How to Reach Sikkim
Sikkim is a small beautiful state sandwiched between Bhutan on the one side and West Bengal on another. Though it has hilly topography it is well connected by all the modes of transport. Whatever mode of transport you take, be it rail or air, you have to pass through the state of West Bengal and the last mile has to be covered by the road.
Bagdogra Airport in West Bengal is the nearest airport to Sikkim. Bagdogra is located at a distance of around 120 km from Gangtok. All the major domestic airlines such as Air India, Jet Airways, SpiceJet, Indigo and GoAir have daily flights to Bagdogra from major cities of India. From Bagdogra it takes around 4 hours by road to reach Gangtok.
New Jalpaiguri and Siliguri in West Bengal are the two nearest stations to Sikkim. New Jalpaiguri is located at 125 km and Siliguri at 114 km from Gangtok. Both the stations are well-connected by rail with all the major cities of India. It takes around 4 hours by road from New Jalpaiguri and Siliguri to reach Gangtok. From railway station, buses and taxis for Gangtok are easily available.
Gangtok is connected to Silliguri by National Highway 31A. The beautiful highway runs along the river Teesta and passes through lush green forests. Buses run by state transport corporation, private buses, taxis and jeeps ply regularly between Siliguri and Gangtok from morning to evening. Darjeeling, another popular tourist destination, is not too far off from Gangtok. It’s located at 139 km and is connected by good network of roads.
Regular helicopter service runs between Gangtok and Bagdogra. The five-seater helicopter takes 35 minutes to cover the whole journey and offers bird’s eye-view of the Himalayan peaks. Special helicopter flights are also conducted to see the grandeur of Mount Kanchenjunga up-close. You can also enjoy the panoramic views of the monasteries and the exotic Valley of Flowers, Yumthang, through these helicopter flights.
Inner Line Permit for Foreigners
Foreign nationals desiring to visit Sikkim have to get an inner line permit for traveling to Sikkim. There are numerous competent authorities that have been authorized to grant inner line permits. These include:
- All Indian Missions abroad
- Ministry of Home Affairs
- All Foreigners Registration Officers
- Immigration Officers at Airports at Mumbai, Calcutta, Chennai and New Delhi
- Deputy Commissioner, Darjeeling
- Deputy Secretary/Under Secretary, Home Department, Govt. of West Bengal, Calcutta
- Government of Sikkim
- Chief Secretary, Government of Sikkim
- Home Secretary, Government of Sikkim
- Tourism Secretary, Government of Sikkim
- I.G.P. of Police, Gangtok
- Resident Commissioner, Sikkim House, New Delhi
- Deputy Secretary, Tourism, Siliguri
- Resident Commissioner, STCS, Calcutta
- Tourism Officer, Rangpo