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TripCompanion / Darjeeling & Tiger’s Nest

Darjeeling & Tiger’s Nest

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Visit the Roof of the World to take in the spectacular views of the three tallest mountains on Earth, as well as beautiful waterfalls, unique native plants, ancient mystical Tibetan Buddhist monasteries. Take a gentle hike through the rice paddies that stair-steps down the hillsides as you visit the countryside of East India and Bhutan.

This off-the-beaten path journey lets you see an ancient trade route, tea plantations from the British Raj era and the world-famous Tiger’s Nest. This is an adventure for the mind, body, and spirit.

14 Days, 13 Nights: Delhi, Gangtok, Darjeeling, Thimphu, Punakha, Paro  ✦  Customizable Private Tour

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS TOUR

Phodong Monastery is an 18-century Buddhist monastery with a marvelous collection of beautiful murals and woodcarvings. Let's take a family trip together for great sightseeing!

Impressive and Mysterious East Himalayas

The Eastern Himalayas are majestic mountains with beautiful waterfalls and amazing native plants.  You’ll also find ancient mystical Tibetan Buddhist monasteries with colorful murals and Thangka wall paintings. Not surprisingly this region is a popular destination for Buddhist pilgrims.

Bhutan’s Sacred Tiger’s Nest

No visitor leaves Bhutan without making the trek to the Taktsang Palphug, aka the Tiger’s Nest. Situated on the edge of a cliff, some 1,700 feet above the rice fields of Paro, this 325-year-old monastery is the kingdom’s most sacred religious site. To get here takes about 5 hours round-trip hike, but simply walking these revered slopes is enough to induce a meditative mood.

Tigers-Nest-768x512
THIMPHU CITY
Thimphu is the capital and largest city in Bhutan with a population of around 80,000.

The Land of the Dragons is a Green Kingdom

They take environmental responsibility seriously here. Bhutan is the only country in the world that offsets more carbon dioxide than they actually create. For the traveler, it means fresh, crisp mountain air, pollution free skies and stunning greenery that extends as far as the eye can see. Bhutan is arguably one of the most naturally beautiful countries in the world.

 


Tour Plan

Hotels
Dates & Prices

    1

    Meet Up at Delhi (DEL) or Kolkata (CCU)

    Upon arrival into Delhi or Kolkata, you'll be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day is free.
    2

    Delhi/Kolkata - Bagdogra - Gangtok

    Transfer to Delhi (DEL) or Kolkata (CCU) airport for your flight to Bagdogra. Upon arrival into Bagdogra, you'll be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel in Gangtok. On the way, you'll travel through an incredible mountainous landscape with views of the entire Kanchenjunga Himalayan range. Check into the hotel and the remainder of the day is free.
    Gangtok is the capital and the largest city of Sikkim state, India. It is at an elevation of 5,840 ft (1,780 m) and lies on one side of a hill. Even with many modern structures, Gangtok’s Shangrila aspects can still be experienced in some pockets and in its alpine environs. It was an important stop on the trade route between Tibet and India during British era. Gangtok is also a center of Tibetan Buddhist culture with almost 70 Buddhist monasteries, many with fine murals and images.
    Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast
    3

    Gangtok | Monastery Trail

    Visit Rumtek Monastery which is Sikkim's most spiritually significant monastery complex. Continue to the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, which was created to promote research into Mahayana Buddhism and the language and traditions of Tibet. Enchey Monastery is approximately 200 years old and famous for its Chinese Pagoda style design. It belongs to the Nyingma order of Vajrayana Buddhism.
    Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast
    Gangtok Ropeway in Gangtok city in the Indian state of Sikkim, India. This is one of the greatest tourist attractions in Gangtok

    GANGTOK ROPEWAY (CABLE CAR)
    The name Gangtok is derived from the Tibetan word for 'hillside'.

    RUMTEK MONASTERY
    Richly decorated painted interior of the Buddhist monastery

    Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is a Tibet museum and one of the famous landmarks in Gangtok, Sikkim state in India

    NAMGYAL INSTITUTE OF TIBETOLOGY
    It has a rare collection of medieval Buddhist scriptures, bronzes and embroidered thangkas.

    4

    Gangtok – Darjeeling | Tea Plantation

    Drive to Darjeeling which is a Himalayan hill station and was a summer resort for the British Raj elite. The town is dominated by the presence of Kangchenjunga, the 3rd highest mountain in the world. Today much of Darjeeling’s British Raj splendor is still present, contrasting with its Tibetan, Nepali and Bengali personalities.
    Visit a tea plantation. The British introduced tea production in India in the 19th century using seeds from China. By 1870s there were 113 tea plantations. Darjeeling is famed for the divine “champagne of teas”, a distinctive black tea grown on plantations that dot its surrounding slopes.  Sample varieties of tea that were harvested in different seasons (or ‘flushes’) of the year and savor the distinctive flavors!
    Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast     Have fun on one of our travel tours with everything include lunches that are prepared and convenient for you. We take the stress away from our guests and allow your more time to really enjoy themselves.  Lunch 
    View from Darjeeling city, Queen of Hills, Tea plantation garden, fog rolling down from hill. A famous tour attraction in Darjeeling.

    VIEW FROM DARJEELING CITY
    Darjeeling is also known as the Queen of Hill Stations in this picturesque tea growing region.

    Darjeeling Tea Estate women tea pickers. Women form the majority of the tea pluckers.

    DARJEELING TEA PLUKER
    Darjeeling tea leaves are all handpicked by the workers who dot the plantation.

    5

    Darjeeling | Tiger Hill, Toy Train Ride

    An early start today to Tiger Hill (8,600 ft) for a spectacular sunrise view of three of the tallest mountains on Earth: Kanchenjunga (the closest, 28,169 ft), Makalu and snow-covered Everest. Ride the historical Darjeeling Toy Train that has operated since 1880s with a magnificent panoramic view of the mountains. This railway is so special that it has UNESCO World Heritage status.
    Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast
     
    Beautiful toy train at the station, it is one of the best tourist attractions in Darjeeling

    DARJEELING TOY TRAIN
    Climbs through mountains and tea gardens to 7,300ft with amazing views.

    Beautiful Kanchenjunga Mountain sunset from Darjeeling, West Bengal, India

    MOUNT KANCHENJUNGA
    The best view is from Tiger Hill, 6 miles south of Darjeeling.

    6

    Darjeeling - Phuentsholing, Bhutan

    Today we drive through the scenic Himalayan mountain range to cross the border into Phuentsholing, Bhutan. About 6 hours journey.
    Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast     Have fun on one of our travel tours with everything include lunches that are prepared and convenient for you. We take the stress away from our guests and allow your more time to really enjoy themselves.   Lunch    Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner
     
    7

    Phuentsholing - Thimphu

    Continue with our scenic drive through the mountains to the capital, Thimphu. Look out for Bhutan’s well-known Eight Auspicious Symbols (Tashi Tagye) during your trip.
    Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast     Have fun on one of our travel tours with everything include lunches that are prepared and convenient for you. We take the stress away from our guests and allow your more time to really enjoy themselves.   Lunch    Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner

    BHUTAN PRAYER FLAGS
    The flags come in 5 colors, representing the five wisdoms of Buddhism and the five basic elements.

    LOCAL MARKET VISIT
    It's fun to browse these merchant offerings and check out the local merchandise.

    WAY OF THE LOCAL PERSPECTIVE
    Locals here manage their spiritual and material happiness equally. 

    8

    Thimphu | City Tour

    Today we visit Changangkha Lhakhang, a 12th century temple perched like a fortress on a ridge above central Thimphu. We also visit Bhutan National Bank; a local arts and crafts school, Traditional Medicine Institute where Bhutanese still practice the ancient art of healing, and Motithang Takin Preserve which is the wildlife preserve of national animal of Bhutan.
    Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast     Have fun on one of our travel tours with everything include lunches that are prepared and convenient for you. We take the stress away from our guests and allow your more time to really enjoy themselves.   Lunch    Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner

    THIMPHU CITY
    Thimphu is the capital and largest city in Bhutan with a population of around 80,000.

    CITY TRAFFIC CULTURE
    City of Thimphu is the world’s only capital city that eschews traffic lights. 

    MOTITHANG TAKIN PRESERVE
    A wildlife reserve area for takin, the national animal of Bhutan.

    9

    Cheri Monastery, National Memorial Chorten, Handicrafts

    Today, we enjoy discovering more of the serene and beautiful city of Thimphu while exploring deep within their culture.
    The day begins with sightseeing at Thimphu weekend market (Thursday – Sunday only). Vendors fill the market with local produce and pink cubes of camphor and saffron. Followed by 1 hour hike to Cheri Monastery (Chagri Monastery). Visit a Handicraft Bazaar. Take a look into their artistic techniques and local handicrafts like traditional paper making.The National Memorial Chorten is a stupa built in memory of Bhutan's third King who is popularly regarded as Father of modern Bhutan. The paintings and statues inside this monument provide a deep insight into Buddhist philosophy.
    Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast     Have fun on one of our travel tours with everything include lunches that are prepared and convenient for you. We take the stress away from our guests and allow your more time to really enjoy themselves.   Lunch    Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner

    NATIONAL MEMORIAL CHORTEN
    In Thimphu, for many Bhutanese it is the focus of their daily worship.

    ART, CRAFTS, AND TEXTILES
    See artisans at work producing traditional, intricate designs on cloth.

    MASKS OF MAHAKALA
    Find your own colorful painted mask to ward off negative influences!

    10

    Thimphu - Punakha | Dochu-la Pass, Chimi Lhakhang

    This morning embark on a short drive to Punakha, the erstwhile winter capital of Bhutan. Enjoy the scenic drive through Dochu-la pass (10,000 ft or 3,080 m) that heralds the most enchanting views of Bhutan.
    Hike up to Chimi Lhakhang (Temple of the Divine Madman) situated on a hillock in the center of the valley. It is dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kenley who in the late 15th century used his unorthodox ways of humor, songs, outrageous behavior and sexual overtones to dramatize his teachings and hence came to be known as ‘The Divine Madman’. This temple is also known as the ‘Temple of Fertility’ and is popular amongst couples wanting a child. It takes about 30 minutes to walk across the field to reach the temple. Refresh yourself with tea at a local farmhouse. 
    Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast     Have fun on one of our travel tours with everything include lunches that are prepared and convenient for you. We take the stress away from our guests and allow your more time to really enjoy themselves.   Lunch    Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner

    DOCHU-LA PASS 
    Where 108 memorial chortens have been built by the eldest Queen Mother.

    Spin Bhutanese Buddhist pray wheels at Chimi Lhakang Monastery to recite prayers on your Bhutan holiday tours.

    BUDDHIST PRAYER WHEELS
    Spin the prayer wheels at Chimi Lhakang Monastery to recite your meditative prayer.

    11

    Punakha | Gentle Hike, Punakha Dzong

    A 3 hour gentle hike through Punakha Valley with abundant rice paddy fields, oranges, bananas and birds. Visit Punakha Dzong (Palace of Great Happiness) and walk over the antique wooden bridge (Puna Mocchu Bazam).
    Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast     Have fun on one of our travel tours with everything include lunches that are prepared and convenient for you. We take the stress away from our guests and allow your more time to really enjoy themselves.   Lunch    Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner

    RICE TERRACE FIELDS
    Enjoy the serene scenery and fresh air amongst the rice fields in unspoiled rural villages.

    PUNAKHA DZONG
    Palace of great happiness or bliss built at the junction of the two rivers in the 17th century. 

    Puna Mocchu Bazam
    Traditional Bhutanese cantilever bridge across the Mo Chhu river in Punakha Dzong

    12

    Punakha - Paro | Simtokha Dzong, National Museum, Paro Dzong, Kyichu Lhakhang

    This morning we drive to Paro. En-route visit Simtokha Dzong (the place of profound tantric teaching). This is one of the oldest fortresses of the Kingdom which now houses a school for religious and cultural studies.
    Visit the National Museum (Ta Dzong) which houses an interesting assortment of costumes, artifacts, thangka paintings and world-renowned collection of stamps, bringing alive the history of Bhutan. Also visit Paro Dzong (Rinpung Dzong) the political and religious center of Paro district, built in the 17th century. View Mount Sumeru, a sacred five-peak mountain of Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist cosmology. Visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of Bhutan, built in the 7th century.
    Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast     Have fun on one of our travel tours with everything include lunches that are prepared and convenient for you. We take the stress away from our guests and allow your more time to really enjoy themselves.   Lunch    Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner

    SIMTOKHA DZONG 
    Overlooks the Thimphu Valley. It was built by Zhabdrung to consolidate his domain and subdue the demon.

    NATIONAL MUSEUM (TA DZONG) 
    Perched as a watchtower, built in 1649 and renovated in 1968 to house the National Museum.

    Paro Dzong
    Under the snow-capped peaks, this stunning Buddhist monastery is known as 'Fortress on a Heap of Jewels'.

    13

    Taktshang Monastery, Jangtsa Dumtseg, Archery Demonstration

    We save the best for last as today we hike to Tiger's Nest. This monastery is the most sacred place in Bhutan, visited by all Buddhists 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 with a view of the monastery. Once we reach the Tiger’s Nest, enjoy the beautiful views and waterfall along with a visit to the monastery.
    Round trip hike takes approx. 5 hours; alternatively, if you don’t wish to hike, you may ride a pony part of the way.
    Visit Jangtsa Dumtseg, a Buddhist temple in the form of a chorten. The national sport of Bhutan is archery so your trip wouldn't be complete without observing an archery demonstration.
    Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast     Have fun on one of our travel tours with everything include lunches that are prepared and convenient for you. We take the stress away from our guests and allow your more time to really enjoy themselves.   Lunch    Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner

    TIGER'S NEST MONASTERY
    Once in a lifetime experience. Takshang is one of the most spiritual places in the world. 

    PRAYER WHEEL AT PARO
    Send a wish while spinning the giant prayer wheel on your way to the Tiger's Nest.

    14

    Depart Paro (PBH)

     After breakfast the tour ends. Hotel check-out and transfer to Paro International Airport for your return flight home or onward journey.
    Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast 
    Overview
    Hotels
    Dates & Prices

    Hotel Information

    DestinationComfort Class Premium Class Luxury Class 
    DelhiFlorenceCall
    AgraUtkarshCall
    JaipurParadiseCall
    ParoCallCall
    ThimphuCallCall
    PunakhaCallCall
    Hotels mentioned are subject to availability at the time of reservation. 

    Accommodation Classification

    • COMFORT ⭐⭐⭐- 3-Star Hotels or Equivalent Accommodations
    • PREMIUM ⭐⭐⭐⭐- 4-Star Hotels or Equivalent Accommodations
    • LUXURY ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐- 5-Star Hotels or Equivalent Accommodations

    Overview
    Tour Plan
    Dates & Prices

    Dates & Pricing 

    PRIVATE TOURS, Daily departures except for Wednesdays.
    YearTour DatesComfortPremiumLuxury
    2019Jan 11 to Mar 31CallCallCall
    2019Apr 1 to Sep 30CallCallCall
    2019Oct 1 to Dec 15CallCallCall
    2020Jan 11 to Mar 31CallCallCall
    2020Apr 1 to Sep 30CallCallCall
    2020Oct 1 to Dec 15CallCallCall
     

    Price Details

    • ‣ Prices are in USD and are inclusive of all applicable taxes but do not include airfare.
    • ‣ Prices are per person based on double occupancy. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply during applicable major holidays. Special rates for single travelers or larger groups are available on request - please inquire.
    • ‣ Note that tour prices vary according to season. If your tour straddles two seasons then each portion will be priced according to that season.

    Deposit

    • A deposit of $500 per person is required upon booking and full payment to be made 70 days prior to departure date.

    Flight Add-On

    • ‣ We work with all major airlines for the best routes and competitive pricing.
    • ‣ The nearest arrival airport is DEL (Delhi International).
    • ‣ The nearest departure airport is PBH (Paro International).
    • ‣ Contact us for more detail and pricing.

    Inclusions

    • ‣ Airport Transfers, Meet and Greet
    • ‣ Hotel Accommodations
    • ‣ Daily Breakfast and Selected Meals (See tour plan for details)
    • ‣ English-speaking Local Guide
    • ‣ Entrance Fees to Monuments & Attractions per Itinerary

    Exclusions

    • ‣ Air Fare
    • ‣ Travel Insurance
    • ‣ Medical Expenses
    • ‣ Visa Fee
    • ‣ Gratuity
    • ‣ Personal Expenses

    Overview
    Tour Plan
    Hotels