Sikkim & Darjeeling
If you’re feeling suffocated by the heat and hassles of India, Sikkim is the perfect antidote. It’s clean and the mountain air is fresh. Best of all the people are among India’s most friendly, with a charming manner that’s unobtrusive and slightly shy. Plunging mountain valleys are lushly forested, interspersed occasionally with rice terraces and groves of flowering rhododendrons. Tibetan-style Buddhist monasteries (gompas) add splashes of vermilion to the green ridgetops and are approached through atmospheric avenues of colourful prayer flags set on long bamboo poles.
Situated in the Eastern Himalayas, this beautiful state of Sikkim is sandwiched between the kingdom of Nepal in the West and Bhutan in the East, Tibet in the North and the state of West Bengal in the South.
Experiences in Sikkim, India
One of the Himalaya’s best-kept travel secrets, Sikkim is a welcome diversion from all conventional notions of an Indian holiday. This tiny Indian hill state prides itself on pristine alpine forests, lofty snow-capped mountains, craggy landscapes dotted with quaint villages and a rich tribal culture brocaded with vibrant Tibetan Buddhist accents.
A fantastic adventure off the beaten track, Sikkim is a place waiting to be explored. Here are 15 excellent ways to get under its skin.
Visit Temi Tea Garden
The one and only tea estate existing in the State produces one of the top quality teas in the international market. The tea garden is spread out on a gentle hill slope originating from the Tendong Hill and provides a magnificent view for the surrounding villages. The visit to the fact” could be an eye opener for those wanting to know more about the tea processing methods. A night spent in a old British built bungalow located just below the tea garden could be an enthralling experience of linking the past to the present. A visit to the garden, enroute to the Tendong Hill, could be a rewarding experience for those who want to cornbine nature and culture as they keep trekking.
Visit Rumtek Monastery
Considered one of Tibetan Buddhism’s most important centres, the magnificent Rumtek Monastery is a repository of countless invaluable artefacts (precious metal statues, gem-studded cenotaphs, exotic ritualistic paraphernalia) stacked within its cavernous portals. The official – though currently vacant – seat of the revered Karmapa Lama, the monastery is especially attractive during the Mahakala Dance in February, when giant figurines of protector deities raise hell in the courtyard and fight off evil demons.
Trek to Goecha La
Many hardened hikers consider this week-long adventure to be the best trek for sighting Mt Khangchendzonga (8586m), the world’s third-highest peak. Starting from the outpost of Yuksom in West Sikkim, the trail cuts up a sylvan alpine terrain to finally peak at a gravity-defying 4940m, from where you can take in sweeping views of the snows towering above. April and November are best for photo ops.
Drive to Tsomgo Lake
Spanning a valley at a height of 3780m, Tsomgo Lake cuts a pretty picture against a backdrop of rugged mountains rising towards the Tibetan Plateau. The outing (a four-hour return journey from state capital Gangtok is particularly enjoyable in early spring and late autumn, when parts of the lake are frozen over and the stalls by the lake serve piping hot tea and momos (meat-filled dumplings) to fight the numbing chill. A lakeside joyride on a friendly yak? It’s got that too!
Rafting on the Teesta River
Rushing down the length of Sikkim from icy glacial heights to tropical alluvial plains, the turbulent Teesta River promises some fantastic rafting opportunities on its foamy waters. From calm stretches for novices to curling rapids for experienced oar-wielders, the river packs a variety of challenges at every level. Whether raft or kayak, choose your preferred ride and let the adrenaline flow.
Get yourself oriented with Tibetology
Got a thing for antique mountain cultures? Then swing by the fortress-like Namgyal Institute of Tibetology in Gangtok, and familiarise yourself with countless nuances of Tibetan culture and Vajrayana Buddhism. Don’t miss the museum, packed with relics such as ancient manuscripts, thangkas (religious scroll paintings) and Tantric ritualistic objects (human skull bowls and thigh-bone trumpets, anyone?).
Darjeeling & Sikkim
Darjeeling is the legendary British hill station perched in the foothills of the Himalayas. It is the only place in the Himalayan region from where one can see four out of Five of the highest peaks of the world – Everest or Mt Sagarmathatha (8848 meters), Mt Kanchendzonga (8589 meters), Mt Lotse (8571 meters) and Mt Mahakalu (8481 meters).
Duration: 12 Days
Season: October – April
Grade: Culture Tour
- A view of four of the world’s tallest mountains.
- Visit the tea gardens and see the manufacturing process of world famous Darjeeling tea.
- Ride on the century old, Darjeeling Toy Train listed as world heritage site by UNESCO.
- Visit the world headquarters of the Kagyugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism and other monasteries
- in Sikkim.
- Visit the local markets and meet local people.
Tucked in the East are the ancient Kingdom secluded high in the Himalayas with unique customs and people with deeply held beliefs.
We fly on to Nepal to explore the medieval and modern treasures of the Kathmandu Valley. Another breathtaking flight whisks us to the hidden Dragon Kingdom of Bhutan for five wonderful days, during which we climb to the incomparable Tiger’s Nest, get to know artisans, and soak up masterfully built dzongs. After experiencing these three mystical Himalayan kingdom’s, we’ll appreciate anew why hero-explorers dreamed of reaching them all.
This unusual 16-day journey offers the chance to do just that—with a level of style and comfort completely foreign to those early adventurers.
Duration: 16 Days
Season: October – June
- See landscapes that have inspired epic adventures and travel tales
- The world-famous Kathmandu Valley, and Bhutan’s inspiring dzongs
- Visiting the Lepcha reserve in the Dzongu valley in Sikkim
- Rumtek Monastery
- Sunrise on Mt. Kanchenjunga Tiger Hill
- Village walk
- Cultural Interaction
Sikkim’s most popular trek to the foot of Mt. Kanchenjunga, the 3rd highest peak in the world. Trek from Yoksum to Goechela pass at 5000 meter. A world of subtropical forests, rhododendron forests, alpine meadows where the hairy yak herds graze to the high valleys surrounded by glaciers and snow capped peaks of the Khangchendzonga range. Dotted with beautiful high altitude lakes and passing several passes, this trek gives the opportunity of viewing Kanchenjunga not only once at a specific high point but several times over the days as you cross the passes.
Duration: 13 Days
Season: March – May & October – November
- Pemayangste monastery
- Spectacular views of Kanchenjunga, Everest, Makalu from Danphebir
- Walking on the ridge
- High altitude lakes
- Tea Gardens
- Local Interaction
It is said that trekking originated in India in Darjeeling as far as eighty years ago. Trekking means foot travel on the mountain trails. It is an experience that can never be paralleled. Darjeeling has one of the most spectacular treks to offer along with the beauty of the hills. The charms of the Himalaya along with its mysteries gradually unfold as trekkers traverse through the dense forests and verdant landscape, through miles of green-carpeted meadows and sleepy hamlets lost in time. The Sandakphu -Singalila trek as it is popularly called will enable you to discover the Sublime Himalayan interiors unmarred by mankind.
Duration: 13 days
Season: March – May & October – November
- Trek in the Himalayan foothills with a view of four of the world’s tallest mountains, including Mt Everest and Mt Kanchendzonga
- Trek through forests of Rhododendrons, Magnolias, pines and chestnuts and enjoy the hospitality
of local villages
- Visit Darjeeling, home of the ‘champagne of teas’ and local tea gardens
- Interaction with the local people
NOTE: We design our itineraries using our years of knowledge to create experiences that exceed expectations. It is a time consuming and specialized process where in we offer personalized services to our guest.
For a detailed itinerary and cost please call or write to us.