Sikkim and Bhutan

15 NIGHTS | 16 DAYS

KOLKATA | BAGDOGRA | DARJEELING | GANGTOK | PEMAYANGTSE | KALIMPONG | PHUNTSOLING | THIMPHU | PUNAKHA | PARO | KOLKATA

Far Horizon showcases a very picturesque aspect of India in this tour. Set in the magnificent Himalayas – sometimes referred to as the abode of the gods – the lovely towns of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Gangtok offer fabulous views, beautiful monasteries, visits to picture-perfect tea estates and interactions with the warm local people to enable you to Experience the Living Cultures of India.

Immerse yourself in the culture of Bhutan in Thimphu, Punakha, Paro. See the beautiful work at the Institute for Zorig Chusum (school of arts and crafts) and ancient Buddhist literature preserved for several centuries. Temples and monasteries abound in the idyllic setting of this breathtaking land .

Day 1: Departure

Day 2: Arrive Kolkata
Our representative will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. Overnight at the hotel (B)

Day 3: Kolkata / Bagdogra (by AI 721 / 1340 hrs.) / Darjeeling (Approx. 50 miles / 80 kms / 3 hour drive)
After breakfast, our representative will escort you to the airport to board the flight to Bagdogra. A beautiful drive, through the tea gardens, will take you to Darjeeling. On arrival, check-in to your hotel. Overnight at the hotel (B, L, D)

Day 4: Darjeeling
Well before dawn you will go to Tiger Hill, famous for its magnificent views of Kanchenjunga and the eastern Himalayan peaks. On the way back, visit the Ghoom Monastery. Breakfast is at the hotel. You will also visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI) and the museum. Adjacent to this is the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park – a high altitude wildlife park and home to the Siberian Tiger, Himalayan Black Deer, and the Panda. Overnight at the hotel (B, L, D)

Day 5: Darjeeling / Gangtok (Approx. 60 miles / 96 kms / 2 ½ hour drive)
After Breakfast, drive to Gangtok through the landscaped tea gardens of Darjeeling and the Teesta valley. Evening is at leisure to explore the local markets. Overnight at the hotel (B, L, D)

Day 6: Gangtok
After breakfast, set out to explore the famous Rumtek monastery – this was the official seat of the Gyalwa Karmapa, the head of the Kagyu order of Tibetan Buddhism. Lunch is followed by a visit to the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology. Set in serene surroundings of oak, birch and ash woods, the Institute was established in 1958. Built in traditional style, the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology promotes research in Mahayana Buddhism and the language and tradition of Tibet. It has one of the world's largest collections of rare books and manuscripts on Mahayana Buddhism. A pleasant walk through the Orchid Museum is an excellent way to end this wonderful day. Overnight at the hotel (B, L, D)

Day 7: Gangtok / Pemayangtse (Approx. 50 miles / 80 kms / 2 hour drive)
Leave for Pemayangtse after breakfast and, on arrival, check-in to your hotel. The Pemayangtse monastery in West Sikkim is held in the highest regard and considered to be one of the oldest monasteries, dating back to 1705.This will be a memorable visit. Overnight at the hotel (B, L, D)

Day 8: Pemayangtse / Kalimpong (Approx. 48 miles / 77 kms / 2 hour drive)
After breakfast, drive to Kalimpong and check-in to your hotel. Later take a short trip to Zang Dog Palri Fo-Brang Monastery located at the top of Durpin Dara, from where you can get a panoramic view of the town and the mountains. The prayer room inside the monastery is adorned with wall paintings and there is a rare three-dimensional mandala upstairs. You will also visit the flower nurseries which grow and export exotic flowers like Amaryllis Lilies, Roses, Gerberas, Dahlias, Gladiolai, Orchids and Cacti – the display of colour here is simply breathtaking. In the evening explore the interesting bazaar of Kalimpong. Overnight at the hotel (B, L, D)  
Day 9: Kalimpong / Phuntsoling (Approx. 70 miles / 112 kms / 3 hour drive)
Drive to Doars after breakfast. You will visit the Jaldapara Sanctuary which is home to the Great Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros and also serves as a frequent feeding ground for elephant herds. Overnight at the hotel (B, L, D) 

Day 10: Phuntsoling / Thimphu (Approx. 140 miles / 224 kms / 8 - 9 hour drive)
After an early breakfast, set off for Thimpu, en-route cross the border between India and Bhutan. On the way you will come across Chuzzom, a confluence of the rivers Parochu and Thimpuchu. You will also get to see the three stupas representing three different styles of stupa architecture – Tibetan, Nepalese and Bhutanese. At Thimphu, check-in to your hotel. Overnight at the hotel (B, L, D)

Day 11: Thimphu
Get an insider's view into Bhutanese culture at the famed School of Arts & Crafts in Thimphu, Tango Gompa and the National Library which houses an extensive collection of Buddhist literature, with some works dating back several hundred years. Your experience is further enhanced by a visit to the nearby Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the Painting School). End the day with a walk through the colorful market of Bhutan. Overnight at the hotel (B, L, D)

Day 12: Thimphu / Punakha (Approx. 44 miles / 70 Kms / 4 ½ hour drive)
Have an early breakfast and leave for Punakha. In the afternoon explore Punakha Dzong – a massive structure built at the junction of two rivers. This is followed by a visit to the Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten. Overnight at the hotel (B, L, D)

Day 13: Punakha / Paro (Approx. 110 miles / 176 kms / 5 hour drive)
After a relaxed morning, proceed to Paro. Check-in to your hotel. Overnight at the hotel (B, L, D)

Day 14: Paro
After breakfast visit Ta Dzong. Originally built as a watchtower it now houses the National Museum. As you walk down the trail you will come across Rinpung Dzong, 'fortress of the heap of jewels'. Next is a visit to Drukgyel Dzong, an old fortress which was reduced to rubbles, centuries ago, during a war fought by the Bhutanese and the Tibetians. The day ends with a visit to the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by the Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. Overnight at the hotel (B, L, D)

Day 15: Paro / Kolkata (Flight: KB210 ETD: 0720 ETA: 0800 or KB124 ETD: 1000 ETA: 1030)
Drive to the airport after breakfast where our representative will assist you in boarding the flight to Kolkata. On arrival in Kolkata, our representative will escort you to your hotel. An orientation tour of Kolkata will include some fascinating monuments like the Victoria Memorial and the St. Paul's Cathedral. Also visit the Indian Museum, which possesses one of the best collections of Indian art in the entire subcontinent. Overnight at the hotel (B)

Day 16: Kolkata departure
You will be escorted to the International airport to board your outgoing flight.