - the home of the Karmapa Lamas. The monastery rebuilt around the 1960s as a replica of the Tshurpu monastery in Tibet, the original home of the Karmapas- Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism, one of the sect with the most following and there are over 300 centres worldwide. There is also an institute of Higher Buddhist Learning within the monastery complex. The main prayer hall is an impressive one with beautiful wall paintings and a huge Buddha statue. In a nearby building is the Golden Stupa where the relics of the 16th Karmapa is kept.
We will also walk around the village of Rumtek and drive back to Gangtok via Rankha Monastery.
Overnight in Gangtok
Day 08: Gangtok
This morning after leisurely breakfast, we set off to explore other highlights of Gangtok - the Enchey monastery which was built in 1909 is located on hilltop above Gangtok in Sikkim. It is related to the Nyingma Order of Vajrayana Buddhism. The monastery which was constructed around the small hamlet of Gangtok later emerged as a famous religious site. It is said that the location Lama Drupthob Karpo which was a known exponent of tantric art of Buddhism with powers flying had blessed the location where the monastery was built. He initially built a small Gompa; he flew to this site from Meanom Hill in South Sikkim. Enchey Monastery means ‘Solitary Monastery’. The sacredness of the monastery is attributed by the protecting deities who reside in the monastery, Khangchendzong and Yabdean.
Later, we visit the museum at the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology. The foundation stone of the Institute was laid by the 14th Dalai Lama on 10 February 1957 and it was opened officially by the on 1 October 1958. Sikkim was then an independent kingdom. The museum houses rare and antique collection of Tibetan artefacts, statues and Thankas.
We will also visit the nearby Do-drul Chorten which is the largest chorten or stupa in Sikkim. Located on a hillock, the stupa is based at a short walking distance from Research Institute of Tibetology. A golden top dome is the iconic feature of the chorten which is visible from many places of Gangtok.
Overnight in Gangtok
Day 09: Gangtok to Kalimpong 80 km about 3 hrs
This morning after leisurely breakfast, we set off to drive to Kalimpong – a quiet hill resort once the former headquarters of the Bhutanese governor known for its educational institutions, which were established during the British Colonial period. Situated at an altitude of 1250 m. between the Deolo and Durbindra hills. It lies in the valley formed by the lower Teesta River and its tributaries in the foothills of the Himalayas.
This afternoon is at leisure.
Overnight in Kalimpong
Day 10: Kalimpong
This morning, after leisurely breakfast we set for a full day visit of Kalimpong. The flower market of this town is famous for varieties of orchids. The economy of Kalimpong is contributed by the involvement of flower nurseries in the export of flower bulbs, rhizomes and tubers which are Himalayan grown. There are many Buddhist monasteries known for housing a lot of rare scriptures of Tibetan Buddhism.
At the end of the interesting day, we get back to our hotel to spend the night.
Overnight in Kalimpong
Day 11: Kalimpong- Bagdogra 90 km about 3.5 hrs. Bagdogra - Kolkata fly 1350/1450 km
This morning after early breakfast and transfer to Bagdogra airport to board the flight to Kolkata. Meeting on arrival at Kolkata and transfer to the hotel (Room being held till departure). This afternoon is either for shopping or just relax in the hotel.
Overnight in Kolkata
Day 12: Depart Kolkata
Today you will be transferred to the airport to board the international flight back home taking back mesmerizing memories of the Sikkim Darjeeling trip.
Eastern Himalayas - Sikkim & Darjeeling
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Prices per person
01 paying person in a Single Room
02 paying persons in a Double Room