3N DARJEELING, 3N GANGTOK
Darjeeling “Queen of The Himalayas”- Jaw-dropping locales, mesmerising sunrises, the untouched beauty of the hills, the old-world charm of the past, and the welcoming smiles of the local people all add up to make Darjeeling one of the most beautiful hill stations in Eastern part of India. Spread over a steep mountain ridge, nestled amidst acres of lush green tea plantations, Darjeeling stands at the height of 2,050 meters above sea level, thus boasting of cool climes all year round. This scenic hill station is the perfect getaway for a romantic honeymoon and is just around 700 kilometres away from Kolkata.
There is a reason the city is known as the ‘Queen of the Himalayas’. The lush green slopes dotted with women plucking tea leaves is a sight as mesmerising as no other. There are over 86 tea estates in Darjeeling that are responsible for producing the worldwide famous ‘Darjeeling Tea’. Have a cup of locally brewed chai at the tea estate, or get down amidst the plantations to pluck a few tea leaves yourself, you are free to take your pick! Darjeeling is a delight for all kind of tourists. The toy train established back in 1881, still runs in this part and is also one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. Beautiful colonial architecture including mansions and churches dot this little beautiful town. Filled with people from Tibet, Nepal, nearby Indian states and the Gorkhas, Darjeeling is brimming with cultural diversity. The third highest peak in the world and the highest in India, the Kanchenjunga peak is clearly visible from here and you can enjoy a panoramic view of the peak.Darjeeling is a wonderful place to walk around and explore the tea estates, villages, and markets.
Gangtok “The Gateway to Sikkim”– Incredibly alluring, pleasantly boisterous and wreathed in clouds – Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, is one of the most popular hill stations in India. Lying at the height of 1650 m above sea level, the town during its bright sunny days offers spectacular views of Mt. Kanchenjunga. Gangtok is a base for adventure enthusiasts comprising of trekkers and campers to the Himalayan mountain ranges. During the months of March to Mid-May, blooming of wild Rhododendrons transform the surrounding regions in vast fields of colourful carpets.
- Tour Manager.
- All Toll Taxes, Parking fees and Driver's Expenses.
- All Transportation mentioned in the itinerary.
- Hotel Booking, if required.
- Any Private Expenses.
- All other services not mentioned in the inclusions.
DAY 01: TRANSFER FROM NJP STATION /BAGDOGRA AIRPORT TO DARJEELING
On arrival at (NJP) Railway Station/Bagdogra Airport, our representative will warmly welcome you on arrival and assist you to the vehicle for the further journey to Gangtok. Thereafter you will depart towards your dream destinations. Throughout your journey, you can enjoy the versatility of climate. Pleasant weather will win your heart completely. On the way, you will pass through beautiful natural heritage and more of all this journey offers magnificent views of the mountains, valleys and village life, the forest, waterfalls, and hills covered with tea gardens.
DAY 02: FULL DAY DAY DARJEELING EXCURSION
Early Morning (at 04:00 am) drive to Tiger hill (8,400 ft.) to watch the spectacular sunrise over Mt. Khangchendzongha (28,208 ft. Worlds 3rd highest peak), After breakfast relax for a while and then continue your tour visit to Ghoom Monastery and Batasia Loop.
Tiger Hill: Who doesn't know about the magnificent view of sunrise from Tiger Hill. You will need to wake up by 3:30 am and take a vehicle. But the rewards are awesome. You can see the changing colors of the colossal Kanchenjunga snow peaks as the light strikes, it's a place where you can soak yourself with Himalayan beauty.
On a clear day, you can also get a glimpse of Mount Everest, Mount Makalu, and one of the most beautiful peaks of the world, Tibet's Chomol Hari. Tiger Hill is 11kms away and at an altitude of more than 8,400ft. It takes about 40 minutes to reach the top where there is a view tower for watching the sunrise. There is an entry fee.
Ghoom Monastery: You will visit one of the oldest Buddhist monasteries of Darjeeling located at a scenic location in the Ghoom area. It houses a12-foot tall statue of Maitreya Buddha which represents the Buddha of the future. This is one of the biggest and oldest statues of Buddha in the Darjeeling area. This statue was created with clay that was all brought from Tibet. In front of the Buddha's statue, two huge oil lamps keep burning all the time and all through the year.
No entry fee but donation required for taking photos inside.
Batasia Loop and the War Memorial: Batasia Loop is an engineering marvel located in the Ghoom area. This is where the toy train makes a double spiral loop to negotiate a drop of 1000 ft as it moves towards Darjeeling town. Amidst the beautiful garden where the railway track is laid in the form of a loop, there is also a War Memorial. You can walk along the track and complete the loop yourself. I do it every time I am there. Or take the many pathways in the garden and walk around, enjoying the many flowers and the surroundings. It was constructed in honor of the Gurkha soldiers who sacrificed their lives in service of the nation. There is a nominal entry fee. Don't miss the Samosas (fried vegetable pastries) that are sold near the entrance of Batasia Loop in the morning.
Japanese Temple & Peace Pagoda: Close to the Darjeeling town and in a scenic setting there is a temple built in a traditional Japanese style. About 100 yards away and in the same complex, there is a large Peace Pagoda that showcases four avatars of Buddha. The view of the mountain range and Darjeeling town from the top of the pagoda is spectacular. No entry fee. Caution: To save time, some drivers try to treat these two attractions as separate ones and count 2 instead of one. Don't be deceived or you will miss out on one of the following.
Himalayan Mountaineering Institute - Darjeeling Zoo - Natural History Museum:
These are three attractions co-located in the same large compound. The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute was built to honor Tenzing Norgay's triumph to Everest and is dedicated to providing mountaineering and rock climbing lessons to students from all over the world. There is a mountaineering museum as well. The highlights of this museum include the artifacts from various Himalayan expeditions, the Everest section showcasing Tenzing's personal belongings, an eagle found dead at 26,000 feet during the 1960 Everest expedition, a high power telescope that once belonged to Hitler and was used by the Institute, etc. Darjeeling Zoo has many high altitude Himalayan animals including Snow Leopard, Tibetan Wolf, Himalayan Black Bear, Red Panda, yaks, etc. And the Bengal Natural History Museum is great to know about flora and fauna of Bengal including high altitude animals of the Himalayan region as well as of Darjeeling district. There is a combined entry ticket to visit all three attractions in one go.
Darjeeling Ropeway: You will board the cable car from Singamari located 3km away from the town center. The 45 minutes ride takes you from an altitude of 7,000ft to 800ft with a wonderful vista of a valley around Rangeet river, tea estates, and sweeping views of the snow peaks of the Himalayan range including Kanchenjunga. The ticket needs to be purchased. During the high season, there may be long queues. So try to book in advance.
**Note: There is no confirmation for the ropeway if it is functioning or not.
Tea Garden: An old tea estate that exports all its produce to Harrods in London and a few other countries. You can see the delicate tea processing in the factory with the help of a guide and buy tea packets from its outlet. You won't get this tea anywhere else in the country. There is no entry fee, however, there is a fee for the guide.
Tibetan Refugee Self Help Center: A center and a factory established by the Tibetan refugees who fled Tibet and took refuge in Darjeeling. They not only live here, but also produce varieties of exquisite handicraft items to make their living. The handcrafted items include jackets, carpets, gloves, aprons, bags, curios, cards, pouches, carved wooden items, Tibetan paintings etc. This is a great place to buy a gift or a souvenir for your friends and relatives. There is no entry fee.
Overnight stay at Darjeeling.
DAY 03: FULL DAY EXCURSION TO MIRIK AND PASHUPATI
Excursion towards Pashupati Nagar (Indo-Nepal border) for shopping & Mirik Lake (Horse riding & Boat is available around the lake on a direct payment basis).
Simana ViewPoint: In about 20 minutes from Sukhiapokhri, there is a wonderful viewpoint called the Simana ViewPoint - a 60 feet by 40 feet plateau and a viewing point. Simana in Nepali means border. This is the Indo-Nepal border area, the road itself belongs to India and the viewing area falls in Nepal. But you can freely cross over to get the views. From Simana for a long way towards Mirik, the road acts as the divider between India and Nepal. You can view places like Maneybhanjan from here and the beautiful mountains on a clear day. You can also see the narrow winding road leading to Sandakphu on the other side of the valley. Towards your right, you will be able to see the dazzling Kanchenjunga snow peaks.
Pashupati Market: Further down, you will reach Pashupati Market entrance at the India-Nepal border. The main market is about a 1km walk from the border. You can either walk or take a Nepal taxi at the border to reach the main market (Rs. 200/- for a round trip). There are few shops right across the border, which you can check out in case you do not want to go all the way to the main market. Once you complete formalities with the border security, you will get to the road in Nepal that leads to the main market. This road continues to Kathmandu. Cameras are not allowed inside. Note that only Indians and Nepalese are allowed to cross over the border area here. Foreign nationals are not allowed to access this border. You are required to carry a photo ID in case you want to cross over the border and visit the shops. The market is full of imported electronic gadgets, jackets, perfumes & cosmetics, accessories, and clothes.
Gopaldhara Tea Estate: Having visited Simana and Pashupati Market, as you move on further towards Mirik, you will come across lovely landscapes full of tea gardens on your left. There are several small round hillock formations with pine trees on top making it a picture-perfect site. This is the Gopaldhara Tea Estate. You can walk down the aisle through the tea gardens and reach a viewpoint from where you get a wonderful view of the gardens all around. On the opposite side of the road is Gopaldhara Tea Stall. Halt for a while to taste a cup of tea. The tea served here is from Gopaldhara Tea Gardens. You can also buy packaged tea from the gardens from here.
Mirik: A small hill town is located further 12kms from Pashupati Market and at an average altitude of 5,000ft. After reaching Mirik, first visit the Mirik Monastery on top and then the Mirik Lake. These are the top attractions of the place. Sit along the bank of the lake and relax. You can also do boating in the lake (mostly paddle boats). Or walk over the arching footbridge and cross over to the other side (western bank) of the lake, turn left and take the walkway through the pine tree forest and enjoy nature. Pony rides are also available around the lake and quite popular with children.
Overnight stay at Darjeeling.
DAY 04: TRANSFER FROM DARJEELING TO GANGTOK
The exciting journey to Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim, runs through the winding road cutting across the valleys, hills, and villages and follows the course of Teesta River. You enter Sikkim through the Rangpo border and soon reach Ranipool. From Ranipool climb up towards Gangtok about 10 km away.
Gangtok is the capital of Sikkim. It is a modern city but with a great history and tradition. At 1,650 meters, Gangtok offers excellent weather throughout the year and offers multiple tourist attractions in and around the city. We assist you to check-in at the hotel.
Recommended: Visit to M.G Marg, the main promenade of the city. There are plenty of shops and eateries in the nicely decorated road where locals and tourists visit during the evening. Visit to MG Marg is to be self
Overnight stay at Gangtok.
DAY 05: FULL DAY EXCURSION OF TSOMGO LAKE, BABA MANDIR
After a heavy breakfast, we take you to the famous Tsomgo Lake at 12000 ft (3600M). We start around 8.30 AM from the hotel. You have the whole day to enjoy the snow and Yak ride at the scenic high altitude alpine lake near the Indo-Tibet border. The 1 km long and 15m deep lake is considered sacred to the local people. The pristine clear water remains frozen during winter. Have fun with snow and enjoy an exciting Yak ride around the lake.
Tsomgo Lake, also known as Changu Lake is a glacial lake in Sikkim. The name Tsomgo means 'Source of water'. It's located 40kms from Gangtok town and leads to Nathula Pass. This is one of the few high-altitude lakes in India. Before 1962, this was part of the old trade route between India and China. It takes about 2 hours by car from Gangtok to reach the lake along the Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary, the home to the red panda and the blood pheasant with Rhododendron and other alpine trees along the road - Situated at an elevation of 3753 meters / 12310 feet - The Lake is oval shaped lake nearly 50 feet deep - Generally covered in snow for most of the year – This lake is home to the Brahminy ducks & many migratory birds – Enjoy playing in snow and Yak Ride. Proceed further to Legendary Baba Harbhajan Singh Mandir (“Hero of Nathula '' An Indian soldier who was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra medal for his bravery and known for doing his duty still after death). Nearby is the sacred Baba Mandir known to be a very holy site for all. You can take a ride on colorfully adorned yaks and ponies. There is also a 957-meter long ropeway (cable car) that carries passengers from the lake to a hilltop nearby. You should reach Tsomgo Lake before noon because in the afternoon the weather here usually starts getting bad. Additionally, Nathula Pass (14,140 ft) which is the Indo Chinese border can be combined in this trip on request by the passengers at an extra cost.
** Kindly note the following points regarding visit to Nathula**
1. Nathula permits are limited; hence it is NOT a guaranteed trip.
2. If permits are issued, the additional cost to be paid by the passengers is approx. Rs. 3000 - Rs. 4000 per vehicle.
3. Nathula visit cost has not been included in this package.
4. If you have breathing problems, you are advised to consult a doctor before visiting these places (particularly Nathula) because of low oxygen at such high altitudes. Portable oxygen cylinders are available at Medical shops in Gangtok.
In the evening, return from Tsomgo Lake to Gangtok.
Overnight stay at Gangtok.
DAY 06: FULL DAY GANGTOK EXCURSION
Ban Jhakri Waterfall: A great waterfall in a landscaped forest garden. The place is an excellent picnic spot for families.
Tashi Viewpoint: A great viewpoint for watching the Kanchenjunga Snow Peaks on a clear day. Also an excellent place for sunrise view.
Gonjang Monastery: Gonjang Monastery is located about 6 km away from the heart of Gangtok town near Tashi Viewpoint. It is situated at 27.36908 latitude and 88.613314 at an altitude of 6066 feet. The monastery was established in the year 1981 and the founder is H.E. Tingkye Gonjang Rimpoche. Monastic education along with Tibetan language and English are taught to the monk students. The monastery imparts knowledge on close and comparative studies of Indian and Tibetan Buddhist philosophy based on moral values. Gonjang Institute is for a complete nine years course similar to other Nyingma Institute.
Plant Conservatory: The Plant Conservatory at Bulbulay near Gangtok stands in semi-wilderness on the road that connects Gangtok to Hanuman Tok. Sikkim is home to over 400 species of plants and trees, and the conservatory is intended to make the region a botanical hub of the future. For the layperson, the conservatory is merely an exotic garden growing naturally on the hillside. Placards give away the academic intent of this place and help visitors put names to the trees. One can identify trees such as the Dhuppi known for its fragrant resin and the omnipresent Angeri. The trees are interspersed with flowering plants like Hydrangeas, Orchids, Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Magnolias, and Daylilies. When in full bloom, this garden is a multi-sensory treat. The conservatory is home to beautiful ponds and bridges and is surrounded in greenery wherever the eyes go. With a backdrop of the mighty Himalayas, this Plant Conservatory’s picturesque setting is worth a visit.
Enchey Monastery: Located on a hilltop, it's one of the oldest monasteries around.
Ganesh Tok: A Ganesh Temple with viewing lounge and open balcony.
Ropeway (Cable Car): Great ride to view the whole of Gangtok, the valley and the peaks from far above.
Institute of Tibetology: A world-famous institute researching Tibetan language and culture also has a great museum and library with rare and huge collections. It's located within a short walk from Chorten Stupa.
Handicraft Center: This is the building of Directorate of Handicraft & Handloom including a Sales emporium and a Museum showcasing many different handicraft items and artwork created by the local artists and craftsmen.
Overnight stay at Gangtok.
DAY 07: TRANSFER FROM GANGTOK TO BAGDOGRA AIRPORT/NJP
After breakfast, depart to IXB Airport/NJP, for your onward connection and stay.