Blogs from Sikkim, India, Asia


Asia » India » Sikkim » Gangtok November 21st 2022

“You can fall in love for a place, and when you do, you have to come again and again to that place” I keep travelling whenever I get some time out for my inner self. I believe, Life has made me an explorer by heart and this belief is getting stronger with my age. Out of countless cities, villages, mountain trails, hamlets, sea beaches, National parks & forests, deserts that I have travelled so far, few are the journeys that reflects Life. Sikkim is a small picturesque North-eastern state in India, which is one of those places, that I think I fell in love with, for its beautiful mountain peaks and trails, beautiful view of majestic Khangchendzonga, the third highest peak in the world, small mountain villages and its people, rivers, countless waterfalls, the zig-zag old ... read more
Mt. Kanchendzongha
Way to Golitar Basecamp
Mt Kanchendzongha

Asia » India » Sikkim June 3rd 2022

Shimla-Manali (2004), Char-Dham (2016), Ladakh (2021) and Sikkim (2022) – A comparison For the second time in 9 months, we travelled to Himalayas – to Leh-Ladakh in August-2021 and to Sikkim-Darjeeling in May-2022. Prior to that we had been to Shimla-Manali in 2004 and ‘Chardham’ in 2016. I am comparing only these four tours (omitting South India and other States) as these four tours were in Himalayan regions. There are many things common among these four trips and many dissimilarities. All four tours were in ‘peak’ season. We had planned Shimla and Ladakh tours on our own, ie the itinerary, hotel bookings and internal travelling. Chardham – we had booked for ‘organized’ tour by ‘Radhe-Shyam’ of Ahmedabad. For Sikkim-Darjeeling tour we booked through a ‘Ajay Modi’ of Ahmedabad. I have always debated – which one is ... read more

Asia » India » Sikkim » Pelling May 17th 2022

Day-5: Gangtok to Pelling via Chardham and Buddha Park At last, there was something to see in Gangtok. On Day-5 we were to travel from Gangtok to Pelling. As usual, taxi was expected anytime between 9 and 11. Fortunately, we could start the day at 9.30. Four places in Gangtok were on the list: Flower show, Do Drul Chortan Stupa, Namgyal Institute of Tibetology and Handicrafts center. Last two were closed due to weekly holidays. Flower show has good collection of flowering plants arranged nicely. As the number of photographs is just too many for this blog, I will put up elsewhere. Funny part was that every visitor wanted to be photographed himself/herself with the flowers. Selfie culture has changed the definition of photography. You are always in the center! Next was the Do Drul Chortan ... read more
39-Do Drul Chortan
40-Do Drul Chortan
41-Do Drul Chortan

Asia » India » Sikkim » Lachung May 16th 2022

Day-3: Gangtok to Lachung: Lachung is a small village near Tibetan border situated at 9,000 ft. It is a very scenic place – for that matter, entire Sikkim is a scenic beauty. On 5th May, day time temperature forecast was 6°C and night temperature forecast was 1°C. We were told that taxi will arrive anytime between 9 and 11! This is a major (and common) problem in Sikkim. Taxi operators have formed a cartel and they dictate the terms. In Sikkim (eastern part of India), sun rises early. Unless it is raining, there is broad day-light by 5.30 in the morning in summer. And you have to wait till……..may be 11 for the day to start! In Sikkim, taxi operators ply on specific routes. Eg, taxis on Gangtok-Lachung-Gangtok route do not keep luggage carriers (I don’t ... read more
20-Seven Sisters Fall
21-Seven Sisters Fall
22-Seven Sisters Fall

Asia » India » Sikkim » Gangtok May 14th 2022

Sikkim – Darjeeling : May-2022 When I started writing this blog, I started with comparison of self-planned tour v/s organized tour as Ladakh (self-planned) is still fresh in mind. Then I decided to keep that chapter at the end. It is interesting to know that Sikkim was an independent State / Nation protected by India till 1975. After internal political turmoil, a referendum was held and by overwhelming majority, people of Sikkim decided to become a part of India. Sikkim became 22nd state of India in 1975. Local population of Sikkim is mainly Buddhist (Bhutia and Lepcha) and some Nepali. Sikkim has population of just over 7 lacs. We booked through a travel company – ‘Ajay Modi’ of Ahmedabad. It is shown as a 7-nights 8-days tour, whereas in reality it is 7-nights and 6-days. Day-1 ... read more
02-At Nathu La
03-At Nathu La
04-At Nathu La

Asia » India » Sikkim » Lachung March 4th 2021

So, this was a trip after a year long break from travelling. Anywhere if this sounds poetic , please excuse :) I have tried to control my feelings as much as possible :) After a break of more than a year from traveling, I stepped out of the house and flew to Sikkim. 2020 has been a difficult year for everyone and the only realization i had in 2020 was, the importance of Freedom.This was more of an emotionally journey , with a heart full of excitement. Home is surely the best place and I love it , but a rebound with the incomplete and desired thing is always enticing .There could not have been a better start to the year 2021 than this. So, to get to Sikkim the nearest airport is the Bagdogra airport ... read more
On the way to Zero from Yumthang Valley
Once Again.
Pitstop at a Stream

Asia » India » Sikkim May 29th 2020

So, as the snow continues, we begin our way back to the 1st hut. The first hour back to the hut by the river was fairly easy as the 8+" of snow covered all the stones and we are just walking along. But the next 6+ hours get long! A package of crackers and a powerbar help keep the energy going. At times, slipping and sliding I find myself losing some steam! I think we all thought it was a localized storm and we would hike out of it. But the further we went, the deeper the snow and we begin to realize the storm probably came up the valley. Poor Umbert is breaking trail, and only 5'5", many times the snow is above his knees. I quickly learn being #2 is almost as tiring as ... read more
But it is beautiful
Back at the 1st hut and we are glad to be here!
Drying our clothes in our room

Asia » India » Sikkim » Kangchendzonga May 19th 2020

Another retro blog - Dec 23, 2003 I am not even sure why we decided to visit Sikkim and base camp of the 3rd tallest mountain in the world. But, I am pretty sure we did not even know where Sikkim was before we started planning. Having climbed Kili 2 yrs earlier, obviously that memory had softened! After spending 2+ wks in Darjeeing and Gangktok, which is another blog, we arrived in Yuksom to begin our trek. Yuksom is a very small village, pleasant and very quiet. We meet a couple from the US, that have just completed the trek today. They had some great views, but said it was very cold at night, and they did get snowed on. They used their lighter sleeping bags with silk liners, down jackets and still froze. We brought ... read more
The beautiful trail
One of many suspension bridges on the trail
Cold and windy but beautiful!

Asia » India » Sikkim » Kangchendzonga November 23rd 2019

Zero Point and Yumthang Valley As often happens, we were ready at 0600 hrs, nobody else were up. After some breakfast we finally left the hotel at 0730. We were rather disappointed that we could not explore Lachung which was rated as one of the most picturesque and culturally thriving little towns in Sikkim. As we reached Lachung only after dark there was little chance of that. Now the importance of Lachung has shifted as the gateway to North Sikkim with hordes of tourists using it as a staging post for their tour of North Sikkim. Soon we were driving through the narrow lanes again. I had given up counting the number of "hairpin bends". Again we were just hugging the sides of the hills going up the hill then going down to the valley cross ... read more
Zero point1
Zero point 2
Dangerous roards

Asia » India » Sikkim » Gangtok November 23rd 2019

Two weeks running around visiting family and friends and after short hop to Chennai it was time once again to see if I still enjoy my nomadic wandering. On the flight to Chennai and to Bagdogra (Airport for Gangtok) the thing that stuck me most was the dust cover that pervaded over India. Even from a 1000 meter altitude it was virtually impossible to see anything on the ground (no fun getting a window seat, cant see anything below). Looking at a 4,500Rs taxi fare I Had booked a shared taxi from “Whizzride” for my 4½ hour journey to Gangtok, capital of the state of Sikkim. The car arrived a bit late due to traffic congestion, we finally started off around 2 PM. Due to some accident ahead there was a huge delay en-route and it ... read more
Botanic Garden
Enshay Monastery
From Hanuman Tok

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