Himalayan Kingdom of Sikkim – Buddhism, Tribes, Villages & Homestays

Cultural Tour

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    This tour is provided by

    The Folk Tales

    The Folk Tales

    We know the villages and communities we work with inside and out. We have done the tours multiple times before, ensuring that you get an enjoyable experience, and make the best use of your time. Quite naturally, many travelers return to India many times to travel with us.

    We have created lasting relationships with the communities and have gathered many interesting stories that we are happy to share with you on the tours. The experiences we design for you are unique, affordable, and meticulously planned.

    • 7 Days
    • Max people: 15
    • Kolkata/ Bagdogra

    South and West Sikkim is home of the Bhutia and Limbu tribe. He Bhutia people migrated from Bhutan and Limbu from Nepal before the Kingdom of Sikkim was merged with India. This tour will take you to the tribal hinterlands where you get to have authentic homestay experience with the families. While you travel to offbeat locations, we ensure that you are safe, have a comfortable stay in the homestays with the families, and get memorable experiences whether you are solo, couple, family, a small group or seniors.

    Itinerary

    Day 1Arrive Bagdogra

    We meet you at the airport followed by road trip to South Sikkim. Arrive at the homestay by evening, acclimatize to the altitude of 7000 ft. and relax for the day. Your stay for the next few days is with the Bhutia tribe. 

    Stay: Homestay | Meals: D

    Day 2

    Wake up to stunning views of snowcapped Himalayas and authentic Bhutia breakfast that you can have in the kitchen itself with the family.

    Activities –

    • Village walk in traditional Bhutia settlement, visit Lepcha tribal monastery. During your walk, you will know about the forest herbs and how they are used.
    • Visit the pre-Buddhist Bon monastery (Bon is pre-Buddhist religion).
    • Visit the handicrafts center (handicrafts include wood carving, and carpet/ shawl making out of sheep wool). The handicrafts center is an initiative by local SHG to provide alternate source of living for village men and women.
    • Get involved in a local music and dance session with the community in the evening.

    Stay: Homestay | Meals: B, L, D 

    Day 3

    After a day of cultural immersion, it is time to experience the forest life and know how the communities play a significant role in their preservation.

    Activities –

    • Half day trek to Maenam wildlife sanctuary (see deer, fox and the rare Red Panda) – hours of walk can be adjusted as per the fitness level. On clear days, you can see the Kanchanjunga mountain from this walking trail.
    • Traditional Bhutanese herbal bath – Since you have travelled a bit in the mountains, relax your muscles and senses with a traditional herbal bath in the evening. This is a traditional Sikkimese healing therapy that is used by the Bhutanese people after long days in farms and forest.

    Stay: Homestay | Meals: B, L, D 

    Day 4

    Today we pack our bags, and depart for the next stay with a family from the Limbu tribe.

    Activities –

    • Visit the Pemayangtse monastery and Rabdentse Ruins. Rabdentse was the second capital of Sikkim which now lies in ruins after it was invaded by the Nepalese army. On clear days you can see the snow covered Kanchenjunga Mountain and entire Himalayan range bordering Nepal from the ruins.

    Stay: Homestay | Meals: B, D

    Day 5

    Today we take a half day road trip to see a few sights that are sacred to the locals.

    Activites –

    • Visit Yuksom, the first capital of Sikkim. It is still a sleepy small town where you can explore local life, monasteries and natural lakes.
    • Visit the Khecheperi lake, which is supposed to be in the shape of the foot of Goddess Tara. Locals believe that you won’t find a single leaf floating in the lake because the birds keep the lake clean by picking them up.

    Stay: Homestay | Meals: B, D 

    Day 6

    The locals mainly produce black cardamom, maize and millet around the year making farming an essential element of their lives. This experience will have you live the life of a farmer as they do it.

    Activities –

    • During this full day activity, we take you to the farm early morning after dawn with packed breakfast.
    • Spend the day sowing, weeding or harvesting in the plantations depending upon the season. We will either involve you in black cardamom, maize or millet farms.
    • Your lunch will be brought for you at mid-day from the house just like it is done for the locals.
    • Bring back the harvest and help the locals in preparing them further. For example, after bringing black cardamom, we setup wood fire in a kiln and slow-dry the cardamom pods over it before packaging them for wholesale market.

    Note: This activity can be extended to more days if you wish to.

    Stay: Homestay | Meals: B, D

    Day 7 Departure

    Stay: N/A | Meals: B

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