Kolkata + Darjeeling + Sikkim - IOYO 09
10 Nights / 11 Days Kolkata(Calcutta) - Darjeeling - Pemayangtse - Gangtok - Kolkata(Calcutta)
 
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This foremost East India holiday package of 11 days is a perfect tour for making a visit to Eastern region of India. The famous destinations to make your travel more ideal are Kolkata, Darjeeling and Gangtok. One of the most famous hill stations is Darjeeling with various with nearby monasteries of India. Darjeeling is a leading seller of its top rated quality tea. This exciting tour package will start from Kolkata travelling towards Darjeeling, Pemayangste and finally to Gangktok. Kolkata is a famous city known as the “city of joy”. First time visitors to India can take best advantage of this East India tour.

 
Day 01: Arrival in Kolkata.
On arriving Kolkata, previously known as Calcutta, you will be taken to your hotel. Kolkata is a vital trading and cultural centre in East India. Nawab of Bengal permitted a trading license to East India Company in the 17th century. Under British rule till 1991, Kolkata was capital of India after which the capital was transferred to Delhi. Kolkata is well known as the Cultural capital of India. Bengalis in Kolkata are well educated, soft-spoken and cultured.

Afternoon time is spent in visiting a very famous Jain Temple built in remembrance of Parasvanath who was the 23rd Trithankara. Every year, many devotees of Jain community from all regions of India come to visit this holy temple which includes four more religious shrines inside it. An idol of holy Lord Sitalnathji is installed here and its major attraction is a dazzling diamond crown placed on his head. Next, you will visit one other alluring monument which was built in between 1906-1921 with white marble known as Victoria Memorial. Its memorial hall was inspired by Lord Curzon who, in 1901, felt that it is required to build a hall in remembrance of the Queen. This beautiful hall has manuscripts, paintings and other items inside it, holding great artistic significance and historical importance with an interesting Art gallery and museum. This hall is closed on National holidays and on Mondays.

Next, you will be driven past other popular attractions like Howrah Bridge, followed by Dalhousie square, then Fort Williams and Secretariat building and after that Old court House Street. Dalhousie square, which is one of the richest squares in world, was constructed in memory of Lord Dalhousie who was a renowned governor General of India from 1847 to 1856. Its name has been changed from Dalhousie square to BBD Bagh which signifies BBD as BINOY, BADAL and DINESH who were three patriotic and loyalist sons of Bengal who also attained the status of martyrs while struggling for India’s Independence. Dalhousie square is placed in midst of enduring Raj-era historical monuments like alluring GPO (General post office), majestic Raj Bhawan, St. John’s Church, Town Hall, and foremost Gothic style Writer’s building. The night is spent in Kolkata.

 
Day 02: Kolkata to New Jalpaiguri via an overnight journey by train.
On this day, you have a free morning for optional tours. Among various popular options, you can visit Kumartuli, St Paul’s Cathedral church and Marble Palace. Kumartuli is an old village, which was built 400 years back in a distinctive artistic style. Various Bengali festivals are celebrated here with much joy and bliss especially Durga Puja and it is regarded as an essence of Bengali’s special occasions which keeps this holy puja feeling alive among Bengali communities in other countries. More than 250 artists along with 1000 assistants works hard to make 40,000 holy idols a year including 3500 images of Durga. Another known Marble Palace built in 1855 with Italian marble and has an old stupendous art gallery. (Closed on public holidays and on Mondays and Thursdays).

Another must watch place, the famous St. Paul’s Cathedral Church which is 24 m in width and 71m in length along with a steeple rising from a height of 60m. Its interiors are stupendously well designed with scriptural scenes. In middle of its eastern segment, it has an attractive alter piece with two Florentine Frescos. The enormous gold plate of Bishop Wilson which was gifted to him by Queen Victoria and ultimate western windows generate more interest among the visitors. Check out from the hotel at 1200 hrs. In the evening, you will be taken to railway station well on time for an overnight journey of train for new Jalpaiguri. Overnight is spent in train.

 
Day 03: A Drive to New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling (71 kms).
On this day, after your arrival in morning, you will be taken to your hotel in Darjeeling. Darjeeling is a beautiful place famous as an outstanding hill station all over the world and is known for its rich tea gardens. The soothing components of nature and captivating land area and surrounding scenic beauty attracts tourists to this place to visit and appreciate its pleasant beauty. Lepcha community of Darjeeling is quite famous and various monasteries present in picturesque locations represent their culture.

Varied societies, culture, rich traditions, fauna, slopes, lavish green valleys, waterways and various sanctuaries, all form a vital part of nature describing its foremost beauty. Darjeeling is indeed most soothing and perfect holiday place to visit with your loved ones and also for nature lovers. The tranquillized and soothing atmosphere energizes travelers and fills them with freshness. There are various places to visit in Darjeeling because of its natural beauty that leaves a lasting impression on visitors. It is a Paradise for visitors and people from different areas comes here to take a relaxing break from their stressful lives. Overnight is spent in Darjeeling.

 
Day 04: Darjeeling, one of the most beautiful hill station in India
On this early morning, you will be making a visit to Tiger Hill and Ghoom Monastery. From Tiger Hill, on a clear day, you will watch a pleasant sunrise, Kanchandzonga. If there are no clouds, you can have a look of horizons changing colors before sunrise, and after this, mountain ranges turn golden in color. This beautiful view will be rooted in your mind for a life time. On your return, you will be visiting Ghoom Monastery which is the oldest Monastery dating back to 1875.

After breakfast, you will be making a visit to Tukvar Tea Estate. Its lush green tea gardens are utmost attractions of this exotic hilly area. Soothing fragrance of tea leaves in its garden area has a fascinating effect. Processing of Tea does not takes place on Mondays and also in winters from mid of November to March as there is no plucking of tea during this time. Tea grown in Darjeeling area is referred as ‘Champagne of tea’ which is world famous for its quality and taste. Top rated Darjeeling teas have a different fruity flavor and are mild altogether. You can also watch process of making of tea step by step at Tukvar Tea Estate.

In the afternoon time, you will visit Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park (closed on Thursdays). This Mountaineering Institute was started with an idea to provide training for mountaineering and other exciting adventure sports and one can have a view of important equipments used by Tenzing Norgay. You can also make a visit to the Himalayan Zoological Park to watch Snow Leopards Tibetan Yak, Tibetan Wolf, Himalayan Black Bear and several other alluring birds. You may also visit the Refugee Centre (closed on Sundays) run by Tibetan Refugees to safeguard their handicrafts. Here you can observe keenly the process and making of Tibetan Carpets, Paintings, Wood work, Leather work, etc. Overnight is spent in Darjeeling.

 
Day 05: Drive from Darjeeling to Pemayangste/Pelling (74 kms).
On this morning, you will be taken from Darjeeling to Pemayangste. Pemayangtse is the second oldest city of Sikkim which is situated in the Pelling area towards Sikkim’s west and it was established in 1705 by the third generation of Chogyal Chador Namgyal. “Pemayangtse” ideally means “an ideal sublime lotus” that reflects one of four retes inside human body. You will be captivated by atmosphere of this place. In the background, you can see a snow-capped and lavish green valley covered with dense forest along the mountains.

In the afternoon, you will be visiting Pemayangtse Monastery at a greater height and built in the 17th century. This monastery is one of the most famous monasteries and the monks of this monastery enjoy the title of pure monks known as ‘Tasang’. The sight of watching Kanchandzonga range from this place is quite attractive. This monastery belongs to the order of Nyigma and the first level of monastery consists of exclusive sculptures, paintings and ancient scrolls with different idols of eight personifications of Padmasammbhava from a seven layered framework made up of wood which portrays the heavenly habitat of Guru Rinpoche. Overnight is spent in Pemayangtse.

 
Day 06: Drive from Pemayangtse to Gangtok (117 kms).
On this morning, you will be taken by road from Pemayangste to Gangtok. Gangtok is the capital and also largest city of Sikkim. In 1894, Sikkim’s ruler Tutor Namgyal transferred the capital from Tumlong to Gangtok. It is a Centre point of learning traditions and cultures and has several monasteries. Gangtok was an important trading centre between Tibetan and Britishers in the 19th century, but the border to Tibet was closed in 1962 due to a war between India and China. Rest of the time is spent at leisure. Overnight is in Gangtok.

 
Day 07: Gangtok
This morning, you will be visiting Namgyal Institute of Tibetology (closed on Sundays) and Do Drul Chorten Rumtek Monastery. The Tibetology Institute erected in a traditional and contemporary style in 1958 is surrounded on all sides by oak, ash and birch trees, and promotes research in Mahayana Buddhism and traditions of Buddhism. It comprises of a large range of manuscripts and rare books on Mahayana Buddhism. Two attractive stupas, Do Drul Chorten, were erected to rejoice victory of good over bad. Nearby are placed two huge statues of Lord Buddha and Guru Padmasammbhava who is also known as Guru Rinpoche and one of the patron saints of Sikkim.

Rumtek Monastery is the world's Dharma chakra point and a place of His Holiness, Gyalwa Karmapa who is the head of Kagyupa class of Buddhism. Behind this monastery, there is a well adorned Karmae Nalanda Institute for Buddhist Studies. On the opposite side of its entrance, there is a small hall displaying attractive jewels studded Chorten, Golden Stupa with the ancient remains of His Holiness the XVI Gyalwa Karmapa. It is a popular belief that the first Karmapa was visited by fairies who came to honor him and each proffered a strand of her hair as a present to him. These hairs were knit into a black hat and are still kept at Rumtek Monastery. It is a belief that if the hat is not held on to by wearer, who cannot be anyone else but the Karmapa, the hat would fly away. Afternoon time is at leisure and the night is spent at the hotel.

 
Day 08: Gangtok.
On this morning, you will be visiting Tashiview to get a beautiful sight of Kanchandzonga also called as Kanchenjunga. Kanchenjunga is the third highest mountain in the world at 8,598 m and is worshipped by the locals. It is also known as the Five Treasures of Snow for its 5 high mountain peaks. Kanchenjunga was known to be highest mountain in the world, but it was realized in 1849 that Mount Everest was higher. George Band Joe Brown and were the first persons to climb up the Kanchenjunga in 1955.

This afternoon, you will be taken to Enchey Monastery. Rested on a ridge above Gangtok, the Enchey Monastery is situated n lavish woods with a remarkable view of Gangtok town. It was constructed in 1910 on the site of a hermitage of great tantric saint, Lama Droop Karoo, a renowned person known for his powers of levitation. This monastery consists of monks of Nyigma Order of Tibetan Buddhism. Your visit will continue and you will be taken to visit Directorate of handicrafts handloom which was created to promote traditional Sikkimese arts and handicrafts. Exclusively carved wooden friezes, twisted bamboo work along with exquisite hand woven carpets and handlooms are exhibited here. The most interesting part of this visit is watching the various artisans at work. Overnight is spent in Gangtok.

 
Day 09: Drive Gangtok to New Jalpaiguri (120 kms), overnight train to Kolkata.
On this day, you will be taken from Gangtok to New Jalpaiguri railway station well on time for your Kolkata night train. Your exciting visit to Sikkim comes to a happy end here. The original residents here were Lepcha and in the 8th century Guru Rinpoche introduced Buddhism. Sikkim Namgyal kingdom was established in 1642 and for the next 150 years, Sikkim was attacked by Nepalese rulers frequently. It associated itself with British in 19th century and merged with India in 1975. Today, Sikkim has the only open border between china and India. The third highest peak Kanchenjunga in world is situated at the Sikkim’s border. Overnight is in the train.

 
Day 10: Kolkata.
On your arrival in Kolkata, you will be taken to your hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure. Or you can visit the well known Mother Teresa’s Mission. Mother Teresa a Macedonian achieved noble prize in 1979. She founded the Missionaries of Charity which is famous worldwide. Members of this mission promise to eradicate poverty and maintain chastity and obedience and give Free and wholehearted service to the poor. Kolkata is famous for its in temples, museums, etc. It is popular for sweets made of cheese and milk. Overnight is spent in Kolkata.

 
Day 11: Departure for your return
You will be transferred to the airport for your return flight. This ends your East India Travel and Tour package, which is quite attractive for visitors.