India of the East: From Kolkata to the Himalayas10 days & 9 nights, Private Journey
Handcrafted itineraries for one or more travelers with on-the-ground support, a private guide, and a private vehicle. Private Journeys represent the best of the custom programs we've designed over the years. Our insider knowledge and destination expertise make these innovative journeys truly unique experiences.Private Journey
Kolkata, Gangtok, Pelling & Darjeeling
Experience the wonders of eastern India as you travel from the historic city of Kolkata to the incredible natural beauty of the remote land of Sikkim. Trace the history of the British Raj as you cruise the Hooghly River and explore Kolkata's notable monuments before departing the city for the mountains. In Sikkim, explore the ancient Buddhist monasteries of the region, visit indigenous villages to learn about traditional ways of life and ascend Tiger Hill to marvel at breathtaking views of the Himalayas.
Day 1Arrive Kolkata
Upon arrival in Kolkata, you will be met by a Cox & Kings representative and escorted to your hotel, the epitome of old-world charm and gracious hospitality. Kolkata, perhaps more than any other city in India, has been shaped by the British Raj. Many colonial buildings remain and the British legacy can still be felt in the city's social and sporting life. Among the most famous of the monuments in Kolkata are the Victoria Memorial-planned by Viceroy Curzon and referred to both as Curzon's folly and the British Taj Mahal-and the Howrah Bridge, one of the largest cantilever bridges in the world.
The evening is yours at leisure to relax and enjoy the amenities of your hotel or just rest up from your travels and prepare yourself for tomorrow's adventures.The Oberoi Grand - 2 Nights
This morning visit Kolkata's colorful and bustling flower markets where huge volumes of freshly cut flowers are traded on a daily basis. Continue with a cruise down the River Hooghly to see the temples, ghats and markets that line the riverbank. This afternoon tour the Marble Palace, a magnificent mansion that houses an eclectic collection of paintings, statuary and other art objects. End your exploration at the South Park Cemetery, where many early British colonists are buried.The Oberoi Grand (B)
Day 3To Gangtok (via Bagdogra)
Fly to Bagdogra and drive on to Gangtok in the remote state of Sikkim. On your journey, you'll pass through an incredible mountainous landscape with views of the entire Kanchenjunga Himalayan range.
Upon arrival in this alpine city, enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. The garden at your hotel was once the favorite spot of the king of Sikkim who would spend hours there with his paints and easel. You're also within easy walking distance of the colorful M.G. Road, which is home to many cafes, restaurants, and bars. Or just relax and enjoy the library and game room in your elegant hotel.The Elgin Nor-Khill Hotel - 2 Nights (B, L, D)
Visit the Phodong Monastery-one of six major monasteries in the region of Sikkim-and explore its marvelous collection of beautiful murals and woodcarvings. Continue to the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, which was created to promote research into Mahayana Buddhism and the language and traditions of Tibet.
Back at your hotel, enjoy the afternoon at leisure to explore the town or relax in the garden.The Elgin Nor-Khill Hotel (B, L, D)
Day 5To Pelling
Continue to Pelling, home to many Buddhist sites dedicated to Guru Rinpoche, the man responsible for bringing Buddhism to Tibet. On the top floor of the Pemayangtse Monastery there is a fascinating 7-tiered painted model of Guru Rinpoche's home. Situated at 6,250 feet, Pelling offers some incredible views of the majestic peak of Kangchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world at 28, 169 feet. After admiring its icy grandeur, take a stroll around town and keep your eyes open for the small, castle-like houses of the indigenous Limboo people with their beautiful balconies and galleries.The Elgin Mount Pandim Hotel - 1 Night (B, L, D)
Day 6 - 8To Darjeeling
Visit the Pemayangtse Monastery, Sikkim's second oldest and most awe-inspiring monastery. Marvel at its expansive prayer hall, its ceilings and walls lined with incredibly detailed thangkas and murals. Then descend to visit the lovely Khecheopari Lake, which lies in a serene valley surrounded by colorful, fluttering prayer flags and lushly forested hills. In Darjeeling, visit the famous 19th-century Ghoom Monastery, an important Buddhist sanctuary that was built in 1875. Admire its collection of famous scriptures before continuing to Tiger Hill, which offers magnificent dawn views over Kangchenjunga and other peaks including Everest, Makalu and Lhotse.Glenburn Estate - 3 Nights (B, L, D)
Day 9To Kolkata (via Bagdogra)
Return to Bagdogra this morning for your flight back to Kolkata.
Upon arrival in the former British stronghold, enjoy the afternoon and evening at leisure.The Oberoi Grand (B)
Day 10Depart Kolkata
Bid farewell to India as you are escorted to the airport for your onward flight.(B)