I got permit for North/East Sikkim and Bhutan for self drive in my private car


Hello friends,

Just return back from self drive trip to East/North Sikkim and Bhutan in my private car from Pune.

Big thanks to Yogesh Sarkar and [SIZE=7][B]noidea[/B][/SIZE].
Without your guidance this would not have been possible. God bless you guys.

Now it's time to return back whatever I have taken from this forum. If you have any queries please post it in reply.

Route taken:

Pune - Solapur - Hyderabad - Bhubaneshwar - Kolkota - Vardhaman - Bottlebari - Phuntsholling - Paro (Bhutan) - Thimphu - Punakha - Phobjika Valley- Phuntsholling - Mangam (north Sikkim) - Lachen - Guru Dongmar - Lachung - Yumthang Valley - Zero Point - Lachung - Gangtok - Tsomgo Lake - Baba Mandir. Note- They give permit only unto Baba Mandir. All cars return back from it. Nathula pass permit was not given.

Note- Road from Pune to Vardhaman is straight forward four lane road. I made mistake of not to enter in Vardhaman city and paid for it. Road to bottlebari goes from Vardhaman city.

Note on Vehicle:
From my experience and what I saw, please do not take hatchback, sedan, pseudo SUV like Nexon, Echosport, Honda WRV, XUV 500 etc. to North Sikkim.
In short you need rear wheel drive powerful car, good ground clearance body on frame type . Even well accomplished Duster did face problem in North Sikkim ref.

For Bhutan roads are good. Even Maruti 800 can do it easily. East Sikkim roads are good compared to North. I saw many small car Taxi on that route.

North Sikkim roads are horrible. There can be many landslides on the route. I saw many Taxis struggling to clear those portions.

Bhutan Permit procedure:
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Bhutan permit procedure:

This thread has wealth of information on permit procedure.

Imp. please follow document order as follows...

Okay so, in short, here are the documents you need to staple / pin together and submit to Immigration Officials...
(i) Itinerary
(ii) Entry Permit Form duly filled up
(iii) Photocopy of Voter ID Card / Passport (as mentioned in Entry Permit)
(iv) Passport Size Photo
(v) Hotel Booking Reciept of Thimphu and Paro

Hotel booking can be done without paying advance. There are lots of Hotels and homestay in Bhutan.

North Sikkim permit: It is easy to do so from Mangam DA office. Infact they immediately gave permit form and helped us to filled it up.

East Sikkim Permit: Obtain application form (they call 'check post permit') from xerox shop near the 'Tourist Information Center' MG road.

Go to Police station situated bellow the 'Tourist Information Center'

Then write application to request permit of East Sikkim on the basis of 'Permit of North Sikkim'.

Be polite and submit all the documents ID proof, vehicle document etc. to get permit for east Sikkim.

Note: It is difficult to get hotel with car park in Gantok. I had to travel 20 Kms away from Gantok just to get Hotel with car park.
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Well-Known Member
is it possible to get permit for east sikkim from Rongli as i had read that its very easy and hassle free as in Mangan. ? do post your travelogue please


is it possible to get permit for east sikkim from Rongli as i had read that its very easy and hassle free as in Mangan. ? do post your travelogue please
No idea about Rangoli but if that was easy, I would have seen many white plates. But Mine was only one.

I saw many maruti 800 taxis in east Sikkim that means Vehicle and driving skill is not criteria. May be it is pressure of local Taxi union.

North Sikkim game is entirely different. Small cars (or pseudo SUVs) can not go there. Driving to North Sikkim requires special driving skill if vehicle is stuck up in the slush. I saw one Taxi half submerged in slush explains the situation there.