- Stay on a Himalayan farm
- Search for Shangri-la in Gantok
- Experience Kathmandu's cultural delights
- Spot Everest on the horizon
- See Kolkata's famous Howrah Bridge
- Cross the holy Ganges
- Visit the villages of Darjeeling
Travel from India to Nepal on an Overland trip from Kolkata to Kathmandu. Beginning in the vibrant streets of Kolkata, this journey ascends into the legendary Himalayas before travelling overland across northern India and Nepal. Witness the contrast between bustling bazaars, lush forests and mountain plateaux as you take in all the sights and sounds of this incredible part of the world. From the craziness of modern India to the peaceful monasteries of the Himalayas, this unforgettable journey is a great way to experience India and Nepal.
Day 1: Kolkata
Border Information: If you are joining the trip in Kolkata, you will most likely enter India at Kolkata Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport (IATA code: CCU). Today is a free day to explore the sights, sounds and flavours of the incredible city of Kolkata. There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm - please look for a note from your tour leader when you arrive at the hotel giving more details about this meeting. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Kolkata before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Kolkata. In Kolkata we will stay in a comfortable hotel. Hotel for the night: Niharika Hotel Niharika Hotel 5 A.J.C. Bose Road Near Minto Park Kolkata India Tel - +91 33 4060 1122 OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 2 nights to explore Kolkata, India's most enigmatic and bewildering city INR 200 Overland through West Bengal across the Gangetic plains Free Visit the Eden Gardens, the most famous and iconic cricket stadium in India Free See the famous Howrah Bridge over the Hooghly River, thought to be the busiest bridge in the world with 150,000 pedestrians and 100,000 vehicles crossing every day Free Discover the incredible array of art and historical artefacts on display at the Indian Museum in Kolkata, the largest and oldest museum in India INR 200 Head out on a fantastic photographic tour of Kolkata, exploring the hidden gems, back streets, and photogenic spots of the city with a superb local guide INR 2000 Explore the vast fields and parks of the Maidan (the 'lungs of Kolkata') and observe daily life away from the chaos of the city Free Visit and support the Usthi Foundation's school and farm for impoverished children in Kolkata, and see the amazing work they do (if available) USD 10 See the huge white marble Victoria Memorial, built in the early 20th century by the British Viceroy of India and a grandiose reminder of Kolkata's colonial past INR 200 Visit the Mother Teresa of Calcutta Centre, a museum illustrating the life and work of the famous and controversial missionary Free
Day 2: Kolkata/Overnight Train to Siliguri
During the day we will have free time to independently explore Kolkata, and we have the opportunity to take an optional photographical tour of the city. Whilst in Kolkata, your leader will assist you in arranging you Sikkim permit (you will need to bring passport photos and a photocopy of your passport photo page). We will meet in the evening to head to the train station and board our overnight train to Siliguri - accommodation tonight will be on the train, where there are basic bunk beds with sheets provided. INCLUDED ACTIVITIES Experience a local overnight train from Kolkata to Siliguri : Included in Kitty
Day 3-5: Darjeeling
We will arrive into Siliguri at around 9:00am this morning, meeting our jeeps and drivers at the station for our onward journey through the narrow winding roads to Darjeeling. The town of Darjeeling is really more a collection of villages situated on a high ridge, linked by a series of steps and winding lanes and surrounded by rice and tea terraces. Jeeps are used in this region rather than our overland truck as they are perfect for the narrow, steep and winding roads of the area. We will continue with the jeeps all the way until the trip returns to Siliguri (after Gangtok). Estimated Drive Time (in jeeps) - 3-4 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!). We will spend 3 nights in Darjeeling, giving us plenty of time to relax, enjoy the surrounding area and take part in some optional activities. In Darjeeling we will stay in a local hotel. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES Take a scenic ride on the famous Darjeeling Himalayan Railway up to Ghoom, the highest train station in India : INR 470 Overland to Silguri : Free Toy train from Siliguri to Darjeeling : Free 3 nights stay in Darjeeling to explore the surrounding hills : Free See the museum at the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, containing many exhibits from mountaineering history and the grave of Tenzing Norgay, one of the first men to summit Mount Everest : INR 100 Take an early jeep trip to Tiger Hill, where you can get an incredible sunrise view of Kangchenjunda, the 3rd-highest mountain in the world : INR 250
Day 6-8: Karmi Farm
Today we will have one last free morning to explore Darjeeling. After lunch we will leave in our jeeps for Karmi Farm, a tea plantation located in a remote rural area nearby. Estimated Drive Time (in jeeps) - 3-4 hours. We will stay at Karmi Farm for 3 nights, which gives us lots of free time to enjoy some fantastic hikes around the region, visit the Karmi Farm Clinic charitable project, go bird watching and to relax and take in the stunning views from the lodge. In Karmi Farm we will stay in a guest lodge. INCLUDED ACTIVITIES Visit to the Karmi Farm charity project : Included in Kitty Trekking in the foothills of Darjeeling : Included in Kitty
Day 9-10: Gangtok
After breakfast we will leave Karmi Farm in our jeeps and continue to Gangtok, the hilltop capital of Sikkim. Estimated Drive Time (in jeeps) - 5-7 hours. ACTIVITIES Travel to the far north, into the Himalayas in beautiful Sikkim : Included in Kitty Stay overnight in the stunning Yamthung Valley in Sikkim : INR 1400 Ride a yak at beautiful Tsomgo Lake in Sikkim : Included in Kitty Explore the colourful Rumtek Monastery in Gangtok : INR 10 Explore the incredible 18th-century Rumtek Monastery, the home of the Karmapa Lama, the spiritual head of the Karma Kagyu sect of Buddhism : Included in Kitty
Day 11-12: Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve
Border Information: Exit India at Kakarbhitta, enter Nepal at Kakarbhitta. Today we travel in our jeeps back to Siliguri, where we will finally join our Dragoman overland truck! We will then drive over the border into Nepal and continue onto Koshi National Park Wildlife Reserve. Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours in the jeeps, 4-6 hours on the truck. We will spend 2 nights in Koshi National Park birdwatching and enjoying the local wildlife. Activity Approximate Cost Float down the Koshi river on a rubber boat - spend the day looking for warders and raptors and some Wild Water Buffaloes on the sand banks. Included in Kitty Stay at the beautiful Koshi Tappu Wildlife Camp, exploring, relaxing and spotting the many different species of birdlife around the reserve. Included in Kitty About Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve: Koshi Tappu Wlidlife Reserve is a bird watchers paradise located in the Eastern region of Nepal. Consisting of approximately 175 sq km of wet and grassland habitat it lies on the flood plain of Sapta Koshi River - one of the three main tributaries of the Ganges. This river flows right through the reserve and is the largest in Nepal.
Day 13: Bhaktapur
The reserve is home to over 450 species of birds as well as Gangetic dolphins, blue bulls, lond pointy horned wild water buffalo, golden jackals, deer, marsh muggers and much more. Today we will leave the plains of the Terrai behind and head towards Chitwan National Park. Estimated Drive Time 7 -9 hours. In Chitwan we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.
Day 14: Khatauti Khola
This morning we are free to explore the historic centre of Bhaktapur and in the afternoon we will journey to Khatauti Khola, home to the Royal Beach Camp eco-adventure camp in the Nepalese mountains. There are several optional activities on offer here such as kayaking, rafting, hiking and mountain bikings or simply relax in the quiet surroundings. In Khatauti Khola we will camp at the Royal Beach Camp. Estimated Drive Time - 3 -4 hours. Activity Approximate Cost Overnight stay at the Royal Beach Camp outward bound centre in the Himalayas USD 35 Whitewater rafting, kayaking and other mountain adventures in the Himalayas USD 35 Head out for half a day of canyoning in the gorges of the Trishuli River near Khatauti Khola USD 35
Day 15: Kathmandu
This morning we will spend some free time at the Royal Beach Camp to give us more time to take part in the optional adventure activities there, then after lunch we will drive the last stretch up to Kathmandu, the evocative capital of Nepal. In Kathmandu we stay in a comfortable local hotel. Estimate drive time - 3.- 4 hours Activity Approximate Cost Feast on a 9 course traditional Nepali meal NPR 750 Discover Kathmandu on a guided city tour NPR 100 Enjoy a scenic flight over Mount Everest NPR 200 2 nights to enjoy the sights of Kathmandu NPR 250 Visit the former royal palace of Narayanhiti and see the crown jewels of Nepal NPR 500 Visit the sacred Hindu Pashupatinath Temple, dedicated to Nepal's unofficial national deity NPR 1000 Get out of the city and explore the nearby national park of Sundarijal, and see its idyllic waterfalls and rock formations NPR 250 About Kathmandu: Kathmandu is the magnificent and evocative capital of Nepal - situated on the shores of the Bagmati river, it's a lively, bustling place where ancient collides with modern to create an exhilarating melting pot of sights, sounds and smells. Today's modern jumble of concrete buildings and busy streets has built up around the medieval old town, where wandering through the winding alleyways is like taking a step back in time. The heart of the old city is the magnificent Durbar Square, where Nepalese Royalty used to be crowned, and today it's a good spot to sit and watch the world go by. The buildings here date from the 17th and 18th Centuries, although many of the original structures were even older and many suffered from earthquake damage over the last few centuries. Other sights worth visiting are the Temple of the Living Goddess, the Royal Palace, the Pashupatinath Hindu temple, Boudhanath Buddhist stupa and Swayambunath (the Monkey Temple), all of which are set against the magnificent Himalayan backdrop. When all the sightseeing gets a bit too much, you can kick back and relax in the numerous cafes and bars around the tourist areas of Thamel and ‘Freak Street'.
Day 16: Kathmandu
Border Information: If you are finishing your trip in Kathmandu, you will most likely exit Nepal at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (IATA code: KTM). Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Kathmandu. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.
- Kolkata/Overnight Train to Siliguri
- Khatauti Khola
- Karmi Farm
- Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve
Intrepid Travel is the world's largest small group adventure travel company. Intrepid trips are of the grassroots type and include travel via public transport, local food, and locally-owned accommodation Intrepid Travel has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 1989. A company that began with two bearded backpackers, a typewriter and a kitchen table now leads 100,000 travellers across the globe each year. And although we’re a bit larger these days – with 1,000 local staff based around the world and over 800 different trips across every continent (not to mention multiple kitchen tables) – our mission remains the same. We still get a kick out of responsible travel, small groups and very (very) big adventures.