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Say goodbye to your new found friends on your group tour Passage to India. Day at leisure in Delhi.
Day at leisure in Delhi.
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.
Driving south-east today, we arrive in Khajuraho, famed for its stunning temples built in the Chandela dynasty over a 100 year burst of creative genius from 950 - 1050AD. The carved temples display exceedingly artistic aspects of Indian life a millennium ago. How and why they were built still remains a mystery. Half day tour to see the temples!
Forgoing a long drive, we fly east to Varanasi. Perhaps the holiest city in India; Varanasi, also known as Benares or the city of Shiva, is also one of the oldest cities on earth. Sitting on the banks of the holy River Ganges, it has been a centre of learning and civilisation for more than 2000 years and is a place of Hindu pilgrimage.
Early this morning, we enjoy a sunrise boat ride on the holy Ganges where we’ll view the ancient religious tradition of ritual cleansing that takes place on the many riverbank ghats (riverside steps) Later, we undertake guided tour of many of the cities main attractions. At sunset you can opt to independently re-visit the ghats for the evening pilgramage, remarkably different from the dawn ritual.
Take the opportunity to further explore the colourful city at leisure, before our early evening transfer to Mughal Sarai rail station for our North East Express train to New Jalpaiguri.
On arrival this morning, we’ll be met to commence the 3 hour drive 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.
Leaving Kalimpong, we drive to Gangtok, where the remains of the day are at leisure. Capital of Sikkim, a tiny Himalayan state known for its orchids and flowers and for the heavy influence of Tibetan culture, Gangtok although rapidly developing is still full of charm, thanks to its Buddhist past. Beyond the busy market areas, lie monastic complexes and striking countryside.
We visit beautiful Rumtek Monastery, Sikkim’s largest and most active monastery, which is located in a lower valley. We then 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 faculty of eminent scholars, 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.
Transfer to Pelling via Thasiding.
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.
We 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) before enjoying a ride on the famous Toy Train! This afternoon, we visit the Mountaineering Institute following with a visit to a tea estate. If wanting to purchase Darjeeling’s most famous export, consider First Flush Super Fine Tippy Golden Flower Orange Pekoe 1. It’s Darjeeling’s best.
Day at leisure in Darjeeling.
Day at leisure in Darjeeling.
Transfer to Bagdogra airport for your flight to Guwahati, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Full days sightseeing tour of Guwahati.
Transfer to Wild Mahseer. Own arrangements from here.
Pick up transfer from Wild Mahseer to hotel in Shillong. Overnight Shillong - Aerodene Cottage (Cottage Room)
City tour of Shillong. Overnight Shillong - Aerodene Cottage (Cottage Room)
Transfer to Guwahati.
Departure transfer to the airport.
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