Sikkim and Darjeling
ENTRY FORMALITIES Foreigner must obtain inner Line Permit (ILP) to visit Sikkim. The permits can be obtained from all Indian Missions Tourism Office – New Delhi, Sikkim, Tourism office – Kolkata and Sikkim Tourism Office – Siliguri, Rangpo Tourist Lodge on the strength of an Indian visa. The 15 days duration permit is issued on the spot without any delay provided photocopies of passport and visa details along with two passport photos of the applicants are made available then & there. The permissible duration of stay by foreign tourists would be 15 days initially with the state Government authorized to extend the same by a further period of 30 days of 15 days each. The extension of permits can be obtained from ERO at Gangtok, Superintendent of Police of the North, West and South Districts. For those interested in going for trekking in the interior regions of the State, the Department of Tourism issues Protected Area Permit (PAP) at Gangtok which is available for certain specified area for group consisting of two or more foreigners subjected to the conditions that the trekking programme is arranged through a Registered Travel Agency. Nathula can be visited only by Indian citizen and Tsangu Lake can be visited both by Indian and Foreign citizen after obtaining the permission from Tourism Department through registered travels agent.
TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATION
Nearest airport is Bagdogra in North Bengal which is 124 kms. and approximately 4 hours drive from Gangtok. There are Indian Airlines and other Airline services operating from Bagdogra linking Kolkata, Guwahati and New Delhi. Sikkim Tourism operates daily five seater helicopter service between Gangtok and Bagdogra connecting all Civil Flights.
The two closest railway stations are Siliguri (114 kms) and New Jalpaiguri (125 kms) connecting Kolkata, Delhi, Guwahati, Lucknow and other important cities in India. There is an out agency booking facility in Gangtok located at the SNT Bus Terminus. ROAD Gangtok is connected by road to Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Siliguri and also to all district Headquarters within Sikkim. The Sikkikm Nationalised Transport (SNT) plies regular bus services from Gangtok to all major cities and towns in North Bengal and within the State. Booking facilities are available at Siliguri and Gangtok.