Dec 062017
 

West Bengal is a state in eastern India and is the nation’s fourth-most populous state, with over 91 million inhabitants. Spread over 34,267 sq. miles, it is bordered by the countries of Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan, and the Indian states of Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Sikkim, and Assam. The state capital is Kolkata. Together with the neighbouring nation of Bangladesh, it makes up the ethno-linguistic region of Bengal.

  • Kolkata - Flower Market

    Kolkata – Flower Market

  • Kolkata - Howrah Bridge

    Kolkata – Howrah Bridge

  • Sunderbans

    Sunderbans

  • Kolkata - Victoria Memorial

    Kolkata – Victoria Memorial

  • Kolkata - Vegetable Market

    Kolkata – Vegetable Market

  • St John\'s Church - Viceroy\'s room

    St John\’s Church – Viceroy\’s room

  • Sunderbans

    Sunderbans

  • Kolkata - Vegetable Market

    Kolkata – Vegetable Market

  • Darjeeling - Glenburn

    Darjeeling – Glenburn

  • Kolkata - Vegetable Market

    Kolkata – Vegetable Market

  • Darjeeling - Glenburn

    Darjeeling – Glenburn

  • Darjeeling - Glenburn

    Darjeeling – Glenburn

  • Darjeeling

    Darjeeling

  • Kolkata - Flower Market

    Kolkata – Flower Market

  • Kolkata - Vegetable Market

    Kolkata – Vegetable Market

The state capital, Kolkata is less developed than the likes of Delhi and is full of character and history, waiting to be explored.  For now, it retains a feel of the British Raj, although some of the buildings are in a state of decay, so this charm may soon be lost.  Easily accessible from Kolkata, the Sundarbans are a vast protected mangrove region and home to the elusive Bengal Tiger.  They are best explored by a two night cruise. The north of the state features mountainous terrain and rolling tea plantations, the famous British hill station of Darjeeling and the Himalayan Express narrow gauge railway.  From ‘mountains to mangroves’, West Bengal has a lot to offer and offers a truly authentic experience amongst some of the friendliest people in India.

About

Darjeeling
 IMG_1882Once a summer resort for the British Raj, Darjeeling is still one of India’s most popular hill stations. It is surrounded by tea plantations that produce prized light coloured, floral smelling tea – around 25% of India’s total tea output comes from Darjeeling.   In addition, it’s blessed with a stunning view of Mount Kanchenjunga, the world’s third highest peak. Some of Darjeeling’s most popular attractions include the narrow-gauge Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, or “Toy Train”, monasteries, temples, botanical gardens, a zoo, and the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. Darjeeling is a wonderful place to walk around, and explore the tea estates, villages, and markets. 
Kolkata
P1230076Kolkata is a city often overlooked by tourists when visiting India, yet we think you will find it to be one of the most authentic and fascinating places you’ll experience.India’s second-biggest city, also known as the City of Joy, Kolkata is a daily festival of human existence, simultaneously noble and squalid, cultured and desperate. By its old spelling, Calcutta conjures up images of human suffering to most Westerners due to the Black Hole of Calcutta incident. But locally, Kolkata is regarded as India’s intellectual and cultural capital. While poverty is certainly in existence, the dapper Bengali gentry continue to frequent grand old gentlemen’s clubs, back horses at the Calcutta Racetrack and tee off at some of India’s finest golf courses.
Kurseong
places_kurseong_innerLocated halfway between Siliguri and Darjeeling, on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway line, the secluded hill station of Kurseong has a quiet charm. It is smaller than Darjeeling, with a milder climate because of its lower altitude. Set amidst tea gardens, with lush vegetation and a picturesque lake, Kurseong is known for its natural beauty. According to local legend, it gets its name from kurson-rip, a beautiful wild orchid found in the area.Kurseong is ideal for walks and treks. The trek from Mirik to Kurseong which takes about eight hours, runs through tea estates, orange orchards, cardamom plantations and small villages, and has spectacular views of the valley. Similarly, the five hour walk to Ghoom is also beautiful, winding along a ridge which runs through a thick, shaded forest.
Sunderbans
P1230197The Sunderbans are the largest mangrove forest in the world, stretching 80 km (50 miles) into the Bangladeshi and Indian hinterland from the coast. The Sunderbans has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The forests aren’t just mangrove swamps; they include some of the last remaining stands of the mighty jungles which once covered the Gangetic plain. The Sunderbans cover an area of 10,500 sq km, of which about one-third is covered in water/marsh areas. Since 1966 the Sunderbans have been a wildlife sanctuary, and it is estimated that there are now 400 Royal Bengal tigers and about 30,000 spotted deer in the area. They are the only tigers known to live in mangrove forests and have adapted remarkably to the environment, becoming expert swimmers and feeding on fish. Other wildlife attractions include saltwater crocodiles, numerous species of birds and the Gangetic river dolphin which are common in the rivers.

Places to Stay

Kolkata
Oberoi Grand 
specialsdly known as the Grand Dame of Kolkata, The Oberoi Grand is situated in a prime location, unrivalled by other luxury hotels in Kolkata, near the central business district, bustling markets and cultural landmarks of the city. Dating back to the late 1880s, The Oberoi Grand, Kolkata was frequented by the country’s leading figures during colonial times and even now, hosts grand functions for Heads of State in the city’s largest pillarless Grand Ballroom. Guests looking for a luxury dining restaurant in Kolkata can choose between our award winning, authentic Thai restaurant, our all day dining space and our colonial style bar. Branching off the hotel’s naturally lit walkway, each restaurant is tastefully decorated, offers unparalleled fine dining and matchless service. The Oberoi Spa in Kolkata is open until late and offers a wide range of Eastern, Western and signature Oberoi treatments. Situated in a separate, colonial style wing of the hotel, it is a wonderful place to relax and unwind after a fulfilling day doing business or sightseeing in the City of Joy. The Oberoi Grand, Kolkata was the first hotel to be acquired by Rai Bahadur M.S. Oberoi, founder of The Oberoi Group. Under his ownership, it became known for its classic style and modern facilities; traditions we uphold.
 The Lalit Great Eastern 
Lalit Great EasternCentrally located on Dalhousie Square in the city’s main business and shopping district, the landmark Lalit Great Eastern Kolkata is one of the most celebrated hotels in Kolkata. Hailed as Asia’s first luxury hotel when it was first built in 1841, and referred to as the ‘jewel of the east’, it’s been recently restored to its former glory blending a trio of architectural styles – Victorian, Edwardian and contemporary. Unlike other luxury hotels in Kolkata, this elegant property retains the hallmarks of an unrivalled heritage. Historic features have been integrated into various facilities including the outdoor pool and full-service spa, the elegant ballroom with towering ceilings, the tea lounge with a sky-view roof, and the signature Alfresco restaurant overlooking an inner courtyard and beautiful lily pond. Airy soundproofed rooms and suites also blend traditional and contemporary design, and offer a range of premium facilities unparalleled in any other Kolkata hotels.
Darjeeling
Glenburn Tea Estate 
IMG_1926A 150 year old plantation house, and nearby 2 storey Waterlily Bungalow, situated on a small hilltop in a valley above the River Rungeet and close to Darjeeling. It is in the Himalayas at an altitude of 3700m (highest point on the estate) and is overlooked by Mount Kanchenjunga. Surrounded by 1000 acres of private forest and the working tea estate. The main bungalow has a wonderful, long verandah with comfortable chairs running across the front of it. One may also eat out on the verandah. Inside is a very cosy, ‘English-style’ sitting room and dining room where everyone eats together. In the Waterlily Bungalow there are also delightful indoor and outdoor sitting and dining areas. A perfect base for visiting Darjeeling and a chance to actually stay on a working tea estate which you cannot do anywhere else in India.
Kurseong
Cochrane Place
Cochrane Place PhotoNestled on the foothills of the Himalayas, Cochrane Place is the restored & renovated stately British colonial home of Percy John Cochrane, MBE. The moment you walk into the hotel, you realize that it’s different and has a strong character of its own. Every corner of this hotel reflects of the bygone era of the British colonial days and offers the old world charm. With high ceilings, wood panels, Burma teak made & hand crafted furnishing, wooden high doors and windows, large red carpets in the lounge and in rooms, it all feels as if you have gone back by a century to the British Raj days. To top it all, many rooms and the cafe offer excellent views of the surrounding mountains and tea gardens.
Sundarbans
Tiger Camp
Tiger Camp ResortThe resort is designed with a focus on comfort, art and relevance to the local culture and history. Accommodation includes huts, non-air-conditioned cottages, deluxe cottages, executive rooms and executive cottages. The interiors of the rooms are hand painted by a local artist depicting Sunderbans’ wildlife. The Camp is located on Dayapur Island on the banks of the River Pitchkhali opposite the Sunderbans Tiger Reserve. It is a comfortable resort for exploring the region’s fascinating mangrove forests, islands and wildlife. As this island has no electricity and fresh water available, guests are able to enjoy our hospitality through rainwater harvesting and solar energy. Guests can relax and enjoy the sun whilst cruising on the river or at the resort. For the more active visitors, our reception can organise tours around the Sunderbans region or special activities such as wildlife safaris, dingy boat rides and crab catching. The resort has a private lake where you can view migratory birds and go for special birding walks within the grounds.  You can even plant a tree with our gardeners. Visits to the local villages and cultural performances are also arranged.

Itineraries

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We organise itineraries specifically to your requirements. Do as much or as little as you like – the choice is yours. Local English speaking guides will ensure that you make the most of your sightseeing time. A private, air conditioned, chauffeur driven car will transport you between your chosen locations & provides an unforgettable experience in itself!

The tours below are examples of holidays we have sold frequently in the past. However, they can be altered, shortened, extended or added to as you require. Our aim is to devise the best holiday for your needs.

West Bengal Tour   (12 nights)