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How to Reach Sikkim from Bangalore: Tips for the Thrifty Traveler

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Planning a trip from Bangalore to Sikkim can be an exciting adventure, especially for those looking to explore the stunning landscapes and rich cultural heritage of this northeastern state. Travelling on a budget doesn’t mean compromising on experiences. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to reach Sikkim from Bangalore, offering thrifty travel tips to make your journey both affordable and memorable.

Understanding the Route

Sikkim is well-connected by air, rail, and road, though it does not have its own airport or railway station. The nearest airport is Bagdogra Airport in West Bengal, and the closest railway station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP), also in West Bengal. From these points, you can reach Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, by road.

Step 1: Flight from Bangalore to Bagdogra

The quickest way to reach Sikkim from Bangalore is by air. Several airlines operate daily flights from Kempegowda International Airport in Bangalore to Bagdogra Airport. To save money, consider booking your tickets well in advance and keep an eye out for discounts and deals.

Tips for Thrifty Travelers:

  • Book Early: Flights are generally cheaper when booked months in advance.
  • Flexible Dates: Use fare comparison websites and flexible date searches to find the best deals.
  • Budget Airlines: Opt for budget airlines like IndiGo, SpiceJet, or GoAir for lower fares.

Step 2: Bagdogra to Gangtok

Once you arrive at Bagdogra, you have several options to reach Gangtok:

By Shared Taxi: Shared taxis are a cost-effective way to travel from Bagdogra to Gangtok. The journey takes about 4-5 hours, and the fares are reasonable.

By Private Taxi: If you prefer more comfort and privacy, you can hire a private taxi. This option is more expensive than a shared taxi but can be convenient if you’re travelling with a group.

By Bus: Buses from Bagdogra to Gangtok are available, though less frequent. This is the most budget-friendly option, though it may take longer than a taxi.

Tips for Thrifty Travelers:

  • Shared Taxis: Opt for shared taxis to save on transportation costs.
  • Pre-Book: If possible, pre-book your transportation from Bagdogra to Gangtok to avoid last-minute surcharges.
  • Travel Light: Travelling with light luggage can make your journey more comfortable, especially if you’re using public transport.

Alternative Route: Bangalore to New Jalpaiguri by Train

If you prefer travelling by train, here’s how you can reach Sikkim via NJP:

Step 1: Train from Bangalore to NJP

Trains from Bangalore to NJP are long but scenic and offer a more economical travel option. Some of the popular trains include:

  • Guwahati Express: Departs from Bangalore and takes about 42 hours to reach NJP.
  • Guwahati SF Express: Another option with similar travel time.

Tips for Thrifty Travelers:

  • Book in Advance: Train tickets in India can be much cheaper when booked well in advance.
  • Sleeper Class: Choose sleeper class for the best balance between comfort and cost.
  • Travel Essentials: Pack essentials like snacks, water, and entertainment for the long journey.

Step 2: NJP to Gangtok

From NJP, you can reach Gangtok by shared or private taxis, or by bus. The travel tips for this leg of the journey are similar to those from Bagdogra to Gangtok.

Budget Accommodation in Sikkim

Finding affordable accommodation in Sikkim is key to keeping your trip budget-friendly. Here are some options:

Hostels and Guesthouses

Sikkim has a growing number of hostels and guesthouses that offer comfortable and affordable stays. Popular options include:

  • Zostel Gangtok: A well-known hostel offering dormitory beds and private rooms.
  • Tagalong Backpackers: Another budget-friendly option with a communal vibe.

Homestays

Homestays are a great way to experience local culture while keeping costs low. Many homestays offer comfortable rooms and home-cooked meals.

Tips for Thrifty Travelers:

  • Book Directly: Booking directly through the property’s website or contacting them can sometimes get you better rates than booking through third-party websites.
  • Stay Longer: Some places offer discounts for longer stays, so consider extending your trip.

Affordable Dining in Sikkim

Exploring local cuisine is a must, and Sikkim offers a variety of affordable dining options.

Local Eateries

Eating at local eateries and street food stalls is a great way to save money while enjoying authentic Sikkimese food. Don’t miss out on trying:

  • Sel Roti: A traditional ring-shaped bread.
  • Phagshapa: A pork dish with radishes and chillies.
  • Sha Phaley: Tibetan bread stuffed with meat.

Budget Restaurants

Gangtok and other towns in Sikkim have several budget-friendly restaurants offering both local and international cuisine.

Tips for Thrifty Travelers:

  • Eat Local: Local dishes are often cheaper and provide a more authentic culinary experience.
  • Look for Thalis: Many restaurants offer thalis (meal platters) which are filling and economical.

Exploring Sikkim on a Budget

Sikkim offers a wealth of experiences that don’t require a lot of spending. Here are some budget-friendly activities:

Trekking and Nature Walks

Sikkim is a paradise for trekkers and nature lovers. Many trekking routes and nature trails are free or have minimal entry fees. Popular treks include:

  • Goecha La Trek: Offers stunning views of the Kanchenjunga range.
  • Dzongri Trek: A shorter trek with beautiful landscapes.

Visiting Monasteries

Sikkim is home to numerous monasteries that are open to visitors. Some must-visit monasteries include:

  • Rumtek Monastery: One of the largest in Sikkim.
  • Pemayangtse Monastery: Known for its beautiful architecture.
  • Tashiding Monastery: Offers serene surroundings.

Local Markets

Exploring local markets is a great way to experience Sikkimese culture and buy souvenirs. Some popular markets include:

  • Lal Bazaar in Gangtok: Known for local produce and handicrafts.
  • MG Marg Market: A pedestrian-only market with a variety of shops.

Tips for Thrifty Travelers:

  • Walking Tours: Explore towns and cities on foot to save on transportation costs.
  • Free Attractions: Look for free or low-cost attractions and activities.

Conclusion

Reaching Sikkim from Bangalore and exploring this beautiful state on a budget is entirely possible with some careful planning and thrifty tips. Whether you choose to fly to Bagdogra or take the scenic train journey to NJP, the adventure of exploring Sikkim’s stunning landscapes, vibrant culture, and delicious cuisine awaits. From affordable accommodation to budget-friendly dining and activities, Sikkim offers a wealth of experiences that won’t break the bank. So, pack your bags and embark on a memorable journey to discover the hidden gems of Sikkim.

Click here to learn more about how to reach Sikkim from Bangalore:https://sikkimtourism.org/how-to-reach-sikkim/ 

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