Mountain Kingdoms and the Taj

Traveling through India is about the sights and sounds. It is about taking in the smells and experiencing the emotions. India is about the people, the warmth of Indian hospitality and the genuine friendliness to guests. A journey is about completely immersing your senses in the surroundings and letting the uniqueness of the country through India take over. A journey through India is a life altering experience and a trip of a lifetime.

All of our itineraries can be completely customized to match your budget, travel dates and interests.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Delhi Arrival

Arrive in Delhi and check in at your preferred hotel.

Overnight: Shanti Home

Day 2 - Delhi

Discover the capital of India, a city of contrasts. Where the remains of seven ancient cities coexist with modern day lifestyle and amenities. Visit the Red Fort and the Qutub Minar, the Jama Masjid and Humayun’s Tomb, the Parliament House, India Gate and the National Museum. Delhi’s sights could keep you busy for much more than just a day.

Overnight: Shanti Home

Day 3 - Delhi - Agra

Experience the magic of the Indian Railways as you board the morning express train to Agra. Spend the day visiting Fatehpur Sikri, wandering around the Agra Fort and then, finally, getting to see the most extravagant monument built for love, the one and only Taj Mahal. Take the evening train back to Delhi.

Overnight: Grand Imperial

Day 4 - Agra - Kathmandu

Fly to the capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu.

Overnight: Himalaya Hotel

Day 5 - Kathmandu

Discover Nepal, a mystical country nestling in the folds of the magnificent Himalayan mountain ranges. While in Kathmandu, visit the colorful Durbar Square with its many temples, palaces, and colorful bazaars. Drive through the Nepalese countryside and visit the ancient city of Patan where you will see amazing art and architecture. Journey to the ancient city of Bhadgaon en-route visiting Bodhnath, a colossal stupa, one of the largest in the world. And see one of the holiest Hindu shrines in the world, the Pashupatinath Temple (but sorry, only Hindus are allowed inside).

Overnight: Himalaya Hotel

Day 6 - Kathmandu - Paro

Fly out to Paro, in the land of the thunder dragon, the magical mountain kingdom of Bhutan.

Day 7 - Paro - Thimphu

Start the day by venturing out to the legendary Taktsang Lhakhang Monastery, the Tigers’ Nest, built atop a cliff overlooking the charming Paro valley. Taktsang marks the holy place where Rinpoche, the founding father of Mahayana Buddhism arrived more than a millennium ago, riding a legendary tigress. Paro is also home to one of the oldest dzongs in Bhutan, Rinpung Dzong, the Fortress of the Heap of Jewels and Ta Dzong, now the National Museum which prides itself on its collection of Bhutanese art, artifacts, weapons, stamps, birds and animals. End your day with a visit to the Drukgyel Dzong. In the afternoon, drive through the verdant Bhutanese countryside to the capital city of Thimphu, a bustling town on the banks of the Wangchhu River.

Day 8 - Thimphu

Your first stop in Thimphu will be at the stately and impressive Tashichhodzong, the summer residence of the venerated monastic community and the seat of His Majesty the King of Bhutan. Other places of interest in Thimphu include the King’s memorial chorten, the National Library, a treasure trove of priceless Buddhist manuscripts and the Traditional Medicine Center where centuries’ old healing arts such as acupuncture and herbal remedies are still practiced. Another fascinating visit to make is to the Traditional Painting School in Thimphu where age-old styles of painting, including the thangkha, are still taught and learned. And of course, you must wander through the colorful local bazaars.

Day 9 - Thimpu - Phuentsholing

From Thimphu drive to the border town of Phuentsholing where you will stay overnight before you journey back into India.

Overnight: Tea House

Day 10 - Phuentsholing - Gangtok

After breakfast, drive to Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, a tiny little hill state tucked between Nepal and Bhutan, at the foot of the mountain Kanchenjunga. A state where you will be astounded by the beauty of the scenery around you. Lush green forests, lofty snow capped peaks, tumbling streams, villages tucked on hilly slopes and monasteries that seem to balance on mountain crests. Views that you will see from almost anywhere in the quaint town of Gangtok, also known for its many old British buildings and Buddhist monasteries.

Overnight: Elgin Nor-Khill Gangtok

Day 11 - Gangtok

Enjoy an excursion to the Rumtek Monastery, the seat of the Gyalwa Kamapa order of Tibetan Buddhism. With its traditional architecture, carved and painted woodwork, magnificent mural, icons and treasure manuscripts, Rumtek stands as the foremost example of Tibetan monastic art outside Tibet.

Overnight: Elgin Nor-Khill Gangtok

Day 12 - Gangtok - Darjeeling

Drive through the spectacular landscape to the beautiful hill station of Darjeeling, surrounded on all sides by rolling hills covered with tea plantations. Home of the Gurkhas, Darjeeling became a popular hill station since the British established it as an R&R center for their troops in the mid 1800s. Straddling a ridge at 2134 m, it offers spectacular views of the snowy peaks of the Kanchenjunga on one side, and gushing rivers in the valley on the other.

Overnight: New Elgin

Day 13 - Darjeeling

This is your day to explore Darjeeling. Start early with a morning visit to Tiger Hill, the highest spot in the area, for a view of the mountains by sunrise. Then, visit Darjeeling’s famous Ghoom Monastery, with its image of the Maitreya (the coming) of the Buddha. Wander around town visiting Observatory Hill, the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, the Everest Museum and the Tibetan Refugee Self Help Center, even as you meet people from all over the eastern Himalayas in the streets. And of course, make a refreshing stop at a tea garden for the famed Darjeeling cuppa.

Overnight: New Elgin

Day 14 - Darjeeling - Bagdogra - Delhi Departure

Drive to Bagdogra where you will board your flight to Delhi, and in the evening transfer to the airport for your return flight home.

Accommodation Information

Shanti Home

Shanti Home reflects India’s spirit in a harmonious blend of tradition and contemporary sophistication. Exquisite interiors, impeccable service and fine cuisine combine to create an experience that is warm and intimate.

Each of Shanti Home's 17 rooms is furnished in a different theme, and the property provides guests with a range of amenities: The Lantern Garden, a roof top restaurant; a TV & movie lounge; a quiet Reading Lounge with a complimentary laptop, scanner & printer; and a in-house spa with steam room and Ayurvedic massage services.

Grand Imperial

The Grand Imperial offers enough history to keep guests engrossed for days on end. There are special rooms, old mementos, photographs and macho stories of courage and velour that can be recounted over and over again. Located in the heart of the city of Agra, the hot seat of the Mughal Empire, the 100 year old The Grand Imperial is constructed of biscuit bricks commonly refer red to as Lahori bricks. Which were also used in the construction of the world renowned monument of love - The Taj Mahal and the Red Fort, Post World War II, the Imperial Hotel, as was then known, played hosts to distinguished guests such as The Crown Princes of England and Japan, Prince Aga Khan, Shri Moti Lal Nehru, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Jai Prakash Narayan and renowned cinema personalities such as Dilip Kumar, Madhubala and others.

Himalaya Hotel

Hotel Himalaya is the only hotel in the city distinguished by its awesome 180 degree panoramic view of the majestic Himalayas and has just recently been upgraded with an additional executive floor to give an intimate sense of world class luxury.

The hotel is a leading deluxe hotel in Nepal with a class of its own, offering a boutique resort ambience, ideal for both business and leisure travelers. It is situated adjacent to the Kathmandu business district and just a stones throw away from the world Heritage site Patan Durbar Square, the ancient palace city of the Malla Kings.

Tea House

A tea house is a combination restaurant, hotel and local meeting spot. The rooms and facilities are usually simple, but clean, safe and comfortable. By trekking from local tea house to local tea house, one can easily arrange daily accommodations and meals through their guide at their own pace.

Meals at a tea house are plentiful and delicious. Breakfasts usually include a mix of toast, eggs, pancakes, along with local options. Lunch and dinner options include potato dishes, different curries, rice, noodles, pasta, pizza, spring rolls as well as local Nepali dishes.

A tea house usually acts as a local meeting spot for the village it resides in. As such, you may spend the evenings getting to know any locals that come in for a meal or a drink!

Elgin Nor-Khill Gangtok

Elgin Nor-Khill Gangtok (“the house of jewels”) in the state of Sikkim in eastern Himalayas in Gangtok is known for its tradition and ethnic Sikkimese ambience. The Kanchan garden affords a rich view of the hills with Kanchenjungha in the background, which inspired the Chogyal of Sikkim to paint for hours. The Nor-Khill was built by the King of Sikkim in 1932 and is the oldest heritage hotel in Gangtok. The lobby is resplendent in the bright folk art, design motif depicting dragons and flame symbols to thankas, the ornate bachu and chocsue and traditional jewellery available at an in-house curio shop.

New Elgin

Darjeeling- from ‘ Dorji Ling' means the ‘God of Thunder'. Small wonder then that in the quaint little hill station, the weather varies from the pleasant, to cold to very cold. As you enter The Elgin - warmth hugs you and makes you feel at home with a glass of sparkling cherry liquor and a silken Khada draped around your neck. Snug and cozy in an interior decked with etchings of G.Douglas, lithographs of Daniell, period Burma teak furniture, oak floor boards and paneling, crackling fireplaces, candle-lit tables and strains of music from the grand piano, you realize the meaning of palpable ‘old world charm' which has played host to dignitaries like the US Ambassador and the Crown Prince of Sikkim to Dominique Lapierre and Mark Tully. The hotel has stories to tell from the time of its first owner the Maharaja of Cooch Behar to Nancy Oakley in the 1950s.

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