Himalayan Splendour - 9D/8N

Mt Kachenjunga - Travel by Bhutan & Beyond Tours

‘Himalayan Splendour’ – Northeast India Private Tour

Tour Highlights:
This private tour features beautiful Darjeeling, ‘Queen of the Hills’ in the ‘Lesser Himalayan’ area, and the north-eastern Himalayan region of Sikkim. A very Buddhist part of India bordering Bhutan & Tibet. This tour requires a minimum of 2 persons travelling together to operate.

  • Tour Duration 9 days/8 nights ex-Bagdogra
  • Visit Darjeeling, Pelling, Gangtok & Kalimpong
  • Extensive sightseeing & a day excursion to sacred Lake Tsomgo
  • Ride the UN World Heritage listed ‘Toy Train’ to Ghoom
  • Quality 4-star Elgin hotels throughout
  • All meals included in this tour, a few at local restaurants
  • Fly Kolkata (or Delhi) to Bagdogra return to connect with this tour.
  • Options to connect home, stay on in Kolkata or combine with another tour.

OR CALL YOUR BHUTAN & BEYOND TRAVEL EXPERTS ON
AUS toll free, James – 0412 416 111, Nicola – 0413 598 669

Himalayan Splendour Land Tour Costs Per Person:

India domestic air flight costs are additional for this tour and will be quoted at time of booking.
The domestic air flight sectors will be Kolkata-Bagdogra-Kolkata (or Delhi).

Low Season Land Tour Dates:
16JUN – 14SEP 2022 / 25NOV – 20DEC 2022 / 02JAN – 14MAR 2023
Twin/double share @ US$1908.00 per person.
Single room surcharge @ US$968.00 pp

Peak Season Land Tour Dates:
15MAR – 15JUN 2022 / 15SEP – 24NOV 2022 / 21DEC22 – 01JAN 2023  
Twin/double share @ US$2056.00 per person.
Single room surcharge @ US$1116.00 pp

‘Himalayan Splendour Tour Cost Inclusions:

– Accommodation for 8 nts, in one double/twin room at quality 4-star Elgin hotels.
(Hotels are subject to availability at the time of booking)
– All transfers & touring by private air-conditioned vehicle.
– All meals as per the itinerary.
– Services of a professional English-speaking guide AND a driver throughout.
– Toy Train ride to Ghoom.
– Meet & Assist services at Bagdogra airport.
– Current applicable India taxes as on 28 Feb 2022.

Tour Costs Exclude: 

– Entrance tickets to monuments & selected sites.
– Any meals other than mentioned in your itinerary.
– International & Domestic Airfares.
You will require a round-trip India domestic flight to/from Bagdogra airport which will be priced for you at time of booking.
– Items of personal nature ie. laundry, drinks, phone calls, camera fee, tips, COVID tests etc.
– Travel Insurance charges, visa charges etc.in quality 4-star Elgin

Detailed India Private Tour Itinerary for 'Himalayan Splendour'.

Meal Codes: B=Breakfast; L=Lunch; D=Dinner.

DAY 01: ARRIVE BAGDOGRA AIRPORT BY FLIGHT (at extra cost) 
TRANSFER TO DARJEELING BY ROAD (70 KMS/ 3-4 HRS) (L,D)

Arrive at Bagdogra airport today and be met by our Target Tours representative who will assist you with your private car transfer to Darjeeling. Check-in to your hotel and take the rest of the day is at leisure. Check in time is from 1400 hrs.

Darjeeling is also known as ‘Queen of the Hills’ and located at 2045 metres in the verdant ‘Lesser Himalaya’ region of West Bengal. It is a popular destination and most famous for its tea plantations and the UNESCO Heritage Listed Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, aka the Toy Train.

After lunch at the hotel/or local restaurant the rest of the day is free to relax. Dinner is at your hotel.

OVERNIGHT STAY AT THE ELGIN HOTEL IN A PREMIUM ROOM.

DAY 02: DARJEELING (B,L,D)

Arise very early this morning for your 11 km drive to Tiger Hill, famous for its spectacular sunrises over the Himalaya. At 2,600 m Tiger Hill is the highest hill in the immediate area. On clear mornings, witness the sunrise hitting Mt Kangchenjunga (3rd highest mountain at 8586 m) and turning it pink and then orange. Mt Everest / Sagarmatha can also be seen from this point.

After breakfast at your hotel, enjoy a private half day exploring tour of Darjeeling visiting:

* The Tibetan Refugee Centre.
This complex was set up by the Tibetan refugees in Darjeeling on 02 October 1959, after they followed the Dalai Lama and escaped from Tibet. The refugees adopted the principle of self-help so that they could become independent and completely rehabilitate themselves in a foreign country, which they did gracefully.

The refugees received the site “Hill Side”, measuring some 4 acres of area, from the state government to build the center. It is located on a hilltop that is accessible by car. Initially they started raising funds through donations, subscriptions, charity shows and even through exhibition soccer matches. Before long they started receiving funds from domestic and international voluntary organizations as well.

* The Mountaineering Institute, which trains climbers from any nation.
Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI) was established in Darjeeling, as a step to organize the growing interest in the field of mountaineering, after the ascent by Tenzing Norgay on Mt. Everest. This institute was founded in 1954, at the personal initiative of Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India. The institute was shifted to its current location, on the western spur of Jawahar Parbat, in 1958 and it stands perched at an altitude of 2072 m. The first principal of this institute was Late Major N.D. Jayal, and its first Director for Field Training was the legendary mountaineer, Tenzing Norgay.

* The Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park featuring local Himalayan Fauna.
Situated two kms from the main town of Darjeeling, the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park houses several endangered species including Red Panda, Tibetan Wolf, the Siberian Tiger, and Snow Leopard. Captive breeding programs are undertaken to preserve the Red Panda. The Himalayan Black bear is an old resident of the zoo. The Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park is a well-known center for captive breeding, with great care taken by the authorities during the entire breeding and raising process.

After your morning tour, take lunch at a local restaurant and the afternoon is at your leisure for relaxing at the hotel or local exploring. Breakfast & dinner is at your hotel.

OVERNIGHT STAY AT THE ELGIN HOTEL IN A PREMIUM ROOM.

DAY 03: DARJEELING (B,L,D)

Today you will enjoy an excursion on the famous TOY TRAIN up to Ghoom, the highest railway station on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway – a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Lunch at your hotel OR a local restaurant and the afternoon is at leisure, perhaps to explore the Mall area of Darjeeling city on your own. Breakfast & dinner at your hotel.

OVERNIGHT STAY AT THE ELGIN HOTEL IN A PREMIUM ROOM.

DAY 04: DARJEELING/PELLING (SIKKIM) BY ROAD (70 KMS/3 HRS) (B,L,D)

After breakfast depart by private car and transfer to Pelling, which is in the western part of Sikkim. Highly appreciated for its natural vistas and serenity, Pelling is a prominent hill station in the northeast of India.

Pelling is a small town known for its natural beauty and breathtaking landscapes. Tall snowy mountains and monasteries are the main features that make it one of the best places to visit in Sikkim. Located at a height of 2072 m, Pelling offers stunning views of mountains such as Kumbhakarna, Koktang, and Dom. It is home to several tribes and communities including Lepcha, Bhutia, Tamang, Marwari, and Limbu amongst others.

On arrival in Pelling check in at your hotel and the rest of the day is at leisure. You can choose to relax in the hotel or take a stroll through the town. All meals taken at hotel today.

OVERNIGHT STAY AT THE ELGIN MOUNT PANDIM HOTEL IN A DELUXE ROOM.

DAY 05: PELLING (B,L,D)

After breakfast in the hotel depart for a private exploring tour of Pelling:

* India’s First Glass Sky Walk:
Located at an altitude of 2195 m the sky walk overlooks the awesome statue of Chenrezig with its mighty stairs and golden prayer wheels leading up to it. Chenrezig is the 4th largest statue in northern India at 41.5 m. Visitors can also get a panoramic view of the Himalaya, along with the Teesta and Rangit rivers below.

* Pemayangtse Monastery:
About 2km from the main town of Pelling, and opposite the Elgin Mount Pandium Hotel, lies the principal monastery of Nyingma sect, Pemayangtse Monastery. This Buddhist pilgrimage center is said to be built in the year 1705, by Gyalwa Lhatsun Namkha Jigme. The decorated monastery is like the epicentre of all the other Nyingma monasteries and is believed to maintain the order of this sect. Hit by earthquakes twice, the structure of Pemayangtse monastery has undergone several renovations.

At present, the floors of the monastery are decorated with paintings, sculptures, and ancient scriptures. Visitors will also witness eight incarnations of Padmasambhava, in the form of highly stunning statues. The center of attraction remains the main statue of Padmasambhava, which represents the Tantric form of Buddhism.

Rabdentse Ruins:
This is the archaeological site that tells Sikkim’s story of glory. Until 1814 A.D, it was the second capital of Sikkim, established by the Chogyal II. Later, after the Nepalese invasion in the 18th century, the palace and the monastery complex were destroyed and only the ruins remain. A must see for history-enthusiasts who want to dig into the state’s past while witnessing the spectacular view of Kanchenjunga peak and the gushing river flowing through the foothills.

The ruins are just a short walk away from the Pemayangtse Monastery, through the dense forest on the way to Pelling. As one enters the gate, chestnut trees welcome visitors with drooping moss. The path leads to the stone throne comprising of three standing stones known as ‘Namphogang’ where the judges used to pronounce the final judgement. Walking further, one will see ‘Taphap Chorten’ which was the entry point of the palace, while the actual palace ruins are at the centre of the fourth courtyard which offers a mesmerizing view of the southwestern region of Sikkim.

Alongside this is ‘Dab Lhakang’ where the royal family offered prayers to their deities. Near to this, a white marble slab can be seen which was once the location of the monastery known as “Risum Gompa”.

Lunch at your hotel.

This afternoon, embark on a nature trip to Khecheopalri Lake – one of the most sacred mountain lakes for Buddhists. It is believed that whatever is wished for in front of the lake comes true. Myth has it when a leaf falls on the placid clear lake water it is soon picked up by a bird to maintain the perfect lake surface.

All meals taken at your hotel today.

OVERNIGHT STAY AT ELGIN MOUNT PANDIM HOTEL IN A DELUXE ROOM.

DAY 06: PELLING/GANGTOK BY ROAD (116 KMS/4-5 HRS) (B,L,D)

Breakfast & dinner in the hotel. Lunch can be taken in a local restaurant if preferred. This morning travel northeast to Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, and check-in to your hotel on arrival this afternoon.

The name meaning hill-top, Gangtok can be safely said to be one of the most beautiful hill stations in India. With everything in just the right amount from a blend of cultural identities to urbanization, Gangtok is a breathing and dynamic slice of paradise of the northeast. It has an amazing view of Mt. Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain peak in the world.

Freshen up at the hotel before an exploring tour of Gangtok, with visit options below:

* Rumtek Monastery. (You can spend up to 4 hours here and it is recommended)
The seat of the Karmapa Lama who heads the Kagyupa Sect of Buddhism. Built in the 16th century it was in ruins when the Karmapa fled Tibet in 1959 however being in such an auspicious location it was rebuilt over the next 6 years with help from the Sikkim Royal Family. The monastery is situated at 1500m and is 24kms from Gangtok.

* Do Drul Chorten. (Optional – only for those extremely interested)
The most significant and perhaps the biggest stupa in Sikkim with 108 prayer wheels on the outside. Built in 1945 the stupa contains relics of holy books and is surrounded by two Lhakhangs (temples).

* The Research Institute of Tibetology. (Recommended)
The foundation stone of this institute was laid in 1957 by the 14th Dalai Lama. The institute promotes research on the history, religion, language, and culture of the ‘Tibetan cultural region’ which includes Sikkim.

* Flower Show & Enchey Monastery. (optional)
Enchey monastery is built on a stunning ridge of a hill 3 kms to the northeast of Gangtok city and from where the Kanchendzonga range is visible. From the monastery spectacular views are possible. The religious significance of Enchey Monastery is deeply ingrained in every household in Gangtok, and it is also believed that the powerful deities, resident in the monastery, always fulfil the wishes of the devotees.

OVERNIGHT STAY AT THE ELGIN NOR-KHILL HOTEL IN A DELUXE ROOM.

DAY 07: GANGTOK (B,L,D)

Breakfast and dinner in the hotel.

Excursion to Tsomgo Lake: OPTIONAL & requires a min of 2 persons to operate.
Tsomgo Lake which is around 39 km from Gangtok and the drive time is approx 1 hour each way. A permit must be obtained in advance to visit this area.

Situated at an altitude of around 3753 m, Tsomgo Lake or Changgu Lake, is one of the most beautiful spots in the whole of Sikkim. This glacial lake is home to a huge quantity of Brahminy ducks and migratory birds. Besides its natural beauty, the lake is also a sacred lake that is visited by Buddhist and Hindu pilgrims. On the banks of the lake lies a temple of Lord Shiva along with shops selling yak cheese and trinkets. The lake surface reflects different colours with the change of seasons and is held in great reverence by the local Sikkimese people.

A packed lunch will be provided on this tour. Return to your hotel in Gangtok by late afternoon for your overnight stay.

OVERNIGHT STAY AT THE ELGIN NOR-KHILL HOTEL IN A DELUXE ROOM.

DAY 08: GANGTOK/KALIMPONG BY ROAD (74 KMS /2.5 – 3 HRS) (B,L,D)

Breakfast in the hotel.

Depart southwards for Kalimpong, West Bengal, this morning and check in at your hotel by noon. Take lunch & dinner at the hotel.

Kalimpong is known for its educational institutions many of which were established during the British colonial period. The city, located on a ridge overlooking the Teesta River, is an attractive destination due its temperate climate and proximity to popular tourist locations in the region. Horticulture is important and the flower market is notable for its wide array of orchids.

In the afternoon enjoy a city tour of Kalimpong visiting:

* The Flower Nurseries & Market.

* Jang-Dong Palriffo Brang Gompa.
The Dalai Lama consecrated Jang-Dong Palriffo Brang Gompa, also known as Durpin Monastery, in 1976 after six years of construction. The importance of this monastery lies with the sacred Kunguyar kept here. It contains all 108 volumes carried by Dalai Lama in his exile.

This Gompa is a specimen of Buddhist architectural style with spectacular paintings on the walls. Fascinating views of surrounding landscapes and the distant Himalayan ranges make this an enchanting picnic spot. The fragrance of peace and tranquility flows through the ambience of this Gompa.

* Dr Graham’s Homes.
This missionary school was set up by Dr. J A Graham in 1900 as an orphanage & school for the destitute Anglo-Indian children. It started with only one cottage that accommodated up to 35 children. Over the years it has developed into a well-known multi religious and co-educational school spanning over 500 acres of lush landscape and having some 50 cottages. It is located on the way to Deolo Hills.

* Deolo Hill.
This is the major attraction in East Kalimpong. The tourism department has created an 8-acre lush parkland with manicured flower gardens and several viewpoints with breathtaking views of Kanchenjunga, Durpin hill, Kalimpong Township and the valley with rivers flowing through them. Deolo hill is the highest point of Kalimpong with an altitude of about 1704 m. Children can also take pony rides. At one corner of the lawn are stalls offering coffee and snacks. A great place to have a picnic or just relax.

Also visit the Pine View Nursery, it has great collections of cactus and ornamental plants. You get great view of Kalimpong town from the rear lawn.

Return to your hotel in Kalimpong by early evening for dinner & your overnight stay.

OVERNIGHT STAY AT THE ELGIN SILVER OAKS HOTEL IN A DELUXE ROOM.

DAY 09: KALIMPONG/BAGDOGRA AIRPORT BY ROAD (75 KMS/3 HRS) (B)

Breakfast in the hotel.

Depart for Bagdogra airport in time to connect to your onwards flight to your next destination. If travelling on to Bhutan an extra night in Bagdogra may be necessary.

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