One of the adventure product that Sikkim offers is Mountain biking. The rugged and dramatic terrain of Sikkim Himalayas offer sure and exiting biking trails to the adventure lovers. The beauty of countryside, flora & Fauna & lifestyle of Sikkimese people is beat experience on a bike’s seat as you meander through lush green hills and dales.
Many have enjoyed riding their bikes during monsoon in slushy dirt road. In every time there is different fun and feeling. It is technical sport so maximum safety precaution with experienced back up will enhance your biking holiday in Sikkim.
Day 1: Gangtok
The closest air link to Sikkim is at Bagdogra in neighbouring West Bengal. On your arrival at Bagdogra, our drivers will get you to Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim.
Sikkim is the second smallest state of India; so do not expect the capital to be a sprawling mass of buildings. Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, is perched at a height of 5,800 ft, along the trade route between India and Tibet.
Once checked in and rested, your Trip Leader will meet you at your hotel. Shortly after, you will get to try out your bike and ride up to Enchey Gompa giving you a neat little introduction to biking in Gangtok and its cultural practices.
Distance cycled: ~ 15km/9mi
Day 2: Gangtok
We start early today from the hotel for the Gangtok to Hanuman Tok loop. With smiling locals and prayer flags fluttering along the mountainsides, you will get a chance to kick off your Sikkim bike tour on a high note with this lengthier ride through town up to Gangtok’s highest point and back.
After lunch, we head to Gangtok’s Handicraft and Handloom emporium for a look at a variety of handicrafts and hand woven fabrics. Keep an eye out for Thankas(Tibetan wall hangings of paintings made on cloth) and carpets besides which cane, bamboo & wood craft articles are also available. After the shopping session, a delectable local meal awaits you in town in the evening.
Distance cycled: ~ 35km/21mi
Day 3: Rumtek
We start early this morning to the pilgrimage town of Rumtek. Built in 16th century, by Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje, the Rumtek monastery is one of the most important seats of Buddhism in the state. The ride starts with a 20 km downhill ride after which we ride back up the hill to our next hotel. Since this is there a fair amount of traffic initially, you can use the backup shuttle at any time if you need it. The road is bumpy but as you get away from central Gangtok, you will get the hang of it. Prayer flags will flutter in the breeze as you pass paddy terraces and each little house has its own little garden in bloom colorfully in the front on this route. At Rumtek, we check in at Hotel Teen Taley, an eco-conscious resort with landscaped gardens, comfy rooms and excellent hospitality. The food here is made with care the traditional way with locally sourced ingredients. You will find that the small world charm of an era gone by lingers here still in these soulful valleys.
After lunch, we join worshippers at Rumtek Monastery where a Golden Stupa located inside the monastery encompasses the relics of the 16th Karmapa. The monastery is also host to several Tibetan festivals throughout the year including the Tse-Chu Chaam and Kagyat Dance. The Tibetan New Year, Losar, is celebrated with great vigour here.
Distance cycled: ~ 30km/18mi
Day 4: Temi Tea Garden
The journey from Rumtek to Temi Tea Garden, the only tea estate in Sikkim, is long and arduous. It starts with a winding descent through rustic terrain followed by a slow climb up to the tea gardens. As the sprawling tea estates open up around you, you will find the effort to be worth the trouble.
Having biked till Tarku our lunch point, the stretch that follows after lunch will be covered in the shuttle vehicle. By the time the ride ends, there is a distinct possibility that the mountains might have cast their spell on you and you might even be itching to ride more! We drive up from Tarku to Temi however in time for a tour of the organic Temi tea gardens. Established in 1969, Temi tea garden covers an area of 440 acres. Here you will get a chance to watch the tea pickers at work bent over due to the strain of their heavy baskets. We check in to the government run Cherry Resort after this and this hotel is the only accommodation at the top here.
Distance cycled: ~ 35km/21mi*
Day 5: Yuksom
Today’s route is likely to be one of the most awe-inspiring bits of your Sikkim cycling trip! There is an initial gradual climb with the therapeutic green of the tea gardens giving way to small villages tucked away in between the wild forests. The route then flattens out before going downhill and then back uphill to Tashiding.
The ride ends at Tashiding in time for a visit to Tashiding monastery. It is an important monastery for the Buddhist pilgrims as it is said to be the meeting point of the three Holy Lamas of Tibet in 1641 A.D. Perched on a conical hill, this is where Lhatsun Chenpo, the patron saint of Sikkim, is said to have built the famous chorten or Stupa of Tashiding Thongwa Rangdol. The tranquil environs of the monastery will leave you in a zen state of mind.
The stay tonight is at Ejam Residency run by a lovely local family. Tucked away in the mountains, here you will get to try more of the local cuisine. Adventurous foodies can pair that with the local beer ‘chhang’, made of millet, it is pretty potent and a lifeline for the hill folks!
Distance cycled: ~ 50km/30mi*
Day 6: Yuksom
We take a break from riding this day so you can enjoy the mountainous environs of this alpine village. Take a walk around to explore Yuksom. One can visit the Gompa and the lake where the First King of Sikkim was crowned or trek upto the Dubdi monastery if you feel like a hiking a bit. Dubdi monastery is the oldest monastery of Sikkim and can be reached in less than an hour from the hotel. Once up there, sit back, relax, you have plenty of time to take it all in.
Day 7: Yuksom(1,760 m) – Tsokha(3,050 m)
Get an early start from Yuksom, on your first day hiking here, to enjoy morning vistas and ascend to Baktim – located 1,000 metres above – without hurry. As you slowly put civilization behind you, the waterfall ridden bamboo forests will take you into their folds while the ancient oaks and conifers that dot the trail tower high above your head. And don’t you worry, the views of the valleys, the ridges and the peaks will be worth the effort put in to reach the campsite for the day.
Further on this hike, you will encounter prayer flags fluttering in cool wind and Rhododendrons trees all around, brightly beaming at you when in bloom between mid-April to mid-May. As you to climb on towards Phedong, where you will next camp, the small settlement at Tsokha (3,050 m) , perched over the scenic Yuksom valley, offers reprieve.
Distance: ~ 5-6 hours, 12 km/ 7 mi
Day 8: Tsokha(3,050 m) – Dzongri(4,020 m)
Make your way through to Dzongri, trying to spot the monasteries and shrines, tucked away in the forests that surround the peaks of Kanchenjunga(8,586 m), Pandim(6,691 m), Rathong(6,679 m), Kabru Dome(6,600 m) and Forked Peak(6,108 m), your companions for this hike. An early start might win you great rewards – clear views of these snowy summits – just as the sun rises. The terrain and the alpine climate dictate things here as the campsite at Dzongri is at an altitude of 4,020 m.
Distance: ~ 2-3 hours, 12 km/ 7 mi
Day 9: Rest day at Dzongri for acclimatisation
With a well deserved day off at Dzongri, you can choose to do small(3-4 hours, 10 km) walk up to the peak, Dzongri La(4,550 metres) and savour panoramic views of Rathong Glacier and the Kanchenjunga and Singhalila mountain ranges. Alternatively, if you are looking for more of a challenge, we could take you to Rathong Valley for spectacular views along a difficult trail.
Day 10: Dzongri – Tsokha
Having spent few days away from the basecamp at Yuksom, you will begin your descent through the Prek valley back towards Tsokha(3,050 m). The wooded trails are lined by Magnolia plants, Birch, Maple, Rhododendron, Chestnut, Silver Fir, Ash trees and more with birds fluttering around as we leave the mountain goats on the higher ridges.
Distance: ~ 6-7 hours, 12 km/ 7 mi
Day 11: Tsokha – Yuksom
The descent to Yuksom is quite long as it is 3,200 m away from Tsokha but we are sure you will appreciate having a soft bed in your room and plumbing and hot showers in your bath again.
Distance: ~ 5-6 hours, 20 km/ 12 mi
Day 12: Pelling
Back on our bikes nice and early again, the route in this section begins with long downhill sections in the first half and rolling, uphill sections in the second half. There are several waterfalls enroute including the Kanchenjunga falls. And if you have somehow managed to turn enough prayer wheels to please the Weather Gods, the views of the mighty Kanchenjunga Range will enthrall you as you reach Pelling.
At 2,072 m/6,800 feet above sea level, the crisp air of Pelling is refreshing and inspiring. Quaint villages, deep valleys and forested mountains surround you as you bike into this unhurried little town.
Pelling is renowned for the Pemayangtse Monastery, which was founded in 1705 A.D. It is one of the oldest monasteries in Sikkim and is replete with ancient relics, wall murals and sculptures. We will visit this monastery after check-in and lunch at the Norbu Ghang Resort Hotel. If time allows, we will also visit Rabdentse ruins, the remains of what was once the capital of the kingdom of Sikkim.
Distance cycled: ~ 35km/21mi
Day 13: Kalimpong
This will be the last riding day of this Sikkim cycle tour. Mostly downhill, we head out to Jorethang. Having braved innumerable switchbacks and winding roads until the town of Jorethang, we stop for lunch at Hotel Namgyal after which we will jump into the vehicle to reach Kalimpong by evening.
This is a great place for you to pick up some souvenirs; Darjeeling tea for black tea lovers, Tibetan carpets, jewellery and bric-a-brac, there is plenty to choose from. So make sure you leave enough room in your bags when you start packing at home.
We stay here at Himalayan Hotel, which has been home to Everest expeditions from the days of Mallory and Irving in the 1920’s. In the early days of the last century the hotel was the family home of David Macdonald. After accompanying the Younghusband Mission to Lhasa in 1904 as interpreter, Macdonald was posted to Tibet as a British Trade Agent, serving in Yatung and Gyantse until his retirement in 1924. Today it is managed by Nilam and Tim Macdonald, David Macdonald’s grandson. They have ensured it remains, in the words of the distinguished travel writer James Cameron, “a collector’s piece among hotels” and that little has changed since.
Distance cycled: ~ 45km/27mi*
Day 14: Shuttle to Bagdogra Airport
Our trip concludes late-morning at the hotel. Your leaders will make arrangements for transportation to the Bagdogra Airport.
Meeting and assistance by our representative.
Welcome with fresh flower garlands.
13 Nights hotel accommodation.
Daily Breakfast, Lunch and Dinners.
Supply of refreshments Water, Juice, Cold Drinks, Sweets, Candies, Fresh Fruits, Muffins during the bike ride.
01 Bike Per Person.
All other services required during the BIKE RIDE.
All transfers, sightseeing, excursions as per the program by private vehicle.
Entrance fees to monuments.
Transport, Parking, Gasoline & Toll ways.
All present government taxes.
Tips, gratuities, Portage, laundry, telephone calls, table drinks, camera/ video camera charges, or any other expenses of a personal nature.
Visa fees, personal insurance.
Any item not specified under cost includes.