www.audleytravel.com/himalaya ?01993 838 345 ?Indian Himalaya39GLENBURN, NEARDARJEELINGSet amidst rolling tea plantations, with spectacularviews of the Himalayan mountain range, Glenburnhas eight beautifully decorated guestrooms splitbetween two bungalows. Located approximatelyone and a half hours' drive from Darjeeling, it is agood base from which to explore the former hillstation, as well as taking walks through the hills,having lunch by the Rangeet River, birdwatchingand fishing. The estate manager will happily teachyou the finer points of tea production on awalking tour of the estate and you can taste theresulting cup of Darjeeling while resting on theveranda and soaking in the mountain views.KalimpongA key link on the ancient Silk Route, Kalimpongwas an important trading town and still hasbustling markets, with traders coming from thelocal villages to sell their colourful produce. It isalso home to a number of monasteries fromdifferent branches of Buddhism. A walk throughthe surrounding hills offers the opportunity toescape the hustle and bustle of the town and totake lunch in a local village home. For thoseinterested in the natural landscape, the climate isideal for orchids, gladioli, dahlias, and the localnurseries make a fascinating visit.SikkimThe former Himalayan Kingdom of Sikkim isnestled deep in the foothills and overlooked bythe mighty Kanchenjunga, whose snow-cappedpeaks can be seen from Gangtok and Pelling.Sikkim is a goldmine for those interested inBuddhism, with the Rumtek Monastery inGangtok and the Pemayangste and Sangachoelingmonasteries, which can be visited during a stay inPelling. Gangtok is also home to the ResearchInstitute of Tibetology, which today houses alibrary of more than 30,000 books as well as acollection of Tibetan thangkas (religious paintings).The close link with Buddhism makes this areaculturally very different from other parts of India,with Tibetan monks wearing distinctive andcolourful dress.DarjeelingThe former hill station of Darjeeling has longbeen a getaway for those seeking respite fromthe summer heat of the plains. Its rolling hills,dotted with tea estates and framed by the snow-capped Himalaya, provide a welcomeretreat and an opportunity to experience theNepali, Bhutanese and Tibetan culture of itsinhabitants. Along with Buddhist monasteries and tea estates, an early visit to Tiger Hill forsunrise reveals magnificent views of the world'sthird highest peak, Kanchenjunga. The region can also be enjoyed at a sedate pace aboard the famous narrow gauge railway, built more than 100 years ago.Glenburn, near DarjeelingRumtek Monastery, GangtokGlenburn, near DarjeelingKalimpong marketTea plantation in DarjeelingTea picker, DarjeelingKanchenjunga peak
40Tailoring your tripThe itineraries shown are designed to give you aflavour of what is possible, and are routes thatwork particularly well. We can use these as abasis to plan your trip or can design a completelydifferent itinerary to suit your tastes and interests.Please call one of our North India specialists tostart planning your itinerary.Telephone: 01993 838 345Getting aroundThe foothills are best reached by train, or byflying from Delhi and Calcutta, which are the twomain hubs with direct international connectionsfrom London or the Middle East. We provide an air-conditioned car and driver for yourconvenience and generally this is the best modeof transport. Trains are exciting and offer a greatexperience, but they are not up to westernstandards so not suitable for everyone. Colonialtoy trains offer great views and are a fun way toarrive or leave either Darjeeling or Shimla. Roadconditions are sometimes poor and transfers doon average take four to five hours depending onthe route and local conditions. In certain parts ofthe region we will use 4x4s which are moresuitable for the sometimes poor road conditions.When to go??The best time to travel.?A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of.~Travel is possible, but this is not the best time of year.?Travel is not recommended.The ideal time to visit India's Himalaya is spring,with warm daytime temperatures and coolerevenings. Autumn, after the monsoon, also offersgood conditions and although travel is possible inthe winter months, visitors have to be preparedfor changeable weather. The best times of yearfor great mountain views are late September toDecember and mid-March to mid-June. Pleasenote that tea picking and processing aroundDarjeeling stops for a few months, generally frommid-November until mid-March. Ladakh has avery different climate and travel is only possiblefrom May though to September.Time difference:GMT+5.5 hoursFlight time from UK:From 8.5 hours plus at least an overnight stop en route.PricesWe offer trips to cater for a wide range ofbudgets. You can find up-to-date guideline pricesfor your trip to the Indian Himalaya on ourwebsite, alternatively please call our specialists todiscuss your plans.JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec~~????????~?????High mountain desert landscape, LadakhLamayuru gompa, LadakhWoman in traditional costume, LadakhMasked Buddhist monks at a festival, LehLadakhThe roof of the world, Ladakh, hosts some of the world's most spectacular mountainscenery. In the high altitude desert you will find the white sand dunes of Nubra andmagnificent glaciers -the effects of theirerosion shown in incredible colours in thehillside. There are some stunning lakes, towhich a great diversity of migratory birds flockfor the summer months. The sacred IndusRiver, coined 'the backbone of Ladakh', runsthrough the region from Tibet and is framedby the Karakorum Range to the west andTibetan Plateau to the east. Ladakh lies in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.The majority of the people in Jammu andKashmir are Muslims, whereas the Ladakhis areprincipally Tibetan Buddhist. The culture hereis quite unique as the women enjoy a higherstatus and relative freedom compared to manyother parts of the country. There is a strongTibetan influence in both the food and theBuddhist monastic architecture.Due to the severe climate, especially duringthe dark winter months, the region is onlyopen to visitors during the summer, from Junethrough to September. The area is easilyreached from Delhi by air or by an epicoverland journey by road from Manali, whichtakes at least two days in a private jeep. Due to the altitude of the area time toacclimatise here is essential. Leh is a greatplace to explore and after a few days you may want to head out into the opencountryside to see the traditional way of lifeand appreciate the breathtaking views this area has to offer.