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Welcome to India and the start of your holiday! We will pick you up at the airport and transfer you to the hotel.
Early this morning enjoy a visit to the famous flower market near Howrah Bridge, followed by a boat ride on the Hooghly RiverThe city is a compelling medley of ancient and modern. Enjoy a city sights tour including a visit to the imposing Victoria Memorial. Opened by the Prince of Wales in 1921, this vision in marble is often called the “Taj” of the British Raj. We also visit the New Market, the stately Indian Museum founded in 1814, St Paul’s Cathedral and the extraordinary Marble Palace.
Today, fly to Bagdogra (flight SG 323 departing at 12:35 and arriving at 13:35) and drive to Kalimpong - a remote hill station set among the rolling foothills of the Himalayas. Kalimpong’s attractions include three monasteries including Tharpa Choeling, Tongsa and Zong Dog Palri Fo-Brang.
We drive north to Gangtok. Owing to its proximity to the Tibetan border, the capital of Sikkim is steeped in Tibetan culture. Characterised by mists, fluttering prayer flags, painted roofs and pagoda-styled houses, a rich cultural heritage, friendly people coupled with excellent views of the entire Kanchenjunga Range from many points in the city, Gangtok is scenically beautiful.
Enjoy an excursion to the Rumtek Monastery followed by a sightseeing tour of Gangtok, including the Royal Monastery - Tsukla Khang, the Namgyalak Institute of Tibetology and the Orchid Sanctuary. The afternoon is free to relax or explore.
Continuing to Pelling via Tashiding, enjoy an afternoon visit to the lofty heights of the hallowed Pemayangtse Monastery - one of the principal monasteries in the state of Sikkim. Near the monastery, there are the traditional austere dwellings of the monks. Breath-taking scenery can be witnessed from the vantage point.
The journey continues to Darjeeling. Home of Darjeeling tea and with a panoramic backdrop of the awesome Himalayan snow-clad peaks.
Early today we drive to Tiger Hill to witness sunrise over the snowy peaks of Kanchenjunga; followed by a visit to Ghoom Gompa (monastery), sightseeing back in town and a visit to a real tea estate.
Today is free for you to explore Darjeeling your way. See some Buddhist monasteries or visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, a training school for mountain climbers. It is also worthwhile taking a stroll through town. Owing to Darjeeling’s proximity to Tibet, the town also has a Tibetan Refugee Centre or simply go trekking!
Later this morning, the journey continues to New Jalpaiguri, from where you board the Darjeeling Mail train to Kolkata. In air-conditioned first class sleepers, travel in style
On arrival, enjoy a transfer to our hotel where a day-use room is available for your comfort. The remains of the day is at leisure. We will transfer you to the airport for the flight to Delhi, where you will need to overnight. (flight 6E 206, departing at 16:40 and arriving at 18:50)
Transfer to Delhi airport and onward flight to Srinigar where you will be met at the airport upon arrival and transferred to your house boat. (flight 6E departing at 11:20 and arriving at 12:40). The rest of the evening is free for you to enjoy.
This morning we board one of the colourful shikara to visit the floating gardens, known as "Rad" in Kashmiri, where mounds of earth make for a fascinating display as they protrude from the water topped with all sorts of growing local produce. Later we visit some of the stunning Mughal Gardens that Srinagar is famous for. Later we visit Shalimar Garden, equally as stunning and located on the northeast side of the lake. The gardens are linked to Dal Lake via channel. We also visit the more modest Chesmashahi gardens en route to the Pari Mahal garden perched majestically atop the Zebanwan Mountain. After our tour the rest of the afternoon is free.
Today we visit the Old City of Srinigar, or as it's also known downtown Srinigar, with its winding streets and alleys lined with shops selling and making the finest Kashmari goods, we take a heritage walk through this part of the city along the River Jhelum. We also visit Hari Parbat, also known as the Mughal fort, situated on Shakira Hill and providing panoramic views of Srinagar City and Dal Lake. We also visit the 700 yea rold Jama Masjid mosque and the Shah Hamadan Mosque. We return to your houseboat for lunch before tour with a visit to the Tomb of Zain Ul Abideen, well hidden in the streets of the bazaar. After a full day return to your house boat to enjoy an evening at leisure.
Today is entirely yours to do as you please. Explore the local markets for some bargains or just relax on your house boat with the stunning surrounds of Lake Dal.
This morning after breakfast we transfer you to Srinagar airport for the flight to Delhi (flight 6E 554, departing at 11:10 and arriving at 12:35). On arrival we will transfer you to the hotel.
We will transfer you to the airport in time for your departure flight.
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