14 Days / 13 Nights
Once you arrive in Kolkata there will be an assistant of SamGlobalTours at hand at the arrival lounge holding a placard. The assistant with take you the hotel of your choice and the rest of the day will be at your disposal, to do as you please leisurely while you spend the night in the city.
Kolkata or Calcutta as named by the English was the most advance capital of the British Raj and served as a doorway to India for the better part of the 19th century. This city that has famously been titled “The City of Joy” by Dominique Lapierre is a vibrant and bustling city with art and culture at every street. Mapped by historic temples, art centers, museums and botanical gardens Kolkata has a lot to offer to tourists. After a delectable traditional breakfast you can a guided tour of this metropolis: home to five Nobel Laureates. You could also acquaint yourself with the history of the city by visiting the Victoria Memorial which contains historical pictures and statues of prominent personalities who played a leading role in India. It also houses incredible figures just above the North porch that embody the principles of prudence, learning and motherhood. In addition to this, another historical landmark in the Howrah Bridge located over the Hoogly River that was built in 1874 and stands on two pillars reaching the height of 270ft, this bridge is notoriously known to be one of the world’s busiest bridges. Furthermore, Eden Gardens is also a famous tourist attraction known to be one of the finest and oldest cricket playground in the country, that has undergone tremendous transformation and modernization and presently boasts of it’s large accommodation of about 1,20,000 spectators. This ancient fishing village is morphed into one of India’s most populated cities bearing the scars of more than three hundred years of history. Stay overnight and explore the city and all that it has to offer. (B.D)
The day will be at your leisure to explore the city; its heritage, and busy streets on your own pace. This commercial nerve – center of the East holds massive industrial plants, textile mills, and corporations. Aside from this it also offers you its regal edifices, grimy narrow alleys, vibrant bazaars, elegant hotels, and a multitude of people from all walks of life. Kolkata, in addition to being an industrial center is also a cultural epicenter with a permeating air of music, art, theatre, and sports. The city is on a proud cultural pedestal having produced scholars the likes of Rabindranath Tagore, Satyajit Ray, and Mrinal Sen. This intense dedication to the arts manifests itself in the massive festivals celebrating dance, music and other cultural embodiments. You could also pre arrange a visit to the abode of Mother Teresa for an emotional and spiritual experience and insight into the life of a saint. And in the evening you will embark on your Indian rail experience by going to the busy Sealdah Station to board the Darjeeling Mail. The train attendant will provide you with necessary bedding while you relax from your day of exploration in an air conditioned sleeper class. You will be onboard overnight. (B)
You will arrive at New Jalpaiguri in the morning, you can then transfer into a narrow gauge toy train pulled by a steam locomotive provided it’s availability otherwise you can travel by car and enjoy the scenic Darjeeling hillside. You will be able to view beautiful flaming red Rhododendrons, sparkling white magnolias, and miles of surging hillsides in emerald green tea bushes, and exotic forests of silver fir, all under the canopy of a magnificent blue sky with speckled with clouds. The whole ambience of the countryside confounds it as the “Queen of Hill Stations”. The remaining of the day will be at your leisure to explore till your heart’s content while the stay in Darjeeling will be overnight. (B.D)
Begin your first morning with a deliciously served breakfast while the rest of the day will be kept for your leisure and personal activities and exploration. One of the many sights you can visit are Buddhist monasteries for a spiritual experience, or see tea leaves being gathered on tea plantations. Furthermore, you could go for a ride on a chairlift, saunter into local bazaars and shops for handicrafts and souvenirs, or go trekking at high altitudes for thrilling views of Kanchenjunga. The stay will be overnight. (B.D)
An early morning excursion could give you a wonderful start to the day as you will be able to witness the sunrise over Tiger Hill and while returning you could drop into the Ghoom Monastery. Other fun experiences are the train ride to explore the hill station for a serene experience of breathtaking green expanse crowned by the majestic Himalayas. Overnight stay at Darjeeling. (B.D)
After breakfast you will set off for New Jalpaiguri to board an overnight express train to Varanasi. The train attendant will provide you with bedding and an air conditioned sleeper class for a more comfortable travel. You will be on board overnight. (B)
In the morning you will arrive at Varanasi or the Mughalsarai station and will be taken to the hotel. Late afternoon you can enjoy a guided tour through one of the oldest living cities in the world. The names Varanasi stems from two tributaries of the river Ganges which flows through the city named Varuna and Assi rivers. The name was changed to Benares but was again reverted back to Varanasi. It is a city of traditional classical culture and is a microcosm of Hinduism. It has always lured hoards of tourists and pilgrims due to its rich history and it also holds a religious significance for being blessed in a legend and revered in religion. Unlike other ancient cities, Varanasi does not have any palaces, forts, or architectural splendors but still holds a charm for the crowds of tourists who explore the ghats dotted with temples and a maze of alleys everywhere. Conclude you day buy seeing the grand prayer at the temple and experience the city come alive and breathing with the chant of mantras and the exotic smell of flowers. The stay in Varanasi will be overnight. (B.D)
An early start to the day will help you see the sunrise in a boat on the river Ganges. The river during the morning hours is thronged with people bathing in the holy water while raising their heads to the sun and chanting mantras. One can see the movement of pilgrims, the vibrant and lively colors of cloth glistening against the pale gold water and the triangular flags fluttering atop the temple spires. Varanasi holds a spiritual and mystic significance. The city has bred the likes of sitar maestro Ravi Shankar, Ustad Bismillah Khan the famous shehnai player and is also the home of Sanskrit, yoga and the Hindi language. You can later on explore the once prime center of Buddhist religion called Sarnath that holds 2500 years of history within its walls and an ancient world of stupas and viharas, where historical relics, manuscripts, and inscriptions bear witness to a magnificent past. The immense significance can be understood from the fact that Lord Buddha received enlightenment in Bodhagaya and then came to Sarnath where he preached his first sermon marking this village as a historical landmark for Buddha. You can then board your overnight train to Agra. The bedding will be provided by the train attendant and an air conditioned sleeper class for your comfort. Overnight on board. (B.)
In the morning you will arrive at Agra you then be taken to the hotel where you can relax and shake off all the weariness from the journey. Agra is world famous for being the city that holds the famous Taj Mahal but besides this historical landmark the city holds other monuments that exemplify the high point of the Mughal era. During Mughal rule of the subcontinent, in about 16-17th century, Agra was the capital of India. It was here on the banks of the rive Yamuna that Babur first laid out the first formal Persian garden. His grandson Akbar also signified this city by building the Red Fort. Other emperors like Jahangir built red palaces with massive courts and gardens while Shah Jahan embellished it with marble mosques, palaces and pavilions of gem inlaid white marble. The land is a symbol of love and kinship. In the afternoon you can enjoy a guided tour of all the best attractions such as the Red Fort, and Itimad-ud-Daulah also known as the Taj Mahal. Remaining of the day will be at your disposal to do as you please with an overnight stay at Agra. (B.D)
On your 11th day you can enjoy a leisurely breakfast on your way to Delhi and have the evening free to explore or relax as you please with and overnight stay at the hotel.
After breakfast you can start you train journey from Delhi to Kalka. Once you reach Kalka you will board the Himalayan queen train for an unforgettable journey. The Guinness Book of Rail Facts and Feats records the Kalka- Shimla Railways as “The greatest narrow gauge engineering feat in India” Traveling on this train is a wonderful experience as the train follows along a path of landscape of charming hills, thickly populated trees of oak and pines, tunnels, bridges and valleys with leave a lasting impression. A distance of 96 kms is covered through 103 tunnels, 969 bridges; it has 919 curves, 20 railways stations and 5 level crossings on route. On arrival you will be transferred and will enjoy a stay of two nights in Shimla. (B.D)
Have a pleasant breakfast as the day is up for personal exploration of the famous mall and other areas. Shimla boasts of a great diversity in landscape with vibrant green on one side and snow clad mountains on the other. It has beautifully balanced architecture of both colonial history and modern structures showing that the city is in tune with its past and well as progressing towards the future. Explore Shimla and experience why this was the summer destination of British during the Raj. Your stay in Shimla will be overnight. (B.D)
On the last day, after breakfast you will travel back to Kalka railways station to boards your train bound for Delhi. You will arrive late in the evening and will be taken to the airport to board your flight onwards. (B.)