Travelling to Sikkim Chorten Gompa

Moderator: Tibetan Buddhism moderators

Travelling to Sikkim Chorten Gompa

Postby Kunzang8 » Sun Jun 02, 2013 1:36 am

Hi

Has anyone here ever travelled to Dodrupchen Rinpoche's monastery in Sikkim, India before? Would like some advice. thank you.
Kunzang8
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2013 1:34 am

Re: Travelling to Sikkim Chorten Gompa

Postby michaelb » Sun Jun 02, 2013 7:11 pm

Yep. it's nice.
michaelb
 
Posts: 300
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:04 pm

Re: Travelling to Sikkim Chorten Gompa

Postby Kunzang8 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:00 am

Hi Michaelb

Thank you for your reply. Could you give me some details about your travel there. Did you go via Kolkata or Delhi? From there how did you get to Sikkim, did you fly to Bagdora?

I would like as much detail as possible e.g. flew to delhi/kolkata, stayed a night (where?) , then went by rail/air, etc as you can imagine traveliing to India can be scary.

I have been advised that if I went via Delhi and needed to stay a night in transit, then a safe place would be Majnukatila a Tibetan settlement. But Probably I would have to fly via Kolkata and I don't know of any safe havens there.

Thank you for your help!
Kunzang8
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2013 1:34 am

Re: Travelling to Sikkim Chorten Gompa

Postby conebeckham » Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:47 pm

You can fly in to India via Kolkata or to Delhi, and arrange a flight to Bagdogra Airport--the drive to Sikkim via Siliguri. I always stay a night in Siliguri, before going to Sikkim. You'll likely have to stay a night or so in either Delhi or Kolkata, in order to arrange flight connections, as well.

It's best to have someone you know over there arrange car rental and driver...but it's easy enough to find a willing driver if you can't.

One other thing: You know that you need special permit on your Visa to visit Sikkim, right? You can get one before you leave, or get one in India--in Siliguri, or in Darjeeling, if you choose to go that way.

If you're going alone, with the Chorten Gompa as your destination, and you know someone there, my advice is to confer with your contacts there about how to arrange your travel.
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.
User avatar
conebeckham
 
Posts: 2742
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

Re: Travelling to Sikkim Chorten Gompa

Postby conebeckham » Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:49 pm

Also, Manjutikka, as I've heard it called, which is a Tibetan settlement in Delhi, is a good place to stay a night--you can arrange a room in advance, there are several "hotels" there. But it's not very safe to be out after dusk in that area, I would say. I stayed at the Hotel Impress in Delhi, and had a good experience.
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.
User avatar
conebeckham
 
Posts: 2742
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

Re: Travelling to Sikkim Chorten Gompa

Postby michaelb » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:22 am

Kunzang8 wrote:Hi Michaelb

Thank you for your reply. Could you give me some details about your travel there. Did you go via Kolkata or Delhi? From there how did you get to Sikkim, did you fly to Bagdora?
I would like as much detail as possible e.g. flew to delhi/kolkata, stayed a night (where?) , then went by rail/air, etc as you can imagine traveliing to India can be scary.
I have been advised that if I went via Delhi and needed to stay a night in transit, then a safe place would be Majnukatila a Tibetan settlement. But Probably I would have to fly via Kolkata and I don't know of any safe havens there.
Thank you for your help!
I flew to Delhi, stayed in Majnu Ka Tilla, got a train (Guwahati express, 2 tier AC) to New Jalpaiguri, got a taxi to Darjeeling, stayed in a hotel somewhere on the mall, spent a frustrating day travelling to and from police and govt. buildings to get an inner line permit, got a taxi to Gangtok. Stayed in a hotel whose name escapes me.

I visited other places on the way (a week or so in Kalimpong, a few days in Pelling, some time at Khechupalri lake, a couple of days at Tashi Ding, days at Rishi Hot springs and Ravangla for the caves, etc.) Sikkim is a really blessed place and well worth repeat trips. Two weeks isn't enough.

I had a bit of a habit of travelling around India by taxi, but buses, planes and trains are also fine, in my experience.
good luck.
michaelb
 
Posts: 300
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:04 pm

Re: Travelling to Sikkim Chorten Gompa

Postby ReasonAndRhyme » Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:32 am

The first time in India is always exciting and also a bit exhausting. I think it's nice to get the Sikkim permit at your embassy when you get your visum for India.

If you have the money for the flight to Bagdogra, it would recommend that you treat yourself with the flight, because the train ride takes long and you're not accustomed to the food yet etc. Besides, if you take a direct flight from Delhi to Bagdogra (not that other route where you have a stop in Guwahati) you will pass by the peak of mount Everest, which is a really majestic view.

I've heard that the national airport in Delhi is now directly at the international airport, so that you don't need to leave the airport if you continue with a flight to Bagdogra. If you arrive at Delhi at three in the morning, you will to have spend some time waiting in the line for the passport formalities. That will take at least one hour.

Then there is a State Bank of India directly at the airport, where they have very good exchange rates. (It's not like at airports in Europe, where the exchange rates they give you are more or less a scam.) Actually you should exchange a great part of your cash there, because going to a bank in India is always exhausting, and you won't find better exchange rates anyway.

Collecting your luggage, passport and visum control, exchanging money at the bank - that will take you between about one and two hours. When you have a flight the next morning it will probably not make sense to drive to the Manjukatilla, because that is a taxi ride of almost an hour.

I suggest that either you spend the night at the airport, or you take some two or three days time in Delhi to arrive. But the question is also when are you going? Last winter they had a hell of air pollution in Delhi, these are some photographs from last November:

http://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/delhi-smog104~magnifier_mtb-1_pos-1.html#colsStructure

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Delhi-enveloped-in-smog-back-to-pre-CNG-levels/articleshow/17070829.cms?intenttarget=no

If I were you, I would totally avoid Indian cities during the winter because of the smog. If I have the opportunity to travel to Sikkim next winter, I will stay at the airport (which is btw climatized and air conditioned) and jump into the airplane the next morning to get out of Delhi as soon as I can. From Bagdogra you can take a taxi to Siliguri and recover from the flight for a day or two and then continue to Gangtok.
"Forget about being clever, and simply remain." Guru Rinpoche, Treasures from Juniper Ridge
ReasonAndRhyme
 
Posts: 359
Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 8:33 pm


Return to Nyingma

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 11 guests

>