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!
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.
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!
Marine B, France
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.
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Annie Ahmed, France
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
Mayank Sidana, India
A wonderful week in Darjeeling and Sikkim, thanks to Ashmita. Our route took us through Darjeeling, Pelling, Yuksom and Gangtok, with stops at monasteries, tea plantations and other sights. We were booked into consistently great hotels, often with fantastic views from the room. The car was comfortable and reliable, thanks to our calm driver Kiran Chettri. We had a great guide, Dawa Lama, who was very good at adjusting the trip to our specific interests. We didn't want to go on a multi-day hike, but were very happy to switch the car for our feet when things were within walking distance. Dawa was also on very friendly terms with the locals throughout our trip, which gave us access to both places and people that we would not have had without him. He was altogether an unobtrusive, charming and attentive guide with good intuitive knowledge of the region.
All in all, we had the impression that everyone involved took great care to make sure that we had the best possible experience, and as a result we had a great time.
Aassy M, Norway
We planned to rent a jeep and make a 6-day trip to Sikkim. So we searched touring companies in Darjeeling just walking around and stepping in - and Subash in Ashmita Tours was most helpful, most proffessional, most considering. So were his partners in Sikkim - Ejam Residency in Yuksom was really nice place to stay, jeep was big&strong enough for 8 people and driver was not too fast for lowland people like us :) Hope to come back for some trekking, too.
Lii R, Romania
Subash really coordinated the trip well, his staff - both the drivers Santosh for Darjeeling & Ashok for Sikkim were courteous and knew the roads well & were safe and experienced, plus they recommended proper eating places Value for money-recommend Ashmita for your tours & travels.Subash himself also visited us during our stay.
Xerxe Sirani, India
Subash arranged a private driver and a car to take us everywhere from Darjeeling to Gangtok and back to the airport and sightsee around for 6 days in the area. The service was good, the driver very competent, capable and careful (his name is Nima). He maintained total calm and serenity throughout 6 days of some rather full-on driving (up and down mountain sides and hair pin turns for hours and hours!) with two kids in the back of the car being pretty noisy and annoying at times!
Subash was nice and friendly. The only thing would have been to arrange a better hike or trek for one afternoon that was done a little bit at the last minute (we didnt really plan it) and was not as well thought out as it could have been. However, on the whole, cannot complain. Super nice guy and good service with reliability. Next time will try to arrange a long hike or trek with more details built in before hand.
Niki T, Thailand
We were six female adults who joined a tour to Sikkim (North&East) and Darjeeling arranged by Ashmita Trek and tours from Nov-Dec 2014. We really felt blessed to have this agency as our tour operator. Mr. Subash, the tour director, was very kind and took care of every need or requirement that we asked for during the whole journey. Indeed, we dealt with many India agencies for our tour arrangement since March 2014 and among all those agencies, we finally opted for this agency as seeing Mr.Subash’s sincerity in promoting Sikkim and Darjeeling tourism and his patience in answering every single detail we enquired via emails. On the day of arrival, he welcomed us from Bagdogra Airport and settled all document details for us. The accommodation arrangements were perfectly done and we loved all the accommodation arranged. Most drivers were professional in driving the long, winding and bumpy roads, e.g. Nima and his team member, Santoks and his team members. We really thanked Nima for his willingness/hospitality to let his house opened for our visit before we left for Delhi Airport. It let us getting closer to the local culture. Also, not forget to thank Mr. Subash for his treat on the last night in Darjeeling (he spent time for us although he had busy schedule). We enjoyed the meal and beers very much Sikkim and Darjeeling are really great places to be visited. Will definitely opt for this agency again if visiting any Himalayas countries:p
From YLH, Malaysia.
Yrene H, Malaysia
A friend and I trekked the Singalila Ridge and then toured West Sikkim recently using Ashmita Trek and Tours. Subash, the CEO, went to great lengths to make these two trips enjoyable for us, organising our visas for Sikkim and making sure that we were appropriately prepared. Subash has a friendly personality, speaks good English, is well connected and was able to give us good advice on a range of issues.
For the Singalila Ridge Trek, Subash arranged for a guide called Pemba for us. Pemba has a very happy disposition and is a truly resourceful guide. He arranged excellent food and tea breaks for us, good accommodation and provided interesting insights on the local culture, flora and fauna. He woke us early in the mornings, as requested, and accompanied us to various sunrise viewing points, and, at one point, acted swiftly to quieten a charging yak.
After the trek Subash arranged a tour of West Sikkim for us where we stayed at Pelling and Yuksam before returning for a night in Bengal at Kalimpong. A very competent driver, Ciaran, was provided for us together with great accommodation.
I hope to return to the Darjeeling area at some time again and in the meantime will certainly be recommending Ashmita Trek and Tours to my friends.
Robin Mills from Austrilla
Robin Mills, Australia
I traveled to India in August 2014 to attend a friend's wedding in Hyderabad, and had my heart set on visiting the Gangtok/Sikkim region as a side trip. I was nervous about traveling alone, so when I saw a glowing TripAdvisor review of Ashmita Trek & Tours from another solo woman traveler, I decided to put myself into their hands. Subash Tamang owns and runs this excellent operation (named for his daughter), and he replied promptly to my dozens of e-mails and questions. Since the company is based in Darjeeling, I decided to stay in Darjeeling and tour locally, leaving the much longer drive to distant Gangtok for another time. From the moment Subash and his driver Mr. Nima met me at the Bagdogra airport, to the moment Mr. Nima dropped me back at IXX four days later, I felt safe and supported. The timing of the trip was unfortunate -- it was rainy season in West Bengal, and a blanket of fog and clouds enveloped me for most of the weekend, so I did not get to see the spectacular view of the mountain range that appears in all the postcards. This also caused us to decide against the 4 am hike up to Tiger Mountain to see the sunrise, but there were plenty of other things to do. With my tireless guide Mr. Dawa, I visited several monasteries, did a tea tasting, toured the tea factory, and best of all, spent a day hiking 11+ miles through the Singalilla National Forest on the border of India and Nepal. That day alone made the whole trip worth it. I met many former Nepalis of Tibetan descent on this trip, ate wonderful food, got bitten by a leech, and saw a red panda. It was a great experience and I would not have seen 2% of these sights, or met any of these people, without Ashmita. I would unhesitatingly recommend Ashmita, Subash, and all of his guides to any traveler wanting an intimate look at a fascinating region.
Laura F, United States
travelled in Darjeeling recently with Ashmita trek and tours. As a solo female traveller and having not done any travelling on my own I was apprehensive. However my concerns were immediately put at ease. I was met by my courteous driver at Bagdogra airport who drove us up the stunning mountains to Darjeeling, stopping along the way for lunch. I was taken to my hotel (Dekeling Hotel) which was clean, secure, had friendly and helpful staff and the view from my room was worth climbing all of the stairs.
I met Subash, later that evening who was very welcoming, told me about Darjeeling and my plan for the day tour the next day. The next morning I got up early to go to tiger hill, it was cloudy but I was able to get glimpses of the Himalayan mountain ranges. I was then taken to the monasteries and war memorial on the way back in to town.
After breakfast I met Subash who took me on my day trek/ hike around Darjeeling. I had the option of walking or going by car and chose to walk. So glad I did. It allowed me to fully appreciate the stunning landscape and Darjeeling culture, although the trek up the mountain was hard work later in the day. It was just myself on my tour, so I had a private tour of Darjeeling with Subash, who was very informative and answered all of my questions about Darjeeling, and also Indian and Nepali culture. He tailored my day trip to what I wanted to see and do. We visited the zoo, the mountaineering institute, the happy valley tea plantation, monasteries, the Japanese peace pagoda, we had high tea and went to the markets.
The next day I was driven back down to Bagdogra to make my plane for my trip home.
I would wholeheartedly recommend Ashmita trek and tours. I thoroughly enjoyed my tour. I was able to see, do and learn so much in such a short time in such a beautiful place. I felt safe and very welcome. Looking forward to visiting again
Main beach, Australia
I cannot say enough good things about Ashmita and Subash. The arrangement of the trip was very professional. In addition, it was very personal and friendly. I also found it to be very reasonably priced.
Our driver was Nima and Wangchuk our guide. Both were very professional and friendly. The best thing I liked was they accommodated my whims and altered the itinerary at the drop of a hat without any extra charges.
Barry Toole, India
Mr Subash of Ashmita Trek is a really friendly and helpful guy. All the discussion was done by e-mail and he is very prompt in his replies. On the day of the trek, he met us personally at our hotel in Darjeeling with his guide Binod and went through the details with us.
Binod is a very experienced guide who is very humble, polite and caring. He always walked with us and pointed out interesting things to us. He was completely professional but also joined in some of the jokes we cracked. When it came to rest stops, he did his utmost to make sure we were comfortable in terms of meals and accommodation. He really was a big part in making us enjoy the long treks. Even though the distances are long and oftentimes very tiring, Binod motivated us and made sure we completed it safely.
I just want to thank both Subash & Binod for making our trek experience in Darjeeling a wonderful one. Would strongly recommend Ashmita trek to anyone considering a visit who is looking for a friendly and reliable tour operator
At first we planned to visited Darjeeling but due to political tensions in the region (august 2013) we had to change the itinerary and instead visit Sikkim.
The company managed to make in no time a wonderful new itinerary for 5 days. We were a group of 8 people and hired 2 Toyota Innovas with drivers. The cars were wonderful.
The drivers were very professional, they took us to amazing hotels and they knew all the interesting places to visit. They know very well the region. I definitely I recommend this company.
I have spent quite a lot of time in Darjeeling and surrounds over the last two years, and always use Ashmita Trek and Tours for all my tour guide, travel, car / transport, and trekking needs. Subash and his staff are always very professional. I also find that Subash is a truly hospitality professional, and understands how to deliver attentive and quality service, that is welcoming, friendly, and well executed, which can be hard to find in the Darjeeling area, and in India in general.
So I always call Subash for all my touring and transport needs, and have used many of his drivers to get to Darjeeling, and also into Sikkim. Everything has always worked out very well, and all his drivers and guides are very lovely.
Many of my friends have also used his services, and have been very happy with their multi-day trek, Darjeeling day tours, and transport / car service. Everybody enjoys Subash, the proprietor of Ashmita Trek and Tours personal and warm service.
You can easily find him opposite Glenary's under the Sikkim tourism office, and he will happily give you advice and arrange anything you may need while you are in the Darjeeling, Sikkim, and Nepal area. He has a very comprehensive range of tours and treks, as well as many drivers and guides available to explore this very magical part of the world.
Every year stay in Darjeeling more than one month is my regular schedule. Too many experience make me know lots of tour company. However Subash, who I'd like to recommend is a Professional tour guide with very warm smile, service. What's his different? He always stand in my shoes, when every time I have some request, knowing my purpose, my expect than explain his idea with patient and kind.
Once, I'd like to visit a very dangerous estate, After he understanding my necessary and must be there, he just said since it's so meaningful to me, everything he will overcome. Then the next day we got two flat tire but safety return back. So difficult to got there but with his profession and well prepare, I been to the place which other guys can't make it.
Patient, Professional, Kindly, customized service make me turn to Ashmita Trek and Tours regularly. I am confident of Mr. Subash and his Ashmita Trek.
Kevin Chao, Taiwan
We were staying in darjeeling only for a short time and wanted to do a trek/tour of the himalayas. After wondering around the town for a while with no luck we eventually came across ashmita trek & tours. This was the only place we found with a tour to suit our time frame. We did a one day trek of the himalayas and the owner of the company was able to join us on the trek as our personal guide. Throughout the booking experiance we were not forced in any way and were provided with lots of information, pictures and videos of previous tours. We were picked up right outside our hotel and headed straight there. We were given large amounts of food all across the journey and were able to stop at any point we wanted for pictures or tea! The owner was very knowledgeable and the driver too. Our tour was meant to finish at 5pm but we were out until 8pm for no extra charge and dropped straight back to our hotel. The experiance and company were absolutely amazing and we ended up spending the next day with the owner as he was so lovely.
There is absolutely nothing bad to say about the whole experiance Thank you so much Subash for showing us such a great time!
Emma kware, United Kingdom
Words cannot describe the hospitality of Subash & Ashmita Trek. Even though they said above everything else there is a MasterCard.
We wanted to visit Darjeeling after reading the book " Tiger in the Snow" about Sherpas and mountaineering. Subash answered to our call and then was this marvellous trip from Darjeelling to Pelling to Gantok, chasing after Mt. Kachenjunga . It was a never changing scenery everyday when we were driven by Subash's 4 wheels driver across West Bengal to Sikkim and staying in different hotels every night. Gantok is so clean that it can be called "Switzerland of the East. Our driver Ningma was always on time and very concerned that we see every places along the way. With a VALUE for money package of 6 days and 5 nights and a superb lunch treat from Subash, the experience is priceless to say the least. I highly recommend " Ashmita Trek".
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Tan Boon Foo, Malaysia
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.
Visited June 2016
Narayananrl90, United States
What Docomantation we requred from our guest for travel ?
for intranational Travel Docomantation : 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 photograph along with their Photo-ID proof (i.e.Driving License, Passport, Voter-ID Card & School ID Card for children).
For Domestic Travel Docomantation : must have your original I.D.proof pasport pan card and some copy of pasport size of photo requre , 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 fell free to call Us from India 9733106312 from internatinal +91 9733106312