Darjeeling & Sikkim Authentic Cultural Tour

  • Duration8 Days
  • DestinationIndia
  • Difficulty LevelEasy
  • Max Altitude2,500m

About Trip

Namaste from Ashmita Trek & Tours!! We heartily welcome you to discover the rich and diverse culture of Darjeeling and Sikkim through our Darjeeling & Sikkim Authentic Cultural Tour. The distinct culture found in this area cannot be found elsewhere in India. Become fascinated learning about the history, people, art, architecture, religion, and many more facets of these beautiful places!

Our authentic tour takes you beyond the typical tourist experience for an inside look at the daily lifestyle of locals. Instead of staying for several days in one tourist destination, we spend time in the typical hillside towns of Sikkim, experiencing the charm that makes them each of them unique.
The tour kicks off with a tour of Darjeeling’s most beloved sites and monuments. Visit the Tibetan Self Help Center and watch as Tibetan refugees make beautiful handmade clothes and crafts for purchase. Step into the Dali Monastery, where devoted monks of all ages learn about the dharma and practice the monastic life. If we make the timing right, we’ll hear monks chanting and playing their magnificent instruments.

One highlight of Darjeeling is visiting Tiger Hill for the sunrise. Stare in awe at some of the world’s highest mountains (including Everest, Kanchenjunga, and Makalu!) as the bright orange and red of the rising sun strike them. It is a sight that you will never forget!

After two lovely days in Darjeeling, we move to Pelling and then Yuksom. Pelling is home to the centuries-old Pemayangtse Monastery, a picturesque place with a stunning view. It is the oldest and most well-known monastery in west Sikkim.

The next day of the memorable road trip, we reach Yuksom, where we visit Khecheopalri Lake, originally known as Kha-Chot-Palri (meaning the heaven of Padmasambhava). The lake, considered sacred by both Hindus and Buddhists, is said to grant wishes of those who visit. Every year there is a two-day festival during March or April where hundreds of pilgrims come from all parts of India, Bhutan and Nepal to perform a ritual of floating butter lamps on bamboo boats with khada (sacred scarves) on the lake. If you want to see this for yourself, we can arrange the tour during this festival!

Last but not least, we visit Gangtok, the capital and largest town in Sikkim. Spend the day and a half visiting tea estates and ornate, elegant Buddhist monasteries. Feel a sense of inner peace at these spiritual centers. Rumtek Monastery is a massive monastic center that will blow you away. Enchey Monastery is a more humble-sized one, surrounded by a lush forest. Life is Gangtok moves at a relaxed pace. By the time you leave Gangtok, you will already be planning your next trip there.

Spend a week seeing the best of what Darjeeling and Sikkim have to offer. Learn the history behind the temples, churches, and various historical buildings. Be immersed in the fascinating local cultures, which are exclusive to this area (Darjeeling and Sikkim only). Come and experience their authentic culture!

Join us in the Darjeeling & Sikkim Authentic Cultural Tour anytime of the year. Just be aware of the climate of the area when booking your trip.  Ashmita Trek and Tours arranges the tour with full management, including transportation, meals, etc. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have questions!

Highlights

  • Once-in-a-lifetime view of Everest, Kanchenjunga, and Makalu at Tiger Hill (2590 meters)
  • Visit the majestic Rumtek Monastery – the largest monastery in Sikkim
  • Taste the world-famous Darjeeling tea
  • Visit the popular Toy Train Joyride in Darjeeling
  • Spend time with the local ethnic groups – most are ethnically Nepali and Bhutia – and learn about their culture
  • Pay homage to the sacred Khecheopalri Lake, known to make devotees’ wishes come true

Itinerary

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Our assistant will welcome you at Bagdogra Airport near Siliguri and bring you to Darjeeling. Pass Assam tea plantations and tiny villages along the way. Cruise through hilly switchbacks above the clouds through the bright green landscape. Situated on top of a ridge, Darjeeling faces the Himalaya and is a popular destination for Westerners and Indians alike. Overnight at a hotel in Darjeeling.

    Begin sightseeing after breakfast. There are plenty of things to see in Darjeeling, and we manage to see the best of the best. Check out Observatory Hill, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and the famous Everest Museum. Also worth visiting is the Padam Naidu Zoological Park, where you can see the rare Red Panda, as well as the Himalayan Black Bear and Royal Bengal Tiger. In the afternoon, see the Tibetan Self Help Center and Happy Valley Tea Garden to try Darjeeling’s world famous tea. In the afternoon, we visit Dali Gompa/Monastery (also known as the Druk Thupten Sangag Choeling Monastery). If we catch the timing right, sit in the monastery and listen to the monks chanting and playing their ritualistic music. After, stroll around the main marketplace. Overnight in hotel.

      Wake up at the crack of dawn (around 4am) and head to Tiger Hill for the sunrise. Besides, the best mountain views always happen in the morning when the skies are clearest. Tiger Hill (8,515 feet) is about 14 km from Darjeeling and is famous for its spectacular views at sunrise. Even Mount Everest is visible from here, along with Kanchenjunga and Makalu. Head back from breakfast and get ready for another day of sightseeing. We ride the beloved toy train, a Darjeeling favorite. Spend the rest of the day wandering the lovely city. Overnight in hotel. 

        Begin driving to Pelling after breakfast. Upon arrival, check in at the hotel and visit Pemayangtse Monastery, designed and founded by Lama Lhatsun Chempo in 1705. It is one of the oldest and most famous in west Sikkim. Learn about the rich history of the monastery’s existence. The monastery follows the Nyingma Order of Tibet Buddhism and controls all other monasteries of that order in Sikkim. Overnight in hotel in Pelling. 

          After breakfast, we drive further to Yuksom. On the way, visit Khecheopalri Lake, originally known as Kha-Chot-Palri (meaning the heaven of Padmasambhava). It is revered as sacred by both Buddhists and Hindus, believed to grant devotees’ wishes. Drive the rest of the way to Yuksom and explore the rest of the day. Overnight in hotel in Yuksom.

            After breakfast, start driving to Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim. We drive through Rabongla (or Ravangla) and admire the scenic tea gardens of Sikkim, including Temi Tea Estate. Have a rest, sip some rejuvenating tea, and enjoy the views. Continue the drive to Gangtok. Relax and/or explore the rest of the evening. Overnight in hotel in Gangtok.

              Eat breakfast at the hotel and begin sightseeing! Pay homage to the Rumtek Monastery, world renowned amongst Tibetan Buddhists. Originally called the Dharma Chakra Centre, it includes a beautiful shrine temple and a learning center for the monks. Rumtek Monastery, a pilgrimage site, was built by the 16th Karmapa. Then, visit Enchey Monastery, belonging to the Nyingma order of Vajrayana Buddhism. In the evening, explore the rest of Gangtok. Overnight in hotel in Gangtok.

                After breakfast, we transfer you to Bagdogra Airport or NJP Train station for your next destination. Thank you for taking the Darjeeling & Sikkim Authentic Cultural Tour with Ashmita Trek & Tours! We look forward to seeing you again.

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                  What's Included

                  • 7 nights' accommodation in Deluxe / Premium Hotels
                  • Meal Plan - C/p Hotel with breakfast included
                  • Welcome and send-off by an Ashmita Trek and Tours representative during airport/station transfers
                  • Transport Sightseeing with friendly local private driver
                  • Necessary permit and monuments entrance fees.
                  • Toy train joy ride 
                  • Welcome drink arrival
                  • Licensed Guide throughout your tour
                  • International Airfare
                  • Costs from unexpected occurrences (i.e. cancellations, weather problems, damages of property, illness, etc.)
                  • Visa fee for India 
                  • Transportation to Bagdogra Airport (before tour starts)
                  • Meals (besides breakfast) during the tour
                  • Prices are Per Person on Twin Sharing basis.
                  • Any charges for carrying still/video cameras etc. 
                  • Alcohol, soft drinks, bottled water, beverages, etc. 
                  • Personal expenses like tips for driver/ Guide, telephone calls, laundry, etc. 
                  • Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances like landslides, road blocks, bad weather, etc. 
                  • Travel insurance.

                  Useful Information

                  What  Documentation did we require from our guest for travel?

                  for intranational Travel Documentation: It is the responsibility of the client to be in possession of a valid passport, visa permits, and vaccination and other medical certificates as may be required for the whole of the tour. The company does not accept responsibility for changes in regulations for visas or any particular requirements for visas. The company cannot be held responsible for the failure of the client to obtain the necessary Indian visas.

                  guest must carry 04 passport size photographs along with their Photo-ID proof (i.e.Driving License, Passport, Voter-ID Card & School ID Card for children). 

                  For Domestic Travel Documentation: must have your original I.D.proof passport pan card and some copy of passport size of photo required, guest must  carry 04 passport size photograph along with their Photo-ID proof (i.e.Driving License, Passport, Voter-ID Card & School ID Card for children)

                  To book this trip please feel free to Call Us from India 9733106312 from international +91 9733106312

                  Customer Reviews

                  • N

                    Narayananrl90 - June 05, 2019

                    I visited Darjeeling last month with my wife. I saw reviews of best travel companies in Darjeeling and found Asmita Trek and Tours company at the top of list. I booked for Queen of Hills Darjeeling city package for 3 nights and 4 days inclusive of hotel stay.. Our experience with Asmita was great right from beginning. Santosh picked us from Bagdogra Airport.We had to travel for 3.5 hours to reach Darjeeling city.We stayed in Dekeling Hotel close to Asmita's office. Santosh was extremely professional and knowledgeable about the city.He helped in covering maximum places in the city. Subash was extremely friendly and pleasant.He helped us with lot of questions before and throughout our stay.On the whole, we had a great experience. I would definitely recommend Asmita Travels to my friends and people who plan to visit Darjeeling.

                  • M

                    Marine B - April 01, 2019

                     Want to thank Ashmita for the wonderful trip we did. Thanks to all the team.

                    We were 3 French: myself (49 years old), my husband (55 years old) and my son (24 years old). We are rather sporty, without excesses, outdoor enthusiasts, and we were filled by this trek that corresponded absolutely to our abilities and expectations.

                    The exchanges with the agency were clear and the reservation was simple. The description of the trek was perfectly in line with what we experienced. We continued the trek through 4 days in Sikkim with temple visits, rafting and day trekking. In record time, Subash organized a continuation of the trip which was extra for better understanding this region!

                    The accommodations and meetings with local people were very friendly: we felt that everyone was happy with the exchange.

                    I would particularly like to salute Sanjay who has been an exceptional guide. On the sporting side, he has always been attentive to our rhythms and our reactions with the climb to altitude, and full of good advice for us to enjoy this new experience. On the cultural level, his knowledge of fauna, flora, and Buddhist culture has brought us a lot. We exchanged a lot about the differences between our respective countries on all these subjects: it was very appreciable that the exchanges are made in both directions. The English level of Sanjai (Much better than mine!) has allowed very rich exchanges. Last but not least, the human qualities of Sanjai are exceptional: he had a personal relationship with each of us 3. And then, he is the king of surprise that's hot to the heart (and / or elsewhere!) at the right moment. I will not devolish theses surprises because I do not wish to spoiler, to give you all the pleasure ...

                    A last thank you to Santosh, the driver: we have always felt safe, both on the busy roads of Sikkim and in the anarchic traffic in West Bengal, which is remarkable!

                    In short, I warmly recommend Ashmita to all those who wish to discover this beautiful region.

                    As for us, we will return as soon as possible!

                  • A

                    Annie Ahmed - December 19, 2018

                    A great tour organized by Mr. Subhash owner of Ashmita  Trek and tours. He organized according the tour to our wishes. Also a great thank to our driver Santosh, without whom probably our tour would not be so exceptiona and charming. he was very precios to us not only he is a very good driver, but for his expériences his acquaintances of the area.

                    Email : [email protected]

                  • M

                    Mayank Sidana - October 10, 2016

                    I took a 4 days of Sandakphu trek from Ashmita tours and treks. My travel dates were Sept 17 - Sept 20. I was not sure of the view from the top in those dates as the climate was still foggy. That's where Subhash helped me in customizing my trek, and he gave all the possible options of trek and stay and let me choose as per my convenience. My guide was Sangay, he was very cooperative and professional. He had more than 14 years of experience in trekking and hiking and if you get him as you guide you can feel that while climbing with him. He was very helpful and skilled, not only he helped me but he was very helpful to other trekkers too so that they have a good experience. All the home stays at various villages was very comfortable and Sangay took care of all the things.It was an amazing experience and all because of Sangay and Subhash. Thank you guys.

                    Visited September 2016

                  • M

                    Mayank Sidana - October 10, 2016

                    I took a 4 days of Sandakphu trek from Ashmita tours and treks. My travel dates were Sept 17 - Sept 20. I was not sure of the view from the top in those dates as the climate was still foggy. That's where Subhash helped me in customizing my trek, and he gave all the possible options of trek and stay and let me choose as per my convenience. My guide was Sangay, he was very cooperative and professional. He had more than 14 years of experience in trekking and hiking and if you get him as you guide you can feel that while climbing with him. He was very helpful and skilled, not only he helped me but he was very helpful to other trekkers too so that they have a good experience. All the home stays at various villages was very comfortable and Sangay took care of all the things.It was an amazing experience and all because of Sangay and Subhash. Thank you guys.

                    Visited September 2016

                  Trip Advisor