|Spiritual Reach in East India
Destinations Covered: Bhubaneshwar - Puri - Konark - Bhubaneshwar - Kolkata - Bagdogra - Darjeeling - Gangtok - Kolkata
10 Nights / 11 Days
Day 1: Arrive Bhubaneshwar
Arrive Bhubhaneshwar and transfer to hotel. In the afternoon, half day sightseeing of Bhubhaneshwar, known as Kalinga in ancient times is the capital of Orissa. At one time, some 7000 sandstone temples are supposed to have stood on the site of sacred Bundusagar lake alone. Today almost 500 remain. Most of them were built between 7th and 15th centuries and most of them were destroyed during the Mughal conquest of 16th century. Visit the Brahmeshwar temple, built in 11th century; Rajarani temple; Mukteshwar temple : one of the most refined temples in Orissa. Small and compact it is famous for both its ornate entrance and rich interior carvings; Parumeshwar temple : built in 12th century and the Lingaraj Temple : built in 11th century, this temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva as Lord Lingaraj (Lord of Universa), is one of the most notable temples.
Day 2: Bhubaneshwar - Konark - Puri (By Surface)
Morning drive to Puri en route visit the Sun Temple at Konark. Built by King Narasimhadev in mid 13th century to celebrate his victory over the Muslims. It is a masterpiece of design and construction; built in the shape of huge chariot, pulled along by seven racing horses on 24 intricately carved stone wheels. Continue drive to Puri. Arrive Puri and check in at hotel.
Day 3: Puri
Morning visit Puri - one of the four Dhams (holiest Hindu pilgrimage places in India). Visit the Jaganatth Temple, which was built during the 12th century by the Kalinga ruler Chodaganga Deva, is the tallest and most magnificent monuments in Orissa. It?s pinnacle rises to a formidable height of 65 m (212 ft). It is divided into four parts : the main central hall, the hall of audience, the dancing hall and the hall of offerings, and has four gates. Each of these has an animal theme : horse (south gate), elephant (north gate), tiger (west gate) and the lion (east gate). It is by the Lions gate that the pilgrims make their entrance and in front of this main gate stands a 16 sided monolithic pillar called Aruna Stambha.
Afternoon relax at Puri, a beautiful beach resort along with the Bay of Bengal.
Day 4: Puri = Kolkata (Calcutta) - By Overnight Train
Transfer from hotel to the railway station to board overnight train for Calcutta. Overnight on board the train.
Day 5: Kolkata (Calcutta)
Arrive Kolkata. Meeting and assistance on arrival at railway station & transfer to hotel.
Afternoon half day city tour of Calcutta, the "City of Joy". Visit the High Court Building, built in 1872 and the oldest Catholic Church in Calcutta, St. Marys. The Howrah Bridge, built in 1943 the bridge is crossed by approximately two million people everyday; the Botanical Gardens, the oldest and largest of their kinds in India; Victoria Memorial : The majestic Victorial memorial, symbol of Calcutta was built between 1906 and 1921 at a cost of Rs. 7.5 million and is a reminder of the might of British India. It has been compared to Taj Mahal, with its four rudimentary minarets, gleaming white dome and exterior of solid Marcrana marble. It was conceived by Lord Curzon as both tribute to Queen Victoria and a triumphant depiction of her reign in India.
Afteroon free for independent activities.
Day 6: Kolkata / Bagdogra (By Flight), Bagdogra - Darjeeling (By Surface)
Morning transfer from hotel to airport to board flight for Bagdogra. Arrive Bagdogra and transfer to Darjeeling. Arrive Darjeeling and check in at hotel.
Day 7: Darjeeling
Early morning, visit to Tiger Hill to see the spectacular sunrise on Mt. Kanchenjunga. After breakfast, visit Darjeeling, previously Dorje Ling or Place of Thuderbolt was a mystic thunderbolt of Lamaist religion, representing the sceptre of Indra (Lord of Gods), said to have fallen here, on a site presently known as observatory hill. The town grew up around the ex-Buddhist monastery of Dorje Ling, which has been built on this hill.
Visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institue which exists to train mountaineers, has a marvellous museum full of photos, exhibits and equipment relating the past mountaineering expeditions. Adjoining the institute is the Zoological Park where one can see the Siberian tiger, Himalayan Black deer and the rare Snow leopard and the Red Pandas and Ghoom Monastery, is the oldest and the most famous monastery in Darjeeling. Established in 1850 by famous Mongolian astrologer monk, it belongs to the Yellow sect and houses a massive image of Maitreya (the Buddha to come).
Day 8: Darjeeling - Gangtok (By Surface)
Morning drive to Gangtok, the colorful capital of Sikkim in the Himalayas (6-7 hrs).
On arrival in Gangtok, check in at the hotel. Afternoon free for independent activities.
Day 9: Gangtok
Morning city tour of Gangtok. Visit Tsuklakhang : the royal gompa of the Chogyals (ex rulers of Sikkim) it was once the site of coronotion of the rulers of Sikkim; Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, established by the last Chogyal in 1958 and built in traditional style, this institute promotes research of the language and traditions of Tibet; Rumtek Monastery which is largest of its kind outside Tiber and is the seat of the "Kagyu" oder of Buddhism and is almost the replica of the original Kagyu in Tibet.
Day 10: Gangtok - Bagdogra (By Surface), Bagdogra / Kolkata (By Flight)
In time transfer from Gangtok hotel to Bagdogra airport to connect flight to Kolkata.
On arrival, transfer from airport to hotel.
Day 11: Depart Kolkata
In time transfer from hotel to International airport to connect flight for onward destination.