Kolkata, India’s cultural and intellectual capital, can be duly called the city of art, culture and tradition. A city that can boast of, in the truest sense, an old-world charm. Kolkata is as much a celebration of the colonial-era as it is of modernity. The food, the architecture, the high-rises, the rusty by-lanes, the festivities, the Rabindra Sangeet, the aristocratic nobility and the self-righteous middle-class… you find it all in Kolkata, the city of JOY.
After arrival, our representative will escort you to your hotel. Spend the day resting. You may choose to take a photography and walking tour with CALCUTTA PHOTO TOURS*, a brilliant way to explore the city and capture some memorable shots as well.
*These tours may be taken on any day of your preference.
After breakfast, start your day by taking a city tour of Kolkata. The major attractions to visit include Victoria Memorial, Howrah Bridge, Kali Mandir, Botanical Garden, Marble Palace, Belur Math, Dakshineshwar Kali Temple, Indian Museum, Church of St. John, Nakhoda Mosque, Raj Bhawan, Town Hall and St. Paul’s Cathedral. Later, return to your hotel, and enjoy a good night’s sleep.
Spend the morning at leisure. Later in the afternoon, start for Vivada Cruise vessel. The cruise gives you a chance to enjoy the view of small and picturesque locales adjacent to Kolkata before reaching Namkhana – the gateway to the Sunderbans. Sunderbans, the world’s largest delta, and home to the Mangroves and the Bengal tigers, is an experience in itself.
Later in day, the cruise enters the Sunderbans. Visit the Crocodile Project Area at Bhagabatpur to watch rare crocodiles and Olive Ridley turtles. Spend overnight on board.
In the evening, before sunset, your vessel will anchor at Bali, a beautiful Sunderbans village. Guests will be shown the traditional dance drama of the place. After that a traditional Bengali dinner will be served. Spend the night on board.
Set-in for the backward journey to Kolkata. Enroute, you will see the beautiful Lothian Island that habitats Whimbrell, Tern and Curlew, Black-capped Kingfisher and White-Bellied Sea-Eagle. Also visit the densely wooded island – The Kalas Beach, the place where the Matla River meets the Bay of Bengal. Spend night at your hotel in Kolkata.
After breakfast, go to the airport to board a flight for your onward journey. Darjeeling, home to one of the world’s best tea plantations and to the majestic Kanchenjunga, the world’s second highest peak. It even offers a chance to ride in the 19th century Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, is a prominent Buddhist pilgrimage site as well as a trade route between India and Tibet. It also acts as a base for hikers and trekkers wishing to scale the heights of the Himalayan Mountain Ranges.
After your pickup from the hotel, catch your flight to Bagdogra. When you land, you’ll be driven to Darjeeling for hotel check-in and dinner.
Early in the morning, drive to Ghum. Here, take a train ride on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (‘Toy Train’) – the highest railway station in India and a UNESCO World Heritage Site – up to the summit of Tiger Hill and experience a spectacular sunrise over the Himalayas.
Your next stop will be the Ghum Monastery and Batasia Loop War Memorial. Here, enjoy the gorgeous panoramic view of Darjeeling with Kanchenjunga and the snowy mountains as a backdrop.
In the afternoon, take a half-day sightseeing tour with your guide. Drive around Darjeeling and visit the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, that runs a successful breeding program for snow leopards, endangered Himalayan wolves and red pandas.
Spend the evening at leisure and return to your hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
After breakfast, enjoy a scenic 3-hour drive to Gangtok, the capital and largest town of the Indian state of Sikkim, in the eastern Himalayan range. When you arrive, check in to your hotel and enjoy the rest of the day to relax or explore. Return to your hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Start your day with breakfast before embarking on a half-day sightseeing tour. Visit Rumtek Monastery, also called the Dharma Chakra Centre, which is currently the largest monastery in Sikkim and home to a community of Tibetan Buddhist monks. Then, visit the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, which promotes research on Tibetan religion, history, language, art and culture.
Afterwards, head to Enchey Monastery – said to have been a residence of the deities Khangchenjunga and Yabdean – where you’ll see images of Buddhist gods and goddesses.
Next, at the Government Institute of Cottage Industry, peruse various traditional items like wooden masks and carved tables. Head back to your hotel for dinner and a good night’s sleep.
After breakfast, drive back to Bagdogra to board a return flight to Kolkata.