<Quest Himalaya Adventures>
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Urban Himalaya - 4 Days
Road to Bliss - 8 Days
Caravan Trails & Himalayan Hideaways
Spring Flora in Sikkim
Kanchenjunga Adventure
Walking Holidays
Dzongri Trek
Goecha La Trek
Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek
Singalila Trek
Singalila via Dzongri Trek
Mountain Flight
About Quest Himalaya Adventures
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More About Sikkim
Beyond Our Mountains
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<Rumtek Monastery>
Rumtek Monastery

Road to Bliss - 8 Days

Day 01: Darjeeling
Transfer: Arrive from Bagdogra - 91 km / 4 hours
From Nepal, Bhadrapur Airport - 132 km / 6 hours

Meet at the airport and transfer to Darjeeling. The drive enroute for the first hours passes through towns and roadside villages in the plains of Bengal. Then the road gradually ascends first through jungles, and then across huge sprawling tea estates. Several small towns and lots of roadside settlements flit by as we progress onwards. Along the way you can see the famous Darjeeling toy train making it way up the hill.

Darjeeling is one of India’s most beautiful hill stations and has acquired the soubriquet, ‘Queen of Hills’, since the days of the British Raj and does indeed live up to its name. This enchanting town perches majestically on a beautiful spur surrounded by evergreen hills, and commands a magnificent view of the mountains on its horizon.

Day 02: Darjeeling
Transfer: Local sightseeing as per itinerary
After breakfast visit the lower bazaar of Darjeeling and proceed onwards to the Lloyd Botanical Garden, so called because Mr. Lloyd, proprietor of Lloyd’s Bank in Darjeeling, bequeathed this property to the town. It has a collection of some of the original Himalayan trees, plants, orchids and other flowers.

Heading towards the upper bazaar, our next stop is at the Natural History museum, which showcases a comprehensive collection of the region’s fauna, and from here we move on to the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute to unfold the heroic tales of great Himalayan Mountaineering expeditions. Adjacent to HMI is Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, a high altitude zoo where one can see the Siberian Tiger, Himalayan Black Bear, Deer, Red Panda, Snow Leopard and many more birds and animals.

We then visit the Tibetan Refugee Self Help Center, which was established in 1959 to rehabilitate the refugees from Tibet. Its workers produce excellent carpets, woodcarvings, and other traditional craft. Watch the Tibetan women singing and weaving carpets. From here we walk down to the Bhutia Busty Tibetan Monastery, which has a good collection of idols, thangkas and a collection of Buddhist scriptures.

Evening; walk around Chowrastha to intermingle with the local crowd.

Day 03: Gangtok
Transfer: Darjeeling to Gangtok: 95 km. / 3 to 3.5 hours
Early morning drive to Tiger Hill for a sunrise view. Situated at an altitude of 2, 590 m. (8,482 ft) and 14 kilomers from the town, this spot is famous for the magnificient view of the sunrise over the Eastern Himalayas and include Khangchendzonga, Makalu, Jannu, Kabru, Pandim, Siniolchu, Frey’s Peak, and Mount Everest.

On the way back, visit Yiga Choling Gompa, a Tibetan Monastery of the Gelugpa set in Ghoom, which was built in 1875 by Lama Sherab Gyatsho. The monastery enshrines a fifteen feet high image of the Maitreya Budhha. Stop at the Batasia Loop the watch the toy train in action.

After breakfast drive to Gangtok the Capital of Sikkim. Situated on the flanks of a ridge at 1,540 m. above sea level, this town's unique ambiance comes with its mixture of tradition and modernity. Alongside the deeply felt presence of monasteries and stupas, Gangtok bustles with the hullabaloo of human activity like any other town. Evening free to visit Gangtok town.

Just before arriving to Gangtok, take a detour to visit Rumtek monastery, the seat of the Gyalwa Karmapa, head of the Kagyu Karmapa Sect. The monastery is the largest in Sikkim sprawling over a huge area, and is also known as the Dharma Chakra Center. It was constructed in 1969 by the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa and is a replica of his gompa of Chhofok in Tsurpu, Tibet.

Evening free to stroll around the town.

Day 04: Gangtok
Transfer: Local sightseeing as per itinerary
Full day sightseeing tour of Gangtok includes:
After breakfast, visit the Enchey Monastery. Enchey means ‘High strong place’. It is said that the great tantric master ‘Lama Druptab Karpo’ flew from Maenam Hill to this site and built a shrine where the monastery stands today. The present monastery was built during the reign of Choygyal Thuptop Namgyal in 1909. Its main festival, the Detor Chaam (a religious masked dance) is performed on the 28th & 29th day of the eleventh Tibetan month.

Proceed downhill to the Directorate of Handicrafts & Handloom where you can watch traditional handicrafts in the making. This institution was esablished for promoting & training the rural Sikkimese in traditional arts and craft. This is the place to shop for quality souvenirs. Some of the popular items produced here are carved chokchis (Sikkimese tables with intricately carved designs), carpets, handwoven cloth and blankets, masks, lampshades and paper products.

On driving further downhill, we arrive at Deorali Bazaar where nearby on a tranquil hillock is the Dodrul Chorten, Gangtok’s most revered Buddhist shrine. This chorten was built in 1945 by Trulsi Rimpoche to commemorate the victory of good over evil. Alongside the chorten is the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, renowned worldwide for higher Buddhist studies. It is a treasure house of rare Lepcha, Tibetan and Sanskrit manuscripts, priceless statues and old thangkas. Also within the same complex, we then visit the Orchid Sanctuary where over 200 species of orchids are grown.

Day 05: Pelling
Transfer: Gangtok to Pelling: 112 km. / 5 hours
After breakfast drive to Pelling via Rabongla. Its location is magnificent, commanding panoramic views of the Khangchendzonga range. Till a few years back Pelling was an insignificant roadside a kilometer beyond Pemayangtse but with the popularity of tourism in West Sikkim and the demand for more hotel rooms, this lonely ridge-top settlement had rapidly evolved into a boomtown.

Enroute, pause to visit Kundragling monastery at Kewzing, the only Bon monastery in Sikkim. Bon is the pre-Buddhist religion of Tibet.

Day 06: Yuksam
Transfer: Pemayangtse to Yuksam: 56 km. / 4 hours
After an early breakfast, a short hike to Sangachholing Monastery (45 min) located on a hillock above Pelling. Built in the 17th century by Gyalwa Lhatsun Chenpo, the patron saint of Sikkim, it is the second oldest monastery in Sikkim. This spot commands a breathtaking view of the hills, valleys and villages of West Sikkim. Next, visit the Pemayangtse Monastery - "the Sublime Lotus", which houses the famed "Zangdopalri", a fascinating model of the celestial abode of Guru Padmasambhava, crafted single-handedly by the late Dungzim Rimpoche.

On return from the monastery, drive to Khecheodpalri Lake also known as the wishing lake (24 km./75 minutes). This unusually calm lake, located in the midst of a dense forest is considered very sacred and no other activities besides prayers and worship are allowed around it.

After a picnic lunch near the lake drive to Yuksam, a quaint little village. Yuksam is the historical site where the first king of Sikkim was crowned in 1641, and also the take off point for trekking to Dzongri and Goecha-la.

Day 07: Kalimpong
Transfer: Yuksam to Kalimpong: 107 km / 4 hours
If it is a Saturday or a Wednesday, we go to the Weekly Market Square for a view of the haat. Here, people from neighbouring villages come to sell their farm products. We then drive to Thongsa Monastery, the oldest monastery in Kalimpong founded by the Bhutanese in 1692.

Alternatively, if it not a haat day we take a drive to a neighbouring village.

Afternoon visit one of the flower nurseries, and then drive to Zangdogphelri Monastery, from where you can get a magnificent view of the Khangchendzonga range, Kalimpong town and the Teesta Valley. If the caretaker monk is around you will be able to visit the upper level of the monastery to see the ‘Sangdophelri’, an intricately carved wooden structure of artistic splendor depicting the heavenly sphere.

Day 08 : Kalimpong Departure
Transfer: Kalimpong to Bagdogra: 85 km. / 3 hours
After breakfast, drive to the airport for onward connection:
a. Bagdogra for your flight to Delhi/Calcutta, or
b. Bhadrapur, Biratnagar for flight to Kathmandu, or
c. Drive to Phuntsholing for your Bhutan trip.

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