Padamchen Tour Plan in Silk Route Sikkim
The Silk Route came into limelight since 2005 when a local there started promoting his home stays at Zuluk and Nathang Valley. He knew that most of tourists to Sikkim visit places like Gangtok, Pelling, Namchi, north Sikkim, etc. He started promoting Silk Route as an offbeat destination and at present the region receives heavy tourist traffic throughout the year. Silk Route in east Sikkim is no more an offbeat destination but it is true the place doesn’t receive as much tourists as other most visited destinations mentioned above. I have been to Silk Route many times and I visited the place first in 2005. Since then the number of my visits are still continuing and counting. Sikkim is one of my favorite destinations in India.
I have been traveling to Silk Route since its inception and covered all places and discovered some new and offbeat destinations along the way. Zuluk and Nathang Valley gained the attraction and became two most popular and sought after destination along the Silk Route. As I had many journeys to the region, I have stayed at Zuluk and Nathang Valley so many times. These two places and the entire Silk Route are so beautiful and serene that tourist started visiting the route since it was introduced and local people started getting into home stay business due to huge demand for lodging. More and more people started providing their properties as home stays and thus Zuluk lost that earlier charm and serenity. I visit Silk Route each year and Zuluk-Nathang Valley were must stay places to me till 2010 but I eventually started losing interest staying at Zuluk and was looking for a new place to halt for nights and relax a couple of days. In the process I came to know about Padamchen which is an adjacent hamlet to Zuluk. One needs to cross Padamchen to visit Zuluk if traveling from Rongli’s side and if traveling from Gangtok’s side, one can reach Padamchen after driving a few kilometers from Zuluk.
I am not saying that Zuluk is not a good place to stay overnight but I am just trying to state a comparison between Zuluk and Padamchen. If there is scope, it is better you stay at Padamchen. A true nature lover would surely love to stay at Padamchen being it a serene and tranquil place. There are not that much home stays, only a few around 6-8 but I always stay at the same property. I came to know about Silk Route Retreat home stay on my first stay at Padamchen. I came in contact with Mr. Penjo and Navin who provide their property as home stay to tourists traveling Silk Route. Since I my first stay at Padamchen back in 2010, I have been to Silk Route year till date and never missed to stay at least 1 night at Padamchen. Even I went for my Honeymoon trip to Silk Route in Sikkim and stayed 2 nights at Padamchen along with other places.
The best thing about Padamchen is you can reach there anytime throughout the year irrespective of weather. You can reach there even in winter during Jan-Fen when the Silk Route remains closed due to snowfall because it snows beyond Padamchen. The place never gets blocked with snow and one can stay overnight at Padamchen and take a drive further along Silk Route till the reachable point when it snows heavily. If you are ready to enjoy extreme temperature in winter along with snow, you can visit Silk Route and stay at Padamchen.
If you are visiting in any other season, you can make a halt at Padamchen along Silk Route. Winter nights at Padamchen would be incomplete without camp fire and Chhaang. It is Nepalese and Tibetan alcoholic beverage popular along Silk Route.
One can reach Padamchen directly from NJP/Siliguri/Bagdogra by getting inner line permit from the administrative office at Rongli Bazar. Getting the permit generally takes around 15 minutes but if you are traveling in season time, be prepared to be in queue and it can take around 40 minutes to 1 hour. You are not required to stand at the office but you can sit in your car or wonder around the bazar area and the driver would fetch your permit by then. Your driver would help you get the permit for Silk Route from Rongli bazar. Each person would carry Voter-ID or Aadhar Card photo copies along with passport size photos to get the permits. You should carry the original documents too. For kids, a school identity card or ration card would work. Once you get permit from Rongli, the first check-post would be at Lingtam and then after a 1.5 hour drive, you would reach Padamchen.
One can also reach Padamchen from Gangtok via Silk Route. One would need permit to visit Padamchen via Silk Route. Permit is obtained from Gangtok tourism office and your driver would help you to get the permit on providing the necessary documents I have mentioned above. The journey from Gangtok to Padamchen along Silk Route will surely provide you a memorable journey with breathtaking views all around.
The Silk Route is as follows:
Gangtok >> Tsomgo Lake (Changu) >> Nathula Pass >> New Baba Mandir >> Old Baba Mandir >> Tookla Valley >> Serathang Market Place >> Kupup >> Nathang Valley >> Thambi View Point >> Lungthung >> Zuluk >> Padamchen >> Lingtam >> Rongli
There are certain other places of interest one can cover on way to Silk Route. Places like Ichey Gaon, Sillery Gaon, Reshikhola and Mankhim/Aritar are some beautiful places once can cover along with Silk Route. Once can cover any one or more than one of these places before getting permit from Rongli and proceed towards Silk Route when traveling directly from NJP/Siliguri/Bagdogra. On the other way, one can travel along the entire Silk Route from Gangtok’s side and visit these places and finally reach NJP/Siliguri/Bagdogra.
If you are planning to visit Silk Route, I would suggest you cover Padamchen. If you are planning to stay one or couple of nights at Padamchen, I would suggest you to stay at Silk Route Retreat. If you need I can connect you to the Home stay owner and you can speak directly. You can mail me or call me if interested and I can connect you to Mr. Penjo or Mr. Navin – owners of Silk Route Retreat home stay at Padamchen.
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