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Tea Tour India

Destination : Delhi - Bagdogra - Darjeeling - Gangtok - Doars - Phuntsholing Paro - Thimpu - Delhi.

Duration : 14 Nights / 15 Days

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Activities :

Tea Tour in IndiaDay 1 DELHI
Arrival Delhi. You are met and transferred to the hotel. In Delhi's existence of 3000 years; seven cities have risen where the present capital of India stands today. Here you'll encounter a fascinating blend of the ancient and the contemporary. Enjoy a full day sightseeing tour of Old and New Delhi. We start by visiting Old Delhi. The 7th city of Delhi - Shahjahanabad, built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (1639-48 AD). Red Fort - the 17th century imposing fortress built in red sandstone. Jama Masjid (Friday Masjid) was completed in 1656 and India's largest mosque. Finally visit Raj Ghat on the banks of the river Yamuna is Mahatma Gandhi's Memorial, where he was cremated following his assassination in January 1948. The highlights of New Delhi are The Humayun's Tomb - An early example of Mughal architecture considered the predecessor of the Taj Mahal. The Qutub Minar - the landmark of Delhi, a huge tower of victory started in 1199 and completed in 1368. Proceed to the Rashtrapati Bhawan once the Viceroy's residence is now the official residence of the President of India. The Government Buildings designed by Baker, The Parliament House, The India Gate (42m) arch built of Bharatpur-stone, commemorates the 70,000 Indian soldiers who died in the 1st world war.
Accommodation: Delhi (Breakfast)

Morning flight to Bagdogra from where we take the scenic four-hour drive through the Himalayan foothills and tea gardens to Darjeeling. Rest of day free to explore the 'queen of the hill stations' where British administrators came each summer to the escape the heat of the Indian plains during the days of the Raj. Tea was introduced to the area in the 1840's and today Darjeeling tea is a world-renowned brand.
Accommodation: Darjeeling (Breakfast)

We start early for Tiger Hill to catch the spectacular sunrise over Kanchenjunga, the world's third highest mountain. We then visit the Planter's Club, where the local tea growers still meet; the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute; and the zoo with its Himalayan fauna (Yaks, Black Bears, Red Pandas and various colourful pheasants). We also visit a tea estate, the Botanical Gardens and the Tibetan Refugee Centre.
Accommodation: Darjeeling (Breakfast)

After an early breakfast take a short trip on the famous 'toy train'. Later we travel through scenic countryside on the journey to Sikkim nestled in the mountains of the Himalaya bounded by the Tibetan plateau to its north and the plains of Bengal to the south, and sandwiched between the independent kingdoms of Nepal and Bhutan. It was incorporated into the Indian union in 1972. At Gangtok, the capital, we visit the lavishly decorated Royal Chapel of the Chogyal, the former ruler, and the Namgyal Tibetology Institute with its rich collection of Buddhist scrolls and paintings.
Accommodation: Gangtok (Breakfast)

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Today we will be introduced to many of Sikkim's 450 orchid species when we visit the Orchid Sanctuary. Afterwards the 200-year-old Enchey Monastery overlooking Gangtok provides us with fabulous views of Kanchenjunga and the main Himalayan range. We then take a trip to Rumtek, the head monastery of the 'black hat' sect of Tibetan Buddhism.
Accommodation: Gangtok (Breakfast)

Drive to Doars. This is a region replete with tea gardens and we will arrange a visit to the tea gardens here to get an idea of the life at the plantations
Accommodation: Doars (Breakfast)

Day 7: DOARS
Drive to Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary in the plains of West Bengal. The Jaldapara wildlife sanctuary established in 1941 stands on the banks of the Torsa River and the nearby Malangi River has today an area of 216.51 sq. km. It is a mosaic of woods, grasslands, perennial streams, sandy riverbanks and extensive belts of tall grass. It contains a great diversity of flora and fauna. Early morning view the habitat of the endangered one-horned rhinoceros, the sanctuary is also home to peacocks, wild elephants, wild boars and different species of deer, such as the hog deer, spotted deer, barking deer, sambar besides the elusive tigers, leopards and sloth bears,. Some rare species like the hispid hare and the hog-badger are also found here. Among birds, the crested eagle, fishing eagle and shikra are common. So are jungle fowl, peafowl, partridges, and sometimes the Bengal Florican and the Pied Hornbills. Pythons, monitor lizards, kraits, cobras, geckos and about eight species of fresh water turtles enrich the reptilian diversity. There is also a leopard-breeding centre at Jaldapara.
Accommodation: Doars (Breakfast)

Day 8 - Day 14 : In Bhutan
The itinerary will be modified according to the festivals coinciding with the visit. In any case the highlights of Bhutan will be always included. Mentioned below is a general write up on the region. Drive to the border town of Phuntsholing where we cross into Bhutan, or Druk Yul - the 'Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon', as its countrymen know it. Relatively few tourists visit this staunchly Buddhist land, and the people are charming, colourful, open and friendly in a way that is scarcely matched anywhere else. We explore the delightful Paro Valley including the Ta Dzong, since 1968 the National Museum housing an interesting collection of both religious and everyday artefacts; and the ruins of Drukyal Dzong. The more adventurous can hike up to the viewpoint for the astonishingly situated Taktsang monastery, the famous Tiger's Nest. Drive to the beautiful valley of Gangtey. En route we stop at the top of the Dochu La (Pass) 3116m. With a little luck we may encounter one of the stunning pheasants that inhabit the surrounding forests. Gangtey itself is famous for its monastery and being the winter home of the very rare Black-necked Crane.

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Explore Punakha (1350m), Bhutan's winter capital. The impressive Dzong, at the confluence of the rivers Phu Chhu and Mo Chhu, is now the winter retreat of the religious head of Bhutan. Visit Thimphu (2350m), the Bhutanese capital. Just before Thimphu we stop at the strategically sited Simthoka Dzong, now a centre of traditional studies for teachers-to-be. . Visit the huge Tashichho Dzong, the country's seat of government with the National Assembly and offices of the King, as well as the residence of the spiritual head of Bhutan. We will also have time for a stroll through Thimphu's vibrant market square.

Day 14 THIMPU/PARO Drive
After breakfast drive to Paro. Rest of the day is at leisure.
Accommodation: Paro (Breakfast)

Day 15 PARO /DELHI Flight
Transfer to the airport for the flight to Delhi.
Accommodation: Delhi (Breakfast)

Day 16 : Departure for onward international flight..

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