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Old 1st December 2015, 12:37   #46
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Default Re: From Snarl to Old Silk Route : Rishi Khola, Gnathang, Kupup (East Sikkim) & Icchey Gaon

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Originally Posted by blackwasp View Post
Just read through the entire travelogue in one sitting. Mesmerising is the only word I can think of. This definitely will go my list of Places to visit and the Zuluk loops goes to my Roads to drive on. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks blackwasp! True, Zuluk loops should be driven on at least once in a lifetime.
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Old 9th February 2016, 16:09   #47
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Default Re: From Snarl to Old Silk Route : Rishi Khola, Gnathang, Kupup (East Sikkim) & Icchey Gaon

gearhead_mait:- I am referring to you travelogue as a bible to plan my journey and the Silk Route seem to be the perfect destination now. Few questions that i have.
1. Will it be possible to cover Kalimpong - Entire Silk Route - Gangtok in 10 days?
2. Can one take permit for the entire route at Rongli?
3. I have seen many tour operators do the Silk Route in 5N/6D. Is this doable if i add another 3 days to this(to add the clinch of leisure.
4. How close can you go to the Indo-China Border at Nathula? Is Nathula lake the last point a tourist can go?

It would be of great help.
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Old 10th February 2016, 11:27   #48
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Default Re: From Snarl to Old Silk Route : Rishi Khola, Gnathang, Kupup (East Sikkim) & Icchey Gaon

Quote:
1. Will it be possible to cover Kalimpong - Entire Silk Route - Gangtok in 10 days?
3. I have seen many tour operators do the Silk Route in 5N/6D. Is this doable if i add another 3 days to this(to add the clinch of leisure.
More than sufficient. Perhaps 3N/4D is enough for (Kalimpong-SilkRoute-Gangtok) and you can spend the rest of your days for some other region like North Sikkim.

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2. Can one take permit for the entire route at Rongli?
I was given permit till Kupup lake (My plan was not to visit Gangtok and return via Kalimpong only, as I had booking at Iccheygaon) and stretched a bit further to Memencho lake on request at Kupup PS. Although, I think you can get the full circuit permit from Rongli.
Although, I am sure if you would get the permit for Nathula from Rongli. It's issued only from Gangtok.

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4. How close can you go to the Indo-China Border at Nathula? Is Nathula lake the last point a tourist can go?
Nathula is the Indo-China border and you can even meet Chinese soldiers there.
By Nathula lake, do you mean Changu lake? Changu lake is located between Gangtok and Nathula.
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Old 12th February 2016, 11:35   #49
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Default Re: From Snarl to Old Silk Route : Rishi Khola, Gnathang, Kupup (East Sikkim) & Icchey Gaon

gearhead_mait,

Superb drive Never though Eon could be driven like how you have done.

Beautiful narration and photography. Loved reading it. Now going to read the other travelogue of yours "Where the road leads to the Himalayas! Kaluk, West Sikkim".

Keep going.
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Old 13th February 2016, 15:57   #50
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Default Re: From Snarl to Old Silk Route : Rishi Khola, Gnathang, Kupup (East Sikkim) & Icchey Gaon

Dear gearhead_mait - wonderful travelogue and hats off for doing that circuit !!

In fact, I am also planning for a trip from Trivandrum to North East - covering Sikkim/Meghalaya and "touch"ing Bhutan. We are a total of 10 people, in 3 cars - with the following tentative itinerary.. Can you please help whether this itinerary is doable?


Day 1 to 5: Drive from Trivandrum -> Nellore (Day 1) -> Cuttack (Day 2) -> Puri (sightseeing on Day 3) -> Farakka (Day 4) -> Gangtok (arrive on Day 5 evening)
Day 6 : Start from Gangtok by noon after getting permits, and proceed to North Sikkim. We are planning to take a local tour operator for the N.Sikkim trip. Is it possible to start in the afternoon after getting permits?
Day 7 and 8: N.Sikkim sightseeing, and reach Gangtok by night on Day 8
Day 9 : Gangtok local sightseeing, take rest
Day 10: Self-drive from Gangtok -> Nathang Valley (via Tsongo lake, Nathula) stay at Nathang Valley
Day 11 : Nathang Valley to Phuentsholing via Zuluk - stay at Phuentsholing (just want to enter Bhutan, that's it)
Day 12 : Phuentsholing -> Shillong
Day 13 to 16 -> Shillong sightseeing
Day 16 - 20: Shillong -> Siliguri -> Kolkatta -> Kolkatta sightseeing ->Bangalore -> Trivandrum

Apart from the feasibility, is it better to drive to Gangtok first and then leave via Nathula/Zuluk to the plains or the other way round? Go to Rishikola and take Zuluk route and reach Gangtok? Which one is better in terms of easiness of getting permits etc?

Regards,
Vivek
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Old 21st February 2016, 16:46   #51
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Default Re: From Snarl to Old Silk Route : Rishi Khola, Gnathang, Kupup (East Sikkim) & Icchey Gaon

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Originally Posted by vivekkr_99 View Post
Apart from the feasibility, is it better to drive to Gangtok first and then leave via Nathula/Zuluk to the plains or the other way round? Go to Rishikola and take Zuluk route and reach Gangtok? Which one is better in terms of easiness of getting permits etc?
Getting a self drive permit to North Sikkim would be a bit tough. It's good that you have planned to take the local tour package for North Sikkim. It's usually a 2 nights-3 days package.

Regarding the East Sikkim circuit, I did it counter clockwise and got the permit from Rongli. The permit was till Kupup only as per my request, as I had to return via Rongli itself. On request at Kupup PS, I was allowed till Memencho lake. But I think one can get permit till Gangtok with a little request.
As for the clockwise part i.e. from Gangtok, I don't think permits are given to Nathula Pass to non Sikkim registered cars. But, you can get the silk route permit from Gangtok (w/o Nathula). But as far as easiness of permit to Silk Route is concerned, I would suggest from Rongli.

Thanks!
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Old 22nd February 2016, 08:37   #52
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Default Re: From Snarl to Old Silk Route : Rishi Khola, Gnathang, Kupup (East Sikkim) & Icchey Gaon

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Originally Posted by gearhead_mait View Post
Getting a self drive permit to North Sikkim would be a bit tough. It's good that you have planned to take the local tour package for North Sikkim. It's usually a 2 nights-3 days package.

Regarding the East Sikkim circuit, I did it counter clockwise and got the permit from Rongli. The permit was till Kupup only as per my request, as I had to return via Rongli itself. On request at Kupup PS, I was allowed till Memencho lake. But I think one can get permit till Gangtok with a little request.
As for the clockwise part i.e. from Gangtok, I don't think permits are given to Nathula Pass to non Sikkim registered cars. But, you can get the silk route permit from Gangtok (w/o Nathula). But as far as easiness of permit to Silk Route is concerned, I would suggest from Rongli.

Thanks!
Thanks Gearhead. That was helpful. Yes, the N.Sikkim package we are planning to take is the 2N/3D package itself.
For Zuluk/Nathula, let me see whether I need to go to Gangtok via Rongli, as you suggested. Had read reviews about Rishikhola homestay, where the owner will arrange a permit through Nathula. If that is feasible, I can take that route.

Or are there any reliable hotels/travel agents in Gangtok itself, who can get the permit to Zuluk from Gangtok? Just asking this, since we will be going via the tour operators (from hotel preferably) for N.Sikkim trip.

Regards,
Vivek
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Old 30th July 2016, 13:40   #53
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Default A timelapse video | Road trip to Rishikhola, Nimachen, Zuluk, Gnathang, Kupup, Memencho

A time lapse videologue of our trip. Watch in 1080P

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Old 30th July 2016, 15:18   #54
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Default Re: From Snarl to Old Silk Route : Rishi Khola, Gnathang, Kupup (East Sikkim) & Icchey Gaon

A very nice travelogue- beautiful pictures and descriptive narration. You have just made me add one more destination to my bucket list. Thank you.
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Old 31st July 2016, 18:30   #55
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Default Re: From Snarl to Old Silk Route : Rishi Khola, Gnathang, Kupup (East Sikkim) & Icchey Gaon

Stunning photography and scenery - wow!

Thank you for taking the time to post this. I think this part of India must be in my future travel plans.
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Old 13th August 2016, 03:23   #56
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Default Re: From Snarl to Old Silk Route : Rishi Khola, Gnathang, Kupup (East Sikkim) & Icchey Gaon

HI Gearhead_mait, you have done an awesome job , driving your EON to one of the toughest roads in India.Feeling proud of you buddy/ I myself have driven to some of the tough roads in the hills of south Inida, but the detailed pictures that you have captured completely filled my hert with joy.Thanks for posting them in your travelogue. A very crisp yet detailed narration was a joy to read. Once I am back in Kolkata I will plan for North east drives. Hope to catch up if you are interested.
Thanks mate. Cheers
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