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Our North East India vacations are built around the tribal communities of the hills, the many wildlife sanctuaries and their rich flora and fauna. Get away from the crazy pace of life as is norm elsewhere in India and spend some time with mountains for company – a perfect recipe for quality time with your self or family.
North East India
Our North East India vacations are built around the tribal communities of the hills, the many wildlife sanctuaries and their rich flora and fauna. Get away from the crazy pace of life as is norm elsewhere in India and spend some time with mountains for company – a perfect recipe for quality time with your self or family.
Transfer from International airport to Peerless Inn Sarovar Park Plaza. Check in. Half day city tour if time permits. Overnight at Calcutta. In the morning you will be picked up from your hotel in Calcutta and transferred to Gadkhali jetty through beautiful countryside and rural bazaars with stopovers at a local tea shop and fishermen’s villages. You will arrive at Gadkhali mid morning and will be greeted with morning tea and a briefing by a local guide. You will then board your motorized boat for a two hour cruise through rivers Bidya, Durgaduani and Gumdi. An optional stopover at Gosaba is possible to visit the house of Sir Danniel Hamilton - a Scottish banker who initiated the first co-operative movement of India here. After arriving at Bali Island and checking-in to Sunderbans Jungle Camp a hot lunch will follow. Your afternoon will be filled with a three hour Birding and Game cruise to Sudhanyakhali watch tower through creeks and canals, searching for the elusive tiger, as well as estuarine crocodiles, rhesus monkeys, irrawaddy dolphins, water monitors, several species of crabs and birds, otters and various other species of flora and fauna. You will return to camp by evening greeted with tea and snacks and ‘infotainment’ by one of the camps poacher-turned-guide. A hearty meal of local cooking from the village’s organic farm will end your day at Sunderbans Jungle Camp. Begin the next day with a filling breakfast, following which, you will set off on a day long Game Cruising and Birding Tour to Netidhopani watchtower (Subject to weather permitting) including crab catching and fishing expeditions from the fragile country boats. Lunch will be served on board your boat. Back to camp in the evening where you are invited for an evening experience at the local rural theatre (Bonobibi Yatra) performed by the villagers. The theatre tells the interesting story of the Tiger Lord, Forest God and Goddesses, fishermen and honey collectors with lots of local songs and dances. Dinner and overnight at Sunderbans Jungle Camp.
Early morning you will depart for Calcutta airport to take a flight to Dibrugarh in upper Bramaputra valley in Assam. Transfer to hotel and overnight.
From Dibrugarh Town you will drive two hours to the Soikhowaghat from where you will take a fascinating ferry cruise across the headwaters of Brahmaputra. The whole journey is an experience as it reveals the life on the ghats that have been operational since the British period and connect all the important river roots of Northeast India. You will arrive at Sadiya ghat and take a picturesque drive of 2 hours though the beautiful rural Assam and Arunachal to reach Dibang Valley Jungle Camp – located at the 12th mile marker, inside a lush farm house that commands a breathtaking view of the Dibang river basin, contiguous forests and the enigmatic Mishmi hills. Overnight at Dibang Valley Jungle Camp. The next morning, you will visit the Mishmi villages and soak in their traditional life, farming, textile weaving, house building. You can even try Trout fishing and rafting in the nearby river, or opt for a day-hike in the mountain. In the evening, participate in a Mishmi cooking session to understand, learn, appreciate and savour authentic Mishmi cuisine. Stay at Dibang Valley Jungle Camp.
You will spend few hours birding in the park and proceed to Miao. After lunch at Miao you will depart for your onward destination Dihing River Camp – situated on the bank of Buri Dihing River that originates from Eastern Arunachal and finally meets Brahmaputra. The Camp has two Chang(traditional Bamboo huts on stilts) cottages with attached western bath. After breakfast the next day, you will proceed to Dimapur where you'll spend the rest of the day, followed by overnight stay at Dimapur hotel
Today you will travel about 3 hours to Kisama village – the festival ground. You will be introduced to this unique cultural extravaganza and festival activities – Cultural Dances (All 17 major tribes), War Dances (All 17 major tribes), Folk Songs, Indigenous Games, Music (Rock Beat contest in the evening), Fashion Show (Cultural & Modern), Handloom & Handicrafts, Local Cuisine (All 17 major tribes), Local drinks (Zutho, Thutshe). Return to hotel. Overnight at a Naga Home stay in Kisama village.
After breakfast on the second day, visit Khonoma Village. The picturesque village of Khonoma, which lies 20 km west of Kohima offers delightful views of Nagaland's natural beauty and ecological diversity. This village was known for its fighting prowess in the past. It is also known for the fallow management of its alder trees which balances nature in the surrounding areas. The beautiful terraces which are carved out of the hill slopes surrounding the village are a sight to behold. The unique variety of soil condition and elevation of its fields have resulted in about 20 types of rice being grown here. To conserve the Blyth's Tragopan, an endangered pheasant of the State and other wildlife in its natural habitat, Khonoma Nature Conservation and Tragopan Sanctuary (KNCTS) was set up in 1998 by the ecologically conscious people of Khonoma village. This sanctuary which covers an area of over 70 sq. kms. is privately owned and managed by the Village Community of Khonoma. This sanctuary is also the habitat of many other endangered and rare species of plants and animals. The sanctuary is also an ideal place for adventure and nature study. You will have ample opportunities to visit the Morungs(dormitory for the youths) and Western Angami textile weaving. Overnight in Home stay On the last day, transfer to Dimapur Airport for onward journey.
This trip introduces you to the tribes and festivities of North East India. Indulge in their hospitality and discover their protected culture by living amongst them.
Apatanis are, perhaps the most well settled of the indigenous tribal people of Arunachal Pradesh who have stayed behind and chosen to practice old tradition and custom as way of life even after the British left their land. Moving from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to a more settled agricultural economy, harnessing the murmuring river Subansiri .Apatanis, living in perfect harmony with nature-for every tree they fell, five fresh saplings are planted, are appreciated for their long conservation tradition and their legendary skill and knowledge of weaving. The Jouney: you will drive from Lilabari airport to Ziro- the largest Apatani Hong village. You will be hosted by a Apatani family in their Bamboo hut. You will explore the Apatani social customs, culture, food, unique agricultural tradition, weaving tradition and their craft. You will trek into the Bamboo forest and understand their traditionally sustainable method of pine and bamboo forest conservation. You will participate in a Apatani cultural programme in the village.
From Ziro valley you will be transferred to the historic city of Tezpur- the city of blood where you will explore the archaeological, heritage and pilgrimage sites on the bank of mighty Brahmaputra river.You will stay overnight in a old Assamese style tourist lodge
Tawang the headquarters of the Tawang district, located on the Western tip of the state on a mountain ridge at 12000 ft above sea level, is the land of the Monpa tribes- originally from Tibet, and a major centre of the Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism. On the way to Tawang lies the World's second highest motorable pass, the Sela Pass. Tawang Monastery or Gompa also known as the 'Galden Namgyal Lhatse', a 400 year old Buddhist monastery of the Mahayana sect, built in the 17th century is the jewel in the crown of this historic Himalayan town. It is situated on a cliff at a height of 3500 meters or 10,000 feet overlooking the great mountains of two bordering countries – China and Bhutan. The monastery which is considered as second largest outside Lhasa, was founded by a legendary monk, Mera Lama, a contemporary of the fifth Dalai Lama. It is a vast complex of 65 buildings - a treasure house of old scriptures, priceless images, painted tapestries, books and collection of gold lettered Buddhist scriptures. The reading hall and the library of the monastery house the rare hand written and block-printed Thangkas or manuscripts of revered books. The collection includes 108 gold-embossed manuscripts of the 'Teaching of Lord Buddha'. The Journey: From Tezpur you will take a 6 hours drive to Bomdila following the ancient trade route connecting Tibet to the Brahmaputra plains.The road enters the elephant country along the Nameri Tiger Reserve where a dusk-driving enhances the prospect of having elephant herds blocking your passage! You will stop on the way to visit the largest Orchidarium at Tipi which houses 500 species of rare Orchids. From Bomdila you will hit the serpentine mountain road, you will stop at Sella for acclimatization and also to visit the War memorial. In Tawang you will visit the Main monastery, craft centre and emporium, local market, war memorial, 6th Dalai Lama's birth place and a traditional Monpa tribal stone village. You will explore Monpa farming, brewing of local beer and their strong social custom and cultural tradition. You will trek to the monastery of the nuns. From Tawang you will come to a beautiful and small village named Thembang where you will be hosted by Monpa villagers in their Home stays. In Thembang you will visit the fortified village, monastery, stone village, sheep-breeding farm and you will take a birding tour to Sangti Valley - a sanctuary of the Tibetan Black-necked cranes.
From Dirang your next destination is Nameri, a National Park and Tiger Reserve on the banks of Jia Bhoroli river which is a hot spot for Mahasheer fishing.You will stay here for a night in transit. On the last day, transfer to Guwahati airport and depart for Delhi or proceed for Kaziranga National Park extension tour.
Discover the mysteries of tribal Assam & remote Arunachal Pradesh through this customised itinerary to the north-east frontier of India. The trip crafts a trail across remote villages in the hills & mountains. Most of these are inhabited by indigenous tribes of a wide variety.
On arrival, set off on another flight to Guwahati, from whence you will drive for 4 hours to reach Nameri National Park. The Nameri National Park consists of semi-evergreen, moist deciduous forests with cane and bamboo brakes and narrow strips of open grassland along rivers. It is rich elephant country and was once considered an elephant reserve. Its biggest treasure however is its vast populace of bird species. Experience Birding Trips and river rafting during your stay in the National Park at the jungle's Eco Camp.
The next morning, make the 7 hour drive to the second of three national parks we will visit during this trip - The Manas Tiger Reserve. On arrival you will check in at your cottage accommodation and rest for the rest of the day. The next day will include birding trips and elephant safaris through the reserve. The monsoon forests of Manas lie in the Brahmaputra Valley semi-evergreen forests ecoregion. The combination of Sub-Himalayan Bhabar Terai formation with riverine succession leading up to the Himalayan subtropical broadleaf forests makes it one of the richest biodiversity areas in the world. The sanctuary is home to 55 species of mammals, 380 species of birds, 50 of reptiles, and 3 species of amphibians. It is renowned for its population of water buffalos and elephants and is also the natural habitat of a few rare, endangered species such as the Assam roofed turtle, the Hispid hare, Golden Langurs and the pygmy hog.
On the next morning, set off for Kaziranga - a 7 hour drive away. Check into your resort and spend the rest of the day at leisure. Your visit to Kaziranga is highlighted by several Elephant safaris, birding trails & game drives through the national park. On your last day in the park, transfer to Gibbon WLS, for an encounter with primates and more bird-watching. Spend the night at a Heritage Tea Bungalow in Jorhat. On the last day, depart to nearest airport for onward journey.
This customised trip covers three of the most rewarding national parks of Assam - Nameri, Manas & Kaziranga. The trip is tailor-made for nature enthusiasts and provides plenty of opportunity for acclimatisation. It allows travellers the much-required time to settle in and bask in the natural bounties for one of India's north-easternmost & remotest states.
Your trip begins with a two day city tour exploring Calcutta, this culturally rich city of India. Discover this exciting city on a ‘Heritage Walk’ of the distinct architectural heritage of Calcutta. It highlights the evolution of this city from where it all began, Dalhousie Square. The first walk takes us on a two hour journey around some 15 buildings in the area, including the imposing Writers Building, the newly renovated Town Hall, the St John’s Churchyard and the historic Metcalfe Hall. We also visit the House of Rabindranath Tagore and the Marble Palace. The tour includes visits to a number of the city’s museums and monuments along with a taste of an era gone by with a city tram ride.
In the morning transfer to Sonakhali jetty through beautiful countryside and rural bazaar’s with stopovers at a local tea shop and fishermen’s villages. You will arrive at Gadkhali mid morning and will be greeted with morning tea and a briefing by a local guide. You will then board a motorised boat for a two hour cruise through rivers Bidya, Durgaduani and Gumdi. An optional stopover at Gosaba is possible to visit the house of Sir Danniel Hamilton - a Scottish banker who initiated the first co-operative movement of India here. Enjoy a hot lunch at the Sunderbans Jungle Camp after checking-in. Your afternoon will be occupied by a three hour Birding and Game cruise to Sudhanyakhali watch tower through creeks and canals, searching for the elusive tiger, as well as estuarine crocodiles, rhesus monkeys, Irrawaddy dolphins, water monitors, several species of crabs and birds, otters and various other species of flora and fauna. You will return to camp by evening greeted with tea and snacks and ‘infotainment’ by one of the camps poacher-turned-guide. A hearty meal of local cooking from the village’s organic farm will mark the end of an eventful day at Sunderbans Jungle Camp. After a filling breakfast, your next day will mostly consist of a full-day Game Cruising and Birding trip to the National Park. Lunch will be served on board. Back to camp in the evening where you are invited for an evening experience at the local rural theatre (Bonobibi Yatra) performed by the villagers. The theatre tells the interesting story of the Tiger Lord, Forest God and Goddesses, fishermen and honey collectors with lots of local songs and dances. Dinner and overnight at Sunderbans Jungle Camp. After breakfast you will enjoy a guided Village Walk with further opportunities to interact with local villagers. You will experience wonderful encounters helping you understand more about their lifestyle, local crafts, cuisines and even the indigenous farming and household equipment used by the villagers. You will finish your tour with a guided adventure cruise in a manually-oared country boat. Dinner and overnight at Sunderbans Jungle Camp.
After an early breakfast the next day, transfer back to the airport and board a flight to Guwahati or Jorhat and proceed to Kaziranga Tiger Reserve. Kaziranga National Park in Assam has to be the most beautiful and attractive place you can choose to visit in Northeastern India. An UNESCO World Heritage Site Kaziranga’s 900 sq.kms of lush green flood plains is home to some of most fascinating wildlife of Asia. The next day, embark upon Elephant back safaris and game drives in the Eastern and Central range of the park. Overnight at the Jungle Lodge.
After breakfast you will drive to Guwahati. After a brief rest your pre-booked hotel, you will set out for a cultural visit to the Kamakshya Shakti temple, Assam Craft Emporium and Umananda temple which is located on the smallest Island named Peacock Island on Brahmaputra river. Overnight you will stay with an Assamese family in their beautiful homestay.
Moving on from Guwahati, your day begins with a brief introduction to Brahmaputra – one of the greatest river systems in the world that flows through three countries – China, India and Bangladesh! And finally you reach Manas. Lying on the foothills of the Himalaya, Manas is the most stunning pristine wildlife habitat in India, comparable to the best in the world in the beauty of its spectacular landscape. It is also a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site, a Project Tiger Reserve, an Elephant Reserve and a Biosphere Reserve - a unique distinction. Manas is the melting point of the west and the east, with many species at the westernmost and easternmost point of their range representing a gateway for species exchanges between the typically Indian and Malayan' faunas. A total of 55 mammals, 50 reptiles and three amphibians have been recorded, several species being endemic. Manas contains 21 of India's Schedule I mammals and at least 33 of its animals listed as threatened, by far the greatest number of any protected area in the country. After checking in at Florican Jungle Cottage - a community based lodge run by a local conservation NGO, you will be greeted by your hosts with a small traditional reception ceremony. Your local trip guide will de-brief you about the project and the tour. Overnight at Florican Jungle Cottage. In the morning you will set out for a day-long wildlife and patrolling expedition with our conservation team in the park. You will explore the Central core of the National Park and visit patrolling camps, species conservation and monitoring centres. You will return to camp by evening greeted with tea and snacks and ‘infotainment’ by one of the coordinators of the project. A hearty meal of local cooking from the village’s organic farm will end your day at Florican Jungle Cottage. On the last day, transfer to Guwahati airport and depart for Delhi/Calcutta for onward journey.
The East Himalaya World Heritage Tour is a journey through the hidden treasures of East & North-East India. This trip will take you through several natural reserves including the world-renowned Sundarbans & Manas Tiger Reserves, while simultaneously introducing you to the fiercely protected cultural heritage of the indigenous tribes that inhabit these lands.
From Delhi, embark upon a flight to the tea capital of Assam - Jorhat, and transfer immediately to Nemaitighat from whence, you will take a ferry to Majuli Island. Majuli is cultural hot spot where Guru Shankar Deva had first introduced the monastic order in Vaishnovism. Majuli – considered to be the largest river island in the world has several ancient monasteries that still practice the monastic school of Satriya dance form and religious activities. The island is already threatened due to constant erosion caused by the changing course of Brahmaputra and is short-listed by UNESCO as a future World Heritage Site. Overnight at Guest House. After a good night's rest, your next day will be filled with cultural and village experiences in Majuli (on foot and bicycle) including a local lunch in a Mishing tribal village. Overnight at Guest House.
Early next morning, travel to Pakke Tiger Reserve in East Kameng District of Arunachal Pradesh. Inhabited by the colorful Nyishi tribe, Pakke is a pristine habitat and a host to rare fauna and four species of Hornbill. Here the Nyishi community has shown an outstanding example of community participation in conservation to safeguard their natural heritage. Overnight at Pakke Junge Camp. Rise early next morning for a jungle tour and a village experience in Pakke. Overnight at Pakke Jungle Camp.
The next day, embark upon a 7 hour drive to Ziro in the great Apatani plateau. Apatanis are perhaps the most well settled of the indigenous tribal people of Arunachal Pradesh who have stayed behind and chosen to practice old tradition and customs as way of life even after the British left their land. Moving from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to a more settled agricultural economy, harnessing the murmuring river Subansiri, the Apatanis live in perfect harmony with nature - for every tree they fell, five fresh saplings are planted. The Apatanis are appreciated for their long conservation tradition and their legendary skill and knowledge of weaving. The Apatani valley has been short-listed as one of the most prominent sites to be included in the future UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Overnight at village Home stay or at a small Hotel. Your next day will revolve around village and cultural experiences. Overnight at village Home stay in Ziro.
We drive for 6 hours on the next day for a transit halt at Daporijo en route Basar Valley. Overnight at Hotel. On the next morning, we continue our journey to Basar valley where we will stay for 02 nights to mingle with the Adi Gallong tribal community and enjoy their hospitality, local food and culture. Overnight at village Home stay or camping in the village.
Begin the 10th day of your journey with a drive to Passighat where you have the rest of the day at your disposal to explore at leisure. Overnight at hotel or Home stay. The next morning, we make the short ferry ride across the notorious Brahmaputra river to Dibrugarh. Overnight at Heritage Tea Bungalow in the middle of a tea plantation. Enjoy an excellent Bihu cultural celebration in the evening followed by a traditional Assamese fish dinner with local recipes. On the last day, transfer to Dibrugarh airport for onward journey.
Explore the distant settlements of the Assam valley & Arunachal Pradesh that are home to many indigenous communities of the mountain tribes. Discover their simplistic, conscious lifestyle and participate in the exemplary bond they share with the land.
Arrive at Bagdogra airport and set off immediately for Darjeeling. Your trip begins with an experience in a Darjeeling tea plantation - near the small mountain town of Kurseong 'A Place of White Flowers'. Selimhill is considered to be one the best organic tea gardens of the Darjeeling hills. During the stay at Tea Estate you will visit the plantations and the factory to gain some understanding about the cultivation and processing of organic tea. You will visit local communities and garden villages where you will participate in a traditional cultural performance by the villagers; you will enjoy a birding trek & a cooking class in the evening.
From Selim Hill you will take a short drive to Tinchulay. Tinchulay which literally means three Chulas or ovens, is a Model Village and a Community Tourism initiative of Help Tourism, local villagers and WWF-India (West Bengal State Office) in the Darjeeling Hills. You will be hosted by one of the oldest and largest joint families of Darjeeling hills (about 22 family members) here who has put together a guest house with 04 double bedded and 04 four-bedded rooms with private toilet cum bath in one building. The Honeymoon cottage is a new addition. Dining hall with local fresh food of traditional dishes and common regular items are provided from house kitchen. Tinchulay is a unique experience of typical Himalayan village hospitality at its best. Close-by is a good viewpoint for viewing the snow capped mountains. Interesting village and forest walks are part of your stay here. Experience the different processes of village livelihood.
From Tinchulay you will drive to Ghoom, World's highest Railway Station to take a ride in the heritage toy train for Darjeeling. DHR is a living example of one of the outstanding ingenious transportations and engineering feats, and it is still functional and has retained most of its original features. DHR is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From Ghoom you will take a short drive to Darjeeling - the most renowned British summer retreat of India in the Himalayas. Home of the late Tenzing Norgay, co-mountaineer of Sir Edmund Hillary, Darjeeling has since 1954 housed the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute where he trained a generation of mountaineers. The earliest Everest expeditions started their journey from here. Highlights of your Darjeeling Experience will be Heritage walks, Buddhist Cultural experience in Manjushree Centre of Tibetan Culture and History, visit to the Tiger Hill Ridge, visit to Darjeeling Himalayan Zoo - one of the finest centres for conservation of endangered Himalayan wildlife, and your stay at The Swiss Hotel - a quaint and charming small colonial style hotel with lot of characters, wonderful location and spectacular view of Mount Kanchenjunga.
From Darjeeling you will enter Sikkim, and your Sikkim Experience starts with Hee Bermiok, a traditional Limboo village in West Sikkim: The village - set out at the most scenic locations of the Himalayas is an ideal base for your vacations in West Sikkim. In a rural setting far from the hustle and bustle of city life, the resort is a perfect hideaway or refuge from the humdrum of daily life; above all a great Sikkimese hospitality will always be in sight. Highlights of your Sikkim Experience will be the Sikkimese and Tibetan Tantric Buddhist Culture, Hikes, Birding, Village experience, Cooking lessons, Visit to Oldest Royal Monastery of Sikkim, Visit to Local School and Craft Centre, Freshly-cooked Organic Local Food.
The Himalayan Hospitality is a customised cultural odyssey that covers the mountains of Selim, Tinchulay, Darjeeling & West Sikkim. Immerse yourself within the picturesque settlements of the far mountains. Adapt to the unique pace of life in these remote villages and experience the simplistic lifestyles of the mountain people.
The Zurrantee Experience is a great opportunity for a unique insight into the lives of tea planters, and a chance to unwind in the homely yet extravagant environs of the estate's Bungalow. Food is served in colonial planter's style and prepared from vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices picked fresh from the mali bari (vegetable garden). During the stay at Zurrantee you will explore the Dooars Valley, trek through the tea garden or photograph wild elephants while perched on a tree top machaan (platform built on a tree), take safaris in Garumara National Park, have picnic on the banks of the Chel river, visit a haat or colourful local market, enjoy a tribal cultural experience, and understand the fascinating process of tea making. From the bushes to the factory and into the teacup, you will find out what goes into making the perfect blend for the perfect cuppa.
Situated in the Kalimpong sub-division under Darjeeling district, Neora Valley National Park is one of the richest biological zones in the entire Northeast. The land of elegant Red Panda in the pristine undisturbed natural habitat with rugged inaccessible hilly terrain and rich diverse flora and fauna together make the park an important wilderness zone. The forest in Neora Valley has such a 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 the 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 Help Tourism. This is more of a nature lover's/birder's camp, to support the nearest village community from Kolakham village, which is adjoining to the National Park and witnesses a fast degradation of the buffer area of the park. All activities in the camp are supported by well-trained local people. The highlights of your Neora Valley Experience will be Birding Treks in National Park adjoining areas, Kirat Culture, Local Traditional Food, Village experience, Visit to Buddhist Monastery.
From Neora Valley Jungle Camp you will drive to Ghoom, World's highest Railway Station to take a ride in the heritage toy train for Darjeeling. DHR is a living example of one of the outstanding ingenious transportations and engineering fiats, and it is still functional and has retained most of its original features. DHR is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From Ghoom you will take a short drive to Darjeeling - the most renowned British summer retreat of India in the Himalayas. Home of the late Tenzing Norgay, co-mountaineer of Sir Edmund Hillary, Darjeeling has since 1954 housed the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute where he trained a generation of mountaineers. The earliest Everest expeditions started their journey from here. Highlights of your Darjeeling Experience will be Heritage walks, Buddhist Cultural experience in Manjushree Centre of Tibetan Culture and History, visit to the Tiger Hill Ridge, visit to Darjeeling Himalayan Zoo- one of the finest centres for conservation of endangered Himalayan wildlife, and your stay at The Swiss Hotel- a quaint and charming small colonial style hotel with lot of characters, wonderful location and spectacular view of Mount Kanchenjunga.
Early morning from Darjeeling, drive through the Salamander highway, exploring the Himalayan Salamander habitat, tea gardens and pine forests, you arrive the Lake retreat of Darjeeling Hills, Mirik. The lake offers boating and an interesting visit to the Mirik Monastery. On the last day, depart for the closest airport for onward journey.
The North East of India is renowned for its hills, its dense forests and the resulting richness of its wildlife. This customised tour will take you to tea-plantations in the floodplains & foothills of the Himalayas and the charming town of Darjeeling. You will also experience the serene wilderness of Neora Valley National Park - the natural habitat of the elusive Red Panda.
From Delhi you will arrive by flight at Bagdogra, and embark upon a spectacular 3 hour long journey to Darjeeling - the most renowned British summer retreat of India in the Himalayas. Home of the late Tenzing Norgay, co-mountaineer of Sir Edmund Hillary, Darjeeling has since 1954 housed the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute where he trained a generation of mountaineers. The earliest Everest expeditions started their journey from here. In the afternoon you will take a gentle walk to the Japanese Peace Pagoda followed by a visit to the Manjushri Centre of Tibetan Culture and History. You will stay at The Swiss Hotel- a quaint and charming small colonial style hotel with lot of characters, wonderful location and spectacular view of Mount Kanchenjunga. The highlights of your next day will be an early morning sunrise tour to the Tiger Hill ridge; visit to the Darjeeling Himalayan Zoo - one of the finest centres for conservation of endangered Himalayan wildlife, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute & Everest Museum; a heritage steam-tour by DHR (Darjeeling Himalayan Railway - An UNESCO World Heritage Site) and a Buddhist experience in the famous Ghoom monastery. your stay at The Swiss Hotel- a quaint and charming small colonial style hotel with lot of characters, wonderful location and spectacular view of Mount Kanchenjunnga.
After breafast the next day, depart from Darjeeling. The road meanders down the Rangeet valley and again climbs up gradually from the north bank of the river. The total time to reach Hee is between three to four hours. Welcome with traditional lunch and local dance. Overnight at Barsey Jungle Camp, an authentic Limboo Home stay. Spend all of next day in a village visiting Srijanga temple and Shiva temple offering Puja (worship) in the traditional Limbo way. Also visit the sacred Phengdorjee water falls. Spend time in the Heritage village exploring the rich traditions. Overnight at Barsey Jungle Camp. Next morning begins with an early breakfast and transfer to Hilley – the gateway to Barse Rhododendron sanctuary. Trek about 6 km to reach Brse summit from where one can enjoy a jaw-dropping view of Mt.Kanchenjunga and its associate peaks. Overnight at Trekkers’ Hut or camping.
The next day is to continue in Barshey and trekking to the Taal, the area where the Rhododendrons bloom in abundance. Return for late lunch and rest. On the following morning, trek down to Hilley, where a car awaits to take you to your next destination Pemayangtse - the nearest motorable view point of Mount Kanchenjunga and the most important centre of Tibetan Tantrik Buddhist culture. Overnight at Hotel Elgin Mount Pandim.
The next day you will visit some of the oldest Royal monasteries of Sikkim, a sacred lake whose water is believed to have the magical power to keep the flying dry leaves of the surrounding trees away, cascading water falls, one of the highest gorge bridges of Asia, a local craft centre and an orphanage. You may wish to attend a Buddhist meditation session and meet the wonderful, ever-smiling mountain communities of the village.
Begin the next day with a 4 hour drive to Kalimpong heritage town, famous for its Orchids and Himalayan plants, Tibetan art and craft, Missionary Institutions and boarding schools. Due its mid-altitude and perfect weather year round, Kalimpong is a well known retreat in the Himalayas which used to be a major trading centre along the ancient Silk Route connecting Lhasa in Tibet via Jelepla and Nathula passes and finally crossing over the mystical Chumbi valley. After lunch visit the private Orchid Sanctuary owned by the family-run lodge named The Orchid Retreat where you will rest for the night.
Early next morning, drive 3 hours via Kalimpong to Neora Valley, a pristine habitat at the tri-junction of Sikkim, West Bengal and Bhutan, and is one of the best birding sites in Eastern Himalaya. Check in at Neora Valley Jungle Camp, an excellent Eco resort which has stunning location that confirms a jaw-dropping view of the lush valleys and most expansive view of Mount Kanchenjunga on a clear day. You have the rest of the day at your leisure. Neora Valley is one of the last remaining pristine ecosystems of the Eastern Himalayas with its amazing Bio-diversity, and is home to many rare and endangered plants, animals and birds. It exhibits a rich variety of habitat as the area comprises the catchments and watershed of the Neora River with its tributaries. The Park with its dense forests is located on the tri-junction of Bhutan, Sikkim and West-Bengal, and its boundary extends from 30 m of altitude up to 3200 m on an area of only 88 square km. Though this sounds rather small, it has to be considered that due to the topographical features the surface of the Park is much larger. The whole of next day will be spent in exploring the Neora Valley, enjoying the nippy mountain air. A visit to the beautiful Kolakham village provides excellent opportunity to experience the local life and culture of the indigenous Rai community. Overnight at Neora Valley Jungle Camp. On the last day, make the 4 hour drive to Bagdogra airport for onward journey.
This is a journey through the wild sanctuaries of the north-east. Visit the rhododendron sanctuaries and royal monasteries of Sikkim, the tea-plantations of Darjeeling, trek through the hills of Hee-Barshey and Taal. Marvel at the heritage village of Kalimpong & its orchid sanctuaries.
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