ALL Tours >> East >> East India
EAST – INCREDIBLE SCENIC PANORAMAS
RANGING FROM THE SHORES of the Bay of Bengal to the peak of the Kanchanjanga, the third-highest peak in the world and the highest in India, the region offers a spectacular variation in landscapes. This itinerary takes you to Bengal and Sikkim.
Darjeeling is one of the most beautiful hill stations in the East and one that allows you glimpses of the majestic peaks of Mount Everest and Mount Kanchanjanga on a clear day. The Indian Mountaineering Institute is worth a visit to see exhibits of famous expeditions, particularly the first successful attempt by Tenzing and Hillary. Also worthy of a visit is the Lebong Race Course that has the distinction of being the highest and smallest race course in the world. Especially visit the Tibetan Monastery at Ghoom where an enormous gilded statue of Buddha is enshrined. This monastery also contains several valuable Tibetan manuscripts. Going on to Sikkim, the capital Gangtok is like a fairy-tale place, where pretty houses perch precariously on steep mountain slopes above incredible scenic panoramas. Built in the pagoda style, they have painted turquoise roofs, gleaming above busy bazaars that are filled with elegantly costumed, smiling people. The magic of the scene is very real. Tiny Sikkim has 194 monasteries or gompas of which the 50-year-old Rumtek Monastery is the most famous – an excellent replica of the original in Tibet. Devoted lamas robed in crimson chant ancient mantras to the rhythm of drums and trumpets while soft light flickers from decorative lamps and, if you sneak a look over your shoulder, you might catch sight of the universe smiling in response.
DAY 01 ARRIVAL Reception and welcome at Kolkata airport
followed by transfer to your hotel.
DAY 02 KOLKATA Morning is at leisure. In the afternoon visit
the sights including the Victoria Memorial, St Paul’s Cathedral
and the Indian Museum.
DAY 03 KOLKATA ~ BAGDOGRA ~ DARJEELING Fly to Bagdogra
in the morning and drive on to the beautiful hill station of
Darjeeling, ‘Queen of the Himalayas’ at an altitude of 7,000
feet. The bazaar is worth a visit in the evening.
DAY 04 DARJEELING Early morning excursion to Tiger Hill
followed by a Toy Train ride from Darjeeling station to
Ghoom Monastery. Visit the Himalayan Institute Of Mountaineering
(founded by the late Tenzing Norgay) in the
DAY 05 DARJEELING The day is at leisure. If you would like
to you could visit the tea gardens where the famous
Darjeeling tea is grown.
DAY 06 DARJEELING ~ PELLING Drive to the remote hamlet
of Pelling. In the afternoon visit the Pemayangtse
DAY 07 PELLING ~ GANGTOK Drive through pretty valleys to
the mountainside capital of the tiny state of Sikkim.
DAY 08 GANGTOK Visit Rumtek Monastery in the morning,
in the afternoon, the Research Institute of Tibetology which
houses nearly 30,000 volumes on astrology, magic, philosophy,
etc; then the orchid sanctuary; the Buddhist monastery at
the Palace; the Residency, from where you can have an excellent
view of the mountains.
DAY 09 GANGTOK ~ KALIMPONG Leave by road for
Kalimpong in the morning - a remote hill station on the trade
route to Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal. Visit two well known 17th
century monasteries in the afternoon.
DAY 10 KALIMPONG ~ KOLKATA In the morning transfer to
Bagdogra Airport for the connecting flight to Kolkata. In
Kolkata transfer to your hotel. The day is at leisure. You may
visit the Missionaries of Charity founded by Mother Teresa
later in the day.
DAY 11 DEPARTURE Transfer to the airport in time for your
ARUNACHAL – UNEXPLORED HEAVEN
ARUNACHAL PRADESH IS THE LARGEST North Eastern state, bordering China and Myanmar. Home to over 125 tribes. It is also the birthplace of the 6th Dalai Lama. The evergreen forests include 500 species of orchids and are the habitat of exotic species of birds, insects and animals. A major attraction is meeting the simple, charming and friendly people of the region, who still preserve their traditional crafts and way of life. In addition, spectacular views of snow-capped mountains, terraced paddy fields and valleys dotted with waterfalls are part of your unusual journey. The evenings can be spent singing and dancing – each tribe has its own distinct music and culture. Though recently opened to foreign tourists, special permits are still required to visit the state. These can be easily obtained from the Indian High Commission in your country. Usually less than four people are not allowed to travel together. In these remote areas, accommodation is rather basic and occasionally camping is the only option.
DAY 01 ARRIVAL Reception and welcome at Kolkata airport followed by transfer to your hotel.
DAY 02 KOLKOTA Spend a leisurely morning. Your afternoon sighteeing includes the Victoria Memorial, Flower Market near River Hooghly, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Indian Museum.
DAY 03 KOLKOTA ~ GUWAHATI Fly to Guwahati in the morning, This will give you enough time to visit the Kamakhya and the Shiva temples in the afternoon.
DAY 04 GUWAHATI Explore the city. The Forest Museum and Botanical Gardens/Zoo are famous.
DAY 05 GUWAHATI ~ BALUKPHONT Drive to Balukphont, surrounded by blue hills and evergreen forest. Situated on the banks of the river Jia Bhoroli, it provides excellent fishing. Just 7 km away is Tipi Orchid centre.
DAY 06 BALUKPHONT ~ DIRANG After an early breakfast drive to Dirang. En route visit the Orchid Research Centre, where more than 500 species of orchids can be seen.
DAY 07 DIRANG ~ TAWANG Drive to Tawang, visiting tribal villages and the high altitude yak breeding center en route. If lucky, you could hear the Dalai Lama speak when he visits Tawang, the Buddhist pilgrimage site.
DAY 08 TAWANG Visit the 400-year-old Buddhist monastery, where over 500 monks live and priceless Buddhist texts and scriptures are housed. After lunch drive to the high-altitude Peti Tso lake.
DAY 09 TAWANG ~ BOMDILA After early breakfast drive to Bomdila, a picturesque 8,500 ft mountain. You can meet the Monpas and the Mijis in nearby villages and watch their tribal dances in the evening.
DAY 10 BOMDILA ~ TEZPUR Drive on to Tezpur today. Visit the city sights in the afternoon.
DAY 11 TEZPUR ~ KOLKATA Fly back to Kolkata today. Spend a leisurely day. You may want to visit Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity.
DAY 12 DEPARTURE Transfer to the airport in time for your flight out.
3 days at Port Blair from Kolkata
KALINGA – LAND OF ASHOKA
ORISSA, KALINGA of ancient times, was where one of the bloodiest battles in ancient India was fought. It was here that, revolted by the destruction and heedless loss of life he had wrecked in the battle, the victorious king Ashok converted to Buddhism. Orissa is home to the exquisite Sun Temple at Konark, a beacon for sailors for centuries. Pilgrims and tourists throng each year at festival time to the architecturally unique temples of Puri and Bhubaneshwar, while the sun-swept beaches of Puri and Gopalpur draw people from near and far. Its vast interiors still relatively untouched by consumerism are home to a large and fascinating tribal population.
DAY 01 ARRIVAL Reception and welcome at Kolkata airport followed by transfer to your hotel.
DAY 02 KOLKATA After a relaxed morning visit the sights in the afternoon including St Paul’s Cathedral, Victoria Memorial and the Museum.
DAY 03 KOLKATA ~ BHUBANESHWAR Visit the flower market near the Hooghly River in the morning, followed by a boat ride. Also visit the Missionaries of Charity founded by Mother Teresa. Fly to Bhubaneshwar in the evening.
DAY 04 BHUBANESHWAR In the morning visit the Rajarani and Lingaraja temples. Drive on to see the Udaigiri and Khandagiri caves. Also visit the Ashoka peace pagoda at Dhauli.
DAY 05 BHUVANESHWAR ~ KONARK ~ PURI See the famous Konark Sun Temple and continue the journey to Puri where the Jagannath temple stands. En route visit the crafts village at Pipli.
DAY 06 PURI ~ GOPALPUR-ON-SEA Gopalpur-on-Sea is a wonderful seaside resort, definitely worth a relaxing two-day break in journey.
DAY 07 GOPALPUR-ON-SEA Relax, swim, drink fresh coconut water, and watch the sun set over the sea.
DAY 08 GOPALPUR ~ BHUBANESHWAR ~ KOLKATA Drive back to Bhubaneshwar stopping at Chilka lake en route. Fly back to Kolkata after lunch.
DAY 09 DEPARTURE Transfer to the airport in time for your flight out.
ABODE OF THE CLOUDS
HERE LIE SOME OF of the densest forests of the country interspered with high Alpine meadows. Rolling hills, and lush greenery make the region a naturalists’ paradise. Especially exotic are the orchids and other brilliant flowers that thrive in the high humidity of the region.
Sharing boundaries the other six North Eastern states is Assam, the largest of them all, where the Ahom dynasty arrived in 1228 from North Thailand, defeated the Kamrupa ruler and established a kingdom called Assam. Legend says Kamadeva, the god of love, was reborn here. Guwahati, the name translates lyrically as ‘Eastern City of Lights’ is the capital of the state which covers the plain of the Brahmaputra River along its whole course south of Arunachal Pradesh and the kingdom of Bhutan, till it turns south into Bangladesh. Since the days of the Chinese traveler Hiuen Tsang Assam has drawn travellers with her aura of myth and mystery, history and folklore, arts, textiles, music and dances, nature and wildlife. The state is also home to many tribal people, and one of the highlights of the tour is a visit to Tawang Monastery, focal point of the Mopnas, gentle and courteous people who follow Buddhism.
Meghalaya, another of the North Eastern states, literally translates as the ‘abode of the clouds’ an apt evocative descrition of a beautiful state. The capital at Shillong is surrounded by many tribal villages including those of the Garo, Khasi and Jaintia tribes, all of whom have their own distinctive culture and lifestyles and, until annexed by the British were independent kingdoms.
DAY 01 ARRIVAL Reception and welcome at Kolkata airpor followed by transfer to your hotel.
DAY 02 KOLKOTA Morning is at leisure. In the afternoon, time for sightseeing in the ‘City of Joy.
DAY 03 KOLKOTA ~ GUWAHATI ~ SHILLONG Fly to Guwahati in the morning and drive on to Shillong. This quaint hilly town is steeped in colonial history.
DAY 04 SHILLONG The day is yours, to visit the many gardens and museums or play a round of golf on one of the most beautiful golf courses in the world.
DAY 05 SHILLONG ~ KAZIRANGA Drive to the wildlife sanctuary at Kaziranga.
DAY 06 KAZIRANGA Take elephant and jeep safaris into the park to see the great and rare one-horned rhinoceros.
DAY 07 KAZIRANGA Yet another day to explore the vast sanctuary and concentrate on the flora and vegetation.
DAY 08 KAZIRANGA ~ JORHAT Drive to Jorhat, one of the major tea centres of Assam.
DAY 09 JORHAT Full day excursion to Majuli Island, the biggest river island in the world, to visit the 15th-century monasteries here.
DAY 10 JORHAT ~ KOLKOTA Fly back to Kolkata in the morning. Relax, shop or spend the day at leisure.
DAY 11 DEPARTURE Transfer to the airport in time for your flight out.
3-nights at Orang National Park OR 3-nights at Port Blair from day 10 onwards.