Delhi to Darjeeling - 18 Days

FROM USD $3,949

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 free to relax or independently explore this bustling capital. Overnight - Delhi
This morning, our welcome meeting takes place. Then 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. Then we travel to Amber Fort, where we take an elephant ride to the summit of this stunning 16th century Rajput fort. 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 watching a magical sunset. Built by Shah Jahan in the 16th century as an enduring memorial to his beloved wife Mumtaz, the Taj Mahal is simply breathtaking. 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. Travelling south-east we arrive in Khajuraho and explore its magnificent Hindu and Jain temples which were built during the Chandela dynasty from 950-1050 AD. The intricate stone carved temples are famous for their erotic sculptures, although why they were built still remains a mystery. In fact the Chandelas appear to have forgotten about the temples soon after they were completed and it wasn't until they were rediscovered by the British that these exquisite masterpieces were fully appreciated in India. Overnight - Khajuraho (B)
Khajuraho - Varanasi. This morning consider going on a wildlife safari at Panna National Park. Around noon, forgoing a long drive, we fly east to Varanasi. Varanasi is perhaps the holiest city in India, known as Benares or the city of Shiva, it is also one of the oldest cities on earth. Sitting on the banks of the holy River Ganges, Varanasi has been a centre of learning for more than 2000 years and it's an important Hindu pilgrimage site. 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 river where we’ll view the ancient religious tradition of ritual cleansing that takes place on the many riverbank ghats (riverside steps). Later, we embark on a tour of the city. At sunset consider re-visiting the ghats for the evening pilgrimage, which is different to the dawn ritual.

On day 11, take the opportunity to further Varanasi at leisure before our early evening transfer to Mughal Sarai rail station for our overnight North East Express train to New Jalpaiguri. Overnight - Varanasi (1) Train (1) (B:2)
Day 12: Kalimpong
New Jalpaiguri - Kalimpong. Arriving into New Jalpaiguri train station this morning we commence the 3 hour drive to Kalimpong. Kalimpong, a remote hill station which was once part of Sikkim and a meeting point on the trade route to Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal, sits amid beautiful mountain scenery where orchids and other flowers grow in profusion. Kalimpong offers wonderful views of Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world and the town is home to 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. The rest of the day is free for you to explore 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. The charming town of Gangtok is the capital of Sikkim, a tiny Himalayan state known for its orchids and flowers and for the heavy influence of Tibetan culture. Beyond the busy market areas, lie monastic complexes and striking countryside.

On day 14 we visit the beautiful Rumtek Monastery, Sikkim’s largest and most active monastery which is located in a lower valley. Then we tour Gangtok taking in the Royal Monastery – Tsuklakhang, the Institute of Tibetology and the Orchid Sanctuary. 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 drive to Tiger Hill to catch sunrise over the snowy peak of Kanchenjunga - the world’s third highest mountain. Continuing on, we visit the Ghoom Gompa (monastery) followed by city sightseeing and a visit to a tea estate,where you can purchase some of Darjeeling’s most famous export. 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 - Festival of Colour

Join the festivities of Holi on a special tour in India

Combine your tour with the exuberant festivities of Holi - India’s most dazzling and colourful celebration of local culture through its people, with folk dancers, melodious music, and exciting traditional competitions.

 

 

If travelling on our Delhi to Darjeeling tour departing on Monday 02 March 2015 we will be taking part in Holi celebrations in the rural village of Bharatpur. 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 tour Go Guide.

 


*Bagdodra - Kolkata by air

Instead of the overnight train journey on day 17, you can opt to upgrade and travel back to Kolkata by flight. 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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The On The Go Theatre
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