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Old 7th March 2014, 09:08   #16
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Superb in one word. Travelling all the way from bangalore and perform such a feat is just extraordinary. Thanks again for the permit knowhow. We never actually tried, to be honest and now the myth is broken.
Will be coming back. Cheers.
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Old 7th March 2014, 09:16   #17
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Default Re: Drive from Gangtok uphill

Thank you for the helpful post. This clears up the fact that we can take our own vehicle just beautifully!

Previous attempts of mine were always thwarted by the taxi/permit office nexus!

But just wondering about the "indemnity clause" you had to sign. I don't remember having had to do that if we go by private taxi fleet. Does it mean we are insured should we be placed in a "risky" situation
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Old 7th March 2014, 09:57   #18
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Default Re: Dusted: Zero Point, North Sikkim, 15748 FT

Which trim is your Duster? 85 or 110? Sorry if it is mentioned. I have missed it.
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Old 7th March 2014, 09:59   #19
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Default Re: Drive from Gangtok uphill

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Originally Posted by afunnynut View Post

But just wondering about the "indemnity clause" you had to sign. I don't remember having had to do that if we go by private taxi fleet. Does it mean we are insured should we be placed in a "risky" situation
When you go through a private taxi, then that undertaking is given by the tour n travel, as that is a requirement to get a permit. So anyone who is traveling either North Sikkim/Nathula, has to give an undertaking, if you are going through local Tour n travel, then that is their responsibility to provide.

As far my understanding is correct, that is actually to assure those permit guys, that in case your car broke down somewhere then they(permit guys) shouldn't be blamed.

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Which trim is your Duster? 85 or 110? Sorry if it is mentioned. I have missed it.
Its 110
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Old 7th March 2014, 18:52   #20
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Default Re: Dusted: Zero Point, North Sikkim, 15748 FT

Oh.man! this is simply great.
I along with few of my friends booked flight for April thinking we can't take our car to Sikkim!
Loved the level of details you have on your posts. Really useful for our tip.
Rated 5*
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Old 7th March 2014, 19:30   #21
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Default Re: Dusted: Zero Point, North Sikkim, 15748 FT

My memories came to life after reading this travelogue. These days I'm more of a biker and I wanted to know if there is an issue taking Karnataka registered bikes to Sikkim ?
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Old 7th March 2014, 21:47   #22
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Default Re: Dusted: Zero Point, North Sikkim, 15748 FT

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Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
Wow lovely start to the travelogue!! the frozen waterfall is amazing. Waiting for the rest. I have planned many times to to do North Sikkim but it is difficult to get permit for a West Bengal registered vehicle. It is not impossible as ADC da and 1100D have gone there with WB registered vehicles.
Thanks Blackpearl, I just want to say one thing, 'When there is a will there is a way'.

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Originally Posted by sj_koova View Post
Oh.man! this is simply great.
I along with few of my friends booked flight for April thinking we can't take our car to Sikkim!
Loved the level of details you have on your posts. Really useful for our tip.
Rated 5*
You are welcome.

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Originally Posted by devsoftech View Post
My memories came to life after reading this travelogue. These days I'm more of a biker and I wanted to know if there is an issue taking Karnataka registered bikes to Sikkim ?
Sorry, I have no information about what is required for a two-wheeler, probably the process is same, but I have no idea about that.
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Old 13th March 2014, 14:44   #23
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Default Re: Dusted: Zero Point, North Sikkim, 15748 FT

Back again, superb travelogue once again. Some terrific frames, specially that of the frozen waterfall. Excellent writeup with detailed description of the things to be done. Thanks again for the permit info. I think we should give it a try. Actually west and south Sikkim is so rich in flora and fauna, travelling to Gangtok never appealed, let alone zero point.

Coming back to the Duster slipping, I knew all FWD cars rule the winters, specially the WagonR and the Alto's in snow. That said all drivers need to control the sudden rush of turbo/acceleration on snow. Braking cannot be an option at turns. I guess your guide cum driver may not have got used to the pedals and its response. Getting to a few offbeat places in west Sikkim before Gangtok might have helped as all this while you guys were travelling on tarmac.

Anyway all said and done, the trip was a huge success and full credit goes to the team members.

Last edited by himadrimondal : 13th March 2014 at 14:46.
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Old 13th March 2014, 22:09   #24
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Originally Posted by himadrimondal View Post
Back again, superb travelogue once again. Some terrific frames, specially that of the frozen waterfall. Excellent writeup with detailed description of the things to be done. Thanks again for the permit info. I think we should give it a try. Actually west and south Sikkim is so rich in flora and fauna, travelling to Gangtok never appealed, let alone zero point.

Coming back to the Duster slipping, I knew all FWD cars rule the winters, specially the WagonR and the Alto's in snow. That said all drivers need to control the sudden rush of turbo/acceleration on snow. Braking cannot be an option at turns. I guess your guide cum driver may not have got used to the pedals and its response. Getting to a few offbeat places in west Sikkim before Gangtok might have helped as all this while you guys were travelling on tarmac.

Anyway all said and done, the trip was a huge success and full credit goes to the team members.
Thanks again himadrimondal.

Actually all the places where we were stuck either me or Shishir was driving and we had no experience of driving in snow/ice covered roads and thus we were stuck. The driver we hired had no problems handling the car.

And when I think again, I can say at all the places we were stuck, it was of one main reason "momentum". Whenever we lost momentum in snow/ice we had problems getting the car out of it and Wangdi (driver) we hired, always backed up the car, as it was always on slope and gained the momentum to cross the road.

As I had also mentioned in the summary, "momentum is the key". Good that we had a person who could guide us and take us out from those tricky situations. Nevertheless a good lesson learned and I have no regrets that we hired him thanks to Praveen who told me that he will go only when we take an experienced driver with us otherwise he will go back
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Old 15th March 2014, 18:28   #25
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Default Re: Dusted: Zero Point, North Sikkim, 15748 FT

Thanks for sharing such a great experience!

I would certainly one day like to be a part of such a journey at least once in my life-time.

Just one question. When you guys were driving in snow laden roads, did you have any problems with the regular tyres struggling for grip or you had tyres on specially for such road conditions.

I am asking because some of the expatriates who come to my office from Canada tend to talk about special tyres being used in Winters in Canada due to heavy snowfalls and lack of grip of the regular tyres.
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Old 16th March 2014, 14:09   #26
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Default Re: Dusted: Zero Point, North Sikkim, 15748 FT

Lovely travelogue Gurha. I am sure your travelogue will inspire many people to venture to the unexplored north east. Leh and Ladakh, Spiti have hogged all the limelight and have become too crowded. There is a general misconception that people in north east do not mix freely and language too is a huge barrier. As your travelogue points out , these are simply misconceptions. Could you please add a little about your experience with people there.
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Old 17th March 2014, 09:08   #27
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Default Re: Dusted: Zero Point, North Sikkim, 15748 FT

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Originally Posted by tejas08 View Post

Just one question. When you guys were driving in snow laden roads, did you have any problems with the regular tyres struggling for grip or you had tyres on specially for such road conditions.
Yes, normal tires do skid on snow/ice. In west its a practice to switch to snow tires when the winter starts as they have much better grip on snow/ice. But procuring those in India is of no use rather people buy either snow chains/snow cables. More information can be found here:
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-te...ins-india.html (How to get Snow Chains in India)

My tires did skid in few places, but normally tires don't skid on snow, its the ice which makes them skid.

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Could you please add a little about your experience with people there.
Well, my experience with the people there was very good. People are very helpful there and most of them speak Nepali and is not very different from hindi, after a while you can start understanding also. The people there are very shy they don't talk much but if you start talking to them they are really very nice people. During my entire trip for around 10 days, I didn't met a single person whom I can say behaved badly.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by gurha : 17th March 2014 at 09:22.
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Old 17th March 2014, 15:39   #28
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Default Re: Dusted: Zero Point, North Sikkim, 15748 FT

A fabulous TL Gurha. While I plan to do Ladakh this summer, I would like to go to Sikkim next summer ( June). How are the weather conditions in June in North Sikkim ? I believe that there will be no snow and ice in June and it should be doable in A FWD like the SX4.
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Old 17th March 2014, 18:01   #29
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How are the weather conditions in June in North Sikkim ? I believe that there will be no snow and ice in June and it should be doable in A FWD like the SX4.
June is a good time to go, but March-April is the best time to go to Sikkim. As during that time rhododendrons are at their full bloom and the entire Yumthang valley is covered with them. If you are planning a trip to Sikkim you should not skip rhododendrons when they are at their full bloom.

Yes, snow/ice starts melting in March only, so should be doable with any car.
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Old 9th July 2014, 17:16   #30
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Default Re: Dusted: Zero Point, North Sikkim, 15748 FT

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Originally Posted by devsoftech View Post
My memories came to life after reading this travelogue. These days I'm more of a biker and I wanted to know if there is an issue taking Karnataka registered bikes to Sikkim ?
Devesh,
No issues in taking the Karnataka registered bikes to Sikkim. We four bikers(3 Bikes registered in Karnataka and 1 from MH) did North Sikkim, East Sikkim and Bhutan in Oct 2013.
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