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Highlights | Itinerary

Golden Triangle and Himalayas of Darjeeling and Sikkim

Day 01: Arrival / Delhi

Late night arrival. Meeting and assistance upon arrival as our representatives welcome you and escort you to your car.

Whilst the room keys and check-in is organized, our representative would introduce the tour to you and hand over the documents to you.

Welcome to India, or as we say 'atithi devo bhava' (the guest is an incarnation of God). Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you!

Overnight at Hotel Justa – The Residency, G.K. (Superior Room)

Day 02: Delhi

Following breakfast, we proceed on a guided tour of New Delhi, Visiting such sights as Bahai Temple, Humayun's Tomb (1586), the Qutab Minar 72 meters high and one of the most perfect towers in the Persian world. The Iron Pillar which has survived the vagaries of weather for over 1500 years. Continue with a drive through Embassy area, the Government buildings (1921-1930) and Connaught Place, the heart and main shopping district of the capital.

Afternoon we cross the city and into the walled gates of the Old city with visits to the Jama Mosque (1650) and drive through the fabled area of Chandini Chowk (aptly translates to Moonlight Square) where the throngs of shoppers and vendors meet in the oldest area of Delhi. Visit the Red Fort (1639-1648 built by Shah Jehan the builder of the Taj Mahal in Agra) to view the inlaid and carved Royal Chambers, on to Raj Ghat and nearby ghats where the founder of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi and thereafter Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were cremated.

The highlight of this tour would be a ride on cycle rickshaws. Now these are 3-wheel cycles with a sofa seat at the back. The Rickshawalla (Rickshaw driver) sits on a small cushion in the front and two passengers on the sofa seat behind. This is a remarkable way to explore and picture the hustle and bustle as well as the color of the narrow winding streets bursting with people and pavement shops selling wares of all description - including a laughing set of dentures. The ride would be accompanied by peals of laughter both from the passengers as well as the onlookers.

Home Visit & A Welcome Dinner: This evening we would visit an Indian family for an Indian home experience. The evening is designed to give you a 'feel' and insight into Indian family life as well as experience typical Indian hospitality and home made Indian food.

Overnight at Hotel Justa – The Residency, G.K. (Superior Room)

Day 03: Delhi / Agra (205 Kms)

Following breakfast, we ride to Agra.

Upon arrival check into Hotel Radisson.

After rest & relaxation, we ride to the massive Agra Fort. The elegant buildings inside reflect an interesting synthesis of Hindu and Central Asian architectural styles. Built by Emperor Akbar, the maze of the courtyards, mosques & private chambers of the fort echo the story of the Mughal Empire.

Evening, we will visit Mehtab Bagh. The Moonlight Garden was an extension of the Taj Mahal Garden - on the other side of the river. In 1652 Aurangzeb wrote to his father telling of a visit to 'the blessed tomb' and commenting that 'the Mahtab Garden was completely inundated and has lost its charm, but soon it will regain its verdancy. The octagonal pool and the pavilion around it are in splendid condition.' The Mahtab Bagh was lost under the mud but re-excavated in the 1990s. Originally, the garden was planted with fragrant flowers and used in the cool of the night as a place from which to view the Taj Mahal reflected in the octagonal pool and in the river.

Day 04: Agra / Fatehpur Sikri / Jaipur (245 Kms) (06 Hrs Drive)

Agra is the city of the Taj Mahal, perhaps the most photographed monument in the world. However, there is a degree of enigma about the Taj. Once you hear about a building so much and once you see so many pictures of a building your expectations are real high; and this is the enigma about the Taj Mahal. No matter how many pictures you have seen or no matter how high your expectations are the Taj never lets you down - the unparalleled glory and beauty of the building surpasses beyond all human imaginations. At sunrise we visit one of the greatest sights of one’s lifetime - Taj Mahal. A dawn visit to the fabled Taj Mahal to witness the magical effects caused by the reflections of the changing colours of the rising Sun on this brilliant white marble building. Later we return back to our hotel for breakfast.

This morning, drive to Jaipur, stopping at Fatehpur Sikri (ghost capital) for a tour of these magnificent and world heritage buildings, which are still in a state of perfect reservation. The city is divided into religious and secular sections. The profusion of sculpture is breathtaking. Also, the white marble mosque in the secular section is incredible. It is a very sacred mosque and pilgrims from far and near arrives here to pay their respects.

Continue riding to Jaipur.

Upon arrival check into hotel Shahpura House.

Afternoon, we explore the unending shopping options of Jaipur along with our Guide. An essential starting point for Rajasthan craftwork is block making and block printing and we will be exploring the process from start to finish in some of the popular stores here. The opportunity also exists here to tailor make outfits to your design and size.

We also explore one of the chief attractions of Jaipur - its jewelry, which offers a variety that ranges from chunky tribal jewelry to enameled gold to modern diamond jewelry. Kundan (art of stone setting) and enamel jewelry has been a specialty of Rajasthan, particularly that of Jaipur. The stones are embossed into decorative shapes & patterns and embellished with delicate enamel ornamentation in the champeve (raised field) technique. Jaipur is well known for its gold and silver enameling. Colorful bangles made of lac and set with semiprecious stones make an inexpensive buy. The craftsmen take great pains to embed the hundreds of stones into the lac. The skilled gem-cutters of Jaipur carve enchanting little animals and birds from rock, crystal, jade, smoky topaz and amethyst. Intaglio beads & buttons and crystal scent bottles are also available.

Day 05: Jaipur

Following breakfast, we proceed on a guided tour of the Amber Fort. Set on the dry wrinkled Aravali Hills, the Fort is a superb example of Rajput (Medieval Hindu) style of architecture. A slow elephant taxi takes us to the top of the Fort, which houses several graceful buildings.

We will ride up to this hilltop palace on a caparisoned, painted elephant, passing through the ancient main gate where Maharajas of Jaipur have entered for four hundred years. Our guide will elaborate on the history of this architectural masterpiece with its mirror-studded alcoves, dazzling mosaics and water-cooled swings that delight today's visitors as they did their former royal residents.

We shall visit the Hawa Mahal or Palace of the Winds, a five-storied structure of pink sandstone with semi-octagonal and delicately honeycombed windows overlooking the main street of the old city. It was built in 1799 so that veiled royal women could peer down unseen by the world through its 593 stone screens.

Afternoon, we proceed for a guided tour of the City Palace & Observatory. The City Palace in the heart of the old city is a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. The center of the palace is a seven-storied building called Chandra Palace, with fine views over the gardens and the city. Next top the City Palace is the Solar Observatory - an astronomical treasure house, with solar device that gives accurate predictions till date. The Palace Of Winds, a five storied structure of pink sandstone has semi-octagonal and delicately honeycombed windows overlooking the main street of the old city.

Day 06: Jaipur / Delhi (9W 2250 – 0650 / 0740 Hrs)
Delhi / Bagdogra (9W 711 – 1005 / 1225 Hrs)
Bagdogra / Darjeeling

Morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Bagdogra.

Meeting and assistance upon arrival and drive to Darjeeling. Enroute we stop at the Kurseong Tourist Centre for a refreshing cup of the famous Darjeeling tea.

MThis evening is at leisure. Darjeeling offers plenty of options for walking. Of special mention is the circular walk around the Observatory Hill for breathtaking scenes of natural beauty of the Himalayas and the city below. The shopping options of Darjeeling are revealed once you visit some of the curio shops along Nehru Road. All things Himalayan are sold here-'thankas' (paintings), brass statues, religious objects, jewellery, woodcarvings, woven fabrics, carpets etc. However, bargaining is the order of the day, so be prepare to jostle with the shopkeepers.

Day 07: Darjeeling

An early morning drive to Tiger Hill for a breathtaking dawn view over Kanchanjunga and other eastern Himalayan peaks is a fantastic experience. On your way back you may visit the Ghoom monastery, which is the oldest and the most famous monastery in Darjeeling. It enshrines an image of the Maitreya Buddha (the coming Buddha).

We would have an opportunity to ride on the exquisite Toy train from Ghoom to Darjeeling - a truly fascinating experience as the train clings on to the hills.

We return to our hotel; for breakfast following which we tour the city. Darjeeling has some very fascinating places of interest. The Botanical Gardens contains representative collection of Himalayan plants, flower and orchids. The hot houses are very interesting. The Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre established in 1959 to help rehabilitate Tibetan refugees who fled from Tibet produces superb carpets, woolens, wood carvings and leather work. You could walk through the workshops and observe the work in progress. The weaving and dyeing shops and the woodcarving shop are particularly interesting and the workers, very friendly - the women have very beautiful and expressive features. The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute set up to train mountaineers, also has a museum containing an interesting collection of historic mountaineering equipment, specimens of Himalayan flora and fauna and relief model of the Himalayas. Another must in Darjeeling is a visit to the Happy Valley Tea garden. Here tea is still produced by the ' orthodox' method as opposed to the 'curling, tear ing and crushing' (CTC) method adopted in the plains. The process is a fascinating one to observe with possibilities of lots of good pictures.

Day 08: Darjeeling / Pemayangtse

After an early breakfast we drive to Pemayangtse with packed lunches. One reaches Pemayangtse only through one of the most incredibly beautiful journies in the world. The views afforded by the journey itself are worth the effort. We would have opportunities to stop a few times, walk through the countryside, enjoy the enchanting beauty of the place and interact with the natives through our guide.

Day 09: Pemayangtse

The views of snow capped Himalayan range are unbelievable. One has to just draw the curtains of one's bedroom and lo behold! You could almost touch the range. Even the shadows of the great peaks are clearly visible. Sunrise here is soul stirring! The reflections of the rising Sun on the snow capped peaks is magical and cannot be duplicated in words. We also visit the Pemayangtse monastery, which is the second oldest monastery in Sikkim and belongs to the Tantric -Nyingma-Pa sect established by an Indian teacher. The sect's monasteries are characterised by a prominent image of the teacher along with two female consorts, and this monastery is the head of all others in Sikkim. The sect followers wear red caps. We would also visit the peaceful and tranquil Khechipalri Lake.

Day 10: Pemayangtse / Martham Village Resort.

After breakfast, A spectacular journey, mostly downhill on undulating roads with hair pin bends caressing the mighty Himalayas, through tremendous landscapes of terraced fields on the slopes of the Himalayas, swiftly flowing Teesta river down the valley and wild banana plantations as well as through quaint Sikkimese villages bring us to Martham.

Upon Arrival, check into the Martam Village Resort. Described as 'paradise on earth', a holiday in Martam Village Resort is a unique experience. Situated in the breathtaking and tranquil countryside of East Sikkim in the foot hills of the mighty Himalayas, the resort overlooks a beautiful valley of rice terraced fields, bounded by forest covered hills. The accommodation is ethnic in seven thatched cottages built in traditional Sikkimese style to blend with the surrounding villages. The cottages have twin bedded rooms with large picture window framing the countryside. Each room has attached bath room with all modern western facilities.. The attractive and excellent restaurant has a cosy dinning hall and bar serving delicious cuisines, including local Sikkimese food and drinks. One can also experience the traditional herbal bath, watch folk dances of Sikkim and visit the witch doctor. Being next to nowhere, but for nature, Martam Village Resort is the perfect location for visitors who love nature or adventure and for those seeking peace and relaxation. It would be a wonderful idea to visit some ethnic Sikkimese villages untouched by civilisation and enjoy the fabled Sikkimese hospitality.

Day 11: Martham

Morning at leisure for nature walks or visits to nearby Himalayan villages untouched by modern times.

Afternoon, we visit the world famous Rumtek The original monastery was built by a ruler of Sikkim. However, a new monastery replicating the former one was built in the 16th century. Thus, though the monastery is new, it enshrines all that is best in traditional Tibetan monastic architecture. When seen in the clear light of Sikkim, this magnificent building with its red pillars, brilliantly painted fretwork and superbly glowing murals glitters like a jewel set in the green hills.

Day 12: Martham / Gangtok / Martham

A leisurely breakfast, and then a full day excursion of Gangtok. The 24 km drive is in itself a fantastic drive through paradise. Changing vistas of mountains unfold at every bend and there are delighted vignettes of the hamlets and fields of the people of rural Sikkim

he capital of the Sikkim State, Gangtok occupies the West Side of a long ridge flanking the Ranipool River. The scenery is spectacular and there are excellent views of the entire Kanchanjunga range from many points in the vicinity. It contains the perfect mix of the popular, the cool, and some of the most beautiful places in Gangtok you can find. Here, we will be visiting different tourist spots to explore the city of Gangtok. We will visit Banjhakri falls, it is an energy park and a shamanistic theme park. The falls is set amidst dense greenery and the theme park itself is littered with ethnic sculptures and figurines of the Jhakri culture The place is interesting, especially the waterfall that roars down from a height of approximately 70 feet. The Do-Drul Chorten or Stupa was built by the venerable Truslshi Rimpoche, head of the Nyingma order of Tibetan Buddhism, in 1945. Inside this Stupa, there are complete Mandala sets of Dorjee Phurba around the Chorten. The lattere is one of the most important Stupas in Sikkim with 108 Mani-lhakor(prayer wheels). These prayer wheels are turned by the devout Buddhist while chanting "Hail To The Jewel In The Lotus", to invoke Buddhisattva., We also visit the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology . Since its establishment in 1958. the institute has sponsored and promoted research on the religion, history, language, art and culture of the people of the Tibetan cultural. The NIT library holds one of the largest collections of Tibetan works in the world outside Tibet and a museum of Tibetan iconography and religious art. It has published the Bulletin of Tibetology since 1964 and numerous books over the years. Our tour also takes us to the Cottage Industry This was started during the time of the Chogyals of Sikkim, as a venture to preserve, protect and propagate the authentic Sikkimese arts, handicrafts and skills of local and village artisans. It has become one of the major attractions for people where beautiful souvenirs like carpets, hand carved tables (choktses), traditional handcrafts, furniture, handlooms carpets and other products are produced & exhibited for sale. Finally, located near the White Hall Complex of Gangtok the Flower Show Complex houses a variety of orchids, seasonal flowers as well as bonsai. In recent years, this show has become quite popular and famous, as there are flower exhibitions throughout the year in accordance with the seasons and the flowers in bloom.

Day 13: Martham / Bagdogra / Delhi (SG 885 – 1505 / 1705 Hrs)

Afternoon, we bid farewell to the Himalayas and drive to Bagdogra airport to connect our flight to Delhi.

Meeting an assistance upon arrival in Delhi & transfer to your hotel Justa.


Overnight at Hotel Justa – The Residence, G.K (Superior Room)

Day 14: Delhi / Departure

Transfer to the international airport for your onward flight.

END OF SERVICES…

Tour Cost Based On 02 People Traveling Together Sharing 01 Room

• Cost valid for period till 30th September, 2014: - INR 112,600* Per Person

• Cost valid from 01st October till 31st March 2015: - INR 124,750* Per Person

Additional Cost For Suggested Upgrades To Hotels In Various Cities Per Room / Per Night

Destinations Suggested Upgraded Hotels Trip Advisor Rating Additional Cost Till 30th Sep 2014 From 01st Oct 2014 – 31st Mar 2015
Delhi The Lalit 4 star INR 2,050 Per Person INR 3,100 Per Person
The Imperial 4.5 star INR 4,850 Per Person INR 10,550 Per Person
Taj Mahal Hotel 4.5 star INR 7,050 Per Person INR 12,400 Per Person
Agra Amarvilas 4.5 star INR 14,150 Per Person INR 25,150 Per Person
ITC Mughal 4 star INR 7,00 Per Person INR 7,50 Per Person
The Gateway(Superior Taj View) 4 star INR 1250 Per Person INR 2300 Per Person
Jaipur ITC Rajputana 3.5 star INR 1300 Per Person INR 1100 Per Person
Royal Heritage Haveli 4 star INR 1650 Per Person INR 4550 Per Person
Rambagh Palace 5 star INR 13600 Per Person INR 23800 Per Person

NOTE: - Upgrades at same price available depending upon exact date of travel.

*T & C Apply

Includes : Accommodation on twin share basis ; daily American breakfast ; air-conditioned private car for all journeys and tours ; local guides ; Elephant ride in Jaipur, rickshaw ride in Delhi. Toy Train in Darjeeling. Home dinner with an Indian Family. Airfares in Jaipur / Bagdogra / Delhi sector in economy class (discounted internet airfares – subject to availability).