11 Nights / 12 Days
Destination Covered : Gangtok, Kolkata, Yumthang, Lachung, Bagdogra, Thimphu, Paro, Punakha
Tour Themes : Hill Stations & Valleys, Hill Stations & Valleys, Lakes & Rivers
Gangtok, Kolkata and Yumthang Tour Overview
Sikkim is situated in the eastern Himalayas. The state is spreaded below the Mount Khanchendzonga (8534 mts), the third highest mountain in the world, and revered by the Sikkimese as their protective deity. With an area of 7,300 sq kms and measuring approx. 114 kms from the north to south and 64 kms from east to west, the elevation ranges from 300 meters to over 8540 meters above sea level. Amidst the grandeur of the mountain peaks, lush valleys, fast flowing rivers, hills, Sikkim offers her visitors a rare and singular experience. Within a matter of hours one can move from the sub tropical heat of the lower valleys to the cold of the rugged mountain slopes that reach up to the area of perpetual snow. The modern history of Sikkim begins from 1642 A.D. with the coronation of Phuntsog Namgyal as the first Chogyal or king of Sikkim in a tranquil pine covered hill in Yuksom Norbugang in West Sikkim.The Namgyals were scions of the Mi-nyak House in Kham in Eastern Tibet. It is said that there were three brothers, chiefs of Kham Mi-nyak. A letter dropped from heaven directed the middle brother to go south towards Sikkim where his descendents were fated to rule. It was in Sakya that his eldest son single-handedly raised the pillars of the Sakya monastery and earned himself the sobriquet of ‘Khye Bumsa’( the strength of a lakh of men). Khye Bumsa also earned himself the hand of the daughter of the Sakya hierarch and settled in Chumbi Valley, which remained, for a long time, the epicenter of the later kingdom of Sikkim.
Gangtok, Kolkata and Yumthang Tour Itinerary
After breakfast check out hotel then transport to domestic airport & Open arrival in Bagdogra Airport meet and welcome you by tour guide at the airport and then transfer you on a journey to Gangtok, on the way stop at Border line area at Rangpo between (Sikkim & west Bengal) for immigration. After short break drive to capital of Sikkim Gangtok. Tucked away in the clouds, Gangtok is spread out on a ridge 1860 m above sea level, and looks something out of a fairy tale with houses precariously balanced on the slopes of steep hills. Apart from the gorgeous view of deep valleys, waterfalls and snow-capped mountain ranges that separate from neighboring Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal. On arrival check inn to hotel over night at Gangtok.
Morning after breakfast drive to institute of Tibetogy and then ride on ropeway to Namnam View point and meet our transport and proceed to visit Sikkim Flower Exhibition Centre, where a wide range of rare species of orchids display (Seasonal) an finally drive to visit Inchey monastery. On completed drive to town for lunch. After lunch drive to Rumtek monastery. Evening visit local market MG MARG over night at Gangtok.
After breakfast, drive to Tsomgo Lake, also means as The Source of the Lake (3,780m). Warm clothes needed for this place. The lake derives its water from melting snows off the surrounding mountains, which is one of the famous sacred lakes in Sikkim, situated near the borders of Tibet after Tsamgo Lake drive back to Gangtok evening relax and shop in the market.
Today, we leave for North district of Sikkim to a small village, Lachung (2,400m). This spectacular drive will take about 6-7 hrs (lunch en-route). If weather is clear, you’ll see the magnificent range of the third highest mountain in the world, Kanchenjunga and some wild orchids blooming (during spring) on the way. Arrive Lachung in the late afternoon and check in at a lodge. (Please be reminded that the facilities here are very basic).
After breakfast, Yumeysamdong zero point which is beautiful place if weather is clear then you can see the panoramic view of Singba range then drive back to Yumthang (3,500m) excursion. This panoramic drive will bring you to the Valley of Flowers which consists of about 36 species of rhododendrons, primulas and other spectacular alpine wild flowers. Yaks and dzos can be seen grazing on the meadows. On way back, walk across the Lachung Chu and have a dip in a hot spring (swimming costumes needed). If not, just enjoy the scenic surrounding. Walk around the Yumthang valley and do short trek evening back to Lachung over night at Lachung.
After breakfast drive back to Gangtok en route visit Kabi Lungchok and Phodong Monastery lunch at on the way on arrival check inn to hotel evening free and easy over night at Gangtok.
After breakfast drive to Phuentsholing and met by our Bhutan representative, after clearing immigration formalities, check in at the Hotel. Visit Zangtho Pelri: Situated in city centre, this small temple represents the heaven of Guru Rinpoche. On ground floor there are statues of eight manifestations of Guru Rinpoche and paintings on Buddha’s life while the next floor contains eight Bodhisattavas and statues of Avalokiteshvara and Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. On top floor, there is a main statue of Amitabha. Later in the evening explore the local market.
After breakfast drive to Thimphu. 4 km ahead of Phuentsholing, visit Kharbandi Gompa, the beautiful monastery situated in garden of tropical plants and flowers. The monastery contains paintings depicting scenes from the life of Buddha and statues of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and Guru Rimpoche. From the monastery garden there is a splendid view of Phuentsholing and plains of West Bengal and their tea gardens beyond.
Proceed further to Thimphu. This entire drive is very pleasant with numerous scenic spots en route. Lunch would be served at Bunakha cafeteria, Fives miles, before Thimphu, visit Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress of the Kingdom which now houses the School for religious and cultural studies.
After checking into hotel proceeds on to visit Trashichhodzong, the beautiful medieval fortress/monastery which houses most of the Government's office and King's Throne room It is also the summer residence of Je Khenpo, the Chief Abbot. Later visit National Memorial Chorten. The building of this landmark was originally envisaged by Bhutan’s third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk (“the father of modern Bhutan”) who has wished to erect monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it serves both as a memorial to the Late King and as a monument to peace.
Proceed to the National Library which houses an extensive collection of Buddhist literature, with some works dating back several hundred years. Visit the nearby Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the Painting School), where a six year training course is given in the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. Visit the nearby Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the Painting School), where a six year training course is given in the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. Also visit Textile and Folk Heritage Museum: These museums, both of which opened in 2001, provide fascinating insights into Bhutanese material culture and way of life. Later continue on to Handicrafts Emporium that displays wide assortment of beautifully handwoven and crafted products.
Afternoon drive to Punakha across Dochu-la pass (3,088m/ 10,130 ft) stopping briefly here to take in the view and admire the chorten, mani wall, and prayer flags which decorate the highest point on the road. If skies are clear, the following peaks can be seen from this pass (left to right): Masagang (7,158m), Tsendagang (6,960m), Terigang (7,060m ), Jejegangphugang (7,158 m ), Kangphugang (7,170 m ), Zongphugang (7, 060 m ), a table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana - finally Gangkar puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan at 7,497m.
Morning visit Punakha Dzong, a massive structure built at the junction of two rivers. It was the capital of Bhutan until 1955, and still serves as the winter residence of the monk body. The first King, Ugyen Wangchuck was crowned here in 1907. The fortress has withstood several damages from fire, earthquake and flood. The latest flood of Oct' 1994 caused great damages to the fortress but miraculously spared the statue of Buddha Jojampa. Followed by visit to local market.
Drive to Paro Upon arrival check in at the Hotel. Later visit Ta Dzong once a watchtower, built to defend Rinpung Dzong during inter-valley wars of the 17th century, Ta Dzong was inaugurated as Bhutan's National Museum in 1968. It holds fascinating collection of art, relics, religious thangkha paintings and Bhutan's exquisite postage stamps. The museum circular shape augments its varied collection displayed over several floors Afterwards, walk down a hillside trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, which has a long.
and fascinating history. Built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal , the first spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan, the Dzong houses the monastic body of Paro, the office of the Dzongda (district administrative head) and Thrimpon (judge) of Paro district. The approach to the Dzong is through a traditional covered bridge called Nemi Zam. A walk through the bridge, over a stone inlaid path, offers a good view of the architectural wonder of the Dzong as well as life around it. It is also the venue of Paro Tshechu, held once a year in the spring.
Morning after breakfast excursion to Taktshang Monastery (5hrs hike) : It is one of the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries, perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery and hence it is called ‘Tiger’s Nest’. This site has been recognised as a most sacred place and visited by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 and now visited by all Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime. On 19 April, 1998, a fire severely damaged the main structure of building but now this Bhutanese jewel has been restored to its original splendour.
Afternoon: Visit Drukgyel Dzong : This Dzong, with a delightful village nestling at its foot, was built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate his victory over the Tibetan invaders. Historically and strategically this Dzong withstood all its glory and was featured in 1914 vide National Geographic magazine. The glory of Drukgyel Dzong remained even when it was destroyed by fire in 1951. On a clear day, one can see the commanding view of Mount. Chomolhari from the village, below the Dzong.
Morning transfer to Paro Airport to board on your flight back home with lasting memories. (Check in 2 hrs prior to departure)
More Details about Gangtok, Kolkata and Yumthang Tour
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