We receive you at Kolkata International Airport and take you to the city hotel.
Kolkata, on the bank of the Holy Ganges (Hooghly River), flowered as the capital of British India during the nineteenth century, the heyday of the Raj. Long known as the cultural capital of India and home to the Bengal Renaissance, Kolkata continues to spawn generations of poets, writers and film directors. Kolkata is not just like any other city to visit and click photos; you have to soak your senses in it to realize the actual charm of this city.
During your stay, we will assist you to explore the city in the best manner possible. Go for a city tour, take a cruise in the Ganges, visit temples and churches, take a walking tour, taste local food, shop and move around with the locals.
The Kolkata Flower Market is eastern India’s largest flower market with hundreds of stalls and people sitting on the ground selling flowers. For almost 130 years, buyers and sellers are constantly running through narrow alleyways of the market with massive loads of flowers on their heads or carried in their arms.
2. The Howrah Bridge
A structural marvel, and considered one of the wonders of the world is of immense heritage value. Recognised as a living symbol of the city of Kolkata, sharing a totemic relationship with its growth and evolution, the Howrah Bridge has become the ‘Gateway of Kolkata’, the veritable ‘city of joy’.
3. Victoria Memorial:
The Victoria Memorial was built as a memorial to Queen Victoria, queen of the United Kingdom and Empress of India, and also as a tribute to the success of the British Empire in India. It was designed by Sir William Emerson, who incorporated Mughal elements into the plan, and was constructed between 1906 and The Prince of Wales formally inaugurated it in 1921. It contains a museum and art gallery containing artefacts and paintings relating to the reign of Queen Victoria and the British Raj in India.
4. Mother Teresa’s House:
Nirmal Hriday (the place of the pure heart): Mother Teresa was born to Albanian parents, mother came to Kolkata in 1931 as a teacher of geography, on seeing the sufferings of the destitute and homeless on the streets of Kolkata, she started the “Missionaries of Charity” in 1950. The mission has 285 homes and charitable foundations in India and abroad.
5. St. John’s Church:
St. John’s Church is located on Council House Street beside B.B.D. Bagh (Dalhousie). The carpet of the church is done with stones obtained from different places. Its architecture represents Greek design. The Church contains an impressive organ (perhaps the largest in India), and an original Zoffany painting. It also houses the famous round table on which the Charter of Calcutta was signed (When Robert Clive took Calcutta back from the Bengali nawab after the famous Battle of Plassey in 1757). The graveyard contains the tombs of important colonists, most significantly, that of Job Charnock himself (the founder of Calcutta) and his daughter.
6. Dalhousie Square:
Dalhousie Square area-once the seat of administration of the British Government- with lal dighi (a pond of historic importance) renamed as Benoy-Badal-Dinesh Bag, popularly known as B.B.D. Bagh,
7. Indian Museum
One of the oldest museums in Asia, the Indian Museum was founded in 1814. One needs an entire day, or more, to fully enjoy the fossils, coins, stones, Gandhara art, meteors and much more that go to make up this museum. There is a 4,000-year-old mummy here as well. Also on display is an urn said to contain the Buddha’s ashes. The museum is closed on Monday.
Today we take you for a half-day city walking tour in Kolkata. Kolkata is a collage of images and moods. The city will slowly reveal itself as you walk along its road with our master storyteller.
For Bengalis, eating is a serious business. You talk to anybody in Kolkata, and he would convince you that it is also (kind of) an aesthetic experience. He would assure you that having tender coconut sherbet at Paramount in summer or a taalsaans Sandesh at Nakur’s in winter makes you philosophical! So does savouring Kalika’s fried onion chop with muri while listening to the pitter-patter of falling rains! Each season has its food. And each food becomes very much ‘Calcuttan’ in Kolkata, the city which has also seen the development of what is probably the first example of ‘fusion food’ in the world. This tour introduces you to the Bengal/Kolkata culture through its street foods and heritage eateries. Accompanied by our specialist guide you would walk and ride a tram to the specialized eating joints famous for certain recipes. Along with this gastronomical adventure, we will fill you up with interesting facts from history, stories and anecdotes about the food culture of the city which will give you a completely different perspective of this multi-layered, multi-ethnic and multi-racial entity which we call Kolkata.
Sunset Cruise In The Ganges (4:00pm – 7:15pm)
A Cruise on the Ganges will be the best way to explore the city and its history.
From the time when Job Charnock dropped his first anchor at Cossim Bazzar to the modern monolithic bridge, the second Hooghly Bridge, the winding river has woven itself around the lives of this city.
There are 54 ghats (quayside) and all have great history and heritage. Some of them are Bathing ghats, Ceremonial ghats where rituals are performed and then the Ferry ghat which connects the two banks at various places. Many monuments, memorials and markers are thereby the riverside, to be explored & experienced. As the sun sets, painting an evening sky with a hundred shades of red and orange, the Evening Cruise sails to Belur Math to see the ‘Sandhya Arati’. Why not gather a group of like-minded friends to enjoy a gentle cruise and serene evening.
Check out from Kolkata after breakfast and transfer to Airport to take a flight to Bagdogra. On arrival we meet with our guide and transfer to Chamong Tea Garden – 65kms in 2.5hrs.
High up in the Eastern Himalayas, nestled next to the Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain peak in the world, Darjeeling is about more than a brand of tea or a holiday in a hill town: it’s an experience best savoured when the tea and holiday come together – in a Chiabari Tea Retreat. This unique region, located at the northern tip of the state of West Bengal in India, is famous throughout the world for the teas produced in the 80 odd gardens here. Some 5000 feet above sea level, the landscape turns magical. The pure air, the crisp breeze, and the soft, misting rain all come together in a wonderland where the tea grows with a finer flavour than anywhere else in the world.
We check in at the planters bungalow and tea resort. Rest of the day is free to enjoy the nature.
No visit to a Chiabari retreat is complete without our famous Tea Tour: consisting of a visit to the tea factory and an exquisite tea-tasting session. You can plant your tea bush to mark your visit.
As the sun sets behind the majestic Himalayas, gather around the open fireplace in your room with your companions. Dip into our stock of board games or cuddle up with a book from our well-stocked library.
The tea tour is accompanied either by a guide that takes you through the Tea Estate and explains the tea making process.
Tea Sampling session- try a variety of Darjeeling, Assam and our blends at our award-winning café Chai Country.
Enjoy a scrumptious dinner meal featuring recipes from the British Raj or Enjoy a delicious Indian Tandoori meal.
Total distance 100 kms | journey time 4 to 5 hrs + break
Today we have a very early breakfast at Chamong (6.30 AM recommended) and then drive to Singalila National Park – a beautiful hiking route in the highest part of Bengal, lying between Nepal and India. Singalila National Park is known for a vibrant Rhododendron Valley with a sweeping view of a 360degree panorama of Greater Himalayan Range, which includes highest mountain peaks of the world Mt Everest and Mt Kanchenjunga. The bumpy ride over the steep gravel road, which is accessed mainly by foot or few old fashioned 4-wheel jeep is challenging but the discomfort is overcome by the mesmerizing view on your way.
From Manebhanjang we change our vehicle to a 4-wheel drive and ride to Tonglu. At 3000m or 10000ft above sea level Tonglu – known as a trekkers’ paradise, is an excellent camping area in the higher Darjeeling Hills. The vast panorama of the greater Himalayan Ranges which includes Kunchenjungha Range in Sikkim, Mt Everest in Nepal, Chola Range in Bhutan is visible over the layers of valleys. We have ample opportunity to walk in the beautiful trails to Kalepokhri as the jeep follows. We drive to Sandakphu – the highest part of Singalila at 3600M. Spend some time at the top watching the mesmerizing view of the greater Himalayan range in clear weather. You have ample opportunity to hike and also, we give you tea and lunch break in some of the Homestays along the way. In the afternoon we return to Darjeeling by jeep. Have a relaxed evening at your hotel
Darjeeling is one of the oldest hill stations in India and has plenty of options, both for those seeking a lazy getaway from the hot plains, as well as nature enthusiasts and adrenaline junkies. Apart from sights within the town, there are plenty of trek options along the Himalayan ridges on the Indo-Nepal border near Darjeeling. The most popular one is the Singhalia Ridge Trail giving you a scope to see an incredible panorama of the greater Himalayas.
The heritage walk is a rare offering in Darjeeling that very few know about. The regular tours do not cover such guided walking tours that can let you explore the rich heritage and history of Darjeeling Hills. There are centuries-old buildings and houses in Darjeeling that still reflect traditional British architecture. Added to this, the churches, monasteries, monuments, the people & culture, unique flora & fauna, majestic mountains & valleys, toy train, tea garden, old shopping places and food joints, and many other great old & modern attractions constitute the rich heritage of Darjeeling. Our guided walk will attempt to give you a glimpse of all this.
Toy Train (DHR)
Today you will have an opportunity to ride on the Steam train of Darjeeling. The ride takes you to Ghoom – the highest Station in India in 45min. The toy train on the Darjeeling Himalayan section is not merely a source of delight for the young and old, it also represents the engineering skills of the highest order. The ride also includes free entry to the DHR museum at Ghum Station.
Also called Sakya Monastery, this monastery in Ghoom is located 8 km from Darjeeling. Sakya monastery is a historic and significant monastery of the Shakya Order. The original monastery was built during the early twentieth century.
The monastery can accommodate around sixty monks. The statue of Maitreya Buddha which is 4.57 meters high, in this monastery is of interest here. The monastery also preserves some of the rarest Buddhist manuscripts.
Chowrasta & Mall:
Chowrasta, a wide promenade atop a ridge lined with shops and restaurants is taken to be the heart of the town. Here people gather to chat, spend time basking in the sun or just snatch a moment of peace. The Brabourne Park is attached to the Chowrasta and now features a musical fountain. This place is an open space and free from vehicular movements from where one can enjoy the scenic beauty of the mountain range and take a charming stroll at the Darjeeling Mall. Chowrasta is the central place of Mall Road.
The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute was set up following the successful ascent of Mount Everest-the highest peak in the world by the local hero Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Sir Edmund Hillary on 28 May 1953. The oldest mountaineering institute in the country carries out various mountaineering courses every year.
Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park
Adjacent to the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, it is a high altitude wildlife park and the new home for Siberian Tiger, Himalayan Black Bear, Deer, Red Panda, Snow Leopard and Birds. The Snow Leopard breeding centre was started in 1986 to breed Snow Leopards in captivity with the help of the International Snow Leopard captive breeding project.
Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre:
Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre was established on 1st October 1959 to rehabilitate displaced Tibetians who had followed His Holiness, The Dalai Lama to India in early 1959. This centre produces excellent carpets, woollen goods, woodwork, leatherwork etc. The Tibetan craftsmen can be seen at work at the centre. It is closed on Sundays.
St. Andrew’s Church
St. Andrew’s is an old Anglican church and the early worshippers of the church included many Scottish soldiers and tea planters living in the Darjeeling Hill area. The foundation stone of the church was laid on November 30, 1843. The church was badly damaged by an earthquake and had to be rebuilt in the year 1873.
Old Cemetery of Darjeeling is also referred to as the English Cemetery and has a definite reason to visit.
This is the resting place of those early British settlers who turned the densely forested mountains here into the world’s most renowned tea producing estates and created this beautiful gem of a hill town. So if you take interest in recalling the British Raj memories of Darjeeling, then this is the place to go.
Glenary’s Restaurant & Bar has been a landmark of Darjeeling for many years. This two-storied white building located on Nehru Road and just a minute’s walk from the Mall is special and close to the heart of many Darjeeling lovers. The restaurant is over 100 years old and was established during the British colonial days. It serves excellent Chinese, Continental and Indian cuisines.