Vast, diverse, deeply spiritual and utterly unforgettable, India is unlike anywhere else on earth – a melting pot of ethnicities and religions, a treasure trove of history and culture, and a curious mixture of chaos and serenity. Stretching across more than three million square kilometres, it encompasses a staggering array of landscapes, vistas and environs, and offers unparalleled travel experiences – from the beautiful beaches of Goa, to the compelling craziness of Kolkata, the sacred Ganges river banks of Varanasi, the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas in Kashmir and the ancient, exquisitely crafted temples dotted across the entire country. Not to mention the vibrant, friendly people, and the incredible cuisine.
Days 2 - 5
Located along the eastern bank of the Hooghly River in the lower Ganges Delta, Kolkata is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. This 350-year-old metropolis is the heart and soul of eastern India with its crumbling colonial architecture, elegant gardens, countless temples and bustling bazaars. Celebrated as the birthplace of the early 20th-century Bengal Renaissance, Kolkata is a major centre for drama, art, film, theatre, literature, spirituality and music. Visitors can roam the streets and soak up the atmosphere of faded grandeur, or take a ride in a rickshaw to one of the many Indian restaurants serving mouth-watering Bengali cuisine. Must-see highlights include: the Victoria Memorial, with its east-meets-west architecture; the Indian Museum, with its range of rare artefacts; and the Kali Temple, an important pilgrimage centre for Hindus.
Sundarban National Park
Days 5 - 7
The Sundarbans ecosystem is a unique natural wonder of south Asia and the globe. The delta is spread over India and Bangladesh with an area of approximately 10,000 square kilometres and is enjoying the status of being largest halophytic mangrove forest in the world. It is a delta of the two great Indian River The Ganga and The Brahamputra which converges on the Bengal basin. The whole area is a kingdom of the famous Royal Bengal Tigers.
The Sundarban National Park is a tiger and biosphere reserve located in the Sundarbans delta in the state of West Bengal (India). The Sundarbans is named after the Sundari trees which are found in bulk in this area. The park was established as a national park on 4th May 1984 as earlier it was created as a wildlife sanctuary in 1977, designated as the core area of Sunderbans Tiger Reserve.
Days 9 - 13
Tucked away in the north-eastern corner of India, Darjeeling is best known for its rolling tea plantations and ‘Toy Train’ which meanders along the precipitous mountain routes of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. A picturesque hill station, Darjeeling offers access to a number of Buddhist monasteries, tea estates, railway journeys and is a great base for trekking in the Himalayas. Impressive jagged peaks of the snow capped Himalayas can be seen from town with Tiger Hill offering astounding views at first light.
Days 13 - 14
Kurseong translates as the place of White Orchids. It is a quaint little town located around 30 km to the south of Darjeeling, and at a lower elevation. The climate is therefore milder and generally pleasant throughout the year. The Chogyal (Monarch) of Sikkim ceded Kurseong to the British Empire in 1835. Later in 1880, this small hamlet became a tourist destination for the colonial authorities and was a preferred place for sanatoriums where the sick would recuperate. Many schools were built in Kurseong during the Raj and it became a popular hill station. Eagle's Craig viewpoint which is a short walk from the railway station, offers magnificent panoramic views of Mt Kanchenjunga and its ranges, the plains of Siliguri, the hills of Nepal, rivers and tea gardens.