The less travelled gem should be travelled at least once in a lifetime. This gem, the Silk Route or Silk Road is a network that was heavily used in the 2nd Century B.C. The beautiful, picturesque, serene route served as a connector to Central Asia and Mediterranean sea. The route connects India & China through Lhasa, Jelep La Pass, and Nathula, and reaches Tamluk or Tamralipta in West Bengal. Though the name has “Silk” in it, the road was mainly used for trading copper, gold, cotton, salt, sugar, tea, and horses.
No longer used for business, it nurtures a number of small villages that are always adhering to the eyes. Captivating mountains; flora and fauna, clear skies, the beauty of nature resides here.
When is the best time to visit the Silk Route?
You may visit the route anytime between October to June. Below is the time frame showing when one can visit the Silk Route and when one should not.
- April to June – These months witness the blooming of the beautiful and colourful Rhododendrons and primulas. The weather also remains pretty pleasant.
- July to September – One should avoid going to the Silk Route during these months as rainfall makes hiking difficult.
- October to March – This is considered the best time to visit this place as visitors witness the snow-capped mountains.
How to reach the Silk Route?
By road – Get down at New Jalpaiguri Junction (it is well connected with Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati) and hire a cab to reach the Silk Route via National Highway 10. The distance from the railway station is about 150 kms.
By air – Bagdogra, the nearest airport, is again well connected with major cities and is almost 140 kms away from the destination.
Sikkim’s Charm – The Silk Route Map
The Silk Route in Sikkim embodies remote villages that are not much travelled by travellers. They uphold the essence of nature that is quite captivating to the eyes. The villages are not very populated and hence are the perfect way to de-stress yourself from the hectic, noisy city life.
- Icchey Gaon – Enjoy the breathtaking view of the snow-capped Himalayan mountain peaks including Kanchenjunga.
- Sillery Gaon – Engulfed in dense forests of pine trees, the place has earned the title “New Darjeeling”.
- Kaagey – The village has a 300-year-old church, Buddhist monastery, meditation centre and the Jhakri waterfall.
- Pedong – It is famous for its multicultural heritage.
- Reshi Khola – This is a virgin village that has untouched tranquility.
- Mankhim – This village portrays the perfect view of Mount Kanchenjunga. One can also enjoy paddle boating in the emerald waters of Lampokhari Lake.
- Lingtum – This is just like a painting; wooden houses, dense forests and velvety green grounds. One may enjoy the sunrise by taking a dip in Bakhuter Khola river which is only 5 kms away from the village.
- Padamchen – Get to see the green, snow-capped Himalayan mountains when residing at Padamchen.
- Zuluk – The altitude here is quite moderate and is centrally located from the places of interest i.e. Thambi, Lungthu, Gnathang, Adi Baba Mandir and Kupup Lake
- Thambi View Point – Get to see the view of the Himalayas including the Kanchenjunga peak and the zig-zag roads.
- Gangtok City – On your way to Gangtok do not miss out on visiting:
Old Baba Mandir
New Baba Mandir
The Silk Route of Sikkim is undoubtedly nature’s nest that has been inhabited by the majestic mountains, lush, green forests, and fresh air. The best way to purge yourself is to pay a visit to this beauty and let your soul and the eyes see the beauty it confines.