Trip Dates: 26/12/2010 to 3/01/2011
Trip Mates: Arun Thomas KB and Meenukkutty
26/12/2010 – Chennai to Bagdogra by flight
Package trip through a travel agent. Pakcage includes Gangktok, Yumthang Valley, Gurudonmarg Lake, Pelling, Nathula Pass. Package includes full transportation.
03/01/2011 – Bagdogra to Bangalore by flight
I contacted a travel agent in Sikkim. And he arranged a full package trip in Sikkim after transferring the amount to his account. Here is the mail i got from him.Dear Mr. Arun
Warm greetings ! Thanks for choosing our hotel for your stay at Gangtok.Your tour itinerary will be as below:- 26 / 12 / 2010 :- Transfer from Bagdogra airport to Gangtok hotel by Tata Indica. 27 / 12 / 2010 :- 2 night 3 days Gurudongmar – Yumthang package tour by two sharing seats in Tata Sumo / Mahindra Max. Night stay at Lachen. 28 / 12 / 2010 :- Visit Gurudongmar Lake & night stay at Lachung. 29 / 12 / 2010 :- After visiting Yumthang Valley back to Gangtok hotel. 30 / 12 / 2010 :- After breakfast excurtion to Nathulla pass, Changu lake by two sharing seats in Tata Sumo / Mahindra Max. 31 / 12 / 2010 :- Local sight seeing in & around Gangtok by one maruti van. 01 / 1 / 2011:- Transfer from Gangtok to Pelling hotel by Tata Indica. 02 / 1 / 2011:- Local sight seeing in & around Pelling by one car. 03 / 1 / 2011:- Transfer from Pelling hotel to Bagdogra Airport by Tata Indica. This total tour will cost RS 30200/= for two heads with one double bedded room at all places on lodging basis.
However food is included in 2 night 3 days Gurudongmar – Yumthang package tour i.e. From 27 / 12 / 2010 lunch to 29 / 12 / 2010 lunch. Accommodation will be in Juniper Tree hotel at Gangtok & similar at other places.
Visit us at www.hoteljunipersikkim.com
Should you require any clarification , feel free to call 24 X7. Thanks & regards
9832066258 / 9733439583
Celebrated Christmas in my home town, Pala in Kottayam, Kerala. Boarded Chennai Mail at 5:30 PM from Kottayam.
Reached Chennain Central at 7:30 Am. Took a room in a nearby lodge. After getting fresh, took an autorikshaw to Chennai airport. Charge Rs.250
The flight was delayed due to fog in Delhi. (Our flight was coming from Delhi). Flight started at 1:30 Pm and reached Bagdogra at 5:00 PM.
The travel agent had sent a Tata Indica taxi for us. We reached Gangtokat around 10 PM.
Gangtok is around 125 kms from Bagdogra airport. Prepaid taxi charge from Bagdogra to Gangktok is Rs. 1650
We started our North Sikkim trip at around 12:45 PM from Gangtok. The vehicle was a Mahindra Max with 10 passengers. There is zero comfort in that crap vehicle.
On the way we saw Seven Sisters waterfalls. At around 7:30 PM, we reached Lachen. Stay at Shangri La Retreat.
The driver had asked us to get ready at 4:30 AM so that we can see Gurudongmar Lake. So we woke up at 4 AM. And started at 6 AM. It was damn cold in North Sikkim. I was surviving on 6 layers of clothes including a sweater and a jacket, woolen socks, gloves, muffler and munkey cap. The roads were full of frozen ice. We were not able to see Gurudongmar Lake because the road was closed due to heavy snow. I think the travel agents knew this before. When we asked the locals, they said the lake can be seen only in April, May, June, September and October.
We visited Chopta Valley. Then returned to the hotel. After havind lunch, we started to Lachung at 1:30 PM. Reacged there at 4:30 PM.
We took a room heater for an extra 200 Rs. It is difficult to survive without a room heater. The scenery from the windows of our room was awesome. We could see beautiful ice capped Himalayan mountains from there.
Visited Zero Point. Each one of us had to pay an extra 200Rs to the driver for taking us there since Zero Point was not in the package. 10 x 200 = 2000 Rs extra bugs for the driver. 🙂
And then we visited Yumthang Valley. We didn’t see any flowers int he valley since it was not the season there.
We reached the hotel at 12:30 Pm. And started out journey to Gangktok at 2:30 PM.
But we got stuck in Chumthang due to a land slide. One worker died on the spot and the road was blocked due to the land slide. We waited there for 90 minutes. Then we got information that the road wont be opened till next day afternoon. So we had no choice than to return to Lachung which was around 30 kms uphill. And the driver charged extra for that too. Came back to hotel, paid 1200 Rs for the room.
Desp. We missed one day of the trip. My wife, Meenukkutty is fully depressed. According to the plan, the next day plan was Nathula Pass trip. She didn’t want to miss that. So i called up the travel agent and asked him to cancel the Gangktok city tour and arrange Nathul Pass on 31st. And he did that.
Note: Take enought liquid cash when you go for a trip to Himalayas. You wont see many ATMs in the mountains. And if possible, take a BSNL sim card also.
Started back to Gangtok. The road was cleared using dynamites. On the way, we got stuck in another town Mangan due to land slide 🙁
So took another route to Gangtok. Extra kms – 40. Reached Gangtok at around 8 PM.
We visited Nathula Pass on this day. Vehicle was Mahindra Max with 10 people.
We visited Tukla Baba Mandir and Buker, Baba Mandir, Elephant Lake, Tsongo Lake and Nathula Pass.
It was a great experience to be in Nathula Pass. We saw the India-China border. And we got a Certificate from Indian Army stating that we visited Nathula Pass which was at an altitude of 13000 feet 🙂
We had to pay an extra 100 Rs per person to the driver for taking us to Tukla.
And near Tsongo lake, we sat on a Yak and took photos.
At around 6 PM we reached Gangtok.
New Year Eve – We went to MG Marg and bought some souvenirs. MG Marg is a nice place to be. Its very neat and beautiful. Then we went to a pub in Gangtok – Cafe Live and Loud in Tibet Road.
Started to Pelling in a Maruti Alto taxi. Reached Pelling at around 3:30 Pm. Stay in hotel.
We could see Kanchejunga from our hotel room. Beautiful.
Local sight seeing in and around Pelling.
We visited Rimbi Waterfalls, Sewaro Rock Garden in Rimbi, Kanchenjunga Waterfalls, Khechoedpalri Holy Wishing Lake, Helipad, Pemayangtse Monastry and Rabdentse Ruins in a Tata Sumo.
Started at 7:15 Am to Bagdogra Airport which was around 140 Kms from Pelling. Got a road block on the way. But somehow reached airport on time.
From Bagdogra to Delhi. Waited in Delhi airport for 5 hours since the flight was delayed due to fog. And from Delhi to Bangalore. Reached home at around 3 AM night.
Flight charge – Rs. 22,000
Package cost – Rs. 30,200
Total Cost of the trip – Around 60,000 to 65,000 Rs for two of us.