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This trip allows you to experience the culture and wonders of the Eastern Himalayas: You will trek in Sikkim for up-close views of Mt. Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world, and experience the culture of Bhutan.
Sikkim is sandwiched between Nepal on the west and Bhutan on the east. Formerly an independent nation, Sikkim became the twenty-second state of India on 16 May 1975. Gangtok is Sikkim’s largest city. It served as the royal administrative seat of the Kingdom of Sikkim from 1894 to 1975. Now, as the state capital, it retains a royal character. The Chogyal’s durbar (king’s palace) crowns the ridge, naturally facing Kangchenjunga, and the yellow roof of the Tsuklakhang (Royal Chapel) gleams from far across the valley. On this journey, you will trek in Sikkim to the Goechala pass (16,600 ft.) for up-close views of Mt. Kanchenjunga.
Initially, the British desired to use Darjeeling as a sanatorium, but the efforts of the then Superintendent of Darjeeling, Dr. Campbell, led to its steady growth and economic progress. Today, Darjeeling is a large bustling town with relics from the British Raj intermingled with the local Nepalese and Lepcha culture.
|Day 1||Arrival in Delhi||Delhi|
|Day 2||Fly to Bagdogra. Drive to Gangtok||Gangtok|
|Day 3||Explore Gangtok||Gangtok|
|Day 4||Drive to Yuksom||Yuksom|
|Day 5||Trek to Sachen||Sachen||7,200 ft|
|Day 6||Trek to Tshokha||Tsokha||9,800 ft|
|Day 7||Trek to Dzongri||Dzongri||13,200 ft|
|Day 8||Dzongri acclimatization day||Dzongri||13,200 ft|
|Day 9||Trek to Thansing||Thansing||12,800 ft|
|Day 10||Trek to Lamini||Lamini||14,200 ft|
|Day 11||Trek to Goecha La (16,200 ft). Descend to Lamini||Lamini||14,200 ft|
|Day 12||Trek to Kokchurung||Kokchurung|
|Day 13||Descend to Tsokha||Tsokha||9,800 ft|
|Day 14||Trek end at Yuksom||Yuksom|
|Day 15||Drive to Darjeeling||Darjeeling|
|Day 16||Explore Darjeeling||Darjeeling|
|Day 17||Drive to Bagdogra for flight to Delhi||Delhi|
|Day 18||Final departure|
Arrive in Delhi. Transfer to Hotel. (No meals)
Transfer to airport for flight to Bagdogra. Met on arrival at Bagdogra. Transfer by private jeep to Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. Overnight Hidden Forest Retreat. (All meals)
A full day of sightseeing in Gangtok. First, visit Enchey Monastery. A story related to this monastery says that a Saint flew from Maynam Hill to the present site of the monastery and built a small shrine with 10 monks. Later, during the reign of Chogyal Sidkeong Namgyal (150 years ago), the present monastery was built. This monastery belongs to the Nyingmapa sect.
Next, visit the Directorate of Handicrafts and Handloom, the center for promoting and training rural Sikkimese in traditional handicraft production: a veritable storehouse of exquisite carpets, blankets and shawls in Lepcha weaves.
Then visit Do-Drul Chorten, one of the most important stupas of Sikkim, built by Trulsi Rinpoche, head of the Nyingmapa order. It contains rare mandalas of Dorje Phurpa, sacred manuscripts, and other sacred objects. Surrounding the chorten are 108 prayer wheels.
Proceed to the Research Institute of Tibetology, renowned worldwide for the study of Buddhist philosophy and religion. A treasure house of rare Lepcha, Tibetan and Sanskrit manuscript, thangkas, numerous priceless statues, and prized object of arts.
A stop at the Orchid Sanctuary is also planned, although there will be very few orchids in bloom at the moment. Overnight Hidden Forest Retreat. (All meals)
Travel seven hours by jeep to Yuksom. Yuksom is just a small, sleepy town now but as the former capital of Sikkim it is the place where the first King was crowned. Overnight Tashigang Hotel, Yuksom. (All meals)
Sikkim trek begins.
The trek begins with a long and gentle climb along the Ratang Chu (Chu = river in Tibetan/Bhutanese/Sikkimese). Today’s ascent is approximately 3,000 ft. Overnight Camp. (All meals)
Today’s three-hour trek climbs steeply through forests of pine, magnolia and rhododendron into the alpine country. Enjoy view of Mt. Pandim. Tshokha is a small Tibetan settlement with a monastery and a holy lake. Overnight Camp. (All meals)
Today is a five-hour, 3,200 ft. climb beginning in dense forests and ending in high alpine yak country. At Dzongri, there are two rough, primitive stone sheds for yak herders. Overnight Camp. (All meals)
An extra day to rest and acclimatize. Overnight Camp. (All meals)
From Dzongri descend a few hundred feet to Thangshing. Overnight Camp. (All meals)
Ascend to Lamini. Overnight Camp. (All meals)
Hike to Goechala for views of Kanchenjunga and other mountains. Return to Lamini. Today’s hike can take up to 6 hours. Overnight Camp. (All meals)
Descend to Kokchurung. Overnight Camp. (All meals)
Descend to Tsokha. Overnight Camp. (All meals)
Descend to Tsokha. Overnight Camp. (All meals)
Full day of driving to Darjeeling. Stay at the elegant New Elgin or similar. Dinner is at the hotel. (All meals)
Morning visit of Happy Valley Tea Gardens to see the cultivation and preparation of famous Darjeeling tea. Onwards to the Tibetan Refugee Self-Help Centre established in 1959 to rehabilitate Tibetan refugees. Here, excellent carpets, wood carvings, wood works, leather works, and more are produced. Then visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI) to hear the heroic tales of great Himalayan mountaineering. The Padmaja Naidu Zoological Institute, located in the same hillside as HMI, hosts captive-bred snow leopards and red pandas.
After lunch, walk to the Lloyd Botanic Gardens, which has a large collection of Himalayan plants, flowers, orchids, etc.
Stay at elegant New Elgin or similar. (All meals)
Drive to Bagdogra. Fly to Delhi. Overnight Hotel. (Breakfast and Lunch)
Transfer to airport for final departure. (B)
Per person price (valid till Dec 31, 2018)
2 to 3 persons: $ 3,995 USD per person
4 or more persons: $ 3,595 USD per person
Single Supplement: $ 650 USD