Five of us on this Scorpio-SUV tour of the North-East. Veteran driver HV Kumar, his wife Deepa, their 13-yr old son Hariharan, Hariharan's school classmate, 13-yr old, Srinath .... and an old man, me (KS), all of 60-years! We loaded up HVK's black Scorpio, with our luggage & stuff and left Thane via NH-3, at 8:10pm on 9th April 2009. At Dhulia, we turned right onto NH-6 and headed East, all the way to Kolkata & Gangtok
Our drive across India from Mumbai to Kolkata, Siliguri and Gangtok was pretty uneventful; except that we had to enter Kolkata (unplanned) to change our rear tires. At Sambalpur, HVK noticed that a long crack was developing on the sidewall of the rear-left tubeless tire and so he decided to go to Kolkata and change both the rear tires. HVK's network of TeamBHP members helped in keeping the new tires and the change shop crew ready. That took an extra 3 hours and HVK more than made up for it, by driving all night to Gangtok.
12th April - 10 AM: We reach Gangtok earlier than planned. We had driven 2846 Kms from Thane, more or less continuously, with just one night stay halt at a hotel in Sambalpur, Orissa. In Gangtok, we stayed at Hotel Rajnandini, near Raj-Bhavan. It was an OK hotel at Rs 600/- for a DBL room. We did some local sights and next day (13th) we went to Tsomgo Lake in a hired Maxx. We could not get permit to go to Nathu-La due to snow conditions on route and only army trucks with chains were going to Nathu-La.
14th April: We left early at 5:00AM to visit some parts of South and West Sikkim, along a scenic route. First to Legship via Ravangla and then to Tashiding after crossing Rangit river on a suspension bridge. The new Tourist GH at Tashiding is beautifully located and well-furnished. We stopped here for tea. Next time I must to stay here in this nice Guest House (WP103), located on top of a high ridge below the Tashiding Monastery.
After Tashiding we went to Yuksom via Phamrong Falls. At Yuksom (10:45 am) we had lunch of puri-bhaji at the main street Gupta's restaurant. We then left for Khecheopalri Lake.
After Khecheopalri lake we went to see the famous Pemayangtse Monastry, via Pelling.
In going to Dentak at Western end of Sikkim, we faced bad roads and lost extra 2-3 hours and reached Jaigaon in WB-Bhutan border late at 9:45pm. The Phuntsoling border gate was closed for vehicles and so we had to stay in Hotel Kasturi, Jaigaon, Rs 500 for a non-AC DBL room.
Note: WPnnn = WayPoint# for that location. (Also see Page Footer)
See slideshow of all my Sikkim Pictures
33 GHiRT-1 NE >
The first leg of GHiRT-1 was Sikkim
We covered Gangtok & Tsomgo Lake in East Sikkim for first 2 days ..... and then headed South & West Sikkim to see Ravangla, Legship, Tashiding, Yuksom, Khecheopalri Lake, Pemayangtse Monastry, Changey Waterfall etc.