Pedong > Rishi Valley > Nathang Valley

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#1 Jan 7th, 2009, 13:42
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#1
Hi friends,
As you all know we are going to enjoy a 4 days off(23rd – 26th Jan, 2009) this moth. I am planning for Rishi and Nathang Valley area. I am able to collect a contact person who provides professional help to travel around Silk Route (via Pedong > Jalep La). (He says we are going via Rangpo )
We are going to start on 21st night. But I was trying to get a good road map / tourist map of that region. If anyone can provide any link or something? Or any information regarding this area.

Thanks in advance.
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#2 Jan 15th, 2009, 15:54
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#2
I seem to remember a thread started by Tacita ages ago concerning Sikkim maps:
Sikkim: The Definitive Road Map
#3 Jan 30th, 2009, 17:49
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#3

Thumbs up Back from Sikkim

Hi friends,
I am back from another lovely trip. It was great!!!! My itinerary was:

I've started uploading pix: http://www.flickr.com/photos/3167712...7613109105659/


1. 22 Jan : NJP > Rishi
2. 23 Jan : Rishi > Zuluk (via Aritar Lake, Padamchen) > Thambi (view pt.) > Zuluk (or Jaluk)
3. 24 Jan : Zuluk > Thambi > Nathang > Kupup (Jelep La) > Pedong
4. 25 Jan : Pedong > Rishyap
5. 26 Jan : Rishyap > NJP (via Rikkisum, Loleygaon)

theyyamdancer, thank you so much for the map information. I’ve managed a road map of this region (very difficult to get one because this route is not open for tourists) and our guide Mr. Pradhan helped me to mark on it. I’ll try to digitize the same and it will be uploaded here.

Well, this photograph may help you to locate the area: http://www.flickr.com/photos/3167712...7613109105659/


But, if anyone get a chance….. DO NOT miss this opportunity to visit this part of Old Silk Route – Pedon to Jelep la. Almost virgin place not at all touristy and road condition is even better than Nathu la / Tsomgo route.

- Somnath
#4 Feb 3rd, 2009, 14:03
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#4

Thumbs up The forgotten trail

I consider myself lucky that I am able to see the glimpse of a historic trade path that leads to a forgotten and forbidden pass of Eastern Himalaya – Jelep La. Jelep La used to be the main trade route between India and Tibet before Chinese aggression. Since then (well, it is better to say in recent past) Nathu La is the official corridor between India and China. We just thought to utilize the extended weekend to visit this historical trail. And started collecting info but it was not that easy because this part of Sikkim is not open for tourists, good road map / staying options …. well nothing is easily available. But thanks to a local Bengali travel magazine – ‘Rong Route’ that helped us a lot.

And of course we are thankful to Mr. Pradhan the founder of Rishi Eco Tourism Resort. Let me say something about this good soul. A retired person from Kathleen Air Catering Service thought to organize Pedong based tourist circuit that includes a trip to Kupup lake on above mentioned Old Silk Route. I know he is a businessman …. he is not doing any charity but I salute him for his sincere efforts to contribute something in local economy. Agriculture / tourism / heavy industry nothing is there in this eastern part of Sikkim. Mr. Pradhan is trying to involve them in his plan. This is the reason that old lady from Zuluk is now earring some money because homestay is the only option over there. Or Gopal Pradhan is a happy man because he is the owner of a jeep and can earn some money from tourists. Hats off to Mr. Pradhan for his urge to payback to his society.

Cheers to Babul – our driver cum owner of the Bolero that costs 900/- per day and 8 KM / Liter fuel charge. He is basically from Jalpaiguri and drives safely. It was around 500 KM total drive (NJP to NJP).

Map is here.

22nd Jan :
Reached NJP on and it was a strike called by SUCI. So we took the path that goes to Sikkim. Else you can come to Rishi from Pedong (West Bengal) side. Then the route would be NJP > Kalimpong > Algara > left turn to Pedong (via 20 mile) – 5500ft. But we entered in Sikkim from Rangpo and took right turn towards Rorathang. We crossed the Rorathang and again turen right for ‘Tarpin Petrol Pump’ (if you go towards left you’ll reach ‘Rongli’) and came down to Rishi river. You need to cross the river – mind it there is no bridge and you need to drive through the river…… that’s a great experience.

Mr. Pradhan was standing on river bank and Rishi Eco Tourism Resort was ready to say hello. Lovely cottage / bamboo made igloo and open restaurant – everything is so natural ! you’ll find basic arrangements (including attached bath) but no concrete structure no luxury. We had lunch and spent the evening around his resort. Pradhan jee went to catch some fish from the river….. trout, carps and such small fish for our diner – hey that’s another new experience, I’ve never seen someone is fishing at dark night with a fishing net.

23rd Jan :
Tried to getup early but as usual….. 8.30 am had breakfast and started for Zuluk (9000 ft). on the way we went to see Aritar Lake. BTW, Mr. Pradhan didn’t forget to arrange for our permits and other formalities (you need to carry your voters ID card). It was a great journey and we reached Zuluk at around 4 pm. Weather was not in our favor. Very cloudy and chilly. We planed to visit a sunset point called – Thambi but Mr. Pradhan dropped the idea because visibility was poor. But a local man told us that the weather is very clear on the upper part and we didn’t waste time. We moved over the layer of dense cloud and it was an unforgettable sight. Now we are coming don to Zuluk once again. It was a chilly night but the house owner arranged for “Bukhari” (fireplace). Come on, have some drink and diner …. we need some sleep because need to wake up at 3.30 am to start for Sunrise point by 4.30. Goodnight
#5 Feb 5th, 2009, 12:13
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#5

Thumbs up Silk Route - Jelep La

some more pix in IM: http://www.indiamike.com/photopost/s...00&ppuser=4434

24th Jan:
Wake up everybody…. go and get ready. He he heh….. I know how difficult it is for those who are not habituated to come out of bed in such a chilly night. Anyways, after a real chaos and hour-long drama we all are ready to start for sunrise point. We stared at 4.40 am (10 min late – not bad isn’t it?). checkpost is not opened and the guard was not ready to open the gate but Mr. Pradhan went to their post and showed the copy of permission to visit Baba Mandir (a temple of Harbhajan Singh – a brave soldier of Indian Army). It worked.

Visibility is almost zero dense cloud made it really difficult but our driver Babul did a great job. Our plan was to go to Thambi view point once again but Mr. Pradhan had some different plan. He just played his next card – “we’ve enough time to move on let’s go to another point where the view is even better”. We reached at a point beside a Pokhra (small lake) to experience another view of sunrise on mighty Kanchenjungha. Honestly speaking, I am ready to walk thousands of kilometers to see this same old scene again and again – it is always new to me. Can you ever forget the scene when the first ray hits the tip of Kanchenjungha? And then reddish glow and then golden and then bright as silver…..awesome just awesome view !!!!

Next target to visit Baba Dham followed by Nathang valley and Kupup Lake. Road was clear we’ve seen some patches of snow but surprisingly no fresh snow which is unusual during this part of the year !!!! We’ve seen Tukla battle ground , War Memorial and Neola pass on the way and had some tea at Kupup. There is a direct road connectivity between Kupup and Baba Mandir (the other one which is located on touristy track of Gangtok - Tsomgo Lake). Yes, there are two Baba Mandir.
Some record book says Yak Golf Course is the highest (13000+ ft) golf course of the world. And a board says Lhasa is only 520 KM from here !!!! hey, too close isn’t it? OK next time

The time has come to say goodbye. We planed to reach Pedong today. So lets go back. Back to Zuluk and had lunch – started for Pedong (means Bamboo trees and Pedong is the land of Bambo trees indeed). Mr. Pradhan dropped at Rishi and told us that he’ll be there at Pedong with another group. Thank you Pradhan jee thank you for your hospitality.

We checked in Jelep La Resprt which is 4 KM away from Pedong market. This resort is famous for its location. Rs.600 for double bed room was not a bad deal but we didn’t get chance to bargain with the Manager. If anyone is planning to visit Pedong, Jelep La Resort is recommended. Please select the rooms on 1st floor because Kanchenjungha range is clear from this balcony. Went to the market in evening and we have another day. Need to discuss where to go. We’ll decide tomorrow.

25th Jan:
After lunch we decided to visit Rkkisum and Rishyap. If you drive on Pedong – Lava road there is a juction near Army camp…. If take right turn it goes towards Kalimpong via Algara. But we took right one for Rishyap (8500 ft). Last 3 – 4 KM is a bit steep road. Almost 50% is metal road but rest part is no in good shape. Hence be careful if it is raining. Decided to stay at ‘ Hotel Sonar Bangla’. Good hotel with view rooms. We thought Room #1 would be the best. This is our last day so….. partyyyyyy.

26th Jan:
we’ve our reservation in Saraighat Exp that will leave NJP around 7:30 pm that means we can spend couple of hours here in Rishyap or …. Or….. hey, can we go to Loleygaon ? why not, have your breakfast and lets move. Ha ha ha…. Don’t worry train will wait for us. See, the origin station of Saraighat Exp. is Guwahati and train will definitely be late by 1 or 2 hours, right? We’ll reach NJP comfortably. And same thing has happened we reached NJP at 7.15 pm after Canopy walk at Loleygaon and just see….. Saraighat Exp is 45 min late.

27th Jan:
Back to Kolkata > office > planning for next trip to Himalaya

I am sure that Pedong based tourist circuit will be the next destination for more and more nature lovers. It was a great trip for me except two things - we missed. 1. Red Panda which can be found around Thambi area and 2. Yeti. Please don’t laugh….. everyone at Zuluk believes that Yeti is there and we’ve talked to a person who claims that he has seen a 8 ft tall snowman near Lungthung !!!! those people are very simple and innocent – just unable to sale a story. I know yeti is too much but he has definitely seen “something very strange” !!!!
Last edited by somnath; Feb 5th, 2009 at 20:14..
#6 Feb 6th, 2009, 22:04
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#6
Oh Somnath, those photos of Kanchenjunga are - I don't know what. Amazing, Somnath, amazing. And sun rays over the clouds - I'll go mad.
#7 Feb 8th, 2009, 01:21
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#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by mousourik View Post Oh Somnath, those photos of Kanchenjunga are - I don't know what. Amazing, Somnath, amazing. And sun rays over the clouds - I'll go mad.

Yeah that's a lovely place. "How to reach" is already given - just start planning before this area becomes another Darjeeling.
#8 Feb 11th, 2009, 00:18
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#8
Are these pics real? It's just so unbelievably beautiful. Can you let me know which places are a must visit in Sikkim? I am gonna be in Gangtok in march.Can't wait...after seeing these pic!
#9 Feb 11th, 2009, 13:55
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#9

Thumbs up Hi!

These are all real pics!!I am lucky to be the part of the trip we have made. Thanks to Somnath...he has taken the pain to explain elaborately.

One interseting thing to mention that, we have reached upto the WORLD'S highest GOLF COURSE, 1 KM from KUPUP. From there CHANGU LAKE & NATHU-LA PASS is much more closer than from GANGTOK.

Rongon
#10 Feb 12th, 2009, 20:24
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#10

Thumbs up Welcome

Quote:
Originally Posted by a_wannabe_gypsy View Post Are these pics real? It's just so unbelievably beautiful. !!!!!
ha ha ha..... yes, real.
Welcome to IndiaMike, gypsy

BTW, http://www.indiamike.com/india/west-...-advice-t9000/ - this thread may help you to plan trip around Gangtok.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rongon View Post These are all real pics!!I am lucky to be the part of the trip we have made. Thanks to Somnath...he has taken the pain to explain elaborately.
Yeah... OK, but where is my printout of Kanchenjungha range?
#11 Feb 13th, 2009, 19:18
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#11
Thanks Rongon and Somnath.I have included Zuluk, pedong, Nathang in my itinerary so far. They can be clubbed with Gangatok- right? I have 4.5 days in hand.
I am gonna be in Calcutta for a couple of days after I come back from Sikkim. I have this long list of "places to be visited" in calcutta but They are not sorted in the order of priority and so is the case with the "must-eat" list.
Thanks to the recession, I have all the time in the world to sort them out now.
#12 Feb 13th, 2009, 20:22
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#12

Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by a_wannabe_gypsy View Post ... They can be clubbed with Gangatok- right? I have 4.5 days in hand....
Gypsy,
4.5 days for Nathang area including Gangtok….. OK.

Day 1 – NJP > Rishi
Day 2 – Rishi > Zuluk
Day 3 – Zuluk > Nathang > Kupup – and now try to go for a round trip to Gangtok (via Tsomgo Lake). I am not sure about the availability of permission and other formalities but if you are able to do it then it would be great. > So, Gangtok.
Day 4 – Gangtok > local tour > Gangtok.
Day 5 – Gangtok > NJP

BTW, where is you must see list for Kolkata? If possible please share with us.

- cheers.
#13 Feb 16th, 2009, 14:01
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#13
Somnath,
Thanks for fixing my itinerary. The must see list for Calcutta is such a dump,with some 88 items Would be helpful if you suggest.I will be in Cal for about 3 days.
Thanks for all the help
#14 Feb 23rd, 2009, 12:54
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#14

Thumbs up

gypsy,
88 items in just 3 days !!!! BTW, hope you know that 1 day = 24 hours ! ha ha ha….
I think you need to select some of them from that list as per your interest area.
#15 Feb 23rd, 2009, 21:54
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#15
Hi Somnath,
I've joined the site recently. Those were some wonderful pix. I can't wait to get started! Could you post the contact info of rishi resort? Phone numbers, contact person etc? Would be of great help...
Thanks
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