Darjeeling – The Queen of Hill Stations
Referred to as the “Queen of Hill Stations” by the locals, Darjeeling is a captivating hill station located in the Shiwalik Hills of the lower Himalayan range.
Snow-capped mountains, serene atmosphere, dense forest cover, dark green deep and soothing lakes, make Darjeeling one of the most popular holiday destinations in India. It was established by the British, who were mesmerized by its untouched beauty.
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Tiger Hill makes for a perfect sunrise since tourists can witness the first rays of the Sun hitting the twin peaks of Kanchenjunga here. The panoramic view of the Mount Everest peeping through the snow-capped peaks is every traveler’s delight.
Trip to Darjeeling is incomplete without taking a joyride in the toy train. Moving at the pace of a snail over the beautiful hilly terrains will be an experience of a lifetime which you shouldn’t miss.
Japanese Peace Pagoda
A 10-minute drive from the Darjeeling town, the gleaming white Japanese Peace Pagoda is a serene temple perched on a hillside. The place offers a soothing and peaceful experience
Magical Darjeeling & Sikkim
Places Covered: Darjeeling (2nights) – Pelling (2nights) – Gangtok (3nights) – Kalimpong (1night)
No. of Days: 8nights/9days
Day 1: Siliguri – Darjeeling: Arrive at Bagdogra Airport in Siliguri and drive to Darjeeling, a hill town in West Bengal Himalayas. This is a drive of around three hours. Check into a hotel on arrival in Darjeeling. Take a walk on the Mall Road in the evening. Have dinner at one of the restaurants. Overnight in Darjeeling.
Day 2: Darjeeling: Get up quite early in the morning (around 4am) and drive to Tiger Hill (8,400ft) to watch the spectacular sunrise over Mt. Kanchenjunga (28,208 ft. Worlds 3rd highest peak). On your way back visit Ghoom Monastery and also see Batasia Loop. Wait for a train to cross this loop. It is a scene unparalleled anywhere else in the world. Take a joyride back from Ghoom to Darjeeling, if possible.
Return to the hotel and have your breakfast. Afterwards, go on to visit Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and Zoological Park (remains closed on Thursday). Look at the different high altitude animals kept in the Park. These include some endangered species like snow leopard.
Later, in the afternoon, go on to visit a tea garden and understand the finer details of tea processing. Buy some tea packs if you so want. You can also go and visit Japanese Temple. Keep evening free for walk on the Mall Road. Look at the colonial buildings and do try tea at some tea points or restaurants. You are free to do some souvenir shopping for yourself.
Enjoy your dinner and drinks at one of the restaurants. Overnight in Darjeeling.
Day 3: Darjeeling – Pelling: Check out from the hotel after breakfast and drive to Pelling (6,300ft), a drive of around four hours. Pelling is a town in Sikkim known for clear views of the whole Kanchenjunga range. Check into a hotel in Pelling on arrival in the city. Rest of the day at leisure. Go for walk and have a look at the snow-capped mountain peaks.
Have dinner and retire to your room. Overnight in Pelling.
Day 4: Pelling: Have a sumptuous breakfast and embark on a full day sightseeing of Pelling. Start with a tour to Darap Village, a village just six kilometer from Pelling on the route to Yuksom. The village, inhabited mainly by the people from Limboo community, has become immensely popular among tourists of late because of its gentle valleys and moderate slopes. Around 5km from Darap Village and around 12km from Pelling town is Rimbi Waterfalls on the way to Khecheopalri Lake. After spending some time at the waterfalls move on to Khecheopalri Lake, around 28km from Pelling town. The lake is considered holy by the local Buddhist population and according to their belief the lake is the emanation of goddess Tara blessed by Guru Rempoche. Drive further and you can see Kanchenjunga Waterfalls.
Have lunch at any restaurant and resume your sightseeing. Visit Pemayangtse Monastery and then Rabdentse Ruins. Pemayangtse Monastery is one of the oldest and the most famous monastery in West Sikkim. It was planned, designed and founded by Lama Lhatsun Chenpo in 1705. Rabdentse, on the other hand, was the capital of the former kingdom of Sikkim from 1670 to 1814. The city was destroyed by the invading Gurkha army and now only the ruins of the palace and the chhortens are seen.
Return to the hotel after a hectic day of sightseeing. Have your dinner and retire to your room. Overnight in Pelling.
Day 5: Pelling – Namchi – Gangtok: Check out from the hotel in Pelling and start for Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. The drive is of close to six hours. On the way stop and have a tour of Temi Tea Garden, the only tea garden in Sikkim. You can also buy some tea from here. Moving further visit Samdruptse – near Namchi – which has the tallest statue of Guru Rinpoche. In Namchi have a look at Siddheshwar Dham, popularly called Chardham.
Check into a hotel in Gangtok. Rest of the day at leisure. You can have a lovely walk on the MG Road and enjoy eating and looking at people moving across. Have dinner at one of the restaurants. Overnight in Gangtok.
Day 6: Gangtok: Have breakfast and embark on a full day sightseeing of Gangtok. Start with Tashi View Point. On a clear day one can see quite a few peaks of Kanchenjunga Mountain range. From there, move on to visit Ganesh Tok and then Hanuman Tok. These are two highest points of Gangtok. One can get a good glimpse of Gangtok from Ganesh Tok.
Later, move to Flower show, and see for yourself the different varieties of orchids grown in Sikkim. If you are interested in seeing some local handicraft, there is no better place than Cottage Industry and Handicraft Centre. A visit to Institute of Tibetology is a must. This is a museum specializing in Tibet related affairs, with some rare collections.
Go on to visit Dro-dul Chorten, a stupa built in 1945. It consists of beautiful architecture and various religious relics and articles. A visit to Enchey Monastery will also be nice. While returning to your hotel stop by Banjhakri Falls and enjoy the beauty nature has bestowed on Gangtok. Have dinner at one of the restaurants. Overnight in Gangtok.
Day 7: *Gangtok – Tsomgo Lake – Nathula – Baba Mandir – Gangtok: After breakfast start for a day trip excursion to Tsomgo Lake (12,400 ft.), Baba Mandir (13,200 ft) and Nathula. This is 55km one way from Gangtok city. Further go up to Nathula pass, border between India and China.
Permissions are required for both Indians and foreigners to visit these areas. However, foreigners are permitted to go to Tsomgo Lake only and that too if they are in a group of two or more. They are not allowed to visit Baba Mandir or Nathula.
Return to Gangtok. Enjoy a pleasant walk on the MG Road. Soak in the sun; enjoy some delicacies sitting and watching people. Have dinner and retire to your room. Overnight in Gangtok.
*(In case Tsomgo Lake is closed because of Landslide or any other reason we will provide alternate sightseeing)
Day 8: Gangtok – Kalimpong: Check out after breakfast and start for Kalimpong, a three-hour drive from Gangtok. Check into a hotel or resort on arrival in Kalimpong. After some rest and alignment with the place, start the sightseeing tour of Kalimpong.
Enjoy the delightful landscapes as visible from Deolo Hills. See how Mount Kanchenjunga range appears from these hills. If interested in paragliding you can do so here. Go on to visit the historic Dr Graham’s Home, a self-sufficient famous school of the region where students from not just neighbouring states but from various countries come to study. Take a walk along the market in Kalimpong.
Have dinner at one of the restaurants. Overnight in Kalimpong.
Day 9: Kalimpong – Bagdogra – Onward destination: Check out after breakfast and drive three hours to reach Bagdogra Airport in Siliguri to catch your flight for onward destination.
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