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Darjeeling hills Sikkim himalayas Nature Culture Leisure Walking Car Jeep Himalayan Village Homestay Trek Trekking Holiday Itineraries Package Tours of Kalimpong Lava Lolegaon Loleygaon,Samthar Farm House Culture Trek,Lepcha Teesta Valley trek,Rinchenpong West Sikkim Hi Barmoik Samma Taar Nature camp Vershay Barsey Nature camp Jhorbotay Kalijhar Photey Dara Chiabhanjan Chitery Uttery Pelling Darjeeling,East Eastern Himalaya Nature Culture Leisure Walking Car Jeep Himalayan Treks Trek Trekking Holiday Package Tours Darjeeling hills Sikkim himalayas Nature Culture Leisure Walking Car Jeep Himalayan Village Homestay Trek Trekking Holiday Itineraries Package Tours of Kalimpong Lava Lolegaon Loleygaon,Samthar Farm House Culture Trek,Lepcha Teesta Valley trek,Rinchenpong West Sikkim Hi Barmoik Samma Taar Nature camp Vershay Barsey Nature camp Jhorbotay Kalijhar Photey Dara Chiabhanjan Chitery Uttery Pelling Darjeeling,East Eastern Himalaya Nature Culture Leisure Walking Car Jeep Himalayan Treks Trek Trekking Holiday Package Tours
Nature & Culture Tours

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S/ 06: Walking cum Car Tour: 15 Days Nature & Culture Walking Holiday
with Trekking Extention

  • Available All year round.
  • Best for snow views & blue skies: Nov.
  • Best for Rhododendrons and spring flowers:  Mid Feb – end March.
  • Max  Altitude: 3696 m

This walking holiday is an extended version of S/05,. to enable trekking through the prestine  and unforgettable Vershay Rhododendron sanctuary. First explore the rural countryside around Samthar (Kalimpong) and Rinchenpong  (West Sikkim). Forests, sunrise views, snow panoramas, Buddhist Gompas, terraced agriculture, ethnic villages, wild flowers, and interaction with people. Includes sightseeing and shopping at Kalimpong and visit to Pamayangtse Monastery in Sikkim. Latter a 06 days trek through blooming Rhdodendrons with great views of the Khangchendzonga Range. Is the high light of this tour.

Day 01: Bagdogra - kalimpong, 1400 m

Arrive Bagdogra. Met by car with driver and driven to Kalimpong. The 80 Kms journey passes through the forested and scenic Teesta River Valley. Check in at the heritage Himalayan hotel, dating back to the days of the “Raj”, or Gurudongma House.

Kalimpong, is an exotic town of beautiful people, mystical and enchanting? Ruled by Bhutan for 155 years, and annexed by the British in 1865, it was developed as a center of the wool trade with Tibet. This trade flourished until the Chinese took control of Tibet, in the 1950's The Lepchas, who were the original inhabitants, were subjected to Bhutanese, Tibetan, British, and Nepalese influences. A gentle and docile people, they have almost lost their identity, and are now called "The vanishing tribe". However history has left behind a fascinating ethnic blend of Lepcha, Bhutia and Nepalese people. Here Buddhism rubs shoulders with Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam. Gumpas, churches, temples, monasteries, monks and missionaries; all coexist in a jovial and tolerant society. Flower and orchid nurseries, colonial bungalows, churches of the "Raj", and Buddhist monasteries are there to explore. A quaint bustling bazaar, is a Pandora's box of surprises? Kalimpong is a wanderer's delight. Buddhist tankhas, hand beaten silver, Bhutanese weaves, Chinese lamps, hand crafted paper, Lepcha daggers, Nepali Khukaris and Buddhist masks, are some of the shopping attractions. The Wednesday and Saturday "Hat", or village market, brings together people from surrounding areas, selling an amazing variety of products.

In the evening take a walking tour of the interesting bazaar. Overnight at your hotel

Colonial church Gurudongma House sunrise

Day 02: Kalimpong, 1500 m

Kalimpong tour by car. Visit Buddhist Gompa, and view point, Catholic church of “Raj” period, flower & orchid nursery, Nature Interpretation center, Dr Grahams Homes campus and chapel, and Deolo View Point.  Overnight at your hotel

Day 03: Kalimpong – Lava – Lolegaon: drive cum trek to Samthar Farm House, 1500 m

Drive 35 Kms, in 1.30 hrs along old trade route to Tibet passing through virgin forests to Lava, a small bazaar and village, at an altitude of 2100 m amidst forested hills. It originated as a halting place for trade caravans going to Bhutan. It was fortified during the Bhutan rule, and captured and destroyed by the British during the Anglo-Bhutan War. A Buddhist monastery of the same period has been expanded and is active. At Lava you can view the Rachela Pass, which opens into Bhutan, and visit the Monastery. Drive back 4 kms to take the forest road to Lolegaon. Now you have the choice of taking one or both the Nature & Culture walks, described below.

If you choose walk 1, it starts after driving 6 kms to a village Buddhist gompa. It descends through forests, to the waist of the hill, continues through hamlets, terraced cultivation, and cascading streams to terminate at a village bazaar from where we ride our jeeps to the heritage forest ( described below) to start Walk 2. Trekking time is 3 hrs.

If you choose to take only walk 2, you will first drive for 25 kms, in 1.30 hrs, through unspoiled forests, with hardly any habitation. Enjoy nature at its best, and see the incredible variety of flora. After a picnic lunch and a visit to over 100 years old heritage forest, take a short down hill trek, whilst your jeep traverses a wilderness trail. Trekking time is 02 hrs, and you will walk through the heart of the forest, to a Tamang Village, cross a mountain stream, and reclaim your jeep, for the last 06 kms to the Samthar Farm House. Dinner and overnight at The Samthar Farm House.

Scenic and remote, The Samthar Plateau, at an elevation of 1500 Meters, is surrounded by  river valleys, terraced cultivation and forests. The inhabitants are a blend of various ethnic groups-Lepchas, Bhutias and Nepali. The original Lepcha tribals lived in the valleys. They were woodsman, and utilized the forest resources to live off the land. Knowing no religion, they worshiped nature spirits. When the Bhutanese ruled this land, many were converted to Buddhism. Latter the British rulers brought in Christian missionaries, who converted some of them to Christianity. Hinduism arrived with the Nepalese settlers, who also taught the Lepchas to farm the land. Today the ethnic groups are fused together in harmony. They have adopted Nepali as a link language, yet maintained, their diverse cultural identity. It is an ideal place to peep into lifestyles of this fascinating hill community. It also has diverse flora, well-developed mountain agriculture, forests, and river valleys, and offers breathtaking views of the Panorama of snows. The Samthar Farmhouse is an old Lepcha house built of stone and timber, converted by General "Jimmy" Singh for comfortable living, whilst maintaining its ambience. It has a lovely nature garden with scenic views.

Samthar view Samthar Farm House Khangchendzong from garden

Day 04: Samthar Farm House culture trek

Get up early morning, to the chirping of birds, and the cry of the rooster, to walk to the top of the terraced nature garden. Sit atop a rock and sip your tea, whilst you take in the breathtaking view, as the sun rises, and the first rays touch the snows. Weather permitting, you see the entire panorama of snows - Khangchenganga group of peaks, Simvo, Siniolchu, Lama Anden, Chomoyomo, and Paunhari, and then in an easterly arc the passes of Chola, Natula, and Jalepla, leading into Tibet. After an leisurely breakfast, trek around the Samthar plateau for 03 hrs Return to the Farm House for lunch. After lunch another 02 hrs trek to nearby hamlets. Meet people in their homes and fields to get a glimpse of rural lifestyles.  In the evening sample local Millet beer, "chang", served in traditional bamboo containers, in lamp lit atmosphere.  Overnight at The farmhouse.

Lepcha Tribal House Minstrel Family outing

Day 05: Samthar Farm House - Lepcha Valley trek

Another chance to view the sunrise. After breakfast take a full days trek to remote Lepcha valley. See flora, birds, traditional Lepcha houses, and a 100 years old Lepcha temple. Meet people in their homes and fields. After picnic lunch return by a different route. Dinner and overnight at the Farm House.

Day 06: Samthar Farm House - Teesta Valley trek - drive to Rinchenpong ( West Sikkim)

After breakfast trek down to the Teesta Valley, You will pass through forests, terraced cultivation and hamlets. It will take about 04 hrs to reach the confluence of the Teesta and Rilli Rivers. Take a break for  a picnic lunch. After lunch cross the  Teesta River over a  suspension bridge to the national highway. Thereafter drive to Rinchenpong in West Sikkim. After a short journey of just 15 kms, cross the river to register at the Sikkim entry Check Post at Malli at elevation of 228 m. Here you have to carry out entry formalities.  Keep passports handy along with Sikkim entry permits.

Inside Sikkim  drive along the Rangit River Valley for 24 Kms to the market town of Jorthang. ( 300 to 1100m).Continue the drive to Rinchenpong a small village perched on a ridge. . Enjoy the flora, picture post card villages and views of the river. Climbing rapidly through a series of switch- backs through picture post card country the road takes you to the top of a massive ridge and your destination- The Yangsum Farm, 1500 m.

The Yangsum  Farm is tucked away far from crowds, in idyllic countryside with a backdrop of the Khangchendzonga group of peaks and the sky- line of the Singelila Range. It is located in West Sikkim, two kms from the small bazaar village of Rinchenpong at an altitude of 1500 meters. At Yangsum you will stay at the heritage Farm House, build in 1833 and remodeled in 1966. Thendup Tashi and Pema chuki, of the Tsechu Tharpa family will be your hosts.  You will stay in spacious furnished bedrooms with western style toilet and bath. The house has electricity, and running water. The host family manages a 44 Acre farm, consisting of open mixed forest of Pine, Himalayan Alder, Schima, Chestnut, Magnolia, Rhododendrons, cherry, and others. It grows cardamom, avocados, oranges, banana, pears, apricots, and mangoes. Cultivated agriculture yields maize, paddy, millet, potatoes, ginger, turmeric, and sweet potatoes. In addition to these, seasonal vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, tomatoes and peas are also grown.

Yangsum Farm Sikkim Yangsum Farm snows

Day 07: Rinchenpong: Village exploration walk

Enjoy the surroundings and views, explore local hamlets, take a short trek to Rinchinpong Monastery, Reshung Gompa, and Lepcha village. Try out home cooked Sikkimese food. Overnight at Yangsum Farm.

Sikkim Pamayangtse Monastery Ladies prayer meet Traditional ploughing

Day 08: Drive Rinchenpong - Hi Barmoik, and trek to Samma Taar Nature camp

Drive from Yangsum Farm to Hi Barmoik village, 2200 m  It a picturesqe wood & stone constructed large village spread on the face of the mountain with the back drop of forests. Here we will take time off to explore the village, meet people. Continue fairly steep uphill through isolated houses to Upper Hi- Barmoik village to continue our 08 kms trek to  to our Samma Taar camp site in a picturesque meadow in the forests at 2900 m altitude.. Overnight in camp.

Day 09: Trek Samma Taar – Vershay (also called Barsey) Nature camp

Trek Samma-Taar to Vershay at 3000 m. Walk through mixed forests with Rhododendrons  and bamboo (3-4 hrs). Fairly steep all the way. our Campin Rhododendron forest.  In the afternoon thetre is time to explore the network of trails around Vershay. Overnight in camp

The Barsey (Vershay) Rhododendron Sanctuary (BRS) is spread over 104 sq Kms. It forms a vital corridor connecting the Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve with the Singelila National Park in West Bengal. The altitudinal range of 2200m to 4100m supports a wide variety of habitat comprising Sub-tropical, Mixed broadleaf, conifer, and Alpine. During our exploration trips and birding tours we have recorded more than 200 species. Mammals inhabiting the park include Leopard, Leopard-cat, Yellow throated Marten, Palm Civet, Goral, Barking Deer, Himalayan Black Bear, Wild boar, Red Panda, Flying squirrel, Crestless porcupine, Himalayan mouse- hare and others.

Camping at vershay Relaxing

Day 10: Trek Vershay to Jhorbotay

Trek 06 hrs from Vershay to Jhorbotay, 3280 m through rhododendron forests. It is an easy walk. Overnight in camp located in a forest clearing with good views of Mount Khangchendzonga.

Forest trail Yakman

Day 11: Trek Jhorbotay –Kalijhar, 3696 m

Jhorbotay to Kalijhar 3696 m. First we descent steeply downhill into a valley with a small stream. Cross the stream and start climbing fairly steep through mixed forests to a small meadow; where we camp above the tree line.  Full views of the Khangchendzonga Range, and all round.

Arlenes trekking group at Kalijhar View from Kalijhar, 3696 m Yaks grazing

Day 12 Kaljhar - Photey Dara – Chiabhanjan, 3275 m – Chitery, 2700m

Early morning trek to Phoktay Dara ( 30 mins), a view point with superb views of Kanchenjunga and Mount Everest.  Watch the sunrise and enjoy the panoramic views. Continue to Chaibhanjan, a pass on the Indo –Nepal border. Thereafter descend in 04 hrs to Chitery camping ground in a lovely forested meadow, 2700 m. Overnight in camp.

Medow camp Trek vista

Day 13: Trek Chitery  to Uttery, 2320 m and drive to Pelling, 2200 m

Trek to Uttery, 2320 m in 1.30 hrs. Drive 28 Kms in 1.30 hrs to Pelling, 2200 m and check in at hotel. For lunch. Afternoon visit the famous Pamayangtse Monastery. Overnight at hotel

Day 14: Pelling – Darjeeling

Drive to Darjeeling in 05 hrs. Check in at Hotel New Elgin / Cedar Inn / Hawks Nest Resort in time for lunch. Afternoon free to explore Darjeeling. Overnight at hotel

Day 15: Drive Darjeeling - Bagdogra

Drive 03 hrs from Darjeeling to Bagdogra for departure flights to Delhi or Kolkata.

TOUR END

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