Delhi to Darjeeling - 18 Days

FROM USD $3,899

Taking in all the very best of India; Delhi, Jaipur, the Taj Mahal, the mysterious Temples of Khajuraho, ancient holy Varanasi, the remote hill station of Kalimpong and of course Darjeeling, tea central.

Day 1: Delhi
Saturday. Upon arrival into Delhi, you'll be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel. The remainder of the day is yours to relax or independently explore this bustling capital. Overnight - Delhi
This morning, our welcome meeting takes place. Later on we embark on a full day sightseeing tour of Delhi, taking in the impressive Red Fort, Jama Masjid - India’s oldest and largest mosque, Raj Ghat - the site of Mahatma Gandhi’s cremation, Humayan’s Tomb, Qutab Minar and a carpet emporium where we can witness a demonstration on the art of carpet weaving. Tonight, we enjoy a Namaste Dinner at an Indian restaurant. Overnight - Delhi (B, D)
Delhi to Darjeeling - 18 Days Go Guide : :Check out the go guide for details of the tour, info on visas, climate, money, what to bring and more!
Elephants taking travellers up to the Amber Fort in Jaipur
Delhi - Jaipur. Today, we travel by road to the architecturally flamboyant Jaipur - capital of Rajasthan which was founded in 1727. We enjoy a tour of the City Palace and Jantar Mantar - a medieval astronomical observatory - both of which were built by Jaipur’s founder - Jai Singh. On Day 4 early-risers can opt for a morning hot air balloon ride over Jaipur, and sail over hilltop forts, regal palaces, sleepy villages, and stone carved temples. Next morning, we travel to Amber Fort, where we take an elephant ride to the summit of the stunning 16th century Rajput fort.

Jaipur boasts some of the most colourful bazaars in Asia. Keep your eyes peeled for colourful papîer mache puppets and traditional Rajasthani ‘curly toe’ jooti shoes. We’ll also visit a cotton trading house which specialises in tablecloths and other articles block-printed with traditional Rajasthani designs and a very capable tailoring service where bolts of European-style fabric can be crafted into shirts and other garments meeting your specification. Prices are excellent and your new garb will be delivered to your hotel before we leave! A visit will be made to cotton trader this afternoon before returning to our hotel for free time. Overnight - Jaipur (B:2)
Jaipur - Abhaneri - Bharatpur. Departing Jaipur we stop in the village of Abhaneri to see Chand Baori, which is the largest and deepest step well in the world. This incredible well has a staggering 3500 steps and is 13 stories deep. Next, we discover local life, traditions and visit the village school (if open) where we operate our ‘Change for Children’ programme. After hotel check in at Bharatpur and time to freshen up we visit Keoladeo Ghana National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where we’ll enjoy a leisurely bicycle rickshaw ride through the park. Overnight - Bharatpur (B, D)
The beautiful Taj Mahal in Agra
Bharatpur - Agra. Today we travel to Agra via Fatehpur Sikri - the magnificent fortified Mughal capital of Emperor Akbar. In Agra, we visit the impressive Agra Fort before touring the the legendary Taj Mahal and witnessing a magical sunset. Built by Shah Jahan in the 16th century as an enduring memorial to his beloved wife Mumtaz, the Taj Mahal is without peer. Overnight - Agra (B)
An Indian lady with a bright red headscarf
Day 7: Orchha
Agra - Orchha. Striking south, we journey by express train to Jhansi and onwards by road to Orchha. Situated on the banks of the River Betwa, Orchha is dotted with temples and palaces built by Bundela rulers, which we’ll explore. Overnight - Orchha (B)
Orchha - Khajuraho. Driving south-east today, we arrive in Khajuraho, famed for its stunning temples built in the Chandela dynasty over a 100 year burst of creative genius from 950 - 1050AD. The carved temples display exceedingly artistic aspects of Indian life a millennium ago. How and why they were built still remains a mystery. We’ve plenty of time to see the temples for ourselves. Overnight - Khajuraho (B)
Khajuraho - Varanasi. This morning consider taking a wildlife safari at Panna National Park. Around noon, forgoing a long drive, we fly east to Varanasi. Perhaps the holiest city in India; Varanasi, also known as Benares or the city of Shiva, is also one of the oldest cities on earth. Sitting on the banks of the holy River Ganges, it has been a centre of learning and civilisation for more than 2000 years and is a place of Hindu pilgrimage. Overnight - Varanasi (B)
Fabrics left out to dry on the banks of the Ganges at Varanasi
Varanasi - New Jalpaiguri. On the morning of day 10, we enjoy a sunrise boat ride on the holy Ganges where we’ll view the ancient religious tradition of ritual cleansing that takes place on the many riverbank ghats (riverside steps) Later, we undertake guided tour of many of the cities main attractions and at sunset you can opt to independently re-visit the ghats for the evening pilgramage, remarkably different from the dawn ritual.

On day 11, take the opportunity to further explore the colourful city at leisure, before our early evening transfer to Mughal Sarai rail station for our North East Express train to New Jalpaiguri. Overnight - Varanasi (1) Train (1) (B:2)
Day 12: Kalimpong
New Jalpaiguri - Kalimpong. On arrival this morning, we’ll be met to commence the 3 hour drive to Kalimpong. Kalimpong, a remote hill station, once part of Sikkim and one-time meeting point on the trade route to Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal, sits amid beautiful mountain scenery where orchids and other flowers grow in profusion. Great views can be had of Kanchenjunga and the town possesses several important monasteries, including the brightly painted Zong Dog Palri Phodrang Gompa (simply known as Durpin Monastery) and Thirpai Choling Gompa founded in 1892 and recently renovated. You’ll have the day to enjoy the town at your own pace. Overnight - Kalimpong (L, D)
Kalimpong - Gangtok. Leaving Kalimpong, we drive to Gangtok, where the remains of the day are at leisure. Capital of Sikkim, a tiny Himalayan state known for its orchids and flowers and for the heavy influence of Tibetan culture, Gangtok although rapidly developing is still full of charm, thanks to its Buddhist past. Beyond the busy market areas, lie monastic complexes and striking countryside.

On day 14 we visit beautiful Rumtek Monastery, Sikkim’s largest and most active monastery, which is located in a lower valley. We then tour Gangtok taking in the Royal Monastery – Tsuklakhang, the Institute of Tibetology and the Orchid Sanctuary. Built in 1958, the Research Institute of Tibetology is world famous for its research activities on the language and culture of Tibet; possessing a faculty of eminent scholars, a library with a large collection of documents and rare books on Buddhism and an attached museum with a rare collection of antiques, coins and Tibetan paintings. Overnight - Gangtok (B:2, L:2, D:2)
Colourful shades of green of the tea plantations in Darjeeling
Days 15 - 16: Darjeeling
Gangtok - Darjeeling. Leaving Gangtok, we drive to Darjeeling. Sitting at a spectacular altitude of 2124m with a backdrop of mighty snow-clad Himalayan peaks and surrounded by verdant tea plantations, Darjeeling has been a popular hill station since the British established it as an R & R centre for their troops in the mid 19th century. Draw cards include a number of Buddhist monasteries, tea plantations and colourful markets.

On day 16, we enjoy a drive to Tiger Hill to catch sunrise over the snowy peaks of Kanchenjunga - the world’s third highest mountain. Continuing, enjoy a visit to the Ghoom Gompa (monastery) followed by city sightseeing and a visit to a tea estate. If wanting to purchase Darjeeling’s most famous export, consider First Flush Super Fine Tippy Golden Flower Orange Pekoe 1. It’s Darjeeling’s best. Overnight - Darjeeling (B:2, L:2, D:2)
Days 17 - 18: Kolkata
Darjeeling via Jalpaiguri - Kolkata. Transferring to Jalpaiguri station, we catch our overnight 2nd class sleeper train for Kolkata (*option to fly available, see below). We arrive into Kolkata on the morning of day 18 - Tuesday. This marks the end of our tour and we transfer you to the airport. As the train arrives at approximately 6 am we advise that you book your departure flights for after 12 noon. Train (1) (B:1)

Discover the Kingdom of Bhutan

Extend your stay with a 7 day/6 night Bhutan Breakaway! Nestled in the Eastern Himalayas, Bhutan has for centuries remained cautiously aloof from the rest of the world. Opening its doors to the world in 1974, Bhutan's incredible scenery & hospitable charm has been revealed to travellers hungry for new experiences.

Holi & the Festival of Jaipur 

Join the festivities of Holi on a special tour in IndiaCombine a tour of the best of India with the exuberant festivities of Holi - India’s most dazzling celebration, and the vibrant Festival of Jaipur, a colourful display of local culture through its people, with folk dancers, melodious music, and exciting traditional competitions.

 

 

If travelling on our Delhi to Darjeeling tour departing Monday 02 March 2015, we will be attending the Festival of Jaipur at the Rambagh Polo Ground on the afternoon of 05 March and will be taking part in Holi - the festival of colour celebrations in the rural village of Bharatpur the following day. A small supplement has been added to our tour price for this departure. For more information on the events and our touring itinerary please see to our Delhi to Darjeeling tour Go Guide.

 


*Bagdodra - Kolkata by air

Forsaking the overnight train journey on day 17, you may opt to upgrade and travel back to Kolkata by air. This option includes ecomony class flight from Bagdodra - Kolkata on day 17, airport transfers at both ends and one night’s accommodation in Kolkata (evening of day 17. Please ensure that you indicate your preference to travel by air at time of booking.

Tour Details
  • Starts in: Delhi / Ends in: Kolkata
  • Departs: Every second Saturday - September through to April
  • No local payment required
  • Breakfast:15, Lunch: 5, Dinner: 7
  • Hotel Rating: 3 - 4 star & heritage hotels
  • Tour Guide: Yes
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