2019 Himalayan India Tour

February 15 - March 2

ITINERARY

Day 01 :  : LEAVE SFO ON South China Airlines

Welcome to exotic India!  

 Day 02  : Delhi

Arrive in Delhi Airport where we will meet and take you to India's capital. A major gateway, Delhi is a contemporary bustling metropolis which combines the ancient and the modern in this land of contrasts. Its strategic location is one of the prime reasons successive dynasties chose it as their seat of power.  New Delhi reflects the legacy of the British.  Overnight at Pride Hotel 5*.

 Day 03 :  Delhi-Dharamshala  McCleod Ganj

After breakfast transfer to Delhi airport to board flight for Dharamshala & transfer to Fortune Park Moksha Hotel.  In the afternoon, we will check out the local shops and temples.

Day 04:  Dharamshala and McLeod Ganj

After breakfast proceed for a half day sightseeing tour.  Set against the magnificent background of the towering Dhauladhar Ranges, Dharamshala lies perched up on the high slopes of the Kangra Valley.  This is the Dalai Lama's home in exile.  Vestiges of the raj such as the Church of St. John are available for viewing.  We will visit the Namgyal Monastery which houses the Center of Tibetan Studies.  McLeod Ganj known as Little Lhasa has a definite Tibetan aura. The Kangra Art Museum is a treasure trove of regional arts and crafts.

Day 05: Dharamshala and McLeod Ganj

After breakfast, a morning of leisure exploring the Temple or the shops and cafes.  Afternoon tour of points of interest in surrounding area.

Dharamshala.jpg

We will see hundreds of Tibetan lamas in their maroon robes.  Many visitors walk around the temple spinning the prayer wheels. This is a meditation in itself. Dharamshala sits at 4780 feet elevation and has a casual friendly atmosphere that reflects the personality of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.  He fled China in 1959 and has been protected by the Indian government since that time.

On 10 December 1989 the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The committee recognized his efforts in "the struggle of the liberation of Tibet and the efforts for a peaceful resolution instead of using violence."

There are many American and British ex-pats who follow the tenets of Tibetan Buddhism who have small cafes and shops in Dharamshala.  According to the Dalai Lama's online 2019 schedule, he will be at home teaching a class.  So it should be an exciting time.

Day 06 : Dharamshala - Bodhgaya (by air)

After breakfast fly to Gaya.  Transfer to Bodhgaya.   Evening free to walk around town.  Overnight Hotel Nikko.

bodhgya.jpg

Day 07:  Bodhgaya

Morning we will explore this ancient city where Siddhartha, the Buddha, received his enlightenment.  We will go to the Mahabodhi Temple Complex and sit under the Bohdi Tree and view the lake presented by the Dalai Lama.Inside the temple is a colossal image of the Buddha meditating.  The Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site, showcases the Buddha's life and his journey to enlightenment. Later we will visit the Bodhgaya Archaeological Museum, which houses a small collection of Buddhist sculpture from 1st B.C. to 11th Century A.D.  Also, Sujata House dedicated to the Uruvela tribeswoman who offered food to the starving Siddhartha.  Overnight

nechung-monastery.jpg

Day 08 : Fly to Kolkata (Calcutta)

After breakfast, transfer to Airport to board flight for overnight in Kolkata. Half day tour if possible.  Overnight at Grand Hotel 5*

Day 09:  Bagdogara Airport

Arrive at Bagdogara Airport and drive to Kalimpong (3 hrs.) Evening at leisure.  Overnight at Sinclair Hotel 4*.

Day 10 : Kalimpong - Pelling

In the morning, city tour of Kalimpong. Visit flower nurseries famous for Amaryllis lilies, anthriums, roses, gerberas, dahlias, orchids and cacti. See Zang Dog Palri Fo-Bang Monastery and enjoy a panoramic view of the town and surroundings.  Visit Tharpa Choling Monastery at Tirpai hill on route to Dr. Graham's home which belongs to the Yellow Hat Lamas to which His Holiness the Dalai Lama belongs.  Enjoy Thongsa Gumpa monastary of Bhutanese origin, built around 1692.  Overnight in Pelling at the Chumbi Mount Retreat.

tuulips-in-blloom.jpg


Day 11 :  Pelling, Sikkim

The pleasant little town of Pelling is famous for its magnificent views of the snow-capped mountains of Kanchenjunga and is as close as you can get to the mighty range without leaving behind material comforts. One of the oldest and most important monasteries of Sikkim, Pemayangtse, literally meaning 'Perfect Sublime Lotus', is a major point of interest in the area.

Day 12: Pelling

Full day city tour of Pelling.  We will visit Pemyangste Monastery and the ruins of Rabdenste, Sikkim's second capital. We will view three beautiful waterfalls and  Khechipalri Lake. 

    Darjeeling, Toy Train

Darjeeling, Toy Train

 

Day 13:  Darjeeling

Early morning, go on an excursion to Tiger Hill, 13 kms from Darjeeling. We will see a beautiful sunrise in the Himalayas, including Mt. Everest.  We can see the horizon changing colors and the entire majestic range turn golden.  Later, we will drive to Ghoom Monastery, where one can see a 15 foot high Mythey Buddha. Built in 1875, It is one of the oldest in the area. We will return to the hotel for breakfast and then go for a ride on the toy train! 

After lunch, we go for a city tour of Darjeeling.  Some sites of interest are:  Mountaineering Institute, Padmaja Naidu Hilmalayan Zoological Park, where one can see a snow leopard, Tibetan wolf, yak, and Himalayan black bear.  Overnight in Darjeeling.

Day 14: Darjeeling - Bagdogra-Delhi

If you are not going on post tour to Bhutan,drive to Bagdogara airport (3 hrs.), board flight for Delhi.  Rest of day at leisure.  Overnight in Delhi.

Day 15:  Delhi - home  

Main tour concludes.  Post tour begins.

Pricing

Price based on 10  passengers (including international and internal airfare) double occupancy..........................$4,950         
Single Supplement ..................................................……………………………………………………………………….....$ 1,000

Includes:

International Airfare from SFO
Accommodations in hotels listed in the itinerary
Buffet breakfast and dinner at all hotels without beverages
All ground transportation and sightseeing per itinerary by 01 AC Tempo Traveller, except in Darjeeling where we will use a NAC SUMO, and in Daramshala, a 03 Toyota Innova
Service of local English speaking guides for sightseeing
Entrance fees for sightseeing as per itinerary
All currently applicable taxes including Government service taxes
One bottle water per day

Tour Price Excludes

Any meal other than specified above
Personal expenses like telephone, laundry, liquor, camera fees, etc
Airport tax and travel insurance
Service not specified above
Gratuities
American passport
Indian visas
Trip cancellation insurance

Your tour leaders reserve the right to make changes in the schedule due to special opportunities or circumstances beyond our control.

Reserve your place with a $900 non-refundable fee, which will be used to secure Indian internal airfares, will be done at the time of application.
Trip should be paid for by October 1, 2018.