10 July 2019
From Buddhist temples to Mayan ruins, many of our hand-picked tours will help you explore some of the most iconic civilisations and destinations on Earth and to help you get to know them and their peoples more intimately. Don’t forget that Travel Counsellors can tailor-make your holiday to add on cultural excursions to suit you and your interests, using local companies and guides for the full insider experience.
9-night Private Tour
See the historic landmarks of Kolkata (Calcutta), visit the sacred Rumtek Monastery and admire the ‘Queen of the Hills’, Dorje Ling (Darjeeling), at an altitude of more than 2,000m, when you book this incredible Indian adventure.
Arrive in Kolkata to meet your Travel Counsellors representative, who will accompany you on your transfer to the Oberoi Grand hotel and assist with check-in. A great colonial city later reviled as a cauldron of poverty, dirt, and disease, Kolkata again ranks among the four top cities of India and has some of the finest Raj edifices.
After breakfast at the hotel, enjoy a Dalhousie Square walkthrough one of the city’s most heritage-rich spaces, followed by a guided city tour visiting Kolkata’s other important monuments with a local guide.
Fly to Bagdogra, for transfer to the quiet hill resort of Kalimpong with its renowned orchids and gladioli. Once part of the Sikkim raja’s domain, it was taken over by the Bhutan king in the early 18th century, then, after the Anglo-Bhutan War, annexed to Darjeeling.
Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Kalimpong, including the flower nurseries, Zang Dhok Pairi Monastery with its rare three-dimensional mandala, Geden Tharpa Choling Monastery and Thongsa Gumpa monastery.
Be driven to Gangtok, the state capital in the mid-19th century, with government buildings decorated with traditional Buddhist symbols. A stopover for those travelling to North Sikkim.
Take a full-day tour that includes the awe-inspiring Rumtek Monastery; The Enchey Monastery housing the monks of the Nyingmapa Order of Tibetan Buddhism; the Namgyal Institute Of Tibetology, promoting research into Mahayana Buddhism and the language and tradition of Tibet, and housing one of the world’s largest collections of rare books and manuscripts on Mahayana Buddhism, and the Directorate Of Handloom and Handicrafts, promoting traditional Sikkimese art and handicrafts.
Be driven to Darjeeling - Dorje Ling, or place of the thunderbolt – standing high in the Himalayas and offering breathtaking views of snow-capped mountain peaks. With tiny waterfalls, little villages and a narrow-gauge railway track, and surrounded by world-famous tea gardens.
Make an early-morning visit to Tiger Hill and Ghoom Monastery. From Tiger Hill, you can view incredible sunrises over the Himalayan peaks including Kanchandzonga and Mount Everest. After breakfast back at the hotel, you’ll take a ‘toy train ride’ aboard the romantic 19th century Darjeeling Himalayan railway.
In the afternoon, your city tour will take you to the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park and Tibetan Self-Help Centre, the latter run by refugees to preserve their handicrafts.
Day at leisure in Darjeeling, to relax or explore independently (with a car at your disposal).
Fly back to Kolkata for home flight.
“India was a country I'd wanted to visit for as long as I could remember, and it would take many months to do the whole country justice - probably a year or more. Delhi is fabulous and is a great springboard to the rest of India. From here, the golden triangle route taking in Agra in Jaipur is the most popular trip but it's just a starting point. The opportunities are endless. Enjoy - I did!”
David, Travel Counsellor
If culture is your summer holiday inspiration, get in touch with your Travel Counsellor to book your flight and take advantage of a range of exclusive benefits including a 24-hour duty office ready to assist you before, during and after your trip.