Tibetan Temple Trek
- Price from:
- 419 GBP /person
- 01273 322044
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- Credit Card
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Last updated: 02/19/2009
From the green hills of Darjeeling, listen to the chanting of Tibetan monks as you trek through tiny villages in the foothills of the majestic Himalayas. Easy going hiking well off the beaten track!
Darjeeling - PellingThis module begins in Darjeeling and, on the first day, you'll drive north to western Sikkim. On the way, you'll pass the rich, green tea fields for which the entire Darjeeling region is famous. As Sikkim lies at a lower altitude than Ladakh in northwest India, the countryside here is plusher, with dozens of little streams trickling down the valleys between hills. After approximately 4-hours, you'll reach the tiny village of Pelling, a short walk from the town of Pemayangtse. You'll spend your first night in Pelling, and from your hotel window you'll have a breathtaking view of the third highest mountain in the world - Mount Kanchenjunga.
Pelling - Monastery hike After breakfast, you'll set out on foot to visit two Buddhist monasteries close to Pelling. First, your guide will lead you on the 3km hike to Sanga Choling Monastery, perched on top of a hill. It will take you no more than an hour to trek up to the monastery along a narrow path, and it's definitely worth the effort. This is the oldest monastery in Sikkim, giving you magnificent views of the verdant foothills and the imposing mountains behind them.
Pemayantse Monastery, one of the most important in Sikkim lies hidden between two high snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas that reach over 2000 metres. Again, you'll reach the monastery on foot, which is home to more than 100 monks and is also a religious school for Buddhist studies. The isolated position of the monastery has enabled its wonderful preservation, so you can gaze in awe at the amazing colourful murals, finely detailed wood carvings, prayer wheels Buddha images that cover the three floors of the building. It is incredible to think that all of this is detailed work was done by hand.
Pelling - Yuksum Journey time: 1Â½ hours by car, 4 hours on foot, 1 hour by carAfter breakfast this morning, you'll hop in the car and head off to Lake Khechepori. This is a holy place for Indians from Sikkim, surrounded by fluttering prayer flags and grasses that whip about in the wind. From here, you'll begin your hike to the little mountain village of Yuksom. At first, the path will be pretty level, but you'll head downhill, passing through tiny settlements on your way. The original inhabitants of Sikkim - the Lepchas - live in these remote villages, retaining their own language and customs.
After a hearty hike, you'll complete the last part of the journey to Yuksum by car. There's a real rural feel to the village with hens, goats and cows wandering free. The local area is very green and almost jungly, interspersed with arable fields and meadows. The locals try to sell their produce in small wooden houses, and there are charming restaurants where, under the lean-to roof, you can watch the fireflies that often light the village in the evenings. You'll stay in a hotel that is rather like a big farmhouse. The rooms are welcoming and comfortably furnished. From the lovely terraced garden, you'll have a great view of tea plantations backed by snow-capped peaks.
Yuksum - Tashinding - Ravangla This morning, you'll grab your backpack, ready for the hike to Tashinding. The path from Yuksum rises steeply to the top of the hill where Tashinding Monastery proudly surveys the local area. At the start of the 2Â½km walk, you'll pass through woodland and gradually see the tops of the mighty Himalaya range appear through the trees.
Tashinding Monastery was built in the 17th century and is revered as the most holy monastery in Sikkim. As well as the temple and stupas, you'll find craft workshops where woodcarvings of Buddhist mantras are made. From the front gate of the temple, you can hear the monks chanting these mantras, which sound rather like a mystical low murmuring. After the ceremony, you can enter the temple yourself and see the many murals. There's also a large statue of the historic Buddha. Your day will end in Ravangla, where you'll stay in a hotel on a hill top, with stunning views of Mount Narsingh. The surrounding fields are a mass of brightly coloured flowers and the atmosphere is serene and peaceful.
Ravangla - End of the module After breakfast this morning, the module ends in Ravangla. From here, you can travel back to Darjeeling or stay and explore this fascinating area further with our Treasures of Sikkim module. We can arrange the transfer for you â just ask one of our travel specialists.
If you would like to explore colourful Rajasthan, then you can travel to Delhi or Kolkata for an internal flight. The same applies if you're planning to finish your trip on the tropical beaches of Goa or perhaps even the paradise islands of the Maldives.
- Inclusions -
- Accommodation with breakfast, excursions with guide, transport by private car
- Exclusions -
- International flight
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