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Old 22nd January 2010, 11:15   #16
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Default Wow!!

Good to see that you made this tour. Mr Pradhan had a talk with me some 3 months back - saying that people are coming out more often reading my travelogue and I was pleasantly surprised. Of course Somnath's story is the main mover - got the idea from his travel story on india mike.

He talked about having his photo with the Safari printed out in his resort and he offered to be the guide for the unknown trails that I pointed out - next time I go over there again!

And Gopalji similarly had some fantastic stories around our time also! Another great host and an absolutely unassuming person.


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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Wow! I am left speechless. This is indeed a wonderful hidden destination that needs to be done sometime! Loved the loop pics and Kanchenjunga over the clouds!
Hidden, unknown, exotic, amazing - all adjectives fall short to describe this route.

It is a complete military route and when one drives it almost seems like a private road with almost no opposing traffic, EXCEPT that on a particular day military truck driver trainees are taught on that road on those massive 4wd trucks and they come hurtling down!!! We went up on such a particular day and crossed 2 convoys with their master driver furiously turning away the steering at one of steep loop turnings - glad he did that!!!


East Sikkim loop remains one of my best journeys till date. Tell me when you come over- planning to do it again in around March-April next year - just the right amount of snow to complete the loop and still have all the fun of sliding and pushing through ice!

Absolutely numerous offbeat offroad trails still left to explore. Had to back out in some of them after pushing myself with a 2wd.

Last edited by adc : 22nd January 2010 at 11:29.
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Old 22nd January 2010, 12:03   #17
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Originally Posted by aerohit View Post
This is a REAL Travelogue - one that involves a proper road trip!

Thanks.

These days every tom, dick, harry who goes to London or some other Crapland is posting pics of their official/personal vacation, lacking Team-Bhp core values. Such threads should have been restricted.
I have not been to London or for that matter any foreign country. I am happy to read about them here.
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Old 22nd January 2010, 15:13   #18
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Thanks for the permit notes.

Our trip budget for this year is all allocated anyway, but one day...

Mind you, in current climate, I can't see India relaxing any security-related rules, and nore would I ask or expect it.
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Old 8th June 2011, 13:17   #19
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Default Re: Ambling along the “Old Silk Route” – a journey through East Sikkim

Inspired by the travelogues from ADC and Drive Train, we decided to follow the Old Silk Route ourselves. Our group consisted of three adults and four kids.
After a couple of calls and emails to Mr. Sebastian Pradhan, our trip was on. We were picked up at NJP on 22nd May and driven to Sillery (Pedong). After an overnight stay at Nirmala homestay, we drove to Mr. Pradhan's Eco Tourism Lodge on the Reshi river. Spent two nights there, then drove to Zuluk, stayed overnight at Sherpa Passang's place - Palzor Homestay and then drove to Gangtok via Nathu La, Jelep La, Kupup and Changgu. Two nights in Gangtok at the Black Cat Institute (thanks to army connections) and then to NJP and back home.
It was a fantatstic trip - awesome scenery - nature at it's best, lovely weather and really friendly people. Reshi was the highlight of our trip - crisp refreshing air, surrounded by the heavily wooded hills with constant background 'music' provided by the Reshi river and the birds.

My thanks to ADC and DriveTrain for sharing their experience as well as the contact details they provided. Mr. Sebastian Pradhan is one enterprising guy and an excellent host and thanks to him and his daughter Pranitha, we really enjoyed our trip. Some pictures from the trip:

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Last edited by John : 8th June 2011 at 13:41.
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Old 8th June 2011, 20:08   #20
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Default Re: Ambling along the “Old Silk Route” – a journey through East Sikkim

DriveTrain After looking at the Kanchenjunga picture taken from the ground floor terrace of the Makhim top hotel, the only thought that comes to my mind is : I must go there as well.

And since you wrote that an i10 took you up the path, my Wagon should manage it too.

Thanks for sharing the experience and looking forward to more stories from you.

Regards,
San.

Last edited by San Phrangmung : 8th June 2011 at 20:10.
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Old 9th June 2011, 10:22   #21
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Default Re: Ambling along the “Old Silk Route” – a journey through East Sikkim

I am planning a trip to the North East around mid September. Though I have been going through a lot of travelogues.

I plan to spend around 8-10 nights and will have my parents (65 and 60 years) and my daughter of 5 accompanying.

Any advice/suggestions on the itinerary per the weather conditions at that time and the touring party will be really helpful.

I have been refering to the itinerary at Discover Eastern Himalaya Vacation Package - Book Vacation Packages at Sikkim at Darjeeling, Gangtok, Pelling, Kalimpong, Lachung from Travel Guru
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Old 9th June 2011, 12:15   #22
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Default Re: Ambling along the “Old Silk Route” – a journey through East Sikkim

Woow great pictures and great write up. And it was good to see you gave detailed contact info about the places to stay as well. I live in siliguri and so far have made it only till Rishi. My friends and I we were there for a short break in april 2010. 6 of us had gone there on 4 motorbikes. And stayed exactly where you stayed in rishi.

As we were leaving rishi we made plans to come again on our bikes and go all the way to nathu-La then to Gantok. But unfortunately it hasn't happened yet. So i am planning to show this travelogue of yours to my friends and maybe get the ball rolling for a bike trip to these parts.

Just a question, do u know if private vehicles get permits to do the Rishi-Zaluk-nathula-gantok route? Or is it strictly taxi operators?
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Old 9th June 2011, 22:27   #23
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Default Re: Ambling along the “Old Silk Route” – a journey through East Sikkim

Quote:
Originally Posted by John View Post
It was a fantastic trip - awesome scenery - nature at it's best, lovely weather and really friendly people. Reshi was the highlight of our trip - crisp refreshing air, surrounded by the heavily wooded hills with constant background 'music' provided by the Reshi river and the birds.

Some pictures from the trip:
Beautiful and a travel well done, but surely you have more pictures to post.

You bring up a whole lot of good memories This is a route that will astound one and all, a must to be done at least once.

Have heard that there are some more "polished" accommodations that come up, but nothing beats that machan of Mr Pradhan's homestay.

Last edited by adc : 9th June 2011 at 22:29.
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Old 9th June 2011, 22:54   #24
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Default Re: Ambling along the “Old Silk Route” – a journey through East Sikkim

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Have heard that there are some more "polished" accommodations that come up, but nothing beats that machan of Mr Pradhan's homestay.
We enjoyed the basic/functional homestay's we stayed in. It's nice to get away from the creature comforts we are so used to, once in a while.

Yes, nothing beats the machan at Pradhan's place! Btw theres a nice machan at the Reshi Eco Retreat too.
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Old 14th June 2011, 09:20   #25
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Default Re: Ambling along the “Old Silk Route” – a journey through East Sikkim

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Originally Posted by John View Post
Inspired by the travelogues from ADC and Drive Train, we decided to follow the Old Silk Route ourselves. Our group consisted of three adults and four kids.
======================

Thanks for sharing the experience and looking forward to more stories from you.

Regards,
San.
Yes a WagonR should do it, you just need to know which craters to go in and which ones to avoid

If possible , go there in Winter , the views would be awesome.

On a side note , I traveled on an Alto from Tawang to Maduri Lake (Sungester Lake) , adc can vouch for the condition of that road - or the lack of it !!!!. I had no idea that an Alto can negotiate such treacherous terrain, it was boulders and stones all along,with very steep & icy stretches that even Bolero's and Scorpio's had difficulty negotiating.


Quote:
Originally Posted by amrisharm View Post
Woow great pictures and great write up. And it was good to see you gave detailed contact info about the places to stay as well. I live in siliguri and so far have made it only till Rishi. My friends and I we were there for a short break in april 2010. 6 of us had gone there on 4 motorbikes. And stayed exactly where you stayed in rishi.

As we were leaving rishi we made plans to come again on our bikes and go all the way to nathu-La then to Gantok. But unfortunately it hasn't happened yet. So i am planning to show this travelogue of yours to my friends and maybe get the ball rolling for a bike trip to these parts.

Just a question, do u know if private vehicles get permits to do the Rishi-Zaluk-nathula-gantok route? Or is it strictly taxi operators?
They do get permits , check the travelogue from adc , he traveled from Reshi to Gangtok , via Zaluk and Kupup in his own Safari . I am personally not aware of the procedure though.
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Old 6th July 2015, 15:28   #26
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Default Re: Ambling along the “Old Silk Route” – a journey through East Sikkim

Hi
We are planning to visit Zuluk and Gangtok during 10-12th October this year. I have read through numerous travelogues to plan this trip properly, but some key concerns still remain. We are planning to reach Zuluk through Rongli and follow the route Zuluk- Nathang Valley- Kupup- Baba Mandir - Tsongmo Lake - Gangtok. We do not intend to visit Nathu La.

Do anyone have info on below queries we have
1. Can we get the required permit from Rongli? (We are all India Citizens)

If yes
2. How long does it take to get the permit at the Check post?
3. Up to what time is the Rongli check post open? Given we are driving from Guwahati, chances are high that we will reach the check post past 7 pm.

3. Do we have to expect too much snow fall in mid-October on our Zuluk - Tsongmo Lake - Gangtok route?

Please help

Cheers
Renjith
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Old 6th July 2015, 16:05   #27
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Default Re: Ambling along the “Old Silk Route” – a journey through East Sikkim

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Originally Posted by Renjith_Mani View Post
Hi
We are planning to visit Zuluk and Gangtok during 10-12th October this year. I have read through numerous travelogues to plan this trip properly, but some key concerns still remain. We are planning to reach Zuluk through Rongli and follow the route Zuluk- Nathang Valley- Kupup- Baba Mandir - Tsongmo Lake - Gangtok. We do not intend to visit Nathu La.

Do anyone have info on below queries we have
1. Can we get the required permit from Rongli? (We are all India Citizens)

If yes
2. How long does it take to get the permit at the Check post?
3. Up to what time is the Rongli check post open? Given we are driving from Guwahati, chances are high that we will reach the check post past 7 pm.

3. Do we have to expect too much snow fall in mid-October on our Zuluk - Tsongmo Lake - Gangtok route?

Please help

Cheers
Renjith
Hello Renjith. To answer your questions point by point,
1. Can we get the required permit from Rongli? Rongli is exactly the place where you should collect your permit from.

2. How long does it take to get the permit at the Check post? The permit is not available at the check post but at Rongli police station and SDPO office above the PS. If you reach Rongli before 3pm, head to the police station else head towards SDPO office above it. Both departments have different forms each which can be bought from the PCO booths beside the PS. The permit will take around half an hour maximum. Please carry all car documents,DL and voter ID card ( they do not encourage/believe adhaar cards). Fill the form up and submit. After receiving the permit, make three photocopies of it as it will be required in the forwarding check posts.

3. Up to what time is the Rongli check post open? Given we are driving from Guwahati, chances are high that we will reach the check post past 7 pm. If that is the case, please stay at Rongli itself and take your permit the next day. There are numerous hotels between Rongli PS and first check post which has unrestricted access.

4. Do we have to expect too much snow fall in mid-October on our Zuluk - Tsongmo Lake - Gangtok route? Absolutely no chance.

You should stay for a night at Zuluk. The Zuluk loops at sunrise from just below Longthu is fantastic.

Last edited by himadrimondal : 6th July 2015 at 16:20.
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Old 24th October 2015, 17:42   #28
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Default Re: Ambling along the “Old Silk Route” – a journey through East Sikkim

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Originally Posted by himadrimondal View Post
2. The permit will take around half an hour maximum. Please carry all car documents,DL and voter ID card ( they do not encourage/believe adhaar cards). Fill the form up and submit. After receiving the permit, make three photocopies of it as it will be required in the forwarding check posts.
Is this permit only for driver or all other passengers? Iam planning to visit N.Sikkim with a friend of mine who has only Adhaar card..any other alternatives?

PS: I will be driving the car & has voters ID with me
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Old 24th October 2015, 21:26   #29
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Somehow the Rongli PS or the SDPO does not acknowledged the adhaar card. They say even Nepalese have come across the border to get one. Hence they prefer a normal voter ID card or other photo ID proof.
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