Kolkata - Bagdogra - Kurseong - Darjeeling - Gangtok - Bagdogra - Kolkata - Bhubaneswar - Konark - Puri - Bhubaneswar - Kolkata/Delhi
Day 1 Arrive Kolkata
Traditional welcome on arrival at Delhi airport by Travel Pals India executive with fresh marigold flower garlands for the group members and then transferred by air-conditioned exclusive car to hotel for overnight stay. This colonial city built in the 18th century. Like Mumbai and Chennai, Kolkata originated largely due to the expansionist ambitions of the European powers, especially the British Raj. Little wonder, Kolkata has some of the finest Raj edifices built in a variety of styles. Kolkata was once the capital of the British Empire and is now the capital city of the state of West Bengal.
Day 2 Kolkata
Breakfast followed by a full day guided tour of Kolkata which can start with a ride on the iconic Tram of Kolkata upto one of the biggest flower market, river Hooghly (Ganges), Victoria Memorial, Indian Museum, Fort William, Kali Mandir and Belur Math. Evening free to explore the city on own with leisurely walk into the Park Street main market area.
Day 3 Kolkata - Bagdogra (by air) - Kurseong
After breakfast, assisted and transferred to Kolkata domestic airport to board flight for Bagdogra airport. Met on arrival and driven to Kurseong (40 kms / 2 hrs). Kurseong is a hill station (and sub-divisional town) situated in Darjeeling District of West Bengal, India. Located at an altitude of (1458 mt). The Chogyal (Monarch) of Sikkim ceded Kurseong to the British Empire in 1835. Later in 1880, this small hamlet became a tourist destination for the colonial authorities and was a preferred place for sanatoriums where the sick would recuperate. Upon arrival at Kurseong check-in a cozy colonial tea bungalow overlooking tea plantation.
Day 4 Kurseong - Darjeeling (by train)
After an enjoyable breakfast your guide will take you for a visit to the Makaibari tea estate and if possible a tea factory as well. By 1400 hrs transfer to Kurseong railway station to catch the toy train at 1500 hrs to arrive in Darjeeling at 1750 hrs. On arrival met at Darjeeling railway station and transfer to hotel for overnight stay.
Day 5 Darjeeling
Breakfast at the hotel. Then introduced with your guide for an interesting short tour of Darjeeling attractions visiting the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI) - which is dedicated to the great 'Sherpa' Tenzing Norgay who first climbed Mt. Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary, visit the adjoining Zoological park where you will have an opportunity to see the Himalayan wild animals & birds. Further visit to the Tibetan Refugee Centre this complex was setup by the Tibetan refugees in Darjeeling on October 2, 1959 after they followed Dalai Lama and escaped from Tibet. The refugees adopted the principle of self help so that they could become self-independent and completely rehabilitate themselves in a foreign country, which they did gracefully. Return to your hotel for the well deserved cup of Darjeeling tea. Evening free to stroll on the mall road to experience the local lifestyle & people.
Day 6 Darjeeling
We have an excursion for the early risers by jeep (35 mints drive) to Tiger hill for a view of the sunrise over the Kanchenjunga peak along with a chance to view the tip Mt. Everest (if the sky is really clear). On the way back we pay our respect at the Ghum monastery which enshrines a 10-foot idol of the 'Maitreya Buddha' (the Coming Buddha). Return to hotel in time for breakfast. Rest of the day free to enjoy the views of the Himalayan range and walk around the mall road or to explore the city on own.
Day 7 Darjeeling - Gangtok (98 kms / 4.5 hrs)
After breakfast driven to Gangtok, it is the capital and largest town of the Indian state of Sikkim. Gangtok is located in the eastern Himalayan range, at an altitude of (1,800 mt). Gangtok rose to prominence as a popular Buddhist pilgrimage site after the construction of the Enchey Monastery in 1840. In 1894, the ruling Sikkimese Chogyal, Thutob Namgyal, transferred the capital to Gangtok. In the early 20th century, Gangtok became a major stopover on the trade route between Lhasa in Tibet and cities such as Kolkata (then Calcutta) in British India. After India won its independence from Britain in 1947, Sikkim chose to remain an independent monarchy, with Gangtok as its capital. In 1975, after the integration with the union of India, Gangtok was made India's twenty-second state capital. Enroute an optional lunch stop in Silliguri hotel. Further driven to Gangtok to check-in a hotel for rest. Leisure evening stroll around Gangtok Mall Road. Which also known as M.G. Marg, the main street of Gangtok town is a great place to chill out in the evenings. The country's first litter and spit free zone, no vehicular traffic is allowed into the Marg.
Day 8 Gangtok
Today after breakfast at hotel take a pleasurable sightseeing around city. Visit Namgyal Research institute of Tibetology it is the most prestigious research institute of its kind in the world, NIT is a treasure of vast collection of rare Lepcha, Tibetan and Sanskrit manuscripts, statues and rare Thankas (colourful tapestries used in Buddhist liturgy). Apart from an attractive museum, it has over 200 Buddhist icons and other prized objects of art. As far as its collections are concerned, it is only next to an institute in Tibet, Do - drul Chorten (It's a mound-like or breast-shaped structure containing Buddhist relics,) was built by the Venerable Trullshi Rimpoche, head of the Nyingma order of Tibeten Buddhism, in 1945. Around the Chorten, there are 108 Mani Lhakor (Prayer Wheels). These are turned by devout Buddhists while chanting 'Om Mane Padme Hum' (O Jewel in the Lotus) to invoke the Bodhisattva. It is surrounded by Chorten Lakhang and Guru Lakhang, where there are two huge statues of Guru Padmasambhava. On the way we take a short Gondola ride (Rope way / Cable car) it takes the passenger to the highest point of the city of Gangtok, covering the distance of about 1 km in only seven minutes. One can truly enjoy the panoramic view and thrilling rise as the Ropeway goes over the City. PM visit The Rumtek monastery, a replica of the Tsurphu monastery of Kham region of Tibet belongs to the Kargyupa sect. Having a four storeyed building, it is the biggest monastery of Sikkim. Consequent upon the Chinese aggression over Tibet, His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa, the 16th incarnate of the Gyalwa Karmapa of Tibet came to Rumtek with a number of monks. Overnight at hotel.
Day 9 Gangtok - Bagdogra (124 kms / 4 hrs) - Kolkata - Bhubaneswar (by air)
Early breakfast at hotel then you will be transfer to Bagdogra airport to board the flight for Kolkata and further internally board the next flight for Bhubaneswar. It is a thriving centre of art and culture, once the heart land of erstwhile Kalinga Kingdom, Bhubaneswar is presently renowned as the capital city of State of Orissa in India. Bhubaneswar, literally means the Lord (eswar) of the Universe (bhuban), is a hub of historic temples and the city is webbed with many concrete lanes. The present modern city of Bhubaneswar was established in 1946 which is designed by the world renowned German architect Otto Konigsberger. The capital city, once known for its architecture and grand temples. Upon arrival met by the travel pals executive & transfer you to hotel for rest.
Day 10 Bhubaneswar
Breakfast at the hotel. Met & introduced with your guide for a city tour to visit Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves are the caves of archaeological, historical and religious importance near the city of Bhubaneswar in Orissa, India. The caves are situated on two hills Udayagiri and Khandagiri, mentioned as Kumari Parvat in Hathigumpha inscription and face each other across the road. They have a number of finely and ornately carved caves. It is believed that most of these caves were carved out huge residential blocks for the Jain monks, during the reign of King Kharavela. The Orissa state museum, the museum houses a rich collection of sculptures, coins, copper plates, stone inscriptions, lithic and Bronze Age tools, rare manuscripts written on palm leaves, traditional and folk musical instruments. Rare epigraphic records are preserved in the Epigraphy Gallery. Leisure evening take a short walk to local market to see the local handicraft & articles. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 11 Bhubaneswar - Konark Sun Temple - Puri (115 kms / 3.5 hrs)
This morning drive to Puri via Konark Sun Temple. It is a 13th century Sun Temple (also known as the Black Pagoda) at Konark, in Odisha. It was constructed from oxidized and weathered ferruginous sandstone by King Narasimhadeva I (1238-1250 CE) of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty. The temple is an example of Orissan architecture of the Ganga dynasty. The temple is one of the most renowned temples in India and is a World Heritage Site. The temple takes the form of the chariot of Surya (Arka), the Sun God, and is heavily decorated with stone carving. The entire complex was designed in the form of the God's huge chariot drawn by seven spirited horses on twelve pairs of exquisitely decorated wheels at its base. The huge wheels carved at the base of the temple are one of the major attractions. The spokes of the wheels serve as sundials and the shadows cast by these can give the precise time of the day. Later drive to Puri, It is a holy city of the Hindus as a part of the Char Dham pilgrimages. Puri is endowed with one of the best beaches for swimming in India and is therefore also a popular beach resort, especially as it is positioned geographically so that both sunset and sunrise can be viewed from the beach
Day 12 Puri
Today free for leisure, enjoy the day on sea beaches for sunbath & swimming.
Day 13 Puri - Bhubaneswar (60 kms / 1.5 hrs) - Kolkata / Delhi - Onward
After fairly breakfast at hotel drive to Bhubaneswar airport to board the flight for Kolkata / Delhi and further connection to your international flight for onward destination with sweet memories of Oriental East India Tour.
Bon Voyage !