Kolkata-Darjeeling Special Tours Itinerary
flight to Kolkata, where we are due to arrive at 0905, and you will meet your Tour Manager and board the coach for the transfer through the city suburbs to our hotel in the centre of Kolkata for two nights. After a rest, in the afternoon, we will take a short cruise on Kolkata’s River Hooghly, one of the branches of the great Ganges River.
As today is the holiday of Diwali, we will pay an early (8 a.m.) visit to the famous Flower Market under Howrah Bridge when the activity is at its best. Later, we will take a ride on one of Kolkata’s vintage trams: it’s an excellent way to see the city in relative peace whilst still being close to the action. In the evening, we will join in some of the Diwali celebrations – always good fun!
We’ll take a short lunchtime flight from Kolkata to Bagdogra airport, where a coach will meet us and transfer us to our hotel. This evening, we will have our highly-regarded dinner train on the Darjeeling line, with a quality three-course dinner served as the train blasts up through the forests between Siliguri and Rangtong Day 4 We’ll start the day with a steam charter over the rarely-travelled bottom section of line, from New Jalpaiguri to Siliguri Junction. After a short break, we will continue from Siliguri Junction to Tindharia and pay a visit to the railway’s workshops there, where the whole of the railway’s fleet of rolling stock is maintained. As road and rail run together, a coach will accompany the train for those who wish to take photographs, and there are regular opportunities to change between coach and train.
We will have a second steam charter running between Tindharia and Darjeeling. Again, a coach will run alongside for the photographers. There will be a short break at Kurseong, where Bengal’s best samosas are made. Our hotel for the next three nights is the iconic Windamere, Darjeeling’s premier hotel for the last 200 years!
We’ll have a relaxing start to the day with a visit to a tea Estate and the Tibetan Refugee Self-Help Centre, where you will experience the handicrafts being produced by this establishment of Tibetans in exile. The rest of the day is free to explore Darjeeling – there’s plenty to do. Don’t miss Das Studio’s albums of historic photos, fancy cakes at Glenary’s, and buy some tea from Keventers to take home. There is also the Planters Club, the Mountaineering Institute and the Zoo. Or just chase trains…. In the evening, the ‘Railway Club’, with its library of DHR items wil be open, with service from the bar.
If you can stand being up for six-thirty and the weather is kind, the view of Kanchenjunga and the Himalayas from Observation Point (200 yards from the Hotel’s back door) is nothing short of stunning, and not to be missed. For the photographers, we will chase the Joy Train ride from Darjeeling up to Ghum in our vehicles. In Ghum, we will visit the Railway’s excellent museum, and share a cup of chai with the train’s crew. If we are lucky, there will be amazing views of Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world, and we’ll have the opportunity to photograph the train at the famous Batasia Loop with the mountain in the background. Fabulous! In the afternoon, we have an optional ride on the Joy Train, or enjoy walks on the Mall or just spend time on the hotel’s lovely terrace overlooking the mountains and the valley
We will start our journey of the southbound Darjeeling Mail with the 0900 departure from Darjeeling, due into New Jalpaiguri at 1615. We’ll spend the night with our friends at the Cindrella Hotel.