Monday, May 21, 2012


A Major part of the drive from  Gangtok to Darjeeling is along the Teesta and provides a opportunity for River rafting. Not for nothing is traveling equated to spiritual experience,. I am sacred of water and river rafting is something I would not imagine to do in my dream, but then had to give in to the wishes of the family and yes it was a life time experience and by the time I reached the shore I wanted more.

Enroute are many such tea gardens

The best  at Darjeeling apart from the train (we could not take this, did not book the tickets early) is Tiger hills. One as to be up at 2.30 AM to reach Tiger hill by 4 AM to catch the first rays of the sun on Kanchenjunga. I have seen some spectacular pictures of sunrise, but this being  a cloudy day this is all we could manage/

The Batista loop, The Small train make a round of this location

Some attraction here - The Japanese Pagoda, the Buddha Temple., The Darjeeling Zoo and the Mountaineering Institute  are all worth a visit

An enterprising Bear
And a watchful Red Panda

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Yumthang, Yumesamdong

                                                                                               It  takes about 6-8 hours journey to reach Lachung-which serves as the base to  Yumthang and Yumesamdong or zero point. The journey can be tiresome but enroute are many spots like  Singhik View point, Seven Sisters Water falls.  It would be wonderful to spend a day at Lachung itself devouring the  beautiful, small village nestled in  the hills.

Yumthang is famous for the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary and is to be visited in Spring to witness the bloom of about 24 varieties of Rhododendron, we could though see a couple of varieties.
Its nice to spend some time in the freezing water of the river which joins the Teesta down stream.


After spending some time here on the river side - one is given the option to travel  to Yumesamdong or the Zero Point at a distance of 25 Kms. Perched at a height of around 16000 Ft and close to China border, this is would probably top the most magnificent locations, I have seen. Snow clad mountains all around, snow melting into the river- It was an exhilarating experience  

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Gangtok, Tsonga Lake

Sometimes the best plans go wary, on our vacation to North East, we planned  many destinations, but  slipped to   spend  time in Gangtok itself. Albeit it was a great delight to walk on the Mall road daily in the late evenings and early morning.  

The Mall Road at  10 PM (above) and 5 AM (below)

Close to Nathula Pass is the Baba Mandir at an elevation of about 13000 feet, this is a simple temple built in honour of an Indian Army Solider.  People make a beeline for Gantolk braving treacherous road, landslides and snow to visit (hats off to India tourists and the BRO who do their best in building road at this heights).      But Alas, we couldn't visit Nathula Pass which is just 3 kms away, but requires special permission, again improper plan.

A lake shaped like India on the map on the way down from the Baba Mandir                                             

Ths Tsonga Lake lies in between the Mandir and Gangtok. A beautiful lake surrounded by hills  

and many Yaks, provide a  a good photo op

We could though manage to make it to Rumtek Monastery. Said to be the largest in Sikkim.