Day 1 : Arrive-Delhi
Met at the Airport and transfer to Hotel . PM: City Tour
Day 2 : Delhi - Bagdogra - Darjeeling
Morning transfer to the airport to connect the flight to Bagdogra . On
reaching Bagdogra we will be received by the botany expert who will
accompany us for rest of the tour in Sikkim and Darjeeling. Bagdogra to
Darjeeling is a three hours drive uphill through tea gardens and small
towns. We will occasionally meet the famous Darjeeling toy train, huffing
and puffing across our road.
Day 3 : Darjeeling
Early morning visit Tiger Hill for fabulous sunrise views of
Mt.Kanchenjunga , the third highest mountain in the world at 28,156 ft. Mt.
Everest and a host of other Himalayan giants are also seen on the horizon.
On our drive back to the hotel we will stop at Ghoom , a Tibetan-Buddhist
monastery. After breakfast we shall visit the old botanical gardens to see
their collection of rare orchids and other plants. After lunch visit the
Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, the Tibetan Refugee Camp and the local
market. Evening we will have a lecture by Prof. Pradhan or Prof. Chettri
from the Botany Dept. of the local University, on the flora of Darjeeling
and surrounding areas.
Day 4 : Darjeeling - Pemayangste
Today's' drive is truly a naturalist's delight. The hillsides and
mountain slopes of Sikkim are strewn with bright patches of myriad colors.
The lower mountain slopes are abundant with lush green bamboo and ferns. The
northern valleys are draped with wild cherry, oaks, chestnut, pines as well
as magnolia variety's called Magnolia Campbeli and Michelia Doltso-pa.
The higher altitudes are abloom with 46 species of Rhododendrons. And of
course, Sikkim's 600 varieties of orchids are everywhere. This day our
05-hour drive is interesting as we move upstream along the river Rangit
through dense forests of sal and teak. Over night will be in a
government-run tourist lodge called Mount Pandim, situated on top of a hill
at the altitude of 7000 feet. From your bedroom windows you can see the
magnificent Kanchenjunga massif which is only 35 miles away as the crow
Day 5 : Pemayangste to Yuksum via Kecheoplari lake
Early morning after having our breakfast we walk to the Pemayangste
monastery which is only a km from the hotel. Here we hear the chanting of
the morning prayers by the young and old monks and the smell of the burning
Juniferous Squamata and Rhododendron Nivele. Pemayangste , also known as the
"Perfect Sublime Lotus ", is one of the oldest monasteries of
Sikkim and belongs to the Red Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhists. After visiting
this monastery we will drive towards Kecheopalri Lake. After a walk around
this "wishing lake ", a short trek downhill towards Yuksum. We
will see some common wild orchids like the Dendrobium. This night we will be
camping and our food will be cooked by our own staff who will be serving
Sikkim specialties along with the famous local brew called the "Tongba".
Day 6 : Yuksum
The original capital of Sikkim , the tiny hill town of Yuksum is the base
for treks and climbing expeditions to Mount Kanchenjunga and other important
peaks. This day we walk to the coronation throne, Dubdi Monastery and the
nearby jungles to see wild orchids like the Coelogyne and Dendrobium , as
well as the indigenous flora of Sikkim.
Day 7 : Yuksum - Gangtok
The 5-hour drive from Yuksum to Gangtok passes lush green fields the famous
large Sikkimese Cardamoms as well as Golden Rice.
Day 8 : Gangtok
Perched atop a ridge at a height of 1520-m. lies Gangtok, a quaint,
colorful town. This small-modernized town is the capital of Sikkim. Here we
visit the famous monastery of Rumtek which is the head quarters of the Kagyu
sect. Later, we visit the Institute of Tibetology which has a collection of
almost 30,000 volumes on diverse subjects like astrology, philosophy, magic
and religion. After lunch we visit the Orchid Sanctuary which has over 200
species of temperate and intermediate orchids on beautifully landscaped
grounds. Our next stop is the Epica gardens, which has large collection of
indigenous plants of Sikkim. Evening we will have a discussion with local
botanists Prof.Tamang, Mr.Lachungpa and Mr.Gurung.
Day 9 : Gangtok to Lachung
This area was recently opened to foreign visitors. We will be seeing the
breathtaking landscapes of the northern part of Sikkim. Our drive takes us
through lush green bamboo thickets intermingled with tropical flora and we
arrive at the historical place of "Kabi Logstok" where the Lepchas
and Bhutias had their brotherhood treaty. Later we pass scattered villages
and terraced paddy fields. A few kilometers before reaching Mangan (the
capital of north Sikkim), we will cross the Ranga Rang bridge which is said
to be one of the highest bridges in Asia. After Mangan the landscapes turn
even more interesting as we encounter magnificent waterfalls cascading down
steep mountain walls
Day 10 : Lachung - Yumthang
This day we visit Shingba Rhododendron sanctuary set at 12000 ft. Here we
find different varieties of Rhododendrons like the Triflorum, Hodgsonii,
Dalhousiae, Cilatum, Cinnbarinum, Campanulatum etc. Besides this we find
several pine families like the Cedrus Deodara, Abies Spectabilis, Tsuga
Dumosa, Pinus Wallichiana etc. Of course, the sanctuary is also very rich
with alpine flowers like Rheum Nobile, Rheum Australe etc. Yumthang is also
rich in sulphur springs and even the kings of Sikkim have made their own
bathing huts. The air starts to get cooler as you enter the valley, with
towering peaks closing in from all sides. From this point Tibet is only 25
kms as the crow flies. Evening return back to our lodge in Lachung.
Day 11 : Lachung - Gangtok
After breakfast visit Lachung monastery. before commencing the return
drive. Lachung is famous for Apple , and October and November are lively
months when the apples are harvested and sent to Gangtok. On our return
drive we will make stop at different places and take short hikes to explore
the countryside. We will have a picnic lunch at Singhik , famous for its
clear and unobstructed views of Kanchenjunga and its
Day 12 : Gangtok - Bagdogra - Delhi
The 5 hours drive from Gangtok to Bagdogra follows the Teesta river and we
will be making stops to see the low altitude Himalayan flora. Arrive Delhi
in the early evening.
Day 13 : Depart - Delhi
Day at leisure. Departure transfer to the airport for the flight back .