Old Silk Route Distance
Undoubtedly the most important trade route in the history of Asia, the Old Silk Route connected India with Bhutan and China. It is one among the large network of Silk Roads across the continents of Asia, Africa, and Europe.
This particular stretch starting from NJP extends till Zuluk lying at a distance of 150 km before reaching Bhutan, and covers a number of picturesque places en route. The route is consist of many beautiful resorts in Sikkim where you can rest and enjoy the actual taste of Sikkim.
You may also have a look at various places to visit in East Sikkim which will delight you and will offer uniqueness in every attraction!
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Best Time To Visit Silk Route Sikkim
The Silk Route can be visited during all times of the year except for rainy season and the peaks days of the winter season when the roads are blocked with heavy snow.
However, the most ideal time to get the maximum out of your Silk Route trip are the months of May and October when the climate is perfectly pleasant for exploration and the roads are immune from the wrath of rain and snow.
The months of April, May, and June are the peak
season with high influx of tourists. Another good time window is the months of
October and November before the onset of the winter season.
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More commonly known as Echey Gaon, Icchey Gaon is a small but beautiful village in Kalimpong district of West Bengal, inhabited by approximately 30 families. Located at an elevation of 5,800 feet, this village is known to offer breathtaking views of towering Himalayan mountain peaks including Kanchenjunga to its visitors.
The scenic landscape of the village and the views of the snow-blanketed Himalayan peaks it offers make it a great destination for nature lovers and landscape photographers.
The dense forests of Pine, Birch, and Juniper trees surround the village, so it is a perfect destination for a holiday in the lap of Himalayas.
Location:17 km from Kalimpong city center
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Silk Route Map
Icchey Gaon – Sillery Gaon – Kaagey – Pedong –
Reshi Khola – Mankhim – Lingtum – Padamchen – Zuluk – Thambi View Point –
Langthung Dhupidara – Nathang valley – Old Baba Mandir – New Baba Mandir –
Nathula Pass – Tsomgo Lake – Gangtok city.
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Another picturesque village located in Kalimpong district of West Bengal that also happens to be a great place to take a halt on your journey to explore Silk Route Sikkim.
The village boasts an elevation of almost 6,000 feet, so you can expect a pleasant climate even during the summer season. The village is engulfed in dense forests of Pine trees, ensuring a fresh air to detoxify your body and soothe your soul.
With the rising popularity of this village among tourists which was not known to many till a few years back, the locals have started to refer to it as New Darjeeling. Most importantly, the village has a hill top from where 360 degree vistas of the great Himalayas can be enjoyed. Adventure junkies can also go for rafting in sikkim, which is an amazing experience.
Location:23 km from Kalimpong city center
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Popular as a weekend getaway for the people residing in the nearby cities, Kaagey is a tiny hamlet within the realm of Neora Valley National Park falling on the famous Silk Route Sikkim.
Thapas inhabit this village located near Kalimpong. With lush green forests, orchids, and flowers adorning the land of this village, it becomes an ideal spot for some quality time in the company of the Himalayan nature.
Apart from the unblemished nature, what is there to see here includes a church that is 300 years old, a Buddhist monastery and meditation center, and a waterfall known with the name of Jhakri. Kaagey is a beautiful place where you can spend a day or two on your trip.
Location:21 km from Kalimpong city center
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Located in the Kalimpong district of West Bengal at an elevation of 4,070 feet, this town is majorly known for Damsang Fort that overlooks it. The fort was built by Lepchas which now serves as a major tourist attraction.
The word ‘Pedong’ translates to a place full of Fir trees. For culture vultures, the town has an old Buddhist monastery built in the year 1706. Pedong is a potpourri of different cultures which makes it an interesting place to visit.
You can also find some good hotels here should you decide to take a halt. Do drop in at this small town to experience nature in all it glory on your Silk Route Sikkim expedition.
Location:21 km from Kalimpong city center
Since not too many tourists know about the place, you can stay assured that you will have an experience of uninterrupted tranquility here. The place is majorly sought after among backpackers who come here in the search of peace and adventure as there are a few trekking trails available nearby.
Moreover, the romantic riverside setting of the village with towering mountains all around also makes it an alluring option for newly weds. If you are interested in birding, you must know that Reshi Khola is also home to various Himalayan and Sub Himalayan bird species.
Location:37 km from Kalimpong city center
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Overlooking Darapchand Village, this hilltop destination is worth giving your heart to. It is one of the most beautiful stopover options on the Silk Route Sikkim.
If you are visiting the famous tourist destination, Aritar, you should definitely spend some time in Mankhim as this small place has so much on offer. From the views of Mount Kanchenjunga to the fun of paddle boating in the emerald waters of Lampokhari Lake, Mankhim gives you plenty of reasons to visit it at least once.
Besides, you can also spot a variety of exotic bird species while you are here. And if you breathe for adventure, you can trek to a serene lake called Mulkarkha Lake from here.
Location:37 km from Kalimpong city center.
You may also have a look at various tourist places in cherrapunji which will delight you on your trip.
Also spelled as Lingtam, Lingtum is a small hamlet lying on the Silk Route with breathtaking scenery to behold. Tiny wooden houses, surrounded by dense forests of pine, and erected over velvety green grounds – this quiet valley looks bewitching, especially during the sunrise.
What prettifies the village further is the sound of the fluttering prayer flags, rustling of the pine trees, and the sight of the picture-perfect fields of rai leaf and corn.
A small river named Bakhuter Khola also passes by this village located at an altitude of 5,000 feet. Apart from a gompa, there is also a waterfall lying at a distance of approximately 5 km from the village known as Kiukhola Falls.
Location:23 km from Zuluk city center
There are plenty of amazing places to visit in shillong which will add sparkle to your trip.
This high altitude village perched on the slopes of Himalayas boasts a height of 8,000 feet, and is absolutely a treat for mountain lovers. Padamchen offers awe-inspiring views of the mighty Himalayan mountains draped in the covers of snow which also makes it a great choice for you if you are a photography enthusiast.
The place has several homestays and hotels where you can relax for a while and relish the aura of the untainted nature. The residential area is surrounded by dense Himalayan forests, so you can take strolls in the woods where you will be greeted by some bird species you may not have seen before.
For all the right reasons, this is an important stopover on the Silk Route.
Location:8 km from Zuluk city center
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Thambi View Point
Proceed further to cover a distance of approximately 18 km from Padamchen and you will reach Thambi view point.
The spot claims an elevation of 11,200 feet and offers some unusual vistas of the grand Himalayas, especially Mount Kanchenjunga, that make it a popular view point among the tourists in the region.
Apart from that, the views of the zig-zag roads below are worth capturing on your camera. If you are planning to explore the Silk Route, this place cannot be skipped. A visit to this place in winter will offer you views of dazzling snow all around.
Location:14 km from Zuluk city center
One of the most captivating places on the Silk Route for the lovers of snow, Langthung Dhupidara is a village that rests in the cold embrace of snow from December to April.
Only 1 km away from the famous Thambi View Point, this village is ideally tucked on a hilltop at an altitude of 11,500 feet, so you can expect some really amazing vistas of some of the most prominent Himalayan peaks including Mount Kanchenjunga.
If you want to witness a riot of colours with vibrant flowers and green vegetation, the period of July to September would be ideal. Whenever you are here, do not miss the magical sunrise over Mount Kanchenjunga.
Location:17 km from Zuluk city center
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A valley where the beauty of nature reigns, Nathang Valley is one of the most charming places in Sikkim, visited by thousands of tourists with the case of wanderlust.
What was once the abode of traditional yak herders from Tiber is a major tourists destination now, with landscape beautiful enough to call them heavenly. There are a few tourist attraction in the valley in the form of a monastery, a temple, and a bridge looming over a stream of water.
Since the altitude of this place is 13,500 feet, you can expect heavy sheets of snow here during the winter season that are bound to allure the spirit within you. If you want to get some rest here, there are homestays available with all basic facilities.
Old Baba Mandir
One of the most famous attractions on the Silk Route Sikkim, Old Baba Mandir calls for a short halt in your journey. Often visited by people travelling to Tsomgo Lake, this temple is located at a distance of 52 km from Gangtok.
The temple is dedicated to an Indian Army martyr, Baba Harbhajan Singh, and is located on the site of the bunker where he was posted. He had slipped and fell into a flowing stream, and had died there.
The shrine, surrounded by the colossal Himalayas, is more popular among the locals than tourists, and has huge reverence among the devotees. It is one of the must visit places near gangtok, so make sure to drop by.
New Baba Mandir
The samadhi of the martyr Baba Harbhajan Singh was reconstructed at another site in the year 1982 for the convenience of tourists. The temple is thronged by devotees and tourists every year.
This shrine, dedicated to Baba Harbhajan Singh, is located on the trail that leads to Menmecho Lake, and is popular as New Baba Mandir. It is believed that baba has been guarding the Indo-China border since his death and sends signs to army men through dreams to warn about unfavourable circumstances.
There are lot more interesting tales that are nothing short of miracles which you can get to hear when you visit this shrine.
Location:Kupup Gnathang Road, East Sikkim
Nathu La Pass
An iconic landmark of Sikkim on the Silk Road, Nathu La Pass is a high-altitude pass located at an altitude of 14,140 feet above the sea level on Indo-China border.
“Nathu” translated to “listening ears” in English and “La” means “pass”. Due to its proximity from Gangtok and the fame it has gathered over the past few years, the pass is visited by a number of tourists all round the year.
Thanks to its elevation, you can find plenty of snow here during the winter season. This pass served as the major passage between India and Tibet till the year 1962 when it was closed.
Acclimatizing before visiting this site is recommended due to low oxygen levels on this altitude.
Also known as Changu Lake, this is the most famous lake in Sikkim. ”Tsomgo” translates to “source of water” in English.
It is a glacial lake located at a whopping elevation of 12,400 feet. The sub zero temperatures during the winter season freeze the lake, while it stay surrounded by mountains fully covered in white blankets of snow. If you are shutterbug, you are going to have a really good time here freezing the moments at the freezing lake in frames.
Otherwise, even during the summer and spring seasons, the lake looks equally beautiful with flowers bordering its azure waters catching the reflection of the mighty mountains that surround the lake. Adding grace to your visit is the scenic road that leads to this lake which is truly amazing.
Location:40 km from Gangtok
The capital city of Sikkim, Gangtok has a lot on offer ranging from colourful monasteries that will help you take a plunge into the world of cultural vibrance and spirituality to unusual vantage points that will let you soak in the beauty of the enchanting realm of Himalayas in the best possible manner.
The city is located at an altitude of 1,650 meters and ensures a pleasant climate throughout the year. Apart from the bountiful nature, the city has a number of man-made or man-developed attractions.
Some of the best places to visit here are Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, Enchey Monastery, Ganesh Tok, Hanuman Tok, and Rumtek Monastery. The cosmopolitan town also has a number of great accommodation options for a wonderful stay.
Checkout the favorite season to visit Gangtok to manage your trip accordingly.