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Old 14th August 2016, 19:46   #1
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Default Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim

Borong in South Sikkim is a less known travel destination though it is quite popular among the birding community. This was our second visit in as many years and once again the place did not fail to impress us.
When Bhpians Himadri, Pinaki aka imove and Avrendu told us about their plan of visiting the place over a weekend, we jumped in at the idea. Bhpian Teesta and I started from Kolkata in our Bolero and took the National Highway 34. We were able to maintain a brisk pace as there was hardly any traffic. It was raining throughout and it ensured that there were less people on the highway. The plan was to reach Bagdogra and pick up Himadri, Avrendu and Pinaki. But we reached Bagdogra long before their flight even took off from Kolkata! So we roamed around in a junkyard and a tea garden

Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim-dsc_5750.jpg

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Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim-img_20160806_103054.jpg

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Found these MM550's and Gypsy. Looked around for the owner and asked for the price. He quoted 1.45 lacs "as is". It would be another 60K to 70K if he refurbishes them.

Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim-img_20160806_115839.jpg

Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim-img_20160806_115844.jpg

After spending around 3 hours, finally the plane landed and we promptly picked up the 3 Bhpians from Bagdogra airport. It was already 1 PM and we were in a bit of a hurry as Borong is around 140 kilometers from Bagdogra and takes around 4 to 5 hours. We took the Siliguri -> Sevoke -> Melli -> Bhangjyang -> Namchi -> Ravangla -> Borong route. The road from Melli was steep but did not need 4WD.
We reached Bhanjyang by 4 PM and decided to have a late lunch there.

From the left - Himadrimondal, Imove, Avrendu and BlackPearl
Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim-img_20160806_155946.jpg

By the time we finished lunch it was already dark and fog had started to descend. Visibility became quite poor and progress was slow.

Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim-img_20160806_171635.jpg

We reached Wild Flower Retreat in Borong at around 7 in the evening. Master Ji gave us a warm welcome and we were shown our cottages. Dinner was promptly served after we freshened up. Nothing comes close to hot chicken curry over rice after a long journey. When a bunch of bongs meet there has to be an after dinner "adda". Our discussions ran late into the night and the incessant sound of raindrops on the rooftop accompanied our laughter.

Last edited by BlackPearl : 15th August 2016 at 03:05.
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Old 15th August 2016, 00:51   #2
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Default Re: Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim

Next morning we woke up to the sound of birds chirping. Being a jungle resort there was no dearth of birds and thankfully I do not suffer from misophonia
No alarms, no phone calls, no calling bells and no work; I was just loving every moment. The others had already woken up and I joined them after sometime for another round of "adda" over a hot cup of Darjeeling tea. Breakfast was served after which we got back to the routine of doing nothing but to soak in the beauty of nature. The beauty of Sikkim during monsoon is something that grows on you with time. At this time, it is not about the chilly mornings, sunny afternoons, blue skies and lofty snow peaks all around, but overwhelming greenery, overcast skies, pouring rains, flowing rivers and waterfalls here and there.

Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim-dsc_5790.jpg

Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim-img_20160807_060416.jpg

Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim-img_20160807_061244.jpg

Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim-img_20160807_075305.jpg

imove is always on the move...
Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim-img_20160807_064217.jpg

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After lunch we went out for some local sightseeing. There were a few beautiful waterfalls nearby.

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Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim-img_20160807_152435.jpg

This bridge looked quite nice as well -
Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim-dsc_5867.jpg


We visited a few nearby monasteries.

Old Ralang Monastery

Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim-dsc_5935.jpg

Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim-img_20160807_163939.jpg

Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim-dsc_5962.jpg

The above pic reminded me of a pic of the Thar in the same place last year -

Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim-dsc_2876.jpg

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Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim-dsc_5973.jpg

New Ralang Monastery

Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim-dsc_6030.jpg

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Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim-dsc_5999.jpg

Borong Pema Cholling Monastery

Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim-img_20160807_155140.jpg

The White Tusker parked near the monastery
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Tathagata Tsal

Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim-dsc_6040.jpg

Ravangla Town seen from a distance -

Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim-dsc_5942.jpg

Next morning was bright and we caught glimpses of a few snow peaks -

Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim-dsc_5989.jpg

Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim-dsc_6048.jpg

Finally, a parting shot of the indomitable White Tusker -

Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim-dsc_5914.jpg

Last edited by BlackPearl : 15th August 2016 at 03:08.
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Old 15th August 2016, 03:00   #3
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Default Re: Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim

A few facts about Borong -

1. Borong in South Sikkim is at an altitude of 5800 feet. Best time of visit is from September end to May.

2. Nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri (135 kms) and nearest airport is Bagdogra (140 kms). It takes around 4 to 5 hours to reach Borong from Siliguri

3. Nearest town is Ravangla, about 14 kilometers from Borong

4. Places of stay are limited in Borong. Wild Flower Retreat and Club 8000 are the main hotels/resorts there

Wild Flower Retreat - http://wildflowersikkim.com/
Club 8000 - http://www.mtnarsingresorts.com/club...in-resort.html

5. Main attractions of Borong are -

i) Hot water spring (7 Kms by car and then 30 mins moderate hiking)
ii) Old Ralang Monastery (4 kms)
iii) New Ralang Monastery (5.5 Kms)
iv) Hanging bridge (4 kms)
v) Tathagata Tsal (12 Kms)
vi) Silver Falls (4 Kms)
vii) Barmelly Bridge (5 Kms)
viii) Bhanjyang Valley (Offroading in 4WD vehicle - 8 Kms)
ix) Lasooney (locals say it is Sikkim's best viewpoint of Kanchenjungha - 12 Kms)
x) Dhappar Lake (15 kms of trekking, needs 1 night halt)
xi) Kalapokhri Lake (1 day trek from Dhappar Lake)

6. Team-bhp links to travelogues -

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...-paradise.html (Mystical Borong - A Birder's Paradise)

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...-baiguney.html (Weekend trip to South Sikkim in a Mahindra Thar: Borong and Baiguney)

Last edited by BlackPearl : 15th August 2016 at 03:07.
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Old 15th August 2016, 06:58   #4
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Default re: Mystic Borong in South Sikkim & 5 BHPians

Mod note: Thread moved from Assembly Line to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 15th August 2016, 07:47   #5
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Default re: Mystic Borong in South Sikkim & 5 BHPians

Beautiful and a refreshing place ! I really hope it remain as a clean and as clear as ever.
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Old 15th August 2016, 11:09   #6
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Default re: Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim

Lovely travelogue. I must say Himalaya is addictive and monsoon in Himalaya is the icing on the cake. Though there are few added risk factors in monsoon but again you have a 4WD so you can definitely worry less and enjoy more.

The cottage where you stayed looks beautiful. Perfect for a quiet holiday destination.

While i was returning from my Bhutan trip, you were on the way to Borong. I saw your Bolero near Bagdogra and flashed you, but you missed me!

A couple of pics from the hills in monsoon from my side.

Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim-img_0840.jpg

Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim-img_0856.jpg

Last edited by Samba : 15th August 2016 at 11:20.
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Old 15th August 2016, 12:16   #7
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Default re: Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim

Great log and pics!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
One monk forgot his robe though.

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 16th August 2016 at 07:38. Reason: Fixing image.
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Old 15th August 2016, 23:13   #8
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Default Re: Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim

Splendid photologue BlackPearl !!! The photos are awesome and so is the crisp writing.

Surely would like to visit Borong some time.

Regards,

Siddhartha
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Old 16th August 2016, 00:40   #9
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Default Re: Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim

The more I see the Travelogues of the fellow BHPians of the North east, the more I am getting fascinated with the thoughts of traveling there or rather driving there. After driving in the hills of South India I am just waiting to go to the North and North East. Loved the photos and travelogues. Wish you have more and more of these drives and come up with such inspiring travelogues, for people like me. Thanks and all the best.
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Old 16th August 2016, 11:55   #10
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Default Re: Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
No alarms, no phone calls, no calling bells and no work; I was just loving every moment. The beauty of Sikkim during monsoon is something that grows on you with time. At this time, it is not about the chilly mornings, sunny afternoons, blue skies and lofty snow peaks all around, but overwhelming greenery, overcast skies, pouring rains, flowing rivers and waterfalls here and there.
Completely agree to this point BlackPearl and must say that this is exactly what is the charm of being to a place like Borong in Sikkim. Very crisp travelogue with some very deep insights of places in and around Borong which will come in very handy for travelers planning a trip to Borong. The pictures do complete justice to the travelogue and would urge an avid traveler to hit the road for doing this getaway. Rated a Well Deserved 5*

So close but yet so far was I from Borong on my recent trip to West Sikkim. Had I known about this place earlier, would have definitely put myself up here for at least a night's stay considering it was just around 16 Kms away from Ravangla which I crossed on my way to Pelling. Sharing a Link to my West Sikkim travelogue for everyone's reference : http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...kkim-baby.html (Exploring West Sikkim with a Baby)

Just asking out of curiosity - Is this place accessible for 2WD (specially front wheel drive) vehicles or is it only accessible to 4WD vehicles ?

Sharing some pictures from the West Sikkim Trip in May 2016 hope you will not mind and I presume this will come in handy for traveler planning their trip to Borong also :

Parked at Bhanjyang Bazaar enroute to Namchi from Siliguri :
Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim-img_0504.jpg

Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim-img_0505.jpg

The beautiful road from Namchi to Ravangla :
Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim-img_0593-2.jpg

Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim-img_0595-2.jpg

The Valley :
Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim-img_0606.jpg

Near Ravangla :
Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim-img_0611-2.jpg

Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim-img_0612-2.jpg

Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim-img_0615-2.jpg

Keep writing such amazing travelogues and keep inspiring people around you to explore the unexplored as always. Thanks for Sharing !!
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Old 16th August 2016, 16:40   #11
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Default Re: Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim

How is the last stretch from Ravangla to Borong ? Is it doable by a hatchback ?


I am just waiting to visit this place. Lesser the tourists better the place Thanks for sharing the pics.
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Old 16th August 2016, 18:56   #12
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Default Re: Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post
Lovely travelogue. I must say Himalaya is addictive and monsoon in Himalaya is the icing on the cake. Though there are few added risk factors in monsoon but again you have a 4WD so you can definitely worry less and enjoy more.

The cottage where you stayed looks beautiful. Perfect for a quiet holiday destination.

While i was returning from my Bhutan trip, you were on the way to Borong. I saw your Bolero near Bagdogra and flashed you, but you missed me!
Thanks a lot Samba. Sorry to have missed the flashing headlights of the most famous Etios in Eastern India. Would have loved to meet senior Sengupta sir again, I am a big fan of him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoomdo View Post
Great log and pics!

One monk forgot his robe though.
Lol... thanks hoomdo!

Quote:
Originally Posted by siddarthab View Post
Splendid photologue BlackPearl !!! The photos are awesome and so is the crisp writing.

Surely would like to visit Borong some time.
Thanks Siddartha!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sourav.info111 View Post
The more I see the Travelogues of the fellow BHPians of the North east, the more I am getting fascinated with the thoughts of traveling there or rather driving there. After driving in the hills of South India I am just waiting to go to the North and North East. Loved the photos and travelogues. Wish you have more and more of these drives and come up with such inspiring travelogues, for people like me. Thanks and all the best.
Thanks sourav.info111. We are indeed lucky to stay not so far from the Himalayas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ-got-BHP View Post
Completely agree to this point BlackPearl and must say that this is exactly what is the charm of being to a place like Borong in Sikkim. Very crisp travelogue with some very deep insights of places in and around Borong which will come in very handy for travelers planning a trip to Borong. The pictures do complete justice to the travelogue and would urge an avid traveler to hit the road for doing this getaway. Rated a Well Deserved 5*

Just asking out of curiosity - Is this place accessible for 2WD (specially front wheel drive) vehicles or is it only accessible to 4WD vehicles ?

Keep writing such amazing travelogues and keep inspiring people around you to explore the unexplored as always. Thanks for Sharing !!
Thanks for the nice words and the pics Arav. The place is doable in 2WD vehicles. This falls in the regular tourist route of South Sikkim, hence 4WD is not needed anywhere.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Uprasenjit View Post
How is the last stretch from Ravangla to Borong ? Is it doable by a hatchback ?

I am just waiting to visit this place. Lesser the tourists better the place Thanks for sharing the pics.
I can see the sarcasm in your post Ecosport has a lot of ground clearance, so the route should not be a problem at all.
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Old 16th August 2016, 19:56   #13
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Default Re: Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim

Blackpearl

One thing that we Gujaratis miss is the mystic mountains. We have some small hills and hillocks but nothing to compare with the Himalayas and allied ranges. Though we had visited Ladakh about 45 days back, seeing your lovely photographs and crisp narration made me want to jump in the car and take off to Sikkim.

Great story telling and pictures. Thank you for sharing.
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Old 17th August 2016, 00:37   #14
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Default Re: Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim

One more crisp sizzler from Blackpearl! Borong looks very serene. Plan to spend a few days in tranquility here among pristine nature this winter. The accommodation seems to be very homely too. As for the queries about the road to Borong from Ravangla, we drove up till the Ralong Monastery this March in my Figo. Although the road was bad, ground clearance was not an issue. Refrained from venturing further as the locals reported that the remaining distance was over even worse roads and we did not have the luxury of time for patient negotiation.
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Old 17th August 2016, 07:33   #15
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Default Re: Monsoon drive to Borong, South Sikkim

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
Next morning we woke up to the sound of birds chirping. Being a jungle resort there was no dearth of birds and thankfully I do not suffer from misophonia ...
No alarms, no phone calls, no calling bells and no work; I was just loving every moment ...
Simply brilliant I must agree that's a kind of holiday one would often dream to enjoy! Sumitro, it's a brisk and refreshing travelogue with contrasting pictures of an auto-junkyard in the middle of a lush green tea garden.

Cheers,
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