This cultural touring journey to Darjeeling, Sikkim and the ‘Dragon Kingdom’ of Bhutan will appeal to the Himalayan enthusiast who is keen to appreciate the culture and history of the East Himalayan Kingdoms. Tourists may include time in the renowned hill station of Darjeeling and gain memorable views of Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world. In Sikkim, visit the Rumtek Monastery in Gangtok, and Kalimpong, where trade thrived between British India and Tibet for a few centuries. Drive across the border to Bhutan where you can visit the famous Taktsang Monastery and take a short ride to the capital of Thimphu, where there is ample opportunity to wander the bazaars before crossing the Dochu La to Wangduephodrang and the remarkable Punakha Dzong, on this East Himalayan Kingdom Holiday Package!
Get captivated as your tour take you to Swayambhunath, which has an interesting path leading towards the shrine, through climbing steep steps that lead up the hill from a collection of brightly painted Buddha statues at the bottom of the hill, passing a series of chaityas and bas-reliefs, including a stone showing the birth of the Buddha, with his mother Maya Devi grasping a tree branch. There are Tibetan astrologers reading fortunes here. At the top, the steps are flavoured with pairs of Garudas, lions, elephants, horses and peacocks, the ‘vehicles’ of the Dhyani Buddhas and the area surrounding the stupa is filled with temples, painted images of deities and numerous other religious objects. It is to be remembered to walk around the stupa only in a clockwise direction.
A popular activity from Kathmandu is to take an early morning scenic mountain flight along the spine of the Himalayas for close-up views of the tallest Mt. Everest and other peaks from a distance of a few nautical miles, such as Nuptse, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Makalu, and Kanchenjunga.
Another fascinating shrine, Pashupatinath, the most famous Hindu temple in the country, is located on the banks of the holy Bagmati River. Here you would see Hindu holy-men or Sadhus and pilgrims performing ritual bathing. Hawker stalls dot the entire area for serving `prasad’ or `religious offerings’ to the Deity inside the temple, and also selling statues and curios of religious idols and semi-precious gems and stones……..on the East Himalayan Kingdom Holiday Package!
An early transfer to the airport makes you board the flight to Bhadrapur. In the last decade, Bhadrapur is slowly transforming itself into tea hub with several new plantation and tea factories being established every year. The much awaited Mechi Bridge joining this town to India is also under construction and now acts as a lifeline to the revitalization of the Bhadrapur Kameshwar Complex in the heart of the Bhadrapur Bazaar. The Buddha Mandir is an attraction for the travelers. Since it is also the “tea city” of Nepal and also the starting point for various tourist places, a few hours ride towards north will take you close to the Himalayas.
Continue to your next destination, and then transfer to your chartered bus for the drive to Darjeeling. As the road climbs up to this hill station, you would gain impressive views back down to the Indian plains. On arrival in Darjeeling, savour the cool mountain air and your first glimpse of the snow -capped Himalayas.