Sikkim is one of the most beautiful states in India that enthralls everyone with its spectacularly scenic landscapes, charming hill stations posed against snow-capped peaks, quaint villages along winding mountain roads, and much more. Sikkim also offers a rich historic experience: it was once a part of the thriving ancient silk route that ran through it. All of this makes a motorbike expedition to Sikkim a must-do thing.
Why is bike rental in Sikkim so popular?
A bike trip to Sikkim is undoubtedly a mind-blowing experience: the winding roads definitely give that much-required adrenaline rush as you ride on one of the best biking terrains in the country. You will also be greeted by extremely warm-hearted people who will make you fall in love with this charming state. The feeling of fresh mountain breeze sweeping across your face as gravity shifts underneath you is incomparable. Also, the sense of fulfillment you feel upon reaching the destination after a long and challenging ride is therapeutic. For all such reasons, millennials these days prefer to rent a bike and explore Sikkim with the freedom it gives them.
Popular Biking Routes in Sikkim
North Sikkim Route: Gangtok – Lachen –Thangu – Gurudongmar Lake
There are many biking routes in Sikkim that are well-known for offering thrilling experiences. Gangtok to Gurudongmar is the most noted and extreme route. This north Sikkim route passes through the exhilarating hairpin bends of Zuluk and the picturesque town of Lachen. Keep your camera handy as you’ll definitely witness India’s highest mountain peak Mt. Khangchendzonga along the way. The entire route is either guided by forest greens or snow-clad mountains; the scenes will make you redefine the definition of beauty.
Read in detail: Ditch the car ride to North Sikkim: Hire a bike in Gangtok
Tsomgo Lake, East Sikkim
East Sikkim Route: Gangtok – Tsomgo Lake – Zuluk – Aritar
Another route that bikers prefer is the east Sikkim route, which starts from Gangtok, passes by Tsomgo Lake and ends at Aritar. The route is also called the Silk Route as it takes you via Zuluk, which was once an ancient trade route connecting Sikkim to Bhutan and China. Now, it’s a biker’s paradise.
Read in detail: Ride the magical East Sikkim route by hiring a bike in Gangtok
South Sikkim Route: Gangtok – Temi – Ravangla – Namchi
Ride through the spotless, winding roads of south Sikkim, with verdant hills, blue skies, and tea gardens tracing your journey. South Sikkim roads also lead you to noted sacred sites of Sikkim such as Char Dham and Buddha Park.
Read in detail: Elevate your vacation: Hop on a rental bike and ride the South Sikkim route
West Sikkim Route: Gangtok – Pelling – Yuksom
West Sikkim offers you the opportunity to ride through the highest bridge in the entire state and the second-highest suspended bridge in Asia: Singshore Bridge. The route also takes you back in time, as you can make a stop at Rabdentse Ruins, once a royal palace, giving you a glimpse of Sikkim’s monarchy.
Read in detail: Discover West Sikkim on a motorbike: Bike rentals in Sikkim
Pro Tips for Bike Hire in Gangtok
A special permit—Protected Area Permit (PAP)—is required to enter Tsomgo Lake and Nathu La Pass in East Sikkim and Zuluk in North Sikkim. To get the permit, you have to personally visit the permit office in Gangtok. Take along photocopies and originals of vehicle documents and your verification document (voter ID, driver’s license), and 4 passport-size photos. However, if you plan on renting a bike from a travel agent, you just need to share your personal verification documents; the rest will be taken care of by the agent. I suggest you share the documents prior to your visit so as to avoid last-minute hassle.
Royal Enfield is the preferred bike for riding in Sikkim. Its extended height and laidback posture are comfortable on the bending roads of Sikkim. The engine also offers enough power to cover longer distances.
Best Time to Visit
Autumn (mid-September to mid-December) and Spring (March to May) are the best times to take a bike ride in Sikkim. During these months, the weather is pleasant with better visibility.
Now that you know about the popular biking routes in Sikkim, comment below the route you are most likely to take!
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