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Arrive at Bagdogra Airport before 3pm, where you will be met and transferred to Darjeeling, the erstwhile summer retreat of the Englishmen in the Himalayas. Darjeeling was immortalized by the first Everest Summiteers Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary and was the base of all earlier Everest expeditions. Lying under the shadow of mighty Mount Kanchenjunga and the rugged Himalayas and surrounded by lush tea plantations, Darjeeling is incredibly scenic and steeped in history and culture.
We enjoy an excursion to Ghoom Monastery today and then take a scenic joy ride on the famous Toy Train from Ghoom to Darjeeling. Darjeeling is world renowned for its tea and this afternoon we take a guided tour of the Happy Valley Tea Estate, one of the oldest Orthodox tea plantations in the Darjeeling hills. After visiting the gardens, we sample some of India’s finest brew in the tea tasting room and visit the tea factory.
Spend the morning exploring the Tukvar Tea Estate and learning more about tea production. Tukvar Tea Estate is a conscientious supplier of tea and employer, over 3,000 people live and work on the massive estate and it is ensured that all workers are provided with housing, schooling, medical and dental facilities. After lunch we visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute which Tenzing Norgay was instrumental in setting up and the Everest Museum which has some interesting exhibits. There is also time for a trip to Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, famed for its successful conservation projects on Red Pandas and Snow Leopard.
It’s tea time again today as we head to Tumsong Tea Estate. Established in 1867 the Tumsong Estate was planted keeping the sentiments of the indigenous people in mind. The estate is planted around a Hindu temple dedicated to the goddess Tamsa Devi on a steep slope rising from 2,700 feet to 5,500 feet and offering fantastic views of surrounding Kanchenjunga, considered to be the third highest mountain peak in the world. After lunch we’ll attend an afternoon talk and presentations by a tea expert followed by a tea tasting session at Camellia Home stay in Jalapahar Road or at Golden Tips tea shop at Darjeeling.
It’s a very early start today as we take a memorable excursion to the summit of Tiger Hill to experience the sublime sunrise over the snowy peaks of Kanchenjunga - the world’s third highest mountain. After breakfast back at the hotel we check out and transfer to Makaibari Tea Estate, where we enjoy a guided tour followed by a sumptuous lunch at Cochrane Place Tea Retreat. After lunch we drive to Chalsa, a small village in Western Dooars, near Gorumara National Park.
We explore the Dam Dim Tea Estate today followed by a Planter style lunch at Dam Dim tea bungalow with recipes carefully preserved through generations. It’s time to go wild this afternoon as we take a game drive in Gorumra National Park which is home to a wide array of wildlife such as Indian rhinos, elephants, gaurs and several species of birds and reptiles.
Sadly your journey has come to an end, after breakfast we transfer to Bagdogra Airport for your connecting flight. Please note: flights departing from Bagdogra should be booked after 1pm.
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