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Thread: Sikkim Ride

  1. #1
    Rookie sathasb's Avatar
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    Question Sikkim Ride

    Hi Everyone,Iam planning a ride to Sikkim in my RTR200 in december.I need some help on the route planning and getting PAP permit.Here is the planned
    route from my side as distance coverable by google maps.

    day 1 => tirupur - ongole 678km 12.9h
    day 2 => ongole - srikakulam 592km 11.21h
    day 3 => srikakulam - puri 298km 6.28h


    day 4 => puri local sight seeing


    day 5 => puri - bankura 493km 9.8h
    day 6 => bankura - kishanganj 433km 9.28h
    day 7 => kishanganj - gangtok 214km 5.35h


    day 8 => local sight seeing & getting ILP for zuluk
    day 9 => zuluk,nathu la pass & others


    day 10 => Gangtok - dargeeling 98km 3.9h
    day 11 => darjeeling - new jalpaiguri 73km 2.19h


    here are my queries:

    1) is the suggested distance are coverable in these areas,i have never been in these roads before and dont know about the roads.suggest is there any
    better options.
    2) staying in places like bankura,kishanganj are good or need changes to better place
    3) i read PAP permit in sikkim available through offline only,is there anyway to get via someone before i reach because if it take much time to get permit
    entire trip is waste,without going to zuluk and other north sikkim areas.
    4) iam planning to return by train or flight,i have maximum of 15days only.
    5) is jerry canes is a must one to kept in this ride,how is the availability of fuel pumps in these areas.
    6) i have done many rides in TN,KL for two to three days,but this my first long trip and to north,suggest the must have items for these kind of ride.
    7) and also suggest places must to visit in those areas.

    thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Moderator Samarth 619's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: Sikkim Ride

    Topic Approved.

    Will inform one guy, who's done a similar trip...

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    Default Re: Sikkim Ride

    Hi I’m pasting my itinerary which I followed on my NE trip last month, if you’ve queries DM me.

    Day 1: Siliguri to Lachung via Mangan 185kms – Start early again. You will need to make permit to visit North Sikkim. The permit can be made at the district magistrate’s office at Mangan by submitting copies of all your documents and documents of motorcycle. You will be asked to mention the places of your visit, write lachung, yumthnag, zero point, lachen, gurudongmar lake. The process takes around one hour (more if crowded). Try to reach Mangan by 11-12 noon. Take the route via Singtham and Dikchu to reach Mangan. Mangan also has the last petrol pump in entire north Sikkim so make sure you fill up at Mangan. The pump will be on your left about 1 km before the town. Do remember to make 8-10 copies of the permits as you will be required to submit one copy of the permit at each check post on the way. After getting the permit proceed to Lachung via Chungthang.

    Day 2 – Lachung to Yumthang valley (26km)
    Yumthang to Zero Point (25km).. ziro to Lachung (51km) to Lachen (47km)– Start early, enjoy the Yumthang valley, the road will end at zero point, come back to Lachung, check out of your hotel, have lunch, continue to Lachen via Chungthang. If you are able to reach Lachen by 2-2:30 PM then you may want to attempt to continue till Thangu. Do this only and only if you reach Lachen by 2 PM because the road from Lachen to Thangu is bad and dangerous after sunset. The sun sets by 4:30-5 PM in East India. Lachen is the preferred stop for visiting gurudongmar but you will be forced to start at 5 AM if you stay for the night at Lachen, if you continue till Thangu then you can start for Gurudongmar at 7 AM. Lachen has lots of hotels to stay, Thangu only has a few homestays. I personally like staying at Thangu more than Lachen.

    Day 3 – Lachen/Thangu to Gurudongmar (66km)to Gangtok – Start at 5 AM from Lachen or 7 AM from Thangu. The army allows tourists only before 9 or 10 AM to visit Gurudongmar that is why you need to start early. Do not drink alcohol or smoke the previous night. You will climb from 9000 feet to 17000 feet in a matter of hours and most human bodies suffer from AMS. Legally no one is allowed to go beyond Gurudongmar but nowadays lots of bikers continue to TsoLamhu, the highest lake in India. If you want to take the risk then continue straight on the gurudongmar road, there will be a board showing gurudongmar on the right, from that place if you go straight for 6 kms more you reach TsoLamhu. But army may stop you if they find you. After enjoying Gurudongmar start your ride downhill and reach Gangtok, (175km)the clean capital of Sikkim by 6-7 PM. Take a hotel near the MG Marg, go to Café Live and Loud to celebrate your gurudongmar visit with excellent cocktails and a live band performance. The baker’s café is a good bakery to visit. HOTEL FOR 2 nights in gangtok

    You will again need permits to visit East Sikkim. The permit can be made in Gangtok but it is a time consuming process so I would suggest that you get in touch with an agent in Gangtok when you reach, give him all your documents, they will charge around 100-200 for the permit and get it done the next day. Be sure to add all the places, Changu Lake, Nathu La, Kupup, Dzuluk, Gnathang valley. Make sure you give the documents at night because the agents go the tourism office early in the morning.

    Day 4– Rest day! Your body would have taken a toll due to the excessive riding of the last 5 days so use this day to rest. Chill in Gangtok. Maybe visit the nearby Rumtek monastery, visit the ropeway and other commercial spots near Gangtok if you are interested. Collect permit for East Sikkim from agent in the evening.

    Day 5– Gangtok to Dzuluk via Changu lake, Nathu La, Baba Mandir, Kupup lake – Start early as vehicles are allowed before 9 AM to start for Nathu La. First you will visit Changu lake, take a Yak ride if you feel like, continue to Nathu La, see the Chinese border, come down, continue to baba mandir, continue to Kupup lake, you can either stay for the night at Gnathang valley or Dzuluk. From Gnathang valley to Dzuluk you will ride on the famous hairpin bend roads also known as the old silk route. The sunrise over the Thambi view point is amazing with the Kanchenjunga on one side. Must visit on a clear morning.

    Day 6 – Dzuluk/Gnathnag to Bongaigaon – Apart from North and East Sikkim, there are places like Ravangla and Peiling in West Sikkim but since you have limited time you won’t be able to visit.

  4. #4
    Rookie sathasb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sikkim Ride

    hi bro thanks for your thoughts i will plan accordingly.
    The Night Fury

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    Default Re: Sikkim Ride

    Brother I am planning a similar trip from Bhubaneswar to Sikkim around mid of January. Even i am a little bit unsure of the permit/pass to visit nathula pass and other places.
    Hope you have a pleasant and safe journey. Plan well ride safe..

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    Default Re: Sikkim Ride

    Hey just a quick reply since haven't gone thru entire post, but nathula pass is closed on Tuesday. I had visited Sikkim in February end this year!! So plan accordingly in case you haven't considered this.
    Happy touring :-)
    sathasb likes this.

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    Default Re: Sikkim Ride

    Hi, i am planning for a similar ride from Chennai to Sikkim and Bhutan this November. If you are comfortable in November, we both can ride together.
    Btw, Nathula pass isn't allowed for tourists on Mondays and Tuesdays. And on Sundays they dont give permit. Plan accordingly.

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    Default Re: Sikkim Ride

    I am also planning to ride to sikkim from Bhubaneswar, Odisha in April or May. Would highly appreciate if anyone can guide me through the route from Bhubaneswar to Gangtok.

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    Default Re: Sikkim Ride

    Quote Originally Posted by themilemuncher View Post
    Hi I’m pasting my itinerary which I followed on my NE trip last month, if you’ve queries DM me.

    Day 1: Siliguri to Lachung via Mangan 185kms – Start early again. You will need to make permit to visit North Sikkim. The permit can be made at the district magistrate’s office at Mangan by submitting copies of all your documents and documents of motorcycle. You will be asked to mention the places of your visit, write lachung, yumthnag, zero point, lachen, gurudongmar lake. The process takes around one hour (more if crowded). Try to reach Mangan by 11-12 noon. Take the route via Singtham and Dikchu to reach Mangan. Mangan also has the last petrol pump in entire north Sikkim so make sure you fill up at Mangan. The pump will be on your left about 1 km before the town. Do remember to make 8-10 copies of the permits as you will be required to submit one copy of the permit at each check post on the way. After getting the permit proceed to Lachung via Chungthang.

    Day 2 – Lachung to Yumthang valley (26km)
    Yumthang to Zero Point (25km).. ziro to Lachung (51km) to Lachen (47km)– Start early, enjoy the Yumthang valley, the road will end at zero point, come back to Lachung, check out of your hotel, have lunch, continue to Lachen via Chungthang. If you are able to reach Lachen by 2-2:30 PM then you may want to attempt to continue till Thangu. Do this only and only if you reach Lachen by 2 PM because the road from Lachen to Thangu is bad and dangerous after sunset. The sun sets by 4:30-5 PM in East India. Lachen is the preferred stop for visiting gurudongmar but you will be forced to start at 5 AM if you stay for the night at Lachen, if you continue till Thangu then you can start for Gurudongmar at 7 AM. Lachen has lots of hotels to stay, Thangu only has a few homestays. I personally like staying at Thangu more than Lachen.

    Day 3 – Lachen/Thangu to Gurudongmar (66km)to Gangtok – Start at 5 AM from Lachen or 7 AM from Thangu. The army allows tourists only before 9 or 10 AM to visit Gurudongmar that is why you need to start early. Do not drink alcohol or smoke the previous night. You will climb from 9000 feet to 17000 feet in a matter of hours and most human bodies suffer from AMS. Legally no one is allowed to go beyond Gurudongmar but nowadays lots of bikers continue to TsoLamhu, the highest lake in India. If you want to take the risk then continue straight on the gurudongmar road, there will be a board showing gurudongmar on the right, from that place if you go straight for 6 kms more you reach TsoLamhu. But army may stop you if they find you. After enjoying Gurudongmar start your ride downhill and reach Gangtok, (175km)the clean capital of Sikkim by 6-7 PM. Take a hotel near the MG Marg, go to Café Live and Loud to celebrate your gurudongmar visit with excellent cocktails and a live band performance. The baker’s café is a good bakery to visit. HOTEL FOR 2 nights in gangtok

    You will again need permits to visit East Sikkim. The permit can be made in Gangtok but it is a time consuming process so I would suggest that you get in touch with an agent in Gangtok when you reach, give him all your documents, they will charge around 100-200 for the permit and get it done the next day. Be sure to add all the places, Changu Lake, Nathu La, Kupup, Dzuluk, Gnathang valley. Make sure you give the documents at night because the agents go the tourism office early in the morning.

    Day 4– Rest day! Your body would have taken a toll due to the excessive riding of the last 5 days so use this day to rest. Chill in Gangtok. Maybe visit the nearby Rumtek monastery, visit the ropeway and other commercial spots near Gangtok if you are interested. Collect permit for East Sikkim from agent in the evening.

    Day 5– Gangtok to Dzuluk via Changu lake, Nathu La, Baba Mandir, Kupup lake – Start early as vehicles are allowed before 9 AM to start for Nathu La. First you will visit Changu lake, take a Yak ride if you feel like, continue to Nathu La, see the Chinese border, come down, continue to baba mandir, continue to Kupup lake, you can either stay for the night at Gnathang valley or Dzuluk. From Gnathang valley to Dzuluk you will ride on the famous hairpin bend roads also known as the old silk route. The sunrise over the Thambi view point is amazing with the Kanchenjunga on one side. Must visit on a clear morning.

    Day 6 – Dzuluk/Gnathnag to Bongaigaon – Apart from North and East Sikkim, there are places like Ravangla and Peiling in West Sikkim but since you have limited time you won’t be able to visit.
    Hello. Is there anyway to find out if permits for Gurdongmar lake provided or not at Mangan? I am hearing news about heavy snowfall at north sikkim.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Sikkim Ride

    Hi themilemuncher and fellow riders to Sikkim,

    I happen to see your itinerary to Sikkim in this post.
    We have similar plans of doing it. Can you please check and advise. I have went thru many travelogues to prepare this plan. I will coming from Chennai by train upto NJP.

    Other riders who have recently done the sikkim trip, please share your thoughts.


    Day 1 - Morning 10 AM take train to NJP
    Day 2 - Mid night reach NJP. Get the bike ready for next day ride.
    Day 3-Fri - Early morning reach Rongli check post for silk route permit. Continue to Zuluk. Halt
    Day 4-Sat - Nathang Valley, Kupup, Tsomgo lake and halt in Gangtok. Understand Nathula Pass permit is not provided in Rongli, so will skip it.
    Day 5 -Sun - Assume you already have permit thru travel operator, start early to reach Lachen or Thangu (as you suggested in your itinerary).
    Day 6 - Mon - Visit Gurudongmar Lake, thangu calley and halt in Lachung
    Day 7 - Tue - Visit Yumthang and Zero point and return to Gangtok
    Day 8 - Wed - Halt or Visit Ravangla, Yuksom and Namchi, halt. This day is completely flexible.
    Day 9 - Thu - Wed or thursday can be spare day or local sightseeing of Gangtok. Day 8 and 9 can be flexible for rest or local sightseeing or West sikkim visit or if Nathula Pass is not to be missed, will try that.
    Day 10 - Fri - Catch noon or night train to reach Chennai on Sunday morning or noon.


    I have quite a few questions. So apologize for troubling you.

    1. We are transporting the bike. So assume we will be all set to start in the morning, heard the Permit for the Silk route excluding Nathula Pass is very quick. Taking halt in Zuluk because all these planning started first by seeing the pictures of Zuluk. Is it ok to start this way?
    2. For the North Sikkim permits, do we need to be there or say if i book my stay in Gangtok in advance and share all documents, can they collect the permits for me in advance? If i need to get it in person 1 or 2 day is required right?
    3. We are 2 bikes and 3 people, flexible for any month, so from a biker point of view, which are the best months to travel?
    4. Our priority in East and North Sikkim, so if there will be delays in permit we can always exclude the west sikkim/south plan and continue. But Friday we need to start back to Chennai. Do you think this itinerary is feasible.
    5. What special attention required in a biker point of you? for the bike, riding time, things to carry.
    6. Suppose if we go directly to Gangtok on Friday, again can the tour operator or hotel can arrange permit for East or North sikkim before we reach there? Or if we need to be in person, it the offices are open late on friday and Saturday. Assume we will reach Gangtok only by noon.
    7. Do you have any contact is gangtok to arrange for permits or if you went and got it in person, please provide the process.
    8. Suggest the accommodations, based on your experience. If possible with price.
    9. Last question, If by any chance can these be done SOLO. Are permits provided. I don't want to go all the way up there and just visit Gangtok and come back :-)

    Await your response and feel free to add any additional suggestions.
    sathasb likes this.

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