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Aritar, Zuluk, Nathang Valley & Padamchein

Silk Route refers to the network of trade routes that connected the East and West, Asia and Southeast Asia with South Asia, Persia, the Arabian Peninsula, East Africa, and Southern Europe from the 2nd century BCE to the 18th century. It’s the Offshoot of Silk Route. Zuluk is a hilltop and a transit point to Jelep La & Nathu La Pass.

The road with a great view of almost 32 hairpin turns to reach Padamchen, Lungthung makes it a unique engineering feat.  The surreal mountain provides a splendid view of its onlookers. The glittering rays of the rising sun illuminating the snow-clad peak of Mount Kanchenjungha with changing hues are worth it. It's an old trading route connecting India. Kupup Lake, Nathang Valley, Memencho Lake, Tukla Valley, etc are the major places of interest. The Road connected Lhasa (Tibet) to Kalimpong was in use even a few decades ago until the Chinese invasion of Tibet. Aritar, Lingsey, Zuluk / Dzuluk used to be a small village on this route. Tour or Travel to this area requires special permits. The permits though are arranged by us, and as a guest, one needs to provide ID proof and passport size photograph. The infrastructure in this route is not much developed yet one can stay in the clean and simple home stay. Locals are simple and have hospitality developed from birth. As there is limited home stay hence during peak season one might not get the accommodation. We arrange for the so-called Silk Route Package. Jelep La Pass connects India with Tibet or the People's Republic of China. October & November is drenched is a riot of colours of wildflowers. The whole region is covered in various wildflowers and it is true in March & April too. From December to March Zuluk is covered in snow. Monsoon offers good rainfall from mid-May to September and turns the atmosphere foggy but the rest of the year it has nice sparkling weather. Mid May to mid-September is the Monsoon season in this region and the temperature ranges around 12°C. The region experiences heavy snowfall during winter season. The temperature may drop down to a sheer -25°C, rest of the year 04°C to 17°C.

Aritar is a small settlement in East Sikkim district of the state of Sikkim. Aritar is a destination with many an option but is popular for its natural and landscaped beauty. It is situated in the foothills of Himalaya and is located on the eastern edge of the Sikkim, and can be reached in about four hours' drive from Siliguri, Gangtok via Rangpo. Aritar is away from the major destinations of the region just away from the mainstream and also from the rest of the state, on the far eastern border of Sikkim and bounded by the State of West Bengal and Bhutan. Just under the shadow of Mt. Kanchendzonga. The region is characterized by lush forests, villages, wildlife, mountains, and rivers. The Aritar Lake (Ghati-Tso) is a nearby attraction it is also known as Lampokhari is the oldest natural lake in Sikkim and recently artificially constructed to facilitate boating for the tourists. It is situated at an elevation of 4600 feet i.e. 1400 meters. An old historic Bungalow erected by the Britishers offers few rooms for tourists to stay. Places like Mankhim, Nirmal Dham, Ever green nursery, Aritar Gumpa, Parbateyswar Shivalaya Mandir, and Ram Gauri Sangrhalaya, Kali Khola falls (Lonely falls), Reshi Khola, Changey water fall, Lungchok valley & Love Dara are the places to visit staying in Aritar. The region has few villages which are traditional villages and monasteries such as Lingsay. Visitors may also stay in a British-built bungalow of 1895 just below the lake.

Zuluk is a small settlement situated at an elevation of 10000 feet in East Sikkim district in the state of Sikkim. It is popular for natural virginity, unspoiled nature, and amazing Himalayan beauty. The scenic beauty of the hamlet will surely mesmerize the tourists. The traditional village houses are not with comfort and convenience as in a star hotel or resort. But the advantage is that the tourist gets a local feel, which will make develop a relationship with the village. The places of interest are Thambi View Point, Kupup Lake, Adi Baba Mandir, Menmecho Lake, etc. Staying in either Gnathang / Nathang Valley one can stay in Zuluk.

Tour to Zuluk, Nathang Valley, Kupup Lake, Memencho Lake, requires a special permit called Inner Line Permit (ILP). The permit is issued to Tourists through an authorized tour operator.  As the day progresses weather in the high altitude begins to worsen. There are few Army installations along the route. An Indian Army base is at Zuluk, which has been used as a transit camp for the army movement. The main road through Zuluk has almost 32 hairpin turns to reach Lungthung. The view from the top of any of the mountain offers a lovely and mesmerizing view. It is a beautiful and nice engineering feat that makes it unique.  The region has a rich diversity of Himalayan fauna. It is home to a variety of birds like Blood Pheasant, Khaleej Pheasant, Snow Pheasant, Monal Pheasant, and others. Guests may also catch a glimpse of Himalayan Weasel or A Martin. The lucky ones can spot Red Panda, wild dog, and deers.

Nathang Valley at an elevation of 13,500 feet, is a lush valley was the home to traditional yak herders of Tibet, who settled in the prehistoric age. Few falls somewhere offers few streams. These streams crisscross the valley, and prayer flags flutter on the mountain edges on this vast plain. Gnathang Valley appears in different colours at different times of the year. Autumn & Spring offers a golden view with the flowers all around but during winters it is 05 feet below the snow. Nathang Valley is also known for migratory birds just before the onset of winter. There’s a monastery, a temple and a small bridge over a small stream nearby makes it an ideal home to travelers. Nathan Valley is in the middle of the Route and is a scenic place to stay. It is also just 20 minutes to a sunrise viewpoint. And places of interest are Lungthung and Eagle’s Nest Bunker. One can also trek nearby. The region experiences heavy snowfall during winter season. The temperature may drop down to a sheer -25°C, rest of the year 04°C to 17°C. 

Places of Interest

  • Thambi View Point
  • Lungthung
  • Tukla
  • Nathang Valley
  • Old Baba Mandir
  • Kupup
  • Memencho Lake
  • Zig Zag Point
  • Young Husband's Track
  • Aritar or Lampokhari Lake Lake
  • Changu Lake
  • Eagle’s Nest Bunker
  • Jelepla Pass
  • Kupup Lake
  • Lingtam
  • Thambi View Point
  • Tukla Valley
  • Yak Golf Course
  • Younghusband’s Track


Airways: There are Two Nearby Airport i.e. Pakyong Airport (PYG) & Bagdogra Airport (IXB). Bagdogra Airport (IXB to Aritar & Rhenock is110 kilometers and is 03 to 04 hours drive by national highway 10. Aritar / Arhitar is nearly 50 kilometers from Pakyong Airport (PYG). Earlier chopper service took 30 minutes to reach Gangtok by Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation from Bagdogra Airport. Twice daily at 11:00 AM and at 2:00 PM.  It is a five seated chopper with limited baggage. Gangtok is 70 kilometers from Aritar

Railways: The nearest major Railway station is New Jalpaiguri Railway Station(NJP) nearly 110 kilometers and is 03 - 04 hours drive by National highway 10. Sikkim has no railway system but a project by railway is on and the station will be Rangpo. The nearest major railway station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP), Siliguri Junction, and Siliguri Town Station and is assessable from all the major towns/cities of Sikkim. It is nearly 110 kilometers and is 03 - 04 hours drive by National highway 10 along the River Teesta. NJP is well linked up with the rest of the country with frequent trains. 

Roadways: The network of roads in Sikkim is good compared to its difficult terrain. Aritar, Rhenock is approximately 110 kilometers from New Jalpaiguri Station (NJP) / Bagdogra Airport (IXB). Kalimpong is nearly 50 kilometers from Aritar. The road network is decent. There is a road from Aritar to Rache La and Nathu La which ends up in Gangtok. The road is maintained by the Indian Army. The problem is that the road easily stays under snow after a few inches of snowfall for nearly 06 months but it is cleaned by BRO daily. The road is nice but due to snow it is always safer to travel by bigger vehicle. Smaller vehicles are risky due to low ground clearance. It is always better to travel by Scorpio, Tata Sumo or Zylo. Innova with lesser weight is OK but with more than 04 adults will be again risky. 


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