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Hyderabad to Sikkim road trip planning

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Hyderabad to Sikkim in December

Check list

  • Tires
  • Brakes
  • Head lamp bulbs
  • Air pump
  • Puncture kit
  • Towing ropes
  • Battery
  • Snow chains
  • Vehicle service

Day 1

Hyderabad to Visakhapatnam

Roads are good can be easily done in a single day.

 

Start time : 4 AM

Distance : 670 kilometers

Drive time : 12 hours

Road condition : 4-lane toll road
Toll price : 660/-

 

Food options:
Breakfast stop : Hotel 7, Suryapet 
Lunch stop : Ram and Shyam, Ravulapalem

 

Route:
Hyderabad > Suryapet > Vijayawada > Rajahmundry > Visakhapatnam

1.JPG

 

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Day 2

Visakhapatnam to Kolkata

Roads are good, we need to cover more ground.
Plan is to start as early as possible, have very minimal breaks en-route.

 

Start time : 4 AM

Distance : ~900 kilometers

Drive time : 16 hours

Road condition : 4-lane toll road
Toll price : 985/-

 

Food options:
Breakfast stop : Srikakulam
Lunch stop : Bhuvaneshwar 

Dinner : Khargpur

 

Route:
Visakhapatnam > Srikakulam > Bhubneswar > Kharagpur > Kolkata

1.JPG

 

To be cont..

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Day 3

Kolkata to Siluguri/Kalimpong

Roads are below average, traffic jams and countless villages. Road is pretty much unpredictable. 

If you push till Kalimpong, you can wake up little late.

Drive to Gangtok/Mangan on the next day is easy.

But, It all depends on traffic.

 

Why Gangtok/Mangan?

 

Gangtok/Mangan is place where you get permits to Lachen/Lachung. 

 

Start time : 5 AM

Distance : ~623 kilometers

Drive time : 15 hours

Road condition : mixed
Toll price : 350/-

 

Food options:

Road side Dhabas en-route

 

Accommodations:
Too many options :D

 

Route:
Kolkata > Bhardhaman > Farakka > Malda > Islampur > Siliguri > Kalimpong

 

1.JPG

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Day 4

Siluguri/Kalimpong to Mangan to Lachung

Wake up early and drive to Mangan before 9AM

Once you reach Mangan you need to submit all the required documents at Mangan district office.

Getting permission  at Mangan is an uphill task.

Some will get permits, while some may not.

There can be many reasons, cab drivers opposing own vehicles, land slides, road blocks..

Be prepared for plan B

 

Start time : 5 AM

Distance : ~187 kilometers

Drive time : 7 hours

Road condition : Poor

 

How to get permit?

Go via Agent or try yourself

Documents required

  • Original vehicle RC
  • Original License 
  • Original Photo Id card with address, PAN card is not allowed.

 

Food options:

Road side dhabas en-route

 

Accommodation:
Few accommodations are available at Lachung, don't expect luxury.
Temperature are very low in December.

 

Route:
Siluguri > Rambi BPHC >  Singtam > Mangan > Lachung

1.JPG

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Greetings!

Sharing a few observations/recommendations :

 

Day 2 : Dinner at Kolaghat (Express Food Plaza or Sher-e-Punjab) instead of Kharagpur. You'll be bypassing KGP and no need to enter the city unnecessarily. Instead of entering Kolkata, you can halt for the night at Dankuni. This will ensure an early and smooth exit in the morning.

 

Day 3 : Hit the Dankuni Toll Plaza by 4 am. You'll most likely reach Moregram by 8 am. That is if there is no fog on SH-7. Have breakfast at the BP CoCo Pump and Dhaba. Top up fuel too. Stop for lunch by 12 noon preferably at Hotel Golden Park, Maldah.(taking into account minor congestion). The rest of the drive till Siliguri should be easy. ETA at Siliguri will be around 5:30 PM. You can safely drive down after dark till Rangpo(good wide roads), but there are only few basic hotels there. As you are headed to North Sikkim, no point going to Kalimpong city.

 

Day 4 : You might want to consider keeping an entire day for the Siliguri-Mangan drive if there is no constraint of time.

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2 hours ago, meethun said:

Greetings!

Sharing a few observations/recommendations :

 

Thank you so much for the information.

We are planning to start on 21st December.

 

2 hours ago, meethun said:

Siliguri-Mangan drive if there is no constraint of time.


We will consider this point. We have little time constraint.
Kolkata > Sikkim >  Kolkata,  We have six days in hand, Is it sufficient?


I have few questions

  • Are the roads to Lachen/Lachung/Zero point accessible during December
  • Is it difficult to obtain permits
  • Can you suggest some must visit places around Sikkim

 

Our aim is explore less crowded places.

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Six days is sufficient. Permits for North Sikkim for out of state personal cars are dicey these days. However roads upto Lachen and Lachung will be accessible. Zero Point might not be possible. Suggest use contacts in defence for permits.

 

In case you want a different itinerary, obtaining permit for East Sikkim(Old Silk Route) is easy and more predictable. Unless there is considerable amount of snowfall, permits are granted even to hatchbacks. Roads are good too.

 

Being a strategically important route, it is maintained diligently by BRO. You'll have almost similar experience in the East as in the North, sans the bad roads. At places, the scenic beauty will be unparalleled.

Some snaps of East Sikkim from few years back. Time : End of January in a Ford Figo.

FB_IMG_1511032833420-01.jpeg.4dc2302a6764226ec59ccd8092c07f91.jpeg

 

FB_IMG_1511032854089-01.jpeg.254ddce72fbae6df05f272969f64c624.jpeg

 

IMG_0939.JPG.304e5bef70e1cf574a5c605f834b3bb5.JPG

 

IMG_0986.JPG.6ba2af5686dbb272b8f838cd9f0f1aaa.JPG

 

IMG_1000.JPG.bb9b499d7023eabfe7187ed53e303ec5.JPG

 

IMG_1012.JPG.c8b847f3e38ed55587e04eb6043a54e8.JPG

 

IMG_1039.JPG.7ae1699c4da8e337f9f95856578c69ce.JPG

 

IMG_1060.JPG.f17c5b835f00cddebcd1295e8121cca9.JPG

 

IMG_1080.JPG.e04208101c66dac30096f978efcd9e80.JPG

 South and West Sikkim also has a lot to offer in terms of "less crowded places". Do let me know if you need detailed information about the alternates.

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15 minutes ago, meethun said:

Six days is sufficient. Permits for North Sikkim for out of state personal cars are dicey these days. However roads upto Lachen and Lachung will be accessible. Zero Point might not be possible. Suggest use contacts in defence for permits.

 

Thank you for the inputs,
We do have some contacts in Army and Police. We will try to see, If we can get permits.

 

16 minutes ago, meethun said:

In case you want a different itinerary, obtaining permit for East Sikkim(Old Silk Route) is easy and more predictable. Unless there is considerable amount of snowfall, permits are granted even to hatchbacks. Roads are good too.

 

Looks like a good alternative :)

 

18 minutes ago, meethun said:

Some snaps of East Sikkim from few years back

 

Those pictures are beautiful. 

 

21 minutes ago, meethun said:

Do let me know if you need detailed information about the alternates.

 

So, if it is East Sikkim.
Can you please suggest some must visit places. 

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On 11/28/2017 at 1:39 PM, meethun said:

Some snaps of East Sikkim from few years back. Time : End of January in a Ford Figo.


Wow never knew Sikkim is so isolated and beautiful.
Pictures are very good.
Thank you for sharing sir. Your information will be helpful for many. 
:)

 

I have added Sikkim to my to-do list.

I have a question, can hatchbacks do such terrains?

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Lovely piece of information is being shared @meethun. Cheers! Will the silk route be opened during December? and Where can we buy the chains enroute before we hit the snow deck :o

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3 hours ago, driveking said:

I have a question, can hatchbacks do such terrains?

 

Hatch backs can do easily. Little bit of careful driving is required.
 

1 hour ago, sagar said:

Where can we buy the chains enroute before we hit the snow deck :o


Even, I have this question in my mind.
Snow chains are really required for winter drive (Sikkim)?


I'm planning to purchase towing ropes for the safety purpose. 

 

9 hours ago, meethun said:

For East Sikkim circuit, places of interest and tranquility would be Reshikhola, Sillerygaon, Zuluk, Gnathang.

 

Very helpful

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3 hours ago, driveking said:

I have a question, can hatchbacks do such terrains?
 

 

I have covered all parts of Sikkim except the North in my gen 1 Ford Figo with ease.

 

2 hours ago, sagar said:

Lovely piece of information is being shared @meethun. Cheers! Will the silk route be opened during December? and Where can we buy the chains enroute before we hit the snow deck :o

Silk Route will most probably be open. As it is a strategically important road, the Army snow cutters are always on standby and will clear the roads in matter of hours. Snow chains won't be required in my opinion. You can however buy those plastic zip tie type tyre chains from aliexpress just in case. These do not last long but are cheap and will bail you out just in case.

Edited by meethun
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1 hour ago, meethun said:

 

I have covered all parts of Sikkim except the North in my gen 1 Ford Figo with ease.

 

Silk Route will most probably be open. As it is a strategically important road, the Army snow cutters are always on standby and will clear the roads in matter of hours. Snow chains won't be required in my opinion. You can however buy those plastic zip tie type tyre chains from aliexpress just in case. These do not last long but are cheap and will bail you out just in case.

 

Thanks a lot for the info @meethun, Will definitely look into it. I am listening about the plastic zip type tyre chains for the first time. Can you share any reference images for a better understanding?

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3 hours ago, sagar said:

 

Thanks a lot for the info @meethun, Will definitely look into it. I am listening about the plastic zip type tyre chains for the first time. Can you share any reference images for a better understanding?

10PCS-Set-Car-Anti-skid-Chains-Plastic-Winter-Tyres-Wheels-Snow-Chain-For-Cars-Suv-Universal.jpg.b450f833dfe2f137152baa1677e16d32.jpg

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Looks like a perfect (cheap) alternative to snow chain.
This may come handy during emergency situations.

 

Checked the reviews in AliExpress, they look positive during tricky situations. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, RajG said:

Last year you guys diverted to Chitkul.
This year you guys are doing Sikkim?
 

 

I'm just waiting for my leaves to get approved so that I can count myself in for this drive meet :D 

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Lovely and splendid :)

Would love to be part of this drive and 99.99% .

I should be able to do it in my car so that all of us can test and check and unleash the potential of my car :) .

I hope i don't face any hindrances in planning my leaves personally or professionally :)

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