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The Buddhism Tour
The Buddhism Tour
09 Nights - 10 Days
Places Covered :
Bagdogra - Darjeeling - Pemayangtse - Yuksom - Gangtok
01: Arrive Bagdogra - Darjeeling
Met upon arrival and drive to Darjeeling for three hours through tea gardens
and pretty hillside towns. We will occasionally meet the famous Darjeeling toy
train, huffing and puffing across our road. On arrival in Darjeeling transfer
to the hotel.
Day 02: Darjeeling
Early morning visit Tiger Hill for fabulous sun rise views of Mt. Kanchenjunga,
the third highest mountain in the world at 7409m. Mt. Everest and a host of
other Himalayan giants are also seen on the horizon. On our drive back to the
hotel we will stop at Ghoom, a Tibetan- Buddhist monastery. After breakfast
we shall visit the old botanical gardens to see the collection of rare orchids
and other plants. After lunch visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute,
the Tibetan Refugee Camp and the local market.
The mighty Kanchenjunga towers above this charming town like a gigantic ship
floating upon a sea of clouds. In the distance, Mt. Everest retains its aloofness.
The town itself is a typical Indian hill-station, catering mainly
to a large influx of plains people escaping the summer heat. There is the
mall of course, a promenade with fashionable stores alongside and Kanchenjunga
playing hide and seek above. The lower regions of the town are teeming with
colourful tribesmen working or trading on seasonal basis. All around the town
are picturesque tea-plantations and visit to them is a must.
Day 03: Darjeeling
After breakfast visit the Bhutia busty monastery & Tong Soong monastery.
PM. Lecture by an expert on Buddhism.
04: Darjeeling - Pemayangtse
Half day drive to Pemayangtse. Todays drive is truly a naturalists
delight. The hillsides and mountain slopes of Sikkim are strewn with bright
patches of myriad colours. The lower mountain slopes are abundant with lush
green bamboo and ferns. The northern valley are draped with wild cherry, oaks,
chestnut, pines as well as magnolia varietys called Magnolia Campbell
and Michelia Doltsopa. The higher altitude are abloom with with 46 species of
Rhododendrons. And of course, Sikkim 600 varieties of orchids are everywhere.
This day 05 hours drive is interesting as we move upstream along the river Rangit
through dense forest of Sal and Teak. Overnight we will be in government- run
tourist lodge called Mount Pandim that is situated on the top of the hill at
the altitude of 7000 feet. From your bedroom windows you can see the magnificent
Kanchenjunga massif that is only 35 miles away as the crow flies.
Day 05: Pemayangtse - Yuksom via Kecheoplari Lake
Early morning after having our breakfast we walk to Pemayangtse monastery that
is only a km from the hotel.
Here we hear the chanting of the morning prayers by the young and the old monks
and the smell of the burning Junipers Squamatra and Rhododendron Nivele. Pemayangtse,
also known as the Perfect Sublime Lotus, is one of the oldest monasteries
of Sikkim. This monastery belongs to Hat sect of the Tibetan Buddhists.
After visiting the monastery, we continue driving towards Kecheopalri Lake.
We will see some common wild orchids like the Dendrobium. This night we will
be camping and our food will be cooked by our own staff who will be serving
Sikkim specialities along with the famous local brew called the Tongba.
Day 06: Yuksom - Gangtok
The original capital of Sikkim, the tiny hill town of Yoksum is the base for
treks and climbing expeditions to Mount Kanchenjunga and other important peaks.
This day we walk to the coronation throne, Dubdi monastery and the nearby jungles
to see wild orchids like the Coelogyne and Dendrobium, as well as the indigenous
flora of sikkim. The 5 hour drive from Yoksum to Gangtok passes lush green fields
the famous Sikkimese Cardamoms as well as Golden Rice.
07: Gangtok - Rumtek - Gangtok
The day starts with a visit to the Enchey monastery, located about 1 km. This
monastery was built by Lama Druptob Karpo, a tantric master known for his power
of flying. Built in the early part of this century, it follows the Nyingmapa
tradition and his a pagoda style architecture unique to the Sikkimese monasteries.
Institute of Tibetology: Renowned world-wide centre for study of Buddhist philosophy
and religion, a treasure house of rare thankas, statues, over 200 Buddhist icons
and prized objects of art.
Do-Drul Chorten: One of the most important stupas of Sikkim built by Trulsi
Rimpoche, head of the a Nyingma order. The stupa contains rare mandalas of Dorji
Phurpa (Vajra Kalayan), holy books, mantras & is encircled by 108 prayer
Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre: 24 kms away from Gangtok is the seat the Karmapa
who heads the Kagyupa sect of Buddhism. Thankas and frescoes decorate the wall.
The mortal remains of the late Gyalwa Karmapa is preserved in a stupa in the
monastery. The prayer hall in the new complex is well worth a visit for the
Serenity and the calmness it exudes to facilitate the right frame of mind for
Day 08: Gangtok - Phudong - Gangtok
A day excursion to the Phudong monastery. Built in the mid 18th century, it
is one of the important Kagyupa monasteries of Sikkim. Along with Rumtek and
Ralong monasteries it hosts the annual Kagyat Chaam - the masked
dance, on the 28th and 29th of the tenth month in the Tibetan calendar. This
corresponds to the second fort night of December. A kilometre uphill is the
Labrang monastery which belongs to the Nyingmapa sect of Buddhism. Enroute to
Phudong, a stream of prayer flags leads to the Phensang monastery. This monastery
follows the Ningmapa sect and has about 300 monks.
Day 09: Gangtok - Kalimpong
After breakfast drive to Kalimpong for three hours. PM. Half day sightseeing.
Before the Chinese take over of Tibet, Kalimpong was the centre of Indias
wool trade with that country, with Tibetan caravans wending their way down from
the Tibetan plateau to trade wool for manufactured goods. Today Kalimpong is
a holiday resort for its fabulous mountain views, bird watching, and walks
in the hills. It has become a centre for Orchid and Cactus nurseries, and exports
these plants to different places all over the world. Here we visit several nurseries.
Day 10: Kalimpong - Bagdogra
AM. Transfer to Bagdogra airport in time to catch flight to Calcutta or