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  • Sikkim- The Jewel of Eastern Himalayas

    sikkim website

    Start Destination: Pune, Maharashtra, India    End Destination: Siliguri, West Bengal, India
    Distance: 2,356 km    Bike: KTM ,
    Start Date: 12/08/2016    End Date: 12/25/2016

    Been many years,I have been craving to ride to Sikkim.Many plans failed and got re-planned with no immediate success.While i left my regular paying job for no particular reason,i realized that there wont be any perfect time like this to break the long pending jinx.I started this ride from Pune and rode all the way to Sandakhpu,highest point in West Bengal.Moved on to Darjeeling and then finally to the one of the most happening capital – Gangtok.

    Tough terrain of Sandakhpu claimed the life of rear suspension and i had to get it changed.Suspension was not available in Gangtok, so I had to take a shared taxi to Siliguri to get the part. Changing the suspension was quite some challenge as well, because the frame bolt on which the upper loop of suspension hangs on was completely jammed. We had to cut the upper loop of the suspension to get it out from the bike.Quite a nut cracking job it was,which took many mechanics and one full day.

    Here is quick summary on how to obtain permits for visiting north sikkim.

    Permits for North Sikkim(Gurudongmar/Zero Point) and East Sikkim (Nathula/Zuluk) for Motorcyclists .It only takes 20 rupees and bit of effort to get it done.

    Step 1 – Go to Home Ministry office in Gangtok(Opens at 10 am) with two copies of below documents
    1 – Motorcycle registration,it must be in your name.In case it’s on someone else’s name..process is complicated which I don’t know
    2 – Driving license
    3 – Motorcycle insurance
    4 – Pollution certificate
    5 – Passport or Voter Id (Didn’t asked if other ids like pan card or aadhar card are valid)

    Step 2 – Collect the permission form,fill it and attach one set of photocopies with form.One passport size photograph is required as well.Submit at the same desk from where you collected the form. You will be asked to collect the permissions on second half or next day depending on the work load.

    Step 3 – you will get few sets of envelopes when your permission is granted from home ministry. Next step is to get the permit from Police which is the main deal. You have to go to 3rd mile check post to get it done, which is bit far from Gangtok and on the the way to NathuLa.Reach there submit the envelope you received from home ministry which is on the name of ADGP,3rd mile check post …pay 20 bucks and receive the permit. Usually they will issue north sikkim permit and will ask you to come back for east sikkim permit..which is ok as the check post is on the route to Nathula

    Step 4 – Get atleast 8 photo copies of the permit you received from 3rd mile check post. You have to submit the copies at the check points on the way.I was advised to take 6 copies and i ran out of copies in Lachen, luckily I found a Xerox shop which was functional and paid 5 bucks per copy.

    Fuel – Beyond Mangan,no fuel pumps. Confirmed fuel availability(Black me) in Lachung in zero point circuit and Thangu in Gurudongmar circuit.Fuel rate 100 rs per litre.

    Mobile Networks – Airtel and Vodafone has good connectivity in North sikkim.Idea network available only till Mangan, beyond Mangan zero connectivity.BSNL bhagwaan bharose.

    Recommended route for North Sikkim
    Day 1 – Gangtok – Chungthang – Lachung
    Day 2 – Lachung – Yumthang – Chungthang – Lachen
    Day 3 – Lachen – Gurudongmar – Chungthang/Mangan

    IMP – NATHULA IS CLOSED FOR CIVILIANS ON MONDAY AND TUESDAY, ONLY ARMY PERSONALS ARE ALLOWED.EVEN THOUGH YOU HAVE PERMISSION FROM HOME MINISTRY YOU WON’T BE ALLOWED TO GO NATHULA.

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