Visiting North East was always on my wish-list, but knowing the distance and the time required, it always seemed unfeasible. Kartike had been to Sikkim with his family in 2008 and when we realized that we had a week long holidays in October, he became excited at the prospect. We booked our tickets in June to Bagdogra and got a really great deal (16K round trip for 2). We waited impatiently re iterating our plans for the 7 days over and over again. Various combinations were considered. I desperately wanted to visit North Sikkim so it had to be an integral part of the plan. So after coming back from Manali, the final plan stood at:
1st Oct- Arrival at Bagdogra- travel to Gangtok
2nd Oct- Spend time in Gangtok (Local Sightseeing)( It was Kartike s birthday so we didn’t want to waste the day travelling)
3rd Oct- Start to GuruDongmar- Stay over at Lachen
4th Oct- Visit Gurudongmar and Back to Gangtok
5th Oct- Gangtok to Yuksom
6th Oct- Yuksom
7th Oct- Yuksom to Bagdogra and back to Delhi
Sounded like a feasible plan to us. Little did we know that too much planning could be an anti-climax most of the times.
Temperatures on most of the days were shown on weather sites to be ranging from13-26 degrees so we packed light woolens. For Gurudongmar, we packed multi-layered woolens as the temperatures are very low and the area is always covered in snow.
We reached Bagdogra around 1 pm but had a hell of a time hunting for a taxi to Gangtok. This being festive season, we had already started feeling the affect, most drivers were on leave, those available were charging exorbitant rates. So we decided to split the journey with a halt and change at Siliguri. It took around 30 mins to reach Siliguri Taxi stand. It is a small congested city with shops hoarding with the local crowds. Women could be seen in beautiful colorful attires, looking their best ready to be the part of Poojo. There were Pooja Pandals after every few footsteps with elaborate 8 armed sculptures of Goddess Durga piercing the heart of Asura Mahisasura.