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October 12, 2015

Splendid Sikkim & Darjeeling Bike Tour

Written By Admin

22

Splendid Sikkim & Darjeeling Bike Tour

Landlocked between the towering Himalayas from sides, the most striking part of Sikkim, apart from its astounding natural beauty, is the’ happiness quotient’ of the people. Call it’s the result of good weather, company of the Himalayas or just a genetic marvel, you will love the cheerful vibe of the place. The fluttering flags of high monasteries share whispery legends with the winds, as small villages busy themselves with farming. For a cyclist, riding from one mountain to another with terraced paddy fields, dense forests and the haunting chants of monasteries for company, is a lifetime experience. This cycling tour gives you an experience of the simple living of the hills and fantastic landscapes infused with brilliant local food and a tryst with the local customs and traditions.

Tour Highlights:

– Ride past the majestic mountains and monasteries
– Admire the world’s third-highest mountain – Khangchendzonga
– Enjoy the fantastic views while sipping a delicate local brew at Darjeeling
– Wander among the prayer flags, mantras and ancient stupas

Duration: 10 days / 9 nights View Dates

Trip Price: Casual Inns: US $1,695 pp dbl occ. (+ $350 for sgl occ.)

Level: Challenging

Total Distance Cycled: 320 km / 200 MILES averaging 40km or 25 miles per day.

Tour Starts: Gangtok, Sikkim, India

Tour Ends: Darjeeling, West Bengal, India

Group Size: Min. 2, Max. 10

Support: A Van follows the group of riders throughout the trip and carries all belongings. If at any point riding seems a little hard, the van takes you for as long or as little as you wish it to.

Note: A custom private tour for couples or group of friends can also be organized. Here you can have your own budget, dates and itinerary.

 

What’s Included in Sikkim Cycle Tour

  • Beautiful properties
  • Mountain Bike
  • All breakfasts, lunches, and dinners
  • Expert Trip Leaders who look after your every need
  • A Van support that follows throughout the trip and carries all belongings
  • Entrance fees to historic sites, museums, monasteries and all other exclusive events
  • All transportation from rendezvous to final drop-off
  • Complimentary pre and post travel planning

Day 1: Bagdogra to Gangtok
The closest air link to Sikkim is Bagdogra, where you arrive by flight. Your tour leader will meet you at the airport and transfer to Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim. Incidentally, Sikkim is the second smallest state of India; so do not expect the capital to be a sprawling mass of buildings. Gangtok is perched at a height of 5800 meters and falls on the trading map between India and Tibet. We check into Hotel Sonam Delek in the town. The best part about Hotel Sonam Delek is the rooftop restaurant with a spectacular view of the Kanchenjunga mountain range, which we enjoy over an early dinner for a quick orientation about the route and the journey ahead.

Day 2: Rumtek
We start early this morning to the pilgrimage town of Rumtek. Built in 16th century, by Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje, the monastery is one of the most important seats of Buddhism in the state. The route this morning starts with a 20 km downhill ride and then uphill till the monastery. Since this is the first day, you can take it easy and use the backup shuttle at any point of time if this is too exhausting. Though, we suspect that the beautiful surroundings will keep you so mesmerized that riding through will be easy. We pass fields of white orchids, dense tropical vegetation and villages. At Rumtek, we visit the famous Golden Stupa located inside the monastery, which encompasses the relics of the 16th Karmapa. The monastery is also a host to several Tibetan festivals organised throughout the year, which include Tse-Chu Chaam and Kagyat Dance. Infact, the Tibetan New Year, Losar, is celebrated with great vigour. Through your journey, you will find an interesting composition of religions and ethnicity in Sikkim; Nepalese and Tibetans dominate the population.

We check in at Hotel Teen Taley, an eco conscious resort with landscaped gardens, comfy rooms and excellent hospitality. Enjoy the local food and wooden floors of the unassumingly furnished hotel.
Distance cycled: ~ 40km

Day 3: Temi Tea Garden
Today you will encounter the toughest part of the journey to Temi Tea Garden, the only tea estate in Sikkim. The journey starts with an easy descent followed by a long steep climb to the tea gardens. The last stretch is quite high, so we may choose to take the shuttle van. We check into the government run Cherry Resort, the only accommodation at the top of the hill. The climb upto the gardens is worth the effort as the sprawling tea estates stretch in front of you and get lost in the misty clouds in the mornings.We take a tour of the organic tea gardens in the evening and watch the pickers at work. Temi was established in 1969 and spreads across 440 acres, stark in contrast to the rugged snowy mountains of Himalayas.
Distance cycled: ~ 50km

Day 4: Yuksom
This route will strike you as one of the most awe striking through the trip! There is an initial gradual climb with the therapeutic green of the tea gardens all around and then a comfortable downhill amidst small villages, paddy fields and thickets of rhododendrons. Enroute, we visit the Tashiding monastery. It is an important monastery for the Buddhist pilgrims as it is said to be the meeting point of the three Holy Lamas of Tibet in 1641 A.D. Perched on a conical hill, this is where Lhatsun Chenpo, the patron saint of Sikkim, is said to have built the famous chorten or Stupa of Tashding Thongwa Rangdol. The tranquil environs of the monastery are going to consume you.
Stay tonight is at Tashigang Resort. Tucked away in the mountains, you must have the local beer ‘chhang’ here. Made of millet, its pretty potent and a lifeline for the hill folks!
Distance cycled: ~ 60km

Day 5: Yuksom
We take a break from riding this day so you can enjoy the magnificent environs of this village. Take a village walk, or trek upto the Dubdi monastery if you feel like. This is the oldest monastery of Sikkim and can be reached by an hour’s steep climb from the village.

Day 6: Pelling
At 6800 feet above sea level, the crispy air of Pelling, sans any pollution, is cathartic. Quaint villages, deep ravines and high mountains left behind us, we reach this little town, only to be mesmerized by the spectacular view of the famous Kanchenjunga Range. Pelling is famous for the Pemayangtse Monastery, which was founded in 1705. It is one of the oldest monasteries in Sikkim and is replete with ancient relics, wall murals and sculptures.
The riding pattern for the day fluctuates between steep climbs and easy downhill patches, true to any mountain ride. We take a steep detour to the Khecheopalri Holy Lake as well. It is supposed to fulfill any wish. At Pelling, we stay at the Norbu Ghang Resort. Make sure you spend a lot of time in the balcony or the garden to get a brilliant view of the marvelous mountain range of Kanchenjunga. Infact the location of the guesthouse is so good, that the mountains actually look close to you.
Distance cycled: ~ 50km

Day 7: Hee Bermick
A week into the hills you will now be familiar with the wafting smell of momos (baked dumplings), ‘Chhang’ and the topography of Sikkim. The journey to Hee Bermick is across paddy fields and villages; an easier ride as compared to others. On the way, we detour to see the second highest bridge of Asia, the Singshore Bridge. This is one the most untouched parts of Sikkim, dotted with vast farmland. To give you an upclose experience of a typical Sikkimese house, we stay at the Dhungay Homestay. Here you can get your hands dirty with the farm life; help in milking the cows, digging for veggie sowing and picking some in the mornings. The organic food of this farm stay is crunchy and delicious.
Distance cycled: ~ 60km

Day 8: Darjeeling
The last big riding day is fairly easy on the legs. Mostly downhill, we head out to Jorethang. From here, we take a shuttle to reach Darjeeling and check into the Ivanhoe Hotel. A veritable tourist spot, the mood of the mountains change to a busy town here. Packed with hotels and guesthouses, Darjeeling is an important tourist destination. The town is also known for its famous tea gardens. Infact, this will be a good place for you to pick up some souvenirs; tea bags, Tibetan bric-a-bracs make for light baggage.
Distance cycled: ~ 60km

Day 9: Darjeeling
You get some time to explore the town today. You can choose to visit the old English pubs (Joeys is the most famous) or take a trip to Tiger Hill for sight seeing. A tea garden tour can be done on this day or simply trying all the local restaurants for your last dose of momos and thukpas. We meet tonight at one of the restaurants to have a farewell dinner.

Day 10: Shuttle to Bagdogra Airport
Our trip concludes late-morning at the hotel. Your leaders will make arrangements for transportation to the Bagdogra Airport.

Additional Info
Country: India
Region: Sikkim
City: Gangtok
Website URL: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
Top Travel Voucher: 10%
Contact Email: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
Contact Name: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
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