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Welcome to India. We will meet at Varanasi airport and transfer you to the hotel.
This morning enjoy a sunrise boat ride on the holy Ganges where the ancient religious tradition of ritual cleansing that takes place on the many riverbank ghats (riverside steps). Later, embark on a tour of the city and Sarnath and at sunset you may re-visit the ghats for the evening pilgramage, remarkably different from the dawn ritual.
- Overnight train 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 your way.
A free day to explore this beautiful Town. Kalimpong is known for its educational institutions many of which were established during the British colonial period. It used to be a gateway in the trade between Tibet and India prior to China's annexation of Tibet and the Sino-Indian War
Today we 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 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. We will have an evening visit to beautiful Rumtek Monastery, Sikkim’s largest and most active monastery, which is located in a lower valley.
Today we drive to the beautiful town of Pelling. Situated at an altitude of 6,800 ft, it offers good view of entire mountain ranges including the Koktang, Kumbhakarna, Rathong, Kabru, Dom, Kanchenjunga, Pandim, Zopuno, Shimbho, Narsing, Siniyalchu and others. Pelling is as close as you can get to Kanchenjunga without leaving the material comfort of good hotels. We travel via Thasiding.
Free Day. Places to visit in and around Pelling include the local monastery, the rock garden and waterfall at nearby Rimbi, the imposing double-pronged Kanchenjungha Falls, the archaic quaint Singshore Bridge, the Chhange Waterfalls, the Khecheopalri/Khechuperi Lake holy to Buddhists and ancient Pemyangtse/Pemyangshi Monastery.
Leaving Pelling, 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.
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.
Free day at leisure, without vehicle.
We will transfer you to the airport for the flight to Kolkata (flight SG 324 departing at 15:25 and arriving at 16:25). On arrival we will check youinto the hotel.
Today you will enjoy a sightseeing tour which includes a visit to the Indian Museum, Jain Temple and Victoria Memorial. Opened by the Prince of Wales in 1921, this imposing vision in marble often called the “Taj” of the British Raj overlooks the grassy Maidan, the city’s green belt. This afternoon is at leisure.
We will transfer you to the jetty for the journey back to Sonalika and onward transfer to Kolkata airport.
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