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Heard of the famous silk route? Well, here we shall dig out a bit of history about the Old Silk Route that offers access to a variety of unique and offbeat places in Sikkim. Connect with a top-rated travel company in Kolkata to have an enchanting vacation amidst the hills of Sikkim, exploring the marvelous silk route.

Unveiling the Old Silk Route

Do you know about Lhasa? You must as it's one of the most elevated cities in the world that used to be a prominent trading hotspot of old times. Are you aware of its closest seaport? If not, then you must be informed that Haldia Port in Tamralipta or current day Tamluk in West Bengal is one of the most significant shipping ports in Eastern India.

The distance between Lhasa and Tamluk was only 900kms. Right from Chumbi Valley in Tibet, a small piece of land between India and Bhutan, recently earned recognition due to the Doklam stand-off between India and China, across Nathu La and gradually through the mysterious hills of East Sikkim before meeting the plains of Bengal.

In modern times, this offshoot trade circuit merged into the historic ancient silk route to connect contemporary China to Europe. Soon, luxurious Chinese Silk along with knowledge, ideas and cultural exchanges started to take place via this route.

Serenity with a touch of history

The old silk route which starts from Gangtok and ends at Rongli or the other way round includes spectacular places in Sikkim that are exceptionally thrilling. The trail scales from about 5000ft at Rongli to 14500ft at Nathu La, encompassing lush greenery at the start to glacial lakes and snowy mountain passes further up.

Venturing the foothills of the route

Rongli

This is a small important town in East Sikkim surrounded by greenery which marks the first and last place of the route.

Reshikhola

Reshikhola is one of the most beautiful eco-tourism spots near Rongli that is an ideal place to start for the old silk route. Here, you're sure to enjoy the gentle clear waters, pristine greenery and soothing silence.

Aritar, Lampokhari and Mankhim

Located at around 4000ft, Aritar which is 20kms from Rongli is a popular beginning or ending point travellers aiming for the silk route opt for. You'll love to paddle-boat in the tranquil Lampokhari Lake near it. You'll arrive at the lovely Mankhim Top which is 2000ft uphill from the lake after you cover a forested trail.

Venturing upwards

Lingtam

Here, you'll have to get your permits checked after starting from Rongli.

Padamchen

Situated at about 8000ft, Padamchen speaks appealing green beauty and solitude. The place offers breathtaking view of the neighbouring valleys in the Himalayan evergreen forests and unexplored walking trails there.

Zuluk

This is one of the most popular places on the silk route that's at 10000ft altitude about 10kms from Padamchen.

Viewpoints

Ganek, Thambi and Lungthung are the three strategic viewpoints that offer magnificent view of the majestic Kanchenjunga range.

Gnathang Valley

Also known as Ladakh of the East, this mesmerizing valley is an apple of the eye of the whole silk route. You're sure to be captivated by the charming grassy valleys, glacial streams and gorgeous mountains.

Kupup and Memencho Lakes

The Kupup Lake that swirls in emerald blue shades and the Memencho Lake near it are two stunning high-altitude lakes of the silk route.

Tukla Valley

The exotic Tukla Valley is an extension of the lower Tibetan plateau that's been less significant due to its proximity to International borders.

Old Baba Mandir

The new Baba Mandir which is a scheduled destination during Changu-Nathu La daytrip is a recent structure that's built in honor of baba Harbhajan Singh. The original bunker in which the baba stayed falls on the old silk route.

Contact a well-known travel agency that conducts the best domestic holiday packages to relive history and take in beauty as you visit the important landmarks and exquisite spots of Sikkim's famous silk route.