FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS RAISED BY TOURIST AT TIC COUNTER AND THROUGH EMAILS

  1. Where is Sikkim?
    Sikkim is in the north eastern part of India bordering the state of West Bengal ( India )
  2. How do I get to Sikkim ?
    Sikkim can be reached by flight, regular flights are of all carriers are avaible upto Bagdogra airport. From airport frequent pre-paid taxis are available to Sikkim. By rail nearest railway station is new jalpaiguri station( NJP). From NJP frequent pre-paid taxis are available to Sikkim. Buses are also available from siligurilocated near NJP.
    Bagdogra airport to Gangtok is 123 kms. From New jalpaiguri 125 kms to Gangtok .
  3. Why there is need for Inner Line Permit , Restricted area permit / Protected area permit required for foreign nationals?
    Sikkim being a border state sharing its boundaries with 3 other countries. The foreigners are required to obtain ILP for security reasons. The numbers of the Tourist Information Centers are listed in
    http://www.sikkimtourism.gov.in/Webforms/General/Essential%20Information/TIC.aspx
  4. Do foreign nationals need to come to Sikkim through a Travel Agent registered with Sikkim Government?
    No, but for visiting Protected Areas they need to travel through a Sikkim Tourism registered Travel Agent. The list of travel agents are available in http://www.sikkimtourism.gov.in/Webforms/General/TATO/TATO_List.aspx
  5. Why Nathula and Gurudongmar lake are not yet opened for foreign nationals?
    Since Nathula and Gurudongmar lake are located in the international border areas. These are not open for foreign nationals.
  6. Why foreign tourist has to be in group of two or more to travel around in Sikkim ?
    The practice is being followed in pursuance of the guidelines / instructions issued by Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.
  7. Why do Indian citizens need permit to visit Nathula and Gurudongmar Lake and other protected areas of Sikkim?
    Since Nathula and Gurudongmar lake are in international border areas, hence, domestic tourist as well as locals need permit to visit these areas. Permit for Nathula and Gurudongmar lake are issued by Tourism and Civil Aviation Department. Domestic tourists are to contact travel agents listed in www.sikkimtourism.gov.in/Webforms/General/TATO/TATO_List.aspx to get permits from Tourism Department.
  8. Do we need permit to visit North Sikkim?
    Yes, Beyond Singhik all areas in North Sikkim require permit for tourist. North Sikkim tour cannot be made in one day. Better to confirm the hotel reservations in advance in North Sikkim to avoid complications.
  9. Do bikers need special permit to ply in Sikkim? And what about driving in private cars?
    Bikers need special permit to ply in Protected areas , private vehicles are not allowed in protected areas.
  10. Do Overseas Citizens of India ( OCI ) holders need ILP?
    OCI holders need Inner Line permits to visit Sikkim on the strength of a valid Indian visa.
  11. Why department does not conduct any tours and have any kinds of government transports?
    Government acts as a facilitator , private tourism stakeholders are encouraged as tour operators, transporters. www.sikkimtourism.gov.in/Webforms/General/TATO/TATO_List.aspx
  12. Is there a online system of Inner Line Permit?
    Online Inner Line Permit has been launched and will soon be operational under the name www.sikkimilp.in
  13. Is there online Hotel booking and helicopter booking?
    There is no online booking for helicopter but online hotel booking is available in STDC website http://www.sikkimstdc.com/ProtectedResources/Booking/Booking.aspx
  14. Why there is no system of pre-paid taxi service?
    The government is introducing the system of pre-paid taxi service and is expected to be operational soon.
  15. Is there any tour itinerary ?
    Tour itinerary are available in http://www.sikkimtourism.gov.in/Webforms/General/PlacesOfInterest/Tour_Itinerary.aspx
  16. It would be nice if there was Tourism Calendar incorporated in your tourism website?
    Tourism calendar of events is being prepared for the coming year which will be hosted in the official website of Tourism Department.
  17. Do we need to book beforehand for hotels and transportation to plan a trip to Sikkim ?
    Travelers are advised to book hotels and transportation beforehand to avoid any complains. Further, it would be better if tourist contact the registered travel agents listed in our website to plan the trip to Sikkim.
  18. Is there online permit for trekking in Sikkim?
    At present there is no system of getting the Trekking permits online.
  19. Is there any fees charged for obtaining Inner Line Permit?
    There are no fees charged for obtaining Inner Line Permit. Online ILP can be obtained from www.sikkimilp.in
  20. Can we tour Sikkim on our two wheeler bikes?
    As per the rules of Sikkim State Government, two wheeler motor bikes are to obtain permission from Home department of Govt. of Sikkim. Pls see in link :http://www.sikkimtourism.gov.in/Webforms/General/pdf/RAP.pdf