Day 38 to 43: Gangtok, East Sikkim and Pelling, West Sikkim

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March 30th 2010
Published: April 6th 2011
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Well, am doing the last few entries of my India trip almost a year after the trip... Had given up during the trip due to lack of Internet in North East... and all high aspirations of coming back to Mumbai and completing it went to dust, thanks to sheer laziness... but now, after almost a year, someone inspired me to complete the tale... Its not nice to leave a story in the middle... so here's the year back trip's remaining portions... How I remember details? Well, pictures are always the easiest way to recall... here goes, hope at least a few of you would enjoy reading 😊


Leaving chilly Darjeeling, we reached the mountain kingdom state of Sikkim, pleasantly surprised that the weather was much warmer, despite Gangtok being at almost the same altitude as Darjeeling.

The experience of traveling 5 hours in a shared Sumo from Darjeeling to Gangtok was interesting, even though I had to struggle to keep my body parts on the seat 😊 The drive was nice, interspersed with tea gardens, the Teesta river (saw someone rafting on the placid river)

At Rangpot, the entry point to Sikkim, there was a permit check for foreigners (must say, the process of getting a permit is fairly smooth and costs nothing).

Sikkim is probably the cleanest state in India, thanks to strict monitoring by the government (Rs 5000/- fine or 6 months prison term or both) and also its the only state in India where smoking is not permitted even on the roads

We were lucky to be traveling in March, got to visit the flower exhibition near the Raj Bhawan in Gangtok (was a nice walk up the hills), followed by a visit to Enchey Gompa, a Buddhist monastery inclined towards Guru Padmasambhavam. I always thought Buddhism was a simple philosophy, but now need to understand how Tantric Buddhism works (and what its origins are). The main market in Gangtok, MG Road, is a straight lift-off from any small European city, with well-laid cobblestone street, flowers, fountains and people walking around, just relaxing

Next day, went to the three main view points for Kanchendzonga in Gangtok. Hanuman Tok, which is at a height of around 6000 feet and a Hanuman temple on the top of the mountain gave the best view in my book (though most people feel Tashi Viewpoint gives the best views). Probably, my view is biased because of the prayer music playing at the Hanuman temple and the fact that there wasn't another soul in sight 😊 Am not of the religious bent, but just the serenity of the place and fresh mountain air calmed my senses

We followed up Hanuman Tok with Ganesh Tok and Tashi Viewpoint, viewing the mountains through a telescope is awesome. Wish my camera had that kinda zoom 😊

Next day, we left for Pelling in West Sikkim, which is well known for its mountain views. The hotel we were staying in is a family-run place, the staff was really helpful. Tried Sikkimese food (Thukpa, Thenduk, both of which are like soups), don't fancy it too much (love my spicy food too much 😊 Tibetan Garlic Bread was nice though

Next day, we took a trip to Kanchendzonga waterfall, Khechopalri Lake (its a wishing lake, both Hindus and Buddhists consider it of religious importance) and a monastery, again focusing on the Padmasambhavam philsophy. Some of the prayer wheels we saw were massive as well as very beautiful

But the best part of Pelling was the view of Kanchendzonga from our resort

Next day, we are off to Tezpur in Assam, traveling all day and changing 6 vehicles and a flight to get there. North East begins, after the detour to Sikkim from my original plan

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