Temples, Tea & Tranquility – India & Bhutan

India & Bhutan 12-Day Itinerary

Prices from £2,885 pp

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Duration12 days / 11 nights (flexible)

DepartureDaily

ItineraryKolkata - Thimphu - Punhaka - Chimi Lhakhang - Paro - Guwahati - Kaziranga NP - Jorhat - Kolkata

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Overview

This itinerary combines mighty India and the highlights of Bhutan. You’ll fly into Kolkata, a colonial city from the British Raj before heading to the snowcapped Kingdom of Bhutan. Here you’ll stroll through emerald valleys, visit mystical temples, and stay with a Bhutanese family on their farm. Then it’s back to India to sip on local tea and spot the Great Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros in Assam before returning to Kolkata to fly home.

What's included

India:

  • Accommodation with breakfast – price based on 2 people sharing
  • Transport and excursions as described

Bhutan:

  • Accommodation – price based on 2 people sharing
  • All meals and local drinks (e.g. tea and coffee)
  • Transport with private driver
  • English-speaking guide at your disposal
  • Entrance fees as applicable

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Location map

Your day-by-day itinerary

India: Arrival in Kolkata

Today you’ll be collected from the airport in Kolkata and transferred to a charming hotel packed with character in the city centre. Your room is comfortable and tastefully decorated, and you’ll very quickly feel at home. The rest of the day is free for you to explore Kolkata at your own leisure, enjoying the warm temperatures and delicious food of West Bengal. Why not visit the Kali Temple or grab some world famous food?

India: Arrival in Kolkata

Bhutan: A Taste of Thimphu

Today you’ll travel to your comfortable hotel in Thimphu, reputedly the only capital city without traffic lights. Home to an impressive Trashi Chhoe Dzong which hosts one of the most memorable festivals (tsechus) in the country, Thimphu is a wonderful introduction to the country. With numerous temples, unusual museums and a busy weekend market this town will win you over and keep you busy. Don’t forget to check out the world’s largest sitting Buddha perched atop a hill overlooking the capital – you wouldn’t want to miss the views!

Thimphu Dzong courtyard, Bhutan

Bhutan: Warm Welcomes & the Mighty Dzong

It’s time for a glimpse of life in the countryside. After crossing the prayer-flag laden pass of Dochula you’ll arrive amongst the lush greenery of the Punakha Valley where you’ll stay in a small hotel just outside the town. The next day you’ll walk through rice fields and visit one of the most beautiful monasteries in Bhutan, the Punakha Dzong, before spending the night at a local homestay.

Dzong by the river

The colourful towers and white walls of this characteristic building form a striking contrast to the emerald green scenery and turquoise rivers. Next you’ll travel by car into Bhutan’s countryside, arriving at a local bed & breakfast late in the afternoon. This is where you’ll spend the night. The accommodation is simple and functional and you’ll have your own private room. This is a real opportunity to get a glimpse of Bhutanese village life.

Bhutan: Winding Trails to Tiger's Nest

On arrival in the charming town of Paro you’ll be taken to your typical Bhutanese hotel. You’ll have plenty of time to explore the town with your guide, visit the famous (and most impressive) Paro Dzong and try your hand at a spot of archery, Bhutanese national sport. After your first night, you’ll hike up to the spectacular Tiger’s Nest Monastery perched on the side of a 3000m cliff overlooking Paro Valley. In the afternoon, treat yourself to a hot stone bath made with fresh herbs, an authentic Bhutanese spa experience you won’t try anywhere else on earth!

three people in bhutan smiling with tigers nest in the background

India: Rhinos and Tea Leaves

Sip on local tea and spot the Great Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros in Assam. Sleep in a jungle lodge, take a jeep safari and stay with a leading planter family amidst endless tea hills. Assam is a rarely-visited region of India, rich in natural beauty, wildlife and more tea than you could ever imagine. During this trip, you’ll spend one day on safari in Kaziranga National Park, scouring the floodplains for tigers, monkeys and sambar deer in the early morning light. Next, you’ll head for Jorhat, the second largest city in Assam, to learn all about the local art of tea planting, picking and drinking on the slopes of the surrounding tea hills.

one horned rhino

India: Colour and Culture in Kolkata

You’ll return to the same hotel in Kolkata that you stayed in earlier. The following morning you’ll be picked up by your guide in an air-conditioned car. You’ll head out on a tour of the city, visiting all the main sites, including BBD Bagh and St. John’s Church. Next, you’ll head to the Hoogly river and see the famous bridge before ending the tour at the colourful flower market. Here, you’ll see locals trading and get a real insight into daily life here. At the end of the afternoon, you’ll be dropped back at your hotel where you’ll spend another night.

India: Colour and Culture in Kolkata
David on a rickshaw

Speak to our India specialist, David

“After three unforgettable trips, I can’t wait to plan my next India holiday- there’s always somewhere new and exciting to explore! For me, nothing beats the delicious food and the colourful festivals.”


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