After completing her tourism course in New Zealand, Manisha Sharma returned to Sikkim in hopes of making it a top tourist destination.

Working with the government of Sikkim to promote tourism, she realised the potential of the villages of the state.

She says, “Each village has their own specialities and we needed a way to show tourists these features.”

In 2014, she founded Tag Along, a travel consultancy platform to showcase the beauty of Sikkim’s villages.

Manisha would also share her travel adventures with her sister Bhavana, who was enthralled by her sister’s experiences.

In 2018, she quit her job to join her sister at Tag Along.

During a cycle expedition in Gangtok, Manisha realised that the travellers needed affordable accommodation.

This gave birth to Tag Along Backpackers, a hostel where travellers can stay for minimal rates of Rs 700 to Rs 800 per night.

Presently, there are two hostels and one restaurant under Tag Along which operate in Gangtok

Additionally, the sisters also employ sustainable measures including avoiding single-use plastic.

The duo also visit homestays in villages to teach them about sustainable tourism and sustainable practices.

“We are not just a group of hotel/restaurant owners or itinerary makers. We combine the best of what culture, nature, adventure, hospitality and leisure has to offer in the Himalayas, inside Sikkim,” says Manisha.

“We always buy things in bulk needed for the hostel as well as the cafe to reduce the huge amounts of plastic waste.”

During the peak tourist season, the hostels get 70 guests per month.

The trio say that October to January and March to mid-June are the best time to visit Sikkim, although they are open all year round.