Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10th February 2016, 00:32   #1
BHPian
 
PointZero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 244
Thanked: 1,207 Times
Default Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route

It was not the first time, but enjoying Sikkim in winters has a charm of its own! Even though my financial condition was very weak after the latest Arunachal trip, I couldn't prevent myself from making another trip during the shutdown time at my office. So having ample time in hand to plan a trip of 7 days, the next question was what should the place be? I had different options – 1. Doumali (Odisha, 5950 feet.), 2. Zuluk and Nathang valley, 3. Rishop and Lolegaon, 4. Sandakhpu (not a 2WD destination). In that case I could ride to Tanglu at the most and then after that I needed to trek. Secondly, when I visited the Old Silk route in 2013, I was with my mom and dad, so I could not spend the night at Nathang, which was my desire. But going to Zuluk had a problem - that of getting a permit. As my wife could not get leave, my brothers-in-law were going with me this time. I heard that the permit might be an issue as we had different last names. So I had a plan B in my urn, which was that if I could not get the permission to the Old Silk route then either they need to arrange a separate car or we abort that plan altogether and go to Rishop and Lolegaon.

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-edited.jpg

Every year just days before shutdown, something happens. And as usual, one big issue came up on 24th December 2015 at 2:00 PM. So, all my plans seemed to be in jeopardy. My brothers-in-law was pinging me continuously, "What is the plan? Where are we going? Are we going anywhere at all?" etc. Actually, I did not have any answer for them and they were joining me for a road trip for the first time. Anyway, I continued my work to solve the escalation and thankfully it was done by 3:15 AM on 25th December. Maybe my zeal to drive had helped me complete the work. After resolving the issue, I saw that everyone was fast asleep but they were done with their packing. So, I decided to have a power nap and start afresh in the morning.

Day 1 (25th Dec 2015) Kolkata – NH2 – NH2B – Suri – Dumka – Bhagalpur – Purnia - Siliguri

25th Dec 2015, 6:00 AM - After a 2 and ½ hour deep sleep, my wife who was going to her office, woke me up. Feeling fresh, I asked the others to be ready within 15-20 minutes and we were ready by 6:30 AM and started rolling.

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-2015_1225_130005_004.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-2015_1225_130042_005.jpg
Somewhere near Dumka

I always try to avoid NH-34 during the daytime. The only reason being the local traffic, which takes up lot of one's time. We drove fast till Dumka and anticipated reaching Siliguri by 10:00 PM. But unfortunately, there were several trucks broken down between Dumka and Bhagalpur and the terrible road conditions (60 km) took up a lot of time. We reached Dalkhola by 9:00 PM, completed our dinner as we would be late to reach Siliguri and didn’t know if after that we would get dinner. By 11:45 PM, we entered Siliguri. In the meantime, on the way, I called one of my friends to do a quick booking for a hotel in Siliguri with a proper parking.This was required so that we would not need to take out all the baggage from the car and would save time for next day's early start.

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7189.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7190.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7194.jpg

Day 2 (26th Dec 2015) Siliguri – Rangpo - Rongli – Phadamchen - Zuluk

Now, the trial day had arrived. The most uncertain part of the journey with the big question, "Will we get the permit for Zuluk?" To avoid lame excuses of late arrival, we chose to travel via the shortest route to reach Rangoli. I had it in my mind that I will be able to solicit the officers to grant the permission. This was the reason that we chose the route via Rangpo, otherwise we could have chosen the Gorubathan - Lava - Rishi road to enjoy the tea gardens and forest areas. Keeping our fingers crossed, we met the SDPO for the permit to the Silk Route. The very first thing he mentioned was about an accident that had happened just 2-3 days ago due to snow fall and the driver was from outside of Sikkim. Hearing the story my heart sank. He said he could not take the risk to give the permission to a driver from the plains. It was tough for me to convince him that I have already driven on the same route before and had the experience to take on such treacherous roads. After some more conversation and requests, he finally agreed to give the permission for all four of us. It was a moment to rejoice and at this moment, I was feeling more confident about my convincing power. Thinking that I will be able to spend a night at Nathang, I was overwhelmed. We felt as if the journey had just begun and thinking of the plausible adventure, moved towards Zuluk. Just before Padamchen we found a newly built homestay along with a restaurant for outsiders. We couldn't stop ourselves from having food out there as each one of us was starving.

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7944.jpg
Permit

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-2015_1226_151509_004.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-2015_1226_151637_006.jpg
Way to Zuluk

"People say that man cannot see the beauty of places in their own surroundings and hunt for it elsewhere" or in other words it can be also said as "the grass is always greener on the other side". However, we met a person and the narration of his conversation with us will justify that the phrase is so feckless in his case. I will come to that story later. But before that, let me finish the account of the journey to Zuluk.

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7202.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7204.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7206.jpg
Before Padamchen - we stopped to have some food.

It was already afternoon when we crossed Padamchen. I was in a bit of a hurry as I knew that watching the sunset from Zuluk helipad is simply awesome, and I didn't want to miss it. Just few kms from Zuluk, we saw that either side of the road was covered in snow. We checked into the homestay as soon as we reached Zuluk. We hurried to keep all our belongings inside the room and ran towards the helipad. I have raved about the beauty of the sunset and the pictures will justify it all. I have tried to capture some phases of twilight, but believe me, in reality it is much better than the captured snap. After the sunset I told my buddies that our time for enjoyment starts now. No hurry, no plan, no phone, no calculations - we have 3 days and should try to spend the time like we have nothing left to do in the world.

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7213.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7218.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7250.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7219.jpg
Our drive for the next day

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7221.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7224.jpg
Reached Zuluk at 4:30 PM

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7228.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7229.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7231.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7232.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7240.jpg
Some snaps of the sunset from Zuluk helipad

We came back to the homestay. As usual they served some tea and pakoras. Sitting on the metal dinner table, we saw that a light snowfall had started. So what was next? Should we spend the evening sitting at the dinner table or else a good plan would be to have a perfect bonfire under the sky in the snowfall? Finally, it was more than our expectations. A perfect bonfire, humble homestay owner, roasted chicken and the story I was talking about.

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7252.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7251.jpg
Our host

Stranger: Can I join you guys?
Me: Why not? I always like to spend time with local guys.
Stranger: Actually, I have a question? I was watching you on the road, saw your number plate if from outside of Sikkim or Siliguri. So where are you from?
Me: I am from Kolkata.
Stranger: Road trip?
Me: Yes Sir.
Stranger: Oh Great! So how are you enjoying the weather?
Me: It's good. Rather very good. May I know your name please?
Stranger: Samir, I am a school teacher in Darjeeling District and drive my own tourist car during the winter holidays. You do business or service?
Me: Service, probably the most boring IT service.
Samir: IT! I went to Kolkata for studying IT-Engineering. Took admission in June and came back to the hills in July as I could not bear the heat of the place. Then again, took admission in Bangalore as I had heard that the weather out there is very good, but even that could not hold me for long time. So, I thought it better to complete B.Sc. and teach in a local school.
Me: So, after that have you ever been to Kolkata?
Samir: No man, I love the mountains, I love snow and I love the weather out here. I stay in Darjeeling District for 9 months and from mid-December to mid-March I always try to stay in Sikkim. This is the reason why I drive a tourist car in the winter holidays.
Me: Don’t you feel bored seeing the same places, same mountains, same people and roads from the childhood? By that time we have already shared some snacks with Samir, Samir’s friend-cum-cousin and the owner of the homestay.
Samir: Have you ever felt bored during Durga Puja? No right? It is the same here. Every time I come to the Silk route, I take so many pictures that even then when I go back to Darjeeling, I wish a tourist would once again rent my car for the Silk Route - "Ji nahi bharta".
Me: You are mad, man! There are so many beautiful places in Sikkim. Then why Silk Route?
Samir: Because I like the curves. Ha ha ha.

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7269.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7273.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-2015_1226_193722_001.jpg

This way we spent the evening, munching on chicken and sharing some food for thought. It was an amazing experience. We sat in front of the bonfire, just near the homestay, which looked like a dome because of the fire and not to forget the thin sheet of snow surrounding us. We finished at the dinner table with some delicious food served by the home-stay.

11:00 PM - I came down to my start my car and generate some engine heat, which would keep the fuel tank warm for some time. So that the diesel inside the fuel filter does not freeze. Otherwise, the next day it would be near impossible to start the car in the morning.

To be continued ...

Last edited by Aditya : 12th February 2016 at 11:51. Reason: correction of some content
PointZero is offline   (9) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th February 2016, 00:52   #2
BHPian
 
PointZero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 244
Thanked: 1,207 Times
Default re: Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route

Day 3 (27th Dec 2015)Zuluk – LaxmabChok – Nathang – Kupup – Old Baba Mandir - Nathang

Ah!! We started in a relax mode as we knew we will be covering lesser distance this day. With the morning light I was taken back as the roof top of my car was covered with snow. For my car this was its first experience as this has already happened for my bike when I have traveled to North Sikkim in 2013. The bright sunny morning made the white snow glaring to look at. In mountain places it is quite common that we are able to see the sun and the moon facing each other at dawn. Though it happens seldom in planes however for me it was not of much surprise but still I could not stay without capturing this moment. Bright sunny day gave the children a reason to cheer and play with their cheeks turning red in the warmth.



Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7277.jpg
My Car Covered with thin layer of snow

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7275.jpg
Morning moon

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7283.jpg
Samir at the dining table to share a cup of tea

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7284.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7287.jpg
Our Homestay

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7290.jpg
Old Silk Route from Zuluk

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7297.jpg
During my last visit at 2014


Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7300.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7301.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7302.jpg


Now after warming up we started for Thambi View point. This place is usually isolated however the existence of a new tea stall has made it a bit crowded. Obviously it has to be because it was Christmas time. While moving to Laxman-Chok we halted numerous times to capture the zig zag roads from various angles.

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7307.jpg
View of Zuluk from Old Silk Route

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7311.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7320.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7333.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7334.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7339.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7344.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7349.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7352.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7356.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7361.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7372.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7377.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7381.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7382.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7386.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7389.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7393.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7397.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7405.jpg



To be continued ...

Last edited by PointZero : 11th February 2016 at 00:25. Reason: Adding Video Content
PointZero is offline   (10) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th February 2016, 01:09   #3
BHPian
 
PointZero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 244
Thanked: 1,207 Times
Default re: Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route

Day 3 continued ...


Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-2015_1227_101318_003.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-2015_1227_101333_008.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-2015_1227_101838_013.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7413.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7419.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7422.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7424.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7425.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7436.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7446.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7450.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7456.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7458.jpg



We reached Gnathang by 11:00 AM and planned to wash the vehicle before further move. There was crisis of water as it was sunny after almost 3 days and so the people of the place were busy completing their household works and advised us to wait till afternoon. Meanwhile the food was ready so the owner suggested us to have the food and complete the sightseeing and return back and then start to clean the vehicle.


Some random snaps of Nathang Village and People

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7460.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7462.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7467.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7483.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7485.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7489.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7490.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7491.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7494.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7496.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7499.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7500.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7506.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7511.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7512.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7513.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7516.jpg
Our host at Nathang

To be continued ...

Last edited by PointZero : 11th February 2016 at 00:26. Reason: Adding video content
PointZero is offline   (10) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th February 2016, 01:25   #4
BHPian
 
PointZero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 244
Thanked: 1,207 Times
Default re: Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route

Day 3 continued ...

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7518.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7522.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7524.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7530.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7531.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7534.jpg
Some Random Snap of Nathang Village and People.


Abiding to the suggestion we went to Kupup but there we saw that the vehicles coming from Gangtok has occupied the whole place. The militants prevented us from going further because their training was going on beside the Kupup Lake however we peeped from the roadside and captured some snaps of the lake.


Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7540.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7544.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7545.jpg
Wider View of Nathnag Valley

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7546.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7548.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7550.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7554.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7560.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-2015_1227_135053_013.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7561.jpg
Way to Kupup from Nathang


Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7568.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7572.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7577.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7586.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7588.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7589.jpg
Kupup Lake

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7594.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7598.jpg

To be continued ...

Last edited by PointZero : 11th February 2016 at 00:27.
PointZero is offline   (11) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th February 2016, 01:40   #5
BHPian
 
Uprasenjit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: WB26T
Posts: 152
Thanked: 571 Times
Default re: Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route

You could write 2 full travelogues and I am stuck on the first. I salute your patience and writing skills.

Hope to travel with you one day. But for now - lovely writing and wonderful details.
Uprasenjit is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th February 2016, 16:55   #6
BHPian
 
PointZero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 244
Thanked: 1,207 Times
Default re: Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route

Day 3 continued ...
We retreated from there to old Baba Mandir and spent a relished time out there.

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7599.jpg


Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7605.jpg
View from Baba Mandir


Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7611.jpg


Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7613.jpg


Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7615.jpg


Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7616.jpg
View from Baba Mandir


Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-2015_1228_112016_011.jpg
Returning from Baba mandir


Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-2015_1228_100546_001.jpg


Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-2015_1228_112026_014.jpg


Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7617.jpg
Somewhere near Laxman Chok


Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7618.jpg


Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7620.jpg


Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7621.jpg


Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7628.jpg
Returning from Baba Mandir



After a lazy drive of 30 kms we reached Gnathang. I dared to use the cold water to wash my cars and I was shivering with cold. Seeing this two boys came up to me to accompany. The cold water was quite warm for them and I was astonished to see that they did not feel the numbness because of the chilling water.


Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7667.jpg
Cleaning Time

You can definitely make out that the sunrise from Gnathang sunrise point will be beyond description but as I knew that I can never make it (I love my early morning sleep), it was a better idea to enjoy the sunset. I walked to a distance away from the locality to a serene place to feel nothing in between the sunset and me.

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7688.jpg


Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7692.jpg


Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7695.jpg


Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7723.jpg


Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7735.jpg
Sunset at Nathang

Upcoming next is an unfolded story about the owner of the homestay and his relation with the old silk route.

In the evening to keep ourselves warm we sat in the dinning place of the home-stay where there was a small fire place. From here while conversation an interesting story started.

Before 1975, Sikkim was a separate kingdom ruled by Sikkimese monarchy. Many people used to come from Nepal to work in Silk Route. The story is about a family who came to Old Silk Route for work and stayed back. Sherpas are highly regarded as elite mountaineers and experts in Himalaya. Mr. Karma Sherpa (The owner of the home-stay) belongs to this community. At his childhood his parents came to Old Silk Route to build and repair the roads before 1975. No one knows about his parents where about but some people say that they may have died during heavy snowfall at that time. After waiting a long for his parent to come back Mr. Karma Sherpa came to Silk Route in search of his parents. When he heard from some other worker in Old Silk Route that his parents are not alive. He could not trace anything and did not get any help from govt. He could not believe that his parents are no more so kept on searching for them. He looked for job in Darjeeling and used to come periodically to Old Silk Route. As time passed he came across a girl who lived in Nathang. At 1975 when Sikkim was about to be a part of India he married the Lady and with help of the villagers he managed to get the citizenship of India. He build his home at Nathang and did not go to Darjeeling any more. Even in the winter he don’t leave Nathang as he love the villagers very much.
During winters the cost of leaving in Nathnag is very high as they need woods to keep the homes warm. Govt. gives Rice for Rs 2/- per KG and Kerosene for Rs 2/- per liter but do allow to collect any wood from forest. So for wood they need to come downhill and buy it which cost 400/- per day per home. To save some money during winter all the villagers go to bed before 8:00 PM.


Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-2015_1227_184120_001.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-2015_1227_184205_004.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-2015_1227_184232_005.jpg
While having the discussions..

Now the situation is better for M. Karma, as he got a job in Indian Army Camp. Not only Mr. Karma but also most of the people who stay there for entire year got the same job. Also the Indian Army help them in all way to lead their life. His one son got job in Indian Army and is posted in Leh, Another son runs a travel agency in Gangtok. So he and his wife thought of opening a home-stay so that they can have the chance to meet different people and spent good time. Both of them are very good cook and we enjoyed all the food that they have made for us.

The fall in temperature during winters is a big problem for diesel vehicles. The local drivers know how to cope up with this situation. They asked me to start the engine at regular intervals at night to keep the engine warm so that the diesel in the filter and pipe line do not freeze. Till 11 pm I did what they said but the cold bared me from further stay in the car. I was shivering inside the car in spite of the heater being on at its full. At my request, the owner of the home-stay provided a sleeping bag and a tent to cover up the engine so that the warmth of the heated engine do not escape. Alas I left my vehicle in the hands of nature hoping that the morning sun will come to my aid to start the car.


To be continued ...
PointZero is offline   (7) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th February 2016, 17:26   #7
BHPian
 
PointZero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 244
Thanked: 1,207 Times
Default re: Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route

Day 4 (28th Dec 2015)Nathang – Zuluk – Rongli – Rangpo – Peshok – Darjeeling

Next day we woke up early in the morning. Before anything else could strike my mind, I was preoccupied with the thought of heating my engine. I went to my car thinking that the most difficult task would be to start the vehicle. Removing all the coverings from the car, I opened the bonnet so that sunlight can warm the fuel filter. I had the cognizance from other drivers that diesel has frozen in their cars. Thanks God that the coolant inside radiator did not freeze. Before doing anything I took a bucket of boiling water and tried to defrost the frozen diesel inside the diesel filter. Seeing that one of the local driver came to us and helped us to do the same and told that it will be very difficult to start if diesel inside tank and pipeline freezes. He was trying to wrap the pipeline coming from the diesel tank which may be required to defrost the fuel inside the pipe. After few continuous crank we were successful to start the vehicle. I felt relived and went back to home-stay.



Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7752.jpg


Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7757.jpg


Our Host: Ajj fir se pani dead body ban gaya. Aap log sirf garam pani leke jana. Nal pe v pani jam gaya. Tap se pani nehi niklega.


This is the common scenario in mountains during winters.


Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7766.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7767.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7768.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7770.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7773.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7776.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7779.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7781.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7784.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7788.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7797.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7799.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7805.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7807.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7811.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7818.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7822.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7823.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7832.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7835.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7840.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7848.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7854.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7869.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7880.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7886.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7887.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7923.jpg
Some random picture taken at Nathang


After having our breakfast we thought we should start for Siliguri. We spent some time driving here and there and taking some random picture.


To be continued ...
PointZero is offline   (9) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th February 2016, 18:26   #8
BHPian
 
PointZero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 244
Thanked: 1,207 Times
Default re: Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route

Day 4 continued ...

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7928.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7934.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7939.jpg
Old Silk Route - Returning from Nathang


Old Silk Route - Returning from Nathang

We took the same road towards Siliguri while returning also. It often happens that whenever I plan to stay at Siliguri I end up spend the night at Darjeeling. And because of my hankering for Darjeeling, I have no count of how many times I have parked my car at Darjeeling. Without saying a single word to others (sitting in my car) I took the Peshok road after crossing Teesta. After driving few KMs in Peshok road suddenly my brother-in-law discovered that I have changed the route.


>> “Eta ki halo? Amra Siliguri Jachhina?” (What happened? Are we not going to Siliguri?)


Me: “Jabo. Kintu ajj na… kal” (Yes we will be going, but not today.. Tomorrow)


>> “Na Na hobena.. Amar porsu sakal ei bank khulte hobe..kai mai..kai mai… ” (Please do not do this. I have to open the bank day after tomorrow. Blah… blah… blah..)


Me: “Tension niona ..amra porsu sakaler age pouche jabo” (Do not worry. We will reach Kolkata before your office time day after tomorrow)


>> “Please ei rakam korona..tumi Darjeeling gele r o 2 din katiye debe.. amar chakri ta jabe mone hochei. Sabai pagol tomra ..etc ..etc ..etc” (Please don’t do that, I know you will spend another 2 days in Darjeeling .. I will lose my job. You all are mad. Cry… Cry… Cry..)


After a long and funny fight with me he gave up and calmed down. Of course sometime the urge to have coffee and dinner at Glenary’s was fighting on behalf of me. We reached Darjeeling before evening and enjoyed a lot with some good food and shopping.

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7945.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_8099.jpg
Our Hotel at Darjeeling


Day 5 (29th Dec 2015) Darjeeling – Rohini Road – Siliguri – Dalkhola – NH34 – Kalyani Express Way – Kolkata.

In last 3 days we have seen sunset from three different places. Now it was time to capture some sunrise beauty from behind the ice clad mountains. I woke up very early and went to mall for sunrise view. This is the time I saw that one of the priest from Maa kalikai Temple come to mall and prayed for Sun to rise. I cannot delineate how much I love the place. I enjoy the culture, food, activities and specially the Kanchenjunga with a cup of tea. I love to see people giving seeds to birds. I love to see people doing morning work or exercises. I love to have some local cup of tea from Chaiwalas. I love each and everything of the place.

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7972.jpg
Praying for Sun Rise

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7995.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_8003.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_8011.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_8031.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_8046.jpg
Sunrise at Darjeeling

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_8056.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_8078.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_8089.jpg

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_8092.jpg
Good Morning Darjeeling

After spending the morning with such loveable things in Darjeeling, we took my favorite Rohini Road to reach Siliguri. We were engulfed by a terrific jam near Curseong and finally reached Siliguri at 12:00 PM. From there I drove continuously to Dalkhola and then had our lunch there. This time we took NH34 so that we do not have to cross Dumka-Suri area at night. Unexpectedly the road was empty and the condition was good enough. Reached home by 2:30 AM.

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_8102.jpg
Ready to start..


Rohini Road

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_8127.jpg
Near Siliguri ... on the move

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-2015_1229_214019_003.jpg
NH34

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-2015_1230_025616_014.jpg
Kalyani Expressway

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-2015_1230_043427_004.jpg
At new town.. way to my home..

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-2015_1230_044113_005.jpg
Total Distance: 1726 KM.


Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-tkd_7942.jpg
PointZero is offline   (9) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th February 2016, 18:31   #9
BHPian
 
PointZero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 244
Thanked: 1,207 Times
Default re: Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route

Route Map-

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-day_01.jpg
Day 1.

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-day_02_day_03.jpg
Day 2 and Day 3

Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route-day4_5.jpg
Day 4 and Part of Day 5
PointZero is offline   (9) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th February 2016, 19:01   #10
Team-BHP Support
 
aah78's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: NYC / BOM
Posts: 3,625
Thanked: 1,627 Times
Exclamation re: Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route

Note from Support: Thread moved to Travelogues section. Thanks for sharing!
aah78 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th February 2016, 19:34   #11
BHPian
 
AJ-got-BHP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Calcutta
Posts: 604
Thanked: 2,391 Times
Default re: Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route

Excellent write up with some mesmerizing pictures there PointZero !!

You should name your Bolero "Chocolate Devil"

Kolkata BHPians seem to be storming Zuluk and it's nearby areas, in Sikkim.

Keep writing such wonderful travelogues, it's a treat !! Rated 5*
AJ-got-BHP is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th February 2016, 20:46   #12
BHPian
 
PointZero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 244
Thanked: 1,207 Times
Default re: Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route

Hotel Details:

Zuluk: Jennyfore Homestay,
Mr. Lamu Sherpa - 9593373804.
Rs. 800/- per day per head (including food)

Nathang: Gnathang Valley Home Stay / Himalayan Sherpa Home Stay.
Mr. Karma Sherpa / Mr. Lakpa Sherpa, 09900084301 / 09734150546.
Rs. 800/- per day per head (including food)

Darjeeling: Hotel Alice Villa

http://www.hotelalicevilladarjeeling.in/
Proper Parking Place Available.
PointZero is offline   (5) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th February 2016, 12:08   #13
BHPian
 
arjab's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: MAA/CCU
Posts: 647
Thanked: 1,199 Times
Default Re: Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route

Quote:
Originally Posted by PointZero View Post
Hotel Details:

Zuluk: Jennyfore Homestay,
Mr. Lamu Sherpa - 9593373804.
Rs. 800/- per day per head (including food)

Nathang: Gnathang Valley Home Stay / Himalayan Sherpa Home Stay.
Mr. Karma Sherpa / Mr. Lakpa Sherpa, 09900084301 / 09734150546.
Rs. 800/- per day per head (including food)

Darjeeling: Hotel Alice Villa

http://www.hotelalicevilladarjeeling.in/
Proper Parking Place Available.
Thanks a zillion for mesmerising travelogue and the ton of helpful information. One question: Did you have any issues, on the road, as you were driving a "Non-SK" registered car in Sikkim? Any insistence on taking a local cab etc ?
arjab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th February 2016, 18:36   #14
BHPian
 
PointZero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 244
Thanked: 1,207 Times
Default Re: Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route

No, there was no problem from any local cab driver or taxi-union.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arjab View Post
Thanks a zillion for mesmerising travelogue and the ton of helpful information. One question: Did you have any issues, on the road, as you were driving a "Non-SK" registered car in Sikkim? Any insistence on taking a local cab etc ?
PointZero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th February 2016, 19:59   #15
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: BANGALORE
Posts: 42
Thanked: 32 Times
Default Re: Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas - Old Silk Route

That is a great travelogue Point Zero The photos of the sunset are absolutely mindboggling and brings a different perspective to the people in the plains. How did you "Chocolate Devil" fare on the snow clad roads near Zuluk. Any issues or challenges you faced?

Last edited by MSMILES : 12th February 2016 at 20:00. Reason: typo error.
MSMILES is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Along the Forgotten Trail- Silk Route-East Sikkim [Pedong-Rishi-Aritar-Zuluk-Jelepla] adc Travelogues 83 1st June 2017 15:56
From Snarl to Old Silk Route : Rishi Khola, Gnathang, Kupup (East Sikkim) & Icchey Gaon gearhead_mait Travelogues 55 13th August 2016 03:23
Ambling along the “Old Silk Route” – a journey through East Sikkim DriveTrain Travelogues 28 24th October 2015 21:26
Alto'ed: Old Silk Route, along the footsteps of great explorers into Little Tibet YanTra Makto Travelogues 17 14th November 2013 19:20
The Silk Route-Journey. In a two-seater 163cc car! Tejas Ingle Street Experiences 22 4th October 2012 14:11


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 14:05.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks