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Kolkata To Kathmandu
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Asia is the continent where overlanding all started, and Dragoman has been the leading operator there since our first trucks went through in the 1980s - take advantage of our years of experience and come with us as we include all the must-see attractions as well as heading into the wilds, well away from the usual tourist trail. This wonderful holiday-length adventure starts in the bustling, colouful streets of Kolkata, the hectic colonial-era capital. We escape the city to ascend to the cool, tea-growing hills of Darjeeling, and then to the serene paradise of Karmi Farm, an Anglo-Indian homestay and community project which is an ideal spot in which to relax, take in the surrounding views, and visit the Dragoman-supported clinic that has been set up with help from our donations. Heading into the mountainous province of Sikkim, we stay in the fantastic Tibetan-influenced town of Gangtok and visit the atmospheric Rumtek Monastery. Finally we will overland through the rarely-visited southern regions of Nepal to explore the beautiful forests of Chitwan, enjoy some fantastic camping and optional activities at the Royal Beach Camp, and then arrive in the evocative traveller's haven of Kathmandu. Join Dragoman on this wonderful and unforgettable overlanding experience!


Duration: 16 Days Guaranteed Departure: Yes
For lovers of: Community Project, Trekking, Hiking, Parks & Nature Reserves Physical rating: Average
Accommodation standard:   Budget% Traveller Tour Rating: 80.0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 158128
Starts: Kolkata, India Finishes: Kathmandu, Nepal
You will Visit
  • Kolkata
  • Overnight train to Siliguri
  • Darjeeling
  • Karmi Farm
  • Gangtok
  • Barhara
  • Chitwan National Park
  • Khatauti Khola
  • Kathmandu

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Kolkata

Border Information: If you are joining the trip in Kolkata, you will most likely enter India at Kolkata Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport (IATA code: CCU).

Today is a free day to explore the sights, sounds and flavours of the incredible city of Kolkata. There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm - please look for a note from your tour leader when you arrive at the hotel giving more details about this meeting.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Kolkata before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Kolkata.

In Kolkata we will stay in a comfortable hotel.

02

Day 2: Kolkata

During the day we will have free time to independently explore Kolkata, and we have the opportunity to take an optional photographical tour of the city.

Whilst in Kolkata, your leader will assist you in arranging you Sikkim permit (you will need to bring passport photos and a photocopy of your passport photo page).

We will meet in the evening to head to the train station and board our overnight train to Siliguri - accommodation tonight will be on the train, where there are basic bunk beds with sheets provided.

03

Day 3-5: Darjeeling

We will arrive into Siliguri at around 9:00am this morning, meeting our jeeps and drivers at the station for our onward journey through the narrow winding roads to Darjeeling. The town of Darjeeling is really more a collection of villages situated on a high ridge, linked by a series of steps and winding lanes and surrounded by rice and tea terraces.

Jeeps are used in this region rather than our overland truck as they are perfect for the narrow, steep and winding roads of the area. We will continue with the jeeps all the way until the trip returns to Siliguri (after Gangtok).

Estimated Drive Time (in jeeps) - 3-4 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

We will spend 3 nights in Darjeeling, giving us plenty of time to relax, enjoy the surrounding area and take part in some optional activities.

In Darjeeling we will stay in a local hotel.

04

Day 6-8: Karmi Farm

Today we will have one last free morning to explore Darjeeling. After lunch we will leave in our jeeps for Karmi Farm, a tea plantation located in a remote rural area nearby.

Estimated Drive Time (in jeeps) - 3-4 hours.

We will stay at Karmi Farm for 3 nights, which gives us lots of free time to enjoy some fantastic hikes around the region, visit the Karmi Farm Clinic charitable project, go bird watching and to relax and take in the stunning views from the lodge.

In Karmi Farm we will stay in a guest lodge.

05

Day 9-10: Gangtok

After breakfast we will leave Karmi Farm in our jeeps and continue to Gangtok, the hilltop capital of Sikkim.

Estimated Drive Time (in jeeps) - 5-7 hours.

On the following day we will have an included guided visit of the nearby Rumtek Dharma Monastery in the morning, leaving the afternoon free for you to independently explore Gangtok.

In Gangtok we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.

06

Day 11: Barhara

Border Information: Exit India at Kakarbhitta, enter Nepal at Kakarbhitta.

Today we travel in our jeeps back to Siliguri, where we will finally join our Dragoman overland truck! We will then drive over the border into Nepal and continue as far as we can.

We will aim to wild camp in the Himalayan foothills, probably near to the town of Barhara.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours in the jeeps, 4-6 hours on the truck.

07

Day 12-13: Chitwan National Park

Today we will continue our drive to reach Chitwan National Park.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-8 hours.

Whilst in Chitwan we will visit Bis Hajaar Tal, also known as 20,000 Lakes, which is a wetland area near the Royal Chitwan National Park. Here we will get the opportunity to see peacocks, wild boars, deer and there is also a slim chance of seeing tigers and rhinos.

On the following day we will explore the National Park by canoe and on foot, and there is the option to take a jeep safari! There will be an opportunity to see a traditional Nepali dance demonstration in the evening.

In Chitwan we will stay in a local guest lodge.

08

Day 14: Khatauti Khola

This morning we will journey uphill to Khatauti Khola, home to the Royal Beach Camp eco-adventure camp in the Nepalese mountains.

There are several optional activities on offer here for the afternoon such as kayaking, rafting, hiking and mountain biking.

In Khatauti Khola we will camp at the Royal Beach Camp.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

09

Day 15: Kathmandu

This morning we will spend some free time at the Royal Beach Camp to give us more time to take part in the optional adventure activities there, then after lunch we will drive the last stretch up to to Kathmandu, the evocative capital of Nepal.

In Kathmandu we stay in a comfortable local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 2-3 hours.

10

Day 16: Kathmandu

Border Information: If you are finishing your trip in Kathmandu, you will most likely exit Nepal at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (IATA code: KTM).

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Kathmandu. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Experience a local overnight train from Kolkata to Siliguri
    • Visit the Dragoman-supported clinic built and run by Karmi Farm, and see the valuable work they do to provide vital medical facilities to the villagers from the area
    • Stay at the beautiful and serene Karmi Farm, exploring the local villages, relaxing in a stunning grounds, and watching the birdlife
    • Visit the Do Drul Chorten Monastery near Gangtok, and see its beautiful stupa and 108 golden prayer wheels
    • Visit the museum containing many fascinating historical Tibetan religious relics at the Institute of Tibetology near Gangtok
    • Explore the incredible 18th-century Rumtek Monastery, the home of the Karmapa Lama, the spiritual head of the Karma Kagyu sect of Buddhism
    • Explore the village of Chitwan on a tour by traditional ox and cart
    • Witness the fascinating and impressive local tradition of Tharu stick dancing
    • Canoe through the rivers of the Chitwan National Park, and explore the area on a walking safari in search of rhino and other wildlife
    • Take a jeep safari around the stunning wetland area of 20,000 Lakes
    Tour Staff
    • 2 crew with local guides as necessary
    Accomodation
    • 10% Camping - 90% Hotels
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Tour Highlights:
  • Adventure Activities
  • Community Project
  • Hiking & Trekking
  • Nature & Wildlife
  • Overland Journey


Reviews (5)
William O. Posted on: 

Tents easy to put up, I was on cooking team and enough of equipment to cater for our group, we even cooked dessert :-)

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Karen Skau H. Posted on: 

Gino was a superb guide for us. Very caring and empathic.

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Simone E. Posted on: 

Gino and Jim kept the vehicle and equipment in excellent condition.

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Thomas G. Posted on: 

Very spacious. Loved the huge windows and the mp3 in the back

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Margarita M. Posted on: 

Nice, motivated and motivating, helpful, best team I can imagine

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