The tour to eastern Himalaya offers an interesting mix of culture, tradition, history and a deep insight of the rural Himalayan way of life. The featured activities on this tour includes - stay at ancient monastery compound, stay with the local families, village exploration, walks through rhododendron forests, local market, farm life and throughout the whole tour we will be interacting with the locals.
Day to Day Itinerary:
Day 1: Fly to Bagdogra Airport. Transfer to Darjeeling 4 hours drive. Our guide and driver will greet you at the Airport. Stay at hotel.
Day 2: Day at Darjeeling. Toy train ride, a visit to Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and Tibetan refugee self help center. In the evening walk through the town and local market.
Day 3: Darjeeling to Darap Village. 4 hours drive. On the way visit Pemayangtse Monastery (Pelling), Rabdentse ruins (second king palace of Sikkim) and continue driving to Darap Village. Experience the comfort at community based tourism resort. Hot stone bath refreshment on arrival.
Day 5: Darap to Tashiding Monastery. 2 hours drive. Tashiding monastery is situated on top of a hill and it has the most beautiful and peaceful atmosphere in the region. The monastery is non touristic and the entire monastery compound is decorated with carved stones. The most fascinating thing about these stone works, one man is carving all these stones since 76 years and he says, the work is his meditation and he will meditate as long as he can! Enjoy the stay at Buddhist home (clean wooden house) next to the monastery compound.
Day 6: A day visit to Yuksom (first capital of Sikkim) and a short walk to oldest monastery of Sikkim - Dubdi. Back to Tashiding monastery and interact with a reinpochee (reincarnated monk).
Day 7: Temi Tea Garden. 3 hours drive. On the way a visit to Bon monastery (Bon is the religion before the Buddhism). Temi tea garden produces organic tea. This beautiful tea garden is situated above the rice field, facing the third highest mountain in the world, Mt. Kanchendzonga. You will be staying at a very comfortable and clean Nepali homestays.
Day 8: Temi Tarku to Ranka monastery. 4 hours drive. Drive through Rumtek monastery, headquarter of the Dharma chakra and the main sit of 17th Gyalwa Karmapa. Interact with our little monks and get to know their life. Overnight within a monastery compound.
Day 9: Drive to Dzongu village for Lepcha homestay. 5 hrs. Lepchas were the first inhabitants of the Sikkim Himalaya. They worshiped nature (shamans), therefore they are living away from the other communities of Sikkim with their ancient traditional life. The Dzongu village is situated on the foot of the third highest mountain in the world, Mt. Kanchendzonga (8598m) and the village is also a home of some of the beautiful birds of Sikkim.
Day 10: Explore the culture and pristine nature of Dzongu Village. Observe religious practices performed by the Lepcha priests who are known as Mun (Female priest) and Pudim (Male Priest), Medicinal Plants with its importance and how the local people use these plants in traditional ways. Visits Cardamom fields to explore their richness of plants and wildlife.
Day 11: Dzongu to Gangtok, 4 hrs drive. On the way a visit to Phodong monastery, where 8 years old reinpochee is practicing his Nirvana. Overnight at Mintokling guest house which is situated on top of Gangtok town, facing the wide range of Kanchendzonga.
Day 12: Day at Gangtok. Day visit to Institute of Tibetology, Handloom centre, Royal palace (now monastery), Flower show. In the evening walk through the town.
Day 13: Gangtok to Kalimpong. 4 hours drive. Kalimpong used to be a hub for people migrating from tibet. Kalimpong is a less known hill station with majestic Himalaya on the background. On this day one can experience White Water River rafting (optional). Stay at the beautiful Holumba house.
Day 14: Day at Kalimpong. Kalimpong has relaxed and unhurried atmosphere. After breakfast visit forest musuem (closed on thursday), Deolo dara and Durpin monastery. In the evening walk through the Kalimpong Bazar.
Day 15: Kalimpong to Bagdogra Airport. 3 hrs drive.
Contact us for cost and other details.
Accommodation in home stays which have been built in traditional methods using locally available materials and local expertise. These home stays are owned and managed by the families you will be living with. The vegetables we eat are all organic home grown or brought from the local village markets, the same goes for the poultry and eggs.