Splendours Of Sikkim- Exploring North And East Sikkim

Tripoto
27th Mar 2017
Photo of Splendours Of Sikkim- Exploring North And East Sikkim by Shubhangi Jeswal
Photo of Splendours Of Sikkim- Exploring North And East Sikkim 1/3 by Shubhangi Jeswal
Waiting at the airport trying to figure out the Sikkim Map

Wanting to explore the unexplored India, Sikkim had been on my bucket list for a while.

On 27th March, I finally got to see the dreamy landscape of the state. I was as usual travelling solo until a friend joined me there and we embarked on our journey to Sikkim.

This tiny state is bordered by Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan.

The curvy roads, dense forests and pretty faces, Sikkim is one of the best experiences I have had in India. People have preserved the nature, maintained cleanliness (you will find proper clean restrooms everywhere on road and there are high fines if you litter anywhere), honesty (no one will overcharge you) and live a simple and happy life. They also have a great sense of driving.

Sikkim entirely as a state fascinated me in a lot of ways and as a tourist I was completely mesmerized by its beauty.

Photo of Splendours Of Sikkim- Exploring North And East Sikkim 2/3 by Shubhangi Jeswal
Photo of Splendours Of Sikkim- Exploring North And East Sikkim 3/3 by Shubhangi Jeswal
Enjoying green tea in this beautiful state

I was there for six days in which I covered North Sikkim and Zuluk in East Sikkim.

I am now sharing my itinerary for these 6 days which might help you to plan your trip to this beautiful state.

For this suggested Itinerary, Gangtok will act as your starting base station.

Day 1

Arrival at Gangtok

The M G Marg Gangtok

Photo of Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Shubhangi Jeswal

If you’re arriving by flight, you’ll need 4-5 hours to reach from the Bagdogra Airport to Gangtok. Private taxis are available at the Bagdogra Airport which would cost between 2ooo to 3000 Rs. Otherwise you can hire shared taxis or public bus service from Siliguri which would cost around 150Rs per person.

The 4-5 hour journey is likely to be a treat, with the first views of the mountains, Teesta river, and small towns on the way. Mid-way, you may stop at Rangpo which is famous for its Momos.

Bonus Tip: To make the most of your road journeys in Sikkim, travel during the day. While heading to Gangtok, consider sitting on the left side of your vehicle to enjoy the views.

We arrived in Gangtok at 6 pm and checked-in hotel.

We then spent time at MG Marg and Lal Bazaar. I was keen on eating momos first as I had heard a lot about the Sikkim momos and they did not disappoint me. We then booked our North Sikkim tour through an agency for the next day.

First meal in Sikkim

Photo of Splendours Of Sikkim- Exploring North And East Sikkim by Shubhangi Jeswal

The best momos I have ever had

Photo of Splendours Of Sikkim- Exploring North And East Sikkim by Shubhangi Jeswal

In Gangtok, we stayed in Hotel Delite Serniya which was right there at the MG Marg. Good for budget travellers (1 double room with breakfast- 800Rs)

Gangtok at a glance

Photo of Splendours Of Sikkim- Exploring North And East Sikkim by Shubhangi Jeswal
Day 2

North Sikkim Tour- Depart for Lachen

For the north sikkim tour we booked our package from :

The Lama Tours-+91 9734983536, 9832079292 (Their office is located at the corner most shop of the MG Marg in Gangtok)

We booked two seats in the shared cab for 2 nights/3 days which costed us 2500Rs each (Included- Meals,transportation and accommodation).

Important: For trips to places in North Sikkim you’ll need to make arrangements a day in advance and submit documents for necessary permits to avoid unnecessary delays. Also do not forget to carry extra photo copies of your ID proof for the permits.

enroute Lachen

Photo of Lachen, Sikkim, India by Shubhangi Jeswal

Had our breakfast in the hotel and left for Lachen (from Gangtok – 109km / 3 hours 30mins), by 11 AM from the Vajra Taxi Stand (where our shared cab was waiting for us). Lachen is a remote village in Sikkim which serves as a transit stay to visit Gurudongmar Lake. En route our journey to Lachen, the views were breathtaking and we stopped quite of few times to absorb the nature.In Lachen our accommodation was in a homestay and the food was basic but tasty.

Sikkim kids- happiness overloaded

Photo of Splendours Of Sikkim- Exploring North And East Sikkim by Shubhangi Jeswal

My homestay family in Lachen

Photo of Splendours Of Sikkim- Exploring North And East Sikkim by Shubhangi Jeswal
Photo of Splendours Of Sikkim- Exploring North And East Sikkim by Shubhangi Jeswal
Photo of Splendours Of Sikkim- Exploring North And East Sikkim by Shubhangi Jeswal
Day 3

Head Northwards towards Gurudongmar Lake and close the day at Lachung.

Early morning view of Lachen

Photo of Gurudongmar Lake, North Sikkim, Sikkim, India by Shubhangi Jeswal

Beautiful landscapes enroute Gurudongmar Lake

Photo of Gurudongmar Lake, North Sikkim, Sikkim, India by Shubhangi Jeswal

Army camp before we reached the Gurudongmar Lake

Photo of Gurudongmar Lake, North Sikkim, Sikkim, India by Shubhangi Jeswal
Photo of Gurudongmar Lake, North Sikkim, Sikkim, India by Shubhangi Jeswal
Photo of Gurudongmar Lake, North Sikkim, Sikkim, India by Shubhangi Jeswal

Early morning at 4 am we left for the Gurudongmar Lake (17,200ft) because the weather was unpredictable and we did not want to miss going to the lake due to it. Gurudongmar Lake is one of the highest situated lakes in North Sikkim. Only Indian Nationals are allowed here. The ride is not an easy one and I suggest you to take a diamox before so that you are fine on that high altitude. The lake was completely frozen and the view was one the best views I have ever witnessed. The ride to the lake was crazy with some amazing landscapes.

The Gurudongmar Lake

Photo of Splendours Of Sikkim- Exploring North And East Sikkim by Shubhangi Jeswal

After visiting Gurudongmar Lake,we head to Lachung for the night.In Lachung our stay was in a homestay again.

Photo of Lachung, Sikkim, India by Shubhangi Jeswal

Bonus Tip : If you reach Lachung by evening, and are in mood for a lively evening, make sure you take a walk in Lachung and visit the Pema Shop(which is quite famous there.)

Photo of Splendours Of Sikkim- Exploring North And East Sikkim by Shubhangi Jeswal
Photo of Splendours Of Sikkim- Exploring North And East Sikkim by Shubhangi Jeswal
Day 4

Excursion to Yumthang Valley and return to Gangtok

In Lachung summers has blooming rhododendrons covering the whole place but it was a winter month and there was snow all around the place and the snow capped mountains added to the beauty of the place.

Rhodendrons-Sikkim's Speciality

Photo of Yumthang, Sikkim, India by Shubhangi Jeswal

Lachung early morning

Photo of Yumthang, Sikkim, India by Shubhangi Jeswal
Photo of Yumthang, Sikkim, India by Shubhangi Jeswal

After an early breakfast, we head towards Yumthang valley, which is nearly 26 kilometers, an hour’s drive, from Lachung. It is situated at an elevation of 11800 feet. Yumthang Valley was another beautiful place and we spent almost an hour there taking pictures and hiking. We can further go up to the zero point but we could not because getting the permit for ity was not easy.

enroute Yumthang Valley

Photo of Splendours Of Sikkim- Exploring North And East Sikkim by Shubhangi Jeswal
Photo of Splendours Of Sikkim- Exploring North And East Sikkim by Shubhangi Jeswal
Photo of Splendours Of Sikkim- Exploring North And East Sikkim by Shubhangi Jeswal
Photo of Splendours Of Sikkim- Exploring North And East Sikkim by Shubhangi Jeswal

Maggie at Yumthang Valley

Photo of Splendours Of Sikkim- Exploring North And East Sikkim by Shubhangi Jeswal

On our way from Lachung to Gangtok, we stopped at the Seven Sisters Fall for a while, as it falls about midway to Gangtok.

The seven sisters waterfall

Photo of Splendours Of Sikkim- Exploring North And East Sikkim by Shubhangi Jeswal

We reached Gangtok around 5pm and checked in to the hotel.

Hotel - The Sikkim Continental at the tenzing and tenzing road(Fare-1600 for double room with breakfast) 10 mins walk from the M.G Marg.

We spent the evening at the MG marg of Gangtok eating momos and booked our next day tour to Zuluk in east sikkim. For Dzuluk there were no shared cabs, thus we had to book a private cab for 2 people which costed us almost 6500 Rs for 2 days.

We booked this from: Norbula Tours and Travels

Address : Narbula Complex, M.G.Marg, Gangtok

Mobile No. : 9474055999, 7872983927

e-mail ID : norbula.toursntravels@gmail.com

Day 5

Journey To Zuluk

Enroute Zuluk

Photo of Zuluk, Sikkim, India by Shubhangi Jeswal

One place on my list before I left for Sikkim was Zuluk and the Old Silk Route ride in East Sikkim.That was the reason I agreed to pay so much just for the two days trip to this village and trust me I did not regret spending so much, it was all worth. Ride to Zuluk was one of the best road trips I have ever taken in life.We were lucky that the weather got so beautiful and it was completely foggy with clouds on the road. Zuluk is just a 4hrs drive from Gangtok but at an altitude of 9000 ft. By the time we checked into a homestay in Zuluk the clouds had made the visibility zero due to which we could not go further for the Old Silk Route ride and decided to go for it next day early morning.

Zuluk

Photo of Splendours Of Sikkim- Exploring North And East Sikkim by Shubhangi Jeswal
Photo of Splendours Of Sikkim- Exploring North And East Sikkim by Shubhangi Jeswal

That evening in Zuluk was well spent I learnt how to cook momos from Neema who was the owner of the homestay and listening to Nepali music.

Photo of Splendours Of Sikkim- Exploring North And East Sikkim by Shubhangi Jeswal
Photo of Splendours Of Sikkim- Exploring North And East Sikkim by Shubhangi Jeswal

Ride On Old Silk Route (Thambi View Point) and back to Gangtok

Day 6

The weather was not clear even the next morning and we had no option but to check out and leave for the old silk route. As we started our ride to the old silk route I could feel being on the zig-zag road but see nothing because of the clouds.

Photo of Thambi View Point, Dhupidara, East Sikkim, East Sikkim, Sikkim, India by Shubhangi Jeswal

We had acclimatised well as we stayed in Zuluk for a day, but if you are taking a day trip to Zuluk then you can opt to take a diamox so that you don't get the sick due to sudden height gain.

Photo of Splendours Of Sikkim- Exploring North And East Sikkim by Shubhangi Jeswal

We got lucky by the time we reached the Thambi View Point (From where we can see the entire silk route and Kanchenjunga Peak) the weather cleared a bit and we could see the beautiful road.

Zuluk from the view point

Photo of Splendours Of Sikkim- Exploring North And East Sikkim by Shubhangi Jeswal
Photo of Splendours Of Sikkim- Exploring North And East Sikkim by Shubhangi Jeswal
Photo of Splendours Of Sikkim- Exploring North And East Sikkim by Shubhangi Jeswal
Photo of Splendours Of Sikkim- Exploring North And East Sikkim by Shubhangi Jeswal
Photo of Splendours Of Sikkim- Exploring North And East Sikkim by Shubhangi Jeswal
Photo of Splendours Of Sikkim- Exploring North And East Sikkim by Shubhangi Jeswal

The old silk route-zig zag road from the thambi view point

Photo of Splendours Of Sikkim- Exploring North And East Sikkim by Shubhangi Jeswal

The same day by evening we got back to Gangtok and next day we had a flight back to Delhi from Bagdogra.

I have given the details of tour operators with which I booked my tours in Sikkim. They were reliable, cheap and all the arrangements were worth paying the amount.

All I can say after this trip is that "The best journeys answer questions that in the beginning you did not even think to ask" and here in Sikkim I did the the answers to those questions while I was travelling on my own.

Photo of Splendours Of Sikkim- Exploring North And East Sikkim by Shubhangi Jeswal
Photo of Splendours Of Sikkim- Exploring North And East Sikkim by Shubhangi Jeswal

Cost breakup-

Flight tickets - 6500 Rs return airfare to Delhi if you book it well in advance.

North Sikkim Tour- 2500 Rs per person

Zuluk-4500 Rs per person

Gangtok 2 nights- 1500 Rs person

Other transfers- 1000 Rs

Miscellaneous expenses- 1500 Rs

I hope you will enjoy this journey of mine through this article and the pictures and if you need any assistance for your Sikkim travel plans feel free to message me.

2 Comment(s)
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very well drafted
Tue 08 14 18, 00:46 · Reply · Report
Absolutely brilliant... thanks a lot for sharing the info...
Tue 01 16 18, 12:12 · Reply · Report