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Superb Sikkim, Humbling Himalayas, Stunning Lakes, Amazing Skies

Discussion in 'Travelogues & Experiences' started by VahanPujari, Dec 7, 2015.

  1. VahanPujari

    VahanPujari Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    2,303
    Mumbai

    Superb Sikkim, Humbling Himalayas, Stunning Lakes, Amazing Skies.....


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  2. avithe1

    avithe1 Amatore

    Messages:
    159
    (Mira Rd) Thane.
    Thane
    Linea 1.3
    Wow, did you drive here?
    What loctaion are the pics taken , I so much want to be there.
    VahanPujari likes this.
  3. limraj

    limraj Superiore

    Messages:
    914
    Trivandrum
    Linea 1.3
    Stunning photos.!

    Include your route maps please.... and the dates of travel
    VahanPujari likes this.
  4. rohitsharma

    rohitsharma Amatore

    Messages:
    86
    ahmedabad
    ahmedabad
    Avventura 1.3 90 HP
    details awaited..:)
    VahanPujari likes this.
  5. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    6,001
    Bangalore
    Grande Punto 1.3
    Are these real :)??
    Stunning.
    VahanPujari likes this.
  6. Ravi_M

    Ravi_M Regolare

    Messages:
    323
    Indore
    Indore
    Linea 1.3
    Wow! Details please - location, your trip, camera.
    VahanPujari likes this.
  7. VahanPujari

    VahanPujari Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    2,303
    Mumbai
    A trip to North-East had been in mind since last 2-3 years but it was not materializing somehow. After our last year Ladakh drive (https://www.teamfiat.com/threads/la...urtuk-pangong-hanle-tso-moriri-rohtang.12905/), the thoughts of execution of North-East road trip gained momentum but still could not do it for 1.5 years. The thrust came in from 2 sources – Gurudongmar lake photos posted by my brother’s friend on FB in May’15 and a road trip plan by a friend 3-4 months back (got cancelled eventually).

    Finally, a window of opportunity presented itself this Diwali-2015.

    Now comes the big question – where to go in North-East? Because North-East is quite vast and presents multiple exciting options. There is the usual Sikkim, then there is Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Seven-sisters states etc. Did some research and zeroed in on Sikkim. However, Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh also looked so exciting but then some other time. For now, Sikkim it is.

    The downside of the opportunity during Diwali was that this could not turn out to be a “self-drive” road trip due to multiple reasons. The first and foremost was the limitation of time – I had only 11 days, could not get more leaves. Not enough time for road trip from Mumbai 7-8 days would have gone only in to & fro between Mumbai & Siliguri. Secondly, the Inner Line Permits for North & East Sikkim are next to impossible to get for Private vehicles from outside. Therefore, there was no point driving there in our car, park it there and hire their cab there. So, decided to fly to Bagdogra and hire a cab for the entire circuit.

    As usual, I did the extensive research, compiled list of items to carry, compiled the list of places to visit & within that list of sights to visit. Discussed the itinerary with HVK and after a couple of iterations, finalized it. As for the hotels, we stayed in Club Mahindra at Gangtok and the rest of the places, we went by the tried, tested and reliable HVK CHD services for hotel bookings.

    Club Mahindra booking presented a stiff challenge in itinerary planning. My trip was from 11th to 22nd Nov’15 with airline bookings done accordingly. Club Mahindra Gangtok was booked for 15-16-17th Nov’15 slot as that was the only slot available and the kids were insisting on staying at Club Mahindra.

    I wanted to do the Old silk route – Kalimpong-Zuluk Loops-Nathula-Changu Lake-Gangtok, either in clockwise or anti-clockwise direction. But it wasn’t fitting into the itinerary. After much difficulty and HVK’s help, finalized the following itinerary:

    Itinerary-1.jpg


    2 to 3 days after finalizing the itinerary, when I was running it thro’ my mind for any possible challenge that I may have overlooked, all of a sudden I remember about reading somewhere earlier that Nathula remains closed on Monday & Tuesday. I prayed that 16th Nov’15 does not fall on Mon or Tue and checked to find out that 16th is Monday & 17th is Tuesday. Dang. Hectic activitites began with various permutations/ combinations of itinerary. But it was not fitting by any means and I was hell bent on not going to miss old silk route, Zuluk Loops & road to Nathula. I thought of skipping one of the destinations Pelling but HVK said Pelling can not be skipped.

    Finally after breaking heads, I checked with HVK if I could be able to travel from Gangtok to Nathula to Zuluk Loops to Kalimpong in a single day. The answer was affirmative & I latched on to it. So, it resulted into one free day at Gangtok (which was originally planned for Nathula-Zulluk Loops & back) and sacrificing sight-seeing at Kalimpong as in alternate plan, we would reach Kalimpong only to spend the night. So, the final itinerary looked like below:

    Itinerary-2.jpg
    --- Double Post Merged, Dec 8, 2015 ---
    No, unfortunately I couldn't drive there this time.

    1st pic - Zuluk Loops (on old silk route)
    2nd pic - Kanchenjugha view from old silk route - Thambi View Point, 7-8 kms from Zuluk towards Nathula
    3rd Pic - Gurudongmar Lake
    4th Pic - from somewhere on old silk route

    Added in the post above

    Thanks Ravi. But then Sikkim itself is so stunning !!

    Details aded in above post.
    Cam is a basic entry level DSLR - Nikon 5100 with an entry level single all-rounder lens 18-135 mm lens
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2015
    ramjn, varunrtr and prabhjot like this.
  8. limraj

    limraj Superiore

    Messages:
    914
    Trivandrum
    Linea 1.3
    Thanks.. I want to drive Zuluk Loops (on old silk route) !!!

    What car did you hire, how was it and how much you paid?
  9. VahanPujari

    VahanPujari Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    2,303
    Mumbai
    We talk about Ladakh Taxi union. But they are the saint!!

    In Sikkim, they don't allow to ply West Bengal (Darjeeling in my itinerary) taxi's & in WB, they don't allow Sikkim Taxi's

    Our Taxi guy arranged taxi's at all places - overall it was Innova & Xylo with a couple of days of Bolero. The cost was about 45K for 11 days.
    --- Double Post Merged, Dec 8, 2015, Original Post Date: Dec 8, 2015 ---


    _____________________________________________________________________

    With that background, I invite you to travel with me in revisiting the Superb Stunning Sikkim.....

    (Though I'll try to cover as much detail as possible, this may turn out to be a photologue due to time constraint)

    Day 1.....11th Nov'15

    Left by early morning flight - 7.15 am. Landed at Bagdogra Airport at around 12.15 noon. The Innova taxi was waiting to take us to the Darjeeling. Had lunch on the way just 4-5 kms from Airport at a small place called City Dhaba.

    We got the first glimpse of the beauty on Siliguri - Darjeeling road. We stopped at this nice little spot on the way.

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    And then moved ahead........

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    We crossed a town called Kurseong and felt amused to see the unique & famous train tracks which runs on or along the road.

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    In comes Darjeeling.....

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    Reached hotel at about 5 pm. In this part of the world, the sun sets at about 4.30 - 4.45 pm. So, it was getting dark when we reached hotel.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2015
    ramjn, PradeepM, Ravi_M and 3 others like this.
  10. varunrtr

    varunrtr Esperto

    Messages:
    1,256
    KL-01/ TO
    Grande Punto 1.3
    After your marvellous KL Travellogue, here comes the real stunner. Let the pics rain !!
    VahanPujari likes this.

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