Himalaya is a geographical wonder and a pride of Asia. The gigantic Himalayas are world renowned.
While it is spread around number of countries, nearly all portions of the Himalayan ranges are situated in the Indian Subcontinent.
Therefore, the Himalayas are as well the pride of India. Large snow-capped mountains, lakes and glacial rivers, unique flora and fauna, rapid climatic conditions characterize these ranges.
Himachal is a land of magnificent traditions and colorful festivals. Right from dresses to food everything includes a part of cultural living.
Although village life in various parts of Himachal is also affected steadily and abrupt changes with lifestyles yet they maintain their cultural integrity.
The life and social values of Himachal people are in harmony with nature. They practice a lifestyle in which concepts such as sustainability, equity, community participation etc. are deep rooted.
A number of people in the Himalayas sustain themselves by a combination of animal husbandry and agriculture. The customs and rituals practiced in this region of Himachal depict the lifestyle of the natives living in harmony with nature.
Himalayan food is easily obtainable at the tin roofed shacks dotted through the Himalayan ranges, and also at the restaurants of lower Himalayan settlements.
Some top 10 Himalayan foods you must eat:
- Dal Bhat (lentil soup) - Dal (lentil soup) that is cooked is served with Bhat (steamed rice). For number of people, Dal is better known as an Indian side dish however in fact around South Asia, it is found at about every table; the Himalayas adopting Dal (lentil soup) as their own local food staple. Dal bhat is affordable. With dried chilli and added spices it does live up a bit.
- Momos dumplings -Steamed flour dumplings stuffed with various fillings of vegetarian or non-vegetarian, also known as momos. In the Himalayas Momos are found all over. They are the favored snack of localites and the perfect fast food to go.
- Tea -Origins of tea in the Himalayas are regularly traced back to the 1800’s and the British commercial cultivation. Darjeeling and Assam are world renowned for their tasty tea strains. But, rippled tea hills have been found on all sides of Himalayan borders since long before. Himalayan localites sit day long sipping tea to keep warm in the high altitudes.
- Thukpa (Noodle soup) -Thukpa I like to think of as the posh version of instant noodles. Same bowl only Thukpa brings fresh ingredients and happy additions of local meats. The Thukpa’s noodles are usually egg noodles and they come served in hot and spicy tomato soup. Thukpa is found everywhere throughout Himalayas.
Shopping in Himachal
Apart from its scenic beauty, a refreshing retreat from the maddening city life, gorgeous mountain peaks- some of the items that must be in your list to shop in Darjeeling include-
- Tea - Tea of Darjeeling is popular worldwide for its refined taste and subtle aroma. There are number of famous tea gardens in Darjeeling most of them are situated around Chowrasta, these sell tea in their own outlets.
- Tibetan Artifacts -Next to tea, local and Tibetan artifacts must come to your shopping list. There are number of shops, which sell thangkas, laughing Buddha, prayer wheel, traditional masks, etc. Artifacts of Himalaya are a little treasure trove when it comes to purchasing oriental and Tibetan artifacts.
- Local knick knacks -Locally made knick-knacks such as woolen garments, bags, leather goods, Tibetan carpets, leather goods or bags, home-décor items or even organic honey- each of them are too tempting to ignore. These things are available in plenty of shops in Darjeeling.
- Books -In Darjeeling, Oxford Book and Stationary Company is famous bookshop for its great collection of books related to Himalayas, tales on mountaineering, travel guides etc.
Places of Attraction
- Sangachoeling Monastery -Sangachoeling Monastery is a vital highlight of the Buddhist pilgrimage circuit. It was built in 17th century. The path to this monastery takes you through hilly terrain and rich forest cover. This place is the most popular place to visit in Pelling.
- Darap Village -Darap village is emerging as a popular home stay destination among tourists visiting Pelling, because it is culturally rich village. The area is developing slowly and owing to its easy connectivity and pristine beauty, it is quickly becoming traveler’s favorite. Also, the village is peopled by several ethnic communities such as Tamangs, Gurungs, Bhutias and Chhetris, among others.
- Do- Drul Chorten Stupa -This huge monument is marked by a golden top dome. A short but steep uphill pathway leads to the stupa. This golden top can be seen from various places in Gangtok.
- Rumtek Monastery -The place is one of the largest in Sikkim and belongs to the kargyu sect of Buddhists that originated in the 12th century in Tibet. The architecture of the monastery is one the finest in the world and resembles the original one in Tsurphu, Tibet.
- Tiger Hill -Tiger Hill is one the most famous peaks in Darjeeling. It is mainly best known as a trekking destination and its peak offer some of the most marvelous views of the Kanchendzonga. The route can be reached either by foot or by jeep that crossway through some of the oldest tea plantation in Darjeeling.
- Rimbi waterfall -Rimbi Waterfall, one more beautiful place to visit in Pelling. It is more than just a treat to the eyes. Whether you go fishing or not, do try a local preparation of Assala, a variety of fish found only here. The glinting waterfall is frequented by tourists and locals for diverse recreational activities such as fishing and swimming.
Day 1:NJP railway station. / IXB Airport - Gangtok (Approx. 125 kms / 04-hour drive) :
After arriving at NJP Railyway station/ IXB airport, you will be greeted by Prisha Tour’s representative who will escort you to your hotel room in Gangtok. After you reach, check in to your hotel. You can indulge in leisure activities for the remainder of the day. You will stay overnight in Gangtok.
Day 2:Gangtok (Trip to Tsomgo Lake + Baba Mandir-New) :
On day 2, set out on a half-day excursion to Tsomgo Lake at (12400ft), which is 32 kms far from Gangtok city. The lake is approximately 1 km long & 15 m deep. This lake is considered sacred by the local people, proceed about 12 kms ahead to visit Baba Harvajan Singh Mandir. Return to the hotel in the afternoon. Overnight stay in Gangtok
Day 03:Local sightseeing in Gangtok- Pelling (About 132 kms / 05-hour drive) :
This morning, there will be a Gangtok city tour covering Institute of Tibetology (closed on Sunday), Flower Exhibition Centre, Dro-dul-Chorten, Bonjhakri Falls, Directorate of Handicraft and Handloom. After lunch, drive to Pelling (6800 ft. / 132 km). Upon arrival, check in to your hotel. Overnight stay in Pelling.
Day 04:Pelling sightseeing :
In the morning at 9 am, after breakfast, begin your journey, which starts with visiting the Rimbi falls, Khacheodpalri wish lake, Khangchendzonga falls. In the afternoon, stop over at Rabdantse Palace of Ruins,the Helipad Ground, Rabdantse View Point and Pemayangtse Monastery, Overnight stay in Pelling.
Day 05:Pelling - Darjeeling (Approx. 118 kms / 04-hour drive) :
On day five, begin your day with a drive to Darjeeling (about 7,100 ft.). After checking into your hotel, you have the afternoon at leisure to relax or you can go shopping. Overnight stay in Darjeeling.
Day 06:Sightseeing in Darjeeling :
Early morning at 4 am visit the gorgeous Tiger hill, which is a sunrise point standing over the Mt. Khanchendzongna. Visit the beautiful Batasia Loop and Ghoom Monasteryon your way returning. After breakfast, proceed on a half day city trip which includes the P.N. Zoological Park (shut on Thursday) Tenzing Rock, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Tea Garden (outer view), Tibetan Refugee Centre (closed on Sunday), Pace Pagoda, Japanese Temple and Rope Way (visitors will have to purchase their own ticket). You have the afternoon free. Overnight stay in Darjeeling.
Day 07:Darjeeling to NJP Railway Station / IXB airport (About 90 kms / 03-hour drive) :
Check out the hotel after breakfast. You will be assisted with your transfer to NJP railway station / IXB airport for your onward journey.
Highlights of The Tour :
The landscape of this tiny Himalayan State - Sikkim, a modern day Shangri-La, still untouched by the modernization of urbanization, is irresistible. Here, the white snow covered peaks of the grand Himalayas stand upon the pictures que hillb top monasteries huddled in lush vegetation and silvery-blue rivers slicing through the valleys below. Visitors are left enchanted by the magical hill stations of Darjeeling in West Bengal and Kalimpong, and Pelling in the north-eastern reaches of the country. Choose this holiday package and unwind in the spectacular settings of Gangtok, Pelling and Darjeeling.