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Of Mountains and Homestays: Sikkim

Tripoto
14th Nov 2015
Photo of Of Mountains and Homestays: Sikkim by The Blueberry Trails
Photo of Of Mountains and Homestays: Sikkim by The Blueberry Trails
Photo of Of Mountains and Homestays: Sikkim by The Blueberry Trails
Photo of Of Mountains and Homestays: Sikkim by The Blueberry Trails
Photo of Of Mountains and Homestays: Sikkim by The Blueberry Trails
Photo of Of Mountains and Homestays: Sikkim by The Blueberry Trails
Photo of Of Mountains and Homestays: Sikkim by The Blueberry Trails
Photo of Of Mountains and Homestays: Sikkim by The Blueberry Trails
Photo of Of Mountains and Homestays: Sikkim by The Blueberry Trails
Photo of Of Mountains and Homestays: Sikkim by The Blueberry Trails
Photo of Of Mountains and Homestays: Sikkim by The Blueberry Trails
Photo of Of Mountains and Homestays: Sikkim by The Blueberry Trails
Photo of Of Mountains and Homestays: Sikkim by The Blueberry Trails
Photo of Of Mountains and Homestays: Sikkim by The Blueberry Trails
Photo of Of Mountains and Homestays: Sikkim by The Blueberry Trails

#This beautiful state of Sikkim in the lap of the Himalayas is still a well kept secret, when away from the tourist traps. It’s a melting pot of cultures and 

traditions and with nuances like the quaint villages, gorgeous landscapes, the tea gardens, treks, local life, the golden peaks in the backdrop, it makes for a great
experiential travel plan. Sikkim is surrounded by the mighty Himalayas on all sides except the South. It has Bhutan to the east, Tibet to the North and Nepal to the
west and is the least populated state. However it is the looming presence of the Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world that casts a mystical spell.

Essence of the trip: Mountain Life | Local hikes | Village walks | Trek | Tea garden explorations | Rural life | Photography | Cultural Immersion

Highlights of the trip:
1. Village walks around beautifully laid out villages, getting a peek into their daily lives of some of the myriad tribes that inhabit Sikkim. You will see this at
your stays at Takdah, Kaluk and Gangtok.
2. Trek to Lamahatta, a mountain settlement through verdant pine forests.
3. Explorations of tea gardens, getting to see the process up close and personal.
4.Local hike to the monastery through forests in Rinchenpong.
5. Stay in traditional homestays and experience local food and culture up close.
6. Visit Nathula Pass, one of the four Border Personnel Meeting Points between India and China. Also soak in the glory of the famous Changu Lake, without the tourist
rush.

Day 1: Bagdogra to Takdah
Drive time: 4 hours
Pick up from Bagdogra airport and drive to Takdah. Takdah is a beautiful village, one hour from Darjeeling. Takdah means “mist” in the Lepcha language, the original
residents of this area. It used to be a cantonment town during the British days and still bears a beautiful colonial charm. Even today one can admire the stone
structures built by the British. It is surrounded by large stretches of pine forests and tea gardens, which lend the place a very special charm.

Meals: Dinner
Experience: Village walk at Takdah (Self explore)
Stay: A heritage homestay

Day 2: Takdah
After breakfast go for a trek through dense oak and pine forests to Lamahatta, a small mountain village with a local guide. Late afternoon, you can walk to a nearby
tea garden. In the evening, do remember to try some of the local rice beer.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
Experience: Lamahatta trek, tea garden walk, Local food

Day 3: Takdah to Kaluk via Darjeeling
After breakfast we drive to Darjeeling, the queen of hill stations. Walk around Mall area and Observatory hill to get a feel of the colonial past the British left
behind. Visit the Peace Pagoda which was built under the guidance of a Japanese Buddhist monk. From here once can get stupendous views of Darjeeling town and walk
around the town at your own pace, to enjoy this hillstation which is quite tourist magnet in the summer months. Post lunch head to Kaluk, a quaint hamlet in the west
of Sikkim.

Meals: Breakfast | Dinner
Experience: Darjeeling local sights | Village walk in Kaluk

Day 4 : Kaluk and Rinchenpong
Located in the foothills of the Himalayas , Kaluk is an idyllic hamlet with abundant natural beauty. Your stay offers a beautiful view of the Kanchenjunga. Drive to
Rinchenpong nearby and take a local hike with your local guide who will take you through the surrounding forests and the gorgeous monastery.

Meals: Breakfast | Dinner
Experiences: Local hike and sightseeing with guide

Day 5: Pelling sightseeing
After breakfast drive to Khecheopalri Lake, a tranquil lake nestled in the midst of verdant hills. It is believed that any wish asked by a devotee is granted by the
deity of the lake hence considered very holy by the local people.

From here drive to Yuksom, the first capital of Sikkim. It is over here that the first Chogyal (holy King) was coroneted in 1642; you will visit the site and see the
stone throne. By evening return back to Kaluk. In the evening light a bon fire around which we exchange conversations with our host over a cask of local millet beer.

Meals: Breakfast | Dinner
Experiences: Kecheopalri Lake | Visit to Yuksom | Local Millet beer

Day 6 :Kaluk to Gangtok
Drive Time: 4 hours
Bid farewell to our hosts after which we drive to the capital city of Gangtok .On the way visit the Rabdtense Ruins, a palace fort which was once the capital of Sikkim
and Pemagyatse monastery, one of the holiest monasteries in entire Sikkim.

Take a longer run on your car and visit Rumtek monastery From here drive to Rumtek monastery, the seat of the Karmapa. This grand monastery is the most important one
of the Karmakagyu sect of Buddhism.

In the evening walk to the Palace monastery which was closely associated with the Chogyal of Sikkim. From here walk down towards the lively MG Road for a feel of
modern Sikkim.

Meals: Breakfast | Dinner
Experiences: Visit Rabdantse ruins | Pemagatsye | Local sights at MG Road and visit a live music café/bar

Day 7: Gangtok
Nathula Pass, Changu Lake and Baba Mandir
Drive time: 3 hours (one way from Gangtok to Nathula)
Today is an exciting day as you set out to see the famous Nathula Pass. On the way stop at Changu Lake (also known as Tsongmo Lake) and Baba Mandir. The route is
beautiful and this promises to be an unforgettable journey.

In the late afternoon once you are back in Gangtok, we visit the Tibetology museum to learn about Buddhism and its advent into Sikkim. The museum also has many rare
manuscripts written by Buddhist scholars.

Meals: Breakfast | Dinner
Experiences: Visit Nathula Pass, Changu Lake and Baba Mandir

Day 8 :Gangtok to Bagdogra
Drive time: 5.5 hours
Make your way home, with a bag full of memories.

Meals: Breakfast

WHAT: Sikkim Trip
WHEN: November 14-21st Nov 2015 (8 days/7 nights)
WHERE: Bagdogara-Takdah-Darjeeling-Kaluk-Pelling-Gangtok-Nathula-Bagdogara
HOW MUCH: Rs. 33,200 + 3.5% tax (per head)
WHO: jeenal@theblueberrytrails.com/9820560943

Cost Includes:
1. Accommodation on a twin sharing basis.
2.Meals mentioned: Breakfast | Dinners on all days.
3.All transfers and sightseeing using a Xylo or Innova or similar vehicle.
4.Local walks in Lamahatta, Rinchenpong.
5.All sightseeing and local experiences as mentioned. Entry to places is personal expense.
6. Permit to Nathula Pass.
7. Blueberry Trails co-ordinator.

Cost Excludes:
1.Camera fees and Entrance fees at any of the places of sightseeing.
2. Meals not mentioned.
2.Excess stay & meals due to bad weather conditions or strikes,resulting in delay of flights or any other form of transport.
3.Beverages, room service, laundry, cigarettes, telephone expenses, any personal expense.
5.Any other item not mentioned in “Cost Includes” section.

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