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Bhutan, Sikkim and Darjeeling tour

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Bhutan, Sikkim and Darjeeling tour

Bhutan - Sikkim and Darjeeling

Bhutan is a country nestled in the eastern Himalayas. It is a land of superlatives, the last surviving example of a Tibetan Buddhist Kingdom that proudly guard and treasures its cultural and natural heritage. Blessed with a tiny population and steep inaccessible valleys and rolling hills and towering crags, with only small patches of cultivation., it holds fabulous pristine forest ...See more

Bhutan - Sikkim and Darjeeling

Bhutan is a country nestled in the eastern Himalayas. It is a land of superlatives, the last surviving example of a Tibetan Buddhist Kingdom that proudly guard and treasures its cultural and natural heritage. Blessed with a tiny population and steep inaccessible valleys and rolling hills and towering crags, with only small patches of cultivation., it holds fabulous pristine forest that are almost entirely untouched and full of wild lives.
Bhutan is not a ordinary place. It has one foot in the past and one in the future. The country has only opened its doors to foreigners quite recently, and although it does so with outstanding hospitality, it is not without some reserve, wishing to avoid the negative side-effects of uncontrolled tourism apparent in other developing nations. Number of visitors are restricted to a strict quota and the government imposes a fixed and very high daily tariff. The visitors will be enlivened by a series of splendid and impressive dhonz (fortress & monasteries) that usually occupy eagle nest locations of strategic importance. The Bhutanese people still dress in traditional garb and their customs and lifestyles are preserved with enthusiasm and pride. All these factors combine to make this country one of the most rewarding and thrilling culture & nature tour destinations available today.

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Trip Highlights

Trip Itinerary

Bhutan, Sikkim and Darjeeling tour Itineraray                      

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu. Overnight at hotel.

Day 02: Fly from Katmandu – Paro. Overnigh a hotel.

Day 03: Sightseeing of Paro. Overnight a hotel.

Day 04: Sightseeing of Paro. Overnight a hotel.

Day 05: Drive to Punakha/Wangdue, Sightseeing. Overnight at hotel.

Day 06: Full day sightseeing In Punakha. Overnight at hotel.

Day 07: Drive to Punakha to Thimphu. Overnight at hotel.

Day 08: Thimpu Full day sightseeing. Overnight a hotel.

Day 09: Thimpu - Phuntsholing. Overnight at hotel.

Day 10: Phuntsholing – Departure

In India

After breakfast at the hotel, you will switch transport and depart Phuntsholing for onward destination to Darjeeling, India. It takes about 7-8 hours through the Teak forest, World famous Tea gardens and scenic ladscape, Upon arrival, check in at your hotel.  Afternoon free for rest.  Overnight at the hotel.
 
Day 11: Sightseeing of Darjeeling. Overnight at hotel.

Day 12: Darjeeling - Pemayangtse. Overnight at hotel.

Day 13: Pemayangtse – Gangtok. Overnight at hotel.

Day 14: Gangtok – Rumtek- Gangtok. Overnight at hottel.

Day 15: Gangtok/Bagdogra/Delhi or Kolkatta or drive to Bharatpur in Nepal and fly back to Kathmandu.

{Flight details shall be provided after approval of the programme}.

Day 16: Departure from Kolkatta/Delhi/Kathmandu

Detail Itinerary

Detail itinerary

Day 01 Arrival in Delhi/Kolkatta or Kathmandu 1334m,

Arrive Delhi or Kolkatta with any convenient flight, Meet on arrival & transfer to hotel.  Rest of the day free for recovering from Jetlag. Overnight Hotel in Delhi or Kolkatta

Day 02: Delhi/Kolkatta/Katmandu – Paro

Fly onboard Druk Air to Paro, Bhutan from Delhi or Kokotta or Bhutan. On a clear day the panoramic views of the Himalaya are sensational, including Everest, but particularly exciting is the approach through the Bhutanese foothills and the landing, including a few steep turns to land at the tiny airstrip of Paro. On arrival, once you have cleared any airport formalities, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. After lunch exploration of Paro valley visiting the National Museum & Paro Dzong. National Museum (Ta Dzong), a fascinating place housed in an old watchtower above the huge Paro Dzong (monastery/fortress). The museum has a fantastic collection of Bhutanese national treasures ranging from ancient armour to textiles and thangkha paintings. Paro Rinpung Dzong. A flagstone path rises gradually from a beautiful wooden bridge with shingle roofing and abutted by two guardhouses, to the Dzong. Today, the Dzong is the seat of the district administration as well as the home for the monastic school. The central tower (Utse) of the Dzong, with its superb woodwork, is one of the most beautiful in the nation. The Dzong was built in 1645 A.D. Time permits also visit a typical Bhutanese farm house. Overnight at hotel.

Day 03: Full day sightseeing at Paro

Full Day Attend the PARO TSHECHU (Festival)  if there is no festival do the normal sight seeing visiting the famous Paro Jhong , the Meuseul  and the 8th centuary temple Jamey Lakhang. Today we attend the festival held in the cobbled courtyard of Jambay Lhakhang which dates back to the 7th century. As legendary Black Hat Dancers twirl in the central courtyard, the village people crowd around the edge of the square. Clowns in strange wooden masks joke with the crowd who attend the festival to gain ‘merit’ in the struggle towards perfection through a cycle of many lifetimes. Many of the dances have remained virtually unchanged since the 10th century and not only are these rites to expel spirits, but give moral lessons and re-enact famous past legends. The sounds of Tibetan horns, reed trumpets, cymbals and drums added to the noise of the crowd, produce a truly unique atmosphere. For the Bhutanese, religious festivals offer an opportunity to become immersed in the meaning of their religion and to gain merit. They are also occasions for seeing people, and for being seen; for social exchanges, and for flaunting success. People bring out their finest clothes, their most beautiful jewels; they take out picnics rich with meat and abundant alcohol. Men and women joke and flirt. An atmosphere of convivial, slightly ribald good humour prevails.

Day 04: Paro - Excursion to Tiger’s Nest Monastery

Day hike to Taktsang Monastery. Taktsang meaning "Tiger's Nest”, is built around a cave in which Guru Rimpoche (also known as Guru Padmasambhava) meditated. The eighth century monastery is perched on a rock overlooking a sheer drop and clings seemingly impossibly to a cliff of rock at 9678 feet above the valley floor. For the local people it is a place of pilgrimage, but for a tourist, a hike up to the viewpoint opposite the monastery is exhausting, thrilling and mystical. It takes almost 2 hours to walk up at an average pace. The legend has it that Guru Rimpoche is said to have flown to the site of the monastery on the back of a tigress from Tibet and meditated in the cave there for three months. Although the main building of the temple was destroyed by fire on April 1998, the hike up to the viewpoint is worthwhile and fulfilling. The reconstruction works have already been completed and the structure restored in its original splendor. After lunch at the cafeteria, return to Paro and stroll around the small town. Overnight at hotel.

Day 05: Drive to Punakha/Wangdue, Sightseeing

After breakfast transfer to Punakha/Wangdue. En-route stop at Dochula Pass (3150 m), 90 km from Thimphu, for tea and biscuits and enjoy a view of the Eastern Himalayan Mountains. From Dochula to Wangdue, it’s another two hours drive. After lunch visit Wangdue Phodrang Dzong is perched on a spur at the confluence of 02 rivers. The position of the Dzong is remarkable as it completely covers the spur and commands an impressive view over both the north-south and east-west roads. The main road climbs the length of the spur and on the left, across the river, comes the first glimpse of the picturesque village of Rinchengang whose inhabitants are celebrated stonemasons. Overnight at Resort  in Punakha.

Day 06: Full day sightseeing In Punakha

After breakfast, visit the Punakha Dzong. This is the winter residence of Bhutan’s spiritual leader, the Head Abbot, and the Central Monastic Body. The Dzong is built between two rivers known as “Phochu” (Male River) and “Mochu” (Female River). Back to the hotel for lunch. After lunch visit  Metshina. On a hillock in the center of the valley below Metshina is Chimi Lhakhang (Fertility Monastery), built by lama Drukpa Kunley in 1499. He subdued the demoness of the Dochu la with his ‘magic thunderbolt of wisdom.’ A wooden effigy of the Lama’s thunderbolt is preserved in the Lhakhang, and childless women go to the temple to receive a wang (blessing) from the saint. It’s a 20-minute walk across the rice fields from the road at Sopsokha to the temple. The trail leads across rice fields to the tiny settlement of Pana. There are very few monks at the temple which is surrounded by a row of prayer wheels and some very beautiful slate carvings. Overnight at Resort or  in Punakha.

Day 07: Punakha to Thimphu

After breakfast  transferred to Thimphu, the least visited of all the Himalayan capitals (3 hrs. Drive).
Thimphu introduction: The capital of Bhutan is situated on west bank of the river Thimphu, (Thimphu Chhu) in a wooded valley at an elevation of 2320m. Prior to 1961 Thimpu was only an insignificant village, but since the country emerged from isolation its importance has grown and it has many official buildings. The Secretariat, King's offices and some ministries are housed in the Tashichho Dzong, next to which one of the world's highest golf courses (9 hole) has been made. With a population of mo more than 60,000, Thimphu is an easy place to wander around, and will enable the visitor to appreciate the detail of Bhutanese architecture. A few miles south of the capital is Simtokha, one of the oldest complete Dzongs in the country, dating from the early 1600’s, a period when Shabdrungs, the line of religious rulers originally from Tibet, ruled the country. After lunch visit Tashichho Dzong - the main secretariat building. It is from here that the King and other prominent civil servants run the country. The Head Abbot and the central monastic body also reside here during the summer.
Handicrafts Emporium & Traditional Paper Factory where one can buy Bhutanese textiles and other arts and crafts. Overnight at hotel Thimpu.

Day 08: Thimpu Full day sightseeing

Folk Heritage Museum - an outdoor museum which gives an insight into rural life is centred around a mud and timber farm house.
Institute of Traditional Medicine - prepares and dispenses what is often called Tibetan medicine. There is a research and production centre and a clinic where patients are often treated with cupping, steaming or blood-letting.
Mini zoo - this large grassy and treed enclosure holds several takins, the unusual-looking national animal that normally migrates to high alpine valleys in summer.
National Textile Museum - a brief introductory video explains the complexities of Bhutanese dress before entering the exhibition of dress and textiles from around the country.
Semtokha Dzong. This is the oldest fortress in Bhutan, built in 1629 A.D. by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. It also houses the largest monastic school in the country.
King's Memorial Chorten - every day many Bhutanese come to this Tibetan-style chorten to honour the memory of the third king. Inside there are numerous religious paintings and statues of different Buddhist deities.
Pangri Zampa Monastery - situated just beyond Dechencholing Palace (5 km. from Thimphu). This temple was the first residence of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal when he arrived in Bhutan in 1616 A.D. Ngawang Chogyel, the great ancestor of the Shabdrung, built it during the first quarter of the 16th century. Drubthob nunnery at Zilukha.  Overnight at hotel Thimpu.

Day 09: Thimpu - Phuntsholing

After breakfast at the hotel, proceed to Phuntsholing, the border town in the south (7-8 hours).  The road descends and winds in innumerable bends and the scenery and vegetation changes as you drive through light mountain jungle, displaying lianas and orchids. Five kms before Phuntsholing, visit Kharbandi Gompa built in a garden of tropical plants and flowers. From the monastery garden, there is a beautiful view over the plains and the town of Phuntsholing. On arrival in Phuntsholing, check into your hotel. Overnight at hotel Phuntsholing.

Day 10: Phuntsholing – Departure

In India

After breakfast at the hotel, you will switch transport and depart Phuntsholing for onward destination to Darjeeling, India. It takes about 7-8 hours through the Teak forest, World famous Tea gardens and scenic ladscape, Upon arrival, check in at your hotel.  Afternoon free for rest.  Overnight at the hotel.

Day 11: In Darjeeling

Early in the morning drive to Tiger Hill to view the Kanchenjunga, the 3rd highest mountain in the world and other mountain peaks at the sunrise. Afterwards return back to hotel for breakfast & rest. Late morning sightseeing of Darjeeling to visit the Tibetian Refugee Centre, Zooloigical Park, The Happy valley Tea Garden, Himalayan Mountaineering centre etc. Afternoon free or optional Historical Toy train Ride from Darjeeling to Ghoom or vice versa. { Toy train ride subject to operation of the Train}. Overnight at hotel.

Day 12: Darjeeling - Pemayangtse

After breakfast leave Darjeeling & drive to Pemayangtse which is about 135 kms. & takes about 5 hours. Upon arrival in Pemyangtse, check in at the hotel. Afternoon visit to the pemayangtse Monastary. Overnight at hotel.

Day 13: Pemayangtse – Gangtok

After breakfast, leave Pemyangste & drive to Gangtok which is about 115 kms. & takes about 4 hours. Upon arrival in Gangtok, check in at your hotel. Overnight at hotel.

Day 14: Gangtok – Rumtek- Gangtok

Morning visit to the Rumtek Monastary and also visit Orchid Nursey etc. Afternoon free in Gangtok for independent activities. Overnight at hotel.

Day 15: Gangtok/Bagdogra/Delhi or Kolkatta or drive to Bharatpur in Nepal and fly back to Kathmandu.

After early breakfast leave Gangtok and drive to airport in Bagdogra and take flight to Kolkatta or Delhi. Or drive to Bharatpur in Nepal bordr and fly to Katmandu. Arrive Kolkatta or Delhi or Katmandu , Meet on arrival & transfer to hotel for wash N change followed by Farewell dinner at the Hotel or at a local Restaurant and then transfer to airport to take flight to onward destination.

{Flight details shall be provided after approval of the programme}.

Day 16 : Departure from Kolkatta/Delhi/Kathmandu

Take flight for onward destination.  Happy Landings.

Services

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Testimonials

Testimonials

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What makes this trip different?

Eco Trip Nepal has been working hand to hand with nonprofit social organization SWAN Nepal (Social Welfare Association of Nepal) from its initial years. We provide continuous support to SWAN financially as well as by organizing charity and volunteering tours in the remote village of Baglung district. Organizing your holiday through Eco Trip Nepal will not only provide the chance to explore the natural grandeur of Himalayan country Nepal but also you will be playing a vital role in bringing positive changes in the lives of local community.

Financial support to direct beneficiaries:  In all our programs, we strive to ensure that we only use local operators and try to source all provisions from local businesses, so you can be sure that some part of the money paid to us for arranging your holiday goes to the needy people of Nepal. The money you pay for touring and trekking through Eco Trip Nepal directly benefits the local people through SWAN as we provide them certain percentage of our profits from each and every trip on regular basis. Our guests experience true satisfaction together with enjoyment from Nepal holiday.

Local development through tourism: Eco Trip Nepal along with SWAN has been working together in discovering new routes, making plans into action and constantly working on how it can positively impact on local community development through tourism. In this way we have developed the Eco-tourism Project which focuses to flourish local tourism preservation of nature and cultural heritages.

Community Tourism: We help experience the best of Nepal through the eyes of the local Nepalese community. We enhance community based tourism to help our guests discover local habitats and wildlife; celebrate and respect traditional cultures, rituals and wisdom. In this way community will be aware of the commercial and social value placed on their natural and cultural heritage through tourism, and this will promote community based management of these resources.

For more details, visit SWAN Nepal's website www.swannepal.org