Delhi to Darjeeling

Duration :15 Days          Destinations :Take in the best of India - the capital of Delhi, Pink City of Jaipur and the magnificent Taj Mahal, before exploring the remote hill station of Kalimpong, Gangtok - capital of Sikkim, the tea plantations of Darjeeling and Kolkata, India's second largest
Day 1: Delhi

Saturday. Upon arrival into Delhi, you'll be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel. The remainder of the day is free to relax or independently explore this bustling capital.

Day 2: Old & New Delhi

This morning, our Welcome Meeting takes place. Then we embark on a full day sightseeing tour of Delhi, taking in Jama Masjid - India’s oldest and largest mosque, Raj Ghat - the site of Mahatma Gandhi’s cremation, Humayun’s Tomb, Qutab Minar and a carpet emporium where we can witness a demonstration on the art of carpet weaving. Tonight, we enjoy a Namaste Dinner at our hotel.

Day 3: Amber Fort

Delhi - Jaipur. Today, we travel by road to the architecturally flamboyant Jaipur - capital of Rajasthan which was founded in 1727. We enjoy a tour of the City Palace and Jantar Mantar, a medieval astronomical observatory - both of which were built by Jaipur’s founder - Jai Singh. On day 4 early-risers can opt for a morning hot air balloon ride over Jaipur and sail over hilltop forts, regal palaces, sleepy villages, and stone carved temples. Then we travel to Amber Fort, reaching the summit of this stunning 16th century Rajput fort by jeep. A visit will be made to cotton trader this afternoon before returning to our hotel for free time.

Day 4: Amber Fort

Delhi - Jaipur. Today, we travel by road to the architecturally flamboyant Jaipur - capital of Rajasthan which was founded in 1727. We enjoy a tour of the City Palace and Jantar Mantar, a medieval astronomical observatory - both of which were built by Jaipur’s founder - Jai Singh. On day 4 early-risers can opt for a morning hot air balloon ride over Jaipur and sail over hilltop forts, regal palaces, sleepy villages, and stone carved temples. Then we travel to Amber Fort, reaching the summit of this stunning 16th century Rajput fort by jeep. A visit will be made to cotton trader this afternoon before returning to our hotel for free time.

Day 5: Abhaneri Stepwells

Jaipur - Abhaneri - Bharatpur. Departing Jaipur, we stop in the village of Abhaneri to see Chand Baori, which is the largest and deepest step well in the world. This incredible well has a staggering 3500 steps and is 13 stories deep. Next, we discover local life, traditions and visit the village school (if open) where we operate our ‘Change for Children’ programme. After hotel check in at Bharatpur and time to freshen up we visit Keoladeo Ghana National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where we’ll enjoy a leisurely bicycle rickshaw ride through the park.

Day 6: The Taj Mahal

Bharatpur - Agra. Today we travel to Agra via Fatehpur Sikri - the magnificent fortified Mughal capital of Emperor Akbar. In Agra, we visit the impressive Agra Fort before touring the legendary Taj Mahal and watching a magical sunset. Built by Shah Jahan in the 16th century as an enduring memorial to his beloved wife Mumtaz, the Taj Mahal is simply breathtaking.

Day 7: Delhi

Agra - Delhi. After breakfast we return to Delhi, the latter part of the afternoon is free for you to relax or independently explore the city.

Day 8: Kalimpong

Delhi - Kalimpong. This morning we fly to Bagdogra, where upon arrival we drive to Kalimpong. This remote hill station was once part of Sikkim and a meeting point on the trade route to Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal, it sits amid beautiful mountain scenery where orchids and other flowers grow in profusion. Kalimpong offers wonderful views of Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world and the town is home to several important monasteries, including the brightly painted Zong Dog Palri Phodrang Gompa (simply known as Durpin Monastery) and Thirpai Choling Gompa founded in 1892 and recently renovated. The rest of the day is free for you to explore the town at your own pace.

Day 9: Gangtok

Kalimpong - Gangtok. Leaving Kalimpong we drive to Gangtok, where the remains of the day are at leisure. The charming town of Gangtok is the capital of Sikkim, a tiny Himalayan state known for its orchids and flowers and for the heavy influence of Tibetan culture. Beyond the busy market areas, lie monastic complexes and striking countryside. On day 10 we enjoy a morning sightseeing tour of Gangtok taking in the Royal Monastery – Tsuklakhang, the Institute of Tibetology and the Orchid Sanctuary. Built in 1958, the world famous Research Institute of Tibetology has a large collection of rare books on Buddhism and a museum with a rare collection of antiques, coins and Tibetan paintings. We also visit Rumtek Monastery, Sikkim’s largest and most active monastery. Spend the afternoon at leisure.

Day 10: Gangtok

Kalimpong - Gangtok. Leaving Kalimpong we drive to Gangtok, where the remains of the day are at leisure. The charming town of Gangtok is the capital of Sikkim, a tiny Himalayan state known for its orchids and flowers and for the heavy influence of Tibetan culture. Beyond the busy market areas, lie monastic complexes and striking countryside. On day 10 we enjoy a morning sightseeing tour of Gangtok taking in the Royal Monastery – Tsuklakhang, the Institute of Tibetology and the Orchid Sanctuary. Built in 1958, the world famous Research Institute of Tibetology has a large collection of rare books on Buddhism and a museum with a rare collection of antiques, coins and Tibetan paintings. We also visit Rumtek Monastery, Sikkim’s largest and most active monastery. Spend the afternoon at leisure.

Day 11: Darjeeling

Gangtok - Darjeeling. Leaving Gangtok we drive to Darjeeling. Sitting at a spectacular altitude of 2124m with a backdrop of mighty snow-clad Himalayan peaks and surrounded by verdant tea plantations, Darjeeling has been a popular hill station since the British established it as an R&R centre for their troops in the mid 19th century. Draw cards include several Buddhist monasteries, tea plantations and colourful markets.

Day 12: Darjeeling

On day 12, we drive to Tiger Hill to catch sunrise over the snowy peak of Kanchenjunga - the world’s third highest mountain. Continuing, we visit the Ghoom Gompa (monastery) and the prestigious Mountaineering Institute, followed by a visit to a tea estate, where you can purchase some of Darjeeling’s most famous export.

Day 13: Kolkata Sightseeing or return to Delhi

Darjeeling - Kolkata. On day 13 we drive to Bagdogra to catch an afternoon flight to Kolkata. Arriving in the early evening, we transfer to our hotel for check in and free time. Kolkata (formally Calcutta), in the state of West Bengal, is a compelling medley of the ancient and the modern with its skyscrapers and Raj-era architecture. It's a true assault on the senses with poverty and urban decay weaved in with colour and effervescence. The following day we embark on a full day sightseeing tour of the city, taking in sights such as Mother Teresa's House, St John's Church and the imposing Victoria Memorial, made from marble it's one of Kolkata's most important landmarks and one of India's greatest buildings. We will also visit Kalighat Temple, the stately Indian Museum, which was founded in 1814, and the extraordinary Marble Palace, which houses paintings by Rubens. Spend your final night at leisure.

Day 14: Kolkata Sightseeing or return to Delhi

Option to end your tour in Delhi If you do not want to travel on to Kolkata you can opt to fly from Bagdogra to Delhi in the afternoon of day 13 and stay overnight in Delhi. Then on day 14 (Friday) your holiday will conclude with a departure transfer to the airport. Please inform us at time of booking (as there is a reduction in the cost of this tour) if you wish to take this option. Please note, the end date of this tour is 1 day earlier than the date noted within our 'Prices & Dates' section.

Day 15: Kolkata

Saturday. This morning our tour of India comes to an end. After breakfast and hotel check-out a departure transfer will take you to the airport.


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