Sikkim & Darjeeling Hills

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Perched on the Eastern Himalayas, Sikkim and the Darjeeling Hills have been a popular retreat since time immemorial. So much so, the latter was a preferred summer getaway for British residents during the British Raj. The region is blessed with natural beauty and is home to an amalgamation of communities and cultures that add to its charm. Its rugged terrain and Kanchenjunga views have made it a popular choice for moderate and high-altitude treks.

Sikkim was earlier an independent kingdom of the Chogyals until 1975, when it was annexed into India. The tour will take you through the cobbled streets of the capital Gangtok, a contemporary hub with trendy cafés and the largest monastery in the state, to the glacial lake Tsongmo set at over 12000 ft. Pelling’s magnificent views of the Kanchenjunga will surely take your breath away while the Pemayangtse Monastery and the Khecheopalri Lake are a testament to age-old customs. It also includes a sojourn to Uttarey, a tiny hamlet in West Sikkim where rhododendrons adorn the trees, followed by a pit-stop in Turuk Kothi before heading to Kalimpong.

You will realise the town is a haven for florist enthusiasts after a visit to one of the several nurseries. Kalimpong has also played host to Helena Roerich, a Russian philosopher and wife of renowned painter Nicholas Roerich, whose house, ‘Crookety’ exhibits their work and life in the hills. Visit one of the oldest missionary schools in the region, Dr Graham’s Homes, as well as Deolo Hill for fabulous views and get a first-hand experience of the local cuisine through workshops while here.

No holiday in the Darjeeling Hills is complete without a stay in a tea estate. After a relaxing day at Glenburn amidst a tea plantation, head to the main Darjeeling town and enjoy the sights of the bustling hill-station with a stopover at the Mahakal Dara on the Observatory Hill, the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and a leisurely stroll in Chowrasta.

Sikkim & Darjeeling Hills Itinerary

Arrive Bagdogra today (flight details to be advised). On arrival you will be met and driven (approx. 5 hours) to Gangtok.

Gangtok the capital of Sikkim, is inhabited by different ethnicities such as Nepali, Lepchas and Bhutia. It rose to prominence as a popular Buddhist pilgrimage site after the construction of the Enchey Monastery in 1840. After India won its independence from Britain in 1947, Sikkim chose to remain an independent monarchy, with Gangtok as its capital. In 1975, after the integration with the union of India, Gangtok was made India's 22nd state capital.
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals included: D

This morning you will be taken to visit Rumtek monastery, the largest in Sikkim which is home to the monks community, the place where they perform the sacred rituals and practices of the Karma Kagyu lineage.

Many sacred objects are housed within the complex, and one of the most magnificent is the Golden Stupa, which contains the precious relics of His Holiness the Sixteenth Karmapa. Opposite that building is the shedra, or college, Karma Shri Nalanda Institute for Higher Buddhist Studies.

Later in the afternoon you will be taken to explore Gangtok and visit Institute of Tibetology and Orchid Sanctuary.

(Note: Permits for Changu will be made a day in advance and will be subject to local conditions)

Accommodation: Hotel
Meals included: D

This morning you will be collected from your hotel and taken for a day excursion (drive approx. 3 hours one way) to Tsomgo Lake, also known as Tsongmo Lake or Changu Lake, a glacial lake. Located at an elevation of 3,753 m (12,313 ft), the lake remains frozen during the winter season. The lake surface reflects different colours with change of seasons and is held in great reverence by the local Sikkimese people. (Note: Permits for Changu will be made a day in advance and will be subject to local conditions.)
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals included: Packed Lunch

Today you will be driven (approx. 6 hours) to Pelling where you check-in to your hotel on arrival. Pelling, at an altitude of about 2105 mtrs/ 6840 ft was originally known as Pemalingpa. The place is famous for its magnificent view of the Khanchendzonga ranges.

The remainder of the day will be spent at leisure.
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals included: D

In the morning you will be taken to visit Pemayangtse Monastery. The monastery, located at an elevation of 2085 m, is built with scenic backdrop of snow-capped mountains on two sides. Built as a three storied structure, the monastery depicts paintings on its walls and statues of saints and Rinpoches, deified in various floors. The monastery belongs to the Nyingma order (established in the 8th century by Padmasambhava) and characteristic feature seen in this monastery is of statues of Padmasambahva and his two consorts.

After lunch at the hotel, later this afternoon you will be driven (1 hour – one way) to visit Khecheopalri Lake, originally known as Kha-Chot-Palri (meaning the heaven of Guru Padmasambhava, the Patron Saint of Sikkim), a sacred Lake for both Buddhists and Hindus, which is believed to be a wish fulfilling lake. The local name for the lake is Sho Dzo Sho, which means "Oh Lady, Sit Here". The popularly known name of the lake, considering its location is Khecheopalri Lake, ensconced in the midst of the Khechoedpalri hill, which is also considered a sacred hill.
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals included: D

Today, you will be met and chauffeured (approx. 1.5 hours one way) to explore the villages around Uttarey. After reaching Uttarey.

Uttarey around the 1970’s was a thriving business hub for Indo-Nepal trade. Materials such as ayurvedic herbs, animal skin, dairy products, local distilleries’ produce and cattle were bartered for mainly salt, flour and rice. It is also believed to be the route via which the Patron of Sikkim Guru Padmasambhava walked into Sikkim.

The walk will be a mix of uphill and downhill terrain, passing through forest cover where you may get the chance see Rhododendrons in bloom. Because of it being a border region to Nepal, you can see the influence in the villages from their house building architecture, to seeing most of the people in their traditional Nepali wear or for that matters even speaking their community dialect (other than Nepali).

Lunch will be served in one of the village houses in the area. You will later be driven back to Pelling where you may then spend the remainder of the day in leisure.
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals included: Packed Lunch, D

Today you will be collected from your hotel and chauffeured approx. 3.5 hours to Turuk. On arrival you will check into your homestay and spend the remainder of the day in leisure.

Turuk Kothi, built in 1848 in the uncharted territory of Sikkim ‘The Land of Peace and Tranquility’ the grand old mountain estate is now home to the fifth-generation of the ancestral Pradhan family. Turuk Kothi was home to the first minter of Sikkim, Laxmi Das Pradhan, and also served as the District Headquarter for many years. Even after over 160 years, the descendants of Laxmi Das Pradhan continue to live in the same house.
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals included: L, D

After a leisurely breakfast, you will be collected from your hotel and driven (approx.. 1.5 hours) to Kalimpong.

On arrival you will check-in to your hotel and be at leisure. This afternoon, you will be taken to visit a flower nursery which has some beautiful collection of cacti and other plants. Later, you will be taken to ‘Crookety’, where Helena Roerich lived for six years. She was a Russian philosopher, writer and public figure.
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals included: B

This morning, you will be met and taken to explore the hill town of Kalimpong starting with a visit to Dr. Grahams Homes, which was established by a Scottish missionary in 1900. A visit to their school church – Katherine Memorial Chapel is worthwhile. Thereafter, you will be visit Dealo hill, which is a high point of Kalimpong and offers great views.

Later, you will be taken to a private home where you will learn the basics of preparing a Nepali meal and could takeaway a few recipes as well. The cooking lesson will be followed by lunch with the family.

Towards the late afternoon, you will then be taken back to your hotel.
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals included: L, D

This morning you will be collected from your hotel and driven (approx.. 2 hours) to Glenburn.

The remainder of the day will be spent at leisure or participate in hotel activities.
Accommodation: Glenburn
Meals included: B, L, D

After breakfast, you will be driven approx.. 1.5 hours one way to Darjeeling for a days excursion.

You will be taken to visit Mahakal Dara that sits atop the Observatory Hill followed by a visit to the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. Thereafter, visit the Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre, established as an oasis in 1959 for thousands of fleeing Tibetans. It is now a self-sustained commune preserving their indigenous culture and heritage in a home away from home.

Before proceeding back to Glenburn, you will be taken on a short walk of Chowrasta.
Accommodation: Glenburn
Meals included: B, L, D

The day will be spent at leisure or participate in hotel activities.
Accommodation: Glenburn
Meals included: B, L, D

This morning you will be collected from your hotel and driven (approx. 3.5 hours) to Bagdogra airport reaching in time to board your flight to onwards destination (booked directly, details to be advised).
Meals included: B

  • Accommodation in the mentioned hotels or similar.
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Transport in a vehicle.
  • Services of English speaking station or accompanying guide.
  • Entry fee to monuments.
  • Mineral water, juice, sweets etc. in the vehicle.
  • All currently applicable taxes.
  • Items of personal nature like tips, laundry, telephone calls, drinks, etc.
  • Any other meals than those mentioned above.
  • Domestic airfare or Train tickets.
  • Airport or VISA fee.
  • Camera charges if applicable.
  • Any other item not specifically mentioned above as INCLUDED.
  • The prices are based on current tax structure and will change in case of revision of taxes.