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Calcutta dominates the political and economic life of much of eastern India, and often surprises visitors with its wonderful colonial architecture and vibrant atmosphere.

From here you can venture north to Darjeeling - famous for its tea but also as one of India’s most spectacular regions - and continue to the mountain state of Sikkim, scattered with Buddhist monasteries established on the Himalayan trade routes.

A short flight will take you to Assam, where it is possible to take a cruise along India’s longest river, the Brahmaputra, or visit Kaziranga National Park.

To the south of Calcutta Orissan architecture predominates, with awe-inspiring pilgrimage centres at Puri and Konark, while the tribal and village culture of Orissa is accessible for the intrepid.

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Start thinking about your experience. These itineraries are simply suggestions for how you could enjoy some of the same experiences as our specialists. They’re just for inspiration, because your trip will be created around your particular tastes.

Highlights

Visit the colonial hill stations around Darjeeling

Whilst Darjeeling was originally an army camp at the beginning of the Raj era, it expanded rapidly with the introduction of the tea industry. This region of the Indian Himalaya was popular with the early British colonists largely due to the heat, with hill stations the only escape in the hot summer months. The colonial buildings here really are a feature, whilst in the tea plantations one can relive the way of life of the British Raj.

Journey along the Brahmaputra River

A large dusty city, Guwahati is the gateway to the Northeast and is the start of one of the world's great river journeys, along the Brahmaputra. One of the most rewarding and relaxing experiences on the Subcontinent.

Discover tea at its finest at Dibrugarh

Assam is synonymous with tea and Dibrugarh is one of the world's tea capitals. A visit to a tea estate is a must. Learn how tea is processed before the all important tea tasting itself.

Taste the best of Bengali cuisine in Calcutta

A cultural hotpot and long-standing centre for learning and philosophy, Calcutta is a fascinating place to explore on a half or full day walking tour. One main aspect of any visit to this thriving city is the wonderful food on offer, and some of the best Bengali cuisine can be sampled here, including the popular kathi roll (kebab wrapped in dough) or any one of the many delicious cheese-based sweets.

Some of our favourite places in Calcutta and The East

Great places to stay in Calcutta and The East

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