Hidden Kingdom

Tucked away in the mountainous north of India are the terraced tea gardens of east Darjeeling and the hidden kingdom of Sikkim. This remote region is home to spectacular scenery, remarkable religious monuments, Buddhist monasteries and a vibrant, welcoming people.

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9 days/8 nights
Hotels/Lodges
Departs daily ex Bagdogra

Highlights:

  • Explore the highlights of Gangtok, Sikkim’s capital, including Do Drul Chorten and the Enchey Monastery
  • Marvel at the majestic Himalayan mountain peaks from Pelling
  • Visit the Pemayangste and Fo Brang monasteries in Kalimpong
  • Enjoy sunrise from Tiger Hill and a visit to a tea estate in Darjeeling
  • Experience the warmth and hospitality of locals in an area still relatively unspoilt by mass tourism

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Hidden Kingdom

Itinerary

9 days/8 nights

Hotels/Lodges

Days 1/2

Kalimpong
Arrival transfer from Bagdogra airport to the scenic town of Kalimpong (3hrs), perched on a ridge overlooking the Teesta River. The next day, tour the Botanical Gardens and Zong Dhog Palri Fo Brang Monastery, containing 108 rare holy scriptures brought by the Dalai Lama when he fled Tibet in the 1950s. BLD

Days 3/4

Gangtok
Depart for the Sikkim capital of Gangtok (3hrs). Visit the prestigious Namgyal Research Institute of Tibetology, sacred Do Drul Chorten and revered Enchey Monastery. BLD

Day 5

Pelling
Admire unique religious art at Rumtek Monastery and stroll the serene Nehru Botanical Garden before lunch at a local restaurant. Drive to Pelling (5-6hrs) with the evening at leisure to enjoy the tiny town’s jaw-dropping mountain vistas. BLD

Days 6-8

Darjeeling
View the ancient Pemayangste Monastery before travelling to Darjeeling (5hrs). On Day 7, witness sunrise from Tiger Hill. If the weather is clear, you may be treated to a glimpse of the majestic, snow-capped Kanchenjunga massif. Later, stop by at Ghoom Monastery, yet another important repository for valuable Tibetan texts. The following day, explore the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Gumbu Rock site and Tea Estate. Free afternoon to relax. BLD

Day 8

Tour ends Bagdogra
Return to Bagdogra airport or railway station (4hrs) where your trip concludes. B

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Itineraries

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India Himalayas Overview

Why visit the Himalayas? The Himalayas offer some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. In contrast to much of India, this mountainous region has a strong Buddhist influence, and Macleod Ganj in Himachel Pradesh is the headquarters of the Tibetan government in exile as well as the seat of his Holiness the Dalai Lama.

When is the best time to go to the Himalayas? The summer months of May – Aug are the best time to visit to the high altitude areas of Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh as this region can be extremely cold in winter, and deep snow renders many mountain passes and valleys impassable. In summer, Shimla and the cool foothills provide welcome respite from the scorching heat of the plains, with April to August being the best time to visit. The best time to visit Amritsar is in winter.

What can I combine Himalayas with? Other areas of India such as the Golden Triangle (Delhi, Agra and Jaipur), or with neighbouring Bhutan or Nepal.

How do I get to the Himalayas? Shimla can be reached from Delhi by train. Most visitors to Ladakh fly into Leh Airport. For Kumaon and village walks, you can take a train from Delhi to nearby Kathgodam. For Sikkim, fly to Bagdogra.

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