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!


  • 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
  • Visit Sikkim is the first organic state in India 2016
  • Visit The jewel in the British Crown, Darjeeling Is still the “Queen of Hill Stations”


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Dear Guest This is our regular Itinerary and most people have done this itinerary. So If you have any special request on this itinerary you can contact us via email. We can Customize this trip with your request. If you want to make it shorter or longer or want to add some other tours with this package please mention on your email, we will work out on your request. 

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.

  • Hotel
  • 4 Hour
  • 2,130m
  • Pickup transfer

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.

  • Hotel
  • 5 hour
  • Breakfast
  • 2,130m
  • Cultural tour

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. 

  • Hotel
  • 5 hour
  • Breakfast
  • 2,130m
  • Sunrise & Toy Train

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. 

  • Hotel
  • 6-7 hour
  • Breakfast
  • 2,150m
  • Sightseeing

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.

  • Hotel
  • 5 hour
  • Breakfast
  • 1,780m
  • Sightseeing tour

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.

  • Hotel
  • 7 hour
  • Breakfast
  • 1,650m
  • Sightseeing

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.

  • Hotel
  • 5 hour
  • Breakfast
  • 1,650m
  • Sightseeing tour

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.

  • 5 hour
  • Breakfast
  • Fairwell
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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
  • Professional tour 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

Personal Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance is mandatory for all the clients who are travel or going to participate in our any of Trekking, Hiking tours packages, and Adventure activities in the Himalayas region like Nepal.India and Bhutan We highly recommend a compressive travel insurance package to all our clients, the insurance must cover personal injury, medical expenses, emergency helicopter expenses, repatriation expenses, loss of luggage and the expenses associated with cancellation or curtailment or a tour.

Permits require to visit Sikkim ( ILP ) 

Foreigners require an Inner Line Permit (ILP) to enter Sikkim ( Indians however don’t require this ). These are free and getting one is a formality, although to apply you’ll need a passport 2-4 -sized photo and photocopies of your passport and India Valid visa on arrival (show the original too). Note If you are a national of Pakistan, China, or Myanmar, then it gets a little more difficult to enter Sikkim. You must get a written approval from Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi before the Restricted Area Permit can be issued. 

For Domestic Travel Documentation

Must have your original  ID proof (i.e.Driving License, Passport, Voter-ID Card & School ID Card for children) along with 4 passport size photograph.

Best Season

Best season to visit Darjeeling and Sikkim throughout the year for this trip but especially the Best season is in spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) these months are the best time for this trip. The weather will be sunny and warm with an outstanding scenery view. If you wish to avoid crowds this trip during winter (Dec., Jan. and Feb.) could also be the best option where sky clear.

Customer Reviews

  • J

    John Imbrie, United States - January 23, 2024

    I had a terrific weekend touring Darjeeling with Kiran Rai as guide and Dipu Lepcha as driver. We packed a lot of sights into a short period of time but they managed things smoothly so it never felt rushed. Kiran was extremely knowledgeable about everything and gave me a lot to learn and think about throughout the weekend, as we discussed the background of the Tibetan monastery, Buddhism, the tea industry, the politics of the hill country within the state of West Bengal, as well as history of the region from the British Raj to independence to the present day. Dipu did an amazing job driving amidst difficult traffic in Bagdogra and the mountain road to Darjeeling.

  • S

    Sherril P, Australia - February 24, 2023

    Best decision ever!!! I am an Australian woman who was travelling solo in India. I booked a one-week Customised Private Tour with Ashmita Trek & Tours with a cultural focus on Darjeeling (West Bengal) and Gangtok (Sikkim). Ashmita’s service was impeccable from start to finish.

    The Manager, Mr Norbu Lama, responded very promptly to my initial email request and to my responses; their Quote was very competitive i.e. a local Travel Agent in Australia quoted me a price that was approx. 300% higher for a similar Tour; and the payment process was very smooth.

    My Tour Guide - Mr Prem Tshering Lama met me at Bagdogra Airport, along with my Driver - Mr Dhiraj Chettri. I was extremely blessed to have this Guide and Driver for the entire duration of my Tour.

    Prem was an excellent, friendly, knowledgeable and committed Tour Guide. When Prem found out that I was particularly interested in monasteries and temples, he built lots of extra stops into my Tour, shared his knowledge about the different schools of Buddhism with me, and I was privileged to visit a number of amazing monasteries along the way, and to witness some rare poojas being conducted by the monks. Prem also managed to get me a seat with the best view on the famous, not to be missed “Darjeeling Toy Train” 2-hour Round Trip (UNESCO World Heritage). He also arranged for us to arrive at venues when they were not busy, and we were sometimes the only visitors on-site at that time. Prem also escorted me around each location on walking tours and introduced me to some yummy local eating places.

    Dhiraj was an extremely calm, competent Driver. Dhiraj and Prem made a great Team. I felt very safe 100% of the time with Dhiraj at the wheel, especially as we navigated up and down mountains and numerous hairpin bends along the way. Dhiraj was also highly skilled at navigating the busy traffic (cars, motorbikes, bicycles, cows, rickshaws, pedestrians) as we drove through built-up areas. The car was very comfortable and reliable. I noticed that Dhiraj took the time to clean the car thoroughly inside and out every morning, and sometimes between stops as well.

    The Owner – Mr Subash Tamang has a fabulous warm personality and is absolutely passionate about his business. Subash, the Owner, and Norbu, the Manager, both took time out of their busy schedules to join me for a catch-up and a cup of exquisite Darjeeling tea at my hotel, Mayfair Hill Resort Darjeeling (fantastic hotel!). I learned that Ashmita Trek & Tours is a private company, named after Subash’s daughter “Ashmita”.

    I bid Prem and Dhiraj a fond farewell as they delivered me back to Bagdogra Airport at the end of my Tour, leaving me with lots of wonderful memories of my one-week Tour in Darjeeling and Gangtok.

    The weather in Darjeeling and Gangtok in February was very pleasant and far milder than I had envisaged. I appreciated the heating in the hotel rooms at night but did not need any of the thermal wear that I had packed for day use.

    Ashmita Trek & Tours and my Guide Prem are also extremely passionate about trekking – Everest, Annapurna and bushwalking, so I am certain they would offer an equally incredible and unforgettable Trekking Tour.


  • N

    Narayananrl90, United States - 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, France - 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, France - 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]

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