Darjeeling and Bhutan Tour is a multi-country tour where you will get to experience the highlights of Nepal, India, and Bhutan. The medieval heritage sites of Kathmandu, a joyful toy train ride across the lush tea gardens of Darjeeling, the spectacular beauty of Sikkim’s Tsomgo or Changu Lake, and the stunning beauty of Bhutan’s Buddhist monasteries – all these incredible experiences await you.
Your trip starts from Nepal’s capital Kathmandu where you will discover the famed UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the ancient city. Hike up to Swayambhunath, a hilltop Buddhist and Hindu shrine overlooking the city of Kathmandu. The white-domed stupa known as the Swayambhunath (meaning ‘self-created’) lies at the center surrounded by several Hindu temples and a Buddhist monastery.
Walk around the Boudhanath, one of the biggest Buddhist stupas in the world. This is a major pilgrimage site for followers of Tibetan Buddhism as the remains of the Kasyapa Buddha are said to be buried under the gigantic stupa. At Kathmandu Durbar Square you will come across pagoda roofed temples, palaces and shrines that showcase the fine art and architecture of the Malla period. Kumari Bahal or the House of the Living Goddess is also located at the royal square. Kumari or the Living Goddess is a small girl from the Newar community who is worshipped as the reincarnation of the Hindu goddess Taleju.
Your Kathmandu sightseeing tour is incomplete without a visit to the Pashupatinath Temple, the holiest Shiva shrine in Nepal. Dating back to 400 AD, it is probably one of the oldest temples in Nepal.
From Kathmandu, you head east and cross over the eastern border to the Indian hill station of Darjeeling. Known as the ‘Queen of the Hills’, Darjeeling was a favorite place of leisure for Britishers during the British Raj.
The drive to Darjeeling takes you past acres of verdant tea gardens decorating the slopes of the hills. Enjoy a beautiful sunrise over the snowy spires of Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world, from Tiger Hill. Take a joyride to Ghoom on the Toy Train or the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.
A relic of the British era and a UNESCO World Heritage Site the train and the narrow-gauge railway line were built during the nineteenth century. Moving at a snail’s pace, one can enjoy the beautiful mountain views from onboard the Toy Train. Visits to Ghoom Monastery, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, and Tibetan Refugee Camp are also included in your itinerary.
Your next destination is Sikkim, a mountainous north-eastern Indian state which lies close to Tibet. You explore Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, and the spectacular Changu Lake. A glacial lake, Changu or Tsomgo is located at an elevation of 3753m and remains covered by ice during the winter months.
Leaving Sikkim you head towards Bhutan, the last Himalayan destination in your itinerary. Crossing via the land border (Jaigaon-Phuentsholing) to Bhutan offers you a unique opportunity to observe local lifestyles on both sides of the border (India-Bhutan). From Phuentsholing you drive past the verdant countryside and reach Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan.
Your local guide will take you to explore the most popular sites in Thimphu – Memorial Chorten, Changkangkha Lakhang, Nunnery Temple, Motithang Takin Preserve, and Kuensel Podrang. After savoring the cultural charms of Thimphu, you make your way to Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan.
Visit the grand Punakha Dzong, an ancient castle built in the Bhutanese traditional style, and the Temple of Fertility or Chimi Lakhang. Enjoy a blissful walk through a traditional village and paddy fields and observe the rural lifetyle.
You wrap up your Darjeeling and Bhutan Tour with an awesome hike to Tiger’s Nest or Taktsang Monastery in Paro. Built on an overhanging rock on a cliff, Taktsang Monastery is a sacred site and a marvelous piece of architecture. Regarded as the meditation site of Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche, this monastery can be accessed after a grueling hike up a forested hill. After your adventure, you leave Paro and fly back to Kathmandu where your tour ends.
Though Darjeeling and Bhutan Tour can be done any time of the year, the spring and autumn seasons are more favorable because of pleasant weather. Travelers of all ages and fitness levels can complete this tour. The hike to Taktsang Monastery in Paro can be a bit tough for those who are not used to hill climbing. One can always skip the hike and choose another attraction after consulting with your guide.
Darjeeling and Bhutan Tour is an incredible trip that takes you through three Himalayan nations – Nepal, India, and Bhutan – in fourteen days. Take a two-week vacation and join us on an epic odyssey through these three enchanting Himalayan destinations.