Day 01 : Arrive Bagdogra flying from Delhi / Kolkata
On arrival at Bagdogra airport, received by our representative and transfer to Darjeeling (93 km, 3 hours).
Check-in and installation. Overnight stay in Darjeeling
Day 02 : Darjeeling
Perched at altitude of 2,134 m with a backdrop of mighty Himalayan peaks, Darjeeling derives its name from Dorje-ling, meaning the place of Dorje. The people of the region believe that the King of gods, Indra has thrown a thunder called Dorje at the place where Darjeeling stands today. In the early 1840s it was noticed that the climate of Darjeeling was very conducive to the growth of tea. Tea plantations were established and have expanded all over the area today because of growing demand. Huge tracts of forests were originally cut down and replaced with tea bushes that stretched for miles. The services of Chinese experts were then requisitioned to teach the art of tea making and thousands of Nepalese were hired in the tea plantations. Darjeeling tea, which had a premium value in the international market, began to be called the ‘Champagne of the East’ and for years formed the mainstay of the economy of this area. To this day, the name ‘Darjeeling’ continues to be synonymous with tea.
Full day sightseeing of Darjeeling which includes early morning sunrise view from Tiger Hill (2,585m), visit to Ghoom monastery built in 1850 by Lama Sherab Gyatsho, a monk from Mongolia. The main feature of this Gelugpa monastery is the magnificent statue of Maitreya, the future Buddha draped in white silk scarves of offering called Khadas. After breakfast, visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and the Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre where you can see Tibetan craftsmen making traditional items like carpet, woolen boots, wood carvings and feather goods. Overnight at the hotel in Darjeeling.
Day 03 : Darjeeling – Kalimpong ( 70 km, 3 hours)
Nestling at modest altitude of 1,250m, Kalimpong enjoys moderate climate. Forming a triangle with its more illustrious neighbours, it is known for flowers and nurseries. Entire hillsides are blaze with colour during the season..
Afternoon visit to Tharpa Choling Monastery, belonging to the Gelugpa sect followed by visit to flower nureries. Overnight at the hotel in Kalimpong.
Day 04 : Kalimpong – Gangtok ( 77 km, 3 hours)
After breakfast drive to Gangtok-the capital of Sikkim.
A perfect symbol of the confluence of the past and present is Gangtok. Built on the flank of ridge, Gangtok is 1,600 m above sea level. The towns unique ambience derives from the happy blend of tradition and modernity. Along the deeply felt presence of stupas and monasteries, Gangtok also bustles like any other town. But with many of these oasis of quite, those unexpected pockets of peace exist. Todays sightseeing of Gangtok includes, visit to ;
Do-drul Chorten; one of the most important stupas built by Trulsi Rinpoche, head of the Nyingmapa order. It contains rare Mandalas of Dorje Phurpa, Holy Books, Montras.
Enchey Monastery; This 200 year old monastery was built on the site blessed by the great tantric master Lama Druptab Karpa, known for his flying powers.
Research Institute of Tibetology; it is world-wide centre for study of Buddhist philosophy and religion, a treasure house of rare Thangkha, Statues and over 200 Buddhist icons and prized objects of art.
Directorate of Handicrafs & Handloom; it is centre for promoting and keeping alive the traditional arts and crafts, a veritable storehouse of exquisite carpets, blankets and shawls in Lepcha weaves.
Overnight at the hotel in Gangtok.
Day 05 : Gangtok
Morning take an excursion to Rumtek Monastery. Situated about 24 km from Gangtok Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre is the seat of the Kagyupa order, one of the four major Tibetan Buddhist sects. Since the late 196s, after the arrival of His Holiness, the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, the Centre houses some of the world’s most unique religious scriptures and objects. Traditional in design , it is replica of the original Kagyupa headquarters.
Afternoon take an excursion to Tashi View Point which offers enchanting view of Mount. Kanchenjunga and Mt. Siniolchu, one of the most graceful peaks in the world.
Overnight at the hotel in Gangtok.
Day 06 : Gangtok – Phuentsholing (200 km, 6 hours)
After breakfast drive to Bhutan’s border town of Phuentsholing enroute passing through lush green tea gardens.
The gateway to the south, Phuentsholing is a thriving commercial centre on the northern edge of the Indian plains. Situated directly at the base of Himalayan foothills, Phuentsholing is a fascinating mixture of Indian and Bhutanese, a perfect example of mingling of people and their culture.
Evening visit Zangtho Pelri Lhakhang, the temple representing heaven of Guru Rinpoche. Then take a stroll around town and local market.
Day 07 : Phuentsholing – Thimphu (180 km, 6 hours)
After breakfast proceed to Thimphu, the modern capital town of Bhutan situated at the altitude of 2,400m. 4 km ahead of Phuentsholing, visit Kharbandi Goemba, the beautiful monastery built by Royal Grand Mother.
The drive from Phuentsholing is very pleasant with numerous scenic spots enroute. Nearby Thimphu, visit Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress of the Kingdom built in 1627, it now houses the school for Buddhist studies.
Day 08 : Thimphu
The capital town of Bhutan and the centre of government, religion and commerce, Thimphu is a unique city with unusual mixture of modern development alongside ancient traditions.
Visit here Trashichhodzong; the “fortress of the glorious religion”, Memorial Chhorten; the stupa built in memory of Bhutan’s Third King, National Library, Art School, Traditional Medicine Institute, The Textile and Folk Heritage Museum and Government Handicrafts Emporium.
Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 09 : Thimphu – Punakha (75 km, 2.1/2 hours)
Morning drive to Punakha across Dochula pass (3,050m) that heralds the most enchanting views of Bhutan. Until 1955, Punakha served as the capital of Bhutan and still it holds the winter seat of Chief Abbot.
Visit 17th century Punakha Dzong followed by visit to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chhorten.
Then drive to Wangduephodrang, the last town before central Bhutan. The town is like an enlarged village with its interesting local market. Visit majestic wangduephodrang Dzong sitting on the top of the hill at the confluence of Punakha Chhu and Tang Chhu rivers.
Overnight at the hotel in Punakha.
Day 10 : Punakha – Paro (125 km, 4.1/2 hours)
After breakfast drive to Paro, the beautiful valley, encapsulates within itself a rich culture, scenic beauty and hundred of myths and legends.
Afternoon visit Ta Dzong, the National Museum of the Kingdom and then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong which has a long and fascinating history.
Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 11 : Paro
Morning drive to Durkgyel Dzong, the ruined fortress from where Bhutanese warriors repelled several invasion by Tibetan armies. Also visit here a traditional farm house which offers good insight into lifestyle of local people.
Then take an excursion to Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest), situated 900m above Paro valley floor. Evening visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the Kingdom.
Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 12 : Paro Depart
After breakfast drive to Paro airport for flight to onward destination.