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trisha Apr 2nd, 2012 16:59

Delayed trip to a heavenly destination on earth: Hee-Bermiok
With the number of splendid travelogues present in the Sikkim forum, it seems very daunting task to start another one. But this forum has been so informative and helpful for my plannings that it seems only right to give back something to it (and ofcourse thank Sagarneel, Ruchira, Mithun and all others who have helped me with all my queries and also for making this forum so entertaining:)).

This trip to West Sikkim had been originally scheduled for December (as our honeymoon trip) but as fate would have it I fell seriously ill and with a heavy heart had to postpone the plan[cry]. All the hotel bookings had already been done and we were really skeptical about the future plans. But then, as Sagarda would vouch for, Mr. Subrata Sarkar is a gem of a person. He was not only sympathetic to our condition but also agreed to hold our booking for the next 6 months and assured us that we could stay in his hotel whenever we visited Sikkim in this period.

So we could keep our hopes alive and started the preparations all over again. Originally we had planned to visit Borong and Bermiok and had booked the hotels accordingly with Subratada. The "Kalez valley Heritage festival at Hee-Bermiok" was scheduled to be held at first week of December and we were really excited to be able to observe the Sikkimese traditions in its pure form. Borong was another dream destination for us and we thought staying in the Wild-flower retreat at Borong would be bliss. But with the change of travel dates, some other plans had also to be juggled. As we planned to travel in April, the time for rhododendron bloom in Sikkim, we decided to skip Borong and stay in the vicinity of Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary.

We are leaving for Sikkim tomorrow and have planned for a 4N/5D trip.According to Subratada's suggestion, we have decided to spend two nights in Bermiok(Hotel Silent Valley) and two in Hee (a new resort built by him by the name of Canvas Resort). Hotel Silent valley has already been mentioned in Ruchira and Sagarda's threads. Canvas resort has been built at the top of the hill overlooking Chayataal and Subratada has promised that it would be a very calm and serene place.

Our tentative itinerary:

3rd April: Leave Kolkata
4th April: Reach NJP , travel to Bermiok (via Jorthang) in shared jeep. Lunch and visit Kaluk, Rinchenpong (if time permits)
5th April: Visit Uttarey, Dentam valley, Sinshore bridge etc.
6th April: Move to Hee (Canvas resort), visit Chayataal and adjoining areas
7th April: Trek to Varsey Rhododendron sanctuary
8th April: Kaluk/ Rinchenpong; Return to Kolkata via NJP.

We sincerely hope that all would go as plan and we will have a pleasant stay. I wish for luck from all fellow IMers and promise to report back once we return with full of happy memories.:)

debjyotidasgupta Apr 3rd, 2012 11:18

Best of luck Trisha and wishing a very happy and safe journey. :)

sagarneel Apr 3rd, 2012 11:30

Better late than never, Trisha. :) Wish you a wonderful and safe trip. A small point - the plan for 4th April seems a little tight. Reaching Bermiok from NJP in a shared vehicle might take a long time (I sincerely hope that it doesn't, though :) ), and might not have enough time to visit Kaluk/Rinchenpong. And trust me - once you reach Bermiok and taste the food cooked by Subratada, sitting on the wonderful dining hall, you'd not want to visit anywhere else. :)

Please convey my regards to Subratada and Sanjay (in case he is still there). I pray that you get a glimpse of Mt. K from Bermiok and Kaluk. Another small tip - if you walk on the road towards Kaluk for about half a kilometer from Silent valley, you'll come across a place (adjacent to hotel Kanchen view) which offers a wider view of Mt. K along with some other peaks...worth giving a try for an early morning walk.

Happy journey.

trisha Apr 3rd, 2012 11:56

Thanx debjyotidasgupta and Sagarda for your wishes.

I will surely keep your tips in mind, Sagarda.The plan for 4th seems tight to me as well. Lets see, otherwise we have 8th morning to visit Kaluk/Rinchenpong:). I sincerely hope Mt. K will gratify us with her views(and keeping fingers crossed that the weather remains clear, what with all the forecasts of rain in Sikkim..:( )

PKanti Apr 3rd, 2012 12:28

@ trisha

Wonderful!....... enjoy the 13 types of of luck from my side :)

PS: If you really want to go by sharing basis & dont get anything from NJP, reach SNT bus stand, Siliguri........from the opposite & beside of SNT depot gate, share jeep can be found easily upto Jorthang.......from Jorthang you'll find share jeep too to Bermiok

mithun123 Apr 3rd, 2012 13:15

Trisha ,

All the best for your journey. Hope it would be a wonderful one. Bermiok is an excellent place to be , mainly because of the perfect-bengali culture in such a beautiful place. Unforgettable.

The Chayataal is also a good place , and on a clear day the reflection of Mt K in the Chayataal is something really really exceptional. Dont forget to try the Chicken curry there .... exceptional... You can check the hotel photo in my log.

Dont miss to walk from Bermiok to Kaluk in the early morning - and I bet you , you would never feel that you have walked for more than 8KM(Both way, 4KM one way)....

Please don’t forget to write a TL after you return.

Duronto Jajabar Apr 3rd, 2012 13:41


Originally Posted by trisha (Post 1379403)
I sincerely hope Mt. K will gratify us with her views(and keeping fingers crossed that the weather remains clear, what with all the forecasts of rain in Sikkim..:( )

Wish you a happy and sunny journey trisha :D

And a nice travelogue for us after the successful journey.

I just missed my Sandakphu-Phalut-varsay trip .... but longing eagerly to reach those awesome places soon... Uttarey, hee-barmiok, kaluk all are in my future-trip list.... I'm just waiting for the chances to land there...

Till then IM is the best option to roam through the eyes of friends like you.

Best of Luck, trisha.

trisha Apr 9th, 2012 15:05

Hello friends,
Thank you all for all your good wishes which has made our trip successful. But the weather Gods were not that merciful on us and we had rain and cloudy weather throughout our trip. Could get only a few glimpses of Mt. K, that too covered in thick clouds..[cry]

In spite of all that, we had many moments to make our visit memorable. I have started writing the travelogue and will share them soon with our IM friends. Please bear with me..:)

Just a teaser for now..:)

sagarneel Apr 9th, 2012 15:09

Welcome back, trisha. Waiting for the TR and pics. :)

PKanti Apr 9th, 2012 15:09

:) great.......I'm putting my self in the waiting list for your TR......dont forget to put some snap in it:)

trisha Apr 12th, 2012 14:08

Trip report: Hee-Bermiok
Day 0-1
Ever since my last trip to North Sikkim, the state has beckoned me continuously; bewitching me with its serenity, pristine mountains and wonderful people. So, when the time came for planning the next trip, the obvious choice was Sikkim. This time we decided to venture into West Sikkim and experience the wilderness of the place. After several planning, cancellations and rescheduling, we ultimately decided on Bermiok and Hee-Patal, two nights at each place. We hoped for a clear weather in the first week of April for an unhindered view of Mt. Kanchenjunga and its ranges. March-April is also the time for rhododendron bloom in Sikkim and we were sure to have a colourful view of the mountain side.

As the time for departure drew nearer, our anticipation grew. Our bags were packed, tickets were ready and we started counting the days. Just the day before we were to leave, we had our first bad news: rain forecast for Sikkim and North Bengal. We kept our fingers crossed and hoped the weather Gods would have mercy on us. And then on the day we were to leave, we had our next bad news: Subratada’s elder brother had suffered a cardiac arrest and he was held up in Kolkata. Though he assured us that we would face no problem at Silent Valley, we were a little apprehensive as we were really looking forward to his hospitality (courtesy reviews received from Sagarda, Ruchira and Mithun). With a little nagging worry in our hearts we boarded the Uttar Banga Express from Sealdah @7.35pm. The train was right on time and gradually the prospect of seeing the towering mountains lifted our spirits. After a filling dinner with aluparatha and sweets, we slept off.

In the morning we were greeted with a gloomy weather and drizzling rain. The train reached NJP on time but our heart had already sunk on seeing the weather.
Still, we had to reach our destination and started searching for a shared car to Jorethang. Soon we came to know that shared cars from NJP to Jorethang are available only during tourist seasons. So we left for Siliguri in an auto (and became drenched in rain in the process). Service cars from Siliguri to Jorethang are available from Sevoke Road,near Payal Cinema (Pani Tanki): Khusuz Travels Agency (Opp. MAE Workshop). Due to the rain few passengers were there and we had to wait for a while. Finally the vehicle left at 9 am. We had booked the entire middle row for a comfortable journey. Though the rain had stopped by now, the weather was still cloudy. Due to the rains we had a muddy Teesta flowing by our side. hills had a washed appearance, the foliage was green and the ambience was very romantic. Cold winds swept our faces and the temperature started dropping with height. As we crossed the Kalijhora, Sweti jhora, Hanumanjhora, Geilkhola bridges and approached Jorethang our spirits lifted once again and we started enjoying the wet climate. From Melli, the Rangit started flowing by our side and we could see many rafts ready for water rafting by the side of the Rangit. Crossing the police check-point at Melli (we were asked for a photo ID), we reached Jorethang at around 12 noon.

Jorethang is one of the important towns of West Sikkim. There is a big market place (the weekly hat takes place on Sundays), football stadium and many buildings in Jorethang. The Akar bridge in Jorethang is also very beautiful.
Football stadium:
Akar bridge:
Rangit flowing by Akar bridge:
We had lunch with veg momo , samosa and lassi from the busy Jorethang market and started for Bermiok. The taxi stand at Jorethang is multi-storyed. Vehicles coming from Siliguri stands at the ground floor. Vehicles to Bermiok, Uttarey, Rinchenpong etc. leaves from the 2nd floor.
We had two seats at the back of the service car and started our journey through the picturesque Sikkimese villages. Local people could be seen going about their chores, children returning from schools, lazy afternoon clouds coiling through the mountains –all added up to an ambience which could only be felt and enjoyed. The 3 hour journey from Jorethang to Bermiok was hardly felt, though some tracks were really jittery and slippery from rain. We passed by Nayabazar, Rinchenpong, Kaluk and reached Bermiok at around 4.30 pm. Hotel Silent Valley lies at the entrance to Bermiok bazaar, the road towards Martam passes in front of it.
Hotel Silent Valley:
Little respite from the drizzling rain:

The real drama started after we reached Silent Valley. Not a single person could be seen in the hotel. We even checked up to the 3rd floor (We had booked room no. 302). Perplexed, we called Subratada and were informed to go towards the basement. There we met Mrs. Batore, wife of Mr. LP Batore (owner of the hotel) and she was really surprised on seeing us. They didn’t know that guests were to arrive in the hotel. When we called Subratada again to understand these developments he said that everything has been taken care of and we could enjoy our stay. Mr. and Mrs. Batore were not very happy with this and they informed us that Subratada had not been present at the Hotel for the last few months and not a single hotel staff is present. They were not very happy with Subratada and though they took care of us, they kept on grudging about lack of responsibility on his side. The environment was not very pleasant and we felt unnecessarily dragged into a controversy. However we decided not to get involved in their internal matter and adjust as the situation demands (We only felt bad that Subratada had not informed us about the real situation).

The plus point of this entire scenario was that we had the entire hotel to ourselves. Room 302 is in the terrace beside the dining hall overlooking the entire valley. The weather was still cloudy and not a glimpse of Kanchenjunga could be seen. But the valley looked beautiful with passing clouds, green trees and chirping birds.
Bermiok village:
We were famished and bhabiji quickly prepared noodles for us. We thought to roam about in the village for a while before dinner. The road towards Martam led downhill beside the hotel and we started following the road aimlessly. The outside had darkened by now and the only light that could be seen was the distant lights of Pelling ang Geyzing dotting the mountains. The lights sparkled like jewels and the entire stretch looked like a hugely decorated treewith thousands of tiny lights. The overcast clouds had hidden the stars but the shining lights made up for them.
Our tranquil walk had to be cut short because of an incessant drizzle. It was already 8 pm by then and we decided to have dinner and rest for the day. During dinner consisting of roti, sabzi and chicken curry, we planned with Mr. Batore to do some local sight-seeing the next day for which he had arranged a car for us.

After dinner, we tried our luck again to view the Kanchenjunga range from the terrace but to no avail. With a saddened heart but a small hope of a better luck for the next morning, we went off to sleep.

Accommodation, transport details:

Fare from Siliguri to Jorethang: Rs. 130/- per head (Kusuz Travels agency: 9832043028,9832332849)
Fare from Jorethang to Bermiok: Rs. 80/- per head

Hotel Silent Valley: Contact Mr. Subrata Sarkar: 9733136939
Tariff: Rs. 650/- per head per night for a non-view room (includes fooding and lodging - he excluded the service tax for us)





PKanti Apr 12th, 2012 14:19

wonderful! :) ........ excellent writing & snaps :) ........ keep them com'in

sagarneel Apr 12th, 2012 14:22

Excellent start, trisha. Very lucid writing and great photos. I was reliving every moment of my October trip through your photos. :)

However, it is really very disappointing to know about the problem you faced in Bermiok, and I am feeling disappointed in a sense that I had shared great things about the hotel and Subratada in particular. This was very unprofessional and irresponsible on his part.... totally unacceptable!!

ghosh.ruchira Apr 12th, 2012 15:12

Good start Trisha. It reminded me of our trip to Bermiok in October.
One thing I want to mention,Jorethang is in South Sikkim,not in West.

asishdas Apr 12th, 2012 15:19

Great post, Trisha! You had matched the attached pictures with your narration very nicely. The non-nonsense, crisp TR won my heart. I have two observations/quarries:
1. Quote:
..Crossing the police check-point at Melli (we were asked for a photo ID) Unquote

Photo ID for Indian citizens to enter Sikkim?? Is this a new entry requirement?

2. Secondly, the most unacceptable behavior of Mr. Subrata Sarkar...I think all Sikkim traveler should be cautioned about him. Yet you seem to be very generous in putting his contact number for booking of Silent Valley Hotel.
Mr. and Mrs. Batore were not very happy with this and they informed us that Subratada had not been present at the Hotel for the last few months.. Unquote
In view of the above, I think it would have been more appropriate if you quote the contact number of Mr. Batore instead of Mr. Sarkar. Who knows whether he is still with the Hotel or not!
The above notwithstanding, I love your narration and would look forward the next episode. Great going, Trisha!

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