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.
Days 5 - 9
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.
Kaziranga National Park
Days 9 - 11
Home of the renowned and endangered one-horned rhinoceros, Kaziranga National Park lies in the Golaghat and Nagaon districts of Assam state. This world heritage site, bordering the southern banks of the Brahmaputra River, boasts many protected wildlife species including one of the largest populations of tiger in the world, as well as large breeding populations of elephant, water buffalo, swamp deer and an abundance of bird life. The extensive grasslands, forested highlands, marshes and flood plains are a wildlife and nature lover’s paradise. A not-to-be-missed experience for visitors, are the Elephant Safaris – the best way to get up close and personal with the park’s famous rhinoceros.
Days 11 - 14
Commonly regarded as the ‘Tea Capital of the World’ due to its countless tea plantations, Jorhat is a busy commercial and cultural centre in the northeastern Indian state of Assam. The town is set just below the eastern Himalayan foothills and offers spectacularly scenic views of the rolling hills and lush valleys of the surrounding countryside. The main attraction is the nearby Majuli Island, which holds the title of ‘largest river bound island in the world’ and is situated in the Brahmputra river basin. Other popular attractions in the area include: the Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary, containing an impressive range of primates; the Kakochang Waterfalls, featuring views of the ruins of Numaligarh; and Kajiranga National Park which lies about 90 km from the town and provides an ideal habitat for an extraordinary range of wildlife including tigers and elephants.