Sikkim, is a mysterious hidden secret of the mighty Eastern Himalayan range tucked between Nepal, Bhutan and mainland India, is a gateway to the Hidden caves of Mt. Kanchenjunga. A promenade of mountains and valleys, it is the birthplace of classic rock, pop and folk musicians. It was an independent country which became a part of India in 1975. The state is a living example of overlapping cultures, lifestyles and spiritual beliefs, thriving in peace, harmony and love. It is shared by the Lepchas (the snowmen, original Sikkimese tribe), Bhutanese ( the Tibetan tribe) and Indian Nepalis (Nepalese who migrated to India). The trip offers a taste of a mountain city, mountain countryside, a mountain town and a village clubbed with rich history, culture and changing landscapes with great variations in altitude and kind heart people. It will leave you wanting to come back for more.
From the Plains to the Mountains
Pick up from Bagdogra and drop to Gangtok (East Sikkim) | 145kms | 4-5hrs |
Gangtok, a small walkable city, buzzes with energy in the evenings. A walk on M.G. marg, the Secretariat, Kazi road, Tibet road would give a jist of this glittering mountain cityscape. A quick sneak peak at the Lal bazaars before settling in the verandah of café’s watching the clouds on their mischievous routine traveling in and out of built spaces, with live music lingering in the background.
In and around
Local sightseeing in and around Gangtok. Gangtok is inhabited by various tribes and cultures. The religious and spiritual beliefs are reflected in the different architectural styles of the religious spaces.. ‘Rhumtek Monastry’ facing the snow clad Himalayas bears a history dating from the 1700’s was the main seat of the Karma Kagyu lineage, and extension of Tsurphu Monastry in Tibet. ‘Taktse Monastry’, ‘Hanuman Tok’, ‘Ganesh Tok’ (Tok- Hilltop) , Durgafalls, Banjhakari Falls are the other religious sites that are wrapped with prayer flags all around the year with their history. On the ridges and valleys you would find the local ‘Ikra houses – traditional homes of Lepchas’, wooden houses with hens and roosters running around the place. ‘Namgyal Institute of Tibetology’ where they study the teachings of Buddha , peaceful with the lord in the Spirit is an experience in itself. The flower exhibition showcases what this land looks during the spring.
Ride on the Tea Horse Route via Nathula Pass
Gangtok – Changu Lake – Nathula pass – Kupup – Dzuluk |96kms|
Soak yourself in the serene environment and rejuvenate your lungs with fresh air at the ‘Tsongmo Lake’ (‘Changu Lake’) enroute to the rugged terrain of the Indo China border with the throbbing Bullet engine in the background.. As you would ride up towards the border the landscape changes to a dry sandy land. Amongst the tensions between the two nations, tourism has given a chance to feel the thrill being at the border line with China. Nathula pass, was the entry from Tibet, China to India by the Old Southern Silk Route or the Tea Horse Route. After a small detour from Nathula, you would hit the Village of Kupup. As the infrastructure potrays, Kupup stands first enroute to Dzuluk and is influxed with the modern trade products. Further down from Kupup, the winding roads of the Old Southern Silk Route start. The view is breathtaking and transcendental. From far one could can see the Village of Dzuluk. Dzuluk developed due to trade and as a resting point for the porters carrying kilos of tea strapped around their heads. This route takes you to another world.
Located at a height of around 10,100 feet on the rugged terrain of the lower Himalayas in East Sikkim, village beside a winding road. Zuluk itself does not offer views of the snow peaks but only 14 kms away the Thambi View Point 11200 ft offers a panoramic view of the entire Mt. Kanchenjungha range. The glittering rays of the rising sun kisses the snow clad peak of Mt. Kanchenjungha, which slowly turns crimson and then golden and finally silver. The spectacle is truly breathtaking. Jaluk, was once a transit point to the historic Silk Route from Tibet to India with a population of around 700 people. There is also an Indian Army base at Zuluk, which has been used as a transit camp for the army movement to the Chinese border, a few kilometres away. It is the very first village within this whole Silk Route circuit to offer homestay facilities for tourists. The road through Zuluk makes almost 32 hairpin turns to reach Lungthung, which makes it a unique engineering feat. There is a local Nag Temple here. The temple has a cave like structure and the deity of King Cobra or Nag, famous Hindu mythical god is worshipped in the temple. Zuluk has high diversity of Himalayan fauna. The place shelters variety of birds like Monal Pheasant, Blood Pheasant, Khaleez Pheasant, Snow Pheasant and others. You may also catch a glimpse of Himalayan Weasel or A Martin. Sighting of Red Panda, wild dog and deer in the high hills have also been recorded. Zuluk, will be a rest day in the lap of nature.
Re – Route...
Dzuluk - Rongli – Gangtok |102kms| 5-6hrs|
This route takes one directly to the trading spots via Village of Rongli, further down to Kalimpong (West Bengal) Reach Gangtok, freshen up and get ready to soak in the satisfaction with Dansberg (local beer).
Soak yourselves in
Drop to Bagdogra/ N.j.p. |152kms | 6hrs|
Amenities includes according to the tour
- Accommodation on twin sharing Hotels and deluxe camps as mentioned.
- Meals inclusion as specified in the itinerary.
- A back up vehicle (pick up jeep) and one experienced mechanic from day 3 till the the 7th day .
- Royal Enfeild 500cc bikes from day.
- Local guide in Turtuk village.
- Airport pickup and drop in Leh.
- one dedicated trip leader.
Amenities excludes according to the tour
- Any Airfare
- Expenses of personal nature like laundry, telephone/fax calls, alcoholic beverages, camera/video camera fee at monuments, medical expenses, gratuities etc.
- Any Insurance
- Any expenses incurred due to delays owing to Force Majeure conditions or unforeseen circumstances
- Any other services not mentioned in the inclusions.
Payments and cancellations
- A minimum 50% of total on confirmation.
- 2 months before departure –No Charge
- 29‐60 days before departure‐25% of total
- 10‐28 days before departure‐50% of total
- Less than 10 days before departure‐No Refund
What to Do and Don’t on the Trip
- On Arrival please rest for 24 Hours, as you are travelling to High Altitude and would need time to acclimatize.
- Have plenty of drinking water or any kind of liquid (except alcohol).
- While visiting any Gompa, Please take a Lamas Permission for Photo or Video Shoot.
- Please wear proper clothing while visiting Gompas.
- For Females: No Open Hair, Short Skirts or any Short Dresses allowed at Gompa.
- For Males: No Short Pants or Sleeveless allowed at Gompa.
- Please follow Gompa Rules while visiting.
- D Cold –Illness / Combiflam–Body Pain.
- Vicks Balm.
- Diamox(250mg) –For High Altitude / High Pressure.
- Personal Medicines if any.
- GluconD / Electralpowder & Camphor.
- Dependel M
- Vicks inhaler
Essential Stuff that you might need.
- T-SHIRTS (preferably dry-fits)
- TRACK LOWERS
- THERMAL INNERS (Upper & Lower)
- SWEAT SHIRT
- SUN CAP & BALACLAVA
- EXTRA BATTERIES
- SUNSCREEN, minimum 50spf
- SUN GLASSES
- DOWN JACKET
- PERSONAL MEDICATION –if any
- PEN KNIFE
- SOCKS (min.5 pairs) –Cotton & Woollen