Minimum Budget Itinerary of Darjeeling, Gangtok and North Sikkim

Tripoto
27th Sep 2018
Photo of Minimum Budget Itinerary of Darjeeling, Gangtok and North Sikkim by Dr Neeraj Garg
Day 1

Reach the New Jalpaiguri  Railway station. As you will reach the station travel agents will try to book the package; Don't Do It. They will follow you until you say something angrily. Now come outside the station where you will get sharing autos. Those autos will take you to the point from where sharing jeeps go to Darjeeling. It would cost you approx Rs300-400 per person and takes 4-4.5 Hours.

Day 2

Wake up early morning at 3 AM. Don't book any private cab. Go to the taxi stand as sharing jeeps go for the morning three points. Jeep will take you to the Tiger Hill(Sunrise Point), Batasia Loop (Try Samosa and Tea there) and  Ghoom Monastery. You will return to the hotel till 8 AM then eat your breakfast. After the rest book a cab for the  7 points that are covered from morning to 7 PM.

7 points are :

1)Japanese Temple
2)Peace Pagoda
3)Zoological Park
4)Tenzing rock
5)Himalayan Mountaineering Institute
6)Tea Garden
7)Ropeway

Photo of Darjeeling, West Bengal, India by Dr Neeraj Garg
Photo of Darjeeling, West Bengal, India by Dr Neeraj Garg
Photo of Darjeeling, West Bengal, India by Dr Neeraj Garg
Photo of Darjeeling, West Bengal, India by Dr Neeraj Garg
Photo of Darjeeling, West Bengal, India by Dr Neeraj Garg
Photo of Darjeeling, West Bengal, India by Dr Neeraj Garg
Photo of Darjeeling, West Bengal, India by Dr Neeraj Garg
Day 3

Next day, You can go to Mirik Lake which is 34 KM far from Darjeeling and take 2 hours. On returning from the lake you can visit the Pashupati Market where you can buy good quality winter clothes at a low cost. You can also skip this lake if you have fewer days. Leave Darjeeling hotel in the afternoon and take a sharing jeep to Gangtok. It takes 4 Hours and Rs 400 per person. Reach your hotel and relax. If you are not tired you can go around the mall road.

Day 4

The first thing to do after reaching Gangtok is arranging the passes for  Nathula pass tour. Carry 4 passport size photos and 2 xerox copies of id card from home. You can go yourself to the office for the passes but there is no need to do it. There are many local travel agency shops on Mall road which will arrange you the passes on booking the package. Book the package for the next day (Visit the different shops and ask the rates about the package- approx cost is Rs1200-2000 ) for Changu Lake, Nathula Pass and Baba Mandir. Now, book a local cab as it will be less costly than a tourist cab. There are many local points to see. But these are some which you must visit like  Hanuman Tok, Tashi view Point, Research Institute of Tibetology, Rumstek Monastery. Other Points to see are Ban Jhakri Falls, Directorate of Handicraft and Handloom, Flower show. At evening walk around the  Mall road.

Photo of Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Dr Neeraj Garg
Photo of Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Dr Neeraj Garg
Photo of Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Dr Neeraj Garg
Day 5

  Changu lake-Nathula Pass-Baba Harbhajan Mandir

Changu lake is 48km/2.5 hrs far from Gangtok and  Nathula is further 15 km from the lake. You can do Yak riding near Changu Lake. At Nathula most probably you would get snowfall if you are going in winters ( October- April ). But it depends on your luck because sometimes heavy snowfall leads to blockage of the route to Nathula pass. One thing to note down is that Nathula pass remains closed for Monday and Tuesday. So keep it in mind before booking the package. You will come back to Gangtok in the evening. Now book the Package for North Sikkim from any local tour operator at Mall road.  Always bargain the rates for the package( Rs3000-400 per person ).

Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple is also included in the package. It is a must visit the place. Watch the Short film of Bhuvan Bam on youtube with the name of "Plus Minus"- very interesting true story of Soldier Harbhajan Singh.

Photo of Nathula, Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Dr Neeraj Garg
Photo of Nathula, Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Dr Neeraj Garg
Photo of Nathula, Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Dr Neeraj Garg
Photo of Nathula, Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Dr Neeraj Garg
Photo of Nathula, Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Dr Neeraj Garg
Photo of Nathula, Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Dr Neeraj Garg
Photo of Nathula, Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Dr Neeraj Garg
Day 6

                             Gangtok-Lachen

North Sikkim package may be 2D/1N or 3d/2N. I would suggest to go for 3D/2N tour.
This is best part of the trip.

The trip will start at 9-10am from Gangtok. You will arrive at Lachen at around 7-9 PM passing through  Dikchu(32 KM), Mangan(64 KM), Naga waterfalls(82KM), Chungthang(100Km).

Normally, the vehicle doesn't stop at Dikchu, but you can ask your driver to stop for a few minutes. Dikchu is a small village in North Sikkim district at the confluence of Teesta and Dikchu river. Here you can buy the snacks, booze, (Don't buy the local bear because of poor quality) cold drinks etc. Because from here the rates of everything will increase (eg.Rs10 snacks packet will be of Rs15). I personally felt the very much positive energy there. If u feel the same please let me know so I can become a little bit sure that this was not just a hunch. You must  try momos there.

Mangan is headquarter of North Sikkim district. It will take 3 hours from Gangtok to reach Mangan. In sharing cabs, the cab stops here only for check post. Mangan is also developing into a tourist hotspot because of the breath-taking view of the Kanchenjunga range it provides. This town has a hot water spring which is a popular tourist destination and the Labrang monastery which is located near Mangan is also a place worth visiting. During your trip to Mangan, you can also go for trekking. One main famous trek is Green Lachen Lake Trek(3 Days trek) which provides a view of Mt. Siniolchu.

There are various waterfalls along the highway. Naga waterfall( a multilayered waterfall ) is one of them. It is worth to stop for a stretch and take some pictures. After that, the sharing cab will go non stop because the driver will say it is going to be late.

Chungthang is a small town in north Sikkim district. It will take 6 hours from Gangtok to here. Actually, from here bifurcation starts, One road on the left goes to Lachen(26 KM)and the other road on the right side goes to Lachung( 22KM). The Teesta river is formed here  by joining of Lachen and Lachung river.

You will arrive at Lachen at around 7-9 pm. Lachen is just a point to stay( not a tourist point). Now relax and take some rest in your room then go for dinner which will be provided in the hotel's dining room. If you are not feeling tired then drink some booze (take it from Gangtok or Dikchu )and enjoy music (for that carry a Bluetooth speaker with you). You will have an awesome feeling (no words to describe). Go to sleep early as next morning you have to wake up at 3 AM.

Photo of Dikchu, Sikkim, India by Dr Neeraj Garg
Photo of Dikchu, Sikkim, India by Dr Neeraj Garg
Photo of Dikchu, Sikkim, India by Dr Neeraj Garg
Day 7

   Lachen-Gurudongmar Lake-Lachen-Lachung

Wake up at 3 AM and get ready by 4 AM. Because the early morning view will be breathtaking. Go to Your hotel balcony and enjoy the view.

Gurudongmar lake is 68 KM far from Lachen and it will take 4 hours. On the way to Gurudongmar lake you will come across such a beautiful scenic view. On the way to Gurudongmar lake, you will pass through Thangu village ( where driver will stop for  breakfast ) and Chopta valley(Kala pathar).

While going to Gurudongmar lake, there is an army base camp at height of 15,000 ft. Because of so much height, Most of the children(below 10yrs) and elderly people(above 60yrs)start to have breathing problems. If any person is feeling Uncomfortable(acute mountain sickness), then there is a medical aid room and they should not be taken any farther. There is a cafe named cafee 15000 (army canteen) where You can get free coffee and one plate momos in Rs50. I would recommend  to have at least one plate. From here the lake is 15 km and height will increase from 15,000 to 17,800 ft. Now the magical road to heaven starts and you will enjoy every bit of this part.

After the ending of the magical road, you will reach heaven. There are many stories behind this lake. Some say it is related to Sikh religion(Guru Nanak) others say it is related to Buddhism(Padmasambhava). I don't know which one is true but surely it will give you a surprising experience with its natural beauty and unique landscapes. The beauty will mesmerize you  100%.  This lake remains completely frozen in winter months except for some part which never freezes. The weather near the lake starts becoming bad (fast cold wind) as day progresses so you have to leave at around 10 AM. While returning from the lake, you can ask your driver for Chopta valley( Kala pathar). This is not included in the package and you have to pay Rs500 per person to driver depending on your bargaining skill.

After all this, you will go all the way back to Lachen. Here you will have  some rest and lunch.  After that you will be taken to Lachung via Chungthang. From Lachen to Lachung, it will take 3-4 hours. Take  some rest at Chungthang. You will arrive at Lachung in the evening depending upon when you leave Lachen. Take rest in your hotel room as you will be tired from the hectic ride. Then after eating dinner, go to sleep as you  have to wake up early morning at 4-5 AM.

Photo of Lachen, Sikkim, India by Dr Neeraj Garg
Photo of Lachen, Sikkim, India by Dr Neeraj Garg
Day 8

Lachung-Yumthang Valley-Zero point-Lachung-Gangtok

Next day wake up at 4 AM and if you are lucky you can get snowfall along the way to Yumthang valley. The path is very beautiful with mountains on one side and trees covered with snow on the other side.

Yumthang valley is 28 km far from Lachung and will take 2 hours. Here you will have breakfast and take waterproof jackets and shoes to walk on snow at rent( Rs100 for each thing). Then visit the nearby valley. It is called the valley of flowers with Teesta river flowing through the valley and beautiful snow-capped mountains on the opposite side of the river. Valley was all covered with snow and appearing so much beautiful but on the way back from zero point all the ice was melted and the valley was just appearing as a terrace of the mountain(not much beautiful). As the quote says " Snow is like kindness, it beautifies everything it covers".

From here you can go to the Zero point, but it is not included in the package so you have to pay Rs700-1000 per person to the driver depending on your bargaining skill. As the name says the temperature remains below zero and there is ice everywhere. There is a frozen lake at the top but most of the times during winters cabs don't go up to that point due to heavy snowfall. The ride is going to be very hectic from Yumthang valley to Zero point but it will be worth of it.

After visiting Zero point you will be taken back to Lachung. There you will have lunch and some time for visiting the local area by walk. Thereafter you will be driven back to the Gangtok. You will arrive Gangtok at around 8-10 PM so make a prebooking of the hotel in Gangtok because you will be so tired after this long journey.

Photo of Lachung, Sikkim, India by Dr Neeraj Garg
Photo of Lachung, Sikkim, India by Dr Neeraj Garg
Photo of Lachung, Sikkim, India by Dr Neeraj Garg
Photo of Lachung, Sikkim, India by Dr Neeraj Garg
Photo of Lachung, Sikkim, India by Dr Neeraj Garg
Photo of Lachung, Sikkim, India by Dr Neeraj Garg
Day 9

You can also go to South Sikkim. Namchi is a popular part of south Sikkim which is 78 KM far from Gangtok. It is mainly famous for Buddhist monasteries, famous Temi Garden for tea. You can also enjoy a better view of the Kanchenjunga peak. Another place wrth to visit in South Sikkim is Ravangla.

                 Happy travelling!!!!!!!!

2 Comment(s)
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When did you visit, means month? There are lots of snow.
Fri 11 30 18, 05:17 · Reply (1) · Report
Hey, i visited in April 2018.
Thu 12 13 18, 01:08 · Report
Great post and well described.
Thu 11 29 18, 19:19 · Reply (1) · Report
Thnku.
Thu 12 13 18, 01:08 · Report