17 Day Escorted group Tour
Day 01: Delhi
Morning arrive Delhi, the whole afternoon at leisure in our hotel, an opportunity to get our bearings, do some independent exploring (or a quite nap after the overnight flight).
Day 02: Agra
We drive to Agra in the morning, visiting the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort in the afternoon, evening at leisure in our hotel at Agra.
Day 03: Delhi
The morning drive to Delhi allows us an afternoon's sightseeing of Old Delhi - its magnificent Red Fort, Jama Masjid mosque and bustling bazaar area of Chandni Chowk - and New Delhi. The latter is quite distinct, an imperial vision of a capital city with broad vistas, leafy avenues and imposing government buildings, India Gate and Qutab Minar.
Day 04: Bagdogra/Darjeeling
We take morning flight to Bagdogra - panoramic views of the Himalayan peaks (weather conditions permitting) where we start the afternoon's drive up to Darjeeling, overnight stay and a markedly temperate climate.
Day 05: Darjeeling
Virtually uninhabited until the British Raj discovered its potential as a hill station, a heaven form the stifling summer heat of the early Raj capital of Calcutta (and subsequently found to be ideal for tea-growing), Darjeeling has grown rapidly up an down its steep, terraced hillsides. With clear weather the Himalayan views are stupendous, and we start today early with a pre-dawn visit to Tiger Hill to see the sunrise. After breakfast back at the hotel the rest of the morning is free for you to explore, with a visit to a tea plantation arranged for after lunch.
Day 06: Sikkim
We drive further north, to Pemayangtse in Sikkim, whose remote Buddhist monastery offers deep spirituality within and the most breathtaking views of the himalayan peaks.
Day 07: Gangtok
A further morning or afternoon's drive takes us to Gangtok, overnight stay.
Day 08: Gangtok/Rumtek
A day's sightseeing in and around Gangtok. A rather sprawling town, it possesses fine mountain views and close by, the Orchidarium and splendid Samsars Gardens. Slightly further afield is the Rumtek monastery of the Red Hat sect of Tibetan Lamaistic Buddhism, our fascinating afternoon excursion.
Day 09: Bagdogra/Guwahati
The morning takes us back to Bagdogra to catch the flight to Guwahati, capital of Assam, on the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra. An important staging post on the NE trade route, Guwahati was an ancient seat of learning (especially of astronomy and astrology) and a center of Hindu pilgrimage.
Day 10: Guwahati/Kaziranga
The morning sightseeing includes the silk producing village of Sualkuchi and the Kamakshya Temple, an ancient Khasi sacrificial site now and important Hindu centre and notable for its typical Assamese 'beehive' spire. The sacred Nilachal Hill upon which it stands offers panoramic views. After lunch we drive east to Kaziranga, the great National Park, for a 3 night stay at the charming Wild Grass Lodge, offering a wealth of experiences to treasure.
Day 11: Kaziranga
Early in the morning elephants and their mahouts call for us for a safari in the central ranga. Its inhabitants include the surprisingly docile one-horned Rhino, Wild Buffalo, Leopard, Swamp Deer, the rare Hoolock gibbon (unique to Assam), and Tiger. We return for the breakfast and then set out for jeep safari of the western ranges. After lunch we visit one of Assam's famous tea estates (Assam accounts for 18% of the world's tea!).
Day 12: Assam
Assam is fortunate in processing a wide spectrum of ethnic and tribal cultures. Today we spend time in a tribal village, visit the eastern ranges in search of game, and enjoy an evening of folk dancing.
Day 13: Shillong
The full day's scenic drive to Shillong in Meghalaya is enlivened en route by visits to tea estate. We check in to our hotel for 2 nights.
Day 14: Shillong/Cherrapunji
At 5000 ft and set amidst waterfalls, pine forests and heather-clad hills, Shillong was the hill station known as the 'Scotland of the East'. Over the years it has been further ornamented by a fine Botanical Garden, a polo grround and an excellent 18 hole golf course. Today we enjoy early morning sightseeing of Shillong followed by an excursion to Cherrapunji which vies with nearby Mawsynram as the wettest place on Earth (in a good'year it can receive 75ft of rainfall).
Day 15: Guwahati/Calcutta
This morning we drive back to Guwahati for the flight to Calcutta. The afternoon and evening are spent at leisure in our hotel there.
Day 16: Calcutta
A full day's sightseeing. Until 1911, Calcutta served as the british capital of India and the city is full of imposing late 18th and early 19th century colonial buildings and other mementoes of the Raj including the broad, Grassy Maidan and the leafy Botanical Gardens.
Day 17: Calcutta/Abroad
Transfer to airport to connect flight for onward destination.
Best Time : October to April.