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Old 31st January 2017, 01:13   #1
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Default The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!

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My hands & feet had gotten numb completely by now. Riding the motorcycle battling the sub-zero temperatures was becoming increasingly challenging with every passing second in the inhospitable high altitude terrain of the Eastern Himalayas. The narrow spiral road approaching Zuluk was not exactly a cakewalk. A slight distraction or miscalculation meant going down thousands of feet, much like a perfect bungee-jump...minus the ropes. And it would take weeks just to know that we were missing.

Just 15 minutes ago, we were enjoying the views of clouds from top of the roof of the world with Mt. Kanchenjunga in the background and the sun shining majestically overhead. The scene was like a dream sequence but we never knew that we would soon be trapped so severely in the clouds and due to the sudden fall in temperature while taking the winding roads of the famous Zuluk loops in the Gnathang Valley.

The beautiful clouds that we were admiring minutes ago from above had completely engulfed us along the roads ahead as we descended from Kupup to reach Zuluk. The sun which was shining gloriously above had completely vanished and the thick fog had taken over. The fog was such that we were not able to see roads beyond a couple of meters. We had failed to anticipate the situation & a completely serene mind a while ago had now sensed an urgency to reach Zuluk because it was getting worse every passing second with the given cold and the dusk nearing.

We were riding our motorcycles with utmost caution, headlamps on, and our hands & legs were freezing. Honestly, we had ample protection for our upper torso but the winter tundra gloves were not doing much to keep me comfortable. And despite enough thermal innerwear, I could barely feel my legs and feet! As we were hitting the clouds, the vapors were condensing on our motorcycles, helmets, jackets & gloves. The dipping mercury made sure that those droplets turned into frost on our gloves and jackets.

Zuluk, according to the milestone marker, was another 13 kms away from here and I swear, at that moment, those 13 kms felt like the longest 13 kms ever.

Swapnil said to me in shivering voice “This is getting difficult…I am not sure…” Just then I remembered a one liner written on one of the sign boards put up by the Border Roads Organization enroute to Nathula which we saw earlier in the day– “Tough situations don’t last, but tough people do.”

I stopped my motorcycle and walked to Swapnil and said “Brother, we cannot do anything about this situation, let us just enjoy whatever is coming. I am sure; we are going to love this experience tomorrow”.

And to make the situation lighter, I took off my gloves and pulled out my camera! With frozen hands and no sensation, I could not even feel myself holding the camera. The hands were shivering and something as simple as taking a few photographs by a point-n-shoot camera seemed like the toughest thing to do. Although, there’s little that you can capture in a photograph through dense fog, I decided to click a couple of pictures of the fog itself! And we moved on with determination to reach Zuluk battling whatever may come.

There were no oncoming vehicles thankfully and we made slow but steady progress towards our destination for the day. The mile markers showed reducing number of kilometers and finally when Zuluk was just a kilometer away, we decided to stop and shoot a few pictures to bid adieu to the most challenging conditions we had ever rode in a befitting manner. Zuluk village was just a few spiraling turns below and we captured the scene on our camera of the village from above. After all, this is what we came for, from almost a thousand kilometers away. Thank you Sikkim, we felt blessed to be here every second despite this urgency.

We came to conquer Sikkim on our motorcycles, and in turn lost our hearts to this heavenly place.


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Last edited by saket77 : 2nd February 2017 at 21:25.
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Old 31st January 2017, 01:17   #2
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Rewind to Day 0: 15th Dec 2016

Although, we had our plans set, maps drawn and motorcycles all set for the long haul, I still took leave from office a day before we had to leave. Probably to sink into the feeling of riding so long to the beautiful land. After all, I was longing for a ride to Sikkim since past 2 years and finally, after all this time, our time had come.

Swapnil (much like a younger brother to me) and I were finally doing the much planned the historic ‘old silk route’ on our comparatively humble motorcycles. Swapnil rides a Yamaha Fazer and my faithful steed is a Honda CBF 125/ Stunner. It was time to mark their own small ground by these small machines in the land where KTMs and the REs generally rule.

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The Romantic Silk Route!

I have something for remote routes and landmarks of historic importance and to transverse the mystical old silk route had by now become a ‘must-do’ thing.

The Silk route starts in India from Kalimpong in North-Bengal and goes through extra-ordinarily scenic places like the Pedong valley- Reshi-Rongli- Zuluk-Kupup-Nathula and then to Lhasa in Tibet/ China.

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Our Planned Route.


All the places enroute had a very magical appeal to me, whose charm had got me enamored completely. I would imagine how the route would have been created centuries ago for trade and how traders would travel beyond international borders from India to China. I was completely smitten by the thought itself; no wonder it was on top of my bucket list to travel through this romantic route. In short, I was bewitched!

Coming to the plan, we were to leave next morning by 5 AM so we decided that Swapnil comes to my place a night before. All luggage bags were tied up properly to the motorcycles, covered with rain liners a night before, so as to avoid any delay in the morning. And like any night before the long drive or ride, we could hardly sleep out of excitement.

Day 1: 16th Dec 2016

We woke up to the harsh alarm of my phone at 03:45 AM and started preparing for the big day. Finally the time had come after years of planning. It’s difficult to eat early morning for those who are not used to it, but still we decided not to leave empty stomach and had a chapatti saved from last night.

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All set for the marathon!

With all protective gears and jackets on, we were at my apartment’s basement at 5:15 AM. Ranchi is itself a cold place, so we had packed ourselves into enough thermals to keep off the cold. We cranked the motorcycles and let it warm up to the usual idling music.

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So, the trip is on, we said to each other and as always, before every long ride, Swapnil & I took the oath of not taking ANY risk during the entire journey. We shook hands, wished each other good luck and engaged the first gear of the marathon ride. The wheels turned and our motorcycles made way through the parking lot of my apartment slowly. Once out of the complex and with the engines warmed up nicely, the machines moved briskly. And with no traffic in the wee hours, we soon hit the National Highway-33.

The plan for the day was Ranchi-Ramgarh-Hazaribagh-Bagodar-Banka-Bhagalpur-Naugachia-Purnea = 490 kms.

Ranchi to Hazaribagh (96 kms) is a beautiful 4 lane expressway, comparable to the best in the country, so road surface was not a problem in this stretch. But we still had a problem, and that too, a severe one - the cold weather! If anywhere during the entire trip we witnessed real cold after our Zuluk adventure, it was this morning in the outskirts of Ranchi; such was the intensity of cold waves. It was still complete dark and with no sun we had no option but to keep braving through the near freezing temperature. We rode about 50 kms through the ghat section and stopped at a small tea stall just after Ramgarh which not only served us the best tea of our entire journey but also provided polythenes to put inside our shoes to protect our feet from the unexpected cold! To regain senses in my frozen feet and hands, I had to take off my gloves & shoes and sit near the mud-coal stove of the tea stall for about 15 minutes.

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We moved finally by 06:30 towards Hazaribagh which was about 45 kms away. We could maintain an average speed of 50-60 KMPH and soon crossed Hazaribagh and turned right for Bagodar. This 50 km two-lane stretch not only had a nice surface but was very scenic too, as it went through dense jungles.

During this stretch, my bike’s tachometer developed a strange problem. Everytime I crossed 6000 RPM, the RPM meter needle would start bouncing ecstatically! I think it was the motorcycle’s way of exhibiting its happiness! Thankfully, the issue resolved itself after a couple of hundred kilometers.

We reached Bagodar by 08:45 AM and had puri-sabzi & jalebi for breakfast along with 2 cups of tea! It was at this time that we got some respite from the cold waves and we could then move ahead comfortably. We took the Saria-Chakai-Simultala-Katoria-Banka-Amarpur-Bhagalpur route which mostly went through villages till Banka. These roads saved us a good 40 Kms compared to the usual route through Deoghar.

We stopped at Banka for lunch. This small dhaba on the Banka-Bhagalpur stretch took an entire hour to serve 4 boiled eggs!! Although, it gave us good time to take rest but at the same time pushed us well behind our planned schedule.

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Hmmm...Pure veg & pure non-veg??

It was about 05:30 PM and almost dark by the time we reached Bhagalpur, around 390 kms from home. Bad roads in and around Bhagalpur made us lose time again.

Now, to materialize our plan, we had to cover another 100 kms to reach Purnea. We knew that soon after Bhagalpur & after crossing Vikramshila Bridge, the third longest water bridge in India over the R. Ganga (4.7 kms), we would hit NH-31 which is a nice stretch; hence we continued our march towards Purnea. We tanked up fuel just after crossing Vikramshila bridge at a BP pump.

And as expected, once we hit NH-31, good road surface and sparse traffic with a slight hint of fog welcomed us. It was a treat to ride on this elevated foggy highway at night. We reached Purnea by 8:00 PM and needed a good hotel to check in and park our motorcycles. I had already messaged BHPian Sheel in Purnea about my plans in advance and thankfully, he arranged for a good hotel in a jiffy! After having nice hot desi tadka & roti for dinner, we retired for the night. We had clocked 487 kms on day 1 and were satisfied with our progress.

Last edited by saket77 : 2nd February 2017 at 21:45.
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Old 31st January 2017, 01:20   #3
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Day 2: 17th Dec 2016

We woke up to an intense foggy morning at Purnea. Plains of Bihar are infamous for fog and related mishaps so we decided not to take any chances, even if it meant getting behind the schedule. In hindsight, it turned out to be good as we had the good fortune to meet Sheel, who came to see us at the hotel despite the cold morning and his packed schedule. We discussed cars, motorcycles, roads, routes, Sikkim, Nepal and what not in the short time spent and clicked this selfie before he left:

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Sheel (right) & yours truly.


By this time, around 10:30 AM, the fog was mostly clear and we tied our luggage back and left by 11:00 AM from Purnea after having a light breakfast. Purnea to Siliguri is again a nice 4-lane 175 kms long stretch through NH-27 and we made progress at a good pace.

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Reaching Siliguri was one psychological win.


Sheel had tipped us about ‘Khan-da-dhaba’ near Kishanganj which served awesome chicken and true to the word, we had the best chicken of the entire trip at that place.

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Awesome it was! Thanks again Sheel for the tip-off!


Thanked him on whatsapp and moved towards Siliguri after the delicious lunch! We got the first faint glimpse of the Himalayas just before Siliguri and that took away all the tiresomeness, if any, of the long distance that we had been riding since last 2 days. And not taking photographs at this point would have been nothing less than a crime.

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The faint glimpse of the Tall Himalayas!


We reached Siliguri by 03:30 PM and were greeted by a traffic jam while going to Sevoke. Sevoke is a small and beautiful place located at the foothills of the Himalayas in this region and is about 25 kms from Siliguri. This place itself is so beautiful that it was a perfect start to our Himalayan sojourn to be spent in the lap of untouched nature.

Sevoke is also home to various endangered species, particularly birds and the Himalayan bears at the famous Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary.

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After reaching Sevoke by 04:45 PM, we decided to call it a day because we did not want to travel in dark in such a scenic route (& subsequently missing the beautiful scenes) and stayed at a basic hotel (Hotel Denzong) which was surrounded by beautiful landscapes & valleys decorated by the mighty Himalayas and the melodic Teesta River. The view from the window of our small room was nothing short of exotic and a perfect prologue to the coming days that we would be spending in the company of Himalayas.

By this time, we had clocked 684 kms on the odometer. Also, Swapnil’s motorcycle had developed an issue with one of the horns. Thankfully, it came alive after slight adjustment of the diaphragm nut.

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The Small yet beautiful Sevoke!


At the night, we had to take a call as to from which side we would approach Sikkim. One mostly takes the Sevoke – Rangpo- Gangtok route but taking that route would mean that we first go to Gangtok and then Nathula > Kupup> Zuluk > Rongli> Reshi. Since we were too excited to do the silk route, we decided to approach Sikkim from the unusual & opposite direction – via Reshi. The Silk route beyond Reshi requires a special permit to be obtained from the Army, Police and Forest Department and we planned to get the same from Rongli which is about 20 Kms from Reshi. So the plan was laid out to enter Sikkim from Reshi – Rongli-(get permits for beyond)- Zuluk- Kupup- Nathula- and finally reach Gangtok.

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Our proposed route map.

Day 3: 18th Dec 2016

Another cold but an extra-ordinary morning. I woke up at 5:45 AM and captured the beautiful rising of the orange bowl along the banks of Teesta. It was so magical that I ended up watching the entire sun-rise. The near-by Sevoke railway bridge added to the beautiful setting. No train goes beyond Sevoke towards Sikkim (read: towards the hills). The track goes towards Alipur Duar connecting parts of East like Assam.

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The Beautiful Sunrise at Sevoke.



After a light breakfast and about 7:30 AM, we bid goodbye to Sevoke. We tanked up fuel again at the IOC pump near the hotel itself and started for the beautiful sojourn through the hills. After a run of just a few kms, we reached the famous Coronation Bridge. The beautiful yellow-pink Coronation Bridge (also known as the Sevoke Bridge or the Baghpul locally) located in a setting of the mighty Himalayas with the bluish-green Teesta flowing along and with the lush green scenery in the background was spell bounding to say the least. I can only say that we were blessed to be present in such a glorious place.

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It was long due dream to witness the beauty of Teesta and the Coronation Bridge for me and also to click our ride’s photographs at this location. One by one, all my dreams related to this trip were coming true. We clicked lots of pictures and finally made our way towards Kalimpong. We were now climbing the Himalayas and Teesta was giving us a beautiful company all along.

Just after we turned right after NH-10 towards Kalimpong, the nature of roads changed completely and the slope increased dramatically. Sharp hairpin bends, narrow roads & high inclines became the norm and it made sure that our average speed went down but we enjoyed the beauty of hills to the maximum. With each turn, the winding roads took us up a significant altitude and the houses & settlements at lower altitudes started looking smaller and smaller. Soon I could not go beyond 2nd gear!

Finally we reached Kalimpong at around 10 AM, situated at an altitude of about 4500 feet. Since, we had planned to reach Reshi, we had to go ahead. Kalimpong is a small but touristy hill station and a beautiful place. But one needs to be careful due to the one-way roads in the town. After crossing Kalimpong and lapping up a few kilometers, we reached Algarah and took the left road going towards Reshi.

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The serene Kalimpong.


We soon found ourselves in a very very beautiful valley- The Pedong Valley! It was full of fresh greenery, lots of colorful flowers, bright sunshine and beautiful mountain ranges with white clouds overlooking them. The feeling at the back of mind that we were now in the silk route added to the nostalgia. We luckily found a small motorcycle repair shop and a small home-type eatery side by side in this otherwise silent valley. We got our motorcycle’s chain adjusted there and had Wai-Wai for ourselves while watching the beautiful landscapes from the terrace of the house-cum eatery shop! Reshi, our chosen entry point for Sikkim and our destination for the day was just 20-25 kms away from this point and we were already sensing a small victory here.

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The enchanting Pedong Valley...if this is not heaven enough on earth, then I don't know what is!

Last edited by saket77 : 2nd February 2017 at 21:56.
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Old 31st January 2017, 01:23   #4
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Once we crossed Pedong, we found that we were now descending the altitudes that we had lapped up during the last few hours. The narrow valley roads were now taking us down to lower altitudes to the other side of the mountain. Just when Reshi was 4-5 kms away, the condition of the road deteriorated and we witnessed some recent landslides which were blocking the way partially. Since we were on two wheels, we could pass them relatively in an easier manner. The condition of roads by now had deteriorated further with no tarmac visible but only dust and fine sand.

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Finally we entered a bridge on a river (a few moments later we came to know that it was the River Reshi Khola!) with a huge mountain at the other end. The dust road turned left from the foot hill of the mountain and this is where the Reshi check-post was located.


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At Reshi Check Post to mark our formal entry.

So, THIS WAS IT! WE HAD MADE IT TO SIKKIM!! Our dream was now partially fulfilled. We had made it to the state of Sikkim and we were nothing short of ecstatic about it.

We showed our ID cards and vehicle papers and the Reshi Police registered our entry in their registers and the land called Sikkim! We were extremely happy and proud to have made it to this place on our comparatively simple but reliable machines. We were also happy with our own fitness levels (for which we worked for about 20 days in advance). And this is our victory photograph when we entered Reshi:

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Happiness had taken away all the tiredness of riding so long!

We had planned to stay at the home-stay of Mr. Sebastian Pradhan, Reshi Eco Tourism Resort, located on the banks of the river Reshikhola; so we made a call and ascertained their location. We had 2 options to reach there – one by parking our motorcycles near the check post and get on with a 20 min trek or take our motorcycles through a relatively tough sandy incline, a territory where only SUVs treaded. We chose the latter. The road to the final incline had massive landslides.

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Notice the washed away road near the red flag on the LHS.

When I first saw the terrain & the incline, for once my heart was in my mouth. The gradient of the slope was nerving at first, with narrow road & deep trenches on either sides. To make matters worse, the entire way was made up of dirt & fine sand where skidding was easy. But then we calmed our nerves and made a slow and very cautious & balanced descend to the Reshi Khola River through the dirt track. It was a 1.5 km/ 700 feet decend (approx) through a dangerous terrain where one mistake could have cost nothing less than our lives. It was especially dangerous for a motorcycle, however, vehicles like Sumo & bolero do make through in a somewhat easier manner. .
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Sorry, no photographs. We were busy saving our own lives!


We made our way safely to the cottage style resorts on the bank of Reshikhola through the rocks and untied our luggage from our motorcycles.


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Reshi is a beautiful place to stay and the location of the home-stay of Mr. Pradhan is excellent and probably the best you could get in Reshi. Reaching there is tough, but totally worth it. But calling it a home-stay will not be fair. It is now more like a small resort. There were colorful small cottage rooms along the bank of the Reshikhola with lush green valley and mountains in proximity. We enjoyed the entire evening watching the beautiful valleys around, sitting on a large rock in the middle of the Reshikhola River. There was not a sound except for the burble made by the ripples of water. The serenity of the place was unmatched and exhilarating. We marched along the river bank upto where we could do and watched the sun go behind the hills to make way for night.

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The exhilarating Reshi Eco Resort.

As the sun went down, the night became chilling but we decided to see the entire resort so we took a long stroll and had veg pakoras with coke as the evening snack. Now since, cold was increasing considerably, we had no option but to go to our room and start planning for next day. The plan for next day was now into doldrums because we had come to know that the authorities are not permitting motorcycles to go uphill towards Zuluk from this (Reshi/ Rongli) side. Knowledge Courtesy: Mr. Dorji, whose Bolero is parked in the background!

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For consolation, I posed at the driver's seat of his Bolero in which Mr. Dorji ferries the tourists!

That essentially meant that now if we had to visit Zuluk, Kupup & Nathula, we must now go to Gangtok (~70 kms) from an alternate route from Reshi (through Pakyong) and get the permits from Home department and then finally approach the route from the other side of the loop. So, the plan was set for tomorrow and we retired for night after a scrumptious dinner.

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Old 31st January 2017, 01:25   #5
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Day 4: 19th December 2016

Next morning we woke up a little late, by 7:30 and after breakfast and settling of bills (Rs. 700/- per head), we tied our luggage to our motorcycles again for the journey ahead. The biggest task in hand now was to climb safely to the dirt road that we descended yesterday. With patience and some skill and a tool call ‘first gear’, we made to the top safely.

We decided to try our luck and reached Rongli (about 20 kms from Reshi) to get the permits from the police station located there. The road to Rongli from Reshi was in shambles. Full of landslides and challenging riding conditions. However, once we reached Rongli Police station, we were informed that bikers are no longer being issued permits for the silk route from Rongli and we must get the same from Manan Kendra (Home Dept) in Gangtok.

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Roads & no roads. Notice the well deserved prayer flags that the bikes earned at Reshi!


So, the ‘Plan B’ was executed and now we took the road to Gangtok through Pakyong & Ranipool. This road is narrow, full of small bridges of iron & wood and sees almost no traffic. The route was undoubtedly scenic, but at the same time it was so empty that it became somewhat scary at a few points. At some stretches, there was no road at all. We took a good 3.5 to 4 hours to cover these 70 kms. Not recommended for sedans & hatchbacks.

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The gorgeous locations enroute.



Just before entering Gangtok, we decided to visit the Rumtek Monastery first. It was a nice experience visiting Rumtek and the Buddhist chants were enchanting. Photography inside Rumtek is prohibited. After visiting the monastery, I called up my friend who stays in Gangtok to book a hotel for us and thankfully, he did the same in matter of few minutes and phone calls. We had some Thukpa & Momos with coffee near Rumtek and reached Gangtok after dark and made our way to the Hotel Yatung near MG Road, which is the most happening and touristy place of Gangtok. We had clocked 891 kms by now and were finally in Gangtok.

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At Rumtek!

The hotel was nice with big & clean rooms and all the basic necessities for Rs. 1000/- per day. They had arranged for a secured parking with the adjacent hotel for our bikes at extra cost of Rs 100/- per day. After settling in our rooms and refreshing ourselves, we went out for a stroll at MG Road later in the night and had delicious chicken & rice for dinner. Since we were tired riding almost all day, we came back and slept like a log.

Day 5: 20th December 2016

Next morning we reached Manan Kendra at exactly 10 in the morning. Only one person was allowed inside the office, hence I submitted my Voter’s I card and got a visitors pass to meet the officials at the Home department. Swapnil decided to wait outside. One needs to fill up a form (available with the authorities), attach photographs of the riders and furnish copies of all documents of your vehicle to apply for the permits to the restricted areas of Sikkim. I completed all the formalities on behalf of both of us and applied for permits for the Nathula- Kupup-Zuluk-Rongli/ Reshi circuit. Once done, I was asked to come and seek the status of the permission in the second half of the day. We utilized this time to explore the city and purchase gifts & souvenirs for friends and relatives.

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Used one bike for local travel.
I turned pillon-cum-navigator for the town roads.




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The gift shop.


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MG Road, The Prime Location and the main market area of Gangtok.

We reached Manan Kendra at about 3 PM and I met a lady official who finally gave me the approval for a 3 day sojourn to the old silk route starting day after tomorrow! Now, why day after tomorrow? This was because of the decision we made. It was a strategic decision made by us to leave a gap of the day after because of one very important aspect. I clearly remember that during my Bhutan visit a few years ago, I was hit by traveling sickness (sitting in the rear seat of car) or altitude sickness; which one in particular even I didn’t know. I was particularly at risk because of my known intolerance towards travel sickness while sitting at rear of a car. In fact, I was getting travel sick even in the Gangtok Town when I was sitting pillion to Swapnil on bike for local sightseeing. Plus, Swapnil has never been to such high altitudes; so we were not sure how our bodies would respond to such high altitudes, thin oxygen and sub-zero temperatures. We did not want to land in trouble with our bikes in such conditions so; we decided to take a cab to Nathula next day- just to check how our bodies respond to the conditions. If all remains good, then we would proceed with our journey to Nathula-Kupup-Zuluk the day after from Gangtok on our Motorcycles. I was so much worried of this factor that I decided to sponsor tonight’s dinner if we both come back perfectly alright after the day’s trip in cab. And I am happy that we took such a cautious approach. To be on the safer side, we bought a strip of Dimox, a medicine which helps fight altitude sickness.

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Happiness of getting the permits!


The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-img20170201wa0026.jpg
And the matter inside those envelopes...


We spent the evening at Tashi view point but could not see Mt. Kanchenjunga due to clouds.

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The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-img20170201wa0147.jpg
At Tashi View Point.

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Day 6: 21st December 2016

Next morning, this was the temperature at Nathu la as informed by Google uncle when we checked before leaving:

The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-img20170201wa0108.jpg
Bone-chilling!!


We took a shared cab to Nathula (Rs. 700/- per head). You need to register with a travel agency so as to travel in a shared cab a day before. The route is exhilarating to say the least. The pictures and my words do not do justice to the actual places.


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Enroute Nathu la - Sharing a Maggi!
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The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-img20170201wa0030.jpg
The rugged but beautiful terrain.


However, the journey to Nathu la in the cab was not sans drama. Our cab was stopped at Sherathang check post, about 10 kms before Nathu la for some issue with ID card of a traveler in our cab and they did not let us go beyond. All vehicles going towards Nathula must come back by 02:30 PM and it was almost 02:30 at Sherathang itself. We waited for more than 3 hours for things to get sorted and were finally let off by them at about 3 PM after several requests. Special permissions were arranged and we could reach Nathu la at about 03:15 PM.

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At Sherathang Check Post-Waiting...



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The first view of Nathu la from a distance.


Actually, it was not that bad as there was only one group- Our group at the place, so we definitely avoided the crowd of other tourists. By now, our group which comprised mostly of couples had bonded well and some came to know that we were visiting from Ranchi on our motorcycles. On their demand, we shared some stories and pictures of our travel.

Coming to Nathu la, roof of the world, which obviously needs special mention, I had dreams of visiting this place since last many years. I just wanted to know how it feels in those freezing conditions with thin oxygen and at such high altitude and standing on the International Border with Indian and Chinese soldiers & watch-towers guarding their respective territories. How it feels to look over to the mountains on the other side of the border, the road conditions on the other side and such stuff.

I am probably wandering now, but this is what I wanted to get the feel of. The memories of the place will remain fresh for my entire lifetime. Visiting Nathu la is an experience in itself and something to cherish forever. In the ancient times, China was accessible to the travelers only through the silk route which passes through the Nathula Pass. It was the only way for China to get in touch with the rest of the world between 2nd Century BC & 10th Century AD. Although, most of the actual silk route path now lies buried under the cold sand deserts, but the local dry climate has miraculously preserved some sites & sections as relics several thousands years old. This route was used until recently; though occasionally, but the bitter Sino-Indian war of 1962 and the subsequent deteriorating relationship between India and China resulted in an abrupt closure to the historic route. Thankfully, it was re-opened in 2006 for border trade. If you know the strategic importance and history of this place and if you can blend the same with your visit and visualize it, then the experience is simply extra-ordinary.

We also witnessed the roads going across the International border with huge iron gates on both Indian and Chinese side. This road opens once a week for the passage of vehicles carrying International trade. We could see mountains of both China & Bhutan on the other side of fence and high watch towers of both India & China over looking activities in each other territories.

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Took a few pictures from a distance.



The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-img20170201wa0012.jpg
File Picture of Nathula Border Personnel Meeting Hut.

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File Picture of Nathula: The Chinese Post and the wall.

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File Picture of Water Shed Memorial

"When you go home, tell them of us and say,
that for your tomorrow, we gave our today".

- Touching lines written at the Watershed Memorial at Nathula.


The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-picture-470.png
Checked the altitude (4263 mtrs = over 14,000 feet) with an app in phone.


Since, sun was going down fast (remember, we are in the east), we quickly took off for the New Baba Mandir which is located nearby. This is a new temple of the brave-heart soldier Harbhajan Singh set-up mainly for the tourists, who lost his life during the Sino-Indian skirmish of Nathu la in 1968. However, the original temple, which is actually a bunker, lies ahead on the way to Kupup for which a separate permit is to be obtained. Plus due to the low oxygen levels and the need of climbing stairs for reaching the bunker, the temple remains out of bound for many.

Hence, a new temple with relatively easier access was constructed near Nathu la. We reached the new Mandir and offered our prayers for all the brave soldiers of our country. We were also keen on getting the Certificate of Visit (issued by the Indian Army) but since we were beyond regular tourist visiting hours, we could not get it. We were not particularly disappointed with this because we were visiting the same place tomorrow on our motorcycles and getting a certificate with our rides along would be a perfect setting.

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The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-img20170201wa0114.jpg
The New Baba Harbhajan Singh Mandir.


After the visit to the temple, we started our return leg in the cab and stopped at Tsongmo/Changu Lake. Owing to low temperatures, a part of the lake was frozen. A few tourists got themselves clicked with the Yaks and some even enjoyed the Yak ride too!

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The handsome Yak!

After all this, we were all hungry so we had noodles at an eatery nearby and as we moved ahead, we were greeted by the wonderful view of clouds beneath us!

As we descended further, the clouds made the roads foggy and visibility became low. Finally we reached Gangtok and we clicked a group picture of all the travelers before saying goodbye to each other.

We were extremely happy that altitude sickness didn’t hit us anytime and now we could proceed with our journey tomorrow without any worries relating to health. We had our dinner- remember the bill was on me (!!), purchased a nice sweater for Missus from MG road, came back and packed our luggage as next morning we would be leaving for Zuluk through Nathula & Kupup.

More pictures of the Gangtok-Nathu la route:
Attached Thumbnails
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The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-img20170201wa0105.jpg  

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The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-img20170201wa0182.jpg  


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Day 7: 22nd December 2016

We woke up at 6 next morning and started getting ready with all safety gears and jackets. We had settled the hotel bill last night only to avoid any last minute delays and finally we were done with all preparations and tying of luggage on the motorcycles by 07:30 AM. We reached the tourist center at MG Road and showed the letter by Home department and got our final permit. This was little messy & crowded as the same counter caters to all the cab drivers for permits to Nathu la as well and all passes are issued on the same day considering fluctuating weather conditions. Nevertheless, we were happy to get our permits by 9 AM. We made a few copies of the same and embarked for the epic journey.

We reached the 3rd mile check post beyond which the restricted areas start. We met an Australian guy on a rented motorbike who did not have the permits and hence was stopped by the police at the check post. He was little frustrated for the reason and we had a chit chat with him for 5-10 minutes and we told him a foreign national is anyway not allowed to visit the restricted areas due to the sensitive regions.

We handed over one of the letters issued from Home Department and got our permits checked and stamped at the 3rd mile check post and started our cautious ascend towards Nathu la. Clicked a lot of photographs en-route.

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The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-img20170201wa0024.jpg
...And we did it!



We saw a lot of fresh instances of landslides.

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The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-img20170201wa0070.jpg

The slope gradient was becoming tough but our motorcycles did not let us down in those demanding conditions and kept on scaling heights, albeit with some difficulty. In fact, it was a two-edge sword for motorcycles. One- the extra-ordinary road gradient which needed a lot of engine power, and second – the low levels of oxygen which was robbing the power from engine due to inadequate air supply. In fact, we soon found out that our bikes wouldn’t idle if we let the accelerator go. The engine would die down slowly due to the lack of air. But still the machines never said no. They took us across all rough terrains, through the waterfalls on road, through all the ridges & bridges, roads or no roads, cold, ice, snow, river crossings, whatever we threw at them, the motorcycles just marched through. We owe a sincere thanks to our machines, for it, they never let us down.

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Reaching China on my daily ride!


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The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-img20170201wa0122.jpg


Nathu la pass was not in our plan for today so we moved straight towards New Baba Mandir and got our much wanted certificate of visit (Rs. 120/- each) from the Army. It was a proud moment for us to get a Certificate of Visit scaling the place on our motorcycles.


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Then we resumed the journey and just before Kupup, we reached the old Baba Mandir. The bunker on the hill top can be reached by stairs. There are probably 35-40 stairs, but with the human bodies taking a toll due to low oxygen, inhospitable climate and tiredness creeping in, most tourists could not make up to the top. Swapnil was also tired, so I decided to go to the bunker alone.

Taking deep breaths, I took on all the stairs. The bunk is small and even with 5-6 people inside, it can turn congested. The writing desk, uniform, bed and few other personal belongings of the brave Indian soldier Harbhajan Singh can be witnessed in this bunker.

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The old Baba Mandir.


I paid my homage to the brave soul, clicked a few photographs and came down, where the Indian Army greeted us with warm water and coffee. We also had paper dosa (Rs. 30/-) at a small cafeteria run by the Indian Army exclusively for travelers close to the bunk.

After some refreshments, we started our journey to Kupup and witnessed the famous Yak Golf course, the highest altitude golf course in the world! We also saw the Kupup Lake, also called the Elephant Lake due to its resemblance to the shape of an elephant!

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Elephant lake.

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Frozen!


The vegetation - leaves and flowers in this region, all were of strange orange color due to harsh sunlight, cold and low oxygen. We were mesmerized by the beauty of the place and at the same time negotiated the hair pin bends on the roads. This is when just after taking an elevated turn, we witnessed this:

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The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-img20170201wa0081.jpg
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The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-img20170201wa0167.jpg
The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-img20170201wa0176.jpg

The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-img20170201wa0174.jpg
My Faithful Companion!


Mount. Kanchenjunga it was!

We were very excited to see it because we had missed the view from many places previously due to clouds. And here it stood tall and firm majestically. The entire range was covered with snow with the gleaming sun light falling on it. I can still recall that feeling. The chilly wind, the bright sun, the silence around, the fragrance of the mountains, just the man and the machine with the mighty Kanchenjunga in the background. We clicked as many photographs as we could. We wanted to stay there for longer but since we were in ‘no civilian zone’, it was important for us to reach Zuluk before sun set. Zuluk, at about 10K feet altitude, was also our destination for the day. So we had to move with a heavy heart.

We were now in the Gnathang valley. But just when Zuluk was 18 kms away, there was NO WAY that we could not stop for this exhilarating view:

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The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-img20170201wa0173.jpg

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The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-img20170201wa0135.jpg

The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-img20170201wa0008.jpg

To die for...


We were above the clouds! Some of the highest mountains in the world looked puny due to the clouds. Just a few high peaks were visible and they looked as if peeping out from the bed of clouds from nowhere. The view was totally enticing and something that one should surely experience once in a lifetime. We were expecting to see the famous Zuluk loops but instead saw this:

The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-img20170201wa0109.jpg
The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-img20170201wa0112.jpg
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The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-img20170201wa0168.jpg
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The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-img20170201wa0064.jpg

Just one word- Stupendous!


However, we had the experience of yesterday in mind (of returning from Nathu la in cab) that these same clouds which are looking fabulous can prove to be dangerous if they engulf the roads during our descend. And we started to get a hint from the nature...

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Dense fog making its way to roads.

My fears turned true in matter of minutes. Just as we moved ahead, around a couple of kilometers, we were completely enveloped in the dense fog suddenly. In fact, we could see the clouds and fog flowing towards us and thickening second by second.

The temperature had dropped abruptly and we were experiencing cold like we had never before. Visibility came down to as low as 3-4 meters. The sun which was shining brightly a couple of kilometers ago was nowhere to be seen. This was by far the most dramatic change in climate I had ever witnessed. It had become almost dark due to the thick fog. Though there were rarely any oncoming vehicles on this road but still for our safety, we put on the headlamps and the hazard lamps of our motorcycles and somehow kept riding for a while.

Zuluk was still 13 kms away and each km was now looking like a hundred. We were completely drenched in dew and that dew was turning into frost in no time on our jackets & gloves. My legs, feet and hands were trembling and were completely numb by now. I could not sense them as a part of my body! This is when Swapnil stopped and expressed his doubt if we can make to Zuluk safely.

I knew there was only one way – to fight it out, so I told him only one thing – “You are going to love the experience tomorrow!” And to make the situation lighter, I pulled out my gloves and took out the camera from my waist loop. Swapnil was shocked and asked me if I had gone crazy due to the cold! We had a good laugh and we clicked a few photographs. The temperature was well below Zero degree and handling a camera without gloves seemed like the toughest thing to do! I had no sensation of holding the camera; my fingers were trembling with cold and there was no way that I could hold the camera steady. With quivering fingers, I somehow clicked a few pictures.

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The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-img20170201wa0136.jpg

Nothing to shoot in such fog!


We decided to move and reach Zuluk. Patience was the key in such conditions. Slowly the numbers on mile-markers reduced one by one. We crossed Thambi view point but could not gather the courage to stop there. In such fog, there was nothing to see anyway from the view point. After a few kilometers we could now see Zuluk village a few spiraling layers down the road. We finally gathered some courage, stopped our motorcycles, and shot a video of those conditions to bid adieu in a befitting manner. We knew that we will not be encountering such a situation probably ever again; hence a proper goodbye was in order.

We also thanked Mother Nature for showing us everything we could ask for.


The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-img20170201wa0187.jpg

Reaching Zuluk.


We covered a couple of kilometers and finally reached Zuluk. Enquired from the first local women we saw for a home-stay option and she quickly told us that she also runs a small home-stay and has vacant rooms. We had no option but to lap up the offer as we were completely frozen to the bone. We parked our bikes, untied the luggage and quickly went into the basic wooden room. We asked for a room heater and post gaining our senses after a while, we spent the evening with the owners of the Jennifer homestay. The lady had named the homestay in the name of her daughter.

We took a short stroll to the nearby places of the smallest village I had ever seen but since it was dark and extremely cold by now, we returned to the ‘luxury’ of burning woods in our home-stay. We had momos as evening snack and lip-smacking chicken roti for dinner. The experience of spending the freezing night was matchless. The night was so cold that we had no option than to keep ourselves inside the room and under the blanket.

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I guess this says it all...

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Day 8: 23rd December 2016

The next morning was like never before – extra ordinarily cold. Everything which had water was frozen outside including our drinking water bottle, which we accidentally left tied to the motorcycle last evening. I woke up at 06:30 AM. Swapnil, as usual, the lazy chap was still sleeping and in no mood to get out of the bed. I took my camera, packed myself with thermals and went out to enjoy the beautiful chilling morning at this amazing place. The loop roads through which we came to Zuluk looked scary with military trucks looking smaller than ants from where I was standing. I took a long stroll in the nearby areas and clicked many photographs.

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The small & beautiful Zuluk- Totally untouched & unexplored!

I came back at about 8 AM and saw Swapnil taking tea with the land lady. I joined them too and we were served with Maggi noodles for breakfast. We settled our bills (Rs. 700/- per head plus Rs. 300/- for room heater) and tied our luggage to the motorcycles. Let me tell you that tying luggage with nylon ropes on motorcycles is not as simple as it sounds in such cold conditions.

We started our journey for the day at 09:30 AM. Our destination for the day was not fixed because the journey from now on basically marked our return leg. We soon started taking the roads down towards Rongli (50 kms). The roads turned beautiful with vegetation as we approached Padamchen and Nimachen with lush green bamboo plantation and pine trees all around. We saw a lot of beautiful home stay options in Padamchen.

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Just look at the evil grin on this guy's face...


We crossed Rongli (50 kms from Zuluk) and decided to visit Mankhim view point which we reached after climbing a lot of stairs. The view point offers excellent view of the Kanchenjunga range and also the nearby Aritrar lake which is a beautiful manmade lake offering boat rides. The stairs were all worth the view from top of this view point.

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The stairs to Mankhim View Point.

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The Aritrar Lake as seen from the Mankhim View Point.


We had coke and chips there and moved ahead towards Reshi which is about 20 kms from Rongli. We had to take an alternate route to Reshi because the main highway was blocked due to a major landslide.

Finally, we had reached Reshi and this was the place from where we had entered Sikkim a few days ago, and now we had to say goodbye to this beautiful land in a hope that we shall visit again. With a heavy heart, we marked our ‘exit’ on the register.

The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-img20170201wa0093.jpg
The Reshi Check Post: marks our end of road in Sikkim

Once we crossed the Reshi check post and the bridge on the Reshi khola, we soon entered the enchanting Pedong valley. This valley has a unique charm attached to it due to the location and the varied colorful flora.


The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-img20170201wa0103.jpg

The unique beauty of Pedong Valley.

We had noodles at the same place and then moved towards Kalimpong. This time, Kalimpong was much crowded as probably we had arrived at the peak afternoon hours. And probably the entire town was on streets!

We made our way slowly to the highway towards Teesta. We soon crossed the Teesta, Coronation Bridge and Sevoke. There was a traffic jam near Sevoke owing to road construction, so we decided to wait and in the meanwhile get some refreshments from the same Hotel Denzong, where we stayed for the night during our inward journey.

The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-img20170201wa0017.jpg

Victorious!

The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-img20170201wa0153.jpg
The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-img20170201wa0015.jpg

The colorful Teesta.


After a heavy evening snack, we decided to move to Purnea. Since, it was 06:00 PM, we thought that we would reach max by 9:30 PM but as soon as we started, we found ourselves trapped in a massive traffic jam. With no option to return, we decided to keep moving ahead. We hit the NH-27 by 8 PM and let loose the throttle. We reached Purnea only by 11:15 at night. We stayed at the same hotel for the night and left early next morning – thanks to the clear weather.


Day 9: 24th December 2016

We took the NH-31 again and crossed Vikramshila Bridge/ Bhagalpur by 10 AM and took the road to Deoghar (in Jharkhand). I had some rituals to perform at Deoghar temple on my late parents behalf (thank God that I'm an atheist!), so stopped at Deoghar, completed the rituals, and left for Giridih (~70 kms) by about 5 PM. We reached Giridih by 7 PM and stayed at a relative’s place for the night. It felt nice to spend some time with family after 10 long days.

Day 10: 25th December 2016

Next morning, we left for Ranchi to cover our last leg of the trip- 209 kms. We took the Giridih- Dumri- GT Road- Bagodar-Hazaribadh-Ranchi route almost non-stop. The return journey was uneventful and we reached Ranchi at about 03:00 PM.

We both were dying to get to our home to share the stories and photographs of our marathon travel, so we stopped at the place where our ways diverted in the city. We got off our bikes and hugged each other in joy and with a sense of complete victory as passersby watched us in astonishment! We just said one sentence to each other “we rode extra-ordinarily well, no risk taken in the entire 1836 kms.” Also, since it was 25th Dec, my birthday, we decided to celebrate the end of this journey in a befitting way, so I invited Swapnil for the dinner.

I reached home at 03:30 PM and my wife and 1 year old daughter were extremely happy to see me. I hugged them in joy as I missed them thoroughly during the trip.

One most important takeaway from this trip is that with proper conditioning of mind, patience, a reliable set of wheels and good riding skills, one can get through any journey. Proper mental conditioning pushes the physical capabilities. Strange mind games but it is true. You prepare yourself for 400 kms trip and you get tired after 400 kms; and when you prepare your mind for a 2000 km trip, then you will get tired only after 2000 kms! As they say- "It's all there in the mind!" and now I agree.

And for some reason, I feel like a more humble & matured person every time I return from a trip to the mountains. I guess the mini-stature of humans is actually revealed when you are up against the mighty mountains.

I am extremely thankful to the machines – 3784 & 3101 which have taken us from the sea (our Tajpur/ Mandarmani trip) to the highest peaks of the world where only bigger bikes are believed to reach. Our motorcycles not only busted that myth but also showed that how capable and reliable they are in themselves. Not even a nut went loose during the entire 1836 kms done through all kinds of terrains and they performed flawlessly. They delivered more than we asked for. They have certainly marked a small ground for themselves.

And my riding partner- Swapnil. He is a lazy chap. Period. Every morning I would wake up and still find him sleeping and despite us getting late, we wouldn’t wake up. But you are a very good rider and without you playing the catalyst, this trip was not possible. Your company was great (minus the laziness) and as we always say, there is more to come.

And finally, I cannot thank my wife enough for giving me a go ahead for this trip. She always recognized my fascination for this trip since last 2 years and she respected my passion towards it. I don’t know what would I have done if I were at her place, but for the trust and confidence she had in me, I can only be forever grateful to her. She has given me one big reason to cherish for the entire lifetime. And I know that I am always under the protection of the blessings of my parents.

This marks the end of our travel to the silk route, but the memories of this obsessing travel would give me company throughout my life. I will always have the stories of this epic journey very close to my heart.

I can still feel the chilly air, the vast stretches of mountain ranges, the snow capped peaks, the exquisite valleys and the revs of the engine…all marching in rhythm. For this has to be the most satisfying journey of my life. Thanks to everyone who were a part of it; including you - the reader – and I will count it as a success if I was able to take you for a small odyssey through this travelogue to the captivating old silk route.

Thank you!

Last edited by Rehaan : 3rd February 2017 at 12:12. Reason: Closing italics tag :)
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Old 3rd February 2017, 12:06   #10
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Default re: The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing this epic trip with us!

Last edited by Rehaan : 3rd February 2017 at 12:13.
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Old 3rd February 2017, 13:28   #11
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Default re: The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!

Wonderful TL. Well written. Laid bare your adventure and enthusiasm. Capable partnership, both of your machine as well as mate. Rated 5 Star.
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Old 3rd February 2017, 14:11   #12
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Default re: The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!

Very beautifully written Saket77. Doing the Silk route on bikes from Ranchi is definitely a great feat. I can feel the adrenaline & enthusiasm both of you had through your travelogue. Swapnil had sent a couple of pictures while you guys were on the trip.

*Refreshed*

Looking forward to many more. Keep traveling & Keep writing !!

5 Stars

Regards,

Pawan
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Old 3rd February 2017, 15:23   #13
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Default re: The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!

Amazing travelogue. Hats off to you for completing this journey on what many people refer to as "commuters". What you guys did was truly inspirational.
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Old 3rd February 2017, 18:06   #14
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First of all, Thanks a ton for completing the travelogue all by yourself. That's a brilliant write up, it would have taken months for me to pen down every detail like this. And I can't thank you enough for making this dream come true for me. Riding all the way to the Himalayas and conquering the Silk Route on my bike, nothing can be better than this for me.

Well, this trip was amazing and no matter how much I try to describe the beauty of the hills, it's never enough. After this trip, I'm in love with Sikkim and will visit again soon. This place is heaven on earth. However, I knew the terrain was going to be tough out there considering the fact that I've never driven/ridden in hilly regions and I was prepared for it, but the terrain was tougher than I expected. A single mistake and you are never to be found. I had a new experience this time and rode with utmost caution in the hills.

While travelling to Sevoke from Purnea, the ride was quite boring and I was getting tired. But surprisingly, as I got the first glimpse of the Himalayas, all my tiredness vanished. After that, not even for once did I feel bored or tired riding in Sikkim. As we rode towards Sevoke, the scenery started chaging. And such was the beauty, I opened my Helmet's visor and enjoyed the cold breeze that welcomed us to the hills. I was very excited to witness all this for the first time. The next series of events are pretty much discussed above by Saket Bhaiya. This trip will always be memorable for me, taught me many things and gained the riding experience in the Hills. And oh! I forgot to mention, we were the only bikers in the Silk Route.

And about my bike? I'm proud of you Eleanor. I was pretty sure that my bike would need tuning to reach NathuLa. But she proved me wrong. Not even a single issue cropped up in the whole 1800kms. And after this trip, I can positively say that Fazer is a comfortable tourer. In this whole trip, I never felt a a need to complain for anything. I'm quite surprised about the average too this time, the average came up to about 46Km/l.

And lastly, I would like to thank my parents for trusting me with the bike at this age. Even though there were many people going against this trip, they had faith in me. They knew I would ride safe and follow all the road rules. Thank You Mom-Dad, without you guys beside me, this was impossible!

Few pictures from my side-

Sevoke
The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-1.jpg

En-route Kalimpong
The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-2.jpg

Pedong Valley
The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-3.jpg

The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-5.jpg

The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-6.jpg

Above the clouds, before Gnathang Valley.
The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-8.jpg

Mt. Kanchenjunga at the backdrop.
The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-9.jpg

Take a bow Eleanor. Thank You for taking me to the Himalayas!
The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-10.jpg

And this, this is when we are freezing amidst the clouds with poor visibility and Saket77 decides to take pictures.
The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!-11.jpg

Although I'm not good at write ups, but as I end this post, I remember a particular quote that I read somewhere. "Travelling, it leaves you speechless and then turns you into a story teller". Thank You for reading the travelogue.

Regards,
Swapnil

Last edited by Swapnil_Alto : 3rd February 2017 at 18:13. Reason: Adding information
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Old 3rd February 2017, 21:11   #15
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Default re: The Captivating Old Silk Route from Ranchi to Sikkim - On Two Wheels!

Awesome TL guys, I think more than anything else. these trips bust the myth that you need extravagant 'tourer' bikes with extravagant price tags to roam our incredible country. If you have the spirit, modern 150 cc machines will soldier on tirelessly.

Ride safe!
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