10 Kickass reasons why Sikkim should be your next motorcycle trip destination

The entire North-East is full of kickass motorcycling destinations and Sikkim is perhaps one of the most visited among them. Yet, only a handful of bikers of our country usually from Kolkata, Siliguri and Guwahati have explored the state and its true beauty. While the rest of the country is obsessed with clicking a picture with the board which (controversially) states that they are standing at Khardung La, the highest motorable road in the world, here is my attempt to lure them into riding towards East rather than North this season. Your next motorcycle trip destination should be Sikkim because –

  1. Because Gurudongmar Lake – A trip to the Gurudongmar Lake is soon becoming the proving ground for bikers of Eastern India and deservingly so. Located at a height of 17100 feet above sea level, it is the second highest lake of our country and it takes some trying to reach it! Riders who have visited both Gurudongmar Lake and Khardung La consider Gurudongmar as a much more difficult proposition. I don’t even want to start about the spectacular natural beauty of the place and if one manages to get permits to visit Cholamu, the highest lake of our country then it is a worthy bonus.

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  1. Because Old Silk Route – The Old Silk route in East Sikkim is among the hidden beauties of our country. The twisties after Dzuluk are every biker’s delight and the whole feeling of looking down at those hairpins is bound to fill you every person with utmost joy and satisfaction. A must ride for every biker.

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  1. Because Nathu La and Tsongmo Lake – The Nathu La is perhaps the only place where the border between India and China-occupied-Tibet comes down to a barbed wire. Clicking a picture with your bike with the Chinese outpost in the background is an exhilarating experience. The Tsongmo Lake en route Nathu La is as picturesque as it can get and one must exchange rides and hop on the colourfully decorated yaks for a unique experience.

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  1. Because Kanchenjunga – The highest mountain peak of our country is located in Sikkim. It can be seen from various places in Sikkim but my favourite location is a relatively unknown spot about 10 kms after Dzuluk in East Sikkim. It is a mesmerizing sight to see the mighty Kanchenjunga on a clear day and it is particularly more beautiful during sunrise as it is only during those brief 30 odd seconds when the pristine whites of the Kanchenjunga take a beautiful orange shade.

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  1. Because M.G. Marg – In the heart of Sikkim is its capital Gangtok and in the heart of Gangtok is M.G. Marg, the most happening place in Sikkim. A stroll down the crowded street lined up with stretches of beautiful flower pots, water fountains, soft background music, and twinkling night lights gives a feeling of being in a quant European country. From scores of shops selling souvenirs to restaurants which are every gourmet’s delight to the most happening bars and pubs for letting one’s hair down, M.G Marg has a little something for every person.

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  1. Because spirituality – Sikkimese people are extremely spiritual and they respect the balance between nature and man. That is the reason why one gets to see a varied range of spiritual emotions in the locals. On one hand they consider the Kanchenjunga as their guardian angel and also respect various natural elements like the high mountain lakes. On the other hand they have beautiful monasteries of all shapes and sizes in various parts of Sikkim signifying their faith in the supreme power. End result is that one never goes back the same person after visiting Sikkim.

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  1. Because Rhodendron Sanctuary – West Sikkim is home to perhaps the only sanctuary of our country dedicated to the beautiful Rhodendron flowers. It is also one of the few places to spot the elusive red panda. Uttarey, Hilley and Barsey are three villages closest to the sanctuary and even though this primarily comprises of a trekking route, the ride to any of these villages to see the beautiful flowers in full bloom is definitely worth the effort.

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  1. Because delicious organic food – Sikkim is all set to become the first fully organic state of our country. This will ensure that every meal that one savours in Sikkim is bound to be totally fresh and organic! The Indo-Tibetan-Chinese fusion cuisine is most prominent in Sikkim and it is way better than the compromised fare we get in our polluted cities of the plains.

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  1. Because home stays – Apart from the cities of Gangtok, Peiling and Ravangla, most other towns or villages one visits in Sikkim offers a range of home stays for accommodation. It is an amazing feeling to break bread with the owner of the home stay after a hard day of riding while the entire family sits around the fire and shares stories with you.dzongu-004-full

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  1. Because ever so friendly locals – Sikkim is one of the safest places to travel to in our country. Most of the people in Sikkim are simple mountain folks who have hardly left their state. In a testament to their simple lifestyle is an experience during one of my rides to Sikkim. It was in Rangpo that I had filled petrol of around Rs 500 and due to link failure my card didn’t seem to work. I requested the petrol pump attendant to ride with me to the nearest ATM where I would withdraw the money and pay him. To my surprise he allowed me to go to the ATM on my own trusting me completely to come back with the money!

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In spite of being the second smallest state of our country with an area of 7000 square kms and a Population of just about 6 Lakh people, Sikkim has more than enough reasons to be the destination for your next motorcycle trip; And if these 10 reasons are not enough to convince you then I have an ace up my sleeve in the form of a “special mention”. Here it goes –

Special mention –
Because Hit beer and Sikkim XXX Price Rum –
These local brands pack a lethal punch and are a must try once in Sikkim. To know more, simple go to Sikkim and try them, you won’t be disappointed ;)

 

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