Group Tour Organized for Sikkim and Darjeeling
Last year on 29th June 2018 my visit to Sikkim along with Group of 12 travellers from Malaysia was a remarkable experience, which I will never forget. I was group leader and my duty is to take care for all the arrangements. Today I am writing this post to cherish memories of last year. I am owner of a small tour company and organize tours to all parts of India and I have clients from all over the Globe. Usually I would not accompany the Tourist’s Group; I used to send representative of my company along with Group, But this time on request of my old friend Mr. Manian who was also a member of this group, I accompany Malaysian Group. I had also organized group tours to several parts of India, I would share my experiences later in another post.
Planing Sikkim visit during monsoons ?
It was the monsoons of 2018 and not a single person said anything good about traveling to Sikkim in June end. Until then, few had ever travelled for pleasure to Sikkim in monsoons. But we all were ready to take the leaps and bounds of the visiting Sikkim during monsoons. I booked the flight tickets very early for all the persons and done all the bookings very early to avoid any type of issues later.
Over the last few years, Sikkim is being promoted as one of the top tourist destinations in the country owing to its culture, breathtaking scenery and biodiversity. The state promotes eco-tourism in an effort to help local communities and protect its beautiful environment.
Nearest Airport for Gangtok ? It is Bagdogra
Bagdogra is the closest airport and is serviced by most major domestic airlines. It is a 6 hour drive from Bagdogra to Gangtok. After 2 hours of drive we were in lap of beautiful green valley and taken a short break enroute. River teesta view was amazing, Journey was little bit tiring from Bagdogra to Gangtok, but the excitement of reaching our destination overcame the fatigue of travel. We reached Gangtok late in the evening and settled for the night at Lindsey Hotel in the heart of Gangtok. It was a quite luxury hotel with supportive and well-behave staff. The hotel was so beautiful; the view from the hotel was mesmerizing me. I was enjoying the view with coffee in the morning because at night as we was tired so, prefer to have early dinner and went to bed early. We went to many sightseeing places in Gangtok with group members and enjoyed a lot. Gangtok is truly a charming place. We loved its scenic beauty, lush green forest, and flowing rivers.
Gangtok During Monsoon
It was a great feeling to arrive in Gangtok and see the beautiful city of north east – a modern city with a very deep sense of history. we will never forget when we first drove through, passing the canals and seeing the beautiful hills. It was love at first sight.
I was Group Leader and have to arrange for the entry and permit to visit North Sikkim, My local agent “Bijay” had helped me at lot and also provide a guide for Lachung visit so that he can guide us and also provide help during the tour. I had completed all the formalities before leaving to Lachung.
Gangtok Lachung Group Tour
Next morning, we started early towards Lachung, A beautiful place in the heart of Mount Kanchanjungha, the route from Gangtok to Lachung is covered by the high mountains, natural river streams and beautiful valleys. The scale of the scenery is not easy to comprehend in the photos but everything was huge and we were a small speck in the big picture. The waterfalls were huge, so were the mountains and the river.
Lachung During Monsoon
We had two SUV (Innova and Mahindra Xylo) driven by a young courageous driver called lama and phurdin. We reached evening at lachung and checkinn to Hotel Lachung Continental. The hotel was very traditional Buddhist style and the food was served was very good vegetarian food, The staff of hotel was very nice and tourist feels like home there.
What Lachung means ?
Lachung means the ‘Small Pass’ .Lachung is a small mountain village at an altitude of 8,610 ft and located about 118 kms from Gangtok. Many waterfalls coming down the rock faces, lush forested landscapes and scenic views all around. Yumthang valley is about 25kms from Lachung located at an altitude of 11,800 ft and takes about 1.5 hours of drive. The name Yumthang Valley means ‘Valley of Flowers’. But it is ‘Valley of Rhododendrons’. Because here rhododendron flowers are spread for miles and in many different colors like purple, blue, red, pink etc.
Trip to Yumthang valley and Zero Point
Next morning we started trip to Yumthang and Zero Point, Without another tourist in sight, the offseason adventure was unraveling rather delightfully. The intimacy of a landscape shared only with you and no one else was a rare joy. The obscured mountainscapes and bone chilling weather was no match to the incredible beauty of the resplendent greenery veiled in a coat of grey mist. Driving along the flower filled grazing pastures of Yumthang and the desolate high grounds of Zero Point, we wished with all our might that the landslide would be cleared even as were being lambasted by relentless downpour without a single minute’s respite. Zero Point is last outpost. No motorable road is ahead. It is calm and quiet. Later we returned to Gangtok, reached there late evening and after dinner we take a long sleep after a tiring hilly journey.
Ready for Thrilling Hills Ride in Sikkim?
While returning whole valley was resplendent and the rain created a magical atmosphere. One where waterfalls can heard but not seen and one where mountains cannot be seen but felt. Visibility was as low as 3-4 meters. There is mist all around and the journey was very dangerous.
Next morning we started tour towards Tsogmo Lake, Nathula Pass, Baba Mandir
It is a 54 km drive from Gangtok to Nathula Pass. The road to Nathula follows the ancient Silk Route and passes along Lake Tsogmo, a beautiful glacial lake on the north side. Make sure you stop here and enjoy the scenery against the backdrop of mountains and colorful prayer flags. For those who want to do more, there is also the option of taking a yak ride. A little ahead you also get a view of the twin lakes, lying side by side reflecting a dark green shade of water.
Nathula Pass and Tsogmo Lake during Monsoon
As on that there is lot of rain and due to bad weather we’ll not able to visit the Nathula Pass and Baba mandir. We come across many waterfalls. The road is not good. There was landslide and road has been destroyed. Big small stones are spread on the road. The work is going on. We were surprised by the skill of Lama who was driving on such a bad road. The beautiful Mt. Kanchenjunga stood majestically and the sight enthralled us in its beauty that we momentarily forgot how cold the early morning winds were.
Sightseeing Gangtok City
Next day we left for sightseeing Gangtok, The world famous Rumtek Monastery is located at a hilltop and hence we had to walk a long way. As we reached, I stood there contemplating the appealing beauty of this magnificent architect. The edifice itself was revealing the rich Tibetan culture. We got to see the huge Buddha statues, the scripts, the paintings and the Lamas. My eyes caught some papers which were actually currencies of different countries. Later one of the Lamas told about the huge inflow of tourist everyday from different parts of the world. There we had our breakfast in a stall below and bought some mementos. Next we enjoyed a ropeway ride (1/2km), from where we could see the whole Gangtok, a wonderful sight and a thrilling experience. Due to mist we was’nt able to see the view of City but overall the ride was good.
In the evening we went to MG marg, a lovely place to move and stroll about. We also visited the Lal Market. To know a place and its people, market is the best place. Gangtok is absolutely beautiful and the hospitality of the people is remarkable. But Gangtok on foot is all the more splendid. The law and order and maintenance of public places are worth mentioning. I simply love this place and look forward to come here again sometime.
Pelling visit in Monsoon
I found this place more beautiful than I have heard. Pelling is approx 5 hr journey from Gangtok. We reached Pelling late evening and enroute visited Large Gautama Buddha statue in Buddha Park of Ravangla. Believe me Pelling in Sikkim is unforgettable throughout your life. It is located at a height of 7200 ft above the sea level. This place took my breath away. Its beauty was something I can’t explain in words. There were several waterfalls and breath taking views of Kanchenjunga and Himalaya; the two main mountains. We did capture some memorable photographs there and see hundreds of waterfall in the way.
Visit to Siddhesvara Pilgrimage place in Sikkim
We also visited Siddhesvara Dhaam (2011) is a unique pilgrimage-tourism venture of the Sikkim Government . Chief Minister Shri Pawan Chamling inaugurated this. 87-ft statue of Lord Shiva and replicas of four Dhaams of the country, all at one place on the Solophok hilltop in Namchi. There are replicas of the “Dwadash Jyotirlingas” (the twelve jyothirlingas) of Somnath, Mallikarjuna, Mahakaleswar, Omkareshwar, Kedarnath, Bhimashankar, Viswanath, Triambakeshwar, Vaidyanath, Nageswar, Rameshwar at Rameswaram and Grishneshwar surrounding the statue of Lord Shiva and the Char Dhams. There is a grand statue of Kirateshvar Mahadev and a temple of Shirdi Sai Baba too.
We saw Baichung Stadium built by the Sikkim government in honour of its most famous citizen, footballer Baichung Bhutia who owns a number of football schools all over India.
Monastry visit in Sikkim and nearby
Next morning we visited some places near pelling, Here I am sharing pictures of the Pemayangtse Monastry near Pelling, Singshore Bridge, Kanchenjunga Falls and the holy Khecheopalri Lake. I cannot begin to describe the peace I felt visiting such a spiritual place. The noise pollution is close to nil, the vast landscape filled with greenery and there is peace all around! You can feel the calmness entering your body and well to me this was what I’d expected out of my journey.
looking for Darjeeling tour during Monsoon ?
Morning after breakfast we started for Darjeeling, Today’s journey was full of hurdles. As the road work was going on, many a times we had to stop. We took so many experiences. At one point they were repairing the road which was damages due to landslide. Once road diversion was given so again a long run! we were stopped to witness landslides. After the road was cleaned, we started our journey. On the way stopped at a tea estate cafe to have tea. After all we all Reached Darjeeling safely late in the night.
Darjeeling is situated in a pine-clad valley, with the town clinging to the steep mountainsides, consisting of small houses, shops and taller concrete townhouses linked by numerous small narrow streets, alleys and steps. We walked up the hillside, slightly out of breath, due to a combination of the steepness and also the altitude, to the Mall. The Mall, which sits high up on the mountain should have spectacular views but we were thwarted by low cloud and mist, is a square surrounded by small shops selling tourist fare, an excellent bookshop, teashops, woolen garment shops and restaurants.
End of Sikkim Darjeeling Group TourSikkim Darjeeling Group tour concludes
Today was the last day of our unforgettable Sikkim Darjeeling tour , after breakfast we departed from hotel towards bagdogra airport, enroute visit Tea plantations covered vast areas of mountainside, as you might expect in Darjeeling. We had an interesting tour of the Jay Shree Tea Factory, seeing the labour intensive and largely manual processes of tea production. Later we reached the Bagdogra Airport to catch flight to Kolkata, from Kolkata the group had to board the flight to Malaysia. This unforgettable tour now comes to end and left the beautiful memories forever.
If you are looking for any tour information about Sikkim and Darjeeling you can click here or you are looking for Group tour to Bhutan from Sikkim Darjeeling please click here and Click for 7 Days Sikkim Darjeeling Group Tour.
You can find an another interesting Group tour to Sikkim with Arunachal Pradesh by clicking here.