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Old 31st March 2016, 23:50   #16
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Default Re: East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar

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Originally Posted by AJ-got-BHP View Post
Once again an amazing Travelogue Samba Words are not enough to praise those majestic captures from your Camera. It is commendable how dedicatedly you invest your time in writing such beautiful travelogues right after the completion of your trips.
Thanks a ton.

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Originally Posted by AJ-got-BHP View Post
Would have been fantastic for me to be a part of this Team to Zuluk (as in the case of Ladakh), but unfortunately there were other important things that needed my attention during the time of your travel. Hoping that in the future we shall again be able to drive in tandem.
Indeed we missed a white spiritedly driven Figo.

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Originally Posted by AJ-got-BHP View Post
Take care of your health Samba !! You took a good decision of returning a day before the entire group returned. I suggest being up late in the night to bring the travelogue(s) on air is also not helping the cause and I seriously think that you need a proper vacation instead of a driving holiday. So plan the next one wisely. Get well soon !!
Sure. Will keep in mind.

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Originally Posted by SouraC View Post

We missed Samba and his photographs in the later part of our trip, hence I am trying to add some of the Photographs we have taken.
Thanks for the add on. The pics are excellent. Indeed i missed the Lava drive.

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Originally Posted by joelchandra View Post
1. Would you be able to share the homestay details of Zuluk.
2. Can we apply for a nathula permit from Rongli.
3. I want to take the following route. Siliguri - Rongli - Zuluk - Nathula Pass - Gangtok.
4. Will my base station has to be at Zuluk or are there any other homestay available after Zuluk
5) Entering from Shillong and Exiting at Gangtok, how many days should i look at blocking for this journey and is there a itinerary that you can share on this?

Once again, the photos were a delight to watch.
Thanks a lot.

1) In Zuluk we stayed in a home stay which was booked my Mr Dilip Pradhan. If you ask about it, i will say against the home-stay. The name was given to us as Mukhia Home stay. But there were no proper sign boards. The rooms were very basic, the wash room was not up to the mark, plus there was scarcity of hot/normal water. On the positive side, the food they provided were good.

2) Yes you can apply for Nathula to Gangtok, provided you drive an Suv. They are a bit skeptical in giving permits to hatch backs/sedans post Kupup lake.

3) I would say do not stay at Zuluk. Check out for home stays below Zuluk at Padamchen or above Zuluk at Gnathang valley. Heard that the nights at Gnathnag valley are not very comfortable. Its infamous for AMS. So i would vote for Padamchen.

4) I do not have much idea how long will it take from Shillong, so let me plan it out for you from Siliguri.
If you take it easy-
Day 1- Siliguri - Padamchen
Day 2- Padamchen - Gnathang
Day 3- Gnathang -Kupup - Nathula - Gangtok.

If you want you can do this stretch in two days too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adg_andy View Post
Wonderful , wonderful TL. Enjoyed every bit of it. So when are the Himalayas calling again? Can I join ?
Ha ha thanks. Lets see when Himalays calls us again ! In last 7 months it called me & my Etios thrice! So may take a short break now! It will be our pleasure if you join us. Do feel free to PM me any time you want to join us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadTrippin View Post
Great travelogue. Did you have to use different winter tires to drive on the snowy roads?
Thanks. No we drove on normal tyres. Had to be a bit cautious. Witnessed army trucks using snow chains in their tyres.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
Great travelogue Samba, rated a well deserved 5 stars. It was nice meeting all of you at Siliguri. Hopefully next time our destinations will be same as well. Sad to hear that you had to cut your vacation short. I hope it is nothing too serious.
Did anyone have any breathing problem at Gnathang? One of our friends was feeling a bit dizzy when we went there last September.
Thanks a lot.

Yes it was great catching up with all of you at Siliguri.

Definitely we can plan for our next trip together, provided that destination do not require the 2nd gear lever which my car do not have!

Thanks, am doing fine now. Doctor advised for some rest.

None of us had any breathing trouble at Gnathang.

Last edited by Samba : 1st April 2016 at 00:00.
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Old 1st April 2016, 11:31   #17
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Default Re: East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar

Nice. I just got back from a cycling trip on the same route. Started from Aritar to Padamshen on day 1. Did Padamshen to Gangtok via Zuluk and kupup. And finally ended the ride in Temi tea gardens on day 3.

We were apparently the first group of cyclists to apply get permits to cycle there.
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Old 1st April 2016, 12:55   #18
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Default Re: East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar

We fellow travelers don’t have anything to write as Samba has already shared all the details of the trip and I have covered the Lava part in my earlier post.

Hence our only duty is to add whatever pictures we can find from our stock which is shareable.

It’s usual to take a customary picture in front of the tea plantation if you are travelling to North Bengal

East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar-customary-tea-plantation.jpg

Near Padamchen, till now the weather was clear

East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar-near-padmachen-2.jpg

East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar-near-padmachen-1.jpg

Welcome to Clouds (Zuluk)

East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar-welcome-clouds.jpg

We were all awake by 6 in the morning but Late breakfast and getting the kidos prepared took a lot of time before we can really start the journey


Zuluk. The Top View

East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar-zuluk-top-view.jpg

Our favorite Kanchenjunga

East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar-k.jpg

Enjoying the K view

East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar-swifty-enjoying-k-view-2.jpg

East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar-swifty-enjoying-k-view-1.jpg

The Queens necklace of Zuluk

East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar-queens-necklace.jpg

Zuluk 10,100 ft, its too low

East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar-zuluk-10100.jpg

Can you imagine, in Kolkata when we melt in the scorching sun of March. You can find Ice sticks and Ice sheet on water in this region even below Gnathang
The wonder ice (Broken Ice sheet).

East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar-wonder-ice-2.jpg

Ice Stick

East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar-wonder-ice-1.jpg

An orchid blooming in this harsh weather

East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar-orchid.jpg

The Gnathang Valley with Kanchenjunga in the Background

East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar-gnathang-vallye.jpg

Kanchenjunga up close

East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar-k-up-close.jpg

Snowy road and landscape

East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar-snowy-road-1.jpg

East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar-snowy-road-2.jpg

Its Play Time

East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar-snowy-road-3.jpg

A Small Lake near Baba Mandir

East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar-small-lake.jpg

Thar in his Own Territory

East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar-thar-territory.jpg

Engrossed with the raw beauty of East Sikkim

East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar-my-swify.jpg

The Kupup Lake

East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar-kupup-lake.jpg

Oh!! Snow

East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar-oh-snow.jpg

Team Pic with K backdrop

East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar-team-pic.jpg

Etios in not so homely terrain !!

East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar-etios.jpg

North Pole Expedition ?

East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar-north-pole-exp.jpg

The (Real?) Baba Mandir

East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar-real-baba-mandir.jpg

The Marias of Moon

East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar-moon.jpg

Next day we travelled from Zuluk to Lava and that part of the story is already there in my earlier post.

We bid goodbye to hills next day and came down to Malda through Gorubathan, DamDim, Sevoke, Siliguri. This time we travelled through Dalkhola as recommended by GMaps and it was all clear except a max 5 min delay because of few local Busses.

Hill is over. Lets enjoy the Dooars

East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar-enjoy-doors.jpg

Our Last day of the trip started quite late. We started from Malda around 11:15 in the morning and again took the guidance of the GMaps and oh man what accurate it was to predict the traffic of Kaliachawk. This time also the max stoppage is around 5 min with an additional slow traffic for 10 min.
We are now confident that GMaps traffic update is pretty accurate and we will believe it till we badly get stuck somewhere because of it.
Rest of the route was as usual through Moregram – SH7 – Burdwan and then finally our last stop for Langcha at Saktigarh around 5pm.

As we were not having our Official photographer of the team in the later part of the trip, we missed a lot of photographs and most importantly The Grand Finale shot.

That’s all for now. Hope to come back soon with the last few Panoramas of the trip, bye for now

The Trip distance as per my Old Lady


East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar-trip-distance.jpg
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Old 1st April 2016, 14:02   #19
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Default Re: East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar

As usual, wonderful and interesting travelogue, with detailed informations and beautiful photos.
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Old 1st April 2016, 14:48   #20
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Default Re: East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar

Again a wonderful thread with lots of information and beautiful pictures. I have been to this place so I actually know how the drive was. Rated 5*.

Bring on some more pics please.
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Old 1st April 2016, 19:52   #21
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Default Re: East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar

Wonderful journey and exceptional pictures doing justice to the beautiful weather you people got there!

Its always good to see this convoy of hatches and sedans (accompanied by a competent rescue vehicle ) doing the treacherous but beautiful road trips together.

Thanks for sharing such an amazing travelogue. Rated 5*
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Old 1st April 2016, 20:33   #22
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Default Re: East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar

And then you folks from Kolkata get together and point fingers at us Delhiites, saying how lucky we are to be able to drive to the Himalayas at the drop of a hat!

Just one word comes to mind, looking at these pictures: Ethereal. The pictures, the roads, the narration, everything comes together to make this such a wonderfully readable travelogue. Rated 5 stars!

If NH34 had the surfacing and condition to match the Yamuna Expressway, I suspect you guys would have been heading to the mountains of north Bengal and Sikkim every weekend! I salute your spirit, where so many of you took off during the Holi + Good Friday break to the Himalayas - now waiting for the rest of the travelogues to be published soon.
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Old 1st April 2016, 22:37   #23
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Default Re: East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar

Great Travelogue Samba. Hope will get to see beautiful Sikkim on our upcoming trip in April.
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Old 2nd April 2016, 21:06   #24
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Default Re: East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar

Again an awesome travelogue from Samba's stable. If not already, guess this same line up of cars, covering across Sikkim and Ladakh, would soon attain legend status in this forum!
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Old 2nd April 2016, 22:41   #25
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Default Re: East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar

It's another lovely travelogue Samba! Travelling with large number of companions requires a lot of coordination and its quite commendable that all of you drove together

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Originally Posted by Samba View Post
... There was heavy truck traffic and gps showed it all red inside Malda. So we took the under construction Malda bypass and skipped the traffic.
Did you drive through the entire 11 km of Malda bypass? What is the current situation of the southern-end of the bypass (towards Kaliachak)? Has even the land-filling been completed for this side?

Thanks,
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Old 2nd April 2016, 23:27   #26
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Default Re: East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar

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Originally Posted by sivasain View Post
Nice. I just got back from a cycling trip on the same route. Started from Aritar to Padamshen on day 1. Did Padamshen to Gangtok via Zuluk and kupup. And finally ended the ride in Temi tea gardens on day 3.

We were apparently the first group of cyclists to apply get permits to cycle there.
Awesome, hats off to you sir. That's seriously some achievement.

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Originally Posted by gmhossain View Post
It's another lovely travelogue Samba! Travelling with large number of companions requires a lot of coordination and its quite commendable that all of you drove together
Thanks a ton.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmhossain View Post
Did you drive through the entire 11 km of Malda bypass? What is the current situation of the southern-end of the bypass (towards Kaliachak)? Has even the land-filling been completed for this side?

Thanks,
Am not sure how far the Malda bypass is. After 2kms from hotel Golden Park i took a left diversion on an under construction road. Continued on that road for 2 kms and asked a local Bolero for further directions & he asked us to follow him. Following him took a right turn & crossed an unmanned level crossing. After that through the city roads it connected us back to Nh34 after crossing the Malda town. The Bolero exactly took the roads which my phone gps was showing. Mostly we deviated from the bypass after 2kms.

Last edited by Samba : 2nd April 2016 at 23:34.
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Old 5th April 2016, 14:48   #27
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Default Re: East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar

@Samba, Excellent way to share your experience. Loved all the pictures you have taken. The level of detail you have shared is enough to give that extra confidence of can do !
Expect to see more of your blogs, I have become a fan of your narration .

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Old 6th April 2016, 07:28   #28
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Default Re: East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar

It's a very lovely travelogue with some great pictures. Great job Samba and SouraC!You guys did justice to the beauty of the nature with your cameras. Rated a deserved 5*.

I just have one question. I heard earlier that they don't allow travelers not related to the owner / driver of a private vehicle to travel in the same car to Zuluk and such travelers have to hire a cab to get into Zuluk! If that is correct, then how did Arghya get into Zuluk? Asking since I did not find any picture or mention of any cab!

Last edited by psurelia : 6th April 2016 at 07:29.
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Old 6th April 2016, 09:47   #29
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Default Re: East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar

What a great travelogue Sirs. You lot are just as good behind the shutter of the camera as you are behind the wheels of your car.

We leave for Sikkim this Saturday, 6 of us on 5 bikes. We intend to ride to Gangtok, cover Gurudongmar Lake, Yumthang Valley, then return to Siliguri via Zuluk and Rongli.

The snow on the road should have gone away by now, I think. You mentioned they are skeptical of issuing permits to hatches and sedans for Nathu La. Is it the same for bikers?

Also our return may coincide with polling in Siliguri region on 17th. Should I be worried about that?
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Old 6th April 2016, 13:56   #30
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Default Re: East Sikkim: Sailed through the Old Silk Route in hatchbacks, sedans and a Thar

Needless to say, it's a stunner of a travelogue. Awesome pictures as usual, so Samba, this time I am not going to pat your back.By now it's taken for granted that your pictures are beyond comparison. Soura on the other hand, did a great work. Love it guys. Kudos!
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