12 Days North East India with Bhutan
This tour will take you to the various famous places including high mountain peak, Tea garden, Gompa, Monestry and much more.
Darjeeling - Kalimpong - Gangtok - Phuentsholing - Thimphu - Paro
The generic amalgam and the social, cultural similarities can be easily traced down between the North East India and Bhutan. They share the same border and the dense travel scene within every part of it as being a destination.
Upon arrival at Bagdogra airport or New Jalpaiguri railway station, meet and drive straight to Darjeeling. Arrive and check-in to the hotel.
Standing high in the Himalayas at an altitude of 2134m, ‘Dorje Ling’, or place of the Thunderbolt, offers breathtaking views of snow-capped mountain peaks, with the Kanchendzonga rising higher than all the others. Often referred to as the “Queen of the Hills”, it remains just as alluring with its tiny waterfalls, little villages and a narrow gauge railway track. Surrounded by World Famous Tea Gardens and snow capped mountains, Darjeeling remains one of the most exotic destinations. Graeme Westlake in his book ‘An introduction to hill stations on India’ refers to Darjeeling as having “A view Scarcely Unrivalled on Earth”.
Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight stay.
Early morning visit Tiger Hill and Ghoom Monastery.
Tiger Hill: It is 13 kms from Darjeeling and one can see beautiful sunrise and Himalayan Range like Kanchandzonga, Mount Everest etc. One can see the horizon changing colors just before sunrise and then the entire Himalayan range turn golden. It is truly a majestic sight.
Ghoom Monastery: This is oldest Monastery in the area which was built in 1875 and one can see the image of Mythey Buddha 15ft. height on the way back from Tiger Hill
Breakfast at the hotel and go for Enjoy toy train ride.
Toy Train: The spectacular landscape unfolds as the 2-foot gauge Darjeeling Himalayan railway, opened in 1881, labours at about 10 mph criss-crossing the road. It has tiny 4-wheel locomotives (some over 100 years old) like living legends. One can experience the sound, smell and romance of a bygone era. DHR is a work of genius and technological achievement of 1881. It has social and cultural importance. It is beautiful and has outstanding universal appeal. Based on its unique features, it is considered to be of lasting significance to mankind.
Afternoon at leisure. Overnight stay.
In the morning proceed for city tour.
Himalayan Mountaineering Institute/Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park: The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute was started in Darjeeling when Tenzing Norgay climbed Everest to give training to learn Mountaineering and other adventure sports related to mountaineering and in that Institute one can see equipment etc.used by Mr. Tenzing Norgay and Everest Museum having complete details on Everest attached to institute one can visit Himalayan Zoological Park where one can see Himalayan animals like Snow Leopard, Tibetan Wolf, Tibetan Yak, Himalayan Black Bear and several varieties of birds.
Tibetan Self Help Center or Refugee Center: This institute is run by Tibetan Refugees to preserve their handicrafts and one can see making of Tibetan Carpets, Leather work, Paintings and Wooden work etc.
Breakfast at the hotel and drive to Gangtok en-route visit Kalimpong. Arrive Gangtok and check-in to the hotel.
At an altitude of 1750m, Gangtok became the state capital in the mid 19th century and has undergone rapid development since then. The downtown area is dominated by huge government buildings decorated with traditional Buddhist symbols. Gangtok is also a resting ground for people traveling to North Sikkim. Surrounded by Monasteries and Orchids, Gangtok is truly a traveler's delight.
Overnight at hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel and full day sightseeing in Gangtok visiting Tashi View Point, Ganesh Tok, Flower Show, Do Drul Chorten, Institute of Tibetology, Cottage Industry, Bakthang Falls and Rumtek Monastery. Overnight at hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel and full day excursion to Changu Lake which is 35 Kms from Gangtok at an altitude of 12,400 feet. The lake derives its waters from melting snows off the surrounding mountains. Legends say that lamas could forecast the future by studying the color of the lake’s waters. Overnight at hotel.
Post breakfast drive to Phuentsholing border town of Bhutan. This drives takes about 06 hrs. There will be some paper work formalities at the border which you have to go through. After finishing the paper work proceed to your hotel for overnight stay.
In the morning you will be driven to Thimpu. This drives takes about 06 hrs passing through virgin forest and uninterrupted landscape. This is an unbelievable and beautiful drive. On arrival at Thimpu, check-in to the hotel.
Evening visit National Memorial Chorten: The building of this landmark was envisaged by the third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, as a monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it is both a memorial to the Late King (“the Father of modern Bhutan”) and a monument to world peace. The paintings and statues inside the monument provide a deep insight into Buddhist philosophy.
Thimpu: There are a good many things to see in the capital which has a very relaxed, laid-back feel about it. Thimphu is relatively small having a population of approximately 90,000 people and the streets are wide and tree lined.
Overnight stay at hotel.
In the morning you will visit the Late King’s Memorial Chorten, the National Library, the indigenous hospital specializing in herbal medicine, handmade paper factory, and the nunnery at Zilukha.
In the afternoon, tour of the school of fine arts where young students learn the traditional arts and crafts (Zo Rig Chusum – the thirteen crafts); Zangtopelri Lhakhang, the Handicraft Emporium and the local handicraft centers to see the varieties of textiles, thangkha paintings, masks, jewellery etc. on display. Overnight stay at hotel.
After having an early breakfast, you will be driven (01 hrs approx) to Paro. Upon arrival check- in to the Hotel and proceed to visit.
Ta Dzong (Sun, Mon Govt holiday closed): once a watchtower, built to defend Rinpung Dzong during inter-valley wars of the 17th century, Ta Dzong was inaugurated as Bhutan's National Museum in 1968. It holds fascinating collection of art, relics, religious thangkha paintings and Bhutan's exquisite postage stamps. The museum circular shape augments its varied collection displayed over several floors.
Afterwards, walk down a hillside trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, which has a long and fascinating history. Built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the first spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan, the Dzong houses the monastic body of Paro, the office of the Dzongda (district administrative head) and Thrimpon (judge) of Paro district. The approach to the Dzong is through a traditional covered bridge called Nemi Zam. A walk through the bridge, over a stone inlaid path, offers a good view of the architectural wonder of the Dzong as well as life around it. It is also the venue of Paro Tshechu, held once a year in the spring. Overnight stay at hotel.
This day you will leave for excursion to Tiger's Nest.
Taktshang or 'Tiger's Nest' as it is often referred to for Taktshang Pelphung monastery, is one of the most venerated and famous of Bhutan's monasteries. It is located on the face of a 900m sheer cliff. It is an impressive and unmissable site, but accessible only by walk or to ride mules/pony. From the trail head at Rumtokto (2600m), the walk till the Cafeteria is a steep one hour uphill (about 350m ascent). From the Cafeteria (2940m), one can get a good close-up view of Taktshang. Savor views of the monastery over a well deserved cup of tea and biscuits at the cafeteria and continue uphill for another 45 minutes to a high observation point (3140m) where there is a Chorten. From this vantage point, the lookout to the monastery is a very spectacular and seems almost close enough to touch. It is now on the other side of a deep chasm, only around 150m away as bird flies, but takes half hour or even more to reach. Continue down the flight of cliff-hanging steps on the narrow trail to a beautiful waterfall that plunges down the deep chasm and alongside is a retreat hermitage, jammed dramatically into a rock crevice. Then climb up the flight of steep steps to the monastery. At any point on this walk, you can always return if you find it too difficult. Once inside the monastery, there are several shrines or temples with few monks in residence. After visiting Taktshang monastery's many shrines, most tours schedule lunch at the Cafeteria upon return. After lunch, retrace back to the road-head where you started in the morning. The return from Cafeteria is all downhill and takes just over half hour. Further, if you have more time, energy and ready for more challenging day, you can start early and trek beyond Takstang to see several monasteries, temples, retreat houses in the surrounding area. The most notable among them are Zangdopelri and Ugyen Tsemo. Pony/horse can be hired for ride up till the Cafeteria. However you cannot ride beyond the cafeteria or come down hill on the horse. According to the legend, Guru Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche, who spread the Buddhism across the entire Himalayas is said to have flown here in the 8th century on the back of a Tigress, in order to subdue negative spiritual forces that were hostile to spread of Buddhism. In 853, one of his students, Pelgyi Senge mediated here in the main cave. The stupa inside one of the temples contains his mortal remains and therefore the cave is known as 'Pelphung or Pelgi's cave'. Subsequently many great spiritual masters such as Milarepa, Thangthong Gyalpo, Phajo Dugom Zhigpo, Shadrung and many others, passed periods here in profound meditation. In 1692, Tenzin Rabgye built a two storey temple around what little may have existed previously. This was expanded and refurbished many times over the period of time. Taktshang and several temples in the area were burnt down in 1951 by fire accident but much of them remained intact and most of the relics were saved. Soon after, the, Taktshang was rebuilt by population of Tsento village. Again in April of 1998, a major fire destroyed the main structure of the building and its contents (some believe it to be arson). Reconstruction began in 2000 and was completed and consecrated after extensive efforts and financial support of Governments as well as donors.
Kichu Lhakhang: Kyichu is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan built in the 7th century by Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo. The story goes that a giant demoness lay across Tibet and the Himalayas, which was preventing the spread of Buddhism. To overcome her, King Songtsen Gampo decided to build 108 temples in a single day to pin the ogress to the earth forever in 659AD. Of these 108 temples, 12 were built in accordance with precise plans at key points. The temple of Jokhang in Lhasa was built over the very heart of the demoness and Kichu is said to have been built on the left foot.
Overnight stay at the hotel.
Post breakfast, you will get transfer to airport to board on flight for onward destination.
The Tour Includes :
The Package Includes:
Accommodation with breakfast;
Sightseeing tours as mentioned in the itinerary;
Air-conditioned private vehicle with chauffeur;
English speaking guide during sightseeing tour at selected places;
Meet and assist services on arrival / departure;
All parking,road taxes and driver allowances;
All applicable taxes and service charges
The Package Excludes:
International airfare, visa fees, driver / guide gratitude;
Any personal nature expense and any service not mentioned under "The Package Includes" head