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Colours of North East India
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Here’s What Your Amazing Holiday Could Look Like...
Travel India’s last frontier, a rugged land of epic Himalayan panoramas, verdant tea plantations and remote Buddhist monasteries. Start this offbeat journey in bustling Kolkata, then discover the origin of your tea leaves in Darjeeling and catch a glimpse of the snow-covered peak of the highest mountain in the world, Everest.
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Your Example Itinerary
Fly from the UK to Kolkata
Spend a couple of days soaking up the sights and sounds of Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta, and uncover the rich heritage of this riverside metropolis. With its bustling streets and warm climate, the city hosts numerous festivals and fetes, filled with joy and colour. Soak up the vibrant shades in the flower market, take a look around Dakshineswar Kali Temple and browse the antique books at College Street Book Market. Finally, join the locals for a cup of coffee and a friendly chat in an Indian coffee house. This sociable ritual is known as adda, and is a revered Indian tradition.
Fly to the vibrant green hills, Buddhist monasteries and tea plantations of Darjeeling. Watch the sun rise from the spectacular Tiger Hills which, when the sky is clear, offer a spectacular view of Everest. Learn more about the exploration of the world’s highest mountain at the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and take a look around the Himalayan Zoological Park, which houses various mountain species, such as the snow leopard, the Tibetan wolf, yaks and bears. Tour the Tibetan Refugee Centre where you can buy high-quality Tibetan handicrafts, including carpets, leather and woodcraft.
Continue to Kalimpong, well known for its glorious flower nurseries, where rows of gladioli, cacti and orchids grow. This bazaar-filled town offers some pretty Himalayan views and a smattering of monasteries amid its colonial buildings. Take a stroll among the flowers and hunt for souvenirs in the numerous markets. Soak up a bird’s-eye view of the raging Teesta and Rangeet rivers from the Durpin Dara Hills, which were the inspiration for the works of the celebrated Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore.
Gaze up at the soaring 28,000-foot peak of Khangchendzonga, the third-highest mountain in the world, from Gangtok. Tour the lavish monasteries, including the lovely Enchey Monastery with its ornately carved windows, intricate prayer wheels and a large collection of masks used in dance performances. Uncover the mysteries of Tibetan culture at the diverting Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, housed in a traditional Tibetan-style mansion, containing manuscripts, paintings and even a thopa, a cup made from a human skull.
Fly back to Kolkata for one last evening.
Depart Kolkata and return to the UK
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