Itinerary & Map
Day 01: Arrival in Siliguri (Bagdogra Airport, IXB)
On your arrival at the Bagdogra airport (IXB), you shall be transferred to the hotel in Siliguri. Located at the foothills of the eastern Himalayas, Siliguri is a bustling town in the district of Darjeeling (one of northern most districts of the state of West Bengal). Now originating at nearby New Jalpaiguri, the UNESCO heritage Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (narrow gauge rail line completed in 1881) passes through Siliguri town which used to be the original southern-most station of the railways till 1964. You shall also meet your Royal Enfield motorcycles here, your companions for the next 12-13 days.
Day 02: Siliguri – Chalsa (60 Km)
After breakfast and a tour briefing you shall gear up for your first ride, intentionally designed to be a short one so that you can get familiar with the motorcycle as well as the conditions. Within 30 mins of today’s ride you’ll be riding among tea gardens as you get nearer to Chalsa which is a beautiful region surrounded by tea estates, dense forests & rivers flowing through the gentle slopes of the Himalayan foothills (north-east of Siliguri) and right on the edge of the Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary. At one point on this day, you shall be just about 5 km (as the crow flies) from the Bhutanese border. Tonight you shall be staying in a resort in the middle of a tea estate.
Day 03: Chalsa – Rangpo (120 Km)
Typical of the Himalayas, an average days ride involves ascending and descending in altitude (or vice versa & repeated a few times). This day shall be just that. From an elevation of ~150 at Chalsa, today you shall be climbing to ~2230 M through tea gardens which will slowly fade into cedar forests. This route offers some spectacular sights as you descend towards the town of Rangpo (Elev. ~400 M) where you shall be entering the State of Sikkim for the first time. Your “inner line permits” shall be obtained at the border here.
Day 04: Rangpo – Gangtok (65 Km)
For today’s ride to Gangtok (the capital city of Sikkim), we’ve charted yet another route which takes the B-roads and avoids the highway traffic. Gangtok is the largest and the most populated town of Sikkim and has a little of everything – culture, nature, entertainment & food. A Cable car linking Deorali Bazaar with Tashiling Secretariat which offers views of mountains & the city. On clear days, Gangtok offers spectacular views of Mt. Khangchendzonga. Arriving around noon, you’ll have a good half of the day to explore it’s sights and the bazaars lined with shops, cafés and bars.
Day 05: Gangtok – Phodong Monastery – Kabi Village (65 Km)
The surrounding area of Gangtok offers more in terms of natural beauty, culture & history. For this reason we have designed this day’s ride which takes you north of Gangtok into the “north Sikkim” district. First stop shall be a historic sight called “Kabi Lungchok” where the “Lepchas” and “Bhutias (2 ethnic tribes) ceremonially signed a “Treaty of Blood Brotherhood” with religious fervour in the 14th century. Stone pillars mark the location where the treaty was signed. Then comes the Seven Sisters waterfall, around 32 kilometres from Gangtok. It becomes a must see place in Gangtok after rains, when the falls come into a fierce life offering an awe-inspiring view. The gurgling water of the fall plunges out of the lush green vegetation plastering the rugged cliffs & falls over the limestones making a thunderous sound. You shall then continue to the Phodong Monastery (Elev. 1840 M) which is one of the six most important monasteries in Sikkim, rebuilt in the 18th century by Chogyal Gyurmed Namgyal, the then ruler of Sikkim although an older monastery existed at the same place. It belongs to the Karma Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism and houses beautiful paintings and murals. Tonight’s accommodation shall be at a beautiful hotel with spectacular views looking down the mountain valleys towards the north-west.
Day 06: Kabi – Dikchu – Rumtek (100 Km)
.Taking the “long way round” yet again, you shall be making a big loop around Gangtok (avoiding the city and it’s traffic) through some more scenic B-roads to get to the village of Rumtek, famous for the biggest centre for Buddhism in the region, the Dharma Chakra Centre. Beginning in the dense cedar forests north of Gangtok, today’s ride shall bring you right alongside the Teesta (elev. ~700 M), the biggest river which flows through the state of Sikkim. After following the road downstream to an elevation of ~400, you shall ascend again over several switchbacks and through Martam’s rice valley to reach your day’s destination at ~1650 M. Next 2 nights accommodation shall be at an enchanting homestay which shall give you a glimpse of rural life in Sikkim.
Day 07: Rumtek (Monastery visit)
Rumtek village is known far and wide for one of the largest functioning monasteries in Sikkim. Re-built in 1960’s from ruins of the old mid-18th century monastery, the new complex also known as the “Dharma Chakra center” is the main seat of the Karma Kagyu sect and a centre of Buddhist studies where Buddhist scholars from far and wide come to study and practice Buddhism. The gompa, an epitome of Tibetan architecture, was designed by the 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje himself based on his memories of the Tsurphu Monastery of Tibet. Tsurphu was completely destroyed by Chinese authorities in 1966. The monastery is always alive and buzzing with activity, and a visitor can get glimpses of the daily life of Buddhist monks, watching them going about their daily routine. The rest of the day can either be used for rest/relaxation or for exploring the village and surrounds.
Day 08: Rumtek – Temi Tea Gardens – Namchi (75 Km)
From Rumtek, today’s ride shall bring you back down to the Teesta river and across. Ascending yet again and riding through Sikkim’s only Tea estates your first stop will be at the Temi Tea estate (~1750 M) where you can visit their factory which offers tour of the tea processing as well as tea tasting. Ascending further to about 2100 M, the road then descends towards Namchi (Elev. 1520 M), a small town now popular for the marvellous temple compound of “Char Dham” also known as “Siddhesvara Dham” locked away by spectacular mountains. The “Char Dham” compound has the replica of four hindu pilgrimage shrines (Uttarakhand’s Badrinath, Odisha’s Puri, Tamil Nadu’s Rameshwaram and Gujarat’s Dwarka) which are collectively called Char Dham, along with 12 jyotirlingas, which have been built atop the Solophok Hill. This sweeping temple compound was inaugurated in November 2011. The picturesque complex also houses a 108-feet statue of Lord Shiva (at ~1740 M). After checking into your hotel (which also has spectacular views of the Mt. Khanchendzonga on a clear day), we shall organise a visit to the “Char Dham” complex by cars/ coach.
Day 09: Namchi – Ravangla – Yuksom – Pelling (120 Km)
Today’s ride gets a bit more adventurous. Back-tracking north towards Temi Tea estate, you shall turn towards Ravangla. Riding through dense cedar forests you shall arrive at “ The Buddha Park” (elev. 2150 M), also known as Tathagata Tsal, is situated near Rabong in South Sikkim district. It was constructed between 2006 and 2013 and features a 130-foot (40 m) high statue of the Buddha as its centerpiece. The site was chosen within the larger religious complex of the Rabong Gompa (Monastery), itself a centuries-old place of pilgrimage. Also nearby is Ralang Monastery, a key monastery in Tibetan Buddhism. After a short stop to have a look around this complex, you shall continue descending down to the Rangeet river (~ 670 M) which is one of the tributaries of the Teesta. From here the road gets narrow, steep & rough as you’ll have to deal with some gravel sections while you ascend past numerous big & small waterfalls, little hamlets & their terraced farms to the village of Yuksom (elev. 1745 M). Yuksom is a small village with historical significance as it is considered to be the first capital of the Sikkim Kingdom. Another short stop to look around and you’ll saddle up yet again for the final segment of the day’s ride to arrive at your hotel near the town of Pelling.
Day 10: Pelling – Singhore Bridge Trip Pelling (55 Km)
Pelling (elev. 1950 M) is a beautiful town in West Sikkim, most popular for breath-taking views of the Kanchenjunga peak and the Himalayas. The Pemayangtse Monastery (~2100 M) is one of the most ancient monasteries of Sikkim. “Pemayangtse” literally means “the perfect, sublime lotus”. It is said to represent the chakras or plexus in the human body, which are energy centres. Built in 1705 by Lama Lhatsun Chenpo, it was renovated and expanded later by his successors. Today’s ride is to the Singshore Bridge (~1670 M), which is a suspension bridge and an engineering wonder – the highest bridge in Sikkim and the second highest in all of Asia. At a height of at least 100m, and a span of 200m, the bridge is surrounded by densely green mountains, and has splendid views of the valley.
Day 11: Pelling – Darjeeling (70 Km)
From Pelling, the route turns south as you exit Sikkim and head back into the state of West Bengal via Jorethang. The ride again heads down in altitude to ~360 M but as soon as you enter the Darjeeling district of West Bengal, the ascent starts. Over the next ~22 Km you shall be ascending to nearly 2150 M over countless steep & narrow switchbacks through beautiful tea gardens to the town of Darjeeling.
Day 12: Darjeeling (Local sightseeing)
The ‘Queen of Hills’, Darjeeling is arguably the most popular tourist destination in northeast India. This hill town attracts travellers of varied interests. In the early 19th century, during East India Company rule in India, Darjeeling was identified as a potential summer retreat for British officials, soldiers and their families. The narrow mountain ridge was leased from the Kingdom of Sikkim, and eventually annexed to British India. Experimentation with growing tea on the slopes below Darjeeling was highly successful. By the late-19th century, a novel narrow-gauge mountain railway, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, was bringing summer residents into the town and carrying a freight of tea out for export to the world. Today, we shall organise some local sightseeing for you to the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute & Padmaja Naidu zoological park and an afternoon joy ride (about an hour & 45 mins) on UNESCO Heritage Steam Railway. The rest of the day can be used to explore Darjeeling’s Mall Road, shop for souvenirs & of course, Tea.
Day 13: Darjeeling – Siliguri (95 Km)
We’ve saved the best for the last. After riding and zig zagging across the narrow gauge railway line for the first few kilometers, you shall first head westwards, right to India’s border with Nepal. Riding through some of the most dense cedar forests in the region and reaching altitude of ~2300 M, you will reach the border and view point looking down towards some Nepalese villages in the valley below. From here, you descend into the tea estates of Gopal Dhara & Mirik before arriving back to your final destination on the tour.
Day 14: Departures (End of Tour)
Transfers to Bagdogra airport for your return flights.
*Distances measured are approximate Odometer readings. Actual / Sat Nav figures can be different.
Click on the route map below for higher resolution.
- 13 nights accommodation*
(Double or twin-bedded rooms or tents)
- English-speaking ride leader & support crew
- Breakfast & Dinners
- Experienced motorcycle mechanics
- Royal Enfield Himalayan 411 EFI rental motorcycle
- Local sight-seeing
(at selected locations)
- Comfortable support vehicle with driver
(for luggage, gear & occasional passengers)
- A joyride on UNESCO Heritage Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
The regular price of the tour is per person on the basis of twin-share accommodation. “Twin Share” means sharing either a “double bedded” OR a “twin bedded” room with either your companion (wife, husband, partner, friend etc.) or another member of the tour of the same sex (as assigned by us). However, an unaccompanied participant’s “twin-share “ booking is accepted only on the condition that if no roommate is available, the participant accepts that a single accommodation price be charged over and above the tour price.
SINGLE ACCOMMODATION: If you don’t want to share a room you can purchase a single accommodation supplement (currently priced at approx. AU$ 860). In fact, we recommend booking a “single” accommodation if you’re a very light sleeper or a loud snorer yourself. However, Single Accommodation is subject to availability, so check with us and book early.
We also reserve the right to impose a “single accommodation” price on a participant, like a minor participant or an unaccompanied participant, if he/she cannot be accommodated with another member of the tour due to any reason(s).
If you have concerns regarding the standard of accommodation on our tours, we’d like to assure you that our selection of hotels will not disappoint you. In fact, despite the limitations of this region (having seasonal tourism & remote locations) we have ensured that our riders get the most comfortable stay possible. The reason for that is that we have carefully selected (and fine tuned) a good mix of heritage & modern hotels/ lodges/ holiday homes in the villages, towns & cities we stay at which have a good balance between the old charm and modern travelers needs. Some have been chosen for convenience, some for their spectacular location and some just to give you a taste of the “luxury” of the colonial era without sending our tour prices “through the roof”.
What To Pack
Please note: On all our tours the space on the support vehicles is limited. Hence, we request that you limit your baggage to 25 KG.
- Driver’s license*
- International Driving Permit
- Travel insurance**
- Protective Riding Gloves
- Riding boots
- Riding jacket & pants (summer mesh jacket would be most suited)
- Rain suit
- Riding goggles
- Eye drops
- Thermal underwear
- Insect repellent
- a fleece/pullover/ warm jacket
- Ear Plugs
*Full and valid for min 411cc motorcycle
**Must cover riding motorcycle overseas for leisure
Our Himalayan tours start and end in New Delhi where the temperature can get up to 40°C even in May.
Even in the Himalayas the temperature at low altitude can get up to 30°C. However, they can fall below freezing at high altitudes in the mornings and during the nights (0-5°C). Although very unlikely during this time of the year, Rain & light snow are possibility if the weather turns bad and we’re riding over a pass.
Health & Hygiene
Please keep in mind that you need to be reasonably fit to participate in tours.
IMPORTANT: Applicants are advised against participating in any High Himalayan tours if they suffer from severe asthma, muscular disorders, respiratory or heart disorders, or any medical precondition which might be detrimental to the health of the participant on a tour which involves spending nights in high altitudes (3500 to 4500 metres).
Please consult a doctor before booking a Himalayan tour which goes to high altitudes or write to us for further clarification.
Food & Drink
When travelling through India it is advised to carry your own drinking water that has been obtained from a reliable source (RO/UV water filter) or always drink branded mineral/packaged water.
Water for drinking, brushing teeth or making ice should first be boiled or otherwise sterilised.
Avoid dairy products likely to have been made from unboiled milk. Milk in India is often unpasteurised and should be boiled before consumed.
Any fruit and vegetables should be cooked and/or peeled before consuming. To avoid TD or other sickness while travelling include avoiding undercooked foods and street vendors.
Popular tourist restaurants and hotels will have clean facilities for you to use.
The following vaccinations are recommended for your trip to India* (if visiting for less than 5 months):
- Hepatitis A
- Japanese Encephalitis, Poliomyelitis
Please ensure you are also up to date with routine vaccinations such as:
- Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR)
- Diphtheria/Pertussis/Tetanus (DPT)
- Rotavirus (for children)
If you are arriving from the following countries it is required for you to have the Yellow Fever vaccine:
- Burkina Faso
- Central African Republic
- Cote d’lvoire
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Equatorial Guinea
- Sierra Leone
- French Guiana
*This is a general guide. Please consult your doctor for country specific medical advice.
Telephone: Country code is 91
Mobile phone: Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies. Coverage is limited to major towns.
Internet: Wi-Fi is available in most hotels and cafes.
Post: Airmail service to U.S and Western Europe takes up to two weeks.
Visas & Documents
When travelling to India you will need the following documents:
- Passport (valid at least 6 months past the intended period of stay)
- Indian Tourist Visa
Indian Tourist Visa
Travelers should apply for a tourist e-visa before they visit India. Processing time is generally between 36-48 hours, you can apply for an e-Visa here. These are single/multiple entry visa’s that are valid for a 30/60-day stay. To see if you are eligible for a tourist e-visa visit this website.
Your adventure starts now! Complete the form below and we’ll be in touch.
What happens then?
We’ll get back to you within a couple of days with a registration form and a full list of T’s & C’s. Once you’ve submitted the completed registration form we’ll send you an Invoice of the tours/services opted by you. If the tour start date is more than 3 months away, a 25% advance payment will secure your spot on the tour.
To pay for your tour, we only accept Bank telegraphic (wire) transfer.
It’s our preferred option because it’s safe, transparent & cheap. While it may seem like outdated technology where you’re from, it’s still standard business practice here. Transfer of funds takes place from your bank account directly to our bank account (with reasonable commissions or charges levied by the banks).
Our T’s & C’s document details more info about our payment policy, but if you’ve got questions about ‘wiring’ money please don’t hesitate to contact us or your bank.
I’ve paid, now what?
We’ll send you an email with confirmation, a receipt, and everything else you need to know – so you can get ready for new experiences, with new friends, in foreign lands!
The open road beckons. See you at the airport.
The fine print
Booking shall be subject to availability & eligibility. Your booking is confirmed after deposit is received as per the terms & conditions. Your privacy is protected and we agree not to share the information provided with third parties for any purpose, commercial or otherwise, unless legally required.
The price of the tour is per person on the basis of twin-share accommodation. “Twin Share” means sharing a “double bed” or a “twin bed” room with your companion, or another member of the tour of the same gender.
If you don’t want to share a room you can purchase a single accommodation add-on. Single Accommodation is subject to availability. On the Himalayan Tours, it cannot be guaranteed at locations where we stay in “tented camps” as the availability of such accommodation is scarce during the high season.
We reserve the right to impose a “single accommodation” price on a participant, like a minor participant or an unaccompanied participant, if he/she cannot be accommodated with another member of the tour due to any reason(s).
To participate as a rider an individual has to be an adult above the age of 18 years at the time of the tour, holding a valid full motorcycle driving license authorizing him/her to ride a 411/500cc motorcycle and in sufficiently good health to undertake a motorcycle journey without any pre-existing medical condition(s) which may be detrimental to the participants health & safety. To participate as a co-rider on the pillion an individual has to be above the age of 12 years.
Further details will be available for your perusal in the terms & conditions appended to the tour registration form.