Sikkim & Kolkata cultural tour in India

“Nine day tailor made tour linking Sikkim & Kolkata via a domestic flight to offer travellers an immersive cultural experience within the remote villages of eastern India.”


Kolkata | Bagdogra | Bhutanese village in Sikkim | Bengali cooking experience | hiking and wildlife watching | tribal storytelling | hands-on organic farming | Darjeeling | Himalayan railway journey |

Description of Sikkim & Kolkata cultural tour in India

This nine day cultural tour takes travellers on a tailor made adventure into two of Indiaís lesser-visited regions, Sikkim & Kolhata, with a domestic flight in between making short shrift of distances so as to invite an efficient and exciting experience close to the borders of Bhutan and Nepal.

Throughout the tour youíll be invited into the villages of Limbu and Lepcha as well as finding out more about the tribal traditions of Bhutanese that have made the eastern state of Sikkim their home.

We value storytelling over traditional sightseeing as we think this promotes interaction with local people, on their level, rather than a more voyeuristic approach. Listening to locally told tales also keeps the spirit of the past alive as well as providing a deeper understanding of the history of an area, something that a guide book can rarely express with quite as much personal passion and entertaining insight.

The chance to stay overnight in the more remote villages of Sikkim & Kolkata is another example of how strongly we value cultural interaction and joining in with day-to-day activities, such as cooking, handicrafts, singing and dancing, is also a great way to become immersed in life, like a local, rather than just another observational tourist.

As Sikkim is Indiaís premier state for organic agriculture youíll be introduced to a traditional way of life from a sustainable perspective as well as marvelling at the likes of Kanchenjunga mountain and the natural beauty of Maenama Wildlife Sanctuary in the south of Sikkim.

Time spent in and around Kolkata (formally Calcutta) creates an authentic taste of eastern India with immersive culinary experiences combining with storytelling and interaction with local people to add to the authenticity of exploring in one of Indiaís most culturally enlightening Bengali capitals.

As this is a tailor made nine day tour youíll be invited to explore and discover at a pace that suits you however, donít expect to be rushing from one place to the next, far from it, this is a tour that invites pause for thought as well as organic experiences that reveal themselves piece by piece, thread by thread.

We pride ourselves on transparency, with no hidden costs, and encourage two way contact with our core team of tour operators rather than being passed from one member of staff to the next. We value storytelling over typical sightseeing and base our itineraries around these sorts of experiences so as to aid genuine cultural interaction for responsible travellers as well as first-class experiences to remember for all times.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

We follow our environmental conservation policy while executing this trip to minimize the negative impact of tourism. Some of the points are -

a) Our vehicles are of BS-IV standard (equivalent to Euro 4) emission norms. It is currently the national emission standard followed in India
b) Our drivers drive responsibly in mountains. This not only ensures your safety, but also keeps in check the fuel consumption
c) During the hikes and village walks, you will see impeccable clean villages and houses that have always been practicing environment friendly waste management. All the accommodations you stay are small family run places that use compost based waste disposal system
d) We don't encourage use of plastic carry bags or non-biodegradable plastic bottles. We provide other alternatives to you at the start of your trip that not only are re-usable but also safer options
e) Raw material for your meals is sourced from local farms. It is organic, fresh and is not transported in vehicles from long distances, thereby reducing the consumption of fuel

The Impacts of this Trip

Under our community development policy, we execute the holiday in such a way that it provides direct financial support to them. It also helps in forming a closer, more meaningful connect between you and the local communities. At every point, you will get a clear sense of how your money is supporting local community. And we are open to any questions from you during the trip.

a) We execute small groups in order to be conscious about the consumption of natural and human resources of the village
b) We are using local homestays which are run by the families themselves. This not only gives you a very authentic experience, but also helps the community directly. Facilities like cleanliness, food quality and safety are taken care of
c) In case you wish to buy any souvenir, we encourage you to do that from local craft centers owned by SHGs
d) We have trained students from secondary schools to be local tour guides. These children of age group 17-19 are from local community and work part time on rotation basis for extra income. Rotation system ensures that their studies are not impacted
e) Part of what you pay goes directly to the community development fund which is used in plantation of trees, maintenance of homestays and as emergency fund
f) We encourage mutual respect between travellers and locals. We do not support or conduct engaging activities with young school children


3 Reviews of Sikkim & Kolkata cultural tour in India

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 03 Oct 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Homestays, particularly in Sikkim, where we loved the mountains. The drivers were excellent too.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Do take more than just sandals and light shoes: we took our walking boots and they were invaluable. You will struggle to spend money!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, particularly in Sikkim (we also spent a week in Meghalaya)

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent - well planned by the local agents.

Reviewed on 18 Jul 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

I thoroughly enjoyed staying with a Kolkata family, eating together, sharing experiences and being extremely well looked after.
The home stay arrangements were thoughtful and also flexible. The two historical tours that I did were fascinating, conducted by a very switched-on young guide.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

If you have a connecting flight through an Indian airport remember to collect your luggage, go through customs, and check it back in!!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I think the historical tours support cultural conservation. The trip organiser kindly supplied a reusable filter water bottle. Otherwise quite a bit of driving, inevitably.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Very rewarding. Genuinely caring organisation behind it.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you Joan for coming over. :)

Reviewed on 29 Dec 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Taking a traditional, herb-infused hot stone bath outside overlooking the valley Driving on the roads was also either thrilling (the views) or terrifying (the conditions). Luckily our driver was highly skilled. Donít always expect seat belts by the way.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be prepared to be welcomed enthusiastically. And remember to take warm clothes. It can get chilly up in the mountains.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Definitely. Incomes are low and life is close to subsistence level. Staying with these families who share the financial benefits makes a significant difference to them.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Unique! Brilliant. Do it!!

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you Katherine. Having you and Sara with us was an absolute delight. We are happy to know that you took back beautiful memories from India, and left a positive impact locally. Regarding your feedback on seat belt, we had given instruction to wear it as part of our training. However, it seems a refresher training is required now. We will take care of that. Do visit us again :)

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