Sikkim and Darjeeling trek
Availability: 10 places
Sikkim and Darjeeling are stashed in a nook of the gorgeous Indian Himalayan highlands. Sikkim has been more accessible in recent years to people seeking to discover its distinctive charm. Travel from India's plains to Sikkim's capital, Gangtok, and then to the charming Martam village. You go from here via lovely tea gardens to Darjeeling, a colonial hill village with a UNESCO World Heritage 'toy railway.' You go up to and along the Singalila Ridge, which separates India and Nepal, passing through dense rhododendron woods and being granted spectacular vistas of the Himalayan peaks.
Arrival at Delhi airport.
Assistance upon arrival at Delhi international airport, our airport representative will meet and greet you there and transfer to the hotel.
Delhi - Bagdogra by flight & Bagdogra to Gangtok by road
You will be transferred to the domestic airport terminal this morning for your travel to Bagdogra. When you arrive in Bagdogra, board one of your cars and go to Gangtok. The route quickly leaves the lowlands behind, crossing the Teesta River near Sevoke and beginning the ascent into the Doar Hills. As you enter Sikkim, you'll stop in Rangpo for a rest. We eventually arrive at Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, at an elevation of 1,680 meters.
Gangtok - Martem
On a clear day, you can see Kanchenjunga from the hotel, which is nestled amid the hills. You have the entire morning to explore. The Mall Road is the heart of Gangtok, and a stroll through the nearby outdoor local markets is a must. You have the option of exploring Gangtok on your own or having your guide take you to some of the landmarks. The modest Enchey monastery is about an hour's walk from the hotel along a peaceful road. Enchey, which overlooks the whole town, was founded in 1840 by Lama Drubthob Karpo and renovated in 1908 by Sikkim's 10th Chogyal (king). The Flower Show, a tiny exposition of orchids and other local flowers, is a short walk from the monastery back to town.
Close by is a government-run Handicraft Centre that provides community training in traditional handicrafts including carpet weaving and wood carving.
We have an hour's journey to Rumtek monastery after lunch. It was founded by the 12th Karmapa in the mid-1700s and is now in ruins. When the 16th Karmapa returned from Tibet, he restored the monastery as the Karmapa sect's principal center in exile. It is Sikkim's greatest monastery, featuring a Golden Stupa housing the bones of the 16th Karmapa. Martam, a picturesque Himalayan village nestled in a tranquil part of East Sikkim, is a half-hour drive away.
Today you'll spend the day at Martam, a charming community famed for its butter and other dairy products ('mar' means butter, and 'tem' means spread). Martam has a population of roughly 10,000 people, mostly from the Bhutia and Nepali ethnicities. You will go for a trek around the village in the day. You may pay a visit to the fascinating Nyingma Institute, which educates many monks in higher Buddhist studies and philosophy. The Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism was created in the eighth century and was the first Tibetan Buddhist sect. In the hamlet, there is also a tiny monastery and a Krishna Mandir.
Martem - Darjeeling
You will continue on to Darjeeling after leaving Sikkim. You follow the route all the way to the Testa River when you enter West Bengal. The road then returns up into the hills to Darjeeling. You arrive about lunchtime and spend the afternoon exploring one of the British Raj's most famous hill stations. Originally owned by the Chogyals (Kings) of Sikkim, the territory was seized by the Gurkhas before the British East India Company took control in the early 1800s and restored it to Sikkim authority.
Two British troops came to Dorje Ling Monastery on a calm forested slope and felt it would be an excellent place for a sanatorium, and with the King of Sikkim's approval, a hill station was formed. Darjeeling is a busy town today, yet the Mall retains its Victorian elegance. Your stay will encompass a visit to Tenzing Norgay's Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, where most legendary Sherpa climbers obtained mountaineering training.
Darjeeling - Manedara
It's worth getting up early on a clear day to see the spectacular dawn views of Kanchenjunga from your hotel's roof. After breakfast, You'll take a 40-minute excursion to Ghoom on the famed Toy Train (subject to availability). The train chugs out of Darjeeling, pausing along the route to replenish supplies and enable passengers to photograph the renowned Batasia Loop. You will meet your vehicles in Ghoom and travel for around 4 hours to Rimbik, the 2,286m trailhead for our trip.
You will have a short (45 minute) mild uphill trek to your camp at Manedara, where you will spend your first night under canvas, among gorgeous rhododendron trees (a blaze of reds in spring). The vistas of Kabru Dome and Kabru South peaks as we approach the settlement are breathtaking.
Manedara - Gurdum
Today's hike will begin with a short, simple track that will take you through modest residences and farmland. To get to Shepi village, walk for around 2 hours through a magnificent forest. You'll next descend to the Gurdum Khola, cross it by a bridge, and arrive at your nighttime camp after a tough one-hour climb to Gurdum hamlet.
Gurdum - Chandu
The final day of your journey to Singalila Ridge will be challenging but rewarding. The route ascends sharply in spots before reaching a wooded clearing. It undulates from here through rhododendron woodland to Sandakhphu (3,636m), the highest point on your walk. The ascent is definitely worth the effort on a clear day since you are rewarded with a beautiful Himalayan view. The views from here are simply breathtaking, with Kanchenjunga's towering slopes behind, and Everest, Lhotse, and Makalu now visible in the distance. It's a steady hike on a bumpy jeep route from Sandakhphu to your tent in Chandu after lunch.
Chandu - Sabargam
You will now be on the Singalila Ridge, the Nepal-India boundary, which means you will be walking in both countries at times. This is an excellent day to take in the scenery. The path follows the crest all day, passing past chestnut, oak, and silver fir trees and providing commanding spectacular views of the Himalaya. In the spring, miniature rhododendrons and primulas brighten the landscape. At Sabargam, you'll enjoy a fantastic wild camp tonight. The views from here are breathtaking, and you can expect to witness spectacular sunsets and sunrises over Kanchenjunga, Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and other Himalayan peaks.
Sabargam - Samaden
A full day of hiking over an undulating path to Phalut, where you will descend to Samaden at the end of the ridge. On a clear day, the vistas of Kanchenjunga will be stunning as you proceed over the ridge. Even though the Everest range is further distant, Kanchenjunga towers over us. Phalut sits at 3,600 meters, and there is a vista immediately behind the lodge where you can see Himalayan giants. The walk down to Samaden is beautiful, passing through woods of oak, conifers, pine, and rhododendrons, which are a riot of color in the spring. This evening, you'll camp in the town of Samaden (2,480m), a lovely site in a little community with spectacular views.
Samaden - Rimbik
Your final hike leads to Ramman, where terraced farms and towns dot the terrain, passing through a collection of tiny communities populated by Rais, Sherpas, and Tamangs. After lunch, you'll descend to Sri khola on a jeep track, over a suspension bridge, and travel for another 2.5 hours along a road, passing through other settlements en way to Rimbik (2,286m), a big Sherpa community nestled among the forest panoramas of the Singalila National Park. You'll be staying in a tiny cottage with amazing scenery of the valley.
Rimbik - Darjeeling
On this day, you'll return to Darjeeling over a scenic route that goes up and down slopes amid beautiful scenery. You'll stop along the way to see a tea estate and learn about how this most renowned of beverages is cultivated and prepared. You'll arrive in Darjeeling in the afternoon, and you'll have the remainder of the day to visit this famous hill station.
Darjeeling - Siliguri by road and Siliguri to Kolkata by overnight train
You'll have the rest of the morning to go exploring. If you want to take a ride on the famed Toy Train and see the Ghoom monastery, this is the place to go. You'll leave in the afternoon for a 2- to 3-hour journey to Siliguri, where you'll catch an overnight train to Calcutta (Kolkata).
Arrive at Kolkata & Kolkata to international airport
Assistance upon arrival at Kolkata railway station by our airport representative and he will transfer to you at hotel. The hotel will book here for wash & change only. After that, you will transfer from the hotel to Kolkata airport for your oning flight back to home.