North East India Tours
A 9 day tour of the
the T's !! Tea plantations, Toy Train, Tibetan monks & monasteries AND
Trekking! This short itinerary shows you the best of Darjeeling including
the toy train and the tea plantations plus the Tibetan Monasteries of Sikkim
and a wee bit of trekking thrown in!
Day 1. DARJEELING
Arrival at Bagdogra Airport. Upon arrival you will be met by jeep with
chauffeur for the 80 km drive up to Darjeeling. Afternoon visit to
Observatory Hill and the Mahakala Mandir temple which can be visited by
foot. The main gompas are the Bhutia Busty which has a spectacular location
and the Yiga Choling gompa which is probably the most famous.
Overnight at a hotel of your choice.
Day 2. DARJEELING
An early morning visit to Tiger Hill at a height of 2590 meteres and 11 km
from Darjeeling itself. Tiger Hill affords magnificent views of the
Kanchenjunga - 8598m - and other Himalayan peaks. You need to leave pre-dawn
from Darjeeling and only in fine weather. On a really clear day you get to
see a 250 km stretch of the Himalayas. On the return trip, you can make a
stop at Batasia Loop (on the famous railway line) and visit the gompas.
You can take a short ride on the Toy train down to Ghoom. This part of the
railway line is the most interesting and is worth doing. At Ghoom there are
a number of monasteries including the Sakya Choling and Phin Choling.
Between Ghoom and Darjeeling is the Thupten Sangag Choling gompa which was
only built in 1992.
After breakfast, make a visit to the zoo (Padmaja Naidu) which houses the
only Siberian tigers plus some black bears and red pandas. The Himalayan
Mountaineering Institute (HMI) and the Everest Museum are both worth a
visit. (Located next to the Zoo) Close by is the Snow Leopard breeding
centre where a few pairs of leopards can be seen.
The Tibetan Refugee Centre houses a large number of people who spend their
time making all kinds of handicrafts including carpets, woodcarvings and
If you are interested in flowers then make a visit to the Lloyd Botanical
gardens where a large variety of orchids are grown.
A visit to Darjeeling would not be complete without visiting a tea garden.
One is the Happy Valley Tea Estate where tea is still produced in the old
fashioned way. The best time to visit is during the plucking season from
April to November .
Day 4. DARJEELING - GANGTOK
After an early breakfast, leave Darjeeling for the drive to Gangtok (86 Km
- 05 Hrs) and check-in at hotel Norkhill or Tashi Delek. These are both
considered the best in Gangtok.
After lunch a visit the Enchhey Monastery. Perched on a hill overlooking
Gangtok and picturesquely surrounded by fluttering prayer flags is this
serene Nyingma Gompa, built by the 8th Chogyal around 1840 on a site blessed
by the great tantric master Lama Druptab Karpa who was credited with the
ability to fly. Rest of the day at leisure.
Morning visit to the Do Drul Chorten, an awe-inspiring stupa, encircled by
prayer wheels on spins while circumambulating clockwise offering the prayer
"Om Mane Padme Hum Re". In the Chapel are two giant statues of
Lord Buddha and Guru Padmasambhava, the patron saint of Sikkim. This can be
followed by a visit to the Research Institute of Tibetology. The building
accommodating the Institute is a classic example of Tibetan Architecture and
is world reknowned for its rare books and documents on Bhuddhism. Return to
the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 6. GANGTOK TO TINJURE (2433
m) - Drive / Trek
After breakfast drive to Tashi View Point (8 kms). From here you will trek
for 13 Kms through the Fambonglho Forest Sanctuary. Lunch at the Camp / Rest
house followed by a trek in the surrounding forest till evening. Dinner and
overnight at the trekker's hut OR return to Gangtok if you prefer.
Day 7. TINJURE - RUMTEK - GANGTOK
(Trek / Drive)
Early wake up for a view of the sunrise. After breakfast, a downhill trek
of approx. 12 kms to Rumtek. Lunch in Rumtek at the Sambhala Resort. After
lunch, a visit to the Rumtek Monastery, a replica of the Kagyurpa Monastery
in Tsurpa, Tibet. Also known as the Dharma Karma Centre, and constructed by
His Holiness the late 16th Gyalwa Karmapa in 1960, Rumtek is a splendid
example of Tibetan Monastic art with its traditional architecture, exquisite
paintings and intricate woodwork. The center also houses some of the world's
most religious scriptures, manuscripts and religious art objects. A short
fifteen minute walk downhill leads you to the Old Rumtek monastery, which
was originally built in 1730 by the 9th Karmapa. Drive back to Gangtok (23
kms / 45 mins) for dinner and overnight at Hotel Norkhill or Tashi Delek.
8. Day trip to TSOMGO LAKE
Suggest you make a daytrip to visit Tsomgo Lake which is 3750 meters above
sea level and 37 kn north of Gangtok. This again depends on the weather as
you will need a clear day for this. From here there are some nice walking
tracks and you could ask the hotel to organise a picnic to take with you. In
case of less than good weather, then you could drive up to Phodong in the
north of Sikkim and visit the Phodong and Labrang Gompas.
9. GANGTOK - BAGDOGRA
Morning transfer to Bagdogra Airport (80 km - 04 hrs approx.) for the
flight to your onward destination.
Map of North-East India