Darjeeling Extension Tour
Trip Highlights :- Darjeeling (Tea estates, Tiger Hill, Buddhist Pagodas, Monastery, Mountaineering Institute, Zoological Park, Memorial and World Heritage Toy Train) |
Tour duration : 04 Nights / 05 Days
Darjeeling : Darjeeling, the land of thunderbolt, is located in West Bengal. This place is the epitome of natural beauty making it popularly known as the ‘Queen of the hills’. It is most popular for it aromatic tea, is home to only a few thousand residents. Darjeeling’s total turnover and economy is dependent on its tourism and tea production every year. Although, this beautiful town is blessed with mild temperatures during summer and spring, yet its temperature conditions are not too favourable for survival during the winters. It rains quite frequently here. The town has a major British impact on its lifestyle, cuisine, clothes etc. At present Darjeeling encompasses 86 active tea gardens that produce more than 11 million kg tea in a year. It belonged to Sikkim until 1780, when it was annexed by invading Gorkhas and later in 1816 British East India gained control over it and returned to Sikkim. In 1835, it was leased to British, who then established tea plantations, built colonial houses and even railway in 1881. Darjeeling provided cool hill retreat and sanatorium for the British officer from their capital in Calcutta. Today, it is a semi autonomous state under West Bengal state called DGHC (Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council).
Upon arrival at Bagdogra airport, drive to Darjeeling. (67 Kms) In Darjeeling proceed to hotel for check-in.
During the day time, visit Tea Garden / Estate.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast at hotel. This morning proceed for the full day sightseeing in and around Darjeeling, visit to the following places:-
Zoological Park: Established on the 14th Aug 1958, this Zoo was dedicated to the memory of Padmaja Naidu, former Governor of West Bengal on the 21st Nov 1975. Considered as one of the best Zoo in the country, it is the only center that breeds the Tibetan Wolf in captivity. Breeding programmes for the endangered Red Panda, Snow Leopard and the Siberian Tiger are also carried out at PNHZP (Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park). Open on all days except Thursdays and other National Holidays.
Mountaineering Institute: The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI) was established in Darjeeling, India on 04th Nov 1954 to encourage mountaineering as an organized sport in India. This institute was set up following the successful ascent of the Mount Everest-the highest peak in the world by the local hero Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Sir Edmund Hillary on 28th May 1953. Tenzing Norgay was the first director of field training for HMI. It regularly conducts Adventure, Basic and Advanced Mountaineering courses, they are also highly subsidised to encourage mountaineering as a sport. The institute is presently under the purview of the Minstry of Defence, Government of India and its museum is worth a visit.
Japanese Peace Pagoda: It is one of the most popular attractions in the Darjeeling. It is one of those Peace Pagodas (Buddhist Stupas) in the world that have been established with the aim of creating a special niche for enlightening people from all religions, creeds and origins, to come together and work for World Peace. It was build under the supervision of a Buddhist Monk, Nichidatsu Fujii, who was also the founder of Nipponzan Myo-ho-ji, a Buddhist order for World Peace. Perturbed by the tragedy that followed the dropping of atom bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in 1945, Nichidatsu Fujii pledged to teach the world the importance of non-violence, goodwill and harmony. There are four statues of Buddha in Gold polish and eight carvings on sandstone depicting different stages of Buddha's life in the wall of the Pagoda.
Later in the evening stroll around Chowrasta and Mall - Chowrasta, a wide promenade atop a ridge lined with shops and restaurants, is the heart of the town. Here people gather to chat and spend time basking in the Sun. The Brabourne Park is attached to the Chowrasta and now features a musical fountain. This place is an open place and free from vehicular movements from where one can watch the scenic beauty of the mountain range and take charm of walking at the Darjeeling Mall. Chowrasta is the central place of the Mall road.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Early in the morning at 0400 hrs (Pre-Dawn) drive to Tiger hill: Situated at an altitude of 2590 mt (8482 ft) 13 Kms from the town, this spot has earned international fame for the magnificent view of the sunrise over the “Kangchenjunga” (28,208 ft. world’s 3rd highest peak) and the great eastern Himalayan Mountains. The first rays of Sun shoot ahead and shed light upon the twin peaks of Kangchenjunga painting it Pink and then bathing it in a beautiful Orange colour. From Tiger Hill, Mt. Everest (29,002 ft) is visible too, peeping out through two other peaks standing by its side. Makalu (27,799 ft) looks higher than Mt. Everest, owing to the curve in the horizon, as it is several miles closer than Everest. The distance in straight line from Tiger Hill to Everest is 107 miles.
On your way back visit Ghoom Monastery and Batasia Loop. Ghoom Monastery is the popular name of Yiga Choeling Monastery located at Ghoom at an elevation of 8,000 ft, 08 Kms from Darjeeling. The monastery belongs to the Gelukpa (Yellow Hat sect) school of Tibetan Buddhism and is famous for its 15 ft high special statue of the Maitreya Buddha. The external structure of the building was established in 1850 by the famous Mongolian astrologer and monk Sokpo Sherab Gyatso. It contains images of Buddha’s disciples, Chenrezi and Chongapa. Amongst the Buddhist texts available are the Kangyur, the Tibetan Buddhist canon, running into 108 volumes. The monks fly prayer flags in the Tibetan tradition.
Afterwards visit, Batasia Loop and War Memorial: The Batasia Loop situated almost 5 kms away from the town, it is a gigantic railway loop where the Toy Train makes a 360 Degree turn. It was basically built to make it possible for the Toy Train to cut the deep ascend. Strategically located the Batasia Loop offers a panoramic view of the Kangchenjunga Range. A War Memorial constructed in the memory of the brave sons of the soil who laid down their lives in the different wars since the independence of the nation adds to its attraction.
Return to hotel for wash and change and for breakfast, rest of the morning at leisure.
Later during the day, in-time transfer to Darjeeling Railway station - Hill Cart Road.
Joy Ride Train: If you do not want to spend 07 hrs journey from Darjeeling to New Jalpaiguri in the toy train, you can still have a taste of it by going for a ride on one of the two-hour joy-ride trains from Darjeeling - Ghum - Darjeeling. Ghum being - World’s highest narrow gauge railway station at 7,407 ft. Train takes 10 minutes stoppage at Batasia Loop and 30 minutes stoppage at Ghum Museum. Grab a window seat on the right side of the train facing Ghum. At Batasia loop you get a chance to click excellent photographs of Kangchenjunga.
(Joy Ride trains depart daily at 1040 hrs and 1320 hrs. Buy the ticket in advance because during tourist seasons tickets sometimes sell out. The fare includes entry fee of the Ghum Museum)
The DHR - Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is a UNESCO World Heritage narrow gauge rail network still operates with the original steam engines and the loops along the route are all remarkable feats of human endeavor and engineering. The journey from Darjeeling town to Ghoom is a "joyride" in the true sense of the word. The Toy Train is a modern engineering marvel and deserves its spot in the limelight.
Overnight stay at Hotel.
Breakfast at hotel. Morning will be at leisure, during the day time visit Rangeet valley passenger cable car. Darjeeling-Rangeet Valley Passenger Cable Car is popularly known as the Ropeway. It is about 03 Kms North of the town and situated at what is known as the North Point. The present ropeway has been extensively modernized and visitors can now safely travel over the clouds to witness the aerial view of the lush green tea gardens below.
Return and visit the Botanical Garden: It is the oldest Botanical Garden named as Lloyd Botanical Garden, this place is worth a visit for its exotic and exclusive collection of a variety of Himalayan Plants, Flowers and Orchids. The garden also has a green house.
Return to hotel, remaining day at leisure.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast and check-out from hotel. Later drive to Bagdogra airport to board flight for Delhi / Kolkata. There on take connecting international journey flight.
End of our services
1. Accommodation in Double room in 05 Star or 04 Star category hotels on CP Basis (Room + Breakfast Basis) inclusive of all presently applicable taxes.
2. All Arrival / Departure transfers from airport to hotel and vice - versa
3. Monument entrance fees to places of visit as per the itinerary.
4. Visit to Tea Plantations Estate, Zoological Park, Excursion to Tiger Hill, Joy ride in World Heritage Toy Train from Darjeeling to Ghum to Darjeeling and Ropeway Cable Car ride in Darjeeling.
5. Local English speaking Guide during the tour.
6. All Transfers, City sightseeing/excursions and long drives as per itinerary using chauffeur driven air-conditioned Car / Mini Van / Coach.
7. 01 bottle packaged drinking water per person per day
8. All presently applicable interstate & toll taxes
1. Domestic and return international air tickets from the city of origin.
2. Travel Insurance and Indian Visa.
3. Personal expenses such as: Any Meals other than specified above / Drinks / Laundry bill & Telephone calls at hotel. Tips for Guides & Driver / Camera Fees at the monuments or any other expenses not included in the clause "inclusions".