Sikkim, the garden kingdom, is one of India’s smallest but most beautiful states, situated hidden in the far north-east of the subcontinent. The mighty Himalayas provide a magnificent backdrop and the area is home to countless thriving Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, a plethora of rare flora and fauna and a unique way of living.
SikkimWe begin this tour with a chance to see Calcutta – a place full ofhistory, culture and Raj architecture - that few Westerners bother to visit. Then we proceed up to the heart of the tea growing country and the fabled town of Darjeeling, a hill station established by the British Raj. From Darjeeling we continue through spectacular views deep into the mountains to Pelling where the mighty Kanchenjunga appears to be almost within touching distance. From here we travel, via Sikkim’s capital Gangtok, to the extraordinary Rumtek monastery, perched high on a ridge and seat of the reincarnating Karmarpa lamas, head of the Karma Kagyu school of Buddhists.
Next come a couple of days of walking in the wilds of nature on the glorious Samthar plateau, before descending to the small town of Kalimpong, a place full of flower nurseries and bustling local markets. To finish the trip we have included an overnight train ride from Siliguri to Calcutta to give you a real taste of India, and a last chance to enjoy this extraordinary city. A special feature of this tour will be the charming and atmospheric hotels run by local families.