Across the Himalayan ranges of Nepal, India, Bhutan
Route : Delhi Kathmandu Bhadrapur Darjeeling Gangtok Kalimpong Phuntsoling Thimphu Punakha Paro
Tonight, arrive Delhi, the capital city of India. After a traditional Indian welcome, you will be escorted to your hotel for overnight stay
Fly Delhi - Kathmandu
After breakfast, transfer to the airport to catch your flight to Kathmandu.
Upon your arrival in Kathmandu, you will be met by our representative at the airport. After a warm welcome you will be escorted to your hotel. This evening, enjoy time at leisure at your hotel and acclimatize to the high altitude of Kathmandu.
Day in Kathmandu
After breakfast, visit Swayambhunath Stupa, one of the world’s oldest Buddhist chaityas, acclaimed to be more than 2500 years old. Situated on a hillock, 3 kms west of Kathmandu this is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Nepal.
Then drive to Bhaktapur which was the former capital of the valley, and was once a flourishing city on the trade route to Tibet. Today, Bhaktapur is like an open air museum with large areas open to pedestrian access - it is a store house of mediaeval art and architecture. Interesting places to explore include the renowned Durbar square, Golden Gate at the Palace of 55 Windows, Potters square which houses the elephant headed Lord Ganesha temple who is believed to be the patron of potters in Nepal. Bhaktapur houses a variety of Hindu and Buddhist temples including Nepal’s largest Shiva Linga. You may also see artisans engaged in Bhaktapur’s traditional crafts of pottery and weaving.
On your way back to Kathmandu, visit the Patan Durbar Square. Patan is known for its museum, temples and superb craftsmanship of its artisans. Patan Durbar Square has been acclaimed as one of the finest urban streetscapes in the world.
Day in Kathmandu
Today, visit Boudhanath Stupa, meaning the ‘Lord of Wisdom’. This Tibetan Buddhist monument is the largest stupa in Nepal and one of the largest in the world.
Also visit Pashupatinath Temple, a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and one of the most sacred Hindu shrines in the world. Although only Hindus are allowed inside the temple, visitors can clearly see the temple and the activities performed inside, from the eastern bank of Bagmati River.
This afternoon visit Kathmandu Durbar Square, the historic seat of Nepalese royalty built between the 12 - 18 centuries. The Durbar square is famous for its exquisite architecture, museums, temples and artistic embellishments. You also get an opportunity to buy some interesting souvenirs here.
Fly Kathmandu - Bhadrapur ; Drive to Darjeeling (95 Kms / 4.5 Hrs)
Today, you will be transferred to Kathmandu airport to catch your short flight to Bhadrapur.
Upon arrival in Bhadrapur airport drive to Darjeeling, often called the “Queen of the Hills”, famous for its breathtaking views of snow-capped mountain peaks.
Enjoy an evening at leisure at this picturesque town in the foothills of Eastern Himalayas.
[Darjeeling altitude: 2225M]
Day in Darjeeling
Today, enjoy an early morning excursion to Tiger Hill to view the spectacular sunrise over Mt. Kanchenjunga. The viewing tower here also provides unparalleled 360° views of the Himalayan panorama, Mt. Everest.
Return to hotel for breakfast. Then, board the century Old Toy Train to visit the Ghoom Monastery, located at the highest railway station of the world (subject to operation of the train & availability of the seats). This afternoon visit tea plantations in the foothills of Himalayas and Tibetan Refugee Centre (subject to seasonality and time availability).
Darjeeling to Gangtok (100 Kms / 4 Hrs)
After breakfast, embark on a leisurely drive to Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim. This afternoon visit the Enchey monastery with its collection of exquisite images and religious objects.
[Gangtok altitude: 1500M]
Day in Gangtok
After breakfast proceed for a city tour of Gangtok which includes a visit to Cottage Industries Institute (showcasing the beautiful Sikkim souvenirs like carpets, hand carved tables and traditional handicrafts), Research Institute of Tibetology (internationally acclaimed centre of Tibetan Studies & Research houses a vast collection of rare Buddhist books, manuscripts and over 200 Buddhist icons) and Do-Drul Chorten (Stupa).
Later, take a short drive to Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre and nearby Rumtek Monastery. Also enjoy magnificent view of Mt Kanchenjunga, 3rd highest mountain peak in the world.
Gangtok - Kalimpong (80 Kms /3 Hrs)
After breakfast, embark on a drive to Kalimpong, the beautiful hill station town, which is a meeting point of the ‘three closed lands’ and was once on the trade route between Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan.
This afternoon enjoy a sightseeing tour of the town, which includes a visit to St. Theresa's Church, Deola viewpoint & Lake, and the Kalimpong Bazaar. Kalimpong is known for its traditional handicrafts, woodcarvings, Thankas paintings, metal crafts, Tibetan jewellery, wooden masks etc.
[Kalimpong altitude: 1250M]
Kalimpong - Phuentsholing (185 Kms / 6 Hrs)
Today, enjoy a scenic cross border drive from India to Bhutan.
Phuentsholing is a thriving commercial centre lying at the base of the Himalayan foothills in Bhutan. The town portrays a fascinating mixture of Indian and Bhutanese people and cultures.
Today, visit Zangtho Pelri Lhakhang, a small temple built in the centre of Phuentsholing town. Later take a stroll around the town's market area.
[Phuentsholing altitude: 250M]
Phuentsholing - Thimphu (180 Kms / 7 Hrs)
After breakfast, embark on a scenic drive to Thimphu.
En-route, visit Kharbandi Gompa, the beautiful monastery situated in a garden of tropical plants and flowers. The monastery contains paintings depicting scenes from the life of Buddha and statues of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and Guru Rimpoche.
Proceed further to Thimpu. This entire drive is very pleasant with numerous scenic spots en route. Upon arrival in Thimpu, check-in at your hotel for 02 nights stay.
[Thimphu altitude: 2400M]
Day in Thimphu
Today, enjoy discovering the serene and beautiful city of Thimphu, world’s only capital city without traffic lights. Visit Tashichho Dzong, the beautiful medieval fortress which houses most of the Government offices and the King’s throne room.
Then visit the Folk Heritage and National Textile Museum and Bhutanese traditional handmade paper factory. Also visit the National Library, which houses a wonderful collection of Buddhist text and manuscripts.
After lunch visit Handicrafts Emporium which offer a wide assortment of beautifully handcrafted products, including the splendid Thangkas paintings and exquisitely woven textiles for which Bhutan is famous. Also visit Arts & Crafts School, famous for traditional thangkha paintings. Here you will see, students at work producing intricate design on cloth.
Thimphu - Punakha (85 kms/4 Hrs)
This morning embark on a short drive to Punakha, the erstwhile winter capital of Bhutan.
Enjoy the scenic drive through Dochu-la pass (3140m) that heralds the most enchanting views of Bhutan.
Upon arrival check in at your hotel for a night stay.
This afternoon visit Punakha Dzong dating back to the 17th Century and the newly built Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten.
[Punakha altitude: 1350M]
Punakha - Wangdue - Paro (145 Kms / 5 hrs)
This morning, we visit the magnificent structures of Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang (Temple), perched on a ridge amid pine trees and overlooking valleys of Punakha and Wangdue. The temple houses large statues crafted by local Bhutanese artisans and a permanent higher learning and meditation centre for nuns where, apart from religious trainings, skills training such as tailoring, embroidery, statue making, thangka painting is also provided.
En-route, stop for a short visit to beautiful town of Wangdue (Wangdiphodrang), where we get the opportunity to visit local markets.
Upon arrival check in at your hotel for 02 nights stay.
[Paro altitude: 2250M]
Day in Paro
Early this morning, hike to Taktshang Monastery, popularly known as Tigers Nest, perched on a cliff, overlooking Paro valley. Return trip hike takes approx 5 hours; alternatively, if you don’t wish to hike, you may ride a pony. This is one of the most sacred sites of Bhutan, visited by all Buddhist at least once in their lifetime. The climb is steep, so en-route you may stop for refreshments at a local cafeteria, located halfway up the trail overlooking ‘Tigers Nest’. Once we reach the Tigers Nest, enjoy the beautiful views and waterfall along with a visit to the monastery.
Then, we visit the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong, built in the 17th century to commemorate the Bhutanese victory over Tibetans. Nearby visit a traditional Bhutanese farm house which offers an insight into the everyday lifestyle of local people
Drive on to visit the temple of Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of Bhutan, built in the 7th century.
This morning, you will be transferred to Paro airport, to catch your flight for onward destination.