Kolkata, Sikkim, and Mön Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh

#1 May 30th, 2018, 08:20
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  • TenzinTharpa is offline
#1
I'm an American Buddhist monk living in Mysore. I have a month free and wanted to explore Kolkata, Sikkim, and Mön Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh (to visit the monasteries) can anyone suggest an inexpensive itinerary (by bus)?
Thanks all.
#2 May 31st, 2018, 23:04
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  • travtasy is offline
#2
Day 1 & 2 - Kolkata
Day 3 - Kolkata to Siliguri (overnight bus)
Day 4 - Siliguri to Gangtok (Jeep)
Day 5 & 6 - Sikkim
Day 7 - Gangtok to New Jalpaiguri (Jeep) and then to Guwahati (by train)
Day 8 - Guwahati to Bomdila (bus)
Day 9 - Bomdila to Tawang (bus/shared car)
Day 10 & 11 - Tawang
Day 12 - Tawang to Bhalukpong/Nameri
Day 13 - Bhalukpong/Nameri to Guwahati
Day 14 - Guwahati - Home (by train)
#3 Jun 1st, 2018, 11:59
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#3
Wonderful, thanks
#4 Jun 1st, 2018, 12:09
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  • Rajarshi2016 is offline
#4
@Tenzin - while in Kolkata - time permitting - please visit the Hsuan Tsang Monastery. This was established in 1968 and doubles up a training centre for budding lamas. Guess you could even find temporary accomodation here during your short stay in our city. Other Buddhist monasteries/places of worship worth visiting in Kolkata are the Burmese Buddhist Temple, Japanese Buddhist Temple and the Nipponzan Myohoji Temple. There is also a a Buddhist Temple in Barasat, but this is on the outskirts of the city. One may also contact the Boudha Dharmankur Sabha (www.bengalbuddhist.com) for more info about accommodation in Bengal and Sikkim.

Hope this help
#5 Jun 1st, 2018, 13:36
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#5
Thanks Rajarshi, I had no idea Kolkata was so rich in Buddhist culture.
#6 Jun 1st, 2018, 13:41
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Rajarsh, A follow-up question. I will need to get a train ticket from Kolkata to NJP, does the Kolkata railway have a tourist desk where they assist and/or set aside tickets for tourists? Can I get a train ticket a day or two before boarding? Would an overnight bus be siligury be easier?
#7 Jun 1st, 2018, 14:50
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#7
Thanks, Travtasy.
Any chance you can supply some of the train, bus, and jeep prices on your itinerary?

Day 1 & 2 - Kolkata
Day 3 - Kolkata to Siliguri (overnight bus)
Day 4 - Siliguri to Gangtok (Jeep)
Day 5 & 6 - Sikkim
Day 7 - Gangtok to New Jalpaiguri (Jeep) and then to Guwahati (by train)
Day 8 - Guwahati to Bomdila (bus)
Day 9 - Bomdila to Tawang (bus/shared car)
Day 10 & 11 - Tawang
Day 12 - Tawang to Bhalukpong/Nameri
Day 13 - Bhalukpong/Nameri to Guwahati
Day 14 - Guwahati - Home (by train)

Thanks that would be very helpful.
#8 Jun 1st, 2018, 15:32
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  • arupratan ghosh is offline
#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenzinTharpa View Post T
Day 1 & 2 - Kolkata
Day 3 - Kolkata to Siliguri (overnight bus)
There are many overnight trains available for Siliguri (NJP) from Kolkata daily. No need to go by bus if train tickets are available. Train journey is more comfortable in this route.
#9 Jun 1st, 2018, 17:25
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#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenzinTharpa View Post I will need to get a train ticket from Kolkata to NJP, does the Kolkata railway have a tourist desk where they assist and/or set aside tickets for tourists?
Yes, there are tourist desks to help you. But I don't think they will book tickets for you. Btw, you need to board a train form Sealdah to reach NJP.
How much informed you are about the Indian Railways? - Not much I believe. So please follow these below:
A Guide to the India Railway System and the Indian Train
Booking Indian Rail Tickets from Abroad
https://www.indiamike.com/india/indi...4/#post1576512
There is IRCTC, from there you can book train tickets. You also have option like Cleartrip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TenzinTharpa View Post Can I get a train ticket a day or two before boarding? Would an overnight bus be siligury be easier?
Easier option - Get a agent to book a Tatkal ticket. Else you have to do it. If you use RedBus website, you can book bus tickets anytime.

But I'd suggest taking a train instead of Bus.

Also remember, for Tawang, you do need a permit. So get a permit from http://arunachalilp.com or from Kolkata office (but it won't be in One day) http://www.arunachalipr.gov.in/?page_id=55.
So if you are reaching Bhalukpong early in the day, there you can also make one permit.
Last time I was there in 2016, the buses ran very rarely. Once in a week or so in Tawang. But you will get shared cars.

Fun fact: Do visit Ugyenling Monastery. And read the prophecy made by 6th Dalai Lama which came true. How it came true it's upto you to read.

Cheers!!
Darjeeling, Kuari Pass Winter trek, Tawang-Dirang-Bomdila


Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
#10 Jun 1st, 2018, 17:33
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  • arupratan ghosh is offline
#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenzinTharpa View Post A follow-up question. I will need to get a train ticket from Kolkata to NJP, does the Kolkata railway have a tourist desk where they assist and/or set aside tickets for tourists? Can I get a train ticket a day or two before boarding? Would an overnight bus be siligury be easier?
Yes, try to book your train ticket to NJP under " Foreign Tourist Quota " ( FTQ) .

FTQ counter in Kolkata is in Fairlie place ( B B D Bag area) . There is a dedicated reservation counter for FTQ booking. Since there are many trains (from Sealdah to NJP ) I hope you would get a ticket under this quota a day or two before your journey
#11 Jun 1st, 2018, 18:48
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#11
Thank you all, very helpful. I'm really looking forward to this trip...Prayers
#12 Jun 1st, 2018, 19:20
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  • vaibhav_arora is offline
#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenzinTharpa View Post Thank you all, very helpful. I'm really looking forward to this trip...Prayers
Quote:
Originally Posted by aneek View Post Also http://arunachalilp.com or from Kolkata office (but it won't be in One day) http://www.arunachalipr.gov.in/?page_id=55.
So if you are reaching Bhalukpong early in the day, there you can also make one permit.

Cheers!!
You'd need to find one more person for your AP visit as foreigners are subjected to a slightly different regulation when it comes to PAP (as opposed to ILP which applies to Indian citizens). During my visit to tawang I was surprised at the lack of foreign tourists - there was one, rather disoriented Israeli, and thats all. Now, these regulations change periodically and you'd do well to visit the relevant authority in Kolkata/Delhi or Itanagar.

http://www.arunachaltourism.com/pap.php
#13 Jun 2nd, 2018, 01:40
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#13
@Tenzin - Arupratan has already replied to your query about trains from Kolkata to NJP. But please do book them online atleast 15 days in advance. The IRCTC online site has become a lot user-friendly now - so all you have to do is select the train and check if seats are available. But do expect to reach Kolkata and then try for tickets. Chances are you may not get any. There are overnight luxury buses from Kol to NJP - but as Arupratan has said, the train journey is more comfortable and more scenic. Dp let me know if you need any more info.

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