Visiting Gangtok by road does not constitute any hassles at all as the quaint and charming mountainous capital of the State of the Sikkim, is well linked by road to several parts of the nation. Gangtok is one of the most preferred tourist places in the country for travelers and thrives on tourism.
Every travel buff has a soft corner for exciting road trips, partly due to the freedom and flexibility they offer and partly due to the lovely views of Mother Nature. A Kolkata to Gangtok self drive road trip can be just what you need to truly experience the magic of the mountains and beautiful roads while also unwinding in the bargain. Gangtok is home to several tourist attractions including the Rumtek Monastery, Enchey Monastery, Nathu La Lake, Ganesh Tok and Hanuman Tok and its nearest airport is the Bagdogra Airport (125 km away). The NJP (New Jalpaiguri) railway station is roughly 120 km away from this clean and beautiful city.
Reach Gangtok by Road
If you are opting for Kolkata to Gangtok self drive road trip, make sure you know the entire route properly. Gangtok is well connected to major cities like Darjeeling, Siliguri and Kalimpong. You can always attempt a Kolkata to Gangtok road trip by bike or car which will take you approximately 4-5 hours from NJP.
A Kolkata to Gangtok road trip by car will always be memorable due to the well maintained roads and the natural beauty. Some of the hilly terrains along the way will be a sight for sore eyes to say the least! The weekend road trip from Kolkata to Gangtok with Revv car rental is the best option and you will have to choose a tough car for this purpose. The dreamlike terrain cannot be explored within a day once you reach so plan for a few days’ sightseeing and accommodation at least. Gangtok has some of the highest motorable roads in the country and hence it will be difficult for smaller vehicles to ride upon the same. Hence, you should hire vehicles like the Innova or Scorpio which are rugged SUVs/MPVs and can combat uneven mountain roads.
Sightseeing and the lovely route
The places to visit between Kolkata and Gangtok are uncountable. As Gangtok is copiously blessed with Nature’s grandeur, you certainly will love discovering some of the magical attractions like the Nathu La Pass, Changu Lake, Tsomgo Lake and other splendid monasteries. The Tashi View Point is another major landmark that you will absolutely relish. Additionally, the pleasant mountain air and the lovely landscape will invoke you in the desire for warmth, love and mystic longing.
The distance by road is approximately 678.5 kilometres which means close to 17-20 hours of driving. You should thus plan for periodic breaks and accommodation for a night before you start again the next morning. You will have to drive down to Siliguri first from Kolkata. This is a journey of 562.2 kilometres via NH-12 and will take you around 12-14 hours on an average. You can either take the Kolkata-Krishnanagar-Malda-Siliguri route which is 560 kilometres and 14 hours. The 13.5 hours/590 kilometres route is for Kolkata-Burdwan-Moregram-Malda-Siliguri. The third and longest route of 640 kilometres or 15 hours is Kolkata-Dumka-Purnea-Siliguri.
You can consider visiting Darjeeling and Kurseong from Siliguri before you venture into Gangtok. Try and stay at a hotel near the MG Market. Also, make sure that you look up the restrictions for self-owned and self-driven vehicles in particular parts of Sikkim (only yellow number plate or commercial vehicles may ply in some stretches).
Frequently Asked Questions about Kolkata to Digha Road Trip
1. What is the best time to visit Gangtok?
The ideal time to visit Gangtok is between October and mid-December. Absolutely clear views of the Himalayan peaks are guaranteed in these months.
2. What are the delicacies you can have on a Gangtok road trip?
There are some very popular dishes available like Thukpa, Momos, Gyathuk, Thenthuk, Wonton and Shah-Phaley.
3. What are the other connectivity options?
You can also reach Gangtok via air as the closest airport is Bagdogra Airport and you will have to take a cab from there. The same applies if you wish to travel by train. You will have to reach NJP by taking an overnight train from Kolkata and then book a cab from there to reach Gangtok.