Attending mask dance in Rumtek Monastary by Monks depicting great eight manifestation of the Guru Rimpoche. Attending the festival of the Lepcha’s tribe.
If it is June or August, there is rhyme and every reason to travel to eastern fringe of Himalayas in Indian state of Sikkim and surrounding regions. For festival in Himalayas has special charm and appeal of its own.Famous Rumtek monastery come to life with people, irrespective of religious affiliation throngs the courtyard to watch the spectacle, unfolding mask dance drama and various religious activities. In August, it roll out the indigenous festival of Lepchas, supposedly the native of the region. Bringing out their colourful attires with their colourful dances and other practises. During festival people not only celebrate the occasion but also the life. They keep aside their daily woes and join into collective celebration in their finest traditional attire with gay abandonment.
This journey takes you up, close and personal with the festival, catching up people in festive mood, offering a glimpses into socio-religious structure of the regions. At the same time visiting the local attractions of Darjeeling, Gangtok, Namchi and hike to Tedong to attend Lepcha festival and Kalimpong under the watchful eyes of majestic Mt Kanchenjunga.
Day 1: Bagdogra to Gangtok (120 km/ 4 hrs /1700m). Assistance upon arrival and drive to Gangtok, enter Sikkim at the base of the foothills in Rangpo, and then gradually climb up to the ridge town of Gangtok. In the evening, take a short walking tour through its MG Marg Avenue and browse the colorful Lal Bazaar food/vegetable market. Overnight in Gangtok.
Day 2: Gangtok sightseeing and Transfer to Rumtek (24 km/ 1 hr) After breakfast visit the Enchey monastery, followed by some view points, for spectacular views of the city and the snow-capped peaks of Kanchendzonga, visit Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, a treasure house of rare Lepcha, Tibetan and Sanskrit manuscripts, numerous priceless statues and thangkas and the nearby Dodrul Chorten monastery. Post lunch drive to Rumtek. Overnight in Rumtek.
Day 3: Attend Rumtek Chaam at Rumtek monastery. Post breakfast drive to Rumtek monastery which is the main seat of Gyalwa Karmapa. At the monastery experience the whole ceremony of Guru Rimpoche’s Tsechu Chaam. On this day, Sikkimese Buddhists pay homage to Guru Rimpoche or Guru Padmasambhava, who first introduced Buddhism in Sikkim and through-out Himalayas in the 8th century. Dance drama enacting the eight manifestations of Guru Padmasambhava is held in Rumtek monastery. Overnight in Rumtek.
Day 4: Rumtek – Darjeeling ( 100km/ 4 ½ hrs/ 1800m). After breakfast drive to Darjeeling also refer to as Queen of the Hills through lush green Tea garden. Stop at Triveni view point to view the confluence of River Teesta and River Rangeet. Upon arrival check in at the hotel. Evening stroll around Chowrasta mall. Overnight in Darjeeling.
Day 5: Darjeeling local visit. After breakfast visit Padmaja naidu zoological park and Everest museum at Himalayan mountaineering institute(closed on Thursday), a Tea garden, Tenzin rock, Tibetan refugee self help centre, Japanese peace pagoda, Dali monastery and take a toy train ride upto Ghoom. Optional: Drive to Tiger hill(before dawn) to view the Sunrise over Mt. Kanchenjunga and other peaks of eastern Himalaya(weather permitting and on your own interest).
Day 06: Darjeeling -Bagdogra (85 km/ 3 hrs.) After breakfast at the hotel transfer to Bagdogra airport for onwards destinations.
Day 1: Arrive– Darjeeling (90 km/ 3 hrs/ 2134m). Assistance upon arrival and drive to Darjeeling through lush green tea garden. Upon arrival check into the hotel. Evening stroll around Chowrasta Mall. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2: Darjeeling local visit. After breakfast visit Padmaja naidu zoological park and Everest museum at Himalayan mountaineering institute(closed on Thursday), a Tea garden, Tenzin rock, Tibetan refugee self help centre, Japanese peace pagoda, Dali monastery and take a toy train ride upto Ghoom. Optional: Drive to Tiger hill(before dawn) to view the Sunrise over Mt. Kanchenjunga and other peaks of eastern Himalaya(weather permitting and on your own interest).
Day 3: Darjeeling - Namchi (100km/ 4 ½ hrs). Drive to Namchi (Sky High) through lush green Tea garden, stop at Triveni view point to view the confluence of River Teesta and River Rangeet. Enter Sikkim at Melli Border and continue to Namchi. Upon arrival check in at the hotel. In the afternoon visit some sights in Namchi which includes Char Dham complex and Samdruptse hill to see giant statue to Guru Rimpoche. Evening free for independent activities. Overnight in Namchi.
Day 4: Trek to Tendong Hill to see Tendong Lho Rum faat Festival. After an early breakfast transfer to Damthang village located at the base for Tendong Hill trek. The trek of 7 km uphill to the Summit (8530ft) will take roughly 2 hrs and the trial is laid on a footpath through the thick forest. The trek offers spectacular experience of varied vegetation and exclusive fauna. Legend says that Tendong Hill saved the Lepcha tribe from the ravages of deluge when the whole world was flooded-similar to Noah's Ark in the Bible. In the Festival Lepchas pray through their Priest Boongthing and Mun the almighty Goddess “Ibtu-Debu-Room-Doar” who is creator as well as destroyer of Lepchas of Sikkim. They pray and offer “Chee’ (millet beer) to save them from myth of deluge. It is a ritual festival of Lepcha's and is also inspired by local legend. Later, descent down to Damthang and catch your waiting vehicle to drive to Namchi hotel. Overnight in Namchi.
Day 5: Namchi- Kalimpong (70 km/ 3 hrs). After breakfast at the hotel drive to Kalimpong, visit in Kalimpong includes Durpin Dara for amazing views of the plains, visit Zang Dog Palri Fo-Brang Gompa temple, flower nurseries and later explore the local market. Overnight in Kalimpong.
Day 6: Kalimpong – Bagdogra airport / N.J.P train station (80 km/ 3 hrs/ 120 m). After breakfast at the hotel drive to Bagdogra airport / N.J.P station for onward destination.
Group SizePrivate with your Own Group
MealsBreakfast & Dinner
Trip Accommodation3 stat to 4 star Hotels
Trip Type Cultural Tour
Trip SeasonsJune for Rumtek festival/August for Lepcha festival.
Best MonthsJanuary, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
Prices & Dates
Starting USD$ 660 per person(Land), cost is based on group size, dates of travel and types of accommodation chosen. Please request cost after deciding on the choice of hotels.
Private Journeys for independent travel with your own dates.
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- Accommodations on twin sharing basis in listed hotels.
- Dinner & Breakfast included which starts from dinner at first night till breakfast on last day.
- All transportation by good quality private vehicle.
- Entrance fees to the monuments and toy train tickets at Darjeeling (if operating)
- English Speaking guide.
- Travel permits etc.
- International/Domestic flights.
- Any lunch.
- Travel / Medical Insurance (recommended).
- All personal expenses including optional tips/gratuities, bar/beverages, telephone, laundry, gifts and other personal expenses.
- Any additional cost of changing a confirmed itinerary by our own choice or due to your own health/medical reasons, or forced upon by Inclement weather, flight delays, political situation or other conditions beyond our control.
- All other cost not listed in “included” section.
Hotels in Darjeeling
Hotels in Gangtok
Hotels in Kalimpong
Hotels in Rumtek - Gangtok
Hotels in Namchi
Nima Dhondup Bhutia is the senior most guide for Darjeeling, Sikkim and Doars Tour. From past political turmoil to changing tourism scenario in the region, he has seen it all from close quarter. His career as guide started from 1980, and going great gun still. His experience along with amicable nature and soft-spokenness brings forth a subtle difference in every tour that he conducts.
He was born and brought up in Tibetan Self-help camp in Darjeeling, when it was still quaint and serene towns unlike now. He still remember fondly the days of yore and growing changes that the time dictates. He graduated from one of prestigious school – Mt Hermon school in 1977. You will still find vestige of old school of English in his accent.
Dawa Lama hails from queen of hills – Darjeeling. He is well versed in cultural aspects but his love for mountains, wilderness of Trek is more profound. For his love for the trek, he treaded many paths less travelled. He feels at peace and at home in mountains and he believes that being in mountain is being close to his root and to his very existence. To give wings to his passion, he enlisted in mountaineering course in H.M.I. Darjeeling and disaster management course and completed in flying colours after one and half years .
Following the tradition, he started as a a cultural guide in 2008, simultaneously, he was pursuing his degree course also and completed in 2004. His early education was in school run by Jesuits father. He grew up watching the sun rises at far horizon of eastern Himalayas from Tiger hill, which still is one of his favorite place.
Anand Thapa who hail from Jaigoan – one horse town that border with south west commercial hub, Phuentsholing, Bhutan. He had his schooling in Bhutan. Later he went to Darjeeling to pursue further education. With the lush green tea garden, colonial churches and looming Mt Kanchenjunga captured his imagination, this is how travelling struck him deep.
After his studies, he went to Kathmandu and to different cities in India, making a living doing odds jobs. Finally, he joined Wind Horse tours overlooking the affairs of guests relations, marketing in 2013. Meeting and interaction with guests from different walk of life have fuelled his passion to a new height and claims to be a huge influence as a learning experience.