Darjeeling and Gangtok: A Captivating 5-Night, 6-Day Itinerary

The Himalayan jewels of Darjeeling and Gangtok offer travelers a delightful blend of natural beauty, rich culture, and thrilling adventures. Nestled amidst majestic peaks and lush landscapes, these hill stations promise an unforgettable escape. Let’s craft a memorable itinerary to maximize your 5-night, 6-day tour.

Day 1: Arrival in Bagdogra and Transfer to Darjeeling

Image of Bagdogra Airport
  • Fly into Bagdogra Airport (IXB), the nearest airport serving Darjeeling and Gangtok.
  • Embark on a picturesque 3-hour drive to Darjeeling, winding through scenic tea plantations and Himalayan foothills.
  • Check into your hotel in Darjeeling and freshen up.
  • Spend the evening exploring the vibrant Mall Road, lined with shops and cafes.

Day 2: Darjeeling Delights

Image of Darjeeling town
  • Wake up early for a breathtaking sunrise view of Kanchenjunga from Tiger Hill.
  • Visit the Ghoom Monastery, one of the oldest Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the region.
  • Take a joyride on the iconic Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (Toy Train), a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Immerse yourself in the world of tea at Happy Valley Tea Estate, witnessing the tea-making process.
  • Stroll through the lush Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, home to red pandas and snow leopards.

Day 3: Darjeeling to Gangtok

  • Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before bidding farewell to Darjeeling.
  • Embark on a scenic 4-hour drive to Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim.
  • Check into your hotel in Gangtok and unwind.
  • In the evening, explore the lively MG Marg, Gangtok’s main street, offering shops, restaurants, and a pleasant ambiance.

Day 4: Gangtok Exploration

Image of Gangtok town
  • Visit the beautiful Rumtek Monastery, the largest monastery in Sikkim and an important seat of Tibetan Buddhism.
  • Experience tranquility at the Do-Drul Chorten, a prominent stupa surrounded by prayer wheels.
  • Learn about the rich culture and heritage of Sikkim at the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology.
  • Take a thrilling cable car ride (Gangtok Ropeway), offering panoramic views of the city and surrounding mountains.
  • Shop for local handicrafts and souvenirs at the bustling Lal Bazaar market.

Day 5: Excursion to Tsomgo Lake and Baba Mandir

  • Embark on an unforgettable day trip to the high-altitude Tsomgo Lake (Changu Lake), a glacial lake revered for its sacredness.
  • Continue to Baba Mandir, a temple dedicated to an Indian army soldier revered for his spiritual powers.
  • Enjoy the scenic beauty, and if visiting in winter, witness the frozen lake and indulge in yak rides.
  • Return to Gangtok in the evening.

Day 6: Departure from Gangtok

  • Enjoy a final morning in Gangtok, perhaps doing some last-minute souvenir shopping.
  • Depart from Gangtok and make your way to Bagdogra Airport (IXB) for your onward journey.

Customization and Optional Activities:

  • Adventurers: Add a thrilling white-water rafting trip on the Teesta River on your journey from Darjeeling to Gangtok.
  • Nature lovers: Hike through peaceful forests to reach Batasia Loop, a spiral railway track offering mountain views.
  • Cultural Enthusiasts: Visit traditional villages or tea estates for a peek into local life.
  • Extended Adventure: Include the scenic Nathu La Pass, a high mountain pass on the Indo-China border, with special permits.

Important Considerations:

  • Best time to visit: March-May (spring) & October-November (autumn) offer pleasant weather. June-September is monsoon season with possible road disruptions.
  • Travel Tips: Pack for changing mountain weather, respect local customs, and book accommodations in advance, especially during peak season.