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Head to the mountains

india Updated: Jun 23, 2010 01:45 IST

Hindustan Times
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We are planning to visit Sikkim in August. Is this the right time to visit the place?
Vicky

August and September are the summer months, when temperatures are likely to be pleasant. However, since Gangtok is close to the Bay of Bengal, it experiences rainfall all year round. If it rains heavily, you may miss visiting the Nathula Pass (on the Indo-China border) and the Tsomgo Lake.

Both of these are located in very rough terrain. You should definitely make it a point to visit both places, so I would advise you to check on weather conditions before planning your trip.

We are a group of six people from Tamil Nadu. We plan to visit Gangtok and Darjeeling in September this year. How can we travel economically from Bagdogra airport to Gangtok, and also within Gangtok and Darjeeling? Can you also help us with budget hotels?
Vijaya Kumar

From Bagdogra airport, you can ask for a share taxi to Gangtok. It will take around 4-5 hours and cost approximately Rs 130 per head. The other option is take a shared taxi to Darjeeling first and then to Gangtok.

You can also hire a whole taxi for your group and go to Darjeeling via Mirik lake. This route is shorter. You can visit the Mirik Lake en route and stop at the Pashupathi Nath market as well. You can try this route if you start from Bagdogra before 11 am.

What to do in Darjeeling:
Try Kanika restaurant near Fortune Resort for excellent veg food. It’s an economical option too.

Glenary’s and Frank Ross Cafe on Chowrasta are great for a quick snack. Glenary’s is one of the oldest and best-known eateries in Darjeeling. Make sure you have a cup of renowned Darjeeling tea and the freshly baked buns.

There are lots of budget accommodation options near Chowrasta and on Mall Road.

What to do in Gangtok:
Stay on MG Marg or Tibet Road. Hotel Silver Line on Tibet road is just a five-minute walk from MG Road. The rooms are clean and economical.

You can hire a cab for sightseeing. You can either opt for a half-day or a full-day package. It will cost between Rs 500-1200.

Make sure that you visit the Nathula Pass.