Itinerary for sikkim in Dec end

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Travellor's picture
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Hi Vishnu

We will be travelling to Sikkim & Darjeeling in Dec end ( 24th Dec to 1st Jan). Here is our tentative plan

1. Will reach Bagdogra around 2 PM. Can we travel to gangtok on the same day. How long will it take by taxi

2. 25th & 26th Dec - Stay in gangtok - local sight seeing and changu lake ( would skip Nathula as our son is 2 year old)

3. 27th - Start for pelling . Will cover Namchi on the way

4. 28th  - Stay in Pelling

5. 29th - Leave for darjeeling

6. 30th- Stay in darjeeling

7. 31st - Back to bagdogra in evening since next day morning 1st jan is our flight

Can you please provide your suggestion if the iterinary looks fine. ALso if any changes are needed. Important places to be covered at all these places. We will b travelling with our parents n 2 year old son. Can we cover changu lake??

Thanks

vishnu.kumar7's picture
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Hi,
    My take on your queries..

1) YES, you can easily make to Gangtok on the same day.. From Bagdogra, it should take 3-4 hours to Gangtok... you can get taxi from Bagdogra itself or reach Siliguri...

2) Changu lake should be fine with 2 years old.

Rest everything seems fine to me...

Regards
Vishnu Kumar

Travellor's picture
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Cool thanks Vishnu..also if you could help me with list of places to cover in gangtok and pelling, it would be great

vishnu.kumar7's picture
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I think the link covers the list of places in Gangtok... In pelling side, Yuksom is the prime attraction...

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Hi Vishnu,

Need one more suggestion. How long does it take from gangtok to Pelling. We are planning to cover Temi tea garden, sandruptse, char dham and shirdi sai mandir on the way to pelling. Would it be too much time consuming and tiring. We will be travelling with our aged parents and 2 year old son.

Thanks

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I believe emi tea garden, sandruptse, char dham and shirdi sai mandir can be covered on the way to pelling and better to be done as  a day trip...
 

If you are not taking any stop in between then journey from Gangtok to Pelling should take 4-5 hours..

Regards
Vishnu Kumar

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hi Vishnu,

Can we see the snow near changu lake in December end say 25th/26th Dec. we wont be going till Nathula. We will only visit changu lake

Thanks

vishnu.kumar7's picture
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From my personal experience... Chances are bright... you may witness snow fall on the way... fresh snow should be there around the lake...

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Cool thanks..

Mahinder (not verified)
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Hi Vishnu,

First of all i would like to thank you very much for the amazing site and for its content.

I am planning to travel to Darjeeling, Gangtok in December from 21-27.Could you please check my itinerary and suggest

we are group of 4.three guys and one girl all of age ~27. We are very much interested in going to gurudongmar and yumthang.But it is mentioned that in December it might be closed so we have avoided them in the below itinerary

21-NJP and drive to darjelling
21st and 22-darjelling local sight seeing
23-Sandakfu/mirk
24-travel to gangtok, local sight seeing and for passes if required
25- Tsongmo Lake and nathula pass if at all it is open
26-Ralong Hot Springs...Ralang Tsa chu is near Ralong monastery so would be going to both
27-Rumtek Monastery and travel back to NJP

Is it true that both gurudongmar and yumthang will be closed in December?
If not we would like to change the itenary to below

21-NJP and drive to darjelling
21st and 22-darjelling local sight seeing
23-travel to gangtok, and arrange passes required
24-local sight seeing n leave to Lachung
25-yumthang or gurudongmar if any of the places is open. which one you would suggest to pick between both
26- Tsongmo Lake and nathula pass if it is open
27-local sight seeing and travel back to NJP

Could you pleases suggest what is beeter for us based on your experience,weather and availability of the places

Thank you

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Hi Mahinder,
                   Gurudongmar will certainly inaccessible in December end but Yumthang might be possible....you can go all the way till Lachung ..stay there overnight and visit Yumthang next morning...

Rest everything seems fine with your itinerary....I think you mistakenly included Sandakpu in the first option because its a trek which will not be feasible in single day....

Second option will be better based on my experience....

Instead of going to Mirik side you can include Pelling (West Sikkim) if required...

Regards
Vishnu Kumar

Souvik Chatterjee (not verified)
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we are planing to go gangtok in december 15, 2013. according to my plan, we will visit :\

16th dec : Gangtok
17th dec : yumthang,gurudongmar.
18th dec : gangtok
19th dec : changu lake, baba mandir, nathula
20th dec : Gangtok to siliguri

my first question is : 1) is it good for us to go there in december 15th?
2) all the spot will be open?
3) and according to you what is your plan to go Gangtok in december 15, 2013?

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Hi Souvik,
                December is not bad time to visit Sikkim... however be prepared for road blockage due to heavy snow... Gurudongmar lake won't be possible to visit...

Answer to your last question: I am not visiting Gangtok this December....

Well, I also doubt your plan for 17th... It's not possible to visit North sikkim in one day and cover Gurudongmar and Yumthang both..

I would suggest you to reach Lachung on 17th and visit Yumthang next morning before heading back to Gangtok..

Rest seems fine to me..

Regards
Vishnu Kumar

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Hi Vishnu,

We are family of 9 , planning to visit Sikkim and Darjeeling from Pune as follows -

1:Sunday 22 Dec – Arrive at NJP at 4 am , start travel to Gangtok , do Gangtok site seeing as we will reach there in Morning time we have half day.

2:Monday 23 Dec - GANGTOK-LACHUNG

Pick-up from hotel at Gangtok at about 10 a.m. proceed to Lachung (124 Kms / 06 Hrs) at an altitude of 9,600 ft. On the way stop and enjoy a few wonderful locations like Tashi View Point, Kabi Lungstok, Naga Waterfalls, the confluence of Lachen-Chu and Lachung- Chu at Chungthang, Twin Waterfalls  and  Bhim Nala Waterfalls,Lunch at Namok on the way. O/n at Gangtok.

3:Tuesday 24 Dec– After breakfast full day excursion to Yumthang Valley & Hot Spring (11800 ft / 1½hrs on one way). After lunch, transfer to Gangtok . Over night at Hotel.

4:Wednesday 25 Dec -Nathula TSANGU LAKE & BABA MANDIR

5:Thursday 26 Dec - Early Morning 5 am – leave for Darjeeling – Reach there and do local siteseeing

6:Friday 27 Dec– Early Morning at 0400 AM visit Tiger Hill ,famous for sunrise over Mt. Kanchendzonga, on way back visit Ghoom Monastery, Batasia Loop and back to hotel.  Checkout and travel back to NJP return train at 8 pm from NJP.

Is it a good itenerary , and also how will be weather in Lachung Yumthang during Christmas time.

DO i need to do travell agent booking , or i can manage it when i reach Gangtok.

vishnu.kumar7's picture
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Hi Vaibhav,
                 I would say you really did some research while outlining this itinerary... I don't see any problem with the itinerary... Everything is do-able... You may witness snow-fall while traveling to North Sikkim but I hope roads won't be closed due to that...

Weather will be chilly ofcourse.... Temperature will dip below mercury...

In my opinion, no need to book anything in advance except hotel in Gangtok (There might be horde of tourists during Christmas holidays)... but generally there is  no problem finding an accommodation in Gangtok...

For Nathula, North Sikkim tour and inner line permits you will have to get in touch with any tour agent at Gangtok...

Regards
Vishnu Kumar

GuestHP (not verified)
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Hi,
I am planning 5days trips to north Sikkim from 13 to 17 Dec.2013

Day 1 NJP to Gangtok ==> local site of Gangtok
Day 2 Tsongmo lake, Nathula pass & Baba Mandir
Day 3 Gangtok to lachen
Day 4 Gurudongmar Lachen to Lachung
Day 5 Lachung --> Yumthang--> NJP (Will boarding train in late evening)

Please let me known that this plan is feasible or not
Approximate buget for two (Standard hotel)

vishnu.kumar7's picture
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Hi.... I don't see any major issue with the plan except accessibility of Gurudongmar Lake... I don't think road to Gurudongmar will be open at this of the year.... rest everything is feasible...

Coming to estimating your budget...its difficult....depends a lot on your travel style.... varies a lot person to person...

Guest (not verified)
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Hi Vishnu,

Thanks for your quick reply

If Gurudongmar will not be accessible that which alternative places I should go?

Which places i should explore in the north Sikkim or other part of Sikkim as I think plan 'B' should be ready in case if it is not accessible during that period.

Regarding traveling and Hotel stay, I would prefer standard room with basic amenities and travel by safe vehicle which you recommend.

My Budget is of 25000 (excluding air/train fare)

Regards,
Hitesh

vishnu.kumar7's picture
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Hi Hitesh,
               Gurudongmar will not be accessible but you should still visit North Sikkim (Yumthang Valley and all)... If you want you can go till Lachen and stay there overnight...

If you are staying for one extra day in Lachung then i will recommend to have a half day tour to Katao which is the last village towards Tibet Border... Beautiful village it is...

Coming to expenses...you are staying for 4 nights and taking 2 tours... Standard room in Gangtok should cost 600-800 INR...

You should be able to go by in 25000 INR for this trip.... Try to club with other tourist group while taking Nathula tour and for North Sikkim tour....that way you will be able to save more money...

Regards
Vishnu Kumar

GuestHP (not verified)
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Hi Vishnu,
Thanks a lot for your suggestion.

Pls suggest me hotel in Gangtok, Lachen & Lachung

Also is it possible 2 come directly from Lachung to NJP instead of going Gangtok

Regards,
Hitesh

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Hi Hitesh... Following forum might be some help with respect to hotels and all

 

http://thinkingparticle.com/forum/valuable-inputs-travelers-gangtok-sikkim

Lachung to NJP is only via Gangtok...

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Do i need a travel agent to go to Yumthang. I ma planning to reach Sikkim on 25th December. I called up a resort in Yumthang, they said you cant come alone. If at all i do need a travel agent.. can i get it on the spot in gangtok where i am planning to stay for a day?

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Yumthang or North Sikkim is generally planned as organized tour because there is very thin public transport on this route.. You will also require a permit to visit these places and all of these can be easily arranged with the help of a Guide...

You can go alone but it will be very difficult to reach remote tourist sites such as Yumthang, Zero point etc..

In Gangtok you will find many guides those will arrange your travel to Yumthang or any other part in North Sikkim..

Regards
Vishnu Kumar
 

Marsh (not verified)
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Hey Vishnu, Firstly Quite impresed with the blog you have here.,, Need your expert advise on planned Visit to Sikkim-Darjeeling form Dec 11 to Dec 19 later this year. I plan to take a flight form Mumbai to Bagdogra. My Major consern:

1. Is this a good time of the year to go to Sikkim. 

2.What places do you suggest i shlould go? 

3. My Dilema is I dont want it to be too hectic either???

4. Also i have heard a lot about the sunrise at Tiger Point. Wud it be open during that time of the year?

Please help to answer?

Regds,

Marshall Dsouza

  

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Hi Marshall,

1) YES, December is good month to travel to Sikkim... most probably you will find all the routes open till Yumthang and Lachen in North Sikkim..

2) For 8 days... 2 nights in Darjeeling, 2 in Gangtok, 1 at Lachen, 1 in Lachung and remaining days at Pelling...

3) if don't want to make hectic then skip pelling and spend more days in North Sikkim

4) YES, Tiger hill is open through-out the year..

=== Vishnu

Dhawal (not verified)
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Hi Vishnu,

You are doing  a gr8 job by helping lots of people with their travel Smile.

 

I just have a simple question, what places do you recommend to me with my 11 months old baby?

I am planning to visit during dec 25th to dec 31st.

Thanks,

Dhawal Chauhan

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With your 11 month old, you should avoid visiting Gurudongmar lake, Nathula pass etc.. will suggest you to travel to Pelling, Darjeeling, Gangtok...

==== Vishnu

Dhawal (not verified)
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Thanks Vishnu,

Can you Please help me chart out a plan for 5-6 days?

I will reach by 25th afternoon and depart on 31st Dec.

 

vishnu.kumar7's picture
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In 5-6 days, you can visit Gangtok, Nathula pass, North Sikkim etc... you can see many itineraries those were discussed in detail on this forum..

Dhawal (not verified)
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Hi Vishnu,

Is going to Mangan okk with my 11 month old child? I plan to stay at Mangan... and visit gangtok, pelling, darjeeling etc from there.

How would mangan be with respect to temperature in december end?

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Mangan is nice through out the year however bit colder in comparison to Gangtok but its pleasant and very much bearable... December end will be cold but should not be a problem to travel with 11 month old..

yogee_sikkim's picture
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dear dhawal,

goin to mangan is absolutely okey with a 11 month old child.but my question is why mangan???

you gan go to gangtok spend 2-3 nights there and then to pelling spend another 2 nights and darjeeling again 2-3 nights..

thank you and regards,

yogesh sapkota

vishnu.kumar7's picture
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Thanks Yogee for stepping in and helping travelers with their queries for Sikkim...

==== Vishnu

yogee_sikkim's picture
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just a helping hand for you...seen how  uve been handling all this alone for a long time now....will keep updating on the current cchanges and developments in and around sikkim,,,

thank you and regards,

yogesh sapkota

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Yaa... had been a long and lonely journey so far...:)

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Hi Vishnu,

Quite impressive forum giving information regarding the trip I must say. Well we are planning to make it to Sikkim from 12th Dec-19th Dec (appx 6 pax). And the itinerary goes like this:-

Day 1(12th Dec Friday):- Sealdah to NJP(via train)

Day 2(13th Dec Saturday):- NJP to Gangtok (O/N stay) 

Day 3(14th Dec Sunday):- Transfer from Gangtok to Lachen, O/N stay

Day 4 (15th Dec Monday):- Day trip to Thangu, Chopta Valley and Gurudongmar Lake, transfer to Lachung, O/N stay.

Day 5 (16th Dec Tuesday):- Day trip to Yumthang Valley and Zero Point, transfer to Gangtok.

Day 6(17th Dec Wednesday):- Changu. Baba mandir, Nathula. Back to Gangtok/ or sight seeing in Gangtok town and leisure time.

 

Day 7(18th Dec Thursday):- Transfer from Gangtok to NJP

 

Now few questions that follows and I really want you help

1. I have seen in few forums that many people have visited Gurudongmar lake during this time and they have even seen it succesfully. So won't it be really possible? Will we get permit? and also are there room heaters available in Lachung and Lachen??

2.If Gurudongmar not possible then what should be our plan B? Should we directly go for plan B or should we opt for it only if Gurudongmar fails?

3. Will changu and nathula be possible? 

4. How to get the permit and how long does it take to get them?

5. Do you have any suggestion of hotels for Gangtok,Lachung, Lachen?

 

Please reply ASAP kindly. It is really urgent...

 

Thanks is advance

 

Regards,

Sayeri

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Hi Sayeri,

My take on your itinerary:

Answer 1: Accessibily to Gurudongmar lake largely depends on snow-condition. some years, it snows little late and Gurudongmar remain accessible till December end whereas sometimes route gets closed by early december. If you are lucky then you might find road to Gurudongmar open in Mid-December. Chances are 50-50 i would say.

Permit should not be a problem. You can easily get permit for Gurudongmar.

Yes, In Lachen and Lachung, you can get rooms equipped with heating.

Answer 2: Even if Gurudongmar fails, you must visit North Sikkim. Yumthang valley and Zero point are nice. you can also visit Lachen.

Answer 3: I believe Changu lake and Nathula pass should not be a problem to visit.

Answer 4: Permit is easy to get. you can get help from any tour agent at MG Road, Gangtok to get the permit.

Answer 5: I do not have any recommendation for hotels in Gangtok, Lachen and Lachung.

Hoping its helpful.

+- Vishnu

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Thanks a lot Vishnu. That was quite an effective advise from your end.

yogesh (not verified)
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hi Sayeri,

you should be able to make it to gurudongmar lake ...(90%)

no plan b..in case you are not able to reach gurudongmar you will be able to reach till chopta valley.thangu base camp from lachen.

tsongmo(changu)lake and nathula pass will be accessible(90%)

permits will be got by the travel agent from whom you book your tour..

north sikkim hotels are basic ones with standard facilities ..property depends upon which tour operater you ook from(they will have tie-up properties)

gangtok hotels can be suggested dependoing on your budget..


Guest (not verified)
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Thank you so much Yogesh. Yours and Vishnu's efforts are worth appreciating. I was in a dilemma about North Sikkim in December but now I am confirm that I'll make it for sure. 

Thanks a ton.. Smile

vishnu.kumar7's picture
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You are welcome.. I appreciate Yogesh's inputs on the same...

+- Vishnu

sourav (not verified)
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Hi Vishnu, I wanted to visit gangtok at december 25th to 29th . Is this good time to visit with friends?

Day 1(Dec 25 arrive at morning) : NGP-PELLING-NAMCHI

Day 2(Dec 26 Leaving for gangtok at 6 -7 am) :  GANGTOK-LACHUNG

Day 3(Dec 27) : GANGTOK-Yumthang Valley

Day 4(Dec 28) : GANGTOK-Nathula TSANGU LAKE & BABA MANDIR

Day 5 (Dec 29): from GANGTOK-leave for Darjeeling/NGP

 

Please advice. 

vishnu.kumar7's picture
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Please follow the itinerary as suggest by Yogesh below.
 

+- Vishnu

yogesh (not verified)
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dear sourav,

the itenery you have planned is not possible...you can better try the following itenery

day1:njp to gangtok..half day ss.

day2:gangtok to lachung.

day3:lachung-yumthang valley-zeropoint-gangtok.

day4:gangtok to pelling via namchi ss..

day5:pelling half day ss and drop to darjeeling/njp...

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Thanks Yogesh for pitching in.

+- Vishnu

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We are planning a trip to Gangtok and Pelling in the last week of december and I'd like to know-

1. Is North Sikkim accessible in this time?

2. Should we consider Nathula in our itinery, would it be open then?

2. Assuming it gets dark by 5, till how late is it possible to drive?

yogesh (not verified)
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dear guest,

1. Is North Sikkim accessible in this time?

answer:yes north sikkim should  be accessible in december..depends on how the winter is..

2. Should we consider Nathula in our itinery, would it be open then?

answer:cant gaurantee but should be accesible

2. Assuming it gets dark by 5, till how late is it possible to drive?

answer:the drivers here are experienced to drive in those conditions..it is nothing to worry about..

kittu1 (not verified)
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Pl. suggest the plan (Myself, spouse & two kids 20/14):

Reaching NJP 00:05 on 23rd early morning. Leaving on 27th Dec, 17:15 fron NJP.

Pl. suggest plan for Gangtok & Darjeeling sight seeing.

yogesh (not verified)
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dear kittu1:

you may plan as

23rd:stay overnight at siliguri station/dormetory.

23rd:6am:start for gangtok.after freshning up you can stroll around the market area in the evening.

24th:day trip to tsongmo lake baba mandir.

25th:gangtok ss full day.

26th:gangtok to darjeeling visit the himalayan zoo and toy train ride in the evening and visit the mall area for shopping..

27th:early morning visit tiger hill and sight seeing..after lunch transfer to njp(3hrs) for return journey.

 

Mayank (not verified)
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Hi Vishnu, Yogesh,

You guys are doing a wonderful job by helping people in planning their itinerary and answering their questions. It helped me to prepare my itinerary, however I thought to check with you on two things.

My itinerary as thought is:
24th Dec - reach Bagdogra and then to Darjeeling
26th Dec - Darjeeling to Gangtok
28th Dec - Gangtok to Lachung
29th Dec - Lachung to Lachen
30th Dec - Lachen to Pelling
1st Jan - Pelling to NJP

We can change this by going to Gantok first and ending at Darjeeling or doing Pelling before Lachen and Lachung. Since we will be there for Christmas as well as new year, what do you suggest where should we spend it. We will be traveling with 1year old kid, so considering that what do you recommend.

Also suggest, if 2 days at Darjeeling is enough or we spend more time somewhere else. As of now nothing has been booked, not even the travel except for the dates which is more or less freezed. We can reduce or increase 1 day.

Please advice.

yogesh (not verified)
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dear mayank,

thank you for your appriciation.

it is not advised to tavel to north sikkim with a one year old.the temperatures there will be around -5 degrees during the time you are visiting.

the suggest itenery would be.

24th Dec - reach Bagdogra and then to gangtok
26th Dec -gangtok ss ovrnight stay.
28th Dec - Gangtok to ravangla via temi tea estate and buddha park visit
29th Dec - ravangla to pelling via namchi ss.

 30th Dec - pelling ss

 1st Jan - pelling to njp drop after lunch.

 

in case you are keen to travel to darjeeling please change one destination...this above suggested itenery is a comfortable itenery keeping in mind your childs age.

 


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