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Old 15th September 2014, 12:26   #16
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Default re: A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula

Good travelogue, some pictures reminds me of my travel to Darjeeling early this year.

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Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Its a pedestrian only section I presume?
Yes Sir, its only for pedestrians now.
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Old 15th September 2014, 14:46   #17
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Default re: A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula

Nice family vacation, for the taxi rates you could have checked around before agreeing to someone in particular but I guess you had paucity of time. Somehow I felt the rates were higher for the distances.
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Old 15th September 2014, 18:06   #18
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Default Re: A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula

Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
Very well written sir, ans some striking pictures too. The thread will prove informative for the travelers to the region, such are the details.
Saket
Thank you Saket.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
I remember walking on MG road in Gangtok, when they were re-laying the section. Its a pedestrian only section I presume?
Great write up.
Thank you ampere, for the kind words.
Yes, it is a 'Pedestrian only' area for about 200 meters.


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Originally Posted by gurha View Post
Good travelogue, some pictures reminds me of my travel to Darjeeling early this year.
Thank you Gurha. Post some pics if you wish

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Originally Posted by motomaverick View Post
Nice family vacation, for the taxi rates you could have checked around before agreeing to someone in particular but I guess you had paucity of time. Somehow I felt the rates were higher for the distances.
Thank you motomavrick. Taxi expenses ended up high ofcourse, but it became inevitable as we give priority for the comfort of family. If I gone alone or with some other friends, I would opted for shared taxis in most cases.
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Old 16th September 2014, 00:25   #19
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Default Re: A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula

Lovely pictures and a very nice narration! Being from Kolkata this travelogue is more than enough to instigate me to drive to Sikkim yet once again!

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Originally Posted by Ddrive View Post
Taxi expenses ended up high ofcourse, but it became inevitable as we give priority for the comfort of family. If I gone alone or with some other friends, I would opted for shared taxis in most cases.
Though a bit more expensive but still hiring a full cab rather than sharing with others, give you more privacy and peace of mind. I support your decision as you took the whole cab rather than sharing as you were with your family. With friends or going alone it could have been a different scenario.

But what motomaverick told is also true as in these regions bargaining with cab drivers are very common. Even Sikkim and West Bengal should follow what Kashmir has done. They have given fixed Taxi rates from the government and every cab driver more or less follows it.

Last edited by Samba : 16th September 2014 at 00:37.
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Old 16th September 2014, 16:59   #20
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Default Re: A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula

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Originally Posted by Ddrive View Post
Thank you Gearhead_mait. Sure would love to visit all these places someday.
Anytime if you plan a drive to these places with your friends, do call me too.
I will fly in/out Kolkata and join you
Ddrive a wonderful thread which brought back my memories of our visit to Sikkim three years back. This was just after the earthquake and we were happy that we still continued the journey instead of cancelling it. How we enjoyed the sights and natural beauty is something one has to experience first hand.

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Originally Posted by gearhead_mait View Post
A nicely crafted and a very detailed travelogue! Wonderful pictures to complement the writing.

Gangtok and Darjeeling are evergreen tourist destinations. But next time I would recommend you to check out some of the other beautiful places in these regions like Rishap, Lava (WB) , Ravangla, Pelling Kaluk (W Sikkim) and some exotic North Sikkim destinations.
Totally agree with you . If Gangtok and Nathula are this good, North Sikkim including Gurudongmar is just mesmerizing. We were sad that North Sikkim was total closed due to the total devastation and hence could not make it there but we vowed that "We will be back "

Just a quick link in the wiki about the surreal Gurudongmar Lake!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gurudongmar_Lake


Even East Sikkim such as Peling is very beautiful. Incidentally we did a Bangalore - Kolkatta - New Jalpaigudi - Darjeeling - Peling - Gangtok and back trip.

Next time whenever that happens would surely cover North Sikkim and Kalimpong among others. This destinations is surely another heavenly place on earth!
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Old 16th September 2014, 17:45   #21
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Default Re: A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula

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Originally Posted by girishglg View Post
Even East Sikkim such as Peling is very beautiful.
A small correction. Peling is in West Sikkim.
But your information is absolutely correct in another way. East Sikkim is equally good eg. places like rishi khola, zuluk, padamchen, kupup, nathang valley etc are some of the beautiful places in East Sikkim. I have never been there though.

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Originally Posted by girishglg View Post
Incidentally we did a Bangalore - Kolkatta - New Jalpaigudi - Darjeeling - Peling - Gangtok and back trip.
That's great! Please share your TLog link, if you have compiled it yet.

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Originally Posted by girishglg View Post
Next time whenever that happens would surely cover North Sikkim and Kalimpong among others. This destinations is surely another heavenly place on earth!
Absolutely!
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Old 16th September 2014, 18:39   #22
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Default Re: A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula

Great travelogue Ddrive.
Looks like they have spruced up MG road in Gangtok, I remember walking there when one side of the road was reserved for pedestrians and other for vehicles.

Hope the roads in border areas are upgraded soon. A friend of mine who works in army and was posted near Tawang used to ruefully tell about how on Chinese side commanders come blazing in their SUV's through superb roads while our side has to do with almost no roads.
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Old 16th September 2014, 21:14   #23
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Default Re: A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula

Quote:
Originally Posted by girishglg View Post
Ddrive a wonderful thread which brought back my memories of our visit to Sikkim three years back..
Thank you for the compliments girishglg

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
Great travelogue Ddrive.
Looks like they have spruced up MG road in Gangtok, I remember walking there when one side of the road was reserved for pedestrians and other for vehicles.
Thank you mpksuhas.
You are right. I was wrong in my earlier reply to ampere.
The MG Road is not straight but tilted, the first 100 meters is fully for pedestrians. The next 100 meters is one way for vehicles , and the other side for pedestrians.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
Hope the roads in border areas are upgraded soon. A friend of mine who works in army and was posted near Tawang used to ruefully tell about how on Chinese side commanders come blazing in their SUV's through superb roads while our side has to do with almost no roads.
mpksuhas, What your friend says is absolutely right. Take a look at the below pictures clicked while driving down from Nathula. I took the front seat while driving down, and the views were straight for my camera, and the roads looked trickier than while going up. The fog was also denser and it was raining all the way down.. pounding hard in many places. But you can also see in some of the pictures that the roads are being relaid, and being widened in many stretches.

Here are some pictures clicked while driving down:

A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-.jpg

A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-b.jpg

Some football anyone?
A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-b1.jpg

We visited Babamandhir only on the way back from Nathula
A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-c.jpg

The Agarwals paying a visit.
A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-d.jpg

Tsomgo Lake in vicinity. The locals pronounce it as Changu lake.
A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-f.jpg

The Agarwals at Tsomgo lake.
A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-g.jpg

Tourists being taken out on a Yak ride.
A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-h.jpg

We continue.
A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-i.jpg

This is my home, in life and death.
A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-i1.jpg

Road widening work is in progress at many places though.
A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-j.jpg

A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-k.jpg

I can see the lights.
A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-l.jpg

At Kyongmosla Water falls, 10375 feet.
A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-m.jpg

Hot Bajjis and Hot Chai, at Kyongnosla waterfalls.
A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-n.jpg

Further down..
A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-o.jpg

A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-q.jpg

A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-r.jpg

A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-s.jpg

A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-t.jpg

A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-u.jpg

A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-v.jpg

A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-w.jpg

We reach lower altitudes.
A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-x.jpg

A landslide prone area.
A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-y.jpg

With streams running across the road.
A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-z.jpg

Count your landslides.
A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-z1.jpg

Nearing Gangtok.
A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-z2.jpg
A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-z3.jpg

We reached back Gangtok around 5 Pm. For us it proved to be another exciting day.
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Old 24th September 2014, 22:16   #24
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Default Re: A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula

A back to back post, please pardon me. I'll just close this TL with these pictures we took on Day 5.

Day - 5 - 28.7.2014 Monday.

The plan was to leave Gangtok and reach Siliguri before evening. Since our flight next day was around 2 pm, we wanted to set aside the whole day for flying back, ie, stay in Siliguri wake up anytime and just go to the airport. Because a start from Gangtok on the morning of the last day could end up wrong if there happens a landslide or traffic jams etc.

Another morning on MG Road - Looked down from the 4th floor of the lodge.
A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-.jpg

There was a taxi (an Alto) waiting for somebody at the lodge entrance. Went down and inquired the Alto driver about local-sight-seeing places in Gangtok. He told about some 10 places and quoted Rs.1300 and then 1200. I nodded and then asked him about the taxi fares to Siliguri, he said it is Rs.2500 and said it is normal here with whomever I asked. I just asked him for a 2 in 1, a quick sight seeing cum a Siliguri-drop, for Rs.3000. To my surprise he quietly agreed and the local-sight-seeing began.

Hanuman Tok
A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-b.jpg

Ganesh Tok
A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-b1.jpg

A view of Gangtok from Ganesh Tok
A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-b2.jpg

We had our Breakfast here at a Cafeteria, by the Ganesh Tok.
A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-c.jpg

This window looked beautiful, at the Flower Exhibition Center.
A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-f.jpg

Lhasa Falls.
A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-g.jpg

Tashi View Point. They said Kanchenjunga was seen this morning also.
A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-h.jpg

Bakthang Falls.
A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-m.jpg

Namgyal Institute of Tibetology.
A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-n.jpg

And Do Drul Chorten, a monastery which we didn't go in.
A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-o.jpg

Way to Do-Drul-Chorten.
A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-p.jpg

Young monks at a Canteen near the monastery.
A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-r.jpg

A folk musician, by the Monastery.
A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-r1.jpg

Young monks at Rumtek Monastery
A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-t.jpg

Another monk
A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-u.jpg

Lamps at the Monastery
A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-v.jpg

After completing local sight seeing, the alto-man drove us towards another taxi stand looking his elder brother. He met his elder brother who owned a Sumo and asked him whether he is willing to take us to Siliguri. The Sumo-brother agreed. We three.. Me, the Alto driver, and his Sumo brother had a stand-up meeting and came to a conclusion on how to disperse the payments. The Altoman took a 1000 and left., he told me to pay 2000 to his Sumo-bro on reaching Siliguri.

So around 2 Pm, we left Gangtok.
A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-v1.jpg

And safely reached Siliguri by the evening.
A Quick Trip to Darjeeling, Gangtok & Nathula-w.jpg


On 29.7.2014 Tuesday, we took our flight back to Chennai.


Last edited by Ddrive : 24th September 2014 at 22:19. Reason: Corrections
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