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Of Mountains and Homestays: Sikkim

This beautiful state of Sikkim in the lap of the Himalayas is still a well kept  secret, when away from the tourist traps. It’s a melting pot of cultures and traditions and with nuances like the quaint villages, gorgeous landscapes, the tea gardens, treks, local life, the golden peaks in the backdrop, it makes for a great experiential travel plan. Sikkim is surrounded by the mighty Himalayas on all sides except the South. It has Bhutan to the east, Tibet to the North and Nepal to the west and is the least populated state. However it is the looming presence of the Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world that casts a mystical spell.

Essence of the trip: Mountain Life | Local hikes | Village walks | Trek | Tea garden explorations | Rural life | Photography | Cultural Immersion

Starting from
₹ 34,800
Duration
8 Days
Departure schedule
On request

Highlights

1. Village walks around beautifully laid out villages, getting a peek into their daily lives of some of the myriad tribes that inhabit Sikkim. You will see this at your stays at Takdah, Kaluk and Gangtok
2. Trek to Lamahatta, a mountain settlement through verdant pine forests.
3. Explorations of tea gardens, getting to see the process up close and personal.
4. Local hike to the monastery through forests in Rinchenpong
5. Stay in traditional homestays and experience local food and culture up close.
6. Visit Nathula Pass, one of the four Border Personnel Meeting Points between India and China. Also soak in the glory of the famous Changu Lake, without the tourist rush.

 

Itinerary

Day 1: Bagdogra to Takdah

Drive time: 4 hours

Pick up from Bagdogra airport and drive to Takdah. Takdah is a beautiful village, one hour from Darjeeling. Takdah means “mist” in the Lepcha language, the original residents of this area. It used to be a cantonment town during the British days and still bears a beautiful colonial charm. Even today one can admire the stone structures built by the British.  It is surrounded by large stretches of pine forests and tea gardens, which lend the place a very special charm. 

Meals: Dinner

Experience: Village walk at Takdah (Self explore)

Stay: A beautiful homestay with a view

 

 

Day 2: Takdah

After breakfast go for a trek through dense oak and pine forests to Lamahatta, a small mountain village with a local guide. Late afternoon, you can walk to a nearby tea garden. In the evening, do remember to try some of the local rice beer.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Experience: Lamahatta trek, tea garden walk, Local food

 

 

Day 3: Takdah to Kaluk via Darjeeling

After breakfast we drive to Darjeeling, the queen of hill stations. Walk around Mall area and Observatory hill to get a feel of the colonial past the British left behind. Visit the Peace Pagoda which was built under the guidance of a Japanese Buddhist monk. From here once can get stupendous views of Darjeeling town and walk around the town at your own pace, to enjoy this hillstation which is quite tourist magnet in the summer months. 

Post lunch head to Kaluk, a quaint hamlet in the west of Sikkim.

Meals: Breakfast | Dinner

Experience: Darjeeling local sights | Village walk in Kaluk

 

 

Day 4 : Kaluk and Rinchenpong

Located in the foothills of the Himalayas , Kaluk is an idyllic hamlet with abundant natural beauty. Your stay offers a beautiful view of the Kanchenjunga. Drive to Rinchenpong nearby and take a local hike with your local guide who will take you through the surrounding forests and the gorgeous monastery.

Meals: Breakfast | Dinner

Experiences: Local hike and sightseeing with guide

 

 

Day 5: Pelling sightseeing

After breakfast drive to Khecheopalri Lake, a tranquil lake nestled in the midst of verdant hills. It is believed that any wish asked by a devotee is granted by the deity of the lake hence considered very holy by the local people. 

From here drive to Yuksom, the first capital of Sikkim. It is over here that the first Chogyal (holy King) was coroneted in 1642; you will visit the site and see the stone throne. By evening return back to Kaluk. In the evening, light a bon fire around which we exchange conversations with our host over a cask of local millet beer.

Meals: Breakfast | Dinner

Experiences: Kecheopalri Lake | Visit to Yuksom | Try Local Millet beer (DIY)

 

 

Day 6: Kaluk to Gangtok

Bid farewell to our hosts after which we drive to the capital city of Gangtok .On the way visit the Rabdtense Ruins, a palace fort which was once the capital of Sikkim and Pemagyatse monastery, one of the holiest monasteries in entire Sikkim. Take a longer run on your car and visit Rumtek monastery From here drive to Rumtek monastery, the seat of the Karmapa. This grand monastery is the most important one of the Karmakagyu sect of Buddhism 

In the evening walk to the Palace monastery which was closely associated with the Chogyal of Sikkim. From here walk down towards the lively MG Road for a fell of modern Sikkim

Meals: Breakfast | Dinner

Experiences: Visit Rabdantse ruins and Pemagatsye | Local sights at MG Road and visit a live music café/bar

Stay: A charming guesthouse

 

 

Day 7: Gangtok

Nathula Pass, Changu Lake and Baba Mandir

Drive time: 3 hours (one way from Gangtok to Nathula)

Today is an exciting day as you set out to see the famous Nathula Pass. On the way stop at Changu Lake (also known as Tsongmo Lake) and Baba Mandir. The route is beautiful and this promises to be an unforgettable journey. 

In the late afternoon once you are back in Gangtok, we visit the Tibetology museum to learn about Buddhism and its advent into Sikkim. The museum also has many rare manuscripts written by Buddhist scholars.

Meals: Breakfast | Dinner

Experiences: Visit Nathula Pass, Changu Lake and Baba Mandir

 

 

Day 8 :Gangtokto Bagdogra

Drive time: 5.5 hours

Make your way home, with a bag full of memories ?

Meals: Breakfast 

Inclusions

1. Accommodation on a twin sharing basis 
2. Meals mentioned
3. All transfers and sightseeing using a Xylo or Innova or similar vehicle 
4. Local hikes in Lamahatta and Rinchenpong.
5. All sightseeing and local experiences as mentioned. 
6. Permit to Nathula Pass
7. A full time local guide

Exclusions

1. Travel expenses to and from Bagdogara
2. Camera fees and Entrance fees at any of the places of sightseeing 
3. Meals not mentioned
4. Excess stay & meals due to bad weather conditions or strikes,resulting in 
delay of flights or any other form of transport. 
5. Personal expenses such as tips, room service etc.
6. Any other item not mentioned in “Cost Includes” section