Gangtok, Kalimpong and Darjeeling Short Break(5 Nights)

Bagdogra, Gangtok, Kalimpong, Darjeeling, Bagdogra

for Honeymooner, Getaway Seeker

Holiday Overview

Rumtek Monastery
River Teesta near Kalimpong
Views from Baba Mandir
Tsongmo Lake
Gangtok Market Centre (Nivalink Trip Dated - 26 March 2010)

This is a short break itinerary covering primarily Gangtok (Capital of Sikkim and a major tourist destination) and a bit of Kalimpong (a nature centric destination) enroute.


Gangtok(2) - Kalimpong(1) - Darjeeling(2)

Summarised Itinerary
  • Day-1  Arrival at Gangtok and Rumtek Visit
  • Day-2 Ex-Gangtok - Tshangu Lake visit and Baba Mandir excursion
  • Day-3 Gangtok Local Sightseeing and Kalimpong transfer
  • Day-4 Kalimpong - Darjeeling transfer and Local Darjeeling Sightseeing
  • Day-5 Ex-Darjeeling - Tiger Hill, Ghoom Monastery and Local Visits
  • Day-6 Departure
Sightseeing Summary

Darjeeling - Peace Pagoda Darjeeling (1.20 kms), Himalayan Zoological Park Darjeeling (5.00 kms), Mountaineering Institute Darjeeling (5.00 kms), Batasia Loop (5.00 kms), Ghoom Monastery (8.00 kms), Tiger Hill (12.00 kms), Pasupati Nagar Border Market (58.00 kms)

Gangtok - Flower Nursery and Exhibition Centre (1.00 kms), Namgyal institute of Tibetology (3.00 kms), Ban Jhakri Falls (10.00 kms), Dro-dul Chorten (11.00 kms), Baba Mandir (42.00 kms), Tsongmo Lake (44.00 kms), Nathula Pass (60.00 kms)

Kalimpong - Durbin Dara and Monastery (5.00 kms), Deolo Hill / Dr Graham's Home (10.00 kms)

Preferred Arrival /Departure Destination
Arrival - Bagdogra Departure - Bagdogra
Best Season to Travel
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Popular Extensions to the Itinerary

A small detour on Gangtok - Kalimpong route would cover Samdruptse which is home to two of the tallest and most imposing statues of Guru Padmasambhava and Lord Shiva.

  • Bagdogra to Gangtok -121 kms (4 hrs)
  • Gangtok to Kalimpong -73 kms (3 hrs)
  • Kalimpong to Darjeeling -51 kms (1.5 hrs)
  • Darjeeling to Bagdogra -66 kms (2.5 hrs)

Bagdogra - Gangtok(2) - Kalimpong(1) - Darjeeling(2) - Bagdogra

Detailed Itinerary

Day-1  Arrival at Gangtok and Rumtek Visit Arrive Gangtok (5000 + ft asl) by afternoon. Gangtok is capital of Sikkim and a popular tourist destination. Given time visit Rumtek monastery (16th Century and one of the most significant in Sikkim) in the evening.

Day-2 Ex-Gangtok - Tshangu Lake visit and Baba Mandir excursion Undertake an excursion to Baba Mandir, Tshangu High Altitude Lake, Optional - Nathu-La Pass Indo Tibetan Border (Closed on Mon, Tue) which offers most scenic beauty but is a bit strenuous and adventurous in terms of drives.

Day-3 Gangtok Local Sightseeing and Kalimpong transfer After breakfast do Local Sightseeing like Hanuman Tok, Tashi View Point, Rumtek Monastery (If not visited on day 1), Jhakri Water Fall, Droul Chorthen, Research Institute of Tibetology, Directorate of Handicraft & Handloom, Flower Show etc. Gangtok to Kalimpong (3000+ ft asl - 73 kms -rumtek hours). Afternoon visit Deolo Hills, Dr.Graham’s Home, Flower Nurseries, Jang – Dong - Palriffo Brang and Durbin Dara Hills. Evening can enjoy White Water Rafting in the River Teesta.

Day-4 Kalimpong - Darjeeling transfer and Local Darjeeling Sightseeing Proceed to Darjeeling (7000+ ft asl - 49.1 kms - 1 hr 45 mins), Darjeeling may feel crowded and cramped but is renowned for its close range Himalayan views (Oct - Mar) and tea plantations around. Evening one can make a visit to Himalayan Zoological Park & Mountaineering Institute (Closed on Thur).

Day-5 Ex-Darjeeling - Tiger Hill, Ghoom Monastery and Local Visits Early morning visit to Tiger Hills to view sunrise over Kanchendzonga Peak (subject to clear weather). On way back visit Ghoom Monastery, Batasia Loop. After breakfast can proceed for Local Sightseeing like Japanese Temple, Tea Estate etc. Evening explore local markets around Chow Rasta (Mall Road).

Day-6 Departure After breakfast, Depart for onward journey.

Detailed Sightseeing

Darjeeling :

  • Peace Pagoda Darjeeling - Darjeeling Peace Pagoda is located in Darjeeling and was built under the guidance of Nichidatsu Fujii (1885-1985), a Buddhist monk from Japan and founder of the Nipponzan-Myohoji Buddhist Order.

  • Himalayan Zoological Park Darjeeling - Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park (also called the Darjeeling Zoo) was opened in 1958, and is spread over 68 acres and is the largest high altitude zoo in India. It specializes in breeding animals adapted to alpine conditions, and has successful captive breeding programs for the Snow leopard, the critically endangered Himalayan wolf and the Red panda. The zoo attracts a large number of visitors all round the year.

  • Mountaineering Institute Darjeeling - The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI) was established in Darjeeling, India on November 4, 1954 to encourage mountaineering as an organized sport in India. HMI regularly conducts Adventure, Basic and Advanced Mountaineering courses at highly subsidised rates to encourage mountaineering as a sport. There is a museum there and a Tenzing Memorial with photographs and artefacts related to mountaineering and adventure sports.

  • Batasia Loop - The Batasia Loop (5 kms from Darjeeling) is a spiral railway created to lower the gradient of ascent of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (List in UNESCO world heritage list). There is a memorial to the Gorkha soldiers of the Indian Army who sacrificed their lives after the Indian Independence in 1947. From the Batasia Loop one can get a panoramic views of Darjeeling town with the Kanchenjunga and other snow peaks in the back-drop.

  • Ghoom Monastery - Ghoom Monastery is the popular name of Yiga Choeling Monastery located at Ghoom at an elevation of 8,000 feet, 8 km from Darjeeling. The monastery follows the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. There is a 15-feet high statue of "Maitreya Buddha" (Coming Buddha) in the monastery. It contains images of Buddha's disciples, Chenrezi and Chongapa. It was built in 1875 by Lama Sherab Gyatso. It is a popular visit option for all tourists.

  • Tiger Hill - Tiger hill near Ghoom is from where one gets the best views of Kanchenjunga. Best time to visit is early mornings or late evenings.

  • Pasupati Nagar Border Market - This border market with Nepal is a commercial center for trade in clothes, electronic and household goods.

Gangtok :

  • Flower Nursery and Exhibition Centre - A small nursery near town centre being home to many flowers and plant species. Orchids in Summer is an attraction (Apr - May).

  • Namgyal institute of Tibetology - Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is a Tibet museum in Gangtok since 1958. The institute employs researchers and one of its research programs is a project which seeks to document and digitise the social history of Sikkims approximated 60 monasteries.

  • Ban Jhakri Falls - Banjhakri falls is a typical touristy spot in Sikkim having waterfalls with a height of about 40 ft at 10 kms from Gangtok.

  • Dro-dul Chorten - Dro-dul Chorten is a stupa in Gangtok. The stupa was built by Trulshik Rinpoche, head of the Nyingma order of Tibetan Buddhism in 1945. Inside this stupa, a complete set of Dorjee Phurba, Kangyur relics (Holy Books) and other religious objects. Around the stupa are 108 prayer wheels.

  • Baba Mandir - Captain "Baba" Harbhajan Singh was an Indian army soldier who died near the Nathula Pass. He is revered by the soldiers of the Indian army, who have built a shrine in his honour. Baba Mandir is a popular tourist visit enroute Nathula Pass excursion.

  • Tsongmo Lake - Tsongmo Lake (Changu Lake) is a high altitude lake (12400 ft asl) enroute to Nathula Pass offering exceptional himalayan beauty.

  • Nathula Pass - Nathula Pass is the India - China border check post. The drive is rugged however the panorama on offer is exceptional and therefore offers a sense of adventure. Nathula Pass area is at about 14000 ft asl and visited alongwith Tsongmo Lake (Changu Lake) and Baba Mandir. Permit required for guests to visit Nathula Pass.

Kalimpong :

  • Durbin Dara and Monastery - Durpin Dara (4200+ ft asl) is known for its River Teesta views and as an observatory point at 3 kms from Kalimpong. Durpin Dara, easily accessible by car, is the highest point in Kalimpong. Zong Dog Palri Fo Brang Gompa (also referred to as Durpin monastery established in 1976) is located at Durpin dara hill.

  • Deolo Hill / Dr Graham's Home - Deolo Hill is the highest point in the area offering excellent views. Its a kind of quiet and nature centric place for honeymooners to spend some time. Located on the lower slopes of Deolo Hill, Dr Grahams home is an educational institution is sprawling over an area of 500 acres. In addition, the institution also houses farmhouse, bakery, dairy, poultry, hospital and clothing department.

Destination Overview

Bagdogra - Bagdogra is visited for being a base point near Siliguri having an Airport from where guests access West Bengal Hills (Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Chalsa, Dooars etc.) and Sikkim (Gangtok, Pelling, North Sikkim etc).

Gangtok - The capital of Sikkim, Gangtok is a popular hill station destination in the East. This small town, lies atop a ridge, at an altitude of 5,000 ft asl and home to some important monasteries. Gangtok is also the access point to visit higher remote areas of North sikkim.

Kalimpong - Kalimpong is about Buddhist Monasteries, Hindu Temples, and Christian Churches. Flowers, Orchids and exotic flora, old colonial bungalows, scenic view points and snow peak views, (clearer in winter).

Darjeeling - Darjeeling (About 7000 ft) is a renowned British era hill station and has been visited for many a decades by tourists and is one of the popular tourist destinations. Darjeeling is internationally famous for its tea industry and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Prefered Arrival : No ImageBagdogra
Prefered Departure : No ImageBagdograNo ImageSiliguri(14kms), Kurseong(38kms), Darjeeling(66kms)
  • Bagdogra to Gangtok -121 kms (4 hrs)
  • Gangtok to Kalimpong -73 kms (3 hrs)
  • Kalimpong to Darjeeling -51 kms (1.5 hrs)
  • Darjeeling to Bagdogra -66 kms (2.5 hrs)

Ready Cost estimate for this itinerary is not available.

However Nivalink would be able to readily offer a cost estimate or customise the itinerary as per specific requirements.

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Lines indicate the best available driving routes.
Arrows indicate connectivity other than Road (e.g. Waterways or Air).
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  • Bagdogra to Gangtok -121 kms (4 hrs)
  • Gangtok to Kalimpong -73 kms (3 hrs)
  • Kalimpong to Darjeeling -51 kms (1.5 hrs)
  • Darjeeling to Bagdogra -66 kms (2.5 hrs)

Expert Speak

This is best done in winter when one can enjoy himalayan views. This itinerary is specifically recommended for guests who are looking to avoid crowded Darjeeling and looking for lesser travel between destinations. For more relaxed pace and better coverage of the area, an additional night at Kalimpong is recommended.

Expert Connect

Nivalink has taken over 300 trips across India and select destinations overseas over last 10 years to verify hotels, evaluate destinations and understand its suitability with different profiles of customers across different seasons.

At Nivalink you are able to connect directly with experts who have travelled to these destinations and are able to offer novel ideas, honest perspectives and help you narrow down choices.

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All Holidays /West Bengal - Sikkim/ Holidays for West Bengal - Sikkim/Gangtok, Kalimpong and Darjeeling Short Break