Privately Guided Tour - Eastern Himalayas & Bengal
Darjeeling, a town in India’s West Bengal state, in the Himalayan foothills. Once a summer resort for the British Raj elite, it remains the terminus of the narrow-gauge Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, or “Toy Train,” completed in 1881. Furthermore, explore Kolkata the city of Joy, contrast, and culture. Once the capital of British India – now the capital of West Bengal. A visit to Kolkata will bring visitors in touch with a combination of a rich 400 years old heritage. Finally, visit the grandest mangrove forest in the world in Sundarbans. This misty swamp region is home to man-eating tigers and although a rugged terrain, the land is hospitable to the inhabitants who live and visit there.
- Experience a combination of Kolkata’s rich 400 years old heritage, vibrant modern life and different cultures
- Visit Mother Theresa’s House, the headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata
- Appreciate Darjeeling, a land of infinite variety and charm in the Himalayan foothills
- Visit ancient temples and holy monuments to gain spiritual insight into Darjeeling’s ingrained Buddhist philosophy
- Experience the narrow-gauge Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, or “Toy Train,” completed in 1881
- Visit the distinctive black tea plantations that dot the surrounding slopes of Darjeeling
- Experience the panoramic views of Mt. Kanchenjunga, amongst the world’s highest peaks
Day 1: ARRIVE BAGDOGRA - KURSEONG
Welcome on arrival at Bagdogra and transfer to Kurseong (55Kms / 02 Hrs). Evening free for leisure. Overnight at Hotel.
Kurseong, locally known as “Kharsang” which in Lepcha means ‘the Land of White Orchids’, referring to the small white orchids are prolific here. The serenity and tranquillity of this place are what attracts people. On the outskirts of the main town of Kurseong is Cochrane Place, a recreated and restored stately British Colonial home of its previous resident, Percy John Cochrane, MBE. The stunning view of the tea garden along with the mountains and the foothill forests of the Eastern Himalayas from this Tea Resort are enchanting.
Day 2: KURSEONG - DARJEELING
Enjoy an early breakfast and proceed for a tour of the Makaibari Tea Factory and Plantation to interact and discover the charming character, rich culture, and history with the friendly people of the tea estate. Lunch at Cochrane Place followed by transfer to the Kurseong Toy Train Station to connect the Toy Train (Train 9D / STD 15.00Hrs) to Darjeeling (30Kms / 03Hrs). This unique Mountain Railway’ project was first started in 1878 by the initiative of Sir. Ashley Eden and is now a World Heritage.
Darjeeling is a land of infinite variety and charm. Dorje, the mystic thunderbolt of the Lama-Religion was the origin of the name Darjeeling, which was first discovered by a British Captain Lloyd in the year 1829. Surrounded by Tea gardens; this little town faces some of the highest peaks of the Himalayas and used to be the summer retreat of the European Officers in Bengal. Evening free for individual activity and leisure, overnight at Hotel.
Day 3: DARJEELING SIGHTSEEING
Breakfast at the Hotel followed by a half day of local sightseeing covering Padmaja N. Zoological Garden (Closed on Thursday) established on August 14, 1958. It specializes in breeding animals adapted to alpine conditions.
Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (Closed on Thursday) was founded in Darjeeling on 4th November by Pandit Nehru who said that “The institute trains young men not only to climb Himalayan peaks but also create in them an urge to climb peaks of human Endeavour.” HMI has the oldest mountaineering Museum in the country established in 1957.
Tibetan Refugee Self-help Center (Closed on Sunday) established on 1 October 1959, following the dramatic escape of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, thousands of Tibetans leaving hearth and home, fled into the neighboring countries to live as free human beings. The production of Tibetan handicraft is the center’s main activity. Enjoy an evening short walk through the local markets.
Day 4: DARJEELING – BAGDOGRA – KOLKATA
Breakfast at the hotel followed by a transfer to the Bagdogra Airport (78Kms/03Hrs) to connect your flight to Kolkata. Welcome on arrival at Kolkata airport and transfer to your hotel. Kolkata is the city of Joy, contrast, and culture. Once the capital of British India – now the capital of West Bengal. A visit to Kolkata will bring visitors in touch with a combination of a rich 400 years old heritage, vibrant modern life, and different cultures.
The Oberoi Grand
Day 5: KOLKATA TO SUNDARBANS AND VISIT TO TIGER RESERVE
Early morning, 7 AM transfer to Gothkhali (109Kms/3Hrs) through beautiful countrysides and rural bazaar. Arrive at Goathkhali Jetty and board into the motorized boat. After briefing and interpretation by our local guide/naturalist over a welcome drink, cruise through Vidyadhari, Durgaduani, and Gumdi rivers to the Sudhanyakhali watch tower and the visit to Sajnekhali Interpretation Centre. Experience the Island Cruise and arrive at Bali Island and check into TORA Resort. In the evening enjoy the infotainment by the local villagers. Overnight at the Camp.
Tora Eco Resort
Day 6: VILLAGE LIFE EXPERIENCE AT BALI AND TRANSFER TO KOLKATA
After breakfast, experience the village walk followed by a manually oared country boat ride. Check out of the village camp and board the local boat for a cruise to Naubanki Deulbharani – Panchamukhani and numerous creeks and visit Dobanki to experience the Canopy Walk in the Tower. Lunch onboard the cruise; followed by transfer to Kolkata.
Mayfair Hill Resort
Perched on a picturesque hill, MAYFAIR Darjeeling is a heritage hotel that exudes old world charm and quiet elegance. Wake up to birdsong and beautiful views as you soak in the blissful ambiance. The green foliage and the crisp mountain air will refresh your senses. Striking the perfect balance between the old and the modern, MAYFAIR, Darjeeling indulges you with its beauty and warm genuine hospitality whether you are traveling on a honeymoon, on a work trip or a family getaway. The luxury accommodation provided at the resort include spacious Family Rooms and lavish Suites. Dining options include a grand buffet restaurant serving some of the best food in town, an English bar with lovely sunset views and a charming multi-cuisine restaurant. Facilities at the hotel include an excellent Spa, a well-equipped gym, a state-of-the-art banquet hall, a children’s play area and a nice library.
Day 7: EXPLORE KOLKATA
The morning after breakfast start exploring the city of Joy with an introduction about the glory of Bengal, visit the Flower Market – a unique wholesale market of flowers which is situated in the bank of river Ganges near the famous Howrah Bridge and drive by the heritage buildings of Dalhousie Square. Explore the College Street Book Market by a hand-pulled Rickshaw and enjoy a cup of hot Coffee at the Famous “Indian Coffee House” which is running since 1942.
Enjoy a traditional Bengali lunch at the famous “Aheli” at The Peerless Inn.
After lunch, visit the St. Paul’s Cathedral, the first ‘Episcopal Cathedral Church’ in an oriental country, and the Victoria Memorial also referred to as the Taj of the Raj. This splendid white marble structure was built in memory of Queen Victoria between 1906 and 1921 and was formally inaugurated by the Prince of Wales, who later became King Edward VIII of England.
Visit the Mother House – the headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity and the interesting Kalighat Kali Temple – one of the 52 Shakti Peethas in India, devotees from all over the country come to visit this holy temple. In between, you can also enjoy a short tram ride in the crowded streets of Kolkata. Overnight at Hotel.
The Oberoi Grand
Day 8: DEPARTURE TRANSFER
In the morning after breakfast transfer to the airport to connect flight for home.