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Special Interest Tour to India



Duration : 16 nights / 17 days

Cities covered :
Madras, Coonoor, Ooty, Bangalore, Calcutta, Kurseong, Darjeeling, Calcutta

Highlights :
This tour takes you to the famous tea gardens of India with a visit to the Tea Estates, Factories and these gardens are located in some of the most scenic spots one can ever get to go.
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[These Special Interest Tour Programs are best run with minimum 6 travelers to a group & more]

Day 1 - Arrive Kolkata
Arrive at Kolkata International Airport. Met with our airport representative and transfer to the Hotel. Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) is a city that means many things to many people. For some, it is the city of joy, while for others it is dirty, crowded, and noisy. Once the greatest colonial city in the Orient, Kolkata was later reviled as a cauldron of poverty, dirt, and disease. Today, it ranks among the four major metropolis of India along with Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai. A mere village in the 17th century, Kolkata is not an ancient city like Delhi. Like Mumbai and Chennai, it originated largely due to the expansionist ambitions of the European powers, especially the British Raj. Little wonder, Kolkata has some of the finest Raj edifices built in a variety of styles.

was the first capital of the British in India. The city was established in 1686 when the British moved to the small villages of Sutanati, Govindpur, and Kalikata from their trading port of Hooghly. It progressed well until 1756 when Siraj-Ud-Daula (Nawab of Bengal) attacked the town and drove away the British. Lord Clive retook Kolkata and until 1911, it remained the capital of the British government in India. Being the centre of power for so long created a unique culture and heritage, totally unlike any other city in India. Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 2 - At Kolkata
Morning rest and relax at the hotel. Kolkata is the proud intellectual capital of the country. The city has made outstanding contribution to the country in the field of arts, sciences, medicine, social reform and literature. The city retains some of the most striking colonial buildings of the country. It used to be the capital of the British East India Company and the evidence of the British colonization persists there in the city. The Victoria Memorial is a grand edifice constructed in the memory of Queen Victoria. This building houses a number of rare specimens of the historical preserves of the land. Howrah Bridge is another landmark that denotes the city of joy. This hanging bridge is an architectural marvel of the country. The second largest planetarium in Asia, the Birla Planetarium is another site that attracts attention of all regardless of their age. The recently built Vidyasagar Setu, another architectural marvel, connects both the banks of the Hooghly River. The Metro Railway, Indian Museum, Dalhousie Square, St. Paul/’s Cathedral, National Library, Shaheed Minar, Eden Garden, Fort William, Rat Park and Marble Palace are some of the other sites of the city that are worth visiting. Overnight stay at the hotel. 

Day 3 - Kolkata / Bagdogra / Glenburn Tea Estate
(Flight # 9W: 617: 1220 / 1320 – operates daily)
Fly north - west to Bagdogra and then drive to Darjeeling for witnessing the sheer magnificence of mountains, unsullied and pristine, nothing compares with a visit to the famous hill station of Darjeeling in West Bengal. Even as you drive up the curvaceous roads or take the famous toy train to your destination, you will be awestruck by the resplendence of nature. From the humid plains, you suddenly fill your tired lungs with fresh mountain air. Gurgling streams rush past and in springtime, the ranges are flaming with rhododendrons. The ethnic population is friendly and the influence of Buddhism is strong. Past the Batasia loop, past the Ghoom Buddhist monastery, past the lush tea gardens, you finally arrive in a quaint town with slanting red roofs among the recent upsurge of concrete, peeping at you from behind lofty pines.

Like many other hill stations, Darjeeling rose into prominence during the British Raj when it was developed as a major rest and recreation centre. Until the 19th century, Darjeeling (derived from Dorje Ling, meaning the place of the thunderbolt) was part of Sikkim. In 1817, Sikkim conceded the rights to use the place as a health sanitarium to the British after they helped to settle a rather disastrous dispute between Sikkim and Nepal. The imprint of the English on Darjeeling is indelible and can be seen in its gardens, tea estates, hotels and a nostalgic lifestyle.  

Arrive at Bagdogra airport and the representative form the Glenburn Tea Estate will arrange for your transfer to Glenburn Tea Estate Two rivers and a valley, two leaves and a bud…..Acre upon acre of rolling tea bush and forest….A house on a hill, a Himalayan sunrise and a tea garden that still marches to a century-old beat…… Started by a Scottish tea company in 1860, Glenburn has now passed into the hands of one of India’s pioneering tea planting families – The Prakashes, who have over the years come to be known as the “Chaiwala family” – which literally means “tea planters”.

Glenburn – a name that literally describes what this 1,600 acre estate is – a river valley.  With breathtaking views of the Kanchenjunga Mountain Range, Glenburn stretches from an elevation of 3,700 feet, all the way down to the sandy banks of the two snow-fed Himalayan rivers that meander through it – The Rungeet and The Rung Dung.

Apart from the sprawling tea fields, Glenburn has forests that are a bird watcher and hiker’s paradise. Across the river lie the forests and villages of the old royal kingdom of Sikkim, which you can access via a hanging bridge.

Camp out, river raft, hike through the forest, wander around Darjeeling Town, explore the estate in a four-wheel drive vehicle, or simply take in the sun!  Visit The Glenburn Campsite for a picnic, barbeque or an overnight stay at The Glenburn Lodge, by the river Rungeet.  With acres of beautiful forests to explore, riverside and other in-house activities, and Darjeeling and Sikkim on our doorstep, a week at Glenburn could be truly relaxing, or action-packed with adventure

And to complete your Glenburn Experience, learn about the fascinating process of tea making.  From bush to factory - and into your tea cup at a tasting session, discover what goes into making a fine Darjeeling tea. Pamper yourself with a luxurious stay at The Burra Bungalow. 

Day 4 - At Glenburn Tea Estate
(Full day Tea Garden Walking Tour)

Morning you are taken on full day Tea Tour which can be adjusted to suit guest. Most of the walking is down hill, and the duration of walking can range from 1.5 hours to 3 hours, and difficulty from moderate to tough, depending on the route one takes.  Guests may also drive the entire route, stopping along the way for short walks at various points of interest. The tour starts with an audio-visual presentation on the history of Glenburn, and a brief overview of how tea is grown, manufactured and tasted.

Walk or drive through the tea fields with our Estate Manager, who will give you a comprehensive guided tour of how the tea bush is grown and looked after. Learn how to pluck the “two leaves and a bud” – that is later manufactured into the tealeaf that enters your teacup! Visit the Tea Nursery, where we cultivate our own young tea plants, learn about the different varieties of tea plants and how they are transplanted into the fields when ready. During the winter season, learn about the different types of pruning that is undertaken to increase the yield of the coming season. Interact with the Glenburn workers as you move from one part of the estate to another. 
Enjoy the multitude of bird life, butterflies and flora that add to the diverse landscape that makes up a tea estate. Catch a crab, or pick some watercress from the numerous springs that filter through the fields. Refreshments will be provided at a suitable mid-way point.
Break for Lunch at Section Number 10, on the banks of the River Rung Dung. Relax on the riverfront and paddle in the rock pools, while you enjoy your meal. Drive back up the hill to the Tea Factory for a guided tour on how the leaf is brought in from the fields, weighed, and then taken through the processes of Withering, Rolling, Fermenting, Drying and finally Sorting.

The day ends with a Tea Tasting Session, where one can discover the differences in aroma, flavour and appearance of tea manufactured in different ways, and during different times of the year. The session also includes tasting teas from other parts of India and the world, and examples of flavoured and blended teas. Pamper yourself with a luxurious stay at The Burra Bungalow.

Day 5 - At Glenburn Tea Estate
(Hike along the River Rungeet to Manjitar Village in Sikkim)
Walking is along a flat, well-defined path. Total walking time approx. 2 hours. A four-wheel drive jeep will take you down through the Simbong Forest to the River Rung Dung. Cross the river over a small suspension bridge, which takes you into the Badamtam Forest. Walk along the forest path, following the River Rungeet. On the way, our naturalist will help you identify the birds, butterflies, occasional animals, and the rich plant life found in the forest. You will also walk through a forest village, and have the option to walk down to the sandy banks of the river.

After about an hour’s walk, you will reach the Manjitar Suspension Footbridge, leading the way across the River Rungeet into the old royal kingdom of Sikkim. This spectacular structure was built by the British in 1902, after the original cane bridge was washed away by the floods of 1899. About 200 feet across, and at least 100 feet above the river, crossing this footbridge is an adventure in itself! A black and white photograph of the original cane bridge taken some time during the last century by Robert Phillips can be seen on the Glenburn front verandah.

Cross the bridge into Sikkim and wander around Manjitar Village, stop for a cup of tea in one of the village “dhaabas” (tea shops), and visit the local Shiv Temple. At 4:30 pm everyday, a volleyball match takes place between the local police force and the villagers. Our guests are welcomed as spectators, sipping cups of hot tea from the local "dhaaba". 

Lunch will be served picnic-style, somewhere along the way. The return journey follows the same route back, although one can also take the alternative “river beach” route, which is slightly tougher, and depends on the season and whether the river water level permits it.

Refreshments are served back at the Glenburn-Badamtam Bridge, where guests have a choice of walking to the Glenburn Campsite for the evening / night or driving back up to The Burra Bungalow. Pamper yourself with a luxurious stay at The Burra Bungalow.

Day 6 - At Glenburn Tea Estate
(Day Excursion to Darjeeling Town)
Steeped in British colonial history, the hill station of Darjeeling stands at a height of 6,000 feet, with the magnificent Mount Kanchenjunga as a backdrop. Take a ride on the famous Toy Train Railway from Darjeeling Town, through the picturesque Batasia Loop and then to the neighboring towns of Ghoom and Kurseong. Wander through the Mall, shop for local crafts and antiques along the way, drop into the famous Das Studios for a peek at their collection of old black and white photographs from the area, and stop for a cup of tea of coffee at Keventers or Glenary’s, two famous old cafeterias on the Mall. Visit the grand old Planters’ Club, once the Palace of a local Maharaja, and enjoy the views of the surrounding hillside (Glenburn included!) from Chowrasta, where the bandstand still conjures up old colonial memories of days gone by. Lunch can be taken at a number of places - Glenary’s has a nice cafeteria as well as a multi-cuisine restaurant, but you could also try a more typical local restaurant, for a traditional “momo and thugpa” meal. Whatever you feel like doing, our experienced guide will lead you to the right place!

In the afternoon, drive a little out of the main town to the Lebong Contonment area, where the original Lebong Race Course remains. Although not in use today, Glenburn horses once walked across the valley every Sunday to take part in the weekly races held here. Visit the Zoo - famous for its snow leopards and pandas, the renowned Himalyan Mountaineering Institute and the Gymkhana Club, and then drive back to Glenburn in time for dinner.

Day 7 - Glenburn Tea Estate / Newjalpaiguri / Delhi
(Train#: 2423 Dep.: 1230 / 1010+ – operates on Mon / Wed / Thu / Fri / Sun.) OR
(Train#: 2435 Dep.: 1230 / 1410 – operates on Tue / Sat) 

Departure transfer to train station at Newjalpai Guri to board overnight super fast express train for reaching next day at New Delhi; the capital city of India. Overnight on board overnight train.

Day 8 - Arrive Delhi
Depending on the arrival schedule of the train you are met at the New Delhi train station and given transfer to the Hotel. Delhi; Delhi is a city that defies a one-line description as the capital of India or as the capital of the world’s largest democracy. Actually, Delhi is India in miniature. Delhi is 32,87,263 sq. km of India’s fantastic variety compressed into 1483 sq. km Over the millennia, it has wooed rulers, attracted plunderers, and tried historians with so many details. Today, even as it preserves an enviable heritage, Delhi is a true cosmopolitan city always on the move.
Delhi remains the center of power. Once it was a city of royal power. Then it became the seat of colonial power. Later it was the seat of bureaucratic power. The seat of political power it has always been. Today it is emerging as an important center for corporate power too. However, the most fascinating aspect of this city is its cosmopolitan nature. Overnight stay at the hotel. 

Day 9 - At Delhi
Delhi is an international metropolis with excellent tourist spots, recreational facilities, and a history that goes back to antiquity. A remarkable feature of the city is the extent of greenery all over. Delhi is also a dream city for visitors looking for items of handicrafts, not only the rich artistic crafts of its own craftsmen but also of craftsmen from all over the country.
Delhi offers a multitude of interesting places and attractions to the visitor, so much so that it becomes difficult to decide from where to begin exploring the city. In Old Delhi, you’ll come across many mosques, forts, and other monuments that depict India’s Muslim history. The important places in Old Delhi includes the Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Chandni Chowk, Delhi Gate, and Raj Ghat and Shanti Vana, the last two being modern structures constructed after India’s Independence in 1947. New Delhi, on the other hand, is a modern city designed by Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker. It is a spacious, open city that houses many government buildings and embassies, besides places of historical interest. Notable attractions in New Delhi include the Rashtrapati Bhawan, India Gate, Laxminarayan Temple, Humayun’s Tomb, Purana Quila, Tughlaqabad, Qutab Minar, and Bahai Temple. Overnight stay at the hotel. 

Your magical India tours end today until we meet again to explore more! We transfer you to the airport according to flight timing.
* Have a nice tour in India…..*

(Please note: Flight / Train timings are indicative and subject to change. Taj Mahal is closed on Friday’s. Elephanta Caves in Mumbai are closed on Monday’s. Travel time intra – cities are indicative only)

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