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Old 23rd May 2014, 23:44   #31
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Default Re: Mystical North Sikkim on a Classic 500 and CBZ Xtreme

Very well written.

Always wanted to know more about taking a trip there. Thanks for the pointers !
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Old 24th May 2014, 11:55   #32
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Default Re: Mystical North Sikkim on a Classic 500 and CBZ Xtreme

Great TL!! North Sikkim is truly beautiful and unspoilt. Hope it stays that way.

Had been there in May 2009 and the pictures brought back wonderful memories. Could not visit Gurudongmar lake at that time, but will surely plan another visit.

Also loved the prayer flags on your bike!! Nice touch.
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Old 24th May 2014, 13:00   #33
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Default Re: Mystical North Sikkim on a Classic 500 and CBZ Xtreme

Quote:
Originally Posted by //M View Post
But for bikers, it is difficult to start riding in this stretch at 3 am due to the following reasons:

1. Dense clouds and foggy conditions that restrict visibility making riding very difficult. Post 5.30 am the clouds clear out.
2. There are no roads post Lachen. It’s more of a dirt track with several water crossings. So bikers are not advisable to ride in such conditions with zero visibility in a dark night.
Excellent decision!!
I salute your grit and determination.Very few takes the risk to travel to North Sikkim with 4 wheelers, but you guys doing this with motorcycles, deserve special credit.

North Sikkim is still not crowded as the other parts of sikkim due to its location. Hope it stays like this for us BHPians.

Wonderfully written travelogue and I am sure the experience was unforgettable.

Waiting for more of these.
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Old 24th May 2014, 14:04   #34
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Default Re: Mystical North Sikkim on a Classic 500 and CBZ Xtreme

Few of us descended down to the lake just to touch the icy-cold water of the lake. It is said that the water of the Gurudongmar Lake has religious significance. Also at 17,100 feet above sea level and no vegetation meant altitude sickness could raise its ugly head anytime. So we quickly made a dash to the lake and came back soon. But till then already most of us had started feeling uncomfortable due to the altitude and the strong winds. Without wasting time, we got into our bikes and started back for Thangu.

As I slotted the key in my Desert Storm and brought it to life with a kick, I promised myself that me and my beloved Enfield will get back here again someday. Soon I saw the blue lake disappear in my rear view mirror. We saw mine fields, tanks and bofors guns on the way back and then the barren landscapes made way to greener valleys and flowing rivers as we approached the hamlet of Lachen. We stopped for a quick smoke near a water crossing and I soaked in the surroundings. I just couldn't get enough of those snow-capped peaks and the stark landscape that dominated Gurudongmar Lake. It was a surreal experience for each of us and I knew it that the splendour of Sikkim will call me back for more. I always loved my Enfield but at that moment, for once, I couldn't help but feel an overwhelming affection for my bike.
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Old 24th May 2014, 15:52   #35
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Thumbs up Re: Mystical North Sikkim on a Classic 500 and CBZ Xtreme

Excellent TL. The terrain definitely looks rough and must be a tough experience riding out. Great snaps of the snow capped mountains.

My bit of contribution: Rated 5 *

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 25th May 2014, 23:10   #36
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Default Re: Mystical North Sikkim on a Classic 500 and CBZ Xtreme

11th May, Day 7


We started off from Chungthang and thought of reaching Siliguri by night. The Chungthang-Mangan stretch was pathetic, as described earlier. We reached Mangan and found that the petrol station had no fuel in stock. So we continued to Dikchuk, got tankful of fuel for the motorcycles and proceeded towards Singtam, near the Sikkim Manipal University. The Mangan-Singtam road is amazing with wide swooping corners and lovely tarmac. There are a few odd speedbreakers near the villages though. Singtam and Rangpo are crowded places with lots of tourists as these twin towns are the gateway to Sikkim. From Rangpo, the weather turned hot and humid. We reached Siliguri by 2 pm, much before than expected thanks to the lovely Mangan-Singtam road. So instead of halting at Siliguri, we continued upto Purnea in Bihar. We stayed here at Hotel Aditya near the Railway Station. Nice, comfortable rooms and light on the pocket too.

Route Taken: Chungthang-Mangan-Dikchuk-Singtam-Rangpo-Teesta-Sevoke-Siliguri-Purnea (330 kms)
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Old 25th May 2014, 23:32   #37
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Default Re: Mystical North Sikkim on a Classic 500 and CBZ Xtreme

Quote:
Originally Posted by deepcdc View Post
Very well written.

Always wanted to know more about taking a trip there. Thanks for the pointers !
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiger_stripes View Post
Great TL!! North Sikkim is truly beautiful and unspoilt. Hope it stays that way.

Had been there in May 2009 and the pictures brought back wonderful memories. Could not visit Gurudongmar lake at that time, but will surely plan another visit.

Also loved the prayer flags on your bike!! Nice touch.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Indian Ranger View Post
Excellent TL. The terrain definitely looks rough and must be a tough experience riding out. Great snaps of the snow capped mountains.

My bit of contribution: Rated 5 *

Thanks for sharing.
Thank You so much guys !!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gearhead_mait View Post
Excellent decision!!
I salute your grit and determination.Very few takes the risk to travel to North Sikkim with 4 wheelers, but you guys doing this with motorcycles, deserve special credit.

North Sikkim is still not crowded as the other parts of sikkim due to its location. Hope it stays like this for us BHPians.

Wonderfully written travelogue and I am sure the experience was unforgettable.

Waiting for more of these.
I think more than the risk, the unavailability of valid permits to citizens driving up there in their own vehicles is the reason why North Sikkim is less crowded.

The experience sure was unforgettable. I am sure each of us returned back to Ranchi as better riders having learnt so much after riding over such varied conditions. Roads or no roads, every stretch was a learning experience.

Thank You for all the appreciation Sir.
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Old 27th May 2014, 10:13   #38
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Default Re: Mystical North Sikkim on a Classic 500 and CBZ Xtreme

Quote:
Originally Posted by //M View Post

I think more than the risk, the unavailability of valid permits to citizens driving up there in their own vehicles is the reason why North Sikkim is less crowded.

The experience sure was unforgettable. I am sure each of us returned back to Ranchi as better riders having learnt so much after riding over such varied conditions. Roads or no roads, every stretch was a learning experience.
Arunabh, your experience is priceless. And what you learnt is something which is a lifelong takeaway from the trip, apart from the thrilling and amazing experience and memories. Now I am regretting pretty badly; I should have joined you guys

And a special note of thanks for all the details of the place that you shared, even after a tight schedule on the day you came over.

Thanks,
Saket

PS: I think that one 'EMI' of the travelogue is still pending.
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Old 27th May 2014, 12:16   #39
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Default Re: Mystical North Sikkim on a Classic 500 and CBZ Xtreme

Awesome TL. In two days I have read 2 Awesome Bike TLs on the forum. Must have been a really excellent experience. Thanks for sharing those breathtaking photographs. Rating thread a well deserved all*
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Old 27th May 2014, 17:05   #40
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Default Re: Mystical North Sikkim on a Classic 500 and CBZ Xtreme

12th May, Day 8


The last leg of our journey was from Purnea to Ranchi and it was the most tiring day of all. Scorching heat and humidity affected adversely to the riding pleasure. We started off from Purnea at 5 am and reached Bhagalpur by 7 am and then my Classic 500 suffered its first puncture in the entire trip. This puncture consumed some time and also one of my friends had some plans in Bhagalpur, so we were delayed by almost 3 hours in total. We left Bhagalpur by 10.30 am and by the time we reached Amarpur and Banka, we were completely exhausted due to the heat. But the road from Banka to Deoghar was a blast. Terrific tarmac, lovely corners, zero traffic. The only fly in the ointment was the scorching summer heat waves. We reached Deoghar by 2 pm and continued to Giridih and Barakar. We had delicious vegetarian food in a Jain Bhojanalaya in Barakar and continued to Dumri and Bagodar. We reached Bagodar by 6 pm. The Bagodar-Hazaribag stretch of 55 kms had some bad patches and jungles en route so we wanted to cover this stretch before dark. By the time we reached Hazaribag, it got dark. At about 7.30 pm we left Hazaribag for Ranchi. We stopped over for a cup of tea near Ramgarh and reached Ranchi by 9 pm tired and exhausted, but at the same time way too much excited to tell everybody about the whole trip.

Route Taken: Purnea-Bhagalpur-Amarpur-Banka-Deoghar-Giridih-Dumri-Bagodar-Hazaribag-Ranchi (523 kms)
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Old 27th May 2014, 17:13   #41
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Default Re: Mystical North Sikkim on a Classic 500 and CBZ Xtreme

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Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
Arunabh, your experience is priceless. And what you learnt is something which is a lifelong takeaway from the trip, apart from the thrilling and amazing experience and memories. Now I am regretting pretty badly; I should have joined you guys

And a special note of thanks for all the details of the place that you shared, even after a tight schedule on the day you came over.

Thanks,
Saket

PS: I think that one 'EMI' of the travelogue is still pending.
There is always a next time Sir and I really hope to take a roadtrip with you someday, preferably to the lovely hidden treasures in the North East. Please let me know about your plans to visit such places in the future. If time permits, I will be more than happy to join you.

And yes, it was a tight schedule the other day, but it is always a pleasure to meet fellow bhpians. The last 'EMI' has just been uploaded.

Regards,
Arunabh
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Old 27th May 2014, 17:41   #42
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Default Re: Mystical North Sikkim on a Classic 500 and CBZ Xtreme

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There is always a next time Sir and I really hope to take a roadtrip with you someday, preferably to the lovely hidden treasures in the North East. Please let me know about your plans to visit such places in the future. If time permits, I will be more than happy to join you.

And yes, it was a tight schedule the other day, but it is always a pleasure to meet fellow bhpians. The last 'EMI' has just been uploaded.

Regards,
Arunabh
The pleasure will be all mine to join you on such a trip. Just let me know about your plans in advance so that all preparations can me made in time.
Last but not the least, thank you for this lovely travelogue. If someone reads it in one go, I am sure, he would realize that he is on the edge of the seat by now.
My best wishes for all your future endeavors!

Regards,
Saket
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Old 27th May 2014, 23:28   #43
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Default Re: Mystical North Sikkim on a Classic 500 and CBZ Xtreme

Somewhere in the Mangan-Chungthang stretch, I saw this Nissan 4W73 aka 1 Ton with a Tata Badge on the front grille.
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Old 28th May 2014, 00:01   #44
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Default Re: Mystical North Sikkim on a Classic 500 and CBZ Xtreme

In any roadtrip, it is the vehicle which acts as a lifeline. If the vehicle breaks down, the pleasure of motoring gets hampered. But then every experience is a learning opportunity.

In this 2179 kms roadtrip, the Classic 500 Desert Storm and the CBZ Extreme behaved impeccably well, we threw obstacles and they accepted each obstacle with aplomb. Absolutely zero problems, save for a puncture for the Classic 500 and minor acceleration problems for the CBZ at Zero Point.

There was way too much slush, snow, loose gravel, dirt tracks, smooth 4-laned highways, winding mountains roads, water crossings, landslides, scorching heat, extreme cold, strong winds, everything that made this trip so eventful. The motorbikes enjoyed every situation and made this trip such a memorable one. Everybody warned us that the permits are not issued to civilians in non-Sikkim registered private vehicles but we made it with ease. Had we visited East Sikkim and West Sikkim, we would have missed the amazing landscapes that North Sikkim had to offer.

I still get sleepless nights, I still see the snow-capped peaks, I still feel the thump and the metal between my legs, this roadtrip has indeed been an incredible one. The more kilometers I cover, the more I love my motorcycle.

Fellow bhpian Rishadm had rightly mentioned this line in one of his articles that, “there’s a certain pleasurable madness in riding across the Himalayas in a motorcycle”. Well said Sir !!
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Old 31st May 2014, 17:33   #45
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Default Re: Mystical North Sikkim on a Classic 500 and CBZ Xtreme

There is a line written above by Saket, that - if someone reads the entire travelogue in one go, he will be at the edge of the seat. Well, I did read it in one go, and Yes, I am there, a little more and I would be flat on the ground.

This is truly amazing, truly spectacular and wonderfully exotic. Just the pictures brought out a certain adrenaline rush flowing through. Imagine what the reality will do!! I remember going to Sikkim once, never went as far though, just restricted to Gangtok, Kalimpong, and I think Mirik. Now I regret why I didn't. Guess, you better do it when you can.

I would love to do this someday, not sure if I still have it in me to go the distance, but for sure will keep this on my to do list.
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