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DARJEELING & SIKKIM HIMALAYAS

12 Night ecological and cultural expedition of the Eastern Himalayas – Exploring, Hiking, Birding, and Meditation

Tour Cost: On Request
Single Supplement: On Request
Date: TBA

Program Overview:
This spectacular region which is the meeting point of India Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet gives you the chance to see tropical rainforests decorated with rhododendrons, orchids and tree ferns. Higher reaches open into panoramic vistas and deep valleys gorged by rivers fed by gigantic glaciers sitting on the base of 8000 meter Himalayan peaks.
Learn more about the prophecy of Guru Padmasambava, the 8th century Buddhist master. The prophecy plays out in 1641 when three Lamas of Tibet respond to a calling and venture across the Kanchendzonga – the 8500 meter high eastern face of Himalayas. See the ancient village of Yuksom where they find Phustog, a descendant of the eastern Tibetans who is crowned the king of Sikkimas per the prophecy. Ever since, Tibetan Buddhism or Lamaism has had a profound influence on the region’s culture, art, architecture and attitude. In the 19th century the British took over the western frontiers of this region, named it “Darjeeling” and introduced tea plantations, the mountain railway system and also gave it a colonial ambience.

If lush valleys, mountain streams, wild orchids, terraced fields, snow capped mountains, quaint hill villages, hidden monasteries, fluttering prayer flags, bright chrotens and smiling faces of oriental monks are your impression of the Himalayas, then this is the right trip for you!

Highlights:
Join the legendary orchidist, Norden Pempahishey to understand the Himalayas.
Experience Himalayan ecology – rainforests, terraced fields and quaint villages.
Hike, watch birds, write, photograph, meditate and yoga in the backdrop of 8000 meter peaks.
Explore hidden Monasteries to understand 4 different sects of Tibetan Buddhism.
Ride a UNESCO steam train and visit the famous tea estates of Darjeeling.

Itinerary at a glance:
Delhi – 1 Night
Kalimpong – 1Night
Gangtok – 2 Nights
Pelling – 2 Nights
Yuksom – 2 Nights
Baiguney – 1 Night
Darjeeling – 2 Nights
Delhi – 1 Night

Activity Particulars:
Drives between locations involve up to 4 hours, parts of it on bumpy roads .
A typical day would involve a maximum of two half day excursions upto 3-4 hours each which involves walking in uneven trails with an average gradient of 20 degrees.
Non walking options are available for all hikes.
Yoga and Meditation lessons usually last about an hour and are conducted in hotels and in monasteries.
Interaction with scholars and performing art demonstrations are usually in villages, monasteries and sometimes during pre-dinner reception hours.

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