Duration : 16 Days / 15 Nights
Attractions : Bagdogra - Sanga Choling Monasteries - Mountain Hawk Eagle - Himalayan Griffon - Eurasian Sparrow Hawk - Brown Wood Owl - Orange Bellied Leafbird - Gangtok - Tsuk-la-Khang - Orchid Sanctuary - Tiger Hill - White Tailed Nuthatch - Wild Tista Valley
Day 01 : Flight to India (New Delhi) : Around midnight arrive in Delhi. New Delhi is the cosmopolitan city and the capital city of India. It is the main gateway for travelers coming to India. Upon arrival, you will be received by an Indo Vacations representative and moved to the hotel.
Day 02 : New Delhi - Bagdogra - Pemayangtse : Today we will drive to the airport for the flight from New Delhi to Bagdogra. Sikkim is the second smallest state in India and is in the east Himalayas, sandwiched between Nepal to its West and Bhutan to its East and Tibet/China is to its north. Sikkim is rich in flora, fauna and has a diverse ethnic and cultural population as no other state in India has. After arriving at Bagdogra we will drive through the forests and tea gardens and head towards our today's destination Pemayangtse (The perfect Sublime Lotus). We visit the headquarters of the Nyingama sect in Pemayangtse.
Day 03 : Pemayangtse: After viewing sunrise on Mount Kanchenjunga in the morning, we will visit Pemayangtse and Sanga Choling Monasteries - which are prime bird watching sites. The birds that can be spotted here are Mountain Hawk Eagle, Black Eagle, Himalayan Griffon, Common, Oriental and Indian Cuckoo, White-throated Needletail, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Lesser Yellow Nape, Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler, Hoary-throated and Rusty-fronted Barwing. Other species of birds that are found here are Striated, Grey-sided and Greater Necklaced Laughing Thrush, Rufous-winged and White-browed Fulvetta, Whiskered Yuhina, Cutia, White-browed Shrike-Babbler, Rufous Sibia, Blyth's, Ashy-throated, Lemon-rumped and Yellow-browed Warbler, Dark-breasted Rosefinch and Red-headed Bullfinch etc.
Day 04 : Pemayangtse - Kalimpong : Today we will drive from Pemayangtse to Kalimpong. Kalimpong is a remote hill station which has been a meeting point of the once "three closed lands" on the trade route to Tibet. Kalimpong is a lovely resort with beautiful mountain scenery and the abundance of flowers. The neighboring nations, Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan have left a mark on the lifestyles of the local people which is visible through the social and religious beliefs. We will be visiting the monastery Tharpa Choeling at Tripai which houses a library of tibetan manuscripts and Tankhas, which belongs to the yellow Hat sect. We drive up to Darpin Dara, the highest point in Kalimpong with superb views over the plains.
Day 05 : Kalimpong: Today we will drive to Lava Forests, Rushet Forests, and Neora Forests. Lava is the prime birding destination in this region and is situated at the altitude of 2100 m. This area is circled by the large tract of forests. One can spot Crested Goshawk, Eurasian Sparrow hawk, Eurasian Buzzard, Black Eagle, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Kalij Pheasant, Barred Cuckoo Dove, Large Hawk Cuckoo, Greenbilled Malkoha, Brown Wood Owl, Golden throated Barbet, Striated Bulbul, etc. After visiting this area we drive back to Kalimpong.
Day 06 :Kalimpong - Rangeet Valley - Damthang Forests - Rabangla : Today we will drive through the Teesta and Rangit Valley towards Damthang Forests. While on the route we will stop to look for Red Junglefowl, Dollarbird, Great Barbet, Greater Yellownape, Orange bellied Leafbird, Common Lora, Blue Rock Thrush, Chestnut bellied Rock Thrush, Oriental White eye etc. At the Damthang Forest we will view some birds, like Eurasian Buzzard, Eurasian Kestrel, Grey winged Blackbird, Buff barred Warbler, Blyth Leaf Warbler, Grey hooded Warbler, Black faced Warbler, Rufous gorgeted Flycatcher, Red flanked Bluetail, Blue fronted Redstart, Grey Bushchat, White throated Fantail, Chestnut tailed Minla, Red tailed Minla and more. Then we will drive to Rabangla.
Day 07 : Rabangla - Pemayangtse: In the morning we will drive to Menam forests of Oak, Chestnuts, Magnolia and Rhododendrons. One may also come across some of the species of birds as seen at Damthang. In the afternoon drive to Pemayangtse, which we will reach by evening.
Day 08 : Pemayangtse - Gangtok (about 120 km): The capital of Sikkim "Gangtok" lies on a ridge overlooking the Ranipool River. Gangtok ("High Hill")is situated at an altitude of 1760 m and is circled by Kanchenjunga range. We visit Tsuk-la-Khang, the royal chapel standing on a high bridge, a major place of worship and has large and impressive collection of scriptures. We also visit the institute of cottage industries which produces a wide range of local handicrafts in Lepcha style.
Day 09 : Gangtok: Today we drive to the monastery of Enchey. This monastery is said to be 200 years old. The monks of this monastery belong to the Mahayana Buddhism. After visiting Enchey monastery we drive to Martham Village-Resort, where we can spend the afternoon at leisure. Here one can go for nice walk or a ride on the local horses of this area.
Day 10 : Gangtok: Today we visit the unparalleled Research Institute of Tibetology on a hilltop. This institute was established in 1958 to promote research on Tibet and Mahayana Buddhism. Here we can see the biggest collection of Tibetan scripts and a superior collection of rare Tankhas, bronze and cult objects. We also visit orchid Sanctuary which lies south of the institute. The sanctuary has over 450 indigenous species. Sikkim is considered paradise for orchid lovers. After visiting the sanctuary we walk through the bazaars of Gangtok through the area of old palace and visit the monastery Gylwa. The major highlight of our excursion remains today the monastery of Rumtek. Rumtek monastery built as a true copy of the Tibetan monastery in recent years is the headquarters of Red hat sect of Tibetan lamaistic Buddhism.
Day 11 : Gangtok - Darjeeling (about 100 km) : After having breakfast we proceed north of the state through the coniferous forests and terraced tea gardens and arrive in Darjeeling. Darjeeling (place of the thunderbolt) is spectacular place to visit. Thanks to its altitude of 2134m and soothing temperature in Summer, which makes it a famous hill resort in India. Enjoy the memorable views of Himalayas by clear weather.
Day 12 : Darjeeling: Early in the morning we drive to Tiger Hill (around 11 km) to enjoy the sunrise at the Tiger hill(2590 m.). This is the highest point in this area and gives a breathtaking view of the sunrise on Kanchenjunga. Mount Everest(8842 m) is also visible on a clear day. Many visitors describe the sunrise from Tiger Hill as unforgettable. In the afternoon we explore Darjeeling and its surrounding. Then we visit the village Lablong and the institute of mountaineering where we get the detailed information about the natural surrounding and its habitants of this area.
Day 13 : Darjeeling - Yoksom : Today we will drive to Yoksom and discover birds around Yoksom. Some of the birds one can find here are: Mountain Hawk Eagle, Crimson breasted Woodpecker, Maroon Oriole, Short-billed and Grey chinned Minevets, Himalayan Bulbul, Red -tailed Minla, White-naped Yuhina, various Thrushes, Grey winged Blackbird, various Tits, White tailed Nuthatch, and various sunbirds, and various bushcats.
Day 14 : Yoksom - Darjeeling - Bagdogra: Today we drive back to Darjeeling via Jorthang and Naya Bazaar. We will drive back to Bagdogra through the wild Tista valley.
Day 15 : Bagdogra - New Delhi (by air) : In the afternoon we drive to the airport to catch the flight from Bagdogra to New Delhi. Enjoy rest of the day at leisure (opportunity for the last shopping or enjoy a massage in the Hotel). After dinner we leave the hotel for the Airport.
Day 16 : New Delhi: Around midnight catch the flight to your home destination.
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