North East Down South

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Best Season

October - March

Grade

Gentle

Duration

12 days

04-06 Persons

Places to see: Darjeeling, Gangtok, Kalimpong, Cochin, Alleppey, Maraikulam

Highlights: Burning Peak, Ride a Toy Train, Silk Route, Dr. Graham’s School, Rumtek Monastery, Flower Orchards, Tea Gardens, Marari Beach, Hike between Kurseong & Mirk & much more

Overview

The capital of Sikkim & the most popular of the seven sisters club, Gangtok is indisputably serene. It commands the most impressive view of the 3rd highest peak in the world named Kanchenjunga. The famous silk route crossing the Nathu la Pass goes through its pristine landscape. It attracts tourists in huge numbers every year from India & abroad & is an environmentalists delight. Enter the bustling little town through Mountain Adventures & you shall soak yourselves in the culture, cuisine, customs & the great hospitality of Sikkim & its people. And when this gets combined with the National Geographic Traveler’s ’50 greatest places of a lifetime ‘down South in Cochin, the joy is bound to multiply million times Top it up with backwaters & the stay at Marari Beach, the experience of a lifetime is not too far from here.

Mobile: +91 9899238167

Mail: info@banjaaray.com

MAJOR INCLUSIONS

  • TRANSPORTATION INCLUDED YES
  • BREAKFAST INCLUDED YES
  • ALL MONUMENTS TICKETS YES
  • HOTELS 4 / 5 STAR INCLUDED YES
  • GUIDE / ESCORT INCLUDED YES

DAY WISE ITINERARY

DAY 01 DELHI – BAGDOGRA – DARJEELING (flight time 2 hours 15 minutes, Drive 95 kms, 3 hrs approx)

Early morning you leave for the airport escorted by the airport duty officer for your flight to the hills (Bagdogra, Kolkata). Upon arrival in Bagdogra, you’ll be received by your guide at the airport exit. Immediately thereafter you shall drive to Darjeeling. As you drive along this road, which is slightly dusty as you begin, however rest of it is scenic with valleys, tea estates & hills donning the highway as also the gorgeous mountains in the backdrop. You reach Darjeeling in about 3 hours time & check in your hotel upon arrival. Rest of the evening shall be at leisure.

About Darjeeling:

Resting high in the Himalayas at an altitude of 2134m, ‘Dorje Ling’, meaning literally the place of the Thunderbolt, offers breathtaking views of snow-capped mountain peaks, with the Kanchenjunga rising higher than all the others in the horizon; Ensconced within unending tea gardens & snow capped mountains, Darjeeling remains one of the most exotic destinations on planet earth..

Hotel: TBA

Meals provided today: Dinner

DAY 02 DARJEELING

After Breakfast at the hotel you shall leave for a full day excursion of this hill town. You enjoy one to & fro joy ride on the world Heritage Toy Train between Darjeeling & Ghoom. Later in the afternoon or tomorrow, you shall visit the Himalayan

Mountaineering Institute, Zoological Park (Both stay closed on Thursdays) & the Tibetan Refugee centre (Closed on Sundays). Return your hotel for the overnight stay. Do not forget to set the 4am alarm on your watch or mobile.

Note: You have a choice though of witnessing the Sunrise on Kanchenjunga peak at the tiger hill this morning even before breakfast & keep the whole day for hiking tomorrow.

TOY TRAIN

The spectacular landscape unfolds as the 2-foot gauge Darjeeling Himalayan railway, opened in 1881, labors at about 10 mph crisscrossing the road. It has tiny 4-wheel locomotives (some over 100 years old) like living legends. One can experience the sound, smell and romance of a bygone era. DHR (Darjeeling Hill Railways) is a work of genius and technological achievement of 1881. It has social and cultural importance. It is beautiful and has outstanding universal appeal. Based on its unique features, it is considered to be of lasting significance to mankind

Hotel: TBA

Meals provided toady: Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 03 DARJEELING (SIGHTING OF KANCHENJUNGA PEAK AT TIGER HILL) - HIKE FROM KURSEONG TO MIRIK

Today even before you have had your breakfast, you leave for a spectacle of a lifetime. At TIGER HILL, an incredible sight of the morning sun illuminating the Kanchenjunga Peaks setting it on fire virtually awaits you on a clear sky day. You capture the sight in your lens forever.

Note: Refer to our comments on this under day 02 above.

Hiking between Kurseong & Mirik

After you return you shall hike from Kurseong to Mirik. It is a daylong hike of approx 11 miles (18 kilometers) between two gorgeous villages. Here you go through orange groves and massive tea estates. You are almost downhill most part of the hike except when you are closer to the destination where it is a steep incline after the Gammon bridge area. Retract to the base point from where you shall be joined by your driver for driving back to your hotel. You would have seen some amazing views of the Himalayas from Mirik village.

Hotel: TBA

Meals provided today: Breakfast, Packed Lunch & Dinner.

DAY 04 DARJEELING – GANGTOK (100 Kms. 4 ½ hrs approx)

After breakfast in the morning, you leave for another divine location, Gangtok. This distance of approx.100 Kms/takes 4.5 Hrs by car (Innova) winding its way through mountains & lush green vegetation; upon arrival you check in your hotel.

Rest of the day is free or you may see the locals engrossed in their chores, shopping for groceries or clothing & some you may see enjoying a chat on the roadside eateries. A lot of tourists to the area can also be seen enjoying all along the mall road. Alternatively you may visit a couple of spots nearby like Tashi View Point & Ganesh Tok which form a part of this plan (see List of doable places below under day 05)

Hotel: Hidden Forest Resort

Meals provided today: Breakfast & Dinner.

About Gangtok

At an altitude of 1750m, this quaint little diamond, became the state capital in the mid 19th century and has undergone rapid development since then. The downtown area is dominated by huge government buildings decorated with traditional

Buddhist symbols. Gangtok is also a resting ground for people traveling to North Sikkim. Surrounded by Monasteries and Orchids, Gangtok is truly a traveler’s delight.

Places In & Around Gangtok:

History & Culture: Namgyal Institute of Tibetology (closed on Sundays),

Nature: Tashi Viewpoint, Ban Jhakhri Falls, Tsomgo Lake (optional, permit needed from the administration shall let you know about the formalities as we progress towards closure of the deal)

Religious: Do Drul Chorten, Rumtek Monastery, Ganesh Tok

DAY 05 GANGTOK

Early morning after breakfast, you shall leave for visiting the Rumtek Monastery, Do-Drul Chorten and Namgyal Institute of Tibetology (Closed on Sundays) one by one. Afternoon you visit the Cottage Industry (Closed on Sundays) and Enchey Monastery (Closed on Sundays). You can shuffle the places depending on what you would have seen/visited yesterday.

Rumtek Monastery: A drive of about 45 minutes from Gangtok takes you the awe -inspiring Rumtek Monastery, the world Dharma chakra Centre and the seat of His Holiness, the Gyalwa Karmapa, who is the head of the Kagyupa order of Tibetan Buddhism. Behind the main monastery is the lavishly decorated Karma Nalanda Institute of Buddhist Studies, which attracts students from the world over. Opposite the entrance to the Institute is a small hall featuring a beautiful jewel studded Chorten the Golden Stupa, which contains the ashes and remains of His Holiness the xvi Gyalwa Karmapa. According to legend, it is believed that after years of meditation, the first Karmapa was said to have been visited by ten thousand fairies that came to congratulate him each of whom offered a strand of her hair as a gift. These were said to have been woven into a black hat, which was passed down and is still at the Rumtek Monastery today. It is said that unless held on to by the wearer (who of course, cannot be anyone else but the Karmapa) or kept in a box, the hat would fly away.

Overnight at the hotel

Hotel:

Meals provided: Breakfast & Dinner.

DAY 06 GANGTOK – KALIMPONG (80 kms, 3 hrs approx)

After Breakfast, you’ll drive to Kalimpong, Yet again a scenic drive through countryside revealing tae estates, orchids & gardens on the way. Upon arrival, you check in your hotel. Rest a while here before exploring the place. Here you see Flower Nurseries that thrive in the climate conducive of this place. Kalimpong is famous for its export to other countries of exotic flowers like Amaryllis lilies, Anthuriums, Roses gerberas, Dahlias, Gladiolas as well as Orchids and Cacti.

You will also visit Durpin Dara & Tharpa Choling Monastery at Tirpai hill en – route to Dr. Graham’s Home. These belong to the Yellow Hat sect of Lamas to which the present Dalai Lama belongs.

Another attraction is the Thongsa Gumpa. This monastery is of Bhutanese origin and was built around 1692. It is the oldest in Kalimpong. The original structure was destroyed in the inter-clan wars before the British arrived. Before you retire for the day you shall visit the Dr.Graham Homes School. This school caters to the underprivileged children of the area for decades now providing them quality education & boarding.

Overnight at the hotel – Kalimpong

Hotel:

Meals provided: Breakfast & Dinner

About KALIMPONG

At an altitude of 1250m, Kalimpong is famous for its huge flower Orchids & gardens. Its location is just ideal for a pleasant & relaxed getaway. Its salubrious climate all round the year has made Kalimpong orchids and gladiolas well renowned. Up to the early 1700s, the Kalimpong area was part of the Sikkim raja’s domain. In the early 18th century, the Bhutan king also took it over. In 1865, after the Anglo-Bhutan War, it was annexed to Darjeeling. Scottish Missionaries came here in the late 1800s. The town thrived as a wool trading center with Tibet till 1950s. Today it’s a quiet hill resort and a haven for couples & those who seek peace & tranquil.

DAY 07 KALIMPONG - BAGDOGRA – DELHI – COCHIN (Drive of 80 kms /3 hours approx; flight & docking time 7 ½ hrs)

This day after early morning breakfast, you check out from the hotel & start driving to Bagdogra airport. Here you are to catch your flight to Cochin via Delhi. Upon arrival in Cochin in the night, you meet the company representative at the airport, after greeting & assisting you, you drive & check in your hotel.

Cochin

The commercial hub of Kerala and a town of great historical importance Cochin is a wonderful, natural harbor and is India’s biggest shipping port. The town was shaped by the Portuguese, the Dutch and later, the British. The result of these

Cultural influences are seen in the many examples of Indo European architecture that still exist here.

Hotel:

Meals provided today: Breakfast

DAY 08 COCHIN

After breakfast at the hotel, you shall enjoy a full-day exploration of the city starting with Fort Cochin and the synagogue in Jewish town, built in 1568 and rebuilt in 1664. Its interior is a hodge-podge of styles, with hand painted blue and

White floor tiles from Canton, 19th-century Belgian chandeliers, and an elaborately carved Ark housing four scrolls from the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament).

Afterwards, visit St. Francis Church, built originally by the Portuguese in 1510, believed to be the oldest church in India. The building was originally constructed out of timber and later reconstructed in stone masonry during the 16th century.

Vasco da Gama, who died in Cochin in 1524, was buried here before his remains were returned to Portugal 14 years later.
Overnight at Cochin hotel

NOTE: Kathakali dance performance you can organize on your own as suggested.

Hotel:

Meals provided today: Breakfast

DAY 09 COCHIN – ALLEPPEY (50 Kms, 90 minutes approx)

Today you’ll drive to Alleppey, houseboat jetty. It is known as the Venice of the East. Upon arrival you’ll check in your deluxe house boat. You’ll cruise around backwater villages of Alleppey. The cozy double bedroom, the sit – out, the sundeck, the well stocked kitchen and the modern toilette give you a feeling of being at home in the lovely waters. The time the houseboat anchors in lake gives you a chance to experience cloistered comforts in the company of their loved one. You’ll move through small narrow canals, lakes & lagoons see traditional fishing, and framings, which will help you to catch a brief memorable picture of Kerala backwaters.

Stay overnight at the Boat.

Stay at:

Return to hotel for an overnight stay.

Meals provided today: ALL MEALS

DAY 10 – 12 ALLEPPEY – MARAIKULAM (MARARI BEACH) (12 kms, 30 minutes)

You disembark from the boat & drive to Marari Beach, the luxury at your feet. Over the next three days/2 nights you immerse yourselves into the natures bountiful at this fantastic destination.

MARARI BEACH

The perfect getaway to rejuvenate your mind, body & soul; after another memorable experience touring India across its length from North to East & then to the South; at Marari beach resort, you shall find yourselves at complete peace with yourself without doing anything. It is world away from the maddening crowds where the experience of communicating with the divine is simply amazing. Marari is not only a panacea for the daily humdrum of life & the stress it gives, it’s in

Fact an answer to your plethora of questions on why one should live to visit this pristine place So while it teaches you on how & why to take life Easy, it leaves you with a purpose without you making any effort at all

Hotel: TBA

Meals Provided: Breakfast

DAY 12 MARARI – COCHIN – DELHI (DEPARTURE)

You laze around the resort in the morning & till early afternoon. We shall request for your late check out from the resort.. Pack up in time before the check out formalities is completed; Depart for Cochin airport. Board your flight for Delhi at 7 pm approx… Upon reaching Delhi airport, you get transferred to the international airport for catching your return flight home.

Your tour ends. We wish you a safe flight & happy memories. Hope you enjoyed travelling with us.

GALLERY

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Banjaaray…The Eternal Wanderers

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  •    Mobile: +91 9899238167

  •    Mail: info@banjaaray.com

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