Sikkim: The Lost Himalayan Kingdom 7 Days / 6 Nights
Trip Code: HAT122
Hotels and resorts
October to March
Best Time For Travel:
Trip Over View
This trip takes you to Darjeeling, the British-developed hill resort and includes the key attractions of Sikkim such as Pemayantse, Yuksom, Gangtok, Rumtek and Martham.
The journey begins from Darjeeling - the Queen of Hills and the land of world famous Darjeeling Tea. You will enjoy the finest views of the Eastern Himalayas including Mount Kanchanjunga - the third highest mountain on earth, the greenery of the tea plantations and experience the the old British steam train ride. You will visit the famous Buddhist monasteries in Sikkim such as Pemayantse Monastery, Enchey Monastery, Rumtek Monastery, and several other minor shrines. The road journey goes through the finest landscapes, tea estates and cardamom plantations while passing through small towns and villages inhabited by the friendly Nepalese, Bhutias and Lepchas. Besides regular sightseeing, we take some hikes to the view points, visit the private homes and schools and interact with the locals.
Day 01: Arrival in Darjeeling. (D).
Day 02: Darjeeling.
Day 03: Darjeeling to Pemayangtse (132km, 05 hrs).
Day 04: Yuksom Excursion.
Day 05: Pemayangtse-Gangtok.
Day 06: Gangtok.
Day 07: Departure.
Day 01: Arrive Darjeeling
Upon arrival at Bagdogra airport, we are met by our guide and driven to Darjeeling (100km/65 miles, 3 and ½ hrs). It’s a scenic drive through coniferous forests and terraced tea plantations. Darjeeling, situated at an altitude of 2,134m has a moderate temperature and was developed by British as a Hill Resort in order to avoid the heat in summer. On a clear day, we can enjoy spectacular views of Himalayas that includes the third highest mountain on earth - Kanchendzunga - the Sikkim people regard as their guardian deity. Upon arrival, check in to the hotel and after some rest, take a stroll in Chowrastha.
Day 02: Darjeeling
We awake early and drive to Tiger Hill (11km/7 miles) for the sunrise and mountain panorama view. Tiger Hill (2,590m) is the highest point in this area and famous for breathtaking sunrise view on Mount Kanchenjunga. Mount Everest (8,848m), the highest mountain in the world, is also visible on a clear day. Return to the hotel and after breakfast, we embark on a sightseeing tour of the highlights of Darjeeling. We visit Mountaineering Institute which houses a considerable collection of items used by the early Everest explorers and Darjeeling Zoo housing several interesting Himalayan species including snow leopards and red pandas. We take a short train ride on the 120 year old steam train, Darjeeling Hill Railway and stop to visit New Ghoom monastery. Overnight in a hotel in Darjeeling.
Day 03: Darjeeling-Pemayangtse (132km, 5hrs)
Today we drive in the morning to Pemayangtse, a fascinating journey that winds through steep descent down through tea estates and across the river Teesta. We enter into west Sikkim winding along the river Rangit with its panoramic view of the Kanchenjunga and the entire row of peaks. Check in to the hotel and after some rest, we pay a visit to Pemayangtse monastery - one of the finest monasteries in Sikkim and the second oldest, built in 1716. It is an impressive and beautiful building which houses an unusual Sangdok Palri "Temple of Heaven" which contains a wooden figure that took 7 years to carve single handedly by late Dugzom. The monastery preserves the priceless Rinpoche. Overnight in a hotel in Pemayantse.
Day 04: Yuksom Excursion
Early in the morning, we trek to Sangacholing monastery where the sunrise over Kanchenjunga and the adjoining peaks can be seen on a clear day (optional).
Late morning, we leave for Yuksom, the first capital of Sikkim where the first Chogyal (king) of Sikkim was crowned on a stone throne, next to the Norbugang Monastery. Close to the throne, we can see the footprint of the Lama Latsum Chenbo who consecrated the king. On the way to Yuksom, we visit Khecheopari Lake - the sacred Buddhist Mountain Lake - which has crystal clear waters. Local myth says that when a leaf falls on the placid crystal water of the lake, it’s picked up by a bird to keep the waters clean. The lake is also famous as a “wish fulfilling lake.” If you wish for something with a good heart by this lake, your wish will be fulfilled. Return to Pemayantse for overnight.
Day 05: Pemayangtse-Gangtok
In the morning after having breakfast, we leave Pemayantse and drive to Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. Gangtok lies on a ridge overlooking the Ranipool River and the name means a high hill - its altitude is 1,760m. Upon arrival, we check in hotel and after some rest visit Tsuk-la-Khang, the royal chapel which stands on a high ridge. This is a major place of worship and has a large and impressive collection of scriptures. We also visit the institute of cottage industries which is a popular attraction as a wide range of local handicrafts in Lepcha style are produced here. We also visit Enchey monastery, which is believed to be 200 years old. The monks of this monastery belong to the Mahayana Buddhism.
Day 06: Gangtok
Today we visit the unique Research Institute of Tibetology on a hilltop, established in 1958 to promote research on Tibet and Mahayana Buddhism. Here we will see the largest collection of Tibetan scripts and an excellent collection of rare Thangka, bronze and cultural objects. We also visit Orchid Sanctuary which is to the south of the institute. This sanctuary contains over 450 indigenous orchid species. Sikkim is considered paradise for orchid lovers. After the visit to the sanctuary we walk through the bazaar of Gangtok.
In the afternoon, we visit Rumtek Monastery which was built as a true copy of a Tibetan monastery in recent years. Rumtek is the only principal seat of Karmapa Lama, the head of the Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism. After visiting this monastery we drive further to the pleasant village of Martham.
Day 07: Departure
After breakfast, drive to Bagdogra Airport for our flight to Delhi or Kolkatta.
- Accommodation in a moderate standard hotel on twin sharing.
- 3 meals a day.
- All transfers and sightseeing by private vehicle.
- English speaking local guide.
- Sightseeing admission fees.
- Necessary inner line permits.
- Expenses of personal nature such as drink, optional tipping, laundry, phone etc.
- Airfares to and out of Bagdogra.
- Extra expenses caused due to nature and unforeseen events.
- Travel Insurance.