9 Days Darjeeling Sikkim Highlights
Kolkata - Darjeeling – Gangtok – Ravongla - Pelling
This is a very comprehensive tour for those looking for a short but comprehensive holiday which packs in all the highlights Darjeeling and Sikkim the “Queen of Hills” has to offer. After visiting the charming tea gardens and at dawn visit atop Tiger Hill we will drive through the lush valley to Gangtok – the capital of Sikkim. Walk through the fascinating bazaar full of local products and produce in Gangtok. Visit the famous Tsomgo Lake and Temi Tea Garden. And see the world’s third highest Mount Kanchenjunga with your very own eyes.
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Day 1 | Hotel
Upon arrival at late night meet and transfer to hotel. Check into hotel and overnight.
Day 2 | B, L, D | Hotel
Kolkata – Bagdora – Darjeeling
After breakfast drive to airport to take a short flight to Bagdora. Upon arrival meet and transfer to hotel for lunch. After lunch transfer to Darjeeling.This is one of the most beautiful and relaxing car journey with mesmerizing view of the hills all along the sides of the road stretching about 4 hours up the hill to Darjeeling. On the way you will encounter the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (Also known as the “toy train”). On arrival check in hotel. Enjoy the cool climate and explore Darjeeling town on your own.
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway “Toy Train”
The toy train in Darjeeling is not merely a source of delight for the young and old, it also represents the engineering skills of the highest order. This 83 km. long section connecting Darjeeling with the railhead at Siliguri is of great importance and has been bestowed World Heritage Site status. The railway line from Siliguri to the beautiful hill section of Darjeeling is considered an engineering feat and passes through one of the most picturesque hill station.
Day 3 | B, L, D | Hotel
Early morning drive to famous Tiger Hill to view the beautiful sunrise over the Kanchenjunga massif. After that, city tour covering Darjeeling City and Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. Late afternoon some time for shopping.
Tiger Hill is famous for the panoramic views it offers of Mount Everest along with Kanchenjunga. The first rays of the sun shoot ahead and shed light upon the twin peaks of Kanchenjunga painting it pink and then bathing it in a beautiful orange color. From Tiger Hill, Mount Everest (8848m) is just visible, peeping out through two other peaks standing by its side. Makalu (8481m) looks higher than Mt. Everest, owing to the curve in the horizon, as it is several miles closer than Everest. The distance in straight line from Tiger Hill to Everest is 107 miles.
Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI)
The Institute was established on 4th November 1954, which was then the hub center of all mountaineering activity in India. The first ascent of Mount Everest in 1953 by Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary sparked a keen interest in establishing mountaineering as a well-respected endeavour for people in the region. The late Maj N.D. Jayal was the first Principal of the Institute whereas the late Tenzing Norgay was Director of Field Training. The museum also has a lot of good artifacts and gear from many of the famous expeditions. You will be amazed to see how little equipment the Hillary-Tenzing team had on the first climb to Everest. The Institute is the landmark in Darjeeling and an important center of tourist attraction. It commands a magnificent view of the Kanchenjunga massif.
Day 4 | B, L, D | Hotel
Darjeeling – Gangtok
After breakfast drive to Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. We will stop by at Rangpo check post to apply for your Inner Line Permit. You can have tea or early lunch at the café before driving to Gangtok, Upon arrival check in hotel and explore around M.G. Marg.
The main street of Gangtok town is pedestrianized and a pleasant place to take a stroll. You can sit at the park and listen to the piped in music played for the listening pleasure of visitors or just walk down the mall and take in the carnival like atmosphere. Perhaps you may also fine some unexpected gems hidden in the winding side alleys as you begin to gain insight into the lifestyle of the Sikkimese. The Bakery Café is the only place that serves reasonably good lattes and cappuccinos with freshly made bread. Be sure to indulge!
Day 5 | B, L, D | Hotel
After breakfast, take a day tour to the famous Tsomgo Lake 40 km away from Gangtok. Late afternoon sightseeing in Gangtok city including Nagyal Institute of Tibetology and Lal Bazaar.
Known as “source of the lake” in Bhutia language, this serene lake is situated at an altitude of 12,000ft on the Gangtok Nathu La highway and is considered sacred by the local people.
Namgyal Institute of Tibetology
Established by the chogyal in 1958 to promote research into the Tibetan language and religious traditions. The institute boasts one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of Tibetan scripture and artifacts, ranging from the beautiful intricate silk artwork to the macabre instruments fashioned from human bones.
Lal Bazaar is a flea market where you get almost everything from apparel to eatables. The fresh produce market on the first floor is both exotic and unique. It is also a nice place to interact with the locals who know a lot more about local plants and food. You’ll get some of the finest produce here from yak ghee and mushroom to fresh trout caught from the nearby streams and Teesta River. A walk through the food market provides interesting insight to the Sikkimese’s customs.
Day 6 | B, L, D | Hotel
Gangtok – Ravongla
After breakfast drive to Ravongla. On the way visit Temi Tea Garden, the famous tea garden of Sikkim. You can buy appreciate the tea planting process, taste and buy tea at the factory outlet shop. Lunch on the way. Upon arrival check into hotel. Free to explore around Ravongla or if time permits and it is to your interest, we can visit the Ralang Monastery 6km from Ravongla.
Ravongla is a tourist’s paradise with a grand view of the mountains, and is also the base of the Tibetan army in exile.
Ralang Monastery is a Buddhist monastery of the Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism. According to legend, Ralang was built after the fourth Chogyal came back from his pilgrimage, when the 9th Karmapaperformed the Rabney (blessing). He threw grains from his residence in Tsurphu Monastery in Tibet and where the grains fell, eventually, became the site for the Ralang Monastery. The Monastery has an extensive collection of paintings and thangkas and is host to an annual festival, known as Pang Lhabsol when Mount Kanchenjunga is worshipped.
Day 7 | B, L, D | Hotel
Ravongla – Pelling
After breakfast we visit Ravongla Village and the Tibetan Settlement Camp Cottage Industry. After lunch drive to Pelling and check into hotel. Afternoon tour around Pelling including visit to the famous Pemayangtse Monastery.
The town of Pelling is famous for its magnificent views of the snow-capped mountains of Kanchenjunga and its ranges. At 1900 m, the location offers good views of the surrounding mountain ranges including the Koktang, Frey, Rathong, Kabru North and Kabru South, Kabru Dom, Talung Kanchenjunga, Pandim, Jopuno, Tinchikhang, Narsing and others. The Bhutias are the prominent people in Pelling holding religious alliance to the ancient Pemayangtse and Sanghachoeling Monastaries.
Pemayangtse literally means perfect sublime lotus. This is one of the oldest and most important monasteries of Sikkim. Founded in 1705, this monastery belongs to the Nyingma-pa sect. The 3-storied building of the monastery houses a good collection of wall paintings and sculptures. On the 3rd floor of the monastery, there is an unbelievably intricate 7-tiered painted wooden model of the abode of Guru Rimpoche, complete with rainbows, angels and the whole panoply of Buddha and bodhisattva.
Day 8 | B, L, D | Hotel
Pelling – Bagdogra – Kolkata
After breakfast drive to Bagdora for about 4 hours. Lunch on the way and connect flight to Kolkata. Upon arrival meet and transfer to downtown for leisure shopping. Evening dinner and transfer to airport for departure.
Day 9 | B, L, D
Early morning arrive Singapore.
- Domestic air ticket Kolkata-Bagdogra-Kolkata
- Sikkim Inner Line Permit application (on arrival at Rangpo)
- Private A/C transportation including airport transfer
- Personal English speaking tour guide
- Accommodation as per itinerary
- Meals as per itinerary
- Entrance fees
- International airfare
- India visa (required for entry into Sikkim, self- apply before departure)
- Travel insurance
- All alcoholic and other beverages
- All personal expenses
- Liabilities of loss, theft and damages