Explore the lower ranges of the Himalayas in Darjeeling, Kalimpong, and Gangtok. The tea plantations, architecture, and educational institutions are a vivid reminder of the British Raj. There is a strong cultural diversity in the region; Tibetan refugees relocated after Tibet was annexed by China and they co-exist with the descendants of the many Nepali and Bihari laborers brought to work in the tea plantations. Discover the splendors in the Eastern hills, a unification of Bengali, Tibetan, Indian, and Nepali traditions.
Welcome to India! Upon arrival in Delhi, meet our representative and transfer to the hotel.
Delhi is a bustling metropolis that incorporates the ancient with the modern. Amidst the skyscrapers, the monuments stand as a silent reminder to India's legacy. Driving from the airport, you will be impressed with Delhi's spacious, tree-lined streets and garden parks. Overnight.
Delhi - Darjeeling
After breakfast, transfer to the airport and fly to Bagdogra. Upon arrival, drive through tea gardens and quaint villages to reach Darjeeling (3 hours). Darjeeling is a town in the Indian state of West Bengal in the lower ranges of the Himalayas. It is internationally famous for its tea industry and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. Darjeeling maintains a strong European influence from the British Raj, particularly evident in its schools, architecture, and cuisine.
Evening at leisure.
In the early morning visit Tiger Hill and Ghoom Monastery. From Tiger Hill, the great Mount Everest is visible on clear days. At sunrise, the snow-clad mountain peaks constitute a glorious feast of color.
Later, take a joy ride on the World Heritage Toy Train from Darjeeling to Ghoom. Operating on narrow gauge tracks since 1880s and providing an important transport link to various parts of Darjeeling hills and lower plains, the Toy Train is still unmatched when it comes to absorbing magnificent beauty of the mountains. Built between 1879 and 1881, with six zig-zags and five loops, the railway is about 88 km (55 mi) long.
Afternoon visit to a tea estate, followed by a colonial walk that includes St. Andrew’s Church, Gymkhana Club, Capital Hall, Municipal Office, Turnbull School, and Municipal School.
Evening at leisure and overnight.
Darjeeling - Gangtok
In the morning, drive to Gangtok (5 hours). Gangtok is the capital of the state of Sikkim. The city became a major stopover between Tibet and British India in the 19th century. Gangtok is a center of Tibetan Buddhist culture and houses many monasteries and religious institutions.
Enjoy an afternoon at leisure and overnight.
After breakfast, tour the highlights of Gangtok. Start with Ganesh Tok, a temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha. Continue to the Cottage Industry and Handicraft Center and observe Tibetan women engaged in weaving, crafting handlooms, and designing woodcarving and paintings based on Sikkimese design.
After lunch, visit the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology laid by the 14th Dalai Lama in 1957; Dro-dul Chorten, a Stupa covered with a golden top dome built in 1945 by Trulshik Rinpoche, a respected Buddhist Lama; and Enchey Monastery, blessed by Lama Drupthob Karpo, an exponent of tantric art in Buddhism.
If interested, you can also visit the Ridge Park and Flower Exhibition Center featuring a wonderful stretch of various colorful flowers and plants.
Evening at leisure and overnight.
Gangtok - Kalimpong
After breakfast, drive to Kalimpong (3 hours.) Well known for its flower markets, particularly the orchid collections, Kalimpong also houses many rare Tibetan Buddhist scriptures. Its location at the base of the Himalayas is breathtaking.
Afternoon at leisure to explore the town. Overnight.
ST's Hotel Recommendation
Mayfair Himalayan Spa Resort
A heritage hotel, Mayfair features sweeping views of majestic snow-clad mountains and enchanting hills draped in sage and emerald green. Reserve a Heritage Suite for extra touches of traditional decor with separate living space.
Enjoy a leisurely day visiting the various Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and flower nurseries. You can also explore the community markets and enjoy chai at the local mountain stalls.
Kalimpong - Bagdogra and Departure
In the morning, drive to Bagdogra (3 hours) for your onward flight to Delhi or Mumbai. Bon Voyage!
Daily breakfast and dinner
Airfare from Delhi - Bagdogra and Bagdogra - Delhi or Mumbai
Private vehicle and driver
Comprehensive touring with a private guide
Entrance fees to the monuments
Ride on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
Local, immersive experiences
Airport transfers with assistance
Road/interstate taxes, fuel surcharges, and parking fees