Darjeeling & Sikkim Photo Safari

specialDepartures September, October, March & April
The eastern most regions of India, Darjeeling and Sikkim are a photographer’s delight! Snow clad peaks of the Himalaya, Tea plantations rolling down foothills and a rich cultural blend of religions and beliefs. a destination escort guides you on an adventure of scenery, history, and tradition. Shoot these breathtaking places through your lens. Take pictures of Tibetan monks grinding stones and herbs at Chakpori. Visit Hindu shrines and ancient Buddhist monasteries. Shoot sunrise over Tiger Hill. Discover Tashiding in West Sikkim, a merit accruing pilgrimage spot to Buddhists. Darjeeling & Sikkim Photo Safari is your chance to collect memories of this exotic region through your work.

Day 1 – Arrive Kolkata
Namaste! You are warmly welcomed the traditional Indian way with hands clapped together at the airport and driven to our hotel. The remainder of the day is free to relax. Overnight: Taj Bengal (1 Night)

Day 2 – Kolkata to Bagdogra by flight and drive to Darjeeling
Today we are driven to the airport for our flight to Bagdogra. On arrival at (IXB) Bagdogra Airport (500Ft / 150Mts) will be met by our office Executive who will assist you to board your vehicle to Darjeeling. On arrival we check in our hotel. Overnight: Mayfair Darjeeling (4 Nights) (Breakfast, Dinner)

*Early morning shoot.

*Night shots with a shoot of the Mayfair Darjeeling around dusk, with an additional focus on sunset photography.

Day 3 – Darjeeling
AM Early morning visit Observatory Hill to see fabulous views of snow-clad Himalayan peaks, including Mt. Kanchenjunga. See the Mahakala Temple. See Talai-Pho-Brang. Visit Chakpori Tibetan Medical Institute and take photos of monks making medicine. PM Visit the Mountaineering Institute and Tibetan Refugee Center. Overnight at Hotel. (Breakfast, Dinner)

* Photograph Observatory Hill. This is also a chance to try some panoramas and other landscape photography.

* Visit monks making medicine at Chakpori Tibetan Medical Institute.

Day 4 – Darjeeling
Early morning visit to Tiger Hill, famous for watching the sunrise over Mt. Kanchenjunga and Ghoom monastery. Afternoon hike 3 kilometers down Tenzin Norgay Road to Aloobari known for its pristine red and white gonpa and many religious stories about its magical cemetery frequented by nagpas, wandering Tibetan ascetics. Walk to the Bhutia Busty monastery, the oldest monastery in Darjeeling, which was first located on Observatory Hill.

Built in 1765 by Lama Dorje-Rinzing, it was destroyed by a 1934 earthquake and owes its present existence to the Raja of Sikkim. The name Darjeeling is believed to have originated when monks of the Bhutia Busty monastery referred to the region as “Dorje-ling”, meaning the land of the thunderbolt. Also late afternoon visit Planters Club. (Breakfast, Dinner)

* Photograph a splendid sunrise over Mt. Kanchenjunga and Ghoom monastery from Tiger Hill.

* Capture detail in your shots as we visit Bhutia Busty, the oldest monastery in Darjeeling.

Day 5 – Darjeeling/Mirik/Darjeeling
Early morning depart for a day trip of Mirik. We pass through the beautiful landscape of tea gardens all the way. The best photographs of the tea estates can be seen on the way to Mirik. We also see a beautiful monastery of Bokar Rimpoche, from where we can also take the beautiful shot of Mirik Lake along with small township of Mirik. We drive back to Darjeeling for Dinner and Overnight.
(Breakfast, Dinner)

* Photograph tea estates on the way to Mirik, followed by beautiful landscapes and reflections along Mirik Lake.

Day 6 – Darjeeling/Pelling/via Kalimpong
Morning drive to Pelling. Visit gardens, waterfalls, rivers, points of nature and en route visit Kalimpong.

In Kalimpong visit Crockety House a bungalow built by the British wool traders in 18th century and is one of the many bungalows in the region constructed during the British Regime. The uniqueness of this bungalow is the exquisite architectural design and the breathtaking surroundings. This old fashioned and charming house stands in Kalimpong as a reminiscent of British period. Presently this is open to public and is a Yoga centre being run by the wife of world famous Russian artist William Roerich. There are a number of original Roerich’s Himalayan paintings under his wife’s custody but are not open to general public for viewing. We continue with our drive to Pelling. On arrival we check in our hotel.
Overnight: The Elgin Mt. Pandim (1 Night) (Breakfast, Dinner)

* Photograph nature and the gardens of Pelling, along moving bodies of water such as waterfalls and rivers.

* A shoot at dusk to capture the Himalayas.

Day 7 – Pelling/Yuksom
After breakfast we drive to Yuksom (5840 Ft / 1780 Mts, 35 Kms / 02 Hrs) (the meeting place of three monks) the place where the first Chogyal (a ruling dynasty in Sikkim) was crowned – the first capital of Sikkim. En-route visit Khecheopalri Lake (6000 Ft / 1829 Mts), it is one of the sacred Buddhist mountain lake and it is believed that whatever is wished in front of the lake comes true. Myth is that when a leaf falls on the placid clear water surface, it is picked by a bird. Check in and Overnight at Hotel. Overnight: Red Palace (2 Nights) (Breakfast, Dinner) Boutique Accommodation

* Photograph the stunning scenery at Khecheopalri Lake, one of the clearest lakes in India.

Day 8 – Yuksom
Early morning 35 minutes moderate walk to Dubdi Monastery (built in 1700 AD, the oldest monastery of Sikkim) and TashiNamgyal (the stone throne for the first king). Overnight at Hotel. (Breakfast, Dinner)

* Photograph the gardens and sun streaming in windows of Dubdi Monastery.

Day 9 – Yuksom/Tashiding/Pelling
Visit Tashiding Monastery. The gompa of Tashiding is situated on a hill rising between the Rathong River and the Rangit River and provides amazing views of the landscape below. The Tashidinggonpa was built in 1717, which coincided with the reign of third Chogyal Chakdor Namgyal. It is located on the site blessed by the great Tibetan teacher, Guru Padmasambhava. Legend says that Padmasambhava drew an arrow in the air to choose the place where it would sit down to meditate. The place where the arrow fell became the site of the monastery of Tashiding. People believe that a visit to Tashiding purifies one of past transgressions. Visit Khandozangphu to the south which is one of four sacred caves (one cave is located to each direction) where Tibetan saints are said to have meditated. Later transfer to Pelling. Overnight: The Elgin Mt. Pandim (1 Night) (Breakfast, Dinner)

* Visit Tashiding Monastery and experience the amazing views atop the hill as well as of the landscape below.

Day 10 – Pelling/Gangtokngtok
After breakfast drive to Gangtok past Gyalshing the headquarters of the West district of Sikkim, Gyalshing which means the King’s Garden is 10 kilometers from Pelling. This town is believed to have once been the royal gardens attached to the Palace at Rabdentse, Sikkim’s capital till the late 18th century. Opposite Gyalshing is the longest and believed to be the holiest, Mendang or Holy Wall, constructed by the third King, Chogyal Chador Namgyal. We continue our drive to Gangtok and on the way visit Sikkim’s oldest monasteries, Pemayangste Monastery and Bon Monastery at Ravangla . Check in and overnight at hotel. Overnight: Mayfair Spa Resort (3 Nights) (Breakfast, Dinner)

* Gyalshing scenery.

* Pemayangste Monastery and Bon Monastery.

Day 11 – Gangtok
Today you tour Sikkim’s capital city. Morning visit Dodrul Chorten, the Research Institute of Tibetology (Closed on Sunday) and the Handicraft Emporium (Closed on Sunday). (Breakfast, Dinner)

*Dodrul Chorten, the Research Institute of Tibetology.

*Street photography in Gangtok.

Day 12 – Gangtok
After breakfast drive to Tsongmo Lake (Foreigns nationals are not allowed to visit Nathula Pass and Baba Mandir). Enjoy the spectacular views en route. Tsongmo Lake is only 400 kilometers to Lhasa, Tibet. This picturesque lake is sacred to the Sikkimese people. The lake is so clear that trees and any other forms of nature reflect itself in the lake. Back to Gangtok and overnight at hotel. (Breakfast, Dinner)

* Nature and reflections at Tsongmo Lake.

Day 13 – Gangtok/Bagdogra Airport
After breakfast transfer to the airport (130 Kms / 04 to 05 Hrs) for your departure flight onward. (Breakfast)

CALL NOW to BOOK 415-331-3791

Cost: 6 – 10 persons – from $3195.00 per person, twin share
Single supplement – $1075.00
NOTE: This tour can be customized for fewer persons at an additional cost

***Ask about our Kolkata Post Tour and our Golden Triangle Extension***

– Accommodation on twin share basis in the mentioned hotels or Similar (12 Nights)
– Domestic airfare
– Meals as per the itinerary. (12 Breakfast, 11 Dinners)
– Transport in air conditioned vehicle for all sightseeing tours, arrival and departure transfers
– Assistance on arrival / departure
– Entrances to the monuments of visit as per the itinerary
– Services of local English speaking guide cum escort from pick up at Bagdogra/drop at Bagdogra
– All currently applicable taxes, including service tax

Does not include:
– International Airfare
– Travel Insurance
– Items of personal nature like drinks, laundry, telephone calls, tips, etc.
– Any other meals than those mentioned in the itinerary.
– Change in itinerary due to reasons beyond our control due to cancellation of flights, trains, political disturbances, natural phenomenon etc.
– Any other item not specifically mentioned above as ‘INCLUDED’

CALL FOR Details 415-331-3791