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Old 10th January 2017, 18:19   #1
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Default Raipur - Sikkim - Bhutan : Route Queries

I am planning a trip to Darjeeling - Gangtok - Bhutan from Raipur (Chhattisgarh) in March 2017 with my better-half. I am still in the planning phase. Need help regarding routes to be taken to & fro, Number of days required, itinerary etc.

I have chalked out the route possibility from Raipur to Siliguri -

1. Raipur - Korba - Ranchi - Dhanbad - Deoghar - Bhagalpur - Siliguri - Darjeeling
Distance - 1253 kms.

2. Raipur - Ambikapur - Aurangabad - Patna - Bhagalpur - Purnea - Siliguri - Darjeeling
Distance - 1296 kms.

3. Raipur - Sambalpur - Kharagpur - Durgapur - Farakka - Kishanganj - Siliguri - Darjeeling
Distance - 1431 kms.

Now I would like to ask -
1. Which would be the best route to travel?
2. What about the night halt?
3. Safety& Road conditions?
4. Shall I include Bhutan before or after exploring Sikkim?
5. Which other places should I include in Sikkim? (I have plans for Gangtok, Nathu La, Lachung, Pelling, Zuluk)
6. It would be good to visit this part of land in March?
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Old 10th January 2017, 19:01   #2
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Default re: Raipur - Sikkim - Bhutan : Route Queries

Quote:
1. Raipur - Korba - Ranchi - Dhanbad - Deoghar - Bhagalpur - Siliguri - Darjeeling
Distance - 1253 kms.
I think this should be the best route.

Quote:
2. What about the night halt?
You can halt at any of the places - Ranchi, Dhanbad, Deoghar, Bhagalpur or Siliguri.

Quote:
3. Safety& Road conditions?
I am not sure about the road condition till Dhandbad, but Dhanbad onwards it is good. There is no safety issue as such from Dhanbad to Siliguri. However it is better to avoid this route at night, though I have done it multiple times without any problem.

Quote:
4. Shall I include Bhutan before or after exploring Sikkim?
There are lots of places to visit in both Bhutan and Sikkim and are quite different from each other. It should not matter whether you visit one place earlier or later.

Quote:
5. Which other places should I include in Sikkim? (I have plans for Gangtok, Nathu La, Lachung, Pelling, Zuluk)
Lachung is in North Sikkim, Pelling is in West and Zuluk is in East Sikkim. You need to let us know the number of days you plan to stay as including all of these in one trip is a bit difficult unless you have a lot of time on your hand.

Quote:
6. It would be good to visit this part of land in March?
March is a good time to visit.

Last edited by GTO : 11th January 2017 at 10:38. Reason: Adding quote tags - please use quote :). Thanks!
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Old 11th January 2017, 15:14   #3
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Default re: Raipur - Sikkim - Bhutan : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
You can halt at any of the places - Ranchi, Dhanbad, Deoghar, Bhagalpur or Siliguri.
What about Bokaro??

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Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
I am not sure about the road condition till Dhandbad, but Dhanbad onwards it is good. There is no safety issue as such from Dhanbad to Siliguri. However it is better to avoid this route at night, though I have done it multiple times without any problem.
Anyone has idea of road conditions from Korba to Dhanbad??

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Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
Lachung is in North Sikkim, Pelling is in West and Zuluk is in East Sikkim. You need to let us know the number of days you plan to stay as including all of these in one trip is a bit difficult unless you have a lot of time on your hand.
I have around 18-20 Days. I have prepared an itinerary for the trip.

Few queries as per itinerary -

1. I have allotted one full day to Thimpu apart from the day of reaching there. Would it be enough or Should I extend by one more day?? Suggestions.

2. Two days in Darjeeling. Is it good or shall I Extend or reduce it??

3. 1-1 day for each Pelling, Lachung & Gangtok. Any changes required??

4. Any other place to include in the trip to see apart from I have decided?? I am open to modify the plan & extend the number of days, if needed.
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Old 11th January 2017, 16:55   #4
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Default re: Raipur - Sikkim - Bhutan : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by shagils View Post
What about Bokaro??



Anyone has idea of road conditions from Korba to Dhanbad??
I am not sure about Korba to Ranchi but Ranchi - Hazaribagh - Bagodar - Giridih - Deoghar - Banka - Bhagalpur - Purnea - Siliguri route is in good shape. You can stay at Deoghar or Giridih.

Going via Dhanbad/Bokaro will consume more time.



Regarding your itinerary -

1. Siliguri to Jaigaon : Take the Sevoke - Malbazar route as it is much more scenic and witnesses lesser traffic.

2. Paro to Darjeeling : The Haa Valley and Tiger's Nest in Paro will consume almost an entire day. Paro to Darjeeling in a day is doable but will be too tiring. You can stay a night somewhere in the Dooars and then proceed to Darjeeling.

3. Pelling to Lachung : I am afraid this won't be possible unless you have backup of a good agent who can get your permits done beforehand. In order to visit North Sikkim and East Sikkim, you will have to procure Inner Line Permits (ILP) for every traveller and the vehicle. The ILP is issued from Gangtok only on weekdays 10 AM to 4 PM. So plan your travel accordingly.

4. Lachung to Gangtok : You will have to start very early in the day in order to cover Yumthang Valley and Zero Point before coming back to Lachung. This will again consume time. Plus the Lachung to Gangtok stretch is not in a very good shape so 50 odd kms can take upto 3 hours depending upon the slush (if any). Please plan accordingly.

5. Gangtok to Zuluk : Inner Line Permits required for East Sikkim as well.


Additionally, if you are willing to travel upto Lachung then you must include Lachen and Gurudongmar Lake in your itinerary as well.


Frankly, its difficult to stick to this itinerary unless you can cover miles quicker in the plains, say Raipur to Jaigaon is two days. Or else this plan looks difficult to me.
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Old 11th January 2017, 17:27   #5
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Default re: Raipur - Sikkim - Bhutan : Route Queries

Subscribing to this thread as I am also in the same boat. Three friends planning a bike trip with better half in April/May. Since we are from down south, our ride will probably start from Kolkata only till where bikes are to be shipped and we shall be flying.

Initial plan was for Leh but most passes looks closed during those months. Not read any such challenges with Bhutan trip. Looking for inputs, pardon the ignorance.
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Old 13th January 2017, 23:31   #6
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Default re: Raipur - Sikkim - Bhutan : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by //M View Post
I am not sure about Korba to Ranchi but Ranchi - Hazaribagh - Bagodar - Giridih - Deoghar - Banka - Bhagalpur - Purnea - Siliguri route is in good shape. You can stay at Deoghar or Giridih.
Anyone knows about road conditions from Korba to Ranchi??

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Originally Posted by //M View Post
2. Paro to Darjeeling : The Haa Valley and Tiger's Nest in Paro will consume almost an entire day. Paro to Darjeeling in a day is doable but will be too tiring. You can stay a night somewhere in the Dooars and then proceed to Darjeeling.
Shall I allot one full day to Paro??

I have planned to do Paro - Darjeeling as per convenience, if it would not be possible I will stay in between.

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Originally Posted by //M View Post
3. Pelling to Lachung : I am afraid this won't be possible unless you have backup of a good agent who can get your permits done beforehand. In order to visit North Sikkim and East Sikkim, you will have to procure Inner Line Permits (ILP) for every traveller and the vehicle. The ILP is issued from Gangtok only on weekdays 10 AM to 4 PM. So plan your travel accordingly.
Will do it like Pelling - Gangtok (Stay), Gangtok - Lachung (Stay), Lachung - Gangtok (Stay), Gangtok - Zuluk (Stay), Zuluk - Siliguri (Return Journey)

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Additionally, if you are willing to travel upto Lachung then you must include Lachen and Gurudongmar Lake in your itinerary as well.
Sure, Yumthang & Zero Point as well. Would I be able to cover all these, if I will stay for a night there??
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Old 14th January 2017, 09:42   #7
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Default re: Raipur - Sikkim - Bhutan : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by shagils View Post
Shall I allot one full day to Paro??
Ideally yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shagils View Post
I have planned to do Paro - Darjeeling as per convenience, if it would not be possible I will stay in between.
Sounds perfect.

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Originally Posted by shagils View Post
Will do it like Pelling - Gangtok (Stay), Gangtok - Lachung (Stay), Lachung - Gangtok (Stay), Gangtok - Zuluk (Stay), Zuluk - Siliguri (Return Journey)
Easily doable. But since you are driving upto Lachung, I suggest please don't miss seeing the magical Gurudongmar Lake. Trust me, it is worth the effort. But you will need almost 2 extra days for this.

Please remember you may have to spend upto a day in Gangtok for procuring the permits. Or else you will have to get it done through a reliable agent so that you can save time. You can use the extra day in Gangtok to cover Tashi View Point, Hanuman Tok, Ganesh Tok, Rumtek Monastery etc.

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Originally Posted by shagils View Post
Sure, Yumthang & Zero Point as well. Would I be able to cover all these, if I will stay for a night there??
Yumthang and Zero Point are ideally visited early morning so leave early from Lachung, cover Zero Point and drive back to Lachung by noon. Then you can continue further till Gangtok.


My 2 cents - Cover the entire North Sikkim and East Sikkim in this trip since you are making an effort to procure the permits and driving all the way till Lachung. If time is a constraint, you can skip Darjeeling and West Sikkim for some other time.

Last edited by //M : 14th January 2017 at 09:43.
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