The ZiGzAg Route - Sikkim

Tripoto
29th Jun 2019
Photo of The ZiGzAg Route - Sikkim by Mansi Porwal

In this summer, while my city was grimacing under the sun’s hard glare, I chose to visit the stunning views of the Himalayas and chilling weather in the Eastern part of India – Darjeeling and Sikkim.

Day 1

DARJEELING

Nestles in the foothills of the Himalayas at an altitude of more than 6700ft, also known as the ‘tea garden of India’ - Darjeeling is one of the most preferred hill station in India. The town is approx. 3 hours drive from Bagdogra.

Jaw-dropping locales, the steam engine train, lush green tea plantations mesmerising sunrises, the untouched beauty of the hills, the old-world charm of the past, and the welcoming smiles of the local people all add up to make you want to stay here forever

Photo of The ZiGzAg Route - Sikkim by Mansi Porwal
Day 2

Tiger Hill

In fact, looking at the weather and the sky from Darjeeling Town is almost no indication of how the weather might be at Tiger Hill. Cloud and fog in this area lie at various levels of the mountains, some times they may be above you, other times you may be above them. So no one can guarantee a perfect sunrise view from Tiger Hill or for that matter from anywhere in Darjeeling.

Once you reach the top of the observation tower, you have access to an almost 360-degree view of Darjeeling. The sky is still dark at first; the first rays of sunlight slowly begin to brighten the sky and redden the visible peaks of Kanchenjunga. There are five peaks of Kanchenjunga, the highest being about 28000 feet high, making it the third highest peak in the world. As the sun rises, the colour of the rays on the peaks changes as well, ranging from red to orange to gold and then to white.

Tea garden

There are over 86 tea estates in Darjeeling that are responsible for producing the worldwide famous 'Darjeeling Tea'. Have a cup of locally brewed chai at the tea estate, or get down amidst the plantations to pluck a few tea leaves yourself, you are free to take your pick!

Darjeeling Zoo

Don't discount Darjeeling Zoo as yet another typical one that you see in a city. This is where you can actually see some of the high altitude amazing Himalayan animals and some endangered species that are rarely seen anywhere else in the world. In India, this is the largest high altitude zoo. It spans across 67.5 acres of area at an average altitude of 7,000ft (2133m). Some of the highlights of the zoo includes  Tibetan Wolf, Red Panda, Snow Leopard etc all in semi natural habitats.

Tiger Hill

Photo of The ZiGzAg Route - Sikkim by Mansi Porwal
Photo of The ZiGzAg Route - Sikkim by Mansi Porwal
Photo of The ZiGzAg Route - Sikkim by Mansi Porwal

Tea garden

Photo of The ZiGzAg Route - Sikkim by Mansi Porwal
Day 3

SIKKIM

Pelling

You would not believe me if I say that, there exists a town in India, where it does not matter which hotel/lodge you stay in, just open a window and you will be blessed with astonishing views of snow-capped Mount Kanchenjunga and other Himalayan peaks. I am talking about Pelling Sikkim - at an altitude of 7,200 fee

The name Pelling is quite unheard of and may sound foreign, but it is right there in Sikkim state of India. Compared to other touristy places of Sikkim, Pelling is still not so crowded. This leaves some space for you to spend some calm and soothing days

View from the room window

Photo of The ZiGzAg Route - Sikkim by Mansi Porwal
Photo of The ZiGzAg Route - Sikkim by Mansi Porwal
Photo of The ZiGzAg Route - Sikkim by Mansi Porwal
Photo of The ZiGzAg Route - Sikkim by Mansi Porwal

Pemayangste

Photo of The ZiGzAg Route - Sikkim by Mansi Porwal
Day 4

Glass skywalk

Pelling Sky Walk and Chenrezig Statue - A new attraction near Sanga Choeling is the gigantic 137 feet statue of Chenrezig (Avalokitesvara) and a transparent Sky Walk made of glass that leads to the statue. It was recently opened in November 2018

A couple of months ago, when I was first preparing to visit Sikkim, the pictures of Pelling Sky Walk (or Pelling Glass Walk) started showing up on my social media feed. So I made a point of visiting this place.

While I was in pelling for just 2 days, the day I planned to visit the skywalk it started raining and this is what it looked like in the rain. Well you can consider exploring this in your travel plan to Pelling.

Photo of The ZiGzAg Route - Sikkim by Mansi Porwal
Photo of The ZiGzAg Route - Sikkim by Mansi Porwal
Photo of The ZiGzAg Route - Sikkim by Mansi Porwal
Day 5

River rafting

Wear your helmet, pull the ropes of your life jacket tightly, hold your pair of oars, settle in your raft and you are all set to face the challenges of rafting in Sikkim. The experience of facing the turbulent waters of Rivers Teesta and Rangit truly is matchless. One of the best adventure activities in Sikkim, white water rafting gives you an adrenaline high.

Photo of The ZiGzAg Route - Sikkim by Mansi Porwal
Photo of The ZiGzAg Route - Sikkim by Mansi Porwal
Day 6

Char Dham Namchi

Char Dham or Siddheshwar Dham is a famous tourist attraction in Sikkim. It is a replica of all the 12 Jyotirlingas and Char Dhams in India. One will find a 33 mtrs massive Shiva statue raised on the Solophok hilltop

Photo of The ZiGzAg Route - Sikkim by Mansi Porwal
Photo of The ZiGzAg Route - Sikkim by Mansi Porwal
Photo of The ZiGzAg Route - Sikkim by Mansi Porwal
Day 7

Tsomgo Lake

Mountain terrain encircle this stunning lake with the crystal waters reflecting the skies. Tsomgo Lake, also known as Tsongmo Lake or Changu Lake, is a glacial lake in the East Sikkim district, some 40 kilometres from the capital Gangtok. Located at an elevation of 3,753 m, the lake remains frozen during the winter season.

The lake is highly revered by the local Sikkimese people. Yaks are available if you want to go for a ride around the lake. The lake changes its character according to the changing of the seasons.

You can also visit Nathula Pass first and then visit Tsomgo Lake on the way back. Nathula Pass is a mountain pass at the border of Sikkim and China's Tibet Autonomous Region. The journey from Gangtok to Nathula Pass is also an enchanting one.

Photo of The ZiGzAg Route - Sikkim by Mansi Porwal
Photo of The ZiGzAg Route - Sikkim by Mansi Porwal
Photo of The ZiGzAg Route - Sikkim by Mansi Porwal
Photo of The ZiGzAg Route - Sikkim by Mansi Porwal
Photo of The ZiGzAg Route - Sikkim by Mansi Porwal
Photo of The ZiGzAg Route - Sikkim by Mansi Porwal
Day 8

HiGhLiGhT oF SiKkIm - No matter which place you visit in Sikkim, the road journey, the routes is the most amazing experience.

Photo of The ZiGzAg Route - Sikkim by Mansi Porwal

Gangtok city

Photo of The ZiGzAg Route - Sikkim by Mansi Porwal
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