Explore the Exotic East
Explore the Exotic East - 9 nights/10 days
Destinations of Explore the Exotic East - Delhi, Calcutta, Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Gangtok
Day 01 - Arrive Calcutta
You will be met and transferred to your chosen hotel in Calcutta, considered the intellectual capital of India; Calcutta is the city where Mother Teresa worked tirelessly for the poor and homeless and the city where Rabindra Nath Tagore wrote his famous books. Overnight in Calcutta.
Day 02 - In Calcutta
Morning tour of Calcutta visiting the imposing Victoria Memorial - opened by the Prince of Wales in 1921, this vision in marble is often called the "Taj" of the British Raj. Continue on to Birla Planetarium, one of the earliest in India, St Paul's Cathedral and the Indian Museum. Built in Italian architectural style the Museum is the largest in the country and is considered to be one of the best in Asia. Overnight in Calcutta.
Day 03 - Fly Calcutta to Bagdogra and on to Darjeeling (via New Jalpaiguri)
Transfer to Calcutta Airport for your flight to Bagdogra where you are met on arrival and transferred to the New Jalpaiguri Railway Station. Here you board the famed "Toy Train" for the picturesque ride to Darjeeling. The British-built 84-km long rail link connects the plains of north Bengal with the Darjeeling hills and is a UNESCO world heritage site. In Darjeeling you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy the views of tea plantations set against the panoramic backdrop of Himalayan snow-clad peaks.
Day 04 - In Darjeeling
Early in the morning visit Tiger Hill to view the sunrise over the world's third highest peak - Kanchenjunga (28156 ft) then on to Ghoom Monastery to see one of the largest statues of the Maitreya Buddha. Later in the morning visit the Himalayan Zoological Park - home to India's only Siberian tigers, some rare species such as the red panda and world renowned for success in breeding snow leopards. Your Darjeeling visit also includes the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Gumbu Rock site and Tibetan Refugee self-help centre as well as an evening visit to the tea gardens.
Day 05 - Drive Darjeeling to Kalimpong (55 kms/1.5 hrs)
Drive to Kalimpong, a remote hill station set in the rolling foothills and deep valleys of the stunning Himalayas. Kalimpong's attractions include monasteries, churches, flower farms and a distinct Tibetan influence. You will be delivered to your Kalimpong hotel for a 2 night stay.
Day 06- In Kalimpong
A half day tour of Kalimpong reveals 'Gompas' (Tibetian-Buddhist Monasteries) and flower nurseries - Kalimpong produces 80% of India's gladioli and is an important orchid growing area.
Day 07 - Drive Kalimpong to Gangtok (90 kms/03 hrs)
We drive north to Gangtok, gateway to Sikkim, the last Shangri-La, this state of India occupies a rising ridge and the Himalayas serve as a backdrop to the town. Spend 2 nights in your chosen hotel in Gangtok.
Day 08 - In Gangtok
Morning excursion to the Rumtek Monastery - the largest monastery of its kind in Sikkim and the main seat of the Karma Kagyu lineage, followed by a sightseeing tour of Gangtok visiting the Research Institute of Tibetology. This internationally acclaimed centre of Tibetan Studies & Research houses a vast collection of rare Buddhist books and an orchid sanctuary, where one can see many of the 454 species of Orchids found in Sikkim.
Day 09 - Drive Gangtok to Bagdogra (100kms/3 hrs) and fly to Calcutta
You will be transferred to Bagdogra Airport in time to board your flight for Calcutta, on arrival you will be met and transferred to your chosen hotel for an overnight stay.
Day 10 - Depart Calcutta
You will be transferred to Calcutta International Airport for your onward flight.
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