The Silk Route In Sikkim – Information & Guide
Silk Route is an old route in Sikkim that connects Sikkim in India with China occupied Tibet. Silk route lies in eastern part of Sikkim along the rough terrains of Himalayan range. In earlier days people used to take this route while ferrying goods between India, Tibet and China. Still now goods are ferried through passes in borders. Indian Army looks after this entire stretch as here lays the border between India and China. Places like Rishikhola, Lingtam, Zuluk, Nathang Valley, Lungthung etc. are all located along the Silk route. These places happened to be offbeat destinations to nature lovers and travelers but these days too many tourists travel to these places to experience the raw scenic beauty of the nature. The high hills and mountains all around with chilling breeze and snow in winter and Rhododendrons in April-May make this place one of the most beautiful sought after destinations in Sikkim.
NJP/Siliguri To Silk Route in East Sikkim
As you know north Bengal is the gateway to Sikkim, you have to visit Sikkim via Siliguri or New Japlaiguri (NJP). There are frequent vehicles from NJP/Siliguri to Gangtok but you won’t find any direct transportation to visit the tourist places along Silk route from Siliguri/NJP. You can get vehicles up to Rongli Bazar and then from there you can hire vehicles up to your destination along Silk route. The better option is you take a pick-up service from the owner of the house stay where you would be lodge. There are no hotels or resorts in east Sikkim tourist places along Silk route. You have to stay in house stays provided by local people there. Lingtam has got the only hotel named “Silk Route Resort” and there is a old British bungalow in Nathang Valley named “Daftar Bungalow” but in Rishikhola, Zuluk, Lungthung, home stays would be the properties to lodge in. If you are traveling with an agency, there is nothing to worry about but if you are traveling by your own, I would suggest you to ask for a pick-up vehicle from the person who arranges your stay there. It is always better to go directly without any break journey. A break journey means loading and unloading of luggage, hackle and tensions. A pick-up vehicle for a direct journey means no trouble and apart from this you can stop anywhere you like on the way, enjoy the scenic beauty, click photos etc. The first tourist place towards Silk route in Sikkim from plains of north Bengal is Lingtam, then comes Rishikhola and then Zuluk, Nathang Valley and Lungthung.
The journey by road to east Sikkim from NJP/Siliguri would be a memorable experience to you. The road goes along the Teesta River with hills on both sides makes the journey very enjoyable for those who like nature. The more you go up, better is the view. The journey along the Silk route is very adventurous. The sharp turns of the narrow roads at such a high altitude will sometime scare you but the drivers there are very professional and handy.
Car Hire Rates from NJP/Siliguri to Silk route in East Sikkim
Here I am talking about pick-up vehicles. You won’t get vehicles on kilometer basis in Sikkim. They charge for point to point. The car hire rate for a pick-up vehicle varies with seasons and go up or down with time. Car hire rate goes up in peak seasons like from April to May and September to December. I am providing below the car hire rate as of September, 2013.
NJP/Siliguri To Lingtam OR Rishikhola
- Rs 3,000 – 3,500 approx.
NJP/Siliguri To Zuluk
- Rs 4,000 – 4,500 approx.
Lingtam OR Rishikhola To Zuluk
- Rs 2,800 – 3,400 approx. with sightseeing en-route
Zuluk To Nathang Valley
- Rs 4000 approx.
Nathang Valley to NJP/Siliguri via Lungthung
Rs 5000 approx.
If you need an itinerary or tour plan for the destinations like Rishikhola, Lingtam, Zuluk, Nathang Valley, Lungthung etc., just click on the link below and get all details.
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