A short visit to Darjeeling, Kalimpong & Gangtok.
During British Raj era, the hill station of Darjeeling, Kalimpong enjoyed special prerogative as an ideal getaway from scorching summer of the plains.Till date it still has remnant of those Raj Era in form of quaint Churches, tea garden, toy train etc. With addition of Sikkim, steeply immersed in its own indigenous history in the list this journey takes you on the roller coaster ride to the kaleidoscope of vibrant endemic cultures of North east India,
The odyssey start with the transfer from Bagdogra or Phuentsholing, border town of Bhutan. After visiting the land marks of Darjeeling and if weather permits, unforgettable sight of sun rise and vista of eastern Himalayan range from Tiger hill early in the morning, this journey takes its course to Gangtok, capital of Sikkim, erstwhile kingdom of Chogyal dynasty, The capital is filled with many attractions and dotted with various monasteries under the watchful eyes of Mt Kanchenjunga. After breezily traversing these attractions. The next port of call is Kalimpong, which boast of flower nurseries, schools, and spectacular vista from the hill top of Deolo.
Day 1: Arrive – Darjeeling
From Bagdogra or Siliguri – 91 km / 3-4 hours. From Nepal, Bhadrapur Airport – 132 km / 5 hours. Upon arrival in Silguri, Bagdogra or Kakarbitta, meet your Guide and dive to Darjeeling. Darjeeling is one of India’s most beautiful hill stations and affectionately called ‘Queen of Hills’ by its admirers ever since the days of the British Raj. This enchanting town is perched majestically on a beautiful ridge overlooking the magnificent Kanchenjunga range. The drive up to Darjeeling from the plains continually climbs up, passing tea gardens and many roadside villages and towns. In the evening, stroll around Chowrastha Mall and also visit local Bazaar. Overnight in hotel in Darjeeling
Day 2: Darjeeling Tour – Gangtok. (Darjeeling to Gangtok – 95 km. / 3 -4 hours drive)
Early morning before dawn, drive to Tiger Hill, 14 kilometers from town (alt. 2,590m/8,482ft) for a magnificent sunrise over the Eastern Himalayas. Peaks visible from here are Khangchendzonga, Makalu, Jannu, Kabru, Pandim, Siniolchu, Frey’s Peak, and even a speck of Mount Everest. On our way back, visit a monastery near Ghoom town, during the early morning ceremonies or prayers. After breakfast, visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute/museum of mountaineering expeditions. Nearby is the Himalayan Zoological Park with its successful snow leopard breeding program. After early lunch, visit the Tibetan Refugee Self Help Center, where you can see woodcarvings, weavings and other traditional crafts. Then drive to Gangtok, visiting a Tea Garden/Estate en-route. Gangtok straddles down the ridge at 1,540m and its town’s unique ambiance comes with its mixture of tradition and modernity. Overnight in hotel in Gangtok.
Day 3: Around Gangtok.
After breakfast visit the Enchey monastery, followed by some view points, from where you may get spectacular views of the city and the snow-capped peaks of Kanchendzonga. We also visit a flower exposition and walk along the garden/ promenade to view to the Palace and temples used by Chogyals (Kings of Sikkim). Later, you can also stop by at the Cottage Industry, where you can see and buy the traditional handicrafts. In the afternoon, visit Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, a treasure house of rare Lepcha, Tibetan and Sanskrit manuscripts, numerous priceless statues and thangkas. On a hillock nearby, you can also visit Dodrul Chorten monastery. The rest of the afternoon is free or take a guided stroll or walk in the MG Marg Avenue and to visit the colorful Lal Bazaar Market.
Overnight in hotel in Gangtok.
Day 4: Gangtok – Rumtek – Kalimpong ( 1,250 m./4,125 ft Gangtok to Kalimpong – 75 km. 3 hrs drive).
After breakfast, drive down to the valley floor and up the opposite ridge to Rumtek monastery, the seat of the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, head of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism (45minutes). The monastery is the largest in Sikkim, and a replica of its Karmapa’s monastery in Tsurphu, Tibet. Following the visit of Rumtek monastery, we continue our journey to Kalimpong, once a prominent center for trade with Tibet. Blessed with a year-round temperate climate, it is home of many flower nurseries. This afternoon, visit the ridge tops for spectacular views from Deolo & Rinkingpong (Durpin Dara) hills. Visit local monasteries (especially Zongdogpaldri Monastery) and stroll around the town. If time permits, we will also take a peek inside the Dr. Grahams Homes’ campus, a boarding school founded by the Rev. Dr. John A. Graham, a Scottish missionary in 1900.
Overnight in hotel in Kalimpong.
Day 5: Kalimpong – Departure (Kalimpong to Bagdogra – 85 km. / 2-3 hours)
Departure transfer to the Bagdogra airport in time for your flight or to Siliguri /NJP train station.
Depending on your next plans, we can drop you off at Bhadrapur, Biratnagar for flight to Kathmandu, or to Phuntsholing for your Bhutan trip.
Group SizePrivate with your Own Group
MealsFirst class accommodations require that you include at least breakfast and dinner or all meals but others accommodation do not have such requirements.
RouteDarjeeling-Gangtok-Kalimpong. Wind Horse uses comfortable SUV (Jeep) transport for travel in Sikkim and Darjeeling, which can fit up to 3 guests, plus a driver and a guide. However, if the groups are large and require more than two vehicles, we can rent small buses with 8-12 passenger capacity.
Trip TypePrivate with your own Group
Trip SeasonsBest time for this trip: Best in spring or fall (Mar, April, May, Oct & till mid Nov). Median Season would be Sep, late Nov, Dec, Jan and Feb. Lean season will be from June till August (likelihood of rains).
Best MonthsMarch, April, October, November
Good MonthsJanuary, February, May, September, December
Lean MonthsJune, July, August
Prices & Dates
Costs available on request based on group size and travel dates.
- All meals (or you can also choose to include just breakfast and dinner)
- All transfer and ground tranportation by good quality private vehicle depending on group size
- All sightseeing with entrance fees of listed attractions.
- Local Wind Horse Tour Guide throughout the trip.
- Sikkim permit can be arranged at the entry point.
- Indian Visa.
- Personal expenses such as bar / beverages, laundry, gifts, tips etc.
Depending on your budget, you can choose from first class resorts to budget accommodations.
Hotels in Darjeeling
Hotels in Gangtok
Hotels in Kalimpong
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.
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.