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Getting In
Via Air From Major Indian Cities
The nearest domestic airport, Bagdogra in North Bengal, has direct flights coming from Calcutta, Delhi and Guwahati. From Bagdogra, the surface distance to Gangtok is 124 km to Gangtok, 94 km to Darjeeling, and 85 km to Kalimpong.

Via Air From Kathmandu Nepal
A direct flight from Kathmandu to the eastern border town of Bhadrapur (Jhapa) brings you 35 km from Nepal 's eastern border checkpoint in Kakarbhitta. From Kakarbhitta, it is 40 km to Siliguri.

Via Surface and Rail
Siliguri is a major hub in North India for the country's road and rail networks. It is also located close to both Bagdogra (12 km) and Kakarbhitta (40 km).

Bagdogra to Gangtok via Air
In the high season periods between April-June and October-December, Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation operates a daily helicopter service from Bagdogra to Gangtok connecting all incoming flights. Although a wonderful experience in itself, please note that the passenger baggage allowance is restricted to 10 kilograms.

A Note About Surface Transfers
While the road distances from one place to another may look short figuratively, distance covered during the course driving in the hills is between 30 and 40 km every hour.

When To Visit
Barring the monsoon months from mid-June to mid-September, any time of year is enjoyable at these temperate latitudes. During monsoon, travel can be hampered due to road wash-outs; walking through the countryside is dubious with abundant leeches and the mountains are often veiled in persistent drizzle and cloud-cover. July and August are the rainiest months.

Autumn has always been touted as the best time to visit the Himalaya for clear skies and harvest color. Trekking is primo from October to mid-December (although we do recommend springtime to nature lovers). The temperature in Gangtok drops to 5 ° C (41°F) through mid-January, Darjeeling can be colder but Kalimpong is slightly warmer.

Spring comes early, often by mid-February and a season to herald it is. Beginning at middle elevations, the rhododendrons burst forth by mid-March, moving up the hillsides to 3,500 m (12,000 ft) by mid-May. Orchids likewise open up as slopes warm from low to high, peaking in April and May.

Visas and Permits
Besides a valid passport and an Indian visa, there are no special permit requirements for Darjeeling nor Kalimpong. You cannot extend your Indian visa in Darjeeling, Kalimpong or Sikkim .

*It is advisable to get your Indian visa in your own home country.

Sikkim Inner Line Permit
A special permit called the Inner Line Permit or the ILP is required to visit Sikkim . Initially valid 15 days, the permit can be extended for an additional 30 days depending on the nature of your program once you are inside Sikkim . It can be issued within an hour by Sikkim Tourism offices in New Delhi , Calcutta , Siliguri and Rangpo or Foreigners Registration Office and international airports all over India.

The extension of the Sikkim Inner Line Permit can be obtained from the FRO Office in Gangtok or at the District Police Offices in North, South and West Sikkim .

Except for special occasions, dress is informal. Around town and especially at the monasteries, women should avoid wearing shorts and skimpy tops; likewise men are advised to wear full pants and shirts with sleeves.

Light cotton and light-woollen jumpers-jackets for early mornings and late evenings. Sun hat and sun glasses.

Heavy woollen pullovers and jackets in addition to warm trousers and shirts for the mornings and evenings. A woollen cap for early mornings is also recommended.

While travelling in Sikkim you will encounter a variety of climates on a single trip owing to changes in elevation that can range between 1000 to 1500 meters. So, it is advisable to have clothes that can be worn and taken off easily. Dress in layers, donning lightly on the inside and keeping the warmer ones to be worn outside.

Temperature and Rainfall
Below is the mean/average temperatures and rainfall for Gangtok (alt.1,666 metres) recorded over the last ten years. Darjeeling, at an elevation of 2,066 metres averages slightly lower temperatures in winter, while Kalimpong at 1,200 metres has the warmest winters.


Temperature ° C


Clear Skies










90 %





90 %





75 %





40 %





30 %





10 %










2 %





5 %





50 %





98 %





98 %

Trekking Essentials
Protected Area Permit (for Trekking)
Foreigners who wish to trek in Sikkim require a Protected Area Permit or PAP. Applicants should comprise of a group of at least two people and the application made through a bona fide local travel agent. There is no fee but one photo is required.

No trekking permit is needed in Darjeeling or Kalimpong.

Green Lake Trek ( North Sikkim )
In addition to the PAP, trekking in the Green Lake area require a special permit, for which the application must be made 3 months (90 days) in advance to office of the Home Secretary, Government of Sikkim.

Mountaineering Permit
Mountaineering expeditions must apply to the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) for a permit to climb any peak. Expedition fees are as under:

Peaks above 8,000 m US$ 8,000
Peaks between 7,501 and 8,000 m US$ 7,000
Peaks between 7,001 and 7,500 m US$ 6,000
Peaks between 6,501 and 7,000 m US$ 5,500
Peaks below 6,500 m US$ 5,000

This checklist includes items most essential for your trek, and should be brought along. These will cover all possible conditions on your trek but mountain weather is unpredictable, and it's likely you may never get to use all the listed items. Do not bring a lot of clothing. One or two changes are all you will require. Casual attire is permitted in most of the hotels** we use.

The most important thing about getting attired for trekking is to dress in layers, which can be removed or added easily. After all, a trek is not a fashion show.

For The Feet
• Walking Boots: Lightweight and waterproof
  Be sure to wear them in well before your trek
  Ensure there is enough toe room
  Ensure they are comfortable with double socks

• Trainers / tennis shoes / sandals for camp wear.

• Socks: 4 to 5 pairs of each
  (a) wool-blend and (b) thin cotton,
  to be worn in combination.

For the Body
• Pants:
• Lightweight pants ++
• Long shorts ++
• Track pants for camp wear and colder days.
• Long skirts are an excellent alternative to shorts for women and
  culturally more acceptable ++
• T-shirts: shirts with collar to provide protection from the sun
• Underwear: as required
• Waterproof Jacket: with an effective hood, waterproof and windproof,
  should be thigh length
• Jacket: lightweight, quick drying polar fleece.

For The Head and Hands
• Hats: -Woollen hat or balaclava and a peaked sun hat
• Sunglasses: 100% UV filtering
• Gloves

• Daypack: medium size comfortable with waist strap.
  Size should be 30 to 40 litres.
• Water bottle: 1-liter minimum.
• Flashlight: lightweight camper style or headlamp and spare batteries.
• Penknife: Swiss Army or Leatherman type.
• Toiletries: biodegradable from health or camping stores.
• Money-belt: for security on the trails and around town.
• Inner Liner for Sleeping Bag: preferably cotton

High Altitude Treks
• Thermal Underwear - long sleeved vest (2) and long johns (1)
• Windproof/Waterproof Over-pants
• Snow Gaiters ++

This list has been prepared on an average weather trend but do keep in mind that weather conditions in the Himalayas are very unpredictable. We advise you to be prepared for all eventualities, be it rain, non-seasonal cold or heat. It's entirely up to you if you wish to bring less and take your chances.

The items marked ++ are inexpensive and readily available in Kathmandu in the event that you will be entering into Sikkim via Nepal .

**If your program includes some nights at the Windamere, Darjeeling, you are advised to have at least one set of formal wear for dinner.


Branch Office:-Speed Holidays pvt.ltd. National Highway, Deorali, Gangtok - 737 102 Sikkim, India .
Head Office: Kaushalya Apartment ,Beside Axis Bank, Sevoke Road ,Siliguri 734001
Landline: 0353-2641426 Mobile 9434088771/ 9735039729
Email Id: info@sikkimspeedholidays.com / speedtours2004@yahoo.com / info@sohanholidays.com
Related Website: www.sohanholidays.com / www.besthotelsinsikkim.com / www.sikkimspeedholidays.com