Eastern India & Bhutan Overland Tour
Package price On Request
Product Code : AGORA383
The private tour will begin in Kolkata and include Darjeeling, Pelling, Gangtok, Kalimpong, Phuentsholing, Thimphu, Punakha, Wangdue & Paro in its itinerary. Explore the colonial settlement, view sunrise at Tiger Hill, enjoy joy ride on Darjeeling Himalayan Rail, ship tea in a tea estate, and hop to many monasteries. Then head to Bhutan the dream destination having many heritage Dzong and Buddhist monasteries. Explore the culture, community and cuisine and hike to some scenic point.
Day 1: Arrive Kolkata
On arrival at Kolkata airport meet with our office executive assistance and transfer to hotel (hotels check in time 1200hr afternoon, early check in subject to room’s availability). Rest time free for personal activities relax. Overnight at hotel.
Day 2: Kolkata
Breakfast at hotel, full day city tour of Kolkata. Visit Fort William built during the early years of the Bengal Presidency of British India, Extends over an area of 70.9 hectares on the eastern banks of the River Hooghly one of most enduring Raj-era edifices. Victoria Memorial the immaculate white memorial bounded by verdant greenery and broad roads is dedicated to Queen Victoria. Inside the memorial there is a museum where you can see the dresses of the queen as well as different kinds of weapons used during that era. Netaji Bhawan a building maintained as a memorial and research center to the life of the Indian nationalist "Netaji" Subhas Chandra Bose. The house, built by Bose's father in 1909, is owned and managed by the Netaji Research Bureau and includes a museum, archives and library. Howrah Bridge one of the most popular bridges of India also known as the gateway of Kolkata. Built on the river Hooghly it is one of the major Kolkata attractions and people from different part of the country come here especially to witness this amazingly structured bridge. Dakshineswar Kali Temple one of the major pilgrimage center in the city that is dedicated to Goddess Kali. Located on the bank of River Hoogly, the temple compound maintains a large courtyard with rooms along the boundary walls, twelve shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva, a bathing ghat on the river and a shrine dedicated to Rani Rashmoni. Overnight at hotel.
Day 3: Kolkata - Bagdogra (flight) / Bagdogra – Darjeeling (62kms/ 2hrs Approx)
Breakfast at hotel, transfer to airport to board flight for Bagdogra. On arrival at Bagdogra airport meet your driver and proceed to Darjeeling check in at hotel. Rest time free and easy to relax. Overnight at hotel.
Day 4: Darjeeling
Early morning around 3:45 AM pick up from your hotel and drive to 8000 feet / 2440 meters through primitive forests of oak, to Tiger Hill to view sunrise over Kanchenjunga Peak (subject to clear weather). On the way back visit Ghoom Monastery, Peace memorial & Batasia Loop. Return to hotel from breakfast. Thenafter breakfast next round of city tour which includes Padmaja Naidu Zoological Park, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (Closed on Thursday), Ropeway, Tensing Gumpo Rock, Tibetan Refugee Self Help Center (Closed on Sunday), Tea Estate, Natural History Museum (Sunday Closed) & Peace Pagoda. Toy Train Joyride on Darjeeling Himalayan Rail track (UNESCO World Heritage Site) operate from Darjeeling to Ghum and back via Batasia Loop covering a total distance of 14kms, roughly 2-hour round trip. Overnight stay at Darjeeling. Evening free to explore the market. Overnight at hotel.
Day 5: Darjeeling – Pelling (75kms/ 3hrs Approx)
Breakfast at hotel, drive to Pelling check in at hotel. Later city tour visiting beautiful Rimbi water Falls, Rimbi Rock Garden, Kechopalri Lake this high altitude lake is one of the holy Buddhist lake and it is believed that any wish in front of the lake comes true. Myth is that when a leaf falls on the placid clear water surface, it is picked by a bird and thus the water surface is always free of leaves. Kechopalri Monastery and Kanchenjunga water Falls. Rest time to explore the sight of you interest. Overnight at hotel.
Day 6: Pelling – Gangtok (120kms/ 4hrs Approx)
Breakfast at hotel drive to Gangtok passing thru Temi, Taraku, Singtam, Rangpo & Ranipool. The journey is surrounded by lush green forests and Tea Gardens with eye catching picturesque view. On the way stop and have a sip of local Sikkimese tea. Gangtok is brims with awe-inspiring natural wonders, from mighty snow-capped mountains to enchanting lush green forests. Arrive and check in at hotel. Rest time free and easy to relax. Overnight at hotel.
Day 7: Gangtok
Breakfast at hotel, excursion to Tsomgo Lake & Baba Mandir, nearly 40kms / 2hrs drive along the Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary, the home to the red panda and the blood pheasant with Rhododendron and other alpine trees along the road situated at an elevation of 3753 meters / 12310 feet. The Lake is oval shaped nearly 50 feet deep, generally covered in snow for most of the year and a home to the Brahmini ducks & many migratory birds. Nearby is the sacred Baba Mandir known to be a very holy site for all. Back to Gangtok, evening free to roam around M G Road (The Mall). Overnight at hotel.
Day 8: Gangtok – Kalimpong (75kms/ 2hrs Approx)
Breakfast at hotel. Visit Rumtek Monastery a three stories high standout amongst the most imperative and noteworthy monasteries, and a must visit in Gangtok. The religious community takes after the school of Tibetan Buddhism and is particularly eminent for its Kagyu lessons. Bakthang Waterfall an eye-catching attraction that no tourist ever want to miss. Flowing from Ratey Chu, it is a broad waterfall that creates a soothing environment for the visitors to enjoy. Tashi Viewpoint you can observe the glorious Himalayas from Tashi Viewpoint that will be your binocular to scrutinise the seeking view of snow peaks. Ganesh Tok an ancient temple of Lord Ganesha that has a pleasant aura, colourful buntings surrounding the temple. Enchey Monastery a 200 years old monastery which was initially established as a small gompa by a tantric artist and renowned exponent among highlander Buddhists, Lama DrupthobKarpo. Enchey Monastery literally means “the Solitary Temple” which now is home to almost 90 monks. Tourists are quite fascinated by the place because it accommodates a number of religious objects and presents Tibetan culture in a beguiling manner. Directorate of Handicraft and Handloom here you can buy the majestic artefacts such as Thanka painting, traditional carpets, wooden carved and colourfully painted sculptures and much more.
After sightseeing drive to Kalimpong check in at hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 9: Kalimpong – Phuentsholing (175kms/ 5hrs Approx)
Breakfast at hotel, city tour of Kalimpong perched on a ridge above the Teesta River. tt’s home to colonial-era buildings like MacFarlane Memorial Church named after a Scottish missionary & Dr. Graham's Homes founded in 1900 a missionary of the Church of Scotland who settled in Kalimpong and worked with the local community for several years during the turn of the 20th century. Also visit Durpin Monastery which contains sacred Buddhist scriptures. Deolo Park the landscaped gardens offers views of the town and surrounding hills.
Later drive to Phuentsholing, Bhutan’s frontier town. The town is the gateway for travelers entering Bhutan by road, a thriving commercial centre on the northern edge of the Indian plains. Phuenthsoling is fascinating mixture of Indian and Bhutanese, a perfect example of mingling of people and their culture. Dinner & overnight at hotel.
Day 10: Phuentsholing - Thimphu (180kms/ 6hrs approx)
Breakfast at hotel visit Zangtho Pelri a small temple represents the heaven of Guru Rinpoche. Then after embark on an interesting journey to Thimphu en route visiting Kharbandi Gompa, the beautiful monastery founded in 1967 by Royal Grand mother, Ashi Phuntsho Choedron. Here you can see the statues of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and Guru Rimpoche along with paintings portraying scenes from the life of Lord Buddha. The monastery garden provides great views of the Phuentsholing town and surrounding plains of West Bengal.Further stopping at Gedu University for photos & a short tea break nearby Chukha, afterwards stop at Chuzom, the confluence of Paro & Thimphu rivers. Arrive Thimphu check-in at hotel. Thimphu with the population of about 1,00,000, is perhaps still the world’s only capital city without a traffic light. Evening an exploratory walk around Thimphu city centre. Dinner & overnight at hotel.
Day 11: Thimphu
After breakfast, drive to visit Memorial Chorten, this stupa is located at the heart of the Thimphu city and was built in 1974 to honor the third King of Bhutan, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk (1928-1972) popularly known as Father of modern Bhutan. Afterwards visit to Buddha Point (Kuensel Phodrang). It holds one of the largest Buddha’s statue in the country of 169 feet (51.5m), made of bronze and gilded in gold. Visitors can also get a good overview of the Thimphu valley from this point. Then visit Changangkha Lhakhang this temple is located above central Thimphu, built in 12th century by Lama Phajo Drukgom Shigpo on a ridge overlooking the town. Local parents traditionally come here to get auspicious names for their newborns or blessing from the protector deity ‘Tamdrin’. Later drive to upper Motithang in Thimphu to visit Takin Preserve. The Takin is the national animal of Bhutan, and looks like a cross between a cow and a goat. Legend has it that the animal was created by the great Buddhist yogi, Drukpa Kuenley, and it can be found only in Bhutan and nearby areas. Taxonomists place the animal in a category of its own as it is not similar enough to any other animal to fit established categories.
Post lunch, sightseeing in Thimphu valley including visit to the the National Library, housing an extensive collection of priceless Buddhist manuscripts, the Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the Painting School) where students undergo a 6-year training course in Bhutan’s 13 traditional arts and crafts, Textile Museum, which provides deep insight into Bhutan’s one of the most distinct art form, Folk Heritage Museum, dedicated to connect people with the rich Bhutanese Folk heritage and rural history through exhibits, demonstrations, educational programs and documentation of Bhutanese rural life.
Conclude the day’s with visit of Trashichhoedzong, `the fortress of the glorious religion. This is one of the most impressive buildings situated along the right flank of the Thimphu river built in 1641 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel who unified Bhutan and was later reconstructed in 1962 by the third King His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. This impressive fortress/ monastery houses Secretariat building, the throne room of His Majesty, the King and various government offices. Evening at leisure in Thimphu city centre. Also explore the Local Crafts Bazaar, to browse through example of Bhutan's fine traditional arts. Dinner & overnight at hotel.
Day 12: Thimphu - Punakha & Wangdue (75kms/ 3hrs approx)
Breakfast at hotel drive up to Dochu-la pass (3,088m/ 10,130 ft) stopping briefly here to take in the view and admire the chorten, mani wall, and prayer flags which decorate the highest point on the road. If skies are clear, the following peaks can be seen from this pass (left to right): Masagang (7,158m), Tsendagang (6,960m), Terigang (7,060m), Jejegangphugang (7,158 m ), Kangphugang (7,170 m ), Zongphugang (7, 060 m ), a table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana - finally Gangkar puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan at 7,497m. Continue drive to Punakha the former capital of Bhutan and seat of the Government until 1955 when the capital was moved to Thimphu. On arrival check in at hotel.
Afternoon visit Punakha Dzong built at the junction of the Phochu and Mochu rivers in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. This majestic dzong served as both the religious and the administrative center of Bhutan in the past. It measures some 600 by 240 feet and has a six-story, gold-domed tower. Inside are courtyards and religious statuary that hint at the depth of history and spiritual tradition embodied here. Your guide will illuminate your understanding of this intricate culture that is exotic, though long established here. After exploring Punakha city centre, embark on a short walking excursion to Chimi Lhakhang, located on a ridge surrounded by beautiful paddy fields. From road point, it takes about 10-15 minutes walk through Sobsukha village to reach the monastery. Also known as Fertility temple, it is associated with Lama Drukpa Kuenley, popularly known as ‘Divine Madman’. It is widely believed that couples who do not have children and wanting one, if they pray at this temple, they are usually blessed with a child very soon.
Evening drive pass Wangdue town and its market. Dinner & overnight at hotel either in Punakha or in Wangdue.
Day 13: Punakha / Wangdue - Paro (125kms/ 4hrs approx)
Breakfast at hotel drive to Paro. Descending back from Dochu La follow the way back up the dramatic Wang Chhu and Paro Chhu river valleys, before crossing through Paro town towards the north end of the valley. En route visit Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress of the country constructed by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1629. The name Simtokha literally means ‘Atop a Demon’ and the legend associated with the dzong’s construction tells us that it was built in order to subdue an evil spirit that was harassing travelers in the region.
Arrive Paro check in at hotel. Later proceed to visit Ta Dzong, originally built as Watchtower, which now houses National Museum. The extensive collection includes antique thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons & armour, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts. Then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, which has a long and fascinating history. Along the wooden galleries lining the inner courtyard are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore such as four friends, the old man of long life, the wheel of life, scenes from the life of Milarepa, Mount. Sumeru and other cosmic Mandala. Evening take a stroll around interesting city centre of Paro. Dinner & overnight at hotel.
Day 14: Paro
Breakfast at hotel.
Excursion to Taktshang Monastery (approx 5 hours round trip walk). It is one of the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries, perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery and hence it is called ‘Tiger’s Nest’. This site has been recognised as a most sacred place and visited by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 and now visited by all Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime. The hike to the monastery makes a splendid half day excursion.
Embark on a driving excursion to Chelela pass. At an elevation of 3,988 meters, it is considered to be one of the highest motorable passes in Bhutan. About an hour’s drive along a thickly-forested road, this pass is a botanical paradise. The pass provides stunning views of the sacred mountain Jumolhari and Jichu Drake. It is also marked by hundreds of prayer flags fluttering in the wind.
En route also visit Dzongdrakha temple. Often called as mini Taktsang, Dzongdrakha is a cliff-side temple complex on the western side of Paro valley. Four shrines make up the complex, dedicated to Drolma (Tara), Tsheringma (Goddess of Longevity), Guru Rinpoche and the Buddha of the Future, Maitreya. Local oral tradition states that when Guru Rinpoche first came to Bhutan, he came from Nepal, first landing at Drakarpo, and then Dzongdrakha before arriving at Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) farther north up the valley.
Later in the afternoon drive to Drukgyel Dzong, a ruined fortress where Bhutanese warriors fought Tibetan invaders centuries ago. In the early 1954, the Drukgyel Dzong was completely destroyed by fire and today only the ruins remains. The snowy dome of sacred Chomolhari, "mountain of goddess'' can be seen in all her glory from the approach road to the Dzong. While return to the hotel, along the way, visit the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. The building of this temple marks the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan. Dinner & overnight at hotel.
Day 15: Paro - Departure (flight)
Breakfast at hotel, as per flight scheduletransfer to airport to board flight for onward destination.
Private airport transfer with assistance of office executive.
14 Night accommodation in selected category hotels or similar.
Daily breakfast at hotels
Deluxe air-conditioned private vehicle with English speaking chauffeur as per tour program.
Monuments entrances of sightseeing mentioned in the itinerary.
English speaking tour guide on sightseeing days (local guide).
Bottled water in car
Applicable GST (government taxes).
Any air fare
Camera charges at monuments
Main Meals, Lunch or dinner unless mentioned
Expenses of personal nature like liquor, laundry, tips, telephone, fax, internet etc.
Or anything not mentioned above.