Sikkim Again - The Old Silk Route [A Photolog]

andy0104

Member
After the view of the peaks in the morning, we got ready very quickly as today we will be travelling along the silk route and we will have to cover the whole stretch during day time and we will have to reach Gangtok. And we have to get the permissions from the Rongli office also, which might take few of hours according to our driver. But, we did not what was actually in store for us. When we reached Rongli office, our driver went to the office with all the photocopy of our voter id cards and passport size photographs and we were waiting near the Rongli taxi stand and having our breakfast. After about an hour and half, he came back to us saying that, he did not get the permission for the silk route. The reason being, his car is from Gangtok and only cars from Rongli region are getting the permission from Rongli office. All other cars will need to get the permission from Gangtok office. Apparently, this is now a new rule, as he mentioned that he traveled along this route about 10 days back with tourists and that time he got the permission from Rongli office. But he assured us that, it will not be a problem as he knows some higher officials and he will get the permit. After about an hour more he came back to us saying that even that higher official said that permission now would not be issued for outside vehicles from Rongli office anymore. Now, the situation was not looking good for us and it was already 11:00 in the morning. After about half an hour later, our driver came back to us saying that he has arranged another taxi from Rongli taxi stand for us for the silk route and he will drop us till our hotel in Gangtok. As we did not have any choice any more, so we agreed as it was already getting late.

Beautiful vistas waiting for us on the silk route...
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The journey begins...
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A waterfall en route silk route...
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Vistas near the first check post...
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The roads were devoid of any tourists, our driver informed us that we are already very late and there will be cloud covering when we will reach the view points. But we were excited despite being late. The views on offer really were majestic and we did not even reach our destination yet.
 

andy0104

Member
And it was turn after turn, bend after bends, we were going up all the time. The higher we go, better the views. We were stopping literally after every 5 minutes (and our driver was getting irritated) just to soak up the views and clicking with our cameras. But a picture can never do justice to the views. They were amazing.

Zuluk from up and above...
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The famous hairpin bends...
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Thambi view point...
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The views...just cannot get enough of it... :)
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BHOOTER RAJA

Chalo .......let's go.
Ohh you missed the jewel of this route - sunrise over Mt Kangchenjungha from Lungthung. Anyway the zuluk loops look fabulous . Carry on
 

andy0104

Member
Ohh you missed the jewel of this route - sunrise over Mt Kangchenjungha from Lungthung. Anyway the zuluk loops look fabulous . Carry on
Yes sir :)
Initially we had the plans to stay one night at Zuluk for the sunrise next day. But as we had a baby with us and she suffers from chronic cold illness (like an allergic reaction to cold), so we decided to be safe and stayed at Aritar for the night. But we have plans to again visit this place in the near future for this only.
 

andy0104

Member
With elapsing time, our driver was making us hurry as it was already 2:30 and he had to drop us in Gangtok and then drive back to his home near Rongli. But what he was not understanding is that he may be driving on this route for ages but for us it was the first time. Anyways, we moved on from there and reached Nathang valley.

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We wanted to go down the road, it would have been pretty late by then. Alas, we had to make do with the photo only.

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Deserted roads...Not even a single tourist vehicle...
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Momo break...Tastiest momos ever... :)
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Moved on from there to Old Baba Mandir...
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Way to the bunker...
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Inside Baba's bunker...Completely maintained by the army...
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Beautiful elephant lake...
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Long way to go...
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Can't take my eyes off...
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Faint glimpse of the memencho lake in dying light...
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We reached Tsomogo lake (Changu lake) very late, with a brief stop over for a maggi break as we were all feeling very hungry. There were a few tourists still left at Tsomogo lake, contrary to what we have seen in all the other places. And it was biting cold near the lake.

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Now, officially our trip was over. We were a little sad but we still had one more day to go in Gangtok. All these years, I have been hearing people talk about their travels/trips to the silk route, how beautiful it is, countless travelogues praising the artist in nature, the color changes of terrain, the biting cold. The excitement of boarding the train, the first glimpse of the views, now, finally it was over. But we are left with a lifetime of memories and much more.

The final journey...
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Sunset on the silk route...
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