Sunrise to Sunset in the Lap of Himalayas- Old Silk Route and Gnathang

Point Zero

Well-Known Member
Yes, it issued from both the place Rangoli and Gangtok. But the permit from Rangoli will not allow you to enter Nathula Pass. For Nathula pass you need to take the permit from Gangtok which is very time taking.

If you face any problem in permit you can contact Mr. Sebastian Pradhan (Rishikhola Resort - 9932744407), he will definitely help you. For bikers who travel via Rishikhola he arrange for the permission. Also he can provide you the contact no. of the SDPO at that time, by calling current SDPO you can plan in details.


Bike permit is issued at Rangoli ?
 

Point Zero

Well-Known Member

Point Zero

Well-Known Member
Day 3 continued ...


In the evening to keep ourselves warm we sat in the dinning place of the home-stay where there was a small fire place. From here while conversation an interesting story started.

Before 1975, Sikkim was a separate kingdom ruled by Sikkimese monarchy. Many people used to come from Nepal to work in Silk Route. The story is about a family who came to Old Silk Route for work and stayed back. Sherpas are highly regarded as elite mountaineers and experts in Himalaya. Mr. Karma Sherpa (The owner of the home-stay) belongs to this community. At his childhood his parents came to Old Silk Route to build and repair the roads before 1975. No one knows about his parents where about but some people say that they may have died during heavy snowfall at that time. After waiting a long for his parent to come back Mr. Karma Sherpa came to Silk Route in search of his parents. When he heard from some other worker in Old Silk Route that his parents are not alive. He could not trace anything and did not get any help from govt. He could not believe that his parents are no more so kept on searching for them. He looked for job in Darjeeling and used to come periodically to Old Silk Route. As time passed he came across a girl who lived in Nathang. At 1975 when Sikkim was about to be a part of India he married the Lady and with help of the villagers he managed to get the citizenship of India. He build his home at Nathang and did not go to Darjeeling any more. Even in the winter he don’t leave Nathang as he love the villagers very much.


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During winters the cost of leaving in Nathnag is very high as they need woods to keep the homes warm. Govt. gives Rice for Rs 2/- per KG and Kerosene for Rs 2/- per liter but do allow to collect any wood from forest. So for wood they need to come downhill and buy it which cost 400/- per day per home. To save some money during winter all the villagers go to bed before 8:00 PM.

Now the situation is better for M. Karma, as he got a job in Indian Army Camp. Not only Mr. Karma but also most of the people who stay there for entire year got the same job. Also the Indian Army help them in all way to lead their life. His one son got job in Indian Army and is posted in Leh, Another son runs a travel agency in Gangtok. So he and his wife thought of opening a home-stay so that they can have the chance to meet different people and spent good time. Both of them are very good cook and we enjoyed all the food that they have made for us.


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Mr Karma Sherpa at cooking.


The fall in temperature during winters is a big problem for diesel vehicles. The local drivers know how to cope up with this situation. They asked me to start the engine at regular intervals at night to keep the engine warm so that the diesel in the filter and pipe line do not freeze. Till 11 pm I did what they said but the cold bared me from further stay in the car. I was shivering inside the car in spite of the heater being on at its full. At my request, the owner of the home-stay provided a sleeping bag and a tent to cover up the engine so that the warmth of the heated engine do not escape. Alas I left my vehicle in the hands of nature hoping that the morning sun will come to my aid to start the car.

To be continued day 4 and more....
 
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Point Zero

Well-Known Member
Day 4 (28th Dec 2015): Nathang – Zuluk – Rongli – Rangpo – Peshok – Darjeeling

Next day we woke up early in the morning. Before anything else could strike my mind, I was preoccupied with the thought of heating my engine. I went to my car thinking that the most difficult task would be to start the vehicle. Removing all the coverings from the car, I opened the bonnet so that sunlight can warm the fuel filter. I had the cognizance from other drivers that diesel has frozen in their cars. Thanks God that the coolant inside radiator did not freeze. Before doing anything I took a bucket of boiling water and tried to defrost the frozen diesel inside the diesel filter. Seeing that one of the local driver came to us and helped us to do the same and told that it will be very difficult to start if diesel inside tank and pipeline freezes. He was trying to wrap the pipeline coming from the diesel tank which may be required to defrost the fuel inside the pipe. After few continuous crank we were successful to start the vehicle. I felt relived and went back to home-stay.

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Trying to defrost diesel inside diesel filter..

Our Host: Ajj fir se pani dead body ban gaya. Aap log sirf garam pani leke jana. Nal pe v pani jam gaya. Tap se pani nehi niklega.

This is the common scenario in mountains during winters.

After having our breakfast we thought we should start for Siliguri. We spent some time driving here and there and taking some random picture.

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We took the same road towards Siliguri while returning also. It often happens that whenever I plan to stay at Siliguri I end up spend the night at Darjeeling. And because of my hankering for Darjeeling, I have no count of how many times I have parked my car at Darjeeling. Without saying a single word to others (sitting in my car) I took the Peshok road after crossing Teesta. After driving few KMs in Peshok road suddenly my brother-in-law discovered that I have changed the route.

>> “Eta ki halo? Amra Siliguri Jachhina?” (What happened? Are we not going to Siliguri?)

Me: “Jabo. Kintu ajj na… kal” (Yes we will be going, but not today.. Tomorrow)

>> “Na Na hobena.. Amar porsu sakal ei bank khulte hobe..kai mai..kai mai… ” (Please do not do this. I have to open the bank day after tomorrow. Blah… blah… blah..)

Me: “Tension niona ..amra porsu sakaler age pouche jabo” (Do not worry. We will reach Kolkata before your office time day after tomorrow)

>> “Please ei rakam korona..tumi Darjeeling gele r o 2 din katiye debe.. amar chakri ta jabe mone hochei. Sabai pagol tomra ..etc ..etc ..etc” (Please don’t do that, I know you will spend another 2 days in Darjeeling .. I will lose my job. You all are mad. Cry… Cry… Cry..)

After a long and funny fight with me he gave up and calmed down. Of course sometime the urge to have coffee and dinner at Glenary’s was fighting on behalf of me. We reached Darjeeling before evening and enjoyed a lot with some good food and shopping.

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To be continued ...
 

Point Zero

Well-Known Member
Day 5 (29th Dec 2015) Darjeeling – Rohini Road – Siliguri – Dalkhola – NH34 – Kalyani Express Way – Kolkata.

In last 3 days we have seen sunset from three different places. Now it was time to capture some sunrise beauty from behind the ice clad mountains. I woke up very early and went to mall for sunrise view. This is the time I saw that one of the priest from Maa kalikai Temple come to mall and prayed for Sun to rise. I cannot delineate how much I love the place. I enjoy the culture, food, activities and specially the Kanchenjunga with a cup of tea. I love to see people giving seeds to birds. I love to see people doing morning work or exercises. I love to have some local cup of tea from Chaiwalas. I love each and everything of the place.

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Praying for SUN

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Our hotel at Darjeeling

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Ready to start from Darjeeling

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Near Siliguri .. on the move.

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NH-34

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Kalyani Express Way

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At New Town.. Way to my Home

After spending the morning with such lovable things in Darjeeling, we took my favorite Rohini Road to reach Siligur. We were engulfed by a terrific jam near Curseong and finally reached Siliguri at 12:00 PM. From there I drove continuously to Dalkhola and then had our lunch there. This time we took NH34 so that we do not have to cross Dumka-Suri area at night. Unexpectedly the road was empty and the condition was good enough. Reached home by 2:30 AM.

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Total Distance: 1726 KM.


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Thank You
 
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