Offbeat Darjeeling and Sikkim
Offbeat Darjeeling & Sikkim takes you through the Himalayan region of East India for a journey filled with offbeat experiences. Here, you stay around a plantation estate, experience Himalayan villages, explore ancient monasteries, walk through reserve forests and enjoy Himalayas around some of the best countryside and authentic local experiences.
Offbeat Darjeeling & Sikkim Highlights
- Stay in a colonial style plantation bungalow in the heart of tea plantation districts of Darjeeling
- Visit a community co-operative initiative in the villages near Makaibari
- Experience Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a UNESCO world heritage site
- Stay in a Himalayan homestay while exploring Darjeeling
- Explore West Sikkim for birding, villages, monasteries and authentic experiences
- Spend a couple of days around Neora Valley National Park in Kalimpong Hills
- 11 nights accommodation on twin sharing basis at the mentioned hotels or similar, inclusive of daily buffet breakfast, lunch & dinner in the hotels
- All Game drives in national parks as per programme
- Boat ride as per programme
- Elephant activities as per programme
- Toy Train tickets as per programme
- Activities and Experiences as per itinerary at all locations
- English speaking local guides during sightseeing as per itinerary
- All permits, park fees, monument entrance fees, Restricted Area Permit fees
- Transportation using air-conditioned vehicle for airport / inter-city transfers and sightseeing tours as per the programme
- Meeting and assistance on arrivals and departures with services of our representatives
- Expenses of personal nature such as gratuities, telephone calls, laundry, liquor, etc.
- International air fares, airport taxes, visa charges or any kind of insurance cover
- Any liability arising owing to last minute changes in the programme due to reasons beyond our control for instance; political disturbances, natural phenomenon, change in schedule of flight or train, any VIP movement, etc.
- Camera/video fees at various monuments
Day 01 - Darjeeling
Arrive at Bagdogra Airport and Travel to Tumsong Tea Estate
Arrive at Bagdogra and proceed to Tumsong Tea Estate. The drive is scenic through tea estates, small villages and forests. You stay in a cottage set around renowned tea plantations growing the world renowned "Darjeeling Tea".
Day 02 - Darjeeling
Today you will visit the plantations and factory to gain some understanding about the cultivation and processing of the world-famous Darjeeling tea. You will visit a community co-operative initiative in the villages near Makaibari where you will participate in a traditional cultural performance by the villagers, enjoy a birding trek and a cooking class in the evening.
Day 03 - Takdah
Darjeeling Himalayan Rail experience
From Tumsong, you will take a short drive to Kursheong station and take a ride in the steam train of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) up to Ghoom, the world’s highest railway station. DHR, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a living example of outstanding ingenious transportations and engineering fiats, and it is still functional and has retained most of its original features. From Ghoom, you will drive to Takdah - the erstwhile cantonment of the British East India Company, famous for its orchids and rare Himalayan plants.
Day 04 - Takdah
Himalayan Village Experience
Today, you experience a typical Himalayan village hospitality. You undertake a village and forest walk, interact with villagers to understand their livelihood processes, enjoy Himalayan cuisine (a variant of Nepalese and Tibetan cuisine) and walk around the countryside for some Himalayan birds.
Day 05 - Darjeeling
Travel to Darjeeling
From Takdah, you will take a short drive to Darjeeling (7500 ft), the most renowned British summer retreat of India in the Himalayas. Takdah is home of the late Tenzing Norgay, co-mountaineer of Sir Edmund Hillary. The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute here is one of the oldest in the country (dated 1954) and is where, Tenzing Norgay trained a generation of mountaineers for Everest expeditions.
Your stay at The Little Singamari Home stay, a quaint and charming small homestay run by a wonderful Gorkha couple features a good location and excellent local cuisine. In the afternoon, you visit the Darjeeling Himalayan Zoo, one of the finest centers for conservation of endangered Himalayan wildlife and Manjushri Centre of Tibetan Culture and History.
Day 06 - Darjeeling
Tiger Hill visit, Heritage walk followed by a Rafting session
Today morning, you wake up early to visit Tiger Hill to catch some of the best views of the Kanchenjunga range. You return for breakfast and thereafter, undertake a heritage walk for a peek down memory lane to understand the history and heritage of Darjeeling. In the afternoon, you proceed for a rafting session on the Teesta River.
Day 07 - Biksthang
Drive to West Sikkim
Today, you drive to West Sikkim from Darjeeling (75 kms - 3 hours). You arrive at Bliss Resort, a wonderful family run lodge at Mangalbarey Village, West Sikkim. The village set out at the most scenic locations of the Himalayas is an ideal base for your vacation in West Sikkim. It offers great Sikkimese hospitality alongwith a complete Himalayan experience.
Day 08 - Biksthang
Hiking and Birding
Today, you undertake a day hike around the hills for birds such as the Rusty Cheeked Scimitar Babbler, Scaly Laughingthrush, Red Faced Liochichla, etc. You return in the afternoon and after a freshly-cooked organic lunch, you visit a local school and craft centre.
Day 09 - Biksthang
Today, you visit the monasteries of West Sikkim including the oldest Royal Monastery of Sikkim (Pemayangtse) to understand and experience Tibetan Tantrik Buddhist culture. You visit the holy Khecheopalri Lake and enjoy stunning Himalayan views enroute.
Day 10 - Kalimpong
Travel to Neora Valley National Park
From Biksthang, you will set out for Neora Valley National Park. Situated in the Kalimpong sub-division under Darjeeling district, Neora Valley National Park is one of the richest biological zones in entire East India. The land of the elegant Red Panda in the pristine undisturbed natural habitat with its rugged inaccessible hilly terrain and rich diverse flora and fauna make the park an important wilderness zone.
The forest in Neora Valley has such luxurious growth that even sunlight finds it difficult to touch the ground. Much of the park is still inaccessible making it an adventurous place for nature lovers / trekkers who can take the challenge to explore the still-unknown terrain in the Kalimpong hills.
You will be hosted at Neora Valley Jungle Camp - a small community-based conservation tourism project run by us. This is more of a nature lover's / birder's camp, to support the nearest village community from Kolakham village.
Later in the day, you visit Lepcha Culture, enjoy village experience, visit the local monastery, school, market area followed by local traditional meal for dinner.
Day 11 - Kalimpong
Explore Neora Valley National Park
Today, you undertake birding treks in Neora Valley National Park and later in the day, visit Kalimpong for the orchid nurseries.
Day 12 - Bagdogra
Today, you travel to Bagdogra for a departure to your onward destination.
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