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Darjeeling

Darjeeling, Odisha & Bhutan Explorer

Darjeeling, Odisha & Bhutan Explorer

Pris fra {{totalPrice}} DKK Ekstra udgifter på rejsen From USD830.00
Prisen er en fra-pris, og afhænger af afrejsetidspunkt. Se den nøjagtige pris, når du vælger hvilken dato du vil af sted. Flybilletter er ikke inkluderet, men vi hjælper dig selvfølgelig gerne med at finde de bedste og mest fleksible billetter.
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Prisen er en fra-pris, og afhænger af afrejsetidspunkt. Se den nøjagtige pris, når du vælger hvilken dato du vil af sted. Flybilletter er ikke inkluderet, men vi hjælper dig selvfølgelig gerne med at finde de bedste og mest fleksible billetter.
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Varighed
28 dage
Start
Chennai
Slutter i
Kathmandu
Gruppestørrelse
22
Since the first trip back in 1981, Dragoman has been at the forefront of overland vacations, taking people on unique, off the beaten track adventures in their iconic custom-made orange trucks. Dragoman make it a whole lot easier to get off the tarmac and to take the road less-travelled be it a short trip or an epic journey. It is this ability to go beyond the traditional tourist tails on a life changing overland journey that attracts people from all over the world ranging in age from 18 to 80!. Now as much as we love the highlights of the places we visit, it is often the journey where the real magic happens. Be it the the small village stop in Benin, trying to spot Jaguars in the dense Amazonian jungle of Guyana or staying with the nomadic people of Mongolia. Our balanced itineraries give you the chance to get under the skin of the country and get a true insight into the local culture. Start your overlanding adventure and become part of the family.
Itinerary

Darjeeling, Odisha & Bhutan Explorer

Day 1 Chennai

Border Information: If you are joining in Chennai, you will most likely enter India in Chennai International Airport (IATA code: MAA). Today is a free day to explore the sights, sounds and flavours of Chennai. There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm - please look for a note from your tour leader when you arrive at the hotel giving more details about this meeting. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Chennai before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Chennai. In Chennai we will stay in a comfortable modern hotel. *Important note* - if you are joining the trip in Chennai, please make sure that you send us a scan of your Indian visa as soon as you have obtained it. If you plan to take the e-visa option, please make sure you arrange this well in advance and send us a copy of your receipt as soon as possible. If we do not receive this in advance, then we will not have enough time to get your permits for the Odisha Region and you will not be able to visit this area.
Activities(Optional)
Visit the many historic temples, mosques, and churches of Chennai - Cost: INR
Visit the Fort St. George, the site of the East India Company's first trading station in 1640, and the first British fort in India - Cost: INR 100
Visit the Chennai Government Museum, and its incredible selection of antiquities including Roman artefacts and coins from all eras of India's past - Cost: INR 250

Day 2 Tirupati

Today we start our journey with a drive to the bustling town of Tirupati. On the way we will have an included visit to the Sri Kalahasti temple.  In Tirupati we will stay in a friendly local hotel. Estimated Drive Time - 5 - 6 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).
Activities(Included)
Visit the Sri Kalahasti Temple, one of the most famous Shiva temples in South India

Day 3 Vijayawada

Leaving Tirupati, we will spend the next few days overlanding through Andhra Pradesh, one of the least developed states in India. This is real off-the-beaten-track overlanding, and we will arrive in the small city of Vijayawada this evening. In Vijayawada we will stay in a basic local hotel.  Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.

Day 4 Visakhapatnam

Today we continue our journey and drive through the back roads of Andra Pradesh. Our final destination tonight is the costal town of Visakhapatnam. In Visakhapatnam we will stay in a local hotel on the sea front. Estimated Drive Time - 7-9 hours.

Day 5 to 9 Odisha Tribal Area

Today we will begin our guided tour through the rarely-visited Odisha Tribal Regions. In these regions the itinerary has to be kept fairly flexible, allowing us the freedom to alter things slightly if we hear of any special events or market days in particular villages. However, we will generally follow the plan below: On the first day we will have an early start from Visakhapatnam to arrive in a small village called Goudaguda in time to visit the Monday markets. Beautiful earthen pottery is skillfully produced in this area and you may even get the chance to try this for yourself. In Goudaguda we will stay in a local guesthouse which has been styled on local tribal houses. Estimated Drive Time - 6- 7 hours. On the following day we will have a guided walk in the morning through the countryside around Goudaguda, visiting the neighbouring Mahali and Kondh tribal villages. We will return to our guesthouse in Goudaguda for the night.  On the next day we will drive to the lively Chatikona Market, a weekly highlight for the Dongria Kondh tribe. We will then travel through the hills to the village of Muniguda, our destination for tonight.  In Muniguda we will stay in basic local hotel. Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours. On the following day we will drive further through an Elephant Range. We will then walk into the Desia Kondh indigenous community. They are distinguished by the unique facial tattoos of the women. After a village visit and picnic lunch we will continue to Baliguda.  In Baliguda we will stay in a local basic hotel.  Estimated Drive Time - 6-8 hours. On the next day we will drive to the fascinating fishing town of Gopalpur, a once major port for the East India Company which has an interesting decaying charm. We will have a free afternoon to independently explore the town on arrival. In Gopalpur we will stay in a local hotel. Estimated Drive Time - 4-6 hours.
Activities(Included)
Visit the Monday market in the indigenous melting pot of Goudaguda, soaking up the incredible atmosphere as the locals barter and trade their produce
Head out for a half day hike around the Goudaguda region, visiting nearby villages of the Kondha, Mahali and Paroja tribal people
Explore the rarely-visited Wednesday Market in Chakitona, the main weekly market for the Desia and Dongria villagers from the area
Learn about the incredible work of the New Hope Community Centre in the rural village of Muniguda
Bathe in the natural hot springs with the local villagers at the small temple of Taptapani

Day 10 to 12 Puri

Today our tour of the Odisha tribal areas comes to an end and we drive on to the small town of Puri. Puri is one of the holiest pilgrimage places in India. On arrival we will explore the old pilgrim route by cycle-rickshaw, taking in ashrams, Hindu monasteries, a palm leaf manuscript library and the awesome Jagannath temple. Estimated Drive Time - 5 -7 hours. We will spend 3 nights in Puri. On the first full day here, we will take a short drive back to visit Chilika Lake and explore the lake by boat and take a walk through some of the surrounding fisherman's villages.  On the second full day, we will begin with a cycle ride through rice paddies and rural hamlets, meeting local craftsmen and women and watching them demonstrate their unique crafts. In the afternoon we will have a guided tour of the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Konark Sun Temple. In Puri we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.
Activities(Included)
3 nights to relax in the lovely coastal town of Puri
Explore the religious sites of Puri by cycle-rickshaw, including the Jagannath Temple, one of the four most sacred Hindu pilgrimage sites in India
Explore the ruins of the 13th-century Sun Temple of Konark near to Puri, shaped like a colossal chariot with elaborately carved stone wheels
Take a cycle ride through the stunning back-roads and villages near Puri, to visit the artisan village of Raghurajpur and see the fantastic array of handicrafts traditionally manufactured there

Activities(Optional)
Educational visit to the Usthi Foundation rural project for children either in Puri or Kolkata - Cost: USD 10

Day 13 Kolkata

Today we will travel by train to Kolkata, the largest city in India. We will have free time today and tomorrow to independently explore this remarkable city, or take an optional photographic tour. In Kolkata we will stay in a comfortable hotel. Estimated Journey Time (by train) - 8 -9 hours.
Activities(Included)
Experience a local train ride from Puri to Kolkata

Day 14 Overnight train to Siliguri

Border Information: If you are joining in Kolkata, you will most likely enter India at Kolkata Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport (IATA code: CCU). There will be an important group meeting at the joining hotel at 10:00am. Please look out for a note from your tour leader at the hotel reception when you arrive for more details about this meeting. The afternoon is free to explore Kolkata. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Kolkata before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Kolkata. We will meet in the evening to board an overnight sleeper train from Kolkata to Siliguri - accommodation will be aboard the train tonight, where there are bunk beds with sheets provided.
Activities(Included)
Experience a local overnight train from Kolkata to Siliguri

Activities(Optional)
Visit the Eden Gardens, the most famous and iconic cricket stadium in India - Cost: INR
See the famous Howrah Bridge over the Hooghly River, thought to be the busiest bridge in the world with 150,000 pedestrians and 100,000 vehicles crossing every day - Cost: INR
Discover the incredible array of art and historical artefacts on display at the Indian Museum in Kolkata, the largest and oldest museum in India - Cost: INR 500
Head out on a fantastic photographic tour of Kolkata, exploring the hidden gems, back streets, and photogenic spots of the city with a superb local guide - Cost: INR 2000
Explore the vast fields and parks of the Maidan (the 'lungs of Kolkata') and observe daily life away from the chaos of the city - Cost: INR
See the huge white marble Victoria Memorial, built in the early 20th century by the British Viceroy of India and a grandiose reminder of Kolkata's colonial past - Cost: INR 500
Visit the Mother Teresa of Calcutta Centre, a museum illustrating the life and work of the famous and controversial missionary - Cost: INR

Day 15 Darjeeling

We will arrive into Siliguri at around 9:00am this morning, meeting our jeeps and drivers at the station for our onward journey through the narrow winding roads to Darjeeling. The town of Darjeeling is really more a collection of villages situated on a high ridge, linked by a series of steps and winding lanes and surrounded by rice and tea terraces. Jeeps are used in this region rather than our overland truck as they are perfect for the narrow, steep and winding roads of the area.  Estimated Drive Time (in jeeps) - 3-4 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the vehicle will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!). In Darjeeling we will stay in a local hotel.

Day 16 Darjeeling

Today is a free day in Darjeeling to relax, enjoy the surrounding area and take part in some optional activities.
Activities(Optional)
Take an early jeep trip to Tiger Hill, where you can get an incredible sunrise view of Kangchenjunda, the 3rd-highest mountain in the world - Cost: INR 500
See the museum at the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, containing many exhibits from mountaineering history and the grave of Tenzing Norgay, one of the first men to summit Mount Everest - Cost: INR 200
Take a guided tour of the Happy Valley Tea Estate to learn about a tea cultivation and production.  - Cost: INR 100
Scenic train ride through the stunning Darjeeling foothills.  - Cost: INR 1600

Day 17 Phuntsholing

Border Information: Exit India at Jaigaon, enter Bhutan at Phuntsholing. This morning we will drive in locally-chartered jeeps from Darjeeling to the Bhutanese border at Phuntsholing, where our local Bhutanese guide will be waiting to receive us at the border gate. This afternoon we will walk down to Bhutanese immigration to get the visa process underway in order to save time in the morning.  In Phuntsholing we will stay in a local hotel. Estimated Drive Time - 6 -8 hours (in jeeps and locally charted bus).

Day 18 Thimphu

This morning we will finalise our visas and then start our journey into Bhutan with a drive in a locally-chartered bus from the warmer climes of Phuntsholing up to the capital of Thimphu, nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas. We will have time in the evening to take a stroll around Thimphu and start to take in the atmosphere and culture of this beautiful country and its gentle way of life. In Thimphu we will stay in a local hotel. Estimated Drive Time - 5 -7 hours (in locally-chartered bus).
Activities(Included)
See Thimphu's iconic National Memorial Chorten, a stupa built in 1974 to commemorate the 3rd King of Bhutan
See the incredible 52m-tall golden Buddha Dordenma statue in the hills above Thimphu, the largest sitting Buddha statue in the world
Visit the Tashichho Dzong in the capital of Thimphu, a beautiful 17th-century Buddhist fortress that serves as the current seat of the Bhutanese government
Visit the Changangkha Lhakhang in the hills above Thimphu, a busy temple where parents come to recieve the names for their new-borns from the deity Tamdrin

Day 19 Thimphu

Today we will have a day in Thimphu for sightseeing. We will have an included city tour from our local guides, including the Changangkha Temple, Memorial Chorten and the Takin Reserve.
Activities(Included)
Explore the outdoor market in Thimphu ( please note this is only possible if we are in Thimpu on a weekend ). 
See Thimphu's iconic National Memorial Chorten, a stupa built in 1974 to commemorate the 3rd King of Bhutan
See the incredible 52m-tall golden Buddha Dordenma statue in the hills above Thimphu, the largest sitting Buddha statue in the world
Visit the Tashichho Dzong in the capital of Thimphu, a beautiful 17th-century Buddhist fortress that serves as the current seat of the Bhutanese government
Visit the Motithang Takin Preserve near Thimphu, a natural conservation area for the curious yak-like Himalayan Takin

Activities(Optional)
Visit the Changangkha Lhakhang in the hills above Thimphu, a busy temple where parents come to recieve the names for their new-borns from the deity Tamdrin - Cost: BTN
Visit the National Folk Museum, a living museum to see a slice of traditional Bhutanese life as it would have been a century ago - Cost: BTN 150

Day 20 Punakha

In the morning we will drive to the old capital Punakha, via the Dochu La Pass at 3050m, where we will stop for a hot drink and to enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the Eastern Himalaya ranges. We will notice the change of climate and vegetation as we approach the low-lying Punakha at 1250m altitude.  This afternoon we will visit the imposing Punakha Dzong (Palace of Great Happiness). Built in 1637 CE, it is strategically placed at the confluence of two rivers, the Po Chu and the Mo Chu. After this, short walk to Chimi Lhakhang  (Temple of Fertility) built in the 15th century by the ‘Divine Madman’ (Lama Drukpa Kuenley). In Punakha we will stay in a local farmhouse, where we will experience a genuine slice of Bhutanese life and hospitality. The facilities here will be rather basic, but the accommodation is exactly how a typical Bhutanse family live, and the food is in no way adapted for tourists.  Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours (in locally-chartered bus).

Day 21 Bumthang

Today we drive to Trongsa, the gateway to central Bhutan at 2180m. Set amidst spectacular scenery, Trongsa Dzong, the ancestral home of Bhutan’s royal family, commands the eye from miles away. We can also visit Ta Dzong - the newly opened museum in the watchtower is dedicated to the Wangchuk dynasty, tells the stories of the Dzong and the valley, and features personal belongings of the kings and queens of Bhutan. We then continue through some of Bhutan’s most beautiful landscapes to Bumthang, an area of high valleys at 2580-3100m. In Bumthang we will stay again in a local farmhouse with basic facilities. Estimated Drive Time 9 - 8 hours (in locally-chartered bus).
Activities(Included)
Stay for 2 nights in a rural farmhouse near Bumthang to enjoy a slice of genuine Bhutanese life, food, and hospitality
Visit the incredible Trongsa Dzong, the largest Buddhist fortress in Bhutan set against the stunning backdrop of the Black Mountains

Day 22 Bumthang

We will spend today sightseeing in Bumthang, the spiritual heartland of Bhutan, with its many legendary monasteries, temples and palaces. Bumthang is the collective name for an area of 4 valleys - Chokhor, Tang, Ura and Chhume. Our guide will take us on a fascinating walking and/or driving tour of a variety of sacred sites including Jamba Lhakhang, Kurjey Lhakhang and Tamshing Lhakhang. We can also visit Bhutan’s largest Dzong, Jakar, with its picturesque location overlooking the Chokhor valley.
Activities(Included)
Take a beautiful walk through the countryside of the Chokor Valley, stopping off at various religious sites enroute. 

Day 23 Gangtey

Today we drive to Gangtey at 2900m. On arrival we can enjoy the views of the immense and remote Phobjikha valley and the black mountain ranges.  We will visit Gangtey Gompa (one of Bhutan’s oldest monasteries which has recently been extensively renovated) and explore the valley where the villagers continue to live a traditional Bhutanese rural lifestyle. This is the site where black-necked cranes visit in their hundreds in November each year after spending the summer in Tibet. In Gangtey we will stay in a local hotel. Estimated Drive Time 6 -7  hours (in locally-chartered bus).
Activities(Included)
Explore the colourful, recently-restored Gangtey Gompa, a monastic college famous for its annual festival to welcome the migration of black-necked cranes

Day 24 Gangtey

Today we will head out for a day hike in the beautiful Phobjikha Valley. We will first visit the Black-necked Crane Information Centre which has lots of information on both the environment of the the Phobjika Valley and the migrating birds the valley is famous for. From here we will walk through local villages and forests of blue pine trees covered with lichen ( know as old mans beard ) up to the Gangtey Gompa, beore following the Nature Trail walk back to our hotel.  The walk takes approximately 6 - 7 hours for casual trekkers. 

Day 25 Paro

Today we will drive to Paro, where, on arrival, we will have an included visit to the impressive Paro Dzong, one of the finest examples of Bhutanese architecture. In Paro we will stay in a local hotel. Estimated Drive Time 6 -7 hours (in locally-chartered bus).
Activities(Included)
Visit the impressive Paro Rinpung Dzong, one of the finest examples of Bhutanese architecture

Day 26 Paro

Today we take a day walk to the ‘Tiger's Nest’, the sacred Taktsang monastery which clings to the rock face 900m above the valley floor. Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown to the site riding on a tigress, and subsequently meditated here for 3 months. It is one of Bhutan’s most holy sites and draws pilgrims not only from Bhutan but also from neighbouring Buddhist countries.    
Activities(Included)
Trek up to the iconic 'Tiger's Nest', the sacred Taktsang monastery which clings to the rock face 900m above the valley floor - the most famous symbol of Bhutan

Day 27 Kathmandu

Border Information: Exit Bhutan at Paro, enter Nepal at Kathmandu. Today we will take a short flight from Paro to Kathmandu in Nepal. On arrival we will have free time to explore the incredible city, soak up its atmosphere, and visit its historical sites. Please note:  The flights between Bhutan and Nepal will be with Druk Air or Bhutan Airines - both airlines sometimes change their schedules at short notice. If this happens we will inform you of any itinerary changes as soon as possible. 
Activities(Optional)
Discover Kathmandu on a guided city tour - Cost: NPR 1000
Visit the sacred Hindu Pashupatinath Temple, dedicated to Nepal's unofficial national deity - Cost: NPR 1500

Day 28 Kathmandu

Border Information: If you are finishing your trip in Kathmandu, you will most likely exit Nepal at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (IATA code: KTM). Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Kathmandu. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Sales Team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.
Activities(Optional)
Visit the former royal palace of Narayanhiti and see the crown jewels of Nepal - Cost: NPR 500
Get out of the city and explore the nearby national park of Sundarijal, and see its idyllic waterfalls and rock formations - Cost: NPR 500
Visit the beautiful and tranquil Durbar Square in the nearby medieval town of Bhaktapur, and visit its nearby museums - Cost: NPR 1500
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Local transport

Overland expedition vehicle, 4x4, Private bus, Flight, Overnight train, Train

Darjeeling, Odisha & Bhutan Explorer

Pris fra {{totalPrice}} DKK
Prisen er en fra-pris, og afhænger af afrejsetidspunkt. Se den nøjagtige pris, når du vælger hvilken dato du vil af sted. Flybilletter er ikke inkluderet, men vi hjælper dig selvfølgelig gerne med at finde de bedste og mest fleksible billetter.
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