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How to Reach Sikkim

How to Reach Sikkim by Air

Pakyoung Airport is the only airport in Sikkim, 31 km south of Gangtok. It is a Greenfield airport and is spread over 201 acres.  It is one of the five highest airports in India at 4590 ft. This airport was inaugurated on the 24thof September 2018, and the first commercial flight operations started on the 4thof October 2018. 

There are no international flights that land at Pakyoung airport as yet. However, there are flights every day from Delhi, Kolkata and Guwahati. Air Asia, Spice Jet, Indigo, Air India and Vistara have direct connections to Pakyoung Airport.

If you are travelling from outside of India it is best to book a flight to one of the major cities, which have connecting flights to Sikkim. 

The closest airport to Gangtok besides Pakyoung is Bagdogra, which has many daily connections to several cities in India and to the neighbouring foreign countries like Bhutan. Bagdogra is 126 km from Gangtok and usually an easily accessible option to get to Sikkim. 

There is also a helicopter service available between Bagdogra and Gangtok, which takes 35 minutes one way.

How to Reach Sikkim by Railways

The construction of a 50 km rail link from Sevoke, West Bengal to Rangpo, Sikkim started in 2009, but has been halted. In the meanwhile the nearest stations are Siliguri (146km) and New Jalpaiguri (NJP) (187km). There are numerous trains connecting them to Kolkata, Guwahati, Mumbai and Delhi. Once you alight, you can get a pre-paid taxi to Gangtok effortlessly. 

There are few trains that operate from Kolkata to New Jalpaiguri, which is 593 km away. The limited trains between Kolkata to New Jalpaiguri are KOAA (12363), Testa Torsa Exp (13141) and Darjeeling Mail (12343). 

There are plenty of weekly as well as daily trains that run from Guwahati to Siliguri, located at a distance of around 433 km. The daily trains from Guwahati to Siliguri are; DBRT Rajdhani Express (12423), Kamrup Express (15960), North-East Express (12505), Saraighat Express (12346), Brahmaputra Mail (14055) and Abadh Assam Express (15909). 

While between Mumbai to Siliguri, which is comparatively a longer route of about a distance of 1798 km, there are few weekly trains running between them; like Guwahati (15645), Karambhoomi (22511), LTT KYQAC Express (12519), Guwahati Express (15647) and KYQ SUVIDA Special (82505).

The trains running from Delhi to Siliguri, including both weekly and daily are numerous, and the distance they travel is of around 1466 km. Some of the trains running between Delhi and Siliguri are; Mahananda Express (15484), North-East Express (12506), Avadh Assam Express (15910), DBRT Rajdhani (12424) and Brahmaputra Mail (14056).

How to Reach Sikkim by Road

Bus - Sikkim is easily accessible by bus. The Sikkim government has fixed-rate buses; Sikkim Nationalized Transport (SNT) from its bus terminal at Siliguri plying between Siliguri and Gangtok. There are buses from New Jalpaiguri (NJP) to Gangtok. Many tourists avail trains and alight at New Jalpaiguri to reach Gangtok, which is at a distance of 124 km.
The road routes from Bagdogra, New Jalpaiguri and Siliguri all meet the Sevoke Road, which leads to the National Highway NH10. The route passes through the Teesta area and then goes all the way to Gangtok. For a long part of the drive, you will see the beautiful River Teesta flowing alongside.
From north, Tibet, China is accessible by the Nathu La pass that was part of the erstwhile silk route. This route has opened up after 44 years of closure. There are also plans for a Gangtok- Lhasa bus service.  

Taxi - Private Taxi’s are easily available from both Bagdogra Airport and New Jalpaiguri Junction railway station. All taxi services ply from this town. There are multiple vehicles options, which one can choose from such as Tata Sumo, Mahindra Bolero, and Toyota Innova. Not many taxi providers are available in Sikkim who are trustworthy and provide comfortable transportation.
There are also prepaid taxi counters both from Bagdogra airport (next to the arrival hall exit) and New Jalpaiguri station (opposite the station entrance). Prepaid taxis have fixed rates. It is better to get a Sikkim registered Taxi from Bagdogra or New Jalpaiguri. This is because Taxi’s with a West Bengal registration drop passengers at Deorali Taxi stand near Gangtok, which is 2km below the town center. This is due to the restrictions in Gangtok for non-state vehicles. From Deorali you will need to take a local taxi to reach your hotel, which will cost Rs 200/- - Rs300/- additional. 

Shared Jeeps - Shared Jeeps usually take about 10 people on a per person rate. The luggage is put on the roof. But they usually cover it with a plastic sheet during monsoon. You can reserve more than one seat if you wish and make it a more comfortable ride.

Commutation Within Sikkim

There are a few local buses plying through the streets of Gangtok.  However, the frequency is poor and it will require a bit of planning.

Shared Jeep
These are available from the private taxi stand a few minutes downhill from MG Marg. Locals takes these jeeps to travel short distances. Most shared jeeps are one way so it is wise to inquire and book your Sikkim Tour Packages accordingly.

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