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Tea & Tuskers: India by North East

Tea & Tuskers: India by North East

Tour Highlights

Himalayan snow peaks ● Multi-layered rural life ● Forest walk ● Jungle Safari ● River Cruise ● Monasteries ● Farms ● Tea plantation ● Village walks ● Traditional cuisine ● Forest exploration

  • Sikkim - the greenest region of the Himalayan region with closest access to Kanchedzogha and also the home to colourful ethnic communities practising localised forms of Buddhism
  • Biksthang – A place in the Western Sikkim with abundance of nature and lush green hills; it is also home to the Lepcha tribal community
  • Pemeyangtshe – It is the third oldest monastery of Sikkim and a primary one for Nyingma Pa discipline. This is where the Sikkim King’s coronation was done and till date any royal family ritual starts from this monastery
  • Darjeeling – It's famous for the distinctive black tea .The town’s backdrop is Mt. Kanchenjunga, among the world’s highest peaks
  • Guwahati – The capital of Assam state and the gateway to less explored north eastern region
  • Kaziranga – The national park is abundant thirds of the world's great one-horned rhinoceroses
  • Sualkuchi – The centre of famous Assam handloom textile weaving Umananda
  • Temple – 17th century Shiva Temple / world’s tiniest inhabited island
  • Majuli – Admired world- wide as the nerve- centre of Vasnavite culture practised in numerous ‘Satras’ (prayer place and monstery) / the largest inhabited delta- riverine island in the world / workshops of handicrafts and ethnic artefacts
  • Sivsagar – The capital of the Ahom who ruled Assam for Six hundred years / heritage temples and palaces using locally available building materials like Bora Chaul (a sticky variety of rice grain) yolk of duck egg, black lentils
  • Jorhat – The hub of Assam tea production / bungalows amidst tea gardens and tropical flowered trees

Days: 11 nights/12 days

States covered:

Sikkim. West Bengal, Assam

Skeletal Itinerary

Day 1: Bagdogra Airport – Biksthang: Sikkim/ (114 km, 4.5 hrs)
Day 2: Biksthang- Pemeyangtshe (50 kms, 2 hrs)
Day 3: Pemeyangtshe
Day 4: Pemeyangtshe – Darjeeling (67.3 Kms/ 5 hrs)
Day 5: Darjeeling
Day 6: Darjeeling – Bagdogra - Guwahati
Day 7: Guwahati
Day 8: Guwahati – Kaziranga (193.2 Kms, 5 hrs.)
Day 9: Kaziranga
Day 10: Kaziranga – Majuli (154.8 Km / 2 hrs drive + 1.5 hours boat ride)
Day 11: Majuli - Sivsagar (1. 5 hrs boat ride + 3 hrs drive) - Jothat (58.1 Km/ 1 hr drive
Day 12: Jorhat – Fly out

Comprehensive Itinerary

Day 1: Bagdogra Airport – Biksthang: Sikkim/ (114 km, 4.5 hrs)

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Welcome to the Himalayas. Meet and greet with the people as you arrive in the airport and then start your journey from Darjeeling to Sikkim.. Enjoy the lush green surroundings and also the winding road that goes along with Teesta nad Rangit river. The thick green forest on the either side of the road is making a dreamland avenue. Enjoy the drive and finally reach to Bikhsthang which is a luxurious heritage farmhouse. It is located in the middle of a rural area with a backdrop of mighty “Kanchendzonga” – the third largest peak in the world. Check in the farmhouse and get refreshed with “Seychhang” – a traditional millet beer.

 

Day 2: Biksthang- Pemeyangtshe (50 kms, 2 hrs)

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Rise and shine!! It’s time for a forest walk. Now, it’s time to go into the woods followed by a guide who will help you to explore the forest of the Himalayas. Further explore a rural market, essentially run by the Lepcha women, selling fresh produces to handicrafts. You could also go for a guided bird-watching to Singalla National Park, it depends totally on your wish. After this, check out of the hotel and drive up to Pemeyangtshe, the highest point around, from where you can see a breath taking view of Kanchendzongha, world’s third highest mountain. It is also home to one of the most renowned monastery in eastern Himalayas.

 

Day 3: Pemeyangtshe

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It’s your time to visit the Monastery. It is located at an elevation of 2085m, is built with scenic backdrop of snow-capped mountains on two sides. The structure is of three storied and it depicts paintings on its walls and statues of saints and Rinpoches which is clearly deified in various floors. If more enthusiastic enjoy a hike to the Rabdantse ruins, the ancient capital of Sikkim along the forested hilly path. The path will lead u to 2 historical places like Rabdantse Royal Ruins and Sanghacholing Monastery. The ruins were once capital of Sikkim and the ruins of the palace are made up two of the northern and southern wings. The northern wing was the residence of the royal family. This wing has an open quadrangle where the “Dab Lhagang”, now in ruins, is also seen; the Royal family used to offer prayers with incense to their deities here. You can also choose to see another Monastery called Sanghacholing Monastery was built in 16th century and is also known as the place of secret spells. It has clay statues dating back to the 17th century. The Monastery’s location provides very scenic and panoramic view all-round the Himalayas. After the day excursion relax a bit and enjoy some authentic Sikkimese cuisine in the dinner.

 

Day 4: Pemeyangstshe – Darjeeling (67.3 km / 5 hrs)

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Darjeeling is called the ‘Queen of Indian Hill Stations’ in colonial era. Check in a hotel or a resort located in the middle of a tea plantation away from the city chaos. Flora around Darjeeling comprises sal, oak, semi evergreen, temperate and alpine forests. Dense evergreen forests of Sal and Oak lie around the town, where a wide variety of rare orchids are found. Take a stroll around the resort and feel the ambiance.

 

Day 5: Darjeeling

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Have a close encounter with the tea globally famous with the Geographic Indication called ‘Darjeeling’! If you are still left to get fully enthused, do have an orange orchard walk before you enjoy a platter of homemade momos (the dumplings) at a Gurkha home. Now it’s time for taking a ride on narrow gauge steam engine train which is an UNESCO World Heritage. In the evening browse at the local curio shops at Darjeeling Mall, where you might bump on to an original Thangka (traditional Buddhist painting on fabric) or century old Tibetan silver jewelleries.

 

Day 6: Darjeeling – Bagdogra - Guwahati

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Drive down to Bagdogra airport, fly out to Guwahati. It’s time to spend some leisure time on your own and explore surrounding areas on your own.

 

Day 7: Guwahati

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Today you will be doing a small excursion to Saulkuchi, a small textile tour. Assam is the home of several types of silks, the most prominent being Muga, the extinct gold-hued silk found exclusively in this state. In this excursion you will witness the weavers weaving the Muga silk to make sarees and their traditional attire called Mekhla. Back to Guwahati city and take a ride by country boat on Brahmaputra river to 17th century Umananda Shiva Temple. Enjoy the sunset on Brahmaputra.

 

Day 8: Guwahati – Kaziranga (193.2 km / 5 hrs)

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You will be transferred to Kaziranga from Guwahati. After breakfast, check out of the hotel and jump in the car waiting for you. Enjoy the ride from Guwahati to Kaziranga and spot the natural beauty of the place. As you reach there, check in the hotel and spend the rest of the time exploring the nearby places on your own.

 

Day 9: Kaziranga

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An early morning elephant safari has been conducted for you around the fringe of the forest. Your next tour is a jeep safari to explore flora and fauna of Kaziranga National Park and also an afternoon visit ro Kakochang Waterfalls and Kaziranga National Orchid & Biodiversity Park – where you might get a glimpse of Bihu – the traditional folk dance of Assamese women.

 

Day 10: Kaziranga – Majuli (154.8 Km / 2 hrs drive + 1.5 hours boat ride)

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Majuli Island is the next destoination in your list. You will reach there, by crossing the mighty Brahmaputra river by ferry boat and check in at a no – frills ethnic cottage which among the verdant paddy fields. After that pay a visit to Satras and experience the musical chanting and group dance of the devotees as their religious custom. Also hunt for the treasures cove of local handicrafts like masks, bamboo, pottery and cane work around the village.

 

Day 11: Majuli - Sivsagar (1. 5 hrs boat ride + 3 hrs drive)- Jothat (58.1 Km/ 1 hr drive)

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Cruise back to land and drive down to Sivasagar. Sivasagar has unique architechtures of monuments like Ranghar (Amphitheatre), Talatal Ghar (Palace of the King), Karenghar (Palace of the Kings), Borpukhuri(manmade water reservoir) and Shiva Doul ( The tallest Shiva temple in the entire North-East). After completing Sivasagar expedition proceed to Jorhat. Stay overnight at a colonial tea bunglow and indulge in the swimming pool surrounded by gardens.

 

Day 12: Jorhat – Fly out

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Flying out doesn’t mean you are out of mind

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