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Rooftop of the World

  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Fares
  • Accommodation

A journey overview

  • Kolkata
  • Darjeeling
  • The Himalayas
  • Thimphu
  • Paro
  • Kathmandu
  • Chitwan
  • Pokhara
  • Lhasa

20 Days Explorations Select Season:
  • Departing:
  • 2 Oct 2020

The people of the Himalayas exude a warmth that belies the forbidding peaks their countries are built around. Explore India, Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet. Prepare for immersion into a way of life enthrallingly alien to our own.

Close up of leopard sitting in tree, Ceylon, Sri Lanka
Close up of leopard sitting in tree, Ceylon, Sri Lanka

Chitwan National Park

Explore Nepal's Royal Chitwan National Park by canoe and look out for-horned rhinoceroses, deer, monkeys and the occasional leopard and Bengal tiger.


We arrive in Kolkata as evening descends. The urban sprawl glows bright in the steamy heat of the night as we make our way to the Oberoi Grand, our home for two nights. Delve deeply beneath the surface of the city with a guide, who leads us to such places as the Victoria Memorial, St Paul’s Cathedral and Mother Teresa’s House. Come evening, we enjoy our hotel’s legendary hospitality at a special welcome feast.

A flight delivers us to Bagdogra, in the Darjeeling district. By road, we make the approach to our hotel, with rolling hills of tea plantations stretching out as far as the eye can see, while the Himalayas form a snowy backdrop. At Tiger Hill, you may choose to catch a magnificent sunrise, along with awe-inspiring views of Kangchenjunga. Alternatively, take a ride on the antiquated ‘toy steam train’ of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.

We cross the border into Bhutan and acquaint ourselves with the Kharbandi Monastery, known for its lines of prayer flags, bells and prayer wheels. A scenic drive then takes us to Thimphu, where we visit Kuensel Phodrong, a colossal Buddha statue. From here, we enjoy breathtaking views of the Thimphu Valley. From Thimphu, we gain altitude towards the Dochula Pass, before reaching Wangdue Phodrang Dzong, a distinctive, white-walled monastery.

Some of Bhutan’s finest works of art are revealed at the National Museum of Bhutan. A rare opportunity then presents itself as we take to the field for a friendly match against local archers. Using altogether different muscle fibres, we set out on a strenuous hike to Tiger’s Nest – the sacred Taktsang monastery – built into cliffs 900 metres above Paro Valley. For those fit enough to make the full ascent, the rewards are unmatched.

A flight takes us to Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu. Here, we visit Boudhanath Stupa, the World Heritage-listed Buddhist monument. A once-in-a-lifetime scenic flight is then ours to savour. We soak in views of numerous peaks, yet none so spectacular as those belonging to Mt Everest, which we soar close by. Shortly thereafter, we arrive at Chitwan National Park, where we find one-horned rhinoceroses, monkeys and the occasional leopard.

Admire the Nepali countryside as we make our way to Pokhara. Choose to go hang gliding, hike to the World Peace Pagoda or take an ultralight flight – all offer breathtaking views of Pokhara. We then pay a visit to one of the holiest places for Hindus in Nepal, the Bindebasini Temple. Returning to Kathmandu, magnificent views of Annapurna are on the cards.

After flying into Lhasa, we pass by nomadic herders and their yaks, en route to the Shangri-La Hotel. Having acclimatised to the altitude, we visit Sera Monastery, considered one of the most important teaching monasteries in Tibet. Potala Palace then demands our attention. Once the residence of the Dalai Lama, 432 steps lead to the magnificent building, which contains palaces, chapels and pavilions surrounded by manmade lakes and gardens.

We spend our final morning in Lhasa relaxing, before saying goodbye to our fellow guests.


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