Sikkim – Seeing is Believing

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“It’s better to see once than to hear about it thousand times”

The Plan to Visit Sikkim

We planned a family trip for six days to Gangtok (Sikkim) in Oct  2018 during Dussera break. The whole journey was just beautiful and the most memorable one of my life. Gangtok being the capital city attracts huge numbers of tourists throughout the year. Locals are very humble and helpful. Our guide cum friend was one Mr. Sabin (Contact No.:09641807299), referred by my friend ‘Ayush’ who was there in Sikkim just a few days back. He has shared his travelogue on Travel Diary as well.

Beautiful Gangtok

Sabin is an awesome person, always smiling and helpful like all the humble people of Sikkim. Every day Sabin or his men were on time and had clear information on everything. Though we were in a new place but Sabin made us feel as one family of Sikkim. I would recommend Mr. Sabin services to everyone visiting or planning to visit Sikkim.

Exploring Gangtok & Other Part of Sikkim

I and my wife posing at Banjakhri Falls

First day we went for local sight seeing. Of all the places, BanJhakri falls is must go place, peaceful and with every color of nature.

There’s also a flower museum where you can treat your eyes to different colorful flowers. Cable car ride to Ganesh Tonk gives an incredible view of this beautiful city. Craft museum near CM residence is a good place to bring back some unforgettable gifts as souvenirs. We purchased a Dragon wall mounting from there.

Namgyal Institute of Tibet-logy sponsors and promotes research on religion, history, language, art and culture of the people of the Tibet. We had a amazing first day in Sikkim.

To NATHU-LA

On second day we went all the way to Nathula-Pass, the famous battle ground of 1962 India-Sino war. Tsomgo or Changu lake (scared one) is a major tourist attraction on the way to Nathu-La.

My daughter riding a yaak

Riding a YAK uncle is welcome treat for children. On Google, search to find out how catching a fish in this scared lake (Tsongmo) not only changed a person’s (a home guard) life but also changed the whole scenario of Sikkim. The person is none other than the present (since 1994) Chief Minister of Sikkim, Sh. Pawan Kumar Chamling.

My son and daughter posing leisurely
Mere Do Anmol Ratan

Baba Dham in memory of Late Captain Baba Harbhajan Singh is a must visit place, where tourist forget their respective caste, creed, region & religion and show true Indian-ness. It is a sight that fills you with pride and compassion when all assemble for National Anthem. All of us cannot join Defence services but everyone who visits Baba Dham feels as if they had lived a soldier’s life though only for few hours. After this we headed to Ganju Lama War memorial. Return journey through those Himalayan ranges is incredible and will always remain in the memory of every visitor.

Namchi – Most attractive of Char-Dhams

Whole family posing for a click on Namchi

On third day we visited another nice and beautiful place i.e ‘Namchi’ in south Sikkim. It is perhaps the most attractive of the entire places is the CharDham. It is located on top of a hill known as the ‘Solophok Hill’ with a big Shiva statue surrounded by 12 Jyotir-lingas. Flanked on all sides by the replica of Char-Dham temples i.e Badrinath Dham, Dwarka Dham, Rameshwar Dham and Puri’s Jaganath Dham. The place is a big tourist attraction.

Guru Padmasambhava Statue
The name says it all – Padma-Asambhava. Meaning all impossible becomes possible for those who have courage and grit.

Samdruptse Hill, the ‘Wish Fulfilling Hill’ is just 5 km away from Namchi, situated at an altitude of 2134 m (7000 ft). This epic hill is ornamented with a giant statue of the Guru Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche). He is widely venerated as a “Second Buddha”. There is also a Sai temple, as pure as its golden color.

A Break that Was Needed

Fourth day we took a break from traveling around, and my better-half vetod the plan to go Aritar that day, as all the member were feeling the fatigue of regular travel in hills. We had sound and long sleep, had our best lunch in last four days @ MG Road food point restaurant. It was a welcome break.

Aritar – Green to the Eyes and Peace to the Mind

Fifth day we went to Aritar in the East Sikkim, known for its lush green forests, mountains and rivers. On the way we visited newly constructed Ganesh temple. Being the latest additions to the tourist map in Aritar it had few visitors but the divine feeling was everywhere.

Son and daughter posing at Lake

Next spot was, Lampokri lake, at the height of 4600 feet is one of the best natural lake in Hilly terrains of India. Both my children loved and enjoyed boating which they had to wait for. In the meantime we played a game of carom while waiting for our turn.

Playing Carom to kill time

There’s also a hill top temple ‘Mankhim’ of ‘Rai Community’ to which our guide-cum-friend Sabin also belongs. One can have a marvelous look of mountain range from that height. Just beyond the nearest hill is ‘BHUTAN’ – another lovely destination in this beautiful world. Hope one day we may be on the other side.

Mankhim Temple
Mankhim Temple of Rai Community. Though small yet significant.

To conclude, I wish to say to my readers to look beyond the hectic life of our cities, leave behind that everyday burden and do visit Gangtok…..a delightful place. Take a leisurely walk on the path of MG Road. Gangtok is calling, so is Sabin and his brother’s and sister’s.

And above all “It’s better to see once than to hear about it thousand times”.

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