KOLKATA TO DARJEELING
Cultural tour of India

Between the snow-capped Himalayas and the Ganges delta lie the mighty Brahmaputra River. At the banks of this august river the settlements of what is called Assam are dotted all over. As the “mouths of the Ganges”, the river has had civilizations on it’s banks making this a river into history. Darjeeling, Guwahati, Kaziranaga and Calcutta are just some of the places we visit. Besides the human element, the areas is famous for it’s wilderness and a scenic landscape. What better way to explore these civilizations and natural wildlife habitat than to cruise on a comfortable river boat.

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Tour Information
Tour Duration : 12 days
Min. Tour Size : 02 persons
Max. Tour Size : N/A
Includes international air
Tour Price (from) : US$
Day 01: Arrive Kolkata (Flight)
Day 02: Kolkata
(B)
Day 03: Kolkata/Guwahati/Cruise (Flight & Drive)
(B, L, D)
Day 04: Cruise
(B, L, D)
Day 05: Cruise
(B, L, D)
Day 06: Cruise/Kaziranga National Park (Drive)
(B, L, D)
Day 07: Kaziranga National Park
(B, L, D)
Day 08: Kaziranga National Park/Guwahati (Drive)
(B, L, D)
Day 09: Guwahati/Bagdogra/Darjeeling (Flight & Drive)
(B, D)
Day 10: Darjeeling
(B, D)
Day 11: Darjeeling/Bagdogra/Kolkata (Drive & Flight)
(B)
Day 12: Kolkata/Home (Flight)
(B)
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Day 01: Arrive Kolkata (Flight)

Arrival. Namaste! We are warmly welcomed the traditional Indian way with hands clapped together at the airport and transferred to our hotel. The remainder of the day is free to relax. 

Overnight: Taj Bengal (2 Nights)

Day 02: Kolkata

Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta is a compelling, effervescent city, teeming with life. Under East India Company and later under the British Raj, Kolkata served as the capital of India until 1911. In the morning after breakfast we start the tour of our cultural city with a visit to the famous Malik Ghat flower market beneath the Howarh Bridge. This is the place where the cities floral retailers buy their fresh merchandise. Next we visit Howrah Bridge, iconic symbol of modern Kolkata followed by visit to Belur Math, the headquarters of Ramkrishna Mission founded by Swami Vivekanand. The temple is notable for its architecture that features Hindu, Christian and Islamic motifs as a symbol of unity of all religions. Later we visit Dakshineswar Kali Temple. Our afternoon concentrates on British Calcutta, visiting St. John's Church and St. Paul's Cathedral. The evening is free to enjoy and maybe join the famous Calcutta Tea Houses, well known as a meeting point of philosophers, writers, poets and students. (B)
Please note, Vitoria memorial remain closed on Monday's.

Day 03: Kolkata/Guwahati/Cruise (Flight & Drive)

We are transferred to the airport for our flight to Guwahati and embark on ABN Charaidew mid-afternoon close to the great Saraighat Bridge. Cruise downstream to an overnight stop close to the south bank village of Viajynagar. 

Overnight: Assam Despatch Cruise (3 Nights) (B, L, D)

Day 04: Cruise

After breakfast, disembark and explore a riverside village on foot. Cruise upstream to the little town of Sualkuchi, loud with the clatter of looms, and visit on foot its silk weaving workshops. We shall see the whole process of silk manufacture, from cocoon to spinning to dyeing and finally to handweaving into exquisite saris and dress lengths. We then drive on to Hajo, a place sacred to Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists. We visit a hilltop Muslim shrine with far-reaching views over the surrounding rural landscape, as well as the simple Hindu temple with its frieze of elephants and its sacred tank full of great carp, catfish and turtles. Later we reboard and cruise to an overnight mooring near the Saraighat War Memorial. (B, L, D)

Day 05: Cruise

Cruising upstream, we disembark at Pandu docks and are taken on a short sightseeing tour of the city of Guwahati. Drive up Nilachal Hill to see the holy Kamakhya temple. With its tantric rites and animal sacrifice, the more squeamish may prefer to content themselves with the exterior. Visit the poignant Commonwealth War Graves cemetery as well as a high-class shop selling local crafts. Cross by country boat to the mid-stream Peacock Island with its population of Golden Langur monkeys before re-embarking and cruising for about an hour and a half upstream to Kurua on the north bank. (B, L, D)

Day 06: Cruise/Kaziranga National Park (Drive)

Cruise upstream past jungle-covered hills, and turn into the Mayong River. We cruise up in our country boat for a kilometre or two to the roadhead from where we drive to the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary. We take jeep safari to this small park, which has a dense population of the Asian One-Horned Rhinoceros. From here we proceed to Kaziranga National Park. Finally we check into Diphlu River Lodge, a top-class accommodation located on the boundary river that separates it from the National Park.
Overnight: Diphlu River Lodge (2 nights) (B, L, D)

Day 07: Kaziranga National Park

Early morning, we see Kaziranga's Central Range on elephant back - the most popular and local way to get close to the rhinos and other animals. Kaziranga is a World Heritage site with a population of over 1000 rhinoceros. The park is also home to large populations of tigers, wild elephants, sambars, swamp deer, hog deer and wild pigs. After breakfast, we visit an Assamesel village, where we see the indigenous culture still intact. (B, L, D)

Day 08: Kaziranga National Park/Guwahati (Drive)

After breakfast we drive to Guwahati & check in our hotel. Rest of the day is free for relax. 

Overnight: Vivanta by Taj Guwahati (1 night) (B, L, D)

Day 09: Guwahati/Bagdogra/Darjeeling (Flight & Drive)

A short flight gets us to Bagdogra from where we take a scenic drive to the enchanting town of Darjeeling. At the Phalut ridge, Nepal meets India whilst at the eastern frontier lie the Tista and Rangeet Rivers - beyond which is the Rishi-La and Bhutan. The lower regions of the labyrinth hilly forest-clad ridges, is home to the world famous Darjeeling tea. In 1872 when the first estates were started, the area for tea was at 14000 acres. Today it exceeds 787000 acres. Darjeeling at 2134 m is known also for it’s very friendly people who are relaxed as tea can make one. There are large areas of firs, pines and fast moving torrents, with some 4000 types of flowering plants and 300 varieties of ferns, including the rare tree fern. 

Overnight: Mayfair Darjeeling (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 10: Darjeeling

Just before sunrise we get into our 4 x 4’s and proceed to Tiger Hill to view an incredible sunrise from behind the huge lofty mountain peaks. Here we get a breathtaking view of the majestic Mts. Everest and Kunchunjung. This is followed by a visit to one of the most unique of the world Heritage Sites – the Toy Train. We ride on this one of a kind rail culminating with a visit to the Ghoom Monastery. The monastery, built in 1875, houses one of the largest statues of the Maitreya Buddha. Next stop is the Himalayan Zoo, home to Himalayan fauna such as the Red Panda, Black Bear, Yaks and Tigers in their natural habitat. We end the day with a visit to the Natural History Museum, which houses a fine collection of preserved butterflies, birds, reptiles and insects of the Himalayas. (B, D)

Day 11: Darjeeling/Bagdogra/Kolkata (Drive & Flight)

After a memorable experience of North East India, we are transferred to Bagdogra airport for our flight to Kolkata. Upon arrival at Kolkata, we are met and transferred to our hotel. Balance of the day is free for shopping and leisure activities. 

Overnight: Taj Bengal (1 Night) (B)

Day 12: Kolkata/Home (Flight)

As all good things come to an end, we bid farewell to India as we are transferred to the airport for our departure flight. (B)

B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Departure Dates
English Speaking Departures (Please contact us for information on French, German, Italian and Spanish speaking departures).

2017

Nov 19; Dec 17

2018

Jan 14; Feb 11; Mar 11

Tour Price

We accept payment in US $ (US Dollars), CA $ (Canadian Dollars) or equivalent EURO (for clients outside North America). Bestway Tours & Safaris offers conversion rate protection. Once full payment has been received, and no modification has been made to the tour itinerary, we will honour that rate. For complete payment procedures, please click here

VALIDITY (Nov & Dec 2017 & Jan, Feb & Mar 2018)
Departure(s) Per Person on Twin Sharing Single Room Supplement
2017/2018 US$ 3990 US$ 1825
Domestic Air US$ 375 -


Hotels below or similar

City Hotel Name
Kolkata
(2 Nights)
Taj Bengal (5 Star)
Deluxe Room
Cruise
(2 Nights)
Assam Despatch
Standard Cabin
Kaziranga
(2 Nights)
Diphlu River Lodge (Jungle Resort)
Cottage
Guwahati
(1 Night)
Vivanta by Taj Guwahati(5 Star)
Superior Room
Darjeeling
(2 Nights)
Mayfair Darjeeling (5 Star)
Standard Room

Notes

Supplement for Airfare in Economy Class (Kolkata–Guwahati, Guwahati-Bagdogra & Bagdogra-Kolkata) US$ 375



Inclusions


Tour Price Includes
  • Accommodation as mentioned or similar, including hotel taxes
  • 25 Meals as mentioned (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • All sightseeing and transfers by Private transportation
  • All safari activities at Kaziranga including, 01 elephant OR 01 jeep safari in the morning and 01 jeep safaris in the afternoon. (N.B: Elephant Ride is subject to availability from the Forest Dept.)
  • Services of resident Naturalist at Kaziranga
  • Services of local English speaking guides
  • Entrance fees to museums and sites included in the itinerary
  • Toy Train in Darjeeling
Not Included
  • Any airfares
  • Insurance/visas
  • Tips/gratuities

Estimated International Airfare (International airfare is NOT included in this tour)

CANADA(West Coast)
US$ 1600

USA(West Coast)
US$ 1400

CANADA(East Coast)
US$ 1200

USA(East Coast)
US$ 1000

Participants

This tour operates on a minimum of 02 participants

Customised Itinerary

If you would like to have a tour on dates other than the above ones or with a customised itinerary, please contact us and we will be happy to work out an exclusive program for you.

Contact Info
You may e-mail us at bestway@bestway.com or call 1-604-264-7378. Residents of U.S.A./Canada may call us toll free at 1-800-663-0844.