A trip through time and off the beaten path. This itinerary was recognized in the May 2013 National Geographic Traveler as one of the â50 Tours of a Lifetime.â We invite you to join us as we experience the colorful cacophony of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) located in West Bengal state, through the eyes of locals. The former seat of the British Raj- Kolkata was home to two Nobel Laureates (Tagore and Mother Teresa). The world famous temples that typifies the state of Orissa offer a view of Indian mythology and architecture going back to the 13th century or even earlier. This is where modernity meets 21st century. Up to the highlands and tea estates of Darjeeling and Sikkim state gives you a glimpse of mountain culture which is a confluence of Nepali, Chinese and Tibetans who have lived together for centuries. These âhill stationsâ were once favored by the British aristocracy to escape the summer heat. The wide expanse of space, the towering mountain range of the Himalayas and Kanchenjunga and the spectacular sunrise provide a stark contrast to the controlled chaos that typically defines India
DAY 1- January 23, 2015 â Depart USA
Welcome to Kolkata! You will be met and transferred to your hotel. This former Capital of the
British Raj is also the third largest metropolis in India and a crucial point of the nationâs economy.
Oberoi Grand Hotel (B)
Experience the infl uence of the Chinese, Armenian and Ango-Indians that makes Kolkata a melting point of culture, culinary delights that speak to all your senses. Stop at the Marble Palace, Mother Teresa Mission and Dhakineswar Temple. Evening welcome dinner hosted by the faculty leader.
Oberoi Grand Hotel (B, D)
Board a scheduled fl ight to Bagdogra and drive to Darjeeling that sits on top of a ridge at
approximately 7,000 feet. Dotted with Buddhist monasteries, trekking trails, tea estates and
inspiring mountain views this city became a summer getaway during the British âRajâ.
Mayfair Hotel (B, D)
Early departure to visit Tiger Hill in time to watch the sun rise over Mount Kanchenjunga. Return
to the hotel for breakfast and relaxation. In the afternoon you will visit the Zoological Gardens,
Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and the Tibetan Refugee Center. Mayfair Hotel (B, L, D)
Bring out your inner-child with a short ride on the famous toy train to Ghoom- the pride and joy
of the city. This is a wonderful introduction of hill stations and the mountainous landscape so often
visited by the aristocracy and now by modern tourists. We will also visit a tranquil monastery, one
of the many so prevalent in the area. Mayfair Hotel (B, L, D)
Continue today to Gangtok, nestled in the lush greenery of the Himalayas. You will notice a
large population of Nepalese and Bhutanese, their infl uence in the food, clothing and religion,
predominantly Buddhism. This afternoon you will visit Enchey Buddhist Monasteries while
delighting in the stunning views of the Eastern Himalayas and the peak of Mt. Kanchenjunga.
Norkhill Hotel (B, L, D)
Visit the Rumtek and Enchey Buddhist Monasteries. The Rumtek ancient structure was built in
1717 and then re-built in the 1900s following the ancient designs of the Tibetan monasteries. Enjoy
the stunning views of the Eastern Himalayas and on a clear day, the peak of Mt. Kanchenjunga is
also visible. You can explore the city on your own this afternoon. Norkhill Hotel (B, L, D)
Travel to Kalimpong. Until the mid-19th century, the area around Kalimpong was ruled intermittently
by the Sikkimese and Bhutanese kingdoms. It was also a trading route between India and Tibet.
Check in and rest upon arrival. Silver Oaks Hotel (B, L, D)
After breakfast explore the Pedong Monastery. Visit Zang Dog Palri FroBrang and Thongsa Gompa,
Tharpa Choling Monastery as well as flower nurseries. Silver Oaks Hotel (B, L, D)
Fly to Kolkata and overnight. Oberoi Grand (B)
Fly from Kolkata to Bhubaneswar, State of Odisha (formerly called Orissa). This is the âTemple
State of Indiaâ on the Bay of Bengal. With over 2000 temples, religious beliefs are deeply rooted
in this state which also illustrates a lifestyle dominated by art and dance. Odisha- on the Bay of
Bengal- prides itself on being a rich realm of culture, including a sumptuous artistic legacy, deeply
rooted religious beliefs, and where dance and art dominate the languid way of life. In the city of
Bhubaneswar, hundreds of temples dot the landscape where you can follow a time line of temple
building activities of Odishan- style from inception to its culmination extending over a period of
more than one thousand years. Transfer to the famous coastal town of Puri. Mayfair Hotel (B, D)
Depart for Konark, a World Heritage Site, to see the Sun Temple and Jagganath Temple (note:
non-HIndus are not allowed inside the Jagganath Temple, but it can be viewed from a vantage point
outside.). Explore the medieval lanes and engage with the local people in Puri and Konark, while
watching the flurry of worshippers around the temples. Take a walk along the beach at sunset
in Puri. Mayfair Hotel (B, D)
Transfer to Bhubaneswar. Explore animated medieval temples and broad tree lined avenues to
unearth the spirit behind the city. The highlights of the tour are the famous and intricately carved
Mukteshwar Temple and the Parasuramesvara Temple. Trident Hotel (B)
Visit the Udaigiri and Khandagiri Caves, one of the earliest groups of Jain rock-cut shelters. Return
to Kolkata in the afternoon, where the evening is at leisure to unwind from your long journey.
Evening farewell dinner hosted by the faculty leader. Oberoi Grand Hotel (B, D)
Depart for your onward trip home or select from the extension below (see details below).
Day 17 - February 8, 2015 â Arrive U.S.A.
Main Land package only: $6,495 per person (sharing basis)
Single Room Supplement: $1,850
Tour price is based on double occupancy. Single occupancy is limited due to hotel occupancy.
â¢ Accommodation & meals mentioned above â¢ All transportation
â¢ Domestic flights â¢ Full time Immersion Journeys Tour Director
â¢ Services of English speaking professional local guides through out the trip