Best of Sikkim & Bhutan Tour
Duration :- 12 Days Tour
Arrive Calcutta and on arrival Check in to Hotel. Overnight at your Hotel.
Day 02 Calcutta
Full Day city tour of Calcutta, visiting - CALCUTTA
A great port of India and one of the largest cities in the world. A crowded, noisy, but fascinating metropolis with it's public buildings strongly in British character. The Victoria Memorial, St. Paul's Cathedral, Fort William, Raj Bhawan and the High Court are Highlight's. Also visit Late Mother Teresa’s Children Home. Overnight at your Hotel.
Day 03 Calcutta/Paro Transfer in time to Calcutta airport to connect flight to Paro in Bhutan. On arrival at Paro , immigration and custom formalities and transfer to the Hotel. Evening take a stroll around town’s main street. Overnight at the Hotel in Paro.
Day 04 Paro/Punakha Morning take an excursion to Taktsang Monastery, also known as tiger’s nest. It is believed that Guru Rimpoche, the father of the Bhutanese strain of Mahayana Buddhism, arrived here on the back of a tigress and mediated at this Monastery. After that visit Ta Dzong, the National Museum. The museum collection includes ancient Bhutanese art and artefacts, weapons and country’s exquisite stamps. After Lunch drive to Punakha across Dochula pass (10,500 feet). Until 1955 Punakha served as the capital of Bhutan and still it is the winter seat of Je Khenpo. Visit Punakha Dzong built in 17th century at the junction of Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers. Overnight at the hotel in Punakha.
Day 05 Punakha/Thimpu
After breakfast drive to Wangduephodrang about 45 minutes drive from Punakha. Wangdue is typical small Bhutanese town. The town’s formidable Dzong is its most visible feature. After Lunch Drive to Thimpu, the
capital of Bhutan and overnight at your hotel in Thimpu.
Thimpu - Morning visit Tashichhodzong situated on the banks of Wang Chhu river, It is Home of the National Assembly. Next visit Bhutan’s National Library located close to the Thangkha Painting school and contains arguably the best collection of religious and historic literature in the Himalayas. Visit Handicrafts Emporium which displays wide assortments of beautifully handwoven and crafted products. Overnight at the Hotel in Thimpu.
Day 07 Thimpu/Phuntsholing - After breakfast drive to Phuntsholing enroute visiting Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress of the Kingdom built in 1627 which now houses the School for religious studies. Thimpu-Phuntsholing road was built in 1962 by Dantak, the Indian Border road Organisation. The drive on this route is very pleasant with numerous scenic spots enroute. Overnight at the hotel in Phuntsholing.
Day 08 Phuntsholing/Silliguri/Darjeeling
– After breakfast drive to Silliguri passing through lush green tea garden enroute. Silliguri is infact the gateway of North-Eastern India and it is the main transit point for going to Darjeeling, Sikkim, Bhutan, Eastern Nepal and Assam. After lunch in Silliguri drive to Darjeeling. Overnight at the hotel in Darjeeling.
Day 09 Darjeeling – Early morning enjoy the sunrise view from Tiger Hill. The view from this place is indeed unforgettable, for colours change from grey to pink to la luminous gold. Mount. Everest, the world’s highest peak is visible from Tiger Hill but being 170 km away does not stand out as striking as the nearer Kanchenjunga. Then visit Ghoom monastery built in 1850 by Lama Sherub Gyatso, a monk from Mongolia. Later visit Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, the house of the Late Tenzing Norgay, the sherpa who first climbed Mount. Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953.
After lunch enjoy a ride on the world famous toy train and later vist Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre which produces and sells a wide range of Tibetan artifacts and curios. It was established in 1954 to rehabilitate those refugees who had fled Tibet with the Dalai Lama in the wake of the Chinese invasion. Overnight at the Hotel in Darjeeling.
Day 10 Darjeeling/Gangtok – After breakfast drive to Gangtok – later sightseeing Gangtok includes, visit to Enchey Monastery, government Institute of Cottage Industries and the Institute of Tibetology, housed in a beautiful building built in traditional Tibetan style. Overnight at the Hotel in Gangtok.
Day 11 Gangtok/Kalimpong – Morning visit famous Rumtek Monastery. It is a large monastery where many local students study. Then drive to Kalimpong. Evening visit Tharpa Choling Monastery, belonging to the Gelugpa sect of Dalai Lama. Also visit a flower nursery. Overnight at the hotel in Kalimpong.
Day 12 Kalimpong/Bagdogra airport – After breakfast drive to Bagdogra airport for flight to Delhi and on arrival in Delhi check in to your Hotel and overnight at Delhi.Overnight in Delhi.
BHUTANlies in a hidden corner of the eastern Himalayas, sandwitched between China (Tibet) to the North and the Indian states of Sikkim to the west, Assam/West Bengal to the south and Arunachal Pradesh to the east. The country within these borders forms a giant staircase, from a narrow strip of land in the south, at an altitude of 10,000 ft, up to some of the highest unclimbed Himalayan peaks on earth. A sparsely populated country, Bhutan is often likened to Switzerland because of its small size, jealously guarded isolation and stunning scenery. Buddhist teachings and philosophy are influential throughout the kingdom, as they have been since the 7th century and a deep and traditional reverence for nature has led to Bhutan imposing some of the strictest standards of environmental preservation in the world. More than 70% of the land is still under forest cover and some rarest of Himalayan wildlife, such as the blue sheep, takin and golden langur, are quite common. It is often said that even the most experienced traveler will find Bhutan to be a “revelation”.
TOURS - There are tours to fit every interest from textiles to bird-watching, walking and photography and wherever you go in Bhutan there are fascinating excursions. Some of the important cities of Bhutan are Thimpu –the capital of Bhutan, Phuentsholing-the gateway to the south, Paro- the beautiful valley, Punakha- the old capital, Bumthang-the wide central valley and ancestral Home of Buddhism in Bhutan, and Trashigang-the most important eastern & most populated town of Bhutan.
FESTIVALS – At various times of the year, the annual festivals known as Tshechus take place in different locations. Two of the most popular are held at Paro in the spring, and Thimphu in the autumn. The Tsechus are celebrated for between three and five days, with both monks and laymen taking part in the dances, which tend to be performed in a similar program at each of the Tsechus.. The Bhutanese people attach great importance to festivals,which allow them to become immersed in their religion and to gain merit.
TREKS – Trekkers are fortunate people, because they have the opportunity to see the beautiful kingdom of Bhutan at its most magnificent. The most challenging treks are those which climb towards the north-western border of the Royal Kingdom, where the highest peaks of Himalaya separate Bhutan and Tibet. There are also many treks at somewhat lower altitudes where trails lead through lush forests, rich with a tremendous variety of plants and flowers, and alive with innumerable species of birds and butterflies. Trekking in Bhutan is for the connoisseur and the high altitude treks are certainly not for the faint hearted. The sparse inhabitation in northern Bhutan dictates that there are no detailed maps and quite often no easy paths to follow. Consequently all provisions have to be carried with the trekking party, using ponies or yaks that have to be arranged sometimes months in advance. Independent trekking is almost impossible. Bestway Tours can use its immense resources, built up over the years, to overcome difficulties and offer a choice of some of the finest trekking in the entire Himalaya.
ENTERING BHUTAN : The best way to enter Bhutan is by Druk air, the National air carrier. Following stations are connected with Druk Air flight :
India – Delhi, Calcutta
Nepal – Kathmandu
Bangladesh – Dhaka
As per Bhutan government’s rule it is mandatory to travel at least one way by Druk Air, it can be either entry or exit or Both. However if Druk air seats are not available, both entry and exit by surface is also permitted.
VISA : Visas are required by everyone who visits Bhutan. Bestway will make all arrangements, which involves relaying visa numbers to the Druk air office at the airport where the visitor meets his flight into Bhutan. Without a visa number it is impossible to board a Druk air flight. The visas themselves are issued on arrival in Paro. Currently visa cost $2o for all nationalities. Three passport size pictures are required on arrival. Visa application forms duly completed in all respects must reach Bestway Tours at least 5 weeks in advance and for tours during festival period visa forms must reach at least 8 weeks in advance.
TOUR PAYMENT : entire tour payment must be sent to Bestway Tours by Bank transfer at least 45 days in advance and for tours during festival period at least 75 days in advance.