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Rooftop of the World

  • Overview
  • Accommodation
  • Itinerary
  • Fares

A journey overview

  • Kathmandu
  • Chitwan National Park
  • Thimphu
  • Punakha
  • Paro
  • Kurseong
  • Kolkata

18 Days Exploration
  • Departing:
  • 15 Feb 2025 Less than 5 places remain

In the Himalayas, people exude a warmth that belies the forbidding peaks their countries are built around. On this journey, we also observe wildlife in abundance and celebrate the culture of tea in the hills of Darjeeling. Our explorations are complemented with stays in residences that embrace the natural beauty of their surrounds. This immersion of Nepal, Bhutan and India is reserved for just 24 guests.

Rooftop of the World Map

Your private transfer collects you from Kathmandu’s airport and brings you to Dwarika’s Hotel. Take the rest of the day at leisure to acquaint yourself with our luxurious residence. This evening, we get to know each other during an exclusive poolside event and Welcome Dinner.

Begin the day with an optional and spectacular helicopter flight, during which you will take in close-up views of Mount Everest. Touch down at Kongde Lodge, from where you will enjoy further awe-inspiring views of the surrounding Himalayas. Then, savour the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to dine in this sublime setting, toasting your experience with a glass of sparkling wine. Your helicopter will then whisk you back to Kathmandu in time for lunch at our hotel. At Durbar Square, we see examples of traditional architecture dating to the 11th century. Nearby, the 13 stages of nirvana are reflected in the tiered structure of Swayambhunath Stupa. A rickshaw rider then brings us to Thamel, a thriving shopping and entertainment district. Here, an abundance of eateries and souvenir shops occupy a network of narrow streets. A six-course Nepalese gastronomic affair awaits us back at Dwarika’s Hotel this evening.

A short drive this morning sees us arriving in Bhaktapur, Nepal’s former capital. The main square here features the landmark known as 55 Window Palace, exquisitely designed in the traditional Newari style. An abundance of other monuments, palaces and temples inhabit the district, and we set out to discover the most captivating of them this morning. After lunch, we return to Kathmandu for a visit to Pashupatinath Temple, Nepal’s most revered. Occupying a position along the Bagmati River, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and dates back to 400 AD. Close by, we see Boudhanath Stupa, a World Heritage-listed Buddhist monument that dominated Kathmandu’s skyline. We are then offered the chance to participate in a private blessing ceremony with a high lama at a nearby monastery, with the further opportunity to meditate with one of the resident monks. Dine at your choice of our hotel’s three restaurants tonight, with Nepalese, Japanese and international cuisine all on offer.

A brief economy class flight delivers us to Bharatpur this morning. From here, we take the road to our remote residence, Taj Meghauli Serai. This afternoon, climb aboard a traditional dugout canoe and float along the tranquil Rapti River, keeping watch for crocodiles, and other reptiles, resting along the riverbank. After a while, we step ashore to navigate the jungles of Chitwan National Park on foot. Our expert naturalist guides take us to locations where deer, rhinos and sloth bears are known to congregate. Along the way, we also learn about the subtropical flora and wildlife species making their home here. On returning to our hotel, we enjoy the flavoursome dishes of local Tharu cuisine.

The wonders of Chitwan National Park are ours to discover today, with morning and afternoon game viewings by 4WD. Our naturalist guide scours the park’s thriving jungle, searching for rhinos, monkeys, leopards and tigers, which we view from the safety of our vehicle. Afterwards, we refuel with lunch and dinner at our hotel.

After breakfast, we make our return to Bharatpur, where we join a scheduled flight for our return to Kathmandu. Welcomed back to Dwarika’s Hotel, you are free to take the afternoon at leisure. You may otherwise like to join us for the short drive to the town of Patan, also known as Lalitpur, ‘the City of Beauty’. Joining a heritage walk, our gaze is met by soaring temples and ornate monuments seldom visited by other travellers. Following our explorations, we return to our hotel in Kathmandu.

This morning, a scheduled flight takes us to Paro in Bhutan. From here, we wind our way along mountainous roads to arrive in the country’s capital, Thimphu. Check into Six Senses Thimphu, which overlooks the vast Himalayan valley below. This residence literally brings our appreciation for luxury to new heights. On our first outing, we turn our attention to the Buddha Dordenma, a colossal statue occupying a prominent position high above the valley. We time our visit to capture glimpses of this commanding bronze figure as the sun descends majestically beyond the horizon. Later this evening, we hear from a respected Buddhist scholar on Bhutan’s philosophy of Gross National Happiness.

Today’s adventures begin as we head to the National Memorial Chorten. This is the focal point of daily worship for many Bhutanese people. We linger here a while to soak up the atmosphere. We then admire the delicate mastery employed by weavers at the nearby Royal Textile Academy. 

Following lunch at a local restaurant, we visit the Folk Heritage Museum. Here, a series of exhibits and demonstrations illuminate the history and culture of rural Bhutanese life. At the National Institute for Zorig Chusum, which teaches the 13 traditional arts, we see the work of students, including painting, woodcarving and embroidery. We then greet the imposing white facade of the Trashi Chhoe Dzong. Thimphu’s most impressive building was once the site of Bhutan’s National Assembly. Offices now here include those for the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs, as well as the Ministry for Finance, while one of them is reserved for the king himself. After our comprehensive day of touring, we relax at Six Senses Thimphu, where we enjoy a nourishing dinner.

After breakfast this morning, we drive toward Punakha. Along the way, we navigate the Dochula Pass, which is graced with 108 stupas, erected to honour the memory of fallen Bhutanese soldiers. We then continue to Six Senses Punakha, also known as the ‘Flying Farmhouse Amidst the Rice Fields.’ A drive this afternoon delivers us to Chimi Lhakhang, a temple which is viewed as a wellspring of fertility. Here, blessings are frequently sought by couples seeking to have children.

Set out on a relatively easy hike, crossing paddy fields and ascending a modestly sized hill, to reach Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten. Idyllically set upon a small section of manicured grass, amid flourishing hillside scenery, this chorten was built to ward off evil spirits, while imparting peace and harmony to all. After making our way further down the road, we then find Punakha Dzong, sitting resplendent at the confluence of the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers. The majestic monastery stands as a landmark to persistence, having been rebuilt several times due to the ravages of fire, earthquakes and flood. Six Senses Punakha welcomes our return this evening with a dinner of inspired regional cuisine.

An entire day spent at leisure gives us the chance to indulge on our own terms. Discover Punakha’s nearby villages, head out on a walk through the blissful, forested surrounds of our accommodation, or perhaps give yourself over to the expert hands of the practitioners at Six Senses Spa.

This morning, we drive to Paro. Our transport takes us high above steep valleys brimming with pine forests and we enjoy incredible photo opportunities of the eastern Himalayas. Enveloped in forest-clad mountains, Six Senses Paro welcomes us, its old-world stone walls belying the opulence awaiting within. After settling in, we embark on an afternoon drive. Soon, we see the imposing facade of Rinpung Dzong. Comprising several buildings, the ancient fortress is renowned as one of the finest examples of Bhutanese architecture. Nearby, we find the Ta Dzong watchtower, which today serves as the National Museum of Bhutan. Inside is a collection of Tibetan Buddhist paintings, depicting revered teachers and saints. Also on display is a range of colourful masks used during the traditional Tshechu Festival.

Our Six Senses breakfast serves as fuel today. The sacred Taktsang monastery, or Tiger’s Nest, is built into vertical cliffs 900 metres above Paro Valley. To visit, we must hike up from the valley floor. While the high altitude certainly makes for a strenuous advance, the walk offers spectacular views of the monastery and the valley below. Those who rise early will have time to accomplish the full ascent to Tiger’s Nest, where the rewards are unmatched. Our pilgrimage complete, we are returned to Six Senses for lunch and a well-deserved afternoon at leisure.

We transfer to the airport this morning for our flight to India. Having been met at Bagdogra Airport, we are then driven to Kurseong, within the famous tea district of Darjeeling. On arrival, we check into the Taj Chia Kutir Resort & Spa, spectacularly built into a terraced hillside. Occupying the lush grounds of the Makaibari Tea Estate, the resort affords us astonishing views of the valley below. In the afternoon, we meet with a resident connoisseur for a tea tasting. Learn about the comprehensive process of tea production, as well as the secrets behind its diverse flavours. Dine within our resort this evening, enjoying flavoursome, regionally inspired cuisine.

Greet the day with an optional morning trek across the Makaibari tea estate. The lush grounds wind their way along the contours of the mountainous landscape, inviting us to explore forest paths, bamboo bridges and creeks brimming with pure spring water. At the nearby Makaibari tea factory, we see age-old, reliable processes being carried out by the estate’s dedicated staff. The tea blended within this modest wood and cast-iron structure is served within the president’s residence in New Delhi, and even at Buckingham Palace. Learn the procedures behind the tea grading process of the estate’s master tea blenders. 

Following breakfast back at our hotel, we take a drive to Darjeeling. Known as ‘The Queen of Hills’, this mountainous region is renowned and revered for its tea. While here, we pay a visit to the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, founded in commemoration of the first successful ascent of Mount Everest. At Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, we observe snow leopards, Siberian tigers, Himalayan black bears and Tibetan wolves. Following lunch at local establishment Glenary’s, we head to the station for the short, but celebrated, rail journey from Darjeeling to Ghoom. We also visit Ghoom Gompa, a mist-shrouded monastery perched atop a hill between the two stations. At the conclusion of our eventful day, we return to our hotel for dinner.

This morning, a southbound economy class flight brings us to Kolkata, long regarded India’s cultural capital. On arrival, we check into the ITC Royal Bengal. Relax within your Towers Exclusive room and discover the facilities of the hotel before this evening’s dinner.

Rise early this morning, as we set out for the Mallik Ghat Flower Market. Here, petals and garlands of bright blooms adorn a pathway past a multitude of individual stallholders. Afterwards, at Dalhousie Square, we see a succession of historical buildings, including the Raj Bhavan, the General Post Office, Kolkata High Court, and St John’s Church. Pausing for lunch at the famous Oh! Calcutta restaurant, we sample its delicious Bengali cuisine. 

We then visit Victoria Memorial, a staggering white marble structure, built in honour of Queen Victoria. Close by, we find the Marble Palace, a neoclassical mansion housing great works of art by Rubens and Titian. Our day culminates with a visit to the Mother House of the Missionaries of Charity. At this former residence of Mother Teresa, learn about the important work still being carried out by the missionaries of Kolkata and look upon the tomb of Mother Teresa. This evening, beneath gently swaying palms, we enjoy a poolside barbecue and Farewell Dinner at our palatial hotel.

Our journey concludes this morning following a final breakfast at our hotel and a transfer to Kolkata’s airport.

Brochure