Bhutan Land Of The Thunder Dragon & the Wonders of Northeast India 2024 & 2025

Tour Dates
Sunday 3rd March - Friday 22nd March 2024
Sunday 13th October - Friday 1st November 2024

A place perched high in the Himalayas, tucked between China and India. A place of monasteries and fortresses shrouded in myth and magic where Gross National Happiness comes before Gross National Product, where the rice is red and archery is the national sport. This is Bhutan, the ‘Land of the Thunder Dragon’ and the last remaining Buddhist Kingdom in the world. 

A 18 nights / 20 day holiday of a lifetime

New! Tour Dates for 2025: 

Sunday 2nd March-Friday 21st March 

Sunday 5th October- Friday 24th October

 

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A place of soaring mountains, lush jungles, and fragrant tea plantations. A place that is home to half of India’s entire biodiversity. A place bordered by Nepal, China, Bhutan, Myanmar and Bangladesh where hundreds of different tribes and religions co-exist. This is Northeast India.

 

Booking is open

 

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This once-in-a-lifetime holiday takes you on an immersive journey of discovery through both extraordinary places. Highlights of Bhutan range from the chance to explore Thimpu, the fifth highest capital city in the world and a visit to the ancient Pangri Zampa Monastery, home to the country’s School of Astrology, to face-to-face encounters with skilled artisans, archery experts and many opportunities to immerse yourself within the gentle spirit of Buddhism. 

 

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Highlights of northeast India include stays in Kolkata, the ‘City of Joy’, the beautiful hill town of Gangtok, and Darjeeling, the land of Buddhist monasteries, tea plantations and the World Heritage Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.

 

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Big adventures for small groups 

We create holidays that connect you to your destination’s history and culture and which are filled with opportunities to participate, rather than simply observe. To ensure you have the very best experience, with time for conversations with local experts, space to explore hidden gems and opportunities to fully immerse yourself in every activity, we limit group sizes to between four and ten people.  

 

Booking is now open

 

birdwatching
alps blue
wellness
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What we love

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Experiences you will treasure

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What's included in your holiday

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Bhutan Door panel
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Outline itinerary - what you will do when

fully inclusive, escorted Bhutan Tours Oberoi Hotel India

Where you will be staying

Dragon

What people say

 Bhutan was the first nation to establish a permanent fund to finance the long-term protection of its native and rare flora and fauna. 

Author: Eric Dinerstein

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How much is it?

From £7,015p/p including flights from London Heathrow - March departure
From £7,110p/p including flights from Manchester Airport - March departure
From £7,340p/p including flights from London Heathrow - October departure
From £7,465p/p including flights from Manchester Airport - October departure
or join us in Kolkata from £6,215p/p
Single Room Supplement £1,620 in total
Our tour price includes Bhutan's sustainability development fee
Tour costs for 2025 tours to be confirmed shortly
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Bhutan Temple and moutain view
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Flight information

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Upgrading your Emirates flights

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Payment Info

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You decide…

A Deeper Dive

Kolkata – Day 3

Option 1 – Adda with a poet, writer, and publisher, 14:30-18:30. £65 per person (minimum of 2, maximum of 6 people)

An adda is an informal chat and they are a Kolkata institution. Addas take place in the comfort of someone's living room, in the smoky confines of a coffee house, on the steps of a college, at the bus stop, at the corner of the daily market…just about anywhere where two or more people can get together. And what do they talk about? Politics, sports, religion, books, art, films, music, the news, food... just about anything in fact! In this one, you will sit down with a poet, writer, and publisher and enjoy not only a stimulating conversation, but also Baul music (Bauls have wandered the countryside of West Bengal singing their religious songs for hundreds of years), and a relaxing dinner with your host.

Option 2 – local market, cooking demonstration and Bengali meal, 17:30-21:00. £95 per person (minimum of 2, maximum of 6 people)

Bengalis and food are inseparable, to the extent that they tend to place ‘visit to the daily market’ on a higher pedestal than any other chore of the day! This experience begins with a visit to a local market to buy the daily groceries and watch people negotiating with the shopkeepers. You will then be welcomed into a Bengali family home where you will learn about the five types of tastes mentioned in the ancient Indian treatise - Ayurveda, which the Bengalis follow while preparing food. A short cooking demonstration and a Bengali meal included in this experience.

Kolkata – Day 4

Option 1 – discover the Temples of Kolkata, 14:30-19:00. £45 per person (minimum 2, maximum 6 people)

You will visit Dakshineswar Kali Temple, a Hindu temple built in 1855 by philanthropist and devotee of Kali, Rani Rashmoni. The presiding deity of the temple is Bhavatarini, an aspect of Kali. The temple is famous for its association with Ramakrishna, a mystic of 19th century Bengal. There are twelve shrines dedicated to Shiva—Kali's companion—along the riverfront, a temple to Radha-Krishna, a bathing ghat on the river and a shrine dedicated to Rani Rashmoni. You will then go on to Jain Temple, which was built by art enthusiast Ray Badridas Bahadur in 1867 and boasts an interior filled with intricately patterned marble, mirrors, stained glass, chandeliers, and gilded surfaces. The temple is dedicated to Pareshnath, the 23rd Jain Tirthankar. It houses four temples where the deity of Lord Shitalnathji is seated in the sanctum sanctorum. One of the major attractions of the temple is the lamp, which has been burning continually inside the sanctum since the initiation of the temple in 1867.

Option 2 – Kolkata Food Walk with tasting, 17:00 – 20:00. £65 per person (minimum 2, maximum 6 people)

Learn about Kolkata’s culture through its street foods and heritage eateries. Accompanied by an expert, you will walk and ride a tram to various specialised eating joints famous for their recipes. This gastronomical adventure will also offer a completely different perspective of the multi-layered, multi-ethnic, and multi-racial entity that is Kolkata.

Gangtok – Day 6

Option 1: Visit Ray Mindu Village, 13:00-16:30, £50 per person (minimum 2, maximum 6 people)

Ray Mindu Village is nestled between the world renowned Rumtek and Lingdum monasteries and situated below the Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary amidst a diverse flora and fauna. The dominant community living in the area is Lepcha, with only handful of Nepalese. Most of the people are Buddhist by religion and they observe various Buddhist and Lepcha festivals. You will have the chance to meet with local people, walk through the village and to stop for a cup of tea. There is also a handicraft centre with various traditional Sikkimese items. Ray Mindu village is also famous for its traditional food.

Option 2: Visit Namgyal Institute of Tibetology & Directorate of Handloom and Handicrafts, 15:00-17:00, £25 per person (minimum 2, maximum 6 people)

This Buddhist institute, the most prestigious of its kind in India, is home to a vast collection of rare Lepcha, Tibetan & Sanskrit manuscripts, statues, and rare thankas (tapestries used in Buddhist liturgy). The collection also includes over 200 Buddhist icons and other prized objects of art. Today it is a renowned worldwide centre for Buddhist philosophy and religion.

The Directorate of Handloom and Handicrafts was set up to promote traditional Sikkim art and handicrafts. Exquisitely carved wooden friezes, intricate bamboo work, along with beautiful hand-woven carpets and handlooms are on display. Visitors can purchase these items and also see the artisans at work. A favourite item here is the ‘choktse’ a wooden table with carved panels that can be folded into a portable pack.

Gangtok – Day 7

Option 1: visit to Do-Drul Chorten stupa and Tashi Viewpoint, 14:45-16:45, £25 per person (minimum 2, maximum 6 people)

Do-Drul Chorten was built in 1945 by the Trulshi Rimpoche, head of the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The stupa is surrounded by 108 prayer wheels, all of which are inscribed with Tibetan mantras. The Chorten also has two huge statues of Gura Rimpoche (Gura Padmasambhava) around it.

The nearby Tashi Viewpoint offers an amazing view of the hills and valleys and also a grand sight of Mount Kanchenjunga and Siniolchu.

Option 2: visit to Tsuk-La-Khang and Enchey Monastery, 14:45-16:45, £25 per person (minimum 2, maximum 6 people)

Tsuk-La-Khang is the principal place of worship within the Royal Palace premises near the Ridge Park in Gangtok. The great façade has a magnificent portal, and each corner of the building boasts a wood sculpture relief of the head of a snow lion. The wood walls are covered with Buddhist murals span and an eternal butter lamp burns in front of the floor-to-ceiling altar. The air of peace and calm is heightened by the fragrant juniper incense that pervades chapel air. 

The Enchey Monastery is nestled within lush woods on a ridge offering a spectacular view of Gangtok town. Built in 1910 on the site of the hermitage of the great tantric saint, Lama Drutob Karpo, who was renowned for his powers of levitation, this monastery is home to the monks of the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism.

Darjeeling – Day 8

Option 1: Opportunity to meet with Mr. Hemant Kr. Pradhan, President of Gorkha Sainik Smriti Chinha Samity,  Life Member of Indian  National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), and   Chairman of Darjeeling Gorkha War Museum Trust. Pradhan's father was a Gurkha Soldier of the British Army serving in the  second world war. Your will visit the Family home which is now a local  Gorkha War Museum, three rooms display the ex-service man’s dress, shoes and other equipment used during his service in  WW11, and the 1971 war between India-Pakistan. 14:00-15:30 £36 per person (minium 2, maximum 6)

Darjeeling – Day 10

Option 1: Heritage walk of Darjeeling with an expert photographer, 15:00-17:00, £55 per person (minimum 2, maximum 6 people)

Starting at Darjeeling Railway Station, you will follow a route past Trumbull School, Union Church of Gandhi Road, Municipal School, Darjeeling head post office, State bank of India, a few landmarks along the Laden-La road, Clock tower, Keventer’s historic restaurant (which has remains of Edward Keventer’s dairy farm in Ghoom), Planters Club (established in 1868 for British planters and their wives to enjoy their evenings), Das Studio, old shops at the mall like Habeeb Mullick & sons, St. Andrew’s Church (built in 1843), Darjeeling Gymkhana Club (first established in 1909 and still going.)

Option 2: visit the Tomb of Alexander Cosma De Karos, 15:00-17:00, £25 per person (minimum 2, maximum 6 people)

Alexander Cosma De Koros was a Hungarian Linguist, philologist, traveller, and Orientalist, born in Koros, Hungary on 4th April 1784. He was the author of the first Tibetan-English dictionary and grammar book. In 1842 he planned to travel to Lhasa but, unfortunately, he contracted Malaria and died from in Darjeeling. His hexagonal memorial tomb is located in the Old Cemetery on the Lebong Cart Road in Darjeeling.

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Before you book

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We look forward to arranging your future holiday, and with over twenty years of experience we are here to help with any questions you may have.

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