Admit it. There are times when you wish you could get away from it all by moving to mountains, away from crowd and the busy life in cities. This Web series is about my recent trip to Sikkim which I had taken along with my friends Ronnie, Aman and my elder brother Nikhil. We had planned the trip for last week of March 2017 (28 March – 1 April). It was a 5 day trip and I had covered Gangtok, Lachen, Shri Gurudongmar Lake, Lachung, Katao Valley and Yumthang Valley. I have covered my entire journey in a 4 part web series (Point of view – Sikkim) starting from Bangalore and ending at Gangtok.
“WE TRAVEL NOT TO ESCAPE LIFE, BUT FOR LIFE NOT TO ESCAPE US !”
Sikkim : Sikkim is a state in northeast India, bordered by Bhutan, Tibet and Nepal. Part of the Himalayas, the area has a dramatic landscape that includes India’s highest mountain, 8,586m Kangchenjunga. Sikkim is also home to glaciers, alpine meadows and thousands of varieties of wildflowers. Steep paths lead to hilltop Buddhist monasteries such as Pemayangtse, which dates to the early 1700s.
TRAILER VIDEO –
PART 1 – Bagdogra to Gangtok
I started my journey from Bangalore in the morning at around 6:30 AM and took a connecting flight to Bagdogra via Kolkata. I was suppose to join my friends and my brother in Gangtok who had reached there a day before. From Bagdogra airport, I had taken a private taxi (Innova) till Gangatok. It was almost 5 hours journey with beautiful landscapes and good road conditions. I reached Gangtok by evening, the same day and met my brother and 2 other friends in Gangatok. We were staying at Terrace Valley clarks inn and the rooms were really nice and the staff was very friendly out there. Later that night we were exploring the most popular street in the town, MG Road. We had also looked out for a travel agency to book a trip for Lachen, gurudongmar lake, Lachung, Katao valley and Yumthang valley. The agency charge you for the vehicle, stay, basic food (at stay) and taking care of our permits. The street also had some amazing cafes with good music and we ended up at cafe Chopsticks and stayed there for couple of hours having dinner. We reached back hotel at around 2:00 AM. Checkout the video for more details.
PART 2 – Gangtok – Lachen
Next day I got up early to take a timelapse video from the balcony attached to my room and also not to forget the amazing complimentary breakfast served in the morning. We left our important luggage in the hotel and left for a taxi stop in gangtok where we were suppose to meet the taxi driver for our trip ahead. We left for Lachen from Gangtok at around 11:00 AM and managed to reach Lachen at around 7:30 PM. On the way, we encountered heavy rainfall, landslides, but also beautiful landscapes of lush green forests and clouds. Lunch will be offered at local restaurant on the way and will be very basic like egg curry, dal, rice, chapati and salad. Elevation of gangtok is around 5300 ft. above the sea level and we were moving towards Lachen which is at around 8500 feet. So we could feel the temperature dropping and at night it was very cold with snow covered peaks all around. Do not miss to enjoy the night at Ingredients cafe. It is one of the best in town. Checkout video for more details.
PART 3 – Lachen, Gurudongmar Lake and Lachung
Next morning we got up at 3 AM because we had to leave for gurudongmar lake. This was the most scenic road trip I have ever taken in my life. Lachen to Gurudongmar lake is a 8 hours drive and it takes you through the scenic trail of snow covered peaks and also you will find a lot of snow on the way. Road conditions are decent with rough patches and smooth trails. Gurudongmar lake is situated at an altitude of 18,000 feet and it is frozen most of the times of the year. We started our journey from gurudongmar lake to Lachung at around 12:00 PM and managed to reach Lachung by 7:00 PM. We took few stopovers on the way – lachen(for lunch), amitabh bachan waterfall and few other places for having tea. We slept early that night because we had to leave early next day for Katao valley. Checkout the video for more details
PART 4 – Lachung, Katao and Yumthang valley
This was the last day of my 4 days escapade to Sikkim. We started early morning from Lachung and went to Katao valley and then Yumthang valley.
Lachung to Katao valley is almost one and a half hour drive with snow covered trails and amazing views of the valley. Also, Katao is know for border between India and China. From Katao, we drove to yumthang valley which is 3 hours drive and I must say Yumthang valley is the best place to chill. Beautiful, serene and virgin. We stayed there for couple of hours and then headed back to Gangtok. Checkout video for more details.
Next day we took a taxi back to bagdogra airport and took a flight back from there.
Expense for the trip:
Return flight to Bagdogra – Rs. 15,000
Taxi from Bagdogra to Gangtok – Rs. 2,500
Taxi from Gangtok to Bagdogra – Rs. 700 (costed us Rs. 2,400 and split between 4)
2 night stay at Terrace valley clarks inn – Rs.1,800 (we had booked 2 rooms with double sharing)
Expenses for cab agency – Rs.5,000 (it costed Rs.20k for 4 people for 3 day trip covering Lachen, gurudongmar lake, Lachung, Katao valley and Yumthang valley)
Miscellaneous (Food, clubbing etc.) – Rs. 5,000
Overall – Rs. 30,000