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INDIA HOLIDAY TOUR

Eastern Himalayan Tours

Duration: 15 Nights / 16 Days
Places to Visit: Kolkata - Kaziranga - Kalimpong - Gangtok - Pemayangtse - Darjeeling - Phuentsholing - Thimpu - Paro

There is something unique and distinctive about entire East India and Bhutan that can be explored via Eastern Himalayan Tour. The brews, aromas, the enriched culture and tranquil peace, all can be found in the itinerary. Beginning from Kolkata’s sightseeing; the tour trails around the wild territories of Assam through Kaziranga National Park, Kalimpong’s scenic views, Gangtok and Pemayangtse’s peaceful monasteries, Darjeeling’s magical brews. The tour then crosses the border and reaches Thimpu, the capital of Bhutan. From the city of Bhutanese flavour and culture, the tour then descends towards Paro, famed for its unique architectural and artistic heritage.

Day1 ARRIVE KOLKATA
Upon arrival in Kolkata, you will be met and transferred to airport/railway station/hotel. Kolkata, long acknowledged as the cultural capital of India, sprawls north­ south along the eastern bank of the Hooghly River, which divides it from Howrah on the western bank. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 2 KOLKATA
Morning tour of Kolkata - visit the Victoria Memorial, the most solid reminder of British Calcutta is a huge white marble museum, a strange combination of classical European architecture with Mughal influences. The idea behind the memorial was conceived by Lord Curzon and the money for it's construction was raised from voluntary contributions by the princes and the people of India. Also visit the Indian Museum, the Jain Temple and the Botanical Gardens. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 3 KAZIRANGA
Morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Jorhat (Assam), from where Kaziranga is approx. an 85 km drive. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel. The 430 sq. km. Kaziranga National Park was declared a game reserve in 1926 and is most famous as the last major home to the one-horned rhinocerus. It is also home to other animals like the Bengal tiger, wild buffalo, deer, elephant and a variety of water bird species. Rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 4 KAZIRANGA
Game drives into the park will be organized in the early mornings and late afternoons by park vehicles. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 5 KAZIRANGA
Game drives into the park will be organized in the early mornings and late afternoons by park vehicles. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 6 KALIMPONG
This morning you will drive to Kalimpong, set among the rolling foothills and deep valleys of the Himalayas at an altitude of 1250m. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel.

Kalimpong's attractions include it's peaceful ambience, three monasteries (most notably the Durpin Monastery), a couple of old churches, an excellent private library for the study of Tibetan and Himalayan language and culture, a seri­culture centre, orchid nurseries and fine views over the surrounding countryside. Late afternoon visit the bi-weekly market (Wednesday and Friday) where villagers come from far flung places to sell their domestic products and local vegetables. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 7 GANGTOK
You will drive to Gangtok this morning (which means "hilltop"), the capital of Sikkim and which sprawls down along the west side of a long The mighty Karakom Range ridge flanking the Ranipul River. The scenery here is spectacular and there are excellent views of the entire Kanchenjunga Range from many points in the environs of the city. The Sikkimese people - the Lepchas, the Bhutis, the Nepalis .... are gracious, friendly and fun loving. There are around 200 monasteries which are repositories of centuries old wisdom and scriptures, and then there are mountains, glaciers and passes with the mighty Kanchenjunga towering over. There is also a variety of flora and fauna including 400 species of plants, 600 varieties of orchids, 30 species of sun rhododendrons, 500 species of birds, 600 species of butterflies in addition to musk deer, yark and the red panda. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel. In the afternoon, visit the Enchey Gompa, the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology and the Orchid Sanctuary. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 8 GANGTOK
Full day at leisure to explore the valley on your own. Should you wish an excursion can be made to the Rumtek Gompa (24 kms) on the other side of the Ranipul valley. This huge and wealthy monastery is the seat of the Gyalwa Kannapa, the head of the Kagyupa order (red hat sect) of Buddhism. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 9 PEMAYANGTSE
This morning will drive to Pemayangtse. Standing at a height of 2085m and framed on two sides by snowcapped mountains, Pemayangtse is one of the state's oldest and most important gompas. It has been reconstructed several times and belongs to the Nyingmapa order, which was established by Padmasambhava in the 8th century. All the order's monasteries are characterized by a prominent image of this teacher, together with his two female consorts and this monastery is the head of all others in Sikkim. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 10 DARJEELING
You will drive to Darjeeling (7,000 ft) this morning. (98 kms I 5 hrs). Darjeeling situated at an elevation of 7,000 ft, is famous for producing one of the finest teas in the world with a unique flavour and delicate aroma. Darjeeling also holds special interest for the botanist, the ornithologist, the trekker, the photographer and the artist, apart from the regular holiday maker. The Toy Train, narrow gauge rail link between Siliguri and Darjeeling started in 1879 and 1881, is even by today's standards a marvel of engineering. You will cross the train tracks several times on your drive up to Darjeeling. Rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 11 DARJEELING
Early morning excursion to the Tiger Hill to see the sunrise over the Himalayas. The 11 km journey to Tiger Hill starts in the dark, early hours of the morning. On reaching there, one has to wait patiently to witness one of the most extraordinary sights .... of the black night turning lighter and getting suffused with dull red turning into brilliant orange and then bright gold as the sun rises over the Kanchenjunga Range. Later visit the small monastery at Ghoom and return to Darjeeling. Afternoon tour of Darjeeling visiting Mall Road, the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute etc. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 12 PHUENTSHOLlNG
This morning we will drive to Phuentsholing, the border town on the Bhutanese side. Afternoon walking tour of Phuentsholing.

Day 13 THIMPU
You will drive to Thimpu this morning. Thimpu is the capital city of Bhutan, it's centre of government, religion and commerce. The town has grown alongside monasteries and forts. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 14 THIMPU
The tour of Thimpu includes visits to the school of Thangka painting, mask makers workshop, King's Memorial Chorten, Handicraft Centre etc. 'You will also visit the weekly market. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 15 PARO
Drive to Paro this morning. Visit the Ta Dzong, originally built as a Watch Tower, it now houses the National Museum of the kingdom and boasts of antique thangka paintings, textiles, weapons and armour, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts. After lunch, drive north of the Paro valley to the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong. From this fort the Bhutanese repelled several invasions by the Tibetan annies. Also visit the traditional Bhutanese fun house nearby which offers good insights into the lifestyle of the local people. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 16 DEPARTURE
Depart Paro to Kolkata or Delhi or Bangkok for your connecting flight back home