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Welcome to India and the start of your holiday! We will pick you up at Kolkata airport and transfer you to the hotel. The rest of the day is yours to explore Kolkata or relax at the hotel.
The 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.
Early this morning enjoy a visit to the famous flower market near Howrah Bridge, followed by a boat ride on the Hooghly River. Later, fly to Bagdogra 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 cabins. (Option to upgrade to flight from Bagdogra to Kolkata and overnight in Kolkata before your flight home).
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. Included evening transfer to airport.
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