For a really exciting and adventurous holiday, full of new and diverse experiences why not consider one of the many wonderful walking holidays in northwest India and Bhutan? This area is made up of three main areas, the tea picking region of Darjeeling, the once independent state of Sikkim and the still separate country of Bhutan. Although the area is made up of three distinct parts, when exploring on foot a unique region perfect for satiating the discerning traveller’s appetite transpires.
The Secret of Bhutan
There are only a limited number of visitors permitted to undertake Bhutan tours every year and as one of the lucky few you can’t help but feel extremely privileged at having the opportunity to discover a fascinating and relatively unknown area of our planet. Very few walking holidays are permitted access to the country which has in turn meant that the natural environment has been perfectly preserved and western influence has been kept at bay. Days trekking through Bhutan will see you exploring tiny hillside villages and getting a glimpse into the real heart of Bhutanese culture and heritage, something the locals have hung steadfastly to throughout the ages. Phuntsholing is the commercial centre of the country and is know as The Gateway to Bhutan, while a visit to Thimpu is rewarded with an abundance of cultural delights. One of the best treks in the area is the ascent up to Tiger’s Nest Monastery, perched high above the Paro Valley and boasting a simply breath-taking panorama.
The Spirit of Sikkim
The magic of Sikkim should not be missed. Arguably one of the most spiritual places in the Buddhist world, here you can delve into the religion’s deep history and visit some of the oldest and most well known monasteries in the country. Sikkim also boasts some excellent trekking opportunities and walking holidays in the area will see you exploring wild and rugged mountains and discovering tiny remote villages and farms.
Take Tea in Darjeeling
Typical of the Raj era so evident in India, Darjeeling is a special place that deserves a few days stay. The proud colonial buildings still stand in their unforgotten glory and are tastefully interspersed with vibrant temples and colourful shrines. This part of India produces some of the finest teas in the world and the industry is still going strong today. You can visit a tea planation and learn about the process before indulging in some of the best tea you will ever taste. People from all over the Himalayas have moved into the area to work the tea plantations and the town has rapidly become quite a vivacious mix of cultures and communities.
Embarking on one of the many walking holidays in India is an exciting prospect. With such a different culture and diverse environment, incredible scenery and fascinating history, make sure you take your time exploring and making the most of every new experience and exciting adventure. Sit back and appreciate the strong will with which the country seems to stand still in time and hold onto its roots and yet conversely how it reaches out to embrace the changing times and make its way in the 21st century.